Thursday, February 26, 2015
Today I’m talking to my sister and my brother-in-law, who are 30 and 29 years old respectively and just bought a home in Silver Spring, Maryland.
So. Why did the two of you decide to become homeowners?
Well, we had been “dream looking at houses” for a few months. We had been thinking we would maybe start by getting a nicer apartment for a few years and then get a house. Then we started to look at prices and realized that we could get a house for less than a two-bedroom, or even a one-bedroom, apartment in the same area.
This is interesting because the D.C. metro area is kind of known for its high housing rates! Are you making the distinction between a house and a “good” apartment?
Or will your mortgage be about equivalent to what you are paying now in your “okay” apartment?
The mortgage will actually be less than the rent on our current mediocre one-bedroom apartment. However, we are buying a townhouse that has HOA fees each month, so the total monthly payment will be more than our current situation. But it will definitely be less than even a crappy two-bedroom apartment.
Do you think a lot of young professionals don't realize this? Or do people just not think of homebuying as an option?
Our townhouse is at the end of the metro line in Maryland, so it’s not in a cool young professional neighborhood. A one-bedroom condo near our current place in DC would be close to twice as much as our townhouse. Also, a lot of young people probably aren't ready to pay the down payment required for a house purchase.
Transcript after the jump. READ MORE
Haunted by a mistake you can't wait to share? Emily Gould has just launched a Skillshare class all about writing an amazing personal essay—and, at the end of March, a winning student essay will be selected to appear on The Hairpin.
Called Writing Personal Essays That Get Read, the 45-minute online class is divided into 8 short video lessons that students watch at their own pace. The lessons are a one-on-one with Emily as she shares her favorite writing prompts, explores 3 entertaining essays for writing strategies students can (safely) steal, and offers quick editing tips for improving any piece.
Students are encouraged to post their own essays, exchange feedback, and collaborate with others to get a piece of their own ready for publication. Students can enroll at any time, but are encouraged to sign up and share work as soon as possible to eligible for the contest with The Hairpin.
The class is perfect for both aspiring and professional writers, bloggers, freelancers, and everyone eager to refine their personal written voice. Anyone with a Skillshare premium membership ($10/mo or $8/mo billed annually) can enroll, plus have access to over 1000 other classes in writing, design, photography, and more.
The first 50 Hairpin readers to click this link can enroll in Emily's class for free. Plus, all Hairpin readers can use this link for a free month of premium membership, which includes unlimited access to all Skillshare classes and additional features such as offline viewing.
You're probably single because men find you so intimidating, you know, because of the way you aren't afraid to speak your mind and the way you bathe in the blood of virgins. READ MORE
According to one of my more observant friends, I am not a human but a robot with a pretty solid sense of how humans behave. She’s gathered some compelling evidence: I almost never experience thirst or seek out water, and when I do, I’ll make a grand show of it to keep up the act. I side with Tracy Jordan here: water is nothing more than “clear bathtub juice.”
There’s also the laughter issue: I don’t really laugh. I find things funny, but I’m rarely moved to spontaneous vocalizations of glee. Instead, I smile and offer a nasally “HEH,” a guttural “heh heh,” or emphatic nose exhale when I want to show someone I recognize what they said was a joke, and that it was nice. This can be off-putting. Even when something strikes me as truly hilarious—that dog that looks more like John Travolta than John Travolta, for example—I don’t laugh, or even smile.
Something happens when you grow up, as the tragedy of existence sets in. Human babies laugh about 300 times a day, while human adults only laugh 20 times. Maria, of neither demographic, laughs two times daily, three times max, but only if she watches that scene in It’s Always Sunny when Danny DeVito’s character, naked and sweaty, breaks out of a couch he was sewn into.
“People learn to put roadblocks in the way of their laughter,” offered Enda Junkins, a national laughter therapist/mogul, when I called her after Googling “laugh feel better therapy i'm depressed science?” I was interested in learning to laugh like my human friends, yes—but my desire to experience the transformative power of routine laughter was far more powerful.“The more you practice laughing, the fewer controls you have on it,” she told me.
On her website, Laughter Therapy Enterprises, Junkins provides several tips for laughing more and breaking down some of the roadblocks. Suggestions include: “Wear hats that make you laugh,” “Buy and listen daily to a tape of laughter, a laugh box, or a laughing toy,” “Laugh with your co-workers for a few minutes for no real reason at all,” and the best one, “Wear light-hearted, temporary tattoos that help you cope.”
She advises laughing for five uninterrupted minutes every day. I vowed to do ten minutes a day for two weeks because I wanted double the benefits.
My first morning on a strict laughter regimen, I began with exercises I found on the Internet. I held an imaginary cellphone to my ear and laughed into it for two minutes, and then transitioned to a move where I spread my arms, looked up at the ceiling, twirled, and laughed heartily for three. My fake laugh was unconvincing—the sounds were labored and maniacal, like a mall Santa who has had a long day—but I didn’t need to convince anyone. After the exercises, I felt a lightness in the top of my head that resembled joy. READ MORE
"It's, like, gooey."
"Yeah, dude, that's the placenta."
After the incredible success of our first foray into the placenta-powered world, Jaya Saxena and Jazmine Hughes decided to go one further. We learned that putting placenta in our hair made it a little bit softer and smell slightly of cornchips (which men LOVE)—what would happen if we put it on our faces? Enter the Placenta & Collagen Premium Facial Mask Pack, available on the well-known site Amazon.com for as little as $5.95.
Here is the only information that the Amazon listing gives:
- Placenta & collagen mask pack with placentl liquid will give you a fantastic beautiful treatment
- Also gives your tired skin moisturizing effect and beauty effect
- Our placenta & collagen mask pack contains green tea, aloe, licorice, seaweeds extracts and so on.
Green tea! Aloe! Licorice! Placenta! All things that sound very chill and normal to put on your face. We were excited! Then we read some reviews:
I just apply the mask after I wash my face then apply the mask and keep it on for about 15-20 minutes, rub in the juices lol
It comes drenched in the baby sheep juice,so as long as you seal it up and don't leave it sitting out in the air, it will stay moist.
Helpful and gross! It is far better to just stick to the official company description.
Undeterred, we opened the masks — Jaya was right; they were, indeed, incredibly gooey, and it was at that moment we realized what we were putting (placenta, if you forgot) onto our beautiful faces. We put on our masks and looked at each other. “You look like you’re a robot trying to convince someone they are, in fact, a real human.” "You look like Hannibal Lecter."
Here's how it went. READ MORE
Hi guys! Classic Hairpin advice column "Ask a Lady" is back and I am very excited to announce that this time the Lady is me, your friend Monica Heisey. As an anxious and bossy person (great combo), I basically live to over-analyze situations and offer life suggestions based on that analysis. I have even written a how-to book about generally being alive, a little volume called I Can't Believe It's Not Better, which you can buy in Canadian bookstores after April 28th and in American bookstores in September.
In the meantime, I have tried my best to answer a few pressing questions from friends and readers here, online, on the Hairpin dot com. I would also love to hear your alternative solutions to these problems in the comments, because really the best part of asking for advice is cherry-picking your favourite answers from a number of thoughtful options. Let's do this! READ MORE
Since Arthur Chu's historic win streak on Jeopardy! early last year, he’s shrewdly turned his still-minty viral celebrity into a regular gig as a cultural critic and, as some have put it, “the ombudsman of the nerd community.” At Nom Wah Tea Parlor in Manhattan’s Chinatown, we talked about milking his fifteen minutes, the crisis of nerd culture, and becoming an unlikely Asian-American male icon over a plate of chicken feet. (For me, since he politely declined.)
Is online celebrity strange?
It is, because stuff that's happening on Twitter, you feel like it's the whole world and you step off for a few minutes and it doesn't matter to the majority of people. Even to the extent that it does, there's a huge decoupling of what makes you important online. A lot of times, I just throw up my hands and say, "I don't even know what my follower count means anymore." You just have to keep that in perspective. It affects the real world but it's something separate from the real world.
What did you do after Jeopardy!?
Call up publicists and PR firms, and said straight up, "Hey, do you work with viral celebrities?" Then I’d ask, "If you were me, how would you hang on to the fame, how would you monetize it?" I got good answers—they weren’t bad answers—but it was stuff I couldn’t imagine myself doing. It was stuff like, "Well you should take the whole idea of game theory and you should become an advice kind of guy, you should do lifehacker stuff, stuff like how-tos on how to invest, get a mortgage." I said, "That stuff doesn’t interest me." I didn’t want to keep talking about that for the rest of my life.READ MORE
If the dual firings of Mr. di Marco and Ms. Giannini came as a surprise, that was nothing compared with the reaction to the person whom Kering, Gucci’s parent company, soon chose to install in Ms. Giannini’s place: Alessandro Michele.
Within hours of the news of Ms. Giannini’s firing, names surfaced in the news media about who would fill her post, suddenly the most coveted job in fashion. Would it be Riccardo Tisci, the star designer who took a drifting French label, Givenchy, and transformed it into the must-have uniform for rock stars and celebrities? Or the rising American designer Joseph Altuzarra? Or maybe Hedi Slimane, who had recently revived the fortunes of Saint Laurent, another Kering brand? Or could Kering even entice Tom Ford to go back to the company he had turned into the hottest fashion brand of the 1990s and whose work at Gucci is still cited by many designers today?
Instead, on Jan. 21, the company announced it had hired Mr. Michele, who had spent the last 12 years working in Gucci’s accessories department, the last three as the associate director to Ms. Giannini.
And the reaction of the fashion world could be summed up with one word: “Who?”
MY KINGDOM FOR AN OSCAR-BAITING BIOPIC ABOUT THE MANY HIRINGS AND FIRINGS OF GUCCI CIRCA 1993-PRESENT.