8 Facts About ‘Wizard of Loneliness’ Nathan Fielder

Nathan Fielder doesn’t mind making you uncomfortable. That holds true whether you’re the subject of one of his cinéma vérité series, like Nathan for You, or if you’re the viewer. When dragging people into his irreverent world of long silences, awkward questions, and increasingly unhinged circumstances, Fielder is not just a comedian—he’s more of a comedian-slash-agitator.

In his new HBO series The Rehearsal, Fielder invites guests to practice some pivotal moments in their lives before things get real—and the line between comic provocation and psychological experimentation begins to blur. For more on the ineffable Fielder, including his apparel line and a little-seen web series, keep reading.

1. Nathan Fielder was in a high school improve group with Seth Rogen.

Fielder, who was born in Vancouver, told Vulture that his childhood was a mix of learning magic tricks, working at a magic shop in a mall, recording and reciting stand-up routines from the bookended segments on Seinfeld, and, later, joining the Point Grey Secondary School’s high school improv team. One of the members was future Emmy nominee Seth Rogen. (The two have known each other since first grade.)

Rogen recalled that Fielder’s idiosyncratic approach to comedy, which is exacting and somewhat inflexible, was evident early on. “It was not even on the table that he would act like he was burning in lava,” Rogen said. Their team took third place at a national improv competition, although Fielder was confused when he discovered the winning teams had practiced. “We didn’t understand how you could rehearse improv,” Fielder said.

2. He made a lot of YouTube videos—and you can still watch them.

After attending business school at the University of Victoria, Fielder briefly worked at a brokerage firm before deciding to try his hand at comedy full-time. He wound up producing a number of short films that he regularly uploaded to his YouTube channel, including one in which he holds up a thin slice of watermelon with no further context (above) as it flaps in the wind. Fielder told Rolling Stone that “people come up to me say that Thin Watermelon is the best thing I’ve ever done.”

3. His Dumb Starbucks project was thought to be the work of Banksy.

Fielder continued his comedy career by writing Canadian Idol and This Hour Has 22 Minutes. In 2013, Fielder debuted Nathan for You, a Comedy Central series co-created with Michael Koman in which Fielder offered help to struggling small business owners. Often, his increasingly complex and irrelevant plans—offering a poop-flavored frozen yogurt or forcing gas station customers to hike a mountain to receive a discount—did virtually nothing for the entrepreneurs featured.

But Fielder did have a smashing success in 2014 with Dumb Starbucks, a parody store that Fielder figured could capitalize on the Starbucks name without summoning a legal response. As soon as the storefront opened in Los Angeles, some believed it might be an elaborate prank by elusive street artist Banksy. After three days, Fielder outed himself as the operator. The Department of Health shut the store down that same day.

4. Nathan for You shot an incredible amount of footage to make its 22-minute episodes.

Nathan for You, which ran for a total of four seasons, took Fielder and his semi-witting subjects into increasingly elaborate spectacles. In one episode, Fielder learned how to wire-walk so someone else could get the credit. In another, he orchestrated a pig-saves-goat viral video that was the work of divers so a petting zoo could get publicity. All told, Fielder once estimated that about 90 hours of footage were required to make each 22-minute episode.

5. Fielder owns a successful outdoor apparel brand.

After reading about a clothing brand that had somehow delivered a tribute to a Holocaust denier, Fielder opted to open his own apparel company. He called it Summit Ice and vowed to donate 100 percent of the proceeds to the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre. It seemed to live at the intersection between earnestness, cultural critique, and comedy. “When I was younger, and until recently, I used to wear a jacket brand called Taiga, which is from a shop just down the street,” Fielder told Vice in 2017.

“I discovered recently that they published a tribute to a Holocaust denier in their winter catalogue, but I was wearing their jacket on my TV show. I felt like that was bad because I was giving them publicity. I didn’t know what jacket company to trust, so I thought it was easiest to start my own company.” Fielder admits the customer service, however, could be better. He has described it as “awful” because “there’s not a full-time person that does it. It kind of jumps around between different people to manage it.”

6. He helped launch the television career of a private investigator.

In 2013, Fielder enlisted private investigator Brian Wolfe to assist him in a typically obtuse plot where Wolfe was tasked with tracking Fielder down to see if the P.I. was worthy of a good Yelp review. In one of Nathan for You’s most memorable moments, Wolfe—confused by Fielder’s eccentricities—dubbed him the “wizard of loneliness” because he has “no friends.” He later referred to Fielder as a “goober.” Not long afterward, Wolfe was contacted by producers looking to develop a reality series based on his firm. Cry Wolfe aired on Investigation Discovery for three seasons between 2014 and 2016.

7. He once starred in a scripted and fictional web series titled David.

Much of Fielder’s output consists of a slightly distorted version of himself interacting with the real world. That changed in 2016, when Fielder appeared in the five-episode web series David. In it, Fielder plays a man who finds out he has just weeks to live thanks to a black stone growing inside of his heart. Jenny Slate co-stars. The dark comedy was originally on YouTube but doesn’t appear to be currently available on the service. You may be able to find it on Vimeo.

8. Nathan Fielder is very much like Nathan Fielder.

In a 2015 interview with The A.V. Club, Fielder offered what might be his most succinct explanation yet of how his onscreen persona intersects with his authentic self. (It came after he was compared to Andy Kaufman.) “The version of me on the show is much more, obviously, controlled and deliberate than the me in real life because I’m trying to bring things out of people and create situations that will be funny and interesting,” he said.

“But at the same time, I also try to put myself into situations that I don’t know how they’ll go—unpredictable scenarios—so I personally will get thrown off and have to figure out a way out of it. I like doing that with the show as well … But I think the situations and the uncomfortable moments in the show also, I feel like, are designed to bring out a side of the other person that I find very charming and endearing about them.”

Nathan for You co-creator Michael Koman agrees. “There’s only about a 10 percent difference between the Nathan on the show and real-life Nathan,” Koman told Rolling Stone in 2017. “The character is just an amplified version of him.”

By Jake Rossen

Source: 8 Surprising Facts About Nathan Fielder

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How to Budget After Closing Costs When Buying a Home

Image credit: DreamPictures / Getty Images

Anyone who’s buying their first home has probably gotten used to stalking their bank accounts leading up to their closing making sure they’re beefing up their savings for a down payment and closing costs. According to Zillow, the median price of a home sold in America [as of December 2020] is $262,604. Putting 20 percent down on that home will cost you $52,520.

Factor in about two to five percent of the home price for closing costs, ($13,130 for five percent) and you’re easily down about $65,650 before you’ve stepped foot into your bare home. Sure, you’re trying to get to the 20 percent mark in order to avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI), but if you don’t factor in other costs you’ll accrue in the coming weeks and years, you might be biting off more than you can chew.

Read on to assess whether you’ll still have money left over for the things important to you after closing, or if perhaps you should be looking for a lower-priced home in order to make sure you can still maintain your lifestyle and have a beautiful space of your own.

1. Factor in Your New Bills

“A lot of people don’t bother to ask themselves what it will actually cost to live there,” says Jean Chatzky, CEO of HerMoney.com, financial editor at NBC’s “Today Show” for 23 years. Talk to someone who has a place similar to yours, whether it’s a house or a condo, that’s around the same size, in your neighborhood or building, and ask them to share their costs for heat, electricity, cable, and water. “Learning about the other associated expenses with buying this home can be eye-opening,” says Chatzky.

2. Consider Decorating Expenses

It’s important to add personal elements that will turn your house or condo into a home. “Making the home yours costs money whether you’re talking about paint or a trip… to buy all new furniture,” says Chatzky. “While purchasing a home is a big investment, it’s important to budget for the items that you’ll need to fill your home,” says Tina Rich, NYC-based interior designer. “Filling your space with furniture and accessories you’ve selected and love is what makes a house a home, so it’s important that you don’t clean out your bank account before you close.”

3. Decide Which Furniture You’ll Need First

“The best investment you can make is a quality bedroom set,” says Michael Robinson, furniture designer at American Modern Collection. “Granted, I have a biased opinion since I design bedroom collections.” He says that when people buy a high-quality bedroom set, they can have it for 25 years. “We’re a society that’s used to getting rid of stuff often and I think many often lose perspective of what quality actually is and why people used to buy quality products,” he said. Can you get a discount bedroom set under $1,000? Sure.

But it won’t likely be made from solid wood and built to last. Robinson says the Amish-made, wooden bedroom sets he designs for his company start around $5,000. This is where you should think about what you can make do with and are willing to replace in a few years, or whether you want furniture that lasts a few decades.

If you like to entertain, you might decide that a sofa is where you want to spend your money, or perhaps a dining room set. Research these prices and decide which items you want to splurge on as a quality investment right now, and which pieces you don’t mind getting second hand or cheap in order to fill your home.

4. Factor in Paint Costs

Whether you’re moving into a slightly larger condo or tripled your living size with a single family home, you’ll probably be painting it at some point. According to HomeAdvisor.com, hiring a professional to paint an average sized room (10 feet by 12 feet) costs between $380 to $790. Should you choose to paint a room yourself, paint will cost anywhere between $30 and $60 per gallon for a high-end brand that comes in three different finishes: flat, semi-gloss or high-gloss, according to the experts at HomeAdvisor.com.

Most rooms will require about two (gallon) paint cans. You’ll also need about two cans or primer ($7-15) for each wall so you’re looking at about $140 per room before you buy supplies. “I’m a fan of HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams because of its quality and it has a nice color range,” says Rich. “While there are always areas to save during a home renovation, paint isn’t one of them. Using a high quality paint—rather than an inexpensive brand—is crucial so your walls look professional and polished.”

5. Set Aside Money for Window Treatments

You’re excited to have rooms with beautiful natural light, but there are probably quite a few rooms in your new home that you’ll need to cover for privacy and protection from the sun. Not only do people often forget to set aside money for window treatments—whether that’s blinds, shades shutters, and curtains—they forget to factor in things like pets’ claws and children’s safety when purchasing these items, Robinson says. He recommends Hunter Douglas as a brand he sells through Unique Interiors in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

They’ll come out and measure each window properly to ensure you get proper-fitting blinds that are best for your home and tastes. Faux wood blinds are the most popular window treatments he sells for Hunter Douglas these days. An average price point to cover a 36-inch by 60-inch window with faux wooden blinds from that company will set you back about $200. For comparison, the cheapest faux wood blinds we found at Home Depot are about $13 and cheap shades are around $7. Granted, those cheap versions won’t likely last long.

This just goes to show, even if you don’t plan on spending a lot of money on window coverings right now, you’ll still need to set aside money for the very basics in your new home.

6. Plan for Outdoor Home Costs

If you’re moving to your first house from an apartment, condo, or townhome, you might need to invest in a snow blower for your first winter there. (Consider looking for a certified refurbished one to save money.) You may need a new lawn mower, weed wacker, or a sprinkler system for your lawn. Have a front patio or back deck that needs furniture and an umbrella? That’ll be a few hundred dollars.

“Are you comfortable allowing things to look wild and beautiful, or do you want everything manicured beautifully every single month?” asks Chatzky. She suggests talking to a new neighbor about pricing. You could say: “Your landscaping is beautiful. Do you mind recommending the person who does it? Oh, and by the way, how much does it cost?” she suggests.

7. Account for Moving and Assembly Costs

Make a list of what you’re taking with you, what gaps you have, and do some shopping ahead of time so you can figure out what these items are going to cost, suggest Chatzky. If you’re shopping at IKEA or a store where the furniture needs to be put together and you are not capable of doing that yourself, you’re going to hire somebody to do it, so how much is that going to cost?

How much are the shipping fees? How much is it going to cost to have it moved? Whether you’re renting a moving truck and doing the move yourself and with friends, or hiring professional movers, you’ll be spending anywhere from about $200 to over $1,000. (Based on large truck rentals at uhaul.com, factoring in gas and mileage and taxes.)

8. Prepare for Home Maintenance Costs

“Your home inspection is a good road map to the expenses you’re going to have in the near future and you should pay close attention to that,” warns Chatzky. Harvard research shows you should plan on spending one to two percent of the value of your home every year on maintenance, says Chatzky. “Even if you don’t spend it in year one or year two, you’re likely looking at triple the expenses in year three.”

Now that you have an idea of the types of costs coming down the pipeline once you scrape out your savings account, budget for them in advance. “Think about how you’re going to use the place, how you’re going to live in the place, and what it’s going to cost you to get it into that particular kind of shape you want it in,” says Chatzky.

By: Diana Kelly

Diana Kelly is a freelance writer, consultant, and freelance writing coach. She loves taking fitness classes, squeezing in mini-workouts between articles deadlines, hanging out with her adopted puppy, Jackson, and hiding messes in closets and drawers.

Source: How to Budget After Closing Costs When Buying a Home

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2 Specialty Retail Stocks To Add To Your Shopping List

2 Specialty Retail Stocks to Add to Your Shopping List

Let’s face it – retail is one of the most competitive industries out there. Consumer preferences are constantly changing and it takes a lot for these types of businesses to earn shoppers’ hard-earned cash. That’s one of the reasons why investing in specialty retail stocks can be a great long-term strategy if you choose wisely. Since specialty retailers focus on specific product categories, like office supplies, furniture, or men’s or women’s clothing, they are oftentimes able to carve out a unique niche and stand out among their competitors.

Thanks to all of the stimulus that has been added to the economy over the last year and the fact that a newly vaccinated population is getting back to shopping in person, we could see some strong sales coming out of the specialty retail space in the coming months. There are 2 specialty retail stocks that stand out as potential buys at this time given their unique brands and impressive earnings reports. Let’s take a further look at these intriguing stocks below.

RH (NYSE:RH)

RH, formerly known as Restoration Hardware, is a great specialty retail stock because it is doing something that is completely unique. While there are plenty of home furnishings stores out there, RH is distinctive in that it specializes in ultra-high-end luxury home goods and creating a unique shopping experience at every single store. Homeowners can find upscale products including furniture, lighting, bathware, outdoor & garden, tableware textiles, and décor at RH, and each one of the company’s showrooms offers an original and aesthetically pleasing experience.

The company counts Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway among its investors and is undoubtedly benefitting from a hot residential real estate market. With that said, RH has upside potential regardless of what’s going on in the economy, as the company doesn’t have exposure to seasonal inventory and caters to wealthy consumers that spend big year-round. The stock has been pulling back in recent months after a rally from $70 to $700 a share, but after the company’s latest earnings report it could be gearing up for more gains.

RH saw its Q1 revenues up 78% year-over-year to $860.8 million and delivered Q1 adjusted diluted earnings per share increase by 285% year-over-year to $4.89 per share. Other positives from the stellar report included an increased fiscal 2021 outlook and the fact that the company expects to be net debt-free by the end of the fiscal year. The bottom line here is that RH is a specialty retail company that is executing at a very high level, which is evident in both the earnings results and stock price.

Lovesac (NASDAQ:LOVE)

There’s a lot to love about this specialty retailer, which designs and manufactures modular couches and beanbags. What really stands out about Lovesac is how it has created a brand and product lines that have quickly become the favorite furniture of an entire generation. Millennials are among Lovesac’s most frequent customers, as they love the idea of the company’s flagship product, a unique modular furniture piece known as a “sactional”.

These are couches that are easily assembled and disassembled in order to meet the needs of the consumer. There are literally dozens of different ways that sactionals can be rearranged to fit in someone’s home, and the fact that customers can continue adding on pieces and accessories over time is perfect for creating repeat buyers.

While the company has 91 retail showrooms across the United States, investors should be impressed with the progress that it has made over the last year developing its digital sales channels. E-commerce sales were up over 250% in 2020 and although the company might not be able to keep up that torrid pace, Lovesac has proved it is more than capable of finding buyers online. Also, keep in mind that those showrooms are going to see foot traffic pick up as the pandemic winds down.

Lovesac just reported very strong Q1 2022 earnings results including net sales growth of 52.5% and diluted EPS of $0.13, up 122.1% year-over-year. Analysts also love the stock, as Lovesac recently got a price target increase from Craig Hallum on Thursday. Pandemic tailwinds are continuing to help this specialty retailer grow, and that narrative should remain in place for the foreseeable future. These are all great reasons why Lovesac is a great stock to consider adding to your shopping list.

By:

Source: 2 Specialty Retail Stocks to Add to Your Shopping List

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Critics:

A stock derivative is any financial instrument for which the underlying asset is the price of an equity. Futures and options are the main types of derivatives on stocks. The underlying security may be a stock index or an individual firm’s stock, e.g. single-stock futures.

Stock futures are contracts where the buyer is long, i.e., takes on the obligation to buy on the contract maturity date, and the seller is short, i.e., takes on the obligation to sell. Stock index futures are generally delivered by cash settlement.

A stock option is a class of option. Specifically, a call option is the right (not obligation) to buy stock in the future at a fixed price and a put option is the right (not obligation) to sell stock in the future at a fixed price. Thus, the value of a stock option changes in reaction to the underlying stock of which it is a derivative. The most popular method of valuing stock options is the Black–Scholes model. Apart from call options granted to employees, most stock options are transferable.

Stock price fluctuations

The price of a stock fluctuates fundamentally due to the theory of supply and demand. Like all commodities in the market, the price of a stock is sensitive to demand. However, there are many factors that influence the demand for a particular stock. The fields of fundamental analysis and technical analysis attempt to understand market conditions that lead to price changes, or even predict future price levels.

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How To Keep Your Plants Alive When You’re on Vacation

If you have a home full of plants, it can be hard to have friends reliably take care of them while you’re gone. Plus, what if no one is available to come by every day to give your plants the specific care they need? Here are a few hacks that will keep your plants happy and healthy while you take time away.

How to water your plants while you’re on vacation

The biggest concern people have when leaving their plants alone is regular watering; and if you have a huge family of varying plants, they’ll need to be cared for differently. Thankfully, you can outfit different watering systems for your plants’ needs.

Use a wine bottle to water your plants

For larger plants that require regular watering, the wine bottle option is a great choice. Grab an empty twist-off wine bottle, then poke a hole in the metal cap and fill the bottle with water. Screw the (now pierced) cap back on top. Turn the wine bottle cap-side down into your potted plant and position it deep enough that the bottle will stand up on its own. The water will slowly release over time, feeding your plant while you’re away.

Put plants in a bathtub or kiddie pool as a water reservoir

If you have several tropical plants and perhaps not enough wine bottles, you can give your plants the hydration they need in the bathtub. Garden writer Barbara Pleasant told House Beautiful the best way to care for multiple indoor plants while on vacation is to fill your bathtub with one to two inches of water. Remove any saucers from the bottom of the plants’ pots and place each plant in the tub together. The plants will soak up the water through the drainage hole, drinking as needed while you’re away. The same process works using a kiddie pool for your outdoor plants.

Group plants together by type

Rearrange your plants by type before you head out on your trip. Succulents and cacti should be together with other plants that won’t need any attention while you are gone. Water those before you leave, and they’ll be all set. Keep the more tropical plants together so they can feed off of each other’s moisture and warmth.

How to regulate your plants airflow when you’re gone

The next concern for your plants is oxygen and airflow. (I am not one to leave my windows open when I know I’ll be away for an extended period of time.) There are ways to give your plant the humid or dry environment they need when you can’t regulate the temperature day by day.

Make a temporary greenhouse

Put a plastic container over small plants that love humidity. The plastic container will create a mini greenhouse, allowing the cycle of water and humidity to be maintained while you’re gone. This also works with a plastic bag as a small terrarium.

Move plants away from windows until you get back

Grouping your plants together is the easiest way you can control the airflow and temperature for your plants while you’re gone. The tropical plants go in your tub, and the succulents drying out in a corner as they like. But you’ll want to make sure all plants are away from any variables that could change the temperature at a moment’s notice. Keep plants away from air vents, sunny windows, and heaters. Without you there to move them around, these things could dry out your more sensitive plants faster than you think.

Adjust the heat or AC before you leave plants alone

This step might boost your utility bill for the time you’re gone, not to mention it’s not the most environmentally friendly, but if needed, your plants will thank you for spending a little extra cash on them by adjusting your heat or AC to control the temperature while you’re gone. This could mean coming home to a higher electric bill, but your plants have a better chance of being alive when you get back home.

By: Aisha Jordan

Source: How to Keep Your Plants Alive When You’re on Vacation

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