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Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

I worked from home today because yesterday I was felled unexpectedly by a head cold.  Sneezing all day long, culminating in a stuffed-upedness at night that required a Kleenex shoved up one particularly clogged nostril so I could breathe properly out of the other.

In addition to working, I also did seven loads of laundry.  My relationship with my apartment building’s laundry room is mired in frustration and disappointment, and once again, the dryer on the right swallowed $1 before I finally gave up and moved my clothes to the middle dryer.  But at least I now have clean underpants.  Life is much better when you have clean underpants.

I’m not feeling much better, but I’ll be at work tomorrow.  While I was home, my company was victim to a new round of layoffs.  I’ve been assured that I still have my job, but I really don’t know what to expect tomorrow.  I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the economy is not doing very well.

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How did stocks loosely related to St. Patty’s Day fare today, you ask?  Your answer here.

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My boyfriend shared this lovely article in his Google Reader the other day.  “Avoid the Grade School Trap,” shouts its headline, and it goes on to explain that many people respond to a recession by returning to school rather than taking a job they feel is “beneath them.”  This is a horrible idea, warns our author (who is basically paraphrasing this argument).

I suppose I’m in a different boat since I got my grad school out of the way before the economy decided to tank.  I’ll say, though, that I would be having a lot easier time in grad school right now than I am having paying off my loans.  At least while you’re still in school, your loans are on hold, and you can skip merrily along from fellowship to fellowship and odd job to odd job, happy to have your nose in a book instead of in your pocketbook, scrounging for that extra dollar you’re sure must be there.  (Where is that extra dollar?)

I’m also in a different boat because most people going back to grad school have some sort of career goal in mind that the schooling is meant to equip them for, with the hope that, eventually, higher salaries will justify those loans.  My grad school experiment was a lot more self-absorbed.  Everyone wants to be a writer, but  I was one of the few who thought it’d be a good idea to spend tens of thousands of dollars pursuing that dream. (And I chose the even more  bizarre route of not once submitting anything for publication, to my father’s constant dismay.  Sure, I might have a certificate authenticating me as a fiction-writing MASTER, but I have a hunch that The New Yorker might not agree.)

Every day I check my bank account and my credit card bill.  I make monthly projections of how much I should be able to save.  I beg for babysitting jobs, and as of this week, I tutor four nights a week for a 5th grader who dreads my arrival and spends our sessions expressing his desire for me to leave.   (All kids hate homework, right?)

It’s not so bad.  I’m lucky because I love saving money, and I love coming up with new ways to do so.  I’ve cut my current credit card bill almost in half by being vigilant and super-aware of how much I’m spending relative to how much I’m earning.  I don’t like saying no to all those Anthropologie dresses I could otherwise easily convince myself are necessary additions to my closet, but it’s also kind of thrilling, even addictive, to be so in control of what I spend.

And today is payday, which is my favorite day of the fortnight, as well as my bank account’s, because it gets so much action.

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If you’ve been following either CNBC or “The Daily Show” — or basically if you’ve turned on your TV at all this week — then you know that Jim Cramer is in a sort of televised brawl with Jon Stewart. It all began with this “Daily Show” clip.

Cramer, in contrast to his sometimes tough and angry “Mad Money” persona, is actually quite a sensitive man, and he didn’t appreciate the criticism. A weeklong back-and-forth has ensued. It’s all pretty ridiculous (and entertaining), and I honestly don’t know how seriously Cramer is taking it. I have to imagine that he understands that by putting himself out there the way he does, he leaves himself open to criticism. And I have to assume that Jon Stewart gives him the benefit of the doubt, because no one, not even the financial experts, knew quite what the market was capable of before the market punched us all in the face with it.

It all comes to a head tonight with Cramer’s appearance on “The Daily Show,” and along with the rest of America, I will be watching.

What I take issue with is this. Gawker has chosen to bring Erin Burnett into this mess and lump her together with all of the other CNBC pundits when she quite clearly is in a class of her own. For example, today on “Morning Joe,” Erin was caught off-guard having a breakfast of Cheetos. It is the latest in a long list of adorable and charming things Erin has been filmed doing and saying.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images North America

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images North America

She handled herself capably on the Bill Maher show. She does her job in defending Cramer, and she does it as adorably as she does everything else. There is nothing loathsome about it. And Gawker failed to mention that on Monday’s “Stop Trading!” segment (the wrapup of which I write every day for work), Erin put up a good fight against Mr. Cramer, proving she is far from the network pawn Gawker would make her out to be.

Gawker also recently deigned to mock Ms. Burnett for this gem, a perfect example of why she deserves recognition as business news television’s Cutest Little Button. I have yet to verify her claim that the chocolate chip cookie was invented during the Great Depression, but just watch the way she throws back her head when Matt Lauer pokes some harmless fun at her!

And honestly, where would the world be without the chocolate chip cookie? You tell me! I know where I wouldn’t have been last week at this time: in my kitchen making chocolate chip cookies! And I know what wouldn’t be in my freezer right now: two batches of frozen leftover chocolate-chip-cookie dough!

Also, for the record, I have spent a full day in front of CNBC every weekday for the better part of two and a half years, and I’m here to tell you that it’s not that bad. And it’s not just because Erin Burnett’s so impossibly adorable.

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Let them eat pasta!

I love pasta.

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In anticipation of tonight’s “Top Chef” finale, here’s a little ode to all of the wonderful companies and products that make the show possible.

May the best woman win!  I’m rooting for you, Carla.  Hootie! Hoo!

Interestingly, Wikipedia’s removed the results it had up earlier today.  Carla’s name was highlighted in pink, indicating she was the winner.  I couldn’t find any leaks elsewhere to confirm it, and the results are down now.  Only time will tell!

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I kicked some major butt on Sunday night. You can check my predictions and see for yourself.  Chris didn’t stand a chance!

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