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    • CommentTimeOct 3rd 2011
    #notgettingpaid: write them a bill. Nice little invoice from a numbered pad with blue and pink slip copies, itemized. If it's not paid by the deadline, add interest or late fees to the extent local law allows; there's probably some way to take them to collections of they don't pay up?
  1.  (10224.82)
    @oddbill, dorkmuffin and nygaard-

    thank you so much!! (oddbill the vid helped a whole lot!)

    Will start everything with a contract, I like the point of the "its not about trust" in the video. I had never had a problem before- the worst part is the big bill is owed to me by people who have given me a lot of work who i've been friends with and worked with for the last 2/3 years.

    I suppose I had always thought as contracts being a cold and "i don't trust you" kind of thing (it is rare for make-up artists to have contracts at all) but it is a damn good idea for both parties. I do contracts with my hats, and honestly sitting and thinking about it there really is no reason to not do it with the make-up. @nygaard adding itemized expectations to the contract would cover the receipt angle (good idea!!) so they know what they are getting for what they pay me.

    Most of them like to do everything off the books- so if they don't want to sign the contract then they really don't want to hire me.....

    thanks again!
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeOct 3rd 2011

    Contracts=condoms. Even if you're totally getting into bed with someone, you really should still use one, yeah?

    Get a contract sorted prior to work ESPECIALLY if you're working with or for people you consider friends! Even if you have a standard form one printed up where you just fill in hours and rate, it shouldn't be any big deal for someone with good intentions to sign it when you wave it under their nose.

    One thing you can do to make it sweeter and more 'friendly' is put a 'standard rate' on there, which is higher than what you usually charge, so you can cross it out and put a lower one, so that it makes it look like you're doing them a favour.

    But yeah, it's not about trust. It's about your accounts and taxes and mutual protection. Tell them that even if you had sex with them, you'd still use a condom, and it's just like that, even if you're totally sure there'd be no need for it.
  2.  (10224.84)
    Hi Whitechapel.

    Me and my girlfriend are interested in giving coffee a proper go, but we don't want to drink fermented manure. What are good examples of coffee, available in supermarkets, for beginners? Instant and full bean are fine, although we'd prefer to start with an instant.

    I'll hashtag this as #coffeeforbeginners.
    • CommentTimeOct 3rd 2011
    evil evil stuff.
    Get a little stove top italian espresso maker. Makes the best coffee without having to shell out the dollar for a proper espresso machine.
    As for beans I swear by the Lavazza red; beans are better but ground is still acceptable.
    Make sure you press down the grounds in the little container bit very firmly(about 15 kilos worth of weight/pressure is about right) to get the proper golden head on your cup.
    Also have a look at The Black Blood of the Earth- available online-cold vacuum filtered coffee with none of the bitterness of regular roast and apparently 40 TIMES THE CAFFEINE of regular coffee. Forgive the shouting but fuck... the drug of the future?
    I am I admit a bit of a coffee nazi and will probably add more ranting on the subject, but that's enough to get us started.
    • CommentTimeOct 3rd 2011

    Get ye a cafetiere/french press. Experiment with different roasts/beans.
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeOct 3rd 2011

    agreed with the stove top italian coffee makers or a french press. My mom uses the stove top though I personally prefer to use a french press. I have a coffee grinder I got from a friend who was getting rid of stuff, and it's real nice to just buy a bag of beans and grind as needed, as they'll store a bit better in whole bean form. Also I'm told the coffee tastes better if you grind just before steeping, something to do with getting as little of the bean in contact with the air as possible, though I'm not sure, I'm still a newbie.

    As for coffee, go into a coffee shop you like, ask them what they sell and can recommend based on your tastes, and see if they'll give you a sample. I know Starbucks does (hush, they helped popularize the Fair Trade movement among larger chain coffee shops. Their customers may be mostly brainless but the company itself is alright).
    • CommentTimeOct 3rd 2011

    Like they said, avoid instant. No resemblance to coffee unless you want to load it with sugar and milk to the point you are basically drinking a lukewarm milkshake. I hate that shit. Other people love it, but hey.

    Read all the packets. It's half the fun deciding if you fancy spicy or chocolate, or dreaming of being in Paris or Rome.

    Let the water go off the boil before pouring on (if cafetiere). Stare at it swirling gently for a while before pushing down the plunger.

    If you add anything to it, make sure it's good - no powered crap, but full fat milk or cream. Then try the difference between cold and warmed milk. Have fun with it. I like mine neat, but you may develop a taste for a flat white or cappuccino. Or be Italian about it and start the day with a frothy milky one and then move onto the shortest blackest stuff later on.

    Make it all part of a ritual, a meditation, a slice of time in the day that is yours.

    Pretentious much? Yeah, I know. But I love the stuff.
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeOct 3rd 2011

    Let the water go off the boil before pouring on

    I forgot to mention that. Very, VERY important point. Same goes for tea. Boil water, then let it come off the boil.
  3.  (10224.90)

    if you want to dabble with different roasts, you can buy green coffee beans online and then roast them yourself using an old electric popcorn popper. There's a "tell" in the sound that they make as they are roasting, a certain high pitched crackle that lets you know at what point they are in the cooking process, so you can decide whether to go for a light or dark roast. My uncle does it, and roasts his own coffee every three days. It takes little effort, and is the best coffee you'll ever have.


    The Prisoner
    The Booth at the End (on Hulu - more of a Twilght Zone vibe than a Star Trek one. Only 5 episodes.)

    I keep meaning to watch Blake's 7. It used to be on before Doctor Who, and I've such vivid memories of that villianess with the sexy short hair that I keep meaning to go back and watch the series.

    Also, try listening to the audio series by Big Finish. The Doctor Who series are AWESOME, and they've got some other series as well.
      CommentAuthorCameron C.
    • CommentTimeOct 3rd 2011

    Blake's 7 and Prisoner are both cool. Rachael's miniseries rec reminded me of the 6 or so hour scifi miniseries THE LOST ROOM starring Nate Fisher from Six Feet Under/Casey McCall from Sports Night. Really good tale about this motel room that exists beyond our world that houses mysterious objects with varying powers.
    • CommentAuthorScrymgeour
    • CommentTimeOct 4th 2011 edited
    my advice for coffee is to try these guys. its a nice little shop in Soho (london), and they sell absolutely fucking everything you'll ever need

    if you're in london also pop into monmouth coffee
    • CommentTimeOct 4th 2011
    #Suggest SFTellyForME

    @Rachael - you have immaculate taste. Blakes Seven is high camp Brit sci fi at its very (cheap) best. I LOVED IT. I used to watch Prisoner re runs when it ran late at night (i was mid-teens I guess) from my bed, and was constantly confused and awed by its coolness. If you haven't you should watch the B&W Avengers series because it captured *some* of The Prisoner's epic weirdness.

    I am going to look into the other suggestions you and Cam have made as they both sound interesting...


    Echo what Nelzbub said - A stove top Moka Pot is a great introduction to the Italian style of coffee making, and much cheaper than buying any kind of eletrical gizmo. French pressed coffee is ok, but I find it too easy to forget how long I have left it and spoil the taste by overbrewing.

    Well made coffee should not be bitter, and ideally you should have a fine froth (the Crema), and a petrol-spill like sheen on top of the liquid after it has been poured (this is from all the lovely oils that give coffee its character)

    A kind word to Americans. There is a reason some Britons HATE the tea you serve us - A good strong cup of English Builders-Strength Black Tea (as opposed to herbal or green varieties) DEMANDS hot water from an eletric kettle, just (and I mean Just) off the boiling point. Ignore anything that suggests this spoils the flavour. without the extra heat you can never get the damn thing strong enough...
    • CommentAuthorroadscum
    • CommentTimeOct 4th 2011

    If you're in the UK, Oxfam do a decent range of ground coffee blends and at least one type of bean for home grinding, all with the added advantage of being Fairtrade too. Freshly ground does taste better if you're awake enough to do the grinding and can be arsed to put up with the chore of cleaning the grinder afterwards.

    One of the advantages of a cafetiere is you can add things to the brew. Try popping in a couple of green cardamom pods and a small piece of Indian cinnamon bark - especially good as an after dinner brew.

    Water temperature is important, i find leaving it for about 30 seconds after boiling works well in a cafetiere. Tea though, tea has to be made with water straight out of the kettle as it's boiling and don't forget to warm the pot!

    Instant coffee, however fancy, is merely a 'coffee style flavoured beverage granule' and is strictly for emergency use only. (can be made with cold water when the power is out)
    • CommentTimeOct 4th 2011
    #CoffeeForBeginners - In London this place served me the best damn cup I've ever had: Tapped & Packed / 26
  4.  (10224.96)
    NEW QUESTION: roommate living.

    Ok, an honest question here - not trying to engage in roommate bashing, just trying to determine if i'm being anal retentive or not. I currently live in a shared living arrangement with two other roommates, each of us having our own spaces, with a shared livingroom, kitchen, and bathroom. When I live alone (or with a significant other), my space tends to be pretty chaotic, though I go through phases of scouring the bathroom and kitchen. However, when living with others, I tend to make sure that my personal messes stay away from the common spaces. The idea of leaving things like dirty laundry items (like socks), food items (like half empty beer bottles), and garbage (like empty beer bottles, take-away food wrappers, etc) is, to me, disrespectful to those you live with, especially when things like mice and cochroaches are regularly seen in your home. It has been pointed out to me that I should perhaps try to compromise, that I have chosen arbitrary items (laundry, food, and garbage) to focus on while ignoring others (like a laptop or empty mug) that might be left about, and that I've dictated the acceptable time table for removal. However, I honestly cannot bring myself to accept the idea of leaving beer bottles from guests and not cleaning it up that evening (nor that next morning, nor that following evening). My roommate sees the matter as us having different levels of cleanliness. I see different levels of cleanliness as how clean the bathroom is, or the kitchen floor, or the stove-top, and these are aspects of the house that I am willing to take responsibility for and clean on my own without complaint. But leaving personal filth (laundry, garbage, food-stuff) about is, to me, quite different, and unacceptable.

    It is likely that I'll end up moving out over this issue, because we can't seem to agree on what is acceptable. I'm seen as too rigid in my expectations. Am I?

    I'd like input from the messy and clean alike in this, if possible.

    @sneak046 - The Booth at the End is probably the BEST thing I've seen for television in many years. For a show to instill a full spectrum of suspense and drama when never leaving the format of diner conversation is AMAZING (Also, the guy who played the demon Sahjhan in Angel is in it, if that's a draw for you). I guess I should go back and watch Blake's 7, but I'll have to wait until after I watch every Hammer Horror film in chronological order for the month of October, as I'm currently doing.
  5.  (10224.97)
    #roommate living:

    I'm with you on that Rachael - I used to find it bloody annoying when people left crap lying around, particularly one flatmate who used to leave his socks and underwear and damp towels all over the bathroom. Bastard ran up a £300 bill on the electric towel rail (a HELL of a lot 15 years ago...) so I took the fuse out. Another left a Scalextric track in the living room for three weeks until I told him if it wasn't gone by the time I got home I'd paint a fucking zebra crossing on it...

    I think there's room for a bit of give and take in those situations but if it's habitual and people do it even though they know it pisses you off, it's not acceptable and you're not being unreasonable in the expectation that people keep communal areas to a decent standard.
    • CommentTimeOct 4th 2011

    Oh my lord. Oh my lord. First of all, ignore everyone that's just told you to buy a new machine to brew coffee. And shame on all of you that did. The kid said he wants to give coffee a go, people, not not spend a shedload of money on a habit he might not even end up enjoying.

    You said "instant" specifically enough that I'm guessing you've got a kettle, and it's not much of a leap to also guess you're somewhere in the UK, which means I can't help you with much brands (but Nescafe had the most palatable instant I recall, and your local Starbucks should have single-serve "Via" packets that are all right, too). If you do have (or end up wanting to buy) a dedicated coffeemaker, do go ahead and spring for one of the filterless (gold, reusable filter) ones.

    The best way I've found to guess a person's coffee preferences is to ask about how they like their chocolate. Dark, milk, with nuts or fruits, or white. The darker you like your chocolate, the darker roast blend you'll like your coffee. If you like your chocolate with bits or goo in it, try to find flavoured syrups that strike your fancy. There's no coffee on earth, even at the worst truck stops in the middle of nowhere, that can't be made *drinkable* with a splosh of hazelnut and a lot of sugar -- but you can save a lot of money on flavoring by starting with a better coffee.

    I would, honestly, suggest you start with the flavoured powdered instants at the grocery store as dessert coffees (the sort of thing you'd drink when you want hot chocolate, now that the weather is getting colder) or lattes at the coffee shop, to gauge how sweet and thick you like your caffeine before you start trying the heavier stuff. No, snobs in the audience, they absolutely are not "real" coffee -- but they're a great way to test flavours and styles before you start buying the real stuff.
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeOct 4th 2011

    Nope, Rachael I feel the same. Keep common quarters free of filth. I lived with one girl ones who would always, ALWAYS leave her veggie scraps on the cutting board out on the counters for at least a day or two after having cut them up, at least, and it would smell and attract flies and my room was right next to the kitchen and it sucked. Sometimes it is just a case of different levels of cleanliness, but if you guys can't seem to come to a compromise, it's possible you're just not compatible as house mates. And it seems like your choices aren't arbitrary, or at least to me. Garbage and food scraps are unclean, smelly, and attract rodents, whereas a laptop or empty mug, while untidy and cluttersome, isn't unclean. I'm personally fine with untidiness, to a certain degree, but I am NOT okay with things that rot, smell, and attract flies.
  6.  (10224.100)

    Thanks guys. If I end up taking to coffee I'll be sure to take your advice, which I consider more intermediate/advanced for me! @Ariana, extra thanks. We're going to go with a fairly light Nescafe for starters, I think, and I will definitely take up your advice regarding Starbucks/supermarket sachets. I think there's a good chance of me liking coffee nowadays as I've become a really big fan of dark, bitter ales with coffee notes. It fascinated me as I never cared for coffee before, so now I think I'm ready to see what all the fuss is about.


    Common areas should really be kept tidy at all times. While I am hardly the cleanest guy in the world, I always pitched in and kept my house clean at university. There was a reasonable rota set up for dish washing, bathroom cleaning and hoovering, and it made life easier for all concerned. Your room was your space and you could leave bottles lying around there, but the common area was out of bounds for personal mess. The only remotely untidy part of it was the ashtrays, and they were emptied every few days. Bottles were disposed of as soon as they were emptied.