On Some Costs Associated With My Roommate’s Boyfriend

@Trilby Oh my god, the peeing alone. I until recently shared a bathroom with someone whose boyfriend was not housebroken. He'd pee on the seat. On the floor. Here. There. Everywhere. One time there was feces or vomit or who the hell knows what. If I could have kicked them both out, I would have. Since I moved out now, and I'll share: I started using her towel to wipe off the pee sprinkles. I got tired pointing it out, so I figured, oh well...

Posted on April 7, 2014 at 5:27 pm 3

On Anderson Cooper Has His Own Millions, Thank You

@Trilby I know someone who is friendly with a Vanderbilt of some stripe, and apparently the joke is being an heir to the Vanderbilt thousands, since the fortune was divided between so many heirs over the years...

Posted on April 2, 2014 at 5:23 pm 0

On Moving From Fast Fashion to a Few Quality Pieces

@Jake Reinhardt @ nell Don't suppose anyone has experience with the Everlane sandals? They look like they'd be great summer shoes. I've been really happy with the duffel (it's traveled quite a few places in the last 6 months, by plane, train, and automobile) and the tote bag. Mine still looks like new, and I like that the straps are not super heavy leather, like on a Filson, because I'm a wee girl who carries enough heavy stuff as it is.

Posted on April 2, 2014 at 10:45 am 0

On Help, My Freezer Doesn't Work. Also It Is Not a Freezer

That refrigerator looks EXACTLY like the one in an ex-boyfriend's apartment. At some point, I was curious and looked up the date the building was constructed. Sometime in the 1960s. I'm pretty sure none of the appliances or bathroom had been updated since. He was, at least, paying a very low rent for a decently-sized 1BR in a very nice part of brownstone Brooklyn two blocks from the subway. He ate only takeout. He made pasta made 10 times in the 5 years I knew him in that apartment.

Posted on March 7, 2014 at 11:10 am 0

On What Do You Do With a Ph.D. in Literature?

As one humanities PhD to another: thank you. This was great, and rings true on a lot of levels.

Posted on March 5, 2014 at 2:35 pm 2

On The Financials of Five Years of Teaching English Abroad

@halloliebchen That sounds very rough. And somewhat familiar. I taught English to the same types of students in Germany back in the late 90s (I am an Old). At least back then, I was making 25-30DM for each teaching unit, and cost of living was cheap, so I actually lived very, very well. I've probably never had that good a life (financially), in fact, and I have now had many "real" office jobs. I look back on those days fondly. The school I taught at was also really nice (I was hooked up through a college connection.) I probably also got lucky with most of my students, although I did have run-ins with some asshole-y businessmen, so I can completely imagine the horrors you describe. Because I spoke fluent German, I usually had the absolute beginner classes, and those were mostly older secretaries and the like (all the young or upper-middle-class types spoke solid English already), and they were generally very appreciative and friendly. I also enrolled as a part-time student at the university-- back in the days when there really were no fees to speak of-- so that's how I managed my residency permit, and it also got me the cheap Semester-Ticket for public transportation and health insurance. I wonder if that work-around is still an option, or if increased university fees and the like make that untenable?

Posted on February 26, 2014 at 2:19 pm 0

On Should You Apply for That Job?

@sea ermine Get out! Get out however you can! I have nothing helpful to add beside saying don't let misplaced loyalty or whatever to your current job prevent you from getting something better. I ridiculously stayed in a horrible job for too long because I didn't want to disappoint other people; older me wants to slap young me. If you have paid time off, as someone else said, just say, "I need Tuesday off." Don't overexplain. Don't even bother lying or making up an excuse. Just say, "I am taking Tuesday off." Take the time you have earned without apology or explanation.

Posted on February 20, 2014 at 5:51 pm 0

On Let's All Move to Vienna

Oh HELL no. I used to live in Vienna. It's a lovely place to visit, quite frankly, a horrible place to live as a foreigner (NB, I speak fluent German.) I've lived a variety of places in the U.S. and Europe, and Vienna was by far the most xenophobic and closed society I have experienced firsthand. At least that was balanced out by a high quality of life, defined by a high standard of living (rent, food) accessible at a low income. (I rarely ate out, because that is expensive, but if you cook, fresh ingredients are magnificent and cheap. Housing can also be very affordable-- note I live in New York now, and previously lived in Boston-- if you aren't wedded to a super hip district. I lived 15 minutes from the city center in a decidedly uncool neighborhood and paid almost nothing, aside from horrific broker's fees.) It's a beautiful place to visit, though.

Posted on February 20, 2014 at 5:42 pm 2

On The President Swears There is Nothing Wrong With an Art History Degree

I'm actually an art historian (with a PhD). And, yeah, a skilled tradesperson makes way more money than I do, especially in someplace like New York. Unfortunately, I have no handy or practical skills, so it's not like I'm going to be making the move to a high-earning welding career anytime soon.

Posted on January 31, 2014 at 1:42 pm 0

On Martha Stewart's Daily Beauty Regimen

@Stina Oh, yes, the fear of turkey neck. I've always been very good about wearing sunscreen and skincare on my face, but I have neglected my neck, and maybe I'm being overly critical, but I think it shows. I'm also fearful of sagging jowls, which kind of runs in my family, and have been restraining myself from buying some firming goop for my neck. And while there seemed to be some comments on other sites about how much money she spends, is there something completely out of whack with my spending that I was surprised how low the amount was? She's Martha fucking Stewart, after all, so I'm surprised she's not rubbing herself in vats of millions of diamonds to exfoliate. Many of those serums and creams will last several months even with fairly regular use. If I totaled what I use, I'm afraid it wouldn't be all that much lower (and I don't have Martha Stewart money to blow.) My collection of NARS lip pencils alone probably could have funded a plane ticket someplace cool, but then again, day-to-day life would have been less colorful and fun. I re-up my Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair about once every three or four months, so I'm spending apparently $250 or so a year on that alone. But I have a Clarins oil that I bought last year, for $50, and I've used maybe 1/4 of the bottle.

Posted on January 10, 2014 at 1:27 pm 0