Frugal Friday’s TPS Report: Double Closure Cardigan

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Double Closure CardiganAnne Klein has a pretty great Columbus Day sale going on, with an extra 30% off all clearance. So take this double closure cardigan, for example: it was $119, now marked to $49, and with the additional discount it comes to $34.30. Yes, it looks a little complicated at first, but I actually think it would be a great “throw it on and go” piece (albeit with a camisole beneath it).  It’s available in blush and white, most sizes still available, at Anne Klein Double Closure Cardigan (Pink, Size MD)

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]


  1. Does it bother anyone else how much the sweater is pulling at the buttons in those pictures — particularly for the white cardigan? It’s nothing that can’t be adjusted, but I can’t believe they didn’t fix that during the photo shoot.

  2. anonymous :

    does anyone have experience with the EEOC filing a claim based on sexual harassment? Stories please!

    • Are you the one alleging sexual harassment?

      • If you’re the one alleging sexual harassment, see here about how to file your charge with the EEOC.

        If you’re wondering how it all plays out… you file your charge with the EEOC. The EEOC sends your charge to your employer and requests a response. Your employer responds. The EEOC can do a few things (mediate; investigate). If you don’t settle with your employer, the EEOC will either: dismiss your charge and issue a Notice-of-Right-to-Sue, which means you can sue your employer on your own; or find probable cause for discrimination. In the case of the latter, the EEOC will try conciliation with your employer, which is basically where the EEOC demands that your employer pay $$$. If the conciliation effort fails, either you or the EEOC files a lawsuit against your employer.

    • If it’s for you, I would consult an attorney to see if you have a case. National Employment Lawyers Association ( has a directory.

    • I have experience with the EEOC in general, and I will tell you to expect action at a truly glacial pace – like a timeframe of years, not months or days. It’s an understaffed, overwhelmed agency.

    • Cornellian :

      I’ve never filed one, but worked somewhere where I helped people file them for free, and occasionally we took paying clients for appeals. Look in to state resources as well, some states have parallel agencies with advantages and disadvantages relative to the federal route. And look immediately at your filing deadline. I’m not in this field anymore, at all, so you should find someone who is, but it used to be 180 days from the last incident of discrimination.

    • anon for this :

      I had an issue at a hedge fund I worked at. It was a “hostile environment” situation, not a “quid pro quo” situation. When I went to speak with an attorney, he told me to expect a right to sue letter in 2-3 YEARS from the EEOC. Even though I had a strong case, based on facts and circumstances, he strongly suggested that I get what I could out of the hedge fund and move on with my life. He also noted that many current employees who witnessed certain interactions or situations and might have been sympathetic to my plight would be unlikely to “bite the hand that feeds them” in depos, especially years later, when it would be very easy to respond to questions with “I don’t recall–that was years ago” is such an easy answer. So…just know that the other poster that said the EEOC moves glacially is right.

      I decided that the atty’s advice to move on with my life was spot-on…I just couldn’t imagine dealing with the situation for years, or having it hang over my head. I just wanted to move on with my life and not think about the bad, bad people I has worked with.

      I am sorry that you or a firend or a client is in this situation at all.

      • Yes, the deadline is 180 days. There may be additional time to file depending on whether your state has a parallel civil rights agency with a reciprocal processing agreement with the EEOC, but you’re better off to file within the 180 days and not risk having your charge found to be untimely.

        The EEOC may or may not move at glacier speed, depending on which office and which investigator is involved. I have been involved in two EEOC charges recently — one involving disability accommodation, one alleging age and sex discrimination — and the agency moved relatively quickly. The disability one was complicated and the investigator came back and forth to each side asking for more info, more explanation, etc., so the whole thing took about 8 months until the agency issued the right-to-sue notice. In the second case, which was pretty straightforward, the EEOC concluded the investigation and closed the file within a little more than three months.

        I always recommend that a charging party do everything possible to make the investigator’s job easy. Provide detailed notes about your case and the incidents that have occurred; give copies of any relevant documents; provide names and contact information for witnesses or other employees who have relevant information, etc. Also, if you don’t hear from the investigator for a while, a (pleasant) follow-up call is helpful to see if they need anything else from you — such as a response to something the employer has asserted — and just to make sure your case is at the top of the person’sl mind (and desk).

        I am compelled to say — by the state bar and my malpractice carrier — that nothing I’m saying constitutes legal advice. If you have specific questions, you should contact an employment attorney in your area; the NELA reference someone provided above is a good place to start.

        Good luck with this.

  3. Blonde Lawyer :

    A while back a poster had asked about getting through work while coming off ADD meds to TTC. I was just wondering you how you were doing and if you have found ways to treat your ADD without the meds. I’m so jealous that men never have to make the decision whether to stop taking medication they need to have a child or to keep taking medication they need and either not have a child or have to be warned that they may be potentially or actually harming that child. I know its just biology but sometimes I just want to say “ugh it’s just not fair!” Anyways, I was thinking of you and hoping that you are able to get your work done.

    • I am having this exact same dilemma. No advice but I sympathize with you. Still looking for an ADD type drug that’s safe for pregnancy. I have heard stories of people whose physicans kept them on it, but at a low dose.

    • I would love to hear how that poster is doing, too. In general, I would love more updates from folks! Any Updates?? ;o)

  4. Cute cardigan, but I am trying to wear more structured jackets.

    You guys, I just saw the brouhaha over SF Bay Associate mentioning she prefers organic, free range, locally grown, etc.

    As a fellow Bay Arean, and a Berkeleyan no less, I just want to speak up and defend her a little. Yes, this is how we are in the Bay Area. Truly. The political correctness here around food means eating has become a political act. Blame Alice Waters, blame liberalism, I don’t know.

    But I’m the same way.

    Ironically, I am originally from a rural-ish farming town in CA. This movement toward organic, free range, locally grown etc. has not hit there, despite the fact that they’re the ones growing and raising a lot of this fancy food for the urban dwellers who will pay for it. Their supermarkets probably look a lot like supermarkets in most of the rest of the country.

    so here’s how deep into it I am – I make my own jam from my Meyer Lemon and Plum trees. I pick wild blackberries when we are on vacation and make blackberry jelly. I grow my own herbs and some seasonal items like tomatoes and cucumbers and lettuces. AND I HAVE BACKYARD CHICKENS for fresh, organic eggs. (Yes, I feed them organic food.)

    My family from the sticks laughs at me, I know. I laugh at me too.

    I realize how fortunate I am to live in a climate that supports all of this, though getting ripe tomatoes a challenge. And I realize I’m fortunate to be able to pay for the high end stuff I buy – though not everything I buy is high-end, to be honest.

    M kids have to put up with this kind of food from me. When I’m not home and my husband feeds them, it’s frozen food all the way. Actually, I’m lucky if he feeds them frozen food and not Taco Bell. :)

    • Uh, mamabear? Can I come over your place and you feed me?

      • Yeah, no kidding. I’m too much in awe. My brain is stuck on this loop:


        Once I wipe thePavlovian drool off my chin, I’m able to say…

        Just because Alice Waters is an unrealistic, pretentious pain in the @ss, doesn’t mean that other people who like pesticide free, seasonal food are like her. We are more than our consumption preferences.

        It also seems like a very American thing right now, to mistake not knowing about X as a shorthand for some virtue.

        “I don’t know anything about art” —> “I’m not a sissy, i’m a BIIIIIG MAAAACHO MAAAAAN.”
        “I don’t know anything about this fancy organic stuff” —–> “I’m not elitist, I’m a man/woman of the people and very down to earth.”

        Not knowing about X just means one doesn’t know about X, full stop.

        • Amen to the idea that we are more than our consumption preferences. While capitalism has many benefits, it does encourage us to define (or express) ourselves by what we buy. So it becomes not just that I like avocados in season, but that I am the sort of person who likes avocados in season, and people who do not like them are different from me. Of course, they are different in that one respect, but that doesn’t, or shouldn’t say something essential about your character or identity.

          Bizarrely, I think that’s one of the good things about this site. It would be easy to define ourselves by saying “We are the sort of people who buy high-end, stylish professional clothing,” but I think the debates we have one here show we are all pretty different despite that. We are more than our consumer preferences.

          This comment is not really relevant to anything that anyone has said (feel free to ignore), but Susan’s comment struck a chord with me, since I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.

        • And knowing about X doesn’t make you better than someone who doesn’t. Seriously. I’m sick of this elitist attitude. I’m not from the Midwest, but the references made to this WHOLE AREA OF THE COUNTRY where MILLIONS of people live is terribly condescending.

          • 100% with you here. (See my post below to that effect.)

            When people imply that their knowledge (or ignorance) of X confers some [other trait], it’s both false and disturbing. The latter primarily because of the confusion between our consumption choices and well, who we are as people.

      • There’s nothing wrong with eating organic food. But others don’t think the same about eating non-organic food. You act like there *is* something morally, socially wrong with it. I eat really well, tons of fresh fruits and vegetables, cook good healthy fresh meals every night, but I don’t think buying organic is worth it.

        • I don’t want to pick on this comment in particular. But just the general idea. I just read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. I am finally starting to think that there ARE major moral and social issues related to the food choices we make.
          * when I buy produce (organic or not) in my regular grocery store that has been trucked in or flown thousands of miles, I am paying for the bazillions of gallons of gasoline – AND the enormous subsidies we give to energy companies. not to mention the global warming issues.
          * and, I am settling for an inferior product that has been developed for shelf life, not taste or nutrition.
          * when I buy meat and poultry that comes from concentrated animal feeding operations, I am again, paying for the energy costs to truck that product to my store, and I am eating something that is nutritionally far inferior and more likely to be contaminated with antibiotics and much more.

          but, when I go to my local farmers market, and focus on buying in season produce and locally raised, grass fed meat, (organic or not – many local small farmers don’t have the cash to invest in getting certified as organic), I can talk to the farmers about how their animals were raised. I can have produce that was on the tree or vine the day before, and that didn’t sit in a truck for a week. And I’m supporting small local businesses. And, ohmygosh, in season tomatoes are DELICIOUS.

          Obviously I can’t do this for everything I eat. But I’d rather spend an extra $5 on in season locally grown than paying $4.99 each for out of season, imported, bell peppers that taste like cardboard.

          I also like Fritos. And chocolate. And diet coke. But when it comes to meat and produce, I’m starting to get more and more from my farmers market and really enjoying it.

      • ME TOO! I’ll bring a perfectly acceptable hostess gift AND write a thank you note. Your food sounds awesome.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I also prefer organic, free range and locally grown. I rarely can afford it, but I absolutely prefer it. I try to eat sustainably, where possible, as well. I think I was influenced by my (east coast!) college’s dining services, which were based on local foods where available (using a variety of storage methods, like flash freezing, to be able to enjoy “out of season” foods, and accepting that locally grown food is not always possible – you aren’t going to get oranges in New England in January, etc), organic foods, and foods with a small environmental footprint wherever possible.

      Even more than that – the food was good! Unlike most of my friends from other schools, I miss my college dining hall. Everything tasted fresh, everything looked appetizing, and I had so many great choices even with those parameters.

      Cooking like that for myself is a challenge, I admit, and I don’t always meet it (some days, I do crack and heat up a frozen pizza, etc). But when I can afford it and have the time to prepare it, I much prefer whole foods, locally grown foods and organic foods.

      • I am the same way, honestly. And I think by eating that way you get better quality (oranges in New England in winter just aren’t very good) — but I also eat a fair amount of frozen pizza….so I crack more often than occasionally. Food and cooking and grocery shopping is an escape for me. I actually don’t shop that much (contrary to my internet presence) and I don’t spend much money on personal products, so being able to buy occasional fancy local cheese or local fruits and vegetables or go to Wegmans and just soak in the awesomeness is my happy place. And I don’t apologize for that.

        I missed the original brouhaha though, so I have no idea what the argument was about. I also eat Fritos though. :-P

      • Momentofabsurdity, if it won’t out you, where did you go to college? It sounds like you were eating in the same dining hall I was. Just curious.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          I was thinking “this sounds just like Bates.” My brother went there and I ate there any chance I got.

        • @TBK – As I read your post, I was thinking that you probably went to school in Vermont. :)

          – Flatlander who’s making jam from produce bought in-season at the farmer’s market for wedding favors.

          • Oops, and now I see that TCFKAG made that comment and not TBK. Nevermind. Thread-parsing fail.

        • Brooklyn, Esq. :

          I went to the Bates dance festival for several years when I was younger and I always looked forward to the dining hall. My alma mater’s food did not compare.

          • anon for this :

            I played waterpolo against Bates when I was in school and though that their women’s waterpolo team’s NAKED fundraising calendar was awesome. (Waterpolo balls were strategically placed.) But that’s an aside.

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        Did you go to Dartmouth? Because that sounds like my sister’s dining hall.

      • Momentsofabsurdity, I’m with you. To be honest, I would like to be where SF Bay Associate and mamabear are, but it just isn’t practical all of the time at the moment. But I really try when I can, because I see the benefits. I like growing my own vegetables, but since I’ve just moved to a different city I don’t have a vegetable garden at the moment. I pick my own blackberries from some canes down the street. I really prefer to buy my food from farmers’ markets, but I can’t always get there when they are open.

        I recognize that eating in an organic, local manner isn’t possible for everyone. I wish it was because it would be better for all of us, but I know it isn’t. Where I do tend to get a little evangelistic, though, is in the matter of meat. I have read far too much about how meat animals are raised to be comfortable with buying meat products whose origins I don’t know. BF doesn’t have the same level of knowledge about this but I am trying to educate him. I also try to limit the amount of meat I do eat because of the environmental impact of raising meat animals, particularly cattle.

        It’s an ongoing process, but I think it’s really important to be aware of what we are putting in our bodies and where it comes from.

    • So funny because my grandmother, who is notoriously cheap, is 100% all about the organic movement. She will talk all day long about how she has only ever fed her kids organic, and it’s all true. But it’s because “back in the day” it was cheaper for her to grow her own EVERYTHING (inc. chickens). My grandfather used to “go in on a steer” with a friend from work and they’d butcher it themselves and package it up. My mother, of course, was traumatized. But they grew up on organically grown food.

      As far as she’s concerned, Whole Foods etc. just makes the whole thing easier for those that work instead of stay at home and garden like she did. She’s also horrified at the prices, but totally gets it.

      • Yep, my grandma was the same way. My mom is the opposite and thinks processed food is a wonderful invention. And now I’m more like my grandma (despite working outside the home more than full time.) My mom comments on it all the time and asks me if I’m going to butcher the chickens, as her mom did. (NO, they’re named pets!)

        • My grandmother had “pet” chickens for eggs. DH’s grandmother, who until 1995 ran a cattle ranch with her husband, DID butcher the chickens. And my MIL had to help pluck them. EW.

          • My mom remembers her dad would go butcher a chicken in the morning, and grandma would clean and pluck it and start getting it ready for “dinner,” which was lunch.

            My mom had to help. She said dipping the feathered but headless chicken in boiling water to get its feathers loose is one of her worst memories, which is probably why my mom is now so grateful for grocery store chicken today.

            And I buy grocery store chicken, too. I have no intention of butchering my hens. I realize the irony involved in buying a dead chicken from the grocery store and then acting horrified that someone would kill my pet hens, but it is what it is.

        • My sister was talking about getting chickens last year (for the eggs). My grandfather, who was raised on a farm in the Prairies, got all excited because he wanted to come over and kill them when the time came. My poor sister, who cried when she watched Charlotte’s Web as a child, was horrified. There has been no more talk of chickens. :-)

    • Anon Analyst :

      I missed the conversation from yesterday, but I do my best to eat organic, local, etc. I like the idea of supporting local farmers and merchants. I also like the idea of having my food as “whole” as possible. In the past year or so we’ve been reading labels and counting calories to make sure we’re more aware of the food we’re eating. There’s so many chemicals and preservatives in food these days, it’s scary. Who knows the long term effects of those things on our bodies?

      That being said, I’m not perfect and I do enjoy having a Coke and fries from McDonalds from time to time. Just overall, I try to do my best to make good choices that work for me and my family.

    • You’re kind of missing the point. The point was how she just COULDN’T live anywhere else than California or eat food that wasn’t all organic . . . HOW DOES THE REST OF THE WORLD LIVE???? It wouldn’t even be worth it.

      • Agreed. The other half of the point was the post was all about quick, easy meals. We weren’t being asked to give suggestions for our most healthful recipes requiring trips to the farmers market, the breadshop, and the grocery store. It was about the nights where the only reason dinner made it to the table was you comined some Rotel, beans, rice, and added some shredded cheese. (This was a legit dinner for me this last week. It was healthier and cheaper than takeout.)

    • Ok, I missed this particular brouhaha, but I went back and read it when it was brought up again yesterday. I think what got people all bristley was the implication that people who do not eat like this do so because they either don’t know about healthy/fresh/local foods or don’t care. And I think that’s not the case for the vast majority of people. There are geographic considerations about the availability of fresh foods. There are economic considerations. There are time constraints. Even if everyone wanted to be as political/moral/persnickity about food choices as a select group of wealthy californians, they couldn’t be.

      And by framing food choice as moral choice, people allow themselves to engage in conspicuous consumption (literally, ha!) and flaunting of class markers in ways they otherwise wouldn’t. No one would ever come on here and say they were shocked that people didn’t choose to drive Mercedes since Mercedes is the best car and don’t people care about quality cars? But because we’ve decided certain foods are morally superior than other foods, it’s ok to make comments like that related to diet even though, in reality, that particular diet is just as out of reach for most people as a Mercedes.

      Personally, I grew up in Boulder, Colorado on the front lines of the organic/natural food movement drinking illegal unpasteurized goat’s milk and eggs from our own chickens. But I don’t eat like that now, not because I don’t know or don’t care, but because it’s not practical for me given my own constraints. So, yeah, it chafes a little to be dismissed as an ignorant midwesterner or the like because of that. In the words of every Jerry Springer guest ever, “You don’t know me! You don’t know my life! Who are you to judge?”

      Sorry for the long rant. I absolutely like and respect the commenter who started this, but I did think that particular remark was off base and it stoked my latent class rage a bit.

      • Amen!

      • I would say that in defense of both the OP, and those irritated:

        We are more than our consumption choices.

        I don’t think the OP is a snob; nor do I think that the folks who make different consumption choices are somehow morally inferior!

        As for ignorance — there *are* plenty of people living in all 50 states that are ignorant of healthy food; just as there are plenty of Californians who are very knowledgeable about organic food, but terribly ignorant about the structural and personal constraints of people in their own state (and in the other 49).

        • “We are more than our consumption choices.”

          This x100.

          I was just having a conversation about access to food with my boyfriend last night (it started with something related to food deserts). I come from a state where eating local would be impossible several months out of the year. He spent his summers growing up in a place where the nearest supermarket is an hour away. While I do think there is an “ideal” set of consumption choices, unfortunately the parameters in which we live make that often times unattainable.

      • I actually could probably afford to eat organic free range whatever and I don’t because I don’t care. Does that make me a bad person?

        • Of course not. Who said that?

          • I was saying that in jest. My point was that some people seem to think that the only reason people don’t buy organic/free-range is because they don’t know, don’t have access, or can’t afford it. Some people just don’t care, and it annoys them when people completely discount that reason (how could you not care? don’t you know about the conditions in which chickens are kept?). Sometimes, even the urban intellectual enlightened ones are simply not that interested in how their particular omelet came to be.

          • @clipper

            very often, I find that the amount of outrage that comes from:

            “why do you not care about [issue]/why are you not as fired up about [issue] as i am?”


            amount of outrage from “how can you think [opinion] about [issue]?”

      • I also want to point out that the post that started this rather large discussion was about weeknight/lazy cooking. I love to cook, I shop at Whole Foods when I can and try to eat well but there are some days where the thought of doing anything more complicated than opening a can of soup makes me want to go to bed without dinner. And as someone who’s working full-time and going to school part-time, I know it’s way better to plan ahead on class nights rather than be “surprised” when I get home from class starving and there’s nothing to eat. But sometimes my planning gets derailed and I eat a grilled cheese sandwich with American cheese.

      • Thank you. 100% agree.

        This ‘I don’t understand the eating habits of the Midwest’ stuff has got to stop. It is terribly snobby, condescending, and often flat-out wrong.

      • Amen DCJenny! A couple of things that stuck with me and I wanted to address from the whole brouhaha: Not everyone in CA has access to such high quality food, let alone fresh produce. Sad and frustrating that some communities still get their groceries from 7-11 or corner market. Also, regardless of geography, not everyone can afford to eat like that (not even everyone on this blog). Sometimes people forget about the wide variety of incomes, occupations, whatever we have in this community.

    • can you tell me about the chicken? does it have friends? what are their names? how much space does the chicken have to range freely?

      (sorry, I couldn’t help myself)

      • “Did it kind of, you know, put its little wing around its little chicken friends?”

        I LOVED that episode of Portlandia. I immediately sent the youtube clip to my friend who works at Chez Panisse. She says everyone got a big kick out of it. (So they can laugh at themselves too.)

      • I considered having my own chickens for eggs. And then I wondered where on earth I’d put them during the winter. And the fact that animals in general freak me out. And what I’d do when I’d inevitably discover that my parents have cooked my chickens. Sigh, it’s a nice fantasy.

        • A coworker considered this, and then a relative started scaring this coworker with “oh, you’ll be the one who comes down with avian flu.” Ugh!

          • Heh – there were several state and county fairs that actually had issues with swine flu transmitting from pigs to people this year.

        • > when I’d inevitably discover that my parents have cooked my chickens.

          I’m laughing so hard right now.

          I’m also making a mental note not to invite Ru’s parents over.

          • Ru’s comment about her parents cooking her chickens reminded me of a story my aunt’s husband tells – one night his family sits down to dinner, everyone comments on how delicious the meal is, and someone asks what exactly they are eating. The response? “Oh, it’s Gregory.” (Gregory being the family’s rabbit). Poor little bunny :(

          • bunny boiler!

        • Honey Pillows :

          Chickens do pretty well, even in the cold, as long as you keep their coop around 50-55 degrees. You DO need a coop anywhere you have “real” winters, ie. north of Florida, but you’d need that anyway, to give them a secure place to roost away from the dangers of cats, dogs, foxes, hawks, and general wildlife.

        • Also, chickens are dirty, smelly, and mean.

          • “Not if you raise them right!” – I want to say this as a finger-wagging Portlandia Grandma. :-)

          • Honey Pillows :

            Noooo, not if you raise them properly! I know some chickens who will actually come when you call them, and were hand-raised so that they like to cuddle.

            Well, roosters are mean. Roosters are little b*tches.

          • Most cities that allow backyard chickens do not allow roosters because of the crowing.

            Agree, I hate roosters. We had chickens growing up and it was my job to collect the eggs every morning. I was terrified of the rooster.

            I would never have one now. I have no interest in raising baby chicks.

            I adopted one of my hens from a person who couldn’t keep her, and the other I bought as a pullet from a chicken farm. Both are basically full grown, though the pullet is not yet laying.

          • Have you ever taken eggs from a wannabe mamma hen who is trying to nest? (I guess the chicken equivalent of TTC?) They will peck your eyes right out. Collecting eggs was one of my chores as a kid, and I was so scared of the chickens. Some were nice, but some were homocidal.

          • I can’t help but read “roasters” when I read “roosters.”

            I want roast (rooster?) right now.

            (Sort of) related tangent– I found out a buddy of mine who works crazy i-banking hours is a late-night TV infomercials junkie. He orders stuff from those infomercials that say “if you call within the next 10 minutes, we’ll throw in 2 free gradunza covers with your moss-covered three-handled family gradunza!”

            One of the things he ordered was this chicken roasting mini-oven. It turned out to be great! (The other stuff he ordered was just random!)

          • @DC Jenny. Neither of my hens have gone broody (yet) but they’ve gone molty and have remained fairly friendly.

          • Mammabear, if they do, I recommend putting a small bucket over their heads before grabbing the eggs. This is the technique my sister and I developed in order to remain un-pecked.

          • My neighbors have a rooster and I don’t pay attention to it because they are nearer to the back of my house and my bedroom is at the front. But it’s a little embarrassing when I have guests (guest room in back) and they complain about the incessant crowing.

        • Or your neighbor cooked your rooster because the sumbeech wakes them up at 4am every. single.morning.
          There has been a recent article in an advice column about this.

    • Honey Pillows :

      I’m very much against “conventional food shaming,” and I’m someone who wants to make sustainable agriculture her living!

      The idea that we should all pony up for organic, and anyone who buys factory-farmed chicken is reprehensible is unrealistic, and (ironically) unsustainable. There are millions of families in America who have a hard time getting access to fresh tomatoes in July, let along organic heirloom tomatoes at the peak of their ripening cycle.

      And I personally think we’ve reached about the limit of market increase from consumers’ buying power. At this point, the agricultural industry is so messed up with counter-productive regulation that we need completely new policy to make any difference. If you really want more people to buy local, organic, etc, start shaming your representatives into changing food policies, and buy from mid-level farms (approx 100-1000 acres), which will actually make fresh, local, sustainably-grown produce more widely available, since mid-sized producers have the flexibility to grow sustainably and the economy of scale to sell at reasonable prices.


      • Hear hear.

        Too bad I don’t live in the States, Honey Pillows. I would vote for you. :-)

    • I love this! I grew up growing vegetables and picking fruit and making jams and jelly and canning pickles and all of that, but we drew the line at having animals. It’s become a “thing” here in N.O. to have chickens. In fact, some people who live behind me have chickens and they used to regularly run free in the street but they’re now penned up. We even have a free-roaming peac*ck in my neighborhood. It’s bizarre. I have a professor friend who is Mexican and grew up with chickens – he now has a chicken pen in his backyard. More power to you, mamabear!

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        There are actually more free-roaming peacocks than you would think in the South. My dad once told me they used to keep them as guard animals on plantations. They are extremely loud, so I can believe it.

    • Ok folks, a lot of this conversation has been interesting, but some of it is getting rather heated, and it’s going on 3 days now… Is it possible that we could take a rest on this food stuff for a while?

      …. And go back to talking about IUDs??

      • zora, honey, as the old Cajun ladies say “let go and let God.” This has actually been a very interesting conversation and hasn’t gotten out of control.

        • Agree. I think by and large, the folks on this site accomplish what many aren’t able to do IRL or on the internet: have a productive debate & discussion about controversial topics in a civil and informative manner.

      • LOL.

      • It has been interesting to me because I apparently live in a bubble and no one has ever argued with me about my ways. Laughed at me, yes, but no arguments to date. :)

      • I half appreciate that zora is wathcing out for fellow SF friends, but I’m also wondering why its such a problem for us to have an interesting conversation. Overall peeople have been reasonable (except for Health Concern or whatever her name was)

      • sorry folks, I was trying to make a joke about IUDs, but i didn’t do it very well… ;o) sorry!! I will go eat some Fondue now and stop trying to be funny! heehee

    • I didn’t see the brouhaha, but I just want to chime in that my factory-working grandmother kept backyard chickens, grew seasonal produce, put up jam/tomato sauces, and used a lot of non-chemical pest solutions. All while chain-smoking, cursing like a sailor, and voting Republican. This was L.A. in the 1980s, btw. I think the division between crunchy types and “traditional” methods of cooking/eating is artificial, or at least recent.

  5. Another Zumba Fan :

    I am currently in the quiet car on the Acela headed to NYC. These are my people. Thanks for the info earlier this week.

    • WHAT ARE YOU DOING TYPING!!!! That is too loud for the quiet car. They’re judging you!!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Once, I got yelled (okay, furiously whispered at) on the quiet car because I fell asleep, and my phone was in my bag and started to quietly vibrate. Oops. It’s a very quiet car!

    • Enjoy!

    • Yay! Acela Quiet Car FTW!!!! :::whisper::::oops, im sorry that was too loud:::::

  6. Aight NYC peeps, another questions. In trying to be a mature adult monster with a social life, it has fallen upon me to initiate friend dates. Which I’m good at. What I’m terrible at is suggesting where to go. You guys did amazing with coffee and sushi recs – now I need vegetarian and/or vegan friendly restaurants.

    Also, if you wanna friend date with me, let’s do this thing.

    • AnotherLadyLawyer :

      Not a vegetarian/vegan restaurant frequenter, but a hardcore vegan friend swears by Candle 79 (organic vegan) and Blossom/Blossom Cafe (or for quicker, less fancy vegan fare, Blossom Du Jour).

      • LOVE Candle 79, and they also have a less expensive sister restaurant at Candle Cafe.

    • Vegan/Veg-friendly: FreeFoods NYC (midtown, good lunch date); Cowgirl Seahorse (brunch or dinner, they charge less when you leave meat off your salad – duh); Pure Food and Wine (special treat); Caravan of Dreams; Josie’s West; Candle 79 or Cafe.

    • If you’re near the UWS, Peace Food! It’s my (vegan food) JAM. I’ll also second the rec. for Free Foods if you’re in Midtown.

    • Anne Shirley :

      Okay, so I totally do, but I cannot for the life of me remember my anon email account name, and therefore can’t find yours! Organization not my strength :). Post it again and let’s do this veggie-friendly escaping-Newark thing!

      • rummyredd at gmail. I’m also available for awesome seafood on Ferry St when we’re too-busy-to-escape-Newark-thing =).

    • LadyEnginerd :

      I have no restaurant suggestions, but friend dates don’t have to involve food if it’s too tricky. I am a fan of museum friend dates, though I’d imagine te natural history museum might be a little creepy for you, what with your dinosaur relatives bones on display. Recommend going safe with art museums if you can promise not to accidentally sneeze fire on the artwork.

      • LadyEnginerd :

        In all seriousness, when I lived in Chicago my art institute membership was a wonderful investment for friend dates, and I prefer it to a sit-down meal because there’s an activity! That and they sell beer at the bar/cafe in the modern wing.

        • +1 on activity friend dates. They’re less stress. Conversation comes naturally and you don’t have to worry about table manners! ;)

      • +100


      • Delighted that other folks here do museum friend-dates! Love the opportunity to walk & talk & take in something visually interesting.

        • Left Coaster from here and I had a museum friend-date just a little while ago, it was so fun!!! We had brunch and then headed to SFMOMA for the Cindy Sherman retrospective.

          • Left Coaster :

            Yes we did and it was awesome! Speaking of, we need to do that again. Maybe once the weather (inevitably) starts getting darker/crappier and there is an especially pressing need for indoor activities!

          • I KNOW! I’ve been swamped, but we need more SF Bay fun times. I’ll start some email threads soon. ;o) I LURV this site!!

      • No food? But how else would I control my belly’s rawring for sustenance? But I like the reminder for an activity. We can walk off our email by gallery-hopping or other such klassy activities. The modern art concoctions can withstand a sneeze or two.

    • hellskitchen :

      Tiengarden – vegan chinese in lower east side. It’s a tiny hole in the wall place but the food is SO good.

    • hellskitchen :

      And if you are in midtown west, Bourbon Street Grill on 46th between 8th and 9th has a whole vegetarian/vegan section of Cajun food. And cheap, yummy happy hour specials

    • I used to live on E. 12th Street and Anjelica Kitchen was always packed (although I confess I never ate there because I love.all.the.meats.). I’m so impressed by the friend-date! I love the idea, but I have trouble overcoming my shyness and fear that the other person would be disappointed in me. I get more nervous for friend dates than I used to for date-dates when I still did those.

      • Awwwww, it’s not so bad! I don’t run across my friends “organically”, so we have to schedule our time in. We may as well enjoy ourselves. You can have friend dates with people you know or don’t know.

        I’m a meatatarian also and it’s nice to mix up the cuisine.

    • My idea of a great vegetarian meal in NYC is a couple falafel sandwiches from Mamoun’s, consumed in front of the YES network in my hotel room. There is also a really good Thai restaurant I’ve been to in the West Village but I can’t remember the name.

      • oh no, now i will be dreaming about a hot, fresh Mamoun’s falafel for days!! ddrrrooooolllllllllllllll ………….

    • Brooklyn, Esq. :

      John’s of 12th Street (East Village red-sauce Italian) has a vegan section to its menu, which a vegan friend of mine went nuts for (think eggplant parm, all vegan). It’s nice for the non-veggies, too. It’s not cutting edge or trendy, but it’s quite cheap and a fun alternative.


    • darjeeling :

      Ah, my favorite topic! Blossom is probably my no. 1 vegan choice; also love Gobo and Caravan of Dreams although haven’t been to either of them in a while. I’ve heard Dirt Candy is great (veg but not vegan). Basically anywhere in the East Village though (Caracas = yum). Or, for work-day lunch dates, the Cinnamon Snail truck has amazing vegan donuts and huge tasty sandwiches.

    • transition :

      How about Mundo in Astoria, right near the Broadway stop? Veg with vegan options (if I recall correctly)

  7. "Allergies" PSA :

    For Godzilla:

    I can truthfully report that the second post-surgery office visit is FAR less scary than the first. Perhaps because I have been flushing faithfully, the MD only had to vacuum one side and only a little bit. Plus, because I had enjoyed an additional week of healing, it was not nearly as sensitive. I am still cleared to fly.

    The hives/wheezing continues and we don’t know why. Benadryl works, but it takes about 30 minutes to kick in. So he gave me a Rx for an inhaler to use when the wheezing starts on our trip. If it is still happening when we return (there is a possibility it is simply a temporary side effect of being off steroids after being on them so long), then he will send me to an allergy/asthma doctor.

    When is your appt?

    • My appointment is on Monday. I make good use of holiday time =). I’m going to schedule a massage afterwards to get over the inevitable exam trauma.

      Wheezing? When does it occur? When you’re sleeping/waking up? When you’re in a particular room? Eating a particular food? Is there a pattern?

      I have asthma that is exercise- and allergy-induced. So if I’m sleeping on old pillows or on a couch (which is low to the ground), I wake up because my chest is literally tight and I’m not getting enough air. These auto-immune problems are SO FUN.

      I like how you and I are swapping doctors. My allergy/sinus/asthma doctor is passing me along to the ENT.

      • "Allergies" PSA :

        Yay Monday. I will be thinking of you. I expect the worst trauma of your exam will be the scope. It feels icky (although not particularly painful) while it happens, but there is no lingering hurt or ickiness. So you should be fine for the massage, even lying on your tummy with your face in the doughnut.

        The wheezing did not start until the week before my surgery, when I was off the steroids for the first time in 3 months. Never had it before. Only one of my siblings, and no parent, has asthma. Absolutely NO pattern. Home. Office. Morning. Night. No connection to eating/drinking certain things. No idea.

        Also, forgot to add that he said I can drink alcohol again. Actually, he was surprised that I had abstained. I reminded him that the surgi-center instruction packet said no alcohol during post-op and recovery and he kind of rolled his eyes that I had waited to ask permission before starting again. What can I say? When a medical professional tells me to do/not do something, I follow those instructions diligently. My husband and I came home and opened a bottle of champagne to toast a successful surgery and our upcoming trip.

        • I didn’t even THINK that a massage wouldn’t be possible. Hmmm, maybe I should get the massage first.

          You are a FAR better patient than I. Congrats on your recovery =).

      • "Allergies" PSA :

        @ Zora and Lalo: thank you both so much. I am really excited.

    • Hey Allergies, I’m glad you get to go on your trip!! Have a great visit!

    • Have fun on your trip! Glad you’re doing well!

  8. Does anyone get the e-mails from Lands End Canvas? Today their ad e-mail’s subject line was Gingham Style and I’ll admit I giggled at that harder then I should have. :-) Should I reward them by clicking on the link?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I saw it too and giggled. I didn’t click the link (it was men’s – I want some women’s gingham style!) but I thought it was really clever.

    • Maddie Ross :

      I did, and unfortunately it was all guy’s clothes. But the title still made me laugh.

    • Hmm – I might have to click on the link – maybe the men’s shirts will actually have sleeves that are long enough for me. The women’s shirts certainly don’t.

    • That is so clever. Way to go, Land’s End.

  9. I have a coworker that just landed a HUGE account. I want to thank her/congratulate her. I don’t know her very well at all, but the company landing the account is really, really good for me and my team (and basically secures my employment for the next 2 years).

    If we worked in the same office, I’d take her out to a nice lunch/dinner/drinks and/or buy her a nice thank-you bottle of wine. However, she’s in an office across the country, so I’ll have to send her something.

    What’s appropriate? She’s in her mid/late 20s.

    • I’d go with flowers.

      • Yeah? To me, flowers don’t equate with a dinner/lunch out. But that’s why I came for the hive’s opinion :)

        • Well, flowers delivered to the office would show her office mates that she´s appreciated. And every time she´d look at the pretty flowers, she´d remember that too. So +1 vote for flowers.

    • Can you send her some gourmet food item? Belgian chocolate or a specialty cheese basket or something?

      • Vosges chocolates are good and impressive-looking, if you are sure she likes chocolate.

    • Even a nice card or email would be nice. I am always pro-fancy chocolates, however, being in the same age group as your coworker.

      • I am also more or less her age…and what I’d want is a bottle of wine and chocolate. Just not sure I can ship from my state and/or to hers.

        • You can do Edible Arrangements. That way, it looks like a huge arrangement AND you can dip ALL THE FRUIT in chocolate. Plus, fruit = healthy, so you’re winning on multiple levels here.

    • I don’t think you can go very wrong with a nice bouquet of flowers and a nice note. I remember my workplace in Denmark where we’d get a bouquet of flowers on our birthdays (everyone, from partner to support staff) and having the bouquet on my desk, looking at it all day, made me smile.

      I’d think it would be nice to get one as recognition for good work as well.

      • Anne, did you also get Danish flags in the birthday bouquet? :-)

        • No, but if I went out to eat on my birthday, the waiter would bring over a small flag to have on the table. Ah, Denmark.

    • Former Partner, Now In-House :

      I would send something to her office that all her colleagues will see and comment about. That gives her the opportunity to brag a little, “Brant sent me these to congratulate me for landing the X account.”

      It could be flowers or a big gourmet food basket that she can invite everyone to share.

      • +1 on shareable basket. If this was that big, she had help even if it was just someone doing photocopies or whatever. A basket will let her share the recognition with her team so you’ll be sending her thanks and helping her perpetuate good will.

      • Edible Arrangement to her at the office, with a cars “Congrats on Landing X!” would fit the bill too.

    • I’m close to her and I’d love flowers. I could always use something to pretty up my work space, even if it only lasts a week or two, and I also love being recognized (what can I say?! I find it rewarding!). A nice note is always appreciated too.

  10. Diana Barry :

    Ladies, can I just rant for a second about the godawful tax system and how about 75% of the people I am contacting for nannies refuse to be paid on the books?

    GRR. ARGH.

    • Did you explain to them that they’re precluding themselves from social security benefits by being paid off of the books? I have never understood this.

      • I think most people are fully aware that they won’t be entitled to social security benefits if they work off the books. They’ve made the decision that a dollar today is worth more to them than the prospect of more dollars tomorrow. Immoral? Yes. Illegal? Yes. But not irrational.

        • I don’t actually even know if it’s immoral, since anyone my age (47) or younger can’t really expect to receive Social Security unless there is a major overhaul of the system, accompanied by the dreaded phrase neither party will utter: tax increase.

          • mamabear, as of my birthday this week, we are no longer the same age. You need to catch up!

        • I actually don’t think most people know that at all. Many middle-aged people in my (working class) extended family are just now starting to realize that social security benefits aren’t the same amount for everyone.

    • Any luck if you offer to pay them more because it is going on the books? Something like, “if you are strictly cash-only, my rate is $x/hr, but I much prefer to pay you on a 1099 basis– to compensate for the tax difference, my rate is $xx/hr” I don’t know if you are paying them on the books because you want to be above board, or because you want to be able to take childcare deductions etc.

      • FWIW, I would have totally taken that deal back when I was a nanny. I was young and poor and my tax rate was so low that I would have made out like a bandit with a higher rate.

      • If they’ve been invisible to the IRS for a long time, they probably won’t think the extra pay being offered is worth the loss of the invisibility cape.

      • Diana Barry :

        It’s not a 1099, the IRS is very clear that it needs to be a W-2.


    • Ugh, that’s not the tax system’s fault.

      • Left Coaster :

        I agree — that’s the candidates’ fault. Paying taxes is part of the deal for living and working in the good ol’ USA. We all have to do it; nannies and other workers in similar professions shouldn’t be exempt.

    • Anon for this :

      I have a client who is a nanny who can’t find someone willing TO pay her on the books. She might still be looking for work. I think she lives an hour or hour and a half or so from Boston currently but might be willing to relocate. If this is your area, and you would like me to see if she is still looking for nanny jobs, post an anon email so I can get more info and I will pass it along. She is also from a family that would be a good connection for a lawyer to have.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      I’d say the people are god-awful, not the tax system, and I say that as someone who lost a great nanny candidate because she didn’t want to be paid on the books.

  11. Yay! Fruegel Friday’s. This is a great sale, and I LOVE ANN TAYLOR STUFF, especially on sale b/c I am such a great shopper!

    I can’t wait to go today with manageing partner to the LAMBS CLUB for lunch. I did NOT eat alot this morning b/c I want to eat my FULL Cobb Salad. And I also want to be profesional in front of Roberta b/c I want to get all 100 case’s from the other firm that is misehandeling them. The manageing partner says that one man’s waste is another man’s food. I would NOT eat waste, tho. FOOEY!

    I have prepared a speech outelining why I should take over the case’s and I went over it with Frank. He stressed that I have to alway’s look Roberta in the eye when I speak, and not to figgett with my hair. He said I look very presenteable today.

    Because we are eating lunch, I asked the manageing partner if I could wear my hair back and he said yes. Yay! I fee that it is going to be a great day for my carreer. Yay!!!

  12. So…these lines in the comments…those haven’t been there before now right? Definitely helps with figuring out where a new thread starts–lovvve it!

  13. I learned yesterday that there is a Saks Off Fifth and a Neiman Marcus Last Call about 20 minutes away from me. I had to go meet a client at his office, and these stores were next door. Naturally, I popped in. Neiman Marcus was having a Columbus Day sale (30% and then an additional 10% off everything), and I bought a gorgeous cashmere sweater set for winter.

    Curiously, the selection at these two stores was much better (for me, more professional options) than the same two stores that I sometimes visit when I drive to the factory outlet stores about 2 hours away in the middle of nowhere.

    Just reporting.

    • locomotive :

      There are no Last Calls near me physically so I’ve been scouring the online selection but unfortunately haven’t seen much :( I wish I had one closer!! i do have a very close Nordstrom Rack though

  14. Following up on my comments from yesterday about the new J.Crew (I know there’s been one here for a while but it’s SO far away from me) and the Ann Taylor in Toronto – any favourites that I must try/make a part of my closet? (Esp. J.Crew – everything looked so pretty!)

    • LadyEnginerd :

      Are you a petite? If so, you’re SOL in b&m stores and can’t try things on before buying (pet peeve!)
      For a real answer: Jackie cardigans and the wool a-line mini skirt.

      • I am petite :( How much do the petite sizes differ from the regular sizes, like for the pencil skirts for instance?

        • I find I size up one size in petites for everything but skirts, which are usually the same.

          I think it’s because my proportions aren’t ‘petite’, I’m just SHORT. So, ymmv depending on your build.

        • LadyEnginerd :

          Yup, one size up on everything for me. If the 2 is just about right, but slightly too long, I’m safe ordering the 4P. I am too curvy for the pencil skirts, so that’s sometimes up two sizes (up one if I’m ordering it in regular) and make a date with the tailor. But seriously, that wool A-line mini is one of my favorites (lemmesee… ah yes “classic mini in felted wool).

    • I love their painter boatneck tees (link to follow). Cute on their own, but I like putting them over a button down, cuffs pulled back over the sleeves.


        They have striped ones, too.

      • Wow are you in my brain? Just this morning on my walk to work, I was thinking I need some long-sleeved tshirts and these are so cute!

  15. Going on vacation next week (flying out tonight) and cannot concentrate on anything. Ugh. (My brain started its vacation yesterday, as you might have noticed by my extremely high level of posts here.)

    • phillygirlruns :

      i’m with you and i’m not even going on vacation. my brain apparently is though.

    • haha, how is your brain enjoying the vacation so far? Travel safe and have a great time!!

  16. Sad day… I think my firm is no longer going to offer health insurance or pay our premiums for us. I know this is total firstworldproblems, but I am still bummed about it. :(

    • Maddie Ross :

      Ok, that really sucks. (And is not a first world problem, but rather a US problem only… sigh).

      • I actualy don’t think this is a first world problem (as in something to dismiss) this is a HUGE problem. Because I see access to medical care as a basic human right, and the soaring costs, and only half-solutions, and employers who are not offering/charging more for insurance is actually horrible, and is likely to lead to people being unable to access needed medical care. So I will be infuriated for you, RAWR!!

        • Anon for family issues :

          To TJ this to a personal level – I have 2 kids and I wish I could be a SAHM sometimes, or just work part time. But I have pre-existing conditions and I NEED to have health insurance. My husband does not have health insurance at his job, and due to said pre-existing conditions private insurance would be ridiculously expensive for us, if we could get it at all. So now I work in order to pay for daycare and health insurance, and spend far too much money on convenience foods, etc, when all I really want to do is spend time with my kids. I have actually reached the point where I have considered quitting my job and letting us go at the mercy of government assistance.

          The system in the US is extremely messed up. I’m so sorry for you and hope you have another source of insurance. End rant.

        • I haven’t gotten infuriated about it yet, just super sad. They haven’t pulled the trigger yet, but I know they are going to by the way they are talking about it and they way they have operated in the past. H and I really wanted start TTC this month, but it looks like that will have to wait now since, if I have to get private insurance (from what I’m seeing with my cursory online searches) I will have to buy extra coverage on an already crappy plan for maternity care and then wait 18 months for it to kick in at all. So so sad.

          • Sugar Magnolia :

            That is terrible! Is this firm small enough that you could negotiate with them to keep the insurance in exchange for downgrading a different benefit? Employer supplied insurance is better and cheaper than buying it yourself for many people, so it might be worth it for you to try and keep it even if you give up something else.

          • *looks like we will have to* (No need for “that” in there. I am clearly flustered.)

          • The firm is really small. I wish I grasped the law a bit better on this, but I just don’t. I guess they are worried that since they pay my premium and the premium of the other associate, that they have to offer that same benefit to all of the other full-time employees, and they do not want to have to do that. (They haven’t been offering it to them for years, though. They sort of “make” them sign a waiver stating that they don’t want health insurance through the firm.) I think the real issue is that they know premiums are going up and they are tired of paying for us. They are all on their wives’ plans, so it has no impact on them.
            I suppose I could ask for a lowered salary in exchange for payment of my premium still, but that doesn’t eliminate the problem of having to give other employees equal benefits. I’m feeling lost about the whole thing.

          • e_pontellier :

            If there are 50 or more employees, they’re bound by federal regulations to provide health insurance. If they’re not, there might be state laws that can help you but it sounds like there aren’t. I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this.
            –disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer–

          • Not 50 or more employees. Waaaaay smaller than that, unfortunately.

          • Anon for family issues :

            Can you ask them to look into letting you pay 100% (they don’t pay a premium at all) but still keeping it? It would double your cost, but that still might be cheaper than the open market. Or if they were self insured, could they get in through a group? I worked for a small business that got insurance through our local chamber of commerce, so the risk was pooled that way and the rates were cheaper.

          • I am going to have to ask them if they can offer it, but require that we pay 100%. That is definitely the best idea. I am not sure why my brain didn’t get there, but that’s a good way to get the benefit of the lower rates and better coverage and prevent the firm from having to pay premiums for everyone (or anyone, since that’s what they really want to avoid.)
            I don’t think we have the option of joining a group, but I can try to find out. No one would want us in their group though, considering the age of the employees here and the health history of a number of them.

          • Anon for family issues :

            This is the group that the company got our health insurance through (in Northern Ohio). Probably worth checking if there is a similar group in your area.

      • Divaliscious11 :

        We are not losing coverage (yet) but they are HEAVILY pushing HSA option with high deductible insurance – which would have been great for me 20 years ago, but now, with two elementary age kids, not so much…. Of course all of the fairly young executives whose children are adults thinks its all the rage….. Oh, and they are cutting out flex savings account limit in half….

    • just Karen :

      Don’t dismiss it as a minor problem – employee provided health care is FAR superior to individual plans, this really is a loss! I’m sorry!

    • Sugar Magnolia :

      When I changed jobs, I really wanted to move to the city I am in, and work for this org, so I accepted without digging deeply enough into the benefits offered here.

      I now have an insurance deductible that equals more than 10% of my gross wages. It really sucks!

      I feel your pain, and agree that this is a HUGE problem in this country!

    • Former Partner, Now In-House :

      Is there any chance the firm will wait to stop offering insurance until 2014, when you can buy it through the Affordable Care Act exchange in your state? It’s really on 18 more months.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      See if you local bar association has any sort of deal. I seem to recall seeing flyers from my city’s bar about group rates on some sort of insurance.

  17. S in Chicago :

    Do you think a shoe repair shop can fix purses, too? I have a purse where the base of a strap is unraveling but the rest of it is still in excellent condition (surprising, too, since I’ve had it for a number of years). It’s like the round black parts on this one:,default,pd.html?dwvar_PXRU3599_color=013&start=38&cgid=sale

    Have any of you ever tried to have anything like that repaired? Is it even worth it? I’ve bought several new purses lately but this is sort of my tried and true for everything and I just hate to see her go.

    • Yes, absolutely. I’ve had my cobbler repair a purse for me. Such a quick fix and it’s like having a brand new bag again.

    • Yes, I just took a KS bag to a cobbler for repair and they did a great job.

    • I had a leather purse with a similar condition repaired at Gus’ Shoe Repair near Clark and Fullerton.

    • S in Chicago :

      Thanks, everyone. I’m going to give it a try this weekend. This gives me hope!

  18. aww, i love the cut of this cardi, but i just cannot stand to wear pink (trauma induced, long story), darn, too bad.

  19. anon in-house :

    2 random Qs or calls for commiseration from the hive:

    1) Negative nancy gripe: Anyone else really depressed/demoralized about life because of the number of hours they work? I work 8:30am-7pm Mon-Thu, and 8:30a-5pm on Fridays, no weekends. I know by biglaw standards and many other professions that this is the norm and not too bad actually but add to it a 1 hour commute each way and a workout several days a week and I.Have. No.Life. How can you feel good about your life when it is spent being an office drone? I am on a fast-track to paying off my loans, but I feel like golden handcuffs might keep me here longer because I live in such a high-cost-of-living area. Also, my hours are based on facetime and not actual work requirements (though I don’t wanna tell them that!), which time I kill with industry readings and websurfing nonsense. I don’t wanna add to my workload because it’s just gonna be more boring tasks anyway. Sorry for being a debbie downer!

    2) On a positive note, I am ready to invest in my first luxury handbag. Perhaps that and my upcoming vacation will lift my spirits! If you can have any bag in the $1500 range, what would it be?

    • In regards to #1, I think it is normal to go through this “I HAVE NO LIFE” scenario. Would it help to have your gym half way through your commute in order to break it up a bit. Like a gym 30 minutes from the office, then 30 minutes home? That way it doesn’t seem quite so awful?

      Also setting up friend dates (see Godzilla above) may help with the monotony of everything. Grabbing drinks/dinner/movie during the week may help to give you something to look forward to in the short run.

      Can’t help with #2 as I’ve NEVER had the option of buying a $1500 anything.

    • Anon so I don't get called mean :

      Golden handcuffs? No, you don’t have GH if you are considering buying a $1,500 handbag. You should put that money toward your loans so you can get the hell out of this job you find so depressing and demoralizing. You can’t say that you think you are going to be stuck there b/c of the high cost of living and buy a handbag that costs the same as a month of rent. That’s just foolish.

      You create your own reality.

      Sorry if this is harsh, but I think you need to hear it.

      • anon in-house :

        I am saving on rent by living at home, and I’ve never owned any article of clothing/accessory over $250, let alone that much. I thought a splurge in an investment handbag that would last a lifetime might be a nice treat, but perhaps you are right…

        • Totally depends how miserable you are. I made 140% of of what I make now two years ago. I left the house at 6:30am and didn’t get home until 8pm. DH was in grad school at the time.

          New job lets me work at home 1-2x per week, and when i DO go in, I leave the house at 8am, walk to the train, am at my desk by 8:55, then hop on the train and am home in my kitchen with my dog by 5:30. Worth every single penny. Plus, there are added bonuses like saving $$ on the dog walker, less eating out, lots more time to go to the gym, can run outside because the sun is still up, etc. etc.

          In neither scenario did I buy myself “treat” items because my goal was to “treat” myself to quitting. :)

        • I hate clunky shoes :

          Um, you would have a much higher quality of life and more of a life if you got rid of your commute and did not live with your parents.

          You are a product of your own decisions, so do not complain about them when they are easily changable.

          • LadyEnginerd :

            And the handbag money would make an excellent chunk of change towards a security deposit…

          • Ok, so I’m going to add some even “tougher” love. Your parents are letting you live at home to save money for the future and pay off your loans. They are not letting you live with them so you can buy $1500 handbags. Does your mother own a $1500 handbag? If not, definitely do not buy one while living at home. That is a slap in her face, IMO. Personally, if I were letting someone (my kids or otherwise) live with me to save money and they came home with a $1500 purchase of any kind I would give them their 30 day notice to get out.
            Don’t wait to start looking at moving out until winter – start looking now to see whats available. You don’t have to move now, but go get an idea what you can get at different price points. You might find its a lot more expensive than you think to live in a neighborhood you want, or you might be pleasantly surprised. And if a great place comes available, jump on it. Rent prices are what they are, most places don’t get any cheaper just because you move in the winter.
            Its fine to engage in some fantasy “If I were to buy a $1500 handbag which one would I buy”, do some web drooling and even go to stores and check them out. But save purchases like this for true milestones, not just because you’re bored, or in 3 months you’ll be looking to make another “pick-me-up” purchase, and that’s a bad cycle to get in.

        • At one point, I had a similar living situation. No rent by living with relatives, but an hour commute. I was MISERABLE. I moved to a place less than 10 minutes from work. I split the difference financially by renting a spare bedroom/bathroom in someone’s loft instead of paying rent for a whole apartment. I was so much happier! By not commuting, I got back hours of my life so felt like I had one again.

          Just keep on mind that while you’re not paying rent, you’re still paying a price.

          • anon in-house :

            Thank you for sharing, I appreciate the helpful words of wisdom. I am definitely looking into moving out this winter…I was told it is slightly cheaper to move in winter months since no one wants to move in the snow or sub-zero weather :)

      • I don’t think you are mean. I think maybe you just haven’t ever been in a situation where it’s expected to sacrifice all your free time, lose your friends, and barely speak to your family in return for gobs of money. (The military is similar but they form strong community bonds to support each other.) Something like an expensive purse or other small luxury can bring happiness in a bleak, monotonous job like BigLaw. Those small luxuries make it psychologically possible to stay in the job just a little longer.

        anon in-house, take care of yourself. I think a nice purse is a great idea. If you have free weekends, schedule time with friends and family then.

        I am also in a high cost-of-living area and it does get *less* expensive after a few years in myriad ways. Spend money on quality and develop relationships with stores and service providers. Be generous with referrals and honest when you aren’t satisfied.

        • anon in-house :

          Yes! Karenpadi you hit the nail on the head with your sentiments. Thank you for understanding and putting to words a situation that might be hard for some to identify with. My current employer does not allow work from home even though it’s completely reasonable and doable, and the job is – as you say – bleak and monotonous, while paying a very decent wage. That to me, is the essence of “Golden Handcuffs”.

          @Brant – your situation is the exact transition I wish to make in the future. Until I’m there, I thought I’d find comfort in the hive with those similarly situated.

    • On #1, here are things I do or have done

      * Make sure that I have a weekend life.
      * Have no weekday expectations and thus don’t really worried about work taking over my life during the week.
      * Try to fit chores in during the week so the weekend isn’t spent on house chores
      * Fit exercise in around work so it doesn’t feel like it’s taking away from my life at home — do something at lunch, walk at nights before leaving work
      * Try to relax self-imposed limits — Exercise later at night, for example. There’s not just one acceptable time frame of when things can be done.
      * Try not to plop on the couch right when I get home since this tends to lead to me not really leaving the couch all night. Instead, try to busy myself with what I want to do and reward myself with that plop when it’s all done.

      I know you said you spend time at work doing industry research and web stuff. Don’t forget to pick up whatever training you can to position yourself better for your next job, whenever you feel ready to leave.

      • LadyEnginerd :

        I agree with the exercising at lunch. If you’re doing busywork to fill the hours, you might as well take a slightly longer lunch and work out. Plenty of people do it, and the break can make you more productive. I’ve never worked somewhere face time was a requirement, but my hunch is that if you need to carve out time for yourself, you’re better off with a slightly longer lunch break than getting in at 9 and leaving at 6.

        • anon in-house :

          Alas, the culture is very strict on eat-at-your-desk. We are given lunch budgets so we are chained, that’s the nature of financial services around these parts.

    • phillygirlruns :

      my YSL roady hobo is the most i’ve ever spent on a single item other than a car. i don’t regret it one bit.

    • laura holt :

      What I want to know is how you have a job that allows you to work only 50 hours a week and afford a $1500 handbag (assuming you’re not independently wealthy). I didn’t think such a thing existed.

      • anon in-house :

        Not independently wealthy, very manageable loans, lucky to secure a “good job” big-law style post-grad school because I’m in an in-demand niche (min. 55 hrs per wk i’d say), live at home and save on many fronts (no car, stocked pantry + food budget at work so only 1 meal to pay per day which is usually at home, use of many groupons, lower-end and sale price clothing/accessories all my life otherwise).

    • Plenty of comments on #1, so I’ll comment on #2 – Marc Jacobs Paradise Rio. I LOVE IT! It’s conservative but not boring and so darn cute with all those zippers.

  20. e_pontellier :

    Hi hive, thanks to everyone for all the support yesterday afternoon. I really appreciated the reminder that if I allow my husband’s behavior to continue upsetting me, I’m paving the path to the end of my marriage. If anyone wants to follow up or get together in NYC, my anon email is e.pontellier.r e t t e [at] gmail [dot] com.
    Also, Ms BEF, you’re in my thoughts!

    • I hope when you say “if I allow my husband’s behavior to continue upsetting me” you mean if you continue to have upsetting interactions or continue on the path of not addressing the upsetting behavior and demanding better treatment from him. I realize we’re only getting one side of the story, but from what you described yesterday your husband’s behavior IS upsetting. I would worry about you if you did *not* find that behavior upsetting.

      • Yes, this.

        The wording of that sentence worried me, because I’m wondering if there is an unspoken, “I just have to train myself to not let my husband’s jerky behavior bother me.” That’s dangerously close to Stockholm Syndrome.

        e_pontellier, whatever you decide to do, please don’t modify your own thinking to make yourself more able to tolerate crap from your husband. Please take good care of yourself.

      • +1 It’s ok to be upset by upsetting treatment.

      • Cosign all of this. Don’t make excuses for the person treating you badly, both to yourself (in your own head) and to others (oh he has so many other good qualities, that’s really not what he meant). It’s not your fault. And you don’t have to ignore it. This is your husband, not a random person on the subway being inconsiderate. In the latter case, yes you should ignore behavior that upsets you (talking to loudly on phone, smacking gum).

    • e_pontellier :

      Thanks all. I think what I mean is that it’s Really Important for me to push for my husband to start therapy, and to continue sticking up for myself, as uncomfortable/upsetting as that can be.

      Right? (I’m asking because it might be the case that I don’t know “normal” anymore)

      • Yes. Yes yes yes. And it seems like it’s probably a good idea to keep up the therapy for yourself until you have a good, solid picture of what “normal” and “healthy” look like. I haven’t been in your situation, but I had a skewed view of normal at one point (sort of the opposite — thinking every interaction was one where I had to stand up for myself, otherwise known as a chip on one’s shoulder) and a therapist helped me get that external perspective that was key to learning how to develop healthy relationships. This must be such a hard process so good on you for being willing to work through it.

        • LadyEnginerd :

          Agree. If you don’t know what “normal” or “healthy” look like, you keep going until your life is healthy and normal and you’re confident in that self-assessment. Note that I said your life, not your marriage – it does take two to tango. If you are willing to dig deep and work towards a healthy marriage in therapy and your husband isn’t, it’s not a stretch to guess that he won’t be a healthy partner for you (or parent for hypothetical children) in the long term.

    • Thank you and you are in mine.

  21. Thanksgiving Threadjack:

    I have a lot of business travel in November, as well as other time commitments. I don’t think I’ll have time to do a Thanksgiving turkey, which I love, btw. I love, love, love, turkey. And I love having all these turkey leftovers afterwards. I can make some of the sides ahead of time and freeze. But the turkey itself is cumbersome and time-consuming and I’ll be having a number of people over, so I want to be able to focus on my guests, and enjoy myself rather than martyr myself in the kitchen.

    So, I’m thinking of ordering a smoked turkey from Greenberg.

    Anybody order from them before? Good/bad/indifferent results?

    • I don’t know if I have had that particular smoked turkey, but my uncle sent us one for one Thanksgiving and it was AMAZING! I highly suggest it, plus then you get all the leftovers and fun without all the work.

      Or, have someone else bring the turkey.

    • I grew up in Tyler, so Greenberg turkey tastes like Thanksgiving turkey is supposed to taste to me. :-)

      There are parts of the turkey that have a thick coating of their spice mix and those parts are the best by far.

      If you decide not do go with Greenberg, other options we’ve used/friends have used are
      * Honeybaked Ham sells turkey breasts. Buy more than one if you need massive amounts.
      * Local barbecue place sells smoked turkey meat by the pound all year, and I think does whole turkeys at Thanksgiving
      * Local cajun place sells deep fried turkeys

    • yes and you shold report back! I want to do this – need to check if they are still taking orders.

    • I order a smoked turkey from our favorite BBQ place every Thanksgiving, and I really love it. We live in Boston — not exactly BBQ country — but every BBQ place in town offers smoked turkeys. You could see if the ones in your area do, too!

      • Oh, and for the other Boston-based folks, our favorite place is Blackstrap BBQ in Winthrop, but Blue Ribbon and Redbones do smoked turkeys as well.

    • I did a smoked turkey one year – not from Gobble. It was slightly too salty when heated but OMG the leftovers!

    • Love Greenberg turkeys. My family would get at least one or two each holiday season from my dad’s patients (he’s a doctor). They are smoked, so they do have a different flavor than oven-baked. But they are delicious. I highly approve.

    • Nicer grocers like Whole Foods and Fresh Markets and many restaurants offer take-out menus for Thanksgiving if you get strapped for time to do sides. They probably have birds too.

  22. I am going through the most horrible divorce ever and am not at my best. Should I tell the managing attorney? What should I tell him?

    • I think you should tell him. Are there likely to be a lot of court appearances or times when you’ll need to be away from the office? If so, the managing attorney should know that there’s Serious Divorce Sh!t going down, rather than “A to Z is just being flaky.”

      I’d just ask him for a few minutes to talk, indicate you want this to be a private discussion, close the door and tell him, “I’m going through a very difficult divorce right now, and it is very time- and energy-consuming. I will continue to try to give you my best, but if there have been some bumps along the road on [this project/these projects], I wanted you to know about the underlying reason.”

      You don’t want him to think you’re flaky, looking for another job, bored, etc. The imagination is worse than the reality.

    • Yes, but present it as a solution not a problem. That is, instead of saying “I’m not at my best,” say “I realize I may not have been at my best and so here are the steps I’m taking to minimize the effect on my work.” If you need some accommodation, ask for it. That might mean asking for flexibility in taking time off to deal with lawyers — so you take two hours in the afternoon for an appointment but make it up in the evening, or it might mean asking for a lighter workload for a set period of time (where you include a proposal for what that workload would look like and when you would be able to resume the full workload). Also, it goes without saying that you don’t delve into the details. Either a “I’m dealing with a family situation” or “I’m going through a divorce” but no more. I realize this is a lot to ask you to put together right now, but what you don’t want to do is to lay it all in his lap or just give an open-ended “my work is going to be at an unspecified level of not-that-great for an unspecified amount of time.”

    • Anonymouse :

      Are you sure you aren’t at your best, or that your standards for yourself aren’t too high? Because telling your boss you aren’t performing well is a horrible idea unless you are certain that they noticed. I say this because I would be tempted to do this, but was told at my exit interview from my last job that I was the best Accountant they ever had in that department. The whole time, I thought I was mediocre, because I was dealing with my grandmother’s death my first few months there.

      • Agree on this. I’d amend what I wrote to say that you should say something if it’s been noticed that your work isn’t at its usual level, or if you anticipate lots of absences etc.

    • phillygirlruns :

      i told my boss when my husband and i separated. she is also my mentor and has gone through this herself, so i felt a bit more comfortable telling her than i otherwise would have. my reasons were generally what susan mentioned above – while i didn’t anticipate it having a significant effect on my workload or time in the office, i wanted her to know that if my work product suddenly declined or i was out here and there, it wasn’t because i turned stupid overnight or was less-than-dedicated to the job.

      we’re approaching self-evaluation time for our annual reviews, and the self-eval form includes a space to state whether there were any mitigating factors (or something along those line) that you’d like the reviewers to take into account when looking at your performance over the past year. i do not intend to disclose my separation & divorce there.

  23. In the latest installment of “Ms. BEF Spends Other People’s Money” please see the link below. I can’t buy it because I could never leave the house without a bra, but to those who can, please, buy this!


      • Gorgeous dress for the right body type!

      • just Karen :

        Goregous! How is DP’s sizing? Would it be truly terrible for someone to wear a nude bra under that? (I realize the answer is probably yes, but I need someone to drill it into my head).

        • On this, since it’s 8% elastane, I think you would need to go down a size.

        • Yes, just Karen. I would allow a black bandeau top, though (I wouldn’t be happy… but I’d allow it). ;)

        • I agree no to nude bra, but what about wearing a nice cami, either nude with the intent that it won’t be noticable, or black, so that it would just look like there was a lace over straight black material? (Which would detract from the effect of the dress some, I’m sure, but if it’s the only option …)

    • Hey girl, I haven’t really been around lately and I just wanted to say HUGS.

  24. any re-course? :

    I have a complicated question that some of the criminal defense/civil rights lawyers might know about. The background info is a little long, so fair warning:

    My father was arrested for a felony-level offense about 6 weeks ago. During the arrest, they took all of his files out of his house, office, and car. He is now out on bail, and attempting to work for the clients that will still have him. However, the police will not give him access to the client files that they took from him. His lawyer has offered to come make copies of two time-sensitive files in front of the police, to ensure there’s no “tampering with evidence”. The police initially ignored the requests, then stonewalled (asking exactly how many pages were in each file, the exact names with correct spellings, saying out-of-town clients must pick them up in person, etc.), and now the city lawyer has just changed his mind about not contesting a motion by my dad’s lawyer to get access to the files. This story is also making the rounds in lots of media outlets, which hurts my dad’s chances of ever getting his clients back.

    So, my questions: Is there any way to get those files back in a more timely manner, since they don’t relate at all to the criminal charge? Is there any recourse against the police for ruining my dad’s reputation and causing him to lose clients? He has yet to be indicted, is there some kind of timeline that they have to indict, or can they just drag out this purgatory for years?

    This whole situation with the police and the courts has really killed my faith in our justice system. It’s to the point that I want to sue every cop, judge or bystander related to this, but I know that’s not possible (stupid government imunity, who decided that giving humans un-checked power was a smart choice?). So, if there’s any actual steps that I can take, I would love to hear them (my other suggestion is to punch someone in the face, but clearly, assault on a cop or judge resulting in jail time is not the answer here!)

    • If the files don’t relate to the criminal charges, then how were the police able to get a warrant to take them? They had to have gotten a judge to sign a warrant, and therefore at least some must relate to the charges against your dad. The police can’t just take things from your home that aren’t creating an imminent danger and aren’t illegal for the heck of it. I think you are mistaken about some of the facts here.

    • It sounds like your dad needs an attorney. This is going to be out of the realm of anonymous internet advice.

    • A few things.

      1. The files may relate indirectly to the criminal charges. For example, if an accountant is charged with murder for hire, records related to the accused’s work may relate to tracing where the accused got or funneled the money used to pay the would-be hitmen.

      2. The files may relate to charges that have yet to be filed. For example, if the accountant’s company accused him of embezzling money after the murder-for-hire arrest, the police or federal authorities may be engaged in an on-going investigation related to that. Look at the search warrant used to collect the files and see what it describes.

      3. Timeline for indictment: your father’s attorney will have to answer that, but I believe you may be indicted for a crime so long as the statute of limitations on that crime has not yet run.

      • Also, in Texas, the statute of limitations for solicitation of an offense (that would be murder for hire where the murder is not consummated) is the same as the limitations period for the offense as completed. There is no limitation for presenting an indictment for murder.

  25. What kinds of jackets are good for a place with a milder climate (think California, Texas, etc.)? I just moved from the East Coast and want to buy a cute fall jacket. I have a trench coat that was my go-to light jacket for th is kind of weather back East, but I want to add something else, since light jacket weather lasts for so many months here

    • I have a mid-length jacket made of lined cotton knit that I wear far more often than I thought I would when I bought it. It really depends on where you are in the milder climate. I’d probably never wear it if I lived in TX.

    • I grew up in L.A. and never owned a proper coat. It was exciting enough to wear a sweater or unlined cotton jacket form time-to-time! I would advise against wool, puffers, etc., if you are in SoCal.

  26. What a wonderful day – truly foul weather (virtually gale force winds), and when I went to put on my favourite top this morning, I discovered it had been eaten by moths. (As had its twin in a different colour.)

    Am now washing all my as-yet-unmoth-attacked woolly garments with disinfectant, and have ordered industrial quantities of lavender for my wardrobe. Guess I know what I’ll be doing over the next couple of days. Hmph.

    Oh, and thanks for the advice yesterday! I’ll see how much I can put into practice in the next week.

  27. Thank you both for your thoughtful and excellent advise. The most pressing issue is that I need to get myself and my kids into counseling and I am sure this will impact my schedule. Otherwise, I think I am performing great.

  28. Ptooey!

  29. Nonny - paging TBK :

    TBK, I just wanted to thank you for sharing your views on Fair Trade yesterday – I just read what you wrote this morning. I had never really thought about it that way before but it makes a lot of sense. So the question is – what is a good, sustainable model? How does one achieve it? This is troublesome. I think I need to find some good reading on the subject.

    • Oh my god, I f&*#ing HATE these little arrows on the side. Nonny, I just wrote you a huge long reply but instead of posting, I guess the side arrow overlapped the “post” button and the whole thing got erased. (Kat, seriously, can something be done about these? No matter how big I make my browser, they overlap the comment box and there’s no getting away from them.)

      Quick version — When I was in Africa, what struck me most was the lack of infrastructure. Not only was there a lack of things like good roads, but the economy was incredibly informal. Without formal records of transactions, it’s almost impossible to have credit. Without credit, businesses can’t grow (I do support microfinance for this reason). So I think the solution is roads, credit, and reliable regulation (i.e., not governments that change the rules every two seconds). Ultimately, I find fair trade to come from a very colonial mind-set, the sort of “these poor people can’t do for themselves so we’ll magnanimously do for them.” Businesspeople in all parts of the world are shrewd and enterprising. Instead of taking a set of standards for pricing, work conditions, etc. that originated in one part of the world and imposing them on another, I think it makes more sense to try to remove the roadblocks that exist to allow people to innovate and develop the business model that best works for their community and their culture. I dislike fair trade also because I feel like it’s the anti-poverty version of greenwashing. Pay $2 more for the thing with the special label and feel virtuous about it (and slightly judgey toward people who don’t pay $2 extra to help the poor foreign people), while there’s little evidence that it does any good and in fact may be more harmful than good.

      • Honey Pillows :

        Try zooming out of your screen. The comment box should get narrower.

        • It doesn’t work. The left arrow stays over the comment box and the white space to the right of the box just gets bigger.

      • I am a banana. :

        Have you read “The Road to Hell”? It really opened my eyes about how charitable giving can be not very charitable in that context (undercutting the ability for local farmers to develop their own local economy by donating food which makes their locally grown product worthless, etc.). Might be more negative than necessary but it was one of my best reads last year, and your post reminded me of some of the main points.

      • What do you think of Direct Trade as an alternative model? I am thinking, specifically, about this:
        When I toured the Intelligentsia roasting facilities, I was impressed by the lack of paternalism. I would love to hear what you think, though, TBK.

        • Based on what their website says, specifically this part:

          We believe in coffee quality and have made a commitment to our customers to offer only truly dazzling Specialty Coffees that speak for themselves in the cup. We believe that to get such coffees we need to work closely with actual producers, not just importers or exporters, so that we can build great coffees from the very start.

          (in particular “to get such coffees we need to work closely with actual producers”) I think it sounds great. What’s different, for me, is the fact that they’re traveling to the growers and working closely with them because it’s good for their own business. The growers who provide a great product will be successful and there will be the motivation to improve the product and the process. I’m also not seeing any mention of a guaranteed price; presumably a superior product will command a superior price. Also, the buyers are showing respect and admiration for the growers, not pity. This is not a charity but a collaborative effort and so it works for me.

  30. Should I tip the guys who delivered and are now assembling my new treadmill? Not sure of the protocol. Obviously I paid to have it assembled. If so, how much?

    • I always tip delivery folks – even if it’s a few bucks ($10 or so) plus offer a bottle of water for the road.

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