Coffee Break – Biennial satchel

Biennial satchelA good red bag is surprisingly versatile. It’s a great way to add a pop of color to a gray suit, a black dress, or a white button-down worn with jeans. For today’s coffee break, I’m loving this biennnial satchel from J.Crew — the black, tan and navy are full price at $348, but this gorgeous red is on sale for $298. Biennial satchel

(L-2)

Comments

  1. Don’t forget the extra 30% off coupon code they have posted on the J.Crew website!

    • This is truly the first time I feel so drawn to an item featured in here.
      And so sad I don’t have access to coupons, or credit card, or free shipping.
      I guess I’ll just bookmark it and hope some friend goes to the US soon.
      Sigh

  2. PSA time. When I was in law school, I remember our career services advising us not to write thank you notes after interviews. They said “it won’t help and it might hurt” (e.g., if you made a typo).

    I don’t know if they’re still giving this advice. However, if they are, four years out, I think I can safely say: don’t listen to them. The enthusiasm and interest demonstrated by a thank you note can actually be the deciding factor in whether to call you back or give you an offer.

    • I think that the more I hear about various advice given by law school career services (add hobbies to your resume, don’t write thank you notes, etc.), the more I think people should not listen to career service: “it won’t help and it might hurt” indeed.

    • Anonymous :

      I agree, but will say that a recent interviewee in my office sent a thank you note on poorly selected stationery, and as much as I wish it weren’t true, this put her in a lower position than she was in when she walked out of the office. Send the note, but be conservative in your message and stationery selection.

      • K...in transition :

        what counts as “poorly selected stationery?”

        • One of my former colleagues loves to make her own envelopes and they’re really cool, but when she interviewed here, she sent us all cards in envelopes made from what looked like magazine pages. I accidentally threw mine out at first because I thought it was a solicitation from a vendor. When I looked more closely, it looked like dead birds.

          But I also probably wouldn’t use my personalized high-heeled shoe stationery either!

        • um, i’m thinking: Hello Kitty? My Little Pony?

        • A Hallmark-style thank-you card, among other things.

        • Anything cutesy (sunflowers! puppies! kitties! smiley faces! rainbows!) or overly casual in its style. I don’t think you can go wrong with plain white or ecru with a simple colored edge. You can buy packets of these from any stationary shop pretty cheap. I did have personalized cards made, but I don’t think its necessary.

      • anonymous :

        Does stationary with major artists work on the front count as poorly selected? Can the thank you note be on a card and not on stationary?

    • Em: do you have a preference between email thank you notes or postal mail? I have heard postal mail takes too long, and interviewers have already made decisions. Thoughts?

      • I’ve heard that too. For me personally, I don’t have a preference and e-mail would be fine. I know people in my firm who have been impressed by handwritten notes, though. (And for us, we’ll actually specifically hold on-the-bubble candidates for a few days post-screening interview to see if we receive a follow-up that impresses us with their interest in the firm, so a handwritten note would have time to reach us. But I suspect that’s not true for all firms.)

      • I generally complete evaluations within 24 hours (and do not think I am so unique in that), so would not receive a handwritten card in time. Even if the firm has not yet decided, I am my going to revise my evaluation once it’s in (barring something really extreme).

        Send a thank you note, do it by email.

      • anon for now :

        My senior associate colleague here ranks someone writing a thank you note on normal stationery, then scanning it in to a .pdf and e-mailing it to him very high on his “weird interviewee” list, but I think e-mails with text are okay.

      • No preference. We usually take a while to hire. If you’re not sure how fast the firm makes hiring decisions, err on the side of email (not a scanned PDF of your note, but a regular email).

      • For federal government, I suggest sending email because all our mail is screened for security threats and takes about 5 years to reach us.

      • Definitely email in Canada if you are applying through a structured interview week process. Handwritten notes take too long to receive and I do construe negatively if no follow-up thank you email is sent.

    • My colleagues and I often send thank you notes or emails to people we worked with (donors, panelists at events, etc). Sending me a thank you email or note after an interview indicates that you know how to be appreciative of people who’ve done you a favor, and your choice of words/stationery indicate to me whether you do so with proper decorum. So it’s a nice touch, but also tells me something about how you’d do at your job here.

    • Career services totally told me not to bother with craigslist … which is how I found my current job, where I’ve been a year and three months! Their insistence on networking > everything in your job search just stressed me out and did not lead me to finding work.

    • MissJackson :

      I recently participated in a “mock interview” session for current law students, and this issue came up. It turns out that the interviewers were almost completely split on this issue.

      Some of us (myself included) could not care less about thank you notes — meaning, I will not ding you if you don’t send one (nor will it help you at all if you do), but if you send one that is in any way bad (typos being the most common issue), it actually could hurt you. Other interviewers felt strongly that a thank you should always be sent.

      Which, unfortunately means that interviewees are in a “no win” position because you really can’t guess whether you’re interviewing with a “it can’t hurt” person or with a “it can’t help” person.

      The take away is probably send them, but quadruple check your spelling, etc.

    • I sent one-page thank-you letters through the mail, and I know for a fact that a thank-you letter is the reason for at least one of my job offers. I printed my letters on nice but plain 8.5 x 11 paper with a watermark. I had a standard template, but I always personalized the first paragraph and the closing. I put the letters in the mail, locally, within 24 hours of my interviews so that they would arrive quickly. In this job market, I think it could help.

      As for stationary, I can’t imagine using anything but using plain and ordinary stationary. Anything personalized would be weird, and very fancy stationary would scream ‘trying too hard.’

    • When I was interviewing for my current position, I googled my interviewer (of course). She had been interviewed for an article about thank-you notes, and she said in the article that she disliked them, because it makes the interviewee seem desperate sometimes. (!!!)

      So I didn’t send a thank you note, but I did follow up afterwards with an email and attached a link or an article that we had talked about during the interview. I was very careful not to say thank you. And I got the job.

      But I do send thank you notes normally.

    • I send e-mail thank you’s to everyone I meet with. I thank them for their time blah blah and I never come across as desperate. Plus, about 25% of time I get a response and it gives me an idea of what they’re thinking. For informational/networking/possibility of doing future business, I send handwritten thank you notes because I know there isn’t a tight timeframe.

    • I was told to no thank-yous for screeners, but send them after call-backs, and make sure that you send one to each person you interview with, and that they are all different….

      I didn’t send them after screeners because I was dumb enough to listen to their advice. Any specific suggestions for after 1/2 to full day callbacks with 8-15 interviewers?

      • I know at my firm, nobody would take it amiss if you e-mailed either the hiring partner or the HR director (we’re a smaller firm so no recruiting coordinator) and conveyed your thanks to everyone who interviewed you. At least if it was that many. Just don’t e-mail some but not others, because that is noted and taken poorly.

  3. I love red bags. I have a super bright red satchel from years ago and every single time I wear it out, it still makes me happy.

    • I don’t love red but I love this!

    • I so agree! It can look so stylish with an otherwise very conservative outfit.

      I have a (dare I say….) cheap, faux aligator red shoulder bag that I probably got someplace like Marshall’s and people have stopped me on the street/in restaurants to say they covet my bag. I have to hold myself back from saying how cheap it is (!).

      Of course, being cheap, it lasted me only a year or so…. But I am very hard on bags and since I am carrying them (and leaving them….) all over the hospital, I can’t risk having it stolen and crying over my lost $500 bag.

    • I have a pair of red heels I’m wearing today with my black & gray outfit, and they make me feel the same way.

      • Merabella :

        I have a pair of red faux alligator heels I got at Zara over 5 years ago. Every time I wear them people literally stop me and ask me where I got them. I think a good red shoe wins every time.

    • Me too. I got the Cole haan optical weave hobo (structured hobo) in tango red and love it. It was on sale during NAS.

  4. TurtleWexler :

    Does anyone have the Vince Camuto blazer that comes in a bunch of different colors, available at Nordie’s and elsewhere? I really love the emerald green and aqua colors and I’m debating whether to get one (and if so, which color). If you have one, does it hold up well and do you think it was worth the price tag?

  5. Dear Universe,
    Um, i know I’m only a couple hours into it, but can I have a do-over on this whole day? Please, please, pretty please?
    Signed,
    Sad Retroactive Baby Panda

    • Oh, honey, you probably can’t but tomorrow is another day and not only will it be better but it’s Friday. You can do it!

      Anyway, I hear you completely. I don’t need a do-over. I need about a week of sleep. XO

      • Harrummmpphhh …. ok, fine, then maybe a cappuccino and a cupcake is a good compromise??

        • Yes, cupcake(s)! I had cheese popcorn and froyo for dinner last night.

          • I envy your dinner.

          • ok, well, they did not have good cupcakes, so i went with a brownie, almost as good… but on the walk to the coffee shop i passed the bar on the corner, advertising a lunch special margarita……. i was really tempted……

          • Thanks. I felt kind of pathetic. Didn’t leave work until 5:30 and I had to be at choir at 7 so I went home and laid on my bed and ate cheese popcorn and drank Vitaminwater Zero so I wouldn’t fall asleep and miss choir (I’m a paid section leader so I need to be there). Then I talked a friend of mine into going to Yogurtland after choir. I’m kind of obsessed with Yogurtland.

          • Gail the Goldfish :

            Let’s be honest, the best thing about being an adult is the realization that you can have ice cream for dinner.

          • Yes, NOLA’s dinner is the best #WINNING

          • Truer words were never spoken!

          • That dinner sounds awesome.

          • @NOLA

            I fail to see how this is pathetic. :-)

          • That dinner sounds reflective of a strong, confident, independent woman. You go, girl!

      • lawsuited :

        Vodka latte!

        • I was a barista for three years of college. A lot the students who worked at that coffee shop graduated my year, so we were all pretty close. One of my coworkers brought a vanilla syrup bottle full of vodka in the last week of our employment. Can you say “special coffee.”

    • +1. Fooey! I need a mulligan and so do my mr. Monday and mama Monday.

    • darjeeling :

      at least you still have your sense of humor… hope things pick up

      • actually, things are looking up, cuz my internet friends are SO AWESOME and make me smile when I’m in a bad mood ;o)

    • this is where that “Just say Fooey and move on” mug comes in quite handy. I think this goes really well with the Vodka Latte suggestion…

    • Jenna Rink :

      I got a promotion today, but my sister had to put her cat to sleep and then had a car accident (no injuries, except for the major ones to her car). I feel like I took more than my share of the good things today and probably should have spread them around!

  6. K...in transition :

    Fill in the blank time!

    The kindest thing I did for someone this week is/was: ______________.

    Mine? The kindest thing I did for someone this week was 2 things actually…

    1. I was given a gift card to a coffee chain and I gave it to a dear friend whose career is to travel around the country helping transkids to receive better treatment in schools. She’s constantly on the road and makes very very little money doing this, but it’s her passion. I sent the card to her. She emailed me back and said that not only did she cry when she got it, she told a friend, who teared up too. I hadn’t known, but both were feeling pretty defeated that day.

    2. I asked an elderly neighbor for gardening tips and spent about 3 hrs learning to garden with her, while she told me stories of her marriage and her recently passed husband. She told me at the end how rarely she gets to talk about such things (they never had kids) and how nice it was for her to get to feel useful.

    I’m feeling pretty great about both, I’ve hated not being able to do more good in the world since I’ve had no money and all of my time is spent job searching, so it was a great gift to find 2 ways to help this week!

    YOUR TURN!

    • Wow, you are a hard act to follow, K! Mine can’t compare at all, but:

      1. I spent some time yesterday listening to a colleague from my former firm who is going through a tough time at work and, after years of thinking she would be there forever, is now for the first time ever considering changing jobs. She called asking for advice but really I think she just needed someone to talk to who had been there. I listened the best I could and told her she could call me any time and I would be happy to help any way I can.

      2. I sent an e-mail to someone I work with in a volunteer organization, letting her know how awesome she is and suggesting she apply for a position that has come up that I think she would be great at! She is very modest and probably wouldn’t apply on her own so I wanted to let her know I thought she could do it and encourage her to apply.

      K, this is a great idea because I don’t think I do enough really kind things for people. This really got me thinking and makes me think I should concentrate on this a bit more!

      • Emails like that are so simple but mean so much to people! We should all do that more. Good job!

      • K...in transition :

        it’s SO not a competition :)

        I try to give 3 complements or “helps” per day when I’m out and about. Whether it’s commenting, “that top is such a great color on you” or offering to help someone with full hands, I figure it never hurts, it costs nothing, and to be honest, it makes it more fun to run boring errands and such, it’s like a scavenger hunt for opportunities to say/do something!

        • I agree with this.

          It is fun, and people are so pleasantly surprised. Everyone leaves in smiles…

        • You should also count in all your kind and thoughtful posts on this site.

          I’ve been following your job search with much sympathy and will say that you’ve certainly been the inspiration for my being more than usually obliging and good-humoured about making calls and pulling in favours on behalf of young job-seekers in my part of the world this summer.

    • The night cleaning people stole a secretary at my firm’s drawer full of candy that she puts out for everyone. I bought her a big new bag. It was $5 well spent!

    • I packed up my parents’ entire house in preparation for their move and then unpacked about half of their stuff. It wasn’t just this week—it’s felt like I’ve had a part time job for a month. I told them that SunnyD Moving Company has filed for bankruptcy (liquidation, of course) and they’ll have to find new movers next time.

    • Unfortuately, nothing! I am completely in self-absorbed, just after crunch time at work, leave me alone mode. But your post reminds me that I SHOULD do something nice for someone else, so I will. Thanks!

      • I was thinking the same thing, Fishie. Then I realized that the reason I’m so absorbed in work and slammed right now is because I stepped in to do a ton of work for a coworker/friend so he could go out of town and see his 90-year old grandmother this weekend. So I guess that counts!

    • K—I love these threads you start. Even when I don’t post, I like reading them. Please keep doing it!

    • I really want to do something nice! My minister sent out a request for people to cook for a couple of families who have had medical issues. I love to do it when I have time. I really don’t have time but still would love to do it this weekend. I know them both – one is a couple in their 70s and one is a single mom with two kids, one a teenage girl and the other a boy with disabilities. No idea what to cook for them. I’m not a casserole eater. Any thoughts?

      • K...in transition :

        You might be able to contact and ask if there are requests or dietary restrictions to consider and build based on that? What a lovely thing to do for people!

        • Yeah it’s nice and I appreciate being asked. I think she normally tells us in the email if there are dietary restrictions. The older couple are her aunt and uncle and I adore them so I’d love to do something good for them.

      • Eggplant parm (time intensive) or chicken parm (less so), roast chicken with vegetables (very easy), soup.

        • I love eggplant parm, but there is absolutely no way I’d have time this weekend. Maybe a chicken and barley soup would be good. I just don’t think of soup when it’s this hot.

          • Oooh – or meatloaf muffins! They cook really quickly, are delicious, and keep relatively well over the course of a week.

          • Mini meatloaves is a great idea! I found a recipe for a chicken and pasta casserole with spinach and mushrooms, but mini meatloaf is very promising. Maybe I could do a little pasta casserole with a breadcrumb and parmesan casserole to go with it. I’ll make something up. Okay, now my creative juices are flowing.

      • Lasagna is always a hit. Even if you do a quick version (sauce out of a jar, etc) it’s always delicious. I can send/post one if you want.

        • Individual lasganas made in a muffin tin (recipes call these lasagna cupcakes, but some people think that’s gross-sounding). Use wonton wrappers–much easier than cooking and cutting up noodles–and whatever fillings you like.

      • Soup or stew? Hard to transport, but it’s generally popular and lasts a long time, like casseroles. Or, even if you don’t eat casseroles, could you find an easy recipe and make one for them? They really are absurdly convenient in this sort of situation. Or lasagna. Or a chicken pot pie that they just have to put in the oven.

        • Ooh, or a curry. Just bring rice in a separate container.

        • Yeah, sorry, I don’t have to eat it, so I can definitely make a casserole. Just couldn’t think of anything good to make because it’s kind of out of my repertoire – other than the hideous things with canned soup and tater tots from my childhood.

      • Spaghetti sauce with meatballs + package of pasta.

        Roast chicken + frozen veggies.

      • For the mother with kids, make a huge dish of baked mac and cheese, maybe with chicken and peas? OR honey-lime chicken?

    • I gave very patient walking directions to dinner to a couple visiting from France, in the best broken French I could muster. They seemed so charmed, and I figured it was the least I could do when so many people helped me in English in Paris.

    • My daughter got her first real post college job as a substitute teacher, so I deposited a bunch of money in her account, and told her to go shopping and buy new clothes for herself!

      • lawsuited :

        So nice!

      • Be sure to tell her to go to Loft – there’s an automatic discount for teachers. I’m not sure if it applies to substitutes (it should!) but she should bring any sort of paperwork that shows she’s got a teaching job.

        That’s my good deed for the day. I’m too stuck in my own head to do much more. Would like to get in on that reset button.

      • My Mom deposited some cash in my account during undergrad and told me to take my roommates out for supper. I was so happy and appreciative I nearly cried. I had also been eating egg sandwiches for a week at that point. It’s like my Mom could hear my rumbling stomach at that moment.

    • This is pretty trivial, but I picked up a chocolate chip cookie this afternoon as a little surprise treat for my husband tonight (the place has the BEST cookies!)

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Bailed out my brother/parents when his car broke down and he needed a ride to start law school 5 hours away from their home, 7 hours away from mine. It involved taking separate cars from my husband to a wedding Saturday night, not drinking, and getting to their house at midnight the night before to pack all his stuff in my car, and we left the next morning.

      Parents are older w/ medical issues and a 10 hour round trip car ride would not be good for them, nor do I entirely trust my dad navigating a 10 hour car ride through major cities.

    • ugh, I don’t think I’ve done anything nice for anyone this week…. :o(
      i’ve been very much in f-everyone-else mode lately, blarg…. maybe i can think of something nice to do this weekend…..hmmmmm

    • Awww. I like this.

      My sister just got engaged. She’s the youngest of 4 of us. Sister 3 is single still but Mom has been making stupid suggestions since the happy event, like, “You should just elope” “so and so’s daughters all paid for their own weddings” “why don’t you have it in the (insert cheap place like the Steak Pit here)” so I think the future bride is feeling defeated. She’s an amazing sister (who reads this site) so tonight I ordered the fancy invites for her engagement party that I knew Mom wouldn’t get to until it was embarrassingly too late.

      • Congrats to your sister! You are a good sister and I think it’s cool we have sisters that read this site. The reach of Kat’s empire is endless.

    • Mine are the same. Neighbor and good friend offered to make dinner Wednesday after I had what could only be described as “A Day” if I watched his toddler. Toddler exhausted me further, but I’ve got to admit sloppy kisses and sticky hugs made the day better. So the kindest thing someone did for me was to cook me dinner. And the kindest thing I did was babysit for a pretty exhausted parent.

  7. Stray Kitten Update :

    We called one shelter last night that is a couple of hours away and they said they don’t turn anyone away, so we could drop him off there. However, they accept so many stray animals that they need to euthanize on an almost daily basis. The lady we talked to wanted to be up front with us so we were aware of the situation before we drove there. Harsh to hear, but good to know. Driving the little guy up a couple of hours away to a shelter and leaving him there makes me queasy. Chances are he would get picked up since he’s so young, but I just can’t do it.

    For now, we’re keeping him in an enclosure in a spare bedroom. He’s got a small litter box, a blanket, water and food. The room has all my husband’s music equipment, so we can’t let him run free in the room, but he seems comfortable in the enclosure. I figure if he was in a shelter, he would be in a cage in this type of situation so I like to think this is a little better.

    Once he finishes his round of antibiotics, we’re going to get him neutered and vaccinated.

    I’m going to call rescue organizations to find out if they can help promote him as an adoptable cat. I also need to see what needs to be done to get him on Pet Finder. I’m going to put fliers at the two vet offices near our house and pet stores.

    Thankfully, my husband’s brother will be able to keep him while we’re on vacation. At first we weren’t sure if this would work, b/c my brother-in-law is temporarily staying at their father’s house. FiL lives out in the country and generally has outside pets, but he’s okay with keeping him for the few days we’re out of town. Kitty will stay in the enclosure in my BiL’s bedroom while he’s at work. My BiL really loves cats and has two of his own (that are currently outside) but I trust him to take care of the little guy. He’s planning on getting his own apartment this fall and there’s a chance he might be able to take him when he moves.

    This has been such a crazy, whirlwind week and I’m looking forward to vacation next week. It’s the first time my husband and I have gone away on vacation in few years.

    I live in Ohio and if anyone is interested, please contact me at anonanalyst4 at gmail dot com.

    Thanks again for all the great advice and tips on my last post!

    • Can I just point out you’ve had significant problems because of your need to take care of cats, and yet you are now continuing down the same path with another? You can’t solve the problem of strays on your own, and I really think it would be helpful to explore with a therapist ways you can help animals generally without bringing them home. Normally I’d be applauding you, but I am a people > pets person, and I know your marriage has been suffering from this.

      • Stray Kitten Update :

        Yes we’ve had problems before and that’s why we’re trying to find another home for this kitten. We do not expect to keep him long term due to problems we’ve had before.

        He is only 8 weeks old and 2 lbs and it was my husband and found him and asked me if we could bring him home. We’re just trying to do a nice thing and help out little, nearly helpless animal who happened to cross our path.

        • Completely agree- you are doing a very nice thing! Just want to make sure you are taking care of yourself as well. Think my original post reads much more Cruella da Ville than I intended.

          • Stray Kitten Update :

            Thanks for the clarification! Sorry, I didn’t get to check back in until this morning. I’m doing my best to take care of myself. I think getting away next week on vacation will be a good thing.

    • Are you in NE Ohio? You could try this organization: http://www.catssoberlin.org/ I don’t know for sure if they would take your kitten, but they are experienced in dealing with sick animals and do a great job. Plus their adoption process is usually very competitive, so it would almost certainly end up in a good home.

  8. Weird threadjack, but: I have 2 huskies, both of which are the “wooly” variety (so even more hair). The shedding has gotten out of control. I’ve been researching shedding tools, and came across the Furminator brush. Has anyone used this? It is around $65 for a dog brush. I’ve read reviews and everyone seems to rave about it, but I’m just hesitating to spend that much on a brush. However, I am also tired of picking up clumps of fur everyday. If anyone has used it, is it worth the price?

    • AnonInfinity :

      Yes. Just, yes.

    • Research, Not Law :

      It’s worth every penny. I know it’s hard to spend that much on a freakin’ dog brush, but you’ll thank yourself later.

    • Constance Justice :

      Love the furminator! I believe I got mine from Amazon, and it was a discounted price. You might check there if you haven’t already. At the lower price point, it was worth it to me.

      • Constance Justice :

        Also, as an added bonus, my dog loves it, too!

      • I got mine from drugstore dot com and it was cheaper as well. I have a lab mix who sheds like crazy (but short hair, so nowhere near what a husky would put out) and I’m always amazed by how much fur comes off when I use the fulminator. And my dog loves it — he literally kisses it every time I pull it out.

    • Holy crap, I just googled it to see how it compared to the brush we use and realized we in fact have a furminator (my husband had the dog and the brush before I was ever in the picture) so I, too, will sing its praises. I take the dog outside near the woods to brush him because the amount of hair that thing will pull out is SO gross (our dog isn’t wooly but he is a mastiff). You will start to realize exactly why there is so much dog hair on your floors. We just have trouble remembering to take him out and brush him until the floors are covered. :) I’m sure if I used it more regularly it would help even more. Oh! And my dog loves it too. He’ll stretch out to help you get the spots he wants brushed :)

    • Also in Academia :

      It’s fantastic. Just be sure to brush them outside. It creates an amazing amount of fur that sort of drifts into piles around you as you go. I furminate on a little stoop that is covered in astroturf, emptying what gets caught in the brush into a trash bag and letting the rest pile up. Then I vaccuum the whole area — I filled the cannister on my Dyson last time, plus got a plastic-grocery-bag full of hair just from what actually got caught in the brush, if that makes sense. And I think that even more just drifts out into the yard before I can catch it!

    • karenpadi :

      I use a furminator on my cats. It works! Spend the extra for the little plastic tab thingy that cleans the brush when pressed down.

      They take it as an insult to their personal hygiene when I brush them so I only get about 30 seconds to get as much hair as possible before they go into full battle mode.

      • Really? My cats lurve being brushed. Like, they spend so much time twisting and trying to rub their little cheeks on the brush that it’s hard for me to actually brush them. (Cat logic: if you love being massaged, turn around and put your face on the thing so it can’t massage you anymore).

    • 100% yes. We use it on our dogs, cats, and horses. Most amazing thing ever. Petsmart also usually has a coupon for it.

    • Alex Mack :

      If I have a cat and a dog, both short hair, would I need to buy two? Or does anyone use the same FURminator on both animals?

    • yes AND– don’t pay $65. Go to Home Goods or Marshalls. They always have Furminators (brand name) for under $30.

      DO NOT get an off-brand one. Also, the Unleased (chain of Petco) by me has them out to try if you want to take the dogs in and give them a test brush. Groomers may have them as well.

    • Yup. Worth every penny. I’ve got a long haired siamese, its insane how much hair that thing takes off of her.

    • I have the target version and love it. Super cheap!

    • MissJackson :

      Holy mother of g-d, that furminator changed my life, and honey, it is going to change yours. Worth every effing penny.

      Signed,
      mom of the most shedding golden retriever/collie mix that has ever lived

    • In addition to furmination, have you looked at a dietary supplement? Fish oil helps reduce shedding at our house. You can get all varieties of fish oil supplements at the pet store or just go with a human capsule (likely cheaper).

    • Not a dog owner right now, but friends of mine used to have a very wooly, fluffy Samoyed. They had a Furminator brush and said it was a lifesaver. And yes, they brushed her outside on their deck and used a broom to sweep it off the deck afterwards.

    • Our dalmatian/border collie loves his so much we’ve started calling him the Furminator :-) It’s awesome, works so much better than other brushes we’ve used before.

    • I have it. I use it. I love it. Buy the furminator!

    • I have one and love it. Works great and is gentle on their skin.

    • YES YES YES ALL THE YES THERE CANNOT BE ENOUGH YESES

      I have a husky who’s about as non-fluffy as they come, but even so, I would lose my ever-living MIND without my Furminator. I got mine on sale + a coupon at Petco for around $40, so if you shop smart there’s no need to spend $65.

    • For long-haired cats, yes, yes, yes.You-tube has some hilarious videos on this and the comparable Furbuster. You will think you have another dog from the pile of dog hair. Seriously.

    • You already have tons of answers but I wanted to chime in too. I got mine on clearance from Petsmart for about $14 (AWESOME deal), but I was eyeing them on eBay for about the same price originally. I think they shipped from China so they might be fake, but for a $50 difference I was probably going to take that chance.

      We use a medium on our large-ish cat and lab. The cat looooooves it and the dog likes it well enough to voluntarily come over for brushing too. Ours isn’t the one with the fur ejector and we’ve survived, but it would be handy. The cat has medium length hair that mats without regular brushing and the Furminator helps prevent the mats and detangle the ones that are just starting. And no joke, you really pull off enough fur to make a new pet. :)

  9. I am alternately cracking up and terrified at the stories of horrible houseguests in today’s NYT.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/23/garden/if-summer-goes-why-wont-the-guests.html?pagewanted=all

    Anyone have a good story to share?

    • I’ve read this too and forwarded to husband. He was not amused at all, given that we are expecting unwanted houseguests this weekend!
      They are not as horrible as described in the article – just… uninvited and there will be 4 of them.

      • K...in transition :

        maybe preemptively plan then? Make a point of contacting them with “last minute things” you thought of before they arrive (so you come across as helpful)? Include info on local good finds (restaurants, activities, etc.) and then say something at the end about how that ought to keep them busy and happy up til their 4pm Sunday departure time. This reminds them that you know the date/time they’re leaving, which seems tougher to pretend isn’t true than folks who use ambiguous terms like “leaving sometime this week” or “stay as long as you need” can be misconstrued.

    • We had a foreign student who was supposed to stay for 3 days before going on to work in some resort town and ended up staying for almost 3 weeks, with a 1 week break in between. While he was with us, he would go to the store and buy bacon and then sit in our living room with a giant photo album and his teddy bear from home, eating bacon from a bowl and smoking cigarettes. He didn’t even bother to microwave the bacon.

      At some point it became clear that he was never going to leave if we didn’t do something so my mother found him a job at a summer resort in the Poconos and drove him there. After that he only came back for two more nights before his flight home.

    • that is hysterical! I don’t get terrified about that though, because really, that is the hosts fault! I can’t even imagine that people that passive exist

      • I thought it was fake until I realized, yes, the hosts really are doormats.

        That couple needs to get to therapy, stat!

        At the end of the day, if you throw out (or deny) uninvited guests, does it really matter that they won’t like you? I mean, if they’re rude enough gits that they would crash your place, why would you need their approval or …their anything?

    • Whoa, have I been censored? I replied to this, got stuck in moderation and now my post is deleted. Weird! What was so scandalous/offensive about my story, Kat? I am seriously racking my brain!

    • AnonInfinity :

      I don’t believe the first (most horrific) story. Anyone else?

      And I think it’s weird to make guests sleep outdoors.

      Other than that, the article was entertaining. Unfortunately, I have no good stories to share.

    • Tee hee. FIL once moved in with us. In his defense, he was finishing our basement so we would have room for baby #2 but then when the basement was finished he thought he should build a room for himself and stay! We love him to death, but that might have meant that MIL would eventually come calling so we had to put a stop to that idea…

  10. AnonInfinity :

    Is anyone going to the ABA Labor & Employment conference in Atlanta Oct 31-Nov 2?

    I don’t know anyone who will be there, and I’m a little nervous about the whole thing. Has a ‘r e t t e meetup ever been done at a convention? Or maybe we could have some sort of secret sign…

    • PetiteCocotte :

      I plan on going to the ABA L&E conference. A Corporette meetup would be fun!

    • Waiting for bar results and kind of depressed :

      I would love to, but I feel like I can’t justify going until I have bar results. Argh! The wait is horrible.

      • Totes McGotes :

        What’s one got to do with the other? Go have fun and meet people; maybe it’ll be a good distraction in those last few days before you get results.

        • Waiting for bar results and kind of depressed :

          It would cost a lot – air fare, registration, hotel – when I don’t have a job! :) And without knowing whether I’ve passed the bar, I don’t know that I could treat it as a business expense for my not yet established bar-passage-dependent-solo-practice.

          • Totes McGotes :

            I totally hear you, but given your post below it sounds like you really need something to look forward to. If you can make it work, I definitely would do it. SugarMagnolia also makes an excellent point. I very much miss when I wasn’t working and could do as much pro bono and CLE as I wanted. Also, when I graduated in 2010 the ABA let us keep a student membership for a full year post-graduation, meaning free or heavily discounted convention/CLE registrations. Give them a call and check – maybe it won’t be as expensive as you think?

          • AnonInfinity :

            If you get to keep your student membership, the conference is free!

        • Sugar Magnolia :

          I thought the same thing. The time to go is now. Once you start practicing, you might not have the time to attend conferences. I have found they are a great way to make connections you NEVER would have made otherwise.

  11. Hi y’all – been absent from this site for a few months. Can someone explain the whole Bieber/Fondue thing to me?

    • liking this thread :

      Justin Bieber’s song “Boyfriend” has a lyric about chillin’ by the fire while we eatin’ fondue.

      • After I posted about the Kate Spade Fondue pumps, they pop up in the sidebar on this site regularly. I see red pumps with Fondue under it and it cracks me up.

        Kady – it was kind of a way of breaking tension. Herbie started it. Herbie thought it was “Why we eatin’ fondue” not “while we eatin’ fondue,” which prompted a whole “Why God? Why fondue?” thing. Too much.

  12. Job hunt threadjack: I am being solicited for positions by recruiters. I am a big firm gal looking to lateral, but my law school grades are atrocious (as in bottom 25% – combination of extreme luck and skill placed me on my current career path). After a given recruiter has seen my transcript, is it fair to follow-up and confirm that they’ve submitted my resume for the position? Or unless the recruiter says otherwise, once you give the OK, does your resume get submitted?

    Any insight is appreciated!

    • Along these lines, at what point in your career do your grades stop mattering?

      • lawsuited :

        I think your transcripts follows you forever in the legal profession. My dad’s been practicing for 25 years and had to explain his poor grades to a prospective employer a few years ago.

        • anon, I’m in the exact same position as you! In biglaw, but mediocre grades. My firm is going through a slow period, and I’m terrified they’re going to tell people to start looking for new work, because I don’t think my grades will get me very far. I was just very lucky to get this job I guess but I don’t know how long my luck will hold out for.

          • lawsuited :

            To clarify, he was applying for a partnership position in a private firm and had to *explain* his poor grades. I seem to recall he was offered the position (but didn’t take it), so his grades hardly made him unhireable. Hope is not lost!

        • I can’t help but roll my eyes at the legal profession and it’s bizarre obsession with prestige and academics long after it should matter. I read somewhere about Gibson Dunn turning down a partner with a large book of business because of atrocious grades. Ridiculous business mindset.

      • Polar opposite from lawsuited. I don’t think we’ve ever asked to see a transcript, except after we’ve already hired you just proof that you hold your degree. Maybe we do for new attorneys; I’ve only ever been involved in hiring of people with 3+ years of experience. I work in the public sector.

      • SpaceMountain :

        DH just applied for a public sector job that required a law school transcript. He’s almost 20 years out of school. We had to do some serious digging around the junk in our basement to find an old moldy copy of it. What a blast from the past — I still can’t believe he had to submit it.

  13. Blonde Lawyer :

    Anyone have experience buying a bank owned property? We have stumbled upon what looks like a too good to be true deal. We are seeing the property Saturday and approaching it cautiously and optimistically. We are okay with internal cosmetic fixer-uppers but not any major structural defects or major electric/plumbing/heating/cooling issues.

    We know it would be purchased “as is.” We know there are no disclosures. I would insist on the utilities being turned back on, even if we had to pay for them, prior to our inspection. Not sure if they actually do this or not.

    It is listed through a realtor on the MLS so this is not an auction situation. Anyone been there done that and have an opinion?

    Also, we are in no rush and the slow process is fine with us.

    • While I would certainly be cautious, when a friend of mine was being foreclosed on, the bank offered to pay her a few thousand dollars to vacate by a certain date and sign an agreement to basically leave the place clean and neat. She actually went so far as to mow the grass, trim the bushes, spackle nail holes and do some painting touchups and she and her mom cleaned the place top to bottom before turning it over because she was so desperate for the cash they were offering her. While you certainly hear horror stories, I just wanted to provide that as an alternative. Whoever bought her house definitely got a sweet deal.

      • Yes, it’s not always “House of Sand and Fog.”

        Although when DH and I were house-hunting, there was a place kind of like this. Except the dude who lost the house was also in jail for nearly beating his girlfriend to death. I pulled up the records to find out when he’d be released from jail (assuming he didn’t do anything in jail to get him locked up for longer than his sentence) and he only had a few more years to go. We didn’t bother to do a second-look at the house.

    • Seventh Sister :

      We bought a bank-owned REO in 2007 (just before the housing market went off the cliff…). Did an inspection, which uncovered no major issues, but there were certainly cosmetic changes we had to make asap* since there were lovely stick-on lino tiles in the bathroom and a single (hideous) red wall in one room. The prior owners had done several upgrades, but ran out of money before they got to the kitchen and bath.

      It actually went pretty fast for us (the bank wanted the place off their books by the end of the quarter), so it wouldn’t hurt to get your paperwork lined up. Stressful, but ultimately a successful purchase.

      *I scraped and painted most of the interior before I figured out I was pregnant. Lil’ Seventh Sister is in rude, whiny health. So painting your house in the early stages of pregnancy clearly leads to whiny children. Just sayin’. :o)

    • just Karen :

      Another possibility is that the bank has priced the property low in hopes of getting many offers, driving up the sale price.

    • Even though it says As-is, you can still negotiate with the bank anyway after your inspection – usually they won’t fix it but they will give you money to have it fixed. You can specify that the utilities need to be on for inspection and they should oblige, that’s a typical request.

    • Nothing terribly useful to add, but my mom got her dream house this way. Find a trustworthy/great inspector and go for it. There are some fantastic deals to be had.

  14. For those with double or triple names, or anyone that would love to prove assistance, how do you get people to not call you by your last name? In writing it seems like some are careless and not realize the name order but I know some do it intentionally. In person, most seem to get the correct name out.

    For example, calling Holly James “James” or Mary Beth Joe as “Joe”.

    • Muddy Buddy :

      Relatedly — How do you get people understand a hyphenated name in a business context? I don’t really care if the drycleaner calls me Ms. Smith, but it does bother me when opposing counsel emails me as Ms. Smith rather than Ms. Jones-Smith. It feels snarky to email back, “Please call me Ms. Jones-Smith.” But is that what I have to do?

      • Yes. I have spent my entire life correcting people about my first name. It’s annoying but otherwise they continue to call the wrong thing. For me, it’s something like my name is Juliette but people constantly call me Julie. It’s better if you can correct in person as opposed to via email but I’ve done it via email before. “Tom, just FYI my name is actually Julie. In response to your email,…”

      • I spend my life answering people’s questions about my last name, which is hyphenated. Because the first part of the hyphenation is quite long (think “Mackenzie-Jones”), I sometimes just use “Jones” for ease. But I never use just “Mackenzie”. If I had a cent for every time I (a) corrected someone who called me “Ms. Mackenzie”, (b) misspelled “Mackenzie”, (c) asked me, “oh, is that your mom’s and dad’s names? (No, it is just my dad’s. No, it was not my grandmother’s + grandfather’s – just my grandfather’s.), or (d) assumed I was married solely because I had a hyphenated name, I would not be taking on the massive mortgage I am signing on to next week.

        Rant over.

    • K...in transition :

      I’ve got the mother of it… 2 first names, plus my last name is a male’s first name. Plus I go by something different, so my business cards have 4 names (the name I use is in parenthesis)

      When people call me by my last name, sometimes I respond jokingly with “that’s MS. lastname” and try to make a sort of James Bond joke. If it’s not someone who’d get the joke or if that doesn’t work, I’ll typically comment that, “unless we’re playing sports, it’s nameIprefer.” If that doesn’t work, I’ll outright say, “Please, it’s nameIprefer.” and simply stop responding to it when someone calls me by my last name. Eventually, they get the hint, plus, anyone else knows it’s not a trend I want to grow.

      • Hmmm...... :

        I have a triple feminine. Think along the lines of Helen Ann Grace. I hate when people call me Grace and judge them harshly. That just tells me they don’t pay attention to basic details or don’t think addressing someone properly is important. I’m not sure I can give any advice on correcting it though but would be interested in the response of others.

        • Hmmm…..I think that judging someone over one gaffe like that is short-sighted. How would you feel if someone judged you for one mistake, that wasn’t chronic? Have a heart!

    • emcsquared :

      I love it when people call me by my last name (it’s a man’s first name) because I have an unfortunately high, teenage girl-ish voice and I’ve gotten some awesome responses when I talk to them on the phone the first time or meet them in person the first time and they think I’m going to be a dude.

      It’s a strange simple pleasure – like walking on the little ice sheets that form in the curbs in early spring or getting all the crunchy bits out of those hard-shelled pieces of dental gum.

    • SpaceMountain :

      I let it go — who cares. Happens all the time and I’ll answer to either one.

    • I don’t have this exact problem, but other name related problems. I correct people early and often. If you don’t correct every single time, the problem seems to be amplified as the person will inevitably introduce you to others by the incorrect name.

      • To clarify, in your situation, I’d respond with “By the way, you can call me Holly. James is my last name.” Repeat as necessary.

    • Equity's Darling :

      No tips, but it drives me crazy. I have two female first names, and it annoys me to no end when I’m called by my last name.

    • People are constantly trying to call me Jennifer. I respond by cheerfully saying something like, “Oh, it’s just Jenny. My actual first name is Jenny not Jennifer. Don’t worry it happens all the time.” In writing I’ll say something like, “Just a note – my full first name is “Jenny” not “Jennifer.” If you don’t act like you’re offended or annoyed, people don’t get upset when you correct them.

      • I have the same problem.

        • In the Pink :

          Have the reverse. Grew up with a nickname. By grad school I had “grown into” the Full, Given name. After the 1st semester, switched to the Full Given name. My friends adapted easily. Once in practice and then opening up my own business, it’s my name, as in my Full Given name, Maiden Name, Married Name.

          My MIL still will not change. My parents directly needed me to say I wanted that … it was 5 years ago when I directly asked my sister to use my Full, Given name. My Dh of 27 years says Full Given name is too long to say all the time around the house so he persists with nickname. However, he always introduces me by Full, Given name in public.

          Beats me.

          The parents are the worst: they GAVE me my Full Give name. As I’ve said to little girls with the Full Given name and using a nickname, “It just takes time to become a reall Full Given name.”

          Sigh.

    • Lady Harriet :

      I have an ultra-unusual first name, a very common middle name, and a hyphenated last name where the first half can also be a girl’s first name. (NB, Harriet is not my real name, I just go by it on the internet for privacy reasons and because its the name of one of my favorite literary characters.) Not only is my first name often mangled into every possible similar-sounding name, but the last name causes a ton of problems too. People usually think the first half of my last name is my middle name, or even occasionally my first name. I’ve seen it hyphenated to my first name instead of the rest of my last. The funniest thing was once when my mom was telling someone my name so they could make a name tag. She said “It’s firstname name1-name2″ and they wrote “firstname name1dashname2!”

      As far as dealing with it, I answer to anything that sounds even remotely like my first name with people who do not know me well, but I do politely correct people. I tell them that it’s a difficult name and not to feel bad if it gives them trouble, and usually this semi-apologetic attitude keeps people from being angry when I correct them. I love my name though, so I do resent when people try to give me nicknames without asking me just because they don’t want to spell it.

      • long and weird name :

        I have a very long, foreign, weird name, so I don’t even bother anymore… I introduce myself in business context with my first name only (very unusual anyway, people can’t mistake me), and when they try to pronounce it and I can tell they’re going to fail miserably I just interrupt them, pronounce it for them, and move on….

  15. Anon for this :

    Threadjack – need help! Several months ago I applied for a great job, and through a professional contact, got connected with the person who was running the search and who would be the supervisor of the successful candidate. After a wonderful conversation with the supervisor in which we really clicked, we discussed the salary which was very low for me. A large paycut. After a few friendly emails back and forth, I reluctantly said that I could not swing a paycut that large, and that while I hated to pull myself out of the running, I had to do so. The supervisor was great about it and we left things on a friendly note.

    Today I received what appears to be a form email from the supervisor, inviting me to interview for the position. I am pretty sure I received this in error, but I have no idea how to respond. However, things have gotten so crazy at my current job, the paycut now seems like maybe not such a big deal (it really would be siginificant, almost 30K, and the new job is in a much more expensive city than where I am currently living, and would require me to relocate). I don’t want to respond with, “sure, I’d be glad to interview if your salary range has changed,” but I also don’t want to flat out say no, or agree to interview for a job I know I can’t afford (at least comfortably) to take. How do I respond? Or maybe, more importantly, do I get over myself and interview for a great job with a pay cut?

    • karenpadi :

      I’d send an email that says “I am happy to reconsider the position. Has there been any change in the salary?”

      Don’t take a pay cut you can’t (or don’t want to) afford. Feeling that you aren’t paid what you are worth will only make you resent your job.

      • This. Maybe supervisor is looking for leverage to offer a broader range. If she brings you in and you outshine all the other candidates, that would be leverage.

    • lawsuited :

      s30k is a big pay cut, but as you point out, there might be some other lifestyle benefits associated with the new job that you’re not getting in your present position. You don’t really lose anything by interviewing and feeling out how negotiable the salary is.

  16. Alex Mack :

    Can anyone speak to the quality of J. Crew bags in general or this bag in particular?

    • Seattleite :

      Yes, I want to know, too. I love red bags, and satchels are my favorite shape. I’m hesitating, though, because of the comments about the clothing quality slipping.

    • PharmaGirl :

      Same question. They look lovely but the prices are on par with designer brands which has me scratching my head.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Check the J.Crew Aficionada blog. Those women know *everything* about J.Crew. Search that site in google with “handbag” or something and you should get a ton of hits.

    • Locomotive :

      I’ve had the ‘Edie’ handbag which is a smooth leather very different from this pebbled stuff on this bag. The Edie bag scratches super easily and I was unhappy with that given the bag was $300 I think. I haven’t gotten another Jcrew bag since then, but don’t know if that can be extended to this bag.

    • I bought the Tillary bag and ended up returning it because the strap was constantly falling off. It pained me, too, because it was gorgeous but it just wasn’t well-designed. If I bought another J. Crew bag, I’d definitely keep the receipt and return if I saw any problems. The good part was that J Crew was very nice about the return, which was probably 6 month after I purchased it.

  17. Waiting for bar results and kind of depressed :

    Love this bag.

    So, I’m waiting for bar results and I think I’m kind of depressed. I don’t have a job, don’t have one lined up (though I am applying), I’m networking a little bit and trying to get into the swing of things, but I just feel blah. I’m trying to exercise everyday (gained 10 # studying for the bar! Whooeee!), my son just started kindergarten, my house is a disaster from neglecting it while I was in law school, and my husband is traveling. But really, I just want to sit on the couch, eat cupcakes and watch Days of Our Lives and hope that this weight will magically burn off, that a job offer will magically appear in my inbox, and that my house will magically transform into the gloriously organized beauty it was in 2008. I’m crabby, cranky, t i r e d (oh so tired). I should be researching how to start my own firm (thanks for the great book lists), but I’m feeling like it’s time wasted because – who knows?! I might have to retake that d@mn exam in February. I hate this exhausted-limbo-I used to be quite busy and now I’m not, feeling. Any advice? Thanks.

    • K...in transition :

      I hear ya so so much! My best advice for house work? Make a playlist of the silliest upbeat songs, put it on repeat, and I turn them on blast. I then force myself to sit still for as long as possible, doing nothing but staring at the wall. I typically make it about halfway through a song when I start boppin’ around and it then becomes much easier for me to do some productive housework when I’m moving to the beat. I also make the playlist for only 1-2 hrs, so even if I start to get overwhelmed by the idea of the work, I remind myself that I can stop when the first song comes around again. Most often, I keep going and continue on, even when the songs begin to repeat. Good luck :)

    • Honey, join the club. I’ve been unemployed for over a year, which I would care about more except I hated what I was doing, I’m contemplating divorce, I still haven’t lost the 20+ pounds from my last pregnancy (6 years ago!) and I AM sitting on the couch eating cupcakes and watching Mentalist reruns.

      FML

    • Friend, I was there. I admit, some days it was hard for me to change out of my pajamas. But I had my best days when I got out of bed, exercised, showered, and put real clothes on. Even when I did not want to. I picked an area of the house to focus on each week and I just worked on cleaning/organizing that area. I decided I was going to get really good at cooking b/c I wasn’t working, so no reason not to make meals. Every day was a challenge.

    • lawsuited :

      It’s good that your husband is working (I assume that’s why he’s travelling) and so exciting for your son that he started kindergarten! It’ll also give you more time to apply for jobs, workout and get your house in order (if that’s what you choose to do – I just embraced the extra 20 lbs I gained in law school, and refuse to vacuum). Theoretically those things could keep you plenty busy, but finding motivation without hard deadlines can be hard. Give yourself 3 days to do absolutely nothing – sleep in, sprawl on the couch, watch Days of Our Lives – and then get back to a real life schedule.

      Waiting for bar results is stressful. Remind yourself that the worst case scenario is that you don’t pass and have to rewrite. If you can get comfortable with that then there’s nothing left to fear. That said, I’m sure you’ll pass!

    • emcsquared :

      *hugs*

      It could be depression, or it could be that your “goals” (get a job, lose weight, clean the house) feel so huge and unattainable that you can’t even get started. I’m struggling with this right now, and the only thing that sorta works is setting better goals.

      When I was job-searching, my goal was to research and send one job application every day until I got a job, and follow up on one already sent application each day. I also made it a point to have one networking lunch meeting each week. It took a while to get a job, but I felt “successful” even before landing a job because I could check several items off my to-do list each day.

      Hope things get better. Just try not to beat yourself up – sounds like you’re going through enough cr*p right now that you at least yourself as an ally.

    • Uh huh. Sounds familiar, friend. Cyberhugs directed your way. Dunno what will help you shake the blahs, but for me, I HAD to get out of the house. Coffee shop, playground, whatever it took to keep the couch and cupcakes inaccessible. If needed, I promised myself couch and cupcakes later, say, after dinner, and not before. Physical projects that have visible, instant gratification results helped too. Baking is great, or repainting a room, or revamping a garden plot. Being where you are is super-hard on the ego, no denying it, but try to keep your chin up and remember that tons of intelligent, hardworking, worthy people are in your shoes right now. It’s not a reflection on your worth.

      And at the end of the day, don’t write off a chat with your doc. There’s no shame in meds or therapy if that’s what helps. This stuff is real.

    • Waiting for bar results and kind of depressed :

      Thanks all! You’re responses are making me feel better. I went over my to-do list since I returned from my post-bar trip, and I see that I’ve accomplished more than I’ve given myself credit for! Despite jet-lag and being down in the dumps, in the past two weeks I’ve: applied to three jobs, registered for a networking event, exercised every day but three, made dinner every night, got my kid ready for kinder (uniforms (four rounds of shopping for them), shoes, labels, backpack, lunches, open houses), sent my kid to kinder, cleaned my house, scrubbed the mudroom (and it’s baseboards), did all of our post-Europe laundry, sold a bunch of law school supplements, made doctor’s appts, taken my kid to doctor’s appointments, had my teeth cleaned, went to the pool, cleaned the playroom, repainted my office, put back together my office (in tatters since March), reviewed my loan repayment options, made blueberry muffins, touched up the paint in my bedroom, put back together my bedroom (in tatters since March), and made a huge list of books on starting my own practice/being a newbie lawyer to check out from the library. Tomorrow, I’m weeding and getting back to the library to actually check out these books and do something productive/concrete for my new/2nd career. I refuse to roll over and take it. #slightlymanic

  18. Just got a fall boots email from Nordstrom (drool), and I’m wondering – can you wear actual English riding boots as riding boots, or is there a lot of difference between them and a very basic pair of boots in the riding-style.

    I have a pair of the real ones sitting in my basement, they fit like a dream and take a great polish. If I can’t have a real pony, I could at least stride about wearing them and dreaming that I’m off to the stables after work.

    • Cornellian :

      I’d worry about the heel getting really worn on real boots. I worked/hung around in stables as a pre teen, and they made a big deal of putting on your boots when you got out at the stables, and not beforehand.

    • The only difference I can think of is the real ones tend to have a slightly lower heel and the outside of the calf often curves up by the knee. Fashion riding boots are straight across. The fashion ones also usually have an inside zip.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      field boots or dress boots? I might wear dress boots around, but probably not field boots. Something about the ankle laces says “yes, I am wearing my horse boots around town,” whereas I feel like dress boots look more like fashion riding boots. Though I usually only wear flat boots over jeans, and actual riding boots aren’t likely to fit over them.

      Though I will wear paddock boots around to run errands in the fall, assuming I’ve remembered to clean them, because they’re Ariats and the most comfortable short boots I’ve ever owned. (Dear Ariat, please make non-riding boots that aren’t cowboy boots. Thanks).

      • Dear Ariat,

        Please make all of the holes in my paddock boots go away. I know I’ve had them since I was thirteen years old (I am currently 24). I know that even the best boots in the world, which I would argue these are, must wear out eventually. But seriously, can you make them just–not? I do not think any pair of paddock boots will ever be better than these boots, even though I can’t really wear them during heavy precipitation anymore.

        Thank you for your assistance in this matter.

        Sincerely, a.

    • Oh, dress boots – the black & up to just below the knee kind. They do curve up at the outside edge, and have wrinkles at the ankles from keeping my heels DOWN.

      That’s a good point that the next issue would be what to wear with them. A skirt and tights would be very fall-appropriate, but I don’t think I could swing any kind of actual pants – jeggings and leggings really aren’t good on me. Thanks for the feedback, and not cringing in horror at the idea. :-)

  19. emcsquared :

    Strange question – amidst all the family medical drama, I am planning a party in mid-October for 10-12 people and I think I’d really like to do an 1980′s theme (my friends love dress up) and I’d like to do a game night. So…how to combine those two things?

    I found a couple of “whodunit” murder mystery dinner party games with 1980′s themes I can order online; not too expensive, but I have no idea how cheesy they are. My friends like over-the-top cheesiness, but not run-of-the-mill cheesiness…so high-quality cheese is necessary. Has anyone ordered from a murder mystery dinner game company and have any insight?

    And, are there any classic 1980s games that could involve a large-ish group of people all dressed up in 1980′s finery?

    • You’re hosting a party based on the movie version of Clue!

      • emcsquared :

        OMG, I totally am. I bet I could come up with my own game and we could play scenes from the movie for plot twists. Or if I can’t find the energy to make up a game – we could just watch the movie!

    • lawsuited :

      We do a murder mystery every New Year and they are the best! My group of friends are all theatre folk (I did my undergrad in theatre before going to law school) so extreme costumes and accents are mandatory.

    • Francie Nolan :

      Trival Pursuit 80s edition

    • What about an 80′s theme party with 80′s karaoke?

    • Play Charades and/or Celebrity with 1980s categories!

    • somewhat related. The most recent edition of one of my alumni magazines had pics of current students celebrating ’80s Day. They looked so lame and totally got it wrong. Hello, you have the internet, at least g**gle 1980s. Jeez.

    • Merabella :

      You could play pictionary ala When Harry Met Sally and use cue cards like “Baby Fish Mouth.”

  20. Constance Justice :

    Yesterday I found out that one of the assistants in my office failed to tell me that a certain project I had been working on had been pulled back from the client three months ago. Oh, and I found out from the client after I sent him the completed project. Yay non-billables!

    Then I got home from work, tripped on the concrete stairs, and landed smack on my face. Now I have a busted up face, crazy whiplash, and a pile of work that is begging my attention.

    It can only get better, right?

    • It will get better, for you! I am so sorry you worked on some thing that turned out to be NOT BILLEABLE. FOOEY to that.

      And a speceial FOOEY to the asistant that did NOT tell you early that the cleint had taken the project back! DOUBEL FOOEY!!!!

      I am SO busy on my transeacteional work with JIM that I did NOT even have time to ask the manageing partner about any thing before he took off early today. There also was a WATER MANE break this morning and his shoe’s got all wet. He had to go home b/c his feet were soggy, and when he took off his shoe’s, his feet smmeled REALY bad in the ofice. FOOEY! So he left early to go and get new shoe’s. YAY!

      BTW, I got wind of a VERY VERY BIG sale this weekend on shoe’s at MACY’s. Anne Klein’s too! I love her leoperd’s print shoe, but I think they are ALL OPEN toe’d and the manageing partner will NOT give me reimbersement for those. He also will NOT pay for a purse, or a satchel. NOT clotheing, he says! FOOEY!

    • Ouch, and it can only get better. Get yourself some ice for your face, a heating pad for your neck, and wine and cookies for the rest.

    • OH NO!!!! You need the reset button the most, here you go, it’s yours!

    • Constance Justice :

      Thanks, online friends! Needless to say, I’m working from home today. Heating pad on my neck, but no ice on my face since I’m trying to hammer out some work and I got a late start due to severe pain this morning. What a day! I seriously feel completely beaten down, emotionally and physically! FOOEY!

      Also, tips for dealing with whiplash are appreciated. I took the brunt of the impact in my face, so why do my back and neck hurt so much more? Not cool.

      • Go to physical therapy now for whiplash. I started going a couple of weeks after a car accident. The physical therapist gave me stretches to do (some of them were kind of counterintuitive) and used ultrasound on my back and neck. I have some residual back pain and need to find a PT place that’s good where I live now, but going early helped so much.

      • Merabella :

        Can you get one of those ice face mask things so you can ice your face while still doing work?

  21. Feeling-sorry-for-myself-TJ

    1) Just got given a trial file for October 2nd. Apparently no one has looked at it properly in the 3 years it has been pending. The CD of the civilian witness’ statement is nowhere to be found. Defence advises *everything* is in issue (it’s a Drive Impaired, so everything = a lot of things. Does he really mean identity is in issue? The guy handed over his driver’s license!). I know I can get it done, but I also have two other trials scheduled for that day. AND, given that it seems no one looked it over properly, no one seems to have noticed that I probably can’t run a 5-witness trial in one day. I’m not permanent though, so I pretty much can’t say no when these messes get dumped on my desk. Gotta be a team player! (Unlike the person 2 years ahead of me who apparently feels free to dump sh*t on my desk). UGH.

    2) My ovaries hurt from wanting babies. Hurt BAD. I’m 36; Professor Bhaer just turned 33. He was just called to he Bar in June, and wants to wait *at least* two more years, so that we are both on permanent contracts, before we start TTC. This is breaking.my.heart. I feel like we’re just really damning any chance of easy conception if I’m going to be 38 before we even start trying! I’ve been on the verge of tears/in tears all day because it’s really sinking in that maybe I won’t get to just have his adorable red-headed moppets; that instead it will be a long, painful process of needles in the gut and expensive procedures, or alternately, a long, painful expensive process of dealing with adoption agencies (the only upside there being that my country-of-birth has many children up for adoption, and I’d probably qualify somewhat more easily given that I was born there and still hold citizenship).

    I know the answer isn’t to make him start trying before he’s ready, but, oh, I really want to have his babies. One of the ways I knew he was so-perfectly-right was how much I wanted to have his babies RIGHTNOW. So the thought of it not happening makes me real sad. And he knows all this, and there’s just nothing he can say, and he feels bad so he pulls away which just makes me feel worse. It SUCKS.

    Any perspective-giving comments would be much appreciated, as I’ve been shut in my office sniffling all day. Needless to say, not very productive.

    • I’m sorry. Can you two set up some time to talk about this? It may help to hear his rationale (stable jobs, more $?) and your concerns (risky pregnancy, fertility treatments – goodbye more $) and maybe you can meet in the middle? It may also help if you all have concrete steps (save 10k, research daycare options, etc) that you want to have in place before you start trying. If it’s still a sticking point, maybe talk with a counselor (individual and joint) to help work through it.

      On the plus side, there are tons of things you could start to do now to help make your life easier once you guys decide to start!

    • i'm like this too :

      By the way, if your country of birth is Mexico, there is a 6 month residency requirement for international adoption. One of my bff’s is from Mexico and really wanted to adopt a Mexican baby but the residency requirement prohibits that.

      My perspective is that your intuition re: fertility is correct. Have you tried talking to your husband about this? Like honestly telling him about the realism of your concerns. it would be easy to find tons of statistics supporting your argument – maybe you could put some numbers in front of him. Like say, if you want to wait until I’m X, the chance of us conceiving naturally within 1 year is Y and if we don’t conceive naturally, we are looking at $XYZ in expenses. Maybe laying it all out for him will help.

      • I agree to hit him with statistics. I normally never advise pressuring anyone to TTC, but you should make sure he understands that what he wants may not be possible. There’s the ideal world (wherein you would both have stable jobs etc when TTC) and there’s reality (you’re 36). If his position is that he would rather wait, even if it means that you two may never have biological children, then… I don’t know. I hope he doesn’t end up there. I can’t imagine he would if (1) he cares about having biological children vs adopted children and (2) you give him all the info and stats. It’s not just odds of conceiving either, it’s the odds of birth defects and seriously complications for mom and baby. Approach it from all angles, you never know what might get through to him.

        Good luck.

        • Anon for this :

          I agree: the requirement that both parents have well-paying, stable, full-time employment is unrealistic. What happens if after all that waiting, one of you is laid off from a full-time position? What if you have medical complications during pregnancy and have to stop working for an extended period of time? There is no perfect time to have children, and so he needs to stop thinking that your fertility will cooperate when everything’s perfect… because it won’t ever be.

          At the end of the day, if children are more important, the two of you will be able to find a way to make it work financially. Is there a particular reason that he thinks this way? Did his parents have significant financial pressures that he doesn’t want his own children to experience?

          Signed,
          child of parents who weren’t ready for kids by prof. bhaer’s criteria, but who turned out just fine anyway.

        • i'm like this too :

          Also, if you frame the discussion around statistics, it takes the emotion out of the discussion. Men don’t like to feel that they are being emotionally played, but this way, you can give him the info and let him arrive at his own conclusion. Its important that you don’t approach it too emotionally, and let him mull things over on his own.

    • I hope this doesn’t sound harsh, b/c I’m saying this from experience. If wanting children now is causing you so much heartache, you should definitely not simply accwpt your husbands time line without discussion. DH and I were I were on similar timeframes, though I wish we had started earlier. I’m two years, one miscarriage, and countless belly shots into TTC. I’m 34. I don’t know if we’ll ever have a child (DH is not at the adoption point yet, and neither am I).

      You really don’t know how long TTC takes, but you do know that odds aren’t in your favor at your age (I know that’s harsh, I just wish id heard it more). At a minimum i’d go see a reproductive endocrinologist to get a better sense of your current fertility ( semen analysis, ovarian reserve, other structural issues). Fif anything’s off, at least you’ll know. But I will also say that when you’re rrady to be a parent, you’re ready. These two years have been unbearable for both of us…and so I think your reasoning and perspective deserves to be heard as well (and I think tht fertility aside, being ready now and not wanting to wait two more years is as valid a reason s job stability). People raise kids in many situations…and two years of resenting your partner for making you hold off on something without first discussing as equals is also a bsd situation to bring a kid into.

      (Aplogies for smartphone typos.)

      • I agree with this. Your husband has to sit down with you to discuss this, rather than withdraw.

        And, this is just my perspective, but I’m getting close to the point of wanting kids NOW, and although I don’t have as much as I would like in savings and I have a ton of student loan debt, I figure that there are kids brought up in households with far less than what I have. Money makes things easier, but people make all situations work.

        • Yeah, I know that of course being more stable would be good, but if we’re getting more stable so that we can have kids but then we’ve waited too long, it doesn’t really make sense! The issue isn’t really having a certain amount of $$, just knowing that it will keep coming in. Which I get is important. But so is having a healthy baby without needing to spend tens of thousands of dollars to get there.

          I will (hopefully) be permanent in one year, so I’m thinking that with some stats and heart-to-hearts, we can perhaps come to the compromise of starting TTC at that point, rather than waiting until he is 2 years out. This conversation may start tonight…wish me luck, ladies.

          And thanks for the support. I sure love this place <3

    • I agree that you need to talk this out. If you don’t start trying until you’re 38, your chances will be much lower. Also, keep in mind that for foreign adoptions, some countries require that the parents be no more than 40 years older than the child.

    • You know, TTC doesn’t mean having a baby right now. It could easily be close to 2 years before you give birth. But I think you need to have a serious conversation with your husband. A 33 y/o man probably does not understand the reality of diminishing fertility. If you wait til you’re 38, it’s unlikely you’ll have more than one kid and an increased likelihood that it’ll be difficult for you to have even one. Even if you got pregnant next week, it’d still be unlikely that you’ll have more than two. It sounds like he does not understand just how important parenthood is to you. There is never a perfect time to get pregnant. There is always something that makes the time seem less than ideal. And there are no guarantees that two years from now, your husband’s career will have gone exactly has planned and he’ll be ready to have a baby. I mean, honestly, I’m questioning his logic. He definitely wants kids, but wants to wait until his wife is 38 or older to even start trying? That is irrational. Have a talk with him.

      • Talk had. It went alright. Conclusion was that when I am (hopefully) made permanent in a year, and assuming other on-going-but-definitely-temporary stresses are cleared up, we will start trying. I’m good with that :) I’d like some stability in place as well, so it’s a decent compromise.

    • I got pregnant at 40 after 1 year of not using birth control, but only a couple months of actual “trying.” (By trying I mean using an app to predict ovulation and scheduling times to try and conceive around that date)

      Don’t despair. If overweight stressed-out me got pregnant at 40, you can get pregnant at 38!

      • Thanks, Sugar Mag! That’s super heartening :)

      • Sugar Mag, glad you had good luck but your results are certainly not typical. It won’t be impossible for OP to get pregnant at 38 but her chances will be very low.

        • Lady Harriet :

          I agree, don’t take it as a given, but it does happen. My mom got pregnant with me (completely by accident!) at 38 and then went on to get pregnant with my brother at 41. It’s not something you can count on, but I wouldn’t be here without it!

  22. Any thoughts on what to do if you get an offer for a job while waiting and hoping to get an offer for a different job? Job #1 would be awesome but it’s a term appointment and I’d be job hunting again in two years or less. Job #2 would be awesome and has the potential to be permanent. Rumor has it Job #1 is close to being offered to me, but I just interviewed for Job #2 and they could be a few weeks away from making a decision. I think I have a good shot at getting Job #2, but there’s no way I’d turn down Job #1 if I don’t have anything else in my hand by the time I have to make a decision. My fear is that Job #2 will come through with an offer just after I commit to Job #1. Of course at this point I have exactly zero offers and am worrying over nothing.

    • lawsuited :

      Totally get it, and I was in the same position a week ago. I accepted the offer for Job #1, and am still going on the interview for Job #2. Job #2 would require me to relocate, but if I love the people and the place, I’ll take Job #2 instead. You have to look out for yourself and do what’s best for you.

      • I hear you, but there are two wrinkles in my situation – 1) I’m in a relatively small town with a small professional community and scr*wing over Job #1 would not exactly do wonders for my reputation and 2) Job #1 is a position that is funded and filled within a certain date range each year – if someone bails, the organization goes without a person in that role until the next hiring cycle.

        Good luck to you with your Job #2!

        • lawsuited :

          If you’re planning to stay in a small community, you’re definitely right not to screw over Employer #1, especially seeing as you really would be screwing them over for the year.

          In your case, if Job #1 came through with an offer, I’d ask for some time to think about it, and immediately call Employer #2, explain my situation and ask if I was a serious contender for Job #2. They might offer you the job or give you some more information (maybe you’re their front-runner, maybe they were going to call you in for another interview but could do it sooner) that could inform your decision about Job #1. If Employer #2 can’t accommodate you, take Job #1 and at least you’ll have an awesome job for the next 2

    • tcb in nyc :

      I have a similar issue, 3L style. I got an offer from my summer firm that I would rather not take–I split with public interest and for a variety of reasons would just prefer not to start my career at a firm. I’m applying to clerkships, fellowships, and the whole gamut of public interest jobs. But the firm only gave me until the end of September to decide, which isn’t really enough time to conduct a legitimate job search. What to do? I understand that the prevailing sentiment is that a job in the hand is better than two in the bush (or something), but if I accept the firm job, I’m taking myself out of the running for all of the things I actually want to do.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Is it a big firm? I thought that even if you accepted that you could keep applying for clerkships and the like because they would love for you to do that first and push back your start date.

        • tcb in nyc :

          It is a big firm! I thought that too, but when I asked for an extension for clerkship applications, they only gave me an extra 3 weeks, so now I don’t know what to do.

  23. One of my girlfriends is getting married this weekend… and I’m 95% sure her soon to be husband is gay. She’s dealt with other people’s suspicions before. I guess I just need to be supportive?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      If you are 95% sure because you walked in while he was in the throes of passion with another man, I would mention it to her (but without any judgment – you don’t know what kind of “arrangement” they have).

      If you are 95% sure because he seems stereotypically effeminate/seems to be eyeing your hot younger brother/dresses really well/has a lisp/your friend found gay p*rn on his computer/you heard from your other girlfriend who heard from her cousin Frank who heard from his friend James that he was seen at a gay bar in town, then I would definitely just give her warm congratulations and stay out of it.

      • AnonInfinity :

        Completely agree.

        If this is the second category and she’s already dealt with others’ suspicions, she’s clearly thought about this possibility herself and is deciding that either he’s not gay or she’s going through with it anyway.

      • karenpadi :

        As someone who dated the “probably gay” guy in his frat, I know that effeminate, lisping, well-dressed men might very well be straight (or bi).

        Unless you’ve seen him post to websites like “Don’t tell my fiancee that I’m not attracted to women and she totally doesn’t know it!,” don’t assume–he may be bi and they may be poly. Not to be harsh, but I’ve had to deal with these suspicions before, but MYOB! These “concerns” really just translated as that person being overly curious about my lady garden parties!

    • lawsuited :

      I assume you have some definitive evidence if you’re 95% sure? If that’s the case, I’d talk to my friend. Marriage is pretty permanent, and if any of my friends or family had had misgivings about my fiance, I would have wanted them to tell me before I got married. That said, I would have wanted them to tell me 6 months before the wedding rather than 2 days before. Yikes!

      • Totes McGotes :

        Along these lines, A Practical Wedding had a post a few weeks ago about what it means to be a wedding guest. Long story short, the writer’s position was that if you already know you are not going to be a staunch supporter of the marriage, then you shouldn’t attend the wedding. That principle seems sound, but I’m not sure how well I see it working in real life. Even if a friend may be making a mistake, I think it’s important to be there for people you care about. Especially if you are close, there will be questions about why you didn’t attend and skipping the wedding could affect the friendship. Isn’t it better to maintain the friendship and be there for the friend later if/when things go up in flames rather than to skip the wedding because you had a hunch it was headed that way? What do others think about this?

        • I thought that particular post on APW was nice in theory, but unrealistic. I would not skip the wedding of a friend even if she was marrying someone that I hated, because I would be supportive of her and keep my feelings about her spouse to myself. I also am a big enough person to support my friend and her marriage, and not secretly hope that the marriage goes up in flames or try to undermine her marriage in any way.

          • Nice in theory but unrealistic is my general view of APW. I’ve definitely gone to a weekday during-business-hours wedding that, according to APW, I should have been thrilled to support the couple. In practice, I was really annoyed they were pushing costs onto their guests (requiring most of us to take time off of work), and I think they were offended I wasn’t tearing up the dance floor (uh, we both had to work the next day…). I find that APW sometimes forgets that some things become traditional because they’re best practices (like, say, getting married on a weekend) and that you don’t get points for creativity if you’re inconveniencing your guests.

            Regarding the above scenario, I agree: the way to handle it is to show up and keep it to yourself indefinitely if you disapprove. Pointing out red flags is good when they first start dating, but beyond that keeping a stiff upper lip and scheduling lots of ladies nights to avoid the offensive spouse is my preferred approach.

        • I thought that was an interesting APW post and I was a fan overall. First, to CW’s point I think it’s possible to significantly dislike someone’s SO and still cheer for their marriage. IMO those are not mutually exclusive. For example, the groom may have a totally obnoxious personality that does not work for you, but if it works for her and they love each other then I would assume you’d still be cheering on that marriage and hoping it would succeed.

          On the flip side, if a friend were marrying their abusive boyfriend, I would have a really tough time attending that wedding. Of course, I would make sure that my friend knows she can count on me anytime, and especially if things go badly. But in the end, I feel that a wedding is a celebration of the commitment people are making to each other, where the guests are saying they will support that commitment in the years to come.

          • layered bob :

            I actually do have a friend who married her abusive boyfriend. I made sure she knew – explicitly and repeatedly – that I thought it was a terrible idea to date/be engaged to/marry this guy. That I saw lots of terrible warning signs. That the way he treats her is not ok. That she should not, under any circumstances, marry him. That I would handle canceling the wedding up to the very moment she walked down the aisle if she wanted me to. And then, when she went ahead anyway, I went to the wedding – because I also wanted her to know that I am on her side no matter what.

            We had the same kind of conversations when they decided to have a baby (“this is a terrible idea. here is why. please please please don’t do this.”) And then I went to the baby shower and continue to see the baby because I am on her side.

            There may come a time when I have to say “I can’t help you anymore,” but after 12 years of friendship I still think I am on her side no matter what. And if that includes being married to this guy? then ok.

    • Anne Shirley :

      Yeah. The time for saying something passed months ago.

    • One possibility– whatever her own orientation is, she’s fine with him being gay (if he is.) Some people opt to go for a mariage blanc.

      Just because it didn’t turn out to be a forever-marriage for Katie Holmes doesn’t mean that sort of arrangement can’t work for your friend.

  24. lawsuited :

    Online shopping will be the death of me!

    In the last 30 minutes I placed orders totalling $400 without even realizing it! I’m telling myself I’ll return some of what I purchased….riiiiiiight.

    • I did the same thing last week! (It always happens to me when I’m crazy busy at work for some reason…). If it makes you feel better, I actually am returning about 75% of the things I ordered.

    • SAlit-a-gator :

      Keep us posted on your favorite pants!

      • lawsuited :

        I will! I definitely justified my purchases from 3 different stores because each order included a pair of work-appropriate pants!

    • Anonymous NYer :

      JUST did this on monday & tuesday. not sure why. I go through droughts then major sprees (to me major = about $500). was having a rough couple weeks and apparently am attempting to buy my way out of it…

  25. Ladies, I would so appreciate good vibes for my interview tomorrow! I’m trying not to get my hopes up too high (while making sure not to sell myself short at the same time), but I would just love for it to go well so that I can escape my current job! TIA!

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