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Badvertising: Insurance Doesn’t Pay You For Your Feelings

November 12, 2010

This ad on the subway has been bothering me for some time.

The ad is for renters insurance, and it is supposed to replicate a number of small “lost and found” ads posted by individuals. ART PORTFOLIO STOLEN. Or, LOST CAMERA WITH ALL OUR HONEYMOON PICTURES. The “black portfolio” part of the ad in the photograph above actually specifies that the portfolio contains artwork that isn’t worth anything “except to me.”

So … everybody realizes that, if your renters insurance reimbursed you for your art portfolio, you’d just get back the cost of the actual portfolio itself, and maybe some sheets of blank paper? They don’t pay you for your labor (or the value to you of your honeymoon pictures).

Renters insurance is certainly a good idea. I have some. I have, in fact, photographed nearly everything I own, and I keep the photos on a CD at my parents’ house, just in case my apartment floods or catches on fire. This is why people have renters insurance. Not to replace their precious memories/paintings.

So, this is the worst ad for renters insurance, ever. What it says to me, basically, is: if you lose your most valued possessions, no one will help you!

Bullish: Picking a Boyfriend Who Doesn’t Hold Back Your Career or Bank Account

November 12, 2010

Bullish: Is it Better to Rule Through Love or Fear?

November 5, 2010

Photos: Guest Speaking at Manhattan Marymount University

November 5, 2010

This Monday, I was a guest speaker in a linguistics class at MMU on the Upper East Side. I did a mini version of my punctuation show (with audience participation; see below!) and ended with a bit of career advice, à la Bullish.

Love Your Pets … But Don’t LOVE Your Pets

October 30, 2010

I neglected to make the bed, and came back and found this:

I mean, I don’t want my blog to start attracting catophiles.

Are you leaving on a jet plane?

Bullish: Better Living Through Math

October 29, 2010

Bullish: Are You Under-Reinvesting?

October 21, 2010

In Which I am Wearing a Mustache and Debating with John Stuart Mill’s Head on a Stick

October 20, 2010

I get paid for this, folks. (Look closely — see, I’m wearing a mic!)

p.s. There’s now a Nerd Barbie!

Bullish: Social Class in the Office (and What to Do About It)

October 15, 2010

Not social class in The Office, which would be a different topic.

Ladybits Comedy This Wednesday

October 11, 2010

The ever-hilarious Abbi Crutchfield and I founded Ladybits Comedy, an all-female comedy show in the West Village, for a few good reasons:

To entertain women who don’t like traditional comedy clubs.

To hold our show someplace where the food is tasty, the ladies’ bathrooms are clean, and you don’t feel like you’re in a frat basement.

To create a community.

To warmly welcome male audience members, without unduly catering our show to them.

To generate more work for female comedians, rather than simply promoting competition for the limited amount of work that actually exists.

To reach out via The Internets to women comedy fans and comedians all over the world.

To offer a lineup that reflects the talent of women of all races, sexual orientations, body types, physical abilities, and ages (and probably some other forms of diversity that we’re tragically forgetting at the moment).

To put on an awesome show that makes you laugh, where you make friends, and where you identify with the voices on stage, and that is funnier than anything you can see staying at home watching your television.

To make you laugh until you cry.

Ladybits Comedy
“Equality, Hilarity, Booze!”

Wednesday, October 13th (and subsequent Wednesdays through December 15th)
Cornelia Street Cafe
29 Cornelia St
Doors at 6pm, show at 6:30 sharp
$7 admission includes a free drink
All are welcome.

Check out for more info on featured comics  Amanda Baramki, Giulia Rozzi,  Leah Dubie, and Jen Kwok, as well as commentary on whether perfect grammar is compatible with comedy, and on Ladybits’ no-heckling, no picking-on-the-audience policy (“Civilization: It’s easy!”)

Bullish: How to Travel Like a Gentlewoman

October 7, 2010

Travel writer Rolf Potts, author of Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel, has just finished traveling around the world for six weeks without a single piece of luggage. His trip is being sponsored by … a company that makes vests with lots and lots of pockets, so you can look like either a fisherman or a terrorist. These are not the “lovely lady lumps” Fergie had in mind.

Potts claims that his travels are “a field-test for a more philosophical idea — that what we experience in life is more important than what we bring with us.”

That statement possesses a certain verisimilitude, no? Of course our experiences are more important than our possessions! What are you, some kind of gold-digger, mining life itself for designer goods?! More »

New on TheGloss: Save Up an Emergency Fund, But Be the Kind of Person Who Never Needs One

October 5, 2010

I grew up reading Readers Digest. From ages 9-16, I read every single word of every single issue:This is Joe’s PancreasHow to Protect Your Retirement Savings from LiberalsDrama in Real Life.

Every month, Drama in Real Life told the true story of someone who had fallen while mountain climbing and survived for days on a ledge the size of a lunch tray; or been mauled by a bear; or had a premature baby that slowly died and then looked down on its bereaved family from heaven; or been trapped in a burning building and recovered for months in a burn unit, receiving painful ass-to-face skin grafts, all played out over twenty-plus pages.

So, I grew up just assuming that adulthood entailed catastrophic events, and that no mater how hard you work in life, your family will always become trapped in a burning car. More >>

Tonight: The Spelling Beast

September 30, 2010

Tonight, I shall be competing in 826NYC’s The Spelling Beast, against celebrities including Dave Eggers, Catherine Keener, Kristin Schaal, and Ira Glass.

I was pretty flattered when 826 got in touch — someone actually wants me to spell! On the other side of the mic! It’s like I no longer have a firm grasp of my own identity!

I assembled a team of experts, and we’ve been raising cash here.

Tickets are $25. Doors at 7pm. All proceeds support youth literacy programs.

LGBT Sandwich

September 27, 2010

I took this photo in a cafe in the Delhi airport. (It was a cafe. I insist. It was not a Delhi deli).

It turns out that an LGBT sandwich contains:
Basil oil spread

I was wondering what else, if anything, to say about this, so I Google image-searched “gay sandwich.” Yep, so … don’t do that at work.

New on TheGloss: Money-Saving Tips That Don’t Involve Bread Bags or Baking Soda

September 23, 2010

I am convinced that most of what we consider sound financial values about budgeting and saving are illogical Depression-era holdovers.

At Barnes and Noble this week, I paged through a copy of Everyday Cheapskate’s Greatest Tips. Maybe I’ll learn something useful, I thought. And I did. Here is the one useful thing I learned:

“Disposable razor blades get dull quickly because the metal blades begin to oxidize from the first time they touch water. They will last almost twice as long if you can slow down that process. Rinse razors after use and store them blade head down in a small cup of cooking oil. Light canola oil works best.”

You hear that, ladies? Store your disposable razors in cooking oil. If you use an opaque cup (like one of those nice porcelain toothbrush cups that accompanies a matching soap dispenser), you might be able to do this without looking like you have early-onset Alzheimer’s and might also be keeping your bra in the crisper. More >>

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