Shared posts

13 Nov 21:25

Airbnb Promises to Verify All 7 Million Listings After VICE Report Exposes Scam

by Maxwell Strachan
Kate

woooow!

That vice piece is crazy.

Airbnb is instituting a series of significant changes to its platform and operation in an effort to reclaim its users’ trust following a VICE report that uncovered a nationwide web of deception and led to questions about the company’s broader verification and refund process.

Airbnb CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky said in an email to employees Wednesday that the company would undertake a year-long project to ensure that every home listed on the platform is accurately advertised. As a stopgap measure, the company will completely refund or “rebook the guest a new listing of equal or greater value” starting next month should the rental they booked not meet the company’s accuracy standards.

“Starting now, verification of all seven million listings on Airbnb will commence,” Chesky said. “People need to feel like they can trust our community, and that they can trust Airbnb when something does go wrong. Today, we are making the most significant steps in designing trust on our platform since our original design in 2008.”

This is a breaking news post. Check back for additional updates.

09 Nov 18:19

Reporter Can't Stop Laughing After Cat Interrupts News Segment

by Stephen Messenger
Kate

#INTERNATIONALCATCONTENT

worth a click through for sweet video

This just in — this cat, to be precise.

Credit: Artur Lira

The other day, Brazilian journalist Artur Lira was filming a news segment outside a police station when, much to his surprise, a far more adorable story broke right before his eyes.

Smack-dab in the middle of Lira’s report, a cat appeared at his feet — demanding both his and the camera’s attention.

As you’ll see, Lira couldn’t help but laugh at the unexpected interruption (especially when the kitty surprised him for a second time): 

"He was so cute, you can't feel angry," Lira wrote. "I think this cat wanted to be famous."

And that's exactly what happened — though this sweet story is actually still unfolding.

According to Globo News, the cat is a stray who's being fed and watched over by police at the station — but, if all goes according to plan, Lira intends to adopt the cat himself. After all, the kitty had already chosen him.

07 Nov 20:38

ruinedchildhood: Big Hero 6 (2014) dir. Don Hall, Chris...

Kate

me, with stevie or bert, upon arriving home after a long day at work.





ruinedchildhood:

Big Hero 6 (2014) dir. Don Hall, Chris Williams

06 Nov 20:04

Woman Out For A Stroll Runs Into The World's Saddest-Looking Cat

by Stephen Messenger
Kate

#catcontent

He’s got it good — maybe even better than good.

But you might not be able to tell it by looking at this sweet kitty's face.

Credit: Floriane Lavellan

The other day, Floriane Lavellan was out for a stroll through a quiet, well-to-do neighborhood in Belgium with her mom when someone caught her eye. There, in a cozy private garden all to himself, was a chubby orange cat she’d never seen before.

Lavellan had to do a double-take.

Credit: Floriane Lavellan

“At first I thought I hadn't seen right,” Lavellan told The Dodo.

There was something peculiar about this cat’s face.

He looked super bummed out.

Credit: Floriane Lavellan

“I had never seen a cat who looked THAT sad before,” Lavellan said. “He just stood there, looking at us.”

Lavellan tried to lure him closer to pet him, but after a few moments, the kitty turned and strutted out of sight — but not before she snapped photos of his dear, dour mug.

Credit: Floriane Lavellan

Lavellan understood that the cat wasn’t actually sad, of course; that sad-seeming expression was clearly just the face he was born with. But, nevertheless, it tugged at her heartstrings. Lavellan hopes to encounter him again.

“The cat looked well-fed and very fine there. I have a weak spot for ginger cats, so I'm definitely keeping an eye out for this one. I’ll definitely try to see if he’s in the mood to be petted,” Lavellan said, adding: 

“I guess I wouldn't be able to keep from saying an, ‘It's gonna be OK’ (or two) if I see that expression up close, though!”

04 Nov 21:11

Hidden Camera Captures Cat And Baby Having The Cutest Conversation

by Lily Feinn
From the moment Lindsey Needham brought her son Brody home, she could tell that he and her cat Zora were going to be friends.
 
“The first time [Zora] met Brody, I was holding him in my arms after we got home from the hospital and she jumped up on the chair and started sniffing Brody’s head,” Needham told The Dodo. “She was purring immediately.”

Credit: Lindsey Needham

The two friends have never needed words to communicate — they just understand each other somehow. “She has always been so patient with him and never showed aggression toward him,” Needham said. “It’s almost like she understood that Brody was a baby, learning the world around him.”
 
But recently, Brody and Zora have become more talkative. They still don’t need words to talk to each other, since they have a language all their own. “Zora has always been a talkative cat and usually meows at me when she enters a room or jumps on my lap so I do it right back to her,” Needham said. “So now whenever [Zora] walks in the room Brody starts meowing immediately and Zora happily responds with a ‘hello.’”

Credit: Lindsey Needham

Last month, Needham got even more proof of Brody and Zora’s special bond when she caught the two secretly chatting after lights out. 
 
Needham and her husband were watching TV after putting Brody down for the night when they heard meowing coming from upstairs. Somehow Zora had broken into Brody’s room — but that wasn’t all.
 
“We open the baby monitor app on our phone and, sure enough, we see Zora sitting on the chair meowing next to the crib and Brody is standing up meowing right back at her, looking like they were having an actual conversation,” Needham said. “My husband and I couldn’t help but just watch and laugh hysterically.”

You can watch the adorable video here:

Eventually, Needham and her husband had to break up the party. But it hasn't stopped the best friends from getting closer every day.  

“Zora hasn’t snuck back into the room since we caught it on camera but that’s only because we keep his door shut,” Needham said. “But given the chance, I’m sure she would be in there saying 'goodnight' to her bestie.”

02 Nov 22:59

The Chronicle of My Inability to Emotionally Connect with the Ghost in My Haunted Manor

by Kathleen O'Mara

We’re very excited about the move to our own dilapidated house!

September 22: We’re all very excited about the big move to our very own dilapidated Victorian Manor. It’s true, it’s a fixer upper, but we think it has a lot of potential! The realtor did warn us that the house is haunted and the ghost desperately needs the help of the house’s living residents to help it move on, but we think the place just needs a good airing out. We definitely can’t have spend any extra emotional labor on the tortured spirit of a murdered woman right now.

September 30: Just got in tonight! Jennie, our youngest, says she can’t sleep because her room “smells how her nightmares sound.” Such a vivid imagination, I’m sure she’ll grow out of it! As for the long, low moans of the dead, we’re pretty sure it’s just something wrong with the windows.

October 1: I spent an hour frozen to my bed, overwhelmed with an unknown grief. The visage of a woman stands at the end of my bed. She exudes sadness and loneliness. She should try watching old episodes of The Office on Netflix. That always cheers me up! I leave the TV on for her, just in case.

October 9: The woman continues to appear at my bedside. Every night she stands over me. Tonight, though, I had had enough, so I put my arms up like, “What?” and she looks at me very exasperated and gestures with her arms like, “Come on!” and leaves the room in a big huff.

October 10: Jennie and I were playing outside today when she suggested that we play monkey in the middle. I said there were only two of us and that you need three people to play monkey in the middle. She replied, “The Lady wants to play, too.” I told her it sounds like The Lady is coming on a bit strong.

October 12: We have started to hear a high pitched screech throughout the halls of the house each night at 12:16am. The old groundskeeper says that is the exact time the body of his mistress’s mistress was once found hanging in the foyer. This was troubling at first, but luckily we all have headphones and we don’t really hear it anymore.

October 17: Jennie, that sensitive little brat, was crying alone in the nursery. “What now?” I asked and she said, “The Lady cries all day and all night and it makes her cry, too.” I can’t help but feel this is getting a bit embarrassing for The Lady. She is expecting so much from us without any thought to how stressed out we are trying to flip her disgusting old manor.

October 21: The walls begin dripping blood. They spell out, “Geez, try having a little empathy, you frigid bitch.” To which I said, “Oh, so I’m a frigid bitch? I guess we’ll ignore the fact that you were so frigid that your husband had to hang you in the foyer to get you to feel something.”

The blood replies, “So I guess we’re not even going to talk about how Rick has not touched you since you’ve moved in.” Then I yelled, “Fine.” The blood wrote back, “FINE,” and I said, “FINE,” one more time. Then a great gust of wind blew through the house, slamming the windows and the doors shut. Which I think we can all agree was overly dramatic and JUST like her.

October 30: Just when we thought the kitchen was almost set, we discovered writing that had been scorched into the wood. It reads, “I’m finally ready to get some real help. Driving the occupants of this house to madness doesn’t fill the void like it used to. Here is the number of Tasha, my therapist, in case you are looking to work through anything: 973–223–9873.”

November 2: I’m fine. We’re fine. Everyone is SO fine. In fact, I’m doing great and the house is really coming along now that we do not have to make an emotional connection to the ghost in our manor. Who has the time for that kind of commitment? Who does she think she is?

Anyway, we have a new ghost now who is very chill. She agrees that we don’t need therapy.

Kathleen O’Mara is a comedian and taste maker. Validate her on Twitter @omaraules.


The Chronicle of My Inability to Emotionally Connect with the Ghost in My Haunted Manor was originally published in The Belladonna Comedy on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

01 Nov 22:02

boss refuses to wear hearing aids, putting strengths in your email signature, and more

by Ask a Manager
Kate

Oh come on I felt #4 carries a lot of judgement!!! There are plenty of workplace traditions/behaviors that I have not witnessed directly, doesn't mean I dismiss them entirely.

Also today I am dressed as Wednesday Addams, so...

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. Putting strengths in your email signature

I work at a relatively small private university. Like many universities, we have a transition-to-college one-credit course for first-semester undergraduate students. I am an instructor for one section of this course, but this is in addition to my actual job.

This year, the university has decided to have first-semester students do StrengthsFinder as part of the course. Since I wanted to know what my students were doing, I asked for a code and took the assessment as well. Now the university has printed up a placard with my name and strengths on it, and someone (not my boss) has asked us to display them on or near our office door. I’ve noticed some employees, mostly who work with first-year programs, have started using their strengths in their email signatures. A few students are also doing this. I wasn’t able to attend the training for employees about how we’re using this assessment, but the powerpoint from the training mentions including your strengths in your email signature.

It might just be that I’m a private person, but I don’t want to post my strengths on my office door. I definitely don’t want to include them in my email signature, especially when I’m sending emails to people outside our university. And I don’t want to encourage my students to use them in their email signatures. (Out of context, the strengths just look like a bunch of random words and aren’t useful. I cringe when I think about students emailing about potential internships or jobs with those signatures.)

Is this as weird as I think it is? Should I push back on it, or just quietly not do it? I don’t think anyone will notice or care if I don’t change my email signature and destroy my placard, and no one has told me to tell my students to change their email signatures. However, it’s pretty likely I will eventually be instructed to encourage my students on this. I feel like I would doing my students a disservice if I don’t tell them I think the strengths email signature is a bad idea.

First, for readers who aren’t familiar with StrengthsFinder, the strengths have names like woo, maximizer, relator, etc.

And yes, putting them in an email signature would be odd, and it’s going to strike a lot of email recipients as out-of-place and cheesy. And people who don’t know StrengthsFinder (and many people don’t!) are going to find it especially strange.

For yourself, I’d just quietly not do it. But you’re right that pushing students to do it would be a disservice to them, and if you see that happening, it’s worth pushing back on it. (And why oh why do schools persist in coming up with new and creative things for students to do that employers Do Not Want?)

2. Our boss refuses to wear hearing aids

Our boss has declining hearing issues and does have hearing aids; however refuses to use them. Her voice and music volume is distracting to the point that it’s hard for people to do their jobs. We’ve gently mentioned it to her before but she refuses to wear them because she can “hear us just fine.” It’s becoming an increasing problem.

We know that she won’t take the information well. That makes those of us on the management team anxious but we feel it’s our responsibility on behalf of the rest of the staff. Can you help give us a framework for a conversation about how to handle this?

Who on the management team has the best rapport with her? That’s probably the person who should do this. I’m interested to hear from readers with hearing loss, but my thought is to just be straightforward and matter-of-fact: “I know you’ve said you don’t wear your hearing aids because you can hear fine without them. But over the last year, you’ve been speaking more and more loudly and turning up your music higher, to the point that it’s making it tough for the staff to focus on their own work. Can you think of anything we can try that would help?”

3. I’m having networking regret

I have been working at a company for a few years. It’s basically a dream job; I get to do work I love, I genuinely like most of my coworkers, and the company culture is largely relaxed. However, due to new management, morale is very low, my hiring managers seem inept at doing their jobs currently do to limited resources, and I suspect most of my coworkers are looking to leave.

I’ve been looking casually for jobs for the past few months, but nothing seems as good as what I have despite my company’s problems. I have been reaching out to my network and past work contacts. Recently, I reached out to a manager at a company I might want to work at, but frankly think is beneath me. I’m not 100% sure I’d love doing work there on a daily basis, but I wanted to cover my bases in my job search.

This manager seems excited I reached out and wants to connect, but I can’t help feeling like working there is not right for me. I wanted to do my due diligence and keep my options open by reaching out to everyone I could think of for future work opportunities, but now I feel like I’ve made a serious misstep. I will surely take the meeting, but is it wrong to reach out to potential contacts about jobs when I’m not 100% sure I’d want to work at their company? If I take the meeting, learn more about the company, and still think I’d dislike working there, have I wasted their time/seem like a terrible person/burn a bridge for reaching out in the first place? When is it appropriate to reach out to a past work contact to inquire about open jobs at their company and how sure should you be about the company?

Reaching out to a contact doesn’t imply “I’ll definitely take a job if you offer me one.” It just says, “I’m interested in exploring opportunites with you because maybe this could be a good match.” You’re still allowed to turn any offer that results, whether it’s because of the salary, the work, the company culture, or any other factor.

That said, you should assume that anyone you contact could respond by wanting to set up a meeting, and if you wouldn’t be enthusiastic about taking that next step, it doesn’t make sense to send out the feeler. It’s fine not to be 100% sure, but if you feel like the company is beneath you and you wouldn’t like working there, it makes more sense to keep those for much later on, rather than putting them in the first tier of people you’re contacting in a casual search. Otherwise it’s not a super respectful use of their time (even though they may never know that).

4. Do people really wear Halloween costumes to work?

Before I found your blog, I thought dressing up for Halloween to go to work was something only done on TV sitcoms, or maybe by elementary school teachers or other populations primarily working with small children. Maybe people in retail or restaurant work as well. But every year you seem to get multiple questions centered around wearing costumes to work.

I am flummoxed that this is actually happening at workplaces. I’d be so interested to hear from your readers who have worked somewhere where people regularly dress up for Halloween. What kind of workplace is it, what city and country is it located in, etc.? I have spent my working life in legal and policy-oriented workplaces in Massachusetts and New York State, and I have truly never seen one coworker dress up for Halloween, beyond maybe bat earrings or a pumpkin pin on a sweater, or something along those lines. Who and where are these costume-wearing colleagues?

I’m not sure either! It hasn’t been a thing anywhere I’ve worked either, but yeah, judging by my mail, there are plenty of workplaces where it is. Readers?

5. Coworker keeps asking me to do physical labor

I am in a fairly new job where I work across multiple sites. I am happy to jump in and help in areas that are “other duties as assigned.” A coworker at a site where they’re understaffed has a physical job and is currently unable to do some of this very physical work assigned to them, with no end to this in sight. This person has started to expect that I have the time, energy, and physical ability to consistently help with this. I didn’t mind helping a few times, but I’m getting really tired of doing it regularly.

It’s not just that it’s annoying and an interruption to my workflow, but I recently aggravated an old injury. I also didn’t sign up for or take a regular physical labor job because I frankly don’t like to do it. I’m okay with some interruptions or physical work occasionally, e.g. a very occasional delivery arrives and it’s all hands on deck to get it where it needs to go or carrying things to set up for a once a year event. But this work is becoming at least a twice weekly occurrence. I don’t dress for work to do physical labor, my own job duties are picking up quite a bit, and it’s become increasingly frustrating to manage. This is especially true when they call for my help right when it needs to be done and seem aggravated that I need an additional 10-15 minutes to wrap up what I’m working on. Sometimes it’s taken the time that I would otherwise spend on eating my lunch and taking a break.

It’s not that I can’t help sometimes, but I really don’t want to do this all the time. I have asked that they give me warnings when they need my help and an approximate time early in the day so I can plan for it or give them my availability. Success has been so-so. I’ve tried saying I am not available on particularly busy days, but I get pushback, “well, what am I supposed to do?” I don’t want to, especially in a newer role, seem unhelpful , but I can’t keep up with doing this work that isn’t mine to begin with.

You recently aggravated an old injury! That in itself is all you need to explain — “I recently aggravated an old injury so I won’t be able to help with this anymore.” Period. If your coworker asks what they’re supposed to do, say, “You should talk with (manager) about who can help with this. I’m not physically able to do it going forward.”

That’s such an easy and clear explanation for why you’re not helping more that you should use it. But if you didn’t have that, it would still be reasonable to say, “I can help out on occasion when you’re in a pinch, like maybe once every few weeks, but I can’t do this regularly. Can you talk with (manager) about how to handle it from here?” Also, when they ask for your help, it’s okay to just say, “I’m sorry, I can’t help with that today because of other work I need to take care of.”

I get that you don’t want to seem unhelpful, but it’s actually unhelpful to your employer if you keep doing this and grow increasingly frustrated and enable them in not finding a real solution to the problem (which they can certainly find — they’d find one if you weren’t stepping in).

boss refuses to wear hearing aids, putting strengths in your email signature, and more was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

01 Nov 22:01

buy-skulls: ***IMPORTANT ELEPHANT VIDEO!!*** My child as an...

Kate

lol



buy-skulls:

***IMPORTANT ELEPHANT VIDEO!!***

My child as an elephant

01 Nov 18:17

What’s Your ‘Sliding Doors’ Moment?

by Caroline Donofrio
Kate

I have a few, mostly around A. choosing schools and B. choosing jobs

I wonder what my life would have been like had I taken a job as an editor's assistant at Houghton Mifflin right after graduation. But I turned it down to work at the Gardner. Had I not taken that museum job, I wouldn't be at THIS museum job... and my entire post-college social network would be radically different.

Sliding Doors

Last week, I walked down a street I had almost lived on…

…with another person, in another time, and I wondered, “What if…?”

In the movie Sliding Doors, Gwyneth Paltrow plays Helen, a woman whose life goes in two wildly different directions based on whether she does or doesn’t catch a train.… Read more

The post What’s Your ‘Sliding Doors’ Moment? appeared first on A Cup of Jo.

30 Oct 16:15

Heavyweight’s Jonathan Goldstein in the Hot Seat

by Skye Pillsbury
Kate

any other Heavyweight listeners? These are great, consistently funny but also really touching, too.

The host of Gimlet Media’s hit podcast talks career choices, those phone calls with Jackie, and why he still gets hung up on stuff.

It’s 2017 and I’m sitting in my car, listening to the Heavyweight season two finale. In its final moments, the host mentions that the show is looking for stories. If I’m being honest, I’ve been waiting for this moment. I have a story. And most motivating of all, my kids want me to pursue it. In seemingly slow motion, I take out my laptop and pound out a pitch, hit the “send” button. I feel sure I won’t hear back, and the receipt of an auto-reply seems to confirm my hunch. I feel secretly relieved— but not for long. Within 24 hours I’m on the phone with Heavyweight producer Kalila Holt and a beautiful and terrifying journey has begun.

That’s the origin story of episode #17, “Skye.” The premise of Heavyweight is simple: host Jonathan Goldstein eases friends and listeners, and sometimes himself, into revisiting and redeeming regrets. In its most well-known installment, Goldstein attempts to get a friend’s CD set back from electronica musician Moby; in another he brokers a meeting between a permanently disabled man and the driver who caused his injuries. In every scenario, Goldstein’s able to strike the perfect emotional tone while imbuing each story with humor and whimsy.

Earlier this year, I sat down with Jonathan to ask him all the questions I had stored away while he (and his team of producers) created “Skye.”

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

How did you develop the idea for Heavyweight?

We tried all kinds of things. Alex [Blumberg, founder of Gimlet Media] thought it could be about anything — like we could call it Jonathan Goldstein Walks into Buildings, where I wander into interesting buildings to see what’s going on inside. That probably wouldn’t have been that great of a show. Another idea was to call it Jonathan Goldstein, Medicine Woman where I try to cure the ills of people. At one point we bandied about the idea of sending me to the airport with a sealed envelope containing my destination and mission.

That sounds glamorous.

No — not glamorous — Alex wanted to put me in uncomfortable situations. That’s where he thinks I flourish. If he could, I think Alex would parachute me naked into a jungle, wearing nothing but recording equipment.

In the end, it was like one of those Hasidic tales where you try all kinds of different things, and they end up leading back to the simplest thing that was there all along. I had this one story in my head about how my father and his brother hadn’t spoken in forty years. And from that one story, the show started to take shape. After season one the trick was to see if I could transfer the premise and make it work with people I didn’t know.

And was that because you felt like you had exhausted your own stories?

That was part of it. I didn’t have high hopes for it working because the best episodes of the show tended to be personal — almost hyper-personal. But then it ended up being really rewarding and allowed me to be surprised and form new connections and care about other people. Like in your case, the mention of your son caught my eye. There was something instantly relatable about the idea that you had to do this thing for your child.

[In my pitch to Heavyweight I explained that when I was twelve, four girlfriends had come to my house in the middle of the night and written “F**K YOU” on our garage doors. I never spoke to those girls again. My eleven-year-old son Clark had encouraged me to find out why they did it. “I’ll never have the courage to do this on my own. Perhaps Jonathan can help,” read my note.]

When did you know that my story would become an episode?

The decisive thing was that you and Clark had a really nice rapport. All our stories up until that point were about one person who wanted to do something. Your story was made richer and more complex by the connection to your son. The listener hears the story through your ears — but they also hear it through Clark’s ears; they hear how Clark interprets it. That gave the story stakes.

We also loved talking to your mom. We were charmed by so much of what she said. We asked her how she became a poet and what her relationship was like with her mom. She read us this poem that she wrote about watching you sleep, when you were a baby — it was beautiful. We really liked being able to incorporate all three generations.

There was also something about the atmosphere of your episode that we all fell in love with. [Producer Jorge Just] became very protective of carving out a space in the midst of it that had this dreamy, late-at-night feeling.

Did anything surprise you during the making of the episode?

Before I set out to California, Alex said I should find a studio where Clark and I could watch you talking to your old friend Tessa. I thought that that would be insanity — a formula for complete weirdness. But it worked out. It’s still hard to believe that it worked out as well as it did.

And then — when I left the hatchback door open! I felt bad — but also like, this is great! That’s the safety net of always recording your experience. It’s like, I’m embarrassing myself, but for a purpose.

People asked me if you did that deliberately.

I’m not that much of an evil genius.

Has there ever been a story that you thought would be perfect for the show but didn’t work out?

Many of them. One was about this woman who had never met her father. She’d been told by her mother that he was no good. She went to his funeral as a child and the one thing that she remembered was that there was this guy who was missing two fingers, standing over the casket, crying inconsolably.

So she grows up and has kids and she wants to tell them something good about their grandfather. Her family says don’t bother. But she remembers how this one guy cared enough about her father to cry at his funeral. He must know something that they don’t.

It’s so cinematic — this guy with two fingers, why was he crying?

Somehow we tracked down the guest list to the funeral. And then [producer Kalila Holt] started googling names and finds an insurance claim regarding the wrongful loss of two fingers. It was part of a lawsuit or something. And we’re like — this is our guy!

It was exciting. We’re thinking, all we have to do is call this guy up on the telephone. He’ll say something nice about this woman’s father and — bingo bango, play the theme song — we’re out! But I call him up and he wanted nothing to do with me. And so I call him up again with the woman on the phone — I figured he couldn’t refuse with her on the call. But he just would not play ball — he actually said, “don’t call here again.” We poured a lot of energy into that one.

In the episode “Jeremy” from season one, you mention that at one point you considered becoming a rabbi. Does that same impulse animate Heavyweight?

I’m flattered by that question. Perhaps. The Jews’ relationship with God is one of wrestling. We don’t take things at face value — our questioning is a part of the wrestling. And there’s this idea of showing vulnerability, of letting people live vicariously through your stumbling.

I was just re-listening to S-Town. And I was struck by how much [creator Brian Reed] shows his own vulnerability; it humanizes him. He doesn’t always say the right thing — but he keeps it in the tape, because people relate to that. You can have good writing and clever jokes. But the thing that is the most lasting, the thing that people connect with most is vulnerability.

Are you always pondering these things outside of work — like in your day-to-day life?

Oh yes. With the most personal episodes, the focus is usually about something I can’t get over. It’s a quest for some kind of understanding. I’m at an age where I can now have decades piled up between myself and a troubling experience. If something has stuck around for twenty or thirty years, it says to me that there’s something meaningful to explore there.

We’re taught to look forward or “be in the moment.” But I’ve always felt more comfortable in the past. I remember, as a kid, I was with a friend and I was talking about what a great time we’d had the previous summer. And he said something like, “Jonathan you live in the past.” I was ten years old.

Has the dynamic with people who approach the show with a story idea changed now that you are more known?

When I talk to people, I try to put it out of my head. Like when you and I talked for the first time — maybe it was weird for the first couple of minutes, but it probably gave way pretty quickly, right?

It did. On our first call, I remember saying that I felt a little intimidated. It was just so weird to hear your voice coming out of my phone. But you said something like, “oh don’t worry, that feeling will wear off in five minutes.” It broke the ice.

That’s good to hear. I think I’m more concerned about my own nervousness. Once I’m comfortable, then things are okay.

How did the idea of calling your friend Jackie at the beginning of every episode happen?

It was kind of a last-minute decision to do that. Initially each episode was going to start with me on the Brooklyn G train. I’m kind of dozing off and the recorded voice that usually says, “stand clear of the closing doors” was going to start talking to me about that week’s episode. We produced one intro — but it was almost like producing a whole episode. It was a lot of work. We realized it wasn’t sustainable. So then I just had this thought — let’s call Jackie. It was a last-ditch effort. I played the first one for Alex and he liked it.

People love those calls.

She was in New York a few weeks ago and I went to see her. We were hanging out in the lobby of a hotel and I showed her all the tweets about how much people really enjoy her and think she’s hilarious and find her laugh so infectious — but it really doesn’t mean that much to her. Or so she claims. Maybe she’s just hostile and withholding.

Is there anything you want your listeners to take away from those calls?

I guess that people shouldn’t see me as a voice of authority. I’m just a schmuck who gets hung up on stuff.

If this is the first time you’ve heard of the Heavyweight podcast, get started with “Gregor,” “Jeremy” or “Skye.”

Editor’s Note: “Skye” just received a nomination for Best Audio Documentary from the International Documentary Association (IDA).

The Bello Collective is a publication + newsletter about podcasts and the audio industry. Our goal is to bring together writers, journalists, and other voices who share a passion for the world of audio storytelling.

Subscribe to the Bello Collective fortnightly newsletter for more stories, podcast recommendations, audio industry news, and more. Support our work and join our community by becoming a member.


Heavyweight’s Jonathan Goldstein in the Hot Seat was originally published in Bello Collective on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

28 Oct 18:59

weekend free-for-all – October 26-27, 2019

by Ask a Manager
Kate

sharing for #catbuttcontent

3 cats climbing in an enormous cat treeThis comment section is open for any non-work-related discussion you’d like to have with other readers, by popular demand. (This one is truly no work and no school.)

Book recommendation of the week: Life Undercover: Coming of Age in the CIA, by Amaryllis Fox. This is a memoir about her time undercover for the CIA, and OMG it is fascinating, especially the details around how she was trained, how her cover was created (and costumed), and how she did her job.

* I make a commission if you use that Amazon link.

weekend free-for-all – October 26-27, 2019 was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

24 Oct 19:49

Smashed Potatoes Recipe

by Kate
Kate

Versions of this recipe (boil small potatoes then smash and bake) are so easy and basically fool proof. Good brunch dish for a crowd.

I highly recommend this because smashing each potato individually is therapeutic, as is laying another sheet pan atop all the potatoes and banging down on that too for a similar effect.

I did a quick pan with my camera over the mound of smashed potatoes that I made for my family a few months ago and am still getting requests for my recipe.

It’s perhaps the most simple recipe on the planet, but there is a certain process you need to follow to yield the best result!

First, choose your potatoes wisely. I chose Yukon Gold for this batch, but I’ve also used new potatoes and have really enjoyed those too. Basically, stay away from russet potatoes for this recipe, and make sure whatever you choose isn’t much bigger than a golf ball in size.

Smashed Potatoes

yields: however many potatoes you have, I generally have about 8-10 in my recipe

Ingredients:

new potatoes or Yukon Gold

butter

cooking spray

salt

optional toppings: fresh rosemary, grated parmesan, fresh parsley, cheddar, garlic

  1. Boil potatoes until fork-tender.
  2. Place potatoes on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray
  3. With a fork, press against the top of each potato, smashing it about 3/4 of the way down.
  4. Brush with melted butter, sprinkle a generous amount of salt on top, and top with your choice of additional toppings. These are also fantastic just with butter and salt so if you don’t have any of the additional toppings on hand, don’t worry. I also save the herbs for sprinkling after I broil/bake the potatoes for the last step.
  5. Place in oven under broiler until browned on top and crispy. Alternatively, you can roast in a 450-degree oven for about 10 minutes, watching closely to make sure they don’t burn.

Enjoy!

 

24 Oct 17:39

A Step-by-Step Guide to a Great Skincare Routine

by Helena
Kate

I loved when we were sharing skincare shelfies so here's a little #skincarecontent because I've recently switched retinoids (from differin to tretinoin) and I hope it makes all my skincare dreams come true.

Someday, I hope to be brave enough to try Biologique P50.

 

A Step-by-Step Guide to a Great Skincare RoutineSkincare can be intimidating, especially if it’s something you’re new to. If you’re someone who wants to incorporate a good regimen, but not entirely sure where to start, this post is for you! Let’s call it a ‘Beginner’s Guide to a Great Skincare Routine…’

Okay, maybe it’s not as straight forward as that, but I’m here to break it down, step-by-step, as far as what I think makes for a really thorough morning and night routine. However, for the sake of not completely overwhelming, I did not include any masks or at-home treatments. I’ll save that for another day.

MORNING ROUTINE:

Light Cleanse:

I’ve heard some experts say that cleansing your face in the morning is not necessary but personally, I feel sort of icky if I don’t. I do an extremely light cleanse with whatever gel or milky cleanser I’m using at the moment. Currently, I am rotating between this one from Elemis and this one from Indie Lee. You may have heard me talk a lot about balm or oil cleansers, but those I only use at night as part of my first cleanse (more on that in my night routine.)

Tone: 

After cleansing, I’ll tone my face. This not only helps balance out your skin, but it’s also a nice way to prep it for the products you’re going to follow up with.  I recently started using this one from Indie Lee and I really like how nice and gentle it is for a morning routine.

Vitamin C:

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps shield your skin from free radicals. In English: it helps protect your skin from pollution, UVA & UVB Rays and aids as a barrier against the powerful sun, especially when paired with SPF. I know that some people will use Vitamin C at night, but I’ve always been taught that it’s a product best suited for a morning routine. Ask any expert and they will all agree: if you were to incorporate two anti-aging ingredients into your routine, it should be Vitamin C and retinol (more on retinol in my night routine.) After I tone, I apply my Vitamin C, wait a few minutes while I do other things (so it really soaks in) and then proceed with the below steps.

My favorite is this one from Skinceuticals but for one that is easier on the wallet, I really like this one from Ole Henriksen and this one from TATCHA. I also heard incredible things about this one from Obagi, so that’s next on my list to try since.

Eye Cream: 

Next, I apply an eye cream. For my morning routine, I look for one that feels moisturizing, absorbs nicely and gives me a smooth surface, without feeling too thick. On most days, even if I don’t wear foundation, I will wear under eye concealer, so having a hydrated (but not too oily) surface is key.

I’ve been really liking this one from Ole Henriksen and this one from Elemis.

Hyaluronic Acid: 

I was debating on whether I should add this step because it’s not completely necessary. I didn’t want to overwhelm you all, being that it is supposed to be a simplified routine. On the other hand, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t LOVE adding a HA product into my routine and that I didn’t feel a noticeable difference when using one. The simplest way to put it is that HA is like a drink of water for your skin. It hydrates & plumps while making my complexion look bouncier. I feel a difference when I don’t use one in the morning so for me, it’s a must; especially as we approach the colder months. I apply it after Vitamin C and wait 2-3 minutes before continuing on with my routine.

My favorites: this one from Skinceuticals, this one from PCA and one that’s way easier on the wallet, this one from Jordan Samuel Skin.

Moisturizer:

Now I will say that on many occasions I go straight to my tinted SPF without applying a underneath moisturizer. In the warmer months (or if your skin is particularly oily) I find that, with the addition of Hyaluronic Acid, the SPF is moisturizing enough. On the other hand, if your skin is dry, if it’s the dead of winter or if you’re wearing heavier face makeup after, you can certainly apply something before your SPF. It’s really about listening to your skin and figuring out what it needs. I can assure you can get to a point where you’ll be able to tell!

On days I use a moisturizer underneath, my favorites are rather simple: Ultra Repair Cream and  Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped.

SPF:

Unless I know I’m 100% not leaving the house, I wear my facial SPF daily – even on cloudy days. I prefer a tinted one, as I find that it replaces a tinted moisturizer and makes my skin look a little peppier. I don’t wear foundation on most days so this works perfectly for me, but you can certainly layer whatever makeup you use on top. As I mentioned above, if you’re wearing foundation with a bit of coverage, you may need a bit of moisturizer underneath your SPF. Listen to your skin! If the foundation looks like it’s settling, rather than gliding, into your skin, the SPF alone is probably not moisturizing enough.

Friendly reminder: If your chest is exposed, don’t forget your chest and your hands!

My favorites facial SPFS are: PCA Sheer TintElta MD Tinted 

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NIGHT ROUTINE: 

Cleansing:

My night routine always starts out with a double cleanse. Yes, even if I’m not wearing makeup and yes, even if I don’t leave my house. Your first cleanse should always be with a balm or oil cleanser applied to dry skin. This is your opportunity to take a minute or two to really melt away your makeup, SPF or to just get the blood flowing. Afterward, I take a muslin (facial) cloth that I ran under warm water and wipe everything away. If you’re wearing makeup, then it is extremely gratifying seeing the cloth wipe everything away. Think about it: there’s no way a simple swipe of water and cleanser will properly remove what the cloth is removing. This is why this step is so important and why many people who experience bad breakouts will see a noticeable difference once this step is incorporated.

A question I get asked often pertains to the cloths. Yes, I use a clean cloth every single time I do the first step. I then throw in a little hamper that I keep in my bathroom and wash those with my towels, once or twice or a week. I have a ton of cloths! My favorite ones are on the thicker side, but the ones I’ve shared before are also a good option. They’re a lot thinner, but work well enough if you don’t have a lot of makeup on.

My favorite balm and oil cleansers are: Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm, Bobbi Brown Soothing Cleansing Oil and the Plantastic Cleansing Balm from Beauty Pie.

After the first cleanse, I do a light second cleanse. I don’t use a cloth and I’m less thoughtful about it unless I have a ton of makeup on. If I’m coming home from an event or a wedding and the makeup is heavy, I may even use a 2nd cloth with this cleanse; but typically, it is a quick one. I usually use a gel cleanser and will apply to my skin for 15 seconds and wash away with water. I then pat dry with a towel and I’m ready for my next step. The gel cleanser that I use for my second cleanse is typically the same one I will use as my morning cleanse. At the moment, I rotate between this one and this one, as mentioned above.

Toning: 

After I cleanse, I always use a toner. Toning will get off any bits your cleansers may have missed and will properly prep your skin for the next steps.

A couple of days a week, I will use Biologique P50, which I’ve spoken about so many times. It’s a holy grail product for me. On other days, I like to alternate with Pixi Glow. The toners I use at night are typically a bit stronger than the one I use in the morning. You certainly do not need all of the ones I’m mentioning so if you’re new to using a toner, Pixi Glow is a great place to start. I always have a bottle on hand and if you just own this one, that’s totally fine. P50 is an investment product, but it’s holy grail status for me. You can read more about it here if you’re up for it. If this is too much information already, skip it and save it for another time.

On days I use P50, I typically will follow with a good moisturizing combination (more on that below.) On days I don’t use it, I usually follow with a treatment like a retinol (3x a week.)

Eye Cream:

Unlike my day eye cream, I prefer one that’s rich and decadent at night. My favorite is probably Shiseido Benefiance. I also really like Kiehl’s Avocado Eye Cream and I’ve had it in my rotation for years. I don’t think it performs miracles (then again, I don’t think any eye cream really does) but it’s incredibly rich, hydrating and just makes my eye area feel great. Also, when I asked on IG what everyones favorite nighttime eye cream was, many recommend this one from Neocutis, saying it’s one of the best in the market. I have yet to try, but you better believe, I ordered it! I’ll post an update after a few weeks of using.

Treatment-like Retinol: 

About 2-3x a week, I use a retinol (when I am not pregnant or nursing) after using a milder toner like Pixi Glow. Sunday Riley A+ makes a great one as does Jordan Samuel Skin (milder and at such a great price point.) Also, if you’re a member (or considering) of Beauty Pie, they make some great retinols.  You could also get a prescription from your derm; those will typically be stronger, so keep that in mind. If you go that route, talk to your derm on how to properly use and how often. Retinols do not work overnight but overtime, they are proven to be the #1 way to slow down the signs of aging. The studies have been endless. On the days I’m using a retinol, I like to wait a few minutes and then follow up with moisture, which I share below.

Something to note: if you’re using another type of treatment, it’s either that or the retinol. Do not use both. During my pregnancy, I’ve avoided retinol but I’ve been using Sunday Riley Good Genes which is a gentle, lactic acid treatment.

Treatment Serums:

On non-retinol days, after toning I typically use a serum. Serums are nutrient-dense and loaded with all types of goodness, so it’s best to keep them as close to the skin as possible. They are left on overnight so they can really work their magic.

The main difference between a serum and a face oil is that serums are meant to target specific concerns, whereas oils are intended to moisturize. Serums are typically intended to be layered under a moisturizer. Oils are typically intended to seal everything in.

Vintner’s Daughter is my favorite (went into detail about it here) but it has a very hefty price-tag. If I use VD, I like to apply it in the beginning of the night and let it soak in before I apply anything else. Another option is Midnight Recovery from Kiehl’s. I also really love Farmacy Honeymoon Glow. It’s on the stronger side, so don’t use it more than 1-2x a week. Again, you do not need all three, but I wanted to give you guys options.

Moisturizer:  

Much like my eye cream, I prefer a thicker moisturizer at night. Between that and a face oil, I like to look like you could fry an egg on my face (and eventually, my skin will soak it up.) This one from First Aid Beauty is super simple & right to the point, but a great product. I also really the Protini Cream from Drunk Elephant.

*Something to note: For the sake of not confusing anyone, the above breakdown does not account for Augustinus Bader Rich Cream. If this is already too much information, skip this note. However, if you’re interested in how I use Bader: On my Bader nights, I will double cleanse, tone, use eye cream and then apply the cream. I don’t use anything else before or after as it’s meant to be applied on bare skin. Some will even say to skip the toner, but I don’t. I usually use it with P50 and it’s what works best for me. I love it so much and out of all the products out on the market, my skin looks significantly happier when it is part of my routine. Again, hefty price tag but in my opinion, very worth it. Especially if you’re in your mid-thirties or older. 

Face Oils:

After my moisturizer (not including Augustinus Bader), I like to seal it in with a face oil. Again, this step isn’t exactly necessary, but it’s luxurious and I really find that it helps with keeping my face looking and feeling hydrated. There are also several great face oils out there that do not have to break the bank. Recently, I’ve found out about this one from Face Hero and I’ve really been loving it. Other favorites include this one from Jordan Samuel and this one from Indie Lee – both at such great price points.

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And there you have it! Please let me know if you have any questions in the comment section and I’ll try to answer them all. Again, this routine does this account for masks or treatment products. Hopefully you found this helpful!

23 Oct 18:32

Dumb & Dumber (Mommy and Me) Costume!

by Laura Gummerman
Kate

lol ok this is really funny

Hahaha, I bet you weren’t expecting this costume from me this year, but look how fun it is!! I literally couldn’t stop laughing the entire time we had them on … the whole thing is just too funny. It basically all started last year when I realized Lola’s oatmeal hair looked just like Harry Dunne’s mane and the idea has been rolling around in my head ever since! Originally, we were going to do a full family costume with Todd as Lloyd and me as Mary, but when I saw how fun it looked to be in the tuxedos I told Todd I wanted to share the Lloyd costume instead because I had major FOMO about it—ha! He gets to be Lloyd on actual Halloween though, so he’ll get his turn …

It’s always a gamble with babies or toddlers and costumes as you have NO IDEA if they will wear any part of their outfit. But this year Lola was immediately into the tuxedo and the cane and hat made her even more excited to wear her look. Although I guess most kids will be happy if you give them a stick they can run around and hit things with! The toddler Harry costume came with the shirt (it’s a dickey that just covers the front, so you’ll want a shirt underneath that if trick-or-treating in the cold), jacket, pants, and hat, and then I got shoes in the same color and made canes for us from dowel rods, paint, and white tape. I also took a piece of blue felt and sewed an elastic waistband on it to make a 2-minute cummerbund, but this would also be a great option!

My Lloyd costume was a “one-size-fits-all,” so I had to take it in quite a bit to fit me and I got this hat instead as it was a much better option than the soft foldable one that comes with the costume set. I couldn’t find a Lloyd wig that had good reviews, so I ended up getting this one and giving it a little bit of a haircut to make it look more like his—not too bad! Also, you can’t be Lloyd without the chip in your tooth (which is actually Jim Carry’s real tooth in the movie with his tooth cap removed) so I used this tooth blackener and it worked really well! It seems like a small detail but that chipped tooth really makes the whole look and is 90% of why I couldn’t stop laughing when I looked in a mirror.

If you want to swap roles, here’s a kid’s Lloyd costume and the adult Harry costume if that fits your style better! I figured this was probably the last year of us picking Lola’s costume for her and she can decide on her own next year what she wants to be, so I thought we would make it a fun one (and I think we hit the mark)! The real question is if she’ll want to do more family costumes in the future and I think she may. “So you’re telling me there’s a chance!” xo. Laura

Credits//Author: Laura Gummerman. Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
23 Oct 03:37

Small Kindnesses

by swissmiss

This is beautiful.

21 Oct 20:34

your lunch might be stolen from your office fridge today

by Ask a Manager
Kate

In Former Job, a coworker brought in leftover pizza from his favorite place, a pizza joint 45 minutes from our office in his hometown. He brought the leftovers into the office IN THE PIZZA BOX, and stashed them in the fridge unlabeled.

Anybody paying close attention would have noticed this out-of-town-pizza was not "lunch meeting leftover pizza" but whatever, it was eaten because it sure looked like "lunch meeting leftover pizza."

Said coworker realized what happened and flipped his shit. He stood on his chair in our open floor plan office (easily 50 people in good earshot), shouting out his fury to the office and DEMANDING pizza reparations in the form of $25 cash. No offender ever came forward, and he took to labeling his food containers in gigantic red sharpie after that.

Ever after, we referred to people getting mad about work stuff as taking a "pizza stand."

Office lunch thefts plague offices everywhere, and  no one has found a good solution yet.

One survey found that 18% of workers admitted to eating someone else’s lunch from the office fridge – that’s nearly one in five of the people sitting in your next meeting who might be plotting to waylay your Lean Cuisine.

Lunch thieves are among us. At Slate today, I wrote about this terrible scourge, including many firsthand accounts from victims (including one man who was reduced to running through the halls, shouting “Who stole my meat?”). You can read it here.

your lunch might be stolen from your office fridge today was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

15 Oct 21:44

What are the biggest misconceptions about homelessness?

by Mike Rothschild
Kate

Interesting stats about a topic I know next to nothing about

homelessness myths

Homelessness in America is generally on the rise and a number of cities are dealing with large populations of chronically un-housed people. This has resulted in a number of state and local problems, including disease outbreaks, local governments spending huge amounts of money with little result, and even violent attacks.

But homelessness in America has also developed a number of myths and misconceptions that make it difficult to separate fact from fiction. As with any large-scale problem, much of what is believed and passed around about the homeless is either untrue or no longer accurate. And it drives policy decisions and baseless fear in wealthier communities.

Here are some of the most prevalent myths about homelessness in the U.S.

Homelessness myths, debunked

Has homelessness increased in the United States?

According to data from the National Alliance to End Homelessness, “between 2017 and 2018, homelessness increased slightly by 0.3 percent or 1,834 people.” But since 2007, when the Department of Housing and Urban Development began keeping track, homelessness has actually dropped about 15 percent overall, with larger drops among veterans and families.

Do most homeless people sleep on Skid Row?

It’s a popular perception that most major cities have some kind of run-down tent city where the homeless are more likely to congregate. But this has largely changed other than in Los Angeles, where the original infamous Skid Row originated. 

Even in L.A. County, the homeless population is about 59,000—with only about 4,800 on the city’s Downtown Skid Row. Many other large cities have bulldozed or gentrified what was once their Skid Row, including New York and Chicago. A large portion of people without proper shelter either live in suburbs, rural areas, or in their cars—not in a centrally located part of town. 

Are most homeless individuals mentally ill?

In 1963, the U.S. embarked on a large-scale closing of long-term psychiatric institutions, resulting in many of these individuals becoming homeless—and leaving nowhere for these people to go since then. Subsequent studies have found that while homeless people are more likely to suffer from severe mental illness, mental illness is not one of the overall leading causes of losing one’s housing. Between one-quarter and one-third of the homeless population likely has some form of mental illness, but U.S. mayors generally believe that long-term joblessness, poverty, and lack of affordable housing are the top initial causes of homelessness.

Do homeless people typically move to warmer climates to live on the streets?

Not generally.

For 2018 in San Francisco, about 70% of people identified as homeless were also longtime residents of the area. The numbers are similar for L.A. County, where about 65% of homeless people have resided there for more than 20 years. New York City has the highest individual homeless population of any city, and even states with the most extreme cold weather have some population of people without adequate shelter.

The higher proportion of homeless in California is almost certainly due to housing prices, rather than an influx of people from out of state.

homelessness myths Adam Conover/Twitter

Are most homeless people addicted to drugs or alcohol?

Homelessness and substance abuse are often intertwined, with one leading to or worsening the other. But overall, only about 26% of homeless have a serious drug problem, with a slightly higher percentage having a similar problem with alcohol. For the general population, studies show about 8-9% of adults dealing with substance abuse. So the number in the homeless population is higher, but not a majority. 

Do most homeless people choose to be homeless?

The idea that homelessness is a popular choice among people who refuse to work is a powerful one. In response to the sharp uptick in American homelessness in the 1980s, President Reagan claimed in 1984 that “the people who are sleeping on the grates … the homeless … are homeless, you might say, by choice,” and added in 1988 that the people sleeping on benches just a few hundred yards from the White House “make it their own choice for staying out there.″ 

But when offered the opportunity to obtain permanent housing, the majority of homeless people readily take it. Other studies have found that homelessness increases every time a city sees major rent increases—showing that losing one’s home is far more often a consequence of high rents, rather than a choice.

Are most homeless people on the street because they refuse to work?

The myth that a homeless person will be shamed into getting their life together by yelling “get a job” at them is undercut by statistics.

In one 2018 survey, 13 percent of homeless people in San Francisco report having a part or full-time job. Other studies have found that about 44% of the homeless did some kind of paid labor during a 30-day period, and about 55% worked during the year while they were homeless. Many chronically under-housed people, living on someone’s couch or in a shelter, work two or three jobs—with none paying enough to remedy their situation. In many cities, it would take over 100 hours of minimum wage work per week to make median rent.

Is homelessness permanent?

According to a 2014 HUD survey, about one-in-six homeless people have been on the streets for over a year. The typical duration of homelessness is usually a few days.

Do homeless shelters or low-income housing depress the value of nearby properties?

Housing prices in areas with large-scale services for the homeless generally remain high. While areas directly near these housing units do sometimes see upticks in minor crimes like loitering, overall, they don’t see plummeting home values—and many have active gentrification going on.

There’s no data that shows the building of homeless shelters or affordable housing in a highly-populated area has any overall negative impact on the residents there.

READ MORE:

The post What are the biggest misconceptions about homelessness? appeared first on The Daily Dot.

14 Oct 04:54

Satisfying to Watch

by swissmiss
Kate

my museum has several sol lewitt pieces and one of them required the work of more than a dozen professional draftspeople almost two months to create a large scale scribble gradient

https://www.albrightknox.org/artworks/200724a-c-wall-drawing-1268-scribbles-staircase-akag

View this post on Instagram

Gradual Gradient

A post shared by Cj Hendry (@cj_hendry) on

09 Oct 11:33

is it okay to write my partner’s cover letters, I don’t want to sign a petition about bathrooms, and more

by Ask a Manager
Kate

LW1 - major red flags. Run, now.

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. Is it okay for me to write my partner’s cover letters and apply to jobs on his behalf?

My partner and I both have MAs in English Literature, but decided not to pursue doctorates/specialization because 1) not a lot of jobs 2) we wanted to do more community service work than ivory tower.

Unfortunately, it feels like we’re starting over completely and like every application is a Hail Mary. This has weighed really heavily on us both, but my partner struggles with it a bit more. He’s so so so unhappy at his temporary factory job, but a year of applying and getting rejected has taken its toll. Applying gives him so much stress and anxiety that sometimes he can’t even finish the application before it closes. It took him two weeks to finish a cover letter once. This is very much not like him. Is it okay for me to do the application for him, cover letter and form filling, etc., as long as he reviews it and is the one to hit submit?

Some people might say yes, but I’d say no — at least where the cover letter is concerned. The cover letter is supposed to be written by him. It’s supposed to be a sample of his written communication skills. That’s true about 10 times over if the jobs he’s applying for have writing as part of their focus, but it’s true even if they don’t.

The rest of it — filling out application forms, etc. — isn’t nearly as much of a problem in and of itself. But it speaks to a bigger problem: that your partner is in a state where he can’t job search on his own. By stepping in and doing it for him, you might be papering over the deeper problem (or not — he might be tackling that head-on and it’s just not mentioned here).

Most importantly for you, I worry about what this means for your own job search. Handling two job searches at one time will burn you out (and then who will help you, if your partner already can’t?) or take away from the bandwidth you have for your own applications.

2. I don’t want to sign a petition about bathrooms at work

My company rents space from another company which has the whole floor of a building. That company uses about a third of the floor and rents out the other space, mostly to small firms and independent workers. The floor has two sets of bathrooms. Of the 60 or so people who work on the floor, maybe 12-15 are women, with eight of those working for my company. The owner of the space and the other renters are in industries that are typically male dominated. Because of the gender break-down of the occupants, there are three men’s bathrooms and one women’s bathroom. Our space is on the opposite side of the building from the women’s bathroom, about a three-minute walk away.

My boss is circulating a petition among the other tenants to make one of the men’s bathrooms into a women’s bathroom. I’m sensitive to the long walk and the need for some women to need the trip to the bathroom to be shorter. However, as a person who suffers from GI issues that mean I can need an unoccupied toilet quickly, I don’t know how to broach my concerns that I’m really not on board with this idea.

So the petition is asking to have one women’s room and one men’s room at each end of the building, not taking away the men’s room that’s currently near you, right? Assuming so … that seems pretty damn reasonable, and more in line with what an office building would normally have. I hear you on the GI issues, but what about women on your end of the building who might have their own GI issues and currently have to walk three minutes to the nearest bathroom?

Ethically, I think you have to support the petition. I suppose you could suggest a compromise of turning one of the mens’ bathrooms near you into a gender-neutral bathroom. But I don’t think you can ethically support keeping things are they are now, with the women stuck with a three-minute walk.

3. A bad connection ruined my video interview

I recently applied for a job that is at a regional office in my city, but the company is headquartered on the opposite coast. About a week ago, I had a 45-minute phone interview with the recruiter. We had amazing rapport and a there was a clear connection between what they are looking for in a candidate and what I’m looking for in a company. They then asked me to do a 30-minute interview via a video service with the woman at headquarters who would be my manager.

The second interview was a disaster. There was a major sound lag between us — 10-20 seconds delay, even after we turned off video. The call even dropped once completely. I had to ask her to repeat herself many times and she had to do the same for me. I did my best to stay upbeat and look for solutions to the tech challenges, but I was genuinely flustered. I know my answers to her questions came across rambling and off-topic. They WERE rambling and off-topic — I was hearing her response to what I was saying 10 seconds after I said it, while I was in the middle answering her previous question from 10 seconds before that. It was a nightmare.

We did our best to end on a positive note, but I could tell she was frustrated and unenthusiastic about my responses. Justifiably — the whole conversation was a jumbled mess! A couple hours later, I emailed the recruiter this: “Would you be so kind as to pass along my thanks to [manager] for her time? Also, please let her know I’d be happy to speak again if she would like to follow up — we had an unfortunately choppy hangout connection that made conversation a challenge this morning.”

Was this an appropriate message to send? Is/was there anything else I could do to salvage this situation? I’m kicking myself for not suggesting we switch to a standard phone call as soon as it became clear video messaging wasn’t going to work for us.

Ugh, that sucks! I’m sorry. Your message was perfectly appropriate. In fact, you could have been even more blunt if you wanted to — as in, “We had a very bad connection on the video that made conversation pretty challenging, and I’m worried that it made it hard for Jane to get a good sense of my fit for the role. I know these things happen, but I’d be happy to talk with her again if either of you think that would be helpful — maybe this time by phone!”

You could even send a version of that now. You could email the recruiter with something like, “Thinking back on my conversation with Jane, I’m worried our technical issues were so severe (and affected my ability to hear what she was asking and target my responses) that it might have left her with a different sense of my fit for the role than she would have otherwise had! I’m not sure if you’ve had feedback from her yet, but I’d love the chance to speak with her again without the technical challenges if she’d be open to a second try.” It’s possible that could prompt the recruiter to pitch Jane on the value of doing that. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this if the first interview hadn’t gone so well, but since it did, the recruiter might push for a re-do. Or they might decline — especially if the hiring manager is busy and she’s got other strong candidates — but there’s nothing wrong with being a little more direct about it.

4. Can my manager share my health info with HR without violating medical privacy laws?

My husband and I work in different divisions of the same organization (a university). I am currently expecting our first child and we are thinking through when/how to tell our employer. We’re under the assumption that as soon as I tell my manager, he’ll inform our HR partner who will likely inform my husband’s HR partner who will inform my husband’s manager.

Here’s where we disagree: my husband thinks that spread of information would be a violation of HIPAA. I don’t think HIPAA applies here because our managers and HR are not medical professionals. I think there’s nothing preventing our family medical situation from being discussed at the management/HR level (or even at the staff level), and we have to assume word will travel. Who is right?

You are. HIPAA only applies to medical providers and and health plans, and in most cases not employers. (The exception to that is your employer’s health insurance is a self-insured plan, where the company pays individual claims itself.) Your manager could indeed share information about your pregnancy with HR, who could in turn share it with others. (Whether or not the second part of that will happen isn’t certain, but the first part — your manager talking to HR — is reasonably likely.)

5. Contacting old mentors but preserving boundaries

I just came across your advice about staying in touch with old mentors, and I love this idea and would like to practice it. However, I have a couple of concerns represented by two separate past mentors. One friend-requested me on Facebook a couple years after I graduated with a sweet message about remembering it was my birthday that day. I didn’t want to accept the friend request — we had a warm relationship but not *that* personal — so I didn’t respond to the message. How could I reach out to her without inviting any closer social connections? The other mentor was my boss from two years ago, but she works for a nonprofit that still includes me on emails asking to volunteer for events. I don’t want to volunteer anymore or be (even subtly!) guilted into doing so, but I would love to see this mentor. What would you suggest?

Contact both of them! Contact the first one over email with an update on what’s been going on with you and inquiring about her. Tell her you appreciated the help she gave you in the past and wanted to check in. (Bonus points if you can tell her something concrete about how her advice has helped you — “I’m so glad you were such a stickler about X because it’s served me so well now that I’m doing Y” or “I always think about your advice on X when I’m doing Y” or so forth.) If you feel weird not having ever acknowledged the Facebook message, you don’t need to — people miss connection requests all the time, or aren’t on Facebook that much, etc. (In the future if that happens, a good response is to send a connection request on LinkedIn with a note that says something like, “I really just use Facebook for family/for cat photos/am hardly ever on Facebook/, but I’d love to connect with you here and stay in touch!”)

With the second person, reach out in the same way. If she asks you about volunteering, say, “It’s not something I can commit to right now but I’m so glad things are going well.” Also, unsubscribe from that list if you want!

is it okay to write my partner’s cover letters, I don’t want to sign a petition about bathrooms, and more was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

08 Oct 14:24

ICYM It: I have a new podcast with the amazing Nicole Parker...

Kate

So I do not subscribe to Stitchr premium because the Stitchr app has angered me so deeply that I'm considering switching to another listening app. Overcast has been recommended to me, which I may check out, because I hate the Apple Podcasts app.

But I want to hear PFT do more improv!

Also does anyone else belong to Nextdoor it is a truly fascinating social space. It simultaneously makes me hope for the future (people starting walking clubs, clothing swaps, exchanging home reno tips and recommendations for dentists...) but it also terrifies me (everyone posts about break-ins, thefts etc and extolls the virtues of security cams).





ICYM It: I have a new podcast with the amazing Nicole Parker where we take actual posts from the Nextdoor website and use them for character improv! 

“Join Burnt Millipede (Paul F. Tompkins) and Joan Pedestrian (Nicole Parker) as they explore their hometown of Dignity Falls via posts from a certain neighborhood social networking app and and interview the town’s most intriguing residents!”

The show debuted last week and our first guest was the hilarious Maria Blasucci. New episodes come out on Tuesdays!

To listen, Go to http://bit.ly/STITCHERTNL and use code NEIGHBOR for a free month trial!

05 Oct 15:21

A Candle for F***ing Meetings

by swissmiss
Kate

v v on brand

This candle made me laugh out loud.

(via)

05 Oct 05:11

#1227: “Cool New Friend spooked by ~romantic feelings~ I don’t actually have”

by JenniferP
Kate

Sometimes CA's responses are just *chef's kiss* perfect little nuggets of advice.

Never been in this situation but I HAVE had people *tell me how I feel* and it is an insanely crazy experience.

Hi Captain Awkward –

TL;DR: one of my partner’s friends became my Cool New Friend, right up until he abruptly pulled back and implied I had romantic feelings for him. I do not. He seems to want to keep hanging out (??!) and I don’t want to make it awkward but this really upset me and I have no idea how to feel or behave.

I (32, she/her) am in a very happy relationship with wonderful Partner (31M). Earlier this year I hit it off with Partner’s friend “Bob” (30??M). Bob is funny and interesting and well-read, and Partner suggested Bob and I could see movies together (Partner has a low tolerance for silent films). Over 6 months, Bob and I ended up hanging out every 2-3 weeks. Periodically one of us (usually Bob) would suggest we meet for a movie or a meal. We’d hang out for couple of hours and talk a lot. Bob seemed surprisingly comfortable being open early on (family, health, a recent breakup), and taking my cue from him, I found myself talking unreservedly to him like a close friend. (I cringe now to think of this.) Partly I think Bob needed to process the denouement of his romantic relationship, but we canvassed lots of other things, so I wasn’t just the Designated Woman Listener. And, well, I am in a conspicuously happy relationship with Partner, while Bob is dealing with feelings for someone else. No When Harry Met Sally problems here!

Then Bob abruptly cancelled a dinner he had suggested, before a movie he had suggested, via text message, because he was “uncomfortable” and felt like we had been “going on dates.” After some prodding, Bob divulged that he thought I had romantic feelings for him. Bob is a great guy and I would have no hesitation setting him up with a friend, but I do not have feelings for Bob. At all. (Bob did not help matters by subsequently demanding text confirmation of this for “reassurance”. What?)

Unfortunately, Bob stepped right into a bear trap of my anxieties. Making friends has always been hard for me. It makes me feel so pathetic in retrospect, but I’d been really excited about my awesome new friend. I also have a history of damaging friendships through thoughtlessness or terrible boundaries – behaviours I *thought* I’d grown out of. I was embarrassed, upset, and increasingly, angry. Bob basically cast aspersions on my commitment to Partner – who literally laughed out loud at the idea when I told him.

Captain, we’ve hung out twice since, and it was awful. I’m stilted and uncomfortable; Bob seems to want to pretend nothing happened. But I’m not comfortable behaving like before, because clearly that gave Bob the wrong idea! Being so wildly misread really sucks, and I’m torn between wanting to know how Bob got this idea, and never wanting to hear it because oh nooooo what did I doooooo.

Bob is still doggedly suggesting movies. I really don’t want to screw up Partner’s social circle and part of me wonders if any friendship is salvageable. But I don’t know how much of this is my fault and I don’t know how to behave around Bob anymore. Also, now I’m back down to zero people to watch weird old movies with. I have no idea how to address this situation. Help??

Hello!

Other people don’t get to tell you what your feelings are, full stop.

Additionally, I consulted Occam’s Razor (I keep it next to Occam’s hand lotion, Occam’s minty morning mouthwash, and Occam’s Big Paisley Tie) and it indicated that Bob possibly became weird because HE was developing a big old crush on YOU. Your hangouts felt like dates…to him. And instead of either ruefully admitting it or dealing with it quietly (“I’ll just keep being her friend, it will pass“), he projected it all onto you.

A second possibility that still has nothing to do with anything you did wrong: The person Bob is actually pursuing romantically looks askance at the friendship between you, either because they are jealous of you, specifically, or because they are one of those people who are convinced that men and women can’t ever be friends (au contraire, mon frère) and unfortunately Bob is also sort of one of those people but was making an exception for his Silent Film Buddy. Maybe your hangouts looked like dates to that person, so that person made it weird for Bob, who in turn made it weird for you. The demand for text confirmation makes me imagine Bob saying to this person, “See? I asked her and she doesn’t feel that way. We just go to the movies sometimes.” 

Third possibility: This is like one of those things where you get really upset at someone in a dream and you wake up and you’re angry at them in real life but only for stuff they did in the dream. Maybe Dream-You got horny for Dream-Bob one night, which, fine, except, Not Fine, because Awake-Bob crossed the dream streams and broke up your film club dream team.

Fourth possibility: Say you accidentally did or said something that made Bob feel uncomfortable, like a line was being crossed. You didn’t hit on him, but the intimacy of your conversations, for whatever reason, felt like Too Much for the level of movie buddies he wants to be. Or he felt like he was sharing too much private information with you and wanted to pull back from those kinds of conversations. In that scenario a friend might reasonably want to regroup a bit, like, “Note to self, these friend-dates are starting to feel like date-dates…to me…maybe I should change something up here” but that can be done without blaming you or asking for a notarized statement of your lack of pantsfeelings. Crushes happen, misunderstandings happen, but we don’t tell our friends they have feelings and then, like, punish them for their feelings that we made up in our heads and told them they had.

So what to do now? To truly clear the air, Bob would need to admit what he did and apologize to you. “I’m so sorry I insisted that you had feelings for me. What actually happened was I was feeling ________ about ________ and I projected all that on to you.” 

You could attempt to clear the air. The next time he suggests a film, you could say, “Dude, I want to go to the movies but not until we talk about the very weird thing you did. I never had romantic feelings for you, and you made me INCREDIBLY uncomfortable when you insisted I did. If I did or said something specific that made you uncomfortable, please tell me what it was so I can apologize and not ever do it again. We can go back to acting like it never happened once you tell me, honestly, what the hell was that about?”

I realize asking him directly is nerve-wracking for you, both because of your history because you can’t necessarily trust him to be honest or self-aware enough to not double down and try even more projection. But please know, you’d be entirely within your rights to do it.

You could let Partner intervene on your behalf. I generally advise letting our partners handle their own friendships and not getting in the middle, which seems to be your strategy as well, but maybe next time the two men hang out solo your Partner can throw up a “Dude, [LW] doesn’t have feelings for you and you made her incredibly uncomfortable about that whole thing. What was UP with that?” and a “Well, you probably need to apologize before you try to plan any more movie nights.” 

You could also take a break and hang with Bob only at bigger Partner-social-circle events. You’re not “screwing up” anybody’s social circle, you just don’t have time right now to go to the movies with your Partner’s friend who you thought was a cool friend but who is actually a super-presumptive and demanding friend who you didn’t enjoy seeing movies with the last two times you did that. Make a rule going forward: “For every 10 minutes I spending navigating The Bobness, I will spend 10 minutes finding (or founding!) a women-watching-old movies-together meet where I live.” Go to screenings alone sometimes. Wear an incredibly fancy and fetching hat. Say hello to the other regulars in the crowd (there are almost certainly regulars in the crowd). If your town has silent film screenings, plural, you and Bob are not the only people in that scene. Meet the other beautiful nerds.

You can also join Bob for an occasional film/joint exercise in pretending it didn’t happen, and see if it gets better with some time. Bob’s persistence in making plans is an indicator that he does like you and want to go to the movies still. But look, I’m bilingual in both English and acting like the elephant is not in the room, so I want to be clear: Bygones are a gift. If you never bring this up again, if you try to hang out with Bob like it never happened and give the friendship some time to recover, that is a favor you are doing for him. You are letting him save face after the weird thing he did, with a silent message of: “Friend, I’m trusting that was a one-time thing and you had your reasons, reasons which you will sheepishly acknowledge someday, maybe to me, maybe to your therapist, and I like you enough to give it another try. Don’t fuck it up.” 

The most important thing, to me, is that you stop blaming yourself and get off the back foot. Climb out of your shame-hole. You’re in a weird situation not because something’s inherently wrong with you but because your friend Bob put you in the impossible position of denying a negative. Bob’s gonna Bob. It doesn’t mean you’ll never again pass a pleasant afternoon together watching a restored print of Nosferatu while a live orchestra plays the score, but it does mean that the closer friendship you thought was happening is not entirely possible within Bob’s limitations.

❤

30 Sep 16:04

Four Fun Things

by Joanna Goddard
Kate

"Hot priest" news!

andrew scott in talented mr ripley

BREAKING NEWS from the Hollywood Reporter: Andrew Scott — our dearly beloved “hot priest” — will be starring in a Talented Mr. Ripley series on Showtime.… Read more

The post Four Fun Things appeared first on A Cup of Jo.

23 Sep 18:49

There’s A Spinoff Of ‘The Good Place’ About The Bad Place

by Sloane Hughes
Kate

WHAT this is incredible.

I love marc evan jackson (he's from wny!)

And it’s all online for you to watch!!

If you haven’t started watching NBC’s The Good Place yet you seriously need to. But be warned, there is good news and bad news. The good news is this show is so, SO much fun, and you can catch up on the previous three seasons on Netflix before the fourth hits TV at the end of the month. The bad news is, season four is going to be the last season, which almost seems like a cruel, Bad Place-esque kind of punishment.

However!

There is still some more good news.

NBC and the writers of The Good Place are giving all of us a little gift in order to help ease the pain of its impending conclusion, in the form of a miniseries.

If you haven’t finished season three yet I suggest you STOP READING NOW, for here be spoilers. Ye have been warned.


Season three ends with The Judge agreeing to let Michael build a new neighborhood where humans have a chance to change and redeem themselves, a sort of experimental middle ground between The Good Place and The Bad Place. The thing is, though, that Shawn and the demons get to decide which humans will get to go to The Middle Place to take part in this cosmic experiment.

The miniseries, called The Selection, follows Shawn and said demons as they hammer out those details. It’s essentially a workplace comedy, but, you know, in Hell.

And every episode is available to watch on the NBC app right now.

Here’s the trailer to give you a glimpse.

16 Sep 13:53

Plant Lover Flow Chart

by swissmiss

This plant flow chart by Michelle Rial made me laugh. I feel seen.

13 Sep 14:25

to get an interview, I have to spend a week at a writing retreat at my own expense

by Ask a Manager
Kate

omg I want Alison to send them this post and follow up on whatever mealy-mouthed excuse they come up with!

A reader writes:

I recently saw an ad for a job that sounded great: reviewing creative writing manuscripts and giving the authors feedback. This is my field, I have the required degree and publications the posting asked for, and I’ve done work like this before. The money being offered was good, but not unbelievably, out-of-line-with-the-market good. I checked out the organization’s website, where I found out they also offer a series of writing retreats in a popular (but distant) vacation destination; the job ad said preference would be given to applicants who were willing to attend and teach at some of these retreats, in addition to doing the (remote) manuscript reviews. I sent off a resume and cover letter, and waited to hear back.

A few days later I received an email (which did not address me by name) telling me they had received over a thousand applications and had many highly-qualified applicants. This wasn’t hard to believe, given that the writing field is difficult to break into and they were offering good money for a work-from-home position. However, the email went on to say that because of this, they would proceed by holding in-person interviews at their next retreat, a few months from now. I was receiving the email because I was being offered an interview. All I had to do was reserve a room using one of the links provided (a mere $300), and come for the entire week-long retreat. Prior to this there would be no phone or email interviews, though the person writing did provide a personal phone number I could call with any questions. They clarified that anyone who got the job and attended future residencies as an instructor would have all travel/lodging expenses paid, but that seemed to just be a roundabout way of confirming that no travel expenses would be covered for the interviews.

Am I right in thinking this is a scam, or at least a completely unethical hiring practice? I know you’ve answered questions in the past about paying your way for out-of-town interviews, and have said that sometimes if you’re really interested in the job, you have to do that. But that would only be after some preliminary phone conversations, right? And wouldn’t apply in a situation where everyone is an out-of-town candidate? And for an entire week? Also, I realize there might be few lodging options in this specific area, but the fact that they’re directing candidates to book specific rooms makes it feel like they’re just trying to fill spaces in a retreat package that isn’t selling well. To be honest, when I first received the email, I wondered whether the entire organization was fake and they were just using a nicely-designed website to lure people in, but after checking into it more I see that the people running it do in fact have a history of working in similar positions elsewhere. And I have worked in academia most of my life, where the norms are very different, so maybe I’m just out of touch.

I immediately declined the offer for an interview so I have no personal stake in it at this point, but I’m curious what you think.

Here’s my reaction when I first read your letter:

100% a scam.

I actually thought it might be a scam from the first paragraph; it already sounded a little too good to be true.

But yeah, there’s exactly zero reason they’d need you to attend a week-long retreat in order to interview. Oh and look, you have to pay $300. Neither of these things are something any reputable, non-scammy employer would do.

And you’ve got to make that commitment without so much as a phone interview first.

There’s also no reason that they’d need to hold interviews at their next retreat at all, or wait a few months to interview people there.

It’s a scam.

* * * * *

And then you sent me more info (their website), and I’m now I’m second-guessing myself.

Because these do seem like real people with track records in this industry, and they don’t seem terribly scammy. They seem to be running real retreats, too.

So I think what’s going on here is that they have no idea how to hire, and what is and isn’t reasonable to ask of applicants, and how gross and elitist is it to expect candidates to take a week off work and spend $300 for an interview. They’re coming across like scam artists because they’re running this exactly like scam artists would.

I’m interested to know what would happen if you wrote to them and pointed out how unreasonable and out of touch with hiring norms this is and how it will screen out people without a bunch of economic advantages (like a job they can off take a week from, $300 plus a plane ticket for a place that’s not cheap to get to, and for some people overnight child care for a full week). If they’re a decent place to work, they’ll listen. If they’re not … there’s your answer.

In fact, I would happily send them this post myself if you’d like, so that it’s not tied to your name.

to get an interview, I have to spend a week at a writing retreat at my own expense was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

13 Sep 14:22

Woman Has Funniest Birthday Wish And Is So Excited It Came True

by Caitlin Jill Anders
Kate

adorable #dogcontent

Marie Taylor is obsessed with her two Dobermans, Reuben and Malcolm. They’re both big, goofy and full of love to give, but all those wonderful traits aren’t why their mom loves them most. Her absolute favorite part about her dogs is their noses. 

Taylor has always found her dogs’ noses to be ridiculously cute, so three months before her birthday this year, she took to Facebook to make a strange request.

Credit: Marie Taylor

On a photo she posted of Reuben staring up at her and smiling, Taylor pledged her love to his nose and declared to the world that what she wanted, more than anything else, was a cupcake that looked exactly like it. 

“I’ve told [my boyfriend] Jack I want it replicated EXACTLY out of icing and put onto cupcakes for my birthday,” Taylor wrote on Facebook. “It’s in 3 months’ time. He has plenty of time to organize it. I’m making this public so it happens.” 

Credit: Marie Taylor

Not long after Taylor made the post, Malcolm was rescued and adopted into the family as well, and suddenly Taylor had two adorable snoots to idolize. With two dogs to focus on, she quickly forgot about her silly birthday request — but her boyfriend did not. 

“My boyfriend must've taken notice because he contacted a friend, Whitley Griffith who works at Sweet & Smooth in Oldham [in the UK], and she made them,” Taylor told The Dodo. 

Credit: Marie Taylor

On Taylor’s birthday, her boyfriend presented her with a box of cupcakes — and when she saw them, she couldn’t believe her eyes. There, on each cupcake, were her favorite noses in the whole world, perfectly recreated out of icing, just as she had wanted. 

“I was over the moon,” Taylor said. “They were even better than I expected!”

Credit: Marie Taylor

Taylor had each dog pose with one of their respective cupcakes … 

Credit: Marie Taylor

… and they hammed it up for the camera, showcasing their glorious noses … 

Credit: Marie Taylor

… and occasionally trying to steal a bite

Credit: Marie Taylor

The cupcakes looked delicious, of course, but Taylor was more focused on how beautiful they were, and how perfectly they captured her favorite snoots in the whole world. 

Credit: Marie Taylor

When Taylor first made her silly Facebook request, she had no idea how seriously her boyfriend would take it, and what a wonderful tribute it would end up being to her two furry best friends. 

26 Aug 22:11

Conciously Deactivate A Thought

by swissmiss
Kate

It honestly blew my mind when a therapist explained this to me. When you want to get rid of a specific anxiety /rumination/worry/negative thought etc, you can't just REMOVE the thought. You have to REPLACE it.

So, it's not like, "I'll just stop thinking XYZ." It has to be, "I'm going to start thinking ABC."

“The only way to consciously deactivate a thought is to activate another. In other words, the only way to deliberately withdraw your attention from one thought is to give your attention to another.”
― Esther Hicks

20 Aug 14:41

Small Space Squad Home Tour: Arielle Vey

by Joanna
Kate

i love this interior.

Sometimes my job is really cool and I get to interview people who are incredible and inspiring… like Arielle Vey! I’ve been a long-time fan of her photography and Instagram for so long. Her blend of juicy, saturated color with warm neutrals is so dreamy! Plus, she’s a PNW girl. Instant bonus points for that. Arielle is also a small space dweller and works out of her home. When she was interested in being part of the Small Space Squad, I jumped at the chance to share her home! Let’s take a peek into Arielle’s tiny home, shall we?

Small Space Squad Home Tour: Inside the Colorful and Cozy home of photographer Arielle Vey. @ariellevey #smallspaces #tinyhouse #livesmall #smallspacesquad #hometour #housetour #minimalist #minimalism #boho #bohemian #bohostyle #sandiego #sandiegoapartment

Home Tour: Inside the Colorful and Cozy Apartment of Arielle Vey

Who: Arielle Vey

Where: Oceanside, CA

Number of years spent living small: 7 years

Small Space Squad Home Tour: Inside the Colorful and Cozy home of photographer Arielle Vey. @ariellevey #smallspaces #tinyhouse #livesmall #smallspacesquad #hometour #housetour #minimalist #minimalism #boho #bohemian #bohostyle #sandiego #sandiegoapartment

To start, tell me your story about how you ultimately ended up choosing a small space?

My boyfriend (now husband) and I got our first apartment in Oceanside, CA straight out of college when we were 22. It was a 1940’s 7-unit apartment building across the street from the beach. We got a call one day saying that we had to be out in 30 days so that the owners could convert the building into vacation rentals. To our surprise, we were offered a one bedroom apartment in the same neighborhood and that’s where we’ve been ever since!

What is your biggest challenge in your small space?

I started working from home full time in 2013 and have never had a separate office. I’ve always managed to make it work and feel incredibly grateful to able to do what I love from my apartment. My husband started working with me full time and since our “office” is in the main living area, we’ve had to come up with some creative ways to have our own space and get work done. 

What is your favorite part about living small?

I love that I can see everything at a glance and it feels so cozy (especially around the holidays!). It definitely lends to not keep as much stuff which has become so important to me. I love this space in particular because it’s so open as soon as you walk in and the bedroom is super private. 

Small Space Squad Home Tour: Inside the Colorful and Cozy home of photographer Arielle Vey. @ariellevey #smallspaces #tinyhouse #livesmall #smallspacesquad #hometour #housetour #minimalist #minimalism #boho #bohemian #bohostyle #sandiego #sandiegoapartment

What is your number one hack for living small?

Keep it open and airy. Bright whites help so much in a small space which is one of the main reasons we painted our kitchen and took off two huge cabinet doors. 

Do you ever feel pressure to be “minimalistic” or feel guilty about buying things you don’t “need” for your home?’

We’re actually in the process of getting rid of a lot of stuff that we no longer need. Since we’ve been in this apartment for a while I love being able to switch it up and keep it fresh. Now, everything I bring in is thought out and I have a plan for it. I love removing something in exchange for a new thing that will get great use… so satisfying! 

What have you learned about yourself by living small?

That I don’t need to have a ton of space to be happy and live my best life. We have a goal of buying a house one day and while I don’t know what that will look like in size, I will be thrilled with just about anything. 

Small Space Squad Home Tour: Inside the Colorful and Cozy home of photographer Arielle Vey. @ariellevey #smallspaces #tinyhouse #livesmall #smallspacesquad #hometour #housetour #minimalist #minimalism #boho #bohemian #bohostyle #sandiego #sandiegoapartment

What’s your number one storage hack?

I have a few space saver bags for things like large comforters (for guests) and we use shallow storage bins under our bed for miscellaneous things we don’t use on a regular basis.

Who is your biggest small space inspiration?

100% @whitneyleighmorris. She always has great tips and her styling in conjunction with functionality is genius. I love her IG and blog!

What do your friends and family say about your choice to live small?

We’ve really made this space a home and everyone loves it! Our neighborhood is wonderful and this type of apartment is so common in this area. We love it here and it will be bittersweet when we leave! 

Small Space Squad Home Tour: Inside the Colorful and Cozy home of photographer Arielle Vey. @ariellevey #smallspaces #tinyhouse #livesmall #smallspacesquad #hometour #housetour #minimalist #minimalism #boho #bohemian #bohostyle #sandiego #sandiegoapartment

Thank you so much to Arielle Vey, for giving us a peek into your life! Be sure to look Arielle’s Instagram feed for more of her gorgeous photography and home inspiration.

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15 Aug 20:01

June smart ovens are turning on and heating themselves to 400 degrees

by Brenden Gallagher
Kate

In the future, we will mark the advent of the The Singularity by referencing these glorified Easy-Bake Ovens.

A new report from The Verge says that smart ovens are turning on in the middle of the night. “At least three June smart ovens have turned on in the middle of the night and heated up to 400 degrees or higher,” the article reports.

While user error is likely the culprit, it’s a worrying situation for users. One owner says he woke up at 2:30 a.m. one morning to find his oven had been set at 400 degrees for four hours. Two other June Oven owners have posted about similar issues in a private Facebook group.

June CEO Matt Van Horn explained to The Verge how the ovens could be switching on. “We’ve seen a few cases where customers have accidentally activated their oven preheat via a device … So imagine if I were to be in the June app clicking recipes and I accidentally tapped something that preheated my oven, we’ve seen a few cases of that,” he said.

Specifically, one incident was likely the fault of Amazon’s Alexa and another was probably the result of a June owner accidentally tapping a button in the app when attempting to close it. The Daily Dot reached out to Amazon for comment.

Despite the likelihood that user error is to blame, Van Horn and June are taking steps to avoid similar issues in the future. A September update will allow users to totally disable remote preheats. Another forthcoming update will allow the oven to recognize when there is no food inside of it.

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H/T The Verge

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