All posts by expensivepants

Rebudgeting

Friend got mugged and needs money.  Spent a bunch on Amazon raspberry pi stuff.  Shaved off $200 from the tire budget and adjusted the food and gas budgets downward for what I’ll actually need.  Audible and Netflix already paid for October.  Tires should last until the end of the month, and then when I get paid there’s an unspent $478 in that paycheck.

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The words of a loser

People are often told to follow their passion.  An uncle of my said, “do what you love, and the money will come.”  And this is a guy who makes pretty good money.

Steve Jobs says something similar:

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.

I don’t really agree with these quotes.  I think there’s a baseline of independence a person needs to achieve before they have the time to pursue what they love.  Starving artists are losers.

I found a good example of this in a GoFundMe by a guy who is leaving his wife and child to bum around.  He wants people to pay for some fancy camping stuff to help him do this.  That’s fucked up enough – leaving your wife and child.  He justifies it like this:

Now, the question is how much of this trip I will be able to finance:

1. With random freelance work that has no connection to my passions and which I will have little or nothing to show for besides a successful break from my ordinary life after all is said and done, or

2. Dedicating myself to learning skills and crafting contet that will contribute to the long–term value I have to keep offering to the movement, allowing me to continue doing more work in the future in line with these growing passions and making significant contributions of value to something that will last.

You’ll fund it with whatever pays the most, you brokeass douche bag.  Man up and take responsibility by providing for your family.

Introspection

I saw this article on FB today:

http://nymag.com/selectall/2017/10/museum-of-ice-cream-maryellis-bunn.html

museum of ice cream.PNG

I have a gut-level negative reaction to pictures like this.  The uniformity of color… how much clothing must a person own in order to have those shades of pink?  A fuck ton of clothing.  How much does it cost?  I think that really is the point of many of these photos.  To drape a fuckable person in front of a background of waste.  Essentially saying, “I have so much wealth, it really doesn’t matter if I spent this much.”

Reading more about it, how was MoIC funded?  It says she put money into it, but how much money does a person have at 25 after paying for a private NYU / Parsons education and living in NYC?

http://thestyletip.com/style-profile-maryellis/

While buying a bunch of clothing?

Do you think you will stay in New York?

New York is home for me at the moment, however I am not geographically constrained. I never want to restrict myself.

Do you feel like you wear all of your clothes?

I’m a really good purger. So yea I do. I get rid of clothes at least every other week. I donate a lot of my stuff to Housing Works.

Waste waste waste!

While attending fancy parties?

http://www.newyorksocialdiary.com/party-pictures/2015/where-the-wild-things

https://whitehotmagazine.com/articles/summer-party-at-glass-house/3443

http://www.newyorksocialdiary.com/the-way-they-live/2016/the-glass-house

http://www.avenuemagazine.com/glass-house-party-rings-in-the-start-of-summer/

Not much (props for the 4 steps book on her bookshelf).  More likely: rich family.

As a recent Parsons graduate living in the West Village, Bunn found the city’s existing institutions disappointing: They hadn’t adapted to larger cultural currents, she said, leaving little that would “engage and capture” her demographic.

What a fucking princess.

More specifically, it looks like her “business partner,” a Yale graduate who worked on Wall Street for a shit ton of money, then burned out and quit to do art stuff, had the cash to fund it.

How did you fund the venture?
It took less than a week’s paycheck to start the company. We put in under $10,000. In the first two years, our goal was to operate off of $80,000 to $100,000 annually.

If a week’s paycheck was $8k, that’s $32k a month take home pay.  $384k take home pay per year.  Maybe $500k total compensation?  It says he took a 90% pay cut to move to the air industry.  $50k seems like a minimum to live in NYC.  He was making bank at Citigroup and those hedge funds.

What was your life like on Wall Street, before Artlog?
I worked at a hedge fund for five or six years. Then Citigroup for 2 years before that. It was the most unhealthy lifestyle. I gained 25 pounds and stopped thinking creatively.

I graduated the year after 9/11. The tech bubble had burst. My peers and I had become so risk averse — we went to the “safety” of Wall Street. So launching Artlog was about shedding risk aversion.

Artists and entrepreneurs are very similar. They’re within a different world of thinkers. And they’re very people driven. On Wall Street, you’re part of a system. A role player.

I do have a great deal of empathy with him on this.  I’ve definitely sacrificed my creative happiness for money in the first 10 years of my career, a decision I may never be at peace with.  lol FU i ended that sentence with a preposition.

http://www.businessinsider.com/manish-vora-artlog-2011-8

Who was Walt Disney at 25?  He was born in 1901, so it would be 1926.  Mickey Mouse wasn’t invented until 1928, when Disney was 27.  Disney got a job as a commercial illustrator at age 18.  He raised money from local investors, started a company, bankrupted, moved to California, and started Disney.  From the time he started working, it was 9 years and several failed ventures before Mickey even existed.

Not much has happened to a person at 25.  And certainly it can be said that MoIC and Disney both have enjoyed great success.  But let’s not equate somebody working for 9 years, failing, restarting, failing, and restarting  with a bored, rich person with no real track record.

Perhaps what made this more infuriating is that I generally agree with the premise: retail is dead and people will look for experiences.  I remember looking around my local Barnes and Noble (before it closed), and imagining what the perfect store might be like.  Clearly, it can’t compete with Amazon.  So I thought… the Barnes and Noble would only contain the books a person would want to see in real life before buying.  Books a person would need to experience.  And then the book would be mailed to them.  It wasn’t but a year or so before Amazon came out with an app where a person could point their phone at a book cover in B&N and buy it for 20% less.  I wasn’t surprised when the store closed.

With the warehouses, inventory systems, subscriptions, electric cars, and traffic-aware, GPS-enabled, mathematically optimized routing, the path to a life where more is delivered than brought home is clear – especially for wealthy people living in big cities like NYC.  Time is money, and it makes less and less sense in an information economy to spend that time waiting in checkout lines.  The existing retail space will transform into something new, new and still useful.  But what will that be?  Will it be museums of ice cream?  Miniature schools to help people learn mid-career?  Will it just be more housing?  Preventative medicine clinics?  Hydroponic farms?  Vape shops?

I’ve said it before, and I still believe it: escapism does well in a recession.  But I think I really mean $10/month Netflix does well in a recession.  Not $29 two-hour MoIC rich millennial playground.  Maybe I’m wrong, and maybe the niche market of wealthy city people stuff will skip the next recession.  But I don’t think it’s the future of the American economy, at least not the future of a happy economy.  The big issues for the American economy are healthcare, housing, energy, and education.  Specifically, education that gives Americans skills relevant to what the global economy will demand in 2030.  A political science grad is probably worse than somebody who didn’t go.  At least they don’t have the debt.

It is businesses in these areas that I think are most deserving of attention and (when they make real progress) praise.

I think I’ll close by pointing out the obvious.  Who doesn’t want to make millions creating an ice-cream fantasy land while being a hot 25-year old with nice clothing?  It sounds like a pretty sweet deal.  And I think creating that fantasy land is a lot of work.  It’s not like you snap your fingers and the money arranges itself into whipped cream on the wall.  So when I write a post like this, is it a reflection of some jealousy?  Absolutely.  And that’s kind of ridiculous, right?  I’m already living the dream.  It’s not a sane jealousy, just a lack of discipline.

Is this article fair?  No, it’s not fair.  There are interesting elements to the MoIC story that deserve attention, and I won’t bother to dig into it.  Specifically, the idea of energy.  It’s clear Maryellis Bunn has a lot of energy, and often I don’t feel like I have as much as I want.

At the end of the day, you go to a place like Vietnam, and you think, “do they need the MoIC.”  Fuck no.  They need the basics.  So you think – okay, maybe I could give the profits of MoIC to people who need help.  And you could – but that’s just building a leech on the side of an inefficiency.  The real work is a lot less glamorous.

Today

Today, after waking up, I had another migraine and went to bed.  Not that there was much to do… the air quality was bad until the afternoon.  I slept the first half of it off, and suffered through the second on my computer.

I felt like crap.  Hungover, migrainey, unshaven, hair overgrown.  I decided to make today a “self care” day.  And by self care, I mean all the crap that has to happen around the condo.  Thankfully, I have it down to a minimum:

  1. Dishes
  2. Laundry
  3. Get drinking water
  4. Pickup Amazon Soylent delivery
  5. Trader Joe’s
  6. Fry’s
  7. Exercise
  8. Gas
  9. Hair cut
  10. Shave
  11. Movie pass
  12. Recycling and Trash

Fry’s just means… go to Fry’s and lust at gadget, then leave without buying anything.  I thought it was on the way to Trader Joe’s, but it’s actually *past* TJ, so I felt like a moron when I turned in the wrong direction to get from one to the other.  Not sure if I’m distracted or just stupid.  I’m pretty sure it’s the latter.

Movie pass means watch a movie using the Movie Pass service I decided to pay $10/month for.  I saw a movie, so my first month is at least break even (except I don’t normally see 1 movie a month).  If I see a movie tomorrow night, it’ll average $5 / movie.  I really enjoy the sound system in the theater… it’s worth it.

There are a number of  Halloween movies coming up.  I liked these previews:

Jigsaw

Geostorm

The Snowman

http://horrorfreaknews.com/october-2017-horror-movie-releases

I learned this week that one of my friends from high school killed themselves in December 2016.  I was shocked by the death… and also shocked that I did not find out until now.  The guy was very nice and very talented.  Very sincere.  His death is very sad for me, and the world is worse for it.

I’ve been thinking about what drove him.  While watching “It” tonight for the second time, I thought about the differences in perspective between childhood and now.  In childhood, everything is in the future.  You’re a racecar frustrated that they won’t let you launch.  In adulthood, you’re… in a rat race.  All the burdens of paying for rent, healthcare, etc. fall on you.  If you hate what you do all day, you can’t just stop.  There is no parachute.

Obviously, it’s not black and white.  Different people have different experiences in different seasons of life.  But it’s clear that a great percentage of Americans find the challenges of adulthood overwhelming, and lean on consumerism, alcoholism, pot, etc.

I don’t think I have some grand conclusion or insight from this.  Only the same old “stop and smell the roses.”  As my family tree shows me (with some forefathers dying before age 40), life is brief, so make sure to plan for pleasure.