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How I Get By

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How I Get By is a show about what happens when the pursuit of happiness meets the pursuit of a paycheck. It’s a show about how people stay afloat—whether it’s with a dream job or a bullshit one, a job from hell or… no job.

How I Get By is a show about what happens when the pursuit of happiness meets the pursuit of a paycheck. It’s a show about how people stay afloat—whether it’s with a dream job or a bullshit one, a job from hell or… no job.
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How I Get By is a show about what happens when the pursuit of happiness meets the pursuit of a paycheck. It’s a show about how people stay afloat—whether it’s with a dream job or a bullshit one, a job from hell or… no job.




Epis. #35: Why (and how) a tech entrepreneur lives in an urban adult dorm

Stephen Johnson is a twenty-something tech entrepreneur who splits his time between Los Angeles and San Francisco. It's a lifestyle that's actually far less pricey than you may imagine, because he's a member of the co-living space PodShare, which costs him only $1000 a month for adult-dorm style accommodations. He talks about launching his internet advertising business, FlipMass; the 11 items he owns (and why despite that, he calls himself a 'maximalist'); the life he leads in San Francisco...


Epis. #34: Elvina Beck, founder of PodShare (and an ongoing PodShare resident)

Elvina Beck talks about the origins of PodShare, a co-living space based in Los Angeles with several outposts plus one in San Francisco, how it works as a co-living space, the circumstances that led her to found the platform, and what her lifestyle is like as an entrepreneur and PodShare resident


Anna Scott clarification: on spousal income dynamics

Anna Scott, housing and homelessness reporter in Los Angeles and prior guest, talks about her and her husband's financial dynamics by way of clarification.


Epis. #33: Shared housing (PodShare) and housing the formerly homeless: Elvina and Paul

This episode introduces Elvina Beck, the owner and director of PodShare, a group of five (as of Aug. 2019) co-housing living spaces throughout Los Angeles along with one site in San Francisco. Elvina is also a resident - a ‘member’ - of PodShare, and she talks about how it all got started. We also talk one more time with housing reporter Anna Scott, in particular about Paul, an individual she’s reported on, who lives in an SRO-type hotel and has a steady job after many years of homelessness;...


Epis.#32: Anna Scott on Renae's housing story, plus my own story apartment hunting in New York

We continue to talk with housing reporter Anna Scott, this time about Renae, a woman she reported on who went from having a tenuous housing situation to having to live our of her car, a car she's leasing through Uber, and how she wound up in that place through a series of multiple circumstances. I also talk with producer Maia Laperle about my own housing story, in which I lost my housing due to a breakup, and spent a year looking for my own place, in New York City, in a market that was much...


Season 2: Housing. NPR reporter Anna Scott, on how she (and everyone else) gets by in Los Angeles

Anna Scott is a full-time radio reporter for the Santa Monica-based NPR station KCRW, where she reports on housing issues in Los Angeles. She talks about her job, which involves talking to many people who are homeless or near homeless, and how she herself gets by, along with her husband and 15-month-old son.


Epis.#30: Maneesh Seethi, nomadic entrepreneur and CEO of Pavlok, a wearables company

Maneesh Seethi runs the company Pavlok, which produces wearable products to help keep you on task, including waking up in the morning, and they also offer coaching. It goes back to when they introduced the Shock Clock into the world. Maneesh spends about half the year in Medellin, Columbia, these days, and works with a remote company team that's based far afield, including in the UK, Asia and the U.S. He talks about the influence of the book The 4-Hour Work Week on his life, his objective...


Epis.#29: Lynne used to put all her money towards her family, then her non-profit; now she can spend it on herself, but she's not sure how

Lynne Ferguson is a musician living just outside Seattle, on a section of Native land that she loves. For over 20 years, she's run Native Horsemanship Youth Program, a non-profit that teaches horse skills to tribal and special needs young people, and helps them heal their emotional wounds. She talks about her life as a musician, raising a family, living in poverty while she built her tiny house on her Native property where she runs her non-profit, and how she got through it all. She also...


Epis.#28: Brian does Improv (and standup comedy)- but he doesn't think it's a viable career option

Brian Gurien, a comedian and improver living in Brooklyn, talks about the reality of having a day job, which is currently a full-time, but not long-term, gig helping to set up passover camps in a couple of locales. Brian's admission that being in entertainment is NOT a long-term career option is unusual, and he's sticking with both comedy and improv for now regardless. He also talks about his past gigs, how he got into credit card debt, and what it's like when his co-workers ask him to tell...


Epis.#27: Oliver's trust fund. It's complicated.

Oliver Sykes lives off a trust fund. It's doled out to him in $5300 monthly increments that are controlled by his mother and the investment account she set up for him. This source of income has been complicated for Oliver throughout his adult life, both enabling him to overly depend on it and in turn limiting his independence, and also causing rifts in his relationship with his mom. He's currently trying to get a tutoring company off the ground, and makes about $200 a week from tutoring...


Epis.#26: Paul Gilmartin (host of the Mental Illness Happy Hour podcast, former co-host of Dinner & A Movie on TBS)

Special guest Paul Gilmartin is a full-time podcaster through his show the Mental Illness Happy Hour, on which he talks to guests about their traumas, addictions, negative thinking and really- just about everything related to mental illness. He talks about getting to the point where he could make a living from the show, as he does currently, as well as his time co-hosting the popular TV show Dinner and a Movie on TBS, as well as his years as a standup comedian.


Epis.#25: Caitlin, part 2-- what it's like working for Google (and as a female software engineer)

In part 2 of our conversation with Caitlin, she talks specifically about working at Google as a software engineer, including everything from what she actually does in her job, what her work days are like (including the special Google perks), how much she earns, what her colleagues are like and what it's like working there as a woman programmer. She also talks about Google's larger reputation as a corporation, and how far along she is in paying off her grad school debt.


Epis.#24: NYC-based dancer and choreographer Caitlin has a pretty solid day job: she works at Google

Caitlin is a dancer and choreographer, and she's also a software engineer at Google in New York. In the first part of two episodes, she talks about her various living situations over the years in New York, and a three-year stint in Denver, including her current one with a roommate in Brooklyn that she's much more happy with; learning to code, getting a masters degree at NYU and the steps that led her to becoming a Google employee; how technology may factor into her future dance projects; how...


Epis.#23: Chef Antonio's highs and lows in San Francisco

Chef Antonio has led a life of highs and lows since being in San Francisco- mainly an extravagant lifestyle when with his ex-, including lots of dining out at great restaurants and buying lots of nice things, followed by a very hard landing after they split...including homelessness.


Epis.#22: Deanna (vegan real estate agent, Portland, OR)

Deanna is a real estate agent in Portland, three and a half years into that profession. She defies virtually every stereotype and model of a real estate agent: she's an activist, she's (currently) a renter, and she's vegan. She talks about how much she makes as an agent currently, how much she'd like to make in the next year or two, and her ambitions of buying a modest (roughly $250,000) house in Portland, as well as another modest one on the Oregon coast. She also talks about her veganism...


Epis.#21: Angie (Detroit-based nutritional psychology student and part-time hug seller, fetish model, sugar baby and food service worker

Angie lives with her boyfriend in a suburb of Detroit, studying nutritional psychology and working part-time as at a Mediterranean wrap/bowl joint. She also has multiple side gigs, everything from being a fetish model to trimming marijuana plants to selling hugs on the street. She talks about her wild journey that took her out of high school to Humboldt County, to the Big Island of Hawaii, and back to Michigan, including a near-death experience that took place on that not-quite-paradisical...


Epis.#20: Jim (semi-retired real estate investor & landlord, Florida, the road, & Las Vegas)

Jim is technically retired (he collects social security), but he earns a very substantial income from the rent he collects on about a dozen properties, both residential and commercial. He talks about how he got into real estate and real estate investing (it began when his wife gave him a 10-year warning that she was going to retire), various investing strategies that he advocates for listeners (especially in more affordable regions of the U.S.), why he's not leaving his properties or savings...


Epis.#19: Jordan- multiple gigs, singer-songwriter harpist (Loveland, Colorado)

Jordan is an aspiring musician who lives in Loveland, Colorado (about 20 minutes from Boulder) and does multiple gigs: she sells jewelry on Etsy, she bakes cakes for random friends’ events, she cleans houses, and, most importantly to her, she plays the harp and sings. She talks about the surprisingly high cost of housing in this part of central Colorado, her and her husband applying for a home through Habitat for Humanity (she’s on the list and waiting to hear), and how she mainly gets to...


Epis.#18: Matt (an Alaskan cannery & San Diego)

Did you ever wonder what it's like working in a fish cannery in Alaska? Matt talks about his experience working in an Alaska cannery for six weeks over the summer. He found out about the work through a friend, and saw it as an opportunity to do a "hard re-start" of his life after being disillusioned with work in the hospitality industry. He talks about the work he did at the bottom of the totem pole as a 'fish processor', how much money he was earning and what one could potentially earn, and...


Epis.#17: Mark (Eugene, Oregon)

Mark works as a cook at a brewery in Eugene; he also makes paintings which he occasionally sells, and does seasonal work as a maintenance man. He talks about his prior life, in which he made plenty of money but found that he just became overworked and a mindless consumer. Now he makes just enough money to get by on, with no real margin, but believes things will ultimately take care of themselves. In a follow-up call, he talks about a couple of big changes in his life: his job and his home.