On An Interview With David Melito, Hollywood Production Accountant

New dream career! Wow! I also have creative aspirations in my heart, but find myself better at logistics/money/people-wrangling than artistic stuff. Jobs like this are exactly where I want to be in the Venn diagram of right brain and left brain jobs.

Posted on October 7, 2014 at 10:32 am 0

On How Bad Does Your Landlord Have to Screw Up to Justify a Month’s Free Rent?

I complained to my landlord when we went two months without gas in our building (and therefore no stoves / spotty hot water) in the middle of winter. I asked for a 1/3 reduction in rent for one month, which amounted to something like $650. She lent me a hot plate, refused any discount, and then refused to renew my lease several months later. So, I am now terrified of complaining to any landlord ever for fear of losing my apartment.

Posted on September 3, 2014 at 9:48 am 0

On 40-Hour Workweek My Aunt Fanny

My mother is an ocean lifeguard and belongs to a union. Especially with seasonal work, it's really great that her employment is guaranteed year to year, assuming she passes an annual requalification exam. Otherwise the state might just hire a new crop of cheap untrained 18-year-olds each summer. The union also negotiates pay rates and retirement credit, advocates for lifeguards in legal situations, and ensures they have adequate breaks during the day. That last one in particular is important for the lifeguards' health, to prevent heatstroke and exhaustion, and the patrons' safety, making sure the guards are always fresh and alert. My mom's beach hasn't had a patron death in something like 10 years, and I know it's because the guards are experienced, strong, happy, and trust each other after many seasons working together as a crew. Yay unions!

Posted on September 3, 2014 at 9:37 am 0

On Working When You Have No Sleep, A Guide

@HelloTheFuture Yesss, running music keeps me going on the Strugz Days.

Posted on August 20, 2014 at 11:08 am 0

On Can Feminism and Breastfeeding Coexist, Take 2

@xtinamartinson Oh my gosh, coolest comment ever. I can't wait to try this when my babymaking time comes.

Posted on August 19, 2014 at 3:23 pm 1

On How To Become a Math Person, Vol. 1

I got through honors math and quite liked a lot of science classes, with the exception of phsyics, which busted my butt. But in my adult life I really flourish with applied math: calculating voltage load per circuit when drawing up lighting plots for theater, using trig and geometry to make plans for woodworking and bricklaying projects, understanding the complex financial instruments my colleagues deal with every day. I realize we had to learn the basics before getting to the fun stuff, but I wish more math homework was 'in the field.'

Posted on August 19, 2014 at 10:58 am 0

On Stress-nesting During a Season of Turmoil

I identify with this so hard! My new apartment's kitchen needs some serious DIY-ing. When I am stressed at work, I think greedily about all of the organizing and sprucing-up I will get to do when the time comes.

Posted on August 19, 2014 at 8:44 am 0

On Books That Are Worth The Money

Thiiiiis. So true. I started adhering to Rule #1 in college, where I first experienced the pain of moving all my belongings and realized what a heavy hobby I have.

Posted on August 18, 2014 at 12:08 pm 0

On Equality /= Dystopia

Dystopian stories are fascinating to writers and readers for a number of reasons, but I think dystopian YA in particular ends up arguing for our right to make our own mistakes. In dystopian or utopian societies, choice is often taken away from people. The justification is that too much freedom leads to destruction and suffering, so smart people should unilaterally decide what's best for all of us and thereby minimize chance and pain and damage. The Giver (and later Jonas) believe that people have a right to feel pain. The wife of the household in which the protagonist of The Handmaid's Tale lives suffers jealousy even though her society is engineered to eliminate it. In Brave New World, the Savage and even that one quasi-rogue propagandist (forgetting his name) realize that art and pleasure depend on loss and pain and suffering to give them meaning. That's why dystopian novels used to and continue to resonate so deeply with me: they justify the pain that normal human lives include. So this is why I think the author misses the point of dystopian YA. Tracing economics through the books is interesting, but they don't collectively prove or disprove the efficacy of socio-economic engineering. Currently our problem is not that people's daily lives are so stable they don't have the opportunity to fail, but rather that--as the author mentions early in the article--too many people never have a chance to achieve stability in the first place. Dystopian stories trace current trends to exaggerated conclusions in order to give modern readers a new perspective on the society in which they live. They aren't intended as instruction manuals.

Posted on August 18, 2014 at 11:32 am 3

On Disaster Thinking

Sheesh. I just got thrown a similar curveball (being kicked out of my apartment of 2+ years with 30 days' warning) and used all my savings on the move/rent/deposit. I'll recover some of that when I get the deposit back from my old place, but I can't imagine dealing with all of this plus worrying about kids.

Posted on August 13, 2014 at 5:43 pm 0