Sunday, August 10, 2014

I Am Miley Cyrus

A quick note: I offered to write about any subject whatsoever if someone could get my comments to show up again on other blogs. EcoCatLady came to the rescue with a tip on Akismet, which was great, but then she took me up on my offer to do an in-depth analysis of Miley Cyrus' cover of "Jolene", which was terrifying. I mean, it's cute to say you can write 800 words on an ironic subject. Then someone calls your bluff, and you have to stare into your computer monitor and face the hard the truth: you only have about 80 words in the hopper, and they are not even good words. But, a promise is a promise, so it's time to give it the old college try. Lord help us.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Why Aren't We Getting Better With Money?

Why Aren't We Getting Better With Money
Cry for help: a few months ago, I noticed a lot of my comments weren't showing up on my favorite blogs. Apparently, WordPress thinks I am a spam bot. (This likely says something about the quality of my comments.) So, if you think I've stopped reading and commenting on your blog, it's likely that my comments are getting caught in a spam filter. If someone can fix this for me, I will write a post (on my blog or yours) on any subject you want. Want an in-depth analysis on Miley Cyrus' cover of "Jolene"? You got it. Want me to wax poetic about "In Living Color" and the sad, slow death of live sketch comedy? No problem. Just help me fix my computer problems and I'll gladly whore out my writing. And...back to the post.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Trickle Down Consumption

Trickle Down Consumption
I was driving to a kickball game the other day, when I heard a cool story on Marketplace about those little white oval stickers with two big letters that people sometimes put on their bumpers. You know, "GB" for Great Britain, or "F" for France, stating the places the driver has visited, or where he's from. The stickers were created by the UN back in the 1940s, in Europe. There were so many drivers from other parts of the world that the United Nations created the stickers as an easy way to identify the country the driver was from. The reporter notes that, "in the US, they became a status symbol: EH for East Hampton, or AK for Nantucket. Secret codes that said the driver of this car lives or vacations in America's most elite resorts." These days, the stickers are a way to brag about the cool places you've been, or a flag you can send up as a beacon, hoping others from your home town might be living in this new place with you.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A Penny Saved is More Than a Penny Earned

I like debating false dichotomies. Black and white is more interesting than fifty shades of grey, right? So I really enjoy reading posts on whether we should devote our energy towards earning more or reducing our expenses. Yes, of course, the right answer is "both," but that's boring. Plus, we only have a finite number of hours and an equally finite amount of willpower to aim at behavior change. As anyone who creates a laundry list of new goals in January can tell you, spreading yourself too thin just results in broad failure. Like Joe Saul Sehy says, narrowing your focus to a small set of financial goals is the (only) way to success. So, if you have to choose between earning more and saving more, which way do you go?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Betting on Yourself

Betting on Yourself
Like so many others, I am a secret fan of "American Ninja Warrior". This is not television that you admit liking to coworkers around the water cooler. As with romantic comedies, the catalog of Katy Perry, and anything from KFC, American Ninja Warrior ought to be enjoyed in private, behind closed doors with the curtains drawn, and then should never be spoken of again. Like a lot of television, the show is a copy of a copy: the original program is from Japan, but NBC has kept the general format. Fit people from across the US try to complete an impossible series of obstacle courses, failing spectacularly as they careen into padded walls and then splash awkwardly into the water below. Competitors hurl themselves across chasms to grab comically small hand-holds mid-flight, propel themselves over water via trampolines, and, no joke, must run up a curved fourteen foot high wall just to complete the qualifying round. In the show's history, no American has even made it to the fourth and final course, let alone completed it. I find it strangely motivating to watch. It is the only show that gets me off the couch to do push-ups and ab workouts during the commercials. With all these athletes attempting the impossible, I mysteriously get off my tuchus and onto the living room floor.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Hotel Soaps and Externalities

Hotel Soaps and Externalities
When we're on vacation, we steal hotel shampoo. And conditioner. And, fine, yeah, we steal the free lotion and soaps and razors, too. Like, every day when housekeeping brings a new bottle containing any sort of liquid, it goes directly into Mrs. Done by Forty's bag. So after eight nights in hotels down in South America last month, we had a pretty sizable stash. It got to the point that we were a bit concerned about the weight of her suitcase when checking in at the airport. Still, it begs the question: is it wrong to check out with a few pounds of "free" hotel swag?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Vaca's Over...Back to Reality

Vaca's Over...Back to RealityThe good times had to end sometime. Our vacation is over, so I am back at home and back to work. I wrote this post on Sunday from the Mexico City airport, thanks to a handy table in the food court with electricity outlets and an especially nice retail employee who shared a wifi password. It's amazing how quickly an eight hour layover passes when you have Netflix at your fingertips. At the touch of my mouse, I have all the episodes of Parks and Rec and Archer that a man could ever ask for. We are truly a lucky people.