On Writing, Depression and Learning How to Handle Attention: A Conversation with Allie Brosh

I always remember the eagle typing with his claws when I'm reading horrible writing in emails or online- 'It's ok, he's doing the best he can with these claws!'

Posted on November 13, 2013 at 8:47 pm 2

On 'Movement + Location' and Seed & Spark

@bodinea need any costume help?

Posted on January 4, 2013 at 11:03 am 0

On Ask a Debt Collector

@kitryan Oops-"a higher balance"

Posted on September 15, 2012 at 10:40 pm 0

On Ask a Debt Collector

@Clare Yes, you have to be able to walk away. They know that if you're unable to leave and are paying them interest, there's no incentive for them to change anything (except possibly the limit, to allow for a hire balance and more interest charges). If paying in full is not possible, in some situations transferring the balance to a card with 0 interest for 6 months can give some flexibility in negotiating with the original company. It's the usual catch 22-if you aren't in a bind, your negotiating position is much stronger.
@wee_ramekin As I understand it, canceling a card in itself is not the bad thing, but it does lower the total amount of credit availible to you and I believe (though they make it opaque intentionally) that one key element of the score is the ratio of availible credit to debt. So, if you have 3 cards with 5,000 limits and a balance of 2,500, the ratio would be 6:1. If you canceled one of the cards, the ratio would be 4:1, which is worse. If you cancel when you have no balance, the ratio isn't affected the same way. And I know that a closed card still shows up in your history, I've seen them in my report.

Anyway, the main point is if there's a threat of cancelation , they will do a great deal to avoid it. But you might have to pull the trigger.
I had a free checking account with Chase and they added fees so I moved my account. When I went to close it, the rep started offering me fee waivers and if there was anything he could do to keep me from leaving - I closed it anyway, but they were ready to bargain.

Posted on September 15, 2012 at 8:47 pm 0

On Ask a Debt Collector

@Clare being ready to cancel your card and having a history of paying in full (and thus not being a person who earns them lots of interest charges) puts you in a better negotiating position. I have not gotten lower rates myself, but I did get my limits raised by asking and being ready to cancel the card. My dad has told me that he's gotten annual fees waived with similar tactics. It's really bad for the agent to have a card cancled so they have some leeway on things they can do to keep you as a customer. Worst case, you get condescending person again.

Posted on September 14, 2012 at 1:32 pm 2

On Famous People I Thought I Saw on the Street, But It Wasn’t Them at All

@Probs I saw Al Franken (before his political career) stick his head in the room I was working in while getting a tour of the college (Wash U) with his daughter, who was considering attending.
Other encounters: Clark Johnson in a bodega in midtown Manhattan. I said I loved Homicide, then later he talked to me about the pet food recall (the big one circa 2007) and I didn't know much about it and kind of babbled (this was a reasonable topic of conversation for him to bring up because I was buying cat food-of a non questionable brand- and we were both in line to check out)
When I worked in NYC in theater Bette Midler held the door for me at my work. I was so shocked at how small she was that I'm pretty sure I stared and didn't properly thank her. Also Martha Plimpton and Jennifer Elhe, in passing- Martha took lots of smoke breaks and Jennifer was super patient and polite. I also once dyed some fabric Oprah's skin tone but did not meet Oprah.
Since then I've worked in regional theater, so I regularly see actors I've worked with in guest roles all over the place. It's nice to see them do well.

Posted on September 11, 2012 at 9:12 pm 0

On Some Incredible Men

@kitryan Ok, first of 2 or 3 sessions is over. It went well. I don't know why dude was such a 'dude' before, but clearly the first 2 days of doing the job had illustrated that there was a lot to know. It was also obvious that I did indeed hold the knowledge he sought. I talked a lot. Hopefully for past workplace, he will retain it. I don't know how it's going to go, but I did my part. I go back next week for another day or so.

Posted on August 22, 2012 at 9:59 pm 0

On Some Incredible Men

@Sarah H. I had an ex who would ask me comic book trivia questions because, while we were both comic nerds, I knew more than he did. This lead to an amusing phone call where I ended up explaining the history of the DC character 'Deathstroke, the Terminator' (who has a naming arc somewhat akin to John Cougar Mellencamp) and how poor Deathstroke used to be called the Terminator, until a certain movie series made that more problematic. I loved that he was so accepting of my knowledgeability, in such a usually guy-geeky subculture.

Posted on August 22, 2012 at 1:48 pm 1

On Some Incredible Men

@Ophelia It's a very idiosyncratic job in a very small department. My former boss is very appreciative of my abilities though and all I really need is for him to know that I explained it correctly (so that he will be a good reference). I hope that he'll be around for enough of it that that will be obvious. Maybe the dude will surprise me.

Posted on August 22, 2012 at 1:06 pm 0

On Some Incredible Men

Possibly tomorrow I get to go into the job I left recently and train/orient my replacement. I just found out that my replacement is this guy who, in the past, has repeatedly ignored me and then in a separate incident, made completely useless suggestions to me about something I was working on-I'd been working in that area for 3 years intensely and 8 more, on and off. He, to my knowledge, has never worked in this area. I am not really looking forward to it, but I can use the money. Hopefully he will not be chock full of how there are better ways to do the job I did for five years and it will go well.

Posted on August 22, 2012 at 12:00 am 2