On Infinity Zillion Vacation Days, the HORROR

@Aconite I worked for a small company where we had a combined 10 days for everything -- sick, personal, vacation. All one (tiny) pot.

Posted on October 1, 2014 at 10:27 am 0

On Infinity Zillion Vacation Days, the HORROR

@Lily Rowan Yeah, unlimited vacation time seems especially prevalent in techy/creative fields, which in my experience can have a tendency to foster a culture of "who works the craziest hours" (no joke I once had a coworker who proudly slept on an air mattress in the office during a particularly hellish run of deadlines). Unlimited vacation would *not* have worked in that office--they were grudging enough about the tiny amount we received.

Posted on October 1, 2014 at 10:26 am 2

On Professor Dumpster Is Everywhere

@moreadventurous If this is something you're interested in, there's a wonderful design book called "The Not So Big House" that's about creating really useful, efficient spaces that are also comfortable/large enough for how you actually live. It's kind of a rebuttal to the cold, rattley McMansion full of unused rooms and stuff no one uses--some of it is certainly more useful if you're designing/renovating, but she has some great insight about using your space consciously without making it bigger.

Posted on September 30, 2014 at 1:07 pm 0

On The Real History of Madewell, 1937

@TheLifestyleCreep I have a sweater I recently bought there that has "New Bedford" on the tag--it was the first time I had noticed it, and I thought it was weird I didn't know about the connection because my family is from the South Shore of MA and I spend far too much time stalking the sale rack at Madewell. This article explains a lot!

Posted on September 30, 2014 at 9:43 am 0

On How People Do Money: The High Holidays

@TheDilettantista This is really interesting! I didn't know about yearly membership costs for synagogues at all, or the charging on High Holidays-- makes total sense, really. I grew up in a Catholic church that was large/wealthy enough that they weren't especially vocal about tithing-- most families gave every week but I definitely don't remember it being talked about very much. Now I am dabbling in an Episcopal church that I like a lot, but it's certainly surprised me to see that they're a lot more frank about money (they're a lot more frank in general). At my particular church they definitely urge tithing if you can, and I like how it's always framed in the concept of stewardship--like, this is our community, if it matters to you and you want it to be healthy and be here in the future, chip in what you can and think about setting up a scheduled contribution. I guess it's obvious that the money you give each month is helping to keep the lights on, but I guess I like when it's "let's make a shared investment in the future of this thing we care about" instead of like "give us money because Jesus died for your sins." But I also think it's tough to think in terms of stewardship when you're youngish and don't have kids, and aren't even totally sure you're going to be living in a place for that long. My husband and I agree that when we have a family/a more settled lifestyle we'd like to be regular church-goers, but we're just sort of teetering on the edge of church at the moment. Anyway, yes: being an adult is hard.

Posted on September 26, 2014 at 4:47 pm 0

On Are You Reading 'North and South' Yet? Because It's Awesome

@LookUponMyWorks I love Margaret! Both the best and annoying. I also like how she's the only one of the ladies who can breathe the air without becoming totally incapacitated. (I'm not done yet, don't spoil it if she later dies of a horrific lung disease)

Posted on September 26, 2014 at 4:25 pm 0

On Cooking: Secretly The Worst?

@beastlyburden Yep totally agree-- I love to cook and there's no Sunday activity I like better than making some elaborate recipe that takes 25 ingredients and makes way too many dishes. I definitely place that sort of cooking in the "entertainment/hobbies" silo, not the "staying alive" silo, though.

Posted on September 25, 2014 at 12:39 pm 1

On Cooking: Secretly The Worst?

Re: "why I'll never cook again", a statement like "we cook to make ourselves indispensable and special" just seems kinda silly? Like there's dozens of things that anyone can cook that aren't special at all but they're just good and nourishing and can be made quickly after work. (I'm sorry but weekday cooking does *not* involve pastry dough in any form, unless you are a masochist). I really partially blame foodie culture for the decline of cooking--cooking is perceived as being so special and rarefied that we forgot that just making some pasta with a handful of greens and a little grated cheese takes literally 10 minutes.

Posted on September 25, 2014 at 11:44 am 4

On Life After Art School: Interview With a Bookbinder

I'm so excited for this series! I often think that I'd like to find a way to do an apprenticeship (periodically I get obsessed with becoming a luthier...) but I have no idea where to start.

Posted on September 24, 2014 at 1:44 pm 0

On Mass Transit is Amazing For Everyone (Else)

I will cop to being pretty smug about my carlessness. I live/work in Boston and take public transit to work. It probably is no shorter or longer time-wise than driving, but I work downtown and do not have gobs of cash to throw at parking. I got rid of my car a year ago and I'm still not over how much money I save without it. (That said, I'm fortunate enough to live near two of the comparatively decent T lines. Boston has OK public transit with some weird/glaring black holes that are impossible or incredibly arduous to get to on mass transit).

Posted on September 23, 2014 at 4:43 pm 1