Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
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A Brief History of Being Unhappy at Work

I was talking to someone who is in that "wanting to quit" phase of work and wanted to remember what it felt like so I did a search in my journal (YEP) from a few years back for the words "work" and "job." What follows is a nice, horrifying portrait of someone on the edge of sanity who really needs to quit her job. May I never be this angry again! Or may I um, emotionally detach from work and just put my head down and do my work? That always sounds like the right idea.

Work was hell again today. Some of it was fun. Some of [...]

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Talking to Tina Haver-Currin, Steadfast Pro-Choice Protester and Gentle, Brilliant Troll

I first caught wind of Saturday Chores, Grayson and Tina Haver-Currin’s ingeniously weird pro-choice protests, on Facebook. Of course I did a double-take at a photo of Grayson, the bearded, metal-loving music editor of my local alt weekly, holding a sign that said, “I Love Turtles” (full disclosure: I’ve written a couple of things for the Indy Week under Grayson’s purview). A week later, I saw Tina foisting a poster that said “Bring Back Crystal Pepsi.” I don’t think it gets more metal than standing on the side of the road surrounded by hateful right-wingers, standing up for both absurdity and common sense.

I emailed Tina, one [...]

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Why I Have To Be So "Rude"

"Rude" is the #1 song in America; “Rude” is a strong contender for the worst song I have ever heard. For the lucky uninitiated, I can only explain “Rude” like this: it’s the aural equivalent of a man listening to reggae for the first time in his racecar bed, slowly fucking the hole in a Kidz Bop CD.

Here, take a dip, the water's absolutely disgusting!

Ostensibly, the success of Magic!’s “Rude” can at least partially be explained by the history of American top 40's irregular dabbles in reggae, which have tended to appear in the form of one-offs rather than any tangible wave: “I Can See Clearly Now” in [...]

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What It's Like Getting Hired—and Fired—by 'SNL'

It was late summer, 1982, and I was driving down Lake Shore Drive in Chicago with Julia Louis-Dreyfus. I turned to her and said, “This must be what winning the lottery feels like.” We had just been asked to join the cast of Saturday Night Live along with Brad Hall (and Paul Barrosse, who would become a writer) and were on our way to our last performance of “The Golden 50th Anniversary Jubilee.”

The show was a collection of our best Practical Theatre sketches over a three-year period and it was a local hit that caught the attention of Tim Kazurinsky. Tim brought in Dick Ebersol and Bob Tischler who [...]

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My Struggle Bingo

Instructions:

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How David Shapiro, Creator of Pitchfork Reviews Reviews, Does Money

David Shapiro is the pen name of a writer who created a Tumblr blog called Pitchfork Reviews Reviews. He then wrote a novel (You're Not Much Use to Anyone, out now) about a character named David who created a Tumblr blog called Pitchfork Reviews Reviews. We talked about his career and his money.

What do you do?

I work as a summer associate at a white-shoe law firm. I hope to get an offer to come back to my firm after I graduate law school next year, meaning I would start full-time around September, 2015. I also write a little bit at The Wall Street Journal (in the [...]

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Insufferable Parenthetical Asides, Ranked

52. (the saying goes)

51. (well, not strictly)

50. (incidentally)

49. (it’s in the Pacific, somewhere)

48. (which I don’t normally do)

47. (which I’ve finally perfected)

46. (humility is underrated)

45. (consequently)

44. (practically speaking)

43. (if he’d remembered)

42. (as a matter of fact)

41. (which is no excuse)

40. (when they were still of quality)

39. (or was it ramps?)

38. (or so he claims)

37. (just like 1804)

36. (though no one seems to hear me)

35. (whoever still does that)

34. (which I’ve never heard of)

33. (or so it seems)

32. (she meant well)

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From Night Shift Obit-Writer to Corporate Monkey: An HR Exec Reflects

I spend most of my job coaching people on what to do with their careers. You might think this means I have my own life figured out. In reality, my job history shows a lack of focus and intense desire to live in locations that please me. From the mouth of a person who has likely looked at your resume, here is my career history:

Annual Conference Intern, Non Profit in D.C.

I was hired to do all of the logistics planning for the organization’s annual conference in Boston, MA. I found the [...]

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Our Attempt at a $20-a-Day Budget

History I am a 29-year-old woman, married for four years. I am a playwright, actor, blogger, screenwriter, tutor, and babysitter. My husband is a software engineer. My money-making schedule is varied and inconsistent and sometimes I will just freak out about it—especially now, because I’m pregnant.

If you’re like me, getting pregnant means you immediately start Pinteresting and reading magazines about pregnancy and you start thinking that you need a lot of Things. The baby needs lots of Things and you need to buy them. Your baby needs his own room, his own thoughtfully organized closet, his own bookcase and nightlight and humidifier and small appliances that warm up various [...]

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A Smart Girl's Guide To Responding To Pop Stars

We've all been there: You're having a great day, just hangin' out with your friends, enjoying your space, when one of those pesky pop stars shows up thinking he can seduce you with his sexist lyrics and gyrating hips. Sometimes it's so vulgar and obscene you're flabbergasted and stand there, wondering what you should say! Well, wonder no more. Here's a handy guide of appropriate responses and clever come-backs that will banish the know-nothing chauvinists who have somehow weaseled their way onto the radio.

IF HE SAYS: 

YOU SHOULD SAY:

Ok, first of all, not a big deal or anything, but just so you don’t get embarrassed in the [...]

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The Most Expensive Meals We've Ever Paid For

My first job out of college was fact-checking restaurant listings. Every day, I called 25 restaurants in New York City to see if any of their information had changed, asking if their curtains were still red, their bathrooms still adorned with lavender sprigs, if their salad was still served with strawberries, if their servers still donned bow ties. With time, I had a mental Rolodex of places I wanted to eat, and Peter Luger Steak House, a restaurant so fancy it has its own Wikipedia page, was at the top.

When given the chance to celebrate a two-and-a-half-year anniversary, I chose steak. My boyfriend was game. Happy steak-iversary to [...]

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The Economics of My Hometown: Boothbay Harbor, Maine

It used to be a given that if you were gay and grew up in a small town and you didn’t want to stay in the closet, you left. You ran to the big city and never looked back. I ran to San Francisco — how original! I have often joked that I moved as far away from home as physically possible without leaving the continent. Of course, since both my hometowns are tourist destinations located at the very ends of their respective peninsulas, in many ways they are more similar than I’d always like to admit. For all the examples of things I fled, there are features [...]

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Bloodfeast: The Nutella Bacon Burger

"Bloodfeast" is a new period foods-themed recipe column.Happy Period Day, everyone! Time to roll out the fanfare of cheesy carbs and whatever gluttonous pleasures you lovingly reward yourself with during your moment of bloodspill. Whenever it is my own goddess moon time of the month, I crave A BIG ASS BURGER. I like to call this ritual, “Blood in, Blood Out.” I’ll go to In-N-Out for some animal style or hit up a greasy spoon diner, it doesn’t matter. Red meat and melty cheese dance in my eyes like emoji hearts.

This last time it was period burg time, I wanted something sweet to go with my savory… simultaneously! Enter, [...]

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What Happened When We Gave Our Daughter My Last Name

On a snowy morning in college, I sat up on my futon, stared out the dorm window, and nudged my boyfriend Chris. “What would you think about our children having my last name?” I asked.

“Sure,” he said, still half-asleep, “Why wouldn’t they have your last name?”

I was probably too shy then to show my relief.

Time passed. We split up for a year, got married ten years later and then, in our mid-30’s, found ourselves with a babe on the way. We didn’t know girl or boy, but we had already re-decided that our babe’s last name would be my last name. Mixing up convention had always mattered [...]

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Summer of Pie

At the age of 29, my mother taught me how to bake a pie. That she was in her kitchen, proving how easy it was—how pleasurable it was to master this most domestic of tricks—was a shocker. “There’s more to life than getting married, you know!” she’d said when she caught me walking a Barbie down the aisle in a make believe game of wedding when I was young. “There’s art and work and travel,” she said slowly, clearly trying to make an impression.

But it all sounded boring, coming from her. I already knew I could become an astronaut, a lawyer, or president of the United States if I [...]

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Embracing the Tour de France, the World Cup’s Endearingly Weird Little Brother

Are you growing tired of watching impossibly attractive men tear off their shirts in the name of God, country, and football? Well, do I have excellent news for you: the Tour de France is upon us. I love the Tour de France (go ahead, pronounce “France” like it rhymes with “taunts,” I know you want to), the world’s most famous bike race, and firmly believe that it’s completely underrated—especially in years when it’s pitted against the World Cup, as it is now. If the World Cup is the disaffected, hard-bodied teen who’s too cool for the moon landing, the Tour de France is the nerdy, telescope-toting little brother who Sally [...]

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The Hair Classifieds: How I Put My Hair Up for Sale

When you’re trolling the Internet after midnight, brainstorming quick ways to make extra cash, it’s little consolation that you are not alone.

My fingers clicked through the classifieds:

ASIAN EGG DONORS WANTED: Chinese, Korean and Japanese earn $8k-$10k.

Figure Model Wanted in New York City.

It was late May, nearly three weeks after I received a layoff notice from my newspaper reporting job that I held for five years. I had already hawked everything worth anything on eBay and Craigslist. Financial anxiety seized its grip on me after I moved to New York from Los Angeles to pursue greener journalism pastures. That’s how I ended up at 1 a.m. on [...]

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OK, Cupid?

In Ovid’s Metamorphosis, Cupid is notorious not for his successful matches but for his catastrophic ones. Pluto and Proserpina, Apollo and Daphne, Paris and Helen: none of these unions ended well. Instead of churning out soft children and sunshine, these matches produced winter, the bay leaf, and the Trojan War.

I’ve been in a long relationship, so long in fact we’ve forgotten about marriage all together and we simply say we’re married. I’ve vicariously been living this millennia and its social media outlets through friends—many of whom have found love, pleasurable sex, free quality meals, and sometimes even friends through OKCupid. I decided to sign up and build a profile [...]

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What Did Your First Job Pay Then and What Does It Pay Now?

What did your first job pay? What does it pay now? Here are some of the many fascinating answers we've received, with more to come.  

Fran: I graduated USC school of journalism in 1963 and got a job on a daily paper called the San Gabriel Valley Daily Tribune. It is still in existence in L.A. county. I was fully trained to write about everything from fires to sports. However it was the olden days and my job was on the Women's Page. I earned $60 a week gross and lived at home to pay off my car. I spent an entire summer writing about brides and their veils [...]

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The Prom King on Instagram, 10 Years After the Party

When I was a junior in high school, I decided that I wanted to become popular. Fortuitously, my scientist parents were about to make the one wanton decision that they would ever make in their lives: leaving me home alone for a weekend, along with my little brother.

Normally ones to frown upon any vacation not spent in a tent, my parents made this special exception for Maine, a place where they could remain on their rigorous work schedule. They’d planned a quintessential rise-at-dawn, sleep-by-dusk experience: stilted breakfast conversations with strangers at inns, jaunts to folksy outlet stores, and long walks along punishing rocky coasts. Lost in their excitement, neither [...]

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