Coffee Break: Marley Hobo

Nordstrom is saying that the hobo is the bag trend of the season — and leave it to a brand called Hobo to actually make a great example of one. This bag, along with this Minkoff hobo bag that we’ve featured before, are actually the best reviewed hobos at Nordstrom. I like this red because it has a worn-in look without appearing sloppy — it’s quite nice. It’s $248 at Nordstrom. Amazon has it in eight colors for a price range of $175 to $248, and Zappos has it in nine colors for $248. Hobo Marley Hobo

Update: it’s in the big winter #nsale at Nordstrom, and is marked down to $148 in some colors.



  1. so anon.... :

    I am generally a very even keeled and politically moderate person, but I’m having some major anxiety over Trump. I’m concerned about many things, but I think the biggest thing is that I’m afraid that he’s a real threat to our democracy. Someone please tell me that it’s not as bad as I fear. I would love to be overreacting.

    • +1, sorry.

    • I feel the same. I don’t have any advice other than to take comfort that you are not alone – there have been several articles published about therapists noting an uptick in Trump-induced anxiety from their patients, even increased calls to suicide hotlines. Knowing that it’s not just me and that a lot of us feel this way makes me feel better and in fact makes me feel a lot of empathy toward those around me, whereas in the days that followed the election, I felt like I woke up in a hostile, unknown (blue city!) foreign land.

      • Dad says NOT to fret. He is just starting out and all people have ROUGH edges. I do read in the NYTIMES that he is making alot of dumb mistakes, but DAD is sure that he will NOT make the same mistakes twice, with Russia and the Cold War. I know Dad knows what he is talking about b/c he worked in the Cold War over seas. If I hear different from Dad, I will be sure to alert the HIVE. YAY for Dad!!!

      • My therapist told me that a lot of couples are entering counseling with him and even calling it quits because the husband (and one wife) voted for him.

        • I know someone who left her husband because he voted for Trump. They were not doing great before the election, but that was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back.

    • Minnie Beebe :


      I think it actually “is” as bad as you (and I, and may others) fear. I can’t control what happens, but I can speak out, as well as write letters and make phone calls, and make donations, etc. I believe that Republicans are already waking up, and will put country before party when it really matters.

      I hope to never again see this level of dysfunction in my government. The level of incompetence and depth of deception are shocking.

    • Same. We’re in big trouble. I’m guessing the intelligence community will continue to leak information about his involvement with Russia, and dollars to donuts he’s in deep. Bigly. He will get impeached. His supporters will think it’s a conspiracy and a set-up, and we will be more divided than ever. And we will have President Pence.

      None of this makes me feel good.

      • so anon.... :

        Honestly I would kill for President Pence right now. Give me “normal” conservative policies, whatever…. and I am by no means a conservative, especially on social issues. I just want our government to go back to functioning normally. If this were a normal republican president, I’d be upset, but we’ll fight it out in 2018 or 2020. I’m seriously concerned that we’ll cease to actually be a democracy by then. And I can’t tell if I sound crazy or if this a legitimate fear.

        • I think Trump and Pence would both go … next in line would be Paul Ryan. Could be worse. I used to hate him but now that I hate Trump with the fire of a thousand suns, my hatred of Ryan pales in comparison. Trump taught me how to hate to a depth I didn’t know possible.

          • Anonymous :

            The difference between Trump and Pence is about 10 billion times bigger than the difference between Pence and Ryan…

          • I’m a dyed in the wool liberal democrat and I’d give my left ovary for a President McCain right now.

          • My hatred of Ryan’s policy pales in comparison to Trump’s policy, but I’m angrier than ever at Ryan and McConnell for being lily-livered weaklings and not standing up to Trump. Never again will I listed to the GOP talk about country over party. They’ve chosen their reelections over our democracy and I hope we never forget it.

    • Right there with you, sorry.

    • This is not pathological anxiety (i.e., disproportional to the cause). This is 100% justifiable anxiety because of the current state of our country. The only way to get rid of it is to work hard in any way you can to help the effort to turn things around. Start at the local level – there are many guides out there to help.

      • The thing is, a lot of the local level guides are How to Elect Democrats and the fact is, I am not a die-hard Democrat. In fact, I lean more on the Republican side of things. I just want a sane, intelligent populous governing things, and I will happily pick them from any and all party affiliation.

        • I mean, you can basically take the same advice but every time you see the word “Democrat”, just substitute “Sane Candidate of Whatever Party has a Chance of Winning in My Election” and proceed from there. Of course you’ll have to adapt to local conditions based on your own assessment, but you can still give it a shot – better than sitting and waiting for the uranium things or whatever to rain down upon us.

        • Most of the guides are encouraging people to look for, campaign, and volunteer for candidates that they want in office instead of just accepting the lesser of two evil choices we usually get. There are definitely a lot of groups getting together to move the country in a more dem/left leaning government but that does not mean you cannot get involved.

          Also, the primary reason (from my understanding) a lot of these guides are ‘How to Elect Democrats’ is because those at the top of the GOP (not ALL) spent millions engaging in insane gerrymandering practices over the last few years at a disproportionate rate than the democrats and this election was the last straw and potentially last chance for Dems to take back more seats.

          As a self proclaimed progressive liberal I like to look at ALL candidates regardless of party. Our rigid two party system is stifling to say the least…

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’m with you as well. It is inconceivable to me that the stock market is up and half the country is happy with him. Absolutely inconceivable. And then yesterday I went to a presentation on climate change and walked out thinking “Great. It’s not only the end of America, it’s the end of the world!”

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I watched the movie Canadian Bacon this week (similar to Wag the Dog) and it struck me that Cold War type tensions are good for presidential approval ratings and war is big business.

        I also feel like we are all being manipulated on some level although not in the “media is treating x very very unfairly” way that Trump is speaking of. It isn’t even clear to me how we are being manipulated but something just feels off and wrong to me. I really don’t normally think like that but it’s a feeling I haven’t been able to shake lately.

    • Sorry, I’m there too! Commiseration helps. Donating and volunteering helps.

      Today I’m extra annoyed because I noticed my brother-in-law on both LinkedIn and Facebook ranting about “snowflakes.” He’s 24, white, employed in finance, and still lives at home, but somehow he is the appropriate person to pass judgment on the Day Without Immigrants. Tell me what you know of the world, young Padawan.

      • Next time he rants about snowflakes, tell him our Commander-in-Chief complained that the towels on Air Force One were not soft enough for his hands.

        Not sure how all the Trump voters that pride themselves on their callused hands would like hearing that. Or that he went through a 19-page book to pick the curtains in the Oval Office but complained that his briefings were too long– so they are now limited to one page with 9 bullet points. Seriously, this man is not a hard worker (and I mean… it’s not surprising).

        • Anonymous :

          Trump’s worked 20-hour days for fifty years.

          • The F he has. Oogling nude teenage pagent contestants is not work. Bragging about sexual assault on a bus with Billy Bush is not work. Waging a campaign of lies about the birthplace of the first black president is not work. It’s what a rich prick with too much money and too much time on his hands does for fun.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            He does seem to get by on shockingly little sleep.

          • Anonymous :

            He doesn’t sleep, but I see that as more of a symptom of mental illness than a symptom that he’s working hard. I don’t think he secretly feels lazy, I think he really genuinely believes he is a workaholic. But there’s that whole narcissism distorted self-image thing coming into play…

          • nasty woman :


            This isn’t hard work, it’s mental illness. I worked for a sociopathic narcissistic in biglaw. The behavior patterns are so similar it makes me feel physical ill when it flashes me back to that experience. The gaslighting, the lying, manipulating, the whirlwind of baldfaced lies and confusion. The delusions of grandeur, the idea that only he is capable of xyz, everyone is out to get him/undermine him, no one is capable of truly supporting or understanding him. The martyr complex, the faux-hard work. Lack of sleep and general hot-messiness, which, in his mind, is all a product of how tremendously hard he’s working. To everyone else, it’s obvious that it’s a product of disorganization, delusion, failure to cultivate functional relationships with anyone, and simply an inability to function like an adult. My boss would constantly decry how he was so overwhelmed and successful that he pulled all-nighters, had to review legal work *while driving on the highway* and sleep on the side of the road in his car in between client meetings because he was just so busy. B*tch please.

    • I know a lot of people who feel the same way you do, and I think Trump is a complete disaster. But I’m an eternal optimist, so here’s what keeps me from being too scared:

      We’ve had Presidents as horrible as this before, but none of us were alive then. Harding let his friends plunder the US Treasury. Hoover fueled trade wars and exacerbated the Depression. I think Andrew Jackson chased his cabinet away with a cane. We’ve had isolationist presidents and racist presidents, and we’ve overcome them and their policies.

      Two weeks ago our Judiciary branch proved we still have our Checks and Balances in place. People all over the country are concerned and getting involved. We have 200+ years of tradition to keep our country together – which is actually a pretty strong force. It’s why we looked to the courts to stop Trump’s illegal orders instead of grabbing our guns. Its why we’re not threatening elected officials with violence – we’re threatening to vote them out of office in the next elections. Its why we’re calling for impeachment instead of a revolution. If the Trump Administration does get impeached, we have a clear line of succession, there will be no power vacuum and no struggle to get the top chair.

    • Anonymous :

      I wouldn’t ask that on this s – i – t – e. Everyone here is off the deep end about Trump. Look elsewhere for reassurance. There are plenty of other less biased places to go.

      • so anon.... :

        I know you’re right about this. Can you suggest some? I’m also a minority and child of immigrants, so when I’m freaking out I also try to stay away from sites where it’s cool to go on about how awful we are.

      • Yes, keep looking until you find a site that tells you what you want to hear, and makes you feel better. Then you won’t have to take any uncomfortable action. Everything will be just fine. Everything in history is always fine, and especially always turns out well for minorities and immigrant families.

        • Don’t be obnoxious. There are communities that commiserate, and there are communities that offer analysis and pragmatic action plans.

      • You remind me of my nephew, who thinks he knows everything. He has no children but decided to get into it about vaccinations. He said all of us who read scientific articles were just looking on the wrong “sites.” Sites do not equal facts. Get your info from real sources, even if it scares you. Do not go looking for an echo chamber to tell you everything is OK.

      • Anonymous :

        Like Breitbart news? Is that where you’re hanging out? They just love strong women over there, I’m sure.

    • Anonymous :

      Right there with you. I’m also freaked out by how mainstream Republican news s!tes are covering this. If you looked only at Fox News, you would think Trump is doing great – being tough on immigration and introducing policies that hurt the environment, sure, but you wouldn’t get the sense that he’s doing anything that’s really out of the norm for a very conservative Republican. The Russia stuff has barely been covered. Even when Flynn resigned the headline was about the leaks coming out of the White House, not the resignation of the National Security Adviser. And sadly half the country gets their news from Fox News…

    • I am taking concrete steps, which helps a bit. Through the Women’s March people I am hosting a “Huddle” and creating a little group of likeminded pals — we are encouraging one another to get involved and not let ourselves be overwhelmed.

      And I’m telling myself the story backward. I will tell my daughter, “when he got elected [blah blah blah] but then your mom stood up by [blah blah blah].” If when I tell this story, things are terrible, at least I stood up. If things get better, I will be proud I stood up.

      If any of y’all on here are in the Inland Empire, let me know and I’ll figure out a way you can hit me up to join our little group!

    • I just emailed somebody about those exact same concerns. The Russian connection may be getting some traction, but isn’t anyone going to get serious about using the office for personal & familial financial enrichment?

    • Scared mom :

      +1000. My 18yo son just joined the Marines. I’m absolutely terrified at what Trump will do with my son’s life in his hands. Every day seems to be more horrifying than the last.

  2. Can I respectfully inquire why so many recommendations lately are from Nordstrom? Haven’t kept a count or anything, but it seems to be a substantial majority. Is it just the financial incentive to get clicks over there? I love Nordstrom; it has such an easy, sortable website— it’s really easy to either browse or find something specific there, so it seems like a bit of a waste to constantly draw the featured items from there. There are so many other retailers with work-appropriate clothes and accessories, and I’d also love to discover some new ones!

    • I’m guessing laziness or the referral links. Plus nearly everyone here likes Nordstrom (especially after they dropped Ivanka’s line)

    • Anonymous :

      I agree to some extent, although I shop more at Nordstrom than everywhere…. mostly out of laziness.

      I probably would appreciate more posts from a slightly more affordable department store occasionally, like Macy’s, which apparently has a lot of decent workwear basics for very reasonable prices…..but I never think to check out because I am lazy….

      • JuniorMinion :

        Second Macy’s! I am a huge fan of their charter club in house line.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I avoid Macy’s and JC Penny because I hate paying for shipping and never shop in person. Nordstrom and Lord & Taylor are my go to stores because of the free shipping.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Free shipping from Lord & Taylor with my ShopRunner account at least.

        • Anonymous :

          I also appreciate sticking to free shipping stores. Expanding to more stores with reasonable free shipping minimums (<$100, please) would also be fine – if they do free returns. Nordstrom fits the bill on both.

        • Free shipping is only good if accompanied by free returns. Nordstrom and Zappos are the best at this. Neiman Marcus is good if you return within a certain timeframe.

        • I tried L&T once. Lousy customer service. Experiment is over.

          Lately I refer to a list of who’s supporting Ivanka/carrying her stuff before placing any orders. I need to start writing to the places I’m avoiding to explain why.

    • I’m not Kat and can’t speak for her, but the Nordstrom photos have a consistent look and a clean background. Lots of bloggers like to link to them for that reason.

      I’m guessing Nordstrom knows this, which is why they continue to make their photos like this. Smart move.

    • Obviously Kat wants to make money (as she should; this is a business after all). I don’t think there’s anything really weird about it, because Nordstrom has such a good range of items and prices. It’s honestly my favorite clothing store, and I’m not being paid to say that. Probably 95% of my closet is Nordstrom.

    • I agree. I shop at Nordstrom a lot, but it would be a nice change to see items from different brands/outlets.

      • I think in addition to the easiness of Nordstrom, it’s probably more likely that people will buy something if it’s a well known entity with a free shipping/free returns policy. A lot of the smaller companies can’t afford to ship and do returns for free. Also, whenever an unknown place is featured on here the comments are all “I’m not familiar with this, how does it fit?” and “what’s the quality?” and so on. I’m guessing that translates to less people buying stuff.

        It also seems like the recommendations often get selected in advance so probably multiple posts are the result of one or two browsing sessions, which results in a lot of stuff from one or two retailers.

    • I’ve been shopping at Nordstrom since I was a little kid, because I had the world’s largest, narrowest feet. I buy a ton of shoes there. But I HATEHATEHATE that they don’t carry talls. And at my recent b-school reunion, I talked to my classmate, who high up in strategy there and she told me they never will carry talls. To borrow a phrase from a frequent commenter, “PHOEY!”

      So yeah–my favorite jeans from Nordstrom are NONE OF THEM. Because they don’t carry talls and I am a tall.

    • My understanding from reading several fashion blogs is that Nordstrom offers the blogger one of the highest commissions (up to 20%) in their affiliate program.

  3. Does Room & Board ever do any big sales, like for Presidents Day? I’m eyeing a dresser but it’s a lot more than I want to spend…

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Sadly they don’t. They set prices in late December and then hold them there for the entire year.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        It’s question 8 here:

        You can hope it gets discontinued and put on clearance.

    • Anonymous :

      Nope. There is an outlet in Minnesota or somewhere, and the showroom in Soho in NYC has a sale/clearance section in the basement, but it’s pretty slim pickings.

    • Once per year they do a blowout sale, but just on floor models. I think it’s near the end of the year. Picked up a great end table there once, though.

      • Waaaaaaaaaaah! OK, thank you ladies! At least I can stop “stalking” it now. I really can’t justify spending $2500 on a dresser right now so will be moving on to more affordable pastures.

        • Look at craigslist, Krrb, letgo, etc. You can set up an alert for Room and Board postings in the area up to a few thousand miles.

          • Thanks. I have been checking AptDeco, which is like CL but with professional movers. I can never quite figure out how to actually buy/move the furniture people post on CL, etc.

          • I buy lots of furniture off of Craigslist. If I need a truck, I will usually rent one from Lowes/Home Depot.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            I helped a friend move a bookshelf she bought on CL in Brooklyn once. Luckily it was about 3 blocks away so we walked it. I also saw someone move a giant dresser on the subway once. People around him were not fans! I’ve sold furniture on CL but always say that it has to be picked up. Most of the time the buyer has a car. Renting a truck seems like the only real option for buying if you don’t have a car, but I’d probably stick to AptDeco myself.

          • @AIMS

            Use the Dolly app! You post a description about what you need to move, approximate dimensions, where it needs to be picked up and dropped off, and it matches you with someone who has what you need. I got a china hutch from my friend, and used the app, and a guy who used to be a professional mover met me at her house, loaded the hutch into his truck, drove it to my house, and helped me get it in my house! It was really easy and way cheaper than renting a uhaul.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            Nessie, that’s awesome! Thanks for sharing. Also, I love your username!

          • CL also has “man with a van” postings. So what I’ve done in the past is find the furniture I like, then hire the man or woman with a van or truck to help me move it. Usually very reasonable price for an hour or two of their work, and they’ve always been really helpful!

    • FrankieCat :

      For those in NYC I have hear GREAT things about their annual warehouse sale.

    • No blowouts but things do go on sale – I think it is near the end of the year. There’s a floor model sale, but discontinued new items go on sale as well. I just picked up an end table that was discontinued.

  4. Chilly Spring Wardrobe? :

    What do you wear in the early spring? The weather is getting nice here, but chilly in the mornings (high 30s) and then warm in the afternoon (low 70s). If this were fall, same temps, I would wear black leggings, short booties, a knit tunic, and maybe a lightweight long cardigan. But that feels very heavy and fall like. What is a good spring alternative?

    • Senior Attorney :

      Maybe the same thing but with lighter colors? Gray leggings?

    • I like skinny ankle pants and springy tops plus a trench and big scarf for layering in the am/pm.

    • Assume you’re talking weekend wear. I’ve been wearing jeans with a flowy sleeveless or 3/4 sleeve top with a long lightweight cardigan and wedge shoes. I add a scarf in the mornings, but I’m generally just from the house to my car so I don’t get very cold.

      All bets are off if it’s raining. Then I’m back to leggings and boots.

  5. Presuming good intentions :

    We talk a lot here about presuming good intentions (thank you Senior Attorney!) but I’m realizing today it’s difficult, especially when emotions are involved. My last SO left me somewhat out of the blue and it colors some of my impressions of my new SO. For instance this morning I knew he was tired. But I was surprised he wasn’t responsive to my text and when he did finally respond he didn’t acknowledge the unusual delay (which he always does) and he was a little cold/distant. So I immediately assumed the worst…until he shared he’s just not feeling well. I know I should have assumed good intentions but it felt so difficult. Anyone have any tips?

    • Sassyfras :

      Recognize your thought patterns: you jump to the worst conclusion when it is untrue. Remind yourself of all the times your worries have been overblown. Over time it gets easier.

      • +1

        With my current SO, I also made a conscious decision to just trust him unless/until he gives me a reason not to. So if I find myself thinking “Why isn’t he texting me back?” I mentally counter with “Remember, you decided to trust him. He’s busy.” Sometimes it has to be an actual mental conversation I have with myself when I’m not having a good day. It has gotten easier with time though.

    • Anonymous :

      Not communicate over text so much? Especially during the work day, when he easily could be busy?

      Because text is such a cold medium, with such a high possibility of misinterpretation/misreading of tone… nevermind typos.

      Because you will be sensitive like this for awhile, and it is hard to change. I totally understand.

    • Senior Attorney :

      OMG this was me for the longest, longest time when I was dating Lovely Husband.

      After a while I just started telling myself “This is what you do. You think there’s a problem and there never is. How many times are going going to have to go through this until you get over it?” Unfortunately the answer to that question was “About a million,” but I did get over it eventually.

      Also: My therapist and I used to talk about it in terms of object relations. You know how when babies are really little, and they’re playing with a ball and it rolls behind the couch? They’ll cry and cry because they think the ball has ceased to exist and is gone for good. It takes a while for them to realize it still exists even when they can’t see it, and that’s called object permanence.

      Anyway, for the longest time I’d go to my therapy appointments and say “the ball has rolled behind the couch” and he knew exactly what I meant. And it was a funny way to remind myself that the good relationship and the good feelings still existed even when I hadn’t had a text or when LH had to be away for the weekend or whatever.

      TL;DR: What Sassyfras said.

    • I suggest that you try to establish a very honest communication with you SO to avoid this sort of anxiety. What I mean is establish a norms of communication, where if your SO doesn’t feel like talking to anyone one day, he can tell you that, and if he feels like playing computer games rather than spending time with you occasionally, he can tell you that. I have been with my husband for 9 years now and have a 3yo child, and for us this sort of honesty really helps. We are both loners, and really value time on our own, in addition to spending time together. So sometimes I ask him – lets watch Netflix together, he says “Not tonight, I really want to just play games”. I sometimes do the same, telling him, sorry I really want to do my nails tonight. My husband also has his own social relations, and hobbies that we don’t share. Furthermore, when we spend a lot of together, we need a break from each other. I visit my parent over the weekend frequently and stay there, and sometimes he goes with me, sometimes he tells me he just wants to stay home without me and be lazy. And that’s fine. On the other hand I always tell him when we have family plans and he is expected to accompany us. When I am angry at him for not doing some chores, I tell him that, when he is angry at me he tells me that. If I want flowers on valentine’s day, I tell him. When I don’t want anything for mothers’ day I tell him. I don’t expect him to read my mind. I think in the long run, being really open and communicating well helps relationships and reduces anxiety from both sides.

    • TO Lawyer :

      I’m kind of in the same boat to be honest. It’s really hard.

      I just keep trying to remind myself that he’s a different person and to rationalize my irrational thoughts. i.e. if he hasn’t replied to a text in a few hours, I talk myself through all of the rational explanations (and remind myself that I do it all the time), and not automatically come to the conclusion that he’s cheating and/or ghosting…

  6. Boy, I do not like this bag.

    • I don’t, either. I owned a similar version in 2004.

      • I was going to say I used to alternate this bag with my tiny patent leather backpack in 1999. Or that the 90’s called and asked for its purse back. Or that I had this bag but I lost it at a Spice Girls concert. Or that I used to love to carry this bag with my Steve Madden black platform slides and flared jeans. :)

        All said with humor and love, of course. Just making myself laugh today.

    • +1. I actually grimaced when I saw it.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      It’s….shiny? It looks so dated and cheap.

    • I think Hobo would sell a bunch more bags if they changed their leather. I generally like the shapes and basic styles they offer. But the shininess…

      • Senior Attorney :

        Just say “no” the shiny hobo bags…

      • I have probably ten of their bags or wallets and I LOVE their leather. They are all significantly less shiny in person than in photos. Don’t like this bag style, though.

  7. Why don’t the WH press corps just start boycotting his propaganda/press conferences? Why are they continuing to feed him with the lure of the TV camera? They are continuing to give him free publicity.

    • News junkie here, and this is an ongoing debate on walking the line between access to cover our democracy and what needs to be done to keep the access. The press believes it should be there (and I agree) in order to cover the nuances of what is going on in our democracy and to be able to ask the questions. The worry of a full boycott (or of probing too hard with questions and thus losing access to the point that the WH press secretary boycotss *them*) is access will be lost and you can’t report on the news from a bureau desk. This is the reasoning behind the #sendtheinterns push – to let the interns or cub reporters ask the questions and let them get kicked out without making the news org or media outlet itself into a prop and without lending credibility to the spectacle of being lied to by the WH and keep the veteran reporters in the hallways and on the hill, meeting with whoever will talk. It’s an interesting debate worth looking into as the press grapples with how to cover an entity that cannot be trusted but everyone agrees needs to be covered. Many believe (as I do, too) that it is a call to arms for the press to serve its most basic function as a watchdog to our democracy. Will be interesting to see how the relationship morphs in the next 4 years.

      • Makes total sense. But (IMO) the news media do not have to AIR the propaganda conferences, and they certainly do not have to have the mouthpieces on Meet the Press or whatever.

        I like the idea of having the veteran reporters only interact with the “real” politicians (if you know what I’m saying.)

        • Again, this is a balancing act. Nobody used to watch the press briefings on C-SPAN, but now since it is newsworthy when a press secretary lies, it is getting played on CNN. I do believe there is benefit to having Trump surrogates on shows – how else will you get to see your questions asked? – but this just came up with Morning Joe. Kellyanne Conway it appears is not let into meetings anymore and her credibility with news orgs has been destroyed, so a lot of them will no longer have her on. The bigger question is that if Trump knows KAC doesn’t know what is actually going on, why does he allow her to go on the shows? (She books herself, but she is still employed by the WH as his counselor.) That is the real question, I think, and goes to the heart of the diversion acts at play. Same goes for Twitter – on the one hand the tweets are the POTUS speaking and whatever a world leader says is newsworthy, but on the other hand, they are often blatant lies or outright propaganda and he has lost credibility, so do you report? Or do you report on it in a bigger sense in that the fact that our POTUS tweets from an unsecured line and lies to boot, putting the whole world into jeopardy (bc again, this is a world leader talking and we take that seriously), is newsworthy?

    • I like the Saturday Night skit where Melissa MacCarthy does the imitation. I did NOT even know it was HER! How do they get the makeup so well done so that she looks like that?

  8. DC neighborhood for protest visitors? :

    My sister, BIL and a couple of colleagues are going to DC for the pro-science march in April and are looking for an Air BnB. They’re thinking Capitol Hill, but are wondering if there are any other good neighborhoods within reasonable proximity of the march site. I went to law school in DC, a hundred years ago (when things were cheaper), but I lived in Adams Morgan and Dupont, which are not as readily accessible to the Capitol/Mall/monuments areas where (I assume) this march will be. Any other recs? They’re coming from Austin and are foodies, FWIW.



    • I would stay anywhere there is a metro (although metro sucks for various reasons, it’s still the best option). I live a couple blocks from a NW metro stop, and I haven’t had problems getting to the mall. Also, uber is easy.

    • Chinatown might make for an easy walk down to the mall, with plenty of restaurants, bars, and museums for when they’re not at the march.

      • DC neighborhood for protest visitors? :

        Oh, Chinatown is a good idea.

        Or maybe Penn Quarter?

        • Anonymous :

          I think either of these are good bets. DC is pretty walkable in the spring for tourists so they should be fine.

  9. Minnie Beebe :

    Has anyone tried The Carlin by Mihoko hair accessory? I kept seeing it on my facebook feed, and finally decided that it looked awesome enough that I ordered one, today. Is it as amazing as it seems it will be, or will I be disappointed?

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I had not heard of this until now. Will you report back once you have it? It looks pretty workable.

    • Wanderlust :

      Ahh I keep seeing this add too and wondering the same thing!

    • Meg March :

      As a child, I had something that looked like this but in loud Hawaiian prints (yes, printS, because I had like 6 of them). There’s a fine line between having enough hair that this will work for, and having too much hair. If your hair is thinner, that line might not be as fine. I enjoyed playing around with them, but they frequently were not strong enough for my masses of hair.

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah, I was thinking I had something like this as a child in a neon color. I don’t think my hair fully covered it when I wore it then, which was fine, but definitely wouldn’t now, which wouldn’t be.

  10. If you work for the (fed) gov’t or your significant other does – how worried are you (if at all) re across the board budget cuts, layoffs etc.? I hear there’s a new exec order coming requiring reorganization for the gov’t – it’s all “rumored” but they’re talking budget cuts of 5-20%. Having only worked for the gov’t for a yr – not sure what that means – can that type of cut be accomplished just by offering a solid retirement package to get high paid people to go (which was the first rumor we heard in Jan). Or would it be more agency by agency, dept by dept? I’m at a financial regulator (not CFBP) that is somewhat independent financially but not totally so. Landed in the gov’t after a biglaw layoff and this is the last thing I need . . . .

    • Anonymous :

      I am not worried because my agency brings in money that gets re allocated elsewhere.

    • shamlet96 :

      I’m not super worried (DOJ) about layoffs or job security; i think maybe hiring just gets frozen for a while. What I am worried about is no pay raises for the foreseeable future. I’ve been in gov’t seven years and if I don’t get maxed out soon, I’m going to start to look elsewhere, I think.

    • Not worried about layoffs but salary cuts. There’s a bill in Congress right now, increasing the mandatory contributions for federal retirement. It would essentially be a pay cut as it would increase employee contributions without adding any retirement benefits.

      • Do you mean the pension contribution? Are you kidding me? I’m already contributing 4.4% for a pension I don’t even want (recent hire). Why not just make the pension optional in that case?? I know most of my young cohorts and I couldn’t be any less interested in it.

      • Anonymous :

        Why is increased mandatory retirement contributions equivalent to a pay cut? You will get the money back eventually and it will earn a lot of interest in the meantime. I get that it’s frustrating to not have control over that money, but it’s not the same as a pay cut.

        • It is the same. The proposed plan calls for increased contributions from employees so less take home. However, the pension payout stays the same so we would not get it back.

  11. Paging Jewelry Question :

    I got a stackable ring like what you are describing, with alternating diamonds and sapphires from the website Allurez. Search “gemstone wedding bands”. This is only if you’re looking for something simple. I got mine to stack with my wedding and engagement rings the Christmas after my daughter was born. Her birthstone is sapphire. I really love it and it’s held up with over the past couple of years.

  12. On my iphone, I will be chatting away, and suddenly my ear or cheek or whatever starts pressing its own buttons and I find myself on facetime or getting a sonata of number beeps in my ear. What am I doing wrong?

    • FrankieCat :

      When I first got my iphone7PLUS I was doing this pretty often. You just need to adjust the way you hold your phone. If this is persistent issue, then you can try “guided access” mode when you are on calls.

  13. Anonymous :

    Any tips on living with a procrastinator spouse without ending up doing everything and feeling resentful?

    • I think you have to figure out what you are okay with letting fall through the cracks. What does procrastination mean? Are the taxes filed on 4/15 or are they filed late?
      In a general sense, I’d say pick what you actually care about and do that yourself or automate it; make a few systems in place to deal with stuff that affects you both (e.g., dirty dishes); and let go of some things that don’t really affect your life (e.g., your spouse’s laundry).

      • Marshmallow :

        Yeah. My husband is a procrastinator, too. If something affects only him, I might remind him once or twice but I won’t nag or do it for him. If it’s really important and affects both of us (e.g., taxes) I do it myself. Some things I try to let go of and let him handle it on his own time. Dirty dishes fall into that category– I hate that he leaves them overnight, but it won’t kill me.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I agree with this.

        In our case, what looks like my husband procrastinating is often “pondering.” We joke about it. He just really likes to take his time and thoroughly explore options. This came up with trip planning recently. I was ready to just book something and he was still pondering. I’ve decided to let this one go because he is actually great at planning our trips because of all the time and thinking he puts into it.

        His laundry doesn’t affect me so I don’t care if he puts it off until he has run out of socks. Not taking out the recycling affects us both, but I’m willing to let it slide until he takes it out because I hate doing it myself.

        Taxes are an example of something I care about. Now that we are married filing separately and I have to submit his info to my student loan people for IBR, I need him to get his done in a timely fashion. I warned him a month ahead of time what the deadline was for my recertification. I mentioned it again a couple weeks ago when I did my taxes and reminded him once more a few days ago because I have to recertify on the 22nd. He’s going to do it this weekend. I’d love for him to do it way in advance so I don’t even have to think about it, but reminding him a few times works fine for us and I’d do it myself without resentment if I was able to (his taxes are complicated… I tried last year).

        If it really matters to you, go ahead and do it yourself but try not to resent it. If it is less important, try to let it fall through the cracks until your spouse does it. I find it works best if you decide what those categories are ahead of time instead of being in the heat of the moment trying to make a decision.

    • My husband is a procrastinator. I have done few things to make my life comfortable.

      1. Very clear division of responsibilities. I don’t follow up with him if he completed his tasks. I just trust him to do his part. If he end up procrastinating a lot and we end up in trouble, so be it. We both will be in trouble and I will endure the difficulty with him. I don’t criticize him though. The fact that I also went through difficulty due to his procrastination makes him feel very bad and he takes care of his responsibilities in time so that we don’t end up in such situation again. The point is, I don’t take over and do it because he procrastinated.

      2. For things that doesn’t matter much/can be ignored, I ignore it. Ex: His table is a mess. Every weekend he has a reason not to sort the mess. I let it be messy. So messy that he has asked our cleaning lady not to try cleaning it.

      3. For things that matter to me a lot (long term things like retirement investments etc), I take full responsibility. Long term things will never be a priority for him and easy to procrastinate without feeling the impact and are too serious to ignore.

  14. Anonymous :

    They are painting the walls on my (small, not well-ventilated) floor this afternoon. No notice, it just started smelling like paint and I went out to investigate. If there are suddenly a bunch of really weird anon posts in the next hour, you know what happened.

    • commiseration. I had painters in for my interior walls last week. For some reason my walls (which were last painted 13 years ago) had latex paint, but all the trim had oil based paint. For this reason they had to apply an extra-smelly primer over the oil based paint. I had a headache for days. In hindsight I wish I’d checked into a hotel.

  15. Patent / Copyright / IP law Q :

    I have an idea for an improvement on a jewelry item (not a FitBit, but the idea is similar — an improvement on someone else’s product) that is already on the market (so covered by some sort of intellectual property protection). I’d like to have some rights in my idea for the improvement. I roughly understand that I have to make a prototype and I know that there is some prior art.

    I know a couple of patent / hard IP lawyers and some non-engineer / soft IP lawyers. [I am a lawyer myself but I 100% do not do IP work; I hate crank calls and the random crazy callers that I get sometimes.]

    How do I pose this to them (and where to start with the lawyers) so that I sound like a real paying client (which I want to be) and not across as some crazy person? I am assuming that I would not want to use lawyers at my own firm.

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