Weekend Open Thread

Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

I don’t know if you guys are obsessed with yoga pants or leggings with pockets like I am — all I want is to have my phone on my body and not stuffed in my sports bra. Is that too much to ask? You can find them at really high prices, and so I was amazed to see that Amazon has these very highly rated ones with pockets (1,000+ reviews!). They come in a bunch of colors in sizes S–XXL, and they’re $18.98–$20.98, eligible for Prime. Some sizes/colors have free returns, too. ODODOS Power Flex Yoga Leggings

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Comments

  1. Anonymous :

    Feeling OLD this Friday. 20 yrs out of high school so we are old and 2 guys from my HS class who used we’re handsome, athletic, fit back then (still are for 38) posting on FB. One guy mentions how pleased he was at his blood pressure at the dr this morning. Other guy responds his HDL/LDL has been creeping up and he’s really doubling down on the exercise. What have we become??

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      Sounds like y’all have become people who care about your health, though, right?

    • I know the feeling. I am younger then you and I too am forced to work hard to keep my tuchus in check. My dad berates me daily about why I am not getting better results even tho I am walking over 10,000 steps a day. He wants me to find a guy to marry me, but says that it my tuchus that is getting in the way. He points to my sister, who is younger and has kids and still has a smaller tuchus then me. I only wish I could have a tuchus like her; then he would stop telling me to get married and let me be a profesional lawyer. I do not mean to be so negative today, Kat, but this is all I hear from my dad. He does not give me credit for being a lawyer and a profesional at a boutique firm, supporting myself and saveing for retirement b/c I have no rich husband like Rosa at Merill Lynch. FOOEY!

    • Anonymous :

      People aware of our mortality.

      And that some guys are competitive about weird things.

    • Anonymous :

      Way way better to be this way than to be like many guys like I know from HS at age 45 — they easily look 10-20 yrs older than their ages; sitting with a beer in hand all the time re telling the same story for the 10000th time re the game winning 80 us touchdown in the HS championship game. Meanwhile their wives are begging them to go to the dr, eat less fried chicken and beer and move more bc they see how unhealthy all this is. Way better to be the 38 yr old pleased with his blood pressure and wanting public congrats.

  2. Sloan Sabbith :

    Ooooooh. I like every part of this pick.

    • Target also has some legging options in variable compressions with pockets on the legs in the C9 line. I found them TTS and they seem to stay up well despite not having a drawstring.

      • I tried the Target leggings and I like the pocket, but they don’t stay up for me, sadly. They might work better on other body types though and the price is certainly right.

        • Anonymous :

          I find that cheaper leggings show panty lines way more than than higher end brands.

          • There’s an easy solution for that! If I’m wrong for not wearing underwear with leggings, then I don’t want to be right.

          • No underwear means I can only wear them once between washings… (Obviously if I’m exercising in them, that only get when once).

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      I like this review: “The force is strong with these. They are perfect for that conflicted, totally confusing waist height yoga look that Kylo Ren would be proud of.”

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        That review alone makes me want to buy them.

      • there’s another person that likes them because they can fit an entire bottle of champagne in the pocket.
        That’s what made me want to buy them.

    • Unrelated to these leggings, I wish there was a way to see a graph of Amazon reviews over time. I’ve started to notice an issue recently that random products will have thousands of glowing reviews – hard to tell whether they are actually great products that have “gone viral” or if there’s something weird going on with the reviews.

      I nearly bought a pair of heels yesterday that looked perfect and had really positive reviews… until I noticed that three of the reviews all mentioned that the shoes were “chic” except they spelled it “chick”. All three reviews claimed to be from verified purchases so either someone’s scamming the verified purchase system or the kids are actually calling things “chick” these days.

      • Have you tried using fakespot?

        • I had never heard of this before but that’s amazing. I’d noticed the same thing – recently it was a pump where there were a ton of 5 star reviews. In the last month. Half of which were from dudes.

          • A notable percentage of the reviews of extended size, wide width heels at Payless are from dudes, so you never know… But yes, fake reviews (and counterfeit products, often mixed with legit inventory) are out-of-control on Amazon right now. They need to get a handle on it.

          • Hahahahaha – it literally just occurred me what you were talking about. I left out a word to avoid m0d, but I was talking about the type of pump a man definitely would not be able to use.

        • Anonymous :

          True confession: I used fakespot on the reviews that a memoir written by a high school friend is getting on Amazon (the reviews are amazingly good; having known her for years I am … skeptical.)

          It got an F. “Tread lightly, this product may contain a major number of unreliable or low quality reviews!”

          I’m a jerk, but the schadenfreude pleasure is real.

      • Funny, because I see the opposite all the time, e.g., “So and so is such a cool chic.” “Hey chic, what’s up?” Drives me bonks.

        • Anonymous :

          You must not be old enough to remember the 80s jeans brand “Chic,” which was pronounced in its own advertising as “chick.” My feminist mother had a meltdown in a department store when my sister and I, as young teens/tweens, were begging for these jeans.

    • These look great… but given the size chart, they look like they are made for skinny people only.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        My favorite cheapie Amazon leggings are 90 Degree by Reflex. Stick with the solids, the fabric on the prints is weird. They have some available in plus sizes. $20 and they aren’t see-thru.

  3. Places to work? :

    I recently started a job where I work from home 100% of the time. Any suggestions for places I can take my laptop to do some work when I feel like getting out of the house? I am not interested in paying for an office share.

    • CherryScary :

      Ask a Manager had a great question regarding this yesterday. Suggestions included WFH meetup groups, cafes and quiet spaces at your local library!

      • Coffee shops, friends’ houses (when offered). I’ve even done a Bob Evans when we lost power and I still needed to work.

    • I’ve done this in hotel lobbies/general areas (has to be the right kind of hotel, but I think most could work.) Usually free wifi, some activity, sometimes a very nice/comfortable setting.

    • S in Chicago :

      Nice table and chair in your own backyard or balcony if you’re lucky. My favorite thing to do when there’s nice weather is to put the dog in a playpen kind of thing and work outside. I suppose you could enjoy a picnic table in the shade at a forest preserve or on a bench in a park just as easily.

      When it’s like now, I go stir crazy. At the lease, I change up the room I’m working in at the house. Guest room, kitchen, bedroom, etc.

    • Where are you? If you post where you are, you may get specific recommendations.

    • I work at home about 60% of the time. I belong to an athletic club (really a social club with a super great gym) that has multiple lounge spaces, spots with tables and chairs, a cafe and a bar. It’s a lot less crowded and distracting than a coffee shop and I can bring my own water/coffee/snacks. I wouldn’t join just to do work there, but I use the gym almost daily so the other spaces seem like a perk. If I’m working remotely, I need to be in a space where I don’t feel guilty about hogging a table for hours or taking occasional phone calls. I love working on my porch in the spring/summer/fall, but it never fails that my neighbors will break out their lawn mower when I need to be on the phone.

    • A nearby college may have a campus center building that is open to the public durijg the day with comfy chairs and tables and maybe even a fridge for your lunch. Or try a law or business school building of a university.

      • Anonymous :

        My local big university’s main library is not only open to the public, it permits you to download articles just by virtue of being in the building – no login required. Quiet space, great wifi, clean bathrooms, coffee in a closed container is permitted.

        The only downside is that you have to drag all your stuff to the restroom or find someone to watch it for a minute for you. That’s true at a coffee shop, too, though.

    • I rented temporary office space – stick with me, I know you don’t want to do that – but there were people who came in with their laptops just to use the Wi-Fi and hang out with other people in the lobby or break room. They paid something but it was minimal – A daily or hourly fees

    • I only work from home occasionally, but I like to keep a rotation. Essentially: (1) cafes with 2 hr wifi limit (makes me concentrate on getting discrete research done); (2) more hipster coffee shops where people hang out all day; (3) my gym, which has wifi, plenty of table space, and little nooks for taking calls; and (4) cafes/bars where I can hang out for extended periods and invite people to join me if needed later in the day. Popping out for one of these a day or every few days helps break up the monotony.

    • Places to work? :

      Thanks for the suggestions!

  4. Maudie Atkinson :

    A library. When I was studying for the bar, I posted up at my local public library when I needed to get out of the house. I found it much less distracting than a coffee shop, and it eliminated the pressure to purchase something.
    If you have access, an academic library would be nice too.

  5. Rant/Seeking Advice :

    Hello all,
    I need to rant but am also desperately looking for advice on how to deal with a new co-worker.
    This new co-worker is 2 years junior to me in terms of experience but is licensed in the state while I will be taking the February bar exam. I am generally a friendly person and get along with everyone. There is however something about this new coworker that is really annoying me. I think it may be a mixture of her know-it-all attitude combined with a failure to treat me with respect. For example- I was given an assignment by a partner and asked to delegate a simple letter to her. After I was done telling her about the simple task, she told me to “email her about it because I am concentrating on this important thing that I am almost done.” I know the task was not important or time sensitive. This is just one example of her abrasive and dismissive behavior.
    I also think she may have indirectly called me the B word yesterday. We were talking about my background in civil defense while she has experience in criminal defense and she said something along the lines of “for civil defense you just have to act like a B to get what you want whereas in criminal….”
    She is smart and fast to catch up on tasks but I would rather give anyone who is new on a case a background and discuss the tasks than just tell them what to do. I don’t think I am being condescending at all and haven’t had issues with anyone else I have worked with before. I don’t know if she feels threatened because I am asked by the partners to review her work even though she’s a “lawyer” and I am technically not. I really don’t want to butt heads with her, but it seems inevitable at this point. I am a strong proponent of lifting up other women instead of bringing them down or competing against them, but it seems she does not share the viewpoint.
    I am waiting until I have passed the bar to move on from this job but since I am here for the next few months (at least) I would appreciate all the help I can in getting through this.

    • Rant/Seeking Advice :

      Whoops didn’t mean to post as one giant block of words

    • A few thoughts:

      1) I think you’re overreacting about the B word thing – doesn’t sound to me like she was calling you one, just making an observation about differences between the fields. Even if it was intended as a dig at you, it’s best ignored.

      2) On the letter thing, I agree it’s inappropriate for her to say “just email me” and refuse to discuss it. But it’s also a bit presumptuous of you to assume she wasn’t busy (do you really know that for a fact?) I would have handled this by saying “I’d rather discuss in person, come see me when you have a minute.”

      3) I think overall this is probably just behavior you have to s*ck up. At a minimum, before you push back I think you have to be sure your firm really views you as senior to her. I don’t quite understand your respective job roles (are you barred but just not in this state? If so you’re definitely a lawyer) but if it’s true that she is actually a lawyer and you’re not, I suspect your firm may not view her as entirely junior to you. Even if she is junior to you, the reality of law firms is that non-partners don’t necessarily command a lot of respect from subordinates. I worked in Big Law and although I and most other junior associates always treated senior associates very deferentially, a lot of secretaries got away with behaving pretty badly to their associate supervisors. As long as they treated partners with respect, no one would discipline them. This may be a similar situation and if the partners like her and they’re aware you two don’t get along it may hurt you as much or more than it hurts her. So tread carefully and do your best to cooperate with her as much as possible.

      • I am taking the advice on here seriously because it feels like this is an issue I am creating. If this is an issue of me seeing myself as “superior” to her it is something I want to correct.

        I am barred in another state and was informed by the partner to review her work and maybe her animosity (or my perception of it) is a result of that. I have been at the firm for a little while and am working on a lot of our projects including some of our bigger cases. I was told by the partners to ask her to either draft the letter and review her work or draft it myself and have her sign it (as a barred attorney). Our discussion of the letter was brief and in terms of “ask when they will respond” so it wasn’t long and essentially my emailing her the instructions and her reading/then drafting would have taken longer than me just drafting the letter myself.

        There have been other instances of her basically being aggressive or giving me the “I know everything stop talking” vibe. I agree that she is smart and a quick learner but comes from a different area of law so my meetings with her have been about basic background of the cases that I am working on and what we need done based on my discussions with the partner. As one of the partners recently left, the cases are unofficially my caseload.

        FWIW- We have another new attorney who I do not have this issue with and have been collaborating with on tasks.

        • OP here btw

        • Anonymous :

          Could be communication styles? She wants you to get the point, and you want to give the background before getting to the ask. Both have value and are valid ways of doing things, but you need to recognize that one is not inherently better than the other.

          If that’s the case, find a way to split the different. You give her the ask up front, but then indicate that there is pertinent background to discuss and ask what works best to do that – email/face to face/etc.

        • I’m sympathetic because one of my worst intern had the I know everything, stop talking vibe. In my opinion, it was probably insecurity that (a) didn’t come across well and (b) kept her from getting relevant instructions that would have helped her learn and actually do the task correctly (I had to do everything over once she was done because her project was useless given that she didn’t listen to the instructions). That said, in your case I think you just have to ignore it and work with her as best you can.

    • Hm. Could your insecurities about not being licensed in this state be talking? “Would you mind emailing me? I’m distracted while I try to finish this task” is typically an ok question (I mean, she could have been nicer about it, but). She didn’t indirectly call you B. She was espousing her opinion that you have to Get Ish Done to get ish done in civil defense.

      It’s so hard when you’re starting out and you’re junior like this. The army has a saying: “rank among junior officers is like virtue among wh***s.” Not polite, but there ya go. It’s similar here. View her as your peer instead of someone who’s junior to you because when you’re only 2 years in, you are both kind of equal.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yup. I don’t see anything out of line in her behavior as you’ve described it. Don’t butt heads. Suck it up.

      • I’m going to write that army rank saying somewhere and stare at it every time I feel she is engaging in a d**k measuring contest of some sort

      • wow, that is a super horrible saying… not only does it minimize someone’s feelings, it is super misogynistic. why in the world would anyone assume a person (typically a woman) in the s3x trade lacks virtues? It sounds super judgy, weirdly bible thumping, and generally a horrible saying overall.

        • By virtue I’m pretty sure they are referring to v i r g i n i t y (avoiding mod), like a woman’s virtue in the 1800s sense. So in that way, it basically translates to “it means nothing”. I wouldn’t put too much stock in the saying, it sounds old.

    • Do not worry. It is never easy to deal with existing peeople in the law firm. I was new and all of a sudden Madeline felt threatened by me b/c I was young and pretty, and she was neither young NOR pretty. So it took me a while to prove to her I was NOT interested in showing her up, or for that matter, interested in sleeping with the manageing partner or Frank (FOOEY!). Once she saw I was a woman profesional, and would NOT threaten her, she became more freindley to me. Of course, the manageing partner did favor me b/c I became a top biller for the firm, and now represent almost 18% of the firm’s billeings by myself. The manageing partner calls me the billeing machine! YAY!!!

  6. JuniorMinion :

    I squatted 200 lbs for the first time today. It’s been a good morning so far!! I’ve been seriously lifting with barbells for about ~4 months. Any more experienced lady lifters out there have any guidance on moving to more intermediate lifting?

    • Baconpancakes :

      I haven’t broken 100 yet – I’m in awe! That is super inspiring!

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      Way to go! I barely broke 100 before I took a couple weeks off at Christmas and had to deload. D: So you inspire me!

    • Try the 5X5 method – just search for stronglifts and it should come up

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        I’m using SL 5×5 myself but I’ve only heard it recommended as a beginner program (except by its creator), since other programs are (apparently) better for dealing with post-noob-gains plateaus. How long did you use it for, and was breaking through plateaus a problem for you?

        • I didn’t try it for too long *she says sheepishly* BUT DH has been using it for a while (like 6+ months) and he has been lifting for years before he started that. I know for him the weight jump was too drastic so he exercised at the weight he was comfortable with for a week or two before moving up. I use it as well but don’t want giant quads (personal preference) so just stay at the weight I like.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Wow! No advice but a big YAY!!!

    • pugsnbourbon :

      YESSSSS! You go!

    • Betterandbetter :

      Go you!

    • Shenandoah :

      That’s awesome!! If you’ve only been lifting 4 months and already have a 200lb back squat, tell me your secrets! I’ve been doing Crossfit/lifting off and on for a few years and am still working to get there. My squat 1RM is always at least 100lbs less than deadlift.

      Stronglifts and Starting Strength are the foundational beginner’s programs. They are designed to maximize beginner strength gains so progress is very fast. Once you reach a point where you’re not able to maintain that level of progress, it’s time to move on to a less aggressive program like Wendler’s 5/3/1. If you’re lifting on your own and at all interested in ever competing, you should at least look into some online coaching to help you set up a program and keep those gains coming. They can help with nutrition too if that’s of interest.

      • JuniorMinion :

        Genetics most likely. I’m 5’5″, weigh 160 lbs at a size 6/8 and my thighs could power a car. I was always built this way and was relatively muscular even as a little kid. As an adult I’ve gradually accepted this and finally started to try to embrace who I am naturally and stop beating myself up about the fact that I’ll never be long and lean.

        I’ve been doing Starting Strength and feel like I am stalling out a bit on the upper body lifts especially but a lot of the guidelines of when to move on to Texas Method / an intermediate program are clearly based on men (ie bench press bodyweight, deadlift 2x bodyweight, ridiculous # of chinups) so I’m trying to figure out when to move up. I’m thinking about doing Texas Method next and then 5/3/1 as 5/3/1 requires more math from my memory of reading his book….

        • Lana Del Raygun :

          Whoa, I missed that you’ve only been doing this for four months, and now I’m even more impressed.

          • JuniorMinion :

            To be fair I did some dumbbells / HIIT style stuff at home prior to this so I wasn’t starting from sedentary, but I really have been surprised how effective Starting Strength has been. All programs have blind spots / flaws but I’m a case study of one that it’s a good beginner program.

        • Candidate :

          I started with StrongLifts for two years before plateaued, so congrats on your awesome progress. Then I switched to Texas Method and have been in that for about 18 months now. I use an app called Strongur, it’s annoying to set up but overall a good tracker. I’m still making progress on this method, but have had to drop weight and increase back up a few times to correct form problems.

    • Anonymous :

      When I tapped out of linear, I did Wendler 5-3-1 for a while and liked it. You can google it, there are free spreadsheets and apps. It really helps if you do the recommended accessory work, but definitely not necessary. You could also try another linear progression – look up the one John Welborne uses for power athlete/CrossFit Football. I have a couple lady friends who broke 300 for their 3×5 on that cycle!

      Your low bar back squat should be roughly the same as your deadlift – don’t ignore the other lifts, get strong as eff and harder to kill all around ;)

      Great job though!! Be prepared for gains to come slower the better you get. I’d also hit 200# by the end of my first summer lifting and it took me the next 2.5-3 years to get to 270# (then I injured my knee skiing and have basically been sidelined/back to 50% since then) – 5# is 5# at the heavier weight!

      • JuniorMinion :

        Thanks! I’ve read his book – it looks like a good program.

        I’m closing the gap – my deadlift starting weight was higher than squat but they are getting closer the farther along I get.

        Sorry to hear about your knee injury.

  7. Low back pain :

    I posted a while back about lower back pain as a result of a rock climbing fall (bouldering). I have had two x-rays that showed nothing wrong, have tried a chiropractor for 4 sessions, and have just begun physical therapy. I’m not really seeing improvements from the physical therapy sessions (2 so far with at-home exercises for about a week), although I am hopeful. Is there anything else I should be trying or pushing for, like an MRI or something? Open to any and all suggestions.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Have you considered acupuncture or sports massage? I have been dealing with nagging knee pain for a while and after having 2 sports massages, think I might finally be starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And, I swear that acupuncture (and some strange herb blend they had me drink) cut short a cold. It’s not a cure-all though. Acupuncture did help with my knee pain in the moment, but I think because my pain had become chronic that I needed greater relief than it could provide.

      • Anon in NYC :

        Also, when I say “sports massage” I mean one that is more therapeutic than your typical swedish / rub oil on your skin one. I would research a bit to find a good one in your area – I wouldn’t necessarily go to a typical massage place.

        • Low back pain :

          That’s a good idea. I got one massage that I thought was going to be more deep tissue/sports related, but it ended up being exactly like a Swedish massage and it didn’t do much.

    • Try seeing a massage therapist who specializes in myofascial release. It’s basically a really intense sports massage and it will get blood flow into the area and work out anything weird going on in the soft tissue.

    • Anonymous :

      I find sports orthopedists more helpful than chiropractors.

    • Swimming! It both stretches and strengthens the back and is low-impact. For people recovering from injuries, it’s usually the first form of exercise recommended by a doctor.

    • Try looking up Stuart Mcgill. He has a lot of videos online and I purchased his book Back Mechanic and found it very helpful. He’s a biomechanics expert.

    • Anonymous :

      Do you have a diagnosis? What exactly is the physical therapist treating?

      What kind of doctor is guiding you?

      And no, two physical therapy sessions is not enough. Chronic/severe back pain – depending on the cause and diagnosis – can sometimes take weeks or months to improve with therapy.

      You should ask the therapist what they think the cause is / what they are treating, and how long you should expect it to take to improve. If it doesn’t improve by then, you need to check with your doctor again for the appropriate next step.

      Back pain is serious stuff… especially when you have a history of a serious injury/fall.

      • I’m a PT. Unfortunately, most of the time with back pain, there is no actual diagnosis. In the absence of fractures, cancer, or other serious conditions- all of which are very rare, especially considering the prevalence of back pain – it is nearly impossible to say exactly what is causing the pain (eg. lots of pain free people have bulging discs so if your MRI shows bulging discs, you still can’t know if that’s what’s causing your symptoms). It is usually complicated and multi-factorial. If someone gives you a straight and simple answer, they are probably BS-ing you. However, the PT should at least have some rationale and not just be doing cookie-cutter exercises with you. Manual therapy can be very helpful so hopefully they are doing that too.
        Try a few more weeks of PT. The body can take a long time to heal. If you’re still not better, see a physiatrist or sports ortho M.D.

    • I had a lingering back pain and was told by several doctors that it is nothing to worry about. Then I went to a private clinic and got ultrasound (weird choice), x-ray and MRI done. X-ray showed mostly changes on the spine, but it was the MRI that showed bulging discs and how they may/may not be pressing on nerves.
      If you still feel pain even after several rounds of physio, I would ask for an MRI. Chronic pain is awful, can lead to depression etc.
      Ask your doctor to investigate further.

      • It’s funny how the “private” clinics order so many (expensive) tests. And then they told you that you have bulging discs that may/may not be pressing on nerves. So….

        They charged you a bunch of money, and told you they may or may not know why you have pain.

        Did that really help?

        MRIs are kind of useless for back pain for the vast majority of people. If you do random MRI scans on a bunch of people with no back pain, many of them will have bulging discs too. Did you know that? Doctors don’t like to tell you that…

    • My longer reply was eaten, but I would ask for an MRI. I had long, gradually increasing lower back pain and only MRI showed that one of my bulging discs interfered with nerves. Then I was able to get a physio exercised helping with this.
      I do yoga and swimming to keep my back “in shape” and also go enjoy trigger point massage 1x month.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      With the caveat that I am not a doctor and therefore have limited-understanding and you should ask your doctor–I think MRIs and CTs are better at showing disc issues/soft tissue problems compared to x-rays, which aren’t terribly sensitive and are basically “do you have a fracture or not,” so maybe have a longer conversation with your doc as to whether or not you should get one since it has not resolved. See a sports medicine doc or orthopedist.

    • Low back pain :

      Thanks, everyone. This is helpful. I’ll push for an MRI if PT doesn’t lead to measurable improvements.

  8. This opinion piece on what to say to a friend who is battling long-term terminal illness was very helpful. Stick with it…the ending is great.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/26/opinion/sunday/cancer-what-to-say.html

  9. How does everyone balance/prioritize personal and work life? I mean, for those of you who are single and want to get married, how do you make time to a relationship and give it the amount of attention that is required in order for it to lead to marriage? I’m feeling very resentful of my ex who essentially always chose his job over me, among many other things that were more important than me and our relationship. I understand that it is important to be financially stable, but he had no debt, a luxury car, nice apartment, and went on amazing vacations (without me). I know we just weren’t a good match, but why is a career more important than a relationship and marriage? What is the point of tons of money and no one to go home to?

    Please forgive my rant and any typos. Rushing at work!

    • Senior Attorney :

      If he went on amazing vacations without you, I feel like it wasn’t so much that his career was more important to him than that he just wasn’t that into you. When I was dating after my divorce a few years ago I made a solemn vow that I wasn’t going to date anybody who wasn’t crazy about me. It cut way down on the dating pool but it also meant that I didn’t have to mess around with the guys who always put their careers first. And it only takes one guy if he’s crazy about you.

      Which doesn’t really answer your question, I realize. I’m at the stage in my career where I can devote all the time I reasonably need to my personal life. Back in the day it was harder but I always made relationships a priority.

      • Yes, he was a jerk and I know he was “just not that into me”. I just don’t understand people who put all their effort into their professional life rather than their personal life. I don’t think any woman will change that for my ex.

        • You know what we’re going to say, right? Therapy :) This isn’t really a life balance question; it’s ultimately about the hurt you feel about being chosen second. With time and therapy, you can move past all this. Hugs and good luck.

          • Yes, you are right. I am certainly angry about the way I was treated and that I allowed myself to be in that situation. Therapy would probably be a good idea.

      • SA, I spent a few months dating a guy this past fall, and was having fun but wasn’t getting super strong “he’s crazy about me” vibes — and I kept coming back to this same advice that I had read from you earlier. It took a few weeks to tell myself I had to break it off, but I walked away from a “meh, it’s okay” situation thanks to you! I’m now more determined to not waste my time with guys who aren’t showing me they’re crazy interested :)

    • Anonymous :

      Because people are different and don’t all want the same thing? And not all people consider work/life balance to be defined as having someone to come home to. Let me flip it around – why is a relationship/marriage more important than a job or career? Maybe it is – to you. But that doesn’t mean its intrinsically more valuable.

      Some people just don’t care as much about having someone to come home to, compared to the things they are doing at work.

      Some people looked for that person to come home to and when they didn’t show up after 5-10-15 years, decided to focus on other things. They then deprioritized the things that put them in the way of people they could establish a relationship with.

      Some people decided dating was exhausting and online dating wasn’t the best fit for their personality, so took it off the table so as not to stress themselves out with something that’s not working. And instead decided to focus on doing the things that make them happy (crafting, see friends, etc.).

  10. Senior Attorney :

    Do any of you have any experience as an AirBNB host? Long story but I got married and moved to Lovely Husband’s house just about one minute after I finished remodeling and decorating my own beautiful house. I was lucky enough to rent it fully furnished for the past year-plus, but my tenants are moving out and I am not getting any nibbles from tenants who want a furnished place. I can’t bear the thought of taking everything out (which would literally mean having an estate sale while I’m alive and breathing), so I thought about dipping my toes into AirBNB while waiting for a long-term tenant.

    I’ve heard both “run away!” and “my neighbor is making a killing!” Thoughts from the Hive?

    • I Airbnb’d my studio apartment in Chicago and everything went by perfectly okay. Obviously, I would remove any furniture/pieces you don’t want to risk losing/breaking but otherwise give it a try. My sister rents out her basement and makes a good amount. If you are iffy about the people that would be living there, you can have it set to “request a booking” instead of an instant book which allows you to reject people with bad reviews/no reviews or maybe someone that you are just not comfortable having in your home. You can also have a discount option for longer rentals which allows you to have to check in/clean up etc less often

      Just a tip- because you have no reviews, you might want to rent it for cheaper than other similar rentals in your area until you’ve got a few reviews for people to fall back on. Also, how is that income going to be taxed.

    • Anonymous :

      Friends of ours tried it in a similar situation and decided it wasn’t worth the hassle. They made more money with AirBnB compared to long term rental but found that the extra hassles were not worth it. Issues like people getting the directions/locations mixed up, asking for refunds if they arrived late because of flight delays, not understanding how to operate appliances, and other issues that don’t come up with long term tenants. They did have luck finding tenants through the local university as visiting professors/academics/post docs etc were often interested in fully furnished rentals.

      • Anonymous :

        Also factor in cleaning costs after each guest.

      • Do you have a university nearby? Grad students/professors are a great way to go. I rented out my place for football weekends while I was going to grad school at an SEC school. Nothing was ever taken and I made better money doing it than having a roommate, but it was a hassle to keep it spotless and change the linens, etc, etc.

        • Anonymous :

          Question – have kind of considered buying a small house in a Big 10 college town for this purpose. There are only so many hotels in those towns which charge top dollar on those weekends and sell out so a house would be rentable and bc real estate is far cheaper in some of these places than in NYC/DC where I live, the football season rentals could cover the mortgage.

          I’d get a property mgmt co since I wouldn’t be in the area and can’t handle leaky faucets anyway. But for cleaning – could you get a weekly cleaning service? Say one that comes on Monday cleans AND washes sheets/makes beds for the next guests arriving Friday? How did you handle this?

          • You could, yes, and many people do that. In SEC towns, I know there are rental services that specialize just in football (and to a lesser extent, basketball) rentals and have trusted cleaning crews.

            I was living there full-time, so I just went to stay with relatives on the 6 or so home football weekends and did the cleaning myself.

          • And I didn’t use a PM service. I just posted myself on Craigslist (this was 2010 – not sure if CL is still the way to go or not).

          • Could you really cover the mortgage though? I live in one of those towns and I don’t think the math adds up at all. There are 6 home football games per year. Even in small college towns, you’re looking at probably $200k for a single family home close to campus. Assuming 20% down that’s a $1000 monthly mortgage payment, or $12k/year (before property taxes and maintenance on the house, which are not insignificant – often these areas have high taxes relative to the overall cost of living because they prioritize education). Even ignoring all the cleaning costs, you’d have to rent the house for $2,000 for each football weekend. That seems incredibly unrealistic.

            Frankly, it seems like it would be a struggle just to cover property taxes. My property taxes are $3k/year on a similarly valued home, and covering them with football weekends would require renting out the house for $500 each time – that’s still a LOT compared to what hotels here charge, even on game weekends.

          • FWIW, my 3 bed/2 bath/1700 sq ft house (that I paid ~$130k for…SEC and all) rented for $1300 on big game weekends (only $600 for crappy games). In 2012. And it wasn’t within walking distance of campus – those houses went for $2000/$2500.

          • Hotels in my small ACC town go for $350/night minimum two night stay on game day weekends so if you have a house that can hold 3 couples, that’s $2000. There are 7 home games (at least in the ACC) and we have people come into town for the Spring Game, basketball games, and baseball games (especially regionals and super regionals).

        • +1 on university people. Professors on sabbatical, grad students. Those are your target market.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Yeah but how do I find them?

          • I think I remember where you are located. If so, get in touch with the Huntington Library. They have lots of people coming in on short term fellowships. Also try Sabbatical Homes. They don’t have a huge amount of inventory, but I do always check there when I’m travelling for research or fellowships.

          • Call the secretary of the dean of the college at Occidental and explain to them that you would like to rent to faculty and can you send her/him a flyer to give to new faculty. I don’t know the structure at CalTech, but you want the equivalent person there. Right now is hiring season–they won’t arrive until late summer, but they will be thinking about housing now/soon.

          • Call the department/school admin. (I.e., the College of Humanities admin; the law school admin.) Ours maintained a list of rentals for incoming students/faculty and emailed it out when people asked.

          • Anonymous :

            Every major university has a housing office. Check online for the phone numbers, and just call and say you have a furnished home that you would like to post for rental. Ask specifically for the liasons for graduate students/post-docs/Professors. Sometimes it is within the housing office, sometimes it is separate. I also agree with calling up the Law School and Business schools directly and asking if they have separate housing offices.

            I rented my place by walking into the graduate student housing office at MIT back in the day, and had it rented in no time.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Thank you all so much! I haven’t had much luck with Sabbatical Homes but I will definitely get in touch with the Huntington and the colleges!

    • No direct experience, but I’d think hard about your homes location and who it’s likely to attract. My neighbors have occasionally rented their mother-in-law apartment and had a good experience, but they live in a quiet suburban street and have rented it mainly to folks visiting family in the area. In the hipper parts of my city, however, AirBNB tenants are considered a major nuisance as they are often crowds of young people who are spending a weekend drinking in the city.

    • givemyregards :

      I did, but only for the occasionally week/weekend when I was traveling. However, I have friends that have done it full time with other property and their advice was to hire someone to do all the bookings, turnover, client interactions, etc. Obviously that eats into your profits, but otherwise it becomes a huge time suck.

      I actually loved it, and didn’t really have any bad experiences (I priced mine fairly high for the area, which I think helped, although the two college aged guys that rented it for a weekend were honestly the sweetest and most respectful tenant I had so who knows!) – it just stopped being worth it for me because of the effort required for short stays, which is all I could accommodate. I did get fairly frequent requests to rent the property for months at a time for people who were doing contract jobs, etc. so you may be able to find someone like that rather than having daily/weekly turnover.

    • Anonymous :

      Check licenses, state lodging taxes, and insurance (you need a policy just for this; your homeowners and prior rental dwelling insurance won’t cover short term rental). Also any HOA / parking restrictions or issues.

      ALSO seriously consider dropping this into an LLC if you have any other assets a person could go after.

      Trim your trees. Get a home inspection. And HVAC. Get a punchcode lock for front door access. You don’t want calls in the middle of the night.

    • I do have experience with this. Last year, my roommate moved out a month early in our 2-BR, just before I was moving to a 1-BR. My roommate was a good friend from college who was only in town for a year, and she didn’t have a high-paying job (visiting Harvard professor!). Therefore, I was present for all the renting, and dealt with all of it, because she wasn’t there.

      First, figure out taxes. AirBNB taxes this as income as soon as you hit a certain threshold, so it’s not what you think it’s going to be–it’s going to be that minus taxes. They withhold it from the payments off the bat.

      Second, figure out if you have a good cleaning person or college student or whomever that is willing to turn the rental for you, for relatively low cost. It was actually a huge pain to have uncommunicative AirBNB’ers who would not tell me what time they are leaving or coming until a day or two before. I’m an attorney–I work…all day…every day. So I had to buy extra sets of sheets and towels, run home at lunch to strip beds, empty trash, dust, clean floors and bathroom, etc. Even when I was working my fastest, changing over a one bedroom/cleaning the bathroom took half an hour. Think about how clean you expect a hotel to be. That’s how clean people expect an AirBNB to be. If you have a whole house, this is not an easy process to just “slot in” at quick notice. It’s a pain. Protip: If you want to minimize doing turnovers like this, then you should think about monthly or weekly rentals, or make a minimum 2 night stay.

      Third, realize that you will be dealing with a lot of back-and-forth coordinating. People inquire about the room, ask about amenities (despite best efforts to be very descriptive in the ad), and…many of them are not native English speakers. Many of them are not planners, so even if you ask nicely when their flight is arriving, they will give you answers like, “Sometime Tuesday afternoon or evening” which is not terribly helpful if they want to meet you or the departing group is moving out. They will ask if they can come half a day early and drop off luggage, etc. You need to coordinate how they return the keys after as well. Protips: Get a lockbox! Make a firm check-in and check-out time.

      Fourth: If you don’t live in this house, you will still need to invest in minimal kitchen equipment so the renters can make a meal, and AirBNB asks you to provide breakfast stuff. So that’s another thing to deal with.

      Fifth: You get rated on how helpful you are. So this is not a “set it and forget it” kind of commitment. I got messages asking me about restaurants, parking, how to get to the rental from the airport/train station, etc.

      Sixth: Liability and your possessions–if you like your furniture, just know that your house is now going to be treated like a rental car. Don’t have super-nice linens. You will get a spot on your couch. I even had one person who left and just left gross food wrappers and trash everywhere–it was so disrespectful. _I_ don’t throw trash all over the floor in my own home–why would you do that!?!

      My friend gave me some good tips on “picking” renters–she preferred couples to groups of young boys, adults to young adults, grad students (or not students) to college students and primo was older single female travelers. I guess this is discrimination, but…she had a lot of experience and this was her advice. I took all comers, but in hindsight, I think my roomie was onto something. (Side note: I would never discriminate on the basis of race or nationality AT ALL, but sometimes you have to ask yourself, “Are these people just looking for a party place?”).

      Hope this advice helps!

    • Rainbow Hair :

      SA, my impression is that *you* would like it.

      I remember old threads where you had such pride and delight in your house, in fixing it up the way you liked it, making it perfect … I think you’d probably think it was fun to share it that way…. provided the $/time all worked out.

      • Senior Attorney :

        This is such a kind and insightful post!

        Yes, that’s kind of the point! Thank you! Hopefully I can make the $/time work out!

        • Anonymous :

          With all kindness, I would like to point out the opposite side of this. You clearly do love your home. How will you feel if your AirBNB tenants don’t love it as much as you do? What if they don’t treat it with respect? I think you are better off holding out for the right long-term tenant, one who will love and appreciate it as much as you do (visiting college professor, grad student, young person just starting out, etc.).

          • Anonymous :

            +1 to this. If you really care about your home and want someone to treat it with love, hold out for a nice long-term tenant. AirBNB guests will not care for it the same way a responsible long-term tenant will.

          • You can be choosy as an airbnb host, though. I love staying in places that are interestingly decorated, including with tons of little tchotchkes that you’d never ever see in a hotel room (because they’d get lifted/broken). I also have a 5 star rating (knock on wood) so people know they can trust me with their home.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Yeah, I’ve thought about that. I do plan to be choosy about guests and I think I am realistic about how nobody will treat the place like I would.

    • I know you’re an attorney but just be aware of tenants’ rights. here in the bay area some tenants have tried to turn airbnbs into permanent situations AND without paying rent. And it’s not cut and dried getting them out. The homeowners have had to pay them some pretty big bucks to get them out.

      Don’t let any one guest stay too long.

    • We have a vacation rental that we rent via Airbnb and a bunch of other sites. We use a property manager to run the whole thing and I highly recommend that approach. They handle the calendar, book the guests, greet them w keys, have cleaners come, handle anything that comes up. They take a 20% cut for this and it’s worth every cent.

      • Just read the other comments and had a few other thoughts – you will definitely want to be mindful of the rules in your area for Airbnb (our vacation town requires a property manager, which while awesome also isn’t optional) and the neighborhood sentiment against Airbnbs – even in our vacation town, which is about 80% vacation homes, the locals still hate it and you have to work hard to be nice. We spend a lot of energy on the neighbors when we use the place ourselves (making nice, dropping off little gifts, etc). It’s also good to get a sense of the market before jumping in and property managers can give you an idea of what to expect. It’s not usually a killing or nothing – ours should pay the mortgage, which is slightly more than we’d make if it was a full time rental, and we want to use it ourselves too. I second everyone that it’s a major time suck to run it yourself, almost a second FT job. For that reason alone, I’d outsource. If property managers aren’t common (in our town, they’re obvious and on Main Street) ask a real estate agent – a lot of them also manage properties as a service.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes I was thinking about a property manager. How did you find yours? Do you use the same property manager you’d use for a “regular” rental unit?

    • Anonymous :

      SA – Do I remember correctly that you are in LA? My younger brother just broke up with his long-term girlfriend and is in the market for a rental that will allow him to share custody of his two Huskies with his ex. Most of the furniture was hers, so furnished is perfect for him.

  11. Facilitation Ideas :

    I need to facilitate a group discussion of a book on leadership. This is a group of approximately 20 professionals, all of whom will have read the book. Any thoughts on what makes for a successful facilitation of this sort? Any specific ideas for engaging the participants?

    • Anonymous :

      It depends if they are talky or not.

      This sounds like the sort of thing I’d hate and do a Marshawn Lynch on.

      But I think I know what can get people talking: ask for examples of BAD leadership (and maybe: its consequences (I may be looking at you, USA Gymnastics, but you’ve got a lot of company)). I’m sure people have them and that should get people talking.

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      Are people required to read the book? Whether the answer is yes or no (but especially if the answer is yes), you need to incorporate some element of choice into the book study. This could look like starting as a whole group and then saying “we’re going to break up into 3 groups to discuss these three questions/topics. Choose the question you find most compelling/most relevant to your work.” And each of those mini-groups should be led by a pre-selected colleague who is prepared to be the lead. Consider options where people can chat in pairs or larger groups (or potentially even independently reflect in writing to a prompt).

      I would also be prepared for people who didn’t read the book or read it a while ago or skimmed the book. Have a one-pager for everyone that summarizes the key points of each chapter. It will help jog people’s memory and give the group leaders something to start with when no one wants to say anything.

    • Agree with the one-pager and breaking up into smaller groups. You want 5-7 people at most so people feel comfortable enough to speak up, but also a little pressured into speaking up. (With 20, everyone is going to assume others will carry the conversation and won’t feel like they need to add their two cents.)

      Look online for book discussion guides. Many of the business books have been discussed ad nauseum, so google around to find a good one or to steal parts to make your own.

      Also google and see if you can find some controversial reviews, and have a one-pager of 2-3 reviews you found online, esp if you can find conflicting ones or passionate ones. You can ask people to read those and give their reactions. Goodreads is really helpful for this.

  12. In the thread for the article about the female price for male pleasure, one person talked about how often starting s$x gets her in the mood. I can imagine that also being true for me, but often when I’m just not really feeling it, I can’t seem to get over that first step of beginning or opening myself up to the possibility, even though I’m pretty sure I’d be likely to have a good time if I allowed things to get going. So how do you just start s$x when you’re not in the mood?

    • Anonymous :

      alkyhol

      It’s more mindset / reset than intoxication (like my mind says “relax; don’t focus on how life is an endless series of tasks”) that you’d get from half a glass of wine.

      • Anonymous :

        It’s also how I feel about going to the gym.

        It’s a time nuisance. I have so many other things that I HAVE to get done. But once I go, I am always happy I went. And I enjoy it. And it is good for me.

    • Anonymous :

      Book recommendation: Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski

      And +1 to above – figure out what does put you in a receptive mood? Changes to the environment? having the opportunity to relax, anticipation of the events, reading or video materials, etc. Giving yourself permission to enjoy the time, even if you could be doing 8 other things that need to be done.

    • For times where I’m not in the mood but I know I *could* be, it really helps if I don’t have a million other things on my mind, so I try to decompress and relax first. I also try to go to bed early so we actually have time to connect instead of trying to force a connection when it’s way late and we’re both tired. Also, I talked to my husband about not putting inadvertent pressure on me by really hitting on me when I’m clearly not in the mood. That’s a major turn off since I feel like my wishes are being disrespected. Now we are able to better communicate and we can both say “not tonight” without it feeling like an existential relationship crisis. When I know that option is available whenever I want it, I find that I’m more likely to get into it on “meh” nights and we end up having fun.

    • I ask myself “Do I really have a good excuse?” Sometimes I do, like I have a headache or cramps or I have a really big thing at work the next day that I know I won’t be able to get off my mind and will prevent me from enjoying the experience. In that case I decline. But 9 times out of 10 the answer to the question is no, I’m just vaguely tired or stressed out thinking about my to-do list and in that case I make myself go for it.

    • Ask DH for lots of neck kisses

    • Lingerie. I’ve been building up a collection of pieces that I absolutely adore and want to wear any time I can. They’re mostly impractical for wearing under clothes, so I have to specifically go change into them. This makes me feel ready and excited for s3x the same way that putting on a killer work outfit makes me feel ready for a big meeting. It also helps that SO has the best “omg I can’t believe I’m with someone this hot” expression that always makes me feel extra s3xy when I wear them.

      • This is a good point and something I need to get better about. One of my goals for this year is to update my loungewear so if s*xytime approaches, I don’t have to feel like a slob in old, oversized t-shirts and sweats.

        • I started with my basic comfy clothes before I got into fancier things. A cute shorts and cami set is just as comfy as my old nike running shorts and worn out tank top, but makes me feel prettier. I’d start by looking at what you wear most and try to find nicer versions of it, then maybe take the leap to things that are totally in the l!nger!e category.

          • Anonymous :

            Also talk to your DH. My DH is a super active guy and actually prefers cute workout clothes over jammie type clothes. So I upgraded my costco level workout clothes to stuff I feel amazing in. I tend to change as soon as I get in the door so that’s what I wear around the house in the evening.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        This is a great idea.

      • anoooooon :

        Ohhh…. we’ve had success with this to thwart the post-stressful-or-tiring-schedule by texting about “putting on something fancy” or “lay out something NICE for me to wear” to each other. This is especially true for me, when I know I’ll be tired when I get home but want to enjoy each other, to send a text to lay out something nice for me so that I’m reminded of my plans when I get home. Works both ways… he gets anticipation knowing what’s coming, likes what I’ll be wearing later, and I commit future self to what present self wants. Win-win!

    • Longer comment in m0d (for obvs reasons), but l!nger!e always gets me in the mood. YMMV, but I love to wear it and I feel great when I change into something a little lacier than usual.

    • Anonymous :

      I have my partner give me a back massage.

      • Baconpancakes :

        That actually relaxes me too much, so I just want to go to sleep and get grumpy if I have to stay awake!

        If my SO is in the mood and I’m not but I want to be, he erm… irrigates my garden? Not sure what the euphemism should be. (Oral. The answer is oral.)

    • anoooooon :

      This might sound counterintuitive, but I tell my husband I’m not physically in the mood but want to be close to him/I’m emotionally in the mood, so as long as he’s ok with that, let’s get started (shocker: 99% of the time, he’s ok with that). It’s actually really awkward for him to try to get me in the mood when I’m clearly not in the mood (which is usually because I’m just tired from a busy day, not because I actually don’t want to do it), but I do generally like to feel close to him and I like for him to enjoy himself. Without the pressure of “having” to enjoy it to the fullest and the pressure of having to get really into it and just getting right to the main gardening, I find that I end up getting into it. If that makes sense? I think the gym analogy is the best. It’s not fun to be up and at ’em at 6:30am in the cold, dark morning, but once I start warming up at the gym, I get really excited to have a great workout. If I try to coax myself into going by slowly waking up, having coffee, blah blah blah then I just delay the good endorphins that make me want to work out. So you might try taking the pressure off to make you enjoy it SO MUCH and just get to it and within a few minutes, I’m actually enjoying things physically vs. just emotionally.

      We’ve been married for about 10 years, and my physical drive is much lower. Realizing that I emotionally enjoy things much more than needing to physically enjoy things has helped us stay on the same page. There are times when my husband really wants me to be into it/get physical pleasure, etc., but he understands that sometimes his physical pleasure is satisfactory enough for me and emotional pleasure is what I’m craving instead. If his goal is for me to enjoy myself, he realizes that he can’t dictate what I enjoy and adjusts his tactics accordingly.

      • In the mood :

        My SO refuses to start anything if I’m not already in the mood because he feels like he’s “coercing” me. Doesn’t matter how many times I tell him that I want to get in the mood, I just need a little help to get there…

  13. Where do I start? :

    Hi all. I currently work in government, and have an opportunity to work for an independent consulting firm. It would be me working for the principal, that’s it. I want to do this, but not blindly. We have a great working relationship, and I think this could be interesting, and I have a few ‘Plan B’s in my back pocket if it doesn’t work out.

    What questions should I be asking a lawyer or an accountant as I consider the implications of this arrangement? I can’t find much out via Google search (most of it is for individuals who create their own business, not necessarily for individuals who join up.)

    I don’t know where to start! Appreciate any feedback that can help me focus so I can start to evaluate all of this.

    • Anonymous :

      Are you proposing to quit your job and join this firm full time, or just moonlight? If the former, how do you know the principal has a steady stream of work coming in that will keep you both covered? I am extremely skeptical of “independent consulting firms” consisting solely of a principal, as most of these I know have either failed or ended up as retirement hobbies.

      • Where Do I Start? :

        Yes, I’d quit. I hear the concern you’re raising, but I’m not that worried. This won’t be an option if there’s not enough work, and if there is enough work there will definitely be enough for a 2 yr period at minimum. The reputation and work ethic of this person is sky high, and there is a need for these services in the industry, so I’m thinking optimistically and want to plan for this option.

        If it does fail – I’d have options to move into another job fairly quickly.

        I realize I have to think through those pieces as well, but I also want to think about/plan for the option of doing it (and successfully!) as well.

        Thanks for the reply and feedback :)

  14. Does anybody use Le Tote? I just stumbled upon them when reading about RTR Unlimited. Seems like a really good option for changing things up regularly at an affordable price. Any experience?

    • Yes, but it’s rather trendy, so it would depend on your office culture whether you could wear much of it to work. I cancelled after a month.

    • Anonymous :

      I used them a couple of years ago, mostly for weekend clothes. It started out great, but a few months in it seemed like I was getting items that were pretty heavily worn when I received them, and not getting a lot of my favorites from the closet. I might try them again but would need to get assurances their inventory had gone up.

    • No experience myself but one of my coworkers LOVED it for maternity wear. She got new clothes to wear every week, but wasn’t breaking the bank on buying a bunch of items she wasn’t sure she’d ever wear again. One of the other positives she mentioned was being able to review her order and swap out items before delivery.

      • LittleBigLaw :

        +1 for Le Tote maternity. I used both the regular service and the maternity option for a year or so and loved the variety. I never had any issues with quality and a few times received an extra item because something I picked was flagged as torn/broken/etc before it reached me. It’s not a substitute for a solid work wardrobe by any means but a fun way to play around with clothes.

  15. This pick reminds me of the more-expensive pocketopia capris from Skirt Sports. I really like mine. Full disclosure–I may soon become a skirt sports ambassador and have spend a lot of time this week considering their product line.

  16. Meeting FOMO :

    I think I need some tips on leaning in. I work mostly solo, but I’m also part of a 10 person team. In the office, my other team members frequently have what appear to be impromptu meetings of 2 or 3 people about work issues. I’m rarely involved in these, and feel like I’m butting in if I try to join the group. We have an open office plan, so I can tell if they’re talking about something pertinent to me, but it always seems weird when I jump in on a conversation about my area. I feel really out of the loop and while I’m not aware of any problems with my work, I think it’s weird that I can easily go a full day without having a conversation with anyone on my team. I like my job and I want to move up in this industry. How can I make that happen when I feel excluded even from my small office?

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      I tend to be the same way – content to work independently until I realize I’m suddenly out of the loop on something. As much as I personally hate it, I try to initiate small talk. I find that often turns into work-related conversations. And it seems very unlikely they are purposely excluding you, so I wouldn’t worry too much about joining a group mid-conversation. They know they’re in an open office and that everyone can hear them…so it’s not really like you’re eavesdropping.

  17. Linda from HR :

    I just discovered these Super Seed crackers, from Mary’s Gone Crackers, and they’re forking DELICIOUS! Seriously, all seeds, no sugar, they’re amazing. If you’re trying to eat healthier and looking for good snacks, look for these. I found them in the organic section of Wegmans. I thought the taste was odd at first, but it grew on me.

  18. wildkitten :

    I am getting over being sick and have no weekend plans and not a lot of money. What should I do with my randomly free time?

    • Lately I’ve been into going on “shopping sprees” at the library and then binge-reading. It feels luxurious and abundant to bring home a bunch of new things and then laze around with them. Also, my branch library is a fun place to be on the weekends. All generations are represented and it feels good that everyone is there for enrichment and not to spend.

      If you’re well enough to work out, I’d also do a workout video. If not, meditation?

    • Anonymous :

      Community theater! And/or museums! Or one beer at a really fancy place — beer (unlike wine or mixed drinks) is never really that expensive.

    • Anonymous :

      I feel like this is exactly the situation that merits a solo trip to the movies with terrible snacks.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Go to a museum or a movie. Maybe find a tea shop that has a tea service that’s not too expensive.

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      Something you couldn’t do while you were sick! A really active workout. Go to a museum or gallery (where maybe you would have felt uncomfortable when sick because you were loudly coughing/sneezing). Eat something adventurous because you don’t have to be worried about upsetting your stomach.

    • Anonymous :

      Staying in bed all weekend watching TV and not seeing/speaking to another human except the delivery guy is my ultimate kind of weekend.

    • Pen and Pencil :

      Craft project! I recommend a new spring wreath to make you feel like winter is almost over!

  19. Anonymous :

    I am looking for recommendations for workout gear for plus sizes. I’m a size 24 or 3X and am desperate to find recommendations for tops that I can wear that cover my body all the way down to my leggings, so that I don’t show swaths of skin every time I lean forward or lift my arms over my head. I would also take tank tops with built in sports bras that cover my belly. Any suggestions?

    • Anonymous :

      As someone similar in size, I have never found a tank top/built-in bra that has enough b**b support. I really like the tops that JCPenny sells from the brand Xersion. I’ve has some tank tops that have lasted me 8 or 9 years at this point and recently bought another round that seems to be just as well made. I prefer their tank tops because I don’t like sleeves, but I find both their tank tops and t-shirts to be cut long enough to maintain modesty and are usually made without mesh, cutouts, or all of the other ridiculous (IMO) details that end up showing everyone my fat. I do not like their fit of their shorts and pants, for that I like the plus-size ones Academy Sports from Nike. I tried on a Nike top, but it was both more expensive and not quite as flattering on me.

      Still figuring out a good sports bra, as I tend to like a high amount of support without getting a uni-boob.

    • JuniorMinion :

      As someone in a different size range but who is full figured I’ve never found the built in sports bras to provide enough support. I’ve had the best luck with Panache / Freya / Glamorize (lower cost yay!) sports bras with tops layered over. I really like some of the c9 stuff from target – I’ve found their tops to be pretty long and they have a pretty wide size range available. They’ve got some really good racer back tanks in softer fabrics as well as athletic / sweat wicking tops that are more of a traditional t shirt / v neck look (sometimes I find tanks in general give me way too much cleavage).

      Also honestly, as I’ve gotten older and stopped giving a f*ck I’ve been just wearing my favorite brewery / men’s t shirts over leggings.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I can’t do the tanks with built in bras thing, nor can I do any pull on bras, because I get super claustrophobic taking them on and off if they’re tight enough to do their job (maybe my shoulders/br**st/ribs ratio is unusual?) BUT I have learned to (1) layer sports bras for more …containment… and (2) wear high waisted leggings when I exercise to cover my stomach. I get all my stuff from Target or Old Navy because I’m fancy.

    • Anonymous :

      I actually love Old Navy’s performance tees & tanks. They’re long. They’re inexpensive. They come in fun colors. They wear well. I literally have a tank I bought six years ago. Lane Bryant is a surprisingly awesome source for sports bras. A woman I run with swears by their high impact molded underwire bra. I really like New Balance’s shockingly unshocking, but their size range is a bit more limited.

    • The Zella plus collection at Nordstrom isn’t huge but it’s top quality. Old Navy active has some stellar plus stuff, in my experience the tops all run long. I always wear high-waisted leggings, and aim for pairs with a drawstring if possible. I’m very hourglass, and if they fit my hips, the waist will need help staying up.

      • +1 to zella plus

        Also, I LOVELOVELOVE my Elomi Energise sports bra. I ordered a bunch of sizes with free shipping/free returns on Amazon to find the right fit, which, surprisingly was the same band size but 1 cup size smaller than my regular bra size (I wear a 38G in Elomi bras, 38FF in my sports bra)

    • Anonymous :

      JCPenney Xersion brand. Their stuff is really affordable, the sizing is accurate and everything I have has worn well and looks fashionable. I’m a 16/18 and most of my workout stuff is from Old Navy, but I recently got a few new things from Penney’s and love, love, love what I have. I got some mesh-inset leggings, strappy sports bras and a couple of cutout-back shirts. I can post links to what I got if you want me to.

      I would also suggest looking at Old Navy to see if they have anything in their plus Active line that would work for you, but IMO I think the prices on their plus-size activewear are insane. I can wear an XL or XXL in the regular Active line and buy those pieces on sale.

      • Enell sports bras are amazing as well. Wear an Enell (that fits properly, obviously) and there is no bouncing. Whatsoever.

  20. I got married very shortly after I started my (current) job and now I’ve been here for 6 years. It’s the job where I’ve really built my career and I plan on staying within this field long-term.

    My legal name is hyphenated. So I’m Sansa Stark-Lannister legally. My husband and kid are Lannisters and I’ve realized that more and more in the community, the more I actually want to go by my hyphenated name.

    But I never changed my name professionally when I got married. Everybody knows me as Sansa Stark, but I’m kind of considering changing it at work? I am also considering switching positions, so maybe that’s my opening to change my name. On the other hand, there’s a certain level of anoymity I have in my personal life which I really like…

    There’s also the convenience factor. Number of letters wise, it’s going from Sansa Stark to Sansa Stark-Lannister and explaining the hyphen and blah blah blah.

    What would you/have you done? Easiest thing is to just keep going by my maiden name, but as always… there is more than one right answer.

    • Elizabeth Taylor :

      I kept it simple.

    • I think you should choose what would make you happier in the long run (seems like hyphenated). Minor confusion is only temporary, and in the scale of your lifetime– not very long. I say embrace the change; people will usually call you whatever you tell them you prefer to be called.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        I agree–unless the anonymity is a big deal to you, you have nothing to lose in the long term by changing your name. People change their names all the time, so everyone should be able to adapt very easily.

    • Anonymous :

      I use Sansa Stark Lannister at work (name plate, email address and signature). I got married two months after I started here. No hypen but DH’s name is super hard to pronounce/spell and so a lot of people default to Sansa Stark even though I’ve been here ten years. I don’t mind. Most but not all other female lawyers use just maiden names. Email is set up by IT so Sansa Stark, Sansa Stark-Lannister, Sansa Lannister-Stark, Sansa Lannister all go to me. I use Sansa Lannister on a personal basis and my kids are all Kid Lannisters.

      Can’t comment on the anon vs not anon in personal life as DH’s uncommon last name makes us very very un-anon.

    • I would stick with Stark. It’s a lovely name (and so fitting for a situation where you want to be short and clear). I suspect switching at work will be more trouble than its worth.

      • Georgia R.R. Martina :

        DId you get that her name isn’t really Sansa Stark, or Lannister? Sansa Stark is a character on Game of Thrones who ends up married (briefly, so to speak) to a high-ranking member of House Lannister.

    • I never changed my name at work, which worked out really well for me when I got divorced. I’m now remarried (and going strong at 18 years) and still have my maiden name.

      I have a bit of a good reputation in my field – trying not to humblebrag but just saying I do a lot of speaking etc – and it would be a real problem to change my name.

  21. Friday afternoon laugh – got this email from NextDoor:

    “[Neighborhood] Gardening Alliance Spring Seed Swap”

    Swingers party anyone?

  22. GAL experiences? :

    Thinking about becoming a guardian ad litem, wondering experiences, tips, etc. and any commentary about liabilities.

    (Please share both for lawyers and non since we have tons of both in here)

    • Not sure what you mean by liabilities, but I did it as a non-lawyer. The experience was wonderful/hard/horrible/inspiring/eye-opening and everyone should be involved. GALs are really needed, and not so much in the way you think. Having an adult who is a relative constant but not a caregiver is an extremely important benchmark for a lot of clients who have endured a lot of upheaval. I know states and systems differ, but I found I was able to be creative with solutions and ideas in a way that some of the more formal people involved couldn’t be. That was wonderful. It is hard to see how completely inadequate some of the family court systems are. Before I went through the training and was a GAL, I thought of the foster case/family court system as something for little kids. There are SO many older kids in the system and it is so hard to see the lack of resources/plans available to help them. In my jurisdiction, at age 11 the long term goal is changed from adoption to aging out because the likelihood of adoption of a child over 11 is so low. I watched a kid get told that. That is horrible. I also came away with a much more appreciative view of the many, many people trying to help and an appreciation for different families. I found the majority to be parents who love their children but are dealing with obstacles like poverty, mental illness, addiction, their own abuse, etc.

      Sorry for the novel. Tl’dr Do it. Be prepared to be challenged and to be creative.

  23. I enjoy reading nonfiction books written by or about people whose lives are different from mine, but I don’t like reading anything that reads too much like a history book since I have very limited pleasure reading time. I loved reading Hillbilly Elegy, Under the Banner of Heaven, the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and everything by Atul Gawande. Any recommendations from the hive for my next book?

    • Some really enjoyable non-fiction I’ve read recently:

      The Undoing Project, by Michael Lewis
      Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her, by Melanie Rehak
      Paris Without End: The True Story of Hemingway’s First Wife, by Gioia Dilberto
      No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes, by Anad Gopal
      Personal History, Katharine Graham

      Given the books you describe above, I think you might really enjoy No Good Men Among the Living – it’s pretty bleak and makes you absolutely dispair about US policy in Afghanistan, but is a great book in terms of discussing the war and American policy through the stories of real people.

    • Anonymous :

      The Poet and the Murderer

      Because I also loved Under the Banner of Heaven.

    • Anonymous :

      Shake hands with the devil by Romeo Dallaire – UN peacekeeper

    • You will really like Mountains Beyond Mountains

    • Behind The Beautiful Forevers
      A House in The Sky
      North of Normal

    • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

    • Unbowed: A Memoir by Wangari Maathai
      Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
      Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table by Ruth Reichl
      Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala
      Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman by Alice Steinbach
      Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing by Ted Conover

    • The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down.

    • Sarah Vowell is a great author in this genre
      I just got “In the Time of Butterflies” by Julia Alvarez, non-fiction

    • Half the Sky
      Blood Done Sign My Name (LOVED this!)

    • Christineispink :

      I thoroughly enjoyed In Cold Blood, which got me interested in non-fiction generally.

  24. I’m an income partner at a MidLaw firm. Had a rare, slow month at work (about half my target hours) and I started freaking out and wondering whether I should find a new job. I usually don’t have a problem with my hours being low and if anything, I should have appreciated a slow month to recover from the flu and to enjoy weekends with my kids, but I was just an anxious mess instead. Do other people who have billing requirements get into a similar worry spiral whenever you have downtime and therefore cannot enjoy your downtime at all? How do you deal with it?

    • Anonymous :

      Yes, I worry about it – you’re not alone! Most of my colleagues suffer from the same. I try to remind myself (and DH reminds me, because he’s seen the cycles) that this work comes in waves, and that I should try to enjoy the slow times because soon there will be a 75-hour week. I’m not often very successful at enjoying it, but I find I do best if I stay busy. If I sit around in my office, or at home on the couch, I stew. I also remind myself that one slow period won’t a career (or even a job) end, and I make an effort to do networking lunches and coffees, etc. in the slow periods.

    • Yes, I find myself in the same boat. The first few months of my billable year have me significantly below my billing targets. I worry, but then remind myself that last year (and how many years before that) started out similarly, given that the our billable year begins with the holiday season ….

  25. Dubai tips :

    Hello, please share tips on restaurants and specific places to visit in Dubai. Flying tomorrow. Going without the kids. Thank you!

    • What do you like? You can get a lot of great South Asian food here—Ravi (not particularly high-end) in particular is good. There are fancier restaurants on the Palm (Bread Street Kitchen, Nobu). There’s also a fish place called Bu Q’tair that’s a fun experience.
      The Louvre opened a few months ago in Abu Dhabi; if you fancy a day trip the Grand Mosque down there is beautiful as well.
      The Dubai frame opened recently; it’s new and there’s buzz about it. If you go up the Burj Khalifa, try to find a groupon and go early! I’ve heard afternoon tea at the Burj Al Arab is lovely.
      There are also souqs, malls, and lots of buildings to look at. It’s fun to take an abra across the creek to the old town souqs.
      Feras Sweets has some of the best knafeh around (try it if you haven’t already!). Lots of shisha bars as well.
      Enjoy your stay! The weather’s been really nice lately, so try to get out in the evenings for a stroll along the water.

      • Dubai tips :

        Thank you so much! I forgot to mention, we are staying in Hawthorn Jumeirah, arrive tomorrow at 3, will need to find good food fast for lunch. Is there anything particularly good in that area? Yes, planning Abu Dhabi trip as well.

        • Oh, that’s a great location! I love running in the Marina in the morning (and it’s nice to walk around at night, too), and there are so many restaurants and shops at the JBR beachfront walk.
          Eat Greek, zaatar w zeit, and Mother’s Restaurant would be good options for lunch. Papa Roti is also fun. Eggspectation does really good breakfasts. For something a bit fancier, Buddha Bar at the Grosvenor House—their rooftop setting is gorgeous! You can also go for drinks at the Observatory in the Marriot (52nd floor—try the passion fruit mojito!).
          I just remembered—they have a zip line that goes across the Marina now—probably really expensive but might be fun if you’re into that! Of course, you are right near Skydive Dubai…

  26. Anonymous :

    Does anyone have experience staying at a Sandals resort? DH and I are looking for a 10year anniversary vacation.
    Thanks!

    • Anonymous :

      We went to one on our honeymoon some years ago. It was pretty nice but smaller than I had expected, and definitely oriented towards sitting on the beach or by the pool and drinking. The advertised on-property activities (tennis lessons, windsurfing) were disappointingly low quality and poorly attended. We got so bored that we paid extra for a couple of off-property excursions. The American guests were almost all on their honeymoons, and a lot of the guests smoked which we found annoying. Other than second-wedding elopements, I don’t think there was anyone there older than their early thirties. If you are looking for an active vacation where you will meet either people like you or an interesting variety of people, I don’t think Sandals is the place.

    • My parents love them and DH and I went once at their urging. It was alright. My parents say the resorts vary a lot – some are geared to party types, others at older couples that want a relaxing vacation so you’ll need to do your research about the specific resorts. The one we went to (Halcyon St. Lucia) was nice and quiet, which is what we wanted, but the beach was super blah. Sandals has a couple other resorts in St. Lucia with better beaches and you can visit them for free but I still would have preferred a good beach at my own resort. The rooms/grounds were lovely and the service was generally good. The food was a disappointment for me, I would say it was not even as good as average cruise food and I don’t think cruise food is great. But my parents don’t care as much about food and really love the chain.
      We weren’t looking to meet other travelers so can’t comment on that aspect.
      (Ironically, since having a baby we’ve gone to Beaches – Sandals family-friendly sister resort – a couple times and we like those a lot more. But there are tons of kids at those so not a place I’d recommend for an anniversary getaway).

    • Sandals Grenada :

      SO and I spent a week at Sandals Grenada over new years. It was the first time either of us stayed at a Sandals property so my sample size is small. In talking with the other guests, there is some meaningful variation among the properties in terms of size and feel. Many guests mentioned that Sandals Grenada was their favorite, FWIW.

      Thoughts Overall:
      – Food: We’ve stayed at many all inclusive resorts and this one was my favorite. For me, the food is usually the worst part of an all inclusive experience and the food wasn’t bad here. Wide variety and the late night offerings were good. Only one restaurant required reservations and we were able to get reservations easily.
      – Service: This is what you are paying for at a Sandals. The service is above average. I will say that SO and I did not get butler service. If you read tripadvisor reviews, there is a lot of commentary about the value of having butler service. SO and I are not really butler-type people so we didn’t spring for the service. Main benefit is that the butlers get up at the crack of dawn and reserve the best pool and beach chairs for their guests. This was highly annoying but I didn’t let it bother me too much. The second benefit of the butler service is the butlers provide coolers of guests favorite drinks to those chairs so the guests didn’t have to look for a waiter to grab them a beer, etc.
      – Rooms/Grounds: The room was very beautiful overall. My complaints were that the shower/sink area wasn’t in a separate room from the bed and the shower water also never got hot enough for my taste. The grounds of the hotel were absolutely stunning.
      – Activities: Here’s where I differ from the poster above. We are active and knew we would want to get off of the resort. We booked several excursions and enjoyed seeing the island. A word of warning, the Sandals company owns a tour operator (Island Routes) and only allows that tour operator to pick up/drop off guests. Not sure how strictly this is enforced.
      – Other guests: I also differ from the poster above and I suspect she went to a different Sandals. There was a wide variety of ages and backgrounds at the Grenada resort. We met people from all over and it was one of the nicest aspects of the trip. I will say, though, Sandals is expensive so you are getting mostly wealthier people. There were a couple designated smoking areas out of the way and I didn’t really notice smokers.
      – Cost: Overpriced. Yes, it is a great hotel but I don’t think it was worth the cost. Huge caveat – we booked late and our trip was over a holiday. If we’d gotten a better deal, I might not have this gripe.
      – Would I go again? Probably not, but just because we like to see new places. I would recommend to a friend looking for a beautiful and easy vacation.

  27. Will be in London this summer. Any tips for tea, dinner, and places to see? Thanks.

    • Christineispink :

      There are lots of recommendations if you search older posts. I went to sketch for afternoon tea due to everyone on here recommending it and LOVED it. My favorite part was that you can order different teas throughout your meal so I was able to choose a different tea for each course.

      We also took a day trip out to Stonehenge/Bath through tour operator. It was a long day but enjoyable to get out of London (we live in NYC and get bored of other “cities” sadly easily). Also loved our afternoon tea (for dinner) at Fortnum and Mason’s and I could spend a week in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

  28. What is up with the search function? I keep getting the following error message when I try to use the search function – Unauthorized access to internal API. Please refer to https://support.google.com/customsearch/answer/4542055

    Any suggestions on how to search prior posts.

    Thanks!

    • The s1te search seems broken so I s1te search via g00gle instead using s1te:c0rpor3tt3.c0m seachterm

  29. Has anyone shopped shopped at the Fold London? Is it generally worth the price tag? I love the look of a lot of their pieces, but I just don’t know if I can bring myself to shell out that level of cash on work clothes.

  30. Anyone else get the Week 1 outfit challenge email instead of Week 2 today?

    • NOLA transplant :

      Yes!!?? Maybe because I signed up last week?

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I got both.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Yeah, I was a little annoyed about it, since I did a couple days of the challenge last week (thanks Sloan). I threw up my hands and am just doing the first week again; surely I can put together two different outfits that meet each of those criteria.

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