On Riding in Car Services With Boys

In my day, it was customary to hail a car service on the street (technically illegal, but, you know, totally allowed in Brooklyn) and negotiate a fare based on your destination as you were getting in. Is this no longer the case?

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 4:33 pm 0

On Only Suckers Don't Buy Generic

Brand loyalty only for things with a distinct flavor, and even then, check and make sure. I def. like Entenmann's chocolate chip cookies better than any rival, generic or branded, but I also just like chocolate chip cookies, so it's never all bad when I buy some.

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 1:45 pm 0

On "Money Can't Buy Happiness; It is Happiness": A State-By-State Analysis

An important note is that these numbers refer to household income, so if you're wondering if moving in with your significant other will make you happier, the numbers say yes.

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 12:49 pm 1

On "Money Can't Buy Happiness; It is Happiness": A State-By-State Analysis

@andnowlights Also don't forget that everyone in Alaska gets yearly dividend checks as a share of the state's oil wealth, so that helps. Last year's was $900, which isn't bumping most people into another tax bracket, but isn't nothing, either.

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 12:47 pm 0

On A Call To End Birthday Dinners

I, too, am the holder of a summer birthday (well, Spring/Summer - it's right on the cusp), and this year I did picnic birthday dinner with my friends and my kids, and it was great. Everyone brought some beer or wine and a bit of food, there were no long tables to separate us, so we could circulate and mingle easily, and the average individual cash outlay was modest. Also, you can have sparklers and play with a Frisbee at a picnic , both of which are frowned on by most restaurants. Obviously, this doesn't work for cold weather birthdays, because then you have to do a *destination* birthday picnic, which gets really pricey.

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 12:38 pm 1

On America Arrests Working Mom. Good Job, America!

@jalmondale Not to be a pain in the ass, but as a Connecticut child protection lawyer, I feel like I should point out that Connecticut law sets no age, except when the child is left in a car or place of public accommodation, and even then, the child has to be left there "for a period of time that presents a substantial risk to the child’s health or safety."

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 5:02 pm 0

On America Arrests Working Mom. Good Job, America!

I was nine or ten when I started taking the subway by myself in 1980s New York City, where crime was high and cell phones hadn't been invented yet. Once, when I was eleven, I was in Prospect Park with another kid and some teenagers beat us up and took his watch. Then, ten years later, I was with the same friend two blocks away when some teenagers pulled a gun on us and took my money. Moral of the story: bad stuff sometimes happens to people and people mostly end up OK. Also, teenagers are the source of most of our miseries, no matter how old we are.

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 4:52 pm 0

On Fear-Based Spending

@Sloane The problem there, obviously, was that you failed to take the precaution of becoming a lawyer in a jurisdiction where lawyers can breeze through security while carrying contraband. It is a very expensive precaution, but TOTALLY WORTH IT.

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 4:29 pm 2

On Josh Michtom's First Job: Helping Teach Argentinians English

@grog "Go to the vagina of the whore mother who gave birth to you." ("Concha" technically means shell, but, well, also vagina, in Argentina, anyway.) It's a very typical construction. There was a moment in the Argentina-Holland game in the World Cup when they showed one of those slow-mo reaction shots of the Argentine coach, Alejandro Sabella, after Messi was fouled, and you could clearly see him saying, "...puta que lo parió" (the whore that gave birth to him), presumably in reference to the defender who had kicked Messi.

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 10:08 am 0

On Josh Michtom's First Job: Helping Teach Argentinians English

@madrassoup You are right that everyone smoked always back then. But Alice didn't like cigarettes and wouldn't allow smoking in her apartment, except on the tiny, vertiginous balcony. And I never took up smoking.

Posted on July 15, 2014 at 2:34 pm 0