Weekend Open Thread

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  1. Weekend Thread :

    If the weekend thread opened later it wouldn’t be SO long and unmanageable by Friday night…

    • Or we could just call it the “everybody’s bored on Friday afternoon” thread and be more honest about it.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Hive five, TCFKAG.

      • My thoughts exactly. Seems like it’s been up earlier. Then again, I was in meetings all morning so I pretty much missed this morning’s thread.

      • Yup, pretty much.

      • TO Lawyer :

        ya I’m happy that it comes up earlier because it makes it far easier to procrastinate on a Friday afternoon!

      • If you’re bored, I have a lot of work I could use some help with. ;)

        • Will you pay me? :-) I’m available on a contract basis for a reasonable wage. Lol.

          • I can pay you in jewelry?

          • Kanye,

            I would work for your jewelry anytime! I just got the pearls that I ordered for my mom for x-mas (they were the giant cultured ones in creams and golds) and they are so gorgeous that I almost wanted to steal them. I get compliments on your necklaces ALL THE TIME. Thanks for being so awesome.


  2. Yay! Open thread’s! I love OPEN thread’s! There are peeople who say I am not real. That is DUMB. Of course I am real. Who do you think is posteing! Kat? Of course NOT.

    Myrna is helpeing me tomorow– we are goeing shoppeing for the decoration’s for next week’s pre-holiday party office spruce up. It is MY job to make the office look FESTIVE, but GONZALO is suposed to do the same for the resturant. I hope they do a good JOB b/c it is MY repueation on the line for recomending the place to the manageing partner.

    Myrna is bringeing some new guy to help and we are takeing the 4 line to BROOKLYN again, b/c there is a place she knows that has ORNAMENTAL decor for the holiday’s and we have to be NEUTRAL in what we celebrate.

    The manageing partner is makeing me prepare some materials for a CLE he is teaching on M&A activities and he want’s me to prepare a SEGMENT on conducting do diliegience in the private market. I have to get on to WESTLAW and the INTERNET to see if I can find some other presentation’s I can COPY–otherwise it is goeing to be ALOT of work. FOOEY! He has to give this CLE at the Bar Association in late January so there is NOT alot of time. He should have aksed MADELINE or one of the new asociate’s, but I guess he want’s to tap my ongoing expierience in Saint LOUIS. YAY!!!!

    But I have to go out there again right after the first of the year FOOEY!

  3. Has anyone tried LearnVest? Thinking about getting a 5-year plan and using their financial planning services but wanted to get input. Thanks!

    • I use the free version and love it. Haven’t done any of their financial planning sessions, but I do love their bootcamps.

    • Middle Coast :

      I’ve been dabbling with the free version, trying to decide between using it and mint. I do like the fact they they have financial planning services, so I might just switch from mint to LearnVest on January 1st. I would probably start with the $89 budget planning help to see how it goes before committing to the five-year plan.

  4. Messy Mess :

    OMG. So, anyone have suggestions on how to get my roommate to not drive me to the point of tearing my hair out with mess? We get along great, otherwise, and do lots of stuff together, but she is the messiest person I know and it’s making me crazy. Unfortunately, I feel like I have not a lot of ground to stand on, because I am not the world’s neatest person, and worse yet, I tend to be as neat as the people around me (so I’m messier now than I was with my last roommate, who was more of a neat-freak). I’m thinking of suggesting that “for the new year” we work on being neater, but…I don’t know what exactly to say, or how to deal with all of it. We already have a cleaner come once a month, but it’s less about sweeping/dusting type stuff than just clutter (though the dishes don’t help, nor does her tendency to cook a meal and leave ingredients and meal sitting out on the counter for hours and hours!)

    • I think you should up the cleaner to bi-weekly b/c you have to at least clean for the cleaner (i.e. tidy beforehand). I think you should do a clean for the new year. Be honest – say that it’s been bothering you, and you know it is mutual, so you’d like to do x, y, z for the new year (no dishes in the sink overnight etc.). Then you HAVE to follow your rules and set the example. Good luck!

    • anon for this :

      I feel like this could be about me! I’m super neurotically organized in my work life and a disaster at home and also have a roommate who is messy-ish as well, but I think would not like to be. First, let me say that I would like not to be so messy as well, so maybe your roommate feels the same. It’s just not something that I spend a lot of time thinking about in the whirlwind of everyday life. (Although, I’m big on cleaning things that are gross rather than cluttery – no food left out for me.) The bi-weekly cleaner is a great suggestion – we definitely clean for the cleaning lady. You may also want to try to institute a rule, for both of you, that public spaces have to be clean and can’t be a dumping ground/mess. I’ll also say that you should be direct, which is not my usual m.o., but is a good idea here. Tell her what is bothering you and what you need from me and then note that you recognize there are cleaning-related things you need to change, so you are working on them. Good luck!

      • Meg Murry :

        +1 on maybe the roommate wants to be less messy too.
        Are you and your roommate typically home at the same time regularly? Could you suggest some kind of little cleanup ritual, like you spend 15 minutes decluttering before you sit down to watch your favorite show or half an hour before you get ready to go out Saturday night? That way you can peer pressure each other into cleaning up.
        Also regarding clutter, are there certain things that are always out, and can you find a way to deal with them? For instance, do you need a coatrack or hooks for coats & purses? A magazine rack or box? A bowl for keys and change? Are there a lot of things that don’t have “homes”? Or is it really the kitchen clutter that’s driving you crazy more than anything else?

        • Messy Mess :

          Well, that’s part of the problem–we’re often not home at the same times. But I suggested a big pre-New Year cleanup and we’re going to discuss what we can plan.

    • Hmmm depends on the roommate, but I generally doubt that you can make someone change their ways unless they are motivated for their own personal reasons. I think you just need to start keeping your stuff organized and picking up more. Then, when it’s clear you’ve put some time into cleaning up around the house, just mention to her in passing, “Hey, can you pick up your stuff in the living room/kitchen when you get a chance? I love it when the house feels clean and organized, and I’m trying to be better about it too!” Just don’t expect her to do a whole lot. It’s more up to you to deal with your own stuff.

    • Anne Shirley :

      So, I’m messy. Too messy. And I’m sure it has bothered roommates. The thing is cleaning and organizing are really a challenge for me (speaking of how people have different areas of struggle). What would help me is to hear: hey, I’d really like it if we could keep the apartment cleaner. How about we both commit to cleaning our dishes for the day before bed, so we wake up to a clean kitchen, and removing our personal clutter from the common areas every Sunday?

  5. Kontraktor :

    Long shot, but would anybody potentially be interested in buying some small purses? I have one smaller/flap style light pink leather Coach purse and one smaller zip-top white/multicolor Dooney and Bourke purse that I don’t use, simply because I have migrated to larger handbags. They are both in new/barely used (in fact, I am not sure I have ever carried the pink one) condition and have been stored in appropriate bags. I love the pink Coach one especially, I simply just don’t use it. Would love somebody here to have them and allow me to recoup a bit to maybe put towards a bag I would use more.

  6. Early TJ it seems: from Europe sorry for the X murder again in a school this morning. From Europe, this was something we feel sorry for you in the US. Not to start issues but we really do not understand how this can happen still over the years. We share your grief and feel sorry for the children and their parents, the family.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I think part of it is part of the larger framework of healthcare access in America. Obviously, gun control and weapons access is a piece of it, but even if guns were made 100% illegal tomorrow, there’d still be plenty of guns in the world and in the US and plenty of ways for someone hell-bent on getting a gun to get one. There would be fewer shootings, but I don’t think our overall violence as a society would necessarily diminish (and to be fair, I believe CT has very strict gun control laws (for a US state, probably not by European standards)).

      I think to perpetrate a mass shooting like that, at an elementary school, there has to be some level of mental illness. And I think lack of affordable, accessible healthcare (including psychiatric services), the stigma associated with seeking treatment for mental illness, and of course, not enough safeguards set up in our gun control system all contribute to a problem like this.

      To clarify – I’m not defending the shooter(s). I think there is a special place in H*ll reserved for anyone who would do something like this. But I also think one must not be entirely sane to get to that point.

      • It seems to me it’s mostly the stigma. The shooter’s mom was (supposedly) a teacher at the school, so she would have been trained on mental illness and would likely have access to medical care. I think people don’t want to admit it about their children/loved ones/co-workers/people they barely know so how are they to judge/etc.

        Safeguards in the gun control system for this are obviously very important, but like you said, Connecticut probably has them. I just don’t know.

        • I think it’s entirely possible that it was a situation where the parents didn’t want to admit it about their child, but I also feel it’s necessary to say that the training most teachers have on mental illness can be extremely minimal.

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          That’s true, I imagine the stigma is a big part of it. But even with excellent medical care, access to mental healthcare, particularly if you are severely mentally ill, is seriously problematic. I watched a friend go through a serious mental issue, which required hospitalization, and even though she had excellent insurance, she was still discharged well before she and her doctors were ready because inpatient mental health treatment is quite expensive and the insurance company basically gave her 15 days before she needed to be released from treatment.

          So even if your insurance is excellent on other fronts, it can be incredibly meager when it comes to mental health services.

          • Plus, if you have a history of treatment for mental illness, you’re kind of screwed insurance-wise unless you make sure to never have a lapse in coverage and always be part of a big plan (like through a large company).

            So sad. As my Capital Weather Gang guys said, “Saddest sunny day since 9-11.” It is beautiful here in DC today.

          • Anon for this :

            A good friend spent several weeks in an inpatient facility and told me that she was incredibly grateful she had the resources to cover her stay as there was no way her insurance (which was excellent in many ways) would. She said she was so disheartened to see others leaving before they were fully helped because they couldn’t afford a longer stay.

        • I haven’t met too many teachers who have the first clue about mental illness. And HE WAS TWENTY. Not like she could make him get are. Quit trying to figure out stuff that we can’t know the answer to.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Add a knife attack at a school in China today. The teacher died protecting the children.


    • Good Grief :

      I really don’t think this is the time for condescending comments from Perfect Flawless Europe.

      • Amen!

      • I don’t think that was condescending. And I think it’s really sad that some people in the US love to tell the rest of the world to be more like us, but hate to hear any criticism or advice from other countries. Are we really so perfect that no other country could possibly have anything valuable to contribute as an example?

        • of course we are not perfect. But neither is Europe. so to come on here and say, “not to start anything, but I cant understand how this can happen in your country” when it also happens in Europe, is a little weird and condescending.

          • She didn’t say anything about “How this can happen in the US” but how it can still happen, and as someone in Norway where this happened two years ago – I’m in shock that a similar event can still happen after what happened here – regardless of where it happens. Europe or the US.

          • I guess my reading is just more generous. These things do happen in Europe too (though to a much lesser frequency) but I also think that there is just a much better approach to guns there. And the fact is that gun related crime is just lower in most Western European countries, period. I also may be more sensitive to this because I really hate the whole “we don’t want to be like Europe” strain of thought. There are so many different ways that I do wish we were more like France! That’s not to say that Europe is some magical haven – it has its own issues. But I think both the US and Europe could learn a lot from each other (not to mention other continents).

          • Cornellian :

            It was a bit weird, I agree, but it seems like she was coming from a good place. Finland has actually had a strangely high number of mass shootings, and I remember one in Germany around the time I was in high school there. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/14/nine-facts-about-guns-and-mass-shootings-in-the-united-states/ is a good article on it

        • Good Grief :

          For me, it was “From Europe, this was something we feel sorry for you in the US” that struck me as condescending.

          • That was my first impulse as well, though I do wonder if there is a language barrier and the OP really meant only to express her sympathies.

          • I thought that perhaps the poster was just not the best at English… but I could have been condescending myself and reading the weird syntax incorrectly.

          • And why shouldn’t Europeans feel sorry for us and our breathtaking rates of gun violence?

            An American (who also feels sorry)

          • Europe? Where the goon-cop-thugs are hurting the unarmed protestors?

      • Seriously.

      • saacnmama :

        I don’t think that was the tone of that post. It’s hard for anyone, anywhere to understand how this kind of thing keeps happening or how the US refuses to do the things they are obvious because they might not be enough. The killers in these things usually use legally-obtained weapons. If those were illegal, then when we found people had them, we could arrest them before they perpetrated violence. They are obviously mentally not right, but mental health treatment is so hard to get covered, and as someone else mentioned, if you get it on your record, you’re basically screwed. And the whole thing is just sick.

    • 15 people including 9 kids were killed in a school shooting in Germany 3 years ago. Europe isn’t immune to this epidemic.

      • Not to mention Utoya…

      • While not a school, the massacre at the summer camp in Norway was horrific. I also recall an attack at a school in France earlier this year.

    • I don’t want to get into a political discussion by listing them, particularly about this tragic situation, but there are a lot of things that I feel sorry for Europeans about, too.

    • Young Consultant :

      My European boyfriend and I were discussing this today, and in many ways I agree with momentsofabsurdity. Because gun control laws are so different here than they are in the rest of the “west”, I think it can be an easy thing to jump to, but I think there is a lot more at play leading to all the violent crime in america.

      I can’t remember all the stats anymore, but America does not typically have much higher overall crime levels than other industrialized nations, but we do have much much more violent crime. To me, this really must be a cultural/societal issue. I think we need to start looking at how we discuss and teach about violence and crime to our children, and how we cope with poverty and mental illness in our communities. I believe to really reduce violent crime rates it will take much more than gun control.

      And of course my European-Scandinavian boyfriend thinks we just need to deal with guns like every other western country… (I don’t mean this snarky, it’s just interesting to think about perspectives)

      • One thing I’ve heard (and I think it was mentioned in the Atlantic article that someone posted earlier) is that, at least between the US and UK, more UK home invasions happen when the occupants are there. Presumably because the American burglars are worried that people have guns. Not sure if this is true, but I’d so much rather have burglars take my stuff while I’m at work than while I’m in bed.

        • Yes, it was in that article I posted earlier (http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/12/the-case-for-more-guns-and-more-gun-control/309161/). I thought a lot of the stuff about crime rates in the article was interesting, but hard to know how much was true.

        • Not so sure... :

          If the price we pay is for fewer “hot” burglaries are the shootings of 20 small children in Connecticut and shootings in Oregon, Minneapolis, Tulsa, Wisconsin, Colorado, Seattle, and California all in the same year, not to mention overall higher rates of gun violence, I’m not so sure that it’s worth it. Or at least, I’m not so sure it’s worth it to me.

          • Anonymous :

            The solution is this…

            “Within the realm of constitutional options, the most practical remedy I can think of would be to require that a certain number of teachers or administrators in each school be trained in the use of firearms and armed at all times. That would probably deter most school shooters. It is curious, but true, that even those killers who do not intend to survive their crimes never seem to open fire in the presence of another armed person. No one tries to shoot up a biker bar.”

            From PowerLine, the conservative blog….This is the policy in Israel. In the U.S. town where I live most, if not all of the public schools, have an armed city police officer at the school during school hours. Creating ‘gun-free’ zones just tells evil people where to go. The best offense is a good defense.

    • Anon For This :

      As I sit in my Connecticut home, a few miles away from Newtown, this thread makes me sick. Young children were brutally murdered today. These are our towns, our children. Go read Jezebel for a blog that as something meaningful and real to say.

      • Anonymous :

        If you’re so sick, get off this site. Don’t spend your time critiquing the rest of us.

        • Anon For This :

          Happy to. This is supposed to be a fashion site. The intellectualizing of such a tragedy is heartless ans sickening. Look in the mirror. Your inaction is also to blame.

  7. I feel like a total Grinch, but seriously, I get so tired of potluck holiday parties. I have one tonight and cooked last weekend and last night for it. Then yesterday, a potluck lunch was announced for work next week. One more thing to do this weekend!

    Any thoughts about something substantial I could make ahead for a party on Wednesday? Thought about barbecued beef, but I’d have to be able to microwave it.

    • Could you go to a Costco or equivalent and get something pre-prepared that you just need to warm up? Then you don’t have to worry about cooking!

      Or else, could you make something you could bring in a crock pot to keep warm? Like chili (or the barbecued beef maybe.) For these sorts of things my mom used to make these huge bowls of a salmon pasta salad with cherry tomatoes and cucumbers and a light creamy sauce that could be served cold, which was nice and didn’t need to be heated up.

      • Unfortunately, I no longer have a crockpot, but I might be able to borrow one. That would be a good idea. I usually bring pasta or vegetable salads to summer potlucks. I’m one of the few people who actually cooks so I feel like it should be real food.

    • Sometimes, when I’m feeling lazy I bring a salad to these sorts of things. There’s always so much heavy food that it’s good to have something different. You can also dress up salads and make them look really gourment when they took 30 seconds by adding dried fruit, nuts, crumbled cheese, etc.

      Of course, this only helps if you haven’t been explicitly asked to bring a main dish…

      • That’s actually a good idea. I could make my holiday harvest salad with apples, cranberries, dates, and walnuts. I haven’t been asked to bring a main dish, just feeling like I should because so many people don’t cook.

        • I would bring a substantial salad. What you mentioned, a lentil salad, or that butternut squash salad from smitten kitchen that people have raved about on here. If you don’t have somewhere to reliably heat up your food, you can only do so much unless you want to go the crockpot route. You could alternatively bring nice bread (homemade or store bought) with some kind of jam/spread.

          Disclaimer: I am feeling grinchy about holiday potlucks right now, although I think I have managed to make decent suggestions.

          • I made the smitten kitchen salad for thanksgiving and it’s amazing. Super easy, good at room temperature, just awesome.

          • You did make decent suggestions! I’m wondering about something like curried lentils with yogurt and pita on the side. That would be easy, too.

          • NOLA, I’m grinchy because all the vegetarian stuff was gone by the time I made it through the line in my recent potluck holiday party experience, so lentils with yogurt and pita sounds like an awesome idea.

          • I just talked to a couple of young staff here and they thought the curried lentils were a great idea. That’s what I’m going to do!

    • This is when I offer to bring the plates, utensils, napkins, cokes or Solo cups. But, then again, no one wants to eat the food I make so there is that…

    • I’m also a Grinch about potlucks. Made brownies for a work potluck today. Didn’t get started until 8:30 last night when I was already beyond tired from having not slept well the night before. Then I discovered halfway through that I didn’t have enough eggs and had to run to Target in my jammies. The brownies weren’t done until close to 10:30.

      The kicker? There were SO MANY DESSERTS that maybe 5 people ate the d*mn brownies. And trust, these are really good brownies! What a waste of time.

    • Pioneer Woman’s spicy pulled pork. It’s the jam and feeds a lot and would hold it’s temperature nicely in a crock pot.

      eek note: I have been invited to zero holiday parties. I am really quite happy about it. We don’t have a work one because there are too many of us (fine by me!).

      • *its* temperature.

      • I was sort of sad to realize that I’m only going to two holiday parties this year, but then I remembered that all I want to do is relax anyway. Not so bad :)

        • I really feel good about it. I’m going to ChristmasTown at Busch Gardens….does that count? I can’t wait to eat junk food. :D

  8. Clarks website = 25% off today only, use code FNF12

  9. Anonymous :

    Hi there – having an open house next week, an annual thing (usually 30-40 people attend). Each year, we get a number of hostess gifts, usually wine. It’s so sweet, but we don’t drink a lot of wine, and I don’t think it can be donated. I’d rather people bring a canned food item that I can take to a charity, if they’re moved to bring something. Is there a polite way to word this on the emailed invite?

    • You might just end up getting wine + canned food items. Honestly, I keep the majority of the gifts I get as hostess gifts and pass them along when I go to other homes.

    • Why don’t you just put on the invite that you’ll be collecting for the local food pantry so if people are interested in contributing they can bring a can of food? It’s not like it’s a gift grab and that will cue anyone who was thinking about bringing you a gift to bring food instead.

    • I’m in DC area and accept wine donations. :)

    • You could totally ask people to bring a canned good for the local food pantry. But I’d be prepared for people to still bring you a hostess gift – because of habit (and Catholic/Jewish/mother-induced guilt).

      For the wine, do you have qualms about simply repurposing it as gifts for others throughout the year? It seems like you’d never have to run out to get bottles of wine to bring to a dinner party ever! Woot. You could also bring them into work and give them out to co-workers – or just distribute them to friends.

      (If you have a party later in the year, you could use them for some kind of party favor/raffle item or something.)

      • Anonymous :

        Yes, we do repurpose it as gifts and for parties. I try to cook with it too.

  10. What is everyone up to this weekend?

    Is tarte au citron suitably Christmas-y? I am going to a holiday party and while I love mince pie, I cannot eat another one this season.

    • I made the no-bake Nutella cheesecake last night for a party. It’s so easy. I use the recipe for the individual ones, but I double it because I have a huge tart pan (11 inch?)

      I am going to a party tonight. Rehearsal in the morning with strings because we are singing the Christmas portion of the Messiah twice on Sunday morning. Another party tomorrow night (not a potluck, thankfully) then a very early morning on Sunday to start singing at 8:30.

      • I second the no bake nutella. It is easy and amazing. I’m betting you could tweak the recipe to make a different flavored no bake cheesecake if nutella isn’t your thing (the horror).

      • Crescent rolls with nutella. A little powdered sugar on top after they come out of the oven. Serve with a glass of red wine. It’s amazing. Seriously, amazing.

      • Has anyone managed to do the no-bake Nutella cheesecake without an electric mixer? I don’t have one here, but that looks AMAZING. Cream cheese and Nutella are pretty dense, so I don’t know if I could manage it with a whisk…

        • I made it with a hand mixer the other night but I think I might have mixed it with a wooden spoon the first time I made it. I have never been one to use electric appliances much when baking and I have a sturdy wooden spoon. A whisk would definitely not work. You do have to leave the cream cheese out to soften.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Yes, definitely! While it’s not traditional, you’re not the only one who tires of the usuals.

  11. I like the shoes, Kat!

  12. You guys, I have to confess that I’ve been an utter failure at planning the ATL meet-up, but as part of my resolution to stop spending every waking hour at the office, I’m going to take another stab at it. I know we’re coming up to the holidays, so let’s talk early January: how’s the weekend of the 5-6 or the 12-13 for all y’all?

    • e_pontellier :

      cbackson, I posted on the morning thread (don’t know if you’ll see it), but I’d love to get together. I’m e.pontellier.r et te [at] gmail [dot] com.

    • Rose in Bloom :

      I can do the 12-13 and maybe the 5-6. Thanks for taking the lead in planning again! I hear you on the work – I’ve turned in to a read-at-night lurker only as it’s been a crazy few months.

  13. Clarks is also on 6pm; same boots in brown are 131 and very similar black shoes for 75-85 dollars

  14. I’ve noticed lately I’ve been falling into a takeout rut, and so this weekend (probably Sunday) I’m going to make black bean soup to stick in the freezer so that I don’t have an excuse. What are everyone’s suggestions for other freezable things? Caveat: I don’t have a microwave or a crockpot (I had one, but it was DOA, as one might suspect of something one got for $5 in a doorbusters sale) so it needs to be easy to pop in the oven or dump in a pot. Also, probably less heavy, I’m trying to make sure I don’t gain back my lost weight with a return to the Ricotta Diet.

    • If you eat meat, roast a chicken, or buy a rotisserie chicken at the store. Then all you have to do is make a side dish or two (something simple, like steamed rice or a baked potato and probably a vegetable) and boom, you have dinner. If you roast it yourself, you can probably freeze some of the meat for later.

    • Jacqueline :

      For batch cooking, I really like Martha Stewart’s vegetarian chili (I skip the zucchini and double the canned tomatoes). It freezes well!


    • ChocCityB&R :

      I like visiting Trader Joe’s for freezable foods (especially if you live alone or with one other person). I find that when I make my own stuff I don’t really want to eat it later.

    • I blog about freezable meals! (I’m sorry, regular readers, who know I pop up about once a week to tell people this.) You can get to my blog through my handle. I don’t have a microwave, either, so everything I make is reheated by stovetop or in the oven.

      Many soups/stews freeze well. I also like freezing components of meals: for example, I’ll make a big batch of marinara and freeze it in portions suitable for feeding our family once. Then, when we’re moaning about the lack of food in the house, we can have pasta with homemade sauce. I’ve also frozen breakfast things, like steelcut oats and breakfast burritos.

      Finally, having the right containers really helps. I buy in bulk from Pactogo (which you can google); I freeze a lot of stuff in their 8×8 square cake foil pans, covered in foil. I also use the deli containers in 16 oz and 1 quart sizes. The deli containers are reusable, but the foil end up in the garbage. Less waste than takeout, but not perfect.

      Feel free to ask me additional questions on my FB page or through the blog, if you have them!

    • I freeze soups (chicken with barley, lentil with sausage), chili, or barbecued beef. The barbecued beef roasts in the oven for 4 hours but otherwise takes little prep and you could freeze it in smaller portion sizes. Let me know if you want the recipe.

      • I’d love, love the recipe. I do bbq pork sometimes (or did, when I had a functional crock pot) (probably getting one for Christmas)

        • 4 lb beef roast (rump roast or bottom round)
          1 cup diced celery
          1 cup chopped onion
          1 cup chopped green pepper
          1 bottle Heinz chile sauce (12 oz?)
          1 bottle ketchup (14 oz)
          1 14 oz bottle of water (rinse out the ketchup bottle)
          1 Tbsp sugar
          1 Tbsp cider vinegar
          salt and pepper

          Put the roast in a heavy Dutch oven. Cover the roast with the vegetables, then the sauce ingredients (I put the water over all of it). Cover. Roast at 325 for 4 hours. Take the roast out of the sauce and pull it apart with forks (removing fat). Put it back in the sauce.

          Done! This is a recipe my mom used to make for when we had family visiting for football games. It’s still a favorite. I’ve had friends try it in a crock pot but it gets a little watery.

    • I’m terrible at freezing meals, but I try to be good about advance prep work. For example, if I’m going to need onions or other veggies during the week, I’ll chop up what I need on Sunday and store them in a container in the fridge. If I need to put together marinades, I’ll do that as well. I only do this because I am so.freaking.lazy that if I have to do any prep work at all during the week, 9 times out of 10, I’ll order takeout. I recently saw at my grocery store that they had frozen already-chopped onion.

      For me, the freezer is generally where things go to die. But, I have had good luck with freezing tomato sauce and using it. Fill freezer safe bags with enough sauce for a portion or two, and then freeze them flat (easiest on a cookie sheet). I’ve run them under warm water and then put the still-mostly-frozen sauce in a pan and warmed them through. Also, if you pre-make and cook meatballs, you can freeze them and then drop frozen meatballs directly into the tomato sauce. From frozen to ready, they take about 25 minutes to cook through.

    • I sometimes make a big pot of lentils soup with onions, pour everything in the mixer then freeze.
      You can heat it in a pot, add a little EVOO, some shredded cheese and croutons
      Very yummy

  15. Diana Barry :

    To the ladies who had expressed interest in the clothes I have, I’m sorry I haven’t emailed you yet. I will try to take pictures this weekend!!!!

  16. anonone23 :

    Love the booties! I wear boots under pants all winter to keep rain and cold out.

  17. Has anyone tried perming just the bottom half of their long hair? I have long, straight hair and I think it only looks polished when I use a curling iron and create large waves at the ends. I have had many bad 80’s/90’s perms so I will not dare try to have my whole head permed. I want to just perm the bottm and I figure if it looks awful, I can just cut it off and it would still be past my shoulders.

    • Maybe one of the Korean or digital perms would be appropriate? That seems like the look you are going for.

    • S in Chicago :

      Haven’t permed but would be a little worried about how that might lay as you part differently, etc. Have you used hot rollers on the ends only? I do this all the time and it takes almost no work . I just throw them in before getting breakfast in the morning or before putting on my makeup. Much easier than fussing with a curling iron. It literally takes like 3 min. to put in and maybe 10 min or so to set. I have two different sets and they heat up much faster than their 80s or 90s counterparts. If you haven’t tried, I would totally recommend that route first. Less risk.

  18. Going-anon from this morning :

    I’m the poster who has made a resolution to become debt-free and get out of the legal world in the next 24 months. I realized last night how much guilt has been motivating me to stay where I am not happy, specifically:

    Guilt that my parents had to work long, miserable jobs and buy used clothes just so that we could barely scrape by, and as an attorney, I am somehow disrespecting their sacrifices by choosing to leave a salary that they could not work enough hours in the day to earn.

    Guilt that because I genuinely want to go back to a helping profession, that I am making it harder for other women around me who don’t want to be pink-collar.

    So here is my weekend thread question: Do you have anything in your life (professional or personal) that you do or remain in because of guilt, even if it doesn’t bring you happiness? What do you feel guilty about?

    • espresso bean :

      Regular poster, but I changed my name to be a little more anonymous.

      Good question! I don’t know about guilt, but I definitely do things because I feel like I’m “supposed to” (not sure who thinks that I should do things… society? I don’t know). I have a great job, but I could probably live on a lot less, but I feel like I need to make a certain income to have certain things. I don’t even mean material things — I don’t spend tons on clothes or anything, but just a lifestyle — my own place in an expensive city, the ability to travel abroad 1-2x a year, that kind of thing.

    • Going-anon from this morning :

      Also, I just wanted to say – the support from the hive was overwhelming. I am so thankful for this community.

    • I’m new to posting here, but wanted to express my total support for your decision to get out of the legal world if that’s what you want to do. There are too many opportunities to use the skills you have toward your goal of helping others for you to stay in a job you don’t like. I am a huge believer in the power of changing careers and a witness to how hard it can be to leave all that guilt behind. Not to mention the debt thing. I’ve written about a number of people who have left the legal world for more satisfying work over at life after law blog dot com. Best of luck with your own transition.

    • I’m much better than I used to be about this issue, but sometimes I still feel guilty about being a working mom. Am I REALLY doing right by my child and my family? Deep down, I know the answer is yes, our family is better off because I work, but I can’t deny that I’ve made trade-offs — the biggest one being TIME with my DS. My mother stayed at home and so did all of her friends, so I have no basis for comparison about how all this is ‘supposed’ to work or look. When I did entertain the idea of staying at home (which DH was vehemently against), I felt guilty for even thinking about turning my back on my education, my hard work and other professional women. In my ideal world, I’d work 25 hours a week and call it good, but that just isn’t possible in my profession and I’m not qualified to do anything else.

      I admire the heck out of you, Going-anon. You are making such a brave, powerful decision.

      • I have a cousin with two daughters who struggles with this all the time. She said that what makes her feel its the right decision though is that she would not want her daughters to grow up to stay home and she feels like she is setting a great example for them by doing what she is doing. Obviously, there is nothing wrong with choosing to stay home if that’s what you want, but I thought it was a good to think about it.

        • Thank you for posting this. Sometimes, just knowing that other women feel this way is enough to make me feel like I’m not royally screwing it all up.

      • I think it’s important is for your kids to know that you like your profession and that it brings you some happiness and that’s why you do it. My mom worked for a long time, then stopped working to take care of us, then started her career again. It was difficult for her to start over, but I think I admired that she stuck with it because it made her happier.

    • I don’t know if “guilt” was what I experienced. When I was at the firm and didn’t like my job, I felt ungrateful. It looked like I had everything a girl could want: what appeared to be an awesome job that paid me more money each year than I could make doing anything else (and far more than most people make in several years), a supportive family, an education, etc.—and yet it wasn’t “enough” and I felt ungrateful for not sufficiently appreciating what I had when I knew other people would love to have what I did. Really, what did I have to complain about? A job I didn’t like that paid me a lot? Not very sympathetic. I not sure if this is the same feeling you’re talking about.

      I can’t say I have a similar feeling about anything in my life anymore. Hopefully you too will feel free of this emotional burden once you’re able to move on to another career.

    • I feel guilt because I stepped away from my high-paying job to spend some time with the kids. I feel guilty that I did not enjoy being at home. I am not domestic. However, me going back to work means me being the breadwinner. When my husband stays home, I feel guilt for resenting him when he has so much free time.

    • I keep a couple of old friends that I have nothing in common with anymore and whose company I don’t really enjoy just because we have been friends for so long.

      • I think almost everyone has one or two of these. They’re almost more like family. I think the only problem is when the friendship is actively dysfunctional/draining, or when the person is your significant other.

        • I suppose and this is how I try to think of it, too. I think there is a value to be had from being able to know someone for 22 years, let’s say. But sometimes I just think what am I doing? Recently, I went to visit a friend like that for the weekend and it was just like, why am I spending my weekend doing this? And, then I feel terrible about it and promise to come back soon.

          • May or may not happen, but perhaps 22 years from now you will once again have things in common and enjoy their company? I have a couple of wildcard friends from past jobs and schools who became close even though at the time we almost never hung out and were very different. I also have a friend who used to make crazy drama in my life, who I tried to cut off forever, who recently moved near me. I was brainstorming how to avoid ever seeing her, but instead decided to try starting over completely and it’s turned out to be a great new chapter for us. Life is long and interesting, and I find that friendship isn’t scientific.

      • Yep, I have one of those. And I feel so terrible for feeling that way, especially because she doesn’t have a lot of close girlfriends.

    • OP–Kindly, and in support of your decisions: maybe you could consider your background and motives as reasons to challenge stereotypes about what work is “pink collar” and what that means? You’re able and qualified to make more money, but you want to be in a helping profession instead. For all you know, this is true of most or all of the other people in your future field as well? Assuming the best of them lets you also see the best in your own choices.

      As for my own guilt, I’d say it’s similar to what SunnyD says, though along somewhat different lines. To keep it vague, I have a lot of things in my life that others would wish for, but sometimes I get very bogged down focusing on what I don’t have.

      • I appreciate your input. I certainly don’t think other women in my area are in pink collar jobs because they aren’t qualified to be in other positions. It’s more that I live in a region where there is a lot of social pressure for women to be in pink collar jobs, to stay home with their children, etc. Because I didn’t grow up here, I’m somewhat impervious to that pressure, but I feel guilty because I am one of the only female attorneys in my area (and other women have expressly told me that they point me out as a role model for their daughters for career goals), and I feel like there is a real dearth of role models for girls in this area who don’t want to have pink collar jobs.

        So there is this weird guilty pull in that I actually *want* to be in a more traditionally female-based/helping profession, but that I don’t want to make it harder than it already is for women in this area who do want to pursue more traditional professional roles.

        I can feel guilty about the strangest things…

        • I totally get it, and went through something similar. Sadly, I think it goes something like: “I want to be the one X in this sea of Ys, so that other Xs will see that it can be done. Oh wait, here I am among the Ys, and hating it. I see why so few Xs come/stay here.” Then you make the best decision you can knowing that working toward your own happiness has a more reasonable expected return than working to make a point. Your guilt is understandable but I’m glad you’re not caving to it.

    • Sometimes I feel guilty for being lonely and bored and discontent even though I should feel lucky to have so much free time as a single, childless woman. So many articles talk about how women need and deserve more “me” time. I have plenty of “me” time. I want more “us” time.

    • I think I’m a lot like you. I work in a male-dominated field and ended up here because of a knack for numbers and stats. I like my job, but I’m not passionate about it. If I did it all over, I would be an elementary school teacher. But I think I would feel tremendously guilty for not using the skills I have, especially when there aren’t enough women presently represented in this line of work.

    • I don’t really feel guilt. I might have before, but it’s been so long that I don’t remember. Sometimes I think that we, as women, put too much pressure on ourselves to pick just one thing and expect it to continue to be satisfying throughout our years. I don’t expect the decisions I made when I was 20 to be satisfying and fulfilling now that I’m 40. I’ve changed careers 1.5 times by now (I also started my first career when I was 18). I also stayed home for a few years, right after our child was born. I probably felt guilt about not enjoying that more, until I realized that it was OK to find staying at home a little unfulfilling and not for me. I’m reaching the point in my life where I truly do not care what other people think of me, my decisions and choices (exception for my DH, I care very much what he thinks. I think that’s good, actually). It’s incredibly freeing. But at the same time, I don’t really relate to the angst my friends who are also working mothers are experiencing. I know some of them really struggle with “balance” “having it all” “living in the moment.” I can’t really explain it well, but I don’t allow myself to get sucked into that narrative at all. We do what works for us, and I’m good with that. Be easy on yourself, ladies! It’s OK to change your mind every now and again. :)

    • I feel a lot of guilt about buying things and not using them. This has directly led to my packratty tendencies that I am now trying to get rid of. Ironic, no? But I can’t keep holding onto things because I might use them some day. Nobody has that kind of storage space.

    • Anonymous :

      Posting here because you might not go back to Friday morning’s thread:
      In my own thinking about changing careers/possibly getting out of law entirely, I found Michael Melcher’s articles and book (“The Creative Lawyer”) extremely helpful. Many of his articles (some original printed in the NYT) are available free on his website — www [dot] michaelmelcher [dot] com. (Click on “Ideas” and “Share” at the top of the page.) One of the best is “Why Thinking Like a Lawyer Is Bad for Your Career.”

  19. Somebody needs to stop me! Last week I went Christmas shopping and got a necklace for SIL and a ring for me. Today I went Christmas shopping and got a ring for cousin and a necklace and a ring and then some shoes for me.

    This is not good!

    • I’m picturing you skipping through the department stores picking up random scarves, necklaces saying “One for YOU! One for ME!”

      • That’s ONE for you and TWO for me!

        Oy, I need to stop!

      • Now *I’m* picturing this too (only I don’t know what Tuesday looks like so in my mind she’s a fairy) and its making me giggle. Which is good because I needed that.

    • I don’t know…the sale prices this time of year tend to make me shop for myself as well. Sorry…or, just enjoy?

      • You’re right, Monday, it is the prices and availability (I got the jewelry at the Christmas Booths). But still — two rings and a necklace?!

        Not that I have any intention of returning them, or of saving them as gifts for someone else. I fully intend to wear and enjoy them. It’s just that I rarely buy so many wants-not-needs for myself at once; makes it feel weird.

        OK, trying to shake it off now.

      • Yes! This is what I’m having trouble with. I’ve had my eye on a few things that have gone on sale thanks to the various discounts this time of year. I know they’re good deals/I’ll use them, but then I feel guilty because I think that I could use that money towards nicer gifts for everyone else.

    • I bought myself two cashmere sweaters yesterday. Today, when I realized that there was no way I was going to get the book I wanted to get my mom before Christmas, I went back and bought one for her.


      In my defense, I lost a ton of weight last year and hit goal just in time for spring…so my winter wardrobe is a little thin on the ground.

      • Cashmere is definitely a need, not a want — no defense needed!

        PS: Congrats on the weight loss.

  20. party girl :

    Does anyone have suggestions for ice-breakers/fun games for an ADULT birthday party? I’m throwing a party for my husband and would like to have 1-2 “fun things” for everyone to do. He’s turning 31 – and also, our party will be alcohol-free since he’s currently taking some medication and can’t drink…so I thought party games would be fun – but I don’t have any ideas?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I’ve recommended this before but… Cards Against Humanity. Seriously. You won’t regret it.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Well actually you might. You definitely need to have an occasionally lewd sense of humor. But I’ve never played a game of it that didn’t end in hysterical laughter.

      • Is that like apples to apples?

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          Yeah, it’s basically like a dirty apples to apples.

          • It’s totally how all my friends and I already play Apples to Apples, so I loved it–I bought two sets to give as presents this year!

      • This.

      • Cards Against Humanity are sold out according to their website. :(

    • I understand he may feel bad not being able to drink, but maybe re-think the no-alcohol policy? it seems a little overbearing to make everyone stay non-alcoholic just because he has to. and honestly, adults tend to expect some alcohol at grown-up parties.

      • party girl :

        I should have clarified – we live in an area where most adults don’t drink alcoholic beverages, actually. He and I are sort of outliers on this, and it’s perfectly normal to go to a BBQ or gathering where there is not a beer in sight around here (but sweet tea galore). So while if I were living in 95% of the country, I’m sure this would be wild, at least 70% of the people coming don’t drink alcohol at all, and another 10-20% only drink a few times a year, like champagne at weddings.

        (But we like to drink and so he’s a little bummed about this 9 months of medicine).

        • Karaoke. Seriously. Best party ever.

          • I love you NOLA, but disagree.

          • Ha ha. Well, when I said best party ever, I was referring to my own 40th birthday party which was an awesome party. But a lot of my friends are hams and singers and they loved it. The ones who didn’t sing enjoyed the spectacle.

          • Okay, to clarify, I hate singing in public and have an awful voice, and all my friends in HS were obsessed with karaoke, so I have a lot of traumatic associations. If people will let me be the cheering section and/or adoring fan section, no problem. But if people expect me to *sing*, I will put on my Misery Face. Just tryna stand up for my fellow non-musically-inclined people.

    • GirlMeetsWorld :

      How about Mafia?!

    • My favorite ice-breaker game for corporate parties is People Bingo. Google it if you haven’t heard of it.

    • You could write the names of different celebrities on stickers, and then each person gets a sticker on her/his forehead. Each person has to guess who they are by asking questions of the other guests (who are also trying to figure out who they are themselves).

      If you’re in a non-drinking area, are you doing some kind of fun non-alcoholic drinks? Fancy punch, Italian sodas, ice cream floats, etc.

  21. TJ: Long-time lurker, first time commenter here! I don’t know if this is too broad a question, but I recently accepted a very prestigious internship in NYC. I am one of the youngest people to ever be offered this internship, and it’s exactly in the field that I want to go into. Candidly, I’m still in my teens, still an undergraduate, and yet landed an internship that graduate students with more field experience than me don’t get. I’m extremely nervous about the issue of my age because I will be the youngest in the entire office, so does anyone have any tips about dealing with this? This is honestly everything I’ve wanted since I was in high school and I don’t want my age to be the one thing my supervisors remember about me.

    • espresso bean :

      Congratulations! You were chosen because they want you to be there, so remember that when you feel uncertain. Just try to carry yourself with confidence (easier said than done, I know) and if you feel anxious, ask questions. People love it when others ask them questions about their career. And it makes you look like a thoughtful individual while taking the focus off of you. Good luck!

    • Being young is not a bad thing. Clearly, you kick a55 because you were chosen for the internship. What I like about working with younger-than-typical people (when did I get old???) is that they’re more open/malleable/flexible. Ask lots of questions, even “stupid” ones. Show up on time and if something is going wrong, IMMEDIATELY let your supervisor know – it’s hizzer job to help you. It is okay to have a personality. It is also okay if people don’t personally like you – you are there to learn what it’s like to work in a professional environment, not to make friends.

      Welcome to NYC – I hope you enjoy it here.

      • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

        Congratulations! Godzilla and espresso bean both gave excellent advice, so all I have to do is agree with them. :-)

    • Anonnymizz :

      Regular poster for anon for this. I, too, am much younger than my peers in experience, although somewhat closer in actual age – I had a different career before becoming a lawyer. DO NOT DISCOUNT YOURSELF! (Sorry for the Ellen caps) You are there because you have a talent, skill or potential that the selection committee saw in you. Who are you to second guess them. Be yourself, and be good at what you do. Soon, the age difference will become secondary.


    • GirlMeetsWorld :

      A good friend is a college professor and deals with both undergrads and grads.. the stellar undergrads (the ones you want to come back as graduate students, for example) are the ones who simply work harder than everyone else and have a better understanding of the bigger picture beyond just that one class/exam etc. I agree with the above–be timely (always and about everything!), ask engaging questions, try to network and meet as many people as you can. Produce great, error-free work product, have an awesome work ethic and try to think about the bigger picture, your role, what else you can do to meet the org’s goals, what else should be on their radar etc. Also, if this applies, dress the part as well. Good luck!

  22. Cold Feet :

    Regular poster going anon for this one.

    I was asked by my alma mater to speak to students. My initial understanding was that it was a panel of women in medicine and science. Cool. I just received the itinerary and poster, and it’s a QA session with just me. Just me! I’ll meet with the Dean, have a lunch discussion with one set of students, and have a coffee discussion with another set.

    I’m worried that I’m not interesting or accomplished enough for this! I know logically that the school must think that I am since they know my bio, but I’m having major confidence issues. HELP!

    • Congratulations! Seriously — this is a good thing. It’s the school’s vote of confidence.

    • Woman – you are awesome. Clearly. Don’t forget that. Go and help a new baby ‘r5tte make it in the world. RAWR.

    • As someone who’s just a few years out of college, I vividly remember being in school & being fascinated/seriously impressed by anyone who had achieved some level of success in a career that they were interested in. This was especially true when that someone was a woman. Trust me, those college students are likely at least a little bit terrified of “the real world” and would likely value any wisdom or insight you can impart on how to succeed in it.

      I think it’s a real honor to be asked back to speak by your alma mater! They wouldn’t have asked if they didn’t want you, so own that feeling & enjoy it. Good luck!

  23. Beach Books :

    Does anyone have any good recommendations for books for a beach vacation?

    I like having a mix of easy beach reads and longer books. I love historical fiction (Other Boleyn Girl, Pillars of the Earth, Gone with the Wind) but also love chick lit like Emily Giffin and Elin Hilderbrand’s books.

    Any new favorites?

    • Middle Coast :

      Older book, but Anya Seton’s Katherine. Best. Historical. Fiction. Ever.

  24. TJ: I was watching Anne Hathaway’s appearance on the Today Show yesterday and thought her embellished collar sweater looked amazing with her short hair (picture here: http://i0.wp.com/metrouk2.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/today-season-61-ay_99716251.jpg?w=637). Now I feel very inspired to look into choker necklaces to jazz up my black or navy crewneck sweaters, as I have pretty much the same short crop as her. (Also, I have been hit pretty hard by the constant holiday discount codes and couldn’t stop myself from online shopping.)

    Aside from the classic 2 or 3-strand pearl necklace, I am also thinking about getting something involving metals and/or beading/stones. Is something akin to what Anne is sporting in the picture or something like this (http://www.loft.com/loft/product/LOFT-Shoes-Accessories/LOFT-Necklaces/Short-Cast-Yellow-Stones-Necklace/278582?colorExplode=false&skuId=12956876&catid=catl000023&productPageType=fullPriceProducts&defaultColor=6090) too exaggerated for the office? I am a first year associate in big law. The firm culture is pretty laid back; dress code is business casual.

    Happy weekend!

  25. Lady Enginerd :

    If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why? Just assume you could you could find employment.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Ireland, so that I could live out a green-hilled and pub-crawling romance with a Gerard Butler / Ewan McGregor / Colin Farrell hybrid.

      Honest answer is my hometown, to be close to my parents and my roots, but that’s not as interesting.

    • Anne Shirley :

      London. Because it completes me. Because without it I don’t make sense. Because I miss it like a soul-mate who got away.

      • Anon to not out myself :

        Also London. I studied abroad there and have so many fond memories. I would go back in a heartbeat if I could find a similar job and all the immigration stuff worked out.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      Tokyo, for the same reason Anne Shirley has re: London.

      • Bangkok, ditto, with a second home in London.

      • Am in Tokyo at the moment. I love it and am always happy to be here when work or play provides an excuse … but reckon it’d be very hard to live here. That’s what my local friends keep saying, anyway.

    • Either Siena, Italy (same reason as Anne Shirley has for London, I studied there and will always love it) or Vienna, Austria – which I fell in love with as an adult.

      In the US – I think probably the Bay Area. Or the Big Island, Hawaii.

      It’s hard to choose just one dude.

    • Anonymous :

      Manhattan, in a heartbeat. The best of everything, so many inspriational things to do, and so many beautiful places.

    • Young Consultant :

      I would love to move back to southern Africa, probably Botswana, maybe Harare, maybe Cape Town. I could live this beautifully warm and low key life. Thinking about this always makes me want to restart the Foreign Service application process.

    • Montana – although, I don’t know if I could pick a particular part of the state.

      • Me, too! I would have to have a home on each side of the state, maybe one in Miles City and one in Missoula or Whitefish.

        • I would choose lots of places over Miles City, tbh. But both Missoula and Whitefish are great towns.

          Maybe Livingston instead of MC?

      • Montana here too! Bozeman probably. Love it there.

    • I’m from the States but living in Scotland and I’ve kind of reached the point where I want to stay somewhere and I think Scotland (either EDI or GLA) feels right. I’ve lived a bit of a vagabond existence since college and am sick of living on the move.

      Dream place to live: Paris.

    • San Sebastian, Spain, or somewhere in Italy, maybe Bologna. I really prefer the pace of life in Southern Europe. The US stresses me out with its emphasis on achievement-achievement-achievement, but I have enough of that drive internally that I don’t particularly need it from my environment, as well; so here, I feel like people’s values calm me down, and act as a really useful counterbalance to my Type A personality.

      Of course, all of that’s assuming I can use a magic teleportation laser to move all of my friends and family. Barring the laser, I’ll go with my hometown of Charlottesville, VA, for the friends and family, the vineyards, and the running community.

    • Also London, because I love the crazy layers of history and culture; it feels to me like the intersection of everything, for lack of a better word.

      Or I’d live in my family’s ancestral home in Northern Virginia, which is 270 years old and in the middle of nowhere, and thus a very bad choice for someone with my career and interests. I know it’s impractical, but it was built by my mother’s family and they lived there until the 1970s, and on some level it hurts my heart that it’s in someone else’s hands. There’s a pretty good likelihood that although I have no need for an out-of-the-way and down-at-the-heels colonial house, if I have the means next time it comes on the market, I’ll end up buying it.

  26. Would you rather...(wedding favor edition) :

    Have something edible (snack bag, candy, etc) OR something edible for home (baked good mix). I’m trying to think of something fun that doesn’t take up a lot of space in people’s homes (coasters, wine glasses, etc). Any suggestions/favorites?

    • Something edible for the home? My cousin gave out sachets of fancy tea (mild blends like rose or mint), which I thought was a nice idea. Mostly avoided candies because a lot of people on my mother’s side of the family have diabetes or other health issues that required a low sugar diet.

      • I would love to receive tea as a wedding favor. While I love chocolate, I’m not a huge sugar person (and people are often on diets) so I wouldn’t like candy as much.

        • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

          Another tea drinker, yippee! I have tea on my xmas wishlist!

          I was given the following two teas and really liked them:
          (1) Ali san Oolong http://www.harney.com/ali-san.html
          (2) Haiku brand Japanese Hojicha (Roasted Green Tea)

    • East Coaster :

      I vote for something edible like candy (though I realize that it may not work for everyone, such as those with dietary restrictions above). The best wedding favor I’ve seen so far were these small tins of local, salted chocolates for a Seattle wedding. They were tiny, delicious, and more importantly were not “stuff”.

  27. Anyone else who has a husband who treats her like she’s brainless? If so, how do you deal with it?

    Also, I do understand that my frustration seems trite in light of the pain and agony that our country is experiencing currently. Those involved will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    • If by “husband” you mean “soon-to-be-ex,” then yes.

      Have you tried counselling?

      • No, we haven’t done counseling yet. His opinion is that the counselor would just say what was needed to smooth ruffled feathers, because that’s the counselor’s job. I doubt he would really gain much from it. I might though.

    • Your Husband :

      Did you try not acting like an idiot?

      If you find that too difficult, perhaps you could try not being a woman.

      • Wow, ok, so apparently this is my fault. I’ll try to not act like an idiot, or a woman, from here on out. Thank you so much for this wonderful information.

      • Wow, you’re a total dooshe, “Your Husband.” Congrats. Kiss off.

      • Charlotte Peloux :

        Yes, but you married the “idiot,” so I guess that makes you the biggest idiot of all. Good choice, man!

    • Ekaterin Nile :

      You shouldn’t have to “deal” with a husband who treats you like you’re brainless; your husband should treat you with respect. End of story. If he’s dismissive of your concerns and dismissive of counselors, perhaps you should see a therapist on your own to help you figure out your options, whether they be conveying to your husband that this is a real problem or something else.

  28. Reg poster who is anonz :

    Do you think people would follow a tumblr dedicated to wearing everything in my closet at least once and seeing how long that would take? I want to do something like this for myself (maybe) and think a tumblr post a day might keep me accountable. I might also do this as part of a larger project of cataloging my closet with an iphone app. Anyway, it’s not like I would want to post on a tumblr just for people to notice or get fans, I guess though it might be nice if a few people enjoyed looking or I got the occasional comment. I feel like I have tried to search for blogs where people do this (or exist on cheaper, more limited wardrobes that are more normal and don’t include crazy high-end pieces), and come up short. Just wondering what people think…

  29. Question for Nola and really anyone else.

    W are thinking of going to new Orleans over Christmas time. Given the holiday, will everything be pretty much shut then? We do have the option of going earlier and coming back day f Christmas.

    Also, I would love suggestions for things to do there with a 6 month old in tow.

    I hope this is not too late in the weekend thread.

    • I think you’ll be fine over Christmas itself. When you’ll run into problems is around bowl games. The New Orleans Bowl is on the 22nd but it’s not nearly as big as the Sugar Bowl. Things get so crowded and crazy, you wouldn’t be able to get around. Some of the nicer restaurants have reveillon dinners at Christmas time (Google it) so that could be fun. Not sure about a 6 month old. Maybe go for a carriage ride? The zoo (Uptown) and the aquarium (downtown) are great but not sure a six month old would appreciate that. A walk around Audubon Park would be great with a baby. The city is really pretty for Christmas. The streetcars are decorated with bows and greenery. I wouldn’t expect things to be shut down at all. Honestly, the only time we’ve ever had a hard time finding restaurants open was Christmas eve but that was Uptown. I’ll be places will be open in the Quarter.

      • Thanks Nola.! I don’t anticipate a lot of baby related stuff anyway, just as long as having a baby along at that time did not seem like a bad idea!

        • Also be aware the the sidewalks are not smooth, anywhere in the city. Getting around with a stroller could be challenging but I wouldn’t let it deter you.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      I’ve been in New Orleans over Christmas. It’s fabulous. We usually stay at the Montelone in the Quarter. The houses all decked out on on St. Charles are so fun to look at as you walk by, conveniently on the way to Audubon. It’s surprisingly cold (I keep thinking South = warm), so be forewarned on that front. Ditto NOLA on the big hassle being the bowl games. It was INSANE.

      • anon in tejas :

        I love the Monteleon! It’s one of my favorite hotels in that city!

  30. I just want to crow that I have FINISHED MY CHRISTMAS SHOPPING. I’m so happy, on time and slightly under budget.

    Snaps to me. Haha. Anyone really excited about anything they’re giving for Christmas/Hanukkah/Solstice/general end of year merriment this year?

    • Oh, good for you! I have been so busy with end-of-year work, that just as with every other year I am going to be scrambling and thanking the stars for Amazon prime. Hopefully all the nephews updated their wish lists this year …

      Unrelatedly – have there been any Chicago meet-ups lately? I think there was a plan to try to meet up once a month, but I haven’t seen any posts about it. Hopefully I haven’t been missing out!

      • style advice needed... :

        I missed the last one, and have been hoping there would be another.

    • Young Consultant :

      So Jealous, I’ve spent the last three hours scouring the internet for interesting, surprising, and perfect gifts for my family.

      • Have you checked Etsy? If you pick places that ship from the US, it could probably still get here in plenty of time, and there are lots of interesting options there (that’s where I got my brother’s gift). Fun jewelry or custom clutches/purses for female recipients or if you have a nerd in the family, search the “geek” stuff for some fun ideas.

        • Young Consultant :

          I actually have been searching Etsy for my mom’s gift. My sister is a bit of a brand-name followers, so it’s not really an option for her. Dad’s are hard, and mine just had major surgery so I am on the hunt for indoor hobbies/activities for him to take up. I’ve been considering indoor/window gardening stuff.

          • YC, were you the one looking for the Marc Jacobs-style cross body bag for your sister? If so, Nordstrom had a very similar Kate Spade version on sale earlier in the week that I meant to recommend. If she likes brand name stuff, I’d also suggest taking a look through the accessories section of 6pm or Zappos. You can find some great stuff that still has the brand name.

    • Congrats!

      I got my dad stone coasters with a nautical chart from a place very special to him (Etsy). I got a friend’s baby a board book called “Let’s Knosh” and some clothes, including a onesie that says “Daddy and I agree that Mommy is the boss.” We are exchanging Hannukah gifts at the end of the month when we all see each other, instead of mailing. I am excited to get my nieces started on Scott O’Dell books, too.

    • Pink and turquoise animal print Sperry Topsiders for my 5yo niece. They are covered in clear sequins, too. She wants “crazy” shoes so I think she’ll be happy. :)

    • saacnmama :

      I’m *almost* done. The thing that’s left are 4-6 things for people who are important in my kiddos life–teachers, yoga instructor, dance coach, writing tutor, pediatric nurse who gives him weekly shots. They all work with kids so are immune to the charm of one more handmade anything from one more kid, but anything else seems so darn crassly commercial.

    • I have a 7 yo niece with very practical parents. She has a lot of stuff, so I’m often reluctant to add to that, but this year I got something perfect: I saw the family around Thanksgiving, and despite her preference for dressing girly, niece was wearing her brother’s hand-me-down coat. Hot pink winter coat on its way!

    • Congrats. I haven’t even started, ergo I cant be excited about anything that I’m gifting…

  31. Roseannrosannadanna :

    Would anyone like to tell me their experience with the Brazilian blowout treatment. I am aware of the formaldehyde issues and have a reason that I might look into this anyway.

    • Purplepear :

      I’ve been getting BB’s regularly for about a year. I love them so much.

      It makes my naturally very thick, kind of curly, kind of kinky hair so much more manageable. I wash an flat iron my hair every 3 days and it cuts my styling time in half. My hair also lays much smoother than before. No more pouf!

  32. Considering a move :

    Wondering if anyone has some advice on searching for a new job. My husband and I are considering a move to Texas because my husband has a job opportunity there. I work in biglaw, mainly in IP litigation and would be looking for something similar. Has anyone worked with any headhunters in that area that they recommend? Are headhunters even that helpful, or am I better off looking on my own? Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated!

    • Both Dallas and Houston are big legal markets and Austin would also have a good deal of IP work, I am guessing due to the tech companies there. Having said that, TX is huge, so where are you looking to be?

      • Considering a move :

        Sorry, I forgot to add that. I’m mainly looking in Austin, although Dallas would be a possibility too.

    • tx lawyer :

      I would recommend Randy at Performance Legal Placement. Many friends have used him with great results.

  33. I’m procrastinating on some work, so thought I would do some early trip planning. Any recommendations for a good beach-y resort to stay at in Trinidad & Tobago? Something preferably less than $200/night in March.

  34. Blouse Hunt :

    I’m seeing so many gorgeous blouses on sale now, but I’m a natural fibers girl (keeps odors at bay). Any recommendations for tanks, shells, blouses in cotton or silk? Most I see are synthetic.

    • Randomly, Pure Cashmere (which is a sister brand of Boden) has some gorgeous silk blouses. You might also try Boden–they have some really pretty blouses in cotton and sometimes shells in silk.

  35. It’s the deodorant question again. Do any of you ladies have recommendations for natural deodorant that actually works? I don’t mind spending a little more if it is effective. I was using men’s deodorant for a while, but went back to antiperspirant, and now I feel “gross”.

    • I got some from a woman who makes them locally. Her website is her company name: Lost River Naturals with a .com at the end. I am usually skeptical of natural deodorant, but this has kept me stink free for about a month of stressful work and intense workouts so far, so it’s good stuff. It’s also pretty cheap, so not a big risk if it ends up not working for you.

    • I have been using Kiss My Face Liquid Rock deodorant, which is ok. I think it generally keeps me from smelling bad, but I don’t like how long it takes to dry. I like it better than Tom’s, which I have never found to be that reliable at odor prevention. I also bought a chunk of deodorant from Lush, but I need to get myself used to it. If you have Lush store near you, you can check out their stuff–they have a bar one and several powders, I think.

    • Some thoughts :

      I haven’t found any “natural” deodorants to be highly effective comparatively. However, I find Tom’s works a bit better with a little boost. For me, exfoliating the area and swabbing lemon juice or astringent (but NOT right after shaving!) first and/or when not wearing deodorant helps.

    • Deodorant :

      Thank you for the tips ladies

  36. in-house mouse :

    Need to vent – I just started a new job in a small office about 2 months ago. Today, a secretary (not mine, but I do some work with her) stopped by my office to ask about a project. In the middle of the discussion, she said, “are you pregnant?”

    I am actually 16 weeks along, but have not told anybody at work yet. Because I did not want to lie, I said yes. She immediately exclaimed (loudly enough for the entire office to hear) “when are you due?!” I said, “why do you ask?” She mumbled something about being nosy. I told her that I haven’t told my bosses, and she said, “oh I won’t say anything to them.” Lady, they heard you. The while office heard you.

    So I did end up telling my (female) bosses, maybe a little earlier than I had hoped to. They were great, very excited for me, and both said they had no idea I was pregnant.

    Why do people insist on asking a woman if she is pregnant? Nothing good can come of it. If she isn’t, you just pointed out that she has a gut. If she is, she is clearly not ready to share that information with you.

    • Yikes, I agree. Will people ever learn that you should never, ever, ever ask a woman if she’s pregnant? Not only is it nosy (let people share happy news on their terms), but if your assumptions are wrong you’ve just offended someone. Rawr.

    • Charlotte Peloux :

      They ask because they’re nosy and self-important.

      They believe that their desire to know stuff about you is more important than anything else. Sometimes, they self-justify by pretending it’s b.c. they care about you. Sometimes, they may even care, but the dominant feeling is that what they want trumps what everybody else wants.

      • in-house mouse :

        Yes, this describes that secretary to a T. Thank you for the validation, I was beginning to think I was being hypersensitive.

      • Absolutely–this applies to so many other kinds of nosy questions too. The person has simply decided they feel like having the info and don’t care what it costs you. Needless to say. the guarantee from someone like that that they “won’t say anything” is worthless. Part of their kick is looking to others like they are in the know. I’m sorry, OP.

    • e_pontellier :

      That’s horrible. It blows my mind that people think it’s okay to ask. People lately have been asking me how old I am — totally unnecessary — so I look at them and ask, “Do you think it’s appropriate to ask a grown, married woman her age?” Yes it makes me a doosh but I don’t care at all. Enough of the inappropriate questions. So sorry for your experience, OP.

      • why does it matter to your grown-ness that you’re married?

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          Your comment reminds me of the scenes in Airplane where the woman keeps saying “well, at least I have a husband.” I love that movie.

    • This secretary is going to continue to ask nosy questions so you should have some stock non-answers ready so that you’re not lying but not answering either.

      • Anonymous :

        Would love some if you know any. How to deal with people who ask personal questions that are done of their business.

        • Anonymous :

          Sigh… pre-coffee typo…

        • I like to just ask back “why do you ask?” It immediately puts the person asking the inappropriate question in the awkward position of having to explain why they just asked if you’re pregnant/planning to have children/everything’s okay with your spouse/etc. If they reply that it’s because you’re looking a little poochy lately, you’ve made them look like an a$$hole, if they say they’re concerned for your health, then you can say thanks for the concern but your health is fine.

      • I also do the “why do you ask?” or something like “didn’t your mom teach you not to ask stuff like that? ” or turn it around on them and ask if they are dealing with situation x and refer them somewhere to help. It depends on the question and how on top of things I am that day.

    • If you can, saying nothing with an expressionless face is awesome. I do that sometimes and people cannot stand the silence.

  37. Thoughts on Paraguard? History of DVT/Lupus so sadly my lovely pill is no longer an option.

    • I'm a fan :

      I love mine! I can’t do hormonal bc, and I’ve had no problems at all with the Paragard beyond the first couple of days after insertion. I basically totally forget that it’s there, and just have my gyn check it once a year at my regular check-up. Monthly flow maybe a little heavier for a day or so, but that’s not really a problem for me.

    • I love mine! I had lots of issues with hormonal BC and Paraguard has been awesome. I don’t notice it is there. It has made my periods heavier and I also have more discharge (sorry if that is TMI) but I prefer these side effects to the monthly migraines and crippling anxiety and depression that I experienced with the pill. Insertion was easy for me, but I had it done 6 weeks after delivering.

    • e_pontellier :

      There was a thread here about whether an IUD is right for you – probably lots of discussion of Paraguard in the comments. Google search: “site: [this site’s name] iud” and it’ll come right up.

    • Made me bleed like a stuck pig for 8+ days per month, and then I expelled it.

  38. saacnmama :

    Guys, I need help doing this! Where can I find a template or example or plan for thinking this through?

    I thought I needed to decide between a 30 hr /wk and a 40 hr /wk position, but when I called for final negotiations, I found out that because of a new bill that’s been proposed in our state legislature, they’ve changed the job description. They know who I am and like my past academic work, but at this point they want a lot more political action in addition to the public ed that was already a part of it.

    Now I have to write a proposal that really sells myself and includes hours, when I would work from home and the office and what I would do each place (should the location even matter?) and WHAT I WOULD DO. Obviously “write a pamphlet that explains our side and call all the legislators” won’t cut it.

    Any ideas on where I can look for guidance on this? I’ve gone through my personal network and haven’t come up with much.

    • I don’t understand; isn’t writing the job description your employer’s duty? How can you write a job description and plan of action for a job you don’t yet have, for an organization you don’t yet work for?

  39. saacnmama :

    Eleanor, this is the job description. What they’re asking me for now is more of a plan of action. I don’t think that means setting up a whole schedule of when I would hold workshops or being that specific, but am having a hard time figuring out what to do that’s in-between that and their job descriptions.

    Public education & Government Relations Coordinator

    This is a full time career path position eventually leading to Government Relations Director. The public education & Government Relations Coordinator will be responsible for fighting and preventing [issue x] through increasing civic engagement and raising awareness.

    The responsibility of the public education/Government relations coordinator is to lead the fight [for their issue] in legislation and government and protect civil rights through legislation and government by pushing back against legislation that hurts our civil rights, supporting legislation that protects it, and mobilizing and educating the community around those issues.

    Ideal candidate will have at least 1-2 years of experience in government relations or community organizing and be self-motivated and able to work under pressure with little supervision.

    Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

    1. Exposing and countering [issue the organization works with] in the Media and Public
    2. Leading the charge against [their issue] legislation in Florida
    3. Monitoring the legislature and educating & mobilize the community regarding legislation that affects us
    4. Organizing lobbying to support legislation in DC to protect civil liberties
    5. Connecting the community to their local, state, and federal representatives by helping them visit and communicate with government leaders.
    6. Leading Get-out-the-Vote Campaigns and Phone Banking
    7. Organizing Candidate Forums
    8. Providing neutral voter guides that clarify candidate positions and explains amendments.
    9. Organize youth leadership and civic engagement programs
    10. Organize monthly seminars to empower the community.
    11. Conduct polls, gather data and publish articles & studies on issues relevant to the community

  40. Shopping SOS.

    Mr. AIMS really wants “The Dude Sweater” for Xmas. Of course he only mentions this now.
    I found a pretty perfect contender at JCrew but it’s completely sold out everywhere.

    I’ve checked Pendelton, Lands End, LL Bean, Sundance, and J Peterman. JPeterman has the closest possibility but I really would like something with a shawl collar. Any other ideas? What am I missing?

    For reference, this is the JCrew sweater I would order if it was available: http://www.jcrew.com/mens_category/sweaters/wool/PRDOVR~55831/55831.jsp

    Thanks for any leads!!!!

    • Anonymous :

      Eddie Bauer? Banana Republic? Lord & Taylor/Dillards?

    • Bewitched :

      Blarney Woolen Mills in Ireland-they have a website and ship to US. Quality stuff and while I don’t 100% recall the men’s sweaters, I think they have a near identical one.

    • LLBean Signature?

      I was also thinking Patagonia might have something like it, but I didn’t see anything on their website.

      • Jenna Rink :

        It is entirely possible that it’s just the LL Bean Boyfriend effect, but I love that sweater!

    • Anonymous :


      Small company on the East Coast of Canada called “NW Knitwear.” Highly recommend their stuff, including blankets.


    • I see a few candidates on the Land’s End site…Nothing at Ben Sherman. If you use MyHabit, that’s a possibility too. Good luck!

      • Oops, just saw that you already checked there. Is this not his jam?


        Hope others’ comments are more helpful!

        • Not loving that at all.

        • It may be but I am trying to get this as a surprise and I am not loving the color. I found some other options at department stores (thanks to the ideas here) and the problem with those is that they’re not pure wool – I feel like the whole point of this type of sweater is to be maximally cozy and acrylic does not equal cozy in my mind.

          I briefly brought up the whole sweater quest to the Mister again last night and he said that designs on the sweater are pretty integral — so am reconsidering this Pendelton. Thoughts?

          Is it too ridiculous?? Or is it just different enough to be an homage to the Dude without being a total costume?

          • I actually like that Pendleton one more than the more basic versions! It will also probably hold up better than fooey J. Crew anyway. You know his style, but I don’t think it’s that “out-there.” Also, assuming he may wear the sweater often with jeans, a little blue in the design never hurts. If he doesn’t like the 2-way zipper he can always leave the bottom one all the way zipped so it looks like regular.

            Let us know how it goes? I got Mr. Monday a pair of gloves that were a bit of a risk too…

          • You have given me courage! I was really unsure what to get him this year and $200 on a potentially hit or miss sweater was giving me cold feet but I’m going to just go for it. I’ll let you know how it goes. In the past, the gift he was most happy with was a pair of madras sleep pants, of all the random things … So, hopefully this will be right up there. Thank you!

            And PS: I hope the gloves go over well – I can’t imagine they wouldn’t. I remember when you mentioned them. It sounds like a very thoughtful present.

          • Awesome. I think this is gift-giving at its best. Specific item requests have their place, but so does creativity!

          • http://www.pendleton-usa.com/catalog/search.cmd?keyword=51630

            This one is actually a little closer to the Dude’s, I think.

    • Brooks bros or Joseph A Banks (which is having one of their buy 1 get 17 free type sales starting tomorrow or Monday)

    • darjeeling :
      • Haha, that guy in the first option scares me too much for me to order it! Great idea though – thank you! I think the problem with getting it exactly like the Dude would be just a bit too costumey for him to wear. At least in my mind – we haven’t discussed it in detail. I am going to browse Etsy some more though – I always forget that as a resource. Thanks!

    • darjeeling :

      I’m in moderation but if you search Dude Sweater on etsy you can buy the exact sweater for $250, and there are lots of dude-style ones at more reasonable price points. Calmer than you are.

    • Call J.Crew and they can find one in stores for you if there is one. I’ve had a lot of success with thus. Also, check the website every morning as early as you can, it might pop back in your needed size.

      Also, try Need Suppky and Unionmade. They both have similar sweaters by SNS Herring, which may be too expensive, and a few cheaper brands.

      • I did. They said it is sold out in every single size. I will keep checking site but they said it was unlikely that any would pop up before the holidays are over and they start getting returns. Damned hipsters ;)

    • Thanks for the ideas, everyone! You guys are such a great resource as always. I totally didn’t think to check department stores. Nordstrom has some possibilities and I also found an awesome Vince sweater which is too expensive for what could turn out to be a rarely worn item – but I definitely have more options now. Thank you!

      Right now, a Pendleton sweater is the top contender. It’s a bit ridiculous but I feel like it’s bound to be well made and will last years if not decades so bound to come in handy on some ski trip or other. I posted it above if anyone has thoughts about it one way or the other.

      Thanks again!

  41. Anon neighbor :

    Semi-regular poster, but I’m going anonymous for this topic. I’m seeking advice from the hive on how to handle a neighbor issue. I live in an apartment in a large city, and my upstairs neighbors are an older man – I think he’s in his mid-70’s – and his early teenaged autistic son. The boy has violent fits pretty regularly, where he yells, jumps up and down, or bangs on walls and radiator pipes. DH and I have been living in this building (renters) for 2 years, and the incidents seem to be increasing in both frequency and intensity lately.

    This is obviously inconvenient and frustrating to us, as the incidents often happen in the middle of the night and wake us. I’ve tried dealing with the father directly, and he apologizes for the disruptions, but he has little power to control them. We have reported this to our landlord, but I’m not sure he can do much.

    Here’s my question: I am growing concerned that the father cannot handle caring for his son. After these incidents, I have seen bruises and bandages on the father, who has confirmed that the injuries come from trying to restrain his son. I’m going back and forth about reporting possible parental neglect to state or city authorities. On the one hand, I don’t want this decision to made out of frustration or be motivated by revenge in any way. On the other hand, I’m truly concerned that the child is a danger to himself, his father, and possibly others.

    What would you smart people do?

    • Oh, that is a tough one. Can you contact a Mental Services agency or nonprofit of some kind for guidance? I am not sure police would be able to help in this situation and you may just make the situation worse.

      • Anon neighbor :

        I’ll look into that – it’s a thought. The kid takes a short bus to school, so he must be in the system already in some way. I’m not sure how this all works, and I don’t want to make their lives more difficult. But still, I don’t feel comfortable listening to it escalate…

    • I would see what elder services are available in the area for your neighbor, and perhaps they could get him looped into other services. Also, your parental neglect and short bus comments really rub me the wrong way.

      • Yes, I must say when I read “short bus” I really cringed. I think it’s nice that you want to help but I also would examine where you are coming from with your motivation. Not trying to imply anything from an internet comment, but sometimes we react to things in ways that are not warranted based on our own preconceptions. Before you get involved in this matter, make sure you’re coming from the right place.

        • I read it like he literally took a short bus to school, not like she was using the phrase as it’s commonly used.

      • Anon neighbor :

        I was posting quickly and didn’t choose my words carefully. I live in a large city with good public transportation, so the only kids who take a traditional yellow school bus are either going to a private school that contracts with a bus company or are special needs kids in public school who are picked up in front of their buildings in a literal short bus. This boy takes the latter. I didn’t mean to be insensitive, and I’m sorry I offended.

        As for the neglect comment, my concern is that the father is not capable of caring for his son as the son’s tantrums become more violent, and the son could injure him badly and no one would know for some time. Also, the father once told my husband that the boy’s mother, who lives separately and only has visitation rights, gives him more medication than he (the father) feels is appropriate. So we know that the boy’s meds are inconsistent, which I think falls under neglect or maltreatment in some way. But I use the term “neglect” to differentiate from “abuse.” I don’t think the boy is being abused, but I think that they need some type of intervention or assistance that they aren’t getting now.

        And other times, I think that maybe it’s none of my business. I really am turning to you all for advice or resources here.

        • Silvercurls :

          Operator error! My response to Anon Neighbor ended up farther down the page.

    • I think you have to strongly consider whether you can get involved in useful way when you know so little about the situation. You know that the kid has been diagnosed with a developmental disorder, that he’s (presumably) in a special school program, and that he has outbursts and that he has a father who’s staying up nights trying to manage the outbursts. That doesn’t sound like parental neglect to me, quite the opposite.

      What you don’t know is what medical or behavioral treatment plans they have been trying, what’s worked or not, what services they’re tapped into already or what they need, what else might be going on that may be precipitating his outbursts lately, etc. There also just may not be treatments that work or services that are available to him, and so he might be making the best he can already of a difficult situation. Realize that lots of parents of children with medical issues get unsolicited advice all the time, and while it may be well intentioned it’s almost always not helpful. You just don’t know what’s going in their lives and your “help” feels like judgement.

      It’s quite likely that your neighbor could use a lot more social support to deal with the situation than he has, but unless you’re willing to offer that, I think that the best thing that you can do to be supportive is to deal with the frustration about the noise on your end and not burden him with it. Your neighbor clearly has enough to deal with without having to worry about inconveniencing you (or worse, having you call the landlord/cops/social services on him).

    • Jenna Rink :

      Google “I am Adam Lanza’s Mother” for a perspective on what the father may be going through. To be honest, it sounds like the father is doing the best he can. Heartbreaking and wrong as it is, there probably aren’t any additional resources out there that would become available to him if you made a report. Even if child services decided he was an unfit parent, there’s not exactly a surplus of foster families ready to take in a violent autistic child. I second the suggestion that you avoid burdening the father with your complaints about the noise, as he’s got enough to worry about.

  42. Warning: this is really long haha

    This past weekend my boyfriend went on a trip with a few of our mutual friends and two people that I really don’t like, we’ll call them A and B. A is a guy that is my ex-best friend. Our relationship was really complicated (tried dating, when that didn’t work out we became friends with benefits) and it ended on a really bad note. B was a good friend of mine that went behind my back and started dating A. Needless to say I cut the two of them out of my life but we have many mutual friends.

    When my boyfriend and his friend were planning this trip he invited A and B over me because A was there when they were talking about planning the trip. I expressed that I was uncomfortable with this and he assured me that he and his friends would do their own thing and A and B would do their own thing. I find out later that they all spent the whole weekend together.

    Do I have a right to be mad at my boyfriend for going on the trip with them?

    • Hmm. This seems odd to me. I dont know if mad is the right word, but I can tell you that no one I ever dated seriously would want to spend the weekend hanging out with my exes. How serious is your relationship? It sounds like you already broached the issue, but I would consider just saying something like, “Hey this might seem silly to you, but it’s been bothering me. You spent an entire weekend with someone I had a falling out with and it was someone I used to be involved with to boot. I am glad it didn’t make you uncomfortable but it makes me feel a bit weird. Can we just talk about it for a minute?” See what he says.

      • Yea I’m definitely planning on talking about it with him…I just wasn’t sure if I was being irrational for being uncomfortable about the situation. All of us involved used to be mutual friends/roommates which makes the situation messier. And my boyfriend and I have been dating for two years so I would say it’s a serious relationship.

  43. I’ve really been wanting a rose gold watch, and my husband bought me a Michael Kors one this weekend at Nordstrom, as a surprise. It is beautiful, but there is a ring of very small rhinestones around the face of it. Does this mean I can’t wear it to work? (I’m a litigation associate at a big NY firm.) the times I really would want it would be for depositions, interviewing summer candidates, etc – when I might want to check the time without looking at my blackberry. The watch was a few hundred dollars, and it just seems like too much for a piece I will only wear on weekends (if the rhinestones rule it out for office wear).

    • Personally, I think a chunky rose gold watch is blingy enough without the rhinestones. Not sure which one you got, but the ones I see online don’t look too subtle to me. Obviously, you can wear it to work – other people do. But I would consider exchanging it for one sans rhinestones. Tell hubby you love it, but don’t want to be so fashionable at work and trade it for a plain rose gold model. I think most people really want you to love their gift and it means a little tweaking, they won’t mind if the end result makes you happy.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      The ones I saw on a quick google search look totally fine for work to me.

    • I am a partner at a biglaw NY firm; unless the rhinestones are really blingy, and it doesn’t sound like they are, it’s fine.

  44. Panic/vent.

    My mom has MS (well, actually a variant of MS, but close enough). We do not live in the same city. She is single and lives alone. She is on steroids, and her doctor has recently begun to lower her doses of that.

    This morning, my uncle woke up to several emails from her that worried him to the point that he headed over to her apartment. When he arrived, she wasn’t answering her phone/the buzzer. So he called the super, who went up to check on her and found that she had piled all her clothing in the middle of the living room floor and tried to set it on fire. Also, she was wandering the building barely dressed, telling anyone who she saw (possibly knocking on doors?) that she wasn’t crazy, no one was hurt, and she was trying to commit suicide. Cops obviously attended, took her to hospital, where was was found to be essentially in a psychotic state. She is now sedated and on a 72-hour hold to determine whether or not she can be released without being a risk to herself or others. She seemed fine, though slightly manic, on Thursday when both my uncle and I spoke to her. Her neuropsychiatrist (who hasn’t seen her yet, but who I spoke to on the phone) thinks it’s possible the weaning off the steroids left her depressed, and maybe she took extra doses and flipped out. But we don’t know yet.

    I don’t know wtf I am going to do. We don’t know yet if they are going to charge her with arson (which, THANKS STEPHEN HARPER, is no longer eligible for house arrest rather than jail). I don’t know – but sincerely hope – whether they will hold her in the hospital past the 72 hours. If it was just a medication issue, I suppose that once she is stabilized, she can perhaps be released and even go back home to live, though I’d hope that there would be better support for her put into place, because I’m pretty concerned about her continuing to live alone. In the long term though, this situation is untenable. But if I try to get her to move to the city I live in, I will be her *only* source of support/help. None of her friends live here (and she is relatively social), she only knows us. I can’t afford to move to her city, and both Professor Bhaer and I are just starting our careers and can’t really just uproot to a new jurisdiction. I’m kind of freaking.right.out.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry. Thank goodness she was unsuccessful and that she is currently in the hospital getting the help she needs right now. This must be just completely overwhelming, but try to focus on 1 step at a time. Hopefully they can figure out what caused this event, and if it was a medication issue that they can get it fixed.

      Can you speak with her doctors -once they figure out what happened and have a course decided on how to fix it -about what the best next steps are? Perhaps your uncle could be involved in the conversation as well.

      I know the immediate reaction is to jump ahead to all of the possibilities of her moving, you moving, etc. hopefully none of that will be necessary, but its probably hard to know that for now. Please be good to yourself right now and try to only focus on one thing at a time. And vent here as much as you need to. I bet many people here have been through similar circumstances and can offer additional advice.

    • Anonymous :

      Calm down. You need to be able to think straight.
      What part of the country are you in and is she in (Big City or tiny town)?
      Does she have CCAC or similar looking in on her or is she in assisted housing? The hospital may be able to put you in touch with the right agency.
      Also, do you have a signed power of attorney? If not get one, now. It makes dealing with hospitals easier.

    • Silvercurls :

      @ Jo March

      Yikes. Sympathy. It is not easy to help an out-of-town family member in crisis (hopefully short-term, but potential middle- or long-term). However, in the last decade or two an industry has developed to help people trying to take care of loved ones in another city.

      Between not knowing anything else re your mom’s circumstances and resources and not being a professional social worker I can only ask a few questions and make general suggestions.

      – Can you arrange for home health care and/or a social worker (geriatric or not, depending on your mom’s age) to be the local case manager?
      – ****The hospital should have a social worker on staff. Cultivate this person. Also, in my admittedly secondhand experience, hospitals won’t release someone unless the person is able to go to a an appropriate situation but YMMV—it’s a jungle out there in the world of health care.
      – Can you ask one of your mom’s friends for advice re local resources?
      – Is your uncle in a position to give moral or logistical support, or provide information re local resources?
      – Is there an “aging in place village” organization in your mom’s neighborhood?

      Other organizations that might help:
      — local (city, county, or state) department of aging/dept. of human services
      — privately run social service agencies such as Catholic Charities or Jewish Family Services (agency names may vary from city to city; there may be a sliding fee scale based on ability to pay; most Jewish agencies will serve Jews and non-Jews alike)
      — web sites for two national organizations: the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, (www dot nationalmssociety dot org) and possibly NAMI (Nat’l Alliance on Mental Illness, www dot name dot org); both organizations have local chapters for which you can search on the national web page.

      I also want to second the need to draw up careful, precise documents clearly establishing medical and financial power of attorney (doesn’t have to be the same person) and advance directives for medical care. It’s not that you want to move in on your mom’s life, but if these things are not spelled out you can get gridlocked in can’t-make-decisions limbo.

      Hopefully your mom is not going to resist your efforts to make her life more comfortable and less unhappy…If that arises, I hope that you, your uncle, chosen social worker, or mom’s friend will be able to convince her to accept assistance.

      I’m writing quickly before turning to other tasks so apologies if anything seems too hasty or dismissive!

    • I went through a similar experience when my mom made multiple suicide attempts and had a series of holds followed by a release. It took many episodes before she was properly evaluated and it turned out she had an undiagnosed mental illness that was contributing to a more and more frequent manic state.

      Ask to meet with the hospital’s social worker assigned to your mom’s case and do your best to fill him or her in with all the details. It’s very difficult to hold someone involuntarily after the 72 hours, but if you can communicate the severity of the issue and your concerns, they can help refer you to longer term care. It also depends how receptive your mom is to getting help.

      Sending lots of tea and hugs your way. Seeing one’s parent in such a state is hard. You are doing her such a service by being concerned for her health.

    • Everything is still unknown and up in the air at this point. They just started the psych eval, and they’re going to hold her for a couple of days because her blood sugar is all wonky. I’ve contacted both the ER and the regular social workers. But really I can’t even try to plan anything until we know something about what caused the breakdown. (Both my uncle and I spoke to her last week, and while she seemed a little manic, it was nothing particularly concerning).

      Thanks for the suggestions, once we are actually moving forward I will be checking back on this post for sure.

      I <3 this place.

  45. Silvercurls :

    @ Anon Neighbor
    I think that N. and Jenna Rink make several good points: that you don’t know the full present situation, or the history and effectiveness of past efforts by the family; that the father might indeed “be making the best he can already of a difficult situation;” and that your most supportive option might be to offer the father social or logistical support. Say hi in the hallway, or tap on his door to introduce yourselves. When you’re going to the store, ask if he needs anything. Offer to carry his trash or recycling, or to move his laundry into the dryer, or to bring it back to his unit. (Re the noise: Get earplugs or a white noise machine? Or move out, but still stay in touch?) Calling in the authorities would probably only introduce more disorder and disruption. How many foster families would be sufficiently trained and skilled to handle this child without causing more suffering–and would key information re the child’s current routine, meds, schooling, etc. be successfully transmitted?

    That said, as a special needs parent myself I do appreciate your concern: “I don’t think the boy is being abused, but I think that they need some type of intervention or assistance that they aren’t getting now.” If there are organizations in your area that help parents of children in special education, you could try to contact such groups to ask what would be most helpful for you to do. Many of the national organizations that serve people with autism, developmental or emotional disabilities, mental illness, etc. have local (county, regional, state) chapters. Perhaps you could join a listserv for special ed parents and ask your question there—without revealing any information that would out your upstairs neighbors.

    It might be that the best thing is to get to know your neighbors via quick informal chats or offers of assistance (see above) until you know them well enough to better understand their situation and resources. By that time they would know you also…you’d be real people to each other, not just the family upstairs or downstairs.

    I would love to share summaries of your question and my answer with my own local listserv for special ed parents: “Fellow parents, what would you want from a concerned (caring, but not judgmental) neighbor?” However, I won’t do this unless you say OK. If you want to exchange more information, you can reach me at Silvercurls 18 dot gmail dot com.

    • Silvercurls :

      Argh. I clicked “reply” under Anon Neighbor’s message but my response ended up here instead.