On "Choosing THE RIGHT School": BS or Total BS?

My friends and I spent a great deal of 11th and 12th grade obsessing over finding and getting into that perfect school - as if at 17 we knew what we wanted and where we would be most successful (not to say that some 17 year olds can't do this, but we were pretty bad at it). I ended up at a school that I hated and transferring to a school that I thought of as a placeholder while I figured out where I really wanted to go. I ended up staying at the placeholder school, because it turned out to be a good enough fit for me that I didn't really want to leave. Never mind that when my parents had encouraged me to apply there, back in high school, I wouldn't even consider it simply because it was local. It's been almost 10 years since I graduated, and looking back, I can see that I would have been happy a lot of places, places that I wasn't interested in at the time because my idea of myself was not the same as the reality of myself. My advice to anyone looking at colleges now would be to worry less about the mythical perfect school and focus more on practical realities of paying for it and job prospects. I didn't appreciate how lucky I was to be able to go to college and pay for it. I wish I had been less worried and more open minded. In the end, I am very happy with where I went to school, but I also know that it didn't matter that much, and I could have been just as happy at a number of different schools.

Posted on July 24, 2014 at 4:06 pm 0

On Ask A Human Who Actually Practices GTD ('Getting Things Done')

I'm in the process of trying to implement the GTD system (just finished reading the book), but I'm finding it pretty overwhelming. How long did it take you to get your system up and running, and how long until it felt routine?

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 9:32 am 1

On The Most Expensive Meals We've Ever Paid For

Winter break of my freshman year of college my (initially high school, then long distance, now ex) boyfriend and I decided to go out to a fancy dinner at a restaurant in the exurbs of Cleveland that looked over some not very impressive waterfalls. We exchanged terrible Christmas gifts* over our Coca Colas (being too young and scared to try to order wine) while perusing the menu, trying to decide what we could afford (this was long before the days when you could look at menus on the internets and make these decisions before it was too late to escape). The waitress suggested the surf and turf, and I can't remember exactly what shes said, but she phrased it in a way that led us to believe it would be the most economical option (I didn't yet know that anything with the words "market price" next to it should be avoided by broke college students). Our bill came back at well over $100, and although my boyfriend had said that he would pay, it turned out to be much more than he had planned for, and since I had a credit card and he didn't, I paid (my parents had approved use of the card for emergencies, and I guessed even a lobster related emergency counted). Important lessons about not ordering things you don't know the cost of were learned that night. *I gave him a coffee table book, he gave me an electric lady shaver. We both went home offended.

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 2:54 pm 1

On Would You Pay $375 for A Night at the Museum? ANY Museum?

@OllyOlly Yes! Some of my best girl scout memories are sleepovers at various museums in Cleveland and Columbus. Definitely no cots, but still a great time.

Posted on July 9, 2014 at 4:17 pm 0

On Are Land Lines Worth It?

@jquick Yeah, my parents have a land line and use it pretty much exclusively. They do both have cell phones (the cheapest you can buy), but those are strictly for emergencies only, and they really do not understand how to use them and refuse to be taught.

Posted on July 9, 2014 at 4:11 pm 0

On On Hold Forever

I spent 45 minutes on hold with U.S. Airways last night when I needed to be rebooked because delays were going to mean missing my connection and ending up stranded mid journey. After 45 minutes I gave up and waited in line to see a gate agent. At that point I was pretty sure no one was going to answer my call and at least I had visual and auditory proof that the gate agent existed, as opposed to this mythical operator. The worst part was instead of terrible hold music I had to listen to 45 minutes of commercials for U.S. Airways and American Airlines (which has got to be incredibly ineffective advertising). I hope someone answered your call!

Posted on May 23, 2014 at 1:23 pm 1

On Talking About What You Make With Those You Work With

I am a public defender and, where I live, that makes me a state employee. Because of transparency laws, anyone can look up my salary on the internet, and I can look up all of my coworkers' (and of course I have). There is a system that determines your salary based on a combination of factors, including years of experience and the results of regular anonymous, mandatory peer evaluations. The system is the same for public defenders and state's attorneys. The difference between the lowest and the highest salary is reasonable (a matter of 50k). In 3 years my salary has gone up 15k, which is an increase you can feel, but it isn't dramatic. I love this system. Although I wouldn't mind if we all made more money, I don't ever feel unfairly compensated. tl;dr Being a state employee is great because everything is out in the open in a system that is evenly applied (at least in theory).

Posted on May 16, 2014 at 6:55 pm 0

On The Cable Cabal

Hulu Plus + Netflix (streaming only, thanks) + HBO Go (friend's account) via Apple TV. This works pretty well for me, but I don't watch any sports willingly. And I buy Archer and Mad Men through iTunes, because, it's Archer and Mad Men and I can't resist. I'm not willing to pay Comcast or Time Warner for a bunch of stations I won't watch, when I can get access to the shows I want to watch when I want to watch them for so much cheaper. I don't buy the cable as health insurance argument. I'm not willing to support a model of programming distribution that is so outdated and hopefully on its way out.

Posted on May 8, 2014 at 2:57 pm 0

On Old People Can Be So Cute

My dad will turn 89 in a few weeks. He is a pretty busy octogenarian - volunteering regularly, golfing, and keeping tabs on his 11 children, 14 grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren. He smoked heavily for 20 years (although he quit before I was born), but he still enjoys a manhattan at 5 and wine with dinner. I'm not sure he's familiar with the phrase "clean living."

Posted on May 7, 2014 at 10:03 am 1

On Save More Money By Accepting That Life Is Cyclical; Meaningless

I think there is something to this. The moment I turned the corner with my finances (i.e. stopped digging myself into a hole and started ever so slowly digging out of it) happened when I was considering yet another impulse clothing purchase, realized I didn't have much money in my bank account and thought to myself "well, I'll just put it on my card and pay for it next month" never mind that I already had about $6,000 in credit card debt (some of it definitely related to impulse clothing purchases). And then I stopped and asked myself why next month would be any different. I realized that I could keep spending more money than I had, and waiting for some day when I had more money and could pay off all of the debt that I had racked up, a day that isn't coming any time soon, by the way, or I could accept my financial reality and stop buying things I didn't really need that I couldn't really afford.

Posted on April 29, 2014 at 1:46 pm 0