Weekend Open Thread

Gizeh Birko-FlorSomething on your mind? Chat about it here.

Call me crazy, but I feel like Birks are having a resurgence right now. I always see stylish women wearing them around NYC, and if I were to go on a vacation they’d be my #1 walking shoe. They’re still hard to pull off with a girly dress, but for bumming around in shorts or dresses like maxis I think they’re great. I especially like them in their metallic colors, such as this “titanium” pair. They’re $79.95 at Zappos. Birkenstock – Gizeh Birko-Flor (Titanium Birko-Flor ) – Footwear


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  1. SoCalAtty :

    I posted on the earlier thread, but I wanted to make sure anyone job hunting knew about this. Tough Mudder LLC is hiring associate attorneys (and a bunch of other corporate positions) in Brooklyn, NY. Again, if you get the job my referral fee is notification if they ever decide to hire in LA! Good luck!

  2. Constance Justice :

    I have several from The Limited. They aren’t in petite, but I am quite petite (I am 5’0″ on a good day), and I don’t think I’ve had alter any of them very much.

  3. 40 minutes until my vacation begins.

    DH and I found a good deal on a cabin so we’re actually going away away from Saturday-Thursday with our dog! So excited. Going to hike and read and watch movies and light fires and read books and relax.

    • May you have a lovely vacation with lots of relaxing time. Enjoy!

    • You’re probably already gone, but I’m sending Have Fun vibes to your vacay, T! we’ll miss you!

    • That sounds awesome! Have a good time. Toast some marshmallows for me :)

  4. Research, Not Law :

    Need advice regarding getting a pay raise.

    I was hired 2.5 years ago. The salary I was offered for my current position was less than average because I was underpaid by my previous employer. It was acknowledged by my supervisor when he made the offer, but he said it was an HR black box over which he had no control. I had naively assumed that the disparity would be corrected over time. Instead, our pay increases are entire metric-based which keeps them restrained within a tight, standardized range – so my salary has increased only at the same rate as everyone else with my position. I have had stellar performance reviews and was selected for an elite development program, but my salary does not reflect it. Now they are hiring for my same position and the posted salary range is eating at me. I’m tempted to apply just to prove a point. I see now that I’m on track to be underpaid for my entire career unless I stand up for myself.

    I am recognized as one of the best in my department, yet compensated at the lowest level (~33rd percentile). I want to request a salary increase to bring me up to ~67th percentile (~12% salary increase), but I’m not sure how to frame it to my supervisor. Help! Salary negotiations are not my strength!

    • ChocCityB&R :

      I’m no expert in salary negotiations, so I won’t even pretend to offer real advice, but I can email you a packet on salary negotiation that a friend sent to me. Also check out askamanager.com and the career tools podcast, they have lots of great advice and should have something on this topic. Good luck!

      • Seattleite :

        ChocCity, would you mind sending that packet to me, too? [email protected] Please and thank you very much!

        • ChocCityB&R :

          Done! Oh and I forgot to mention that slate.com has a series of podcasts on negotiations. Those were super helpful for general negotiating tips.

      • Research, Not Law :

        I’d appreciate it! peachypear at gmail dot com

        Thanks for the other suggestions as well!

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        me too!! [email protected]

      • PharmaGirl :

        Any chance I could get the packet too? I have never managed to negotiate salary and hope to be doing so as early as next week!

        [email protected]

    • If you’re an academic, it might be worth looking at the CUPA data for like positions with years of experience, etc. Or, find similar positions at peer institutions with which you can compare yourself.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      This should actually be easier than most because you have a job posting by the company for essentially the same role, correct? You currently do the job they are looking for, excellently, and your compensation doesn’t reflect the value they have assigned the role and you’d like a compensation adjustment.

  5. You guise, can I be a total downer? :o(

    I think my job is making me crazy. I have been having super anxiety and panicky feelings ever since I started this job, but lately it is just constant, every. single. day. To the point where I ended up calling in sick today, because i had a super super early phone call, but because i was so freaked about it I ended up having anxiety freaking out all night and literally did not sleep at all. And now I feel massive guilt that I called in sick when i wasn’t incapacitated or anything, i just was nauseous and shaky and exhausted and yucky. But, I feel like I *could* have gotten up and worked and just powered through if I really wanted to. And I feel guilty even complaining about this, because I feel like I should be able to just ‘deal’ and be normal like everyone else and deal with stress without totally losing it.

    So, I did manage to get a couple hours of sleep, but now I just feel even worse, becuase I still feel panicky, but also guilty on top of it. And I’m already kind of freaking out about what is going to happen on Monday when I’m even more behind because I didn’t get work done today.

    Ack, sorry for the rambly rant, I guess I just needed to get it out, and maybe have someone tell me I’m not a horrible person for taking a sick day. (and I reeeallly hope no one I know is reading this, cuz it would totally out me)

    • “i just was nauseous and shaky and exhausted and yucky.”

      It sounds like you were incapacited, to a degree, so don’t beat yourself up about it. But it also sounds like this is really affecting your life, so it’s time to get some professional advice from a doctor for possible meds and a therapist for possible coping strategies. Sorry you’re going through this, but there are ways to make it better.

    • ChocCityB&R :

      What is it about your job that is causing this reaction? This sounds serious, and grounds for quitting and finding a new job. Life is too short to feel the way you do without a VERY compelling reason and a known end date to the suffering. Do you think this is a temporary feeling, or is it a hazard of the profession.

      Also, don’t feel guilty for taking a sick day! Since you asked for people to tell you that, but seriously, you really really shouldn’t. Mental health is health.

    • zora, can you tell us what’s causing the anxiety? Is it the hours? The amount of work? Do you feel like you’re not good at your job? Are you totally stressed by what you need to do because you don’t know how to do it or are afraid you won’t be able to do it well?

      I’m sorry you’re feeling this way. All of us occasionally need a mental health day every once in awhile. It’s one day and you’re not a horrible person.

    • Forgive yourself for not being perfect. I’m sure everyone has been at a point like this at one point in their career – maybe not with this degree of anxiety – but I’d say most people definitely call in sick once in a while when it’s more of a mental health day situation. That said, I think this is a sign that you need to find some better coping strategies, and maybe a therapist is the quickest way to find what might help you. I used to have insomnia because I would freak myself out over big events and then get even more freaked out because I couldn’t fall asleep and I would imagine how horrible the next day would be. My anxiety would just increase and I felt awful and out of control. Find some ways to regularly de-stress so your anxiety doesn’t get this bad. I like to take hot baths, read, watch funny tv shows, talk to a friend, go for walks, do yoga or guided meditation podcasts. You’ll be able to figure it out too. Good luck to you, and I’m sorry your job is so stressful. It really can be difficult sometimes! Also, remember that you are not your job. You are more than that. So if your job happens to not be that great or you are not that great at your job, that doesn’t mean you are a failure at life.

    • Seattleite :

      zora, anxiety can be a vicious cycle – we start feeling anxious about feeling anxious.

      During a particularly stressful time 2 years ago (waiting for surgery amidst the middle of a divorce) I went on an anti-anxiety drug for 2 months. It was a tiny dose, taken first thing in the morning, and I was also in counseling. I’d done all the holistic/natural anti-anxiety routines, but I just needed a little help in getting over the hump.

      Don’t feel bad for taking care of yourself mentally, and don’t be afraid to seek medical intervention if you need to.

    • aw, thanks everyone for the replies to my venting, so sweet.

      And you’re helping me think through it more, which is probably good. Thanks for all the good questions, NOLA. I think that I just realized that part of the problem is I’m not sure what the problem is. I definitely feel like I don’t know how to do my job, and I don’t know what I’m doing and I keep messing it up all the time. But then what if it’s not the job, but it’s me, and I wouldn’t be able to find a job that I *can* do. And yeah, it just spirals from there.

      So, right now, it is that I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing, and I am not doing my job well. But what if it’s not just this job, what if it’s me? Ugh, I sound so lame and whiny writing this stuff out, sorry. I know I really do need to get professional help, but it’s been hard to find the brain space and the energy because I’m so tired all the time. But maybe this is the kick in the pants I need and I’ll get on that.

      Thanks again for letting me whine, r e t t e ‘s. You all are so great.

      • Okay, so one more question. Does anybody else think you can’t do your job? Or is it just that you have that imposter feeling?

        • Well, i think part of it is a fit problem. There are aspects of my job that I am not up to par on, but that were not really communicated as a major part of the position during the interview process. So, there are tasks my supervisor has asked me to work on.

          But I have a couple of coworkers that are friends, and they have told me that I am being crazy, and that I do a good job and that everyone likes me. But then I have the imposter feeling when they tell me that, and I think they just don’t get that I don’t know what I am doing and I am just faking it most of the time.

          So, I guess I think it’s a little bit of both. I have moments where I do something really well and I am proud of myself, but the vast majority of the time I am struggling with things that I am really bad at, and then I procrastinate to put it off as long as possible, which then makes things more of a struggle.

          • Oh, another thing i forgot to say, I feel weird unloading like this on this blog, with so many amazing, accomplished women that probably have much higher-powered/higher-stress jobs than me. But that’s part of why I feel like such a mess, because I have always been an over-achiever, and every single other job I have ever had, I worked like crazy, gave 110% and totally kicked *ss. This is the first time I have ever felt like I was really a failure at something and don’t know what I am doing. So, that’s one reason I feel like there is something really wrong going on.

          • Okay, here’s my take on this. If your coworkers/friends say you’re doing a good job and that you’re just driving yourself crazy and your boss isn’t telling you that you’re not cutting it, you’re probably doing better than you think. It’s possible that this job is just challenging and slightly above your comfort level *for now* but that’s what gives you room to grow! You’re fairly new at this right? Well, most reasonable employers don’t expect you to be able to do every aspect of your job well right away. You’re supposed to learn and grow and get experience. You’re the kind of overacheiver who has always kicked a$$ at everything so you feel like you ought to be able to do this job just as well. Give yourself a break! Try your best, learn, work on the things your supervisor has asked you to work on and try try try to relax a bit.

          • Anonsensical :

            Hi! Sorry I’m late to the party on this one. I struggle with anxiety and impostor syndrome feelings, so I have a little bit of an idea where you’re coming from. A lot of my anxiety stems from a lack of control, and so when I freak out, I have to break things into manageable little pieces that I can deal with. If I were in your shoes, I’d do a couple of things. First, I’d talk to my manager or supervisor. You said he or she told you there are areas you need to work on – what does that mean, exactly? Could you come up with a training plan so you have the training you need to be successful? Come up with some concrete steps you can take to tackle the job improvement issue and start chipping away at them. The second thing I would do is figure out if the job is a good fit for you and take steps to leave if it’s not. Start looking for jobs, brush up on your resume, make a plan for getting out in 6 months, a year, or after however long you think you need to stay there. And finally, consider talking to a therapist. Sometimes you can control anxiety by making changes in your life (quitting a job that’s bad for you, getting out of a bad relationship, etc.) and sometimes not. Good luck to you!

  6. MissJackson :

    PSA: Nordies took another round of markdowns. I just got more than $200 in price adjustments from stuff that I bought at the half-yearly sale (none of which was reduced further in the first round of additional markdowns)! If you bought online, go check your item numbers.

    • Thanks so much! I just got an extra $20 off of each of the pairs of sandals I bought.

  7. Research, Not Law :

    For the mamas:

    A coworker passed me “Just Let Me Lie Down,” by Kristin Van Ogtrop (editor of Real Simple magazine). It is flippin’ fantastic!! It’s anecdotes about working motherhood. They are humorous, compassionate, and oh-so accurate. It’s written in little snippets, which makes it a great pumping read. I highly recommend!

  8. Well, I’ve had my a** kicked all over the place this week, and I’m looking at a working weekend. My brain is pretty fried, and my stress level is pretty high. Anyone want to share their favorite way to destress when all you really have is a couple of hours? Should I just throw in the towel and run away to Belize?

    • For me, kicking some a$$ in the gym helps. Lifting weights = stress reduction. Also, reading a truly mindless novel on the treadmill helps get my mind off of my worries. I know – if you don’t work out this doesn’t make any sense. But it works for me!

    • Nap! Preferably outdoors, if that’s possible. Or cuddle a small animal. Ideally, you will take a nap outdoors while cuddling a small animal.

      • ChocCityB&R :

        DC Jenny, that sounds divine! If only I weren’t sure my cat would run away if I took him outside, I’d do it right now.

    • Silly novel in a bubble bath, with a glass of wine and a bar of dark chocolate. Repeat as necessary.

    • Research, Not Law :


      I wish I were kidding.

      A really good workout does it for me, too.

    • Go see a mindless movie and then go to the mall and get ice cream. :-)

      • Oh yeah, I should have mentioned that when I’m really down, I buy jewelry (my last purchase was black and white diamond hoops at Macy’s) and eat gelato. Theoretically, it helps.

    • Call a friend and vent. Sometimes you just need someone who understands what you are going through and is on your side.

    • I wish I could say that I go to the gym or hot yoga because those are what make me feel less stressed long term but I go to this wine bar. Takes the stress level down immediately for those couple of glasses of wine anyways.

      Try turning off everything but a good movie, healthy snack and maybe glass of wine?

      I also like playing with my dog.

    • oh my goodness, I love all of your suggestions so much!

      I love doing many of these things! The fact that I was able to come up with none tells me that it is time to step away from the computer and take a break. Pup has been guarding my home office all day, and looks like he is about ready for a break, too. (what a life)

      • Walked the dog, and picked up wine, cheese, and chocolate ice cream. You are my people. :)

  9. ooo! I actually really hate those shoes! But to each his own :)


  10. DC to NYC :

    I hope the hive can help with this one. I’m currently in a very stable job in DC (federal gov), but I want to move to NYC and work in the private sector since federal job are few and far btwn there. I have never searched for a job outside the federal gov or outside DC, and I’m not sure were to begin. Job listings, web sites of organizations I am interested in, maybe a recruiter? Note that I am not a lawyer. Also I’m wondering if my job hi t would before successful if I wa already living in NYC, meaning quit my job, move, and hope I find something. Does anyone have experience with this?

    • Do you mind if I ask why you would do this? Leaving a stable job right now for a job in the unstable private legal sector is scary business.

      Otherwise, if you’re experienced in a specialized field, I’d start by contacting a recruiter.

      • I’m not in the legal field. Also I’m interested in leaving my current job because I absolutely hate it. It is unchallenging and I never have enough work and things are just getting worse. I have already move once within my agency looking for more challenging work. I’m also really interested in moving to NYC since a lot of friends and family live there (I grew up just outside the city). DC just doesn’t do it for me. The combination of the job I can’t stand and a city I’ll never love has me running for something that I know may not be the easiest or est move in this economic climate.

        • Fair (and sorry, thought I had read you were a lawyer).

          I’d look at job listing boards and start attending networking events for your schools alumni events and just getting it out there to your friends in the same industry that you’re looking.

          Also — do a budget for how much its going to cost for you to live in NYC and try to figure out how much its going to cost to live there. So you have a sense whether you’re going to be able to afford it.

        • You are me from 10 years go…. working in a federal job that’s boring and not challenging, thinking I’d like to work in the private sector where I can be challenged, do a good job, and be rewarded (better compensated) for it. Fast forward 10 years of private-sector work where I often have the same problems, just less job security and much worse. Now I wish I had just stuck it out with the Feds. 20-something me was young and motivated, but 30-something me just wants the cake job back.* Be careful about leaving–it’s hard to get back in once you’re out of the system.

          *Epilogue: I’m finally starting a cake job w/ the state this fall –75% of my current pay but half the hours—yay!

  11. Research, Not Law :

    And one more for my husband. He’s an architect and about to send out resume/portfolios to find a new job. He’s not sure whether he should accentuate his years of experience or not, because his current job is not at the level one would expect for that many years.

    He’s 15-20 years into his career but doing the work of someone closer to half that. His career was moving along quite well up until about five years ago, when a number of economic, firm politics, and personal factors left him in career purgatory. (Details below, if you’re interested). Furthermore, firms are currently looking mainly for people with less experience.

    He’s worried that he’ll draw attention to the disconnect or be considered “too experienced” if he mentioned his years of experience as an asset on his cover letter – but he’s also worried that he’ll be overlooked by down-playing his experience level.


    • Research, Not Law :

      Details: He had been moved by a large firm to open up a satellite office, which he’d done successfully, then was stolen away by a very small firm (his current position). The firm was looking like the golden child and getting great press and projects. He was taking on more project management and was exploring the option of becoming an associate partner in his current firm when the recession hit. Development came to a grinding halt, firms all over were closing. His held on, but with only the two partners and my husband. No staff to manage, little opportunity to bring in new work as an associate, etc. It was not the optimal time to try that transition, so he stayed on with the firm with the understanding he’d move up when the economy improved. Our first child was born, so he worked part-time and was a stay-at-home dad. Then the partners started to have some serious personal, interpersonal, and legal/accounting issues, and the firm dissolved. So my husband invested his time with a firm that no longer exists, with little professional development to show for it. They would both give him great references, but he’s still left looking like a guy who couldn’t get it together – which couldn’t be further from the truth!

    • karenpadi :

      I think the recession paused many peoples’ careers so it’s not a red flag anymore.

      Why doesn’t he use something like “experienced architect with several years of experience in [insert specialty] design and project management.” That way, he isn’t saying a number that might exceed a threshold but he is conveying that he isn’t a recent grad.

      I don’t think the “gap” will come up until an interview. He’ll need a well-rehearsed response to explain the last 5 years.

    • Agree that very few people would ding an architect or other building professional for the market of the last few years. Have a think about whether he acquired any start-up/ biz development experience which might be worth a mention eg. successfully opening a satellite office sounds like a good thing he has under his belt ?

  12. Southern Summer :

    My boyfriend is doing an internship this summer in another city, and I’m thinking of sending him a care package. I need to send him a couple of ties he forgot to pack anyway, so I thought I’d add some little things like a Starbucks card, some dress socks, a little note from me, and… that’s about all I thought of. Maybe pens and notebooks, but the office where he works will surely provide all of that. Any ideas?

    • Rose in Bloom :

      How about food items from where y’all are from? You say Southern Summer, so would something like benne wafers be appropriate? I really miss food from home when I am not there.

      Will you have a chance to visit him at all? Even if the answer is no and he has friends there, you could do tickets to a cultural attraction in the city (museum, etc.) or a gift card to the movie theatre or a nice restaurant there so he is encouraged to get out.

    • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

      Pictures of you, of course. :-)

    • When my SO headed off I found a massage therapist near where he lived and booked an appointment for him. I left him a paid gift certificate at a top restaurant at his new city (restaurants are super good about that kind of stuff in my experience). My SO likes gifts he can brag about to other people, your BF might be different.

      I have found that my SO tends to forget about food in packages an always goes bad (my roommates also did this so maybe guys do it alot?). A lot of homemade goodies went bad in my old house…. I would never send them to a guy ever again.

      If I was you I’d go for cheesy too and send him a picture of me in a frame. Maybe something cool to put on his desk (a four by four rubiks cube, a boxed pen/letteropener set, a business card holder, a toy, a paperweight of something from your city, whatever is cool to him… A roll of quarters is SO useful if he has a coin laundry. I love it when people sent me stamped post cards because then all the work is done and its so easy to send them back. I also like getting spices in the mail because you never have any when you move in to a new place.

  13. For ShortieK from Rose in Bloom :

    I posted a response about the Brooks Brother tote being unlined in this morning’s thread. Hope it’s helpful. I really do like bag.

  14. I have tried posting this already, but misspelled “heel” and am in moderation. (so apologies if this turns up several times on the thread…)

    I need suggestions for shoes to go with a strapless, fitted, floor length, red dress. I’m thinking a 3-3.5 inch heel. I know it looks GREAT with Pella Moda Augusta shoes, but they are a 5 inch heel.
    I will be wearing gold accessories, and probably a blue cocktail ring, FWIW.

  15. Dowdy Shoes? :

    I got three new pairs of shoes from DSW because my feet have been hurting every day after work because of my shoes. However, I fear I’ve gone too dowdy in my search for comfort. I’m only 22, so are these shoes too dowdy/old lady for me?

    http://www.6pm.com/ak-anne-klein-7fenton-navy-patent in taupe



    • The first ones maybe a tiny bit but I wouldn’t worry about it if they’re comfortable. Then again I’m kind of into what I think of as a stylish grandma look.

    • yes, but I think that’s okay? The thicker heel on the first one is probably not that noticeable. The other two seem *solid*, which can read as old.

      What about a slimmer wedge?

      Or a lower height with a more modern shape?

      I think these seem younger than the wedges above, maybe the rounder toe and smaller wedge:

      If you’re a size 9, I’ve heard the Croc flats are crazy comfortable:

  16. trying to downsize :

    Hello Ladies! Has anyone done this? I want to stay in the expensive city where I live because I can walk to work. But I took a better job in terms of career advancement that came with a pay cut. Now I want to move from a largeish 1 bdr apt (750 sq ft) with THREE!! closets to a good sized studio apt (520 sqwith ONE (large) closet. Can I do it? I have about 6 months to downsize but my weakness is shoes, handbags, clothes in about 3 different sizes (yes, I will need to face reality, since I refuse to rent storage- all my furniture will fit in the new place) and the like. :(
    Starting to panic just a little… hints welcomed!

    • trying to downsize :

      uh typo- studio is 520 sq ft- fairly ginormous (lived UWS in a 328 sq ft not that long ago- but it had three tiny closets!!!).

    • What size are you? I’ll bet some of the hive would love to help you downsize…er, you know, for you. :-)

    • Ditto. Make a store on ebay or asos or even etsy vintage if you can get away with it. Alternatively you can make a sale blog and post a link to it here.

    • stacking hangers, underbed storage, high + low shelves, jewelry hanging in a picture frame, handbags on a bookshelf or wall shelves… making sure your have appropriate storage goes a long way. Ikea has some really good small space solutions, and dorm room stuff will start getting in stores for August.

      You’ll definitely have to pare down, but maybe that will be a good thing?

  17. I was invited to a house exorcism. Catholic 17th century style. Pizza provided. Anyone know anything about these events?

    • That sounds so interesting. Let us know what happens!

    • That. Sounds. Awesome.
      I know nothing, but I definitely second the request for the report back!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I am so intrigued. I 100% believe in ghosts and lived in a haunted apartment (documented on discovery channel) in college and am pretty certain (as are a few coworkers) that my current office, in an old Victorian, is haunted too.

      Never heard of a house exorcism. The college ghost was on a Catholic college campus and they never tried to “exorcise” it or any of its friends (that resided in other buildings according to discovery channel) as far as I know.

    • I initially read this and assumed you were asking fashion advice — as in, what should I wear to a house exorcism. And that, I decided, was better than fashion advice for a pirate wedding.

      • Indeed. I think I would advise black lace.

        • Specifically, something like this maybe. You need to be conservative I think — to exorcise things.


          • Or this, if you wanted to be more dramatic.


        • Though, considering the menu is pizza, maybe my options are too formal.

          Maybe instead some black wide leg pants like this: http://www.neimanmarcus.com/product.jsp?itemId=prod140840180&ecid=NMALRJ84DHJLQkR4&CS_003=5630585

          With a lace top or a black sequin top or something.

        • Yes, with red lips

    • They’re fairly common here, although not really an exorcism. More like a spiritual cleanse.

  18. Clueless Summer :

    Can I wear (nice) flip flops to my graduation? Flip flops in the sense of a between the toe strap but also with a back strap (so it won’t make the flop noise all across the stage). I’m wearing a sundress and I’m just not feeling the style with pumps and I hate buying ‘occasion” sandals I’ll never wear again. I have espadrilles but they don’t match this particular dress.

    Something like this: http://bit.ly/KQblgW

    • I think those are OK. Of course know your school, but I find that you walk so much more at graduation than you expect, so they may be a good choice.

    • AnonInfinity :

      Those are considerably more casual than the shoes that anyone wore at my law school graduation. (I’m not sure what kind of program you’re in?)

      I’m in a mid-sized city in the South, and graduation was inside, if you need some sort of reference point.

    • I wouldn’t. Can you find some nude slingbacks or something that you can rewear?

  19. How much trouble will I get in if I throw the trash my neighbor dumped in my trashcan after pick-up in the road or his place? If you have an overflow, it is non-smelly, neatly bagged, and BEFORE pick-up; I don’t have a problem. Don’t put your open remnants and liquid containers in afterward. Or block my driveway with your trashcan. (it was him as his is still full, it wasn’t empty & there bc the truck dropped it)

    • I would just go ask innocently if he also had liquids and unbagged trash put into his trash can or if you are 100% he did it, ask him to please not do it again. Otherwise, it will get uncomfortable since, you know, you live next to him.

  20. Senior Attorney :

    And thus endeth the toughest work week in recent memory! I think I should totally get paid for last night because I had non-stop work dreams all. night. long. Ugh!


    • Work dreams are the worst. After much internal debate I have decided that dreams where I invent an assignment that I’ve somehow forgotten (therefore waking up and having to talk myself down) are relatively better than those where I dream I am drafting or otherwise taking care of something – and then waking up and having to do it over in real life.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I hate work dreams! I’ve been doing a lot of work with spreadsheets and when I’m particularly stressed at work, I have dreams that are never ending data entry. It’s awful.

  21. Old Towner :

    These are my favorite shoes ever. I just got a new pair after wearing out the soles on my prior pair over the past two years. Most comfortable sandals ever and I get tons of compliments.

  22. Anon for This :

    Have the opportunity to lateral/slight promotion but with more future promotion potential than where I am. Would have to pay relo costs myself though. There are a few locations available – Philadelphia, Boston, DC/Virginia/Maryland. Haven’t been too any and would be worried about the cost of living of the last two. Would be happy with the liberal bent of Boston though. Try to transfer or wait a while & try to make a fall vacation trip to see how I like the cities? Anyone ever moved blind? I enjoyed the southeastern coast/south more than the Midwest living.

    Don’t know much about Philadelphia but I recall a few people on here from there? Any facts I should know? Expensive like the others listed?

    • All of the places you listed are pretty liberal…though NoVa is a liberal bastion in a more conservative state (as is Philly when you get right down to it).

      I’m actually lived in or near all of these. Philly has great restaurants and is definitely getting cooler and more fun — but its still definitely a little grittier (that’s the best way I can describe it). There are some beautiful suburbs of course — though the commute into the city by car is a catastrophe, so commuter rail is necessary.

      DC is a great city, especially for someone who is new, because so many people are transient. There are lots of fun neighborhoods and its one of the newest culinary destinations in the country. Plus, with the free Smithsonian and all, there’s a ton of stuff to do. And the happy hour lifestyle is fun. As for the suburbs in NoVa, which I’m most familiar with, the traffic is AWFUL and it is very “development” heavy (i.e. new developments and housing developments) and strip-mall heavy. Just because I didn’t grow up with that, its not my favorite. But there are parts of NoVa that have more character, like parts of Arlington and Alexandria. Maryland also I think is similar.

      Boston is a smaller city than either Philly or DC and it has lots of very distinct neighborhoods with their own character, lots of independent shops and great restaurants. Plus there is Brookline (which has great public schools and is therefore quite expensive) and Cambridge as alternative city living areas. But there are no places that have true “urban” life like NYC has, except maybe one or two neighborhoods. One nice thing around Boston is that the suburbs are older towns with their own character and their own downtown. You can also get into suburbs that are 20 minutes from the city, rather than having to move 45 minute to an hour out of the city, because there hasn’t been so much sprawl.

      • Anon for This :

        My biggest thing about the DC area is what you mentioned. I’m so worried that I would have to live farther out because of cost that the traffic would be horrible and it would be hard to have a social life as a new person. I grew up in a place that transitioned to the strip malls & cookie developments a long time ago. Can’t stand it. I’m also lot a morning person so anything with a long commute is just asking to be fired.

        • Public transit from the suburbs of DC into the city is quite good actually — and if you live in the city public transit around is pretty smooth. But if you commute by car, yeah, pretty much a disaster. But thats actually true to some extend of all three of the metropolitan areas you just listed — they are older east coast cities whose highway infrastructures weren’t really designed (in one way or another) to handle the mass of people and cars they now carry. So the first priority in housing in all those places is probably going to be “how close is it to public transit.”

      • Like TCFKAG mentioned, DC has lots of people coming and going. It may be easier to meet people, but you constantly have to make new friends as well so its both a plus and a minus. I find that the atmosphere of the city is unique and people either love it or want to leave, so if possible, make sure you visit a couple of times before moving.

    • I currently live in DC and you can reduce costs by not having a car. It’s reall easy to get around the city an even parts of north Arlington without a car. As someone already mentioned life here can be stressful as people are always coming and going. And the city is really beginning to come into its own now – it is constantly changing. DC is definitely not for everyone. I moved here without ever visiting, but it was my only job offer, but it has worked out so far.

      • I’ve actually lived in all three cities too! I would definitely choose Boston. I thought that public transit there was reasonably good, it was easier to find an affordable apartment in a nice neighborhood than in DC (caveat–I lived with roommates), there was good food and adorable neighborhoods, and it indeed has a liberal bent. The biggest drawback in my opinion was all the snow, although it was not as bad as I expected before I moved there because the city is well-equipped for it and most drivers know how to handle it.

        Philly . . . I am really ambivalent. It is getting nicer, the food is probably the best of the three cities, and there are some amazing neighborhoods. However, the city is DISGUSTING and it has a ton of problems. In my experience random strangers here have very little regard for others and for their environment–not to say that DC and Boston are the most friendly cities, but Philly just takes rude to a whole other level. Public transit within the city leaves much to be desired both in terms of geographic coverage and comfort. I think it’s the most difficult to penetrate socially if you aren’t from here, and I would never move here without a job lined up because everyone I’ve known who has never found anything. It is the cheapest city of the three, but it is rapidly getting more expensive and there are some weird things going on in the rental market. I think as a renter right now you get the least value for your money in Philly unless you want something relatively high end, and then Philly can be much less expensive. Also, if you want to buy real estate, it is far cheaper than the other two cities.

        Honestly, I probably wouldn’t move to DC without visiting first. I am a NOVA native who also lived in the District for awhile, and I’ve always found it very difficult to adequately explain the culture of DC to outsiders. People seem to either love or hate it for random reasons. One of the odder things about the city is that due to its weird political status vis-a-vis statehood and federal control, some things about it that are incredibly well-run while others are beyond dysfunctional. There’s also little sports culture, which I viewed as a positive. Personally, I’d avoid most of NOVA–if there were a national championship for the place that best embodied “suburb,” NOVA would be a frontrunner.

        • Whoops, somehow replied to the wrong post–meant to reply to OP.

        • I feel almost the same way that you do about DC, Boston and Philly! I would choose Boston for the same reasons you listed above.

          Having lived in all three, it’s also important to note that Philly is the least safe of the three cities. The city has come a LONG way since the bad old days of the 70s and 80s, but even Center City in Philly isn’t immune to random acts of street violence (including violent “flash mobs”, not the fun dancing kind). It’s not to say that Boston and DC don’t have their unsafe areas, but Center City is so much more block-by-block than Boston and DC neighborhoods are.

        • As a former resident of Philly, DC itself, and the DC metro area (suburban Maryland), I agree with all of this, especially the bit about the oddly aggressive rudeness of the people in Philly and the trickiness of making friends there. I found people in DC to be the nicest because, as others have said, it is a city of non-natives, and Bostonians seem a shade more guarded. But Philly is tough, and even a great restaurant scene can’t make up for its strange personality.

          • I would actually say that Philly and DC are pretty comparable in terms of safety unless your philosophy toward living in DC is “I won’t go east of 18th Street” (I have heard that living there, sadly). I agree that Philly seems to have more bizarre, random crimes like flash mobs, and someone I know actually was a victim of one of those. But frankly, if you live in either DC or Philly long enough, you will probably be either mugged or have your car broken into at least once, as one or the other or both has happened to everyone I know, including myself.

            And speaking of flash mobs, I think it really says something about Philly that when those started up it almost wasn’t shocking, although of course I was outraged. It was like, “oh there are roving gangs of teenagers beating the crap out of people and vandalizing stuff? Of course there are.” Philly is the only place where I have had multiple homeless people literally chase me down the street when I didn’t have any change, where I get into screaming fights with aggressive drivers as a pedestrian and bicyclist on a pretty regular basis, and where people will leave trash sitting on your bike when it’s parked 15 feet away from a public trash can.

          • I strongly disagree with anon. I’ve lived and worked east of 18th for 8 years now and have not had any problems. There are parts of the city where I wound not live, e.g. Anacostia, but the east of 18th/the park rule is seriously outdated. Particularly NW DC is generally safe. It is a city so you have to be smart like you do in all cities. Most of the muggings include some combination of alcohol, walking alone in the dark and not paying attention to circumstances. I love living in DC and enjoy being able to live close to work, and walk everywhere on the weekends. To me DC is also not as overwhelming as NYC: smaller, no akyscrapers. I would encourage you to visit first though as those characteristics may not be your cup of tea.

          • I’m not saying I think the “18th St.” rule is a reasonable view! Far from it, as I lived in Petworth a few years ago and really loved it (even after I was mugged). I was being sarcastic about people who still live like that to avoid any and all risk of crime, which I think is ridiculous and, indeed, outdated if it ever was all that accurate to begin with. But when I lived in the District after college, there was still a fair amount of crime in most parts of DC– including pretty ritzy parts of NW–despite how far DC has come since the 90s. Like you said, DC is a city and you have to be cautious, but caution won’t make you immune, and to say that Philly is that much more dangerous than DC is not true in my experience. Anecdotally, everyone I know in each city has had some kind of problem after awhile, ranging from annoying stuff like busted car windows and bike theft all the way to someone actually being shot in the foot during a robbery–in NW, actually. I’ve been victimized in some way in both cities without engaging in insanely risky behavior under my definition, and I don’t feel much different in either city and I take similar precautions. So if you are overly freaked out by that risk you probably won’t love either Philly or DC, but I don’t think that either city is so unsafe that it should be avoided. If I did, I would have moved to the burbs long ago.

  23. Graduate student help :

    5 days out from my out of nowhere dumping by my serious boyfriend with whom I was seriously planning a future.

    Does it ever get any easier? I’m barely eating, barely getting out of bed. Please say yes.

    • Yep, it really does. Trust me. My ex-husband blindsided me and I thought I would never recover. Now I look back and just laugh about it. I am so much happier!

    • It gets easier. It may not seem like it, but I promise you that it does.
      Give yourself some time to wallow in it and grieve. There is nothing wrong with staying in bed a few days (but do try to eat a little). Breaking up is never easy, but especially so when you’ve been blindsided by the whole thing. Take it one day at a time and do what you need to do to get through it – call your friends, write in a journal, vent anonymously online, eat some ice cream in your PJs, whatever you need. Just remember that life is long and, however improbable or impossible it may seem now, you will feel better eventually.

    • hey, it gets easier.

      Maybe now’s a good time to catch up on Hulu? New Girl, Suburgatory, and Teen Wolf are all pretty trashy yet good. Game of Thrones -book or show- is also really good. (no leaving of the bed required, popcorn/icecream optional)

      • Also if you can get it Hart of Dixie and Rookie Blues (which is on right now, but you should catch up first) — excellent trash. With hot men that you can eventually start fantasizing about, ala the Friends theory of “getting over a relationship.”

        Google it if you don’t get the reference. :-P

        • Graduate student help :

          I went on OKCupid to try to fantasize about other men.

          My #1 match is my best male friend.

          That got awkward. We tried in college! It didn’t stick for a reason!

          • Hot neighbor wade will make you forget about it all, trust me. :-)

            It’s too soon maybe for real men, but it’s never too soon for Hot Neighbor Wade.

    • hey where do you live? corporettes will take you out for a drink and you can just have 20 minutes of biatching session to someone removed from you and the bf. and then drinks! and fun times

    • Divaliscious11 :

      It may help to cut your self some slack….make a list of 3-4 things you must do every day – shower, brush teeth, eat one meal and talk to one person who loves (friend, parent, sibling or cousin)……

      Grieve, but mark a date on the calendar when you are going to start letting it go, piece by piece…. it gets easier

    • It’s been only 5 days. That’s hardly any time at all! It will certainly get better, but it will take some time. Don’t try to rush it or get upset with yourself for still feeling bad/sad about it. It’s totally normal to feel like this for a few weeks or even months! Try to get into new routines. I think it is always good to take a few days to yourself and watch your favorite movies, but after that I find it helps the most to go out with friends and get your mind off of it!

    • Yes, it gets easier. You will find out that you’re stronger and more resilient than you ever knew, in fact. It’s too bad that things like this have to happen for us to learn our own power, but that is one of their functions in life.

      I agree with everything that’s been said. Treat yourself as you would a best friend who was going through this, including the kind encouragement to get some sunshine, eat what you can, and reach out to those who love you. If you’re a book-reading type on issues like this, or are open-minded enough to try it, I recommend “In the Meantime” by Iyanla Vanzant. It was very helpful to me when I went through a real doozy myself.


    • K... in transition :

      For the next week, I demand that you stay in bed, watch cr*p tv, and do nothing you don’t feel like doing. (see? now when you do that, you can tell yourself it’s because some internet friend forced you into it… look at you, you’re being a good friend by listening!)

      Truly, try to eat so your body doesn’t get sick, let yourself feel however you feel, and live in your comfy clothes as much as possible. Let yourself be loved on by your friends (here and in real life).

      At the end of this, he’s the moron who walked away and you’re the awesome gal who has it in her to commit to someone for life… I’d definitely rather be you in the long run than to be him!

  24. So, following the post on cute bright skinny belts earlier in the week, I wanted to post a rec.
    I find most JCrew Factory stuff to be very hit or miss, and mostly, miss, but I love their skinny belts and find they are actually quite well made (not even just for mention the price). Sometimes they have them at an even steeper discount, but under $20 still not a bad deal.


    • Also, for the non-patent leather enthusiasts: http://www.jcrew.com/womens_factory_category/scarvesandaccessories/PRDOVR~45652/99102728572/ENE~1+2+3+22+4294967294+20~~~205+17+4294966615~90~~~~~~~/45652.jsp

  25. Trying to find shoes to wear with a floor length red dress. Ideas?
    Fwiw, I will be accessorizing with gold and some blue. I would love to find shoes that will be semi-comfy because I will be wearing them for 7+hrs (event begins at 5:30). Event is in the south, next week.
    Hoping for a 3-3.5 inch heel…Tia!

    • Ok, I was originally going to say silver would look great but since you’re doing gold accessories…

      Love the look of these, but no idea vis a vis comfort. http://www.zappos.com/product/7986400/color/385?zfcTest=fw:1

      • No idea what these look like in person, but they have rave reviews for comfort and are only $58.

        As do these (other colors avail. ) if you want to play up the blue. I also like the Forbes style from this co. in purple.

    • Cole Haan Air Tali wedge – it has a shorter heel than you wanted, but comes in a variety of metallic and nude-for-various-skintones shades, and comes in open-toe and closed-to versions. I can literally walk a mile in mine.

    • RR the second :

      Just realized someone else was already using RR, sorry original RR (who loves her birks ;))

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