On "Invisible Girlfriend" Creates Both Girlfriends, Jobs (Sort Of)

The first thing I thought when I read this was that both "Invisible Boyfriend" and "Invisible Girlfriend" would make great indie band names. And neither appears to be taken! Now I just have to learn to play guitar.

Posted on January 21, 2015 at 4:49 pm 1

On Art Just Hasn't Been The Same Since We All Left Our Garrets

@tussock Yes. I think, to mirror the Crabapple quote, that I would do art a lot better than I do now - more deep, mature, &c. - if I could just do it without worrying about pesky things like feeding my children. Because this day job, like it as I do, is not helping my artistic abilities at all.

Posted on January 5, 2015 at 3:34 pm 0

On What Do We Want to Spend More Money on in 2015?

Large brass instruments.

Posted on January 5, 2015 at 12:10 pm 2

On What the Last Four Feature Films I Saw Taught Me About Money

I don't see enough movies to have anything cogent to offer, but I think it should be Billfold policy to use photos with sousaphones as often as possible.

Posted on December 30, 2014 at 9:12 am 2

On On Appreciating the Little Things, Especially Around the Holidays

@Christy @ea_mann @intravenus de milo You're all right. There's nothing necessarily smug about the recommendation planners make viz. an emergency fund. But when people with perfectly pressed shirts and perfectly knotted ties (which describes all the financial planners I've ever met) tell me about the amount of money I *should* have, no matter how well-intentioned they may be, it feels smug. I recognize that I am being unfair.

Posted on December 22, 2014 at 11:01 am 1

On The Forces of Gentrification

@principalmakesmemoney The problem with this whole theory is there is one kind of person that *always* prefers profit to the more abstract benefits you describe, and always acts calculatingly to maximize profit: a corporation. And it's large corporations and their capital and efficiencies that motivate the existence of an execrable word like "re-tenanting."

Posted on December 11, 2014 at 11:47 am 0

On The Forces of Gentrification

@vanderlyn Not only is it not clear to you, but it's not clear to the people in charge of government! Theoretically, if there were some consensus that economic diversity at the neighborhood level were a social good worth preserving, government wouldn't have to "curate a retail mix," precisely. It would just have to subsidize the rents of small businesses - like a commercial Section 8. And to do the same for residential space, it would have to stop regulating rents (which makes profit-taking hard and incentivizes abandonment or the exploitation of loopholes) and instead subsidize rents better: if Section 8 actually matched market-rate rents, it would arrest gentrification.

Posted on December 11, 2014 at 11:42 am 0

On The Unreachable American Dream

"Possible but not probable" is the essence of the American Dream: it's a goal that 100% of people strive for, predicated for each individual on somehow beating out 90% of the people. That's a perfectly laudable individual goal but makes for lousy public policy. It just occurred to me that it's sort of like saying "a rising tide lifts all boats." That's not true at all, because when the tide rises, the whole ocean doesn't get fuller - the tide just ebbs somewhere else.

Posted on December 11, 2014 at 11:23 am 2

On In Defense of Small Cheap Cities

@Jake Reinhardt @garli I'm trying to say that while some parts of town are predominantly one race and some another, it's not the kind of pervasive segregation that would make a person of color (at least, one who is Black or Hispanic) feel like "the lone dot of color." Since @meatballsub was complaining about being a person of color in a sea of whiteness, I think it makes my comment relevant. Is it good that Blacks and Hispanics are segregated *into* Hartford and largely absent from the surrounding, more affluent suburbs? Not at all. But that is a separate discussion. All I'm saying is that if you're interested in a smaller city as a place to live, Hartford is relatively welcoming for people of color.

Posted on December 10, 2014 at 1:33 pm 0

On In Defense of Small Cheap Cities

@bowtiesarecool I've already sung Hartford's praises, and I have some friends in Troy who really like it. Boston is neither warmer nor cheaper than DC, but it's a hell of a town, and has decent transit. I hear that Denver and Austin are nice, too.

Posted on December 10, 2014 at 11:44 am 0