Coffee Break – Muse Oversize Dome

Yves Saint Laurent Muse Oversized Dome Satchel Yves Saint Laurent is changing its name to Saint Laurent Paris — and who knows what this means for the Muse bag, where the “Y” plays such a huge part of the design? I’ve been lusting after this bag for a while — it was even on the short list for my “push present” (funnily enough, we were so busy with the baby we never got around to buying me one) but now is a great time to think about buying a Muse bag. Especially with all the jewel toned bags out there right now — blues, greens, purples, and this gorgeous red at Neiman Marcus. This particular bag is $1,790. Yves Saint Laurent Muse Oversized Dome Satchel

(L-all)

Comments

  1. *sigh* I’m in love. Gorgeous bag. Out of my league (pricewise.)

    Admiration a la distance works, though.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Gorgeous and totally, totally out of my price range. But it’s so beautiful that I’d call it art.

    • If we could knock a zero off that number, I might consider pulling the trigger. *Le sigh* Maybe someday…

    • Thank goodness the purple wasn’t a deep true purple, or I would have pulled the trigger as a paying-off-my-law-school-loans/epic-financial-discipline-be-d@mned present to myself. Such an amazing bag.

    • If you don’t mind purchasing “pre-owned,” Fashionphile has a few of the Muse bags from about 500 dollars to 900. I regularly buy purses there and have never been anything but happy with them.

  2. RussiaRepeat :

    Early TJ: Budgeting/Finance
    Any recommendations for personal finance products for budgeting? We have one salary and one freelance income and I feel like I want a better handle on where everything goes. I tried Mint, but it has an unfixable glitch (I’ve asked) that shows my home equity line payments as income to me, and my partner is not happy giving bank passwords to a website. I can work with a downloadable Excel sheets–unfortunately Google docs and other file sharing sites are blocked, so I’ve got limits on how I can bridge the PC at work, Mac at home issue, but would prefer PC since I’m at work all the time anyway.

    • Merabella :

      Microsoft Office Templates for Budget, you just fill in, and then copy for each month. I have found this to be the best. I actually really don’t like mint anyway.

    • We use the opensource program GnuCash. It’s lowtech in that it can only be accessed from one computer, but it works for us. It’s like Quicken but free. We just collect all our receipts and enter them from home when we remember. It makes graphs and stuff, but isn’t as “We’ll analyze things for you!” as Mint is. Every couple months or so we analyze our stuff ourselves.
      GnuCash dot org

    • Anon in ATX :

      I personally love the YNAB (You Need A Budget) program. You do not have to subscribe to his personal finance philosophy to use it & they just came out with a new version, which sadly won’t run on my mac :(

    • We use Mint. It’s free too and we can access from any computer.

  3. Gorgeous bag, but I would really like to ban the term “push present” from the face of the earth along with “work wife.”

    • I agree re “push present.” I don’t know why I react so strongly but really really hate that term.

    • downstream :

      yes, I hate that term as well. That said, I already know what my “push present” is going to be (and I’m not even pregnant yet).

    • Anne Shirley :

      Sounds like something you give a toddler you’re trying to potty train.

    • Agreed. I don’t have a problem with the idea – giving gifts for a baby is each couple’s prerogative, I don’t care. But I can’t stand the term.

      Maybe, as Artist said, I’m just biased because I had a c-section.

    • new york associate :

      Ugh, I hate the term too. It just feels very Real Housewives to me.

    • Yeah, “push present” kind of freaks me out a little. I like the term baby-moon though. I think I’d rather have a baby-moon than a push present.

    • Agreed. The term is awful for reasons I can’t quite articulate, and even the concept is odd to me. My reward for giving birth was not being pregnant any more. Isn’t that enough?

      • The reward is … a baby.

        Yeah, this concept screams spoiled princess to me.

      • It’s horrifying because it reduces women to their ability to have children. It is a material pat on the head for doing your feminine duty, at base. Both the idea, and the name, are mysognist and retrograde and I’m frankly dismayed that a bunch of professional women reading this blog, who presumably derive satisfaction from the accomplishments they’ve achieved with their minds and hearts and wits, are on board with the idea that they deserve something because their uteruses work. This indictment includes you, Kat.

    • Agreed. Made me cringe a bit, though it seemed like Kat knew this would be the exact reaction from some of us.

    • I don’t mind the term, if it means I will get some awesome gift this October. :)

      Is there another term people would prefer?

      Some ideas:

      Baby Bonus
      Gestation Gift
      C-Section Contribution
      Pregnancy Premium
      Labor Largesse
      Stork Subsidy

    • Ditto to all!

    • Anonymous :

      One yucky aspect of it is the idea of marketing-inspired obligation. It’s not a kindness if you’re marketed and pressured into giving it. A spontaneous expression of the immense, life-changing awe and gratitude a man (or not) feels watching his lady*do* that– give life!!– is a beautiful idea. But the words make it a cultural, consumerist thing, not a personal one. Take a way the words and/or collusion, and it’s still a lovely, lovely idea. The Victorians loved birthstones, and Albert spoiled Victoria, etc., without the icky, ooky modern words and pressure.

      • Yeah, I think you’ve nailed my dislike for it. Well said.

      • Yeah, I feel like this one is totally manufactured by the jewelry industry. I don’t hate the exchange of gifts on a notable occasion, and I certainly wouldn’t begrudge any two people from celebrating a life event with a small or large momento, but the transactional nature of it is troubling to me, as well as something I can’t really put my finger on about gender roles. Theres something deeply uncomfortable. If I decided to buy myself a 1700 dollar gorgeous bag once I deliver, great. But what does it say about the power dynamic in my marriage if I expect my husband to get it? I don’t know, it feels wrong to me in a way I can’t really describe.

        • All of the above, co-signed.
          I literally cringed when I read that term.
          The fact that it’s such a graphic description also doesn’t help matters. I don’t want to look at a purse and think of someone’s privates.
          Not to mention all the socioeconomic overtones.
          Not saying I wouldn’t love a token of appreciation in that situation but I’d prefer it be something a bit more organic and, for lack of a better word, sincere.

    • it got me some beautiful diamonds :

      so i dont care what you call it. I carried two beautiful babies through two horrible pregnancies and two even worse labors and deliveries, so the fact that my husband decided it would be a nice gesture to surprise me with diamond earrings makes me very, very happy, regardless of what anyone calls the gift.

      • I think that’s different. Husband deciding to surprise you with jewelry, sua sponte, does not equal, “honey, you’re supposed to buy me something really expensive because I am bringing a child into this world, and here’s what I want….”

        Anyway, I am sure the term is convenient shorthand for most people and I’m really trying not to judge. I just happen to really hate the shorthand.

      • karenpadi :

        I don’t have any children but this is my take on the whole “push present” idea. Bringing a new life into this world is a big deal! As a culture, we give presents for much smaller accomplishments all the time.

      • Research, Not Law :

        That’s how I feel, too. Carrying a pregnancy and delivering a baby (no matter how you do it) is not easy! My husband gave me a gift to show that he appreciated everything I went through to make our beautiful family. I would have done it anyway since I, too, wanted children, but it truly makes me happy knowing that he recognized the sacrifice. My FIL also gave me a “thank you” gift after each child, which I thought was incredibly sweet.

        I’m all for a name change, though. Can’t say I’m fond of it.

        • What is the sacrifice? I have had three children and I don’t see that I’ve sacrificed anything during those months of pregnancy. I find the whole expectation of a present so infantilizing. I’m more OK with the spontaneous gift but I feel like it has become such an expectation in upper class and middle class circles that there really isn’t much spontaneity possible at this point.

    • Agreed. It sounds synonymous with “turd” or some other word for poop.

    • I remember reading in gone with the wind that when one of Scarlett’s babies was born, Rhett gave Scarlett a sapphire ring. That semed very romantic to 13 year old me. I don’t believe Rhett called it a push present. I still want one, though. Where’s my goddam ring, papabear?

      • When I give birth to Bonnie Blue Butler, I totally hope my Rhett come thru with a sapphire ring too… I just don’t want it to be a quote unquote push present.

        Maybe it’s just a semantic argument but it makes a difference to me…

    • I can’t even say push present without making an icky face…which I don’t think is the sentiment meant to be conveyed. Though we’re thinking of getting my sister-in-law (who has a gluten intolerance) a case of really awesome naturally gluten free hard cider for her “congrats on having created a life” present. :-)

      I’m fairly certain she’ll appreciate it.

    • I’m just floored that now adays women expect thousand dollar presents to give birth it seems. What about saving that money and putting it into a childs college fund? I just do not get the obsession with name brand expensive presents or jewelry for giving birth. To me is seems soo short sighted and ridiculous.

  4. amazon adder :

    What do you add to your Amazon purchases to get the free shipping? I’m short only a few dollars, but I’m drawing a blank — any suggestions? I don’t want to spend much.

    • Items that I replinish frequently :

      I normally add things I know I will need in the near future, like an bottle of shampoo or dish washing gloves.

    • Merabella :

      I have an amazing dry brush I just bought there, it is $6. Been using it a week and love the results already. If you don’t have one that might be a good purchase.

      • Can you please link to the brush? I was just reading about the merits of before logging onto this thread, I shall take your comment as a sign!

    • Cat toys. But I guess that only works if you have a cat.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        You can donate them to a shelter! Ohhhh, there are lots of things for under $5 you could donate to an animal or human shelter. I could be on to something here . . .

    • batteries, hair ties, candles . . .

    • Anonymous :

      rewetting eye drops, coffee filters, ipad stylus

    • Toilet paper, paper towels, facewash, lipgloss. Or, dash it all, that book or movie that’s been sitting on my wish list for far too long…

    • Amazon Prime. ;-P

      • Amen. Best money that I spend every year.

      • Seriosuly. Free shipping on lots of stuff AND free streaming tv/movies!

        • One free Kindle lending library book per month!

          • Migraine Sufferer :

            Oh my god. Really? *going to look at Kindle lending library*

          • SouthernLegal :

            Minor, but related TJ –

            I splurged on myself and bought a Kindle Fire, and of course it came with the free month of Prime. I am really enjoying the free streaming tv/movies, but I don’t know that what is offered by itself is really worth another $80/year. I don’t shop on Amazon, so the shipping doesn’t mean anything to me. I was particularly interested in the one free kindle lending library book per month perk, as I am an avid reader and can easily spend a $100 or more buying best sellers even a few times a year. However, every time I have tried to view books in the Lending Library, the vast majority of these books seem to be ones that were recently posted for free (I use a website called Free Stuff Times that usually lists between 70-140 books for free by category each day, 7 days a week, and most of the Lending Library books were previously offered for free on the same site). For those ‘rettes who are fans of the Lending Library, is there something I am missing? Is Prime really worth it if you have cable and don’t shop online?

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yep. Amazon has pretty much everything, and with Prime it’s delivered to the house in two days at no extra charge.

      • Amazon Prime saved my bacon when my son was first born and I was working 80 hours a week. We also had Amazon Fresh in Seattle, where you could get a lot of things from the amazon wear house delivered to your front door by 6 AM if you ordered before midnight. Diapers? Yep, Wipes, formula, baby food, all of it magically appeared. I used to order from work and it saved me and my husband dozens of time. My best purchase ever? Seattle was in a heat wave (shocking, I know) and it was over 100 degrees for several straight days. We lived in a 100 year old cottage and it was hotter than blazes. I had Amazon Prime and overnighted us an air conditioner because all the stores had sold out. Total cost of overnight shipping on an air conditioner that must have weighed 10 tons? 3.99.

        • I love Amazon Prime so hard.

        • In House Lobbyist :

          I love Amazon Prime! It is by far the cheapest for diapers and baby stuff I have found. And it’s so easy when you are running low on something and don’t have time for a trip to the store. There is an Amazon Mom that is free and gives you 15% off too for all you mom out there.

      • eastbaybanker :

        I love my Prime, too, but always feel guilty about the environmental impact of my hand lotion being shipped from New Jersey or something.

    • Philippine Brand Dried Mango, 20-Ounce Pouches (Pack of 2). Amazing and so addictive!

    • K... in transition :
    • I add an annual Prime membership and then don’t worry about it.

    • I keep a “wish list” of random stuff I don’t need right away just for those occasions :-).
      You can always go for an extra USB key, or such small electronics..

  5. phillygirlruns :

    the muse isn’t my style, but i LOVE my roady hobo. i was sure i was going to have buyer’s remorse with that one, but surprisingly i never did – almost two years later, the leather has broken in beautifully and i carry it constantly. perhaps they’ll clear those out too…

  6. No Problem :

    My friend is due to give birth to her first baby any day now. I’d like to get or do something for her (not for the baby) to enjoy at some point after she gets home from the hospital. I know we’ve had threads before about what to get a friend for when she’s in the hospital, but this is really for after that. Would she have time to use a gift card for a massage or pedicure with the new baby? Would it be better to do something like cook dinner for her and her husband so they have that extra hour to spend together after he gets home from work? For anyone who has been a new mom for the first time, what did you get from friends in your first few weeks post partum that you really enjoyed? What would you have wanted to get?

    • new york associate :

      Dinner! For me, that would be the best option, hands down.

      • WestCoast Lawyer :

        Definitely dinner! It’s tough to get out of the house the first few weeks and trying to make it to a massage appointment would just add to the stress (especially if she’s bf every couple of hours). I was so appreciative of the friends who dropped off dinner for us. My favorite was lasagna, bagged salad and garlic bread.

    • Agreed with dinner. A gift card from a nice place where they can order take-out and eat from home. Or, if you’re local and close enough friends, to have you come over and do her dishes and/or watch the baby while she takes a nap. Food and sleep were my strongest desires for the first month of the baby’s life.

    • Or a fun movie or TV show season (bonus for nursing-session length of episodes). Nursing a baby 8+ hours a day gets a little bit monotonous, and daytime television will make you want to resign from humanity.

      • This is a great idea! It would have saved me from watching some terrible tv during 2am feedings. Nursing in bed didn’t work for me, and after almost dropping ds#1 during a nighttime feed because I dozed off I always nursed while watching TV, even in the middle of the night. And of course, during those times the baby just wouldn’t go back to sleep. There were some bad late night tv shows 6 years ago, and I doubt things got any better since then.

      • No Problem :

        Roughly how long would “nursing-session length” be? I’m liking the dinner idea, but this is a good idea, too!

        • Varies with the child, but for me, usually it was about 30-40 minutes. Could be more or less, depending on growth spurts, moods, etc.

    • Housecleaning gift certificate (assuming she doesn’t already hire someone.) That’s what I always wanted.

    • Research, Not Law :

      On this note, a kindle or kindle gift card would be excellent. I loved mine for when baby was sleeping on my lap: it’s silent, easy to hold one-handed, and has options for every mood. You do get trapped under the cute little guys and end up staring at walls trying to not think about how badly you have to the bathroom. I did a lot of reading.

      You can’t go wrong with food. They absolutely need it and will appreciate it. When you drop it off, offer to put in some laundry or hold baby while she uses the bathroom or takes a shower – that is, if you’re not spooning into her mouth for her ;)

    • Dinner or a little basket of things that can be eaten with one hand. I know once my husband went back to work I had such a hard time figuring out when and how to make myself lunch while breastfeeding for what seemed like around the clock in the beginning. So something like fruit, granola bars, pre-cut veggies with hummus, baby bell cheese, etc.

    • Gift basket of food she can eat with one hand? I just remember trying to breast feed and eat at the same time, a basket of muffins someone gave me was my favorite gift.

    • Almost done :

      Not sure if this is feasible, but the BEST post-baby gift was from our next door neighbors with whom we are very close. They knew we were being released from the hospital late morning one day. They watched for us to come home and came out with a video camera and regular camera and offered to capture us carrying the baby inside and taking a photo of our family on the front doorstep before we came in. Obviously, I didn’t look great, but it is so sweet to have that moment forever – we also let the dog out right away so we have on video the dog meeting her new “sister” in the driveway.

      And the best BEST part of that was that they brought with them lunch from a fancy deli – baked chicken, some fresh bread, a salad and some cookies. We were sick of hospital food, starving, hadn’t thought to grab lunch, didn’t want to leave the house and hadn’t been home in 3 days so didn’t really have many groceries. If possible, try to arrange that first meal home for them. (And it was packaged such that if we didn’t want to warm it up then, we could put it in the fridge and eat it the next day.)

      Lots of people bring meals/gift cards for food the first few weeks, which is great, but I think we would have had to eat cereal the first day if someone didn’t have something fresh there waiting for us.

    • Dinner. But a dinner either made or bought by you,then dropped off so that the new mom doesn’t have to add “host dinner party” to her list

      • I love the contrast in reactions to this idea v the push present. You give a gift to a friend who has had a baby? What an amazing idea, your friend is so lucky to have you, etc. Your husband gives you gift after you’ve had a baby? You are a childish, materialistic princess and your husband is a paternalistic jerk who is reinforcing gender stereotypes.

    • In House Lobbyist :

      Food! Especially things that can be reheated easily. The best thing we got was a neighbor that would bring me fresh fruit every few days. It wasn’t much – but it was great to have and we didn’t have to go to the store every few days. My sister also went over when I was still in the hospital and cleaned everything, did laundry and changed the sheets on my bed. Since baby boy came 3 weeks early in the middle of the night, I wasn’t exactly prepared.

      Pedicures were great before I gave birth because I couldn’t reach my toes so you might take her before the baby comes.

  7. TJ: who all is taking the bar in July? Just curious since so many law ladies read this blog. I need more people to commiserate with!!

    • Me! VA this time. It’s my third one (move to a locale near a border, alas). It’s hard not to be bored with it, which is fatal. A little healthy terror would be very motivational to me right now.

      • Oo what are your other two? I’m definitely terrified since this is my first. I’m taking PA.

        • IL and TN. The first one was terrifying. The second one wasn’t that bad, actually, probably because I wasn’t as nervous. The first time I did the full barbri course, and it was really helpful to me because I’m not terribly disciplined. The second time I bought some used books and self-studied, and probably came out better for it. I found that the practice tests were key. Bar examiners are not very creative with their questions and tend to re-use concepts from year to year. For example, when I realized that I was simply not going to ever care enough about secured transactions to actually understand it, I just practically memorized the sample answer to a secured transactions question from a previous year. Sure enough, an almost identical question came up on my test, and I just wrote the old answer down with the names changed. I still don’t know what most of it meant, and I still don’t care. At the end of the day, you can miss an awful lot on the exam and still pass.

          • Thanks for the reassurance! I just feel like I am not retaining much yet, despite following as much of the barbri program as I can.

      • I did VA. Enjoy beautiful Roanoke and your suit/sneakers combo!

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      I’m taking the bar! But currently watching the Azzurri destroy the Germans instead of learning my multistate subjects.

    • Ugh, me. Taking MD this year because of a move for my husband’s job; took CA last year & passed. Finding it super hard to focus/care.

    • I wil be taking my second – VA. As someone already mentioned, I am having a terrible time not being bored with it. Which leads to being unmotivated. Fun all around!

      My first was PA, so for those taking PA don’t stress. BarBri way over prepares you. PA was not bad IMHO.

      • phillygirlruns :

        agreed on this – i took PA and NJ, and PA was by far the easier of the two. actually taking the bar – for both states – was nowhere near as difficult and stressful as studying for the bar.

    • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

      CO here. Right now I’m just doing notes and the essays/PTs that are due. I’ll kick into high gear next week.

    • Taking my second – Texas. I agree, it’s hella hard getting motivated.

    • Taking MA for the first time here! Any of you seasoned pros have tips for overcoming exam day anxiety? The thought of actually taking the test is making me more nervous than studying the law itself.

      • The Barbri practice exam really helped me. It was at an exam site filled with students. I had a mini-panic attack during the practice exam, but it made me calm down afterwards and I was fine the day of. I did do a test run driving to my exam site to make sure I was comfortable driving there on the big day.

        The first day during lunch I was in ear shot of someone talking about how they had failed the exam multiple times. After that, I avoided people and stayed to myself before the exam and at lunch to minimize the anxiety.

        Just remember that the bar prep courses really do over prepare you. If you keep up with the bar course, chances are you will be fine. Also, I always like to remind myself that it’s not a test where I need to get everything right. I know that I will miss questions and that I will know some subjects better than others.

        • Thank you! I am doing the practice test with BarBri as well (next Monday actually – yikes) so hopefully that will help get rid of some of the nervousness. I will keep that in mind about lunch, maybe I’ll just keep the earplugs in while I eat!

  8. In the Pink :

    Another TJ.

    I need a recommendation for a good antiperspirant which will NOT leave white marks on my clothes.

    On a daily basis I use “sweat defence” by old spice and like it. But with a formal wedding coming up and a black evening gown, I don’t even want to go there. It’s very hot in Texas, I’m going to read at the Mass, and will want the “defence” option in the product.

    Help is greatly appreciated.

    • Merabella :

      Try the old spice gel since you are used to the brand. Shouldn’t leave marks.

    • I haven’t found it to leave white marks (cream version). Maybe try the sport if you aren’t using that right now? It seems the least offensive to me. The fresh tends to smell like a dirty version of a ladies powder fresh deodorant.

    • The soapwalla deo on etsy is amazing. I’ve had it for about 2 weeks and rely like it thus far. I haven’t gotten any white stains on my clothes but I don’t get dressed for a minute or two because I feel like it needs a little time to dry.

    • If you put your deodarant on at night before you go to bed, you don’t need to reapply it in the morning after you take your shower. I was skeptical about that at first, but it really works, at least with the Secret Clinical Strength.

      • Anonymous NYer :

        I could never imagine that. I use the same stuff, and no way could I not use it the next morning, whether I shower or not.

    • Maybe start using Certain Dri a couple of weeks ahead of time. Apply at night, but not if you’ve just shaved (I learned that the hard way)!
      You can still put something on in the morning if it makes you more comfortable, but you really won’t need it
      Good luck!

    • My local drugstore has half a dozen options of deodorants that say specifically “no white marks”. I’d start with those :-).

  9. 2/3 attorney :

    kate spade is having sale-on-sale right now http://www.katespade.com/sale-on-sale/sale-on-sale,default,sc.html

  10. I can’t believe YSL is changing its name. But this quote, from the linked article? Sorry, but all I can think of is Dr. Strangelove:

    “restoring the house to its truth, purity and essence “

  11. Purse question re: Foley and Corinna. I’ve been thinking about these bags since Kat featured them (years ago?). They are on sale on Gilt, and the one I’m most drawn to is the Mid City Tote in “tan.” Here’s the question: the “tan” looks like a buttery yellow on my computer screen. I want buttery yellow. I do not want saddle brown (already have a purse that color). For those who have seen F+C purses in person, can you comment on the true shade of the “tan” color?

    • I am really want this same bag, and it looks yellow on my computer screen, as well. But it makes me nervous that they are calling it “tan”. I looked it up on Zappos and it definitely looks more tan than yellow. Boo.

  12. K... in transition :

    Happy to give in to requests and continue this over here (from the last post):

    “A silly/small thing that makes this day awesome is: ___________”

    Something else that makes my day awesome is: I live close enough to a DQ to buy a cake someday… granted I can’t afford to spend $20 on an ice cream cake right now or any time soon, but I adore DQ cakes and, after 3 yrs in the DQ-less nyc, I’m grateful to know that someday I -can- drive 10 mins and buy one. YOUR TURN!

    • A small silly thing that makes my day awesome is that I have satellite radio in my car now instead of regular radio, so I no longer have to listen to commercials OR annoying morning radio. Its amazing.

    • Yay, for once i can think of one!!!

      - Something small that makes this day awesome is that today I earned a free drink on my coffee shop frequent buyer card, so now I have a free drink to look forward to!

      (thanks, K, for starting this whole thing! I am glad I feel positive enough to participate this time!)

    • I really don’t mean this in a snarky way. But I’ve seen you start more than one thread, like 5 at least, where you say something like “happy to give in to requests” but there are never any requests. I didn’t see anything in the other thread and am wondering if its like a FOOEy joke I am not getting.

      My small thing is my cup of coffee which right now, tastes like the best cup on earth

      • It’s called email.

        • ok sorry I didn’t realize there was a way to email people on here. sorry!

          • K... in transition :

            no worries at all, CC! I am lucky enough to be email/penpals with some awesome chicas here and so sometimes the requests come that way and sometimes, with something like this, they’ll come in old comments about how, from now on, I ought to post in both if it’s posted shortly before a new post, etc. But I appreciate that your memory is so awesome that you remember which posts come from me over days/weeks! :)

          • Anne Shirley :

            There isn’t, unless you happen to know their email or they provide it in their profile. (didn’t want you to go hunting for the missing feature!)

          • I’m new and read a few threads at once not like as they happen and know you are a regular so that’s why I thought I might be missing something. I didn’t realize people knew each other in real life that is pretty cool!

          • I embarrassingly get more e-mail from my friends on this website than I do from my “real life” friends. Does that say something bad about me? Or about my IRL friends? haha.

          • TCFKAG, me, too, homegurl, me, too. Maybe it’s us? Spending too much time on here? Shrug.

        • Word. Some of us are friends outside of C$%#$tte. Which makes me giggle and think of when people say “we’re friends outside of work”.

          • I’m just waiting for a troll to ask everyone here to nominate who they think is their “Corporette Wife” rather than a “work-wife.” ;-)

          • I’m just waiting for a troll to ask everyone here to nominate who they think is their “C0rp0r3tt3 Wife” rather than a “work-wife.” ;-)

            (avoiding moderation this time, I hope)

          • Hey Susan, I just met you, and this is crazy, but will you be my C o r p o r e t t e wife?

          • BAHAHAHAHAHA. But this is a serious question. Who is my C@$@#$#tte wife? Or should we just hold a competition for THE C#$#$tte wife?

          • Godzilla, I feel like your [this site] wife is eek. But I could be wrong.

          • I will be someone’s C-re*tte Wife, but I demand a push present when I have our C-re*tte child.

          • I HAVEN’T PROPOSED YET!!!! Now she knows!!!

    • In the Pink :

      Finally balanced this month’s day sheet/ledger balance. After an hour yesterday and 2 hours today….oh those folks who like to keep a credit balance and “work against it,” your negative numbers on my paperwork drive me nuts sometimes~

      A two0fer

      Aaron bros. was having a buy one, get one for $0.01 sale. Got 8 new frames and 2 mats, to change out the hodge podge of frames holding wedding pictures of us and relatives into a more cohesive, all black of some kind look! Done. Now to do the work of prepping and exhcaning frames and hope they all use the same holes in the walls! THAT’s another “small happiness” in my day post.

    • Anonymous :

      The car starting.

    • Something that makes today awesome is that I finished a huge brief I have been working on. This is important because I told myself I could take two days off next week if I had this done. So I am happy!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I stayed with a friend last night who has a little girl in gymnastics right now. The girl refused to show me her somersault until I did something. Turns out muscle memory counts for something because I can totally still do a bridge and headstand. There wasn’t enough space to try a handstand or anything, but now I’m tempted.

      • Migraine Sufferer :

        When I was a little girl my grandmother, who in her youth was a cheerleader, showed my sister and me a handstand. Once. She never could be talked into doing it again…

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      in case anyone missed my excitement earlier this week, DQ announced it is coming to NYC in the fall.

      And that’s what has made my entire week awesome.

    • I don’t know if this counts as silly, but my boss just gave me a new project to work on which will mean I won’t be quite as bored for the next few weeks! Yay for productivity. Yay for preserved sanity. Hurrah!

    • A new episode of Suits. I love me some Harvey!

  13. Not trying to start anything, but I’m honestly curious and trying to educate myself about the pros and cons given this morning’s threadjack about ACA–why are you for or against the ACA (Obama Care)?

    • K... in transition :

      SCOTUS upholds ObamaCare(s) 6-3! Top 10 benefits women gain from healthcare reform:

      1. Insurance companies used to practice “gender rating,” meaning women could be charged more than men for the exact same health insurance policy. Health care reform puts an end to gender rating.

      2. Insurance companies must cover all FDA-approved birth control without extra co-pays.

      3. Insurance companies must cover mammograms and pap smears without extra co-pays.

      4. Insurance companies must cover maternity care.

      5. Insurance companies must cover breastfeeding equipment and support.

      6. Women can’t be denied coverage for “pre-existing conditions” such as pregnancy, having had a C-section, or being a survivor of domestic violence.

      7. Insurance exchanges will help consumers compare insurance policies, and in many families women are critical in making health insurance decisions.

      8. Women are more likely than men to work for small businesses that don’t offer health insurance, and will benefit from the new tax credits to help small businesses provide coverage to their employees.

      9. Young women– who are more likely to be uninsured than women in any other age group– benefit from a new rule that allows young adults to remain on their parents’ health insurance policy as a dependent until age 26.

      10. Older women benefit from a provision that closes the Medicare Part D “donut hold”– which currently requires seniors to spend a considerable amount out-of-pocket for prescription drugs. In 2007, 64% of the Medicare beneficiaries affected by the donut hold were women.

      • K... in transition :

        Many of the negatives are from those who think about the cost to the government to cover everyone, how undocumented people or those who choose not to work benefit but it costs workers more, and such. While I understand that, I think there are far more who are doing their best and simply can’t afford health care, those who have per-existing conditions that they didn’t ask for, and how many would happily go back to work if they were able to receive the treatment they need. But that’s just me :)

      • I think you mean ‘donut hole’

      • Just to clarify on the women’s preventive services: only plans that are not grandfathered under PPACA will have to cover the services in full. The coverage begins the first plan year on or after 8-1-12, so for many plans, that will mean 1-1-13. If your plan is grandfathered under health care reform, it does not have to provide these services in full. How do you know if your plan is grandfathered? Your employer is supposed to notify you of that fact – it may have been buried in annual enrollment info in late 2010 or 2011.

    • I can’t pretend to know much about the law in general, but the piece I was watching was the individual mandate bit, particularly with the lack of a meaningful exemption for religious institutions. I’m not Catholic, but it concerns me on a principle level that, for example, a Catholic institution would be required to provide coverage for its employees to receive contraceptives, contra to their doctrine. That makes the religious free exercise bit of my brain itchy.

      As for the rest of it, can’t say, and interested to know. I’m ALL for healthcare major overhaul, but have to defer about whether this law would be an improvement to the status quo. Maybe something only time will tell.

      • K... in transition :

        I hear you, Midori, and agree on a basic concept… however so often religious agencies receive governmental funding which is meant for everyone. It doesn’t seem right to me that they can take from everyone but only give to those who follow their beliefs. Also, contraceptives are used as treatment for many non-bc related medical needs and often it’s a black and white ruling against them in religious agencies, which harms everyone.

        • Yeah, I agree there’s a nuance. On one hand, it irks me that the church assumes everyone takes birth control to prevent babies (could be for other reasons, and it’s none of their business). On the other hand, that’s not really the government’s business to decide how reasonable the church is being, either, right?

          And you raise a good point about the subsidized institutions. I wonder if the exemption could be conditioned on financial independence. The institution I was thinking of was a private university, but a lot of subsidized hospitals are in play here. Hm.

          • Midori, actually, having spent my entire life with insurance provided by Catholic institutions and many years with my healthcare directly provided by said institutions, I can say with 100% certainty that there’s no problem getting birth control prescribed and covered for a non-contraceptive reason. There is nothing in Catholic teaching prohibiting the use of any medication for non-contraceptive purposes, even if the medication also functions as a contraceptive.

          • Hey, this is meant to E, below:

            I also have worked or been a student at five different Catholic institutions (universities and hospitals) in two major metropolitan areas. And I’ve had a very different experience. One of them would prescribe BC if you stated you were taking it for a non-BC reason. But the pharmacy would not fill it, and the lady who told me that (I was young and unaware of this policy) screamed that at me across a busy room. Four of them would flat-out would not allow their employees to prescribe BC, regardless of reason.

            One of them, which is since closed, informed me that it was also against policy to even counsel patients that BC existed, even for non-BC indications (I was a student in training and my assignment to that place for that rotation was involuntary). The infertility specialist there also refused to see all but married heterosexual couples, which was not in the policies but a personal belief of the specialist.

            The now-closed clinic accepted large amounts of state and federal funding and was a referral center for low- or no-income women, who often did not have another option. Given that as a non-Catholic I was clueless how comprehensive these policies were, it would not surprise me that many of these women did not realize they were not being offered a full spectrum of women’s health care.

            In short: yes, hospitals that take state/federal money and accept emergency patients (try turning your ambulance around) are ethically complicated.

          • Anonymous :

            Disagree. I was not able to get birth control from a Catholic controlled pharmacy, despite the fact it was prescribed for a non-birth control reason. It is the sort of thing that can vary.

          • MaggieLizer :

            I had a different experience than E. too. I went to a Catholic school for undergrad and they would not prescribe or fill bc prescriptions for non-contraceptive reasons, like irregular periods or cramps, and their insurance would not pay for me to go to a doctor off campus so I could get treatment. I’m not trying to debate Catholic teachings, I’m sure you’re right E., but it seems like health care issues really depend on the diocese.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I believe in freedom of religion but to me that means my employer can not dictate how I practice my religion. I don’t see having a Catholic employer paying for an insurance policy that cover elective birth control as offending free religion. I see a Catholic employer preventing a non-catholic from obtaining birth control under a health insurance plan that is only available in this country through ones employer as impeding freedom of religion.

        On NPR they were just debating policies in Egypt on alcohol and whether the government should forbid it so muslims can’t consume or allow it but make it a crime for muslims to consume or to allow it and let people to decide whether to practice religion or not. The consensus seems to be that banning alcohol to prevent people from violating a religion would be “undemocratic” and “forced religion.” That is how I view employers dictating what medications their employees can take. Particularly in my city where a full one half of all medical services available are through a Catholic institutions. So – if you want to work in health care and live in my city, you got to deal w/ the Catholic church.

        • Well, the Catholic institutions aren’t forbidding their employees from using contraceptives, just declining to fund that use. I do think there’s a difference. There are affordable contraceptive methods one can buy out of pocket, if one wanted to work for a Catholic institution and not follow the Catholic teaching. It does get sticky where one needs “birth control” pills to treat medical conditions other than fertility, though, I grant you.

          • I agree. The idea that access to birth control is denied unless birth control is free irritates me no end. Access does not equal free.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            My understanding is that employees typically pay for a portion of health insurance costs and that is deducted from their paychecks. Since they pay a portion and the employer pays a portion, how would birth control be free for those employees? Or am I missing something?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I am for the Affordable Care Act because I hope it is the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell of healthcare.

      That is to say, I believe that healthcare is a fundamental human right in a developed nation, and I believe that our healthcare system right now is extremely broken. I believe it needs reform. It is a patchwork system that is poorly designed (or rather, un-designed as it evolved with U.S. society, and changed where necessary and stuck to the old-guard where possible and now we have a confusing, complex and expensive system that even people who work in don’t really understand).

      The Affordable Care Act will provide access to healthcare to millions of Americans and has some provisions which I think are excellent (easy access to preventative women’s healthcare – score!). That being said, I do not love the Affordable Care Act. It has provisions that I have some concerns about, and it still leaves a large class of Americans without access to reasonable-cost healthcare, either catastrophic or preventative. It still works within a broken down system that (IMO) needs complete overhaul to truly become efficient and effective.

      But just like Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, which we now regard as a biased and ineffective law, did eventually lead to gay service members being able to serve openly in the military, so I hope that the Affordable Care Act is a first step to large scale overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system.

      The ACA is based on a plan designed by a Republican in a liberal state and implemented by a liberal president, and still faced serious and angry opposition. I don’t think greater steps forward would have been possible at this time. But large scale changes don’t usually happen all at once. They are built up to, piece by piece, until we as a society can look back and think “Wow, that’s so crazy that we thought THAT was the solution! This solution is so much more logical, fair and easier to implement.” Just like Hilary and Bill laid groundwork in the nineties with their plan, this is our step forward.

      Everyone knows (even those belly-dancers interviewed today on CNN) that we are not going to pass true health care reform, which would have a good hard look at the role of the government, the insurance companies, tort reform, the increased medicalization of discomfort, etc. Our political climate just won’t allow it right now. But I don’t doubt we’ll get there eventually. This is just a step.

      • This is a really excellent and reasonable summary of why one should support the Affordabke Care Act, the likes of which I do not see nearly often enough. Thank you.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I will have to keep this brief b/c I’m posting to avoid a dreaded work task – but, in short form:

      1.) I have several pre-existing conditions. Without group health insurance, I am uninsurable prior to the ACA. I literally could not go out and buy a policy b/c no one would have me. So, if I got divorced or my husband lost his job and I got too sick to hold a full time job I would be SOL. This also led me to choose my jobs based on which ones offered group insurance.

      2.) Piggy backing off of one, I have a huge issue with insurance being tied to employment. The people who need it the most often can’t sustain full time work. At least making private insurers accept them is a step in the right direction.

      3.) Insurance is useless if it won’t cover my pre-ex. This fixes that.

      4.) It makes sense that insurers are worried about having to cover the sick and cover the pre-ex. They can only make up for this extra cost by insuring people who are not sick. The individual mandate is the only way to make that happen.

      5.) Even the healthiest person can get hit by a bus and if they don’t have insurance and they have no assets to garnish, the hospitals/doctors/pharmacists have to just eat the costs and we all pay more because of it. Now, less people should be uninsured.

      6.) They closed that freakin donut hole which was just the dumbest thing ever invented. I don’t remember the exact provisions but medicare would only cover a certain amount, then someone on medicaid (usually old and retired) would have to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket before their insurance would kick back in. To need that much care, you would have to be pretty sick and most likely not working. I can’t even think of a policy reason behind the donut hole.

      7.) I believe health care is a basic right and I’d like to see us move to single payer. I personally do not believe that people love going to the doctors and would just go so much more simply because they were now insured. Instead, I think they would get the preventative care, routine tests, and basic disease management they need to not end up in dire straights costing the system a boat load of money to treat their inevitable emergency.

      8.)I think insurance companies already dictate much of my care and I’m really not concerned about government doing a worse job should it ever come to single payer. I think this decision is a compromise and is certainly not the evil some spout it as.

      9.) I find it humorous to listen to Romney explain why this is bad when he instituted the exact same thing in Mass.

    • One point, and then I’m out (work, and all) – this isn’t about the law specifically, but I’m really, really troubled by the idea that something can be sold to the public specifically and over and over again as not a tax, yet still upheld on the justification that it is a tax. The power of the people to check the government is limited to how they can understand what’s going on, and this limits that ability.

    • I’m for it because the our health system is broken. Totally 100% broken. I have cared for countless hard working people who have developed catastrophic complications from delaying care due to a lack of insurance. Attempts at providing insurance to more people is worth it. I certainly have my concerns about areas of the law, but the system is broken, and standing around watching it collapse on itself, while individuals are harmed by it is not the answer. I’m certainly not optimistic that this is THE Solution — a lot more needs to change, and this reform may ultimately be unsuccessful, but we have to try. We have to start moving in another direction, because the current direction is unsustainable and unsuccessful.

      • Thanks for chiming in, EC MD. I just had my annual well-woman exam and my doctor and I were chatting about this. She says she absolutely hates the Affordable Care Act (something about it being anything but); however she’s hopeful that it creates momentum toward meaningful health care reform.

    • I have reasons why I am for it (children covered till 26, no getting kicked off for pre existing conditions, etc.), but I also wish it was totally different (hello, public option) and I really hope it is just a starting point, not the end result.

      What I was actually very concerned about was the fact that if it was declared unconstitutional it would have been a pretty blatantly political decision. I really don’t care how you feel about the Act itself, good idea or bad idea, but it was not really a “close call” under existing SC precedent at all. There is a reason that when this argument was first proposed almost every single con law scholar gave it apprx. 1% chance of success. So for it to get the SCOTUS stamp of approval would mean that SCOTUS doesn’t have all that much integrity left (which is why Roberts did what he did, I think). Honestly, it just doesn’t jibe post Lochner. If this case was a con law exam question 4 years ago, today’s dissent would not have scored high as an answer. The fact that it gained traction so quickly without any change in case law in the interim tell you a lot about the time we live in today.

      • With you on all points, AIMS.

        The decision seems very politically driven. Not giving his vote for the Commerce Clause allowed him to give a decision upholding the law, and, in many people’s eyes, the legitimacy of the court, while at the same time furthering the reduction of the Commerce Clause. It makes perfect sense to me. Not only does the law stand, but it makes it harder for Congress to do social welfare and continues the pattern of limiting the use of Commerce Clause. It seems like it is as close to a win-win for him as possible. (If this was discussed this morning, sorry!)

      • I disagree, AIMS. Everyone agrees that this action goes further than any prior congressional act, which it clearly does, but thought from the beginning it would be upheld because they never strike down laws under the Commerce Clause. It’s not really fair to say it wasn’t a close call. There has never been such a wide-sweeping law upheld (and now there never will be again, because it is clear that the federal government cannot force you to buy anything).

      • “Honestly, it just doesn’t jibe post Lochner. ”

        You realize there was a majority did not uphold the mandate under the Commerce Clause, right?

        • Yes. That’s my point. But I am still glad that it was upheld on a different rationale because most people, lawyers included, don’t think of it in those terms.

          As far as the ‘there’s never been anything this broad’ argument, I just don’t buy it. If a farmer can be prevented from growing wheat for his own consumption, the commerce clause applies. I really just don’t buy it.

          • Anonsensical :

            Well said, AIMS. The dissent was so intellectually dishonest with all it’s “if they can do this, they can do *anything*” claims. As Ginsberg correctly notes, there would still be plenty of limits on the Commerce power. Lopez, for example, struck down a law that lacked a sufficient nexus to commerce. And obviously Congress would be limited by the entire rest of the Constitution ~ the First Amendment, Due Process, etc. Both Roberts and the dissenters framed Wickard all wrong ~ that case had everything to do with forcing people to engage in commerce. It’s not like Congress was preventing farmers from growing wheat just for the heck of it ~ they were doing it to ensure that people would buy wheat.

    • Thank you very much to everyone for their thoughtful comments. It does sound like regardless of whether people like the ACA or not, everyone is hopeful that it is a step towards fixing our health care system in the US.

  14. coastaldreamer :

    Longtime lurker coming out of hiding…

    In today’s earlier thread about the poster who was considering going to a t3 school on one of the coasts, one of the responders cautioned her against romanticizing the coasts too much. As a Chicagoan for most of my life, I find that I do this all. the. time. To an embarrassing degree, really. I love living here, but I think I’ve internalized our second city status. I always wonder if (urban) life on the coasts is somehow better. For those of you who have lived all over, what do you prefer? What are the advantages and disadvantages?

    And yes, I know this is kind of a ridiculous question, since you can’t exactly equate life in, say, Philly, with life in NYC, let alone Seattle or LA.

    • I’m a Colorado girl trapped in DC, and I have zero romance for the east coast. I love my work and there are definitely plenty of fun things to do and great people in DC, but culturally I much prefer Colorado. At home it would be considered rude to ask someone you just met what they do, but here it’s such a huge topic of conversation. Also I am so sick of talking politics and policy all. the. time.

      And I miss good Mexican food in a bad way. I’m looking forward to a time a few years from now when I hope to be able to transition my career out of DC.

      • Hey, I’m a Colorado girl in DC too! But, I love it here. When I first got here for law school I was like, “Ah here are my people,” and I really can’t imagine ever moving back. But I totally hear you on the Mexican food. I was in CO over memorial day and ate green chili like 6 times.

        • Me too. In fact, had a conversation about Mexican food this very morning! Oh, green chili, how I miss you.

          • I once ordered it at Austin Grill here in DC, and nearly cried when I saw what they put in front of me. It was bright green. And…foamy.

      • Native Northern Virginia girl who worked in DC for awhile and lived in Colorado for awhile–just have to defend my city! I loved both DC and Colorado (where everyone always told me “You’re so east coast! :)) and wish I could live in both simultaneously somehow because they were amazing places, albeit VERY different, and I would move back to either in a heartbeat (currently I don’t live in either place).

        BUT, I completely agree there is a tendency to romanticize the coasts. Chicago is a great city and in many respects, not that different from DC/NYC/LA. Yes they all have their own personality/focus (for example, tv/movies in LA, politics in DC, fashion in NYC) but to a certain extent all big cities have those things and other similarities (traffic, people, good restaurants/shopping, they’re dirty, etc.)

      • Completely agree re: the lack of good Mexican in DC. However, there is some great El Salvadorian and Costa Rican food in Columbia Heights/Mt. Pleasant. Not the same, I know, but it has become a decent replacement when I have a Mexican craving.

        • Coming from a Californian who loves Mexican food I honestly think I might like pupusas more. Granted, nothing can replace a taco/burrito when the craving hits, a pupusa with curtido and hot sauce is OMG so good.

          • In fact, I think I need some for dinner tonight now. With fried plantains.

          • +1 on pupusas, although I will say my mom’s small town in Colorado now has a pupusa cart in the parking lot of the liquor store, so the advantage isn’t 100% DC on the pupusa front.

      • DC also suffers because its not as close to the ocean as many other East Coast cities. Being from the Northeast, I felt like I lived in the freaking midwest living in DC without a car given how long it took to get to the beach from DC.

        BUT, I also thought that it was a great place to be 22-23 and I love policy and nerd stuff, so there were a lot of things I liked about it. But you also have to eat the food of the people who have moved to any city. So of course the Mexican isn’t great, but the Ethiopian is excellent and there was not so bad Central American food in the suburbs.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Omg, I live in NYC but I’ve been desperately missing Mexican food too (having grown up on the west coast). I’m in California at the moment and plan to make up for it by eating as much Mexican food as possible!

    • One of the reasons I chose a school in Seattle was because I had dreamed about the Pacific Northwest for a very long time. And Seattle is awesome! However, having grown up in Miami, I discovered that I really needed sunshine in my life. But I wouldn’t trade that time in my life for anywhere else.

      Travel as much as you can. Visit friends all over. Then you can know which places aren’t that great in person (for me it’s Paris), which are great to visit, and where you want to live.

    • Ok, this is for DC vs. Denver

      Pros for DC:
      - faster pace of life (and literal faster pace of walking)
      - public transportation = car free living for me
      - more/better concerts from bands I like
      - more/better options for restaurants
      - closer to good vacation spots like NYC, Europe, and the Carribean
      - people are more into the things I’m into like books and politics rather than outdoor activities
      - people dress much better here
      - happy hour!
      - people are more intense, which I like
      - government jobs
      - important stuff happens here, and even though I have no real part of it I get a little kick out of the proximity to power

      Pros for Denver
      - better weather
      - no really, MUCH better weather
      - more opportunities for outdoor recreation
      - Mexican food!
      -rodeos
      - no humidity
      - skiing

    • I grew up & went to college in northern IL and have since lived in Boston (5 years), northern California (about a year) and now Baltimore (a few months).

      I think the inferiority complex that the landlocked US has is really tragic. I happen to have ended up on the coast by sheer accident; I certainly wouldn’t have chosen to live where I do because it’s coastal. First of all, I don’t really like big bodies of water (ANYTHING COULD BE IN THERE). Second of all, in all the places I’ve lived, people have basically been the same. There are provincial/narrow-minded people in cosmopolitan/progressive places like Boston and California. And there are brilliant, sophisticated, amazing people in places like the crappy little industrial city where I grew up.

      • I should say, “that *some people* in the landlocked US have.”

        And not being on the coast doesn’t even mean you’re landlocked, really! Chicago is basically the beachiest city I’ve spent much time in — much more so than San Francisco or Boston!

      • LOLing at the ANYTHING COULD BE IN THERE. I completely agree. Flyover states FTW.

        • Um….I feel that way about the Flyover States. ANYTHING COULD BE IN THERE. ;-)

          (Just kidding. I love those middle places, where the dragons are.)

    • MissJackson :

      If it makes you feel any better, I romanticize Chicago :)

      Honestly, every city has a different vibe, and none are “better” than others. But I’m from Pittsburgh — moved to DC for awhile and assumed that I would never ever ever come back to Pittsburgh. (I romanticized DC. Politics! Educated young people! Fun!) Turns out I ultimately really missed Pittsburgh. (Laid back! Unpretentious! Cheap!) Now that I’ve been back in the ‘burgh for awhile, I sometimes miss DC but not enough to move back.

      Anyway, if you’re romanticizing the coasts — the best cure is to go live in one of those cities. Especially if you’re young and you can do so easily. You may find that you love it. I actually suspect that you’ll want to move back to Chicago eventually. But if and when you do, you’ll appreciate Chicago so much more, and you’ll never wonder “what if”.

    • Have to preface this with the fact that I really shouldn’t be allowed to respond to your question, because I’ve never lived anywhere but the coasts (New York – Hudson Valley; Boston suburbs; California – Eastern Sierra; and California – San Francisco). BUT. Here’s what I see as the advantages/disadvantages of San Francisco, in particular (from my biased perspective):
      Advantages:
      * Amazing food and wine.
      * Great culture — for me, especially, this means great music (classical and rock).
      * And more vaguely, that there are always cool things going on — more than can possibly be taken advantage of.
      * Great weather (except for right now, when it’s just cold and foggy — but still, I personally prefer that to 90+ and humidity).
      * Decent availability of jobs in my industry (law).
      * I can hike or bike to the Pacific Ocean from my apt. (this still freaks me out in a really good way).
      * Being able to walk or take public transit anywhere — including to work and to the airport.
      Lots of places that are more rural/remote that are easy to get to for weekend getaways/sports/communing with nature — Angel Island, Mt. Tam, the Sierras, Yosemite, wine country, Santa Cruz, etc. . . .

      Disadvantages:
      * The cost of housing — either buying or renting.

      When DH and I think about moving somewhere more affordable, we always come back to Chicago, because it has great food, great music, and much cheaper housing. And it’s also right on the water! We just don’t know how well we’d handle the winters.

      • or the summers ;o)
        both of those are why i don’t think I can ever leave CA.

        • karenpadi :

          This! I gotta go back to WI later this summer and I’m really dreading 100% humidity.

          • At least with 100% humidity it’s finally raining. I’d take that over 75 degree dewpoints. Which, is more tropical than the Amazon. And has been known to happen.

    • I’ve lived in L.A., NYC, and (currently) Chicago and prefer L.A. by a mile. It’s more expensive than Chicago but less expensive than NY. It’s incredibly diverse. My L.A. is more of a melting pot than NYC/Chicago, which is more of a salad bowl. The weather in Southern California makes it easy to be active all year. I also get extremely sluggish when the weather is grey, so I’m more productive in temperate/sunny weather.

      I’m a native Angeleno, so it’s also what I know, and my experience w/r/t diversity may have something to do with what neighborhoods I’ve lived in, and meeting people through the neighborhood (i.e. school) vs work (more self-segregated, perhaps?). Also, I am from a low-key beach town in L.A. vs, like, Brentwood (though I’ve lived in L.A. proper as an adult, too), so some of the usual beefs about the area don’t apply.

    • Backgrounder :

      PS – you know the name “Second City” is from when Chicago was re-built after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and not its inferiority complex re: NYC?

      That being said, I’ve lived in NYC, DC and now Chicago. I would rank them 1) Chicago 2) NYC 3) DC for overall living experience. I like Chicago because it offers all of the same amenities as NYC at a more affordable cost. Sure, it’s on a smaller scale but I don’t feel deprived at all…same sort of oppty’s for theater, nightlife, restaurants, bars, etc. Plus Chi is so much cleaner than NYC! DC was…meh. It had much more of a small city feel to me. Cultural opportunities and museums were great. Food options were okay. Waaay too hot in the summer. So, to me, Chicago is the clear winner.

      Ok, stepping off my Chi-town soapbox.

      • coastaldreamer :

        I think it’s a bit of both — there was a New Yorker writer who wrote a book or article in the ’50s calling Chicago the second city, too.

    • As a spin-off to your question, would you recommend Chicago to those from the Midwest (Indianapolis/Cinncinnati)? I romanticize the arts & craft houses in Chicago versus other cities bc of family, only child/sick parent, etc and cant see moving an expensive plane ride or more than a few hours away at the moment. (The people have also gotten a little crazy here lately and I could do without having to rely on a car for a while)

      • coastaldreamer :

        I absolutely would recommend it, Anon! There’s a great art scene here. And you can definitely get by without a car.

    • I grew up in the Detroit area, went to school in Michigan and moved to Seattle last year. I’m absolutely homesick for the Midwest, and I can’t wait to move back in a few years when it is convenient career-wise for my husband and me.

      Seattle is beautiful, but it is so expensive! It is much easier to live on a smaller budget in the Midwest. Also, I have to drive 15 miles to work every day, and I can never tell if it will be a 30 minute drive or an hour drive. And the clouds make me sad. Around March, I was ready to just move back to Michigan. I’d have to deal with the snow, but at least there would be sun. I also miss the Great Lakes. Swimming in salt water is not nearly as fun as swimming in fresh water. The hardest part though is being so far away from family. Weekend visits are nearly impossible.

      Seattle does have its positives. I love that we’re 2 hours away from any number of mountains and national parks. There’s also just a lot more to do out here, and the seafood is fantastic. I love being able to walk or take the bus almost anywhere I want to go. There are a lot of young people who are recent transplants, so meeting people is pretty easy. (Almost) every day on the drive home, I get to see Mt. Rainier and the Olympic mountains. It is truly breath-taking.

      You may romanticize coastal life, but I romanticize midwestern life!

      • coastaldreamer :

        Aw — well, the grass is always greener, I guess. Your positives sound pretty great! But the distance from family and the clouds sound challenging, let alone the traffic.

  15. Blonde Lawyer :

    You know that moment when you realize you are desperately scouring the internet for anything interesting to read because while you are super busy you just really really really don’t want to do the task in front of you and if you just make the phone call and get it over with the rest of the day will be better but you are still just sitting there scouring the internet . . . yeah – I’m doing that. After responding to the ACA question above, I’m making the darn phone call!

    • Day 4 of the least motivated week of my life. I’m going to pay dearly for it too, but not even that can motivate me.

    • Barrister in the Bayou :

      You have just summarized my week! A big issue on a case I was struggling with was just resolved (after I acted like a wimp for days)!

    • That’s why I’m watching the puffin chick in its burrow on the Live Puffin Cam. So cute, and so not-work.

  16. Can I just point out:

    Sec. Clinton… amazing black suit with white trim… white t-shirt…. pearls…. F-yeah.

    (pic link to follow)

      • I also had a great time!!! And looking forward to another meetup… just hoping I haven’t gone crazy reviewing revenue contracts… long week.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Word. So glad I got the chance to meet you and Kontractor and karenpadi and SF CPA this past weekend. Kindred spirits ftw!

      • me, too, SFBA!!! we should do another one soon, that was so fun. ;o)

      • Kontraktor :

        Me too, it was so nice. :-) I hope we can have more outings too.

        Sec. Clinton does look nice in that picture. A great improvement over some of her FLOTUS choices.

        • I know! honestly, I was never even the biggest fan of the Clintons on policy (im a crazy leftist) but lately she is setting the trends for baller-professional-woman-style.. so, it is apparently official: t-shirt and pearls under a suit = work approps AND kick-a$$!!!!

    • karenpadi :

      That is so lovely. Big pearls are now officially on my list of must-haves.

      Yes! Let’s meet again! Seriously, I had a great time Saturday.

      • Can we please please meet in a south-bay/peninsula-ish area next time? Would love MV or PA (like the very first meetup) as it makes it so much easier for me to attend. Harder for East Bayers I know, but we’re rotating locations right?

        • SF Bay Associate :

          Take charge, Samantha! Where would you like it to be and when? karenpadi became the de facto organizer, but she might not mind sharing the reins a bit :).

          • Not at all! I like meeting in MV or PA because I’m from SJ (alphabet soup!). And it is South Bay’s turn.

            Any ideas? It should be within walking distance to public transit (caltrain), moderately priced, (ideally) pay-for-yourself so we don’t have to do the awkward bill split, and able to handle a spontaneous large-ish (~12 max) group.

        • Yes, don’t apologize at all, we agreed to rotate just for this reason! But i will do my very bestest to hike down from the East Bay, cuz i wanna meet as many awesome C-r e t t e s as I can. ;o)

          • Kontraktor :

            Yeah, I’d head down there, I would like to see that area anyway.

          • hey, Kontraktor, maybe we could even do an east bay carpool?

          • We could try something in Millbrae or San Bruno. Those locations would be BART’able for the East Bay. I would be willing to provide transportation from BART to the meet-up location. :)

  17. for TurtleWexler :

    and other fed ‘rettes. I remember a thread some time back about federal benefits for less than 5 years of service. I would love your advice on saving and investing. I’m in my mid-20s and make $63K before tax. My position is for two years; after that I would like to stay in federal service, but it may be tough. I have $150k in student debt (I know), but through loan repayment assistance I should be OK. I am saving for (1) emergency fund and (2) 2-3 months unemployment during which I would like to live abroad, hopefully cheaply. I understand that a portion of my paycheck goes to FERS, and I will not get any of the FERS contributions when I cash out. TW suggested that I could roll a TSP account over into an IRA, but that it’s usually not recommended because the administrative fees for the TSP are so low. Any advice on budgeting/saving/investing would be helpful! Thank you so much!

    (Reposted for more views!) Thanks!

    • How long have you been at your agency? Will you be there for 3 years after your 2 more years or is it a 2 year term? I can’t remember the details, but I think after 3 years you are vested in your TSP and you get to keep everything, meaning your contributions and your agency’s.

      In any case, you should think about the TSP, it is doing really well now, so even if you don’t get vested, you can roll it over into a roth IRA when you separate. You could also look into the TSP/Roth option if your agency is offering that – only some are right now. Your agency should match your TSP contributions up to 5%, so it’s a really great deal.

    • K... in transition :

      Work backward… figure out your fixed expenses (what you cannot change such as rent cost, car payment, etc.), figure in your realistic variable expenses (what you can change such as groceries, entertainment, etc.), add 15% of variable (since these are almost always more than expected). That’s the minimum of what you need to live on. Subtract this from your monthly income to get a total of what’s left. Since emergency fund is more necessary than when your unemployment would choose to happen, put the difference into an emergency account. Save until you have 8-12 months of living expenses in that account. Then begin to save toward your unemployment time. Hope this helps! (If you’re better with cash, get glass jars or basic envelopes and put the cash allocated for each thing in. When the “groceries” jar/envelope is empty, you can’t buy more until the next month… or do it weekly if a month is too tough for you to budget!)

    • Not TSP related – If you want to stay in Federal Service, start looking for a new position now. Just because they told you they would employ you for X years does not mean you have to stay that long. Also if they go through a budget cut, term and temp positions are the first to go regardless of the original time period stated in the announcement. (They are usually up to X years with the possibility of an extension.)

      • Thanks for the advice, all! Re: staying in federal service, I have a two year contract, but people seem to break it all the time to enter the private sector. Do you think it will reflect badly if I leave for another federal job (assuming I could even get one)? Does this go in some personnel file as a black mark?

        • No black mark. At worst, I would only expect to not work for that supervisor again if they have that type of personality. That could happen from leaving any job though.

          We actually lost two employees (1 temp, 1 term) that only a handful realized were categorized as that because of manager turnover and that was not the current practice for our area. They stayed in the position they were hired for and never applied for a lateral or promotion that was categorized as permanent. When a budget cut came through last year, they were gone. No one would have begrudged them trying to move into a position that was secure.

  18. I predict that this YSL rebranding is going to be an epic fail for the fashion house. Might even makes its way among these other historical rebranding disasters: http://listnine.com/?p=204

    • On the plus side, it would make purchasing one of these babies with the old design a true “investment”, as they will automatically be given a designer ‘vintage’ cache.

      • SugarMagnolia :

        That is very true. I still cannot afford it, but maybe someone with more income than I could justify it using the investment moniker

    • It definitely sounds like the Coke rebranding fail.

  19. Irregardless of your political leanings, you have to find the following twitter reactions to the SCOTUS ruling humorous (link posted in the next link to avoid you know what.)

    • http://www.buzzfeed.com/daves4/people-moving-to-canada-because-of-obamacare

      And to be clear, I used irregardless intentionally. S*CK IT GRAMMAR SNOBS. :-P

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Saw this this AM and couldn’t stop laughing. My favorite is:

      “I’m moving to Canada, the United States is entirely too socialist.”

      • So one of those is my friend and he is so liberal! it was a joke and now he is getting all these mean messages from buzzfeed. I guess once you post it its public but I am wishing buzzfeed blurred the names. Also the one that says “I might as well move to canada” is making a canada reference, so he knows what he’s saying.

        • It did seem like the one that said “Still moving to Canada nonetheless” was implying he just wanted to move to Canada, which is a perfectly reasonable thing to think.

    • AnonInfinity :

      I saw this posted on someone’s FB earlier, and these status updates have to be jokes. I see that cfm knows one of the posters, and his was a joke. I just can’t believe that these people are that uninformed. It would just be too depressing.

  20. 2/3 attorney :

    Can I t/j for a sec? I am rising 3L and just spent a lot of my summer finding a full-time internship in DC for the fall semester. I just got the offer today from my Senator’s office!! The assistant dean of career services at my school spent a LOT of time helping me through this process – reading every draft cover letter, strategizing with me on the phone after hours, pulling strings, etc. I would like to send her a token of my appreciation. Obviously, I will send a nice thank-you card, but I was also thinking flowers or a muffin basket or something. Do you think some kind of small gift like that would be appropriate? Thanks for your input!

    • If you do it, I’d make sure its something they can share with the staff of the whole office — they may have a policy that they can only accept presents that can be shared (especially if you’re at a state school). But its a nice gesture, especially something home baked.

    • karenpadi :

      I would send a handwritten thank-you note.

      In an office setting, it is inappropriate for underlings to give gifts to their bosses and supervisors. Likewise, mentees aren’t expected to give gifts to (or pay for lunch for) their mentors.

      My take is that you are a student, the dean is (kind of, sort of) like a boss. So it would be inappropriate to give a gift. If you feel the need to go beyond a thank you note, send an email to the dean of the law school praising the assistant dean and cc the assistant dean.

      • I don’t know… when professors wrote me recommendation letters in a similar context, I got them small gifts (fancy hot chocolate mix, though that’s not seasonally appropriate right now). I think a box of chocolate or something like that would be appreciated, though I do agree it’s not necessary.

  21. Divaliscious11 :

    Love this bag! I have in chocolate but the red is lovely…still broke this week, though…. tuition payment due…..

  22. Woods-comma-Elle :

    Hey, Anne Shirley! Great that you’re coming to London! I hope the weather improves from what it’s like right now.

    A few tips for you (although I don’t tend to spend much time in the West End so with a pinch of salt…).

    First things first – there is a new shopping centre in Stratford, it’s on the Central Line (red) and Jubilee Line (grey) although it is also where the Olympics will be held, so if you are here then, don’t even think about going. It’s got pretty much everything you could want high street shop wise and may be a good place to spend a day.

    For restaurants – if you are a steak-eater, the Gaucho chain is pretty good (a bit more upscale) and there is one just off Piccadilly near Jermyn Street, but (apparently) better steak can be had in Buen Ayre in Hackney, somewhat off the beaten path. I’ve never been, but it’s on my list.

    For Indian, you can’t beat Brick Lane, which is full of Indian and Bangladeshi restaurants and you can usually barter people into giving you a really good deal (like £10 for a curry, rice, naan, beer and poppadums). It’s a little annoying that people pretty much try to drag you in to their restaurants, but it’s worth it.

    If you want traditional English fare, the Windmill pub in Mayfair is a specialist in good old-fashioned pie. Also, I love a good afternoon tea – the Dorchester is great, but a bit expensive, the Montague Hotel slightly cheaper. If you look on lastminute dot com, they usually have discount deals.

    For quite a random dinner, Inamo in Soho is fun. It’s a not-too-pricey asian place, but it’s fully interactive and you just use a touchscreen on your table to order food. And while you wait, you can play battleships!

    For drinks – depends on what kind of thing you are after. The more hipster crowd is in Shoreditch and there is a whole bunch of fun casual bars on Shoreditch High Street. I like the aptly-named The Shoreditch, for a mix of great cocktails and dancing. For the view, Tower 42, which is a little overrated, but the view is pretty good (you have to book, though, even for drinks). There is also a bar on the top floor of the Gerkhin, I’m not sure about the name of it, though, or whether you can just rock up.

    If you are willing to jump on a bus to Angel, there are a bunch of fun bars and restaurants there. It has about a mile of just restaurants, which is great and you can pick from any kind of cuisine you want. On Upper Street, Slim Jim’s is fun for drinks (sort of American Honky-Tonk-esque) and the Winchester and Wenlock and Essex on Essex Road nearby. These are more pubby-bars though than cocktail bars.

    Hope that gives you some ideas, happy to come up with more if you have specific things in mind you want!

    • Anne Shirley :

      Thank you so much! This sounds fabulous and The Shoreditch and The Windmill will definitely make appearances. Not there until after the Olympics, so hopefully the city will have thinned out considerably.

  23. Woods-comma-Elle :

    Hey, Anne Shirley! Great that you’re coming to London! I hope the weather improves from what it’s like right now.

    A few tips for you (although I don’t tend to spend much time in the West End so with a pinch of salt…).

    First things first – there is a new shopping centre in Stratford, it’s on the Central Line (red) and Jubilee Line (grey) although it is also where the Olympics will be held, so if you are here then, don’t even think about going. It’s got pretty much everything you could want high street shop wise and may be a good place to spend a day.

    For restaurants – if you are a steak-eater, the Gaucho chain is pretty good (a bit more upscale) and there is one just off Piccadilly near Jermyn Street, but (apparently) better steak can be had in Buen Ayre in Hackney, somewhat off the beaten path. I’ve never been, but it’s on my list.

    For Indian, you can’t beat Brick Lane, which is full of Indian and Bangladeshi restaurants and you can usually barter people into giving you a really good deal (like £10 for a curry, rice, naan, beer and poppadums). It’s a little annoying that people pretty much try to drag you in to their restaurants, but it’s worth it.

    If you want traditional English fare, the Windmill pub in Mayfair is a specialist in good old-fashioned pie. Also, I love a good afternoon tea – the Dorchester is great, but a bit expensive, the Montague Hotel slightly cheaper. If you look on lastminute dot com, they usually have discount deals.

    For quite a random dinner, Inamo in Soho is fun. It’s a not-too-pricey asian place, but it’s fully interactive and you just use a touchscreen on your table to order food. And while you wait, you can play battleships!

    For drinks – depends on what kind of thing you are after. The more hipster crowd is in Shoreditch and there is a whole bunch of fun casual bars on Shoreditch High Street. I like the aptly-named The Shoreditch, for a mix of great c***tails and dancing. For the view, Tower 42, which is a little overrated, but the view is pretty good (you have to book, though, even for drinks). There is also a bar on the top floor of the Gerkhin, I’m not sure about the name of it, though, or whether you can just rock up.

    If you are willing to jump on a bus to Angel, there are a bunch of fun bars and restaurants there. It has about a mile of just restaurants, which is great and you can pick from any kind of cuisine you want. On Upper Street, Slim Jim’s is fun for drinks (sort of American Honky-Tonk-esque) and the Winchester and Wenlock and Essex on Essex Road nearby. These are more pubby-bars though than c**tail bars.

    Hope that gives you some ideas, happy to come up with more if you have specific things in mind you want!

    Read more: http://corporette.com/2012/06/28/coffee-break-muse-oversize-dome/#ixzz1z7rLA4xd

  24. Anon For This :

    My first threadjack!

    I have “paid my dues” via very active participation on the board of a subset of a large professional association over the past few years. And this year is probably a good time for me to run for President of the board.

    Except now that I am pregnant and at a different job, I am just tired of participating in the board altogether. The new personalities involved are much more adversarial, and the activities and work of being on the board aren’t fun anymore.

    At this point, if I continue with this board, it will just be to get the recognition that comes from being the Board President, and the associated networking benefits. I also worry that I will miss participating if I drop out, as I am a little bit more emotional about decisions compared to my non-pregnant self.

    I guess I am hoping that you all can help me make this decision. I am not sure the amount of frustration I will suffer just for some kind of “resume candy” is worth it at this point.

    Thoughts?

    • How much career mileage do you suppose is possible from this? If it’s significant, for instance if you’ll be looked to as a major player or expert in your field (thereby making it easier for you to find jobs, make you a more natural candidate for senior positions, etc.), I think you suck it up and go for it. If it’s more something to chat about in a future interview but not likely to be viewed as a major asset by a future employer, just drop it and enjoy the relative calm with the new baby – but be sure to find some replacement networking opportunities on occasion.

      • Anon for this. :

        The funny thing is that I was very lucky, and found what is (for now) my absolutely dream job in my first choice city, so I have no desire to ever leave here. And they don’t care about me doing this kind of professional networking stuff very much at all. I think that is influencing my desire to quit and enjoy my baby.

        Thanks for your insight E.

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