Weekend Open Thread

Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

Last year I remember seeing a bunch of women with great big faux fur pom pom hats and — sad trombone! — by the time I finally said FINE, yes, I want one too, they were all sold out. This year I’m ogling this $48 option in a happy, bright red from Free People, but this $15 option also has great reviews and may win out from a budget standpoint. Hmmn. Happy weekend! Pictured: Happy Trails Faux Fur Pom Beanie

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Comments

  1. Anonymous :

    Do you know anyone who left their job esp a 6 figure job to trade stock (for themselves – not a company)? How did it work out esp during recessionary times? I’m honestly considering it bc I am so over my job and my industry and feel stuck in terms of new jobs. I only know one person whose done this and sounds like he’s done awesome for the last 25 yrs – though I can’t ask him questions without looking like I’m asking about his family finances; plus he’s had the benefit of being married to a specialist dr making 500k+ so I’m sure any down months/yrs were no big deal – while I’m single and need to pay my own rent.

    • Anonymous :

      Active day trading is a terrible plan financually.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I cannot imagine, in my wildest dreams, how this would be a good idea. What background do you have that makes you think you could beat the professionals?

      • Anonymous :

        People do make money with this esp w options. I’m not concerned about beating the professionals, just want to make money even if it’s less than the algorithmic traders.

        • Anonymous :

          This is a terrible idea. Day trading is a hobby for people who are already wealthy and want something more socially acceptable than poker. Not for someone who is even considering having to pay rent.

        • Anonymous :

          But making money means you are beating others. They’re set up to exploit tiny, tiny amounts with computer programs. You won’t be able to beat them at that, much less factoring in transaction costs. This is escapism. Figure out how to fix what’s happening to make you want this escape, or to find peace with it.

          • Anonymous :

            This. You don’t make money unless you’re beating the professionals. It’s a hobby for wealthy people who can afford to gamble, not a day job.

    • Its very ill advised and insanely risky unless you have so much money that you use it as toilet paper. All the “stock traders” that I know or do taxes for have multiple trust funds or a rich spouse.

      If you’re into finance there are lots of avenues for you to have a good, stable job that pays well and doesn’t burn you out.

      • Anonymous :

        And what are those job options? I’m a lawyer – but a litigator; gotten more and more into finance in the last 10 yrs on my own and have a finance undergrad from Wharton. Yet no amount of networking has convinced anyone that I can switch from law to finance so now I’m contemplating going it on my own.

        • Anonymous :

          Maybe then train as a financial planner. Go in house at a regional bank where it’s small enough you can always work on the banking side. Day trading is stupid, not going it on your own in finance.

        • Work on getting your CFA designation. I’ve seen plenty of people jump industries once they have their charter.

    • Have you considered health insurance? :

      I’m married to someone who is self employed in a highly compensated industry. My access to group health insurance is a huge contribution to our family who (knock on wood) hardly uses it beyond routine visits.

      • I think I would like to find a guy like you did to marry. Can you please share your strategy with the HIVE?

    • Anonymous :

      Are you that poster that’s always obsessing about stocks?

    • Anonymous :

      I have done this for yrs (including recessions) making a six figure salary. I wouldn’t listen to people here – they have no idea. There’s a solid community of investors out there living off investments in their 30s-40s while growing net worth; it’s not day trading the way people here are assuming – you’re not holding stock for 3 min to beat a computer. You’re buying on earnings, price target changes etc and holding positions for as long as a day or a few months. Check out the Fire/early retirement forums.

      • Anonymous :

        It’s not a salary.

      • Anonymous :

        Ok, this comment reads like a sock puppet. Exact same writing style as OP.

        • I may be wrong, but this OP, the bigoted troll we get often, and the person who sometimes writes that going to law school is a good idea always because you just *can* go to a top 10 and you just *can* graduate in the top 10% and you just *can* get a biglaw gig to pay that debt. Noted writing patterns, in addition to just coming off as hard-headed:

          -frequent use of en and/or em dash
          -bc instead of “because”
          -esp
          -other abbrevs., ex. yrs

    • Yes! One of my friends from b-school did this. She was a bond analyst pre-bschool. She made so much money during the financial crisis that she quit her job and spends her time analyzing investments and investing now. She lives in a $4MM apt (alone) and doesn’t have to work again, ever. She _gets_ finance. It can be done. She did it as a side gig post-bschool and has since (in the past decade) made it a FT gig.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yeah and I bet anything she didn’t need to go to a message board to ask “hey have any of you done this and is it a thing?”

    • My FIL did this after taking an early retirement package and being a part time SAHD (he’d do school dropoff etc). It was a hobby in that the portfolio he started with was money they could do without. He’d grow it, shovel some over to savings, grow it, etc.

      He referenced making “a teachers salary” doing it, so in today’s dollars approx $50k/year. Huge caveat that again, they had significant assets to work with and MiL was working FT.

      • Anonymous :

        I similarly know a guy in his 50s who did this into retirement age after being laid off from a half dozen engineering jobs because of outsourcing. He had decent capital but the pressure was all on him as a sole provider with 2 kids that he managed to put through private universities.

      • My dad did this for about a year after being laid off — he didn’t end up making much and eventually got another job in his field, but he had a good time doing it and made a lot of friends on the internet who were doing similar things.

    • Anonymous :

      Nasty people on here today. You can always say you don’t know anyone or skip the question. OP didn’t ask for your opinion on whether or not she’s dumb.

    • A family member did this as a form of semi-retirement and he lost a lot of money and ultimately had to go back to work.

    • I had a friend who tried it but he couldn’t take the emotion out of it. I teased him that his strategy was buy high, sell low. It’s really REALLY hard to beat institutional investors, not to mention the nano trading computers. Why don’t you start with a fund you can afford to lose ($10K?) and see if you can grow it to a target amount ($50K?) in a reasonable time frame before you take the leap.

  2. Black tie dress :

    Thoughts on this dress for a black tie wedding in New York in December?

    https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/vince-camuto-notch-neck-velvet-off-the-shoulder-gown/4766566?country=US&currency=USD&cm_mmc=google-_-shopping_ret-_-662927179-_-33067301509_999cabe7-cb6d-4eb8-9fb4-11c5e58a7dd1&cm_mmca1=pla-82077594115_13820585&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI_Lig3prG1wIV0LXACh1yEQ7VEAQYBSABEgKDjPD_BwE

  3. Reposting from the morning thread in hopes of getting more responses… For those of you who are partners or are partnership track…how much did/should the other partners in the firm factor in your decision to join or stay at said firm? If you were choosing between partnership at a midlaw firm (smaller clients, more ownership, awesome coworkers) and partnership at a biglaw firm (institutional clients, less ownership, so-so coworkers), what other factors would you consider? Is there a salary/benefits level that would make it worth it to deal with partners that you don’t love, but could tolerate?

    • Does the partnership financial model reward cross-selling, or does it encourage hoarding? How are you credited if you handle, say, an M&A deal for a client whose partner “owner” is a litigator?

    • Anonymous :

      There’s no magic number. It’s a really personal decision.

      My father stayed at a firm with difficult partners because of the money. He grew up poor and he had a constant fear of being poor again. ‘enjoying’ your job/work wasn’t something he valued. I stay in my job where I make a comfortable upper middle class income but about half of what my father made, because I had the privilege of not growing up poor so financial security (beyond a base) level was less important. I’d have to make A LOT Of money to work with people I didn’t like if I had a choice.

    • Anonymous :

      I am a relatively young equity partner and in my view, your partners are extremely important. So much of firm governance in a partnership is done by consensus, and if you don’t feel respected and valued by your colleagues, it can feel like a pit of vipers. I have an extremely collegial and respectful partnership – but I’ve still found the interpersonal dynamics to be complex. And in my firm, the expectation is that you’re here for life. It is more like a marriage than I ever expected.

    • Midlaw partner married to BigLaw partner here. My partners have a much bigger impact on my life than they do for The Hubs. I see many of my partners on a daily basis and know way more than I want to about their families, personal lives, etc. etc. It is a big deal when partners are not getting along and a lot of people can get dragged into disputes.

      That said, things are handled in a more relaxed/ad hoc way (depends on how you feel about it) at a smaller firm, in part because revenue can vary more with a smaller client base, and that has its own issues. For example, I was the first woman partner to take “maternity leave” at my firm and let’s just say it was unsatisfactory for all involved. On the upside, I have no minimum billables and a lot of flexibility.

      Biglaw is different because it is just . . . big. The Hubs often does not see some of his partners for weeks at a time (especially the ones on other floors). The Hubs’s firm is much more institutionalized and has established policies and committees for almost everything. There are minimum partner billables and penalties if you do not meet them. Partner compensation there is calculated on a points system that is relatively rigid. That said, the Hubs makes 1.5 times what I do for only about 150 more billable hours a year. It’s not fair, but it is the reality.

  4. Anonymous :

    Last thread got me thinking – what are everyone’s thanksgiving travel plans (driving; flights; trains – where to where)? And how are you prepping/expecting them to go?

    • nuts I know :

      going real dumb this year :)

      Driving MA to MD. ideally vrrry vrry early Thursday and Sunday mornings. like, shooting for 4am.

      I like to drive though. and rarely drop below 75 unless I have to.

    • Anonymous :

      Heading out from NYC to Boston at the crack of dawn Wednesday morning. It’s the only thing keeping me going – the next 4 days are going to be a nightmare. I’m over biglaw.

  5. Does anyone have suggestions for decent quality clothes that are inexpensive? I’m trying to save money after spending too much in the past few months. I can’t justify spending $70 for an Ann Taylor dress right now.

    • Anonymous :

      New York and Co? I think they’re having a pretty good sale right now.

      Alternatively, there’s always the old-standbys of Old Navy or Gap.

    • Consignment

    • Anonymous :

      Do you need to buy clothes?

    • Anonymous :

      Basically any mall brand is poor quality. Maybe LL Bean on sale?

    • Cat Lady In Training :

      Poshmark. List some of your stuff and then look for NWOT or NWT. I’ve had really good luck.

      • Love Poshmark. I’ve hit a couple of duds but I’m happy with most of what I’ve gotten there.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      My best work clothes are from Lands’ End overstocks.

    • In-House in Texas :

      Go to eBay! You can find brand new items for very little money. If you know the brand that fits, the risk is really low.

    • I pretty much only buy clothes on thred up these days and fill in gaps with real stores. I sort by whatever brand, my typical size, and filter it to new with tags or excellent condition only.

    • Anonymous :

      JCP Liz Clairborne.

    • Anonymous :

      Are there things you actually need? Otherwise I’d shop my closet and try to make the best out of what i already had. Alterations? Selling things you don’t wear?

    • Ebay. There’s lots of new with tags stuff on there (whether professional resellers or individual sellers who haunt clearance racks) and I’m not above buying gently used stuff too. I wear a lot of Eileen Fisher knits and silk tanks and most of that came from ebay.

    • Northern Nellie :

      For real, Winners/TJ Max/Whatever it’s called in your area. My favourite brand is Calvin Klein and you can get their dresses for $40-60 if you take your time and hunt.

  6. Anonymous :

    Any lawyers (esp lit) who’ve worked with career coaches? Not sure that I want to leave law – maybe – but I’m stuck at a dead end and want out. Can you talk about what they do for you if anything – is it like therapy where you talk issues to death or is there forward progress? Also cost? I’m in DC – if it matters I may want to move to NYC (or not – unsure) – any recs?

    • I have a great rec in DC, if you want to email me at my username plus the last 5 letters of this place’s name, at the mail of google.

    • Anonymous :

      Anyone else have one? Will reach out to you once I create an anonymous email which I don’t have.

    • I’m going to post it here, actually, just because I’ve already gotten a few emails from not-the-OP, so here goes!

      http://www.lawyerslifecoach.com/ Matthew Pascocello (through Ellen Ostrow’s company; both are lawyers)

      http://www.fringepd.com/services/ Rachael Bosch (Rachael is a former pd director from a law firm who is not herself an attorney but knows her stuff)

      Both are former colleagues in the DC law school/law firm professional development world, both have strong DC and NYC experience and understanding. Totally different styles, people, etc. Worth a call to both to see who resonates. Good luck!

      • Anonymous :

        Thank you! Any clue how pricing works? I know it must depend on actual length of services but any way to ballpark – just trying whether you end up spending 2k or 10k?

      • I’ve also used Ellen Ostrow (herself), and she’s really great. I needed a kick in the pants to get moving after getting into a rut, and she definitely gave it (in a nice way, holding me accountable, etc.). I think I ended up spending in the $2-5k range a few years ago.

      • Think I might be in mod. I’m not a litigator or lawyer but I got a quote for similar services in Chicago for 5000

    • I’m in a different field (and geo market) but I was quoted $5K for these types of services in chicago

  7. KateMiddletown :

    PSA – Target also has a bunch of good pompom hats in varying styles $8-$20.

    • We should get one of those hats for Al Franken! I saw his picture where he had his hand’s over the woman’s boobies while she was asleep! What is up with that? Was he being funny, or was he really grabbing her boobies? I think he was just jokeing! FOOEY!

  8. Lana Del Raygun :

    I have a question about men’s skincare, or rather men’s lack of skincare. My husband never, ever moisturizes his face, wears chapstick, puts lotion on his hands, uses cuticle oil, nothing. His face is a little dry, but his lips are never chapped, his hands are never chapped, his cuticles never crack, nothing. How is this possible? My brothers-in-law are the same way, and meanwhile I’m over here frantically rubbing vaseline into my cuticles even as they get so chapped they bleed. What’s going on?

    • Anonymous :

      maybe they wash their hands less? do less laundry and fewer dishes? men are gross

    • In general, men have thicker/tougher skin than women. It’s a biology thing.

      Not all men are so lucky. My poor SO has been fighting two splits in his cuticles for weeks now, with everything in my moisturizing arsenal.

      • Highly recommend picking up some hydrocolloid bandages. They stay on through showers and keep the area moist so it can heal. The whole thing is sticky so it stays on. You can buy a ten pack on Amazon and cut down to size for different needs. Mines lasted for years and I’m only on sheet 3. Until then, Vaseline right after washing hands on dansko skin and bandaid.

    • Genetics specific to their family. It’s certainly not a gender thing.

    • Are you overwashing? That dries your skin out.

    • No idea why men seem to have fewer cuticle problems! But as a cuticle challenged lady who tried massive amounts of hand lotion, vitamin E, etc with little to no improvement, I just want to plug the Deborah Lippmann cuticle cream. It SAVED ME last winter. expensive but worth it for no bleeding!

      • thank you! Not the OP but I need this – just ordered it.

        by the way, Nordstrom has a Deborah Lippmann gift with purchase.

    • anonshmanon :

      There is probably many factors, but your skin adapts to what it is regularly exposed to. I am currently changing from washing my hair every other day to every third, and I am almost there, taking dry shampoo the third day. i can see it change over time with respect to how fast it gets that greasy feeling.
      I also recently switched from using moisturizer every morning at night (and my skin feeling dry a lot) to moisturizing every other day. My skin has adapted and feels much less “thirsty”. I still use sunscreen at morning and I wash my face with water at night (although I only have minimal makeup to get rid of).

  9. Anonymous :

    I’m going to India next month to see family – I got married earlier this year so there will be a couple dinners/brunches with local family to belatedly celebrate. I have been instructed to buy a couple appropriate outfits, but buying Indian clothes in the U.S. is harder than you would think! I did find one website, Faballey, that is cheap and ships to the U.S., but I’m seeing questionable reviews online and I’m hesitant to try it.

    Any suggestions? I’m looking for something more on the indo-western side, like silk tunics that I can wear with cigarette pants. No full-on saris or lehengas.

    I have seen recommendations to go to Edison, NJ to shop. It’s a 2-hour drive for me but I supposed I can do it if necessary. Any stores in particular you would recommend there? I don’t want to spend more than $75 per outfit.

    thanks!

    • Where are you? There are places in NYC too.

    • Why don’t you shop in India. You won’t get anything good in that price range in Edison.

    • Anonymous :

      Shop in India!

    • I have had very good luck buying on utsav fashion dot com.
      Got a saree, a couple cotton kurtas, and something for my kid – all were delivered, stitched (for the saree blouse) etc. in good condition and well in time for a wedding deadline I had.

  10. Anonymous :

    I’m going to India next month to see family – I got married earlier this year so there will be a couple dinners/brunches with local family to belatedly celebrate. I have been instructed to buy a couple appropriate outfits, but buying Indian clothes in the U.S. is harder than you would think! I did find one online retailer, Faballey, that is cheap and ships to the U.S., but I’m seeing questionable reviews online and I’m hesitant to try it.

    Any suggestions? I’m looking for something more on the indo-western side, like silk tunics that I can wear with cigarette pants. No full-on saris or lehengas.

    I have seen recommendations to go to Edison, NJ to shop. It’s a 2-hour drive for me but I supposed I can do it if necessary. Any stores in particular you would recommend there? I don’t want to spend more than $75 per outfit.

    thanks!

    • BookLover :

      On Amazon, if you search “kurtis” there are a variety of retailers selling casual Indian clothing. Not sure about quality. Edison is great – Khajana/Khazana and Meenal’s Indian Fashion have nice things. If you are in NYC, you could go up to Jackson Heights too. If you are in the DC area, check out Ruby’s Collection in Tysons. If I were you, I would just buy a few outfits just to have things to wear immediately but do all your shopping once you get to India.

    • Don’t buy Indian clothes in the US if you are already going to India. Once you get off the plane go to a FabIndia store, they will have a much better selection of tunics.

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      I really like Utsav. But I second the suggestion to just wait – much cheaper and better selection in India. I am not personally a fan of FabIndia, their things are very plain.

    • Find yourself a Fab India store when you land. There is a good one Delhi in Khan Market and one in Mumbai as well. They have good quality clothes that you can wear in india but will also be able to wear in the U.S. You can buy their stuff online as well in the U.S. but it’ll be too expensive.

      • I’ll also chime in for FabIndia. Also, depending on how formal the occasions are, you might want to check Anthropologie for Indian designers. I just bought a Ranna Gill Indian-esque dress for an upcoming family event.

        • Actually, one more suggestion: if you’re in New York, you may want to check out the Anita Dongre Grassroots store! Lots of tunics and indowestern dresses

    • Anonymous :

      Fab India online.

  11. Mia Melon :

    Has anyone ordered from mia melon? A great looking weather resistant coat popped up in my social media feed but I’m reluctant to order as I haven’t heard of it before.

  12. Just need to vent. I’ve been job searching after finishing my MA in May but not really sure what I want to do. I’ve had a few interviews and then phone screens for temp jobs this week, which is draining enough, but then when I went in for an informational interview with someone from my old department, it turned out he was sick and didn’t bother to tell me. I hate the uncertainty of job searching, and to top it off none of my professional clothes fit anymore! ARGH.

  13. My husband and I need to make a series of appointments that we will both be attending during the work day. We both deal with confidential stuff so we can’t just share our calendars with each other. We are both in litigation so our schedules are constantly changing. We are looking for somewhere that we can both keep up to date as blocked off unavailable so that when one of us is on the phone doing scheduling (we both take turns doing this) we know when the other person is free or not. Any suggested platforms for this?

    • My husband and I use shared google calendars for this. Our work calendars are also google calendars so you can easily see a bunch of them at one time. We also send each other calendar invitations for shared events.

      • Thanks. I should have thought of google. We could share one calendar that we just make a bunch of “unavailable” entries. Kind of a pain in the butt to have to enter everything there but it’s just for a short period of time.

        • a millenial :

          can you share your calendars but have it show up as “private” and not the entire calendar? we do this in outlook where we don’t share all the info/entries but the calendar availability is shared

        • Anonymous :

          I think you can sink things with google calendar so you might be able to set it to enter all entries from a certain source as just marked ‘unavailable’

    • outlook option :

      If you both use outlook at work, you can do this through outlook. Try searching for “send an outlook calendar in an email” and you’ll get the Office instructions. You have to set your date range to share and can make it availability only.

    • Can you not share your calendars in such a way that you can see Free or Busy, rather than the specifics of your meetings?

  14. Adult acne :

    I struggle with mild (sometimes moderate) but very persistent acne. I never have more than two or three pimples at a time…but I always have at least one or two pimples going. I’ve fussed with skincare regimens and birth control pills and antibiotics for years and nothing has worked. I desperately want to be able to wake up in the morning without worrying that I will have another pimple popping up. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have at least one or two on my face. If you’ve had this problem – what has worked for you? I am at a point of wanting to try Accutane as a “permanent” type of solution. I am less inclined towards topical creams because I find most of them irritate my skin.

    • You may have already tried this but I was you until I got on Retin A (every night) and spironolactone at age 34. I don’t see myself every going off of it. (I won’t ever be pregnant.) Nothing else ever worked. I tried it all, and spent thousands of dollars in the process. I suppose if these prescriptions hadn’t worked, I would have gone the Accutane route. It was never “horrible” acne, but yes, persistent, 2-3 at a time, and all I wanted in life for years and years was good skin. I have it now. It’s a bit on the dry side now, but that is SO much easier to deal with than acne. Get thee to a dermatologist.

      • Yep, same for me. Hormonal acne my whole life, nothing helped, until Spironolactone. I also do Vitamin D supplements which worked wonders (I was mildly deficient) for my skin. Occasional retin A too, but really the spiro is what helped. I went off it for a few weeks for other reasons, and the acne started coming back. I’m dreading going off it to TTC.

    • Do you know what kind of acne you have, or what causes it? If hormonal, I’ve had success with spironolactone, which is a pill. Depending on what topicals you’ve tried, there are some that could help. If you’ve tried lots of skincare regimens, I’m going to guess you’ve tried OTC topicals like salicyclic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and any AHAs. If you haven’t tried prescription strength retinoids, there’s differin (which is actually OTC now), retin-a, and tazorac that might help. You might have fungal acne, though if you only have two or three at a time it’s unlikely, but if you do that’s something else a derm can prescribe for.
      Probably the best advice without more information is to use a gentle oil-based cleanser to remove make-up, then a gentle lathering cleanser as a second wash; then a sunscreen in the AM, and then a gentle moisturizer. Try to avoid sulfates, fatty alcohols, fragrances, and silicones, as – although they certainly aren’t irritants to everyone or even most people – if you find your skin is really persistent, then maybe you have a reaction to those ingredients.
      Also remember that it can take up to three months with a new topical to see an improvement. That was my problem for a long time, I’d try new topicals and if I didn’t see results in one-two months I gave up. Once I finally stuck through three months I found something that worked.
      Also, if you only have two or three at a time, a doctor probably wouldn’t prescribe Accutane.
      And if you really want to dig deep checkout r/skincareaddiction on reddit – I practically solved all my skin care problems based on that subreddit; I was almost going to go on Accutane, but I’m terrified of needles so I tried the reddit suggestions first and I’m glad I did.

    • I actually did Accutane as a teen, and while it improved my skin, it wasn’t a miracle. Years later, my derm told me that Accutane generally has the best results on horrible acne, as opposed to moderate.

      My skin as an adult was always very much like yours, though generally 3-4 pimples at a time. Retin-A helped, but I still broke out (I didn’t try spirolactane) and was always dry and flaky at an application frequency that reduce my breakouts.

      Azelaic acid was my game changer. At a 20% concentration (which is an rx in the US) my skin is basically perfect; both clear and glowing, not irritated. Once or twice a month I get a small pimple that quickly resolves, but that’s it. Bottom line, I agree with the other posters – talk to a good derm!

      • Which azelaic acid do you use? I use Finacea but have been thinking about asking my derm about others.

        • I actually have a stockpile of Skinoren from when you could find it on eBay. Once that is gone, I intend to try Azelex, as it is the most similar.

    • turtletorney :

      I wouldn’t do accutane for the mild acne you describe.
      Just here to plug Curology (formerly PocketDerm). I’ve been on it for several years now and love it because not only do I have ZERO breakouts now (I was similar to you before – mine was hormonal mostly) but the ingredients promote anti-aging as well, so I feel like I’m doing something good for my skin on both ends. I use it every single night and when I forget (rarely) I can tell. My specific prescription is also super hydrating, shrinks my pores, etc. I sound like an ad, but I love it.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 Curology is the best $20 I spend a month. My skin is basically perfect now. What’s your formula? Mine’s Azelaic Acid 8%, Clyndamycin 1%, Zinc Pyrithione .25%. It’s working great but I kind of want to start on Tretinoin now that I’m in my late 20’s.

    • Anonymous :

      Curology!

  15. Please help! I will be attending an award dinner that is “black tie optional” and I have absolutely no idea what to wear. The table is hosted by my outside counsel and I will be attending with my in-house clients, so I need to look professional. Do I wear a suit? Is there such a thing as a professional evening dress? I am really at a loss.

    • I would think that a black cocktail dress on the more conservative side, that you dress up with some jewelry is appropriate. Something maybe that is short sleeved, or 3/4 or a thicker sleeveless and nothing low cut or too short. I would not think a woman should wear a suit to a black tie optional event.

    • Marshmallow :

      I’d wear a stepped-up version of a nice work dress, in black. MMLF’s whole holiday collection looks pretty spot on for this kind of thing: https://mmlafleur.com/collection/dont-mind-if-i-do

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      I would wear an elegant, non-sexy black gown (or cocktail dress, depending on the strength of the “optional”), like female military officers sometimes wear to formal events (at least they did for ROTC ball when I was in college).

    • I used to attend these events a couple of times a year. I always liked formalwear separates, and I usually found them on eBay. I would search “tadashi” or “evening skirt” or “evening jacket” in my size and usually hit the jackpot. My typical outfit was a black satin knee length skirt (I also had a tadashi floor length for more formal events) and a lace or beaded fitted jacket. It wasn’t a jacket like a blazer that you wear a blouse under. It was a fully buttoned up jacket worn as a top. I will try to find a couple of links to show you what I mean.

      Can I give you a piece of advice though, based on my mistakes? It looks like a party, it feels like a party, but it isn’t a party. It’s work. Don’t drink too much. I did that a couple of times and regretted it…

    • my original comment is in mod but I’m going to post a couple of links that won’t make sense until you see my post (basically recommending evening separates)

      https://www.ebay.com/itm/Tadashi-Size-M-L-Black-White-Overly-Lace-Evening-Jacket/253208854514?hash=item3af46c7ff2:g:K0QAAOSw3H1Z4rxw

    • https://www.ebay.com/itm/TADASHI-Shoji-Beaded-Ruched-Evening-Purple-Top-Jacket-Size-2/272921382323?hash=item3f8b61cdb3:g:7I0AAOSwrSdZiiJh

    • https://www.ebay.com/itm/Tadashi-Collection-Black-Formal-Maxi-Evening-Cocktail-Skirt-Size-10-Polyester/222684693484?hash=item33d90ac3ec:g:RVQAAOSw~RVZ6Q1r

    • https://www.ebay.com/itm/WORTHINGTON-8-Black-Satin-Pencil-Skirt-Pin-up-Retro-Pleat-Evening-Below-Knee/122464449006?_trkparms=aid%3D555017%26algo%3DPL.CASSINI%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D41376%26meid%3D97f6e541cd1f4dff9f7989952e5b4ac0%26pid%3D100508%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D1%26&_trksid=p2045573.c100508.m3226

      • This is the one comment that didn’t get modded, not sure why. Check back later for l1nks to separates I shared.

    • Anonymous :

      Take a look at Tadashi Shoji dresses. I have worn these to corporate formal events. Elegant, but conservative at the same time.

  16. Anyone want to shop for me?
    I’m looking for a long bright / true “lipstick” red wool/wool-blend peacoat that has a bit of a flare at the bottom, comes in just a bit at the waist, has a belt, and goes down to about where my fingertips would be.
    My budget is pretty low – preferably $70 or less (would love as cheap as possible!)
    I’m a size small in Gap coats, but I have a large chest so any brands that wouldn’t be good with that would probably not work.
    Thanks for any finds!!

    • I think this is a bit of a unicorn, especially at that price point. I did find a few options on Amazon, but no clue on the quality or warmth of each. Also, none of them meet all the criteria, but they do meet most.

      https://smile.amazon.com/CH%C3%82TEAU-Womens-Wool-Blend-Coat/dp/B0772M7WJ8/ref=sr_1_39?ie=UTF8&qid=1510957277&sr=8-39&keywords=red+wool+peacoat

      https://smile.amazon.com/CHAREX%C2%AE-Womens-Winter-Outwear-Overcoat/dp/B00AF6KVOY/ref=sr_1_35?ie=UTF8&qid=1510957277&sr=8-35&keywords=red+wool+peacoat

      https://smile.amazon.com/HOTOUCH-Womens-Winter-Thicken-Trench/dp/B076XYQMLL/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1510957277&sr=8-9&keywords=red+wool+peacoat

    • Macy’s always has something like this on the website.

    • Try Kenneth Cole coats at Macys/Lord and Taylor, they definitely have that color often. It is a bit of an off shape though – I bought this exact description at Burberry last year as my once in a lifetime investment coat as red is my absolute favorite color and the belt plus peplum/flair style is SO flattering on.

  17. Question for the good cooks

    Chicken and rice is my go-to comfort food. I make it a lot. I brown skin-on chicken pieces, remove to a plate, sauté an onion, add rice and liquid (usually homemade broth but sometimes water) and cook the chicken on top for ~20 minutes and it’s good. My favorite dinner, really.

    I need to mix it up a little. Currently I may add a little saffron to the rice cooking liquid, but I don’t do a lot of variation beyond that.

    What would you add to make this more interesting?

    • Wannabe Julia Child :

      I would experiment with spices and herbs, something like taco seasoning spice blend ( think chili powder, cumin, oregano) or Indian profile. Garlic, herbs with or without tomato sauce (and reducing water/broth). Adding spinach, kale or chard could also be nice. I would add all of the above after the onion are ready and sauté for 30-60 seconds, until fragrant before adding the rice and liquids.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I got this from the I Hate to Cook Book: Add a can of mushroom stems and pieces, including the liquid, before you put the chicken in. Yum.

    • You could add different veggies – kale, mushrooms, carrots, peas, you name it.
      Also chicken and rice is a pretty universal comfort combo. Maybe experiment with different variations? Arroz con pollo? Biriyani style, etc.

    • Thanks all for the suggestions so far. I think peas and spinach would get overcooked in 20 minutes, but a hardy mature kale is a good idea, as are mushrooms. I have done this with olives before and they hold up pretty well.

      I guess spice-wise I should look at some recipes and figure out some combos. Not sure about proportions. Currently I just use salt and pepper and sprinkle with fresh herbs when done, if I have them.

      I have a lemon and a lime tree, as well as a bay tree. I wonder if 20 minutes is enough for a bay leaf or two. Maybe add some lemon peel? I’m not sure whether it would be too lemony.

      • Anonymous :

        Miso butter mixed into the rice, along with some vegetables, might be a good way to add depth without actually adding a bunch of flavor. I would probably sauté some spinach quickly (like — 2 min), set it aside, chop it, and mix it in with the rice and miso butter at the end. If you really don’t want more than one step, kale is, as you said, a good option.

        Or try a spice mix like curry powder, ras al hanout, harissa rubbed onto the chicken. Those spices would lend themselves to some other mix-ins for the rice (e.g. curry and yellow raisins; ras al hanout and carrots). If you really want to break out, you might like some of the sheet pan dinner combos.

        • Oh yum, these ideas are excellent! I love miso butter but haven’t ever thought of using it with chicken rice.

    • I would put a little more GINGER into the chicken if you want to spice things up. Grandma Leyeh told me the reason I was NOT abel to get a guy to get interested enough to MARRY me was b/c my chicken tasted to bland for her. That is why she thinks I lost Sheketovits. That is NOT why, but I do NOT want to tell her about the real reasons. Anyway, so she said GINGER will make people (men) get very warm under the collar, and they will want to “loosen up”, which is a good thing if you are trying to get them to date you. Once you get them interested in you, you can then take it to the next level. YAY!!!

    • Thanks for all this! I went shopping and i did find rad el hanout, and I bought a can of mushrooms, so I’m set for my next two chicken and rice dinners I think. I have a ton of chives in my garden and the lemons are starting to ripen so i will play around with some combos over the next couple of weeks.

      I also figured out that googling “Greek chicken and rice” or “Moroccan chicken and rice” or Lebanese or French or Spanish brings up a lot of ideas. I’m not a recipe follower but I will use the recommended spice combos as guidance.

      • Ps I did not see miso butter at my supermarket (Safeway). Would it be in a regular grocery and if so where? (In which aisle)

      • Also, just typing in spices chicken and rice will probably bring up options too, since most recipes call for all spices to be out in together so it’ll trigger the Google.

  18. turtletorney :

    I wouldn’t do accutane for the mild acne you describe.
    Just here to plug Curology (formerly PocketDerm). I’ve been on it for several years now and love it because not only do I have ZERO breakouts now (I was similar to you before – mine was hormonal mostly) but the ingredients promote anti-aging as well, so I feel like I’m doing something good for my skin on both ends. I use it every single night and when I forget (rarely) I can tell. My specific prescription is also super hydrating, shrinks my pores, etc. I sound like an ad, but I love it.

  19. I have sensitive, acne prone skin and I’m looking for a cleansing routine to use with acne topicals in the cold NE winter. I may try the Clinique balm to remove makeup, but I don’t know what cleanser to use that won’t be overly drying or cause more problems. A moisturizer rec would be good also, if you have one. It would be nice to get something inexpensive for a change, but I know that is often not possible…

    • The following routine seems to work for me during winter (reactive, acne- cursed skin in mid 30s):
      step 1 cleansing – Shiseido Cleansing Oil (or any good oil cleanser which emulsifies) – gently massage in dry skin, remove with water
      step 2 cleansing – Bioderma Sebium Micellar Water (or any other good micellar water) – to remove any remaining impurities from skin, eyes, lips
      moisturizing – most days and nights, I use Bioderma Sebium AI cream all over face (except for eye and lip area, which is treated with Shiseido Benefiance Eye Cream or Shiseido Bio-Performance cream). Once per week, I will use Isis Glyco A 12% glycolic acid night cream to help remove dead skin cells. In case my skin feels dry-ish, I will change my night-time Bioderma for either aforementioned Shiseido creams followed by a mixture of borago and lavender oil or I will use Isis Sensylia 24hr moisture cream. In case of flare-ups, I will use Skinoren (azelaic acid treatment cream) on spots.
      I have hormonal acne and reactive skin (eg if I sleep at a hotel, I may get reaction to the fabric softener used on their linens) and this seems to finally work on my skin.
      I also drink a lot of water and make sure I do not lack any vitamins or minerals (I have noticed my skin gets worse when I skip multivitamins for a week), nor my allergy treatment (Allegra and/or Flonase).

    • Cleansing oil is a great way to get rid of makeup. There’s plenty of cheap Japanese options on Amazon, and I’ve always liked Cerave cream cleanser as a good gentle face cash for after oil or in the AM.

    • applesauce :

      I have oily, sensitive, very acne-prone skin – I use Cerave and second the hydrating cleanser recommendation. I use the Clinique Take the Day off oil to take off my makeup (the balm version is really nice too but a little too heavy for my oily skin) followed by the Cerave hydrating cleanser (I use the Cerave foaming cleanser in the summer). I love the Cerave PM moisturizer, not too light or too heavy, plays well with my exfoliating products and doesn’t break me out, which is very difficult to find. I also love First Aid Beauty because the products are so gentle and my skin loves them, but it’s more expensive.

    • I really like banila clean it zero as a balm cleanser, that and the Low PH CosRX face wash are both very gentle for taking off makeup (and cheap, and on amazon).
      Snail mucin is a total game changer for keeping my skin hydrated and acne free. I use differin OVER my moisturizer and it really helps things not dry out too much. And a sheet mask a few times a week helps a ton.

  20. Desk Snacks? :

    What are some good office snacks I can keep in my desk? I started at a company that does not provide snacks for employees after working at a company that *did*, so I’m not sure what good desk snacks would be. (Dumb question, I know, but I’ve been getting hungry at 3pm). I need something that I can either eat in a bite-size portion or break off a piece, due to the nature of my job (answering phones/full desk visibility from clients when they walk into our office), so fruit is probably out. any ideas? Thanks!

    • Why is fruit out? I don’t really give a f**k that clients can see I’m human and need to eat. I have a very open desk and people pretty routinely see me munching on an apple or banana or something. No one has ever said anything aside from the occasional ‘snack time!’ which yes it is snack time.

    • Ekaterin Nile :

      I like almonds for a work snack. You can get those cocoa covered ones if you have a bit of a sweet tooth. Also, energy bars and cheese sticks.

    • I like RxBars, limited-ingredient Lara bars (coconut cream pie is great!), And kind pressed fruit bars.

    • lawsuited :

      Goldfish crackers, spicy peanuts, chocolate covered almonds, cashews, dried fruit, granola bars and honourable mention to Babybel cheeses because although they are delicious and snack-sized they also require refrigeration.

  21. I was offered a new role within my current company (have shared this earlier and thank you to those who encouraged me to take the opportunity).
    However, I will need to move to a different country – by end of December. I have already lived in the destination country once (for a year), so I know what to expect.
    Since the physical move will be pretty fast, is there any wisdom you would share with me? What was the most helpful thing for you? Or something you wish someone told you before the move? The company will pay for the moving (packing, move, unpacking) and property search, so at least this will take some pressure off.
    Also, I will be responsible for leading a team of 15 people – who may not be happy that their current boss will be laid-off and some of them may be more experienced than me. Any advice on how to set up a good collaborative atmosphere and gain their trust? Thanks!

    • Mineallmine :

      Hi, I’ve moved countries a few times with corporate help. The biggest thing is to downsize as much as possible, and then a little bit more. I hired a personal organizer to help me downsize responsibly, donating things that were useful (like my law books to a city jail system), recycling, selling, etc. She also helped organize getting my US home ready to rent out. She really was worth the money.

      You don’t mention where you’re going, but the vast majority of countries don’t have the spacious homes the US does, and really, why carry all that stuff? It really does weigh you down. Take only what you love and what you know will fit into your new place (e.g., oversize sofas and US king beds often will not fit- my queen bed barely fits in my UK master bedroom). Going for a house hunting trip before you move is incredibly helpful for knowing what to bring. Understand how renting works in your new country is key as well – in Belgium, I knew I had to provide my own curtains, wardrobes and other stuff you don’t think about when renting in the US. Depending on your country, you might want to ship your car, too, or it might be more hassle than the price difference is worth.

      Anyways, stay on top of your immigration facilitators, and talk to your relocation people for a sense of the process early. Most of all, just breathe. Stuff will go wrong, but it will be ok. Try to focus on the excitement if you can at least some of the time because sometimes it will be overwhelming. It’s an emotional and exhausting process, but it will work out ok one way or the other. I remember finally getting on the plane for the big move knowing that my paperwork wasn’t 100% but too tired to care. It was fine. Congrats and good luck!

      • Thank you, very thoughtful advice!
        Luckily, I am moving within 2 EU countries, so I am spared of the hassle of immigration – that would be a real nightmare. I get your point on downsizing and after writing down my to-do-list yesterday, this is my major concern. I am renting an apartment in Prague, where unfurnished apartments are standard, I bought all the furniture and decoratuons (thinking that I will spend at least 3 – 5 years here) and am moving to Warsaw, where most apartments are fully furnished and decorated. I have a beautiful bedroom furniture and a great sofa – and probably won’t be able to sell it so soon. Well, I will try to negotiate with my employer for a one-time bonus to cover cost of these pieces.
        And you are so on-spot with the emotionL side of the move. I nearly forgot but last time when I was moving, I started crying the moment I sat down in a cab and did not finish until I boarded a plane :) The staff at check-in did not know what to do, so at least they upgraded me to business class.
        Thank you, I am going to do more downsizing today!

        • Mineallmine :

          I feel your pain about having to get rid of furniture you love. I’m facing a move into a small central London flat in the near future and getting rid of many of the remaining pieces of furniture I love, too, like my dining room table made from 200 year old reclaimed chestnut. I’m hosting Thanksgiving dinner as a farewell to it. I know it’s just stuff, but it makes me sad to get rid of it and to live somewhere too tiny to have a table or decent sized bed not to mention absolutely no where to put clothes, even at my ridiculous rental price. I hope Warsaw is more livable and makes up for your loss.

          This is basic, but I’ve found it to be important. I strongly recommend figuring out what makes you happy in a home if you can, and don’t be afraid to pay for it as much as you are able to, whether it’s the housing, the neighborhood or whatever. For me, I’ve found out that I need light and space to breathe in a house/flat, even at the expense of modern conveniences like a half decent kitchen even though I love to cook. A quiet neighborhood where I can walk to the grocery store and post office is more important to me than trendy cafes/nightlife or whatever. You might be the opposite, but I’m sure you can find what you need in Warsaw.

          You haven’t mentioned social or language issues, but of course that’s a challenge, too. I’m sure you’ve heard of the acclimation timeline for expats – first 6-12 months everything is exciting! 1-2 years, everything is terrible! After about 2 years, you get adjusted to your new normal and life gets better. Obviously exact durations vary, and it’s not exactly linear, but it helped me understand why all of a sudden after about a year I stopped wanting to leave the house for fear someone would speak to me in French and I didn’t have the energy to use my terrible (but still much better than initially) French back. Even the weight of seeing signs en francais was exhausting even though by that point I could read most of it. Here in the UK the differences are more subtle for me, but I’m still in the everything-annoys-me phase though my life here is actually good. I look forward to moving out of this phase soon and am not taking it as a real sign of discontent (yet – Brexit doesn’t help, sigh).

          Keep us posted on how Warsaw is! I still haven’t been, and it would be great to hear more about it. Big annoying American-style hug to you!

          • Thank you! The housing situation in London is one of the reasons I have been avoiding other career moves. As you, I need space – at home, but also outside. I need to be able to move around the apartment, have extra storage space, big bedroom, big bathroom – and I know I would need to pay probably 90% of my salary for that in London. Both Prague and Warsaw are amazing from this perspective – the apartments have generous space and are relatively cheap. Plus in Prague, you can live in one of the beautifully rennovated apartments built in 1890s.
            One of my coworkers gave me the same advice when I was moving out 3 years ago – get the best apartment that you can afford. The weather will be ugly, you will be exhausted from work and the last thing you want at the end of a killer day is to go to an apartment you don’t like. And I agree. I splurged (company money) on my apartment – next to a big park, sunny (well, as sunny as you can get in Warsaw) and in a walking distance of my office and city center (traffic in Warsaw is surely one of Dante’s ring of hell). But otherwise, once you are settled there, Warsaw is a very easy place to live in. The quality of goods is great, they have nice restaurants, cafes and Polish people are eager to befriend you. The final frontier for Poland to tackle is the quality of services – as in other post-com countries. Luckily, the language and culture barriers are minor issue for me as I am originally from Slovakia. Even last time I could talk in my native Slovak and people would understand. And younger generation as well as coworkers in office are happy to switch to English when necessary.
            My heart would break over the 200 yo table. What are you going to do with it? Selling? Storing it in a warehouse? I would never part with it. Moving to a smaller apartment must be difficult, but hopefully, you can make it work and as you write, won’t be for too long. What exactly does annoy you in London, if you don’t mind my asking? And – more importantly – where will you move after
            London? I hope that before that happens, you will have a chance to travel around the UK. I cannot recommend travelling around Scotland enough. I have been there several times – always in different places – and these were easily my favorite holidays so far.
            Hugs back to you!

  22. biglawanon :

    Just a rant. I haven’t had a single day off in over two months. In that period I have pulled at least 10 all nighters. I have suffered health problems uncommon for and scary to me during this time. I still don’t feel well physically or emotionally. I don’t see this ending until mid-January.

    • Meaning you work 7 days a week? Isn’t that illegal?!

      • Anonymous :

        BWWAAAAHHHHAAAAA. No, that’s Biglaw.

        OP, you have all my sympathy. It’s November and the newly licensed lawyers are out there. Tell your seniors that you need to add one to your team, stat. If you are senior enough, enlist one of them (or three, whatever you need) yourself.

        • biglawanon :

          I laughed out loud super hard as well. Yeah, I am a pretty senior associate. Have been dishing off work to people. I basically told partners I am doing this, or just did it and didn’t ask because that is the way it is going to be. The problem is most of the work needs to be done by at least a mid-level, and a mid-level in our specific practice area at that. We have a dirth of seniors and mid-levels and they are all slammed. In the past 6 mo., I had two large, trials/associated post-trial briefing, two federal appeals, and two cases in summary judgment. Whee.

      • Anonymous :

        Only illegal for certain professions like doctors and pilots. Very very common in law firms to work 7 days/week although two straight months without a day off is unusually brutal even by big law standards.

    • Second year in a practice group with several attorneys on leave or leaving. The head of our group has told me twice that I’m going to be very covered up for the next couple of months.

      I am exhausted, grouchy, and overwhelmed. My SO and I are in a bad spot from it too. SO is annoyed at how much I work. I am annoyed that SO doesn’t see that without my job, SO couldn’t do their job. I’ve just been crying all day. Good times.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        Just wanted to let you know that others hear you, friend. It is Sunday at noon and I am in my office. So I get you. All th hugs.

        • Thanks, friend! I am in my (home) office too. Best of luck and hugs to you too!

          (Seriously a kind word makes such a huge difference. I really appreciate it.)

  23. Lost Analyst :

    I wanted to see if anyone has any ideas on how to resolve the situation or cope with a co-worker.

    I am a 2nd year IB analyst located in a major market outside of NYC. There are 6 total analysts in the office and I’m the only female out of the analyst pool. The analyst office space set up is split into a ‘bull pen’ with 4 and a neighboring office (‘closet’) with 2 analysts. I sit in the closet with a 1st year analyst, Ben(not his real name),whom the other analysts have given the cold shoulder to because of his work or his inability to get stuff done. To put it mildly, working with Ben in the same office these past 6-months has been is really rough. I love my job and everyone else but Ben is another story. He loves to use the phrase ‘male privilege’ whenever applicable in conversation with me, will argue for the sake of argument about my suggested revisions, belches the alphabet. I’ve been able to keep a happy face on and work through it but recently this week he made a few comments which really got under my skin- he was talking about a small fight he had with his girlfriend and I just went I really don’t what to tell you, Ben and moved on and got to work. Ten minutes later, he goes I figured it out, she’s on her period. I was shocked by his response and it made me wonder if he says stuff like that about me when I have to argue with him about changing a slide in a pitch. Also when I try and give him work to do now ie write ups, etc. he will ask the other analysts for work and say oh x needs me to do this so I did it for him out of male privilege (I know- it doesn’t even make sense but this is what I’m dealing with)

    In addition, he constantly talks about leaving and was talking about bringing his laptop in over a weekend to copy a highly confidential and proprietary model. Any ideas how to protect the firm without being a snitch?

    Should I just let all of this roll off and keep going?

    I would really appreciate any input from anyone whose been in my position or has any suggestions!

    • What the… Talk to his supervisor, this behavior is unacceptable. He demoralizes the team and obviously is not sdding much value to the company. He should be sitting next to Trump, not next to you.
      Next time you hear him spreading this immature thoughts, tell him in no unclear way to “Stop, please, I am not discussing this” or “Let’s stay professional here” or “What a condescending thing to say” etc. He will get the message, he will paint you as a menstruating butch and you will not care. His ego is hurt as he is not king of your department and does not have respect of others. Talk to his superior now (give specific exmples), so that s/he can address this during year-end review.
      Guys like this rarely make an effort to job search as they will rather stay in their comfort zone and complain for ages.

    • (Full disclosure: I’ve never worked in IB so others may have a better idea of the industry dynamics.) What’s your first level manager like? Can you talk to them? You probably have a decent relationship after two years. I’d consider scheduling a meeting with your manager and saying, “I’m dealing with two personnel issues that warrant your attention. The first is in relation to the firm, and the second is in relation to someone who makes inappropriate comments to me every day.” And then tell this story. Your concerns about Ben’s behavior are valid and Ben is being wildly inappropriate in a workplace.

  24. Dressing for NYC early Dec? :

    Please help this Californian dress appropriately for a quick trip to NYC in early Dec. We’ll be there with our two young kids and mostly checking out museums, etc. I was thinking a warm, long puffy coat but not sure what to wear on my feet. Waterproof and warm boots? Suggestions on specific, comfortable/versatile shoes? Want to pack light. I usually wear jeans, leggings, sneakers here at home. TIA!

  25. Derm Recs? :

    Anyone have a recommendation for a dermatologist near Crystal City or Pentagon City in northern Virginia who can deal with a possible skin infection?

  26. I’m looking at NYC for Christmas. Any tips on hotels? Prices are crazy, but I’m sure that’s normal. :)

    If not, I’m wondering if there is another US city that is recommended for the holidays? I’d like someplace where I can walk easily.

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