@ImASadGiraffe This is what I don't get though. Why not just ask? Gotta make the handout useful by being informed. I only buy food for people who I know will take it. Some of the guys on my block don't always need a meal, so those days, we shake hands and I tell 'em I'll buy them some food next time. Simple way to keep everyone happy :)
It's true that you can't stop for everyone, but I think most of us can stop for some people. Not sure how to rationalize when and why it's fair, but I regularly buy food for several people who live in my neighborhood. I mean, we see each other at least several times a week. We're neighbors, you know? And I'm doing better than fine, and they are not always. So, $4 burritos for all. I also just started volunteering in the kitchen at a local church, where they serve upwards of 1500 meals three times a day, totally free to anyone who gets in line. It's pretty goddamn humbling, especially when people go through the line multiple times. The second time I was there to work, they let me take food to some of the guys who live on my block. I showed up where one guy always sits with sacks of sandwiches to share and took 15 minutes to stop and chat with guys I always feed but never really spend any time with. Maybe it was because it wasn't food that I'd outright purchased that time, but we all ended up exchanging names and sharing stories about why everyone needs a phone to be able to get anything done and why the nicest Section 8 apartments can still be pretty miserable because they're empty and boring when you have nothing to put in them. One guy told me how he walks 20 miles a day just to have something to do. I learned so much from him that day, and it was so unexpected! You just never know how cool it can be to stop until you do it. I've never once regretted it.
@KatNotCat When we were living in Denmark, couples with one immigrant partner had to either buy (which we could not afford), sign a three-year lease (which no one will give you b/c that's insane; nor did we want one!), or sign an open-ended lease, which gives the renter an incredible amount of power and few landlords are willing to do that. (Do not get me started on the mandatory language classes or assimilation agreements the Danish government forced me to sign.) New political party alliance gained parliamentary majority right after we left, so change is afoot but too late for us. I have no idea how the rules for other immigrants (entire non-native families with no Dane in the mix) or refugees compare/d. But because of how poorly Denmark treats its own when they love/marry foreigners, we'll never move back and find out. Wah wah.
@mishaps I think freelancers (at least American ones I know) are split about remembering to factor in taxes. I have several good friends who have been doing it for more than a decade, so they're quite seasoned and know a lot of the tax loopholes on top of knowing what they actually need to make each month or quarter. But I know others who, for a variety of reasons, just can't manage the financial side. I like to say that suck at that stuff, but you know what? I got better at it because it gave me a crazy amount of freedom. I'm not trying to say that someone can just get over not being able to add, but if it's important enough to you, I think you can sometimes find ways around it. I get help with my taxes and financial management, on top of being my own bill collector and expense report filer. I can pay for the help by making more money. So...I dunno. I kind of think it's a myth that this stuff has to be horribly difficult, but maybe I just feel that way because I bought into it for a long time. Once I changed my mindset, my income skyrocketed. [ducks and runs for cover after expressing unpopular opinion]
@jfruh As a fellow freelancer, I totally agree with all of this. I have several trips scheduled over the next few months, and all will involve at least a little work while I'm there. But many are trips I booked and then sold related travel stories, so not only do I have to pound the pavement for at least a few hours in whatever destination I'll be visiting and writing about; I get to write off part of the trip on my taxes! I have a monthly income goal, and I work really hard to hit it, even though it seemed like a crazy number when I set it at the beginning of the year. I have to hustle harder than my friends with desk jobs -- if it's the 20th and I'm down $2k more than I'd like, I work hard to make that money show up over the next 10 days -- but I love the challenge and especially like the freedom to, as you say, not worry about accrued vacation days if I want to take off early on Friday or sleep in during the week.
I once paid a guy $75 to help me & my guy carry our box spring up four flights of steep outdoor stairs that are almost impassable if you have a giant wooden frame to push around the corners—and also somewhat impassable if it's dark, which it also was by the time we realized we needed help. Sooooo bad. It was leave the thing outside all night, which seemed like an especially bad idea, or pay the nice guy from CraigsList to show up at 8pm on a Saturday night (and he drove to downtown San Francisco from Vallejo, I feel compelled to add. I only found that part out after the fact.). He'd have probably done it for less, but I wasn't about to insult him. Hell, I still think we got a better deal than he did.
@samsei Noice! Yeah, I hope to keep Stan for another five years minimum, but we haven't even hit 200k miles, so maybe we can cruise for another decade or more at this rate. I'm not currently running biodiesel, but now that I live in the Bay Area, it seems sort of silly not to convert it. (Was planning to let some guy in Boston named Pony do it, but that never really panned out. Also, a guy named Pony.) My mechanic is Ed at Ed's Autohaus if you ever need a guy in the city. Reasonable (but high in general b/c it's SF) rates and so incredibly nice. Has great memory, great staff, and great pitbull, which seems like the requisite list for a solid mechanic. Also, Carmine at European Car Doctors in Boston if anyone here is looking for a Beantown rec. He got Stan ready to drive cross-country in two days flat, and that was after Stan had been in storage for three years. I can't say enough good things about my mechanics. Team Stan is bicoastal.
@Bill Fostex OMFG I am so jealous of that log! What an amazing little treasure. You should definitely bring it back. Kind of makes me want to start my own now. (But I also want to start a hipster car club now too, so...) I have all of those original booklets about the various switches and gears. They're quite lovely. I have a friend who just bought a '79 Ferrari (obviously, he had a windfall) and even he loves my ride. You know you're doing something right when other car people are into your style.
@Bill Fostex Sure is! I also have never had the same attachment to an object. Yours has got to be gorgeous, that year and model. What color? I seriously want to join the local Mercedes car club, except it'll be young weirdo me and old dudes in soft-brim Hard Rock caps and glossy windbreakers, talking about their newer models and their golf games. Awkward. If you want another object to further your obsession, put the (out of print) book Enduring Passion on your list. My sweetie got it for me last year. It ranks as one of the most perfect, gorgeous, thoughtful gifts I have ever received. It's also hella expensive and hard to find. Godspeed.