On My First Apartment: A Tale of Robbery, Arson, and 'Living Like the Dolphin'

"One of the side effects of this heavily tenant-favoring system is that security deposits are not always required" I'm pretty sure they're illegal, actually? <3 Montreal tenant laws. Only way I got through university/subsequent period of vagabondage without being evicted ever.

Posted on June 21, 2012 at 4:57 pm 0

On My First Apartment: A Tale of Robbery, Arson, and 'Living Like the Dolphin'

@redheaded&crazy I was on my fourth Montreal apartment before I ever paid more than that. Aw man.

Posted on June 21, 2012 at 4:55 pm 0

On Getting Your Nails Did, Then And Now

I love the thing about businessmen getting their nails buffed--one of my favorite wordless moments (THERE ARE SO MANY GOOD ONES) in "The Sting" is when Robert Redford is in the barbershop and doesn't understand what the nail-care lady is trying to do with his hands.

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 4:24 pm 0

On What it Means to Save: A Year in the Life

@deepomega I would watch this show.

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 4:10 pm 1

On What it Means to Save: A Year in the Life

@cherrispryte I agree with this on all counts.

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 4:10 pm 0

On The Economics of a Part-time Drug Dealer

This is a) interesting, but b) making me miss some of my friends from university so hard it's insane.

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 4:05 pm 0

On How I Learned to Stop Worrying and (Responsibly) Love My Credit Card

My mother's credit card put cash in my college fund and that shit paid for a semester of my degree. All about rewards that make sense for your lifestyle.

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 3:56 pm 0

On Stop Buying Useless Crap, and Other Tenets of Militant Minimalism

@Lenora Jane ...AND that seemed way shorter while I was typing it. Sorry.

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 1:46 pm 0

On Stop Buying Useless Crap, and Other Tenets of Militant Minimalism

(NOTE: I just re-read this and want to clarify before I begin that it is not intended as any sort of counterattack. I did not even feel first-attacked, or anything! You minimalist ladies and gents keep...downsizing...your bad selves? Or something? But it's not for me, and I just wanted to throw in another perspective here, 'cause the comments seemed pretty unanimous in tone about the Desirability of Owning Shit. Maybe this is paranoid? Eh.) I may be alone on this, but...I am kind of okay with being a person who owns a whole lot of stuff? And I feel as if I get a lot of crap about it. I mean, of course we should all stop buying "useless junk." Down with that. Don't want stuff that has no use. But there's sort of a big spectrum between "stuff that has no use, like no purpose, like on the level of Soothing Bean Bags" and "stuff that I absolutely need every single day of my life," after all, and there's a lot more wiggle room in the definition of "useful" than I think in these minimalism discussions sometimes acknowledge? We tend to conflate "acquisition" with "mindless capitalistic impulse acquisition" to a certain extent? I get that there is a whole capitalist culture out there urging you to buy, buy, buy, and I get that minimalism is in no small part a response to that--but I just wanted to point out that this is sort of a false dichotomy. I buy stuff--not with absurd abandon, I'd say, but not on a teeth-pulling "once-in-a-great-while" scale either. I spend money every day, and I'd say a larger part of that than most people I know (people with less AND with more cash than I have!) is in object acquisition, but I am pretty satisfied with the set of objects I have. I'mma narrow to the book issue for a sec because I think my take on books can maybe express in a more streamlined way where I'm attempting (so far unsuccessfully, it feels like) to go with this. I have a lot of books. Like, a lot of books. I live with two dudes, we have 9 bookshelves, 7 1/2 of them are "mine." I buy new books from the indy bookstore my friend runs, I buy used books from the stores by the university, I pick up ancient paperbacks and weird nonfiction tomes that people leave on the curb in my neighborhood, I saved all my college texts, and yeah, sometimes I buy books from the Chapters or Paragraphe or another chain superstore. I didn't love them all; there are some I haven't yet read, even. I cull about once a year during spring cleaning but rarely to any great extent. The books take up a lot of space and buying them costs money, but I feel strongly about having them for a couple reasons: a) I like having access to the books I love at any time. I could keep a small shelf of my all-time favorites and dispense with the rest, but I do value being able to say either "hey, I'm really feeling Ferlinghett-y [HA HA] today, lemme grab 'Coney Island of the Mind' and pour myself some lemonade for the balcony" or, during a dinner discussion with friends or the guys, "wait, the crazy priest the four Orkney brothers are friends with in the 'Once and Future King,' he tells a story about--what? Damnit, I forget, lemme go check" and...be able to. I was sick and vomiting a couple weeks ago, would never have got to the library and back, and wanted something easy and ridiculous to read while I feverdreamt--a couple random Meg Cabot books from my sister that would never have survived a more than cursory cull were just the ticket. I genuinely value the way the collection enables all this, and having it satisfies me greatly. b) Most of my friends don't have that many books. Some still have their school textbooks, some don't; some have a shelf or two of other books among the residents of their apartment, some don't. All of us read. All of us also use the real library, but for reasons of both content (I have a fair number of graphic novels/comics, a lot of old books including a collection of pulp novels that I mostly picked up in the charity book fair's discard and 50cent piles, and some other more library-obscure categories) and convenience (the library is open a certain number of hours a week; I am open whenever I am home and awake), the Lenora Jane Community Lending Library has become a...clanwide benefit to my social tribe. It's good for everybody that I have books, because everyone borrows them--and it's good for us as a group, because borrowing or returning a book will often mean "okay, you're here, we've both been busy lately, let's at least sit down and drink some tea and catch up before you run away with William Gaddis, and oh wait M just got home from work, how nice that we all get to be together right now." c) The fact that the shelves aren't particularly well edited is...part of the appeal, really. It's an adventure. I can poke through one of the crates in the milk-crate shelf in the front room and find (as I did the other day) "A Wrinkle in Time," and think "egads! I have this! I can read it now!" and then make a cup of tea and read it. The most satisfying of surprises. I understand this is a choice. I want my library. If I ever considered it a need something would be wrong. When I moved house last summer "bookshelf space" was definitely on the "if possible" and not the "dealbreaker" list during my apartment search. But my cherishing of my possessions, my satisfaction at the thought of those shelves and shelves of books...I don't think that has all that much to do with rapacious capitalism, really, as it stands with me personally. There is a third option here to take! I have my stuff! I like my stuff! I do not feel my stuff is useless!* *some of my stuff is probably useless, relative to other of my stuff. But I'm not sure the answer to that is necessarily "stop having stuff." My stuff helps more than it hinders, in the happiness game, I think.

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 1:45 pm 0