Coffee Break: ‘Martine’ Studded T-Strap Pump

Ankle Strap Heel: Halogen 'Martine' Studded T-Strap PumpIf you have a hard time finding heels you can walk in easily (guilty as charged), a strap can be a lifesaver — but it can be hard to find one that doesn’t visually cut off your leg at the ankle, making your legs look shorter. So: these highly-rated, affordable heels from Nordstrom look great. The effect will be strongest if the beige is close to your skin tone, but if not, I think they’re flattering shoes regardless. There are several colors to choose from, all 20-40% off — the pictured shoes were $79 but are now $59. Halogen® ‘Martine’ Studded T-Strap Pump

Two options with wide sizes are here and here, and another that offers both wide and narrow sizes is here.



  1. Hive thoughts? :

    Because people asked in this morning’s post:

    The TL;DR version of:

    Author posits that Artificial Intelligence will surpass that of humans withing the next few decades, the likely outcomes being immortality or extinction, certainly within our children’s lifetimes.

    It is a fascinating read.

    • Anonymous :

      It reminds of of when my old business development directorate used to talk about Service Oriented Architecture and Web 2.0 all the time and share their ~deep thoughts~. Lots of interesting stuff and analogies and hype, but they really didn’t get it. He’s a good writer and it’s certainly interesting, but I don’t think he really has a technical grasp on AI and he’s kind of being wildly creative with this topic.

    • I think we are already seeing many careers being replaced by technology. I haven’t stepped foot into a bank in a long time. I do all mobile banking. I’m guessing banks are employing less tellers than before. But, are they hiring more IT people?

      I rely a lot less on a legal assistant than people 50+ at my office. That’s because the technology I have available to me has replaced the tasks many of them regularly did. Document review – there are multiple studies that say keyword searches and predictive coding (can’t remember the precise term) is MORE effective than an associate or paralegal manually reviewing every single document. Not just more efficient. More likely to not miss a key document.

      I recently had a couch delivered and the young man who delivered it looked high as a kite. He was telling me how robots are going to take over the world in our lifetime. I wondered what exactly he had smoked that day. Maybe, he was actually reading blog articles or listening to NPR lol.

      • Anonymous :

        I haven’t read the full article, and intuitively agree with Blonde Lawyer’s interpretation (yes, there are a lot more IT people being hired everywhere, in general. IT/IT security as a field basically has negative unemployment at the moment).

        But if you’re interested in AI, Reddit had an AMA with Stephen Hawking and he addresses the subject. Probably with a deeper understanding than the author of this article.

        • Anonymous :

          link to the AMA mentioned above :

      • My husband told me he read that restaurant jobs are going to be replaced by tablets to take orders and drones to deliver them. We’ll see how that works out.

        • Airports are already filled with tablets taking orders. Newark Airport, several others I’ve walked through this year alone.

      • I did NOT read this article, but find it VERY hard to beleive that an artificieal drone can go into court, and argue a case for a cleint, and then follow the very specific instruction’s of the court. That is something far more complicated then delivering a pizza or takeing an order in a fast food restrunt. FOOEY b/c if that is true, what would we all do all day? Just sit by the pool sipping pina colada’s? Not for me! I prefer to be a productive member of society, particularly since I am admitted to the NY Bar and in good standing! DOUBLE FOOEY!

  2. Senior Attorney :

    I find it fascinating that the Valentino Rockstuds have been out for, what? Six years now? And only now are they being widely copied. I love the style but am not crazy about the shape of the studs on these, though. If you’re gonna do a knockoff, I prefer the Sole Society version:

    • Senior Attorney :

      Lucky sizes only at this point, alas…

    • TO Lawyer :

      ooo those are gorgeous. I may have to try to hunt them down

    • I was thinking the same thing. I like these but they’re really knockoffs.

    • Anonymous :

      Yeah, I specifically remember I bought my first romper, which was denim, in the summer of 2009. Granted, I was at the very beginning of the trend, but I feel like in the last year or two, it has really hit its peak, which means it will probably last another few years. That means ten full years for what is considered a pretty trendy piece of clothing.

      • Anonymous :

        And that romper ended up not fitting, so I had to get rid of it, but trend-wise, it would still be going strong.

    • anon-oh-no :

      I kept thinking the rock studs were going to go away, and they have proved to be lasting. I finally bought a pair a few months ago and they really are awesome. First, they are super comfortable (relatively speaking, of course; its not like wearing sneakers). But the nude ones go with everything and I must have received 10 compliments, including from strangers, the first time I wore them. I even overheard a group of women standing behind me at a reception saying how much they loved them.

      in any event, I like them so much im seriously considering buying a second pair — in the lower heel height and a different color.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I have been lusting after them for years and now that I can kinda-sorta afford a pair, I’m afraid they’re on their way out. But oh, man. So tempted…

  3. pugsnbourbon :

    Yesterday’s discussion of a neighbor’s pot smoking got me thinking about a related situation in my own established, close-in neighborhood. The people who live behind us – our backyards meet – have a flock of 15-20 chickens with at least two roosters. There are no laws in our mid-size city regulating backyard chickens. Our neighborhood is friendly, but not particularly close.

    The noise we’ve adjusted to, but the smell. Dear mother of god, the smell. It completely permeates our backyard. I can smell it from our rear-facing bedroom, and our lot is pretty deep. The coop directly abuts our property line.

    We know we need to talk to them, but we’re stumped at what to say. How do I tell them, nicely, that their chickens stink and it’s keeping us from spending time in our backyard?

    • Anonymous :

      I’d tell them in person, but honestly, I’d also write to my city council. I like backyard chickens in theory, but in practice..well. No. Or yes, but only if there is a certain amount of space between you and your neighbors.

      One of my parents neighbors tried to keep a goat in their backyard for a while also. My parents reported it, because, well goats don’t below in a city. Sorry.

      • Did the goat even do anything to annoy them or they just judged that it didn’t belong? Goats can be extremely useful and fun pets that have a pretty low impact, so I’m surprised your parents would call the authorities without any actual problem to report.

        • Anonymous :

          They were mostly concerned that the goat would drop property values, but I guess it did bleat and that bothered my mom

        • Anonymous :

          Agreed. I’d take a goat in the yard before a barking dog any time.

      • My suburban neighbor’s teenage son had ducks- for a short time, thank goodness. They released them into the local duck pond when they got big enough not to be cute. I have no idea if that’s allowed, but I was happy to see the ducks go.

    • No ideas for how to bring this up, but can you plant a flowering hedge or something that might help fight against it?

    • Make it clear from the outset, even jokingly, that you’re not trying to get rid of the chickens. Then focus on the smell. Tell the neighbors that the smell is keeping you from using your yard and ask them for ideas on controlling it, even if it means moving the coop to a differnt part of their yard.

      • +1
        I am sure there are backyard chicken farming message boards that deal with this exact thing.
        They’re called “farmer-e-t-t-e, for the overchieving CHICK” ahahahahahahah

    • Baconpancakes :

      If your neighbors’ chickens smell so strongly that you can smell it from that far away, their chickens are in an unhealthy coop/run. The smell is probably ammonia from saturated droppings, and it’s really bad for the chickens. To keep the smell down, the chickens need either more room, for their coop to be cleaned more often, or for a more proactive coop and run management, like adding fresh shavings every week. I’m also surprised they have such a big flock! We only have three girls, and we’re still giving away a dozen eggs a week. (Our chickens have about 80 square feet in their run, so it’s not huge, but the shavings plus the amount of space they have means we can’t even smell it from five feet away.)

      Bonnie’s approach is good – definitely make it clear you’re not asking them to get rid of the chickens, just to manage the smell somehow.

      • Wildkitten :

        I agree that your neighbors should be able to manage the smell, even though I haven’t the faintest clue about chicken husbandry. I have a friend with a couple of chickens (at least 5? Probably with 25 sq feet?) and I can’t smell them even if I go into the coop.

      • SoCalAtty :

        THIS! We had quite a few chickens when I was a kid, and you couldn’t even smell them standing next to them – unless you were just smelling the hay / shavings we put down. Well put Baconpancakes.

    • I’m pretty impressed that you’ve adjusted to the noise of two roosters. We used to have neighbors with roosters in a different city and they crowed all day and all night long. Most cities that I know of that allow chickens still ban roosters for that reason.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        Everyone, thank you for the advice! We would rather not get The Powers That Be involved, if only to maintain cordiality. And we are fine with them keeping the chickens. Baconpancakes, thanks for providing a chicken-keeper’s perspective. I like the idea of a hedge – will have to price that out.

        Should also mention that we have never once received any eggs from them. I will tolerate a lot for fresh eggs.

        • Oh ask for eggs! My aunt keeps (non-smelly) chickens and she doesn’t always offer because some folks (cough…my mom) are grossed out by the idea of fresh eggs. They hate that they all taste and look different. I love them though and often deliver a fresh bouquet from my cutting garden in hopes for a dozen or so.

        • Agree about the eggs! If I were you, I would absolutely hint, “I don’t want to you to get rid of your chickens, I know how delicious fresh eggs are!, but the smell…” maybe they’ll give you a regular peace offering, even if they can’t get the smell under control.

    • Anonymous :

      You can definitely keep chickens with it smelling bad – it’s possible that they’re not cleaning the coop (some people let the floor basically turn into a big compost pile to generate heat in the winter) or that they don’t have enough space for the number they have. Maybe you can work in something about while chickens are nice, perhaps they could make sure that the coop is cleaned regularly because it is starting to smell pretty bad and it wafts over to your property. I would also contact your local government about putting some regulations into place – lot of places have a limit on how many you can keep and ban roosters.

    • Even without a specific chicken ordinance, you should be able to file a nuisance complaint. Or call your city’s health department. (I would first discuss with the neighbors, though, to make them aware and see if they can do anything to abate the smell.)

      • Meg Murry :

        Yup, this. In my town there is an ordinance allowing certain livestock like chickens and goats, but there is another ordinance regarding noise and smell nuisances. So your neighbors may technically be allowed their chickens and roosters, but not smelly or noisy ones.

        Agree that you should start with talking to them though. I’ve witnessed one neighbor starring with official channels regarding a noisy rooster, and it turned into a years long war, because the complaining neighbor actually had both a dog and a motorcycle waaay louder than the rooster, and then after the battling noise complaints it escalated into who’s fence was 6 inches too close to the property line, etc etc. So before you make any complaints, if you think they might be petty, be careful to make sure you aren’t in an violations yourself that could cause a headache.

    • Anonymous :

      Have you read your town/city’s rules in detail? I am in a very rural/farm-y suburb that allows a *lot* but there are lots of rules. Bee hives must be registered, coops must be registered, have no roosters, and inspected annually (maybe your neighbors needs inspecting if it’s so stinky? We have two in our neighborhood with .75-1 acre lots and i can’t smell them). Alpaca are limited to 1 per acre (or something like this). And there are a bajillion rules on horses and ponies and goats and sheep.

      You may also want to reach out to animal control just to get the scoop and see what’s what.

    • You know you’ve spent too much time as a city dweller when you read the word “coop” as “co-op”….I was picturing chickens inside of building for a minute there :)

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      Get a basilisk

  4. Money Penny :

    Largely thanks to a lot of the recent financial discussions here recently, DH and I had a long budgeting chat last night. We’ve only been married for 6 months and while we both had vague ideas and knew we were saving, it helped to really look at the specifics. We’re naturally falling into the 50/20/30 budget theory, which is great. However, I started thinking about how this works once you add kids into the mix. If our expenses currently are about 50% of our budget, won’t that go up significantly once you add kids?? I hope we’ll both get raises over the coming years, but I don’t know that it will be so significant to make that big of a difference. (I also have an inheritance coming that should be able to provide a good down payment on a house so our current rental allocation should easily go to a mortgage payment). The only things I see really changing are paying off his student loans and our cars, which will take less out of the pot. This may be a dumb question, but just – how do people afford children? Or prepare to afford children? We live in a HCOL area but unless I change industries completely, I’ll always be tied to a HCOL area.

    • Anonymous :

      I think most people don’t save nearly as aggressively during the years they have kids that require daycare. Expenses go way down when the kids get to kindergarten, assuming you’re in an area with good public schools.
      I don’t know a lot about the 50/20/30 theory but from looking it up, it sounds like it means 50% of your income goes to essentials, 20% to financial obligations including loans and retirement savings and 30% to discretionary spending? That seems a little crazy to me. Even in a HCOL area, you should be saving or throwing at loans a lot more than 20% of your income (doubly so if you’re high earners). I would work on redirecting that 30% into savings that can be used to pay daycare bills if you anticipate having kids soon.

      • Spirograph :

        “I think most people don’t save nearly as aggressively during the years they have kids that require daycare. ”

        Yes, this, at least for me. There was an interesting thread on this topic a week or two ago. Pre-kids, we probably saved 25+% of our income, even enjoying ourselves in a HCOL area, traveling a lot, etc. Our income has gone up since then, but daycare costs eat up the entire difference and then some. We pay significantly more than our mortgage every month in daycare for two kids. Unless you have family nearby to help out, childcare costs are a fact of life when you want to maintain your career, and there is really no cheap way to do it. We saved more aggressively during pregnancy to compensate for unpaid parental leave, and natural lifestyle changes that accompany kids (fewer dinners out, fewer vacations, less spending on nice things in general) basically account for the increase in insurance premiums and cost of kids’ stuff, but daycare is a game changer. We manage to save about 15% now. It will go back up when the kids are in school, we just grin and bear it for now.

        • Cornellian :

          If you’re still reading, that would be amazing. Do you have a burner address? I can’t set one up at work, but can tonight at home to post here, if that’s easier.

    • For most people, the biggest cost of having children is child care, including for many parents unpaid leave for maternity leave. Depending on where you live and what your views on public (or charter) vs. private school are, the cost of child care can go down significantly after a few years, once they can go to school.

      Other than paying for childcare (in our case, a nanny), we haven’t spent all that much on our baby (maybe $1000 before he was born and $250-300/month on average). That’s in part because we received a ton of baby gifts from a large and generous network of friends and family. I’ve also used hand-me-downs and shopped consignment sales and Craigslist. I use Amazon subscribe and save for diapers, formula, etc., so I get 15% off (20% off diapers), don’t pay sales tax (9.75%), and use the Amazon Store Card for 5% cash back.

      Before having our baby, we paid off our credit card and student loan debt. We built a substantial worst-case-scenario emergency fund and built up a savings account for normal things like medium-sized medical bills or routine car or home repairs. Before I got pregnant, we switched to a low-deductible health care plan, which was the right call for us. We also own a triplex, and the rent from the two units we rent out covers our mortgage payment (which does not include principal) and maintenance on the property.

      Since we had our son, we’ve cut spending in as many places as we could. We certainly don’t go out as often, so we spend less overall on restaurants, bars, movies, etc. We haven’t traveled much because neither of us had vacation time after staying home with our son as much as possible. (My husband used his vacation days to take time off, and my office has a no-vacation policy for 6 months after paid leave.) And we just live more frugally. I talked myself out of impulse-buying the shoes above (they’re only $60!) because I’m saving for a new dishwasher. But, even with all that, we’re saving about 20% of our income instead of 30%. We’re sending our child to daycare in August, which should help the finances a ton, but we haven’t figured out how he’s going to get picked up at 5:30.

      • I just did a quick look at my budget. Not counting what comes out of my paycheck (taxes, 401K contributions, up to company match, health insurance for the whole family, HSA contributions) or the bank account that covers our mortgage and property maintenance, it looks like our budget is roughly 57% fixed expenses, 21% savings, and 22% discretionary. Half of the fixed expenses is childcare. Starting in August, daycare will be half of that, but we may have to pay for someone to pick our son up and watch him for a few hours a couple of days a week.

    • Kiddos and Dollars :

      My husband and I are only having one kid. Because whoever says that two are as cheap as one was smoking crack and has never looked into to cost of putting their children in daycare.

      We don’t live in a HCOL area, but most of the public schools in the area are not great, so we’re probably going to do (grossly expensive) private school. Our only debt is our house, and we’re on target to pay it off when our kid is in 3rd or 4th grade. So, we are not exactly saving for private school so much as we are planning our cash flow to be able to accommodate large expenses in the future. We live in a smaller house than we can afford and live a comfortable but not lavish life.

      Also, I don’t know about your tolerance for hassle, but there are a number of expenses that are easy to cut when you have small children– for example, taking a vacation that involves travel is more stressful and exhausting than every day life for me at this point. Most of my days off are spent alone in my house in blissful silence and stretch pants. Which costs $0.

      • Ha! On kiddo’s first day of daycare, I may take a vacation day for a day of blissful silence and sweat pants at home. Last week, our nanny took kiddo for a walk early because it was going to rain, I got ready for work while alone in the house, and it felt weird. Really, creepily weird.

        • Delta Dawn :

          I did this on the first day of daycare. Took a personal day and stayed home. It was amazing. I highly recommend it!

    • I think you just do it. It ends up evening out somewhat because while you spend a lot on things like day care, you end up spending a lot less on other things like going out to eat and new clothes and nice vacations and theater tickets and the like. And yes you do end up saving less for a certain period of time but that’s temporary and you’ll be okay. Also, people make sacrifices – they take on longer commutes or smaller spaces or whatever else.

  5. Vacation help :

    Can anyone suggest a late summer vacation destination in the US / Canada that has a big lake & hiking and toddler-friendly accommodations? Specific hotels / cabins/ lodge recommendations welcome too! Not camping but not luxury. Preference is for somewhere west of the Mississippi. I have read a lot of guides to places in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, etc., but without a personal recommendation, I just am overwhelmed. Would love to hear about favorite places.

    • I have friends who rave about Madeline Island in Wisconsin – an island in the Great Lakes.

    • Check out Mt. Engadine Lodge- it’s near Banff in Alberta, the lodge is great, has lots of hiking, is kid-friendly, and near Spray Lakes. It is gorgeous out there.

    • anon-oh-no :

      I have not been there in probably 20 years, but Priest Lake, Idaho is lovely and seems to fit your description. There were vacation rentals all over the lake.

    • Check out Elefantitas Alegres (blogger) — they’ve gone to Jackson Hole several times with young kids.

    • Lake of the Woods! On the Canada/Minnesota border, about 75 miles north of the head of the Mississippi.

    • Flathead Lake in Montana is very nice and convenient to Glacier Park (which is gorgeous and has plenty of hiking options).

    • Skamania lodge in Washington state.

  6. Moderation Frustration :

    I posted this morning, and moderation ate it. I tried to post again this afternoon, eliminating any potential mod-trigger words (not that there were any in the first place). Still moderation ate it. So frustrated.

    • Wildkitten :

      I had to directly contact tech support to be taken out of moderation.

      • Same. It happened for 3-4 weeks — every single post was delayed. I ended up emailing with Kate about it (hi Kate!) and now everything is back to normal.

  7. I don’t know about the shoes…for an iconic style like this, I think it’s best to go with the original (or in my case skip it due to the $$$$) or try to find a lower-priced homage that’s not such a transparent copy job. Knockoffs are just cheesy, IMO.

    • Anonymous :

      I agree. I know almost nothing about fashion but I recognized these as a knockoff of the Rockstuds. You don’t have to buy labels but obvious, deliberate knock-offs are tacky.

      • WestCoast Lawyer :

        I occasionally worry about this, because I hardly ever realize when something is intended to be a knock off of a specific designer. When I saw these they did look familiar, but only because I rarely see a pare of shoes and think “wow, I’ve never seen that design before.” Come to think of it, other than the quilted Chanel bag with the chain, red soled Loubitans and the Ferragamo shoes with the little bow there is very little I could specifically identify the “origin” of the design.

  8. Anonymous :

    After much begging and arm twisting my husband finally agreed to join our local country club. I sent the application info yesterday and they just responded that the initiation fee is $1,500 more than the last time I looked into it. I don’t think I’m going to be able to get him on board again.

    Does anyone have experience with initiation fees? Must the whole amount be paid upfront? There is no mention of it in the packet.

    • Delta Dawn :

      Does this country club ever have a membership drive? Some clubs will periodically drop the joining fee for anyone who joins that month or however long the drive is. Some clubs never, ever do this; some do it every couple of years. You might ask around (I wouldn’t ask the club directly) and see if they have done that recently or are likely to do it again.

      I don’t know if a joining fee has to be paid all at once, but I’m inclined to think so– though you could certainly ask if it could be paid over time with your dues. You could also mention you had decided to join based on the last price that was known to you, and ask if that rate is still available. Chances are it’s not, but maybe they’ll realize they didn’t publicize that (via packet or website) and be willing to adjust.

      • Anonymous :

        It won’t hurt me to ask!
        The last advertised price was from two summers ago. I should have known it would go up, it just didn’t occur to me that it could happen.

        • Absolutely ask if you can pay it over time. Also see if there is a junior membership that you qualify (often for members under 35) . Often those have installment plans for the initiation fee.
          I promise, you won’t be the first person who has asked.

  9. To the Anon who said Ketosis was healthy. It is a great medical therapy for controlling epilepsy and diabetes. However, here are some articles detailing the detriment to individuals without those ailments. DOI: 10.1196/annals.1333.025 DOI: 10.1002/jnr.21057 DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(06)68394-3

  10. How should I start thinking about answering interview questions about my leadership style?

    • Ask your peers, and people you’ve worked with formally and informally.
      Think about stories and situations that show your leadership style — did you step in and solve the problem yourself? Did you run it up the flagpole? Did you have a severe talking-to the person whose fault it was? did you take responsibility? Don’t say “my leadership style is…” Tell and show what it is in a STAR story – Situation, Task, Action, Result.

  11. I know that this topic has been somewhat addressed already, but I’m struggling to figure out how to meet people in my field (international relations/conflict negotiation/genocide studies). I’m a year out of college and working as a quasi paralegal in a Big Law firm in DC. I’m not particularly interested in going to law school (but am planning on getting my masters) so trying to network with the attorneys at my firm seems like a waste. I’ve tried to get on newsletters and listservs about area events, but they’re usually either during the work day (and my boss would strongly frown upon me being out of the office during the day if it’s not an emergency or I take the whole day off), or I don’t find out about the event until it’s too late.
    I went to a small school, so the alumni networking is scarce at best, and my summer internship in college was with a partisan think tank that I kind of fell into (needless to say, it’s not my kind of partisan either).

    If anyone has any suggestions, I’d be so thankful. Thank you so much!

    • “so trying to network with the attorneys at my firm seems like a waste”

      Don’t write them off! You never know who they know. Accomplished attorneys at large law firms are usually well connected in the community and have lots of smart friends in positions of power in their organizations. For example, my boss’s partner is an executive at a fortune 500 headquartered in my town. They may teach as adjuncts and be plugged into universities in your area. “B is a bright paralegal in my firm who is interested in X” is more likely to result in a coffee meeting than being a rando who sends an email.

      • I’ve thought about that, but don’t know how to broach the subject. My boss frowns upon talking with the attorneys about things not strictly related to work, so I’ve been nervous to try and take that first step. Would it be inappropriate to send a quick e-mail to the attorneys I know have some contacts in the field and ask if they mind making introductions?

        • Womp Womp :

          Your boss frowns a lot.

        • Anonymous :

          I actually wouldn’t do this or not as a first resort. While you would think senior attys would be well connected etc., I find that many/most biglaw attorneys (I used to be one for about a decade) know very little outside of other firms and the immediate clients they work on. And the few contacts they have — they tend to be VERY protective of in this economic environment, as they don’t want to “waste” a favor or an ask in case they need it themselves. It’s hard to get partners to make intros for their long time senior associates (who they themselves are often pushing out so as not to make them partner); as a legal assistant, I think you have minimal chances that they’ll actually help. BUT most of them are passive aggressive — won’t say no to helping, will say the right words, but won’t do anything to actually pick up the phone for you.

          If you do want to network with attorneys and your boss (I assume you mean the legal asst manager?) frowns on it — it can still be done. Presumably you work long ish hours with your junior associates without your boss standing over you. Frankly if you’ve gotten friendly or even worked a lot with a 1st-4th yr, THEY are the ones I’d talk to — not a partner or senior associate. Chances are they still have other interests, have friends outside of law in IR etc.

          • In my experience partners are a little more human than that and a lot more connected, but every firm is different. I can see partners being reluctant to “make an ask” for a secretary but I also don’t seem them getting protective of their contacts…when it’s a secretary. It’s not like she’s competition. I also think that staff who are bound for more schooling are treated with more interest and respect than the 45 year old secretary who isn’t quite sure about there/they’re/their.

            OP, obviously be smart about how you go about it- poke around with younger associates, keep your ears open, use your common sense and don’t bust down a partner’s door and ask him to have dinner with you and his bestie that works in the state department. I wouldn’t send a direct email until you’ve established some sort of rapport with these attorneys and actually talked to them about your interests organically. Don’t force the issue.

          • I actually work in a separate department from the paralegals – we work with attorneys involved in active litigation (mostly appellate work) helping them to file things with the courts and keeping track of deadlines. I usually just say paralegal because it’s harder to explain specifically what I do. In any case, I don’t usually get a lot of one on one time with anyone beyond e-mails back and forth.

            And yes, my boss does frown a lot. He very much believes that we should not ever bother the attorneys with anyone not directly related to the task at hand.

          • If you’re generally a helpful person, ignore your boss.

            If some rando unhelpful staff person asked me for a favor, I’d be like, who are you??!

            BUT, if you’re someone who works in X department, but super helpful in those things that you do, and you told me you’re not interested in law school but that you’re interested in ABC, I would gladly put you in touch with contacts if I had relevant ones.

    • Anonymous :

      See what Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service (same for GW and American) has going on. I’m a Gtown Law alum and I know we often have events that are open to the public. Just poke around the various websites.

    • I’m in DC and work in IR! I’ll be transitioning to the govt to work in IR, but I work in the IR private sector right now. Universities do a lot of networking things, that’s true, but you should see if you can attend the MicroLinks events (sponsored by USAID) and World Bank events/conferences. They’re typically open to public.

    • Wildkitten :

      Young Professionals in Foreign Policy.

  12. Catholic Church :

    Has anyone re-joined the Catholic church as an adult? What does that process look like? I would like to do this. I received sacraments up until confirmation (not confirmed) and DH was baptized. Where do we start? Among other reasons, we want our children to be baptized and brought up in the Catholic church.

    I appreciate this process likely varies from parish to parish, but I’m wondering where to start. (BTW the “Catholics Come Home” s!te is not helpful). Just a call to the local rectory? TIA!

    • It’s pretty standardized nowadays. It’s called RCIA and you should look it up at your local parish church.

      • Anonymous :

        Technically, RCIA is for people joining the church for the first time as adults, not for people rejoining (anyone is welcome to attend sessions, so a confirmed, weekly-attending-for-life Catholic could go just to soak up more teaching, but the primary purpose is geared to brand new Catholics). Many parishes offer a faster route to confirmation for people who were raised Catholic for a period of time and just didn’t get confirmed.

    • I would call your local church and find out about RCIA classes and ask questions specific to your situation since you already have been baptized and made your first holy communion.

    • RCIA typically starts in the early autumn; confirmation is Easter vigil. Your parish newsletter should have information about this, or you can email the deacon.

      Aside from the classes, you need your baptismal certificate. If you know what parish you were baptised in, that makes it easier. (Your church can get it for you.) If you only know the town, they can call and ask.

    • Anonymous :

      My local parish offers confirmation classes for those who were raised in the church but not confirmed for whatever reason (e.g., One of my friends got confirmed in Mexico because most of her family still lives there. She has no record of it and isn’t sure the weekend-only process she went through actually satisfied the church’s confirmation process, so her preference was to do it again up here as an adult). It’s less intensive than RCIA, so you could ask if that’s an option at your church. I’m not sure it would apply to your husband and maybe you’d like to go through RCIA together, but just thought I’d mention it.

    • In the Pink :

      Yes, ask to speak to the RCIA coordinator. It might be best if you both go through the RCIA classes together, so it’s all clear and a nice sharing process as well. The sacraments are given during the Easter Vigil. I don’t know the length/term of the classes other than they tend to be held weekly for some fixed time period. If I remember correctly, it’s on Sundays, followed by the candidates then attending the next Mass together … and leaving before the Eucharistic rite. At least in my Diocese.

  13. Fancy Soap :

    I am looking for a hand soap in a pump bottle to put in my kitchen and guest bath. I’d like a “fancy” soap that smells nice and is not drying. Ideally, I would like the soap version of the Capri Blue volcano candle. Turns out Capri Blue does make hand soap, but not in the volcano scent, and I’m not familiar with these other sents (or whether the soap is drying or not). I could wander into a gift shop and purchase a pretty bottle and hope for the best, but before I do that, does anyone have a recommendation?

    • I’m absolutely in love with the Mrs. Meyers geranium and basil hand soaps!

    • I love Method hand soaps. They smell good and they don’t give me a headache.

    • I use the Aveda rosemary mint hand and body wash for our hand soap. It smells great, isn’t too strong, and isn’t too feminine for my husband or guests. I initially bought the smaller bottles with the hand pump for the kitchen and bathroom, and now refill them from a large bottle. It’s pricey, but it seems to last a long time.

    • I’d go browse the hand soap aisle at Whole Foods. The selection is pretty mind-boggling and 99% of them are pretty fancy.

    • Anonymous :

      The best of the best of fancy hand soap is Savon de Marseille. I also love the brand NEST which you can find at Sephora (they also make perfume and all their scents are gorgeous). Method/Mrs. Meyers are not fancy, imo.

      • My solution to this is to buy whatever scent I like best and decant it into a pretty glass dispenser bottle. Right now it’s Mrs. Meyers honeysuckle.

    • layered bob :

      I love Caldrea soaps in the glass bottle. Guests often comment on how much they love it and I am suspicious that our house cleaner siphons off the refill bottle… :-)

      • +1 to Caldrea. Some scents are also available at Target in-store if you want to test smell.

      • +2 to Caldrea.
        Some of the Method scents are also good too though, I tend to switch back and forth.

    • Anonymous :

      Williams Sanoma has some fancy hand soaps (liquid)

  14. Miz Swizz :

    I love to cruise TJ Maxx/Home Goods for this kind of thing. I have a sensitive nose and I prefer to be able to sniff soaps before I buy them. I’ve gotten a couple of different soaps there and have been pleased with the quality though I can’t remember any brands.

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