Coffee Break – Nano Lip Liner in Native Nude

Nano Lip Liner in Native NudeI recently decided to replace my super-old (worn to a nub!) lip liner. So I poked around online, looking for a “nude for me” kind of lip liner. (I should clarify here: unlike some women who use their lip liner as a base for lipstick by filling in their entire lips, and unlike some women who “define” their lips, I mostly just use lip liner to aid me in my super-fast, mirror-less application of lipstick. I find that having lined my lips it keeps the lipstick in the lines, and it also helps to fill the blanks if I somehow miss part of my lip. (Does that make sense?)) Anyway, I poked around and read a bunch of articles, nearly purchasing some of the $20-ish clear lip liners (such as this, this, or this) and eventually just decided to take my chances with a $5 Sephora brand lipliner (which is more inexpensive than most drugstore brands!). And… it’s perfect; exactly what I wanted. Hooray for $5 beauty purchases. Sephora Nano Lip Liner in Native Nude




  1. I use lip liner the same way you describe – mine is MAC in Spice, with Spirit lipstick and Beaux lipgloss. On me, it looks like a more vibrant version of my own lip color.

  2. Outfit advice needed.

    I am starting to volunteer for a women’s health organization as a “fundraiser” for select donors. It’s a pretty classy group of women.

    I was invited to the annual brunch to meet the other fundraisers. It’s a Sunday morning in Half Moon Bay (south of San Francisco on the ocean) at the personal home of one of the Board members.

    What do I wear? I have a feeling my Silicon Valley Biz Caz uniform of grey slacks and a knitted top isn’t going to suffice. My normal weekend sundresses are probably too casual. Help!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      How about a sheath dress and a coordinating but non matching knit blazer or cardigan? You are meeting the other fundraisers, not actually fundraising, so I don’t think you have to be totally dressed to the gills, but I think that would be a nice “weekend professional” outfit.

      • I could do that. Do you think I could pull it off with a black sheath dress? I also have a red sheath dress? Or is that too dark for brunch?

        I need to buy clothes. I have the opposite problem of most people on here: I don’t shop enough. So I am willing to purchase a new dress.

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          I would probably wear a more summery color than black or red (maybe light gray, cream or camel colored would give you the most versatility in terms of wearing it in other seasons), but I’m sure no one would look askance at a basic black sheath dress, perhaps with a lighter colored blazer.

        • A red sheath paired with a navy cardigan (or white cardi with navy accessories) can look very summery and brunch appropriate.

        • You are not alone! I don’t shop enough either. I’d love to find more resources (blogs? books?) for those of us who literally need to be pushed out to door to go shopping – and still come home empty-handed unless the pushing continues all the way to the cash register… But at least my 401k is well-dressed.

          • It wasn’t a bad problem to have until the last of my “shopping” friends moved away. With the right companion, I can buy $500 of clothing in a day. So my wardrobe was pretty comprehensive (not huge, but I usually had something to wear) and never got too worn out. But by myself? ugh. There are so many other things I’d rather do on the weekend.

    • What about The Skirt or the J Crew No. 2 skirt, with a fun blouse?

    • I’d wear a black sheath dress. But you should check out Lisa’s blog; she seems like she’s in the demographic of your board members, and in the same geographical area too.

    • And if you don’t get enough to eat at the brunch, go to the Flying Fish Grill in Half Moon Bay and have the prawn (or other fish) tacos. I was just there on vacation a little over a week ago and they were seriously some of the best food I’ve ever eaten…..swoon…..

  3. Dang it Kat, I just purchased a clear one from the drug store on Friday for 6 bucks. Had I known I could have saved a dollar … le sigh….

  4. I just realized (thanks to an account alert) that the balance of my checking account does not match between Quicken and my bank, by over $2000. (Of course, the extra money is in Quicken, not the bank :( ) I’m not sure how to track this down because normally, I download everything, and it matches +/- that one uncleared check, etc. I have started by taking my last checking statement and making an additional mark in Quicken so that I know it showed up on my statement, but I am worried this could take ages. I don’t remember being this far off even two weeks ago, so I’m not sure how to go about this. Any ideas? I should point out, as there are so many Mint fans, that for various reasons (the most important being the complete clustercuss that is entering a future transaction, which is how I track when bills will be deducted), and I do not get along.

    • Have you used the reconcilation function in Quicken? I will reconcile my bank and cc statements to my quicken register every month and its pretty good about showing me where I went wrong. it works better if you’ve been doing it as you go, but its something to consider. Ctrl-r brings up the window if you can’t find it in the menu.I also don’t download my transactions, so I don’t know how that interacts with the other functions.

      The other possibilty is that something got switched in the debit/credit columns (so its going in instead of going out of your acct), or the category coding got messed up so a payment isn’t registering like its supposed to.

      • I also reconcile in Quicken with my bank statement. The problem with what she’s describing above is that if you haven’t reconciled, you may have to go back too far. Then again, if the problem just happened and you’re reconciling within a month, it could help you find the problem.

      • I didn’t realize I could add a reconciling column that is separate from the “reviewed” column from downloading. That could be helpful.

        • Well, its more like a wizard that you run. And if you don’t need the reconciliation report, you might (?!) Be able to reconcile “backwards” by starting with the most recent statements and working back to the older ones as necessary. This isn’t necessarily kosher for accounting purposes, but it might be helpful for finding that item that’s throwing you off.

          • Oh [light bulb] – I remember doing this a while (years) ago. You enter in the info, like starting balance, ending balance, etc., from your statement, and it does the work for you, right? Now I remember. Thanks for circling back to clarify, nona!

          • Yup! That’s it. And it generates a listing of all your open deposits and outgoings and then you just check them off until the balance in the lower right-hand corner equalizes.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Id start with the most recent purchases on your bank statement (online recent activity would be best) and work backwards in time line by line. If it wasn’t that off 2 weeks ago, it shouldnt take a ton of time to go through the last 2 weeks of purchases to find the mistake.

    • You should balence your check book against the BANK STATMENT, not QUICKEN. When I was dateing Alan, he did the same thing! He relied on QUICKEN rather then going to the bank statment.

      Today the manageing partner gave me a new cleint. He want’s me to meet them for lunch tomorow, and take them out for a meal. I told the manageing partner I would be happy to meet them, but I do NOT want to have a big lunch (with drinkeing) b/c I am trying to keep off the 3 pounds I lost.

      He said OH PISHAW, and is makeing me take them out MYSELF! I do NOT even know these guy’s and I have to go w/o the manageing partner?

      The manageing partner says that I have got to grow up soon. I told him I am OVER 30 year’s old! He just laughed and started buffeing his head again with his hankercheef!

    • Checking your statements against your software is called reconciling. You should be doing it.

      Could it be a check you have written that the recipient hasn’t deposited yet?

      • I will check that. I have write a monthly check that doesn’t clear for about 6 weeks, so it’s possible it got way off somehow with the delay of when I enter it in Quicken and when it actually clears.

        And yes, I will get right on that reconciling. So much much for be lulled into “everything downloads and matches and it’s like magic.” Lesson learned.

        • “everything downloads and matches and it’s like magic.”

          This is how I feel about Apple’s propaganda machine and misinformation campaign that everything is rainbows and unicorns. Because I’m a cool hip dude springing down the chic sidewalk in SF from one client coffee to another in my graphic designer business. I have no need of actual computer use (you know, the kind that requires Word or Excel full functionality). And I never have any syncing issues. And everything always works together perfectly because the world is rainbows and unicorns. Which means I never have to call Apple and deal with the real world.

          • Ha! Exactly. “Everything syncs like magic.” FOOEY on that. Everything syncs like iTunes, by which I mean terribly.

        • I purposefully don’t do the download/match because I find I have a better sense of where my finances are at if I do it manually.

          You can also hold onto your version of Quicken longer before upgrading, since they’ll phase out support for the download feature for a version about 3 or 4 years after the version comes out.

  5. About lip liner. For those of you who do use it as a base for lipstick (to help lipstick stay longer), what do you recommend?

    • SF Bay Associate :

      I like the CoverGirl outlast lipliner in “nude.” It really does stay all day, though it is getting harder to find. Ulta still carries them. I use it as a base for the CoverGirl outlast lipstick. They work well.

    • I use a lip liner in the same colour family as the lipstick that is going over it. That way, I don’t need a huge number of lip liners, but just 2 or 3 – i.e. 1 pink, 1 red, 1 more neutral. In the past I’ve had great success with MAC, but lately I’ve been using Boots No. 7 brand lip liners, which I find I really like.

  6. It is 12:13 out here on the west coast and I have already eaten everything that I brought to work today. Yogurt, corn/arugula salad, strawberries, and pasta. I’m still hungry. And I’ve had a large (herbal) tea and gone through about 40 oz of water. If I’m not productive today it’s because I can’t put the fork down long enough to read more than a sentence. Stupid hormones. I just want to eat.

  7. I am a 27 year old attorney. I really want to start giving back to the community in some way and have no idea where to start. I looked at the website for the JL dc chapter and they focus on childrens literacy which I think is great and interesting, its just hard to tell what kind of things they do to help that. Any other suggestions or places/causes that you love?

    • Are you doing pro bono? Interested in doing so? I am interested in doing non-legal stuff (dog rescue volunteering, soup kitchen), but I am trying to find some pro bono to do, as well, because there’s a more limited number of people that can do the legal volunteer work. So far I am just putting out lots of feelers on both ends, but I’m hoping I can figure out a nice mix of legal and non-legal. If you’re interested in animal-related volunteering, I have heard good things about volunteering with WARL.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’ve recently contacted the ASPCA, Dress for Success, and Planned Parenthood to start volunteering because those are causes I’m very interested in. They all require orientation meetings or trainings, so I figured I go to those to get a better idea of what volunteering entails and then decide how to spend or split my time.

    • Anonymouse :

      Volunteer with legal aid maybe? Or, if you want a non-legal way to help, the local library could probably use help on Saturdays.

    • The Children’s Law Center always needs pro bono attorneys. Washington Animal Rescue League always needs volunteers at their shelter.

    • emcsquared :

      My two have been mentioned – your local chapter of Dress for Success and animal rescue groups. Make sure it’s something you love, because it’s so much easier to give your time when you feel passionate. I did 100+ hours pro bono last year, and probably 50+ hours on non-legal volunteer work, and it barely registered as “working” for me. I also like to keep a blend of legal and non-legal volunteer work, because it keeps me refreshed and not bored.

      Other thoughts: veterans support (living wills, credit counseling, homelessness assistance, and domestic relations counseling are desparate needs right now), small business training in low-income areas, low-cost assistance in accounting or filing Forms 1023 for tax-exempt entities, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, guardian ad litem, Boy Scout/Girl Scout/Campfire/4H leaders.

      Good luck!

      • Just to get you started, you might want to try They organize lots of volunteer events that are all one-off commitments. For example, you might go one day and stock a food pantry, or another day to walk rescue dogs, or play with children in a shelter. Several of their opportunities are recurring so if you really like it, you can go every week.

        • AnotherLadyLawyer :

          Ditto DC Cares. It’s a great way to see what kinds of volunteer projects are out there and try a few before you work one into your weekly/monthly rotation. Plus, you can usually search/sort projects and sign up online, which makes life easier!

    • Feel free to contact me to chat about the JLW – leead02 at yahoo dot com – I can tell you what we do (and what we don’t) and how we give back to the community (I admit, our website is a bit clunky and non-story telling; if you read the blog, that gives more perspective from a “human” voice). However, it’s the start of our new year, so our new member class is already picked; you would have to apply this winter and then would be a member starting in June 2013.

    • Thanks all! these are some great starting points

  8. Hey, ladies. Some of you may remember that I’m TTC. Here’s the deal. I’ve been invited to a wonderful sushi restaurant on someone else’s dime. It’s the best, most expensive one in town (in fact, the chef won a James Beard award). What do I do???? I know I’m not preg currently, but my O kit told me that today is my day to O. Should I skip raw fish? That will kill me but I’ll do it if needed; I’d just rather not do it unnecessarily.

    • Eat the sushi! I wouldn’t think twice about it.

    • I think given that you are not actually pg yet, and the restaurant is of very high quality, enjoy the sushi and the companionship. And good luck in the next 2 weeks!

    • TTC too... :

      I’ve read more on this subject that I ever hoped to…

      No, you don’t need to skip the raw fish. If you are O’ing today and are successful, you have at least 3 days to implanting, maybe as many as 8, and only upon inplanting would the egg/sperm combo begin to be affected by things (and really, not until about a week after implanting, but who wants to time it that close because then it can be greatly affected).
      Do skip the alcohol, though…in addition to fetal harm, it *can* throw hormonal events and speeds ever so slightly off balance, which is important when trying to get everything to line up just right.

      A fellow TTC-er who binges on sushi and Brie until O day.

    • Honey Pillows :

      Don’t quote me on this, but isn’t there a few days/weeks leeway time between actual conception and what you consume having a possible detrimental effect on the pregnancy? Something about being drunk when you conceive not being a danger of giving your child fetal alcohol syndrome or something like that? (Alcohol! Helping you make bad decisions since the dawn of time!)

      I think you’re fine, but if you really want to be safe (since mercury is a heavy metal and it sticks around in your blood -I assume that’s what you’re worried about?), just avoid Marlin, Orange roughy, Tilefish, Swordfish, Shark, Mackerel (king), Tuna ( bigeye, Ahi). Those are the mercury offenders.

    • Diana Barry :

      GO! EAT THE SUSHI! :)

      (sorry for the Ellen caps)

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Eat the sushi. Fo’ realsies.

    • Oh oh oh! Just asked my OB friend this EXACT question! She says no need to worry about sushi, alcohol, caffeine, etc. until you are actually 100% pregnant (e.g., missed period, positive test, etc.) She says the two weeks between O and period-time (or, in this case, missed period time) is travel time — the fertilized egg is heading down to the uterus but not implanted meaning you’re not sharing blood supply with an embryo yet. So eat away!

    • Seventh Sister :

      Eat the sushi. I even ate sushi when I knew I was pregnant (from good places, not too often, etc., etc. ) and my kids are fine.

    • I did a good bit of internet research on this a while back (for whatever that’s worth, I know), and what I generally found led me to believe that the risks of sushi are quite overstated. In particular, it seems that most fish in the U.S. is flash-frozen, which appears to kill just about everything you would be concerned about.

      I’m hardly a doctor, but, if I were you and based on what I’ve found, I would go. In fact, while I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat sushi now that I am pregnant, if someone invited me today (17 weeks! Baby’s the size of a turnip!), I would go, and while I haven’t eaten sushi per se, I have had a few bits of raw fish since finding out about little turnip-child.

      That said, I’ve always tended to play pretty fast and loose with food safety (never been sick, knock on wood), in terms of considering expiration dates to just be suggestions, letting things sit at room temp, that sort of thing, so you may have to decide for yourself how much risk you are comfortable with.

      Good luck on TTC! Enjoy your sushi deliciousness!

      • Please tell me that “turnip-child” will at least be a nickname contender.

        • Only for this week. Last week it was avocado-child, next week it will be bell-pepper-child, and the week after that is large-heirloom-tomato-child.

          Jeeze, this pregnancy talk is making me hungry!

          • I’ve been doing the exact same weekly fruit/vegetable nickname! I’ve got a rutabega in my belly this week. 25-wks. It kicks me when I’m trying to concentrate at work. Already a troublemaker.

  9. Birth Control Related :

    So the earlier discussion about Mirena made me wonder if there were others like me. My son is 2, and we have not used birth control since before I got pregnant. We rely on avoiding (based on tracking my cycle with temps, etc) and pulling out. Hormonal birth control makes me wacky, and I can’t use many other forms of birth control due to highly allergic skin. I think our system works well for us, but my doctor keeps telling me that I should be on birth control. Thoughts?

    • I have two friends who have been successful with the fertility tracking in their BC efforts, both for over 3 years now.

    • If you ovulate on a regular cycle, or if you’re religious about tracking, natural family planning/fertility awareness method is nearly 100% effective. So long as you’re not having sex during your fertile periods you should be fine. Ignore your doctor; you know your own body better than he does. Pulling out, as far as I know, is not enough to prevent pregnancy during your fertile periods.

      There’s a book called Taking Control of Your Fertility that I recommend – it is as good for those trying to avoid pregnancy as for those trying to get pregnant.

      • TTC too... :

        Sometimes I wish that *this site* had a list of Most Reader Recommended Books to Become the Woman You Want”…I discovered TCOYF through this site and it is not an overstatement to say that it has Changed. My. Life.

        • There’s a group setup on the website The group is called “Fans of the website “. The group has a list of books that includes the ones most mentioned, I think. Anyone in the group can add more books to the list.

      • TCOYF changed my life, too — I was so happy to find a way to be off hormonal birth control. I’m on my 95th cycle of charting, and no mishaps so far.

    • Not really :

      Be careful. Friends are now expecting their 3rd kid in two years despite being very careful. Pulling out does not work. Also remember that those little suckers live for a while so you could get pregnant even if you stop when you’re ovulating.

    • I assume you’re allergic to latex, but have you tried polyeurethane condoms (Bare or Skyn)? I used them with my husband for years before we started trying to conceive and never had any problems.

    • I think that’s fine for people who are less risk adverse. For instance, single me would never use that method. Married and as a couple who wants children at somepoint but not yet would consider that method

    • Diana Barry :

      Me too. I used to have a copper IUD (before pregnancy, I can’t use hormones) and haven’t used any BC since 2007. We tracked a la TCOYF between each of the 3 kids. No oopses (the second and third were both planned).

      I think this is our last one, though, so DH will be getting the snip as soon as we are sure that this is the last one.

    • My OB told me they have a joke in their profession:
      “What do you call couples who rely on natural family planning?”

      Obviously taken with a grain of salt but like someone above said, if it would be absolutely terrible for you to become pregnant right now, you might want to add in some sort of birth control. If it would just be unplanned and inconvenient but ok in the long run, you’re probably ok.

    • I did this before my first kid and between kid 1 and kid 2. Never had a scare. I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone, but we felt fine doing a low-key BC method, knowing that if we screwed up, it wouldn’t be traumatic or relationship-ending. If you are feeling 100% no way, no how, use a barrier method. But if you’re happy with a method that works pretty well, no guarantees, keep doing what you’re doing.

    • Research, Not Law :

      We are really happy with condoms. Used them before kids, between, and after. Both kids were fully planned and intentional. There are some various materials for allergies if you research beyond your standard drugstore, but it’s not an area I’m familiar with. If you’re looking for something, I would explore a copper IUD or diaphram.

      If you’re happy with your system, then go with it. I’m sure you’re aware that it’s not perfect, but so long as you’re comfortable with the possibility of an unplanned child, then I see nothing wrong with it.

      • Just have to add that diaphragms have a much higher failure rate than fertility awareness/NFP. I really wouldn’t go that route – I discussed it with my gyno and was horrified when I looked at the failure rate statistics.

    • I’m pretty much doing the same thing. But then, I’m 42, never been pregnant or even had a scare, perimenopause is rearing its head, and I’m not overly worried.

      I think about getting an IUD, then I think I most likely don’t even have 5 fertile years left, and go on as I have been.

      That said, every period is a beautiful miracle of not-creating-life and I cherish them all.

    • Anon for This :

      Have you considered the copper IUD? I feel like it was completely downplayed as an option (Mirena is better! It’s more expensive! More marketing! No periods!), but it’s great. Don’t know if that works or doesn’t work with your allergy.

    • I’ve used natural family planning (the tracking method, NOT the rhythm method) for 5.5 years. No babies. I’ve had one or two wonky long cycles that made me a little nervous, but my cycle’s not really that regular, and those months were both high-stress/abnormal.

      Anyway, I recommend it.

  10. We’re doing the same thing. BC was an absolute nightmare for me (trust me, I tried everything) and I will not use it again.

  11. @Wannabe Runner :

    I hope that you don’t give up, but that you take a break! Going to the doctor is definitely the right thing to do, and going to a specialty running store also might help. I’ll post some links that helped me as a reply, so they don’t get stuck in moderation.

    • goodformrunning dot com: this one was most helpful. I don’t do it all of the time, but I notice my knees hurting a lot less is a good overview and helped me get some perspective

      Runner’s World has an entire section with articles, exercises, and videos on running injuries. Actually, I should probably do more of these myself…

      Also, running with your bf is really good for motivation, but you might be hurting yourself from trying to keep pace with him. My bf is really really out of shape, but since he’s quite a bit taller, he’s still faster than me when we run together. When I try and keep up with him, I notice my knees hurt a lot more. Either way, good luck and hopefully it works out!!

    • Wannabe Runner :

      Thank you so much!

      Good call on maybe my bf is just pushing me. We wanted to do it together, and he said, “I’ll slow down” but sometimes he doesn’t. He’s less in shape than me, but taller, so yes, he runs faster.

    • Urk you guise, just because someone is taller doesn’t mean they’re faster. See: Manzano, Leo ( please note Andrew Wheating, small and dainty at 6’5, getting whooped by pocket-sized Leo and Centro); Lagat, Bernard (; etc.

      Your boyfriends are probably faster because they’re boys. Hurts my feminist soul to say that, but true facts.

    • I wanted to post yesterday about this. I had lots of knee pain when I started running (regularly for the first time since high school) in October, and it went away when I switched to a midfoot strike. Look to your gait/shoes. You shouldn’t have to give up running all together.

      • Wannabe Runner :

        Tell me more about this “midfoot strike.”

        • Basically, you should try running with a ‘barefoot style.’ Most people strike with their heel when they run. They stretch their leg out, with the toes pointed up, hit the ground with their heel, and push off. With a midfoot strike, the ball of your foot hits the ground first, your heel ‘kisses’ the ground, and then you push off. It involves a shorter stride and leaning slightly forward as you run. I can’t post links because I can’t get on YouTube at work, but watch some barefoot running videos on YouTube.

          • Oh, and I should note that you should change your gait slowly (i.e. don’t go out and run for 40 minutes the first time you try this out), and that you will probably experience ankle/lower leg pain as your muscles adjust.

  12. Taking a second bar exam? :

    I posted about moving cross country last week (thanks for all your tips on relocation packages!), and will need to take a new bar exam (NY to CA). My current firm gives me 4 paid weeks off to study. Is that enough time to study for CA or should I take 6? And should I sign up for BarBri or Kaplan.

    • Former MidLevel :

      When did you last take the Bar? If it’s within a few years, you may not need to to a whole review course again.

    • I took the CA bar exam last summer as my second bar, after moving from IL. I used all of June and July to study, and did BarBri, and would highly recommend that approach. CA is a really tough exam, and it’s just not worth it to risk failing for a few thousand bucks if you already have a job lined up.

    • CA is ridiculous and has a ton of CA specific law. That said, 2 years ago should get you through the vast majority of the MBE. 4 should do it, if that’s all you are doing during that period. But don’t plan to be setting up your new abode or strolling through your new surroundings or making new friends… it will be you & your books.

      Additionally, BarBri & Kaplan are wicked expensive, but can you negotiate them into a relocation package? I do think bar prep materials are important out here in CA, where the law is less than clear.

      I am a PA transplant to CA (spent my 1L year in PA, 2L & 3L years here in CA) and needed a lot of BarBri’s help to study for the CA bar.

    • I took the CA (attorney) bar in 2010 when I relocated from NY. It was my third bar exam, but it had been over 7 years since the last one. I purchased the Conviser mini-review from BarBri, studied that for about 10 days (ostensibly full time), and I passed. And believe me, I’m no legal rock star. 4 weeks is enough. You’ll be fine. Good luck.

    • Taking a second bar exam? :

      Thanks everyone! This was helpful.

  13. I came home last night and found a wasp nest right next to my front door. Closing the door upset the wasps, which then made them swarm the door (thankfully I managed to get inside without a sting) and one got inside. I called my management company this morning and they said they could send someone out tomorrow, but that it would be a general window between 9-12. Normally I would just make up the time, but the problem is, I’m a summer associate. The extermination company will come on the weekend, but that gives me 5 more days of potential wasp swarms and wasp in my house. Is it reasonable to ask to work from home in the morning (I live alone, so there’s no roommate to ask) so that I can let in the exterminator and they can make sure that there are no other wasp nests on the patios? Or because I am the low man on the totem pole I just have to suck it up and hope I don’t get stung for the next few days?

    • Good God, no. Tell your supervisor that you have an emergency you need to take care of ASAP and that you’ll be in the office in the afternoon. Come on, woman.

    • Completely agree with Godzilla.

      • Thank you for reaffirming my faith in people. I wouldn’t have second guessed it, but when I asked a friend I got a much less reasonable answer that was along the lines of “well you’re not dead and you’re likely not allergic, so even if they do sting you, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Just wait, do you really want to be the girl rememberd for the wasps?” I was really taken aback by the answer, and really didn’t think I was the one that was wrong, so I’m glad to be right.

    • Do you really need to be there while the management company is taking care of this? Presumably if the nest is on your porch they can just deal with it and call you. That is what I would do in your position, especially since (presumably) your management company is paying for it.

      • They are paying for it, but it’s a condo, so they don’t have a key and can’t get in to check the back balcony, which they said they wanted to do.

        • Ah. Well, then, I agree with Godzilla too, and also agree that you don’t even need to tell anyone what the “emergency maintenance” or whatever is. I bet no-one will even ask.

    • Do you have an assigned mentor or recruiter you can ask about this? I’m 99% sure that they would say “please, stay home and make sure your house is wasp-free!” but it would be better to ask at your firm first.

    • Couldn’t you just buy some wasp spray? I’ve always used it and I AM allergic to wasp stings. Just a thought . . . You spray it generously directly at the nest and then run inside. Voila! No more wasps!

      • This is not a good idea. Do not do this in lieu of a professional’s services.

        • We have wasps nests in our eaves a few times every summer. The sprays do work BUT you have to use them in the very early morning or in the evening, when the wasps are dormant. It is not a big deal to use them and they’ve always worked for us, but of course you clear the area pretty quickly and don’t hang around to watch them die!

          I would be very careful about how you present this to your manager. You really don’t want to come across as not-a-coper. Can you have the company come and deal with it when you are not home, then schedule a follow up visit when you can be home and can let them in?

    • Do you have another door? If so, I personally would not miss work for this. If your only option is to use this door, then just do what you’ve got to do.

      Also, do you have any reason to think the back balcony is a problem? If the main nest can be eliminated while you are out, just have them do that. Then have them come back later (at your own expense if necessary) when you are home to look at the balcony if you are seriously concerned about that area.

  14. Marissa Mayer just left Google to be the CEO of Yahoo.

    She’s 37. Amazing woman.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      As I said to my parents (especially my mother who was very worried at my taking a job at an early stage startup very early on in my career) – Marissa Mayer has hugely benefited from being employee #20 at Google. I have no doubts she is truly talented and an extraordinary woman, but at a bigger company, she likely would not have been recognized and promoted by the leaders of the company as quickly as she was, and gained the experience necessary to take on such a prominent role. I do wonder about her attaching her name to a fast fading brand, but who knows – maybe she’ll turn it around.

    • Sheesh. She and I are the same age. This makes me feel like a massive underachiever. [Yes, Type A competitive attitude kicking in here.]

  15. Staycation at work = take a vacation day to use IN the office. Thoughts? (Relevant article to follow.)

      • My immediate thought is – no way. If you are doing activities that specifically improve your function at your current job, that is “work” not vacation. Now, taking a vacation day to improve skills you need to leave your current job and get a new one, sure.

        But I think it’s a real problem if someone is so terribly busy at their job that they have no time in the normal course of business to build skills that their employer wants them to have, or meet with people in their organization to discuss job-related things. Maybe I’m a slacker, but why let your employer intrude even more into your personal life?

      • Yeah, my thought was to take a “clear the calendar” day, but not to use vacation time to do so. Somehow I think the office staycation is not going to catch on…

    • That seems insane – why would you work for free?

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I haven’t read the article but I jokingly take in office vacation days without actually taking the vacation day. As in, after a hellish week I might go to work knowing I will get nothing accomplished but will get credit for just being there. I will screw off on the internet all day, take a long lunch, catch up w/ a friend via email, etc and go home. I’m there if any fires crop up but I didn’t get any real work done. But I don’t actually use my vacation days for that.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I’m not familiar with too many huge companies, but do they really require you to use a vacation day to attend an onsite training/professional development session?

    • If a coworker told me they were using a vacation day IN the office, I would immediately never speak to them because they are either 1) body snatcher or 2) serial killer.

    • Crazy. Many of these things are work. Why use vacation? I occasionally have my secretary hold all my calls, etc. so that I can get non-casework things done in the office (training, office organization, etc.), but I don’t take vacation for it. Vacation is for me; training, etc. is for my work. I could not survive in an environment in which I’m expected to do otherwise. People have done lost their minds.

  16. I hate red exclamation mark e-mails with a passion- unless it is a true emergency. I think red exclamation mark e-mails should be saved for those times that everything else you are working on should come to a grinding, screeching halt because of an emergency or a very quickly approaching deadline.

    (History: I came from a firm where red exclamation marks really meant “emergency”, and the one I received today was in reference to a small correction that should be made to a non-billable project that I completed over a month ago. The correction could have been made by the person who sent me the e-mail. UGHHHH…. I would probably not be so irritated but I have been working since 6:00 am this morning on things with real deadlines and had to explain to the paralegal that the e-mail she sent was not an emergency. She, of course, told me that I was wrong.)

    • I’d be super annoyed too.

    • I ignore all those “flags” on emails. No one gets to judge the urgentness of some email I get except for me.

      If my clients could use those flags, all my emails would have red flags.

    • Constance Justice :

      My supervisor overuses all caps and exclamation points. As in, “PLEASE USE FORMAT X INSTEAD OF FORMAT Y!!!!!” when writing about whether to make bold or just underline subheadings. For this reason, I have also come to hate exclamation points when they stand for false urgency. I feel for you!

    • The copyroom manager at my firm sends out red exclamation point emails when one of the many scanners will be down for an afternoon for maintenance.


      Or in other words, yes, I wholeheartedly agree with you.

    • I can’t think of the last time I received a red exclamation mark email that was actually important. It’s actually likely to make me respond to an email more slowly.

    • emcsquared :

      I had a client who sent EVERY e-mail with a red exclamation mark. The one time she sent an e-mail without the exclamation, I knew it was an emergency.

  17. Gail the Goldfish :

    I asked a former employer for a letter of recommendation, which they agreed to do, but are busy and asked if I could do a first draft of the letter that they could then tweak. I had a professor in law school ask me to do the same thing, and thus I know that I am really, really bad at writing recommendation letters for myself. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to go about this?

    • Former MidLevel :

      When I did this for clerkships, I found there was actually a ton of good information online. This is an example of the general format I used: For this type of situation, the main value you can provide is reminding the recommender of all the awesome things you did for them. For an employer, for example, talk about what kinds of projects you did. For a professor, what classes did you take with him/her? Did you excel on the exam? In class participation? That kind of thing. Add plenty of detail – they can always cut, but at least you’re giving them raw material.

  18. Is anyone here in HR management? I’m a former employment attorney trying to transition into HR management and I’ve found it extremely difficult. Does anyone have any tips/advice?

    • Are there any HR headhunters in your area? That might be your best bet. HR tends to be hidebound, in my experience – the VP is an old[er] white male who paid his dues, and won’t believe that an attorney would willingly hang out in the backwater that HR can be. Also, non-VP jobs (other than the few that are considered on the direct path to VP) tend to be underpaid, so they’ll be concerned about your salary requirements, too.

      I think a headhunter who believed in you could be your best ally in selling your “untraditional” candidacy.

    • I’m going the other way – former HR management going into law. What types of positions are you applying to? “Management” means many things, from manager to Director to Veep. You will likely have a hard time being taken seriously for high level positions because you have not done the day-to-day running of an HR department and if you’ve only worked as an attorney, then potential employers will assume you lack the overall practical business experience required of execs (but, please do not run out and get an MBA!). If you have only law experience, then I would look at finding a consulting gig where you will be consulting on HR issues and changes in the law to HR practitioners.

      • Just had another thought. Have you looked at government HR jobs? I’ve heard that JDs in government HR jobs are preferred. Unfortunately, I don’t often see HR job postings with the various state and federal agencies.

  19. For those of you air talia fans, how do you like them to fit? I tried on my usual 8.5 and it was very comfortable but felt snug. Is this how you like them or should I go up a half size and go with a looser fit?

    • I’m usually an 8.5 or a 9 and I take an 8.5 in the Air Talias (and all Cole Haan, really). After one or two wearings the leather molds to my foot nicely. I think a 9 would end up being too big.

    • 2/3 attorney :

      I just ordered my first pair. After many recommendations, I ordered a half-size larger than my usual. They came today and are way too big, slide right off my heel. So disappointed they must go back and I must wait longer to wear them. At least it was zappos so returns are free.

  20. missattymaam :

    Eyes Lips Face has a clear line protector for under $5 in yhr Studio line, and its a twist up.

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