Wednesday’s TPS Report: Cotton/Linen Blazer

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Cotton/Linen BlazerI haven’t seen this blazer on the LOFT website before, for some reason — a simple cotton/linen blazer in both black and white, with 3/4 sleeves. According to the solitary reviewer, the “lining is cute you could roll [the sleeves] for a more casual look.” Normally the blazer is $128, but today it comes down 30% with code SHOP30 (so: down to $90). This online exclusive is available in regular, petite and talls at Loft.com. Cotton/Linen Blazer

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Comments

  1. Oooh, I like this. Only wish it came in navy, too. I’ve had great luck with LOFT for casual clothes this summer. I’ve been living in their turquoise and coral cotton/linen shorts and have gotten tons of compliments.

    • Amelia Bedelia :

      I have great luck there for semi-business casual work clothes, too. have a few blazers and simple skirts that really do well in my office during the summer months.

      okay, I am threadjacking this thread with a quick question. dorothy perkins clothing. I am a generous size 12 womens. by generous, i mean that my chest is quite large. Size twelve fits fine unless it is a button up from banana republic. then the buttons gap. can anyone speak to dorothy perkins clothing? I cannot decide whether to order a size 16 (us12) or go with sizze 18. but the measurements on the site seem that 18 would be too big!
      help!

      • Amelia Bedelia, did you end up getting that CK suit from Macy’s? We are the same size, and I’m eager to hear your review!

        • Amelia Bedelia :

          I did and love it! it is not a high quality suit, per se, but I found the structure and feel very nice. It is not as loose as I like my suit jackets, but I can easily wear it buttoned while standing. I just cannot wear it buttoned while sitting without having it pull a bit. but no pulling while standing. so I am fine with that. skirt fit great. it is a good rotation for summer!

      • I am between a 2 and 4 at BR – for button-up shirts, the buttons gap on the 2, but the 4 is to big. I ordered some things from Dorothy Perkins and the 4 fit great for a drapey shirt, but was way too tight for a structured button-up shirt. So, I’d consider sizing up for anything structured. I also ordered a cardigan and I think I went with a small, it fit pretty well.

      • dancinglonghorn :

        I’m a 12 32DDD bust and I wear a 16 in Dorothy Perkins. However, I’ve found that the dresses are really really too short for me – I’m 5’6″. I say start with a 16. However, it is a juniors shop so certain styles are probably not going to work as well.

    • Darn, I was so excited to order this in white — just what I was looking for! Too bad they only have size 00 left in white.

  2. Early TJ: My new office is freezing. I mean really, really cold, every morning. So cold, my hands feel like they could go numb. On top of that, it is 90-100 degrees outside so I have to wear skirts some days to stay cool. It also gets warm in my office in the afternoon, sometimes hot. Does anyone have suggestions for warming up? I have tried extra layers but it is too cold for that to help. It is probably 62 or so. I can’t function while I’m this cold so I’m getting nothing done. A space heater is not an option. Are there small but very warm blankets for this purpose? Should I sit on a heating pad? Please help, I’m freezing!

    • Always a NYer :

      Here are some tips I’ve gathered for surviving in really cold offices:
      Heating pad on the back of your chair and pressed against your lower back
      Blazer to keep your upper body warm
      Pashmina to wrap around your legs when wearing a skirt or shoulders if needed
      Trouser socks kept in your drawer because when your feet are cold, you are cold
      I’m sure others will disagree with this but I swore by fingerless gloves (sure, they look odd but help my fingers stay warm when typing)

      Hope these help!

      • In high school my computer was in our unfinished and very cold basement. When I was doing schoolwork down there, my solution was fingerless gloves and a fleece blanket. I just cut the fingers off some cheap-o gloves. Instead of a fleece blanket, in a work situation I would probably invest in a pashmina and/or a large sweater or two that could be worn over everything, every day.

        • You can actually get fingerless gloves that plug into a usb drive and contain a heating unit. I have a pair. I keep my apartment pretty cold to cut down on the utilities bill in winter. They help a lot.

        • Second the fingerless gloves. And a pair of wool socks or slippers you can put on if your feet are under your desk. If my hands and/or feet are cold the rest of me is always cold too.

      • Thanks for al of the suggestions. Unfortunately maintenance can’t help, that would be too easy. Everyone complains but my boss insists it be this cold because that is how she likes it. We turn it up, she turns it down. Another woman has a space heater but my office is too big for that because it is a shared space. I have been putting a sweater over my legs but it is not cutting it. I will try the heating pad. My legs are the worst part, and I try to wear pants but it’s just so hot outside that I can’t seem to win! I tried long sleeves under my tops but then when it gets up to 75-80 in here in the late afternoon I start sweating.

        Any other leg warming suggestions would be much appreciated. Would a tiny black fleece blanket be completely inappropriate? I don’t think anyone would see it and I know someone else who has one here but she’s not exactly the model of professionalism otherwise so I don’t like to take my cues from her.

        • What if you get a little ceramic space heater for under your desk? I have one. I rarely use it (pretty much only on winter weekends when they have the heat turned very low), but it does a great job warming my legs and feet up. With a jacket or wrap on, I do just fine. I also have fingerless gloves but rarely wear them.

        • Your boss is unreasonable. Just wanted to throw that out there. 62 is completely unacceptable, and she needs to (1) buy a fan, and/or (2) get herself checked for a medical condition.

          • It may be illegal as well. I’ve worked in several states where 65o was considered a minimum..

        • Can you commute in a skirt and then change into pants once you are at work?

        • In addition to the suggestions about blocking the vents, maintenance might be able to close yours off fully or partially. My office was not overly cold but we’re on the top floor and the HVAC system is on the roof apparently just above my desk. The vents were so loud it was like I was working in the back of the DC-9. Maintenance partially closed my vents and it’s much better.

          • My boss works in this office sometimes… so she will not be okay with that! Same with the space heater. I pretty much can only do stuff that will warm me up but won’t affect the temperature in the room. Changing into warmer. logged would work if it wasn’t for the fact it will be hot in here by 2 pm. Anything I do needs to be removable/reversible to deal with it being hot later.

            I cannot figure out why it goes from >65 to >75 in the afternoon but I think it must be the placement of the window.

            Thanks everyone!

        • Keep a few pairs of sweater or fleece tights at the office to put on under skirts when it’s cold.

        • Talk to HR. Your boss is demonstrating incredible selfishness by choosing a temp way out of line — 62 is too cold for an office. Sounds like she wouldn’t be receptive, but if she really runs hot enough that 62 is a comfortable working temp for her, she should sit in front of a fan, sip ice water, etc. to cool herself down instead of everyone else having to try to warm themselves up.

        • Peronsal heaters may be forbidden (“for security reasons”). But check out these little beauties:
          http://www.amazon.com/Lasko-MyHeat-Personal-Ceramic-Heater/dp/B003XDTWN2/ref=pd_sim_hg_1
          http://www.amazon.com/The-Sharper-Image-Personal-Tabletop/dp/B002RWJ9AG/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1340885256&sr=8-4&keywords=miniature+space+heater
          They look more like speakers and will fool many people :-). Even your boss probably won’t notice from within the same room.

    • Ditto the socks and fingerless gloves! They really helped when I had to adapt to a much colder climate quickly. Also, I read somewhere that the best way to keep warm is to cover your neck and ears- so maybe you could get creative with a scarf?

    • Sit on a heating pad and drink a warm beverage.

    • Anon Analyst :

      Yikes, 62 is really cold. Is there any way to get someone from maintenance to check the thermostat to make sure nothing is wrong?

    • I would definitely call someone in building maintenance — I’ve done that a few times over the years, and they usually try to accomodate the request.

      • Yes, if it’s really that cold, call maintenance. OSHA actually has rules on how cold or hot offices can be. It’s a pretty generous range, but if it’s really only 62, that’s ridiculous.

        If you are under a vent, maintenance may be able to rig up a deflector. Or, if you can do it without attracting attention, a few strips of packing tap can cover up an over-zealous vent pretty discreetly.

    • big dipper :

      I keep a mug full of hot water on my desk that I use to warm my hands. So, like tea, without the tea in it.

    • My colleague who is handy had air filters the exact size of the overheat AC vent. We just popped the filter up in the ceiling tile over the vent. It has improved the temperature in my office dramatically.

    • I use my suit jacket to cover my legs. Not the most elegant, but it’s warm. Still waiting on someone to invent the suit snuggie.

    • Maine Associate :

      My office is an icebox too. I have found keeping fuzzy slippers under my desk can help. I slip into them while at my desk. I have also seen, but not yet tried, heated keyboards.

    • Constance Justice :

      Fingerless gloves and a travel blanket. The blanket is thin enough that draped over my chair it looks like a shawl, but I use it as a blanket when no one is around to see me bundled up in my office! I have also added a hot cup of tea in the afternoon.

    • A space heater under your desk will help even if you’re in a big office. It will still warm the air immediately around you.

    • Your boss needs to realise one of her responsibilities as a boss is to ensure that “her” people have a healthy working environment that doesn’t impact their performance negatively. Is she trying to assert her dominance or something?

      Anyways, back to the question. In dance shops you can buy legwarmers that cover almost the entire leg. Super easy to slip on and off during the day. You can also try heated seat cushions designed for cars. They warm your backside up from the thighs and up, and you can usually control the temperature.

    • AnotherLadyLawyer :

      My space heater (the only way I survive in the summer, given the crazy AC!) died yesterday, so I was scouring the internet for a fancy new one and came across heating pads for your feet, like little warm-inducing foot rests. Maybe try that?

    • I’ve worked a lot in early machine rooms.. What you need is stuff you can add/remove easily, and to keep it at work so you always have it all, and don’t have to schlep anything in the heat.
      A blanket works well. Especially as a statement :-). But you basically either cover your lap with it or your shoulders. The “crib size” 45×60″ is most maneuverable.
      A pashmina is better for a more business-like appearance, like during meetings.
      Fingerless gloves. A simple black wool pair will work with everything.
      Don’t forget a scarf at the minimum! Keep a range of colors in the office for today’s outfit.
      If your feet are hidden, change into thick wool socks and maybe black closed clogs or something like that, till lunchtime.

  3. lucy stone :

    My husband found out his grandpa died last night via text message. Can I fill my JSFAMO mug with vodka today?

    • Anastasia :

      via text message?! That’s awful, and definitely worthy of a mug of vodka. I’m way too young to be thinking “what is the world coming to?” but seriously, what is the world coming to when that’s how someone chooses to communicate the loss of a loved one?

      Sorry for your family’s loss.

    • My condolences.

      And yes, by all means, fill your JSFAMO mug with vodka and go out and buy yourself (and your husband) some gorgeous stationery.

    • Anon Analyst :

      So sorry to hear that. My condolences to your family.

    • So sorry and that is just awful. There are just certain things that one shouldn’t text about and this is one of them. What were they thinking? The vodka might make you feel worse.

    • I’m so sorry – that’s awful.

    • Ugh, that’s terrible.

      My husband found out his grandpa died via Facebook! Not even a message or a wall post — just a general announcement on his dad’s wall.

      WTF.

    • just Karen :

      I do not understand people doing this. My best friend’s mother received a text two weeks ago saying that her best friend had died. She had a massive asthma attack and went into cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital. The best friends died on the same day. True, horrific story. She was only 55, and the two women had been friends since high school. Horrible.

    • Let’s charitably assume that people who notify family members of a death via text or Facebook are out of their minds with grief.

      Lucy, one vodka coffee, coming right up :).

    • Oof, that’s awful.

      Adding to the charitable thought: let’s assume the person was exhausted, out of their mind with grief and simply couldn’t deal with making a whole bunch of calls. I found out my uncle died through a FB message; my cousin was totally overwhelmed and had his wife message me.

  4. I ordered a suit from Talbot’s yesterday and got an email today saying they are looking for the items at their stores, and they’ll let me know if they find them. What the heck??? Does this happen often? This is my first order from them, so not a good move on their part. What are the chances I’ll get my suit? And will they send one piece without the other?

    Super annoying.

    • Omg this winter I ordered a really cute suede envelope clutch from there (my first order from there, ever) and got an email saying that they looked and realized they didn’t have it. I was really really pissed. I don’t think I’ll ever order something online from them again. It’s such poor business practice!

    • It has happened to me before, a couple of times, when I ordered during a big sale. I think the merchandise moves so fast they can’t keep the inventory records up with the orders. Once I ordered a suit and they sent me the blazer and told me the pants were not available, which did me no good since I could not use the blazer without the pants, butwhen I called to complain, they told me if they could not find the pants, they would take the blazer back and refund me the shipping. They ended up finding the pants in a store and sending them to me, so it worked out. But, this is a long way of saying they might send you one piece without the other, and it is irritating.

      • Every other company can manage to keep up with inventory during sales!!!

        • Sorry, that may have come out rude. I know you weren’t defending them. :)

        • I had something similar happen with Nordstrom last year. I bought a gorgeous dress and had already planned to wear it to an event. The next day I got an email saying that it was unavailable and they were cancelling my order.

          I then had the same thing happen at ideeli, but they generously offered me a gift certificate to make up for their mistake.

          • I also had a problem like this with Nordstrom. I ordered a suit, received an email confirming that it had been shipped … then received a subsequent email saying “oops, we didn’t have the pants. But we did send you the jacket.” I would have preferred the full suit, but luckily I was able to incorporate the jacket into my wardrobe.

        • Yes, obviously they need to update their system or something.

        • This happens to me at Nordie’s on a fairly regular basis during sales. The thing is that both Talbots and Nordies will ship from stores if they don’t have something online, so it takes them longer to go through the inventory and sometimes durign sales their system doesn’t keep up. Or so I was told.

    • Kontraktor :

      This happens frequently during their bigger sales. I had this issue last year during the “red hanger” sale and my friend had the same issue a couple of days ago. Luckily I haven’t had this happen recently with regular orders, but I think they kind of let the supply chain go to heck in a handbasket during these sale times. There is a somewhat high chance you might not get your stuff- maybe 50/50? I seem to have gotten my stuff in these instances only about half the time.

    • if it makes you feel any better, i ordered 3 pairs of shoes from Neiman 2 weeks ago. Only 2 showed up. I assumed the 3rd was coming from a different location and would show up in a day or two (this happens with Nordstrom all the time). A few days later, nothing. so i checked on line and the third pair of shoes had just be cancelled. what the heck was my same response (though i think i used language that was not as nice). I assume this is because it was during the sale and they sold my shoes to someone else.

    • Yep. They need to bring their inventory management systems into this decade. (and add user reviews to their site!)

      • Yes! I wish they had user reviews. I really love a lot of the things I get a Talbots, but other things are just really poor quality. Also, they aren’t uniform on their fit, some items run much smaller than others. Reviews would go along way towards reducing the amount of merchandise I end up having to return after I pay shipping.

    • This happened to me, but I got all the stuff I ordered, if that makes you feel better (but yeah, there’s a reason they went bankrupt or whatever.)

    • I’m sorry, and this may be snarky, but you don’t have the suit (or poster below the clutch) so you get your money back if you cancel. It’s not like you’ve been waiting 2 weeks and they just told you. There are more important things in life to get annoyed or “pissed” about. Get over it, move on.

      God, this blog is full of nothing but complaints and lists of “What annoys me is when someone ” lately. You ladies sound super pissy lately and frankly it’s turning me off to this site completely!

      • I’m sorry that “we ladies” sit down behind you and force you to read each and every comment as we slowly scroll down the page.

        • Bahahahaha! ^5.

        • Wow, aren’t you pleasant. You probably are the person who doesn’t return the “How are you” as a common courtesy because your b*tch factor just makes you think you’re above common pleasantries.

          Your negative energy is repellant.

          • There is something so deliciously ironic about someone complaining about unpleasantness with such vitriol.

            Love it when the C’rette Harpies come out to play.

          • I happen to enjoy a hearty salutations with friends, acquaintances, and strangers alike. I also happen to enjoy irony. Apparently, you don’t.

          • Haha JJ that line made me laugh. So I agree with P in some ways, but I think b23 question/annoyance was totally legit. actually i think most people’s “rants” are totally legit, but somedays there is a lot of them and they are about real minor things (that would annoy me to) but since people know they are minor, they don’t call up their friend to b*tch, they just do it here anonymously. It’s just kind of a problem of the masses that happens. A year or two ago, no one used to do the rant/vent posts. But now its kind of a safe space to do that. some days i am just like not in the mood, but you just do an eyeroll and say fooey and come back the next day.

          • You’re effectively calling someone a b*tch and complaining about negative energy?

            P is for “Pot”, right? As in, “Pot, meet Kettle….” Good job projecting, though!

          • Only one way to settle all of this. Arm. Wrestling.

        • Apprently being incredibly snarky is now what we call “irony”.

          I think you need a dictionary.

      • Your comment was snarky, and acknowledging it doesn’t make it better. I realize I will get my money back. My questions were what my chances were that I would still get the suit, whether this happens often, and whether I would be sent one piece without the other, forcing me to return the other piece. Those are all legitimate questions. I’d rather not keep ordering from Talbot’s if this happens a lot.

        I think people like you say “This may be snarky” as a pass to say whatever rude thing you want.

        • I disagree. I think lately this blog is nothing but a b*tch fest and frankly takes away from it. Yesterdays thread on how people are annoyed to say hi in the elevator or wont reply with a friendly “How are you” confirms lately my opinion that there are probably a lot of women on this blog I would find horrible to work with.

          And I wasn’t just replying to you. Whoever got really pissed over a clutch really needs to reevaluate life.

          • And you’ve called someone a b*tch twice now. So there’s that.

          • Agree completely with P. The post about the male neighbor making friendly conversation about a shoe box a week or so ago was particularly horrifying.

          • I never called anyone a b*tch, I referred to this thread as a b*tchfest. I really think people read what they want and never comprehend what is actually written.

            But read, be one of the people who complain about your nice office worker saying hi to you, get offended someone says I think it’s ridiculous, and then read what I wrote to be me calliung people b*tches. Whatever gets you through the day.

          • I just don’t agree. I have a fairly low tolerance for the negativity. Honestly, I skim over some of those threads and there was one whole posting that I had to stop receiving comments. For the most part, I find this a positive supportive community and I have found your comments really disturbing. Just let it go.

          • There’s no sense engaging you in a “b*tchfest”–your term– but you don’t know me or what I’ve been through in life, so don’t tell me I need to reevaluate life.

            If you don’t like the comments or the content here, go elsewhere. End of story.

        • This may be snarky is the new “No offense but…” you can be guaranteed that the thing after WILL be meant to give offense and the person doesn’t really care. :-P

          But hey…I’ve used No offense but AND not to be snarky. Maybe P (and also maybe JJ) got out of bed on the wrong side this morning. Everybody go back to bed and start over. Including me. YES! More bed less work. :-)

          • Hey TCFKAG, I’m sorry you were offended.

            ;-)

          • I think you will find (and probably have noticed) I’m not all that easily offendable). Kisses and hugs for everyone!!!!

        • I think it’s legitimate to be annoyed. Talbots shipping is pretty slow, so after you order the suit, you may wait 10-14 days to find out they just sent you the blazer. Then you have to take the blazer back and try to get them to refund the shipping. I was pretty irritated when it happened to me. But it’s interesting to read all these posts and see it happens at other stores as well, good to know.

      • It was a problem in my case since I was going to bring the clutch to a work event for my husband the following week. I don’t walk around being pissed off about this on a daily basis, because obviously it’s not a big deal in the scheme of things, but the OP asked if this had happened to anyone else, and I shared my story.

        Besides, as one of the other commenters points out– many other stores do NOT have this problem online, even during big flash sales, so it seems to be a problem with Talbots, specifically. Chill!

      • Kontraktor :

        Be careful feeding the trolls. Sometimes they bite and aren’t very appreciative of the morsels.

      • If you are tired of a negative tone on this blog, why make such a negative comment? As Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see on the blog.”

      • You do realize that you are complaining about people complaining, right?

        And, to cite your deathless prose, “There are more important things in life to get annoyed or “pissed” about. So you are more correct than you know…

      • “…it’s turning me off to this site completely!”

        Don’t let the door hit you on the rear on your way out.

    • new york associate :

      To actually answer the questions:
      1) I order a lot from Talbots, and it’s happened to me three times. Two times out of the three, they located the item and sent it to me quickly. The third time, I got a letter saying that they couldn’t locate the item and would not bill me (of course).
      2) I would guess that you’ll get one piece of your suit without the other.

      I know it’s irritating, but I love Talbots so much that I’m willing to forgive them this inventory issue.

      • This happened to me with Talbots last summer. I ordered a twinset. They sent the shell without the sweater. Could not locate it. I also could not return the shell because they strung me along for so long that the shell was not returnable by the time they confirmed they couldn’t find the matching part of the pair. So, incidentally, if anyone wants a Robin’s egg L/XL shell from Talbots with no match, let me know.

    • I’ve also had this happen with them, multiple times. First they send an email saying “Congrats! Your order is confirmed!” Then they send another a few hours later that says “sorry, we don’t have that item after all.” I agree with those who say they need to update their inventory system – this doesn’t happen regularly at any other online store I frequent, so it’s clearly possible to manage the process better than they do. I’ve just quit ordering from them.

  5. Need advice from runners: I am trying to start the couch2k program this week. I went to a running store and had them do this gait analysis (they have you run on a treadmill, videotape your feet, analyze your gait and recommend the type of shoe you need), had them fit me with good running shoes (ASICS GT-2170), and Monday I did the first session on my treadmill, jogging only 4.5 mph on the jogging sections. And I have horrible shin splints, I can barely walk today. I tried icing them last night, but it did not really help, and I’m so discouraged. I thought I did everything right, but maybe jogging just isn’t for me. Is there some way to prevent these stupid shin splints? Should I keep going, or take a few days off? I could switch to an elliptical for the rest of the week, but I really wanted to get going on this c25k thing, there is a 5k in October I was aiming for.

    • A few thoughts —
      — Can you run outside rather than on the treadmill? The treadmill might be messing with your stride and causing you to run in an unnatural way.

      — Have you had shin splints before? It’s usually a repetitive stress injury that develops over time, so it would be difficult to develop them from just one run. You might just be really sore from the workout.

      — If you bought your shoes at a good running store, you can usually return them even if you’ve worn them if they’re not working for you and get refitted for something else.

      — You have plenty to time before October to train. Take a couple of days off, take some Advil, and don’t run through pain. (You can run through muscle soreness without injury, but try not to run through pain-pain.)

      Good luck!!

      • I get shin splints every time I jog, but I thought I just needed better shoes. Maybe I am just sore, but it is just on the very front of calves. Maybe I’ve been wrong all this time about what shin splints ever are, it’s certainly possible. It feels like its more in the bone than the muscle, but I could be wrong. I normally walk a lot, but the last couple of months I’ve been pretty lax, so I’m starting from zero.

        • I get shin splints every time I jog too. It’s a matter of simple mechanics, my legs are twisted so that those ligaments bear the brunt of my lumbering. Conclusion: I walk a lot, and do a bit of interval sprinting after buses :-). Shoes won’t help here. Think of some other aerobic activity. Rowing, swimming??

      • It’s just that you are sore. It’s not “shin splints.” Take adequate rest, and then when you run next, the soreness will go away as you loosen up.

    • Kontraktor :

      Hopefully some more informed runners will comment, but it could just be that you are really, really sore from the previous lack of activity. Before my wedding, I booked some sessions with a personal trainer to get advice on how to better my exercise routine. I pretty much had been a lump until that point. Um….. seriously I could barely walk for a week after the first session. I was limping and hurting everywhere. I really think it was just because I hadn’t done *anything* and then all of a sudden I was starting something. Could you maybe walk on the treadmill the next few days to loosen up and ease yourself into it? Maybe walk for a week or so and then more gradually up to the run/job combination? People’s bodies are just different and maybe you need a short ramp up period, that’s all. :-)

      • Second this. I did a weight lifting class (body pump) after years of barely lifting anything beyond a coffee mug and a fork. So much pain! Later that day I literally couldn’t put on my liquid eyeliner because I couldn’t lift my arm high enough. I did very light elliptical work for the next three days while my soreness went away, then did the class again. The next time I was only that sore for a day.

        But experienced runners should comment. I avoid running like the plague!

      • Yes, but the only place I’m sore is the very front part of my legs, running along the shinbone.

        • Kontraktor :

          There are muscles there too. :-) I agree with some other commenters that said it might not be shin splints per se because those take a long time to develop. It could just be regular muscle soreness. I like the idea a commenter had of maybe going back to the running store and returning the shoes or getting advice from them on if they fit correctly. Taking it easy a few days and easing in could also help.

    • Cornellian :

      I’m not a doctor, so take everything with a grain of salt, but shin splints are basically when the connective tissue between your muscle and shin bone is overworked. All of my advice is about stopping that stress on that tissue.

      -take a few days (week?) off.
      -do these exercises: http://www.ehow.com/way_5147101_exercises-shin-splints.html . -try running (extremely) short distances on soft material. I find that the lack of stability builds up my calves and all of the little muscles on the sides of my lower legs, and reduces shin splints.
      -this is sort of controversial, and obviously I don’t know your legs or feet, but consider spending some time in “less” of a running shoe. My shin splints only went away for good when I got in less of a shoe, spent time running barefoot, and built up the muscles in my lower leg. I think my older, buliker shoes were so “stabilizing” that they didn’t allow my lower leg muscles to do their job. When I was running a lot on really rough terrain, my shin splints totally went away, although it was definitely demanding on my body generally.
      -on the c25K plan, if you’re worried about falling behind, do elliptical in the same ratio that the plan has you doing for running (“run” with more effort for a minute, then ease off for a minute, or whatever is prescribed

      Don’t give up!

    • Even when I was running 20+ miles a week, I got terrible shin splints on the rare occasion when I ran on the treadmill. I think it did something funky to my stride. Would you consider running outdoors? If you’re aiming for a race, I think it’s much easier to train outdoors than getting used to a treadmill indoors and having to adapt and re-learn how to run before the race.

      If you’re set on doing the treadmill, I’ve read that running on a *slight* incline can prevent shin splints. The perfectly flat surface doesn’t mimic true running conditions and can be surprisingly hard on your body.

      Just my two cents.

      • Oh, and please take care of yourself and take a few days off! Better to do it now than to risk injury later.

      • Cornellian :

        oh, gosh, yes. Train for the race you want to run! If it’s at 8 AM, get used to running at 8 AM. If it’s on hills, get used to running on hills. If it’s outside, get used to running outside. Really, really good advice.

        If you must run on a treadmill, I find that putting it on a 2% or 2.5% incline makes it as “hard” as outside running.

      • It was 103 degrees here yesterday, so for now, I really would rather run on the treadmill. I was hoping to switch to outdoor running when it cools off a little.

        • But I will definitely try the incline, I had not heard that.

        • Cornellian :

          Yeah, you picked a hard time of the year to start running if you’re not in the upper Midwest or Pacific NW, I guess. BUT running in the heat is great resistance training, and makes you super fast in the fall. After running 10:30 miles in central Texas all summer, it dropped to 80 or 85 and I was running 9:00 miles without any effort. Something to look forward to…

      • Second this! I run about 25 miles a week, but 2 miles on the treadmill makes my shins sore. Every single time. I gave up on the torture machine entirely (I know other people use them successfully).

        When my shins get sore, I kneel on the floor and sit back on my heels. This helps my shins stretch out and, if done several times a day, will make the soreness go away after a couple of days.

        Hope you find running you like. Once you get into it, it’s a wonderful and fun workout!

    • I am NOT a runner, but I have a little advise.

      First, do NOT do to much right away, or you will NOT stick with it b/c you will have chin splint’s.

      Then, if you start slowely, you can gradueally ramp up to do alot more after a while.

      The manageing partner wanted me to enter the Chase Challenge and run around Central Park representeing the firm but I said I was NOT ready to do so b/c I did NOT have time to ramp up.

      Now he want’s me to do the next Susan B. Komen challenge. He just wants to come and watch me weareing the firms’ TEE shirt and short’s. I do NOT want to let him oggle me, even at a CHARITY event. FOOEY!

    • I’m a serious runner who suffered from shin splints a lot during my first years of running. For me, the cure was to stop wearing heels. Heels cause tremendous strain on your calves/achilles = shin splints. Some people also feel the same way about flip flops, although I still wear flip flops on occasion and it’s no problem. Here’s the thing – people tend to think that only their exercise-related activity affects their exercise-related activity. But that only takes an hour or less of your day, and what you do in the remaining 23 or so hours can really impact your exercise. So I would suggest thinking about whether your non-running footwear could be improved. Good luck! Once you get over the hump the first couple of months, it actually becomes fun. You just have to stick with it until you get to that point.

    • First, if there’s any way you can run on a nice dirt trail as opposed to a treadmill, do that. I’m prone to shin splints and have a much easier time avoiding them when running at the park. Second, don’t just run ~ put some effort into strengthening and stretching your calf muscles. Third, experiment with your stride and make sure you’re running with good form- 4.5mph might well be too slow. I used to be one of those people who just shuffled along, mostly bouncing myself up and down instead of really using my legs to propel myself forward, because I thought running slower was better for me as a beginner. Then a running buddy with a longer stride and faster pace challenged me to keep up with her and I found my legs felt soooo much better.

      Finally, I know this is sensitive, but consider your weight ~ if you have a few extra pounds on your frame, losing them before you start running can spare you a lot of pain.

    • This happened to me when I started the couch25k program. I took a couple of days off and then started again, but much slower on the running part and repeated weeks to really ease into it. I did not want to have a more permanent injury. So I would really take it easy on the running part for now. There is still time to build up speed once your muscles have adjusted.

    • It would be odd to develop shin splints from one run, particularly on a treadmill (for me, they usually are caused by repetitive running on hard surfaces such as concrete). You may just have muscle soreness caused by your first real run. I’d give it a day or two of rest, and try again. If you have the same symptoms after your second run, I’d check with a physician to get a clean bill of health.

    • My trainer taught me a stretch that avoids shin splints. Not easy to explain but I’ll give it a try…

      1. Stand facing a wall and place both palms against it
      2. One foot on the ground, the other at a 45 degree angle against wall
      3. You then go down and forward until one knee is touching the wall

      Hope it helps. My explanation is rather cr@ppy….sorry. But I have never had shin splints after this.

      • OP here, Great, thanks so much, I will definitely try this.

        • It stretches your calf. And do hold it for several seconds. And in case it wasn’t totally clear, the knee that touches the wall is attached to the foot that is at 45 degrees to the wall. I’m sure there is a more elegant way tomput it, but it is almost 11pm for me and it has been a long day:)

        • I get shin splints as well, and my trainer told me something similar – I have to make sure that I really stretch out my calves. Apparently if your calf muscles are tight, this can aggrevate the muscles around your shin bone. Try getting a foam roller (like $20 on Amazon).

        • I bought new shoes recently (I also had the gait analysis), and my shins were very sore the first couple of times I ran with the new shoes. I’ve had shin splints before, and this felt similar. I chalked it up to my body adjusting to running in shoes with adequate support, and it went away with a few more runs in the new shoes.

    • I’m not a doctor or have any real medical training, but I have been a runner for 10+ years. I’ve had shin splint pain before, and it’s usually from either too tight calf muscles/achilles tendon or from running a lot on my toes, on a hard surface (i.e. when I was a hurdler running in spikes every day on a track). If I remember corretly, shin splints are from overuse and tiny tears in the connective tissue covering the shin bone. What happens is that the front of your lower leg is working disproportionately hard compared to the back of the lower leg. When the calf/achilles is too tight, you start using those front shin muscles to absorb the shock of your foot strikes, to push off the ground, and to pull your foot up. This stresses out the shin, and all that use of the shin muscles pulling on the shin bone causes the tears.

      I would guess that rather than true shin splints, since you’re just getting started, those shin muscles took a beating and are stiff and sore now. It happens to me sometimes. Remember, running puts 3-5 your body weight of pressue on your foot when it strikes the ground, which then gets absorbed through your leg, especially the shin. When you’re new to running, that’s a whole lot of pounding your shins aren’t used to, and if you are new to exercising in general, the rest of your body is probably a little weak too, so those shin bones are really going to take the brunt of the pounding. It takes time for your body to adjust to this. That’s the beauty of the couch to 5k, it eases you in.

      I don’t think you need to take time off, just work at stretching and loosening up your calves. While you’re at it, think about stretching and strengthening all the way up the back of your legs – achilles, calves, hamstrings, glutes. Most people neglect these muscles and develop injuries from overuse of the front muscles.

      • Op – great, that makes me feel better. I can deal with muscle pain. I’ll start doing a lot more stretching.

        • I would see a doctor or phys. therapist- they really could be shinsplints, despite what everyone has been saying. My worst shin splints ever were when I started running from scratch at age 14. It’s because the tendons and ligaments aren’t used to stretching in the way you force them to when you run, and they tear. I get them now if I take too much time off from running and start back up again.

          It could be sore muscles, or it really could be shinsplints, even if you just started, in my experience.

          • I agree, going to the doctor for a checkup could be a good idea. I actually got shin splints after I tried to run track in high school; they developed after about a month of regular track practices so I never actually ran in a meet.

    • dancinglonghorn :

      This is exactly what I had for about 3 weeks until I went to see a doctor. Turns out I had broken my ankle running – repetitive stress fracture. I’d get it checked out – this type of injury can be brutal to recover from, especially if you are new to running. Also, a good physical therapist or doctor can look at your running and your bone structure and tell you what is hurting it. Turns out with my figure, running is just too much stress for my regular exercise. I loved C25K though – I used podrunner.

    • If you just started a running program, it could be any number of issues. In addition to what other commenters have mentioned, I would add building up your feet and ankle muscles and flexibility. I cross train with barre classes and they are great for strengthening all leg muscles, especially the ankles and feet. The barre workouts also stretch all my leg (including feet) muscles. I’d suggest googling pre-running exercises that can cut down on shin splints.

      Oh, and you should increase your fluid intake if you are stepping up your running. Shin splints may be your body’s way of saying-Whoa, slow down there, not prepared for this now.

      Good luck!

    • Anonymous :

      Agree. Sounds like soreness, not shin splints. Consider buying “The Stick”, which helps to massage your legs, which is otherwise virtually impossible to do on yourself. Try Amazon or just Google to find it.

  6. Stinky shoe question:
    For the longest time I’ve been a jeans and sneakers girl. I always wore socks, and all was well.
    Now, as I enter the professional world, sneakers are no longer my go-to shoe. Instead, I find myself wearing pumps and ballet flats and other things that I don’t really wear socks with. At the end of the day, my shoes smell super gross. After a few wears, there is a definite odor I can’t get out. I’ve tried wearing knee-highs and the like, and they help a little but not a lot. I made little baking soda satchels and try to store them in my shoes overnight, but any freshness they provide is gone by lunchtime. Would buying more expensive shoes help (I get most of mine from Payless – I have a still in school budget!)? Are there thin enough insoles that actually work? What do you ladies do to keep from having offensive smelling shoes?

    • I stopped buying man-made shoes for this reason. I always look to make sure the lining is leather too, which isn’t always the case, even with expensive shoes. (I’m looking at you J. Crew.)

    • This is a very unglamorous solution, but I’ve found that Dr Scholl’s Odor Max spray has been the most effective so far. It sprays powder onto the soles of my feet and they stay dry all day. I’ve tried everything else you mentioned, and this is seriously the best solution.

    • Cornellian :

      I’m not sure how this will work out, but i’ve had several friends rave about LUSH cosmetics’ foot powder. I just ordered some myself!

    • What is your company’s dress code on shoes? Are you allowed to wear peep-toes or not overly strappy/”Victoria’s Secrety” type sandals? If you are allowed to wear such shoes, then it would improve ventilation. Better than pumps and ballet flats.

      Also, I notice a lot of women at work wearing pumps who slide their feet out of them as soon as they return to their cubicles. This may or may not be an option, depending on how well your feet are hidden in your desk/cube setup.

      I find that those alcohol-based hand-sanitizers (the ones in the pump dispensers, not the little ones in tearaway packets, which are too small for these purposes) are helpful in wiping the shoes AND your feet to kill odor-producing bacteria.

    • I’ve mentioned these before, Aldo’s terrycloth inserts changed my life. I was cursed with super sweaty feet, and these act like socks in shoes so I can wear them without slip/sliding around in my shoes and they help with the smell factor. You can also throw them in the washing machine, which is great.

      It is also probably your shoes being synthetic which isn’t helping the sweat/smell problem. Real leather/natural fibers let your feet breathe. So maybe saving up and investing in better shoes might help as well.

      My solution for sweaty/smelly feet is as follows:
      1. wear the terry cloth inserts in my shoes
      2. spray feet w/ antiperspirant – use underarm deodorant spray
      3. wash feet daily with anti-bacterial soap

      Good Luck!

    • Buying shoes that breathe better (natural materials) would help, but so would a foot deodorant. Making it a habit to put on some deodorizing foot lotion every morning and letting your shoes air out between wears generally goes a long way.

    • I bought Summer Soles after seeing them mentioned several times on this blog. summer soles dot com. I’ve been using them for a couple of days and they seem to work well. I’ve tried some of the powders and sprays but they don’t seem to work very well and leave a residue on the inside of your shoes.

      • I second summer soles for sweaty feet. They’re awesome. However, they have not taken care of my stinky foot problem–maybe because I use them too long before changing?

    • I agree that the man-made material is probably at least part of the problem. You might try stuffing the shoes with newspaper – really stuff them so that the newspaper contacts as much of the shoe as possible. It’ll help absorb some of the sweat and should help with the smell a bit.

      I realize I’ve mentioned the newspaper-stuffing method a bunch of times – it does work really well for me, so I am always compelled to share. I think I really want those Aldo terry inserts, too – can you get them at the stores or just online?

    • For inside yous pumps and ballet flat, I suggest shoe liners like these:

      http://www.hue.com/Socks/Shoe-Liners.aspx

      You could also use scented liners like kiwi fresh-ins.

    • long time lurker :

      This happens to me when I wear a pair of shoes over multiple days walking a lot in them. Think traveling or over the weekend with more casual shoes. I have really found the solution is to rotate shoes and not wear the same pair two days in a row. Also, with work shoes, I wear commuter shoes to work every day (ballet slippers, sport sandals) and change into one of the pairs of shoes I have under my desk. Sometimes if I feel a pair is getting stinky, I’ll shake in some foot powder (Dr. S or generic) which is basically cornstarch I think, let it sit for a night, and then shake it out.

    • Thanks for all the great suggestions! I’ll have to look into some of these. I thought that my ballet flats would “breathe” well because they are more like fabric than leather-esque, but now that I look at them I see they’re made of “all man-made materials.” I didn’t think that would matter! Some of the inserts y’all suggested may help until I can find better shoes. I’m kind of against the idea of foot antiperspirant, but if nothing else works I’ll try the chemical solution.
      What did people do before the Internet could give them good advice? Thanks to all of you!

      • If your ballet flats are made of cloth, you can try running them under the faucet in your bathtub and scrubbing the insides with an old toothbrush. Then set them outside to air dry. I thought my flats were done-for, but after I tried this, they had a new lease on life.

      • I’ve also mentioned this before, but soaking your feet in cider vinegar (it might need to be diluted) is supposed to help kill the bacteria that make feet stinky.

      • I buy natural deodorant spray at Whole Foods and spray my shoes and feet. It helps.

    • Kiehls makes a cream deodorant/antiperspirant that I have used on my feet before – they were dry all day so that helped significantly with odor. But I also agree that you should invest in real leather.

    • 1) All-leather, including leather lining
      2) baking soda

  7. Ladies

    I need styling advice , please. I got these…
    http://www.brooksbrothers.com/IWCatProductPage.process?Merchant_Id=1&Section_Id=304&Product_Id=1665917&Parent_Id=1034&default_color=NAVY&sort_by=&sectioncolor=&sectionsize=

    And apart from navy tee/white tee, I’m stumped on what to wear with them. Please help!
    Thanks in advance.

    • Oh, and my coloring is the same as Frieda Pinto (though I wish I were as gorgeous:). I usually wear jewel tomes or neutrals but willing to experiment with colour.

    • A coral top would be really pretty with those. I’m wearing a navy skirt and coral top today, actually. Maybe, maybe a pink top would work. It would depend on the tone of pink and the cut of the top so that you don’t look too “Stepford Wife Steps Out for Golf on Sunday.”

      • In the preppy suburb where I grew up, my friends and I called the ladies we babysat for, who all shopped at Pappagallo (does that still exist?) and had a full wardrobe of Bermuda bags the PYGs – for pink, yellow and greens. And yes, there often was a golf course involved.

    • I really can’t think of any color that wouldn’t work with these. They’re a neutral, so anything else will be compatible. I’d probably choose polo shirts. Orange and gold look awesome with navy, but so does green, pink, purple… you get the idea.

      • I agree – navy is a neutral and the check pattern is also essentially neutral/solid. I just saw a really pretty orange butterfly print top at Limited that I think would look cute with these and some flat sort of fancy (metallic? jeweled?) sandals. I think it would make a nice elegant/casual mix.

    • just about any other color would work — red, coral, bright blue, pink, green etc. white button front shirt — plain or with some interesting detail. white tee, red cardi. coral flowy top. you get my drift. i’d almost treat them as a neutral.

    • So many colors can be paired with navy and white! My favorites are apple or kelly green, pink, and yellow.

    • Seattleite :

      I’d wear these with icy yellow, coral, kelly green. Orange if you can wear it – I can’t.

    • I like yellow and red with navy. I’m wearing a navy dress to a party this weekend and am trying to decide between yellow or red shoes.

      • Thanks, ladies. I view navy as a neutral but am terrible when it comes to patterns.

        JJ…you nailed my concern….I really don’t want to look like a stepford wife.

        I love all the colours you guys picked…except orange. So I will have fun with them.

  8. Cornellian :

    For the people talking about hanging art in the office yesterday, the code 35ARTRETAIL at art.com gets you 35% off everything until tomorrow. I just picked something up! I’m excited to have something other than my diplomas in my office. it feels like I’m too egotistical or something when that’s the only thing to look at in here.

  9. I just spent loads and loads of time looking for plus-size suits and separates. Seems it’s tougher than usual to get suits during the summer. Thought I would pass on my findings for anyone else that is looking:

    – Macy’s: Good suits and separates at reasonable prices (Calvin Klein and Anne Klein mostly). More options available if you order online. Either way, make sure you use a coupon if you are nor ordering Every Day Values.
    – Nordie’s: Encore had a couple of dress pants, and only 2 suits (Sejour and Tahari). The sales associate mentioned that the fall suits will be in store in a couple of weeks, so I’m optimistic.
    – JCPenney’s: Went to check out the Worthington line on recs from this site. They have good shells and pencil skirts in a variety of colors (Nordie’s Skirt knock-offs perhaps?) for reasonable prices. No suits.
    – Talbot’s: Hadn’t shopped there before, but their stuff looked great. Jackets were TTS and went one size up on pants. Sales associate mentioned suiting flies off the racks as soon as sales start, so I’ll have to stop there frequently.

    Overall I got some pieces I needed on a limited budget. Still, there is room for more in my closet. Any other suggestions are welcome!

    • Eloquii has had some nice skirts recently, but no suits. They also frequently put their belts on steep discout, so if you need any belts you might want to try there.

      • AnotherLadyLawyer :

        I’ve been eyeing Eloquii for a few weeks — like or dislike? Any particular gems?

        • I bought a dress there called “Fabric Mix Colorblock Dress” and it looked and felt great. And it had pockets! If you are familiar with the quality at the Limited it is basically exactly the same.

          I don’t know what size you are, but the 14/16 at eloquii kind of overlap with the 14 and 16 at the Limited, so if you like the Limited and wear these sizes, it’s like you have double the options you would otherwise.

          There are few times when I think it’s great to be a 14 or 16, but this is one of them.

    • I don’t know your budget but if you can afford it, Lafayette 148 has nice stuff for plus sized ladies.

    • new york associate :

      I have had a very good experience with Calvin Klein suits from Macy’s. (I’m wearing one now!) I love Nordie’s, but the Sejour suits have been a problem for me — I bought one, which I really loved, but the fabric has so much stretch in it that by the time I wear the pants for three hours, they’re incredibly baggy. Other Sejour items are staples in my closet, though, so it might just have been that particular suiting line.

      • I just asked Amelia Bedelia (up thread) about the CK suit from Macy’s! Would you mind sharing your size and how it falls at the bust? I am large of bust (38G), and suit buying is a challenge.

      • While I generally love the styles from CK, I need a little more length. But I still wear my CK skirt suit a lot. Good post!

        • I feel you SugarMag. I pretty much have to take all my suits to the tailor, so they can lengthen the sleeves and hems. That’s one thing I love about Nordies, their pants usually have plenty of fabric at the bottom. It’s harder to do that with the cheaper brands.

  10. To all off y’all who’ve responded to my threads asking for help with my workload, I think I’d better give some background before y’all think I’ve lost it :)

    It’s not getting into grad school that I have to do all this work for- that’s maybe twenty hours total, between studying for the GRE and the application itself- it’s for the field I want to get into, which is conference interpretation with a specific focus on international policy and development. Because of various reasons, my grasp on current affairs, economics and history isn’t what it needs to be (the US isn’t the only school system in desperate need of an overhaul) so I not only need to make up for several years’ worth of missed schooling, I need to do it in three languages! It’s not really work in the sense that I do really enjoy the reading and the language practise. A lot of it is stuff I’d do anyway, so I don’t really mind doing it, it just gets overwhelming sometimes, since now I have to do it on top of a full-time job.

    Kontraktor, that’s a great idea about the volunteering! AI might not be possible- the joys of living in the back of beyond- but it’s definitely something I’ll look into, so thanks.

    As for the programme, I’m looking both at the Monterey Institute in CA and at schools in France (which are notoriously hard to get into, especially for non-native French speakers, especially women.) Am I overdoing things? Quite possibly, but I’d rather bust my butt for two years than think, ‘oh, if only I had worked harder…’

    • Kontraktor :

      I don’t think you are overdoing things, but if you are worried about your lack of formal knowledge about whatever subjects and *need* to brush up on language learning, I would strongly consider enrolling in some community college or extension courses at your local university. At least then you’ll have some official thing to show for your work (that is, a transcript) that you can include with your applications to show the programs you’ve had extra training in these areas. Plus, regarding language study, you’re simply not going to gain the level of mastery you need by self study or the occasional letter to a pen pal. Language learning, especially at late ages, is best facilitated in a classroom where you will have access to a lot of different resources to practice with. I think if nothing else, you should look into formal language classes.

      If you’re worried that your resume/application won’t reflect enough formal work or training, self study isn’t going to help that because you won’t really be able to show anything concrete on your application. Enrolling in extra classes will also help with the schedule management because, well, you’ll have to go to class and do the homework, so it might help to keep you motivated and provide you structured learning so the tasks don’t feel so overwhelming/like you’re on your own.

      If you just want to increase situational awareness of events, I am not sure you need too much study per se. Put on news/BBC/NPR in the background. Get subscriptions to the Financial Times and the Economist and read those instead of watching TV. Book mark a couple of think tank blogs and peruse them at work when you have down time. I wanted to brush up on some general history before my grad degree, and I just went on amazon and looked for some comprehensive summary books of the subjects I was interested in. I ended up picking a summative book on US history, European history (past about 1400), and WWII. I just went based off reviews, and it seemed like it was easy to find the books that were considered the best summative presentations in these areas. I just read them in my spare time and gave myself a page quota each day. That ended up being fine and gave me structure in terms of milestone (read X pages/day and I will finish all those books in 2 months).

      • Cornellian :

        For a summation history book, maybe Hobsbawm’s series. He has a longer and a shorter version of modern (read French Revolution-now) European history that are both great. Written from the perspective of a British social democrat, so keep that in mind, but I don’t think that’s an out there perspective in most international circles.

        I also like Shelia Fitzgerald (left ish) and Richard Pipes (right wing) for Russian stuff.

        Chen Jian for Chinese/Cold War 20th century stuff.

      • I actually am fluent in two of the languages, and am taking classes in the third. University classes aren’t an option where I am, sadly, and since the schools I’m applying to require an entrance exam I’m not too worried about not having anything ‘formal’ to show for my work.

        I think maybe I misspoke when I phrased what I need to do as ‘studying’ because it basically is what you’re describing in your last paragraph, except on a bigger scale on account of having to do it in more than one language. It feels a lot more manageable now, though. I love the idea of a daily page quota.

        Thanks again for taking the time to write such detailed comments- I really appreciate it.

    • Do you currently have training in any foreign languages? My experience (native English speaker, moved to Spanish-speaking country to work in all Spanish-speaking office with eight years of high school/college Spanish) is that it is very, very hard to achieve the level of fluency you’d need to accurately interpret without being immersed in it. Accent issues, and the comfort to translate idiomatically were the two things I most frequently saw with interpreters that we used for conferences.

      • Yup, French and Spanish, French more so than Spanish. I totally get where you’re coming from re: fluency- even with a Master’s degree, I found myself floundering sometimes, and I wasn’t even doing all that much that was technical. But the challenge is part of what makes it fun, at least to me.

    • I didn’t weigh in yesterday and really have no advice, but I actually think this sounds pretty exciting and love your “bust my butt and have no regrets” attitude.

      Possible advice: Are there any groups you could join to practice the languages or discuss issues/policy? I live in DC and I just bet there are groups of policy wonks who get together outside of work to discuss this sort of stuff (full disclosure: If I made the time to find one, I’d probably join). Maybe there’s a meetup group or something? I think especially for languages it would help to have others to practice with, and discussing different issues will really help you understand them better.

      Good luck to you!

      • No such luck, sadly! I don’t think there’s even a meet-up equivalent in my country, that would have been a fun thing to do. I’m just going to do the best I can with my classes and the internet.

        Thanks, I appreciate it!

    • lostintranslation :

      I’ll admit I didn’t weight in earlier because I had no idea what you were talking about, but now I do. I understand both the necessity and temptation to fixate on getting into a certain graduate program, but I think that your long term career considerations are more important. I actually considered doing something similar but for a technical background and fairly quickly decided against it. I’ll kind of explain my thought process, because I think that there are parallels to your situation.

      I ultimately found that in order to be a really top level interpreter you have to be the economist/policy-maker/engineer/scientist + language savant/scholar rolled into one person. Either of these can take up your entire career, so it ends up being a matter of prioritization. Depending on how you choose, a certain subset of clients will say your services are “worthless.” In the technical field, the biggest complaint is that the interpreters and translators don’t grasp the technical content. Despite growing up in a three language household, I found it extremely difficult to keep up on ALL of the technical stuff in three languages, so I ultimately decided to choose another career path.

      Which brings me to my recommendation/questions for you. You currently talk about how poorly prepared you feel for both the content and language portion of the interpretation course. What are you doing currently then? I think it would be much more useful to do internships in the countries where your target language is spoken, so that you can get a better feel for language+content in your target field. If you focus entirely on newspapers, test prep, and a brand-name US school, I think you’ll have a really difficult time competing for jobs with interpreters who have grown up and worked internationally before. I know it sounds a little discouraging, but my message is that you sound determined and hardworking, so focus more on you and your background and less on admissions (that can wait a year), because that will contribute more to your success long term. Good luck!

      • lostintranslation :

        Right and what I also meant to say more directly is that there are a lot of different job opportunities that let you combine multiple languages and a field you’re interested in without becoming an interpreter. I don’t want to out myself any further, but I am in one. If you want to chat or brainstorm, feel free to e-mail me at turtlewexler426 at yahoo dot com!

      • Oh wow, thanks for such a detailed response!

        Looking back on my initial question, I can see that I came off as vastly less prepared/more flaily than I actually am.

        I ultimately found that in order to be a really top level interpreter you have to be the economist/policy-maker/engineer/scientist + language savant/scholar rolled into one person.

        This is exactly what drew me to interpretation in the first place, I’m one of those people who actually enjoys learning new things. I’m lucky enough to be able to grasp most things very quickly, even technical stuff, so even that part of the field doesn’t put me off so much.

        Not to out myself too much more on a public forum, but I do have a background in languages, and I’ve spent time in the country where my B language is spoken, and I plan to spend more there and in my C-language country in the future. The study is so that I don’t lose any more fluency than can be helped while I’m stuck in my home country.

        I’d love to chat, thanks! Things are a little crazy for me right now but definitely expect an email soon. :)

    • Hi Aycee,

      I worked as an interpreter/translator prior to going to law school (and on the side a bit still today) and I regularly use interpreters/translators. Monterrey Institute is great. I don’t know much about French schools. However, what I wanted to say is you should find out if there is an Alliance Française in your city. They are basically French cultural centers and they have them all over the world. They offer language classes as well as conversation groups/meetups. It’s a great way to improve your French.

      I’d suggest reading several major newsites in your target languages – for English, NYTimes and BBC; for French, Le Monde and Libération or Le Figaro (if you want to learn to understand satire in French, read Le Canard Enchaîné), and for Spanish, El País (Spain) and La Reforma (Mexico). Spanish is the hardest language to interpret because there are so many variations and dialects in different countries. Watch any videos on those sites and also download some news podcasts on iTunes. Also, all UN documents are available at least in those three languages, so familiarize yourself with major treaties. ECHR judgments should be available at least in French and English, and judgments of the Inter-American Court in Spanish and English, so those are good reading too to learn vocab and legal terms.

      finally, there is a website where you can have video chats with native speakers of different languages for free. I will try to find the link and post it for you.

      Let me know if I can provide any other advice.

    • When it comes to current affairs I found it useful to read The Week for overview, BBC News Online for background on topics and then pick say ten long running stories (five domestic, five international in my case) and read all the views I could handle on those for a really deep understanding. In those ten I picked six topics I guessed most people would cover, and four I found interesting and a bit less obvious. I figured my interviewer must have heard every possible view on the gulf war say, but they probably weren’t hearing so much about developments in genetic research.
      I think its the economist but someone publishes a great book called The World in Year (so 2012 in this case). It helps sew all the news stories and trends together, and makes some general predictions. Not sure if it’s available in the states, but it’s pretty slim and worth a read.

    • Well, that’s different :-). For French schools, I can tell you that the “culture générale” tests are very.. franco-centric :-). Take a look here http://www.amazon.fr/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_1_4/276-6546543-3899163?__mk_fr_FR=%C5M%C5Z%D5%D1&url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=culture+g%E9n%E9rale&sprefix=cult%2Caps%2C334 for books that cover that precisely as the French administrative concours mean it. Of course it’s great if you also read many of the novels referred to, and do some more in-depth historical reading. But consider that what you’re looking at is not just learning all about the entire world as they want it to seem, you want to learn about what is considered essential on a certain category of tests aimed at a very specific class of people. If you think of it that way, you’ll have a much easier time. It’s much like the GREs – you’re supposedly being tested on generalities, but studying specifically boosts your grades enormously.

      Consider that as an American you have a huge advantage in being comfortable with multiple-choice tests :-). But also be aware that French examiners like to play on word and have “trap questions” in abundance, where there’s more to the question than meets the eye and you’re supposed to guess what is beyond. This is one major reason why you need to study specifically from the books above, so you can learn their main tricks (which aren’t as clever as they’d like you to think).

  11. Styling question: I have this AT skirt in the bright pink color. http://www.anntaylor.com/ann/product/AT-Apparel/AT-Top-Rated/Compact-Doubleweave-Pencil-Skirt/274990?colorExplode=false&skuId=11112464&catid=cata000016&productPageType=fullPriceProducts&defaultColor=5060
    I just order a jacket in parrot green. (Link to follow.) Do we think these two items would look insane together or inspired? What color shirt would I wear if I attempted this feat of Advanced Color-Blocking?

  12. Thank you to the poster who said they saw and liked a coral dress with a navy blazer yesterday.
    You inspired my outfit for today! A Target coral ruffle shell with Target’s version of The Skirt in Coral, plus a navy blue shorter blazer with gold buttons…also fron Target (the webster line). I’m loving it–thank you for getting me out of my black/gray/taupe rut.

    In that spirit, what are people wearing today?

    • We’re color-palette twinsies. I’m wearing a navy blue pencil skirt, knit coral top, beige open cardi and nude-for-me peep toe (gasp!) pumps. Hair tamed with a tortoise-shell headband from France Luxe (love those! Thanks for the recs, ‘rettes) and simple gold dangle-y earrings.

    • I loved that color combination description too, but alas I have nothing navy.

      So today I’m wearing herringbone print pants from Target, a white tee from BR, a bright coral jacket from Talbots and a turquoise beaded necklace. (The turquoise with the coral jacket was a suggestion from someone on here, and now I do it all the time.)

    • Anon Analyst :

      I’m wearing Target too! A black knit dress with white polka dots and a black cropped cardi. To add a bit of color, my shoes are Me Too Lysette flats in fuschia patent. I went with flats today, b/c I have to run errands during lunch and wanted to be comfortable when walking.

      I would highly reccomend the shoes – they are very comfy. They do run small so I went up to 7 from my normal size 6.

      Coral is such a pretty color for spring/summer. I’m going to have to add some pieces to my wardrobe. I tend to get into the black/gray rut sometimes too.

    • Whoa Nelly :

      Aaaagggh, I’m jealous of your outfit b/c I feel totally frump today. I’m wearing a patterned maxi dress and ruffled blazer but am second-guessing myself b/c of the “no maxidress” thread last week. To be fair, I work in a school and there are all of 15 people in the entire building June – August, so this isn’t a huge deal but still…and I came to work with wet (scrunched, so it dries curly) hair this morning which I thought was fine until one of my subordinates said, “Why is your hair wet?” Um, thanks.

      All of this is to say that my wardrobe isn’t wowing me lately b/c I’m 8.5 weeks pregnant and trying to hide it, but I’m bloated and feeling vaguely sick all the time. No energy for looking cute.

      Sorry for the rant. Someone, please, inspire me with your other cute outfits!

      • Hey, at 8.5 wks pregnant and working in a school during the summer, you get a pass from me! Carry on in your maxi dress, sister!

      • I think anyone silly enough to ask “Why is your hair wet?” deserves an answer like “Sudden rainstorm!” or “My commute takes me through the East River” or “Why, isn’t yours?”

    • Floral print dress, J crew herringbone blazer, copper flats, and gold jewelry. Aka my “it’s hot as Hades outside and cold as the Arctic tundra in my office” ensemble.

    • Gray The Skirt and a lavender button-down. And new Ann Taylor heels, which I’m still breaking in so they’re a little uncomfortable, but I am confident that we are going to be friends.

    • Blue and white leaf print shirt from…. Target (some years ago)! Olive skinny ankle pants (Loft last year). Navy cardigan from NY&Co. Pewter slingback wedges, Dr. Scholls – awesomely comfortable, but sadly they must have changed foot models or something because now their line doesn’t really fit me.

    • I found these beautiful turquoise ankle pants that I have paired with an ivory blouse, and a black blazer. I am on the hunt for a nice ivory/soft white linen blazer to wear with them too!

      • I did the coral and navy too! Navy pants, coral/orange-ish silk top, lime green skinny belt, taupe pumps. White cardigan over because of how cold it is in my office–this white AT blazer really would have looked much nicer!

    • Blue-black yoga jeans (link to follow) and blue printed Halogen short-sleeved top, with pink pirate flip flops

    • In the Pink :

      burgundy/purple/ivory raw silk wrap skirt, black tank, black belt (obi style) and “matching plum/purple cardi. Topping it off with burgundy peep toes!

    • I forgot accessories ! CK Emilia cutout flats in a taupe-y suede, diamOnd studs, gold and diamond necklace.

    • Traveling today, so went with easy and comfy–navy v-neck tee, long purple open cardigan, navy-purpley pants (Gap) and a pair of kitten heel Mary Jane patent purple shoes I totally got because all the commenters here made me think purple shoes were an essential part of a wardrobe! :)

    • Love this thread! Was actually thinking about starting one this morning while I was getting dressed for work because I love the fashion inspiration. I’m in black ankle pants, a white blouse with pink/blue circles on it and a bright blue (not quite cobalt, not quite purple) blazer. (And I’ve totally outed myself if someone from my office reads this site…)

      • working mama :

        Navy fitted cardigan and tomato colored pencil skirt (both from Loft on great sale), 2 long, layered gold chain necklaces, gold bangle and small earrings, nude/beige-ish patent wedges w/ cork heels.

    • Kontraktor :

      Ann Taylor white and very light brown seersucker trousers, a navy 3/4, tabbed sleeve, matte jersey sort of top with a white “chain” type print and gold buttons, a layered gold and pearl necklace/pearl studs, and white and light brown cork wedges.

    • I'm Just Me :

      The Skirt in black, a black and green striped Target v neck tshirt ($4.59 on the bargain rack) and a black Merona/Target cardi. Black heels.

    • Navy sheath dress, bright blue patent wedges. A cream cardi that I brought only to drape over my chair.

    • I’m wearing a red pencil skirt (with seaming like The Skirt, but I sewed it myself) and a white tee with a brown, red & coral argyle cardi and nude wedge sandals. With a gold chain. It’s a lot of color, but I’m trying to wear more color these days. I like it because it makes me feel bold, and bold isn’t an adjective I’d use to describe myself most days.

    • phillygirlruns :

      for me…cobalt blazer with the sleeves rolled, white crewneck, ankle-length khaki-colored chinos (j.crew “scout” style, if anyone’s familiar), rose gold sperry angelfish. rose gold MK watch, wedding set, yurman petite albion ring and earrings in blue topaz, silver monogram necklace layered with rhinestone silver station necklace. intended to wear a belt but i forgot it – not ideal since these pants are kind of baggy, but i’ll live.

      blazer was a good pick from the nord strom sale – link in separate post, it’s now in a couple colors at nordstrom rack for the sale price ($38.80).

    • Senior Attorney :

      The Skirt in chalet green, ivory Old Navy sleeveless top with ruffle detail around the neck, Trina Turk blazer in pink/green/navy plaid, and my beloved Kate Spade pink patent leather pumps with rainbow heels. And the rose gold/drusy quartz earrings Kat featured here a few weeks ago, which have become my new favorite work earrings.

      • Hey, Senior Attorney, how was your tap recital last night?

        • Senior Attorney :

          Hey, Nonny! Thanks for remembering! The recital was awesome! It was my class of three 30-40-50somethings, and a class of three 4-5 year olds! Each class did two numbers, and the whole thing took 15 minutes not including wine and snacks afterwards!

          I felt rather seriously under-rehearsed, but I went into it with two rules:

          1. Fake it
          2. Sell it

          Kept my head high, kept my feet moving, had a blast! There were mistakes galore but the audience was very appreciative and one of my friends kept saying “Senior Attorney, you’re really GOOD!” Heh. Big fun!

          And of course the little ballerina/tappers were adorbs!

          • Awesome. I love dance recitals (both performing in and watching) and I’m so glad it went well. :-)

    • Research, Not Law :

      The loft striped maxi skirt I posted a while back, jade jersey shell, blue/grey open front cardigan, white flats.

      It’s overly casual for a Wednesday, but I’m in a funk today and don’t have any meetings.

    • I’m wearing tons of AT today: taupe slacks and a turquoise shirt with a white cardigan layered on top, plus gray flats with ruffle detailing, along with a necklace made of shiny silvery crystals.

    • Black and white floral silk knee-length full skirt,white nylon tank, and 3/4 sleeve “kiwi” green cardigan from JCrew, black pumps. And hose, cause it’s that kind of office.

    • Anonymous NYer :

      Royal blue Valerie Bertinelli sheath dress from Marshalls. It has a black ribbon/belt kind of thing around the waist. Pewter flats. My office is cold so I’m wearing a black banana republic cardigan over it.

      The dress is slightly shorter than I would normally like, especially sitting down (I’m 5’10” – dress didn’t come in tall), but I don’t have court today, boss is out, and I described the dress once to the admin and told her I’d wear it to show her when I didn’t have anything important going on (due to it being slightly shorter than I’d like), so today is that day.

    • lawstudent678 :

      Sorry for the newbie question, but I’ve seen a few references this week and my searching was aimless. What is The Skirt?

  13. Francie Nolan :

    I heard on the news that Nordies foud space in NYC!! They are soon to sing for 7 floors !

  14. I guessed it was something like that, as my career is tangentially related.

    Quick plug for MIIS: It’s a fantastic school, the student body is really diverse and interesting, and the cultural awareness you get from the faculty–and even just the town in general, as there are a LOT of foreigners because the Defense Language Institute and MIIS both hire primarily native speakers to teach all their language classes–is hard to find in any other city that size. Also, Monterey is just great.

    So while I definitely don’t want to downplay the amount of hard work you need to put in on your own before school, you will also absorb a lot from the environment if you go to MIIS or somewhere similar.

    • oops, that was supposed to be a reply to aycee

    • Yeah, I think maybe I’m kind of freaking out and overthinking this so much because OMG MIIS. I’ve always wanted to go there and then I met a rep from the school and I fell even more in love. I just need to remember to take a deep breath and not give myself a stress-induced heart attack before I even apply.

  15. I was recently talking to some girlfriends and the topic of work spouses/boyfriends came up. I am somewhat isolated at work, given what I do, so I don’t have anyone to fit this mold or any other, but some of my friends — who are all in happy relationships, btw — do have a someone of the opposite gender at work who is their “office bf” or “office husband.” They swear nothing happens but that it makes the work environment more pleasant somehow to have someone to get sushi with or maybe do a little harmless flirting. Is this something anyone here is familiar with? How many of y’all have that? Would you be okay with your husband or SO having an office wife/gf like this? Other thoughts????

    • this is bizarre and irritating. i used to have a male officemate who was only the most awkward person ever. and people at work called him my office-husband. i can’t fathom why other than the fact that we were forced to share a small space together. if u want to adopt the term yourself, go for it – but don’t impose it on others as a running joke that no one is into.

    • I don’t care if my SO has opposite sex friendships at the office or anywhere else, but if he referred to someone as his Office Girlfriend I would think it was (a) stupid – why should every male/female relationship be couched in romantic terms? and (b) creepy.

      • This. Many of the folks who use those terms have a very mole-minded, limited worldview– that men and women can only relate to each other in romantic or sexual terms. So lame.

      • Research, Not Law :

        Agree.

        My husband has a close relationship with a female colleague. They attend networking events together, gossip on the phone in the evening, and have spent substantial time studying for various licensures and certifications together. I’m fine with it. But no way would he call her his “office wife.” Similarly, I work in a predominantly male environment and would never refer to a colleague as my “office husband.” It’s demeaning to everyone.

      • Totally agree. The terminology is heinous, and can only lead to bad things, whether from other people’s perceptions or from sliding into bad behavior.

    • I know a lot of people who have “work spouses” — for them, it really just means their work bestie, who happens to the be opposite gender. It’s really not anything for an SO to be jealous about unless the relationship goes further than work friends (like any friendship, really). My work bestie is a lady, but if it was a guy people in my office would probably call us work spouses. It’s a little weird, I guess, but it’s sort of the office culture here.

      • Anon in ATX :

        This. I sometimes jokingly refer to my husband’s best friend at work as his work-husband. Not that my husband has ANY attraction to other men, but its just a funny little joke.

      • This. I don’t have a “work husband” at my current job, but did at my last one. We’re still great friends and joke about how I walked out on him and he’s moved on to a younger model. It’s just a lexicon (and the debate about why we couch opposite-sex friendships in relationship language is a totally separate issue); there was never any romantic interest between us. He and my DH know and like each other, as well.

    • I posted a long reply and then I was told “I’m posting comments too quickly – slow down.” Apparently I type to fast.

      In short – totally fine to have a work best friend. But NO flirting. That’s not what it’s meant for. It’s meant for that person whom you can gripe to/catch up about everything, at work. My old office husband (I guess we’re divorced now that I don’t work there) is a great friend, and is also good friends with my husband. It is nice to have someone who understands the stresses of your job and you have that kinship with – male or female.

    • Anon Analyst :

      I have aquaintances at work but no one of either gender is my office BFF. I think part of it is cultural b/c many coworkers are from a different country. And I’m kind of a loner in general (other than my close friends) so I don’t make friends easily.

      My gut reaction to what you said about having an “office husband” is that it could be dangerous territory. However each couple is different and they may be okay with their SO having a close friend of the opposite gender.

      Mr. Analyst is completely opposite of me. He makes friends easily and has friends that are girls – some of them he’s been friends with since before we got married. We’ve been married 13 yrs and early on I used to feel threatened by that, but over time I’ve become more comfortable and don’t have any worries.

    • There is someone who calls me his “work wife”, which is terribly awkward because I hardly ever talk to him and don’t really get along with him. My SO finds it hilarious.

    • I find it disrespectul, weird, and inappropriate. I also think this is how affairs start. My bf has many friends that are women at work. they all have been over our house, and i have become friends with them, I like them a lot. but there is one gf, and its me. I have some coworkers I am friendly with that are guys, but would never call my work husband. also, would never flirt with. its one thing to flirt with a waiter or something but if your flirting with someone and going on “sushi dates” and seeing them all the time, i mean come on, thats exactly how you get to “dear carolyn hax, i never thought this would happen, but i realize i am totally into my coworker even though i am married. we flirt, we laugh, we go out to dinner together.”

      • I can give some insight into this from the perspective of the “work wife”: I had a very close male friend at my last job. It wasn’t flirtation but it was a very emotionally laden relationship, and we did stuff together outside the office as well. We’d been friends before my divorce but became much closer afterward and it was really only one step away from being a romantic relationship (that step being physical: we never even *hugged*) .

        Then I found out that he had a girlfriend. He never, ever talked about her. It made me more uncomfortable than I can say, because I felt like, in her shoes, I *wouldn’t* be comfortable with my friendship with this guy. I dialed back my friendship with him in a serious way (no more outside-of-work stuff, invited other friends to come along to lunch, etc.), and made a point of asking about her, inviting her by name when I hosted parties, etc.

        I agree that this is one way that affairs start. My friend was clearly not quite of the moral caliber I believed him to be. In retrospect, the degree of obfuscation he engaged in to keep me from knowing he was seeing her was pretty disturbing. It could easily have become an affair (on his part) and I wouldn’t have even known that he was cheating on someone.

      • This exactly!

    • I don’t think an “office husband/wife” has anything to do with flirting. It’s more your main go to person, who happens to be of the opposite gender. I have what people would probably call my office husband — he knows what I’d order for lunch if I’m late getting there, knows what my kids are up to these days, knows which people at work I’d really rather avoid ever having to deal with again, etc. As they would say on Grey’s Anatomy, he’s my “person.”

      • this is what drives me crazy about “office husband/wife” that dude is your… friend. thats it. he is your friend. like herbie says, why give him a title that is about s*x, dynamics, jealousy or exclusion (you can only have one office wife right? so who gets to be the “wife” and who is just the friend. bleh)

    • PharmaGirl :

      I find it very odd to call someone your office husband/wife. A co-worker has an office husband from her previous job and it took me a long time to even process what she meant when referring to him as such.

      On the other hand, my husband had an office mom at an old job and I thought it was sweet. She came to our wedding and sent a gift when we had a baby, years after he stopped working there.

    • Guhhhh, Poll, I know you totally didn’t ask for commentary on the actual use of the term “office husband” or “work wife,” but I freaking hate these terms! It creeps me out that people use them. There is so much that’s summed up by the use of the term wife/husband– love, intimacy (emotional and sexual), differing power dynamics that may follow along gender-stereotypical lines depending on the particular relationship… why ever use the term husband/wife to refer to a co-worker?

      • Totally agree that the term is horrid and weird. But I guess I am also curious about the dynamics generally, even aside from the label. This came up when we were talking about one of our friends who’s engaged and her fiance works with a woman who is herself recently married. They go to lunch together, hang out at office happy hours, so on. One of my girlfriends called the coworker the “work wife,” it wasn’t a self imposed label but it got me thinking about how I would feel about that either for myself or for my mister.

        The fact is that you can’t be equal friends with all your coworkers and generally there are one or two people who will be your go-tos for lunch, happy hours, advice, comisseration, whatever. But I can’t help but think when it’s not someone of the same gender the dynamics are probably a bit different no? I am sincerely asking though. I work with very few other people even though it’s a huge corporation because the work I do is just very solitary, so I just don’t know how it works in a “regular” office. It’s been so fascinating to read the responses here! Pls keep em coming.

        • I do have a lot of thoughts on your general question, although they’re still somewhat unformed and organized. So here you go.

          I’ve worked in a professional environment where friendly relationships between men/women were discouraged informally (by which I mean that the culture punished young women who sought male mentors by circulating vicious rumors through the rumor mill; women were not included in happy hours, other extra-curriculars that men organized). The fundamental culture assumed that any female/male relationship must be sexualized. This attitude pervaded the firm in a number of ways. For example, there was a certain look that made it easier to get hired. Overweight women did not advance and typically were marginalized. I could go on.

          Going back to the pearl-clutching that ensued any attempt to form a friendship between a man/woman: this always greatly disturbed me because there are practical implications for women’s careers. Men by and large hold the power (in law firms: high revenue clients). A lot of work decisions are highly influenced by personal relationships. Give work to that young lady you don’t know or her male counterpart who you know well from happy hours or golf? Invite your HH buddy to meet with a client for drinks or the young woman who does stellar work but who you have kept at arm’s length? You tell me who you think wins. This unavailability of opportunity adds up to the detriment of young women’s professional development.

          So I bristle when people suggest that it might not be cool to have an opposite-sex friend at work because in a previous life, this type of disapproval was a mechanism used to reinforce a sexist culture.

        • In my previous position, I found it helpful to befriend male coworkers not just because they were cool people, but also in order to get ahead. The firm was run exclusively by men, and for a variety of reasons, the partners would more often go out to lunch with, or socialize with my male peers. They were just getting inside knowledge I wasn’t. So, my male work friend would come back and report to me inside knowledge that I wouldn’t have otherwise because my male bosses just treated me a little different. This, in turn, helped me reach out to the partners in the firm because I found out what their interests were, etc.

          I don’t even think the partners intended to exclude me in some way. I think that it was just in their nature that they knew how to pal around with other men better than women.

    • People in my office use this term to refer to a man and woman who share an office. It’s kind of funny, generally – but people where I work tend not to be jerks and would cut it out if it bothered the officemates.

      • Interesting. That’s even weirder then using the term for you work bestie. I haven’t shared an office with anyone in a while, but when I first started out in my field, I was placed in an office with the most ridiculous person ever. He would burp and fart constantly and not even try to be discreet about it. I would have died to have someone refer to him as that!!!!

    • My dh naturally gets along better with women than with men, and he is an elementary school teacher, so he works with alot of women. His employment lately hasn’t been very consistent, but 3 contracts ago he made a really good friend at the school he was teaching at – and they’ve stayed friends. It doesn’t bother me at all. Our families do things together a couple of times a year, and I consider her my friend as well, although we aren’t nearly as good friends as she & dh are. It doesn’t bother me at all. They even get together for playdates sometimes during the summer, and it really isn’t even a blip on my radar.

      I don’t have a similar relationship myself, male or female.

      And I agree that the terms office husband & work wife are kind of icky.

    • Opposite sex friendships are fine, flirting is dangerous, imo, and can lead to emotional affairs, even if no physical relationship is involved. At least that’s what I’ve seen in my office. A couple of different “friendships” ended up being a whole lot more like affairs, with the co-workers spending time together outside the office while lying to spouses, and eventually causing problems in both marriages. But, ymmv. The whole office wife or girlfriend terminology is just weird, imo.

  16. You guys, I’m actually ENJOYING Justin Beiber’s latest album. Do I need to see a therapist?

    • Sometime in the past 2 months my musical tastes have devolved to that of a 15 year old girl. Can’t get enough of Justin Bieber or One Direction. I seriously love One Direction. Is this what my older cousins felt like with NSync?

    • Only if you find him hot.

      I swear, when he first appeared, I thought he had the weird, mushy facial features of a fetal rabbit.

      • I just find him so irritating and annoying so color me stupefied when I found myself grooving to his latest overprocessed cr@p while I’m glaring at AutoCAD.

        • LadyEnginerd :

          Godzilla, from extensive personal experience, I think that’s AutoCAD’s fault, not yours. My CAD and data analysis musical tastes are my workout mix, but with additional 80’s power ballads (they’re just a little too slow to be good for a long run). I don’t know what subliminal messaging Autodesk added to their software, but my musical tastes change immediately to “grown-up” indie rock as soon as I leave the building and turn on my car for the commute home.

          Also, I feel much better about boy bands now that Justin Timberlake has turned out to be such an awesome grown-up. Maybe in 10 years you’ll have the last laugh?

          • My CAD music is more angry. Like 30 Seconds to Mars’ “This is War.” It is as if I am slaying my CAD work? I don’t know.

      • What Susan said.

    • Boyfriend is kind of catchy. So you probably don’t need a lobotomy. Just don’t go to his concert and we won’t stage an intervention.

      • TCFKAG, for real, girl?

        Swag swag swag, on you
        Chillin by the fire why we eatin’ fondue
        I dunno about me but I know about you

        *banging head against desk repeatedly to dull the pain*

        • Also, PSA, “Chillin by the fire why we eatin’ fondue” will hereafter be my response to comments I find bizarre, nonsensical, or with which I disagree.

          • I love it. I like to imagine lil’Bieber magically transported to a time and place in which fondue-eating would be appropriate. Namely Switzerland, or the 1980s.

            Unless it’s chocolate fondue and then he’s magically transported to my senior prom (Theme: Evening in Paris. Music: Sister Hazel. My outfit: Best described as “vampire prostitute”. Okay, let’s be honest: that’s the most accurate description of my entire high school wardrobe.)

          • I just love that he’s clearly in the middle of eating fondue (by a fire, apparently after swag swag swagging) and all of a sudden, he’s like, “Hey! Why are we doing this? Why are we all here? What does it all mean? This fondue is as fleeting and meaningless as life itself.” And suddenly eating fondue sends him spiraling down into an existentialist funk.

          • MaggieLizer :

            +1 to Herbie’s new meme. We may need to get this on a mug.

          • herbie its while! not why! he is chillin by the fire while he is eating fondue. the fire is for chilling as well as for heating chocolate. it works on a lot of levels

          • cfm, hm, that does seem to make much more sense than Bieber suddenly wondering, “Why, God? Why fondue? Why now?”

            But I’m going to stick with my version.

          • Okay, I don’t think I’ve ever heard this song, but I was looking at comments on my phone and I thought that surely it must be “while.” But I love the “Why God? Why fondue?” I seriously busted out laughing in my office.

      • Re: lobotomy
        I love the German term for tunes stuck in your head that both annoy/delight you. “Ohrwurm” (earworm!) It evokes a very Wrath of Khan image, though, so…hmmm.. maybe not so good.

        I confess to listening to Anjulie’s “Boom” on repeat for 10-15 times during a particularly rough day. Also, various Kylie Minogue songs. So, yeah, maybe I’ve been lobotomized.

    • Shun.

      • I KNOW! But the pop station on nutsie keeps playing all of his songs over and over and I’m being brainwashed. You guys, hold me back from becoming a Belieber.

        • Un-shun. Okay, I’m not one to hate. Call Me Maybe is totally my jam.

          Re-shun.

          • Hello, even my summer intern who assures me he’s not a square, looooooooooves Call Me Maybe. It is THE SONG of 2012.

          • Ever since my brother made me watch The Musical Talmud for Call Me Maybe, not only is it my jam, it also makes me feel like I’m making a deep, subversive feminist statement by enjoying it. And then I giggle at myself. And then I turn it up.

            But then again, I’m mentoring a 16 year old girl whose favorite thing to do is put on my iPod and cruise around town with songs pumped up jamming along. The other day we were both singing Scrubs at the top of our lungs. Her only failure in my mind is that she likes Chris Brown, but I’m working to break her of that.

          • I’ve liked Carly Rae since she was on Canadian Idol. I’m so happy to see her getting so much attention these days! And even though the lyrics make almost no sense, I catch myself jamming to Call Me Maybe too. I’m considering adding it to my running playlist.

          • My husband texted me his own parody of Call Me Maybe the other night asking what I wanted if we ordered Chinese take-out. It really is the song of the year.

    • /makes sign of the cross, brandishes garlic and vial of holy water/

    • He’s 18 now, so you’re ok, Godzilla. ROCK ON!

  17. Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

    Ladies, I need to write some cover letters for firms, but up until now, have only written letters to judges, so I am not sure exactly what skills, qualities, etc. to highlight.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance.

    • For general cover letter tips, go check out Ask A Manager’s blog – she has really great advice for writing cover letters. I’ve gone in the opposite direction – worked at firms before/during law school, have been working for judges since graduation. At your level (I assume you’re in law school or a recent grad), you’re probably going to want to emphasize the same skills and qualities that you did for a judge (e.g., research, writing, analytical ability, industriousness, ability to work independently and with minimal supervision, etc.)

    • I’m not an attorney (academia, which is quite different) but we generally look for the cover letter to highlight or further explain why your skills or qualities fit what we’re looking for – say something we can’t get just by reading your resume.

    • If corporate, emphasize willingness to “get the deal done”, ability to multitask and the areas of law you’re familiar with…if lit…I’m useless.

  18. You guys, I’m having a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad week. I think the only answer is to move to Australia. Or perhaps buy some train pajamas…I mean, what’s wrong with Alexander, who WOULDN’T want train pajamas? Interestingly, today on Wikipedia, I learned that in the Australian and New Zealand versions of the book, he moved to Timbuktu.

    Seriously though, you guise, I’m in a funk. Nothing seems to be getting me out of it. Not even the swimming Olympic trials, or my happy coral nail polish, or my favorite outfit. What do you all do when this happens to you? (Note, it has to be on a low budget…I really can’t be doing retail therapy right now.)

    • Kontraktor :

      Stuff your face with a comfort food you wouldn’t allow yourself? I sometimes like to get the rare super greasy cheeseburger, chili dog, or ginormous plate of spaghetti and meatballs when I just honestly feel like crud. Anything it would be nice for you and hubby to do? Sometimes my husband will suggest said face stuffage if I am in a real funk or make me go on a walk with him after dinner to get coffee or I don’t know, just insist we do something nice outside the normal routine to take our minds off the bad day/week. Rinse and repeat a few days as necessary. Internet hugs. PS, if I lived in Boston and your hubby rejected this plan, I would go out with you and stuff my face too. :-)

    • Go see a silly movie, or rent one on Redbox/Netflix. I went to see Brave with my husband – because I am a nerd and I forced him to go. Maybe that will pick you up. If you go in the afternoon it is cheaper than evening.

      • We just saw Moonrise Kingdom and it was a nice mix of mental escape and food for thought. I also realized that Mr. Monday has gone from looking like Edward Norton to surpassing him, hands down.

    • working mama :

      Listen to that youtube video of the baby laughing. Or the Monty Python channel…that is what got me through a horrible, terrible extremely looong night of a pre-surgery “cleanse”. Extreme silliness is hard to ignore. (“This parrot has ceased to be!!”)

    • swag swag swag, on you

    • Let me join your with my own super not so secret wish for train pajamas. This has been a terrible, horrible, no good very bad four weeks. I’ll be paying attention to this thread because I really need to get outta my funk, too.

      Something that helps me, besides listening to Justin Beiber at work shamefacedly, is reading recipe blogs. And printing out recipes I’m probably never going to cook but it makes me happy to hunt down the *perfect* recipe for stuff. The colorful photos and imagined flavors make me happy. Plus, 0 calories/points!

      • I love reading recipe blogs! The photos, the alluring ideas, the witty banter… it’s the best. I suggest Shutterbean and Joy the Baker. Sometimes taking a quick break to look over my pinterest boards brings me back to myself and reminds me that my life is more than whatever problem I’m dealing with. Other suggestion: go for a walk listening to ridiculous music that gets your heart pumping, think Super Bass by Nicki Minaj or Stronger by Kelly Clarkson (or whatever works for you).

    • If it makes you feel better, I’m pumping at work and just spilled br@*st milk all over myself. And that’s about the fourth bad thing that’s happened to me today so far (excluding the “drama” above). So I can sympathize with a crappy day/week.

      Can you call a friend and chat for a while? Go for a walk or to a dog park? I also tend to eat my feelings…maybe a quick trip to a bakery?

      • Ha! Just this morning I was thinking that there is not enough food in the world for me to eat all of my angst right now. So I am eating Saltines at my desk instead, which is not very satisfying.

        Sorry you’re having a rough week, TCFKAG. Hope things are looking up for you soon.

      • I’m sorry that [this site] ended up contributing to your angst today, JJ. That’s unfortunate. There’s lots of ladies here hoping your day/week get better!!

        • Thanks, LR! I’m checking out of work at 4:30 today to grab my baby and pick up my husband from the airport because he has been out of town for four days, so it is going to improve dramatically.

    • Hugs. I had a terrible day yesterday. I had a big glass of wine and ate dessert for dinner.

      On a more healthy note, what about going for a run or doing something else that requires some physical exertion (plan for a hike this weekend?). Or, you could make lists (I love lists) – stuff you want to accomplish around the house (crown molding, new paint, re-caulk, etc.), menu planning, etc. I think you’re in Boston, so what about having a picnic lunch outside, and then maybe wander around and pop in and out of museums?

    • Buy a nicer bottle of wine than you usually drink and curl up in front of the tv. Dallas is on tonight. It’s totally cheesy or you could try Bunheads. It’s on demand.

      My dad is hooked on really bad reality shows. In his current rotation… Love in the Wild and Take Me Out. Take Me Out is particularly bad and, thus, kind of addictive. It’s also on demand.

      • Ooh, I need to try Dallas. Revenge is also great for escapist tv if you haven’t watched it yet.

        For me, viewing multiple episodes of Big Bang Theory (even ones I’ve seen before… even ones I’ve seen several times before) always makes things seem better.

        • LOL, I am so into Big Bang Theory right now, and reruns are in syndication on some channel almost all the time, so that’s almost all I watch now. It’s so funny! It doesn’t help that I don’t like any of the summer shows this year, except Dallas, that one’s fun.

          • Merabella :

            I found a BBT drinking game on Pinterest. I think I will have to incorporate this into the syndication extravaganza.

    • In general I sort of hate exercise, but it is really the only thing to bust me out of a truly terrible mood. Preferably high-intensity exercise done while listening to angry music. I like Nine Inch Nails.

      • MissJackson :

        +1 on exercise for funk lifting. It’s about the last thing I feel like doing when I’m in the worst funk, but it really does the trick. Those endorphins are like magic, yo. Also +1 to angry music. I tend toward Eminem’s Lose Yourself and Love the Way You Lie, both as loud as possible, and sometimes on repeat.

    • For a short term solution, get a cup of coffee and dump something indulgent in it, or hot chocolate. Or if you’re blessed with a nearby coffee shop, just go buy a fancy pants beverage and a scone.

      Longer term, yeah, a nice walk outside or a jog if that’s your thing. Being outside and realizing that the world will keep spinning and grass will keep growing and birds will continue to raise their babies, regardless of my deadline or whatever, makes me sane again sometimes.

      For me, “funk” usually means low productivity, like I’m messing around on the internet all day (caught!). Sometimes it helps me snap out of it to Get Something Done, even something tiny and mindless, like sweeping the kitchen floor. Find a task that’s easy, mindless, and get off your rear and do it. It might snowball and you’ll find yourself picking back up the pace.

      • A lady after my own heart, I had exactly that – a fancy pants beverage and a petite vanilla scone. Which, of course, means I’m going to be hunting scone recipes today.

      • Oh, and sometimes I clean off my desk and dust behind the monitor. Then, even if I’m still in a funk, at least I have a nice, pretty office to sit in. If it’s really bad, I rearrange my office furniture.

    • I go for a good run. The exercise helps get rid of the stress, the endorphins make me feel better and I also feel like I’ve accomplished something good. Or I sew something (my current hobby of choice). Actually doing something that I feel happy about or proud of is key for getting me out of funks. Active action rather than passive action, kwim? However, sometimes the motivation to move just isn’t there so I eat ice cream & feel worse. Or I read a favorite novel (usually by Georgette Heyer).

    • Visit the website, “The Daily Puppy”? :-)

    • MaggieLizer :

      Walk around a garden, park, museum, aquarium, etc. with a fancy drink? Sometimes places that usually charge admission have discounted rates during the week. And hugs. We all <3 you.

    • I highly recommend the corgi parody of Call Me Maybe. If you search “corgi call me maybe” on Youtube it’ll come up. So adorable!

    • I’ve been feeling the same way lately. I’m under a tihgt deadline, and I just… can’t. I can’t. I actually cooked lunch (I work from home) instead of working, and I never cook.

    • The internet may have eaten this, so I’m reposting-
      Maybe this will help. http://28.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m179e99dXT1qa9omho1_250.gif

      And wow. If Texts From Dog isn’t working- that’s quite a funk. Hang in there.

    • Starbucks Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino. Word.

    • TCFKAG – listen to Reel Big Fish or Mighty Might Bostones its hard to feel bad with them playing. Jumping around like a nut is optional. This is another RI funny that will make you feel better: At my newspaper job, my boss asked my middle inial. I responded Y as in the letter. He replies I need it for paperwork. I say again, Y – the letter Y. He says I need it for paperwork. Then I start laughing at him.

    • Okay, I’m not normal, but working up a sweat on the treadmill while watching Big Bang Theory and reading a trashy novel on my Kindle makes me feel better. Or Yogurtland. Maybe both.

    • Francie Nolan :

      TCFKAG – listen to Reel Big Fish or Mighty Might Bostones its hard to feel bad with them playing. Jumping around like a nut is optional. This is another RI funny that will make you feel better: At my newspaper job, my boss asked my middle inial. I responded Y as in the letter. He replies I need it for paperwork. I say again, Y – the letter Y. He says I need it for paperwork. Then I start laughing at him.

    • For me, listening to my favorite angry or grrrl-power music at REALLY LOUD VOLUME and belting along sometimes helps. “Not Ready to Make Nice” by the Dixie Chicks is a great one. Also, Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger.” And “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood.

      Hang in there, TCFKAG! We’re pulling for you.

    • Three words. Thunder Down Under.

    • This is the second time in two days that I am posting this for someone. While it may not fix your day, it will almost certainly make you smile and coo with delight :) http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/13-simple-steps-to-get-you-through-a-rough-day

    • emcsquared :

      The best things I have found are extra sleep and time off from work – even going into work an hour or two late can do wonders for my mood. Unless, of course, I’m grumpy from too much sleep. Then I need exercise. *sigh*

      Could you start a new hobby/obsession? Changing jobs was helpful for me (for many reasons, not just the change of scenery); starting a new yoga class; joining a choir; teaching myself computer coding (I failed, but it was helpful to at least start); setting a bunch of aggressive free-time goals (including cello lessons in the fall – yay!) and then putting together a calendar of how I was going to accomplish them and actually doing it.

    • anonnyugrad :

      Just relish it. I’m having an awful week too. But when I don’t feel guilty/upset at myself for being upset in the first place, I end up getting better more quickly. There’s no pressure to be happy. If there weren’t unhappy times, happy times wouldn’t be enjoyed. I know that’s over-simplifying, but it helps me.

      Also, be grateful you have clean socks. (the little things help, right?)

    • Sometimes life just stinks, through no fault of your own. Try to remember that life is cyclical though, and that even if you do nothing it’s bound to improve eventually. Then also it sounds like you already have quite an arsenal of techniques you know work for you. More of the same! Wear a happy outfit -every- day! Buy a -new- happy outfit! And test some of the commenters’ suggestions just to make sure you aren’t passing up something else that might make you happy. I think the crucial thing here is making the effort to do things that make you happy or you think will work, psycho-placebo so to speak.
      And hang in there..

  19. Ladies, I need some help wording an email. I applied via email for a job on Monday, and haven’t received a confirmation or anything like that, which I know (think?) is normal. I spoke to one of my references yesterday and found that she had retired last week. I need to send out updated contact information for the reference and figure I can also use it as an opportunity to follow up and confirm receipt of my application — but I have been staring at a blank email screen for 10 minutes now and am somehow unable to formulate this email in a professional-sounding way. Posting said “no calls please” in bold capital letters, so follow up phone call is out. Help?

    • There is probably no need to follow up at this point. You can update your reference information when/if you get to the interview stage. I know it’s hard to wait (I’m waiting on a job offer/rejection myself and it’s paaaaainful) but nudging them at this point probably won’t swing anything in your favor, and most likely, they won’t be calling your references before interviewing you anyway, so it’s not an urgent thing.

  20. I don’t remember who posted the link to the seersucker suit from Lord & Taylor on Friday, but THANK YOU. It arrived yesterday, it fits absolutely perfectly, and it was such a good deal!

    • Ha – I was just about to post this exact message! I got mine yesterday and also love it – so cute! (Although my skirt is a tad tight, but the next size up would have been too big).

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