On What Is It Like To Go Luxury Shopping In Sweats

@Ester Bloom : Goodness, don't apologize! You're just demonstrating the extent of YSL's astonishing marketing screwup. In the comments below, TheLifestyleCreep linked to The Business of Fashion's excellent 2012 dissection of the whole debacle, and I also suggest this article from the same source. Anyway, dropping the "Y" was a terrible move considering the sheer amount of brand equity at risk, and obviously it continues to confuse.

Posted on February 23, 2015 at 11:05 am 0

On What Is It Like To Go Luxury Shopping In Sweats

... Saint Laurent, which I’ve never heard of ... That sound you hear is Yves Saint Laurent's marketing staff howling in existential agony.

Posted on February 20, 2015 at 4:09 pm 1

On The Cost of Vacation, Part 4: NYC

@TheDilettantista : I've stayed at the Pod a couple of times (the one south of Grand Central, on 39th), usually during the week when my normal hotels aren't having good sales, and I've always had a good experience. I've always stayed in their "single pod" room, which has a twin bed and an attached private bathroom. It's excellent value, and not in the "it was crappy, but cheap" way -- more like "I paid for just what I needed, and I got good quality." It's basically like Ikea designed a little ship's cabin. It doesn't feel particularly cramped -- just compact and well-planned. The rooms are small, but you have storage under the bed plus an open "closet" (hanging rack + shelves) for your stuff and a little desk with what seemed like a dozen different outlets. I've never had a problem with noise when I stay there, the windows actually open (windows in the bedroom and in the bathroom), and because the rooms are so small, you'd know if they weren't cleaned thoroughly -- so they clean them -thoroughly-. As far as the beds go, they're nothing fancy, but comfortable -- again, think Ikea-style and Ikea-grade mattresses. Never had any problem with hot water / water pressure in the bathroom. The showers are fully tiled stall-style, not tubs, and the rooms I've been in have a high-flow overhead "rain shower" instead of the wall-mounted kind, which is a nice touch. I wouldn't necessarily want to put two people in the single room, but they do offer a "queen" pod, which might be worth checking out. It's small, but clean and well-designed. In short, I recommend it as a better-than-average value for the money.

Posted on February 13, 2015 at 11:31 am 0

On 7 Really Great Movies From 2014 Worth Streaming

@Marille : I watched "Only Lovers Left Alive" with a friend, and between my massive Tilda Swinton crush and her equally-massive Tom Hiddleston crush, we enjoyed it way more than it probably deserved.

Posted on February 6, 2015 at 2:22 pm 0

On Your Friendship Is Above My Pay Grade

@ThatJenn : Your response has the virtue of actual tact, which is definitely called for in this situation. The "and I can't wait to celebrate next time" is key.

Posted on February 4, 2015 at 11:01 am 3

On Buying a Soundtrack From 2000 in 2015

For albums that iTunes doesn't have (or worse, ones where iTunes has all the tracks except one which is "album only"), I recommend discogs.com. I have had nothing but good experiences buying stuff in my preferred weirdo genres from there.

Posted on February 4, 2015 at 10:57 am 0

On Running a Business I Didn't Want

@aetataureate : I second this. My folks recently closed their business, and to be honest I never thought about this aspect of it (particularly since their business requires a particular advanced degree which, ha ha, of course I don't have). I'm not sure if I'd be more or less equipped to run a bus company, mostly because a bus company seems like the kind of thing you'd vastly overestimate your ability to manage.

Posted on February 3, 2015 at 4:28 pm 0

On Broke With Bad Skin, UNTIL ...

@Elyse : That's awesome! I'm so glad this worked out -- there is nothing more frustrating than grudgingly paying a questionable bill just to get it over and done with. May this start you on a lifelong habit of calling up your insurance company about anything even remotely problematic!

Posted on January 22, 2015 at 11:34 pm 0

On Broke With Bad Skin, UNTIL ...

@polka dots vs stripes, @Elyse : This is exactly correct. Whenever you see a charge on a doctor's bill that you don't expect, call your friendly insurance company and just ask "hey, what's going on with this?" Considering the Byzantine tangle of insurance line-items and charges and doctors' office billing departments, it's almost more likely than not that something got screwed up, and the nice people on the other end of the phone are invariably happy to work through exactly what's going on. If the insurance folks offer no satisfaction, or if you just feel like sharpening your getting-stuff-done skills, you can additionally try calling the billing department who sent you the bill. I've had a couple of cases where a charge showed up that I didn't expect (from $20 to $150+) and one call to the billing department zeroed it right out, without even having to involve my insurance company. Good luck!

Posted on January 22, 2015 at 2:52 pm 0

On Are Business Cards Out of Style?

@garli : I think "Problem Solver" is a good tag line, if only because the "girl" in "Official Smart Girl" is kind of diminuitive ... which is too bad, because the cheekiness of it elevates it above "Problem Solver". How about "Official Smart Lady"? "Official Smart Person"? I'm 100% with your tag line having a grace-note of humor like that. My card's tag line is even more left-field, and I've hardly ever failed to get a good reaction with it.

Posted on January 22, 2015 at 11:45 am 0