On Why Is Air Travel so Expensive? Because of Institutional Investors

@RJA I've been waiting to see if the exorbitant fuel surcharges, levied by some airlines (I'm thinking specifically of British Airways in this case) on reward tickets, will also drop? So far, I haven't been seeing that, nor on deliveries and some other services. Or if "fuel surcharge" is just some new permanent fee that bears no relationship to the cost of oil.

Posted on April 20, 2015 at 2:59 pm 0

On Am I Hurting Hotel Housekeepers' Income by Not Leaving My Hotel Room?

@PeggyDear Yes, yes, yes. And Nicole, stop leaving and messing up your work and stay to suit the whims of some corporate hotel system. It's a hotel: their job is hospitality! I am not a morning person, so if I'm in a hotel (and especially if it's a vacation), there's little chance I'm out before 11. If I'm traveling for a conference, frequently I'm cramming and trying to prepare in the room, and really don't want to be disturbed. I will sometimes call down to the front desk to tell them when I'm leaving for lunch and ask them do it then. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't, but then I'm not leaving just to make way for some phantom housekeeping that may or may not come within the next few hours.

Posted on April 17, 2015 at 12:31 pm 0

On When Paying Taxes Leaves You Temporarily Broke

@fletchasketch Yes, exactly! If it's a zero percent card and you're going to pay it off, why worry?! Enjoy the breathing room, the freely lent money, and the reward points. Thanks to American Express, I got a free year of Amazon Prime, and so far $150 worth of retail gift cards, and I've paid no interest or fees. We've got an all-around crummy system: enjoy what few perks you can.

Posted on April 15, 2015 at 2:33 pm 1

On Gwyneth Paltrow GOOPs Up Food Stamps

@aetataureate Because I have strong feelings about limes: they are still not as cheap as they once were! Pre-limepacalypse, in Harlem, I could get them for 12/$1. I've moved, but the best I've seen has been 6/$1 and yesterday I paid 6/$2 at a Key Foods. I avoid Street Fruit limes because they tend to be really hard and really gross and they're not any cheaper.

Posted on April 15, 2015 at 2:25 pm 0

On Gwyneth Paltrow GOOPs Up Food Stamps

@cryptolect I go through a crazy amount of limes, so I'm with Gwynnie on this one. I don't like drinking just water, but squeeze lime (or as a second choice lemon) into it and I'll drink until I float away. I use a third a lime per glass, so it's not unusual for me to go through two or three limes a day. Last year's lime-pacalypse was painful for me.

Posted on April 15, 2015 at 2:23 pm 0

On The Cost Of Things: Looking Effortless

@JaneA Yes. If you're of an age where you would be expected to have gray hair, you just look old or like you've given up. I think it's a trend limited to the young Tavis of the world. (I'm going really gray and I've had this conversation with my hairdresser many times. I'm too lazy and too cheap at this point to keep the gray away, but at the same time, I just can't be totally gray now. Sigh.)

Posted on April 15, 2015 at 1:24 pm 0

On The Cost Of Things: Looking Effortless

@Cup of T Count me in the annual shampoo/conditioner purchase club. I like changing things seasonally-- all mint scented, all summer-- which means I currently have four partially used bottles of conditioner in my shower, and several random shampoos. I've got a bottle of foundation I bought in January 2014 that looks barely touched. Lipsticks that I wear daily that I've had for years. How is that possible, or how is it possible that others use it so quickly? Am I doing something terribly wrong?

Posted on April 15, 2015 at 1:05 pm 0

On KonMarie and Me

@clo -- Listen to Louise Belcher! And read the book. It was also life changing for me. I know where things are, I'm not spending money to buy storage containers for stuff I don't need anyway, and I'm not wading through a closet full of stuff I never wear. It might have been that I read the book at the right time and I was receptive to the message (there was a frustrating time of not remembering where I stored my winter clothes and getting totally discombobulated by not finding things). I still have a lot of stuff (I didn't really KonMari my books); I have tschotchkes on my shelves. I kept quite a few clothes that don't fit-- but they still bring me "joy" and someday maybe I'll fit into them again-- but even still the difference was amazing. And I'm so much picker now when shopping, because I think about how it really fits into my life right now and where I'll store it. I recently bought a dress for $3 because it fit and looked nice, and left the $2 shirts because even though they were so cheap they really didn't fit and I didn't even want them for working out or whatever. The real benefit of the book, I think, is not just about getting rid of stuff, it's about really understanding what you need and coming to terms with the stuff you don't.

Posted on April 10, 2015 at 12:25 pm 0

On How a Consultant in a Long-distance Relationship Does Money

@therealjaygatsby @Cnj Yes-- I used to do Boston-New York, making a third of her salary, and I would do everything in my power to justify the cost of Amtrak. (Most of the time I ended up on Fung Wah or Lucky Star, though.) It's much, much, much nicer than even the decent Bolt Bus. I couldn't read or work on the bus (I'd get carsick), but that wasn't an issue on the train. There's more room. There's a bathroom that isn't terror inducing. Plus, if you're doing that kind of travel with any regularity, it really does take a toll.

Posted on April 3, 2015 at 1:43 pm 0

On Want to Temp? Here's Where to Go

I'm also a former temp and had mostly fine experiences, doing mostly secretarial or legal secretary/legal word processing way back in the early 00s. Mostly the work was boring but it paid fairly well (I was getting upwards of $25/hour and frequently overtime) and reminded me why I didn't want to work in a corporate office. The best temp gig, though, was for the ACLU. Same boring work-- formatting documents and the like-- but at least I was using my Word Perfect skills for the forces of good, rather than evil. (I once temped at a firm that was defending a company being sued by Holocaust survivors. Yuck.) And another recommendation for Professionals for Nonprofits.

Posted on April 1, 2015 at 5:18 pm 0