On Billfold Housing Survey: What Is Your Dream House?

I didn’t find any of the answers for my “dream house” really in line with what my dream house is. I suppose I should have answered other, but instead I went with a rambling home. This is meant as friendly constructive criticism and not as a jab: Overall, I sort of wish this survey had been designed to be a bit more subjective and less reflective of its author’s specific writing style/tone. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed this feature for the week and the real estate theme for the month in general.

Posted on February 27, 2015 at 3:05 pm 0

On Paying to Belong

I have recently found myself wanting to join a synagogue. The one I like in the town where I live has very reasonable dues for someone my age, but they require all members to pledge thousands of dollars to a building fund, which is not reasonable for me. (They might also be willing to waive it, but I haven't asked.) They did let me pay a nominal chai to attend High Holiday services this year, which I appreciated.

Posted on February 3, 2015 at 6:32 pm 0

On Transitional Furniture

I think I had one. The easiest move of my life was when I moved to Atlanta for graduate school and bought all of the furniture that came with my apartment (basically everything, including a bed, table, coffee table, futon, dishes, printer, etc. etc. etc.) for, I think, $500. Pretty sure the table was a Lack. I like Ikea for the most part. Buying and loading in my car a bookshelf all by myself was a huge win for me. (I did not assemble it. I have zero spatial/motor skills wahwah.)

Posted on December 17, 2014 at 3:30 pm 0

On Uber and PDX: A Not-Exactly-Love Story

I can't use Uber (no smart phone), so I don't have much of a horse in this race, but the city's response sounds EXACTLY like the conversation surrounding Airbnb six months ago. I'm thinking PDX just needs to see some of that Uber $$. Airbnb moved some of its operations up to Portland, and suddenly that relationship blossomed.

Posted on December 17, 2014 at 11:29 am 0

On Airbnb: Bad For New York, Great For Me

I swear I am not trying to dissuade you, but do look into the many articles about Portland's ready-to-blow rental and housing market. I am sure it seems affordable compared to Brooklyn, but the market for both rental and housing stock is super, super tight and it's only going to get worse. That three bedroom house was probably gone in five minutes, and probably someone offered above the asking rent. (And Airbnb isn't just bad for New York, it's bad for Portland. I've used it myself, but I do always feel uncomfortable about it. http://www.portlandmercury.com/BlogtownPDX/archives/2014/10/07/coming-tomorrow-mayors-office-sets-proposed-rules-for-airbnbs-expansion-to-apartments-condos)

Posted on November 4, 2014 at 2:20 pm 0

On Put Us In Your Inbox!

While we're on the subject of stuff readers want, have you thought of doing a reader survey? I'd be fascinated to see summary stats on what readers earn, what they have in savings, debt, industry (maybe?), etc.

Posted on October 29, 2014 at 6:12 pm 4

On Lunch Spots and Budgets

I am working really, really hard to not buy lunch anymore. (Last week I went the whole week without getting lunch out!!) But my favorites are a local burrito spot where I get a burrito (usually sans shell for caloric reasons) for six bucks. There's also a veg BBQ food cart where I get enough for 1.5-2 meals for eight bucks. When I'm feeling especially hungry and spendy, there's an Ethiopian buffet that's ten dollars and so, so good though I spend the afternoon in a food coma.

Posted on October 28, 2014 at 2:27 pm 0

On Monday Check-In

Mike, bless you for buying 1989. That is adorable. Friday I spent $15 on wine and beer for the weekend (and a special beer for our upcoming anniversary). We went to a pumpkin carving party and did not BYOP. Oops. Saturday I spent $6.50 at my library's used book sale. Last year I spent $25, so I count this as a success. I also spent $6 on a burrito. Sunday, I went grocery shopping and spent $55. $82.50.

Posted on October 27, 2014 at 11:58 am 0

On Paying for Theaters vs Waiting for Netflix

I typically compromise and wait to see movies at the second-run theater, where they are $4 and come out a bit before the DVD release. (I meant to do this with Obvious Child, but I never got around to it, unfortunately.) Some movies, I'll pay full price for. I try to see most of the Oscars Best Picture nominees in advance of the awards, but usually at least some of them are out on DVD or at the second-run theaters.

Posted on October 27, 2014 at 11:33 am 1

On The Week It Rained and the Future of Umbrellas

I think we need a photo of Mike in the rainboots. I live in the PNW and typically my (half-price) Marmot raincoat does alright. (Along with my penchant for hibernation during the eternal rainy months.) My feet are almost always wet, though, which sucks. I approve of Zuckerberg's pretty normal house. (Photos here for others who haven't seen it before: http://www.forbes.com/pictures/mel45efdk/mark-zuckerbergs-backyard/)

Posted on October 24, 2014 at 4:15 pm 0