On Thanksgiving Estimate/Open Thread

@ThatJenn By the way, I was going to send my dude to do the last-minute perishables grocery shopping today, but I thought better of it and decided to let him avoid that craziness by going last night after we met our friends for beers after work. It was Tankard Tuesday, meaning we each got a 25-oz tankard of beer/cider, and then I really wasn't feeling mine, so I gave him nearly all of mine, too. 3-4 beers is a whole lot for either of us, since we very very rarely drink more than one drink in a day, so we got to do our grocery shopping with me sober/on a mission and him having the drunk munchies. It was perhaps not our most graceful or frugal shopping trip ever... (I let him push the cart, but only in the store - I drew the line at the parking lot.)

Posted on November 26, 2014 at 9:13 am 2

On Thanksgiving Estimate/Open Thread

I do need distraction later! I'm working today, so I'm not going to include today's lunch out with friends in my estimate. Tonight, cooking. There will be some gifts to buy this weekend for people left over on my list (let's say $150), though probably not at Black Friday sales or whatever, just online to get it all over with. I expect to spend a good $100 on entertainment and stuff, too, just because it's a weekend without real plans and that tends to breed plans that cost money. Our only tentative plans are hiking ($0), cleaning ($0), and watching Netflix (sunk cost), so, uh... hopefully $100 is enough to cover it all. That puts my overall estimate at $250.

Posted on November 26, 2014 at 9:09 am 0

On Chatting About A New Era

Meaghannnnnnn I am going to miss you so much! Your new column is not really in my area of interest but you can bet I am going to read it anyway because I will miss you. I would also read your livejournal if you actually have one, heh (I can't be the ONLY person on the planet who still uses LJ regularly). You're the best and you're going to be so awesome at living in Portland and writing for other places and all that. Congratulations on getting through this utterly weird year and presenting an awesome face to the world through this site and also coming out with an entirely new human in your household, too. So cool. The coolest.

Posted on November 26, 2014 at 8:20 am 0

On Renting in a Megacity Is a New Lifestyle Phase

@Derbel McDillet Yesss, I think the framing makes a huge difference. I've spent 8 years in my little southern suburban cities and the first few years were hellish and lonely largely because I expected that they would be hellish and lonely because clearly a smart, progressive young person will find a small southern suburban city hellish and lonely, duh. When I started thinking of this as a Real Place where I might live a Real Life with Real Friends a few years in, lo and behold, it became just that pretty quickly. It would likely have been a faster process in a bigger/more progressive place, but I also would have already expected it to be faster there, so it's hard to say which is more important. I doubt that's what Ester was going for, but I just wanted to say I feel this!

Posted on November 25, 2014 at 2:46 pm 0

On Adjusting Your Life to Your Partner's Career

This was a central point in my divorce from my first husband. There were many other issues, but this was a big one. He both wanted me to be ambitious in my career (mostly so I could make more money), and was adamant that I would have to follow him and support him in his academic career. When it became clear that I wasn't going to finish my PhD by the time he would be done with his and heading out, he insisted that I either take a terminal master's (after four and a half years...) and start all over again on my PhD in the next place we lived, or "go ABD" and try to finish from afar (not possible because I was in a lab science, unlike his field in the humanities, and thus needed to be where my lab was to do research, which I tried to explain to him multiple times). And in fact, the thing that completely removed any chance of our reconciliation was when I asked for a trial separation & counseling, and he said that the only way he'd consider counseling, etc., was if I would not move out at all but instead quit school and my job and focus entirely on fixing our marriage. Nope. I could never have lived with myself if I had taken him up on that, and I knew it - it would have been the ultimate surrender of my personhood, a process that had started the moment we started dating, and also even if our marriage were deeply fulfilling, I would have been miserable with no routine and we would have been even broker than before.

Posted on November 25, 2014 at 2:08 pm 2

On Adjusting Your Life to Your Partner's Career

@HelloTheFuture If you were fake-murdered you'd have to stop writing for the Billfold, which would be unacceptable - so I'm holding you to this.

Posted on November 25, 2014 at 1:53 pm 0

On How To Get Our Belongings of Questionable Worth Across The Country

I am so excited for you and want to know all about where you are moving in Portland and so on! I lived there for four years (college) and visit yearly and every single time I daydream about moving back (also from Florida, having magically moved here while on vacation from New York... wait, are you me except my Florida vacation lasted eight years?). I can't do the lack of sun, though; I have four years of evidence that it ruins me. Therefore, I will be adding you to the list of people whom I live through vicariously there. !!! So exciting! I've also been thinking recently about how I haven't moved in nearly 5 years and that means I haven't, like, cleaned out the back of my cabinets in that long. It's a bit unnerving.

Posted on November 25, 2014 at 8:33 am 0

On What Do You Do All Day?

@eemusings I gave my husband related advice when he decided to finally go back to school in his late 20s to get his bachelor's degree (after a decade of employers saying, "We really want to promote you based on your skills, but the next job up requires a degree"). I told him to find something he could stand doing for 4 years, and then he could work on what he was going to do with it, even if it was totally unrelated to the area of his degree. (Though I did advise him to pick the mathiest subject he thought he might be able to stand for those 4 years, because of my own experience having people assume I'm "smart" because I have my degrees in a science field they consider "hard." Of course, I picked my field because it was far easier for me than the social sciences or the humanities had been, but they don't have to know that...)

Posted on November 24, 2014 at 4:13 pm 0

On What Do You Do All Day?

Yes, yes. I had a conversation about this recently when talking about career prep advice for students at the small liberal arts school I attended. I held a number of student jobs while I was there, not out of absolutely necessity but for spending money (quite the privilege, I know), and in doing so I learned a LOT about the things I can do for 4-8 hours at a stretch and the things I can't/don't want to do for that long. I am terrible at asking people for money over the phone. I am good at doing repetitive data analysis. I hate high-energy jobs where I need to have a lot of social or physical energy for a whole shift without waning sometimes based on my mood/health. I have a great memory for details and provide good customer service by leaning on that ability. These are not things I learned about myself in classes, but in actually working, and I'm so thankful for that experience. I'm in a job I didn't know existed when I was in school, and in fact EVERY job I've had since I finally left school has been one I never would have considered - but when I looked at the job posting, I thought, that's all stuff I can do, and I made an apparently compelling case for myself in interviews.

Posted on November 24, 2014 at 4:09 pm 0

On Zillow Is My Pinterest: On Buying A House Before 30

@Tripleoxer I am sad you are feeling that way, but also reassured that I am not the only one! I hope it all goes super-smoothly for you and you're happy with the outcome!

Posted on November 24, 2014 at 3:25 pm 0