Coffee Break – Twentie Wedges

YOU by Crocs - Twentie (Light Grey) - FootwearReader A recently wrote in to recommend another pair of heels, noting that due to nerve damage in her feet she sought extremely comfortable heels. As she described her pair, “They are beautiful, and cushiony, and have awesome arch support. The leather is excellent quality, too.” So while her high-heeled sandals were gorgeous and possibly appropriate for some offices, I thought I’d poke around the You by Crocs collection to find something more office-appropriate in general.  I love the look of these wedges — the high heels, the cut-outs, the neutral colors — love ’em. They’re $129 at Zappos in black, gray, and beige. YOU by Crocs – Twentie


(Pssst: check out The Corporette Guide to Comfortable Heels if you haven’t already!)


  1. Random question: Does anyone know where I can find a list of cases where cert has been granted for the Court’s next term? I have looked around SCOTUS blog and Cert Pool, and while they both discuss upcoming cases, neither has a list of all the grants. I’d also be happy to have an article or blog post about the most important cases coming up next year. A Google search finds articles about certain cases but again, nothing broad. Any help?

    • Here you go:

      • That’s great. I looked on their website too but somehow didn’t find it. Duh. Not many cases granted so far this year.

  2. PharmaGirl :

    I’ve been eyeing these shoes for a long time but can’t get past the brand.

  3. Ladies, I’m embarrassed to ask but you guys are the best resource, ever. Where can I find good coffee? Like, the kind of coffee people rave about and will never stop talking about? I’ve only had really good coffee in South America and Europe. I’ve declared a ban on Starbucks bc their coffee tastes like burning turds unless you mask it with cream and syrups. Is there a cafe or local roaster in the NYC area you believe in? I’m cool with whole beans or grinded versions for the coffeemaker or espressomaker. HELP ME, I NEED CAFFEINE BUT ALL THIS STUFF TASTES YUCKY.

    • Cornellian :

      I swear by Gimme! coffee. They roast their own beans, and just have a few shops in NYC and upstate. Their Manhattan location is at 228 Mott Street. No frills, but great coffee and friendly service. They’ll grind to your preference if you ask.

      • Oh, I miss Gimme! so much! I still take back a bag or two with me when I visit Ithaca. Stumptown coffee from Portland is another personal fave of mine.

      • cornell too :

        Gimme is excellent. I also highly recommend

      • Yet another Cornellian :

        Yes. I also bring Gimme! back from Ithaca when I visit.

      • yes, Gimme! is definitely the best coffee i’ve ever had.

    • When I was a bigger coffee drinker, I loved Dean’s Beans (based out of Western Mass, I think). If you look at their website, they should list some NYC shops that brew their stuff, and you can also order online. I remember being particularly fond of Berkely Sharkbite.

    • You chould roast your own beans the way you like them. If you really want to go down that obsessive path (the path I take for almost everything I’m interested in), check out CoffeeGeek. The geeks there will help you with every little thing.

      • Anonsensical :

        I second roasting your own. It’s cheap and easy and you’ll get the best coffee. I order Sweet Maria’s website and use a Jiffy Pop popcorn popper to roast the beans.

        • whoa, i’m intrigued! this sounds awesome. More deets? I’ll check out that website too…

          • I was going to send you a coffeegeek thing on roasting, but I got all distracted by this tutorial about making iced coffee using an Aeropress (if you are a coffee geek, you must own a $25 aeropress) and now I’m obsessed with getting home and making this


            (ps for safety, I will probably not be using the inverted method)

            I want an iced coffee like nobody’s business right now.

          • And here’s roasting your own beans using a popcorn popper, like Anonsensical does.


            (to be honest, I’m buying regular Peet’s Major Dickason these days. In a cruel twist of fate, this coffee geek now has to drink decaf.)

          • awesome!

            So i looked at sweet marie and coffee geek, and now my question is: do ya’ll use a frying pan, jiffy pop corn maker or fancy appliance? Sounds like anonsensical uses the pop corn maker. I totally wanna try this and am curious if the frying pan method is too uneven and difficult (i don’t have a pop corn maker).

          • I did it with an old air popper meant for popcorn. Not an expensive specialty gadget.

            But (as my moderated comment says – not sure why it’s stuck there) I actually stopped roasting my own some time ago. It was fun and educational, though!

    • I like Culture Epsresso Bar in midtown (38th and 6th Ave.). I’ve never bought beans from there to take home, but they make very good coffee. I love their cold brew. I usually use milk and sugar with my coffee, but the cold brew is naturally a bit sweet so I don’t use any sugar at all. They also make a great cappuccino.

    • We live in a coffee deprived area after 7 years in Seattle where we were coffee snobs. Our solution is to mail order a monthly pound of coffee from Blue Bottle in San Francisco. You can also mail order monthly from Stumptown, which originates in Portland but does have an outlet in NYC (not sure if they roast there) and is my favorite. I love Blue Bottle too.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        SF-based Blue Bottle just opened a store in Brooklyn, I believe.

      • I get a little resistant to culty things, and Blue Bottle was, and still is to some degree, super culty.

        But sometimes things are culty because they really are good, and Blue Bottle turns out to be really good.

        Unfortunately (as my moderated post above says) I’ve become fairly sensitive to caffeine and I don’t love Blue Bottle’s decaf Noir.

    • Go to Carroll Gardens and check out D’Amico roasters. Their stuff is amazing.

    • Good coffee is everywhere in NYC!

      If you hate Starbucks, you probably hate dark roasts. Try something more mellow and medium-bodied. For drinking at home, I usually get coffee at Citarella or Fairway (I like their house blends for everyday, they have fancier options if you really want that “OMG” experience). Maybe try something in Columbian family – I find those a bit too mellow, personally, but some people prefer that. Jamaican Mountain Blend or some variation is a bit more expensive but it is another option that will be available in most places and is quite good.

      In terms of coffee shops, so many places to choose from — if you say a location, maybe I or someone else can make a specific rec. Off the top of my head, Think Coffee, Laughing Man, Blue Spoon, Bluebird, La Colombe, Stumptown … For a chain – I really like Le Pain Quotidienne.

      • My bf who is a huge coffee drinker (like 6 cups a day) loves Cafe Pedlar in Brooklyn. There used to be one on the LES but I think it’s closed. They use Stumptown coffee which is based in Portland but has a Manhattan location on W. 29th.

      • Also, Oren’s or Joe’s in NYC

      • Does anyone else love Financier for coffee? I no longer work near it, so sad.

        When I don’t have the gourmet stuff nearby, I like Dunkin or even the coffee cart guys on the street. I’d take them over Starbucks any day. The one and only coffee I can drink at Starbucks is Pike Place Roast.

        At home, our brand of choice is Lavazza.

    • phillygirlruns :

      i prefer darker roasts. my go-to’s are one village coffee’s nor’easter blend (winter seasonal) and allegro coffee’s vail blend (year-round). one village is local to philly and allegro is based out of colorado, but both are sold in a decent number of whole foods stores on the east coast…you may be able to find them in NYC.

    • Intelligentsia is the gold standard. Start there, then see where your taste buds lead you.

    • By a Mokka coffee maker for your stove top and then by Illy brand espresso and make your own! (Seriously, its the best.)

      Otherwise, I can’t help you in NYC.

      • You can also get a DeLonghi Alicia which is like a moka pot only it plugs into the wall. Makes really lovely small pots of strong coffee. My favorite.

    • Dunkin Donuts coffee in a French press. That is all.

      • I don’t like french press. Some people love it. Not for me. I much prefer drip.

        I also don’t like really dark/strong coffee. I feel like sometimes there’s a little competition with coffee and beer, like among who can drink the stronger coffee or the pint of double/triple IPA.

        • Yes, I love it when I hear some dude saying he was so tired he drank a TRIPLE ESPRESSO (usually pronounced “expresso” by said dude.)

          Which probably had less caffeine than a cup of drip.

          • Cornellian :

            This!!! Ounce for ounce, espresso’s more caffeinated… but with a 16 oz. coffee being the new regular, there’s no competition.

          • I only drink espresso for this reason, I get over-caffienated way too easily with drip coffee.

        • I find French press less acidy, somehow, than drip. Plus it’s easier to make at work. I also find Dunkin Donuts pretty mild. I agree with the person above who said that Starbucks can only be tolerated by adding vast amounts of milk/cream and sugar!

          • Cornellian :

            French press always comes out a bit oily to me, for lack of a better word. Also I’m too much of a klutz to keep the glass pots very long. I have a plastic cone that has a drainage feature like those teapots… it will steep until I set it on top of a cup, and then it will drip out the bottom. Simple construction, easy to clean, hard to break, and it kills the oily. I’ve read that French press coffee actually has sort of obscene amounts of cholesterol for the lack of paper filtering.

          • Cornellian, is it this “clever” cone?

            I have had one for a couple of years and it has started to leak before I put it on the cup. Maybe I should just order another one.

            I like the Aeropress a lot, but it requires a lot of force.

          • Cornellian :

            MamaBear: for some reason I can’t reply to your question directly, but yes, it is that one. I had that problem when I used it in Denmark, and I realized that all Danes apparently clean out anything that has been exposed to hot tap water with vinegar becuase of mineral buildup. I think slight build up had made the seal at the bottom less than perfect. You might try cleaning that out, first.

            I’ve played with glass and ceramic versions of those that don’t have that drain feature on the bottom, and although they’re super pretty, the coffee always comes out too weak after having steeped for such a short time.

    • migraine Sufferer :

      “Batdorf and Bronson” is my absolute favorite and I’ll also accept a “cafe Vita.” You might be able to get either online, I’m not sure.

    • spacegeek :

      Peets coffee!! A Northern California original, which I mail ordered when I lived in TX. Now I’m in S. CA, and there are only two shops relatively near me, so I buy 4 lbs at a time, which takes me through a month’s worth of home brew. Deeeeelish and very strong.

  4. momentsofabsurdity :

    Am considering buying either AmLactin or Glytone to combat the keratosis pilaris on my legs, especially my thighs. My legs aren’t really “bumpy” but they are covered in little black dots like Beyonce’s (google image search) “Beyonce keratosis pilaris” to see what I’m talking about) and I’d like to tackle the issue.

    Has anyone had success with either/both of these treatments?

    • I’ve had Amlactin work like a charm on my arms, and those of my daughter and husband. I havne’t had the issue on my legs but couldn’t say.

      So – AmLactin works as long as you keep using it. When you stop , the KP comes right back.

    • Notes about these shoes- 1) They’re super wide. Might even be too wide for wide feet. 2) In person, they have a little too much of the too-round-toe/ comfort shoe look for my taste. The same look that some naturalizer flats have. These looked great online but were a huuuuge miss for me.

      • Oops- that was supposed to go on the main thread. I can help you out on the KP. I have a pretty bad case and have gone through many, many OTC and Rx products before finding a system that I like. I’ve done lots and lots of research on KP over the 10 years that I’ve been battling it. I’m an extremely fair Caucasian, so in addition to the bumps, my KP areas are also bright red from the inflammation.
        Alpha and beta hydroxy acids are the two main types of products recommended for KP treatment. The blog FutureDerm recently had a great series of articles explaining AHAs and BHAs. I highly recommend it in addition to the many KP-specific articles on the web.
        Here’s my summary:
        KP is caused by an excess of keratin in the skin. That excess keratin builds up in the hair follicles and forms the bumps that cause the surrounding skin to be irritated (and bright red if you have light skin like me). AHAs (like glycolic acid) are awesome for moisturizing the skin which may help soften the bumps. BHAs (like salicylic acid) are much better at loosening the keratin enough that it can shed from your skin. While AHAs are fantastic products and do help me control my KP, I’ve found that salicylic acid (BHA) is essential to actually getting rid of the bumps rather than just softening them.
        More info on this is where the FutureDerm articles will really come in handy. I think the main things to know are that 2% salicylic acid is the highest legal concentration in OTC products (except for peels, but you shouldn’t use those for KP treatment regularly). 2% is too high for most people to use on the rest of their bodies, but KP skin usually benefits from the highest concentration. I used to use a prescription cream that was 5%, and my skin tolerated it find. Also know that your skin will absorb more of the acids (= better results!) if they’re delivered in a liquid form rather than a cream or lotion. AHAs make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so if you’re going to use them, you also need to be committed to applying sunscreen to those areas. Finally, salicylic acid (and I don’t remember about AHAs) shouldn’t be used if pregnant- it hasn’t been proven safe and is related to aspirin (so also don’t use it if you’re allergic to aspirin).
        I’ve used and liked Stridex Maximum Strength wipes, Glycolix Gly Sal wipes, and Alpha Hydrox AHA Enhanced Lotion (has a pretty thin consistency). I’m planning to try several of the products recommended in the last FutureDerm post. I think the Paula’s Choice CLEAR Extra Strength Acne Relief Exfoliating Toner could be a good alternative to the Stridex wipes.
        I haven’t been crazy about lotions that are really thick like Salex (prescription) and AmLactin. I haven’t found them as effective as lower-concentration liquids (and my research indicates that may be because the acids aren’t penetrating my skin as deeply), and I don’t like the greasy feeling of the really thick creams or the residue left by the Salex lotion. One of the reasons these creams are thick is that occlusion of the area is good for keeping moisture in. The problem is that putting an occlusive agent with the acids diminishes the effects of the acids. I prefer to apply them separately. I apply the acid products morning and night (either immediately after the shower or after wiping the area to remove any leftover products- I just quickly wash the back of my arms after washing my face) and a good, irritant-free moisturizer a few minutes later.
        Note: I have absolutely no affiliation with FutureDerm beyond being a regular reader. I recommend the articles highly because they’re recent, informative, and practical for people trying to get rid of KP. If you’re interested in glycolic acid for its anti-aging benefits, also check out Dr. Bailey’s Skin Care blog. I also don’t have any affiliation with the products I mentioned. I’m just a person with bad KP who is feeling benevolent today J
        FutureDerm articles on AHAs & BHAs:

        • anonforthis :

          Wow — hugely helpful. Thank you! I use Bliss Ingrown Eliminating pads on my bikini zone post waxing and they contain both BHAs and AHAs so I may give them a shot. Thanks!!

        • Anonymous :

          Oh, and most reputable articles that I’ve read say that body washes won’t be as effective as other products because they’re washed off. They’ll help, but don’t give up on those ingredients if you don’t get good results from the body wash. The delivery system is really important because so many variables can affect the effectiveness (consistency, pH, etc).

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          Thank you! I’ve never seen futurederm but will poke around, and clearly you have tons of experience in this area.

    • Are you talking about bumps or the tiny dots where your hair follicle is? If it’s the latter, I don’t think it’s KP and I don’t think either of those treatments will do much for you. According to my dermatologist, it’s a result of the way your hair grows. The only solution is laser to get rid of the hair.

      Sorry – I google Beyonce but couldn’t figure it out.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Tiny dots where the hair follicle grows (some places are bumpy but its not that noticeable). The internet seems to peg that as KP, and it sticks around even with leg waxing (for a long time, I thought it was related to the fact that shaving only “cuts” the hair near the surface of the skin), so I don’t know if laser treatments would even help, sadly.

        It kind of looks like this:

        I figured I’d try with AmLactin or similar and see if it makes a difference.

        • That’s what I thought. The internet is wrong, I think. Sometimes these things are related, as in a person with one also has the other, but I don’t think it’s KP (and neither does my derm!).

          It has nothing to do with shaving (I actually thought I had it from waxing) though shaving can make it worse if your skin is irritated. I do notice that using a depilatory makes it a tiny bit better – I think because the hair is disolved at the root, but it’s far from gone. Waxing doesn’t solve it for me, I think b/c the skin is too irritated initially. I have asked multiple doctors and aestheticians about it b/c it is seriously the bain of my existence and the group concensus is that you can’t do anything about it other than laser and even that is not guaranteed to make it 100% gone. If you figure out a solution, by all means let me know, but I have been on this quest for 15+ years and nada. Sorry :(

          • Lest I made all that sound too hopeless – you can make your legs look generally better by moisturing well, reducing inflammation, exfoliating weekly, etc. I am quite pale, so a bit of tanning also helps with the camouflage effect for me.

          • momentsofabsurdity :

            Sighhhhhhhh. Sad story. I love my legs otherwise but am self conscious wearing shorts/skirts without tights. I may just have to embrace my body as is.

          • I had this – dark, coarse leg hair on pale skin. Even shortly after I shaved, you could still see the follicles, plus all that shaving (pretty much every day) tended to cause some inflammation so the follicles also would be slightly red. Laser treatment, while pricey, has worked wonders. Hair regrowth is minimal and what grows back is very fine, so much so that I often don’t notice it until I have rather a long hair sticking out!

            Everyone has different results, but dark hair/fair skin is supposed to be the best combo for laser treatment because the contrast allows the laser to target the follicle better (or something like that). I’m really happy with my treatment. Do some shopping around – if the economy is still crappy enough where you live you might be able to get a deal, if this is something you want to do. Oh, this also has cut down on the insane itchiness I used to get, probably from the shaving. I’d scratch in my sleep to the point of drawing blood.

            If you don’t want to go this route, I agree a good moisturizing, gentle exfoliation, self-tanner routine probably will help some.

      • I have this, but I never really thought of it as problematic (thanks for giving me something new to be neurotic about!).
        That said, I have done lots of laser & besides being freaking awesome, it seems to have made the dots a little less noticeable. Prob because instead of having a light brown dot + a black hair growing out of it now, now it’s just the light brown dot…. if that makes sense.

    • I’ve gotten both AmLactin and the glytone body wash. When I was really good about using them both every time, it wasn’t gone, but it was definitely improved. But with travel and being busy and sometimes liking to use nice-smelling body wash, (though I think mostly it was using the AmLactin that helped), I am not always consistent about it.

    • lucy stone :

      AmLactin works fabulous on my arms, but I am the whitest white girl of all time so my kp may be different than yours.

      • I’ve had great luck with Paula’s Choice Weightless Body Treatment. It has BHA and has at least flattened the bumps and made them much less noticeable. You do have to keep using it, though. If you stop, the bumps will come back. I wish I could say that something would make the condition go away entirely, but this has made a 60-70% improvement.

  5. Finance novice :

    Anyone want to go work bag shopping for me? I was the one who posted last week about my monthly expenditures and mentioned that I had not bought a bag in over a year (and my current bag is a Nine West one from Marshalls, and is looking pretty bedraggled).

    I have never bought a purse for more than $50. I’d like to keep the price under $200, ideally under $150 but there is some flexibility. I like bigger bags than can fit my wallet, makeup, sunglasses, etc (but nothing too big). I like all colors, but nothing too crazy. This will be my first grown up bag, I guess.

    I know people have recommended bags on here before but I can’t seem to track down the links. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    • just Karen :

      I will try to piggyback on this b/c I have the same budget as Finance novice, but need a work bag large enough to fit a couple of files in it and need it to be a neutral (or red – it still works with everything). I know there have been recommendations for Jack George, but they’re just a little out of my price range. Other suggestions?

    • Check out Elliott Lucca bags. I have a few (a tote, satchel, clutch) and love the quality of the leather for a pretty reasonable price. I’ve had several of them for 3 years now and they’re holding up very well. Sign up for emails from Elliott Lucca, or check out sales at Nordstrom/Zappos/6pm, etc.

    • Merabella :

      I just went to Nordstrom and selected a price range.

      I really like this one.

      • I really like that bag, got to check the measurements – lately I’ve been ordering and returning bags because they are just too gigantic. I’m kind of small and don’t really want to look like an Olsen twin with a giant bag. Plus I don’t really need anything that huge.

        I like this Steve Madden bag because it comes in COLORS! I’m also an outlier in this regard, I guess – if I’m going to spend $$$ for a bag, I’d like it to be in a color I love, which is not black, brown, red, or tan. But then I work someplace where no one is going to look askance at me carrying a purple bag with my orange winter coat.

        May have to stop by Nordstrom sometime soon.

    • canadian anon :

      I was in a similar situation (had been toting around a $30 navy H&M purse for at least 2 years) and scooped up a very simple, classic Kate Spade leather purse in grey in a recent sample sale. Although I had to pay extra for shipping and duties, it still came to under $200 (more than I’d ever spent on a purse). Completely worth it. I’d keep an eye out for that sort of thing.

    • This is probably c*rporette blasphemy but I have a faux-leather black tote from Melie Blanco that is possibly the single most complimented item of apparel I own. It has a fun textured front (sort of flat fringe in a chevron pattern if you can picture that) but is black and simply shaped so its toes the line of funky/work appropriate well. Most importantly, it has worn really well and cost all of $90. Like you bags are something that just do not excite me. I am super tough on my bags and hate changing them out (in fact I only own one) so I need something that can look good while taking some abuse.

      Last year I splurged on a $200 leather bag and it was destroyed within a year which really bummed me out. I know I probably could have gotten more use out of it if I had treated it more delicately but I am just not going to be that person. This bag allows me to carry something that looks snazzy without worry.

    • Thank you for the recommendations! The Steve Madden bag is cute but bigger than what I am looking for (I don’t need my bag to fit a laptop). And I didn’t see any Elliot Luca bags I liked on Nordtrom, but will continue to look. Please keep the suggestions coming (and links would be even better!).

    • I bought a Cole Haan bag at an outlet store last year for $100. It’s black and very basic, but I love it and carry it everywhere.

  6. Tired Squared :

    Does anyone have any good recommendations for heel inserts? My go-to pair of work shoes are great because they match pretty much everything and they have an ankle strap … but after standing/walking around all day, the balls of my feet are pretty sore.


    • Merabella :

      I love terry cloth inserts from Aldo. They aren’t necessarily thick/supportive, but they keep my feet dry.

      • I just started using these after a recommendation here – they are comfy!

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Superfeet!!! Available at Nordie’s. They are magic.

    • Yes! Foot petals — should read reviews on zappos, they’re great! Amazon sells them cheaper though.

    • canadian anon :

      The Dr Scholl’s gel inserts for high heels. Magic. I find they last longer than the Aldo terrycloth ones, which get squished down.

    • Tired Squared :

      Thank you all!

  7. Kontraktor :

    Job hunting tips. What do you do/use?

    Right now, I use a combination of LinkedIn, Craigslist, and Indeed. For the latter two, I have specific sections/search criteria that I use, check them 1-2 times a day, and apply to positions I am qualified for. For LinkedIn, I use the search tool and look at the postings in the relevant groups I’m in. So far, almost all of my bites have come from unsollicited inquiries via LinkedIn. I’ve only had a couple of bites result from applications I’ve sent to various people/through company websites I’ve found through Indeed/Craigslist. On a bad day, I apply to 0 or 1 job. On a good day, maybe 3-4.

    I will occasionally look at the career services pages of my u-grad/grad schools, but applying to those postings has sollicited some odd results so I don’t use them too much. Have gone through alumni connection pages to try to get put in for “referrals” to various positions at large corporations, but nothing has come of that either. I troll our internal company listings, but opportunities in this area are rarely listed. I check the career boards of maybe… oh, 5-10 large companies on a maybe weekly basis to see if any positions have come up in my area to apply to.

    What else can I do? Especially with LinkedIn? My profile is already 100% complete, I have a bunch of recs, and I am trying to continue to build connections. I feel like I have sent out hundreds (hundreds…) of applications and I want to increase my rate of return, if that’s possible. I feel like I’m missing something.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      My husband also checks monster, a regional job search site like [state name], and local newspaper ads. I’d also check trade publications and member sites. So, if you were a lawyer, I’d say check the monthly bar journal and major city bar publications, your state’s bar association website, etc.

    • idealist [dot] org for non profits

    • Seattleite :

      Hey, Kontraktor, how is the driving going? I hope you’re settling into that routine and feeling more comfortable.

      • Kontraktor :

        Thanks for asking! Driving is… okay. I drove to work by myself for the first time today. It was a little stressful, but at least I am not overcome by total fear and dread like I was when I first started. I am not sure I will be 100% comfortable on the roads by the time my husband gets home, but this is a start at least. The routine is still up in the air, but I am taking small steps.

    • Are you a lawyer? What’s your field?

      • Kontraktor :

        Nope, not a lawyer. Right now, I am in defense contracting/government consulting and have been looking mainly both consulting/business analytics type jobs.

      • Kontraktor :

        Yikes, can’t type. Mostly I have been looking at consulting/business analytics type jobs.


        • Kontraktor :

          If only. I’ve pretty much given up on USA Jobs as a viable resource on account of being rejected multiple times, despite maxing out the assessment score and adding 5-point preference. I think being a vet with a 10-point preference and/or being extremely lucky is the only way to get hired cold into the government.

    • If you’ve got an active or current clearance (I seem to remember you do?), try ClearanceJobs. It’s primarily focused on contracting positions, and access is limited to folks with clearances, so you’re competing against a smaller pool.

      • It seems like most of the jobs these days want TS-SCI (with or without poly). Gah. Even smaller pool!

        • Kontraktor :

          I’ve got one of those, but in this area, most of the cleared jobs are in IT/systems engineering. I’m definitely trolling those boards though/I have my resume posted there, I just find the jobs are not really in my field. Some days I wonder why I left DC… oh yeah, to be with that guy I love who leaves me for deployments. Sheesh. :-P

  8. Over the weekend, I accidentally posted this in the middle of very serious comments on honoring memorial day. Thanks Miss Jackson and TCFKAG for the comments, but I figured I’d repost it.

    SO’s wardrobe update!
    My SO is engineer field, just finished his masters and in serious need of some non stained, non-bought-by-his-mother-in-highschool-from-Walmart adult clothes. After much delay, last weekend we went to Nordstroms and the SA there worked *miracles*. He talked my SO out of pleated pants, into slim-cut up shirts, and may have slightly opened his eyes to the world of men’s fashion. The concept of “quality clothing” really got through to him- clothes that will last and look nice are worth the expense. (…the expense here being spending any money at all on clothes!)
    We walked out of Nordstroms with a pair of slacks, two dress shirts, and then hit up Gap and Sears/Lands End for more basics. Still a work in process, but I’m so glad I can finally throw out those pleated pants!

    Really glad that my SO is getting more interested in dressing himself. I really didn’t want to act like his mother and dress him (his family’s culture is that the women take care of the men which really isn’t me!), but I also didn’t want other people to write him off based on how he presented himself. I feel like we’re reaching a happy medium where I say “pick me up dark chocolate bars from Trader Joes” and he says “grab me extra T shirts from Target.” :)

    • Nordie’s personal shoppers for men are the best. My SO went from plaid shirts from hs / college to getting excited about the semi-annual sale and me going: Do you really need another jacket? Happy he looks great though.

    • Congratulations! I moved my SO from light-wash jeans (!) to dark-wash. I just checked his size one day, and went to Gap and picked up a few pairs. Then I returned one pair he didn’t like. Sometimes I just come home with clothes for him. He’s fine with it. I’m fine with him trying stuff on and then returning it if it doesn’t work.

      • layered bob :

        yep. usually I just buy clothes for DH and return whatever he rejects. After two years of marriage I’ve made good progress on replacing all the things I don’t like with things I do. Although he has a lovely wardrobe of “nice casual” clothes that he never wears in favor of tees and flannel shirts. But at least the tees and flannels are nice now.

  9. Future Marylander :

    Hi Ladies – Any housing recommendations for the Columbia, MD area? I posted a couple of months ago and got some recs, but I am now unable to find the comment (the custom google search is not getting anything).

    I’m relocating and looking for a safe and affordable studio or 1 bed. I will be working near the Columbia mall, but the rents nearby are a bit high. Laurel seems to have some safety issues. Anyone have recommendations? Thank you!

    • Not a Columbia fan :

      I used to live at the Avalon at Fairway Hills, which was very nice, quiet, and affordable. They have a gym in the building and the management was good. With that said, not sure what you’re living situation is like, but if you’re young or single (or even young and married), I would not recommend living in Columbia. It’s really intended for older families with children. My husband and I were bored out of our mind living there. Parts of Baltimore (like Fells Point and Fed Hill) are cute and have great restaurants. Or even parts of Silver Spring would be more bustling. Not sure what you’re looking for but just wanted to point that out. In Columbia, the most popular “outing” is going to the mall. :)

      • Not a Columbia fan :

        Hmm, I don’t think we had that problem upon move out but this was seven years ago so things may have changed.

    • I would second Not a Columbia fan. Columbia is for couples with kids who live in the ‘burbs and want to go to a good public high school (again, not sure of your situation but it doesn’t sound like this is what you are). As is most of the area around Columbia – it’s what I would call “the family zone.” I’d suggest looking at areas of Baltimore, as the commute is probably better than from Silver Spring.

    • FormerPhotog :

      I used to live in one of the AIMCO complexes there – Lazy Hollow. This was several years ago, but I was very happy with both the safety and the management of that complex, and I would feel comfortable recommending at least that complex (and frankly, I looked at complexes managed by them in my new location, and they were just as nice, so go ahead and check out Chimneys @ Cradlerock and Grande Pointe. I know a few people who live further east down 175, towards Ft. Meade/Arundel Mills Mall/BWI area, and there are some nice places, but they all own, so I don’t know about the rental market.

      I looked at Laurel when I originally moved to the area, and I agree, all the rentals looked unsafe – and I was moving from a sketchy neighborhood in Rochester.

    • I think I commented on that last thread too? sounds familiar. Anyway, I’d try Ellicott City or the southern side of Columbia/Elkridge- around where the Trader Joe’s is. I think things are a bit more affordable down there. A friend of mine lives in a nice rented condo off of rt 1 in Elkridge (I think the street name was something elderberry ct or some other berry related thing). Not a happening area for sure, but quick drive to Baltimore, close to MARC for going into DC, and close commute to area near Columbia Mall.

      Now you said “safe and affordable” not “good nightlife.” There are nice parts of Baltimore, but you’re going to pay more for a nice 1 br or studio in Federal Hill than you would in Columbia. And it may not include parking, and it may not be somewhere you feel comfortable street parking or walking home alone at night. But the nightlife/concentration of young singles is fantastic. It’s a tradeoff.

      Personally, I would not do Silver Spring. It doesn’t have good nightlife either (everyone goes to DC). It has more shopping and restaurants, but it is incredibly congested and parts of it are sketchy (Silver Spring is a huge and diverse area) so unless you are familiar with the area, I wouldn’t do it.

      I don’t think Columbia is that bad. It is very suburbia for sure, but it has some decent restaurants (Victoria’s, Iron Bridge Wine Co up towards E-City, Royal Taj, the new-ish House of India). It’s not like you’re stuck with either Applebee’s or TGI Fridays on a Saturday night. There is no real downtown or bar scene though.

    • Future Marylander :

      Thank you for all the recommendations. I appreciate your thoughts about what the pros and cons of the area are and will keep you posted.

      • I live west of Ellicott City in Marriottsville. Keep looking.

        Columbia has an assessment for essentially it’s parks & recs offerings – so if you like to work out, there are tons of trails and you may want to consider the savings of say, a gym membership. Many young professionals in the area, it’s where I met my now-husband (Dorsey Hall). We’re avid bike riders and used their trail system often. It’s the only county in MD that offered co-ed adult soccer and volleyball, and I grew up in MD.

        Also, the housing market is in the tank, so this is a better time to look at buying a condo, or renting non-traditionally (MIL apt).

        It is a place where a car is pretty much a requirement, though it’s close to planes (BWI, National) and Trains (MARC) and commuter buses.

        Laurel straddles three counties and has a variety of neighborhoods, and is becoming more of a DC suburb. I’d consider Catonsville 21228/Arbutus before Laurel. There are rentals in the area as it’s the college-neighborhood for UMBC.

        Best wishes!

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      I got mugged in Columbia, but that was a few years ago.

  10. Cross-Body Work Bag :

    Along the same line as the commenter requesting info for work bags, I need help finding a cross-body style work bag. To narrow this down, I want a true purse, not a briefcase or messenger bag. I’ve started having horrible back problems (to the point that I’ve got numbness in my arms) from carrying a large purse everywhere. Any advice on something current and stylish, yet easier on my body? I’d go smaller, but I just don’t think I can do it (yet). I’m willing to spend up to $200-250.

    • I have an older version of this, and I love it. Only $79.

  11. anonforthis :

    How do you guys deal with freeloading friends and coworkers?

    I have a coworker who is constantly “borrowing” money in little amounts and never really paying it back. This coworker is related to my boss, which complicates things. About a year ago, he started asking for the occasional ride into work (he lives about 15-20min from me). He offered to pay for gas but I brushed him off because he was coming in with me once every two weeks and it wasn’t a big deal – we are friends. Now, he drives in with me and back every day but has never offered to pay for gas and the few times I’ve brought it off he’s just been like “Oh yeah, I should do that” without ever actually ponying up the cash. Similarly when we go out to lunch, he will grab something and go “Hey, I forgot my card at work. Can you get this and I’ll get the next one?” (but he never actually gets the next one). This happens about 15-20% of the time we run out for lunch together (which is mostly every day since he rides in with me).

    I feel bad pressing him for money, since I know his parents recently cut him off. I broach the subject once or twice (“Hey by the way, you owe me $26 from the past couple lunches” “Oh right, I will get that for you” then next day, “Hey did you run to an ATM yet?” “No not yet, sorry,” etc etc), then I let it die because I don’t know how to bring it up without sounding like a nagging and bean-counting b*tch and it’s not SO much money that my life is unraveling without it. I know the solution is to just stop lending him money, which I am trying to do but becomes difficult when we are at the grocery store and he throws a candy bar down the belt and goes “Hey, this is faster than doing the self-checkout twice, do you mind?”

    Any advice?

    • I say just quit. Next time he tries it, say something like, “no, your tab has reached its limit.” So it’s kinda jokey, but then stick to your guns.

      Not sure I’d do anything about the carpooling.

      • I love this suggestion. If he gets confrontation/offended/defensive about it, the OP will know that he’s just taking advantage of her. The most important thing is for her to stick to her guns.

    • canadian anon :

      If you don’t feel up to flat-out confronting him about this, next time he asks for lunch or grocery favours, just say something along the lines of “sorry, I’m really counting my pennies these days, so I can’t pick up the tab for you today/do you mind putting your candy bar on a separate bill?” And be consistent about saying no in this way every single time. The gas money is trickier to handle this way, but a 15-20 min drive is not insignificant in terms of gas… so if you can at all I would get up the courage to sit down with him and say something. If you don’t want to stop going to lunch with him, before you head out, say, hey let’s just stop by your cubicle to pick up your wallet!
      Don’t feel bad about his parents cutting him off. His budget is not your problem. And if he can’t afford lunches and candy bars and gas money, and he’s using you to pay for them – that’s a real problem.

      • Second this. I would drop in a comment (not at lunch) about how you re-budgeted this weekend, or something because you can’t believe how much you’ve been spending recently. Then at lunch, just take cash. If he asks to put things in to your tab, tell him sorry, but you really need to stick to the new budget, remember?

    • You have to say no, plain and simple. He forgot his card? I guess he doesn’t eat. Tell him that you’re watching your pennies this week, or that his outstanding tab hit $XXX and you have to cut him off.

      He’s counting on you being too nice to say no. Change his perception and he’ll change his ways.

    • You know what the solution is. Do it. I know it’s hard, I know it’s going to be awkward the first couple of times, but just do it.

      Also, I am amazed and flabbergasted that this DOOSH thinks he can get away with this.

    • Agree with other posters on gas… if you’re not driving out of your way to get him, I would just let that slide.

      I’d probably either stop asking him to go to lunch since he doesn’t have a good track record, or if he asks say, “only if you pay this time, it’s your turn.”

      You might just forgive all previous debt and start from scratch, insisting on taking turns or (better yet) just paying for your own every time. If he forgets, tough.

      • Also, if he forgets and you are eating close to the office, offer to run back and grab his wallet for him. It may just miraculously reappear.

        • This. I’m not going to say how these people are related but there is a guy who does this all the time and finally my boyfriend just looked at him and said “are you sure you left your wallet? You said this was your treat and I don’t have mine.” Magically, his wallet was in his jacket pocket “not my pants where I always keep it.” Yeah. Right.

          • Wow. What a creep. Some people are just irrationally cheap.

          • LOL these guys sound like Alan Harper on Two and a Half Men. Except in real life and not some cheesy tv show.

    • I’d suggest doing things such as the following:
      -When driving back from work (or in the morning if you have time), stop at the gas station. If he doesn’t offer to pay, say, hey, do you mind getting it this time?
      -When eating together, say, hey, I forgot my card. You mind?
      -When eating together, bring cash and pull out only the exact amount.
      -When at the store, have him go through first. If he still suggests it, then it was his order that you are adding to. To reinforce, you can say, thanks! I’ll go put the cart back/bag/etc. so you aren’t by the checkout.

      If you start doing these things (kindly), he should get the message. If not, stop eating/going to checkout/etc. with him and change your schedule so you can’t drive together.

      • Anonymous :

        I wouldn’t push the gas issue — you would be paying that amount if he stopped riding with you. (You could stop being available to drive for awhile though.)

        For lunches, I would tell him that you are watching your budget and have moved to “cash only” for out of pocket expenses and you didn’t bring more than your own luch would cost.

        • Except that she said he lives 15 to 20 minutes from her. That’s a huge pain and extra expense.

    • Are you driving 15-20 minutes out of your way to pick him up, or does he just live 15-20 minutes away but it’s on your way to work? If it’s the former, that’s pretty inconvenient! Plus wear and tear on your car, parking, etc. I’d personally ask him to pay for gas or stop giving him rides completely. (If it’s right on your way to work, that’s a different story. I’m talking about if it’s 15-20 mins out of your way).

      • anonforthis :

        It adds about 15 min onto my morning commute to drive to his house (in comparison to just driving straight to work) + another 5 minutes or so idling outside his house until he comes out. Evenings are more like 20 minutes because there is more traffic. In other words, if it takes me 30min to get to work when I’m alone, it takes me 45-50 when I’m picking him up. It’s not actual distance, mostly traffic time that slows it down. If we go to work outside rush hour (which we rarely do) it only adds about 10min.

        • Why are you continuing to do this? Just stop!

          • anonforthis :

            He doesn’t have a car so if I stop driving him to work he will stop being able to get to work. Plus, his relative (who got him the job) is my boss and was the one that originally asked if I’d be willing to give him a ride here and there (which has turned into every day).

          • Can’t he take public transportation? I don’t see how this is your problem. You can’t continue to subsidize him.

          • anonforthis :

            Public transit doesn’t really go to my office (way out in the sticks — I mapped it once and it is 2 hrs, each way vs a 20-30min drive). I agree I do not want to subsidize him – the fact that it has been in such small amounts means it has taken me a while to realize how pervasive it’s become. I think part of my irritation with him is stemming from a larger issue of him assuming someone else is going to take care of problems – for example, he dented my car and scratched the paint one day and, while he apologized, he didn’t offer to pay to get it fixed. My car is an old beater so it’s not a huge deal (not its first dent), and I may not have even taken him up on an offer to fix it, but I would have definitely offered in that situation. So I think in general I am starting to get frustrated by his life-attitude.

          • I’m frustrated by his life-attitude just by reading your posts. It won’t change until people stop enabling it.

          • I have to agree with a., above. You’re just enabling him. If this bozo really needed a ride to work, why doesn’t the relative give him a ride?

            Just tell the bozo, “Bob, I can’t give you a ride to and from work anymore.” The thing about guys like him is that once he’s dried up one resource, he’ll just go find another one. You won’t change him, but at least you’ll get him off your dime.

    • I second everyone who said to cut him off of lunch/snack purchases but I would go a step farther and pretend you now going to go to the gym every morning and aren’t going to be able to drive him to work anymore because of it.

    • Anon for this 2 :

      I hate feeling like I was taken advantage of so I totally see why this drives you nuts. Once I was in line getting lunch w/ friends and a coworker cut the whole line to “join” me, told the cashier we were “together” then stood there waiting for me to pay. Then she said, “I’m in a huge hurry” and took it to go and didn’t even eat with us. She never paid me back or offered to buy me lunch another time. It wasn’t the money but the audacity that drove me nuts. I wouldn’t have minded if she said, “I’m in a rush, can I cut and you get this?” I was just left in an awkward situation with no choice.

    • Anon in ATX :

      I agree with everybody else, this behavior will not stop until you stop it. You can be nice about it but still put your foot down. I like the suggestion of talking about how you’re on a budget/cash only system. It will be very hard for him to argue about it, and if he does, you just have to remain firm. Also, could you try bringing your lunch to cut down on the eating out? As far as the driving goes, I would be seriously annoyed if my co-worker expected me to pick them up every day adding even 15 minutes to my commute each way! Once in a blue moon, sure like you said, we’re friends, but what if you’re sick/on vacation? What is his plan then?

      Good luck!

      • anonforthis :

        When I am sick/on vacation he doesn’t go to work at all. He is a nice kid, generally, and we have nice conversations and I like hanging out with him, but he is basically a mooch (not yet graduated from college though he is in his late 20s, still working at this job which his relative got for him, etc).

    • Sydney Bristow :

      You said that the coworker is related to your boss. Are you concerned about what he might say to your boss? I can’t aging a scenario where him going to your boss to complain that you stopped loaning him money or giving him rides will look like anything you are doing is wrong. Won’t he just come across as whining that people aren’t giving him things? Plus, if he and your boss are related, I’d bet your boss is familiar with his mooching behavior. If he does complain to your boss, I’d be honest with your boss and say that you have been driving m to and from work every day for x weeks, it adds y amount of time to your commute every day, and that he has borrowed z dollars from you in small increments and that you cannot continue to deal with the added expense. He is basically a line item in your budget and you need to stop the bleeding, just like your boss would do if it was a completely unnecessary business expense.

      I think it would be best to be straightforward with him and say that you are not going to continue to drive him because of the additional expense and not go with him to lunch anymore or specify before leaving the office that you will no longer loan him the money because he has never paid you back. I think that although it seems super difficult to be this straightforward, overall it will be better than building up your courage to tell him no every day for each little thing.

      • I agree. I’m not sure the lying about “re-budgeting” or “counting pennies” will actually accomplish anything.

        IMO, it’s better to just be honest, gentle but firm. On the drive to work one day, say, “You know, Jim, I’ve been thinking. I’m not sure I can continue to drive you to work every day without compensation for gas.” You don’t owe him any explanation. If he asks why, be firm. “I just can’t continue this. I thought it was just going to be an every two-weeks thing, and I’ve let it go too far.”

        With regards to lunch, you just need to stop. He asks you, you say, “I really like eating lunch with you, but I just can’t cover your lunch any more, Bob. You have never paid me, and you have never offered to pay for mine. I’m always the one paying.”

        He works with you? Like, he has a job? Then I’m not sure why his parents “cutting him off” has anything to do with anything. He needs to grow up.

      • anonforthis :

        I am concerned that if I stop giving him rides, my boss will be annoyed. My boss was the one who suggested I drive him in the first place and he will likely not be able to work at our office at all unless I give him rides – and like I said, I like him, he’s not a bad person, I don’t want to stop him from being able to work.

        Not concerned that my boss will be annoyed if he tells him that I’m making him pay me back though. I don’t think he’d do that, and I don’t think my boss would be angry with me if he did.

        • Hm. Maybe the solution is going to your boss? Is your boss understanding?

          Your job duties do not include transporting others. Did you agree to give him rides when you started your job? “You know, Mr. Boss, I’m not sure it’s working out with me driving Joey to work every day. It adds 20 minutes to my trip, and he’s not sharing the gas money.” Your boss probably knows he’s a freeloader. One thing to think about, though: If your boss offered to pay for gas, would you be ok with giving rides to the freeloader?

        • Sydney Bristow :

          How about sitting down with him and your boss to discuss the rides issue? I think you said boss asked if you could occasionally give him rides. Get them together in one room and explain that you don’t mind driving him occasionally (if that is true) but that this has gone beyond that and you would either like to be compensated by him or boss for gas or be paid for the 30-60 minutes of time it takes you to drive him if this will continue every day since it has become a part of your job now.

        • MaggieLizer :

          Have you asked your boss for a mileage reimbursement? Perhaps you could sit down with boss and explain that it has become a daily chore to take this person to work – the kind of chore that if a friend asked you to do it, you would politely decline, and if your boss asked you to do it, you would expect the company to pick up the extra expense you incur because of it.

        • You’re not stopping him from going to work. He is stopping himself by not being responsible and saving up for a beater car. This isn’t on you. This is on him!

        • This guy is not your responsibility. If he can’t get to work, he needs to find another job. I see that you’re trying to be nice, but guys like this thrive on people who can’t say no.

      • Anne Shirley :

        Taking you to/from work is adding half an hour to my commute a day, and I need to stop. I’ll keep it up until June 8, but after that you’ll need to find another ride.

        If pushed- I didn’t mind helping out occasionally, but this has become an everyday responsibility I’m not prepared to take on indefinitely.

        And for real if he can’t afford transit to work he needs to pack a d*mn lunch!

    • For the nickel and dime stuff, I suggest if you feel uncomfortable telling him no when you’re at a restaurant or a store with him, don’t take him to restaurants or stores.

      If need be, start brown-bagging your lunch – maybe take a walk at lunchtime and then eat at your desk. Just do it long enough to break the habit.

      And his next question will be – hey, while you’re making your lunch, can you make me a sandwich?

      “No, I’m sorry. I don’t want to make two lunches every day.”

      You have to grow a spine sometime. That would be a good start.

      Then move on to cutting off the free ride every day. The very, very least you could do is make him meet you somewhere along your normal route, whether he has to take a bus or walk to get there.

      • (and also, this guy sounds like the guy the word DOOSH was invented to describe.)

    • Think of how ridiculous his mooching/freeloading must have been to the point that his own parents cut him off. And now you have essentially taken their place.

      Since he has a job, he can budget enough to brown bag lunch and get a car. Lord knows the rest of us have the student loans to prove it! Why should he get off scot-free and get his a$$ bankrolled by you (after his own parents said enough!) and through leisurely years in college while the rest of us hustle and break our backs?

    • “Yes, actually, I mind”.

      Then don’t pay. He is doing this because you are letting him.

  12. When the pain of giving him money outweighs the pain of not giving him money, you will figure out how to stop. Really, it’s that simple.

    • The trouble with this argument is people with longer-fuses also tend to make bigger explosions when the fuse finally burns down.

      Much better to nip this in the bud, than to get more and more resentful until the OP bursts with extreme anger and frustration way beyond what would be appropriate. That is both bad from a social perspective and from a work-perspective, as this freeloader is some nepotistic byproduct of the boss.

  13. Madison, Wisconsin :

    Any great places to buy plus-sized summer dresses? Or outlet malls? Or any must-see sights? Really appreciate your ideas, ladies!

    • Not from Madison and never been there, but I personally love Dots. It carries a large range of sizes, but it seems to cater to the plus-sized. I’m not quite plus sized, but I feel like it is really made with curves and comfort in mind – while still looking good. I know it is a decently sized chain and they sell online (I believe), but I’m really not sure. They have good shorts, jeans, shirts, and dresses (sometimes you have to search, but the good clothes really outweigh the bad), but I know the store near me never has a large selection.

      If you are looking higher end, I don’t know… I lack money and shop frugally. ;)

    • Anonymous :

      There are outlet malls like 45 minutes away on 90/94 to the west.

    • Praxidike :

      I’m from Madison. The plus-size offerings here are sparse. There is an outlet mall on I-94 on the way to Milwaukee that’s pretty good.

      As far as must-see sights in Madison – depends where you’ll be. If you’re downtown, definitely walk through the Capitol building because it’s modeled after the federal Capitol and it is gorgeous. From downtown, if you take State Street, it is about a mile from the Capitol to the UW Campus and to the Memorial Union. The Union is right on the edge of Lake Mendota, and you can get excellent bratwurst and (more importantly) even better ice cream.

      Madison has an excellent local food movement. So if you’re into that kind of thing, you could check out L’Etoile (expensive), Harvest (also expensive), the Old Fashioned (low- to mid-range, “traditional” Wisconsin foods served), or Graze (mid-range). Lombardino’s Restaurant is probably not within walking distance of downtown, but it is the best Italian food you’ll find in the City.

      If you don’t care about local food, then you could also try the Great Dane, which brews its own beer and has good food. The beer at the Dane is definitely something to try, though. Other local beers you could try are made by New Glarus brewery (Spotted Cow is a perennial favorite) or Capital Brewery (Supper Club is delicious). I don’t know where you’re traveling from, but Madison has an adequate (not great) “foreign” food selection, the best of which is Lao Laan Xang on Atwood Avenue on the east side. Another great downtown restaurant that only does breakfast and lunch is Marigold. Sardine is another mid-range restaurant that’s good, and it fashions itself as a French bistro.

      Again, if you’re downtown, you can take a walk or run along the Lakeshore path (very pretty) and look at the Monona Terrace (on Lake Monona), which is a Frank Lloyd Wright design and is gorgeous. You can also walk down Williamson Street and check out the local “color” (aka stoners and weird houses).

      Speaking of Wright, if you have a car and about a half a day, you could also go to Taliesin, which is about an hour+ away from Madison, and tour Wright’s home/studio. I don’t know if you’re going to have a car, but if you do and you like geology there’s a place called Cave of the Mounds about an hour west of Madison. Lots of fun, takes about an hour to go through it, highly recommended (if you’re a geology geek like me).

      Anyway! I feel as thought I’ve outed where I live now, but I don’t really care. If you have any questions about Madison, you can feel free to email me at [email protected] Have fun in Madison; it is quite a fun town.

      • Praxidike :

        Oh, and also, if you’re hear on a Saturday or Wednesday morning, the farmer’s market downtown is a lot of fun. But don’t go hungry or you’ll end up eating an entire loaf of spicy cheese bread.

      • karenpadi :

        Yummm…spotted cow. I wish we had spotted cow in California. :-( …dreaming of spotted cow …

      • Yay Wisconsin! I don’t care if people know where I am from, as I change my handle fairly regularly.

  14. Okay ladies, I actually have a shopping challenge FOR you (I know, crazy right).

    But I’m in love with this dress K-Stew wore at Cannes and the similar one that the Duchess wore recently. (the KStew link will follow, everyone probably knows the Duchess one, it was on the cover of people!)

    So…how do I work a lace-backed dress tastefully into my wardrobe? Probably cocktail length is best, since you know, I have no immediate plans to attend Cannes. Has anyone seen anything good floating around?

  15. Posting again because of moderation, I need to learn to write c*cktail.

    Okay ladies, I actually have a shopping challenge FOR you (I know, crazy right).
    But I’m in love with this dress K-Stew wore at Cannes and the similar one that the Duchess wore recently. (the KStew link will follow, everyone probably knows the Duchess one, it was on the cover of people!)
    So…how do I work a lace-backed dress tastefully into my wardrobe? Probably c*cktail length is best, since you know, I have no immediate plans to attend Cannes. Has anyone seen anything good floating around?


      Next picture actually shows the back, but look how pretty she looks! (Oh…and I feel it is implied that I would prefer a less scandalous V-neck….as I do not have her beautiful porcelain skin and again, am not going to Cannes.)

      • I love that K-Stew dress too. Are you a member of Gilt? They had a colorblock dress (red and black) by Alice and Olivia today with a lace back that I was eying.

        • I can’t link to it because you have to be a member of Gilt but it’s called the Analise Lace Panel Silk Combo Dress

      • I think this messy hair thing has gone too far.

        • PharmaGirl :

          I was thinking the same thing. She’s giving my messy dirty heair bun a run for its money. Or something.

      • Gooseberry :

        I love this one:

      • Alex Mack :

        Not really the same, but I just bought this and love it! It’s out of stock now, but Modcloth is pretty good about restocking quickly.

      • Why oh whyohwhyohwhyohwhyohwhyohwhyowhy



        Though if you’re into that sort of thing, then this is for you.

        • Business in the front, party in the back, TCFKAG.

        • Have to agree, that zipper looks so out of place! I don’t usually mind them but that one just has a “one of these things is not like the other” vibe.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I am deeply in love with this dress. Would it work for you?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Also digging this one:

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I think the cut of this is very cool but it would have to work with your body:

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      And depending on your skin tone this could give you the illusion of a lace-backed dress.

      And with that I’m stopping myself before I unnecessarily buy a lace backed dress.

      • Ohhh, that one is gorgeous, and I think will outlast the lace-back trend.

    • Also, this one is nice and maybe more forgiving than some of the others.

      But…a lot of these are all lace and I’m not sure how I feel about that. I’ll have to give it some thought.

    • Hmm..I like this French Connection number, if I were feeling scandalous. :-)

    • Okay, scr*w it. Forget lace. THIS dress I MUST own.

      Get on it hive!!

  16. I posted this earlier, but no one responded, so hopefully someone will have some recommendations this time around! My husband started a position in a new city and to join him there, I just started a 6 month consulting contract for an organization there. To cover my bases, I’m still applying for other opportunities at other orgs. How do I list the consulting position on my resume? Do I explain somewhere in my resume or cover letter that I took the consulting job because of the move?

    • I’m no expert but I would state in your cover letter that you’ve recently relocated to New City and are currently consulting in New City on a contract basis and looking for something more permanent. List it as you would any other job on your resume and where you list job title, indicate that you’re a contract employee.

    • I don’t understand. You relocated to the new location right? So you have a local address? I would just list the consulting gig as “consultant” or whatever is the norm in your industry and not put anything in as to why you relocated, since its not really any of their business. I think you only need to explain why you’re looking to relocate (or that you’re serious about relocation) when you haven’t yet relocated to the site of a new position. If you’re already there, just leave it alone.

      • Former MidLevel :


        • Agreed. I think you might be over-thinking. I’m not sure why any employer would care why you moved, as long as you’re there now and looking to stay.

    • Depending on the industry, the title consultant may already indicate that this position is on a temporary or as needed basis. I would recommend saying you are a consultant on your resume, and on your cover letter explaining that you recently relocated to area blah blah blah, and are currently doing some consulting work for so and so. You have enjoyed contributing to so and so on this engagement, and are currently looking for other opportunities to use your skills in this awesome city / state /region. Good luck!

      • Thank you everyone! Yes, I’m totally overthinking this— par for the course for me, unfortunately. I wasn’t sure if an employer would wonder why I was already looking for a new job when I just started this one, but I can make it clear on my resume that this is contract work. Thanks for the assurance :)

  17. Hi ladies,
    I’m moving to Philadelphia at the end of August (graduating law school next week!) to start a 2-year district court clerkship. I have a few friends there, and family, but I really want to meet new people (and start dating again…) and I’m wondering what’s the best way to do it. I’m looking for a few types of suggestions: law-related (inns of court? PA bar association? Phila. bar association? which is the best?), volunteering-related (particularly interested in animal welfare issues, and would love to volunteer at a shelter), and anything else you guys can think of. I’ll be living in Center City and won’t have a car, so that limits things somewhat… my budget will also be pretty tight, so I can’t afford to join every single thing if there are membership dues. But I think my hours will be pretty reasonable and I want to start off on a good note!

    Thanks in advance :)

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I can’t help you with the Philadelphia-specific suggestions, although I visited a few weeks ago for the first time and loved the city, but if you want to start dating again I do recommend trying online dating. I had great luck with Ok Cupid and the method suggested by some commenters here to meet anyone who meets your basic level of requirements. I met 5 people in about 3 weeks and it’s a lot less pressure when you go out with someone on Tuesday knowing that you are meeting someone else on Friday. I got really lucky and my boyfriend is actually the second person that I met. I think the best website to use will depend on the city and what you are looking for, so try OK Cupid since its free but maybe some of the Philadelphia commenters can give you a better suggestion as well.

      Congrats on the clerkship!

      • thank you! i actually have used okcupid in the past, and did date a guy for a few months that I met through the site- unfortunately I’ve been in a sort-of limbo since I found out I was moving to Philly and I deleted my profile (I figured I would attract weird guys if I said I was only interested in something short-term), but I’ll definitely reactivate when I move.

    • Former MidLevel :

      I am a big fan of the American Inns of Court. And I know that my former Inn waives the guest fee for federal clerks – I don’t know if any Philadelphia Inns do this, but it would be worth looking into.

    • I’m so jealous! I clerked in Philly last year and had the time of my life. The city is so beautiful, the people are nice, the food is great, and my judge was awesome.

      I was in your boat last year, and this is what I did:

      1. Identify a few clerks in the courthouse who seem cool and take the initiative to schedule lunch/dinners, etc. That worked out really well for me.

      2. Joined Junior League – I met one good friend out of this, but I also met a lot of women that I didn’t connect with. And, fees are $300 a year or something like that, so maybe it’s not worth it

      3. There are a group of clerks who play quizzo at a bar every week. You should join that group – I can put you in touch with my friend who organizes it if you pass along your email.

      • thanks for the suggestions, I hope the other clerks are social! My judge is a senior judge, and I think there will be just one other clerk working for him- I’m hoping we get along well. I’d love to find out more about the quizzo group (love trivia!!!), my email is becker[underscore]lily[at]yahoo[dot]com


    • When I clerked, I found there were a ton of other clerks in the courthouse around my age and I made friends with them pretty quickly. (Not Philly, but I’m sure it’s the same.)

      I also met my SO on okcupid. You might also try for interest-based socializing (hiking clubs, knitting clubs, etc.).

      • thanks for the suggestions; looks very promising!

      • former clerk :

        I met my husband when he clerked for the judge down the hall. We’re celebrating our 15th anniversary next month. I hope you have as much good luck during your clerkship, LilyB!

    • Eat ALL the food. But seriously, Philly has the best food.

      Also, if you’re interested at all in Ultimate frisbee, the Philly area has a fun and active disc community. That is always a great way to meet people (including boys) and just generally be active and get out and about. And they tend to like beer more than the average person. Dues tend to be just the membership fees for whichever league you enter in the summer (plus there are sometimes “hat” tournaments periodically throughout the year). But you can usually find pick-up games scattered around the city. Experience is generally not required for the leagues which is a nice way to get introduced to ultimate.

      Check out for more info.

    • I have a friend who works with this organization –

    • Woohoo Philadelphia!

      If you’re a cat person, you might check out City Kitties, a non-profit, volunteer-run, no-kill rescue dedicated to helping stray and abandoned cats in West Philly. City Kitties does excellent work in the community–especially if there’s been any kind of traumatic event, like a fire, that leads to a lot of lost or abandoned pets–and they’re always looking for people to help foster.

      This is less a direct response to your question, but I also recommend the Saturday morning Rittenhouse Square farmer’s market. You’ll be eating well even before you start scoping out our excellent restaurant scene.

  18. Government Work? :

    Thanks to those that responded this weekend? It led to some research that help me with the “what would you be happy doing” conversation with the SO. I do have a new question for those that have some experience with DOL, DOJ, or any other agency that may be applicable.

    Have you seen someone in the support positions (201, 301, 343, 501, etc) in your organization use tuition reimbursement to attend law school part-time and transition into an attorney/counsel position? I couldn’t find the DOJ policy when looking at the archive of other agencies policies at work.

    This came up as an option because the jobs I’ve enjoyed the most were as the finance liaison to HR. I got to to the analytical finance thing, researching laws & regs, compliance, union negotiations, payroll oversight, engage employees with organizational assessments and focus groups, adminster other programs, etc. It wasn’t a normal position that would be widely available. Getting back to that mix would probably involve transferring to DOL, DOJ, working as in-house counsel, union governance board, federal mediation board but legal degree would be the best thing to get in that position.

    Is there anything wrong or missing from the logic? Other routes I may be missing? (Please don’t say an MBA. That just doesn’t sound like fun.). The only downside I could see to the work/part-time degree is if I decided I wanted to join a law firm and the perception some have about part-time students.

    • AnonyBabe :

      If you think an MBA doesn’t sound like fun, you will hate law school. Sorry, but I had to giggle a little bit about that. Law school is just like business school, except the other students are more annoying.

      • Government Work? :

        It’s sitting through the courses listed under the MBA programs at the local universities. I hav no interest in sitting through more supply chain management, organizational/business transformation, or classes of those sort. Maybe its because I had horrible 2-3 weeks of grainy on them at work that I can’t imagine sitting through a semester on the topics. School doesn’t bother me but many of the mandatory classes listed just sound asinine and they are on topics that are the soft skills an require commonsense more than a two inch think book.

        I get that many classes in law school can be the same but I guess I see it as more based in reality on on foundations of thought that would be more applicable to future experiences.

    • I checked with a friend of mine that works at FERC (she could’ve either gotten her master’s tuition reimbursement OR paid of student loans). She opted for student loan forgiveness. She doesn’t know much, but did say some people have gone to law school and had a 3 yr commitment. FERC is a little different though as it’s independent and self-supporting. They do have quite a few attorneys and ALJs. Not sure if energy regulatory issues excite you, but there you have it.

      • Government Work? :

        That does sound interesting. I checked and the positions that are currenly open, I don’t have time in grade in yet. They keep changing the policy at my agency regarding approved classes and how the commitment is calculated. I’d take a known 3 yr commitment over not knowing what the new rule will be.

  19. Gail the Goldfish :

    I decided to watch the first episode of Hart of Dixie yesterday since everyone on here is always talking about it and hot neighbor Wade. Um, I ended up watching 7 episodes. Thanks, Bunkster and whoever else, for the new addiction. I wish I had discovered this after I had input all my billing for the month.

    (Kanye–promise I’m going to email you back about the necklace tonight. I was distracted by HoD).

    • srsly, you all are responsible for hooking me, as well. And honestly: exactly how did Wade get sooo much hotter in the last couple of episodes?!!? It is completely true, and I completely don’t understand why..

  20. Kontractor,

    I g-mailed you at the email address you posted a few weeks ago. I’m not sure if you check it often or if you saw my alias email address I posted back to you. I think of you often and hope you are hanging in there.


    • Kontraktor :

      Oh HI eek!! Not sure I got that message… that one email address I posted has such bad junk email and filtering. Could you resend it? I will be on the look out for it this time. Thanks so much for the message… I would be so glad to get it now that I know it’s coming. :-)

  21. CPA to be :

    This might be too late in the day to get any answers, but I bought this sheath dress at AT over the weekend:

    It is knee length on me. Is this dress work appropriate or is it too “ladies who lunch?” If its work approp., what should I wear over it? A white blazer? A coral cardigan? Belt?

    • Late to the party :

      This is definitely a KYO situation, but I think it’s fine. I would be worried in my office that it would be too LWL with a white blazer, so I would probably put it with something that was either traditionally masculine or substantial. For example (I can’t see the colors that accurately on my monitor) if a khaki or mid-grey blazer would go (or other flat neutral), I’d do that. Otherwise, a long open cardigan in a neutral color and belted with any color you’d like.

    • Clyde the Rabbit :

      It would or be right for my office but I could see it working with a navy blazer and tan belt.

  22. Do not like these shoes. And cannot get over the idea of “real” shoes by Crocs. Anyone have experience with them?

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