Category Archives: nytimes.com

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Two good interviews with Jerry Seinfeld

These two interviews appeared in the New York Times in October and August and I was impressed by both of them, especially the first one below:

Seinfeld is smart and insightful and professional. He knows comedy and stand-up well and he’s thought a lot about it.

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The internet says: follow your passion. But what if you have no specific passion to follow?

You can find many places on the internet where you are encouraged to Follow Your Passion. One such place is here: Why Following Your Passions Is Good for You (and How to Get Started) – The New York Times

Love to cook? Love to write? If those are your passions, then the internet wants you to follow them.

But what if you don’t have specific passions. The NYTimes piece has an answer for that too:

No passions? Cultivate skills instead
While hobbies both enrich our lives and can turn into rewarding careers, those of us who don’t have a particular obsession aren’t hopelessly out of luck. Instead, cultivate skills that will give you a leg up in your field. We all carry a “toolbox” to work in the form of specific abilities that make us better at our jobs. Some experts say leveling up on some of these will improve your job satisfaction more than initial enthusiasm ever will.

It’s easier to improve yourself in an area you are passionate about. But taking pride in your skills and your qualities and working to hone them is worthwhile. If there’s not an area you feel a strong passion for, at least improve in the areas you can.

Passion is a strong word. So is pride. If you can follow your passion, follow your pride and be justly proud of the things you are good at.

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The state of meetings

I’ve had this saved from some time ago but I want to post it for two reasons: The Modern Meeting: Call In, Turn Off, Tune Out – The New York Times.

One reason is just as a placeholder for how work is now in this time period. I will be happy to go back in five or ten years from now and see how much has changed.

The second reason is that no matter what happens in five or ten years from now, people who work in offices will always struggle with meetings. There is no solution to effective meetings: there is only managing your time and how best to be effective in the time you are working and meeting. If you work with people, you will have meetings. Nowadays you have too many meetings and you need to manage them and your time as best as you can.

Once meetings were hard to schedule. There were no digital calendars, no videoconferencing. You had to call or talk to someone and arrange to meet them, they would write it down on a piece of paper, and then physically show up and have the meeting. You likely worked with a limited number of people. And even then, even though they were hard to set up, meetings were a pain. Meetings will always be a pain. If they weren’t occasionally useful, no one would ever have them.

But meetings are occasionally useful. Sometimes they are essential. As long as people work together, there will be meetings. If you are working on many different things with many different people, you will have many meetings. Try to be as effective as you can in them. For those holding the meeting, don’t expect so much of people: get what you can and then end the meeting.

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Everything you need to know for sheet-pan cooking can be found here

Everything you need to know for sheet-pan cooking can be found here at this page: How to Make a Sheet-Pan Dinner – NYT Cooking

It’s a comprehensive review on how make any meal using a sheet-pan. If you are a fan of cooking that is easy like slow cookers then you want to check this out.

How to guides are great for people who like to come up with their own recipes. It’s also great if you are trying to use up various ingredients in your fridge.

The weather is getting cooler. It’s time to start using your oven again. This guide will help with this.

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How to ask for help (it’s not as obvious as you think)

If you are uncomfortable asking for help, read this: How to Ask for Help and Actually Get It – The New York Times. After you read it, write out the type of help you need and use the article’s guidelines to insure your request for help is more effective.

We all need help from time to time. Read that and you will be more effective in getting the help you need.

One last thought: show appreciation before, during and after someone helped you. Even if they say it is no big deal to help. If for no other reason, it acknowledges the effort someone has taken to help you.

Get help. Your life will get better as a result. And the people who help you will often feel better about themselves for helping you, so you are helping them too.

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The Notebooks of Jean-Michel Basquiat

I hadn’t seen this before, but for fans of the artist, this is a must view: The Unknown Notebooks of Jean-Michel Basquiat – The New York Times.

I love everything about NYC in the 80s, and I especially like this.

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If you ever wanted to write for The New York Times…

Now you have an opportunity. They have a new column, called Rites of Passage, that is going to appear in their Styles section. What are they looking for?

The editors … want to read your essays about notable life events that sparked change. A “rite of passage” can be big or small, though sometimes it’s the less obvious moments that carry even greater meaning: Making the final payment on your student loan debt and what it represented; finding a first gray hair and deciding not to pluck it; a first crush after a spouse’s death. These essays should be written as personal narratives, so please make sure to tell us how the event unfolded and what it meant to you.

Everyone has such stories. If you want to share yours in the Times, you can get  more information here: How to Submit a ‘Rites of Passage’ Essay – The New York Times