On Sharing Time: How Much Did You Spend on Presents This Year?

1. $500ish? I'm scared to tally things. 2. $150. This gift is worth it and I think it's perfect for the recipient. 3. $3, although I'm not actually sure who it's for... Hmmm. 4. No budget, hence my confusion as to the total. I'm flying blind here. 5. N/A 6. Credit card, but will be paid off in full when the bill comes. This is a new card, will help me meet the minimum spend requirement that will get me a free year of Amazon Prime. It's a no-fee card, so I think this is a good deal/appropriate use of credit cards, right? 7. God no. I have no idea what to spend. I certainly spent too much this year, but at the same time, feel like it's not enough.

Posted on December 19, 2014 at 1:24 pm 1

On The Search for an Unpillable Sweater

@tw0lle Yes to the randomness of some sweaters being great. 2003ish or so I bought a cashmere sweater from Lands' End. It was perfect. I still wear it, with only very minor pilling. It was so good at the time that I ordered another one-- in black, thinking, yes! I have found the perfect sweater-- and that one sucked. Pilled, somehow looked worse after just a few washings. Same style, same number, just a different color. There was no logic to it. That said, sometimes Lands' End has really good sweaters. And great sales-- hold out for nothing less than 30% off with free shipping.

Posted on December 10, 2014 at 3:49 pm 0

On 'Maybe You Have a Rich Husband?'

@Theestablishment I totally agree with you. People working at nonprofits, no matter their pay grade, deserve to be compensated fairly. For a CEO-level job, the pay should reflect the major demands on time, skills, and accomplishments of the post holder. There was some kerfuffle in the news recently about the pay of top staffers at the Detroit Institute of Arts recently, but considering what Graham Beal has done to protect that institution, he deserves every penny and more. A lesser leader would have ruined the place. But the lower-level employees should be paid well, too, because otherwise you're either getting people who aren't terribly good at their jobs, lots of turnover because good people flee for better salaries so no institutional memory, or only people from well-off backgrounds.

Posted on December 5, 2014 at 2:30 pm 1

On The Business of Yoga Studios

@polka dots vs stripes The Y isn't super cheap in New York. The 92Y runs specials around $79/month, but from what I've seen, there are just a couple of yoga classes a day, so could be a problem depending on schedules and the kind of yoga someone is looking for. One of the cheaper ways is probably signing up for Classpass, which is $99/month for unlimited classes at a bunch of different fitness places. The catch is you can only go to a single place three times a month, so it's not good for people with favorite teachers or studios. And you have to book in advance, and there's a 24-hour cancellation policy otherwise you're charged $20 (not good for people with unpredictable work schedules, for example, or childcare issues). There's also the "Yoga Pass Book": it's a whole bunch of different yoga places and you can go to each studio twice. But that's TWICE per studio for an entire year. It's super cheap, though (under $50), especially if you buy it later in the year. But again, not for anyone looking for consistency. Thinking about it, given the sheer number of yoga places, you can usually try out a bunch of new student specials and the like for more than a year, and get by cheaply that way.

Posted on December 5, 2014 at 2:21 pm 0

On 'Maybe You Have a Rich Husband?'

@xiaolongbao I was actually told by an HR person at a place that rhymes with Schmetropolitan Schmeum of Schmart that the job I was applying for was a "trust fund job." It required a PhD. It was 31 hours/week (so not full-time, although a full-time job at the Met is 35 hours/week, I think) and paid $25,000 or so (it was 10 years ago or so, and I've tried to repress the details). Fuckers.

Posted on December 5, 2014 at 11:25 am 0

On An Interview With Someone Who Got Fired for Not Having a 'Hunger for Marketing'

@beanwavves Exactly. The day jobs of creative types have tended not to be at cool companies. Being a Word Processor at a big law firm used to be perfect for this: fairly well paid, solid benefits, and flexible hours (like weekend or 2nd or 3rd shifts; you were expected to be there for your solid 8 hours otherwise). Was it eye wateringly boring? Hell yes. Did you get any social cache from being a drone at a law firm? Hell no. Did it pay the bills and not be so taxing, outside the boredom, that you couldn't do the art stuff later? Yes. Also, Google and those places give you those perks because they don't want you to leave work. They do your dry cleaning because you would otherwise never have a clean shirt because you'd never make it home when the cleaner is open.

Posted on December 3, 2014 at 4:38 pm 2

On Chatting About A New Era

Awwwww! Congratulations! And may your new apartment in Portland have a refrigerator made in this century and a non-creeepy super!

Posted on November 26, 2014 at 12:06 pm 0

On How To Get Our Belongings of Questionable Worth Across The Country

I love the pods! Well, fine. I tolerate the pods as the most cost effective and not suicide inducing way of moving when you can't afford full-service movers. I also moved over the holidays, and I went to a family Christmas in a random place while my belongings made their way without me. ABF U-Pack was great every time I've used them. For one move, I lived in Boston, so also had to rent a U-Haul to drive my stuff to the pod. It's not so bad. Every move since 2008 has involved hiring burly people to do the heavy lifting, which is money extraordinarily well spent. Anyway: re packing the pod. General rules of packing apply (heavy stuff on the bottom), but especially pack things are tightly and as evenly as possible. That means up to the top of the pod. Don't have a couple of boxes randomly tossed on top-- they will slide around. Again: pack evenly and tightly all the way around, and secure anything that could slide when the pod gets picked up with bungees. All the heavy and bulky stuff goes in the pod, too. I've done three half-country pod moves and never had any serious breakage. And throw out the spices. You can buy new ones. Use this opportunity to purge.

Posted on November 24, 2014 at 3:57 pm 0

On On Checks and Checkouts

@HelloTheFuture I think you (we, because I have the same thing) can now deposit things at Capital 1 branches, if there are any in your neighborhood. And I think you can also deposit cash at some ATMs, too, which is great because I have a pile of cash I need to get into my checking account to pay an upcoming bill. Also, I think they've improved the holds on checks. I dont' get deposit for one of my jobs, but every two weeks i deposit the same amount and now it's clearing in 2 days instead of 7, which is a huge improvement.

Posted on November 19, 2014 at 1:11 pm 0

On Eating Thanksgiving Dinner in a Restaurant is Cheating Y/N

@garli Agreed: I don't see anything sad about having a lively dinner out with friends and family at a restaurant. In what world is that sad? Celebrating with great food you don't have to cook or clean up is awesome. (I had a year in grad school where I stayed in my shitty grad school apartment, alone, and ate a Banquet turkey pot pie. THAT was sad. Because I was a sad, pathetic, stressed person who used skipping the holiday to reinforce how sad and miserable I was.)

Posted on November 19, 2014 at 1:08 pm 0