Weekend Open Thread

Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

Happy weekend! I saw these green polka dot shorts on OldNavy.com a while ago, and I really like them — they’re fresh and happy but not overly twee. They’re also available in like 5 colors (and as capri pants), so that’s great. They’re $20. Old Navy Womens Printed Twill Shorts

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  1. soulfusion :

    Love the shorts! Anyone else questioning why they bothered to get to the office today? I have only managed to concentrate in very brief 5 minute bursts . . . . I blame the weird holiday mid-week and the oppressive heat.

    • Same here! Really feeling very lackluster / watching the clock – glad it’s not just me!

    • Yep, it’s been a completely worthless day, I should just head out now and be productive around the house!

    • Yes! This week has been so weird and unproductive.

    • phillygirlruns :

      ugh yes. bosslady just came in and told me to bounce. i have ONE THING that i need to finish before i run and it’s like pulling teeth.

    • Our AC conked out and it’s 100 degrees outside. I am down to a (thankfully modest) tank top, I have my suit pants rolled up, and my shoes off. Needless to say I’m not getting much done. Here’s to hoping the boss sends us home soon!

      • I *cannot* believe he/she hasn’t sent you home yet!

      • That happened to me yesterday (and then no A/C on the train home, ugh). I hope you get out of there soon!

      • My office was 83 degrees yesterday afternoon. I wore a short sleeved jersey dress (the Suzy Chin for Maggie London one that Kat posted), no hose, peep toes but still it’s too hard to concentrate when it’s that hot and hard to think.

    • I agree. The manageing partner NEVER even made it back to the office this week!

      He made us ALL go out to his place in the HAMPTON’S, I went on Tuesday, and then we all got on a BUS Wendsday nite to come back, so I took Thursday off to recooperaite, and NOW I am here FRIDAY, but no Manageing Partner!!!!

      I have a big depo to prepare for Monday with a cleint, so I will have to come in on Sunday. FOOEY!

    • Honey Pillows :

      I think I’ve done about 2 hours of productive work today.

      If, of course, by “work” you mean “planning which adorable shoes to buy with my next paycheck.”

    • My focus has been so bad today that I put in leave for Monday.

  2. Went out to lunch and got the dreaded white-napkin-fuzzies on my black dress. Lunch was delicious though, so no biggie. How’s everyone’s Friday? (Like soulfusion above, I am having trouble doing more than 5 minutes of work without a break).

    • I got a lot done this morning but now I’m just tired and wishing I could go home. Trying to get stuff done when half the building is on vacation is not worth it.

  3. Anonnymouse :

    “overly twee???”

    What does that mean? Is this a regional phrase I don’t know?

  4. Amelia Pond :

    I would love other’s input into a situation we have going on at my office. We normally hold baby showers for staff who themselves are pregnant or whose wife is pregnant including food and gifts, but we have a situation. One of our clerks who was out on maternity leave when I started (3 years ago), has since then had a 2nd child and has just announced she is expecting again (4 months along). There were showers for the first 2 kids, but people are a bit resentful of having a 3rd shower for this gal. Has this happened to anyone else? Is there an unwritten limit to how many office sponsored showers you get?

    • Amelia Pond :

      Wow I did not mean to use situation so much! I need to find lunch… and caffine

    • Not a mom, but most of the moms I know would cringe at an office shower for a third pregnancy and would speak up against one. I think a card/flowers when baby arrives is a nice office gesture.

    • I think you’re only supposed to have a shower for the first kid. A possible exception would be if you have a kid of the opposite gender the second time around, but even then the shower should be much smaller, composed mostly of family and close friends.

    • Generally, in my office we’ll throw a shower definitely for a couple’s first baby. We’ll do another, scaled down, shower for the second baby if it’s a different sex than the first, because the parents likely won’t have gender-appropriate clothes. I’ve never heard of someone having a third baby shower. If there has to be a shower, maybe one with just diapers and wipes as gifts?

    • Kontraktor :

      Yeah I agree a full shower is a bit intense. What about, instead of a shower, suggesting a simple eat-in office lunch (like where you guys order in sandwiches or something) and everybody contributing a small amount to get a gift basket with generic things inside (like some onesies, wash clothes, etc.)? That way it’s still acknowledging the event but not a full blown shower.

      • Amelia Pond :

        Excellent! I was hoping to not have to pull a full shower together. A lunch sounds like a perfect idea.

      • I was going to say something like this. Each person contributing a really small amount (like under 5) and getting just one gift to acknowledge it. Really i think it should only be one shower.

      • This. Sandwiches, festive dessert (cake/cupcakes/cookies), practical gift from the office that no one had to kick more than $5 towards. Everyone walks away a winner.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      We do a shower for the first kid the employee has while an employee here. So, sometimes the shower is for the employee’s second or third kid, but it’s his/her first one with *us,* so s/he gets a shower. One shower per employee.

    • Yeah, I didn’t want a shower for my 2nd or 3rd and am frankly glad no one at work asked to throw one for me as it is uncomfortable to say no when someone offers to do something nice like throw a party for you. I did have to tell my sis-in-law not to do a shower for no. 2 and she was okay with it. She and my mom planned a special afternoon for the 3 of us and they gave me gifts and we all ate dessert at my mom’s house. That was nice and very special and thoughtful. But that’s family.

    • My office is throwing me a shower for my 2nd, over my objections, because I’m having a boy (first one was a girl). It still feels awkward. I’m good at giving gifts, not so good at receiving gifts (it always makes me feel guilty).

      • Midwest Mom :

        We put out a card and an envelope for babies beyond the first two. Then with whatever we collect we buy a gift card to Target or Babies R Us. Sometimes we don’t collect much… but we say it’s for diapers.

    • Agreed to all. I’m expecting my second, same gender, and while I appreciate informal parties to celebrate (hey, there’s no reason to celebrate this kid less just because he didn’t come first), I really really don’t need or want more stuff. I already have more boy onsies than he’ll ever wear. A cake and small gift card is perfect (in case mom needs to freshen up the bottle and wipes collection or invest in a double stroller).

  5. Thanks for the share!! They are super cute!

  6. Anyone have any suggestions for making healthy(ish) summer meals in bulk?

    I make a lot of turkey chili and casserole kind of things in the winter and then eat them throughout the week during the winter, but it’s so freaking hot out that that seems like a terrible idea. And it’s hard to prep hearty salads more than a day or two in advance.

    Crockpot ideas especially welcome!

    • How about gazpacho? It’s incredibly easy to make a big batch in the blender and then it only gets better as it sits in the fridge.

      I also do a lot of quinoa salads or salads based on lentils or farro with grilled veggies, herbs, and a light vinaigrette. That way I can keep them in the fridge and eat them cold or room temp.

    • I haven’t made this yet but it’s definitely on my list. It looks amazing. http://smittenkitchen.com/2012/06/cold-rice-noodles-with-peanut-lime-chicken/

      • Kontraktor :

        Soba or cold noodles are a great idea! I love cool, lightly dressed soba noodles with some pan friend salmon and maybe some edamame on the side.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        This recipe is on my weekend to-try list!

      • I made this last weekend. It was good…but definitely better on day 2 when the flavors melded.

      • Also on my list of things to make. Also, check out the crunchy salad with feta, lime and mint at Smitten Kitchen last week. We made it like she suggested (radishes, cukes, green beans, quinoa) and it was very hearty and delicious! My other summer go to are turkey burgers which can be frozen. Just throw on the grill that night.

    • Argh, for some reason my comment was caught in the moderation filter.

      You should try gazpacho. It’s incredibly easy to make a big batch in the blender and then it only gets better as it sits in the fridge.

      I also do a lot of quinoa salads or salads based on lentils or farro with grilled veggies, herbs, and a light vinegar/oil/lemon juice dressing. That way I can keep them in the fridge and eat them cold or room tempature.

      • This. grain salads are awesome, and can usually be thrown on top of greens or under more veggies to mix it up.

    • Kontraktor :

      Hummus? You can easily make huge batches of that and eat it cold with a lot of different veggies. What about bean salad? That’s also a cold dish and seems to get better being marinated for a day or so anyway. Gaspacho? Fresh salsa that you can let sit for a couple days and grab as a side to quick quesedillas/pan friend fish/other simple dinners? For casserole ideas, what about a grilled or roasted veggie pasta casserole (or simply grilling/roasting a whole bunch of veggies and keeping them on hand for wraps or things like that)? Chicken salad can probably be made a couple days in advance, and I keep tuna salad overnight (I also like an ‘Italian’ version of tuna salad made with olive oil instead of mayonaise so that might keep longer in the fridge, although it’s super quick to make fresh).

      • Yeah, I make a huge batch of chicken salad every couple of weeks, and it makes about 3-4 meals. It’s easy to make a batch quickly boiling up 2 chicken breasts, and i’ve been making a fun version lately with celery, crisp apple, sliced almonds, and then I add some lemon zest and lemon juice with the mayo. So yummy!

        • SF Bay Associate :

          Boil?? Grill or poach or broil, but gosh… I find boiling turns chicken into flavorless cotton. Maybe I am doing it wrong.

          • just Karen :

            Boiling for chicken salad is fine as long as you are boiling in chicken broth or at least adding some stock to the water.

          • yeah, only for chicken salad, i don’t overcook them, and its getting chopped up and covered with mayo anyway ;o) Its just easier and takes less attention from me, so i can do it on the weekend while im cleaning, etc.

          • I think we call it poaching, simmering in broth. Leaves the chicken moist and perfect for chicken salad. It’s the classic method of preparing chicken to be used in chicken salad.

          • I wonder if cooking it in a crock pot with a little water would produce a similar effect, but moister? Also low-maintenance, and crock pot chicken just falls apart, so shredding is practically done for you.

      • huh, that would probably taste even better! Thanks, mamabear!

    • soulfusion :

      I have a hearty salad that can be made in advance and is my summer go to, here are the ingredients, I generally make a large batch and have no problem eating it throughout the week:
      kidney beans
      black beans
      canellini beans
      fresh corn (scrape it raw right off the cob)
      black olives
      romaine lettuce or spinach
      purple cabbage
      shredded cheese
      shredded carrots

      I also mix it up in terms of what is in my fridge but above is the basic version. I rarely need to add dressing but I have a good creamy tomatillo dressing with jalepenos that goes well. Or I will just squeeze some fresh lime juice over the whole thing which I think helps keep it fresh. I usually it with tortilla chips. Now I think I need to get home and make myself a batch!

    • I make corn on the cob, then make corn and tomato salad out of the leftovers. You can add basil at the last minute so it doesn’t get slimy.

      I don’t make pasta salads often but this recipe was given to me years ago: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/member/views/ORZO-SALAD-WITH-FRAGRANT-SESAME-DRESSING-1218949
      I don’t use nearly as much oil as it calls for. Less then half.

      This one, too, although I’ve made it with whole wheat pasta: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/29/dining/292srex.html

    • associate :

      chicken or turkey breast, jar of salsa, can of black beans, can of corn in the crockpot and then use it for taco salad. Or a big pasta salad early in the week, and bring for lunch throughout. I also was randomly googling summer crock pot receipes last night, and there’s a lot of good suggestions out there. This week I prepared a lot of steak and tzatiki early and then made salads/pitas throughout the week.

      For portable meals, I put lettuce in a tuperware, then put salad topping (chicken stuff, steak and tzatiki) in a ziplock bag. The bag goes into the tuperware, and when I’m ready for lunch I just dump it on the lettuce.

      • oooo, pasta salad!! i totally forgot about those, im gonna make one this weekend, thanks associate!!

        • I linked to a couple of good pasta salad recipes but unfortunately, I’m stuck in moderation. If you google them, one is orzo with fragrant sesame dressing and the other is orecchiette with asparagus and prosciutto. Both are delicious.

          • Um, NOLA, how did you know that prosciutto is My. Favoritest. Thing. For. Eating. In. All. The. Lands?!? this is so totally getting made. and eaten. NOM NOM NOM NOM

          • Well, I didn’t but it is awesome! It’s light and lemony with lots of asparagus. I use feta instead of ricotta salata. The recipe was developed by two guys who wanted to figure out how to make pasta salad better than the yucky stuff their mom made when they were growing up.

        • One of my favorite cheap/easy pasta salads goes something like this:

          half a box (ish) of cooked whole wheat penne or fusili
          one of the big cans of tuna, drained
          sliced cucumber, yellow bell pepper, and cherry tomatoes
          juice of one lemon
          one (ish) tablespoon of your mustard of choice; I use country-style Dijon
          generous glug (can you tell I’m really precise with my measurements) of white wine vinegar

          Mix it all up, and serve room temperature or cold. It keeps well, so I usually make a big batch and then eat it for lunch for a few days.

    • Seattleite :

      Cook huge slab of king salmon.

      day 1: eat hot, with grilled asparagus
      day 2: eat cold, over salad
      day 3: stuff inside tortillas with chopped cabbage, drizzle with mixture of pesto/mayo/lime juice.

      (week 2, substitute scallops. week 3, substitute halibut. I love living in a fishing village.)

    • Cold soups. There are a ton of great ones. Besides gazpacho, like cucumber soup, cold summer borscht, zuchinni soup, carrot soup..

      You can add substance by slicing veggies, hard boiled eggs, tofu or sliced turkey/ham in, as needed.

      Cold noodles and cold quinoa salads are also great ideas. Pasta and potato salads can be made for the week ahead too.

    • Dressing Ingredients:
      2/3 cups oil
      1/2 cup sugar
      1/4 cup vinegar
      Seasoning Packets from ramen noodles
      Salad Ingredients:
      1 pkg. cole slaw mix
      1 cup sliced toasted almonds
      1 cup salted and roasted sunflower seeds
      2 pkg. chicken or beef ramen noodles (broken up)

      Mix up dressing and let sit for 2 hours or so then mix everything together. Tastes even better the next day after the cabbage and noodles have had time to soak up the dressing. Yum!

      • I coasin makes something like this. The ramen noodles are uncooked and just broken apart for the salad, right?

      • This is one of my moms standby recipes for BBQs and potlucks. She gets great compliments every time.

      • Holy crap. I made this today and my kids even ate it (and they Do Not Eat Salad). I used a little less sugar and it was still fine. Reminds me of chinese chicken salad. I think next time i will only use one of the msg packets from the ramen and add some salt to replace it, but overall, this is a winner i will make again. Thanks, sas!,,

      • I make a nearly identical version of this with mandarin oranges and some shredded chicken.

    • Batgirl, I do this one in the oven, although you can also do it on a grill. I still associate it with summer. You need a big fillet of salmon, a bunch of cherry tomatoes, and a good amount of fresh basil.

      Remove pin bones from the salmon (your fishmonger can do this, but I like to do it myself with a pair of tweezers). Preheat oven to 450. Drizzle olive oil on large sheet of foil. Place fillet skin-side down on foil. Slice your cherry tomatoes in half and drop them over the salmon. Throw some fresh basil leaves over the salmon and tomatoes, drizzle with a little more olive oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper, and then fold up your aluminum foil to make a nice little sealed packet. Place in roasting pan in oven. The salmon will steam itself, and it is SO DELICIOUS. The skin always comes right off after cooking. I cut the leftover salmon into individual portions and use it to make lunches that I can pull out of the freezer. I find it reheats perfectly. I’m sure you could also shred and use it next day over a salad if you wanted some variety.

  7. goirishkj :

    Love these! Can’t really justify them now, butt the bright green polka dot makes me happy. Happy Friday!

  8. Tandem parking spaces: Yay or nay? When we bought our condo (Arlington suburb of DC), we bought a single parking spot. We now need a second spot, and on of our neighbors is selling a tandem spot in our garage. I would like to buy it and rent out or sell our single spot (plenty of demand). I thought it would also increase the value of our condo, as we have one of the largest units in the building, a 2br+den, and I assume most buyers would appreciate a tandem spot over a single. But my husband insists that tandem spots are horrible; he’d rather rent a monthly spot across the street than try to tandem park with me; also, of course, no buyer would ever disagree with him and want a tandem spot, so my “condo value” point is unfounded. Sigh.

    He’s under a lot of stress at work right now and in a horrible mood, so rational conversations with him are difficult. But I don’t want to let this opportunity pass us by! Can I get some rational feedback from the hive in lieu of real conversation with my husband?

    • karenpadi :

      I had a tandem spot for two years with a roommate. It takes communication and knowing one another’s schedules. There was a lot of getting up and moving the car in the middle of doing something else. Because we were each “trapped” with about the same frequency, it wasn’t too bothersome and we learned to live with it. Moving cars became a “gimme” in our apartment.

      I think it would be easier if we each had “driving privileges” for the other’s car–which you might have with your husband. Then you could just move the other car out of the way.

    • I think you are right. Most people who would buy a 2 br condo in VA have two cars. Plus, if you do not immediately rent out the extra space, you can use it for guests, a big bonus if your building does not have visitor parking. Tell your DH that the two of you can have each keep a key of both cars on your keychain. That way if he is parked in front of you and needs to get out, he doesn’t have to get you or find your keys.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Yes, that’s what we did when we had a tandem. Mildly inconvenient, but totally workable. Keep both keys with you. If you have to move the other car, you just back it out and double park it for a couple minutes while you pull out yours, then double park that one and park the other. I locked each in between because I’m a city girl. It sounds complicated, but it took me less than 5 minutes each time.

        • My husband and I do that at our house, which just has a single-car-width driveway. I can’t drive his car (because it’s a stick), and we still make it work without much of a problem. We generally each go to work at the same time every day, so we park accordingly. Sometimes I have to ask him to move his car and vice versa, but it’s not much of a thing.

      • Yes, I’ve had tandem with my husband and we just moved the other car when we needed to go out (or, rarely, just took the other car if it was OK with the other person). It is somewhat annoying, but I definitely think that most buyers looking at a 2br + den would appreciate the extra spot. Even if the buyer only has one car, they could rent it to someone else in the building, get a single spot for themselves, and pocket the difference.

    • emcsquared :

      I’m not sure what a “tandem spot” is, but it sounds like a spot where one car parks in front of the other. I live in a townhouse with one garage stall and a driveway in front of the garage, which seems similar (?).

      Some thoughts:
      1. We end up using one car (my car) about 80% of the time because of this arrangement. If you both completely share cars already, this is not a problem. If you are a person who likes to have “your” car, this arrangement could induce garment-rending woe. We argue frequently about whether he should take in “my” car for maintenance or fill it with gas, and whether expenses for “my” car can come out of joint funds or need to be individual funds. The flipside of winning these arguments, of course, is that he is making demands of what “my” next car should be, which I don’t like.

      2. Repositioning cars with only one person is annoying – in our neighborhood, we live on a fairly wide and little-used street, so I can pull the back car out into the street, leave it idling, pull out the other car, and leave it idling while I park the first car in the garage. If you have no place to leave cars idling, it would be time-consuming to have to move the cars yourself.

      3. How often do each of you drive? Can you leave one car parked in semi-permanently? If you will be juggling cars more than once or twice a week, I would say you should rent a second spot somewhere else and hope another single spot opens in your building soon.

      As for value – I think most people buying a 2BR condo expect only one spot, and might consider a tandem a step-up. But a tandem should really be treated as a single parking spot plus storage spot, so plan on it improving your values about as much as acquiring a storage locker would.

      • I don’t know if you are familiar with Arlington VA, but unless the OP is within blocks of the metro, odds are the next people who buy her condo will be a young married couple with two cars.

    • So interesting – I had never heard of tandem parking until I read your post.

      Now that I know what it is, I’m not sure I agree that a tandem spot would increase the value of your unit. I don’t think it’s a given that those who buy a 2-bedroom have 2 cars. Before moving into my house, I lived (alone, with 1 car) in a 2-bedroom condo. A tandem spot would have been a negative for me because I would either be paying more for something I did not use, or I would be using it with a random person and I just can’t see that working out well at all.

    • Arlington 'rette :

      Never had a tandem spot, but the other ‘rettes listed the pros and cons I would think of. I think it would increase the value of your place a little, but not having two spots wouldn’t be a deal breaker (I say this as someone who occasionally looks at property in the area).

      This may sound callous — but, if your husband is fine being the one who schleps back and forth between your condo and the place across the street – why not let him?

      • Arlington RT :

        Never had a tandem spot, but the others listed the pros and cons I would think of. I think it would increase the value of your place a little, but not having two spots wouldn’t be a deal breaker (I say this as someone who occasionally looks at property in the area).

        This may sound callous — but, if your husband is fine being the one who schleps back and forth between your condo and the place across the street – why not let him?

        Fingers Crossed that this works

        • Arlington RT :

          Obviously for Margaret’s situation above. Silly me used ‘rettes.

    • I had a tandem spot with a roommate, and it wasn’t bad. Neither of us regularly used our cars (public transportation to work), so we tried to plan in advance if we needed to shuffle things around. We also each left spare keys in the apartment and gave each other permission to drive the other’s car.

      As for the value of the condo, it’s hard to say. I would think it would increase it a bit. As a couple in the DC area, we sold our second car when we moved here, and I suspect others are like us, but if there’s not easy street parking or guest parking in your area, it’s really nice to have the second spot for company (we basically have this kind of arrangement now).

    • Senior Attorney :

      My husband and I had tandem spots in our first condo, and we each had a key to the other’s car and the moving cars thing was no big deal. On the other hand, to me it would be a deal-breaker if a two-bedroom unit had only a single parking spot. So yes, I think the tandem spot would increase your property value a bit.

      • My roommate and I did this for almost 2 years. It helped that I walked/trolleyed to work and she drove, so usually I was able to just leave my car in the inside spot all week. Having the others’ keys with you at all times was key though.

    • My house has one long driveway, so we park tandem. It’s fine – just takes some getting used to. It helps if you are flexible about which car you take when you need to run out quickly, but for longer trips like commutes you end up planning who will park where. And you have to not mind running out in your pjs to back the rear car up while your husband takes the front car. But we only have to do this max one per week.

    • future tandem-er :

      Out of curiosity, for those who have done this with roommates: did you draw up some kind of agreement freeing each other from liability? I’m a terrible driver, and I’m worried that I’m going to wreck my future roommate’s car even in the short time/space it takes to move mine out.

    • I say yay. I share one w/ my SO now & it’s a little bit of a pain in terms of figuring out who’s coming & going & when, but in SF at least where parking is a premium, it’s definitely better than being dependent on rental availability elsewhere & there’s always 2 spots associated with our place, which I think increases the value.

  9. Also having a terrible time concentrating, in part because of the weird holiday week, but also because I have a new job offer! Here’s my issue: I’m an 8th-yr BigLaw associate in NYC and this job is in Denver at more of a mid-size firm (I posted here a few weeks ago regarding how to prepare for an informational interview; your advice worked because one of them turned into this offer!). It’s also a title promotion since I would be Counsel (partner-track) at the new firm. I’m trying to figure out if the proposed salary (a huge pay cut from NYC, which I expected) is a market-rate offer, but I don’t have much data on what is a good base salary for a counsel-level, partner-track position in a Denver firm (and my recruiter hasn’t been that helpful here). Can anyone provide any numbers re base salary that could be helpful (even if in a different but comparable city or a different size firm)? Or does anyone have any ideas how I could find out more info? Thanks!

    • I can’t help with salary, sorry, I am a govt lawyer. However, I just wanted to say that Denver is a great place to live and lawyers have a good quality of life here in general.

    • soulfusion :

      I don’t necessarily have numbers but I will say congratulations!! Denver is on my short list of post-NYC cities (though my ultimate goal is to be in-house not at a firm) so I’m jealous! The only suggestion I have on gauging market rate is to see if your recruiter can help you assess what the salary gap is between senior associates and junior partners in the area. I’m counsel at my firm and I know that is the range where they like to slot us but counsel is such a vague title that is handled differently from firm to firm and region to region. Best of luck!!

    • Kontraktor :

      Have you checked Glass Door for your potential new firm or other similar firms in the area? There are some other sites where you input a whole bunch of parameters (age, degree level, location, title, etc) and it gives you a ‘range’ of salaries given what is in the site database. Probably not perfect, but at least a good idea. Could you also do sort of a cost-based evaluation of the salary? Like, find an example of an aprtment you might rent, add on all your expenses, etc. and then see how much was left over? What is the benefits package like and how does it compare to your old firm? Remember to keep that in mind when evaluating. If you determine the offer is fair, can you negotiate a little higher anyway (like 5%) just to ease your peace of mind?

    • This is for the Class of 2010 but perhaps it would help you extrapolate?

    • Yes, “counsel” is so vague, hence my confusion. From what I can tell, this salary seems closer to an associate’s than a partner’s. I have checked Glass Door, which was a little helpful, and will look for the other databases Kontraktor mentions. The NALP link was also really helpful, even if for more junior associates. I think this salary is enough to live comfortably in Denver, but, like everyone, I have certain fixed costs that won’t be any cheaper there and of course I want to maximize my salary now while I have some leverage. The benefits are unlikely to be as good as my current firm because I have really great benefits here (but maybe the premiums will be cheaper). I am considering negotiating, but am trying to get a sense of how much and how seriously. Thanks so much for all the helpful responses so far!

    • I don’t know numbers for Denver, but I’d say that the position you describe should have a salary similar to that of a relatively senior (but not the most senior) associate. Maybe a 6th year or so.

    • I’m in Denver but left private practice at a large firm (well large for Denver) a few years ago so I don’t have any idea about the current numbers, but as of a few years ago, I would totally agree with the comments re: of counsel meaning something different everywhere, but also would expect that salary to be close to 6 or 7 yr associate depending on expected hours. I think it may also be true that Denver salaries aren’t the best (especially when you factor in cost of living, which is higher than other comparably sized cities, I believe) but employers assume that people want to live here (true – I’ve lived in several other cities / states and love Colorado. )

    • GW and Chellers, do you mean a 6th or 7th year associate in NYC? I think the offer is somewhere in the ballpark of fair (but may be open for some negotiation) but is still many, many thousands of dollars away from a 6th/7th yr associate’s salary in NYC., so I wasn’t sure what you meant.

      • Not GW or Chellers, but I read their comments to mean a Denver 6th/7th year associate (not NYC). That sounds reasonable to me based on what you have described for the position, although I am not familiar with the Denver market. What I would probably do is check and see if your law school has alumni in the area and then call them up to get tips on the salary range to be expected (although I probably wouldn’t call anyone at the firm that gave me the offer unless I already knew them).

        • OK, now I’m even more confused…why would the salary of a 6th/7th yr in Denver be relevant when this position is far senior to that? I’m an 8th yr now, my skills are transferable so I don’t need to take a step down, and, if all goes well, I expect to be in this position 2-3 yrs before becoming partner. There are lots of other people with this title at the firm, some for the duration of their career. If anything I was thinking an 8th/9th yr Denver salary would be relevant but a little low. Any further insight much appreciated! Thanks!

          • Exodus, here is where my thoughts are:
            *The “counsel” title is weird and in many firms often means non-partner track, so I wasn’t thinking that you should get a salary bump for the title alone. This could be a bad assumption on my part, but that is where I’m coming from. Also, I would not expect the new firm to pay you more than an 8th year associate that started with the new firm without a very good reason. In sum, associate salaries around your year seem most relevant, but YMMV.
            *Not knowing the partnership track at your firm makes it difficult to guess where they are putting you on the seniority ladder, but if it will take 2-3 years to make partner then it sounds like you would be up for partner at the same time as a current 6th or 7th year associate. Again, YMMV depending on the partnership track at the firm.
            *I don’t know the Denver market, but I do know the Midwest midlaw market and salaries are often very flat, meaning that a 6th/7th year associate will be very close in salary to an 8th year associate. Denver could be like that, so it isn’t really a big difference to say 6th/7th/8th year salary. It might be more important to find out what your bonus could be and how you would be compensated if you did make partner in a few years, as I think those numbers can be much more variable.

          • Thank you, super helpful! (and thank you to everyone else that responded also.). This gives me a lot to go on.

  10. karenpadi :

    We’ve been having some venting sessions about summer associates and clerks lately (I’m guilty here). But I want to try to turn the conversation around and focus on the positive. So fellow mentors, I asking:

    1) What are your best practices for working with clerks?
    2) What has a clerk done that really impressed you?

    For me,
    1) I try to really break down tasks into a progression tailored to the clerk’s level. For each step, I meet face to face with the clerk and define a deliverable and a deadline. This also gives me face time with the clerk to talk about other things like how it’s going and to get to know them on a more personal level (not too personal, though).

    2) Our clerk has an amazing technical background. I gave her a task and she was really able to deconstruct the argument on a scientific level. Better yet, her writing skills were very precise and easy to understand.

    • I’m not a lawyer, but I imagine that the experience of having direct reports is somewhat comparable to working with clerks and/or summer associates.

      1. Clear expectation-setting (in person and in writing, whenever possible) combined with making myself available to answer questions, brainstorm, review a draft, etc. Detailed feedback, including praise and constructive criticism, where warranted.

      2. An employee a few years ago was great at creating different visuals (flow charts and other graphics) to illustrate data, which was a great counterpoint to my prose-y approach. So many people are visual learners, so it was great that he helped us reach them.

      • emcsquared :

        Haha, I sincerely *hope* that your direct reports are more competent than most summer associates – although I dearly love working with summer associates, it’s astonishing to discover the gaps in both their legal knowledge and professional experience. Plus they are only with you for 10-12 weeks, which means you don’t build much of a long-term rapport before they leave.

        For me:
        1) I write out the assignment in advance, creating a numbered list of tasks for the assignment, suggested resources (including other attorneys, librarians, online sources, and books), and deadlines for each task. I make sure I know what I’m expecting before I give the assignment, so I will know whether the summer “met expectations.”

        2) I pulled an old binder of research from a former summer associate that was clearly labeled and organized, had all the Sheperd’s reports printed off and marked to show what they had cross-referenced, and little summaries written on the first page of every document. OMG, so helpful. Saved me hours on that project.

        • Makes sense :)

          For whatever reason, I have had several direct reports who were fresh out of college, so experience was clearly lacking. I often felt like I was not only coaching them in their specific job functions, but also giving lots of pointers about how to behave in the working world.

    • I have an intern this summer and at the very beginning of his internship, I told him to print out calendars for the summer in 11×17. Which taught him Outlook and how to deal with our printers. He records his work on the calendar, which makes timesheets easier. And makes him look super organized to everyone else. I also told him to ask a lot of questions and he does. People are really impressed with him and keep asking me if we’re going to hire him. He’s also eager and a quick learner, so he’s been helping me a lot with my work load. And he tells me to go to lunch. Basically, he’s awesome.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      1) I try to explain the purpose of the assignment, and to give them the big picture about where it all goes. For bigger assignments, I also set internal checkpoint deadlines so they don’t underestimate how much time it will take, procrastinate/be busy with other things, and get rushed at the end.

      2) One of my summers thinks ahead, and adds on related small tasks that s/he anticipates I will ask particular questions about or ask him/her to do once I see the results of the original task. So s/he brings in research responding to my question, and then says, “You asked for X. In researching X, I came across this other thing Y that I thought might be relevant because of [something] you said about the case. Here’s some [short, targeted] research about Y as well.” I also took him/her to an external meeting, and without being asked, s/he brought a notepad and pen, took notes, and offered to do a short summary memo after the meeting was over, which I gladly accepted. I was so proud of him/her for thinking ahead.

      • This. Also, thinking back to what might have been helpful for me when I was an SA/jr assoc, we were always told to “take ownership” of the case and “anticipate the next step.” But that can be almost impossible when you’re that junior. Maybe provide some examples or questions the SA can ask him/herself like: 1) what jumps out at you as things you don’t know, either factually about the case or an area of law/research question; 2) if you were the client, what would you ask; or 3) imagine you’re the partner and this is the last thing you’re picking up at the end of the night — what questions are going to come to your mind and is there a way to proactively answer those questions.

      • Great point about the big picture! Seeing how your contributions will ultimately be used can make all the difference.

    • In this vein, I have an amazing summer intern. She is just SO sharp, and her work product (with minimal instruction) is phenomenal. I’m pretty sure that I would not have been turning out the caliber of work that she does had I been in this position all those years ago… So my question to the hive is — how can I actually “reward” this? If we were at a firm, I would write glowing reviews and badger the hiring partners to ensure she was extended an offer. But, we’re at an int’l organization, and even if she wanted to work here after graduation, we require a minimum of several years of post-grad experience, so it’s not like anything I can do now will lead to immediate post-grad employment. Should I offer to serve as a reference? Write a glowing letter of rec for her to keep in her files?

      • karenpadi :

        I’d do both. You could also stay in touch and offer to be her mentor on an on-going basis. Or scour your own network and try to find a job for her. Then, when she has a few years experience, you can steal her back. (insert devilish grin)

      • Offer to take her out to lunch once or twice this summer to learn more about her career goals. Based on that, you could help her expand her network or provide her with a more focused recommendation letter. Encourage her to keep in touch – as an intern, sometimes I forgot to do this and a reminder can’t hurt.

      • Yes, definitely offer to be her reference. Plus, keep a list of her positive qualities in a file so that you could be a good reference in a year or two if that is when she needs one.

        If she uses LinkedIn, ask her if you can add a reference to her profile because that would have an immediate impact on her profile. And, take her out to lunch and tell her how impressed you are with her and encourage her to stay in touch as she builds her career.

  11. Reposting from the morning thread:

    Impromptu R e t t e meetup in the East Bay this Sunday:

    Temescal Street Fair, Telegraph Ave, Oakland
    Meetup from 1:00pm to 1:30pm at Remedy Coffee on Telegraph at 43rd St. I’ll be somewhere either just outside or just inside the front window. Check out the morning thread or email me for more info (i will share my cell # if anyone wants to come later, and wants to find us wandering around the fair) zoradances at the google mail service.

    Hope folks can make it, I’m excited to meet new r e t t e s!

  12. Very excited — I have a new job! Today is my last day as a contract lawyer. I’m looking forward to having a steady paycheck again in my new field. (I’m a former litigator who made the transition to estate planning and tax law after ten years of practice. Hooray for finally figuring it out . . . took a while, obviously!)

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Congrats, Amy H.!

    • Congratulations!! What a great way to start the weekend!

    • That is so awesome! Congrats!

    • Yay, Congrats!!! I am so happy to see all the good job news posted here, it is helping me feel so much more optimistic about my job sitch, so thanks for all these updates, r e t t e s, keep it up!!

  13. Introverts should not go to law school: discuss.

    • Somebody needs to do document review and motion writing??

    • I wouldn’t go that far. I would say that introverts should not go into litigation.

      • Or introverts should not go into litigation in roles where they will be expected to go to court. In my firm, we have dedicated research/writing attorneys. It’s an introvert’s dream.

        • Can I ask where you are located? This is my dream job, but unfortunately none of the firms in my Midwestern city are willing to hire attorneys strictly for researching/writing.

          • I’m at a small firm (16 attorneys) in the extended DC Metro region. Currently, we have two attorneys who don’t travel at all, and simply do research, writing, and discovery (I am not one of them, but it seems they have a much better work-life balance than the traditional litigators).

            Which Midwestern city are you in? I am from Indianapolis originally have some connections back there and in Chicago. While I’m still a very young attorney, I would be happy to help you network, if possible.

      • Former MidLevel :

        Why? I’m an introvert and I loved litigation.

        • I can imagine an introvert being pretty happy at biglaw litigation, but my lit job (gov, in court most days) would be miserable I think. I’m in the middle of the E-I scale myself and some days it’s a bit much for me. You have to spend a lot of time talking to/interviewing people, building a rapport with people (attorneys, clients, witnesses, court employees). It can be a bit much, especially on days you just don’t feel it.

          • Former MidLevel :

            Fair enough. That does sound exhausting. :) But standing up in court–even doing a trial–is not inconsistent with introversion.

        • Me too. I’m majorly an introvert, and litigation is a constant challenge (which I love). Seeing how I can push myself (and get the best results for my client) makes my job rewarding, and far from boring. An introvert can “perform” if they want in any setting.

      • Better an introvert in litigation than in a transactional practice! I could name a number of partners at my firm who are introverts, but they’re all in litigation, not in anything transactional (except maybe a few tax lawyers).

      • I don’t know… I’m definitely an introvert, but I was in biglaw litigation for almost 5 years (including at 6+ week jury trial), and thrived. Sure, I got nervous/anxious, but we were so understaffed and slammed and it all just happened, and I did it, and I loved it. That said, I had years to build up my knowledge and comfort with the case, and I don’t have any aspirations to a job where I’m in court regularly with new cases. I guess my rambly point is that introverts can be kick-a$s litigators and enjoy it, it just depends on the circumstances… like everything in life.

      • I agree with KK. There are plenty of legal tasks that introverts can excel at. Because they’re usually quiet and thoughtful, they can be great at “reading” people in meetings, etc.

        • I agree with you. I think this is why introverts can do so well, they tend to pick up on more subtleties than others and incorporate it into their plan.

      • Eh, false. I’m an introvert who isn’t so bad at acting. Put me on a stage (in a courtroom) and give me a role to play, and I’m fine. I suspect I’m not alone in this. Where introverts are likely to have a harder time is small-town small-office practice, where you have to drum up your own business and be a “good ‘ol boy.”

    • I am a weird half-introvert in that I’m super shy around new people, and generally not that assertive, until a breaking point moment where I become confident and then you can’t get me to shut up. Basically, I am great with things I already know I’m good at, but building up to that confidence level is hard. That’s why my first year of law school sucked but my second year was good — I finally decided that I could do it, and then I proceeded to do it really well. So, all this as a roundabout way of saying, introverts can totally go to law school if they want! They should just know that it will be hard, and they should look for ways to shine and build their confidence, because being cold-called will probably not be their moment. And that’s ok. We’re not all rockstar litigators.

      • Isn’t that just being shy, not intoverted?

        I thought the definition of introverted was that talking or lots of being around people is draining.

        • Yeah, I guess you all are right.

        • Thinking about it, I always thought I was an introvert but it turns out I’m a shy extrovert. Crazy.

          • Senior Attorney :

            I’m a shy extrovert, too. It’s horrible. Worst of both worlds…

          • So am I!

          • Yes, this. I would tell my friends that I’m the shyest outgoing person in the world and they didn’t get it until much, much later. It is totally a thing.

      • I’m the same way. I seem really quiet and shy at first, but after awhile you can’t get me to stop talking. As for law school, 1L at my previous school was great because I went around with the same classmates everyday and had an opportunity to get comfortable. After I transferred, I was lonely, miserable, and actually cried a few times while driving home. So happy law school is over!

    • D Train South :

      Interesting topic, but here’s my spin — Law school turned me into an introvert. I was way on the E side of the scale when I started. I’ve spent the last 10 years, during and since law school, firmly functioning on the I side, but always believed myself to be an E at heart. Now, I’m finally moving back to the E side – and feel more myself there.

      I’m curious what spurred you to make this statement, Kanye East.

      • Just a topic of discussion. I’m seeing a lot of people taking/opposing this position in various places (articles, blogs) lately and just wondered what people here think.

    • the good lawyer answer: It depends. What’s behind the statement? Speaking as a transactional introvert who tolerated law school as the means to get to the “career” portion…

      It does matter:
      – if you’re introverted enough that being called on in class will make you live in fear for three years
      – if the thought of speaking up in negotiations / court sounds awful
      – if the area of law in which you’re thinking of practicing requires a lot of interaction with others, the classic example being litigation, but as a transactional lawyer I’m typically on the phone or in meetings at least a few times a day

      It doesn’t:
      – if, while you need “recharge” time after socializing, you can/do socialize with some frequency. related point, if you can “turn it on” when you need to at networking events etc, even if you are totally exhausted afterward
      – as mentioned above, if you’re interested in a relatively research-intensive area of law, or one where you have a well defined scope of responsibility (thinking about HIPAA compliance attorneys at insurance companies, or tax counsel) where you’re fairly insulated

      To be honest, my favorite part of work is sitting and thinking and revising deal documents to reflect negotiations, vs. the actual negotiating. But I’m also enjoying having a larger role “at the table” as well – it just takes me some extra recovery time at the end of the day to wind down.

    • AnonInfinity :

      I disagree. I also disagree with the poster who said introverts should not go into litigation.

      I am definitely an introvert because I need a lot of time to myself to recharge. Seriously a lot. I feel very drained after social situations (even fun times with friends). However, I’m not shy and I am fine with public speaking. It doesn’t come naturally to me, but I don’t dread it. I’ve become pretty good at it through practice. People are usually surprised to learn that I am an introvert, but I most definitely am.

      • Former MidLevel :

        I agree. I think your experiences reflect misconceptions about introversion. See, e.g., http://www.carlkingdom.com/10-myths-about-introverts. The line between introversion and extraversion is not “shy vs. social.” It’s whether social interaction with large groups and/or strangers exhausts you or recharges you.

      • This is me as well. I really enjoyed reading Susan Cain’s book Quiet about introversion. Now I understand why I like to escape to the bathroom or the empty room at parties. I just need a moment to recharge. Another trait of introversion is a low tolerance for small talk. I highly recommend the book, it made me understand so much about myself.

      • SouthernLegal :

        + 1 million or so. I am an introvert and a shy one at that under most circumstances. However, I have always wanted to be a trial attorney and have worked in government positions, small law and larger regional firms. I did reasonably well in law school, and have been practicing for more than 7 years, the majority of which has been in litigation. Like most attorneys, I get nervous before hearings and trials, but I do not believe that the nervousness is a result of being an introvert. I actually enjoy and look forward to public speaking/acting, and I competed successfully in multiple competitions (trial competitions, moot court, etc.) almost every semester of law school – it was what kept me sane. I just needed time alone to recharge afterwards. Being an introvert, even one who is also shy, doesn’t by itself hamper anyone’s ability to succeed – even in the cutthroat area of law school/litigation – unless one lets it do so. Yes, I would prefer not going to big networking events and “working the crowd” or attending happy hours and parties. I attend what I have to, and then figure out ways to work around others to focus more on my strengths , like smaller networking events, etc.

        As AnonInfinity and others have pointed out, the issue is simply that introverts need “alone time” to recharge while extroverts gain energy from being around others. IMO there is no real advantage one way or another based on whether someone is an introvert or extrovert to law school or the practice of law (including but not limited to litigation) – the key is in learning the basic skills and learning what does and does not work for you. We all need time to recharge – the difference simply lies in what we each need to recharge.

    • Law is a service profession like any other. Introverts can do it, and they can do it well. If we’re going to say they can’t, we should add: Introverts should not becomes wait staff/department store employees/accountants/copywriters/real estate agents/funeral directors… And then there’s nothing left for them to do. You don’t have to be an extrovert to be in a service industry, you just have to have some social competence.

    • Who would be a tax lawyer, then??

      • I’m thinking the same thing about patents… :)

        • karenpadi :

          So true. Extrovert patent lawyers don’t last long–they go stir-crazy and hop over to litigation. I am a ‘borderline’ introverts on the Myers-Briggs and I need to occasionally talk to people during the day or I get bored. I’m one of 3 borderline introverts in my office and when they aren’t around, I start bugging the true introverts. I guess that’s why I check-in here whenever I have a break. :-)

    • emcsquared :

      Interesting. I’m struggling with why I’m not happy in my career, and this was a lightbulb. As an introverted attorney at a large regional law firm, I interact with people constantly (other attorneys, clients, support staff, etc), and I can never count on down time due to the frequency of late night calls, weekend e-mails/meetings, etc. And yes, I’m a tax lawyer.

      I generally enjoy the work and the interactions, but almost always feel drained – tired by 2 pm, and useless by the time I get home from work. I have literally put off having kids because I couldn’t fathom how to make it through a whole day at work and then come home to kids needing dinner, affection, etc.

      I was recently transferred from a transactional practice to litigation, so maybe the hours spent researching and writing alone in my office will help me perk up. I loved clerking and always felt like I had a ton of energy (the 8-4 hours helped…). I’ve also been toying with academia – I love teaching, and maybe the short bursts of teaching wouldn’t string me out as much as my current days full of one-on-one interaction, even though I’ve heard that an academic’s hours can be as long as a lawyer’s.

      Something to ponder…..thanks for the insight Kanye East!

    • MissJackson :

      Disagree. I am an off-the-charts extrovert, and I have a lot of pretty lonely and energy-sucking days (which, as I understand it, would be an introvert’s dream).

    • I disagree. I’m an introvert and a trial lawyer who goes to court a lot. It works for me. Presenting my cases in court is very different from being outgoing in my personal life, enjoying meeting new people, etc. I am in the government though, so maybe I would be less comfortable in the private sector where I would be expected to schmooze with clients. I would say that being a lawyer has helped make me less introverted over the years. I can tolerate large parties now, although they are still not how I would really like to spend a Saturday night.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      They can practice law, but I think they would be miserable at those components that require significant client interaction/engagement etc…. That pretty much leaves service partner/ low-level in-house….

    • I’m another strongly introverted lawyer (like off the charts on the I side of the scale). And shy to boot. But I do like my job. Granted I work for the government and in a regulatory area. So not much court and lots of research and meetings. But that ability to be quiet and observing of others can be a big plus. And I like to think that I’m a pretty valuable part of the team. And I can be almost aggressive when I have to be.

      But there are days when I come home completely drained and don’t even want to be in the same room as Mr. gov anon.

    • Belle et Rebelle :

      Disagree. I think certain aspects of law school (like getting called on randomly in class) can be harder for introverts than extraverts, as introverts tend to have more trouble thinking on their feet (very true for me, anyway). But of course law school and the practice of law are two different things, and there are a lot of different ways to practice law. Previous posters have already mentioned certain areas where you tend to find more introverted lawyers (tax, patent).

      I’m pretty far in the I side of the E/I scale, and the first year of law school was not fun for me. I was so nervous about the prospect of getting called on that sometimes I actually had a hard time just focusing on the reading (wine occasionally helped here). After the first year, none of my profs called on people randomly, and it was a lot better for me. Now I’m in trademark law, focusing more on counseling and registration, and I don’t do any litigation. It’s a pretty good fit for me. I do a lot of my communication with clients over email, and interactions tend to be one-on-one, which I find less draining than meetings. Anyway, point being practicing law can work for both introverts and extraverts.

      And thank you to the person who pointed out that introverted is not the same thing as shy – that misconception drives me nuts.

    • Disagree. I’m an introvert and I practice largely family law. I’m in court frequently and have lots of client interaction, and I really love my job. I’m an introvert – it doesn’t mean that I’m shy or that I don’t like people. I just need time to myself to recharge. I live alone, so I have plenty of time to do that. I might not do as well in a job that required longer hours (i.e. less recharge time), but I don’t think anything about being an introvert keeps someone from enjoying legal work.

      Now as to the original statement- introverts should not go to law school – I flipping hated law school. Don’t know if it was related to introversion, or purely because law school sucks.

    • I think the term “introvert” is often misused to mean “shy.” An introvert is more about whether you recharge your batteries by being alone or being in groups. There may be some correlation but they are not the same thing. FWIW, I’m both shy and an introvert, and I love my Biglaw litigation job. I actually think introverts make great lawyers, because introverts tend to be very thoughtful and analytical. People who are shy may not make great litigators, although I think there is a difference between being shy in large groups of people you don’t know and being shy about public speaking or standing up in court. Both types of shyness may be bad for litigators, but the second is more of a problem.

    • I’m a research attorney and if I weren’t an introvert I think I’d want to stab myself in the head on a daily basis.

      Shy people should probably not go to law school. (See, e.g., girl who burst into tears when she got called on 1L year.) But introverted =/= shy.

  14. Just broke up with my boyfriend of 8 months, and I’m trying think of ideas to beat the boredom and lonelies before going back to dating…so I was thinking about going to Montreal by myself for 4 days over Labor Day. I am traditionally not good at going to movies or eating out by myself, but am much braver out of town (no chance of running into anyone I know). So my questions for the hive are: 1. Is this crazy? 2. Do you have tips for traveling solo? 3. Do you have tips for Montreal? I don’t think I’ll be partying like a rockstar on my own, but I love museums, yummy restaurants, and other touristy stuff.

    • Bowie's in Space :

      Not crazy. It’s awesome! I think going to movies by myself is one of life’s delicious pleasures.

    • Dude. Solo vacays are THE BEST!! I took a week off last year to travel somewhere by myself; planning something similar for this fall.

      Tips for traveling solo. I made sure to plan an “activity” for myself every day that would take up at least half the day. One day it was hiking. Another day – horseback riding. Another day – off-road Jeep tour (I was in the boonies, obviously – no cell service, even, which was totes glorious). That got me up and out of my cabin instead of me just hanging out in my PJs every day. The rest of the day, I just relaxed… went into town and did a little shopping, maybe sat on my cabin porch with a bottle of wine and a book…

      I suck at eating alone, too, but I took a book and just figured – f it, this is my vacation! Haters gonna hate! Ended up having a great time.

      ^5 to you. Go. You’ll love it. Report back so we can live vicariously.

    • It is not crazy. Bring a book or kindle to meals if you want. Sit at bars if you want to make conversation. Tips: Mont Royal is fun to explore and you could grab a sandwich beforehand. I really liked pintxo (tapas place) for dinner.

    • My only advice is to do it! I went to Turkey last year for a week by myself and had a fantastic time. Everyone thought I was crazy and super brave (really… I’m not), but it was one of the best trips I took. I’m not sure how Montreal is, but I found that while traveling alone people were more willing to approach me and invite me to share meals or invite me along with whatever plans they had that day. I didn’t always accept, but it was nice to have those opportunities.

      Are there specific things you are worried about? On, one real tip, bring a book if you’ll be eating out in restaurants rather than grab and go spots, and you won’t feel weird sitting alone.

    • I was thinking of going to Montreal solo that weekend too!

      Just want to second what everybody else said. I went on my first solo trip in January to Scotland and I loved it. I had just broken up with my boyfriend and was in a pretty bad place about it. Going away made it really easy to forget about all the problems back home and I came back with a much healthier mindset and wasn’t so depressed anymore.

      I liked traveling alone because I got to do what I wanted to do when and for how long I wanted to do it. I had a goal each day for what I wanted to do or see (sometimes prearranged, other times not), and if I didn’t get to them because I was so interested in something else, not a problem. I could likely fit it in the next day if it was a high enough priority. And if I wanted to go back after dinner and read/watch tv, it was my time and I got to do what I wanted. (This is a big theme for me apparently.) On the food thing, I found it much less awkward than I anticipated. I did the book thing and sometimes would scope out places to see how they looked for the solo diner. Especially in tourist areas there are a ton of solo travelers. I was actually staying in a friend’s flat (who wasn’t there), so I would have had to work harder at the socializing with other travelers aspect.

      Now you have inspired me to go plan my trip too!

    • Merriweather :

      OP here (no, I can’t explain why I didn’t use my “regular” name)…

      THANK YOU! You are all so awesome, and have really given me a lot of encouragement. I am checking a couple of scheduling things (including the fact that I invited my mom), but I will report back when I am locked and loaded. And oclg – if we both end up going solo, maybe it would be fun to meet up for a meal?

    • Equity's Darling :

      I’ve left tons of tips for travelling in Mtl before- I did my first degree there. I don’t know how to search the site, but I’m sure someone can help you out with this- I’d type everything out again, but I’m a busy bee this afternoon.

      Montreal is great choice for museums, restaurants and touristy things.

      Also, I love travelling solo. I spent 6 days along in Prague, and it is full of positive memories, I loved every minute.

    • 1. Aboslutely not! I travel solo a lot and I enjoy it. 80% of the time it’s for work, but I’ve had a few trips that I got to extend into short solo getaways. I find being away by myself gives me the quiet “me time” I sometimes don’t get otherwise.
      2. Bring a book with you – wherever you go. Having something to do while you’re eating alone in restaurants will help with the awkwardness of eating alone. Otherwise, just remember that most people are more consumed with themselves that they probably won’t notice/care that you’re by yourself.
      3. Never been, but have fun!

    • I love traveling alone. I’m currently noodling on the idea of going to Istanbul by myself over the New Year. It gives you so much freedom, and it pushes you to interact with other people. My suggestion is this: get over any opposition you might have to group tours. I was always anti-tour (“If I want to go to National Park X in Chile, I’ll drive myself!”) but I got over it when I realized that many activities I wanted to try (snorkeling, visiting random ruins in an isolated place, hiking deep in the mountains) weren’t safe to do solo. If you find a tour place that caters to domestic/local customers as well as to international visitors, you can also have awesome and interesting conversations with people.

      • And if you don’t want to do a tour with the same group of people for multiple activities, I highly highly recommend walking tours. It’s a great way to see the city, meet other solo travelers, and the ones I’ve been on are usually followed by some sort of pub crawl later that evening, which is great because I found it hard to go out at night by myself and meet people.

      • Istanbul is the safest place to be, seriously. You’ll have a blast. If you’d like, you can contact me offsite for suggestions at hijabeng at gmail.

        • Ooh, thanks, Ru! I totally will. I am really fascinated by Turkey and Turkish history, so I’ve wanted to go for ages.

        • I found Istanbul to be safe, but be prepared to face a lot of street harassment from men. As a single female living in DC, I sometimes encounter this, but I was not prepared for the amount of harassment I received in Istanbul. Best to ignore and keep walking. I also read some stories from women on the Lonely Planet Thorntree forum who pretended they didn’t know English when men approached them on the street, as most people in Istanbul speak English.

      • Just adding more love for Istanbul. The historical and cultural stuff is wonderful of course but it’s also such a gorgeous city with its beautiful perch on the Bosphorus – do make time for the glamorous coastal suburbs on the European side (Bebek, Arnavutkoy etc) and the more traditional former fishing villages on the Asian side. Winter can be wet and gloomy though – maybe better to give it a go some other time.

        I found street harassment only in the very touristy parts of Sultanahmet and then only to buy stuff or enter restaurants. The more modern part of the city had many lightly-dressed local girls out and about, and felt very much like any other Mediterranean city. The more traditional areas had fewer ladies and mostly with their heads covered, but men were even more formal and respectful if anything.

    • Not crazy — fantastic idea!
      I visited Paris on a solo vacation and then London solo many years later. I love museums and good food too . . . I think those are great things to focus on in a solo city trip. Not that many people like spending a full seven or eight hours in the Louvre or the National Gallery like I do . . . .

      Agree with the recommendation to have a book or Kindle with you all the time — for dining alone, or waiting in line, or enjoying time to linger in a coffeehouse or cafe — and I’d also add to that a lightweight notebook. I’m not much of a journal writer, but I definitely have more of a desire to write down my thoughts (or restaurants to try, or paintings I have discovered I love) while on a trip. And it’s so much fun to read through everything after the trip.

  15. Legal Pad Replacement :

    Speaking of note-taking and preparation…Does the hive have any recommendations for professional notebooks? I am a (regular, not summer) associate who takes a LOT of notes by hand, and I’ve been using legal pads, but the truth is – I hate them. I’d love to find a white paper, black-lined, college-ruled pad that still flipped at the top, or had a spine that completely opened flat, but that didn’t look like notebook paper.

    But I might be missing a great note-taking notebook that I’ve never thought about before – so if you are a person who writes a lot, and is partial to a certain type of notebook or style, do you mind sharing here?

    • Have you checked out Levengers? They have all sorts of systems. I love their stuff. Circa is especially nice if you like to move pieces of paper around. Be careful, if you love office supplies as much as I do, it’s like a rabbit hole of amazingness.

      • I love Levengers! Haven’t bought a Circa system yet, but have been lusting after for awhile.

        • Wow, thank you for mentioning Levenger. Love their Circa notebooks! I got free shipping with JULY4SALE.

    • Legal Pad Replacement :

      I do love office supplies and organization. I also realized as soon as I posted that I was so glad my IRL friends don’t know that I’m asking advice about notepads.

    • Didn’t Kat do a post on favorite notebooks (and another on favorite pens) at some point? I couldn’t tell you exactly when (a year ago? longer?), but it seems very familiar to me…

      • Yes. About a year ago based on the project I was busy with at the time. There was more on office supplies than I even thought possible!

    • I recommend Scully, they are excellent quality and the insert is replaceable so you can keep taking notes without replacing the entire book.

    • As a lefty I can tell you they’re hard to find but Mead (and or Cambridge depending on where you are located) makes top bound spiral notebooks. It looks like notebook paper but the top flip makes it worth it.

    • Search for “laboratory” books or notebooks, the science and engineering crowds are picky about being able to fold things completely flat. personally, I always go for graph paper notebooks so I can get a general idea of the “outline” of the notes going without trying to put a numbering/lettering system in place, I just go by the approximate number of squares I’ve indented.

  16. There was a woman in my section first year who literally left class during a break because her row was “on-call” and she got sick to her stomach just thinking about having to talk. This scenario or similar occured more than once. This woman gets great grades and is smart but I can’t imagine her ever being able to go to court/assert herself in negotations/etc.

    I think there is a difference between being introverted and being afraid of public speaking. I consider myself more introverted vs. extroverted, but I am not afraid of public speaking, I just prefer me-time or time with a small group of people to large crowd/small talk type events. I haven’t had a problem at all in law school or in job settings, but I am willing to suck it up and go to networking events and happy hours with lawyers and other clerks so I don’t come across as anti-social.

    • Supposed to be in reply to Kanye, sorry!

    • Merriweather :

      I’m the same way – I refer to myself as a “closet introvert.” I can do public speaking, network at large bar functions, go to big parties. BUT those are not my preferences, and require “me time” to recover.

    • Professor TBA :

      I completely agree. I’m the same way.

    • I’m similar – speaking in public, such as in class, doesn’t bother me a bit, though I’m generally fairly introverted. Though I’m inclined to agree that maybe law isn’t the best field for an introvert, at least now, because it is so hard for us to network and drum up business, and those are so important in the fight for your life for a job world.

    • mintberrycrunch :

      I am the same way. I find myself needing more “me” time as I get older, too.

    • As an introver, I find that there is a big difference in speaking at meetings or in school about professional topics in a structured manner and having to make small talk with a large group of people. Structured conversations are much less tiring than unstructured ones and conversations with people I like are much less tiring than ones with strangers or acquantances.

  17. Facebook Etiquette :

    I hate being so girly about this, but I need some hive advice since my best girlfriend is on vacation and I can’t concentrate on work without some female advice!

    My 4th was absolutely memorable — met an amazing new guy who I spent the latter portion of the evening canoodling in the pool with after spending the day flirting with one another. Due to some unfortunate circumstances (his dog getting sick and needy out-of-town guests) and my inability to think straight due to lack of sleep + day drinking, it never even occurred to me to give him my contact info before I left for the evening. We have some friends in common, so I’ve spent the last day and a half hoping he’d ask one of them for my contact info and wondering how stalker-y I was willing to get to not miss out on seeing him again (I would typically never contact a guy first since it always seems to end badly when I appear too eager/interested). Earlier today I noticed a mutual friend who posted a picture from the party on the 4th that the Boy wrote a funny comment on, which I promptly “liked”. Now what? Do I have to sit around biting my nails and checking FB repeatedly to see if he responds/emails/adds me? Or, since I already unintentionally found him on FB via the picture and his comment, should I just go ahead and add him as a friend (even though I would not normally add a new romantic interest to FB so soon since privacy is still a plus early-on)? There’s always that nagging voice in the back of my head that says that if he was really interested, he would have gotten my contact info that night or through a mutual friend by now, which I’m trying to ignore and instead focus on the unbelievably fun time I had two days ago.

    I realize I sound like a 15 year old girl and my old, jaded, usual-self hates it! TIA!

    • Just add him as a friend. That’s a pretty low key invitation for him to contact you without putting yourself out there.

      • mintberrycrunch :

        Agreed, as long as you’ll be able to add him without then dissecting his page, going back years and years through his pictures, etc. I would have trouble not totally obsessing over the potential explosion of new info.

        But I do think friending him is fairly low key and perfectly reasonable.

      • I go back and forth on this. I would prefer a guy who knows what he wants, goes after it, and makes the first move. However, adding him on fb is really harmless and then the ball is in his court.

    • TO lawyer :

      Instead of adding him to facebook, why don’t you send him a fb message saying something along the lines of “I enjoyed hanging out with you on Wednesday, here’s my number if you wanna hang again?”

    • Yeah, unfortunately, I have to agree with what I think you already know… if he intended to pursue you, he’d get your contact info. Either from you or your friends. Or by adding you as a friend on Facebook.

      Don’t worry too much… it is only 7/6, so he’s still within a reasonable wait-to-call period. Anyway, I wouldn’t msg him or add him as a friend on fb. See what he does, and if you don’t hear from him within a week, I think you have your answer.

      • I’d wait another day or two – he might be waiting (guy friends claim 3 days is the norm) so as not to seem too forward himself. If he hasn’t gotten in touch by Monday, I’d fb message him – can’t hurt at that point, if he already wasn’t planning to see you and doesn’t get back to you, you’re no further behind right?

        • also, don’t worry about being a neurotic 15 year old, I’ve totally been there recently too :) aren’t guys fun!?

        • SF Bay Associate :

          Yep, wait a little bit. Lots of people are on vacation now. He may be, too. It’s easy for him to comment on a photo he is tagged in using his phone, but messaging/friend requests/etc are much easier on a computer. Give him a week to cyberstalk you a little bit first and see what happens.

      • Ew don’t wait. I hate it when people act like guys are all-knowing and super intentional about every move they make. I probably wouldn’t be with my finace now if I had waited for him to express interest in me. It can be a mutual effort. FB friending is so not a big deal, and it might remind him of the great time you had together and let him know you want to stay connected. Friend him!

        • Anonymous :

          Oh, please! You can absolutely friend him and ask him out. My husband of 13 years was super shy and had to be hit over the head by a mutual friend to ask me out.

    • deep breathes! There is no harm in adding him as a friend on facebook. I personally wouldn’t cuz I don’t really use fb a lot, but since you’ve already liked the comment you might as well its now prob weird that you don’t.

      Since you mention that in the past you have appeared to eager/interested, my advice would be to add him but then kind of try to move on. Honestly it sounds like you guys got a little 4th of July drunk and made out, but you seem to be really romantizing it a bit. try to frame it in your head like you met a girl that you hit it off with as a friend. like itd be awesome if I saw them again, but since we didn’t exchange contact info, we’ll just see what happens naturally

    • If you are interested in him, reach out. This is 2012 not 1952. Why is it up to the man to make all the effort? Plus, he may be thinking the same thing: If she were interested in me she would 1) have given me her number or 2) tried to find me through friends. Is it worth letting a potentially good guy get away because of some old fashioned notion?

      • I totally get this, and I know the last time we talked about this, several people piped up to say that they wouldn’t have met DH/SO/etc. if the ladies hadn’t made the first move.

        Unfortunately, my experience generally is that guys like to pursue, and when they get pursued, they lose interest. For those who’ve had different experiences with more enlightened men, well, good on you.

        Random aside, Jezebel had an interesting piece of commentary sometime in the past year or so about how much BS this is. You like a guy’s comment on FB, add him as a friend, send him a message, and all of a sudden, he’s telling all his friends about how “crazy” you are. I’ve seen my guy friends react this way, and it’s like, “What’s so wrong with a girl showing you she likes you? Why does it make her ‘crazy’ for doing what you might have done if you were actually interested?”

        • Sorry, Herbie, that may be your experience, but I think the idea that men are only in it for the chase is a sweeping generalization that just doesn’t hold up in many instances today (thank goodness!) Let’s stop the paranoia and interact like equal human beings.

          • Why don’t you share with the group your successful experience pursuing a man that led to a lasting relationship? As I referenced, this strategy clearly works for some women. I’ve seen the anecdotes on Corporette. It hasn’t worked for me.

            And as for “Let’s stop the paranoia and interact like equal human beings.” Gender dynamics are so complicated and dating relationships between men and women colored by so many different factors, that it ignores reality to simply suggest we’re somehow this enlightened society where the playing field between men and women is equal. It’s not. In many ways. Dating, work, child care responsibility, etc. We can argue all day about what people should or should not be doing to change the status quo. Maybe for you it’s dating guys who are cool with you making the first move. Finally, if refusing to repeat behavior that has failed to accomplish anything productive for me in the past makes me “paranoid,” well, then I guess I’ll head on over to Etsy to find myself a pretty, handcrafted scarlet P to wear around.

        • I’m sure some guys might act that way, but friending someone on FB is, by itself, so innocuous that I can’t imagine any guy calling any woman over-eager based on that alone. When you get to sending a message… well, reasonable minds will differ, as this thread already shows. More importantly, though, who would want to date a guy who behaves as you describe? What’s the big loss there? If that’s the reaction he has, then good riddance and he probably wasn’t into her anyway. I can’t imagine a guy being really into a girl and then turning and running because she messaged him on FB, unless the message was “Hi I thought we really hit it off, but I was wondering- do you want children?”

          Also, I cosign with those who pointed out that men, as a group, are not as machiavellian as women sometimes give them credit for.

          • @ Herbie —
            “Finally, if refusing to repeat behavior that has failed to accomplish anything productive for me in the past makes me “paranoid,” well, then I guess I’ll head on over to Etsy to find myself a pretty, handcrafted scarlet P to wear around.”

            This was excellent. And I agree with your general advice on this.

        • Anonymous :

          If he thinks she is crazy for adding him, then he is an ass and she hasn’t lost anything by making the first move.

          • karenpadi :

            This. I’ve written before about shy guys. I don’t think women lose anything by approaching the guy. Besides, do you really want to date a guy who labels a woman as “crazy” because she friended him?

    • Don’t just sit around waiting – it doesn’t have to be true that he’d contact you if he liked you.

      I met Mr. Sconnie in a somewhat similar way. We met at a party, I was smitten but no contact information was exchanged. We hadn’t spent much time together, but I could.not.stop.thinking.about this Boy. I bit my nails for a few days hoping maybe by some sort of extreme luck His People would contact My People and It Would Happen. I had had issues in the past with appearing too eager/interested. Well by the middle of the next week, I had heard nothing, but I had this feeling like I absolutely needed to see him again because (no joke) it was meant to be. So, I swallowed my pride and contacted a mutual friend and asked her if Boy was single, and if so, if she could try to make it happen. Long story short, she made it happen, and we moved in together 8 months later and got married about a year after that.

      So, having gone through this, I would say don’t stalk him, but get the ball rolling if you want to! Friend him and add a note like, “I had a great time hanging out with Wednesday! Is your dog feeling better?”

      So if you want to, go for it. Maybe wait a few days though (I think I waited 5). The thing about my situation (and it may not apply to you, but it was a shocker for me to learn after-the-fact) was that it turned out, if I hadn’t followed up, Mr. Sconnie would never have followed up even though he thought I was beautiful/funny/awesome because he thought I was out of his league. And there I would have been, thinking I was rejected.

      • This. I had to initiate the let’s hang out again contact with my boyfriend because even though he was interested and wanted to see me again, he thought he was out of his league.

        I say friend him and send him a quick note like the note above saying you had fun and innocuously asking how his dog is.

    • I would message him, but not friend him. Send him a note asking about his dog/guests, or whatever else you talked about…keep the conversation going and see where it takes you. If it doesn’t go anywhere, no harm no foul. Also, by not being on his FB you can’t work yourself up about how he posted about X, but still hasn’t responded to your last message, etc.

  18. Seeking more tote recommendations :

    I’m looking for a really expensive looking leather tote that is roomy and spacious, not super structured but not too expensive, under $250 is good. I like a lot of the See by Chloe totes but they are a little pricey. I have a new position where it’s important for me to project the image that I am well off and just kind of doing-this-on-the-side, but the reality is that I’m not. I don’t like things that are covered in logos, so I’ve looked at more expensive labels like LV, Gucci, etc but didn’t really see anything I want. I like some of the Banana Republic totes but I don’t know how long they’ll last.

  19. Pumping at work :

    I’m considering buying a Chanel bag. Anyone have experience shopping for one? Key pieces of advice? I’m thinking of the classic, iconic quilted leather bag. Is it really heavy?

    Will I be embarassed to use it? I think it’s worth buying if it’s something I can use pretty regularly, like every weekend (I have a work bag and don’t carry a separate purse to the office, so I don’t think I’d use it on weekdays). I imagine maybe I can carry is as a crossbody bag. If it really has to be saved only for special occasions than it’s probably better to buy a watch or jewelry I could wear every day.

    • witness protection program :

      I have a medium 2.55 in caviar/gold (bought new) and a large Kelly 2.55 in lambskin/silver (vintage) and I don’t find either one of them particularly heavy, although they do have a bit of heft (chain straps will do that). I’m in love with them and use them quite a lot.

      As to how much use (or embarrassment) you’d get out of it, I think that depends completely on you and where you are. I see LOTS of Chanel bags in New York and all across Asia. But if they’re not as popular where you live, or you’d feel self-conscious carrying one, I’d think twice.

      If you’re considering buying a vintage bag, spend some time reading The Purse Forum. Lots of good information there.

    • I don’t know…will you be embarrassed to carry the bag? That’s not something any of us can answer. I don’t think it’d stick out too much if you live in a bigger city.

    • Anonymous :

      I have one. It’s cute but definitely not practical. The inner portion take up lots of “real estate” inside the bag.
      Jean at ExtraPetite has reviews and tips on her blog.

    • Get it only if you’re already in the habit of swapping over to a similar size/ shape bag on weekends and want to upgrade to a nicer version. I had the blinding insight a few years ago that my collection of posh bags was getting no usage at all while I mostly relied on (relatively) inexpensive and functional bags for work, travel and errands. And yes, am MUCH happier with the jewelry I’ve bought instead.

    • I found the chain strap heavy and it seemed to dig into my shoulders. I don’t own one, it was my friend’s bag that I tried on….

    • Second the recommendation to check out Purse Forum for info on both new and used bags. I recently bought a vintage Chanel flap (I’m a big fan of buying gently used designer bags to save money – Chanel in particular holds up very well over the years if properly cared for) and anticipate using it mostly on the weekend in rotation with other bags. I live in a big city in Asia where Chanel and LV are everywhere, but when I move back to Nth America in the future, I may think twice about where I feel it is appropriate to be carrying a Chanel. I wouldn’t buy one unless you are really lusting after it and think you will use it for years, and then only after doing some research online about models and pricing.

  20. Crosssfit :

    What kind of volunteer work/service do those of you who are lawyers do? I’m finding myself doing more law related volunteer work that I’d like and I’d be interested in branching out.

    • I volunteer at a clinic in my city where law students give legal advice and I supervise the law students. I knew about the clinic because I participated in it while I was in law school.

      • Woods-comma-Elle :

        This is what I do, as well. It’s good fun, although the issues that arise are totally outside my area of practice, but that makes it interesting.

    • Muddy Buddy :

      I volunteer with my local women’s foundation. It’s a great way to meet other women professionals and help the community.

    • I went to a Junior League open house recently and liked the smart, capable, friendly women I met, and liked their focus on community service. I was seriously thinking about joining until I flipped through their quarterly magazine, which they handed out at the open house. The magazine had a very different “feel” to it than the open house… it frankly looked like a group of rich (expensive clothes, bags, and jewelry in very fancy homes), white, Christian (a myriad of pictures from the multiple “holiday” parties, all of which were decorated in red and green with santa/christmas tree/holly/wreath/candy cane imagery) women socializing with each other, with two or three very short articles on the community service portion. I guess the ladies at the open house weren’t a statistical sample of the entire chapter. I didn’t grow up rich, and I’m not Christian, so I don’t think I’ll fit in with this group, as nice as the women I met were.

      What’s a women’s foundation, Muddy Buddy?

      • I get what you mean – I recently joined the Junior League in my city. It definitely had a bit of a sorority feel to it (and I was definitely a GDI in college). But I have a few friends who are already members of my chapter and they don’t fit the JL stereotype. I’m also very passionate about the areas my chapter focuses its voluteer work towards (child welfare and literacy).
        I wouldn’t pay AS much attention to the quarterly magazine (though don’t get me wrong, the type you’re getting at definitely exists within the League). I have friends in multiple chapters and each one has a different feel. Sounds like your local chapter may be a pretty good one!

      • I’m not Muddy Buddy, but in Seattle there’s a women’s group called Center for Women and Democracy. womenanddemocracy dot org I’ve attended their events, and got to meet a woman US Senator – Lisa Murkowski after her write-in victory. They have a book club, take educational missions to places like Cuba, Vietnam, Morocco, have interesting meetings and speakers. Many attorneys, politicians and movers/shakers attend. Perhaps there’s something like that in your town?

    • I’m on the board of an animal shelter/adoption center. I do some legal stuff — review the occasional contract, advise on personnel issues, deal with weird random legal problems that pop up (creepy guy who dumps his dog with his parents claims they didn’t have permission to give the dog up for adoption, and he wants the dog back even though she’s already been placed in a much better home) — and also do the same kinds of oversight and fundraising as other Board members.

    • As many arts organizations as I can make time for.

    • I ‘m a Big Sister, led a Girl Scout Troop, and am working to put together a council of Girls On The Run in my area. Also in Junior League, but mostly for the social aspects, TBH.

      Do something you enjoy doing. I think kids are a nice break from litigation–instead of discussing cases or other colleagues/clients, they like glow necklaces, glitter, and discussing Justin bieber, and get SO FIRED UP about simple things..But on a serious note, the girls in my community are screaming for leadership! I like to actually interact with the kids on the ground level of the organizations, and find serving on boards incredibly tiresome.

      Related rant: I always feel a ton of pressure from my firm to do the “right” kind of community service (board membership, mostly as marketing for the firm, frankly), just to see and be seen. It’s my biggest irritation/gripe with lawyering, every f*king social event and service project turns into some bizarre longterm sales pitch. It’s exhausting. I know I *should* focus on the networky service projects and board membership to interact with the “right” people, but I spend all day arguing minutia with d-bags and doing tedious things. Cannot imagine taking on more of those responsibilities in my free time/”extra curricular” activities!

    • Seventh Sister :

      I’m on my kids’ preschool’s board of directors and volunteer on a church committee. Neither has much of a networking purpose, but I enjoy both. I will do more when the kids are older.

  21. I am a middle-aged non-lawyer professional. I like to dress professionally but do not want to look frumpy. Who do you turn to for inspiration? The only person on the web/magazines I see that is fairly routinely photographed is Anna Wintour. Is she the only woman over the age of 35 that is worthy of being photographed? I don’t care about red carpet looks. I am interested in work and more casual wear.

    • I don’t really pay attention to celebrities but Meryl Streep. Gorgeous lady.

      • Meryl Streep is on the list of people to my fantasy fabulous dinner party. She can do no wrong.

    • I think the main problem is that there are very few middle-aged professional types being photographed. It’s just not where the media goes. Off the top of my head, Mrs. Obama is about the only name I come up with, though I can name plenty of 40-something (and aboves) who have great style, just not wear to work to style. Actually, now that I think about it, I think Kelly Rutherford on Gossip Girl has a good wardrobe, though I haven’t seen the show in years. Another problem is that what is considered fashionable often skews young or casual. And those who are blogging about fashion are usually in their 20s.

      None of which helps, I know! I tend to look more toward clothing lines than individuals for work wear inspiration. And the ladies on this blog. Even if you cannot afford designer clothes, they will give you ideas. (Anna Wintor isn’t wearing 1/3 of what appears in her magazine. It’s just inspirational.) I could go on with a whole lot of personal opinions, but that really isn’t getting at the question, for which I don’t have a good answer.

      PS- I recently learned from Tina Fey’s Bossypants that women in the 40s are middle-aged. I object!

    • Hillary has been looking pretty awesome lately.

    • Im 47 and regularly drool over both female leads’ wardrobes on The Good Wife.

      Real life examples are harder to come by. I love MObama to pieces, but while i envy her wardrobe, it’s not like she’s dressing for a corporate job.

      • I Heart Alicia :

        She has the best wardrobe ever.

      • I’ve only seen the Good Wife a couple of times, which is why I forgot about it. You’re right, she does have good clothes! And always carries a notepad. ;)

      • I just started watching The Good Wife this week and I’m in love with everything Alicia wears. She’s my dream lawyer wardrobe.

    • I pretty much turn to Kat’s recommendations. I sometimes worry about looking too “young”, but really professional clothes are kind of timeless.

    • ahem, our lovely fellow commenter, Lisa at Privilege: amidprivilege dot com

    • I’m early forties and pretty much do my own thing style-wise. I do like the vintage pics on Amanda Brooks blog ‘I love your style’ though – saw some nice ones recently of Mrs Ralph Lauren through the years and some non-famous moms in 1970’s Palm Beach. And 2 ladies who get photographed these days and seem pretty inspirational are Christine Lagarde of the IMF for formal kit and Phoebe Philo the designer for informal.

    • More Magazine is directed towards professional fashion for 40+ women, although I haven’t seen one in years. I subscribed to it in the past, but got tired of the political bent of the articles. The presumption that all women are politically liberal turned me off. There was never any acknowledgment that a professional 40+ woman might be intelligent and conservative, which I thought was odd for a fashion magazine. But the fashion was pretty good.

      • I read More magazine. I haven’t really noticed a liberal slant. However, it seems like most of the fashion pieces are geared more toward women who are overweight or who have lost their shape.

      • You’d really have to be looking for offense to find it in More magazine. I can’t think of any time I’ve ever noticed a liberal slant. Maybe you watch too much Fox news and have become paranoid about the “liberal elite” media.

        The only position I’ve ever seen More take is pro-healthcare, and not necessarily Obama(Romney)care. Just in favor of coverage for women’s health, because many of their articles are about health issues women over 40 face. But it’s really more of a slant on what insurers should and shouldn’t cover, in the name of women’s equality. Like, you’re going to cover Viagra but not annual pap smears? Really?

        Besides, advocating for good healthcare isn’t always a left leaning position. Look at the AARP, which is notoriously right-leaning. Let any candidate try to even mention reductions in Medicare – it’s over for that candidate. And no, don’t try telling me retirees paid for it while they were working and are now entitled. Dude, I’m an actuary. No way, no how.

    • I am 41. My fave fashion blogger is AtlanticPacific : classic, ageless.
      Whatever you do wear, your go to accessory should always be confidence!

  22. Woods-comma-Elle :

    Weekend shopping challenge.

    What: navy suit
    Where: Manhattan
    How much: up to $300
    Tricky features: short, large chested

    I only have a long weekend to find this do would love suggestions on where to shop to maximise chances of success.

    • In the order I would visit them:

      Lord & Taylor
      Brooks Brothers

    • party in the U.S.A. :

      Welcome back to America :)

    • Try Talbots – they’re in the middle of their Red Hanger sale and I have the navy all-season wool skirt suit from them. And they have petites.

    • J. Crew Super 120s in petite. It is a standby for me – I am 5’2″ and the inseam and jacket sleeves are just right. I have it in a couple colors actually. It may be closer to $350 though.

    • I have a navy suit from the Limited that I like pretty well. At full price you could get the jacket and skirt/pants for under $300, but they regularly have 40% off sales, so you could get it pretty cheap.

  23. Must.not.buy.shorts. I love these, but I’m on a shopping ban.

  24. Be careful and do not sleep with him too soon if you want a relationship. That means 2 months at least, tho others may disagree.

  25. Crosssfit :

    I cannot bring my self to pay $15 in shipping to Canada for Bloom Black Ties – can anyone recommend a similar product – one with more reasonable shipping rates to Canada?

  26. Harbinger of Truth :

    I am posting my response to part of Former Partner, Now In-House’s post from the Frugal Friday thread on this thread, because I feel that it addresses an important topic that lawyers should consider.

    Former Partner, Now In-House
    “I do believe that a smarter person who did well at a top 10 law school will eventually, with the right training at a top law firm, make a better lawyer than a less smart person who didn’t do well at a lesser ranked law school. Being able to recite the various statutes of limitations in your state the day you graduate does not make you a good lawyer; anyone can learn that. Being smart and creative and understanding how and why the law works the way it does makes you a good lawyer.”

    Wow, this comment really rubs me the wrong way. Quite frankly, it smacks of the kind of elitism and snobbery that is so characteristic of people who attend or work at Ivy League schools. There are plenty of people who made great grades at top law schools who are terrible at the actual practice of law, even if they received good training at top law firms. Furthermore, there are plenty of lawyers who, for whatever reason, didn’t make great grades at a “lesser ranked” law school who are smart, creative, and understand how and why the law works.

    How dare you paint everyone with low grades at a “lower ranked school” (based on bogus U.S. News and World Report rankings) with the same brush stroke! Something tells me that you can’t begin to comprehend what those lawyers who you consider “less smart” might have gone through during law school that kept them from being at the top of their class. In fact, maybe some of them were smarter and cleverer than you because they refused to play the law school rankings game! But what really irks me is that by your reasoning here, you probably think that a person in the top of her or his class at a lower ranked law school is not as intelligent as a person from a top 10 law school.

    I feel pity and loathing for you because you are so narrow minded. If you participate in the hiring process at your firm, you will never give anyone who falls slightly outside of your rigid hiring criteria a chance. Well, I tell you what. You can have your top one-third, elite law school graduate who is statistically likely to be a white, middle class male with well-educated parents, who had nothing better to do during law school than study archaic legal theory and kiss up to professors.

    People like you hold the profession back from moving into the future with a death grip. You are all afraid of losing your obscene salaries, so you come up with ridiculous ways to set up barriers to entry into your ivory towers. You are far too terrified to acknowledge that a lawyer from a lower ranked school with low grades might be twice the lawyer you are. As a recent ABA article stated, “snobbism and elitism are the last socially acceptable prejudices.” How disgusting that our profession engages in these prejudices on a daily basis.

    • So I’m guessing you didn’t get into Harvard…

      • On a more serious note, what she said was she thought a smarter person who ALSO did well at a higher ranked school would do better than a less smart person who did not do as well at a lower school. She wasn’t saying that the person who went to T10 was smarter because they got into top 10, but that the combo of being smarter and going to a better school would lead to being a better professor. She states she didn’t even go to a T10.

        Also “I feel pity and loathing for you” is going to my version of why we eating fondue

      • Anonymous :

        damn you, you took my comment!

        • Harbinger, I couldn’t agree more. And cfm, she states she didn’t go to a T10 — but she went to a T20, for goodness sakes, and it sounds like in her mind that renders her smarter and more capable than T21 and below. Her entire comment was pretty freaking vile, and that she actually maintains these views as a professor is disgusting and depressing. And moronic — does she not see the relationship between class and prestigious schools? She doesn’t see that going to a prep school that then leads to Harvard might then ease the acceptance into a T10? I did go to a T10, and I can assure you the number of my classmates who went to Milton, Exeter, etc puts to rest any notion that the schools we get into are based only on our intrinsic ability, and nothing else. Hell, even if we have intrinsic ability — surely, In-House, surely you’d have to agree it can only be enhanced by attending excellent elementary and high schools. Meaning that class really gives you a leg up, and meaning, Miss Brilliant In-House, that having attended a lower ranked school does not at all mean you’re not as smart.

          • I’m not saying I agree with the person who posted the comment at issue (didn’t see the original post), but I would like to share my contrary experience at a T10. While I’m sure the number of people who went to ivy league schools and/or prep school was higher than any given non-T-10 school, I’d say the vast majority of my classmates went to state schools, small LACs, or other non-elite private colleges. And although I can’t say there was an abundance of people from underprivileged backgrounds, I only met a handful who I thought were so privileged that they had connections that helped them get into law school.

            The fact is, rankings DO at least hold law schools accountable for who they admit. You can’t buy your way into law school, because in the end the school would rather be #7 in the rankings than be #13 with some extra cash. I understand you’re saying that one’s privileged status shapes her educational background, which in turn will lead to getting into better schools, but I think by the time you get to law school you’re past the point where money or connections alone can get you something. You can go to a middle-of-the-road school but work your butt off to get good grades and a high LSAT score (no, you don’t need a class to do that) and get into a T10. (I did.).

            To reiterate, I’m not saying that anyone anywhere has the potential to get into a great law school – just that the playing field is pretty even if you’re already in a position where you have had the educational background and the financial resources to get through college.

    • karenpadi :

      When I read the comment, I thought the OP was repeating what she had been told by law school faculty. My take: if this is what the faculty at that school are telling her, and given our discussion about the value of academics getting practical experience, they are missing out on a talented tenure-track professor (who has actually taken a bar exam).

      Years ago, a 30-attorney firm where I used to work interviewed a Harvard grad who had been practicing for 15 years. I was young and thought “he’s a shoo-in, Harvard!” Alas, he didn’t get the job because he failed to convince the hiring partner that he “had it together” and wasn’t just “resting on his laurels”.

      • Thanks, roses, for your take. We obviously have different perspectives on this, but I appreciate your input. To this point — “but I think by the time you get to law school you’re past the point where money or connections alone can get you something” – my reply is that I never said money or connections *alone* get you in. My point was that in many if not most cases, it is sheer INTELLECT alone that will not get you in. Money and class don’t alone get you in, no, but they are the additional factors that the OP was disregarding, and that you seem to be downplaying.

    • tl; dr

      • and as a result of tl; dr, can’t decide:

        swag swag swag on you? -OR- why we eatin fondue?

        so confused.

        • I feel pity and loathing for you. it smacks of the kind of elitism and snobbery that is so characteristic of corpor e t t e. You can have your swaging, fondue eating pop star, who is statistically likely to be a preteen white boy with an entourage, bad hair cut and a selena gomez.

          • cfm, I feel pity and loathing for you feeling pity and loathing. Why we eatin’ fondue?

          • cfm, your post is rife with inaccuracies and errors, the very least of which is the spelling of the gerund form of “to swag.” (Ahem, it is swagging, two Gs, not swaging, one G, which would be pronounced with a soft G and sounds like something that should get us both stuck in moderation and maybe put in jail.) I regret to inform you that the Biebs is, according to my 10 seconds of google-fu, no longer a preteen. Indeed, he is 18. Apparently, he ages like the rest of us. My mind is still reeling from the confusion, but there you have it.

          • and there are rumors that he and Selena have broken up. But seriously, what’s with all of the pity and loathing? I saw it in the original post so I’m not saying I don’t get where the comments are coming from – it’s getting a little ridiculous.

          • NOLA, I typed the following in all shouty capitals, and then rewrote it: Biebs and Selena Gomez might have broken up?! Oh, young love. How fleeting it is.

          • Here’s the latest: http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20609947,00.html

        • now I know what tl; dr is. Thank you, Herbie.

          • Migraine Sufferer :

            Damn it. I still don’t know what tl; dr is. But I went to a third tier law school, so I imagine my confusion isn’t all that surprising.


    • So, I admit to bristling at the initial comment about how “smarter people at T10 schools” would probably be a better lawyer than the rest of us, but I think that this outburst is similarly ridiculous.

      Though, at the end of the day, I don’t want to be the kind of “good lawyer” that comes out of a T10 school, which is why I didn’t go to one. I wasn’t interested in BigLaw (and still am not). So maybe some of my affront at this pretty intense reaction to snobbery is shock that it even matters to the “Harbinger of Truth.”

      I’m a small town litigator. I work for other, experienced small town litigators who are well known and respected among the community of nationwide clients we represent. It frankly doesn’t matter to me that another new associate making double what I make to do doc review might think he’ll be better than me one day. That’s not the job I want. Nor do I ever want to be a partner at those firms.

      So, I guess my point is: what does this comment accomplish? The only person who can make you feel inferior is yourself.

  27. Electrolysis? :

    Has anyone ever had electrolysis done (specifically in the bikini area)? If so, what was your experience (i.e. how many times did you have to go, cost, etc)?

    • I did it on my bikini line about 13 years ago, in my early 30s. I went a couple dozen times. My bikini line still grows hair, but now if I get my legs and bikini line waxed at the same time, they both grow back at the same rate. Before the electrolysis, my bikini line grew back within a week, but my legs grew back within about 3 weeks. (I come from hairy stock. YMMV.)

      I did it for about 20 90-minute sessions, which was about as much as I could stand at a time. (I have heard that some women can sit for a few hours at a time. Not me.) I think I took Tylenol before each session. For a few days after each session, I had bumps (but no redness) where I had been treated. So it was good I had no boyfriend at the time :)

      I made sure the have the esthetician do an equal amount on each side at every session so that if I never went back, I would be even.

    • My mom did it back in the 80s. Sounds painful. I did laser about 10 years ago (bikini and underarms) and love the results.

  28. Here’s one for the hive…has anyone tried acupuncture and, if so, what was your experience? I’m considering it for back pain… but a bit nervous about the needles.

    • Remarkable :

      Had it weekly for six months when trying to get pregnant. The needles made me really nervous also but they dont hurt and after the first few, you prob wont notice them at all. Acupuncture was a good experience …like forced meditation with relaxing music, comfy table, and a calm, dark room. Whether it worked or not, I don’t have a clue. Forgot to mention that your practitioner may want to sell you herb supplements and teas. I took those as well but I really don’t think they did anything.

    • Youngster :

      I haven’t tried it, but my mom has and it’s really helpful to her. She said she can’t feel the needles. And if it’s for back pain, you’ll likely be laying on your stomach, so you won’t have that experience of looking at needles sticking out of you.

    • anonynonynon :

      Some people who try it say they get turned off by it because it hurts. If it hurts, they’re doing it wrong. Seriously.

      To my knowledge, there are no peer-reviewed studies saying that acupuncture is more effective than the placebo effect. Unlike chiropractors (which I commented about in an earlier thread – a lot of people have mentioned back pain/posture problems today!), however, acupuncture doesn’t make things *worse*. It is also very relaxing and tension relieving to be able to lie in the quiet, dark room for half an hour or so. That part is very nice.

      I’ve had chronic back pain since getting hit by a car at a young age and treat with weightlifting and stretching. I’ve done acupuncture (from a top-notch TCM practitioner with decades of experience) and the pain relief doesn’t last beyond a day or two for me. The weightlifting and stretching route works for me, but hey, everyone’s different. Other people also recommend physical therapy, pilates, ballet and yoga, which I’m not into, but it’s for the same purpose: strengthening your core muscles.

    • I had about 10 sessions for migraines, but sadly it didn’t work… at all. I am really nervous about needles too, but these weren’t too terrible. Probably the worst part was after the doctor put the needles in I had to lay still for 10-15 minutes with needles poking out of all parts of my body and head. I found that to be really difficult and uncomfortable.

      Also, if you go to an actual doctor who also does acupuncture, your insurance might pay for it. I was lucky that mine paid for all sessions (and some nice spinal adjustments). Good luck!

    • Harriet Vane :

      I recently started acupuncture as an alternative to megadose of celebrex and painkillers or surgery for severe arthritis,mainly in the knees. I didn’t know whether to believe in it or not, but I thought “what the h-ll”, and gave it a try. It does not hurt. I have a needle “thing” too, but the acupuncture needles feel more like a bit of a tap going in than a pain sensation. In one session, I went from creeping down stairs one step at a time and in pain, to going straight down them like a normal person and only with some twingeing toward the bottom. The pain relief I have received is far beyond my expectations, both as to pain reduction and how fast it occurred. It also is probably not typical. My practitioner says give him four sessions, and if your problem is not improving after that, it probably isn’t going to work well for you. It works for some, not for others, and for me it provided extraordinary relief.

    • Thanks, all! As always, you provided helpful info. I think I’m going to give it a go. Once my dr. clears me, I’m also going to try yoga and stretching, to strengthen the muscles and stay flexible.

  29. Anne Shirley :

    This heat is making me desire strongly returning to my roots- Nova Scotia > NoVA

    • Anonymous :

      Oh, to be sipping a Keith’s on a Halifax patio….

    • Nothing to say except, wow, jealous. Nova Scotia looks incredibly gorgeous.

    • Ekaterin Nile :

      Hey! I was born in Halifax but moved to the States when I was six. I get back every couple of years to visit family.

  30. swimsuits :

    I got a great recommendation for a Land’s End swimsuit from you all, and I’m back to return the favor. They have an amazing sale going on, and several on the swimsuits are on ridiculous sale. I’m a little peeved that I spent $130 on mine when so many are half off right now, but I admit I have loved my purchase and always feel so good when I wear it. Swimsuits without shame — priceless. Go check it out! And thanks again for the recommendations.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Chat with them. I bet you a nickel that they will give you a gift card for the difference, if not a price adjustment in cash. They have the very best customer service *ever.*

      • Thanks! I just called and asked. Turns out they do price adjustments if the purchase was within 14 days of the sale. Didn’t help me, but might help someone else!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Lands’ End is guaranteed period. While the ethics of this are questionable, you can return your swimsuit (for what you paid, if you have a receipt) and get a new one.

      I’ve heard that in the 80s, a woman bought the “ridiculous” item in the Christmas catalog – that year, a taxicab – for her husband. When her husband died some 20 years later, she returned it for what she paid for it back in the 80s, and Lands’ End took it.

  31. Any Montana ladies out there? I’m planning a trip out there the end of July. It’ll be a driving trip, starting in the northeast corner (to visit the grandparents). The current plan is make a circuit – Glendive, Great Falls, Glacier Park, Kalispell, Missoula/Butte/Helena, Bozeman, then back through Billings to Glendive and back to the NE corner. And doing it in about 4-5 days I’m looking for any recommendations on must see/do, especially from Glendive to Great Falls, or Bozeman to Billings. I’ve already got the Going-to-the-Sun road in Glacier on my list, as well as Gates of the Mountains in Helena, and pizza at Moose’s in Kalispell.

    I won’t have a lot of time in any one place, but may have a few hours here and there to stop and see before getting back on the road. I’ve got a good Roadside Geology book coming to me, which will talk a lot about the landscape, but am looking to see if anyone has other suggestions or resources to consider.

    • I was in Kalispell for a deposition in late May several years ago and decided to drive north through the national park to have tea at the fancy hotel (Prince something?) and then turn around and come back. I learned the morning that I planned to make the drive that the road was closed because all the snow from winter had not yet melted. This was late May. You might confirm that the road is open before you start driving. I am from the beach, and I was just not expecting that!

      • That’s the mountains for you – May can be iffy, July/Aug are probably a little safer. My dad was in Yellowstone several years ago, and had to leave by a different route because the road he was planning on taking out had 2 feet of snow. In June. But yes, I have confirmed it is open. :)

    • It’s open already. I think it opened late June? I’d take the free shuttle, as it’s a gorgeous but hair-raising drive and you won’t have to worry about parking at the top. You might consider a raft trip while you’re in the park, and some hiking. I think there are bike rentals, too.

      Moose’s is a classic, and I think they’re smoke-free now, which makes it more pleasant.

      Whitefish is fun for a morning of browsing or going to the beach – some fun restaurants and bookstores. You can also go to Big Mountain and ride the chairlift up to the top and hike down, or ride down. Great view, decent trails.

  32. Cheese or Chocolate :

    I think I must have missed something, and I can’t find it in a search.

    What is all this joking about eating fondue?

    • It’s all about the Biebs.

    • So sorry, I kinda set Herbie off after confessing that I’m getting brainwashed by the Beibster. But seriously, his latest album is SO CATCHY. Earworms, UGH.

    • Someone misheard a Bieber lyric “while we’re eating fondue” as “why we’re eating fondue.” I can’t recall the details, but a search for the first thread to mention fondue and Bieber should turn it up.

      • Cheese or Chocolate :

        Thanks. After a few YouTube videos, I now know more about Justin Bieber than I ever wanted to.

        But I must be very dense because I still don’t understand when it is appropriate to use this line on this site and what doing so means.

        • I believe, according to Herbie, the appropriate use of “Why we eatin’ fondue?” is when someone says something so outrageous that it is the only possible response.

          • Yeah, that. Or when someone says something absurd or that doesn’t make sense.

            And yeah, I was the one who thought the lyrics from Boyfriend were: “Swag swag swag on you, chillin by the fire why we eatin fondue?.”

            In my defense, I still think the image of Lil’ Biebs pondering the universe, thinking to himself, “This girl is really hot, and chillin by this fire is really romantic, but… why fondue?” is hilarious.

  33. JessieSpano :

    I took (and passed, yay!) the patent bar yesterday. I studied and worked for the past six weeks, so I’ve been in serious overdrive. I only slept three hours last night and still feel like I’m spinning (I have a weird urge to start singing I’m so excited until my hot best friend Zack grabs me and holds me). How can I unwind and slow down? I still have the urge to do something productive. I’ve thought about the standards (spa day, etc) but those things always make me feel awkward, which just makes me more stressed out because I feel pressured to relax, lol. How do you unwind after a particularly busy period?

    • Congrats on the patent bar! Yay!

      It took me about 3 days to “relax” from that ordeal. Take the weekend off.

    • Congratulations. It takes a few days to unwind and feel normal again, but you’ll get there. Try to relax and hang out with friends if you can.

    • Congrats!!! What about doing productive yet brainless things? For me, I find that when I’m super busy at work exercise and keeping things tidy around the house get pushed to the wayside. So you could catch up on that stuff, which is productive, but doesn’t require the use of your mind, so its relaxing at the same time. You can also watch TV while you clean or read on a Kindle while you exercise. Also if you are so wound up you’re having problems sleeping, exercise is the best cure I’ve found for that.

  34. These may work tas I’ve been trying to get out of the kahki/grey/black bermudas for weekend wear and more color than with shirts.

    Can anyone suggest a good black blazer that will look polished with jeans? I’ve tried some of the suit jackets I have and they didn’t look right. They are the fuller coverage, interview style jackets or the fitted ones that only fit now if I stand up straight and suck everything in.

  35. you guise, i have to tell you how much i love you for all of the polka dot inspiration recently! I went to the opera tonight in my new floaty polka dot dress, and even wore stockings with dots on them too: Yes, double polka dots! take that! AND, there were polka dots all over the set/costumes, including all of the birds and animals in the forest: all polka dots, so I matched the opera! I felt so cool, and coordinated ;o) So, I had a really fun night, and felt really special, all thanks to the polka dots. Love you chicas!

    • Love thinking of you in double dots, matching the dotted opera :) go on with your bad self.

  36. Okay, random friendship question. Based on recommendations from the hive, I got MWF Seeks BFF from the library. In the introduction, the author defines “bestfriendship” basically as being at the other person’s beck and call 24/7–i.e., someone you can call and say “What are we doing today” and it’s understood that you’ll spend the day (or at least an hour) with. I’m not sure if it’s an introvert thing or a growing-up-with-brothers thing, but that sounded terrible–I like my friends, but that doesn’t mean I want to spend all/most of my time with them. I’ve never had a ton of friends, but throughout my life, my close friends have been people who I don’t have to see often, but when I see them we pick up like no time has passed–more like stereotypical boy friendships than girl ones. Is it just me? Are there other women out there who want friends that they don’t have to be with all/most of the time in order to stay friends?

    • Wow, that seems excessive to me. Maybe if you were young and didn’t have a lot of work and home demands but seriously, I don’t have time to drop everything just for “What are we doing today.” My close girlfriends and I would drop everything if one of us really needed the other one – an emergency situation. But on an everyday basis, we respect each others’ lives and wouldn’t do something like that. My closest friend moved to Texas and she doesn’t have a regular work schedule so she sometimes calls me at odd times at work. I pick up if I can, but sometimes I just can’t. We keep in touch by text a lot. I agree about the kind of friendship where you can pick up like no time has passed. I have a girlfriend from my junior year abroad (28 years ago!) who has remained a great friend even though we only see each other once a year. So my answer is, no I don’t think that’s realistic and I don’t want to have to be with my friends constantly to stay friends.

    • Belle et Rebelle :

      I able to read most of the intro on Amazon – wow. What the author describes – the whole cliquey, “this is my crew and we do everything together all the time” thing – kind of makes me twitch a little, and I’m inclined to think it’s an introvert thing. The part about assuming you’ll be doing something with someone on the weekend is really foreign to me. I once had an issue with that with my roommate on junior year abroad, who was also a friend from undergrad. After our first week in Paris, she turned to me on Saturday morning and asked what “we” were doing that day and was surprised to learn that *I* had planned to wander around the city. Alone. It wasn’t a reflection on her, I just needed some alone time and was a bit annoyed that she just assumed that we’d spend the day together. And she was annoyed that I was “abandoning” her.

      Anyway, to answer your question, no, it’s not just you, and yes, I think there are plenty of women out there who want friends but don’t need to be with them all the time in order to stay friends (and of course there a lot of women who couldn’t spend that kind of time with their friends regardless of their preferences because of family or work obligations, etc. even if they wanted to). Not sure I have advice on finding them, though I’m trying to do that myself right now. I moved to a new state a couple of years ago and am finding that meeting new women friends can be tricky.

    • My best friend lives half a world away. But we are always there for each other on the phone, skype etc. And even if we go a while before speking, we can pick up the thread just as if we met yesterday.

    • Nobody has time for that ish.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I think I can understand that, I think the author just phrased it poorly — I know if I call my BFF and I need her, for whatever reason, she’s there. I like to spend a lot of my free time with her (but if I can’t see her, that’s fine too). We both have our own lives, but I can definitely call her on a Saturday and say “Want to run to the mall with me? I need new jeans” and she’ll be up for it, unless she has other plans (in which case, she’ll be like “Sorry, can’t join” which is, of course, NBD).

      I think it’s more hinting at the feeling of rather than a “Let’s plan something and get together in the future!” and eventually get together for coffee, a BFF event-plan being more of a “Hey, I’m coming over with lattes” kind of thing.

    • I always recommend that book, and I think (spoiler alert) she realizes that the types of friends she wants in her early 20s (described early on) isn’t the same as the friends she is happy with in her late 20s.

    • I’m similar to you in friendship preferences. I am also an introvert and an only child. I had one joined-at-the-hip friend in law school, and that friendship eventually fell apart, I think in part because we spent more time together than I could really handle. I do think the kind of friendship the author describes is more common in college and maybe immediately post-college. By my late twenties, I am finding that most people only have that kind of relationship with their significant other (which does get lonely if you don’t have an SO, but that’s a different story).

  37. Does anyone have recommendations for an eating healthy cookbook? I’m looking for something that emphasizes eating healthy foods (vegetables/whole grains) rather than things like low-fat mac & cheese or using artificial sweeteners to cut calories. And of course, recipes that are easy to make in bulk on the weekends or quickly after work on weekdays. Any suggestions?

    • Simply in Season is great if you’re looking to incorporate more vegetables into your diet – as the name suggests, it’s written by season and the vegetables that are likely to be available at that time.

    • I have the The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook and I love it. No artificial stuff, just ways to make food taste better with less fat.

      • i have that one too. They use butter where it’s necessary, but focus on the overall health value of the food.

    • Anonymous :

      “LightHearted Cook Book” and also “Everday LighHearted Cooking” are fan-freaking -tastic! Love the buttermilk chicken marinade, the salmon-corn chowder… oh, I could go on…

    • I don’t have any recommendations, but will be interested to see folks’ suggestions, as I’m seeking the same type of cookbook!

    • Ellie Krieger’s books are pretty good. She does some cuisines better than others, but in general she’s focused on healthy alternatives and full flavors. She relies a lot on fresh herbs, small amounts of sharp cheddar, etc and she’s pretty clear about what’s an “easy recipe” and what’s a Sunday all afternoon thing.

    • The Eat Clean series by Tosca Reno is good. It’s theoretically a “diet” but I think the recipes are good regardless.

    • I have never tried any of Heidi Swanson’s print cookbooks, but I really like the stuff on her website 101cookbooks dot com. I also like greenkitchenstories dot com. It is all vegetarian and there are some really nice twists on “normal” food, like baked herb & pistachio falafel.

    • Anything by Tosca Reno.

  38. You guise. I had a DREAM about [this site] last night. We did a meetup (which, IRL, I have never attended) and Kat herself came out. It was my job to pick Kat up at the airport. Of course, I felt tons of pressure to look fab but I was cleaning my house and the day got away from me, and the van that was going to first pick Kat up and then pick up all the other ladies arrived while I was still all sweaty etc, so I just threw on a swim coverup (!) and rolled.

    Our driver was named Doug, which was a very thinly veiled pseudonym – he was actually Ralph Lauren. We all knew he was Ralph Lauren but wanted to conspiratorially keep up his pseudonym, so we kept shushing the one guy in the van (one of y’all’s SOs who was just along for the ride) who kept yelling “THAT’S RALPH LAUREN!!” Somehow during the ride Ralph Lauren moved into the shotgun seat of the van and we all started taking pictures with him.

    Then I woke up.

    What does it all MEAN? (besides this strange week and the heat are turning my brain into ceviche)

  39. Two questions :

    I am curious as to whether people of a wide variety of ages come to these corporette meetups. It seems that the posters and readers on here span at least three generations.

    My husband has been sleeping very long hours lately. Last night he was asleep by about 8:30 and he is still asleep at 7:30 am. Eleven hours of sleep seems weird to me for a grown man. If this is weird, is there something I should do or say?

    • What is his sleep schedule like the rest of the week? If he’s doing all-nighters, its pretty normal to sleep 11 hours on the weekend. Otherwise, check his diet and exercise.

      I used to sleep until noon or later on the weekend. When I realized I likely have a B12 deficiency, and took supplements, I am suddenly awake at a normal hour on the weekend.

  40. Shopping help: I’m coveting the dress the host on CNN’s headline news is wearing now and can’t find it. It’s cobalt, cap sleeved, has a v-neck and may be belted. Anybody seen this dress in stores or online?

  41. Has anyone tried the Dansko Veda sneakers? They’re so cute and they seem like they’d be good for me because they have that little heel. I need more support than most flat shoes. Anyway, I’m wondering what size I would order. I usually wear an 8 in sneakers and an 8 1/2 in heels. Zappos reviews seem to indicate that they run narrow, so I’m thinking the 39?

    • HereThere :

      If you need more support, what about the Reebok EasyTone (I think that’s what they are called) or similar shoes the have you work out while walking? I know it sounds odd, but I put one of those on and suddenly realized what having support in a shoe felt like – had legitimately never realized that other people had shoes that really support their feet. I know that isn’t the brand you mentioned, but thought I’d suggest it anyways. Of course, if you want something that doesn’t look like a sneaker, this will not work.

      • I guess I was thinking it was kind of fun to have sneakers with what looks like a heel. I don’t wear sneakers much (other than to work out) and I thought the Danskos looked cute.

    • viclawstudent :

      Don’t know about the sizing, but just wondering which of the colours you were eyeing? I really like the red ones and the orange ones.

      • I know, the red are so cute! I don’t know! The red flower print are only $44.99 at 6pm so that’s really tempting.

    • I bought a pair and returned them (to REI) because they were huge. I’m normally 6 1/2 or 7. Bought 7s, but based on the fit, I probably would have taken a 6. I bought red, but felt the red sole still made them look a little nurse-like. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a nurse… But I’m not.

    • I don’t have the sneakers, but I’m a size 8.5 or 9 in US sizes and I always take a 39 in Dansko. I’d guess you’d be a 38, but since it’s Zappos, maybe order two pairs and return one?

  42. Church? (Boston) :

    Any suggestions for a church in Brookline near Allston? I know it’s a Jewish area, but the only church near me that I can find is shut down. Somewhere on the T is fine, too. I can’t find anything less than 20 minutes on the T or 25 minutes walking and am hoping there is one closer that I just can’t find online. Thanks!

    • Belle et Rebelle :

      There’s St. Paul’s Episcopalian on St. Paul St. in Brookline, just south of Beacon St. Not super close to Allston, but if you get off on the St Paul stop on the C line, it’s maybe a 10 minute walk (might be closer to the D line stop in Brookline Village). I think there might be another church (no idea what denomination) on Harvard Ave between Beacon St. and Brookline Village, but I don’t know what it’s called.

      I’m not really a churchgoer, so I can’t speak to what it’s like at either of these, but I hope this helps.

      • There are a few between Coolidge and Brookline Village , including the St. Paul one – St. Mary’s is Catholic and I don’t know the name of the other one, but both are on Harvard. Both are very close to stops on the 66 bus.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I have a friend who attends CityLife downtown (may be too far for you). I checked it out one Sunday but it felt a bit too evangelical for me but the people were very nice.

    • I went to Church of our Saviour (Episcopalian) in Brookline (25 Monmouth St — at the BU Central stop on the B line or the St Mary’s stop on the C line) for 5 years and really loved it (and miss it).

      What kind of church are you looking for? Any particular denomination/style?

      • OP - church :

        Thanks all! I’m Roman Catholic, so that’s what I was looking for – sorry if it wasn’t clear! Thank you for your suggestions – I’ll start checking these out.

        • Another suggestion would be to call either hotels or the Universities in the area – they all usually have a list of services in the area.

  43. NOLA – left you a response in the last thread, but wasn’t sure you’d see it. Thanks for your thoughtful response – I appreciate it!

    • You’re welcome! I was still subscribed to comments, so I got your other message as well.

  44. Please help. I can’t talk to my family or friends taking the bar about this because the former don’t understand and the latter have issues of their own. The CA bar is now only two weeks away. We have a simulated written exam on Monday for which I am not prepared, at least for the essay portion. I am drowning right now. I have such high anxiety about the bar. I did not even realize it was anxiety — I feel belligerent almost, or my mind goes blank whenever I open the books or my computer to write an essay. I know nothing, I have nothing memorized, my MBE scores are abysmal, and I have passed maybe one essay as graded by my test prep company. The only thing that calms me down is the mental image of going into that test knowing that I can re-take it. But the financial cost, the humiliation (I will be at my first job when results come out, and surely will be asked about it; although I won’t lose my job, there may be other repercussions and surely a loss of respect from my supervisors and colleagues?), and the stress of the actual test days may break me. Is there any hope? Can I still do this? How?

    • Two questions :

      This may not be the most possitve help, but one of my coworkers who was hired before the bar results came out told everyone ahead of time that she didn’t think she was going to pass because she was sick when she took it. She didn’t pass and everyone just thought it was because she was sick when she took it. Whether or not she was really sick we will never know. I think this is a perfectly legitimate thing to do. There is so much pressure and anxiety surrounding the California bar, and whether you pass it the first time or not has nothing to do with how good a lawyer you will ultimately become. And yet even lawyers I know are twenty years later taking pride in the fact that they passed it the first time even though it means nothing but that you are good at memorizing and spewing back.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      I work at one of those big law firms. Several of my colleagues failed the first time. It is widely understood that failing the bar happens to smart people sometimes, whether it’s nerves or computer failure or sickness or misreading a question or whatever. Every single person in your office knows a smart person who, for whatever reason, failed the bar the first time. They probably know smart people from their law school class as well as respected colleagues who failed the first time. I have classmates who failed the first time who were very smart. One of the partners I work for failed the bar the first time. Another one of my colleagues who failed the first time s/he took it recently made partner. Yet another first-time-fail colleague is kicking booty, and will soon be up for partner. Failing the bar totally sucks because it’s a personal ego blow and you’ll have to take it again in February, but the “humiliation” and “loss of respect from your supervisors and colleagues” are not things you should be worried about. There but for the grace of god/karma/whatever go I, and go all of us.

    • Anon NJ and MD Bar :

      I completely understand how you feel! Although I am clearly not taking the CA bar, it is still super stressful and no one understands! One of the professors for my review course said that it is just as much a psychological test as it is an intelligence or memorization test. It’s okay to stress and freak out a little, but don’t let THAT make you fail. Lots of people fail the bar. It doesn’t mean that they are not smart and it shouldn’t cause anyone to lose respect for you. I freaked out and googled people who failed the bar and Hilary Clinton came up! I don’t think anyone would have less respect for her for failing the bar the first time.

      Also, I think it really helps to know that everyone taking the bar is freaking out right now. How you feel is completely normal! I certainly feel better knowing that there are others who are not passing practice exams with flying colors yet. My mother used to tell me that stressing doesn’t make you get things done any better for faster. So stop stressing, take a deep breath, and get back to work so you can kick @$$ on that exam!

    • Belle et Rebelle :

      Okay, deep breaths. Yes, you can still pass. Do not put too much stock in the scores you are getting on the practice MBE and essay tests. I think they grade the practice essays extra hard to motivate you to study more, and I can tell you that when I took VA 2 years ago (I also took MA in ’99), I got a really bad score on the practice MBE at this point in the summer, too, and I still passed.

      Taking the bar is inherently stressful, and you are not the only one freaking out right now. Truly. My advice to you is to do what you can to learn the material over the next two weeks, do practice essays every day, even if the model answers are impossibly perfect and feel demoralizing, and just do the best you can. Do not freak out about not knowing enough of the material – no one knows it all. Learn what you can and practice applying what you do know to fact patterns by doing practice essays. Try to get some sleep and a little exercise and eat well.

      I really do think your chances of passing are probably much higher than you think, but what the others said is true. Even if you don’t pass, you will be okay. It happens to a lot of people, including a lot of very good lawyers. It would suck to have to take it again, but it’s not going to damage your career.

    • Anon NY Bar :

      As everyone has said, it’s true, lots of people have failed and gone on to be successful and there is some comfort in the fact that you’ll get a second chance but you still have two weeks to go. Regardless of what happens, you’ll feel better if you really give it your all and focus for the next two weeks.

      I would suggest that you study your notes/outlines for x amount of time, then do that subject’s MBE and then outline the essay for that subject. Rinse and repeat for each subject. Doing the essays will really help you to learn the material as well as what the bar examiners think is important. Review the model answers and keep a running list of points to memorize. The essays are all about testing multi-pronged tests, ie what is a valid K? Mutual assent, consideration, acceptance. How do you create a valid will? Capacity, intent, requisite formalities, etc. Good luck, two weeks is still two weeks! Oh and i think you should ignore the people freaking out around you. Not good energy.

    • Francie Nolan :

      Hey. We still have two and a half weeks. That half-week counts for something. Also, we can definitely do this. Hang in there.

    • Yes, there is still tons of hope, and you can do this. I took the bar last summer (not CA), and right up until two days before I was failing MBE practice tests, and I would try to quiz myself on different topics and I couldn’t remember one thing about them. I did maybe two practice essays and then stopped because I was so freaked out about the MBE I felt like I had to focus on that and maybe could halfway b*llsh*t the essays. After I took the test I felt awful, and like I had probably failed. I tried to prepare everyone in my life for my potential failure.

      As you can probably guess, I passed with plenty of room to spare. Now I can’t believe I freaked myself out so badly. The test prep companies make the practice tests much harder than the real thing, so try to calm down, although I realize that’s easier said than done. I thought the most useful study tools were flashcards, but then I’ve always been a flashcard kind of person.

      Remember, even if you do fail (which is far from certain, or even likely), it is not a reflection on anything about you personally. Smart, hardworking people fail the bar, especially CA. Good luck, try to relax, and know that we are rooting for you.

      • Ok, take a deep breath, and listen to the story of someone who had to take the NYC bar twice (yep, that would be me):

        When I studied for the bar the first time, I was utterly exhausted. This rarely happens to me so I decided that passing the exam wasn’t worth the damage I might do to myself if I ignored the messages my body and brain were sending. I attended the Barbri classes and studied some but no more than I could handle. Unsurprisingly, I failed.

        I was doing a one-year fellowship when I took the bar again. This time, I started making it a point to review outlines whenever I had some down-time two months before the exam, and I took three weeks off to study full-time. I went into the exam knowing I was going to pass and that’s exactly what happened.

        That I had to take the bar exam twice has rarely come up in the more than ten years since then and it has had no impact on my career. In fact, I got a job offer from a top law firm (by most standards) while I was waiting for the results. I went on to be a successful associate and am now doing an academic fellowship in the hopes of becoming a law professor. It may be harder to maintain perspective when you’re already at a firm and everybody around you has passed but if that’s the case don’t allow anyone to turn it into a pity party and just tell everyone you’re happy for them and that you will pass it the next time.

        So my advice is to remind yourself that if failing this exam is the worst that happens to you this year, your life is very good. Being at peace with a bad outcome may help you not waste too much energy freaking out about it. At the same time, try to study hard and smart and tell yourself this will increase your chance of passing, be it this time or on your second try. Best of luck!

    • Thank you all so much. I appreciate your kind words and anecdotes. Breathing deeply, and keeping the chin up.

  45. 2/3 attorney :

    Hey, I don’t know if anyone posted this yet and don’t want to read the whole thread to check, but I got 25% off at Banana today just for walking in the store. All regular priced and sale items.

  46. after biglaw :

    After 3+ years in biglaw, where do litigators go? All of my corporate peers seem to be finding in-house positions relatively easily, but in-house litigator positions seem more rare. Any [this site] success stories in landing an-house litigator position after biglaw?

    • Hi after biglaw – former litigator, current in-houser here. Your observation tracks mine. It seemed easier for transactional lawyers to move in-house. The exception at my firm were our labor lawyers. They also left very easily to go in-house. Litigators rarely left to go in-house.

      So what’s a litigator to do? Your ability to move is going to depend largely on the company. I got my job because my company has a super small legal department and was looking for a generalist who could manage litigation and negotiate contracts, along with all sorts of one-off stuff. They didn’t need someone with 10+ years of first chair jury trial experience, etc. So that’s a possibility, and you’ll usually find those kinds of positions at companies with smaller legal departments. I do see lots litigation-type positions open at companies across the U.S., though. Chevron and Microsoft come immediately to mind. Take a look at job postings on LinkedIn and acc.com. They’re out there, although it doesn’t feel like there are as many as transactional openings.

      • after biglaw :

        Thanks, Herbie! I’ve started looking at the companies/sites you mentioned.

        Also, if you don’t mind my asking, can you please elaborate what you mean by “manage litigation”? I ask b/c a lot of in-house litigation postings have similar language, and I’m curious as to: a) what “managing litigation” entails and b) how a potential in-house litigation candidate could demonstrate she could/would be good at “managing litigation.”

        • Apologies in advance for the length of my response. For me, managing litigation means overseeing strategy and working with our outside counsel to execute that strategy. Reviewing/revising pleadings, briefs, discovery requests/responses (I don’t take the first cut at drafting anything). Directing settlement strategy. And doing all of this while thinking big picture about implications for the company long-term. I also am responsible for making sure outside counsel stays on budget or corrects course when the budget looks like it’s going to hell in a handbasket. I review all the bills, and I get the lucky job of working with our outside counsel to reduce those bills where appropriate (probably the part of my job I like least).

          You asked about demonstrating that a candidate would be good at “managing litigation.” The short answer is, probably having undertaken significant responsibility in your caseload and having breadth of experience. In other words, are you the person down in the weeds just doing doc review, or are you the person with the 30,000-foot view of the case and the strategy you need to execute on all the moving pieces to get the case postured correctly/most advantageously. I can give you an idea of my background that I think helped. I was just starting my 5th year of practice when I moved in-house. I was at the point where I was overseeing and running cases start to finish. That included submitting budgets to our clients, supervising and delegating work to junior associates, and developing strategy (obviously in conjunction with the partner). In other words, I was lead day to day on my cases. I didn’t have any trial experience (because the only case I ever worked on that went to trial happened when I was a .5-yr associate, and I didn’t get to go), but I’d done tons of the pre-trial / post-trial stuff. Selecting exhibits, prepping witnesses, preparing directs/crosses, jury charges, motions in limine, MNTs, etc. I also had significant depo experience, some hearing experience, and substantial experience in other areas (such as being lead counsel on a case that went up to the state supreme court and having been responsible for all appellate briefing). I’d been to multiple mediations, which I think is really helpful in learning how to think strategically about settlement.

          So if you’re looking to go in-house for a litigation position, my [unsolicited] advice to you is to do what you should be doing in the first place: look for gaps in your experience, and then do your best to fill those gaps. Raise your hand and volunteer to take on unfamiliar tasks so you can develop new skills. Get out of your comfort zone.

          Hope this tome of a post was helpful!

          • after biglaw :

            Herbie, thank you so much. I really appreciate your thoughts; over the span of 1 weekend, you’ve given me what multiple recruiters couldn’t: a viable “how to get your butt in-house” action plan. I’m still processing your thoughts and definitely will have a few more questions re what you said but just wanted to say thank you!

      • Not the OP but a related in-house lit question :

        What is life as an in-house litigator like? I too am in biglaw litigation (though only 1 year in) and have thought about life after biglaw. However, everytime I hear of a junior litigator going in-house (and agree with the posters above that it’s rare), I wonder if he/she is leaving too early from biglaw. From what I understand, training in in-house is rare as is the chance to take depos/engage in the day-to-day discovery tasks.

        With all that in mind, how does an in-house litigator provide value to her internal client (the company)? From a biglaw perspective, “value” can be quantified in terms of whether or not I’m meeting my billable hour requirement. I’m less clear as to what measures of “value” an in-house litigator would be measured against.

        • @”Not the OP but related in-house lit question” – I’ll tackle your question about how do you provide value. Keep in mind that I don’t just do litigation, so others who are more specialized will have different answers.

          I provide value by supporting the business. That means recognizing that our business people don’t care how the legal sausage is made. They’re concerned about how something is going to impact that project they’ve been working on for a year, our relationship with a long-standing business partner, our budget, or our profits. So a large part of my job is taking off the nerdy lawyer hat and instead asking, what is the pragmatic business solution here? I know this is probably a bit cryptic, but there are plenty of situations in which you could spend beaucoup $$ on outside counsel/litigation only to achieve the same result as if you’d stepped back and asked, what tools do our business people have to resolve this? Many times, I guide negotiations from the background without ever interacting directly with the other side. I’ve realized that one of our lawyer skills that is really handy in-house is to look at a problem, ask what solution our business people want, and then strategize what moves our business people need to make to get as close to that solution as possible. Here’s a basic vague example where I have changed the relevant details (and which I hope still makes sense). I recently worked on a service/support contract, initial draft provided by the other party, that provided for, say, Z support calls for $X. I asked our business person– is Z enough? He said, well, we could probably use Z+2, so let’s go back with that. I said, let’s go back with Z+5 for $X, anticipating that we’ll end up negotiating it down to around Z+2 for $X. We got Z+5 for $X. Win.

          On the contract side, my job is to make sure our contracts accurately document the deal our business people struck, assess the risk inherent in the contract, and point that risk out. With very few exceptions, my job is not to get in the way of getting the deal done. I’ve seen other in-house counsel get stuck insisting on ticky-tacky changes that ultimately mean nothing in the big picture. All they’re doing is holding up their client’s deal. I negotiate and push hard for the changes that matter (which I LOVE), and I don’t worry about making concessions on changes that don’t.

    • After biglaw- I’ve been wanting to post this job for a while so I’m taking this opportunity. One of my favorite companies – Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has a job posting for Associate General Counsel. http://careers.gatesfoundation.org/job/Seattle-Associate-General-Counsel-%28Business-TransactionsPRI%29-Job-WA-98101/1792618/?from=email&refid=27417394&utm_source=J2WEmail&source=2&eid=243-201206170700-58283231&locale=en_US It would be cool if someone from [this site] would get the job but I guess I’ll never know…

      • Only slightly related. A friend of mine is a lawyer for the Gates Foundation, used to be in DC but now he is out in the Seattle office. If it was a DC position, I would apply!!

      • after biglaw :

        For Coach Laura – thank you! The Gates Foundation posting isn’t in my area of law, but I’ve forwarded it to a friend who lives in the Emerald City and who is looking for just that type of position!

  47. momentsofabsurdity :

    I talked to my sister today and heard a funny story – I’m sure the Hive can relate, or at least will be amused. She said today she went to the salon (it was one of those hole-in-the-wall, Vietnamese-run, mani/pedis for $24 type places) to get her brows and upper lip waxed, and the aesthetician said, “Oh honey – you sure you don’t want to wax your chin too??? So much hair on your chin!”

    My sister said she gasped and told me she had no idea she had any hair on her chin. I told her she wasn’t crazy – she doesn’t! At least unless she’s grown a beard since I saw her last month.

    I’ve definitely been “upsold” like that before (and I almost always go ahead with it because OMG what if I DO have hair on my chin and I just never noticed??) So I’ve definitely been in that position, for example, while getting a pedicure — “Honey, you want a brow wax? No? You suuuuuuure? You need a brow wax! Your brows are really hairy!” It sure is an effective sales technique, even if it relies on creating panic and shame.

    Any other fun/funny maintenance stories?

    • Yes, the Indian threading lady asked me, “Don’t you want to be clean? Beautiful ladies have a clean appearance,” trying to up-sell me to a full face threading, as if the regular transparent body hair on my forehead and cheeks made me look like a homeless person. Then she proceeded to rip the skin off my upper lip threading my non-existent mustache.

      I decided not to get threaded anymore.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes, I was upsold a lip threading. Never again. Glad to know this thing happens to everyone. It’s the Quickie-Lube marketing model for female grooming.

    • My eyebrow lady always asks (when I’m on the table with her putting wax on my brows) if I want my lip waxed, too. I’m like, um, there’s no hair there. Really? At least it would make sense to try to sell me an underarm or bikini wax…

  48. lawstudent678 :

    In need of a nail polish suggestion. I’d love a sheer, pale pink that’s minimally noticeable, but looks nicer than plain old unpolished nails.

    I’ve tried several OPI shades and they’ve been too pale/opaque (they look almost white, and are great for normal use, but not for a professional setting). I had a similar experience with two shades of Essie. I’ve also tried Chanel polish in rose cache, and it’s too close to my skin tone (ends up a weird tan-ish color, despite my very fair skin).

    Any suggestions appreciated!

    • Have you tried mademoiselle from Opi? I just got it today and i really like it for the office. It is sort of close to my skin tone, but I still like it.

      • For pale pinks, I like Essie Mademoiselle and Dior Incognito. I am also currently obsessed with (but do not yet own) Julep Jennifer. (FWIW, I have super-pale skin with yellow undertones). I’d recommend going to Sephora (if you have one nearby) and playing with some colors–nothing beats seeing a color on your own nails.

    • Charmed Girl :

      It was a special collection this spring, so it might be challenging to find. OPI had a lovely sheer line, the New York City Ballet line. The light pink was called Barre My Soul. I like it as it is sheer (at three coats, I still see nail line) but it looks “clean.” I also really like the grey one. Good luck!

    • I have and love Shall we dance? from the Sally Hanson Salon Manicure line. It is opaque and a really nice ballet-slippers shade of pink. With a top coat, it lasts me about 4 days which is good for a manicure (on my toes it lasts 2 weeks).

    • lawstudent678 :

      Thanks for the suggestions!

      Not sure if this is unique to the store here, but my local Sephora only has their brand of nail polish, otherwise I’d have a blast trying on every different pale pink there is.

    • Chanel ballerina or allegra as an expensive option. Butter pink ribbon for middle range. Rimmel’s pink in the French manicure line as an all over for for dirt cheap.

  49. To KLG and anyone else interested: I have completed and posted my roundup on Ellen’s writeing format. Comments welcome as always!

    • AnonInfinity :

      I believe part of the reason Ellen’s spelling is getting worse is that it’s not always Ellen posting. I think that sometimes other posters post as Ellen and misspell random words, and some misspell more than others. I don’t know that anyone has admitted to posting as Ellen sometimes, but the fact that her writing style varies sometimes leads me to think this.


  50. Interesting question: for medical reasons, I’m without a sense of smell for the next month or two, which means I’m nearly without a sense of taste. Only sweet, salty, acidic/sour, and hot seem to make it through. The only foods that are really appealing are things like grapes (sweet/sour), pickles (sour/salty), and salsa (sweet/hot/sour). Anyone had any experience with this before? Other than these, any ideas of foods that might actually make me want to eat for the next few weeks?

    • A friend’s mom lost her sense of smell and so couldn’t taste anything either, but she started really liking beer because she could still kind of taste it. I realize this isn’t food, but you might try it if you want to taste something.

    • I lost my sense of smell for over a year and unfortunately, the only thing I could get any sort of enjoyment out of was hot sauce and cracked red and black pepper. I put them on everything. It wasn’t so much that I could taste them as must as it provided a sensation. At least you know there is an end in sight. When I was without that sense (among others), no one had any idea if or when it would come back. I’m at about 80% now, which is sometimes good and sometimes bad!!

      Good luck!

    • I’d suggest making different sauces that you can add to dishes to provide flavor. Mango chutney would probably be good, or sweet and sour or sweet chili sauces, maybe even curries. I make a really easy spicy yogurt dip (can be used as a sauce) – brown a diced yellow onion in olive oil, shake in cayenne pepper and a touch of garlic, add honey and simmer a minute or so. Then put it in a mixing bowl and mix in a quart of plain yogurt (I use Greek for a dip, and the runnier European style for a sauce). You should be able to taste the sweet and spicy flavors.

      • BTW, watch out for heartburn/acid reflux if all you can manage are hot or sour foods. You may want to ask your doctor what she’d recommend to prevent it.

    • "Allergies" PSA :

      I have lost my sense of smell (I hope temporarily — if you want the gory background story, Google this site .com and my handle). Which means I also have lost a lot of my sense of taste. I can still taste very sour things, but that’s about it. I have found two things:

      1. Texture (and to a lesser extent temperature) of my food is more important to me now. I especially crave crunchy things so that, in the absence of flavor, I have something to signal to me that I am eating. Current favorite: non-fat chocolate frozen yogurt with pecan pieces.

      2. I seem to be overeating these days. Because I can’t taste anything, I don’t ever get that “Oh, that piece of fish tasted great and now I’m done” feeling. In fact, I seem to keep eating to try and achieve some flavor, and then before I know it, I’ve eaten way too much and don’t feel well. I know you are having the opposite problem, but maybe my solution will help you, too. My solution is to order/make only meals that I know I like and are good for me and whose portions are right for me and to eat them. When I eat something out of my normal routine, that is when I overeat. Maybe you can do the same?

  51. scientist :

    What would you wear to the Olympics? I’m going to some of the events in week 1, and I haven’t a clue what I should pack. Thoughts?

    • AnonInfinity :

      Something very comfortable. Possibly with the colors of whatever country I was rooting for?

    • My city hosted the Olympics when I was in my late teens. It was a blast. Not sure if you live in London or are visiting, but I always tell people that being an Olympic city will make you love the games and hate the IOC (don’t get my started on Fascist-sympathizing Juan Antonio Samaranch and his band of dispossessed minor European aristocrats). So I hope you have a wonderful time.

      As for what to wear: comfort is absolutely key, especially for shoes. There’s often a lot of standing and waiting in lines (transit, ticket checks, security, etc.). Also, sometimes the venues are aggressively air-conditioned, so make sure you have a sweater or jacket you can put on in case it’s an icebox. If you’ll be at an outside event, bring a hat for the sun. And I often brought binoculars – it was fun to be able to see details that you couldn’t make out from far away (competitors’ expressions during the medal ceremonies; an arrow in a target; or just funny details of what the equipment looked like).

      • scientist :

        I’m a current Californian going to visit BF’s family. Comfort is definitely something I’m considering, but also why I’m having issues deciding what to pack. Shoe recommendations would be appreciated!

        • I’m going to the Olympics too and was wondering the same thing. If you want to wear USA shirts, Old Navy has a bunch.

        • I have some great Miz Mooz flat leather mary janes that combine attractiveness and walkability-they are my go-to shoes for active-but-not-wilderness travel. I’d be packing something like that. Or cute sneakers (like Pumas).

    • I’m an American expat in London, and am also going to some events. I’m planning on wearing my New Balances and jeans and a tshirt, possibly with a cardigan. I second cbackson’s suggestion of Pumas if you want something a bit smaller. My big recommendation is just to plan to carry as few things as possible in with you – they are saying the security to get into venues will be like it as at the airport (including limitations on liquids). And be prepared, if you take the tube it will be packed.

  52. Chris Mathews' "Hardball" :

    Has anyone read it? A short review?

  53. "Allergies" PSA :

    Paging Godzilla:

    Went to ENT for a CAT scan after 3 weeks of antibiotics and a 6-day Medrol pack. My sinuses are completely full of fluid and other gunk. Not a single space for any air. (They are supposed to be completely empty with only air in them.)

    Two options:

    Medical treatment: 24 days of Prednisone, 2 weeks of even harder core antibiotics, 24 days of Pulmicort nasal spray. Then another CAT scan to see if they are clear. CAT scan later to see if it comes back.

    Surgical treatment: general anesthesia, through each nostril, clear it all out physically. CAT scan later to see if it comes back.

    I am on day 3 of Prednisone.

    Two pieces of good news as per ENT:

    1. Because my sense of smell returned while I was on the Medrol, it is likely that once my sinuses are clear, it will come back.

    2. It appears to not be a brain tumor. (Yes, I was sobbing when I asked this question.)

    • Steroids steroids steroids. Sigh. I’m so sorry you’re going through all of this. And since we’re discussing nasal fluids…my CAT scan also showed my sinuses clogged up with all kinds of business. Taking nasonex only turned me into a drippy mess, which might have been the point? I don’t know.

      My doctor showed me the before/after scans of someone with our issues. And handed me the business card of his surgeon friend. It doesn’t feel so good, does it? Hang in there, gurl, we can do this.

      • "Allergies" PSA :

        So are you going to have the surgery? My ENT says it is general anesthesia.

  54. Late Night Freak out :

    Not sure if there is anyone around to even answer this, but here it goes! Starting a new (non-law) job in the lovely sweaty mess of DC. It’s business casual, but normally I would wear a suit regardless on my first day. Can I get away with pants and a short sleeved blouse? Bring a cardigan and/or blazer? I don’t have any light colored suits that currently fit well – medium gray skirt suit that would do (blazer sleeves are long).

    • Heat trumps. I’d even go for a skirt (no hose) with your short sleeve blouse, and bring a blazer, just in case.

    • What you or Nona suggest sounds fine. But I would make it a jacket, not a cardigan.

  55. DC is the only place I have ever lived where I felt my shins sweating. I would probably wear a skirt suit (without hose) with a short sleeved shirt underneath — commute without the jacket, but bring it (1) to look professional later and (2) to deal with the overly conditioned air you might face (which for me makes me a sneezy sad mess when my hot, sweaty body has to start dealing with the cold).