Weekend Open Thread

Donna Ricco Ruffle Matte Jersey DressSomething on your mind? Chat about it here.

Reader K wrote in to recommend this cute dress, which is now steeply discounted and still available in lots of sizes: ” Obviously, it isn’t necessarily work-appropriate, but it is a GREAT date-night dress. I wore it out to my Valentines dinner with my fiance and got 2 compliments on it just walking to our table. And he hasn’t stopped asking when I’ll wear it again. It is very va-va-va voom, but pretty forgiving in the middle because of the pleats.” I like it — particularly the pleats. It’s $44.97 at Nordstrom Rack. Donna Ricco Ruffle Matte Jersey Dress

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  1. I wanted to be the FIRST to say I am back from doing my EBT’s and wanted to make sure every one knows I was NOT at the manageing partner for sneezeing on me. I did NOT have the flu, but do NOT like it when he shine’s his head with his dirty hankercheef!

    I met a new guy, Larry, and he seem’s nice, but I am NOT going to let him get any where until AFTER I am sure he is sincere. That is what hapened with Alan. FOOEY on him.

    • Anonymous :

      Finally!!!!! Do NOT blOw this one Ellen.

      • Or do, if she wants him to stick around. Hehe.

        • Pftooey! You do want to start giving any guy on the street BJs on demand. Best to wait until after you get the ring to do that.

    • karenpadi :

      Ellen, I dated a “Larry” a few months back, I hope it isn’t the same one. We might have to FIGHT over him.

      • I hope NOT! NO man is worth Fighting for my dad says.

        My Larry (and btw, I have NOT done anything sexuel with him –FOOEY!) is has a JD degree FROM Fordam University. He has a job also.

        I agreed with my FATHER that I will not sacrefice my BODY for ANY man until I get a REAL comitment leeding to MARRAGE! Not like ALAN. Fooey on Alan.

    • Consider looking at Brookline if you are thinking of buying. The school system is excellent and the commute isn’t too bad. You may not think your baby will be in school soon, but if you are buying, you should be staying in the same place at least 5 years. Boston and Cambridge do not have good school systems.

  2. Chowda powa :

    TGIF Ladies!

    I would love some advice on where to live in Boston. We are open to buying or renting and have saved up a good amount, so we are flexible on price. I have never lived in Boston before, but I know the area somewhat because my sister used to live there. Here are some key considerations:

    1) My husband will work close to the Alewife stop on the red line in Cambridge. I will work in the financial district. It’s more important that we live closer to my work (ideally walking distance, but if not, I’m open to commuting by T).

    2) We have always lived in big urban cities and love the city feel. It’s very important for us to be in an area that is neighborhoody. We love to walk to great restaurants, bookstores, coffee shops, parks, etc.

    3) I’m expecting a child in the fall, and we’d like to raise our child in an area that is safe and kid friendly (good schools is a plus, but the baby won’t be going to school for a while so that’s less of a consideration for us).

    4) We’re both people of color, and would like to live in a diverse, cosmopolitan area.

    5) No suburbs.

    Any thoughts? South End seems like a good option, but would it be a pain for hubby to commute to work? I don’t know much about Cambridge, but have heard others rave about it. Other ideas?


    • It sounds like anything within walking distance to the Red Line. If you’re looking for an area that still has something of a city vibe with a little more green space, you might look in the Porter Square area (border of Cambridge/Somerville). Central Square has more college kids I think. Kendall Square has lots of luxury high rises and the like, but I think its more true urban without the green space.

      South End wouldn’t be the end of the world for a commute to Alewife, but honestly the Red Line isn’t super dependable so I’d try to be further out along it rather than starting from all the way downtown.

      I’d rent before you buy– especially since almost anything you’d be buying in that area would be a condo, which have tough resale value.

    • Two cents :

      Sounds like Beacon Hill would be a good option. Your husband would be walking distance to the Charles MGH stop on the red line, and you would be walking distance to work (probably a 20 minute walk, maybe less). Beacon Hill is cute and neighborhoody (and expensive). :) I don’t think it ranks high on diversity, however.

      • I do love Beacon Hill — but it is just oh so expensive — and oh so hard to get outdoor space of any kind. But if I was a katrillionaire that’s where I’d live. :-)

      • Anonymous :

        I agree that if you’re willing to pay for it, Beacon Hill is your best bet based on your list. I don’t think you’ll find good public schools in Boston proper.

        If you’re flexible on commuting by T, I would suggest cambridge/sommerville near porter square. The area nearer to Cambridge is very neighborhood-y and more diverse than BH. A bit further to have a large selection of restaurants, but still close to some nice places, and your money will go a lot further than on BH. Plus there’s a great coffee shop right near there that I make to swing by whenever I’m in the area.

        That said, if you’re going to start dropping your Rs (based on your moniker), I’d look at Revere :)

    • Thirds for porter square.

    • Somerville near Davis is also relatively diverse – my husband and I have lived there almost 4 years now and really like it. We’re walking distance to the Red Line and lots of shops and restaurants. The T can be a pain sometimes, it’s very nice to be in an urban area without being right in town, and there are a number of playgrounds nearby and plenty of young families.

      • I think the restaurants in Davis Square are better than those right around Porter — but Porter has the grocery store right there. I also think Porter has maybe a slightly nicer (but more expensive) stock of apartments.

    • I would definitely rent for a year so you can figure out exactly where you want to be. Porter or Davis would be my top pick for neighborhoods that suit your needs, both are on the Red line.

    • Chowda Powa :

      Thank you for the helpful recs. Will check out Beacon Hill and Porter/Davis. Does Porter/Davis feel suburban? Can you walk to restaurants, bookstores, etc.? As mentioned, DH and I have lived in various cities since we’ve been married (last 10 years) and we’re huge fans of urban living.

      • I’m going to put in a plug for Central Square if you like an urban feel and lots of restaurants. It’s definitely not as adorable as the rest of Cambridge, but it does have incredible restaurants, from higher end New American places like Salts, Craigie Street, and Rendezvous, but also incredible ethnic restaurants (Sichuan, Indian, falafel, Korean BBQ). There are also several decent coffee shops and bakeries (1369, Flour), plus a killer ice cream shop (Toscanini’s), and two (two!) Whole Foods within walking distance. It’s also 2-3 T stops closer to downtown than Porter and Central, so your commute would be pretty easy.

        The downside of Central Square is that it is gritty, with more dicey blocks and more homeless than the rest of Cambridge. It sounds like you’re used to big cities though, so if you’re willing to make that trade-off it could be worth it.

        • Current Cantabridgian :

          I live between Harvard and Central squares now, closer to Central. There are certainly college kids but they tend to be grad students not undergrads. I think it is more racially diverse than Porter/Davis but I haven’t spent too much time in those neighborhoods. On our block there are lots of parents with young kids. I have occasionally run into shady characters but I generally consider it to be safe. It’s easy to walk to tons of restaurants, 2 branches of the public library, 2 Whole Foods, a Trader Joes, and an independent coop grocery store, parks, coffee shops, etc. It would be farther away from your work than Beacon Hill but it would also be cheaper and a little less… uptight (I think).

          I personally have found the Red line to be pretty reliable. Of course it breaks down sometimes but it is way better than the other subway lines. From where I live it takes maybe 20 minutes to get to South Station during rush hour (which includes at 7 minute walk to the Central T stop).

      • former Bostonian :

        I used to live in Porter in grad school. I don’t think that Porter/Davis is too suburban. It’s not like living in midtown manhattan to be sure, but it has a great neighborhood feel, and there are tons of restaurants/cute shops/book stores in the area. And it is only about a 15 min. walk to Harvard Sq., which also has great options. I lived there for several years without a car and never had a problem. After I graduated from law school, I lived in the South End for a couple of years. While I also really enjoyed that, I have a real soft spot for Porter Sq. If I moved back to the east coast, I would definitely choose Cambridge over Boston.

        • PharmaGirl :

          Camberville>Boston for sure. I never lived south of the river and never felt like I was missing out. I was in grad school in the south end so spent my days there and my nights/weekends back in Cambridge/Somerville.

          • Anne Shirley :

            To me, Sommerville feels very suburban. I’d want a car if I lived there. I’d try out beacon hill, back bay, and depending on hubby’s thoughts on a longer commute, def consider the south end. The great thing about Boston is that it’s really a small city, so you can visit lots of neighborhoods in a weekend trip

    • I know nothing about Boston, so I have no specific advice. But I am currently looking for a house in a different metro area, and I had the same reasoning on schools (don’t care because not preggers yet so it is unlikely I’ll ever have to worry about it in this house). BUT I work with several social workers who I asked for advice about different areas. One of them advised that she puts a lot of weight on schools, even if you don’t have kids, because good public schools are a good indicator of the community’s function and general community involvement. Just something to think about.

      • Plus public schools are a major indicator of resale value. But if she wants to be urban and have public schools that are really good, she’s going to have to go in Brookline, which is going to be one h*ck of a commute for her husband. So its kind of a toss up.

        • A good bet in Cambridge is Hastings Square, near Central Square and near the Charles River. But public schools in Cambrdge are lousy. You will probably want private schools for your kids unless you live in Lexington, Newton, or Brookline.

          Been there, done that, got the tee shirt.

          • Okay…that’s a wild exaggeration — at the very least you must have been willing to send your kids to Wellesley, Weston, or Concord. (I’m sorry…but that was a pretty snooty sentence.)

  3. Hooray, Weekend Open Thread, I have been waiting for this for days.

    Does anyone know if US engineering degrees are accepted in Germany? DH and I might move there, and I am wondering if his degree will be worth something.

    Same question for France, that would be an alternative if we move closer to the border and he could work in France while I work in Germany (yay EU).

    Maybe some tips on where I can check that stuff online? I seem to have bad luck finding anything.

    • I am not entirely sure – a quick look at jobs at the Sueddeutsche Zeitung and the Frankfurter Allgemeine showed that companies were just looking for applicants who had completed their studies in engineering. My husband is an engineer (educated in Germany) and based on what he has always said, and Germany’s switch to a bachelor and master’s degree system, I think a master’s degree would be more likely to be viewed as equivalent than a bachelor’s. In my experience Germany can be tough in terms of recognizing foreign qualifications, however.

    • Hey there,

      well if he’s working for a US company I think he’d have no issue. The problem is that in a lot of countries in Europe, a basic Engineering degree would be equivalent to a master’s degree in the US. I know this includes Germany and Holland, but I don’t know about France.

      The bigger problem will be getting a work visa. My husband was almost assigned to Germany at one point, so I started looking it up, and I recall feeling that while it wouldn’t be impossible, that finding a job that would get me a visa or vice versa would be difficult.

      P.S. we’re both engineers.

      • WorkedAbroad :

        Your degree is certainly worth something; how much probably depends on if he also has work experience. Does he just have a Bachelors, or also a Masters? Germany is in the process of moving from their Diplom system (which was basically the equivalent of a masters) to Bachelors/Masters. I don’t know if this is relevant in your situation or not, but, it you happen to have gone to an “elite” school (MIT, Stanford, etc), Germans seems to really respect those degrees (since they haven’t traditionally had “elite” schools, they seem rather fascinated by ours.) Good luck!

    • This is not a good time to get a proper residency in France. You can hope that Sarkozy gets canned next month, although the likely winner has already announced that he wouldn’t improve immigration at all .

      Meanwhile, degrees being ‘accepted’ is a hazy concept. If you’re working as an engineer, and you went to a reasonably large university, there should be not much problem getting an engineering job in France. Especially if you’re working at a company they may have heard of. That does not translate at all to being accepted in academia. And it also depends on the kind of engineering. Software, electrical, no problem. Other kinds? Mmm.
      Much depends also on how old your husband is. Forty is already considered to be one foot in the grave. Fifty you should be retired. And he’d better be white :-). So it’s no fun at all if you’re not a straight white male in your 30s.

      There is a huge difference in status between a permanent job (CDI) and a temporary one (CDD, which can legally be up to 2 years). If you’re going to stay a while, you definitely want to do your best to get a CDI, silly as it may seem since many temp jobs last longer than permanent ones in the US, if you see what I mean. But it’s a lot like tenure, the only way to get a permanent job is to have one already. So I’d strongly advise getting a job remotely and only then moving, it’s much less likely to happen in the other order. Skype interviews and such, visit if necessary, or just come for a jobhunting vacation when you’re far enough along to interview. Be aware that they can easily take 6 months to make up their minds after you think it’s in the bag. Many HR people justify their existence by idle interviewing, with no real intention to hire anyone.
      And if he’s moving to come along with you, NEVER admit this to anyone. The only job he could ever get then would be maybe in childcare :-)..

      PS: they do monster. For computer stuff, you must use lesjeudis.com

    • anon in Germany :

      Hey Lawlala, I am US born but an engineer educated in /working in Germany. If your husband is a professional engineer, even with a bachelor’s degree, he will have more luck having his degree recognized. The title isn’t common for most disciplines of engineering in the US, but if he “only” has a bachelor’s, it may be worth looking into while still in the US.

  4. Can anyone recommend a residential real estate lawyer in the DC area? My BFF is having ridiculous drama with a house that they were supposed to close on weeks ago, and has decided it is past time to bring in bigger guns…

  5. In House Counsel :

    Corporette mamas and mamas-to-be,

    Am looking for suggestions for where to pick up a couple pairs of maternity work pants as my regular clothing is getting tighter and I think its time to search for more comfy options. I’d liked this pair at the GAP ( http://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=761853002&tid=gofr1r) but sadly they’re sold out in most sizes. Looking to the hive for suggestions on where to get a pair of black and grey pants to carry me thru the pregnancy at work. Thanks in advance!

    • The perfect boot pants from Gap were my go-tos – http://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=6026&vid=1&pid=761851

      I also had some tweedy ones from Motherhood that looked good from afar and good enough up close, but no joke felt like PJs. If not the same these look really similar: http://www.motherhood.com/Product.asp?Product_Id=986240270&MasterCategory_Id=MC5
      I don’t know why more maternity pants don’t have a band like this, like a super-stretchy stocking rather something shorter and thicker that toward the end starts to hurt.

    • AppealingLawyer :

      I had a heck of a time finding maternity pants that fit me (most would fall down and sag too much). I ended up buying a pair of Eileen Fisher pants with an elastic waist in the regular department (not maternity) and they saw me through to the very end. There was also a black skirt too that had an elastic waist. I did the same with casual pants–I bought a pair of Lands End (I think they were called Starfish Pants) that sort of passed for something better than sweats and wore them everywhere I could.

      I had better luck with skirts and dresses and would recommend going that route.

    • I spent most of my 2 pregnancies in the Gap full panel modern boot pants. Loved, loved, loved them.

    • I love my AT Loft maternity pants! I ordered them in my regular size and both the fit and quality are great! I ordered work pants (black and tan pairs) and a pair of jeans and really couldn’t be happier. I also got a couple of pairs at Target and they are satisfactory. I did not like the quality or fit of the pants at Motherhood Maternity.

    • I got mine at JC Penney. Not the highest quality of course, but they came in talls (which was hard to find) and worked just fine for the few months that I wore them. I got both black and gray. They have sort of a medium panel with elastic on the waist, so it’s not the full panel that covers the entire belly.

    • a passion for fashion :

      pea in the pod worked best for me

    • Got a posting too fast error! Anyway, I liked pants from the brand Three Season Maternity. You can purchase them in various department stores and online. They are the only pants that lasted me my entire pregnancy. They have a demi panel and are adjustable on the inside.

    • I had some great cadeau maternity pants and japanese weekend pants and skirts. the jersey pants and skirts were great and I had a pair of Liz Lange pants from Target that were great too. Congratulations and have fun!

    • Anonymous :

      I just took some regular pants to the tailor and had a maternity panel sewn in ($35, YMMV). I did the same with my favorite jeans.

      Then again, I’m 5-11 and most maternity pants are not long enough for me.

    • Diana Barry :

      Pea in the Pod, I have 2, black and grey, with the “secret fit belly” (nice and stretchy, stays up!). Very comfy. Do go and try on though, since their return policy is horrific.

    • Kohl’s carries a maternity line that is fairly reasonable and associated with one of the big maternity stores, not remembering the name. I purchased a pair of black and grey pants with the tummy panel that lasted me the whole pregnancy.

    • I spent much of my pregnancy in a full panel charcoal gray pair of pants from Pea in the Pod. They were on the pricey side for maternity pants, but I wanted a pair that looked professional, and they lasted me from a few months in all the way to 41 weeks. I alternated those pants with a pair of black Olian maternity pants, which were the most comfy pants ever! I wore the gap jeans for my entire pregnancy, but wasn’t thrilled with the quality of their work pants. Congrats!

    • I loved my H&M maternity pants!! So comfy and great for work.

      • In House Counsel :

        Merci for all the suggestions! I have made a list and will attempt to hit some stores in search of these items.

  6. Los Angeles Meet Up On 4/1/12 :

    A group of us have organized a meet-up in Los Angeles on Sun. 4/1/12. If you are a So.Cal ‘rette or are planning to be in the area that day, save the date and join us for brunch! Email me at LosAngelesCorporette at yahoo dot com for deets. The more the merrier!

    • Los Angeles Meet Up on 4/1/12 :

      Incidentally, if any of you have organized/attended meet ups elsewhere and have tips, suggestions, or ideas for a good first time meet up experience, please share them with us!

    • Sounds great! This is my first meetup and I’d love some tips on anonymous etiquette. Should I email you from an anonymous email? Do we use our real names when we meet in person? Can we have a secret password? :) (OK, that last one, maybe the last two, were a joke … but seriously, what’s the protocol here?)


      • Los Angeles Meet Up On 4/1/12 :

        Whatever you feel most comfortable with is fine. If you want to be added to the email list (where everyone else will see your email address), and you’d rather remain anon, then consider setting up an anon email address just for meet up purposes and use that when you email me.

      • I hope this one is successful and happens again! I’ll be out of town that weekend, but would otherwise be there. Enjoy!

  7. Since we’ve had several housekeeping discussions this week: do you guys re-seal your bathroom tile? If so, how often? I have a vague recollection of being told to do this, but I’ve owned my condo 3 years and never have. Sounds like a serious project that will require the Homeless Depot. Ugh.

    • AppealingLawyer :

      I’ve never heard of resealing your tile, but I’ve heard of resealing your granite counter tops, which is supposed to be done once a year. It’s not hard but it’s a bit of a pain because you have to let it dry, etc. You should be able to find a spray bottle of sealant near the cleaning supplies.

    • what kind of tile do you have? I can see re-sealing making sense for more porous finishes (marble, granite, etc – as AppealingLawyer noted) – but for run of the mill porcelain I’ve never heard that advice.

    • I had tiled bathrooms and laundry room in my last house, and never did any re-sealing over eight years. Even after the very difficult dog stayed in the laundry room for a while, it didn’t seem to be a problem.

    • MissJackson :

      You might be thinking of re-grouting?

    • I remember being told that too! But I looked into it and pretty much every source I could find on the internet machine said it was silly.

    • I do think you’re supposed to re-seal your grout every so often if you want it to remain pure white or grey or whatever color it was originally. But I don’t do it and don’t know anyone who does.

    • I reseal the grout on the bathroom floor about every 2 years. It was tan and is now a bit darker, probably since I didn’t seal it often enough. The tile extends halfway up the walls and I don’t worry about them since they don’t get the same wear that the floor does.

    • i did it! :

      You can do this yourself, no problem. I am horrible with home improvement stuff and this is the one thing my husband will “allow” me to help him do to the house. It’s idiot-proof.

      You are supposed to re-seal your tile grout (the area between the actual tiles) every 1-3 years. For high-traffic areas, bathrooms which are used every day, or in areas that you use a lot of cleaning product, “they” (meaning our tile store, our independant tile installer, our carpet cleaner who just did a deep clean on our tiles too and a friend’s dad who is a contractor) say you are supposed to re-seal every year. That seems a bit excessive so I’ve put our high traffic areas on a 2-year schedule. Also, I’ve been hearing to extend your sealant, wash your floors with 1/2 the cleaner but with hot hot water.

      We just re-sealed our entry and kitchen flooring. Here is what I know. The sealant prevents water and dirt from settling in the grout (which is pourous). It’s just a thin coat of protectant so it wears out over time, which is why you have to re-seal it. If you use a lot of floor cleaner, it will increase the wear.

      To seal, (1) clean your tile floor really well (remember, any dirt left over or stains will be “sealed” in). To remove stains, take a very very fine sandpaper and lightly sand the stained grout. Be careful you don’t rub the sand paper on the tile… you don’t want to scratch it. (2) let the grout completely dry. (3) while drying, go to your local home improvement store. Find someone who knows about tile and tell them to hook you up with good quality grout sealing stuff. Sealant goes a super duper long way so unless you have a massive area, just get the smallest container they have. You will also need a tool which the person will find for you (if should be by the sealant. It’s essentially a black sponge thing on a stick but the sponge has just the right absorbtion and is slanted for easy application). Also pick up a small container you can use to pour the sealant into while working. A left over sour cream or cottage cheese container is perfect too. (4) pour a bit of sealant into your container (1/2 in deep for starters) (5) you will now essentially dab the sealant into the grout with the special sponge, like you are sponge painting the lines. More is better so don’t be skimpy. You want there to be enough to seep into exposed pores. Any sealant that gets on your tile will come off with wear and your next cleanign so don’t worry about wiping it off. The container will tell you the drying time. If your grout sucks up the sealant way faster than the stated drying time you may want to go over those areas again.

      It’s a bit back breaking but it doesn’t take long. For example, if you are talking about a standard bathroom, it will take you about 10 minutes.

      Good luck!

      • This is really helpful! Thank you. Thank goodness I have small bathrooms. Now off to the Homeless Depot. Fun weekend :)

        • My former contractor called it Home Cheapo. :)

          • My gay friends call it Homo Depot. One gay couple I know was propositioned for a threesome by the guy who was loading something in their car. Too funny.

  8. Is it time for another book thread? What are people currently reading?

    I’m reading Molly Brown: Unraveling the Myth by Kristen Iverson. From a corporette perspective, I’m fascinated by the ways in which her fashion choices seem to be inextricably linked to her great success in politics/social reform.

    • Former MidLevel :

      Ooh – fun. I’m reading “Fever” by Lauren DeStephano. It’s the sequel to a book called “Wither,” which was amazing. But then again, I’m a sucker for sci-fi dystopias…

      • I read Whither last year, but was kind of neutral about it and haven’t decided if I want to pick up Fever, yet. How do you think it compares?

        I also love sci-fi dystopias, I’ve read The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson and Crossed by Alli Condle (sequel to my favorite of the dystopias that have come out in recent years- Matched) in the past few months.

        • Former MidLevel :

          I’m not that far into “Fever,” bu so far the best adjective I can think of to compare it to “Wither” is “grittier.”

          How did you like “Jenna Fox,” by the way? I keep going back and forth on whether I want to read it.

          • Hmm, I might like a grittier version of Whither. I liked Jenna Fox, it’s less dystopia and more sci-fi, and doesn’t have the pounding excitement of, say, Hunger Games, but the writing is better than most of the YA dystopias I’ve read, the ideas are very interesting, and the characters are very well-realized. I’d say it’s one of my favorites of the ones I’ve read, with the admission that I prefer character over plot and come at it from a sci-fi background.

          • Given that I’m currently writing a dystopia for adults, I’m THRILLED that I might have at least two readers (if I ever get published). Yay!

          • Former MidLevel :

            Matilda – Definitely let us know when (I’m going to be optimistic) your book gets published.

          • Former Midlevel, I can’t seem to actually reply to the comment I’m responding to, but I’ll definitely let you know!

        • I’m a fan as well, though Game of Thrones is eating all my reading time recently! I recently read “The Passage” by Justin Cronin. It was…really good, but really weird at the same time. I almost felt like he was trying to be too “oooh I’m so cool” about his writing but at the same time it really sucked me in. Anyone else read it? I’d be curious to know what you think.

          • “The Passage”! I am obsessed. I read it twice last year. It actually was better the second time. The sequel, “The Twelve”, is supposed to come out this year.

          • I just finished The Passage! I thought it was great, and can’t wait for the next one.

            I love the female characters.

            I’m normally pretty sensitive to authors who are full of themselves (or think I am), but didn’t feel that way about Passage. Maybe because I didn’t really talk to anyone about it or read anhing about it before I read it, so I don’t really view it as popular or trendy.

          • I don’t remember how I got it, the library probably, so I knew nothing about it. It was really good, as I said above it really sucked me in and I was sad I couldn’t get the sequel right. that. second. Good to know it’s coming out this year! Agreed on the female characters.

            I don’t know that I thought Cronin was full of himself as that there were a few times I was thinking “alright with the fabulous imagery already just tell me what the BLANK is really going on!!!” Then again, I think that being able to elicit that type of response is invaluable for a writer.

        • Hi Lynnet,

          Have you read Scott Westerfeld’s Pretties/Uglies/Specials/Extras series?
          Very dystopian and a fun, fast read.

          • No, I’ve been meaning to pick them up for a while, though. It keeps on slipping my mind when I’m actually at the library.

    • I just finished Matthew Pearl’s The Technologists. It’s fictional regarding disasters in the Boston area, but the people who solve it are from the first graduating class of MIT. 2 of the main characters (Ellen Swallow and Bob Richards) were real people. Ellen Swallow helped found the AAUW.

      Now I’m reading samples on my kindle to determine my next book.

    • Recently finished The Baker’s Daughter by Sarah McCoy – was a good read!

      Has anyone read The Night Circus? I have heard a lot of good reviews and wondered if I should make that my next one.

      • Former MidLevel :

        I *loved* “The Night Circus.” One caveat: If you don’t like non-linear storytelling, you might not like this.

        • Notalawyer :

          I thought it was overhyped. Read it for the images it puts in your mind, but not the plot. (There’s very little of that.)

    • I finally started The Girl Who Played With Fire this week. Hooray for quasi-mindless thrillers.

    • I just finished 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami today. It was good–definitely too long, and weird in both good and bad ways–but also very interesting. I love books that question/distort reality.

      • I love Murakami books, but agree that 1Q84 goes on too long. Have you tried Hard Boiled Wonderland? It’s my favorite Murakami novel.

    • Not fiction, but I’m reading Steven Pinker’s “The Better Angels of our Nature – How Violence Has Declined” and it is seriously one of the most fascinating books I have ever read. His enormously entertaining (while informative) style is great, and there are plenty of passages about medieval torture devices, cannibalistic tribes, and witch hunts to keep a historical/psychological piece interesting.

      Note: I may never actually finish it though, because it’s like, 800 pages long. But I really want to and keep getting sucked in, so that’s good!

    • I’m reading Thirteen, by Richard K. Morgan. Fantastic, hyper-violent hard sci-fi, if you like that sort of thing (which I do).

    • On the non-fiction front, I just finished two books:
      1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created, by Charles C. Mann
      A Bittersweet Season: Caring for Our Aging Parents–and Ourselves, by Jane Gross

      I have 33 samples on my Kindle to look through for my next book. I’m hoping to get 3 or 4 worth buying out of that stash.

      Oh, and speaking of Kindles and samples: Amazon keeps absolutely no record of the free sample chapters you download, so if something happens to your physical device, you lose them all. My Kindle screen cracked, and Amazon replaced the device for free, but I lost all my samples. Obviously, I was able to find 33 more, but it still sucked.

      • Ooh, I wasn’t aware of 1493. I loved 1492. I’ll have to add this to my reading list!

        • There’s a 1491 as well! 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. It’s in my sample pile. I figure I don’t have to read them in order, because I know how the series ends.

    • phillygirlruns :

      i’m currently reading middlesex, by jeffrey eugenides. i found it a little tougher to get into than the marriage plot, but after about 100 pages it started to hook me. i probably would have given up if i hadn’t liked the marriage plot so much.

      i am a dedicated steven king fan and recently finished 11/22/63. i found it very difficult to put down, and for a 700ish page book it was a very fast read.

      • Tra la la :

        Middlesex is one of my favorite novels. I hope you like it. I found it fascinating.

        • anon in Texas :

          it’s a million years better than the marriage plot! my favorite!

      • Loved Middlesex, and Eugenides’ flowing beautiful writing style. But, had awfully difficult time with the Marriage Plot.

      • Oh i liked middlesex! And I’m currently reading 11/22/63 and LOVE it. So good! (and I’m not a stephen king fan, generally).

      • OMG I love “Middlesex”! I have probably read it 5 times. I’m jealous that you are reading it for the first time :)

        I also liked “The Marriage Plot,” although I didn’t find the characters as sympathetic.

      • Loved Middlesex! I just got 11/22/63 and The Marriage Plot from the library last week. Finished 11/22/63 already. It was good, but after I was done I was a bit disappointed. Starting the Marriage Plot this weekend, as soon as I finish The Tempest for a book group.

      • PharmaGirl :

        I downloaded Middlesex and read a few pages only to realize I’ve read it before. Wah wah. That sure ruined my commute.

    • I’m reading the Patrick Melrose novels by Edward St Aubyn. I’m hoping to finish those over the weekend and then get stuck into some Hemingway.

      • Backgrounder :

        I’m reading A Dance with Dragons, GoT FTW!

        • I’m reading A Storm of Swords! I get them on my nook from the library so I sometimes have to wait for AGES to get the next one but I actually just took off my request for A Feast for Crows because I was 1st on the list (which meant I would get it within 3 weeks). I only have 2 weeks to get through all 1000+ pages so I’m on a reading binge right now! :-)

          • I am also reading A Dance with Dragons! I just started watching the HBO series as well… Consider me hooked! Although I hate it when the characters don’t look the way I’ve pictured them.

        • Barrister in the Bayou :

          Awesome! I love the entire series, I want to reread the first 2 before HBO’s GoT comes back in April!

          • I still haven’t seen HBO’s version, I just started hearing the buzz and then there must have been a wormhole or something because I looked for the first book online at the library and it was available so I downloaded and started reading immediately. I think for #2 I was number 15 on the wait list before I finally got to read it.

            Once I finish the series I’ll probably Hulu plus or Amazon Prime or Netflix the series :-)

        • anon for this :

          So good! Glad our little A Song of Ice and Fire corner is gaining some new members :)

          • Divaliscious11 :

            Another Game of Thrones fan… re-reading and amazed at the detail I was oblivious to the first time around….

          • Divaliscious11 :

            And Potter! I cried when Dobby died and cheered when Molly fought Bellatrix!!! (difficult to post from work so I am late to the party these days!)

        • P.S. I am STILL (remember, I’m in book 3 now) pissed at what Ned did re: Lady during the trip to the capitol. Even though for the first two books I pretty much despised Sansa as well. She’s growing on me now.

          • I’m getting to the end of book 4. It’s odd how perception of characters changes. I kind of like Jaime now.

    • I am reading the Stand by Stephen King. About halfway through and so far so good. I am a big fan of Stephen King!

      • Hey, me too! It is a lonnggg book though. I had to take a break and read something light after a stressful week, but now I’m back into it.

      • i mentioned above that i love king – the stand is one of my favorites. i should reread it soon, but (as i’m sure you know) it’s a serious project. excellent, excellent book, though.

    • Barrister in the Bayou :

      I just finished Outlander and I loved it; there was a lot of lovin’ going on, but the story was right up my alley. I’m pretty sure I’m going to read the rest because I’m somewhat compulsive when it comes to a series of books; I generally have to read all of them.

      I also finished (on audiobook) His Majesty’s Dragon and Throne of Jade. I have to thank the Corporette that recommended HMD!!! I’m going to listen to the entire series.

      The next book on deck is World War Z.

      • Backgrounder :

        I liked Outlander too. Dragonfly in Amber was pretty good as well. Voyager has been in my reading “queue” forever! Need to finally read it :)

      • I just finished the new bio of Steve Jobs, and now I’m reading another non-fiction book about the introverted personality type called Quiet (author is a Harvard Law grad and former transactional lawyer in NYC).

      • Love His Majesty’s Dragon. I devoured the first three, but somehow missed the fact that there were more until my most recent trip to B&N, so I’ll be getting the rest of them soon. So so so good.

      • I have Tongues of Serpents on cd in my car, but I haven’t started it yet.

      • I’m reading a Throne of Jade right now! I figured I’d be alone.

      • Outlander….awesome. You have a year or so to read all of them so you are ready for the next one coming out. Diana gabaldons blog is fun to read -you can connect with it on Fb.

        I just finished the latest jd Robb In Death book….and then read memoirs of a geisha (guess I need to watch the movie now).

      • I loved World War Z and have told everyone I know about it! I am kind of jealous you are going to be starting it fresh.

    • I am re-reading The Two Towers for about the 10th time, and supplementing that with The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt.

      • Nonny, since your comment a few weeks (?) ago, every time I see your username I remember how excited I am to see The Hobbit and it brightens up my day. That is all.

        • Oh, thank you Portia! That is so nice. I have been trying to come up with a better username and maybe it should be Hobbit-related. :-)

    • Just finished Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro – really loved it and highly recommend it. Now I’m reading Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein.

      • Another great one!

        I just finished “The Remains of the Day,” which I thought was good but not amazing.

        Tomorrow I’m off to the library to pick up “Believing the Lie,” by Elizabeth George. Historically I love her books, but I have heard lukewarm reviews of this one.

        Luckily I have a long list to tackle once I’m done!

      • I’m reading Cinderella Ate My Daughter too! I’m enjoying it a lot but it’s more like a fun magazine article than the fool-proof how-to manual I was irrationally hoping for, heh.

    • I’m reading Swamplandia! right now, and have gotten completely sucked in.

      For you fantasy/sci fi people — I just finished the third (and most recent) volume of Robin Hobb’s Rain Wild Chronicles, and cannot recommend the series enough!

      • Swamplandia! is so good. I can’t wait for the author to come out with more books.

    • I started reading the Sookie Stackhouse series a couple of weeks ago and I’m on Dead as a Doornail – book 5, I think? I see why so many people enjoy them! I can’t always stand reading so many books in a row by the same author, but I’m not having any trouble with this series.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      A friend just sent me I Totally Meant to Do That by Jane Borden, which is about a southerner in New York. I started it this afternoon, and it’s going to be a quick read. Entertaining so far, though.

      But before that package interrupted me, I was in the middle of reading The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley for the umpteenth time

      • I love Mists of Avalon. So much. About once a year go back and reread my favorite parts.

    • I’m reading Wool – Omnibus by Hugh Howey. Incredible dystopian science fiction, will probably win the Hugo award this year.

    • Just finished “Bond Girl,” which turned out to be not worth it — though reading it made me wonder what other Corporettes thought/would think of it! It’s about a young woman working the trading floor of a large (fictional) investment bank just prior to the 2008 crash. I thought it would offer some interesting/insider observations about the financial bust, but it was basic chick lit. And unfortunately, not very entertaining or well-written chick lit (especially compared to Marian Keyes, Sophie Kinsella’s “Undomestic Goddess” or my gold standard, “Bridget Jones’ Diary.” I’ve decided to read Michael Lewis’ “The Big Short” to try to get that insider perspective instead. I loved “Moneyball” the movie, so that book is on the next-to read list too.

      Just before that, I read P.D. James’ “Death Comes to Pemberley.” I love P.D. James, and I love Austen, but I wasn’t sure the mashup/pastiche would work. I did like it, very much. I won’t rank it as one of my very, very favorite James novels (Taste for Death and Devices and Desires, probably), but it’s her excellent writing and excellent plotting.

  9. Oh.so.tired. :

    Hi ladies! The hubby and I are going to Philidelphia this weekend. We’ll be staying in downtown. Any recs for where ti go and what to see? We alreadt plan on seeing independence hall/ liberty bell. Also any recs for places to eat on a budget?

    • there was a thread on this on Feb. 24 TPS report – if you google site:c*rporette(d0t)com [trying to avoid moderation] and Kanella, the thread should pop up. I’ll repeat one part of advice here – BYOB restaurants are a great way to stretch your dollar for a nice dinner!

    • Eat at Reading Terminal! They have everything under the sun, at good prices. (More of a lunch food court then a sit down dinner, but definitely a Philly experience. Have fun!)

    • If you’re going to be around Independence Hall for lunch, check out Eulogy on 2nd and Chestnut. Great Belgian place with beer, burgers and mussels.

    • The Mutter Museum!

  10. Chafing thighs :

    Ladies, I’ve spend my entire life in pants and jeans because I have fat thighs. I’m not fat, but my thighs rub together and chafe making skirts and dresses very uncomfortable to wear (I walk a lot, no car, big city, etc). Is there a solution for this (other than Spanx because that’s too hot in the summer)? I would love to wear skirts this summer and look like a lady.
    Thank you.

    • Body Glide, which runners use to prevent chafing. It’s similar to a deodorant stick and is scent-free.

      • Yes to both suggestions above. I carry most of my weight in my legs/hips, and I use both options. I will say: with body glide products, I usually carry a stick in my purse for long days, as I sometimes (not always) have issues with its longevity. This could have to do with how thorough I am in my application, however.

        • Body glide also helps with leather shoes chafing on your feet (on the rare occasion I have to wear shoes with no hose) if you have that problem, as I do.

          • Genius! Thanks! I always always wear hose with my shoes when I’m wearing a skirt, but am very guilty of not wearing them (or knee highs) under pants. I’ll have to try this trick.

    • Chafing thighs :

      addendum – I’ve tried wearing gym-type shorts under my skirts at the suggestion of a friend, but those just bunched up around my cr**ch and made it even more uncomfortable.

      • Gym shorts are too heavy. The things I linked to above are essentially a slip, but in short form.

        Body glide also works amazingly well.

    • Boy-shorts underwear?

      • not boyish :

        My experience is that full booty and full thighs do not agree with boy shorts. They ride up in strange ways, bunch up in the crotch, and create giant wedgies.

        • Clearly the wrong boy shorts! Try another brand. I’ve switched 100% and I have all that in spades :-).

        • Try Maidenform boyshort 40760. Only kind I have found that don’t ride up. I have a very wide but flat bottom and full thighs.

    • Fellow Big-Thigher :

      I use a combination of baby powder and really, really cheap “mineral” face powder (so that the overall powder color is about my skin color and it won’t show up) and I use a powder puff and container to put it on in the morning, and then I use an old face mineral powder container with a face brush (like the big, poufy ones) in my purse and if the chafing start again I will use the ladies room during the day and pull it out and powder my thighs. It works for hours at a time – on a summer day, I will do it in the morning and maybe reapply twice before 8PM.

      It seems SO intimate to post this here, but I have a feeling I’m not alone. I can’t run in shorts or anything because of the chafing. I learned this method from my great-grandmother when I was a little girl, and now that I’ve grown into a replica of her body shape I’m so thrilled to have been taught this lesson. Evidently, when women all work skirts/dresses all the time in the South, this was a regular part of the ritual for those with power thighs.

      • Merabella :

        My granny also taught me this, and it was reinforced by my mom. I agree that it works wonders. PSA – don’t use talc! Bad for your body, links to cancer and all that.

    • So, I swear I don’t normally watch Oprah (though I am totally tivo-ing the Bobbi Christina interview this Sunday and have nothing against her) … but I remember watching once and Oprah said that she cuts her pantyhose off above the knee and wears with summer dresses to prevent chaffing. The bonus is you get to repurpose your hose if you snagged them, etc. Not sure why, but it’s been like 10 years and this has stuck with me.

      • MissJackson :

        This probably works, but only for the not-very-extreme cases. As someone who used to be quite heavy and who is naturally blessed with large thighs and a pelvic angle that all-but-guarentees chaffing, I can tell you that pantyhose can actually make things less comfortable for more extreme cases of chaffing. Plus, I feel like they would ride up?

        The “pettipants” are probably the most full-proof solution, with BodyGlide being a runner-up.

      • God, the only thing MORE uncomfortable to bare-legged chafing is pantyhose digging into my thighs. I cannot even imagine suffering in pantyhose in 100 degree weather.

    • Sorry if double posts — bike shorts, body glide and deodorant all help me in the swampy summers.

      • I'm Just Me :

        Not bike shorts, but Target has a line of fake Spanx that are lighter weight and not as suck-it-in. They are more streamlining and can take the place of a slip. They are in a bluish package and are called something like waist to thigh slimmers. Bike shorts are so heavy.

    • Grr — put in a comment and it got eaten by the dreaded “posting comments too quickly” fiend.

      Chafing Relief Powder Gel by Monistat, available at most drug stores in the feminine products section. It is my BFF. My thighs have chafed my entire life, from size 8 to size 16 and everywhere in between. This has been a lifesaver.

    • I just wear bike shorts under all my dresses. I like the heat gear ones from UnderArmour and the equivalent knockoff by Target’s C9 line. Body Glide is good if you aren’t doing serious walking but it won’t stand up to hours of walking.

      By the way, the proper term for what you describe is “chub rub” and it’s extremely common.

      • Ew, first I hate that “term.” Some people rub without any chub. It all depends on the angle of the pelvis, the musculature of the legs, etc…

        Re: Body Glide, ymmv but I used it for a marathon and it worked great. Applied once at the beginning and had to grab the vaseline on a stick at around mile 22, so it lasted about 22 miles of running. My time overall was just over 5 hours, so I would say it lasted over 4 hours.

    • phillygirlruns :

      i’m also of the thunder-thighs persuasion and also recommend body glide (get one to keep at your desk so you can reapply, because it doesn’t last forever).

    • I think Spanx makes a version that is much lighter weight than their regular version – maybe called Skinny Britches, if I recall correctly (Spanx site is blocked at work or I would confirm for you!)

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        I have these, and they are somehow less comfortable than the regular spanx. I can’t figure out why. Maybe they dig into my waist more than the regular ones since they’re not as thick?

    • I wear inexpensive Spandex shorts that I get at Target. Works perfectly to eliminate chafing, but doesn’t smush you in as much as Spanx and is therefore much more comfortable.

    • I swear by these shorts-things from Uniqlo – they’re like spanx shorts but less constricting. I’d say they’re halfway between spanx and bike shorts. They are breathable and cheap too! I stock up when in NYC because I think that’s the only city in the US that has a Uniqlo store.


    • I use unscented Lady Speedstick because I already have it in my drawer. Does the trick.

    • I use spanxlike things in a variety of thicknesses and materials, or just summer hose (10 denier).

  11. Vactioning in Sin? :

    Yay, Weekend Thread! This week’s been dragging on forever…so glad it’s here!

    Any advice on how to handle comments on “living in sin” (or in my case, going on vacation with on your boyfriend)?

    My really awesome boyfriend took me on an incredible weeklong Hawaiian vacation recently. The trip was a combined Christmas/birthday gift from him.

    A lot of the senior people I work with came into town this week, and during a cocktail hour, a few asked about my trip. One woman asked if I’d gone with my family and I said no, I’d gone with my boyfriend. She laughed and then said, “Oh, well let’s just call it what it is then – living in sin!” in front of a group of about 6 people. I was definitely taken aback and not sure how to respond, especially because we don’t live together (yet). I just kind of laughed along with her and fortunately someone else recognized the awkward moment and jumped in to ask about the helicopter ride we took.

    Any idea how to respond to those types of statements or judgments about living/cohabitating/vacationing with a boyfriend? We will be moving in together this summer and we both definitely want to marry each other. However, I just turned 24 years old and am in no great hurry to tie the knot, so there will likely be a period of one to two years before any rings enter the picture and I’m sure there may be a few of these types of comments in my future. They definitely make me uncomfortable, as I don’t like the thought of having to justify anything to my colleagues, nor do I enjoy the feeling of being judged for the decisions I make in regards to my relationship.

    It may also be worth nothing that I am the youngest in my group of 15+ employees by about 3-4 years and I am the only unmarried member of the team. I live in California but the women in question is from the South, and my group is scattered geographically across the country.

    Help please?

    • How bizarre. Did this happen in 1942? Personally, I would say it’s not even worth responding to. Her issue, not yours.

      • My thought exactly – time warp.
        If this was someone out of work, I’d tend to say something like ‘hell yes! don’t you wish you were?”.
        But work.. You’re saying this is a senior person you work -with-? Not someone directly over you? Not someone likely to ever be over you? Then you did the right thing by laughing, that’s the only possible retort. Hopefully she’s the only one to feel that way. But do try to avoid her if at all possible. And quit if they try to transfer you under her for some reason.

    • Living "in sin" longer than most marriages last :

      What I want to say: “She’s from the South. Ignore her.”

      What you should say, “How ’bout those Dodgers.”

      • Hey now. We’re not all like that!

        She was completely out of line and, I would venture to say, diminished herself in the eyes of all of your coworkers. Hold your head high and vacation on, sister.

    • That is so weird. I lived with my husband for about 8 years before getting married, and I don’t recall anyone ever saying anything like that to me!

      If it seems like she was just trying to make a joke (however uncomfortable and awkward as it is), I would just acknowledge the statement with a look of surprise, and change the topic. If I felt like that person really was making a judgment about my life, I would probably have said something like, “Yes, and we’re having quite a lot of s*x.”

    • Whaa? I would’ve been speachless too. I highly doubt this will ever come up again. If it does, I would just give her a funny look like she just told you, unsolicited, that she likes pink unicorns who eat oatmeal at snacktime and then say “so, as I was saying, we took this insane helicopter ride, blah blah blah”.

    • Laura Holt :

      Yeah, this is so weird. As someone who currently lives in California, I would agree living together before marriage for a couple years is extremely common and its definitely much more atypical to wed without ever living together. These kind of weird comments don’t really demand a response and I would just ignore her completely and act as if she didn’t say anything. If you have to interact with her again and she keeps making comments and making you uncomfortable, I guess you could say something like “My living situation is not really your concern.” Personally, I would just ignore her.

    • Honestly, I’ve just chosen to ignore these types of comments. I can’t believe a co-worker would say something like that and would probably be quite taken aback if ever someone I worked with commented so openly on my personal life, especially in front of other co-workers. However, as a GRITS (Girl Raised in the South) I’ve received many, many comments from family members and strangers back home about my “living in sin” with my boyfriend- although most people choose slightly “nicer” phrases.

      If the person is someone I don’t know well or don’t have to interact with often I will ignore the comment completely. The idea is to just to ignore the issue and not encourage any further discussion. Sort of like that post the other day (yesterday?) about dog training and ignoring behaviors you do not like (it really did work by the way with our greyhound and his whining). If its my mother or someone I’m closer to, I tell them in a nice way that I really don’t appreciate that kind of statement regarding my personal business.

      For a co-worker type situation my advice is the first time someone says something, ignore it and move the conversation along as if nothing was said. If it comes up again I’d talk to them in private or go to HR- depending on how comfortable you are with the issue, person, etc. And if I was really feeling ballsy I’d make a somewhat pointed joke about how old-fashioned (read: just plain old) they must be to harbor such notions in the first place.

      • I have been working a long, long time and am amazed at what people think they can/should say. I have been much happier since I adopted a “mostly ignore it” approach. Especially with a senior person, you just can’t win and you don’t really want to draw attention to what she is saying. Here’s my technique: I look mildly puzzled, say “mm-hmm,” and plow right ahead as if the words were not spoken. Now, if you dis one of my friends (or gay bash or whatever), I will be all over you, but that’s different.

      • Try: “What IS it with your generation?”

    • job hunting :

      I’ve gotten comments like that. I say it’s one of MANY sins if you’re counting.

    • Anonymous :

      It was a joke from an older woman. No one was judging you, she was commenting on you being young and having a romantic, sexy getaway with your man. No biggie. Really.

      • That’s how I would interpret it, too. She was probably more expressing a little jealousy then anything (Not in a “anyone who says something negative must be jealous” sort of way, but a “Ah, I remember when I was young and free” sort of thing.)

        But, either way, so what? Do you think that what you’re doing is sinful? Then, assuming she really does think that, you two respectfully disagree. She’s not the arbitrator of what is and is not sin in your life, so it absolutely doesn’t matter what she thinks.

    • If it happens again — coming from her or someone else at work — I’d just say something flippant and maybe partly double-entendre, like: “Oh, yes. Haven’t you heard? *Everyone’s* doing it.”

      • And agree that this is really weird. I honestly don’t think I know anyone in my circle of friends who are married/RDP who didn’t live together — and at the very least take vacations together! — before getting married.

  12. JCrew loving ladies – can someone tell me more about the Tippi sweater? I really hate going to the store near me so I’m hoping ya’ll can answer my questions.

    1. Is there a uniboob effect since its crew neck?
    2. Think this is something you can wear 3/4 seasons? I hear sweater and think thick knit winter wear, but it looks perfect to go under suits.


    • 1. Not for me, but I have very little boob to uni.
      2. Yup. It’s pretty thin, definitely not thickly-knit winter-wear.

      Welcome to the Tippi bandwagon, L!

    • Goosebumpy :

      Just got one in the mail yesterday. I’m actually debating whether or not I want to keep it since it’s quite thin (almost like a heavy t-shirt, except somewhat see-through). I like the fit, though–the crewneck is a little lower-cut than some crewneck styles, so you get some collarbone in there (which I love). And I’m small-chested and had no problems with the fit on my ladies.

    • SoCal Gator :

      I have a Tippi sweater and love it! It does not give you a uniboob — it has a very flattering fit and looks great under a jacket or blazer. It is thin enough to wear all year (I am in California). If you want the same cut but in cotton, get the Jackie, which I also love.

      On that subject, I am reposting a question from an earlier thread. Does anyone have any experience with the J Crew factory store sweaters? They have an online deal for the Thalia sweater, which seems similar to the Tippi and Jackie, but is only $49.50. I am hesitant to order without knowing whether this is far inferior quality to store merchandise like the Tippi. Has anyone had experience with this?

      • phillygirlruns :

        to socal gator: no experience with the thalia sweater, but the factory jackie cardigans i’ve bought are definitely not as substantial and do not hold their shape as well as their retail counterparts. i’m heading to a crewlet next weekend and will let you and the rest of the hive know if i’m able to check the thalia out instore.

        to L, the op: i own four tippi sweaters. it is one of the only crewneck sweaters i’ve been able to find that doesn’t give a uniboob effect and that’s flattering on my larger chest. i also have two of the online-only v-neck merino sweaters, which are the same knit and general cut of the tippi. i wear them under jackets easily and will probably wear them all four seasons, commute permitting.

        • I like the fit of my Tippi, but it hasn’t held up very well. I bought it this fall. It’s already pilled quite a bit and started to look shabby.

  13. Blatantly trolling for good wishes for my 1/2 marathon on Sunday! :) Hoping to beat my pre-babies(!) time.

  14. Happy Weekend! I finally got “the” skirt delivered last night. Sadly, I think I am in the “not for me” camp. And I so wanted to love it!!! I am going to hang on to it a few days just to make sure I wasn’t disappointed by my high expectations.

    My problems are basically that it manages to make me look both frumpy and too sexy for work. The material is indeed substantial but it’s still a pencil skirt and maybe I just need my pencil skirts to be wool or similar, or at least to not drape my posterior quite so closely (for what it’s worth my SO loved it!!)… Also, even though I sized down, it still managed to be the tiniest bit too big — not so big that a size smaller would help (and it would probbaly make my rear end look even more scandalous) but big enough that it sits low on my hips and is, thus, too long. Maybe I need petites?? Anyway, I am going to play dress up with it this weekend and see if I can figure out a solution but just wanted to report back. It is very well made so I can see why y’all love it.

    And, also, for those of you that are in the LOVE IT camp — the red clay and green grove colors are on clearance at Nordstrom Rack for $25 (size 2 and 10 only). Enjoy!

    • Merabella :

      I have both the petite and regular sizes of the skirt. I personally like where the petite hits on my leg better. I’m 5’5″ so not technically petite. I also have a booty. Hope this helps.

      • This is good to know. I wore mine yesterday for the first time as well, and I like it but I think a petite would be better.

    • But frumpy and sexy hits right in the wheel house of frumpskank that we are all striving to achieve, right? :-)

      • It’s frumpy from the front and sexy in the back — it’s like the mullet of skirts on me!

        • Oh….an angel just got her manolos (because that was a spit-take moment).

        • Geriatricia :

          That was how it fit me, too. (I think we have similar body types — I am 5’4, curvy/hourglass.) I believe I ordered it in two sizes and petite and regular (so four versions) and they all looked fat/lumpy in the front, bootylicious in the back. And my hips looked really wide.

          • Oh good god, I am so glad I am not alone in that. I literally had a little bit of a low self esteem moment last night (not helped by the fact that I was trying it on post-a few beers and tator tots). I was going to order the petite, but maybe I will save myself the trouble now. Our bodies do sound similar; I am so glad it’s not just me :)

          • Same here, it gave me a pouch in the front and scandelous in the back.

          • Napoleon, give me some of your tots.

        • “mullet of skirt” – BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I am so stealing this one, AIMS!

    • Since you brought up The Skirt….has anyone successfully washed theirs? I know the tag says “dry clean only,” but I’m nervous to try. If so, did you machine wash or hand wash?

      • meant to say “I know the tag says “dry clean only,” *so* I’m nervous to try.

      • I have not but will be watching this for people who have!

      • MissJackson :

        I recently bit the bullet and threw my moss green version in the wash – machine, gentle cycle. I laid flat to dry, and it looks like new. Definitely will not be dry cleaning these ever again.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Yes. Gentle cycle, hang dry. It’s fine.

    • I didn’t know we were allowed to speak against The Skirt, but it also didn’t work for me.

      My position is officially that The Skirt doesn’t work for everyone, and I am unanimous in this. Call me a strumpet if you must.

      • TROLLOP!!!!

      • Oops – I guess I broke the commandment!

      • It didn’t work for me either … I have much better luck with the JCrew No. 2 pencil skirt. The length and fabric weight are perfect for my body. Sadly, it’s pricier than The Skirt.

        • MissJackson :

          Yeah, I vastly prefer the JCrew No. 2 also. I have narrow hips but not a small waist, which is pretty much perfect for the No. 2.

          I have several of The Skirt because at $33 on sale and a great color palette, it’s hard to pass up, but The Skirt makes my (proportionately small) hips look weirdly big. It’s not my favorite.

          • Me too — small hips, thicker through the middle. The JCrew Skirt alternative is a better fit.

      • Barrister in the Bayou :


      • I thought we agreed I was a strumpet. But I like slattern and strollop too.

        • I mean trollop. A strollop is a trollp & slattern who can’t spell.

          • Put that trollop in a skirt with a pattern and it makes her a slattern with a dollop of fashion! ;-)

          • Susan, more fairies are wearing expensive shoes now :-)

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        @mamabear: You’ve all done very well! *falls over*

      • Frump Strumpet! Mullet Slattern!

      • Is a strumpet a little like a crumpet? Coz I like those.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        The Skirt doesn’t work for me either. J.Crew No. 2 Pencil all the way.

    • I just got mine in the mail, and have the same situation… It was just a little too clear about the shape of my derriere. However, my roommate thinks that’s just how pencil skirts are *supposed* to fit. (She is of a similar body type—relatively thin, but curvy—and her tailored skirts fit her that way.)

      So I guess this is a larger question: How are pencil skirts supposed to fit on ladies with curves? The models they show in those “how office clothes should look” photo galleries are always size 0s, so I just got the impression that anyone larger just shouldn’t be wearing them at all.

  15. Semi-regular poster going anon for this one….

    In light of the recent what-threadjacks-do-you-skip convo, are there posters who you skip? IN NO WAY am I suggesting you name names (please don’t), but I just think it’s interesting (and very real-life-y) that I see comments from certain posters and, admittedly, roll my eyes. Obviously, no one gets a long with everyone, so I just think it’s interesting that that remains true online. I also wonder, if due to the recent political convos, if this is more true than ever for some of us…

    • Oh no! Its ME isn’t it. I knew it Anon — I KNEW IT.


      • secret for this :

        Ha I have started skipping a lot of your posts, but not in I hate you way or anything! I’ve just started skipping all the inside jokes (blue nail/hair elastic/frumpskank/hugs!!) posts. I use this site more for advice/information than community building, but appreciate how great it is that others use it differently. (so I use it like a lady wikipedia rather than a facebook)

        I’ve also started skipping some posters who have been going through tough times lately for the same reasons. I give advice when I can but I tend to get overly internet involved so have stopped skipping any really down complaining threads. (but again, appreciate that they are getting support)

        • Half the time I don’t even know what I’m talking about anyway, so skip away. :-) haha.

          • secret for this :

            you are usually very witty- I just tend to be scanning so I skip one or two liners

        • Lady Wikipedia is one for the ages. You’ve now violated your own rule by creating another inside joke!

      • I’m the opposite and have an internet crush on TCFKAG. I’ll be skipping a whole section of comments that I find uninteresting but if I see you commenting in it, I stop to make sure I’m not missing anything good!

      • Amelia Bedelia :

        no worries, TCFKAG — I would read for your comments alone! :)

        • secret for this :

          Hope I made it clear that I don’t skip her because I find her annoying or anything, just was commenting on the way I use the site.

          • Don’t worry secret for this…you can say mean things about me all the time if I’m going to get this much positive reinforcement (and I totally didn’t take it that way, I’m just joking around with you…which luckily you might not read…so yay!)

          • secret for this :

            now I’m wracked with guilt so will be reading everything you write twice to allievate the guilt :)

            I meant it more as a commentary on how I use the site but I reget using a commentator by name.

          • HUGS!!!!

            (I actually have no idea what this is reference to, but since you referenced it.)

        • Just FYI y’all — I showed my husband this thread last night — he gave me a Look (you know the one) and said “I think you spend too much time on that website”). :-)

          • he is WRONG, tell him to leave you alone, because we think you spend just enough time on this website! ;o)

    • Well now you’re going to have to name names.

    • MissJackson :

      I don’t skip particular posters. I do occasionally eye roll, but that doesn’t keep me from reading!

    • Always a NYer :

      I don’t really judge anyone based on their political leanings. That said, there have been discussions that I’ve gone anon to answer when I’ve leaned to one side of the spectrum ;)

    • There are a few posters who annoy me, but I usually read their comments specifically because I want to know what annoying things they are posting. Probably not the best tactic, but there it is.

      • I think this is called hate-reading. And I do it too, not for commenters but for entire blogs.

        • secret for this :

          oh god. I hate read so bad

        • Hate-reading! Hilarious.

        • I hate-read the Popular page on Pinterest. See my prior rant on creepy baby pictures.

        • Alanna of Trebond :

          Haha I hate read feministing (and I actually consider myself a feminist), I just find it hilarious/overblown/sad. I think I sort of hate/love read gawker.

    • Anon for this :

      Of course there are posters who some of us read more than others (as evidenced by the fact that we all care about different things from yesterday).

      But why are we posting about it? Is this high school?

    • I skip Ellen and all the inside jokes too

    • SF Bay Associate :

      * mentally lighting a candle for Shayna *

      • I wonder if she is still around posting under another name.

        • I’ve thought about that too, but I actually doubt it. Remember when “75” came back as “Parisienne”? It was obvious. The most colorful posters out themselves even when they try incognito–they can’t help it.

      • Nice one.

        She was on Jezebel for a while after going all “Goodbye, cruel world!” from this site. But I think she got banned for some choice privilege-denying comments. (Of course, getting banned from Jezebel these days is almost a badge of honor, but that’s a whole ‘nother discussion.)

  16. I’m gonna continue “shopping” today because I am a masochist. If anyone would like to join me, I will be cruising the new DSW on 34th, Famous Footwear, Macy’s and maybe H&M and Old Navy. I don’t think I’ll be going east of 6th Ave. I’m the lady in navy who will stubbornly keep the hood of her coat on her head indoors.

    • hellskitchen :

      I might run into you at the new DSW. I had forgotten it opened on March 8 and walked by it last evening on the way to a work event. It took all my willpower to not heed the siren song and walk in right then. But I can’t hold it off any longer.

    • So glad to know there’s a new DSW on 34th! I always get lost trying to find the one in Union Square (I always think I know where it is, then do something wrong). Just heard that my grant project will be meeting in NYC in the fall. My favorite time to visit!

    • In my new-this-year location I have to drive about 30 minutes to get to a DSW, but I’ve been seeing their commercials with their fab wedges (although I don’t like wedges, I once rolled my ankle at Grand Central Station DC and almost fell all the way down the spiral-ish staircase, sending me carooming into guy-I-liked-who-didn’t-like-me and I think he actually believed I did it on purpose.) and when they get to the part in the commercial where the one chick asks the other chick “where’d you get those shoes?” I always yell out “DSW!!!”

      Thank god I watch tv alone or with the deaf 95 year old. Geez.

      • That’s too cute. DSW was always out of the way for me before, so I’m hoping this new location has a good stock.

  17. So happy the weekend is almost here because it has been one he*l of a week! UGH!

    Had a paralegal just walk out on our very small firm without any notice. She left huge stacks of documents with very unhelpful sticky notes on them. And now everyone is going through her desk to find out what she was actually doing and all of her unfinished work is being placed on me to get done, get extensions, etc.!

    Got a call from my firm today at 8:00 a.m. ( I had just got out of the shower) letting me know I had to be in court at 8:30 a.m. because another attorney had double booked his scheduled. So, I showed up with no case file, no background knowledge of the case, no anything! Booo!

    The owner and lead attorney of the firm is on vacation.

    And I am on my period.

    Okay done venting! Thanks!

    • It’s the same time of the month for me. I’ve had migraines all week and I’ve slipped and fallen twice this week.

      Today I arrived to discover the reports that should have run from 6pm yesterday on didn’t run. They were just queued on the server so more and more kept joining the queue. One of my team is out sick and the other is on vacation.

      Cancelled jobs repeatedly. Finally had the server rebooted. The reboot took an hour and a half. Spent the rest of the day restarting all the jobs – about 100 – and monitoring them, as well as fielding questions about the missing reports and issuing apologies.

      Bright side: got kudos from the Director and the AVP (my boss is out, too) for handling the situation and sending out appropriate emails. Also, I’m leaving in 15 minutes (missed lunch and my gym class) and I’m dining with my family, including the adorable nieces and my baby nephew. My sister-in-law will have a big glass of wine waiting for me when I arrive.

    • Ok, that’s a rough week! Next week HAS to be better, right??

    • ugh, this has been a HORRIBLE week for me, too! I have decided it is a combination of the full moon, the massive solar storm, and the Ides of March coming early… Me and my coworkers have gotten called out by colleagues on group emails for allegedly doing things wrong (when we weren’t), there is inter-office drama, I stumbled over myself and sounded like a complete idiot on my 6am call this morning, I have WAY more work to do in the next two weeks than I could ever possibly do, even if I worked 24 hours a day, I have a business trip coming up i am completely freaking about, and I have two major work deadlines happening simultaneously, immediately after my trip. I have barely slept in two days, and I doubt i will get much sleep all the way up to my trip. …..

      so yeah, you are not alone, craziness up in the house…. but thanks for creating venting space I could hijack!!

    • EPICALLY BAD WEEK — hope you have a relaxing weekend, and YAY for this week being over!

    • Had 11 (consolidated to 8) motions in limine due today by 3. (Court closes at 4 and is at least a half hour away.) I started them 3 days ago. I’ve been at my firm less than a year and the case has been there 5 years so I clearly did not half the info to go in them. My boss was a huge help and very supportive but I still barely slept the last couple nights. He took me, his assistant, and an attorney from another firm that reps a co-def. out for a round of drinks after they were filed. I’m laying in bed with a glass of wine and a bota box not far away and loving it. Cheers to the end of the week and I hope you get your light at the end of the tunnel soon. I totally understand the “more work than there are hours” feeling and it sucks.

      • Blarg!! what is WITH this week? and i started in with the hot toddys when i got home, whiskey is making things better ;o)

  18. AppealingLawyer :

    Any advice for networking/”working a room”? I’ve been invited to attend a fancy fundraiser for a politician where I won’t know anyone. I think it would be a good thing to go to but I don’t have much practice at introducing myself to strangers. I also don’t want to come off as pushy.

    • Merabella :

      Sarah Ferguson has some stuff about working a room I read a while back and found (oddly) helpful.

    • What works best for me is to stand near someone (not creepily close, but fairly close) and then turn toward them and say “Hi, I’m ___ (your name).”

      • Eloise Speghetti :

        Agree with that strategy. If you start on someone who also looks alone, you can team up and work the room together.

        • I’ve used that strategy as well as the, “I don’t believe we’ve met. I’m Jill.”
          It kind of opens the door for them to start talking about themselves. Good luck! (“networking” sometimes gives me anxiety!)

        • Agree with keeping a non-creepy distance and teaming up with someone else.

          Take a deep breath, smile, appear engaged and poised, and go for it – someone has to make the first move and once you break the ice, the night will be a lot more comfortable. I read somewhere that people like to talk about themselves, so you could just introduce yourself and engage in some smalltalk/question asking (Hi, I’m eek, have you been here before; I love your shoes, you must read corporette; can you believe this crazy weather). Presumably since it’s a fundraiser, you should have something in common with most people. Move on from people that don’t seem friendly/talkative – they might be that way or are just shy/unsure. Also, steer clear of anyone that gives you a weird vibe (overshares way too much personal information, wants to be BFFs, acts inappropriately). I’m horrible at remembering to remember names and I always appreciate someone that remembers mine. Good luck; once you introduce yourself to one person the subsequent introductions are much easier.

  19. Devil's Advocate :

    With all the talk about women’s contraception not being covered by all health care plans, where do men factor into the conversation? The Pill is just one form of contraception, condoms are another, so are IUDs and (voluntary) surgical sterilization. Should health care plans be required to cover the cost of condoms and these other forms of contraception? I don’t think so. Both men and women benefit from contraception, for obvious reasons. To make this a women’s only issue is bias, not to mention detrimental to the enormous strides made by the feminist movement.


    • Ideally your right. But in reality, since women are the ones who bear the greatest burden of pregnancy, they are also frequently the ones who enforce or ensure birth control. In addition, other than the condom, efforts at male birth controls have not been effective as of yet.

      • And condoms don’t offer other health benefits. I think part of the reason for the demand in coverage is that things like the pill address health problems that are not pregnancy related, such as severe PMS, lowering certain cancer risks, missed periods, etc. I was prescribed the pill when I was 17 because I would only get my period 3-4 times a year. I actually used condoms for years and years even though I was on the pill and had the hardest time stopping when I became monogomous with my SO because in my mind the pill was to regulate my period and condoms were to protect me from unplanned pregnancies and the like.

        But, that said, I’m all for free contraception. One of the great things about NYC is that we have our very own official city condom and you can get as many as you like for free. I don’t use condoms any more, but I find that the NYC condoms make fantastic souvenirs when I travel.

        • Nitpicking :

          The pill doesn’t protect against STIs. Let’s not forget this. There are health benefits to condoms, and their use should be encouraged.

          • Obviously did not mean to imply that there are no health benefits to preventing STDs or that condom use should not be encouraged. Only that condoms do not have health benefits aside from sex. You can be against contraception/sex/whatever, and still recognize that for some women the pill is a treatment – even if she doesn’t actually ever have sex. On the other hand, I don’t think there are doctors out there encouraging patients to just wear a condom from time to time (not that I don’t oddly love the image).

        • …..wait what?
          not to be awkward or anything, but please tell more about this official city condom (and where you pick them up for free??)

          • The original design was the most fantastic. It spelled NYC CONDOM in the lettering used for the subway lines. The current version is less awesome in comparison because it doesn’t use the same lettering. You can get them in several places throughout the city, inc. many colleges, all Housing Works shops, and the official NYC Store by City Hall. Probably tons of other places, too. They were originally introduced on Valentine’s Day several years back by city employees who handed them out at various subway stops. They are probably not the most awesome condoms (I hear the technology has gotten rather fancy as of late) but they are free and totes adorable.

          • nyc.gov/condoms

          • wooo thanks all!
            I have an interview in the city on Tuesday so I’ll pick up some afterwards. too cute!

        • I did not know about this free NYC condom. It has its own website!

    • Not to mention that there are many other preventative medicines* for which there is no mandate to provide complete (or any) coverage at all. Catholics have to pay for your contraception, but I have to shoulder the 200-mo payment for my preventive asthma medication. If preventative medicine should be covered, then why only pick one type of preventative medicine that also happens to play well with certain much-coveted demographics of voters? (Oh, I just answered my own question.) And why pretend it’s about “helping” poor women, when it’s really about women who are middle class enough to have employer-sponsored health insurance?

      I try not to discuss politics, but this mandate really gets me fired up. Here’s a good analysis of the issue: http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/cochrane-on-obamacares-contraceptive-coverage-mandate/

      (Accepting for the sake of argument only that contraception is a “preventative medicine” and that the government should be mandating that private employers cover anything at all.)

      • Your health insurance doesn’t cover preventative asthma medicine? Have you tried appealing that with a doctor’s note?! That seems like it should be covered.

        • Not really the point, but it’s covered after I meet my deductible. Because the government hasn’t mandated that my employer should pay for it for me (and, of course, reduce everyone’s salaries proportionately to make up for having to pay for it), I still have to meet my deductible before it’s covered, and then I have a co-pay.

          • Well…it is a little bit the point, but I was mostly just flabbergasted by that.

          • @TCFKAG – it’s pretty common really. I have a very good health insurance policy provided by my employer, but only a very limited number of procedures are covered 100% with no deductible or copay. I think it’s limited to an annual physical, gyno exam, and vaccinations. Everything else has a deductible (for the plan I chose it’s $1500) and copay after you meet the deductible.

          • Okay, but that has to do with the type of plan you’ve purchased. So your medication IS covered — but you’ve purchased a plan that requires you pay up to X dollars first before it covers anything. That’s different than saying the medicine isn’t covered, because it is. (That’s what had me so confused.)

            I was on a plan like the one you described and, as someone with high medical bills, loved it because I ALWAYS hit my annual deductible.

          • karenpadi :

            That’s funny, my co-worker gets monthly allergy shots that are 100% covered as being preventative under our plan.

          • I’ll second Bluejay’s anecdotal evidence on asthma meds. I’m on my husband’s plan, which is basically a platinum plan from his employer, and I still have to pay out of pock or a co-pay for my preventative asthma meds. I’ve paid anywhere from $50-$200 for a 30 day supply of meds. Fortunately, we can pay from the tax-free HSA account.

      • I suspect that you and I are at the opposite ends of the spectrum politically, but I just wanted to point out that I would support regulations requiring preventative care/medications to be covered (maybe not at no cost, but up to X%) regardless of who uses them. Of course, I know that has a lot of practical/economic implications that don’t make it feasible.

        But to play devil’s advocate – perhaps the BCP was the first to be mandated simply because of its (relatively) low cost and widespread use. I don’t doubt it has to do with the fact that women (and young women) are coveted voters. But I think there’s also a reason to start there.

        And I respectfully abstain from voicing an opinion on the mandate’s effect on Catholic organizations. I haven’t done enough research into its wording to have a valid opinion.

      • Agree that your asthma medicine should be covered and that you should try appealing that determination if you haven’t already. But wherever you stand on the contraceptive issue, the compromise reached does not actually require catholics or anyone else to cover contraception – it requires insurance companies to do so; and the insurance companies are glad to do so because it’s actually more cost effective for them in long run. I can understand the original controversy but not its continuation. I know this is a touchy subject, but unless catholic churches go into the actual health insurance business, they’re not covering anything. And if health insurance becomes mandatory – all women, including poor ones, are going to get the coverage, no?

        Really not trying to start an argument. I am not a huge fan of the health care law myself. I wish the gov’t would just have an affordable public option for people and stop telling any one what to do, but that’s just my two cents.

        • Forcing a Catholic employer to pay an insurer to provide contraception is effectively no different than forcing the Catholic employer to provide contraception itself.

          And I agree that this could be settled if we had an effective public option. Our current system of relying on employers to provide health insurance is nothing short of insanity.

          • Amelia Bedelia :

            I concur.
            On both points.

          • karenpadi :

            But Catholic employers whose employees are mostly Catholic (e.g., parishes, dioceses) are not required to pay for contraception or to pay for an insurance plan that covers contraception.

            The Catholic Church, on it’s own volition, entered into the secular marketplace when it opened its universities and hospitals to non-Catholics and when it started hiring non-Catholics en masse. The “Catholic” hospitals compete in the secular marketplace and are funded by secular dollars (e.g., tax-exemptions on profits and property, insurance dollars from non-Catholic insurance companies, Medicare, Medicaid, and government-sponsored charities). Thus, they are regulated as secular institutions. That includes doing somethings the hospitals don’t like, like using Medicare reimbursement codes, providing a safe workplace, and including health insurance for their secular employees that conform to state and federal regulations.

          • so do kosher delis. the government would not force them to serve pork.
            there was a great testimony in congress on this — excellent analogy . . .

            The full text of Bishop Lori’s testimony may be found online: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/upload/lori-testimony-for-oversight-on-religious-freedom-2012-02-16.pdf

          • Under the compromise, the Catholic employer is not paying an insurer to provide contraception; the insurer is being paid for the same policy as before, which the insurer independently agreed with the govt will now include contraception.

            And as far as the kosher deli metaphor, respectfully, per Jon Stewart: “Your parable about the kosher deli, while delicious, makes no … sense…. Nobody’s forcing the kosher deli owner to serve a ham. In the metaphor, it’s more like the owner of the kosher deli is refusing to pay taxes because his money could go to food stamps, which someone could theoretically use to buy ham.”

            http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/showtracker/2012/02/jon-stewart-birth-control-hearings.html (note the bit about the Church having no issues covering Viagra).

        • Quick question: Isn’t the issue re: Catholics covering contraception that some Catholic organizations are large enough to be self-insured, so they technically ARE in the health insurance business? (I am not being snarky. I just don’t know the answer.)

          • karenpadi :

            Most “Catholic” hospitals and universities buy coverage though a “Catholic” health insurance company.

          • anon for this :

            That would be news to me. I work for a Catholic university and we have Blue Cross Blue Shield. And most people who work at the university (especially the faculty) are not Catholic. Then again, we are not diocesan, but run by a rather liberal order, so that could make a difference.

          • That’s part of the issue (for instance, EWTN, the largest Catholic media company in the world, is self insured). But it’s not the only issue. Requiring a Catholic employer to pay for insurance that covers contraception is effectively the same as requiring a Catholic employer to pay for contraception directly. The effect is the same; the Catholic employer has paid for contraception. This is a violation of a fundamental doctrine of our faith and is a violation of our religious freedom. It’s akin to requiring the owner of a kosher deli to pay a supplier to serve pork to customers.

          • I’m sorry, I’m not trying to be disrespectful, I usually don’t say anything in these debates, but the kosher deli is a terrible metaphor. A kosher deli, much like the catholic church, can do what it wants but the right to do what it wants ends when it stops acting as a kosher food purveyor and begins to act like any other private actor. A church is exempt, an insurance company – even if it’s run by the church- isn’t. If that’s not palatable, the church should go back to just being a church.

            By your logic, the church-run non-church institutions and insurance companies would be exempt from all sorts of non-discrimination statutes, fair labor standards, and the like, if the church claimed it interfered with doctrine. Should the catholic insurance company be allowed to fire gay people because that interferes with their doctrine too?

          • karenpadi :

            Bluejay, you and I disagree on this. I respect you but I disagree with you that 1) medical insurance is solely paid for by the employer and 2) that paying for something through insurance is the same as paying for it directly.

            1) Medical insurance is part of wages paid to employees. Employees earn wages through their labor. As such, insurance isn’t some kind of magnanimous gift granted to employees. It’s part of the employees compensation that the secular Catholic-affiliated hospitals must pay to compete in a secular marketplace. If it makes Catholics feel any better, they can pretend that the contraceptive insurance is only paid for by the premiums paid by the non-Catholic employees.

            2) OK, if I take it as a given that paying for something through insurance is the same as paying for something directly, then a Catholic-affiliated employer (and, by your logic, all Catholics) are ultimately morally responsible for everything an employee buys with her salary. She might buy a gun or Internet p*rn or, heaven forbid, a copy of Luther’s 95 Theses. If the Catholics want to avoid all that guilt, and save all those souls, the theologically sound solution is to bring cash wages to zero and provide “on-campus” housing, food, clothing, transportation, etc.

            Wait? That won’t work? Why not? Because secular people don’t want to live in a monastery. The Catholic hospitals and universities are secular institutions and the Catholic Church is competing in a secular marketplace for secular employees.

            Regarding the Kosher deli serving pork analogy. It’s a bad analogy. There is no medical need to eat pork. Eating pork does not, in and of itself, prevent medical conditions. We don’t cover “pork” as part of medical insurance. Quite frankly, it’s insulting to women to compare a legitimate medical need to deciding which meat to have with lunch.

      • I would imagine that most people who support the mandate also believe that other preventive medicines should be covered, and other types of preventive medicines that aren’t covered simply haven’t been given as much media coverage so fewer people know about them.

        As someone who started out neutral/leaning against the mandate, I’ve never in my life felt as under attack as a woman as I have in the past few weeks. From the hearing with no women witnesses to Rush Limbaugh’s comments, I’ve felt like I’m living in the prequel to The Handmaid’s Tale.

        • Actually at that hearing, the panel included two women witnesses for the majority (i.e. against the mandate/republican); the media seized on the fact that there were no women included for the minority (i.e. pro-mandate/democratic). The media mostly neglected to report that in their outrage over the lack of democratic women.

          • That’s good to know, thank you. That was not reported in any of the articles I read.

      • Actually, preventative services are covered under ACA if they are proven to be evidenced based and graded A or B by USPSTF, unless your plan is grandfathered in. Is it perfect? No. Does it make advances in trying to get insurers to do the right thing? Yes.

        I suppose I can understand the religious angle of being upset about birth control coverage and certainly if you or your employer have a long-standing religious affiliation, I think you should be exempt. But that needs to be clearly stated up front to prevent a**holes from deciding hey this is cheaper, so now I can claim I’m religious and save a few bucks. I won’t get into the whole women have a right to this and that, but I don’t understand the hostility.

        And finally, the general argument of “I don’t agree with X, so I shouldn’t have to pay for it” grates on my nerves. People do this with EVERYTHING now, particularly as it relates to taxes. I don’t like NASA so I should be able to designate my tax dollars don’t go there. That’s not the way the system works, for better or for worse.

        • I’m not convinced that employers shouldn’t be required to do something just because it is “against their religion.” In this case it may seem pretty reasonable, but there are a LOT of things that employers are statutorily required to do that technically run contrary to their religious beliefs. In my part of the world, my future employer is very likely to be Mormon (and not just that – but a conservative old male Mormon). The Mormon church’s technical doctrine (though oft ignored, much like Catholics with birth control) is that a woman’s place is in the home and she should not get a job if she is married. Before Title VII forced them not to, many conservative male Mormon employers discriminated against married women because they didn’t want to support them in the marketplace when their religious beliefs told them those women should be SAHMs. I don’t think a religious freedom argument should have gotten them out of that, and I think that same principle means that religious freedom doesn’t get you out of providing contraceptive coverage to your female employees.

          • karenpadi :

            This. Thank you.

          • I’m not necessarily either, but for the sake of this discussion if you’re a catholic non-profit for example, I think its fairly obvious that you will object to BC. If you’re CNN, you shouldn’t be able to say, wait I now object too! Trying to simplify here. Quite frankly, I think all preventative services (reproductive and not) should be 100% covered if they are evidence based and/or recommended by your doc. But this is coming from someone who has a lot of health issues.

          • The Catholic church (and all churches) as an institution are exempt from rules like this. For example, in the LDS church (sorry, most familiar with this) they institutionally fire female Seminary teachers when they get pregnant. Whether you agree or not, it is their actual church and religious business, so they get to pick this. What doesn’t make sense is when the institution isn’t a religious one, but is instead run by people who have religious convictions. Should I have to make sure that the ultimate decision maker at my company isn’t a Jehovah’s witness so that I will get blood transfusions covered in an emergency? Just because it’s “obvious” that someone will object doesn’t mean that they should get special treatment. Brigham Young University (run by the LDS Church) can’t discriminate against women even though they would probably like to fire them when they get pregnant like they can do when they are employed directly by the church, because they are prohibited by statute. This seems “obvious,” but they are still not allowed to do it. The distinction between Georgetown (“obviously” would like to not pay for BC) and any other company that is run by someone with Catholic beliefs is not a principled one.

          • Yes, and also karenpadi at 5:09pm (what time zone is this board, anyway?). As I have said elsewhere, or maybe here, if you take the federal money, you play by the federal rules. No one is forcing the Catholic church to run hospitals or universities, or accept student loan money or payments from Medicare/Medicaid. If they got out of the business, I’m sure another group would step in, especially for a hospital in a high-rent area. I’m really tired of all the fuss over birth control pills – a lot of people have a lot of sex without wanting to have a lot of children. That is just the way it is now and it is not necessarily orders of magnitude more immoral than the way things were in the “good old days.” Do you think before the pill came around no one was having sex before they got married? Please.

            Insurance is shared risk. Sure, other people on my plan are “paying” for my birth control pills, but I’m paying for all their unnecessary antibiotics, trips to the doctor because they feel a little achey, diabetes medication when some exercise and a healthy diet would probably work in many cases, and cancer care for smokers, too. We all have “morals” (I think it is quite immoral to indiscriminately use antibiotics and contribute to the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria) and it’s ridiculous to fight over whose morals count more.

            Sorry, I’m crabby today. Today was the last day for a very good “workfriend” who I will miss, and some of whose work I’ll have to take up. This work may require unpleasant interactions with some other colleagues and I am not looking forward to it.

          • Agreed. Taking this more broadly beyond the contraception battle, I’m always concerned when religious institutions try to use their religion as an opt-out to the laws of the land.

            They operate in a country where there are lots of people who are not of that religion and don’t want to be controlled by the beliefs of that religion.

            This is also why it’s as much of a concern that in certain communities where there are fairly conservative/orthodox Islamic beliefs that we do not allow those communities to create a “sharia law bubble.”

            It’d be different if they want to use the political system to go door-to-door and convince all voters to change laws to sharia-type laws, but it’s not acceptable to create religious islands that up-end laws that protect others.

          • This ! absolutely agree. I always thought America was the not the middle east where women are systematically discriminated in the name of religion and actually believed to be second class citizens under the guardianship of a male member (father/husband/son). Current attack on women in America is so shocking. All this religious freedom cry out is absolute crap, these are simply means keep woman under a man’s control.

      • I would assume covered contraception is also subject to the deductible, so your arugment isn’t really on-point, in my view.

        • Actually that’s the entire point of this mandate – contraception must be covered 100% with absolutely no portion of the expense being paid by the insured person. No deductible, no copay.

      • Um, bcp isn’t the only no cost-share preventive service required of all new health plans under ACA.

        I have my own political opinions about this that I don’t want to discuss here, but I think the facts should be correct.

    • Eloise Speghetti :

      I received a telephone survey yesterday that asked if I was aware that Obama provides contraception and advice on how to use it and whether I agree with that. I just pictured Barack using all the bananas in Africa to demonstrate a condom like in 7th grade health class and couldn’t stop giggling. I could not stop giggling.

      • And now I can’t stop giggling. His public speaking style is so scholarly — can you imagine him demonstrating the proper use of a condom.

        Oh geez. That I would pay to see.

      • Eloise Speghetti :

        ACK. I meant contraception and training in third world countries.

        • Divaliscious11 :

          Thanks for the clarification…. I couldn’t quite get to Obama, condoms, bananas and Africa without some disturbing thoughts/stereotypes that we’ve unfortunately been exposed to again since he was elected…..

          • Eloise Speghetti :

            Yeah that was really embarrassing to read back. I over edited the first time. Sorry ladies! I definitely was not trying to offend!

    • If an insurance covers a vasectomy it should cover the Pill. Both are elective preventative measures to having kids (as I see it) and imo both should be covered. Put aside the moral arguments about birth control in all forms for a minute – it is more cost effective for an insurance company to cover my Pills then it is for them to cover my childbirth expenses.

      • Why should the insurance company (or actually, your employer) be legally forced to cover the Pill at 100% so you don’t have to pay a single penny to use any type of Pill you and your doctor want, but you still have a deductible and copay for that vasectomy?

        Few insurance plans don’t cover the Pill at all, exactly for the reason you state. The ones that don’t are generally offered because some people don’t want the Pill to be included, and insurers make special policies that exclude it at the request of those people.

        • Few insurance plans don’t cover the Pill at all, exactly for the reason you state. The ones that don’t are generally offered because some people don’t want the Pill to be included, and insurers make special policies that exclude it at the request of those people.

          And actually, I phrased this incorrectly. I should have said that few insurance plans don’t cover *contraceptives* at all, regardless of the type of contraceptive (the pill, vasectomies, IUDs, etc). In 20 years of Catholic education, I’ve never heard of an insurance plan that doesn’t cover the Pill if prescribed for medical reasons, and I’ve had it prescribed for medical reasons and paid for by insurance provided by a Catholic institution myself.

        • That comment was directed to whether or not they should have to cover it. In my mind, I equate the two services as equal in terms of preventing childbirth. If you’re going to make the argument you should offer preventative services to prevent childbirth, to me, they are all the same and should be treated the same.

          For what its worth, I get that your passionate about this, and quite frankly I am too. I do this for a living day in and day out. I’m not trying to write a novel about contraceptive coverage policies, but I am in fact aware of them. I treat my comments on Corporette as light off-handed remarks, if that helps give you any context to my remarks.

      • Except, really, the Pill is not like a vasectomy, in that a vasectomy is a one-time expense, whereas presumably the insurance company would be paying for the Pill each month that you were not pregnant/trying to get pregnant during your childbearing years. The better analogy would be an IUD/tubal ligation. (And I would also point out that not all insurance covers vasectomies)

        I do, however, agree with the spirit underlying your comment. And yes, it would definitely be cheaper to cover the Pill than childbirth, though many insurance policies only cover childbirth expenses if there is a “maternity rider” that is purchased for extra $$. Even with this rider, the out-of-pocket costs can be very high, depending on the policy.

    • karenpadi :

      Vasectomies are surgical procedures that are commonly covered in health care insurance plans.

      Unlike the Pill (unless you are in DC, I think) or diaphragms, condoms are over the counter and don’t require a prescription from a doctor. IUDs are purchasable only by a doctor and must be inserted by a medical professional. In the current debate, women are only asking for contraceptives that are provided through/via a doctor to be covered in the same way that other preventative health measures (e.g., vaccinations) provided through a doctor are covered. Condoms, being over the counter, are not analogous to commonly used birth control methods “for women”.

      I think you are confusing two arguments here. 1) That insurance shouldn’t cover ANY contraception–including sterilization, devices like IUDs and diaphraigms, prescription drugs like the pill, or condoms because sex is optional. and 2) That covering more permanent methods of birth control is not necessary because condoms are cheaper (and so is abstinence).

      Regarding 1. I’ll not engage. I am trying to be objective here and I can’t be objective on that issue so I’ll let someone else address it if they so desire.

      Regarding 2. I hate arguing by analogy but here I go. That’s like saying that because people can exercise and eat better, we shouldn’t cover treatments for type 2 diabetes or heart disease. That because people who are allergic to pollen or dust can “just stay home and keep their house clean”, we shouldn’t cover allergy treatments. It’s nonsense.

      The reality is that modern medicine improves quality of life and insurance is there to help society spread the costs of modern medicine across a large population having varied medical issues. What your opposing side (my side) is arguing is that, it isn’t right for a major medical expense that only one half of the population to not be covered and that not covering contraception amounts to gender discrimination.

      Regarding a “bias against men” in these conversations. Again, condoms are over the counter and don’t require a doctor’s prescription. If the Pill was OTC, we wouldn’t be arguing that it be covered. Further, among me and my girlfriends, it’s also more common (about 60/40) for the girlfriend to buy condoms than the boyfriend.

      Most feminists want gender-equality. Not for women to be superior to men. If a prescription birth control pill for men makes it to the market, or if temporary sterilization procedures such as RUSIG are approved in the US, many feminists would support those being covered by insurance.

      • ^this.

        Also RISUG is just *neat*.
        It’s a tiny bit of charged polymer that’s inserted into the vas deferens and zaps (the oppositely charged) sperm cells. I believe it has started clinical trials in the US this year.
        It’ll be interesting to see if that procedure will strike any debate within the religious community.

        • MaggieLizer :

          Every sperm is sacred.

          • +10 LL points for the Monty Python reference.

          • MaggieLizer :

            After I posted that I realized it might seem like I was serious. I’m glad someone got (and posted) the reference!

          • And for that matter, any m@sturbatory emissions where the sp3rm clearly wasn’t seeking an egg could be deemed reckless abandonment!

    • Anon for this :

      Ladies — I know we all care about this very adamantly from different sides (and obviously anyone can just scroll past) — but this is the second weekend open thread where one of the first threads devolved into a BC debate. I feel like it may be getting a bit out of hand, especially since this seems like one of those issues no one is going to be convinced by some random strangers on the internet to change their views on.

      • This.

      • secret for this :

        I’m def hate reading these threads.

        Please save me from myself!

        • I swore after the last weekend that I was out, but they keep dragging me back in. But now I think I’m done. :-P Only inside jokes from now on, just for secret for this! :-)

          • MaggieLizer :

            If you can work the term “frumpskank” into this discussion, I would giggle with glee.

        • Noooooooooooo, I LOVE these bc threads. Keep at ’em!

        • AnonforThis :

          Yes, thank you. I appreciated the chance to hear the other side’s POV, but at this point it’s mostly hate reading.

      • I would normally agree with you, and obviously we aren’t going to form a consensus on this issue, but I’ve actually learned a lot from reading these and it makes me proud and happy to see that we have such smart, articulate women on all sides of this issue. Hooray ladies!

        • I kind of feel the opposite. I’ve been shocked at how much misinformation is being spouted, by both sides. I think half the people have read one facebook post somewhere and are now spouting off “facts.”

          But I do agree on the articulate point.

      • The ‘hot button’ nature of reproductive politics in the US is pretty weird to many of us elsewhere but hearing the issues in Corporettes’ own voices has been interesting and educational for this non-US reader. Thank you to the ladies who’ve posted.

      • Great article, can’t believe there are women out there voting for this nutcase in all the primaries! Shocking.. He absolutely wants women to be barefoot/pregnant/in the kitchen, not be 50% of the workforce, law firm partners/CEOs/heads of state. And yes, legal bc and abortion helps women in pursuing power and ambition outside of making sandwiches. Absolutely hate how such high level politician can get away with trashing women’s right to economic/reproductive freedom in 2012s America.

      • I would laugh, except I’m so terrified. The one, single, solitary thing I appreciate about Rick Santorum is that he’s so upfront about being anti-woman. You don’t have to wonder.

        • that’s me: would laugh, but am terrified that he’s even a serious candidate!

          at least there’s one bad thing in it for men, re: Mr. Happy, but of course I presume it would be totally OK under this regime if Mr. Happy’s needs were taken care of elsewhere. I MEAN, boys will be boys, am I right??

          • You are so right!! Women should go back to putting aspirin between their knees. That will solve everything.

    • Paying for Condoms with Pre-Tax Dollars :

      My insurance (really good Blue Cross) doesn’t cover condoms or spermicides. It did cover my IUD.

      However, I can pay for condoms and spermicide out of my Flexible Spending Account, which means I use pre-tax dollars to buy them. Essentially, the federal government is subsidizing my purchase of condoms and spermicide (and bandaids and sunscreen and eyeglasses and insulin supplies etc).

  20. After job hunting and working a mind-numbing temp job for months and months, I was offered a job today! This website helped me a lot with job hunting tips and comments along the way, so THANK YOU to everyone here who contributes to the hive. I just graduated from law school last May, and was getting pretty discouraged by the job market, so I’m really excited that I’ve finally landed a job using my degree!

    I had two interviews with the firm over the past few weeks, and I was offered the position over the phone today. I was asked to come in on Monday to hammer out the details and discuss “my salary requirement.” As a recent graduate, I’ve never been put in the position of a salary negotiation. Besides the basics (do my research re: market rates, try to get them to offer a range rather than stating my numbers first, don’t be afraid to ask for more than they first offer, etc.) does anyone have any tips for me? Salary was not discussed at all during the interview process, and the job is a (first-year) associate position in the LA area at a small firm (~7 attorneys.)

    • Congrats!! IT’s such a relief, isn’t it!?

      As for salary, I don’t have a lot of advice because it depends so heavily on your employer, what I would do is figure out what you can live on. What are your rent payments, loan payments, utilities, etc…, also look at the market, I’ve heard of attorneys being paid as little as $35k/year, I started at $48k, up to $60k when I passed the bar. I took what my employer offered me and didn’t particularly regret it though I did have to go in and ask for raises every year. The guys I worked with tried to negotiate their salaries and ended up with the same I did.

      One thing that might help get some better advice, are you LA as in Los Angeles or LA as in Louisiana?

    • It might be a bit late in the day (well, it is here in the Midwest) but get in touch with your law school or any others in the area and also the local bar association. Many of them have done salary surveys and can give you information about the pay range in your market based on firm size and specialty.
      And congrats on the job!

    • The rule of thumb is that a lawyer should be making 1/3 of your billables for the year (ideally (the firm’s billable hour requirement) * (your billing rate)). As a first year, you’ll likely have some time written off, so it is reasonable to be below the 1/3. I would recommend at least asking about those statistics at your in-person interview if you don’t already know them and use that figure as a goal, even if you’ll take less.

      • Really? This is shocking. I’m making half of what 1/3 my billables would be for the year. I don’t know anyone in my area who’s not senior making that much.

    • I dont have anything to offer but CONGRATS! Im in a similar situation (graduated in May, still temping, looking for something fulfillings) and am glad that you were able to pull yourself out of it! Feel proud! And celebrate all weekend :)

    • No advice, simply to say congratulations !