Coffee Break: Diamond Viper Earrings

Ileana Makri Diamond Viper Earrings Hands down, my favorite place to shop for jewelry in NYC — usually just for drooling — is Barneys New York. Their collection is carefully curated, and full of interesting and beautiful pieces and unusual designers. A handful of jewelry pieces are part of the big sale going on right now, and I’m liking these diamond viper earrings. Sure, they’re a little cheeky — don’t mess with me, I’m a VIPER, get it? — but I like that they look fairly abstract until you get up close. (And as one well-to-do friend of mine once said, when asked what her husband was getting her for a graduation gift: “Diamonds.  More diamonds.  ALWAYS more diamonds.”) They were $2630, but are on sale for $1580. Ileana Makri Diamond Viper Earrings



  1. Cute, but YIKES on the price! I don’t like snakes anyways!

    • Samuel L. Jackson :

      Will someone get these mothertruckin’ SNAKES off my mothertruckin’ EARRINGS?!

  2. So hot.

    • And always more diamonds for me, too. I’m guilty of taking a jewelry gift my DH gave me back to the jeweler and trading it in for diamonds. I had his blessing, but still…

    • Nowhere near as awesome but these are only $24:

      And this set is $7:

    • Stuck in moderation because of links but have to say that these are awesome.

  3. An afternoon diversion, inspired by a really unfortunate “workplace bonding” event that I will be forced to attend next week:

    Imagine you have to do karaoke in front of your colleagues (including not just peers, but also your immediate supervisors). You have a terrrrrrrrible singing voice.

    What do you sing?
    (unfortunately, not attending/ not singing is very much NOT an option, as much as I wish I could come up with an emergency evening doctor’s appointment or family obligation).

    Seriously, people, why do we have to bond with microphones? Why can’t we just bond with cocktails, like civilized people?

    • Something where people will immediately join in. See eg Sweet Caroline.

      • A co-worker who sang “Sweet Caroline” at a company event 4 years ago is still living it down. She jokes about it now, but still…

    • Can you get a group together and do a number? Someone is bound to be able to sing and then you still look like a good sport. Even better if it something that everyone will sing along with anyway, YMCA, Grease, 80s hair band, 90s boy band, etc. Or if you can speak pretty quickly, do one of those wordy songs. REM -End of the World, Billy Joel -We Didn’t Start the Fire, etc.

      • Or a rap song that’s completely ridiculous (I’m thinking ganster’s paradise).

        Generally, just get up and ‘sing’ with enthusiasm. Or happen to always be at the bar/bathroom/ordering.

      • And yes to Grease. I’ve been part of a group singing “Summer Lovin'” before. Everyone sang along and no-one cared if we actually got it right.

    • It helps if you look like Cameron Diaz. That karaoke scene in My Best Friend’s Wedding always cracks me up.

    • Sing with a group of three or four. Sweet Caroline or another catchy sing-a-long is a good call.

    • That is just awful, awful, awful and I’m so sorry you have to be forced to participate. I love to sing and have a decent singing voice but karaoke scares the crap out of me and I can’t ever imagine having to do it in front of my coworkers/supervisors.

      What about rapping to Ice Ice Baby? Then you’re not really singing and people will probably think it’s funny/awesome.

    • Good God, this sounds awful, and I even like singing. I just don’t like forced bonding activities. They are never fun.

      But in a pinch, I highly recommend the group approach. Best of luck.

    • I would say:

      a) group number
      b) song that would inspire others to sing along
      c) or, a song by someone who doesn’t have much of a melody – think some of Taylor Swift’s songs. Or someone who sort of talk-sings. Can’t think of an example off the top of my head but you know what I mean.

      • Johnny Cash – A Boy Named Sue

      • I swear by “Devil Went Down to Georgia.” It’s mostly talking, not singing.

        • Yep. This one requires zero singing ability. Just practice at home once or twice so you have a feel for the words.

      • A Nonny Moose :

        Depending on age of your coworkers.. Ke$ha has a lot of talk-songs.

      • Sheath lover :

        suzanne vega – tom’s diner or something by janis joplin or maybe john denver jet plan?

        i think the key is to pick a song that’s even more talking than singing or something that has a really small vocal range that you can actually hit

        rap could be good but know the age of your colleagues. i work with old white guys and they would just be really confused

        • Coach Laura :

          Janis Joplin – genius. “Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes-Benz. My friends all have Porcshes…” Even she’s not in tune.

    • Diana Barry :

      – Group song is good
      – RAP – think the Humpty Dance or something similarly ridiculous. Baby Got Back, etc.

    • Franacie Nolan :

      Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville it’s easy and people will sing along and if they are forcing you to sing thinking of escaping might help you :)

    • The Extern :

      Pink’s song about divorce/still being a rock star.

      It’s one that you can basically talk/scream.

    • Hey Jude. It’s easy to sing and everybody can sing along to the “na na” part at the end of the song

    • A former roommate of mine swore by the Fresh Price of Bel-Air theme for situations like this. People can’t resist “singing” along!

    • Baconpancakes :

      Group number, and “I will survive.” You don’t need to really sing that, just kind of shout it a bit, and people love it. It’s easy to be dramatic with hand motions, too, which everyone loves.

    • The manageing partner has us over to his house every summer and winter, and at these firm gathering’s, we are all expected to sing seasonal songs. In the Summer, we all sing songs from s Roggers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma, and in the winter, we play songs from Chiaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, but we do NOT sing. The manageing partner’s brother comes and he is a good singer, but the manageing partner and Margie both can NOT sing well at ALL!

      Madeline also likes to sing, but she does NOT know most of the words to the song’s so she makes them up. She also sings with food in her mouth, which is DISGUSTING when it flies out. I usueally do NOT stand anywhere near her for this reason. FOOEY!

      The manageing partner is livid b/c Dad’s report says bad things about the firm. He has not shared anything about what it say’s, so I will have to find out about what it says from Dad, b/c it involves me, at least alittle bit, and my partnership prospects. Has anyone in the hive faced this situation? If so what did you do? What should I do if I am not to be a partner? No man is going to be happy if I am not a partner. FOOEY!

      • Ellen, men only care about the size of your tuchus, they don’t care if you make partner. Isn’t the point of getting married so you can stay at home and raise babies and not have to work anymore? You probably have spent too much time already trying to make partner and not enough time trying to meet eligible men, that is why you are still single.

    • Anonymous :

      Pick the shortest song you can find, like TV theme songs….Maybe the Golden Girls??!?

      • Similar situation here last year, went with spice girls “tell you what I want” in a group.

        No one expected that to sound good.

    • Mary Ann Singleton :

      Fresh Prince of Bel Air

      At least be happy that you don’t have to do costume karaoke with your clients! (I used to work in Japan.) I still haven’t mentally recovered from that bonding event. Picture a c-level client in a monkey suit belting out “My Way.”

      • Amazing. There is not a single detail in that anecdote that doesn’t sound absolutely terrifying.

      • oil in houston :

        struggling not to laugh at my desk in open space; thanks!

    • Journey – it’s become a group song and does not involve difficult ranges

      other 80s songs (livin on a prayer, the sign)

      for a younger crowd: Backstreet Boys’ “I want it that way”, Britney’s “Oops, I did it again”… these are all relatively easy group songs

      • Anonymous :

        Journey is a band, not a song.

        Also, it sounds like I’m being nitpicky, but The Sign is a definite ’90s song not an ’80s song. I realize that to some youngins its all the same, but to those who were not children in the ’90s, they were very different from the ’80s.

    • Miz Swizz :

      Friends in Low Places. You can bring out your twang and people can’t resist singing along and then they drown you out.

    • Ice Ice Baby.

    • Does your senior management also participate?

      Not that it makes things better, but…I really do wonder why they think it’s a great idea.

      I’d love to collar one of these senior people and tell them that these silly activities don’t necessarily make people like their coworkers better, but they go a long way towards creating a deep, abiding resentment of senior management.

    • Ghostbusters theme song! Super fun and most people know the words. Definitely good for not so hot singers too.

    • Eek, that is unfortunate and my usual Karaoke go-to “I Touch Myself” would probably NOT be appropriate.

    • Anonymous :

      I think I’d unfortunately lose my voice. I’d obviously manage to mangle half a verseof something to show willing.

  4. What are some reputable online jewelry stores for high-quality jewelry (say, for browsing for engagement rings)? I know about Blue Nile, but what are some other options?

  5. Sydney Bristow :

    Inspired by the makeup thread, what eye makeup would you buy at Sephora if you had a $25 gift card? I already have and love my mascara, so I’m thinking of an eyeshadow kit but its overwhelming! I am almost out of my Benefit Big Beautiful Eyes kit and was thinking about switching things up. I don’t wear makeup very often so I need something easy to master.

  6. I broke my pinkie toe, and can’t get my foot into any of my regular shoes, except for my flip flops, none of which are work-appropriate, of course. I had to be in court this morning, and I’m wearing one of those post-op Velcro shoes on my bad foot, and a low-heeled pump on my other foot. So attractive (not!). Anyway, I can wear nice sandals at my office on non-court days, but just can’t seem to find any thong-style, low heeled shoes that would be nice enough. (Any kind of strap that hits my toe hurts too much, so I’m pretty much limited to thong-style – normally I would not consider any thong type sandal work appropriate, but I feel like this is a special case, and I’m willing to stretch that boundary to get out of this darn Velcro thing). I really can’t do more than a 1 inch heel (a little higher if it has a platform), any higher puts too much pressure on my toe. Has anyone seen any nice sandals like that?

    • And these are the closest I’ve been able to find, do you think they would look ridiculous with a blazer and pants? We’re business casual, unless in court or a client meeting. I think they look too casual, and they really aren’t what I would normally wear, but I’m desperate.

      • I saw someone wearing shoes just like that in a meeting today, with pants, and they looked pretty good.

        • Cool! I think I’ll order them, I can always send them back. I love Zappos.

        • Small Town Atty :

          Plus, now that you’ve been walking around in the Velcro-thing, everyone knows you’re having foot problems and can’t judge.

  7. What do you all think of Anthony Weiner’s candidacy? Do you think he should drop out of the race?

    • He is disgusting and a disgrace to public office. He shouldn’t be in the race, but certainly someone with a history of blatantly lying to the public (REPEATEDLY, I might add) doesn’t have integrity. Sure there’s the thought that most politicians lie, but in actually most of them don’t. If you can’t trust the person’s character, why should I trust you to run my city/state/etc.

      • I agree. This is not some small time political office that he is running for.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’m not bothered by the personal issues part of it. Before he left office in the first place, I was really just annoyed that he kept denying it and thought he should have admitted it, put his head down, and tried to focus on getting back to work. I’m not really bothered by this current round of stuff because he admitted it right away. My plan is to try and really figure out whether he would do good for the city and be better than the other candidates and disregard their personal stuff.

    • I don’t know, but I do enjoy reading the headlines about his candidacy. Saw these this morning.

      Collapse: Weiner goes limp in new post-scandal poll

      Poll: Weiner goes soft

      Limp XXXcuse – Weiner blames rocky marriage for sext relapse.

    • I don’t feel nearly as strongly as L, and up until the latest revelations, I had no problem with him being in the race. But now that the second wave broke, I just don’t want to hear about it anymore. I don’t think he is “disgusting” – I don’t care about his personal life or habits – but I think he has demonstrated clearly poor judgment to engage in this conduct again, after it cost him pretty much everything he worked so hard to attain. That’s the part I really have trouble with. Obviously, he won’t be mayor and I don’t think this is going to “redeem” him now that he looks like he’s been caught lying again. But it’s a pretty uninspired field of contenders to begin with. I can’t say I feel too hopeful about any of them.

      • hellskitchen :

        THIS. To me the second wave of revelations show really poor judgment and I don’t trust him to run the city. I am more intrigued by all the speculation on why his wife Huma Abedin is supporting him – does she genuinely believe he’s a good Mayoral candidate or is this some savvy political move on her part that I can’t even begin to decipher or some other reason entirely?

        • Sydney Bristow :

          I have no idea why she is doing it, but it crossed my mind that his behavior may be ok within their relationship. Obviously we have no idea whether its true of them, but I don’t think it’s beyond the realm of possible that some politicians have open relationships with their spouses, are polyamorous, don’t think it’s cheating unless there is physical contact, etc. Depending on what it is, it may be easier to just go with the cheating spouse storyline than to come out and say you are polyamorous as a politician.

          • Gail the Goldfish :

            I am convinced Hillary and Bill Clinton have some sort of open marriage agreement like the main character and his wife (blanking on names) on House of Cards.

            On Weiner, my particularly favorite quote from him this week is that he couldn’t estimate how many women were involved because “I can’t tell you absolutely what people are going to consider inappropriate or not.” Really, you can’t? I’m pretty sure you have a good idea.

      • I should have clarified, he can cheat all he wants to on his wife. That’s between the two of them. I find his nonchalant attitude about the second round and the ‘oh well, I’m caught again” really gross. Plus, politically I’ve never been impressed with him, so it all adds up to disgust.

    • But he’s running against Spitzer — I’d rather have him than Spitzer. I’d rather have anyone than Spitzer.

      • They are not running against each other. Weiner is running for Mayor of NYC and Spitzer is running for Comptroller of the state of New York.

        • I don’t know whether or not to relieved. I do know to tell my mother to read the ballot carefully when she votes. Oy! She just hates them all and misses Ed Koch.

        • I mean Comptroller of NYC.

      • Anonymous :

        I’d swallow for Spitzer.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Spitzer is running for Comptroller, not mayor.

      • Actually, he’s not running against Spitzer. Spitzer is running for Comptroller. Weiner is running for Mayor. I think Weiner should drop out. I think he has a compulsion to expose himself that he clearly doesn’t seem to be able to control. He’s needs to work on that out of the public eye. He was an unexceptional congressman. The only thing he had going for himself in this race was name recognition. Now he is just infamous.

    • I too try not to judge a politician based on his personal life, but what Weiner did is So. Freaking. Weird. I could get over someone having an affair, because that is like a nice vanilla form of depravity, but I cannot get over explicit chats with women he doesn’t know. It’s even worse because he wasn’t trying to meet them/hook up with them. He just gets his rocks off by talking dirty to random women on the internet. So weird! So, so weird.

    • In sociological terms I CANNOT WAIT to see a female politician caught cheating on her husband–just fascinated by how differently it might be discussed.

      As a bonus, related rant: David Weigel’s piece on Slate right now, about Huma Abedin, is crap! It’s all about how she has no valuable knowledge or skills…based on a bunch of existing profiles that ignore her knowledge and skills. Because they’re all just going on and on about her appearance. Insult to injury that it comes with a “disclaimer” that since the author is a man, women are going to automatically discount it. It’s not your gender, my friend, it’s your lack of critical reading skills.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I love that he is basically pointing out a problem (and then proceeding to contine the problem) I have with journalism like this where whenever a high profile woman is discussed, they writers ALWAYS comment on their appearance. I expect it from Vogue since its a fashion magazine, but her appearance is always a big topic because she is a woman and if it were the other way around there would rarely be a word written about Anthony Weiner’s clothing or appearance.

      • I want to stand and applaud you. If Huma Abedin has no ‘valuable skills’ I might as well curl up in a corner, cry, and get back to the 1950s. She is brilliant.

      • You mean like the staffer and state senator in Minnesota. The staffer is suing for wrongful termination (or something) because he got fired as a result of the “inappropriate relationship” coming to light, but that didn’t happen to women in similar circumstances.

        • 1. That article is ancient
          2. Michael Brodkorb wasn’t an innocent staffer, he also had a highly inflammatory blog
          3. He is working to profit from his affair by selling out others

      • I can’t find my post of a week (or so ago) where I basically say that Slate has turned into a mediocre blog with a shiny, not-very-deep news veneer. But I reiterate that dismissal of Slate again. I see this Weigel piece as a symptom of the greater disease.

    • Cornellian :

      I don’t know, but I saw him get eaten alive on comedy central the other night, which was hilarious and well-deserved.

    • I think he shouldn’t send ppictures of his bits to a) people who didn’t ask for them; that is a serious (lack of) consent issue and highly disturbing; and b) people who are far below him in status and power. Another consent or at the very least judgment issue.

      I frankly don’t care that much about the cheating, as you can never know what goes on in people’s houses and the last person I am going to blame for this clusterf**k is his wife.

      • Yeah, the fact that he did this unsolicited (at times; I know some of it was consensual) basically makes him like a subway flasher to me. Would I want a subway flasher as my mayor?

  8. Please save me from blowing my disposable funds on too many maternity clothes.

    I’m wearing my first actual maternity dress at work today (Isabella Oliver, love it) and feel so great I want to buy more. I could easily fall victim to the sales that are on right now, but I am trying to be intelligent about this and not buy more than I absolutely have to. I’ve pushed the button on one Seraphine faux-wrap dress and want to hold off on anything else for at least a couple more weeks, but – SALES. I feel like another IO dress is calling my name, as well as a gorgeous floral ASOS skirt that preg anon pointed out earlier this week. But it’s not like I have no other clothes. I have two Vince Camuto skirts that are working just fine for me right now, and one other dress that will work for at least another month.

    So help me! Those of you who’ve been through this before, how many maternity work outfits did you buy? What did you actually end up wearing?

    • About the florals, it’s August and part of September and then that’s it. So don’t go entirely overboard on the florals.

      • Yes, I’m trying to be mindful about that. But ONE pretty floral can’t hurt, right? Plus it has a partially black background….

        Yes, I know I’m just trying to enable myself.

    • I’m going to enable. I told myself I didn’t need that many clothes and it was a waste and I should limit myself. I ended up with like 4 pairs of work appropriate pants and a bunch of shirts/blouses/tanks that I wear with my non-maternity cardigans and blazers (I do not enjoy dresses while pregnant in the summer because I have anti-ankles. I believe my ankles are considerably larger than either my feet or my calves–good times.) Honestly, getting dressed has been a PITA for most of my pregnancy. I am not used to having to do laundry every weekend (somehow maternity pants don’t fit the normal mold of not needing washed every wear–I feel like they need washed to re-elasticize the band or something, plus they just look sad and saggy). All my normal go-tos don’t work anymore. I am ready to burn all the maternity pants I am so sick of them. I still have a month to go and want to throw everything out and start over, and now it’s really silly to buy new stuff. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

      So, I’m going to encourage clothes buying!!! Feel good. Feel happy. Buy lovely maternity clothes. When you are 8 months pregnant, feel like you can’t clear the hallway without bumping your belly into something, and are, hopefully you can find a lovely dress in your closet to make you feel happy! Instead of feeling like your soul dies a little every day when you put on the same black pants with a boring tank and the same cardigan and the same shoes because your feet are too swollen to comfortably wear anything else.

      I’m obviously being melodramatic, but if you can afford it, buy enough clothes to make 3 weeks of non-repeating outfits and feel good about yourself!! And tell me what you buy so I can feel vicariously good.

      • I’m going to save space and agree with all of this. I am SO SICK of the maternity clothes I have and because I only have 3 weeks left, I’m certainly not buying any more. Getting dressed in the morning is just depressing.

        Buy things that make you happy! You’re going to be miserable and huge…at least like the clothes that you’re wearing.

      • Flying Squirrel :

        Thank you for enabling us pg ladies! I’m just starting to show, and I’ve been feeling a little guilty about hitting the maternity sales for clothes I’ll wear for only a few months! But honestly, I already feel so awful, it seems like it would be nice to at least look presentable.

        I am lucky to have a head start on my maternity wardrobe, though, since my sister (who’s two and done) saved some of her best maternity pieces for me.

    • Paging Nonny :

      My maternity wardrobes were the only times I actually achieved a capsule wardrobe (something like project 333, but fewer items). Nothing was crushed in my closet. Everything was age / activity / weather appropriate and fit perfectly! You can’t spend all of your $ at once b/c the seasons will change as your size changes and you will need both casual and work clothes. I found that I wore all of my non-maternity jackets / cardigans throughout and got a lot of basic shirts / tees / pants / shorts. Target and consignment stores were good for dresses. Maternity consignment is awesome and I’ve had friends in cities get whole maternity wardrobes for virtually nothing on Craigslist.

      The big plus: you will likely need a bunch of transition / nursing friendly / pumping friendly / “just because” clothing after the baby comes (and may for even longer than you were pregnant if your lifestyle changes — I needed “wear to park” clothes and not so many c*cktail dresses). Save your $ for these purchases.

      • See, I think this is the balance I want to achieve. I have been trying to get to a capsule-ish closet in my normal life, so if I could achieve that in my pregnancy life, it would be great. I guess maybe I need to go home tonight and do a good hard look at what actually still works and is likely to continue to work.

        I’m not planning to buy any cardigans or jackets – I want to work with what I have. I already have a pair of maternity jeans and will buy a pair of maternity leggings for sure. But I’m thinking a couple of dresses and skirts that make me feel great and that will work with black tights and a sweater in the fall, would not be a poor use of funds. Luckily it never gets super cold where I live so fall clothing is also winter clothing.

        Maybe I’ll do that careful closet audit tonight and go from there. But I am leaning in favour of the floral skirt at least. Maybe the other stuff will stay on sale a while longer.

        • Oh – and sadly, the maternity options in my city are so poor that when I go on Craigslist to see what people are selling, it’s all super crappy Motherhood Maternity stuff that I would just not want to wear to work. Otherwise I’d be all over the Craigslist options…

          • I once had a longish charcoal maternity pencil skirt that I loved and looked sooo good. Great with black tops and black tights.

    • another preg anon :

      Buying maternity clothing is the one of the few parts of this pregnancy I can actually get excited about (others include, and may be limited to: getting a seat on the subway and buying a fancy expensive stroller) so I’m going to go crazy.

      BTW – I got the Assets by Sara Blakely Terrific Tights (at Destination Maternity), which might solve my fall/winter tights issue.

      • Buying a fancy expensive stroller is how my husband talked me into #3 (and that’s only halfway a joke), so that is totally legit.

        • This is kind of awesome. Also, I feel like most of the families I know with three children, it was the husband who was the main push (sorry for the pun) behind the last kiddo. My friend is steadily putting off her husband’s arguments and pleas for number three right now. My husband was once in the “let’s see how we do with one and reevaluate — having an only child sounds pretty great.” Now he’s hoping we have twins…and then another one…and maybe the “other one” will also be twins. Um, what?

          • I’m sure it’s too late for you to see this, but your husband could be my husband. We had twins. Then he talked me into one more and secretly hoped for another set of twins (while I openly hoped for just one this time, although twins are great). My husband is also the best dad, and I’m betting that yours will be too.

    • How pregnant are you? You don’t have to buy it all now. I had a decent work wardrobe (1 skirts and 2 pants and a few random dresses that still fit). When I was over 7 months pregnant, I bought 2 nice dresses at pea in the pod and they made a huge difference that past 1.5 month at work. I had a lot of meetings and parties (it was xmas) and it really made a difference to feel put together. I’m actually excited about wearing both of them, should I get pregnant again.

    • Go for it, if you want to! I haven’t bought a ton just because I’m not tempted by much that’s out there…there are some nice pieces that are pricey, but I just didn’t want to spend that much. I wasn’t fully into maternity until about 6 months and at that point, I figured, why spend hundreds on designer jeans or $150 dresses i’ll only wear for a few months?

      BUT – if you WANT to buy stuff, I’d say go for it and don’t’ worry about it. It’s sometimes hard to feel pretty when you’re preg, so why not? Especially if you plan to have another!

      As for what I’ve bought (33 weeks): one pair of straight black maternity pants; one black pencil skirt, one black maternity dress, 4 maternity tank tops, 3 blouses. Weekend wear: one pair of maternity shorts, one pair of mat jeggings (both ON). Gifted to me/hand me downs: 2 additional maternity dresses.

      Still wearing: non maternity leggings, non-mat gym shorts, some of my longer tank tops, some loose, non-mat tunics/blouses, all my cardigans and blazers, one non-mat stretchy pencil skirt.

      I’m thinking of buying one, maybe 2 more dresses for the next 7 weeks, another tank top or two, and possibly another blouse if i just get too sick of the ones I have.

    • another preg anon :

      I just went on a virtual shopping spree on and found like $500 worth of mat clothing I like. I’m only 2 months along so I’m going to hold out at least another month, but eventually alllllllll that clothing will be mine. bwahahahahahaa.

    • Ugh. 8 weeks here, and already down to about half the dresses I can normally wear. Definitely hoping I can at least wait until September to buy mat clothes so that I don’t have to get summer and fall stuff. IT doesn’t help that Motherhood Maternity (one of the two chain maternity stores in Winnipeg) doesn’t seem to carry XS, and I’m really not looking forward to discovering that all MY clothes are too small, and all the mat clothes are too big.

      And my well meaning non-law friends who keep telling me I just need nice stretchy yoga pants are making me nuts. THAT IS NOT COURT APPROPRIATE. Even when you’re pregnant. Especially not when you’re just a little bit pregnant/people think you’re just gaining weight and yoga pants will make me look hella lazy. BLARGH.

      /end rant/

      • If mat clothes are too big and your clothes are too small, you can just look for regular clothes in a size or two bigger. Some of them will work.

  9. Just came across this article – it is like this guy peeked into my brain. Thought it was an interesting take on procrastination … not that that is what I was doing when I came across it …

    • Wow, that is super interesting. And click through to the New Yorker article that’s cited at the end, also interesting.

      • Equity's Darling :

        There’s also a TED talk on the marshmallow test:

        Possibly one of my favourite TED talks of all time, the video of the kids trying to avoid the marshmallow is adorable.

  10. I am having sleep issues, and it’s driving me insane. I’ve cut way back on the amount of caffeine I intake per day over the past few years. From 10+ Diet Cokes and Starbucks multiple times a day, I’m down to 1 coffee drink in the morning (usually contains 2 espresso shots). Around 1-2 PM, I get hit with (what feels like overwhelming) exhaustion, so I try to perk up with something caffeinated (a Diet Coke, though rare, another coffee, tea, etc.). I’ve found that if I do this, even at 1 PM, I struggle going to sleep at night and wake up constantly throughout the night.

    So last night, I had 2 iced green teas at dinner (stupid), and was up until 12. Tried to sleep at that point, dozed in and out all night until right before the alarm went off at 5:40 to go to the gym. I’m SO. TIRED. today, but I know that if I go get a latte on lunch; I’m going to be perpetuating this cycle. Do any of you ladies experience this? What do you do? Over-caffeinate yourself until you become immune to it again? Being constantly tired is driving me crazy.

    • Oh man, I completely understand. I finally gave up caffeine (98% there’s the occasional diet coke/coffee). First, you have to realistically evaluate what a ‘cup’ of coffee is (my mug was like 3 actual cups of coffee). Cut back on your morning coffee. Do not have any caffeinated beverages after noon (so said my doctor). Third, when the slump hits, go for a walk, jumping jacks, stairs, anything. fourth, hydrate like crazy with water (the added bonus here is having to pee makes you move more). It will suck, but if you start today/tomorrow and keep it up through the weekend, I bet on Monday night you’ll see a big difference in your ability to sleep.

      • I already do most of this. :( My morning coffee is 2 shots of espresso, with a cup of milk, vanilla syrup and caramel. In the grand scheme of things, I don’t think it’s an extraordinary amount (According to Starbucks’ website, my drink has 150 mg., compared to coffee the same size being around 350 mg.). I walk my entire lunch, and I drink at least 2 liters of water a day. I’ll have to try walking when I get tired though and see how that works. I was hoping that working out would start making me sleep better, but so far, I haven’t seen an improvement. Thank you though, because you have confirmed that I’m headed in the right direction. Even though, yes, it does suck!

        • If you’re still having problems, talk to your doctor about a sleep aid. You may need benadryl, you may need a prescription, but it can really help if your body is conditioned to staying up late. Also, make a relaxing bedtime routine. I felt ridiculous at first, but after a few weeks of taking bubble baths before bed, I can flip off the tv and hit the hay. It’s AMAZING.

          • I do occasionally take a sleep aid, and it does help. Maybe I should do this preemptively on nights when I think I’ve had too much caffeine throughout the day!

        • dancinglonghorn :

          How much sugar is in your morning drink? Are you sure that its the caffeine you are addicted to and not the sugar?

          • It’s 31 grams. It’s actually less than a serving of orange juice in the same portion size.

          • 31 gms is a ton of sugar! That’s the sugar equivalent of a dessert. I’d try cutting back on that, too. I think your pm slump is a sugar slump.

    • Veronique :

      My ex had this problem. Any caffeine in the afternoon and he was up half the night. How about trying some of these non-caffienated pick-me ups when the exhaustion hits:
      -taking a short walk outside
      -splashing your face with cold water
      -a cold drink (non-sugary)
      -mini nap at your desk or in your car
      -small snack with lots of protein (natural peanut butter with an apple or ww toast, lunch meat and string cheese, etc.)
      -desk stretches (google various options)

      As prevention, check what you’re eating for breakfast and lunch. Too much sugar/refined carbs can cause/contribute to the afternoon slump. Also, use the weekend to re-set your sleep deficit. Try to stick to your normal routine, but take a short nap instead of more caffeine if/when the afternoon slump hits.

      • It is possible that what I’m eating (or not eating) is the culprit! I try to eat balanced, but I know I don’t always achieve that.

    • Statutesq :

      I definitely struggle with this problem. Things that have helped me (1) reading a book before bed (if I play on my phone or watch TV, I don’t get as tired), (2) getting my hubby on the same schedule, (3) not sleeping in a ton on the weekend (because then I stay up late Sunday night and it starts all over), and (4) attacking the afternoon slump with decaf peppermint, cinnamon, or ginger tea–the flavor is perky enough to where I get the effect without caffeine. I also started yoga. If I do an intense hot yoga class at night I sleep like a baby, but even normal yoga 1 or 2 times a week has helped me with my ability to calm myself, as whack-a-doodle as that sounds.

      • I definitely have noticed that it’s harder to go to sleep on the nights when I play on my phone before bed. I need to be better at that. And I hadn’t thought of yoga before bed, but I’ll have to try it.

        • Brooklyn Paralegal :

          Probably too late for you to see this, but there was a study done a couple years ago I think that showed that going on the computer/phone before bed makes it more difficult to fall asleep. If you have a digital clock, drape a piece of cloth over the numbers; for some reason the neon/glow-y light (don’t have a technical word for it, but I’m just drinking my first coffee now so forgive me) tends to make sleep a lot harder.

    • I have sleep problems, too. They’re hereditary: I had them well before I started drinking coffee, and they’ll just keep getting worse as I get older (thanks Mom!). I have to seriously limit my caffeine intake: I have no more than 16oz of regular coffee in the morning, and no caffeine after 10AM. It’s horrible, but 1L year, when I was downing more caffeine every day than I care to admit, the sleep problems were so much worse. And it’s a vicious cycle, as you’re experiencing now: you can’t sleep, so you drink lots of coffee, so you can’t sleep, so you drink MORE coffee…
      You have to break the cycle. It sucks, I know. But you’ll never get a good sleep cycle going if you don’t lay off the caffeine.
      All that being said, I still drink caffeine like it’s my job during finals week. But that’s one week every few months, followed by a week of doing nothing but recovering. It’s not exactly sustainable in the long run.

      • Definitely not sustainable. Getting old(er) stinks! I miss the days when I could sleep 3 hours and make it through the day with no problems; and then fall into bed and knock out for hours, also with no problems.

        • I’ve never been like that, unfortunately. Which makes the insomia even worse!
          I just thought of something else – have you tried melatonin? It’s the hormone your body produces when you get sleepy, and it helps with sleep problems. It’s also available over the counter (usually with the vitamins in CVS or wherever) and it’s non-habit-forming. You might give it a try on nights that you’re afraid you won’t fall asleep, just until you get used to it.

    • Drink your coffee only in the morning and suck it up and get through the rest of the day without it. You’ll adjust in a week or two.

    • I have come to the conclusion that I am just always going to suffer a 1-2 pmish slump of exhaustion, but I do find that staying better hydrated helps. I used to drink nothing but coffee (1 cup of caf, the rest decaf) all morning and since I’ve worked on having more water before lunch, after lunch is much easier.

      • Water definitely helps me. My husband makes fun of me for suggesting water for every ailment, but seriously, most people don’t drink enough of it!

    • For daytime drowsies–check your sugar… I stupidly stayed up till 3AM this week but staying off the sugars is helping me. I have my morning coffee and then just stop for the rest of the day. I find if I drink too much tea at night, I have less restful sleep. see also alcohol.

      As for getting to sleep, my friend recommended color meditation and it really helped during finals stressed induced insomnia.

      • It actually could have been sugar yesterday. We went out to dinner, and I got dessert, which I don’t usually eat at night. I’ll have to pay attention to this!

    • I am so similar to you and I have so much to say about it, but perhaps take what I say with a grain of salt because I still have sleep problems, I just have gotten better at managing them.

      What I’ve found works best is just giving in to my body’s sleep signals for a few days. Like you, I am a committed morning gym-goer, and feel terrible about myself if I don’t go. But on some days if I go to bed really late and am coming off of sleep deprivation, I know it’s healthier for my body to get an extra hour of sleep rather than an hour of exercise. I’ll probably eat less during the day too (which I often do to stay awake). Just let yourself take a pass on that when you need to.

      For the afternoons, I am going to fight against the “suck it up” crowd – if your afternoon exhaustion is as overwhelming as mine can be, I don’t think most people understand what we’re talking about. This kind of exhaustion is so bad that I’ll fall asleep mid-typing, can’t think straight without drifting into a dream – heck, I want to fall asleep while standing and walking. I am just not productive at all if I don’t let myself sleep for 10 minutes, which usually does the trick. If you don’t have an office with a closed door, and it’s really really bad, try to go home for lunch, or as a last resort, doze off for a minute or two in a bathroom stall (I know, sounds crazy, but it works).

      Once I let my body rest, it usually resets itself and I go back to a normal schedule. Do not fight this by over-caffeinating; it is very much not good for you.

      • To clarify, I meant that getting more sleep instead of exercising causes me to eat less, because I usually eat to stay awake – not that I eat less to stay awake.

      • Thank you for all of this! It’s very helpful.

        Yeah, the afternoon exhaustion is bad. I can also fall asleep mid typing! I’ve done it before (see also: driving). There are some times when I just can’t ‘power’ through it. Napping is a good idea though. We have a designated nap room at work, so maybe I’ll schedule in a few during the week and see how that goes.

    • dancinglonghorn :

      I had this for a while and finally figured it out – for me, it was food and not caffeine causing the mid-afternoon energy crash. Now, I make sure to eat protein and fat at lunch (like chicken salad with egg or avocado) and have a mid-afternoon snack (usually greek yogurt with 1 relatively low sugar fruit) and it has helped balance out my energy enormously throughout the day. Also, I don’t eat anything after 10PM (usually 9PM but sometimes I have a 9PM dinner).

      Also- try Emergen-C in the afternoon. I drink 1 packet a day and those B-vitamins really help give me energy.

      So I would say, try looking at your food. if you are trying to cut back on the coffee but fueling your body with sugar instead, you will find that battle a hard one to fight (For reference, I consider myself to eat relatively low-sugar and usually eat less than 50g a day).

      For me – sugar, caffeine and sleep are all related. My husband I call it my “downward spiral.”

      • I do the Emergen-C trick sometimes, and I need to remember to buy more. Thank you for reminding me! I was drinking orange juice this week to try to wake up in the afternoon, and it worked ok, but I bet Emergen-C would do a better job (without the sugar).

        The sugar point is a good one; I don’t generally eat a lot of sugar during the day, but I did have dessert last night. I don’t eat sweets often, and when I do it’s rare that I eat them late.

        • Leigh, 2 thoughts: how close to bedtime are you eating? I’ve read that eating before bed is not helpful. Also, rather than sleep aids, try sleep-inducing teas. Celestial Seasoning Sleepytime works, I use 2 bags per cup though. A warm glass of milk also helps.

          For midday fatigue, my old trick is jumping jacks. If you can’t close the door to your office, try the staircase or bathroom. Do 20-30, and you will get your blood really going. I also like goji berries as a snack for energy. Green tea is good, too. Less caffeine but still a boost.

  11. Yellow whites of eyes? :

    Also inspired by the afternoon thread…

    Parts of the whites of my eyes are slightly yellow. I think its partly sun damage (I started noticing it my early twenties after years working in the sun at a ski resort, sometimes without glasses or goggles), and partly genetics (my dad has the same).

    Does anyone else have this problem? If so, any recommended eyeshadow shades to minimize the yellow / make the whites seem lighter? If it matters, my eye color is a greenish brown, hair is brown, skin tone is medium-to-light.

    • The only time I’ve heard of having a yellowish tinge to skin or eyes is in conjunction with liver function issues (bilirubin buildup), which is the typical cause of jaundice in babies. Have you ever mentioned it to a doctor?

    • Are you sure you don’t have jaundice, or maybe you eat a lot of carrots or something like that which can alter your color? I would talk to a doctor, I don’t think that’s normal.

    • Zinc can help whiten the whites of your eyes. You can find zinc in broccoli.

    • Yellow whites of eyes? :

      Yeah, talked to a doctor and its not either of those. It’s not the entire white–it’s just part of it (it’s slightly raised–almost like how a cataract would look–due to scarring).

      But note to others–use sunglasses ALL THE TIME.

      • There’s a cosmetic brand that sells blue eye drops. I have no idea if they work, but they’re supposed to make your eyes look whiter.

  12. TO Lawyer :

    Inspired by one of the answers to my question on the morning thread (btw thanks for all the answers – I have a lot to think about re purging my closet now), what’s your go to brand for nice basics? I’ve had so many issues with jcrew/banana looking good on but not wearing well throughout the course of the day.

    Investment brands are welcome as well! And how do you go about cultivating the perfect work wardrobe? I feel like I have lots of elements, but am missing some key pieces to pull everything together.

    • I wear a lot of Calvin Klein from Macys and Halogen from Nordstroms.

    • I really like Ann Taylor tropical wool. Not impressed with their stretch cotton suits, or their all-season rayon suits, though.

    • Veronique :

      Calvin Klein is my go to brand for dresses. My mom, who is one of my professional style icons, is a big fan of Lafayette 148.

      I have a “wardrobe holes” pinterest board (though you could also do this with a spreadsheet). For me, they are often basic pieces that can pull more colorful pieces together (ie a versatile navy blazer), but for other people it might be a colorful necklace or blouse to perk up a more basic wardrobe. I usually get inspiration from fashion magazines or blogs then use the types of wardrobe evaluation techniques discussed yesterday to determine if a particular item of clothing is a must-have for me.

      One of the easiest ways to create a cohesive wardrobe is to pare down the number of colors that you wear. All your basics in two colors (e.g. navy and grey or black and grey) that also go with each other. Then just integrate colors that go well with those basics and each other (e.g. only jewel tones). I use this method when I travel and it makes my life soooooo much easier. I haven’t had the nerve to do the same in my personal life.

    • If you have access to them, Uniqlo for white Ts and all their variants, Muji for heavy-weight cotton stripey tops and denim tunics for weekends, and either for leggings. For suits and winter coats, Max Mara.

  13. Skype interview :

    I have a Skype interview coming up and I could use some tips. I do lots of work meetings via google hangout, but appearance and making a good first impression aren’t a huge concern for those.

    So specifically I could use some makeup and lighting tips. Also, my glasses look crooked on camera. They aren’t, but they look that way, plus they cause reflections and it’s difficult to see eye contact, which I feel is important. I could forego them, but then I can’t see to read notes or jot anything down.

    If anyone has experience in giving Skype/video interviews and could share some dos and don’ts that would be awesome! I really want this interview to go well.

    • I would go to a place that adjusts glasses (either your eye doctor, or pretty much any place that sells glasses can help you) and get your glasses adjusted so that they both feel good and don’t appear crooked. If you’re more comfortable with them on, then you want to have them on.

    • I don’t have makeup or lighting tips, but just wanted to say that you should be careful not to read scripted answers to questions they ask you. Prepare, but don’t prepare too much so it looks like you’re reading your answer. It’s really obvious to your interviewer/s.

    • I just interviewed an attorney who had a killer resume on Skype and he used his phone. We spent the whole interview looking at his ear. Jury’s still out as to whether or not we’ll take him.

    • economnom :

      I had a panel interview over skype (with a 10 person panel!) so here are my tips:

      – if you know the time of the interview (and assuming the weather is relatively predictable) switch on your webcam the day before and find the best spot for lighting and location for that time of day. you don’t want to realise that the sun is shining into your eyes or whatever halfway through the interview

      – Make sure you have a professional/non-distracting background. At the time, I was a student, so I asked my part-time work if I could use one of their offices to interview so that they’d be looking at a bookcase instead of my bedroom

      – Go for heavier make-up than you usually would (maybe this depends on your webcam) as I tend to look a bot more washed out on camera. Again, do a test run before in the lighting you’ll be using and you should be fine. I also took a couple of pictures with the webcam so I could be 100% sure how i looked to them. I used beige-brown eye shadow makeup, mascara, black eyeline, foundation and a contouring blush, and beigy/pink lipstick

      – No advice on glasses, but I agree with the commenter above to get them straightened them out, and maybe have them on hand and use them when/if needed?

      – Most importantly, remember that as long as you look groomed and remain professional, your appearance is unlikely to be a deal-breaker, especially over skype

      Final (and probably obvious) tips, make sure you’re somewhere where you won’t be disturbed, try act as naturally as possible, don’t be shy to ask them to speak louder/repeat their question if you can’t hear them properly, and don’t do as I did and lean towards the screen to hear better!

      good luck!

  14. Sad Runner :

    I know this ain’t no running blog, but really what I’m looking for is some commiseration and a little anecdata to keep my spirits up.

    Have any of the runners on here had PFPS? I believe it may also be called Runner’s Knee, which makes me think it’s pretty common. I’ve been a runner for years now, but was in the middle of training for my first marathon and looooving it..until suddenly I couldn’t run 1/2 mile without pain. I’m just starting PT and they tell me it’s not a big problem, but I’d love to hear some injury stories – how long were you out, and how did you come back?

    • Ice and Rest :

      I’ve never had that particular problem, but I know for any runner, injuries stink. And injuries especially stink when you’re training for something fun and exciting.

      My recommendation is ice until you can’t ice no mo’ and rest, rest, rest. You will not lose fitness or tank your goals by taking a week, week and a half, two weeks completely off. If this is simply an overuse / inflammation issue, then ice and rest should take care of it without having to bail completely on your training. Seriously, ice multiple times a day. Ice at work. Ice at home. Ice is magical.

      When you are done icing and resting, do not run through pain. Test the knee out with short runs and gradually build back up. Continue to ice.

      • I agree with resting, but generally icing an injury is not very helpful after about 48-72 hours. Once the pain is gone, the band Nonny Moose suggested should be helpful, as well as making sure you are wearing shoes with the proper fit/support for you.
        Thankfully I have not had to deal with this particular issue myself, but I am an ultra runner and was laid up with a pretty bad ankle sprain for almost 4 months once so I understand the frustration.

        • Ice and Rest :

          My understanding regarding ice is that if its any kind of inflammation, ice will help reduce it. I also don’t know if ice can actually harm (assuming you are not applying it directly to the skin and getting frostbite or jumping on a recently iced body part).

          Ice always makes my recovery faster. I take ice baths after a hard workout or a race.

      • Rest, ice, and work on strengthening your hips!

    • A Nonny Moose :

      I’ve had it for years :( Sorry, probably not what you wanted to hear… at all. I first got it in college. I’ve been through several episodes of taking 6 months or so completely off and then trying to slowly start back up again (I’m talking Couch to 5k week 1 day 1 start up) only to have the pain come back. I think I have a pretty horrible case of it– I get episodes simply from walking to the metro or around the mall or even just siting at a desk with my knees at 90 degree angles for a few hours (both of those when I’m in my rest period of not running). I don’t even run very far when I do start to build back up– a few miles at most.

      I apologize that that’s probably a very discouraging story but again, I think I have a particularly bad case of it. From what I’ve heard it’s usually pretty preventable by taking a decent amount of time off and starting back up.

      • A Nonny Moose :

        Oh forgot to mention: you can buy little velcro bands that sit right under your patella. These really helped me out a lot. I have these:
        Definitely worth a shot.

        • Ooooooooohhhh, I am intrigued! I’ve tried all kinds of knee braces and some help, most don’t.

          I developed PFPS a few years ago. It gets better when I do my PT exercises. Combined with loose ligaments (thanks Grandma Godzilla), it’s fun.

    • Equity's Darling :

      I have super weak ankles that I’ve broken and severely sprained a few times, so I’m constantly icing them, and I try not to run on consecutive days, but I am playing with fire on uneven ground. I have a friend that had pretty bad runner’s knee, and she swears by foam rolling every single night for like 5-10 minutes, she’s been injury free for a couple years now, though it was quite bad at one point.

    • I have that, as well as IT band syndrome. I have all the things! Physical therapy will help, as long as you do the exercises on your own, too. Using your foam roller (ask your physical therapist) will help. What you want to do, most likely, is strengthen the muscles in your hips and quads. Also, ask your physical therapist to tape your knee – mine tried that to see if it helped with the PFPS issue. I didn’t like it, but I have a pretty mild case.

    • I have it, and I haven’t been able to run for 2-3 years. I turned to yoga when I wasn’t able to do any other type of exercise, and I learned that I had extremely bad balance. For years I thought I would never run again, but now I feel hopeful that if I continue to improve my strength in certain muscle groups and my flexibility in others, I will eventually be able to run again.

      Someone else on this site mentioned a book called Anatomy for Runners, which I’ve been working my way through very slowly. The writing is terrible, but it’s given me some pointers to think about.

  15. Have any of you heard of Huntress v. Mugdan? It popped up in some searching I was doing in my day job as an engineer and I’m familiar with the wetland and other environmental regulations that are in question. It’s also located close to my hometown so it’s really captured my interest.

    The case was filed in federal court last June and I don’t see any follow-ups. I’m curious about the outcome. Anyone familiar with the case?

  16. Anon for this :

    I have spent weeks pulling together setups for our operating and salary budgets for the new fiscal year. My boss got back from a 3 week vacation today and I had it all pulled together and approved by the higher-ups and in his in-box. I heard nothing from him all morning, figured he was busy, then got a snotty email from him asking why I hadn’t put in a couple things for him. This is a huge deal for me. I’ve never done it before, we are in difficult financial circumstances, it has involved a lot of juggling, I got it all balanced and gave everyone what they need (apparently, except for him). And his stuff is frivolous. I have not gotten a single thank you or acknowledgement from him that I did it or that it is a big deal. I’m so angry.

    • Don’t get angry — stand up for yourself!! Tell him what you did and how fantastic it was!!

      • Yes! Even if it feels awkward, give him what he wants but also toot your own horn. This is one of the most important lessons I have learned/am learning. Don’t expect people to notice when you do something great; unlike in school, you often have to tell them.

    • Don Draper :

      That’s what the money is for!

  17. Baconpancakes :

    My jaw literally dropped at these earrings. I can’t really see myself ever spending this amount of money on such non-traditional jewelry, but daaaaaang these are beautiful.

    • Agreed. I would never spend this amount of money on jewelery for myself, but I think these are gorgeous.

  18. Anonymous :

    TJ: I’m mentoring a college intern and we are running out of topics to talk about. We’ve covered the following topics so far: personal branding, networking, technicsl skills, interview process, managing up, and potential career paths. Could the hive provide any ohter topic that you think may be useful? Maybe things you wish someone had taught you when you were younger? Thanks!

    • What about dresscode? Writing? Socializing in a work setting? Things to do while you’re young?

      • Oh, also: how to look for jobs and write cover letters (if hasn’t been covered already).

      • And dude, like speaking as an adult?

      • Merabella :

        I like these. Dress codes and socializing get left out of a lot of mentoring topics, but they are helpful. With dress codes you could also talk about professional jewelry and make up options if it is a female intern.

        This may seem silly, but you could work on phone/email/thank you note etiquette, general etiquette – like what fork to use – good for networking events/dinners/etc. I feel like etiquette is something that is becoming a lost art, but you will definitely get dinged for it in certain instances.

        I would also talk about the impact of social network sites on your professional “brand.”

        • My husband, who is from a nice family but didn’t know all of the little social rules, always says that he wouldn’t have the great job he has today if it wasn’t for me. We met in law school and, when he interviewed for his dream job, I made him write thoughtful thank you notes, follow up emails, helped him with his cover letters, so on. He’s a brilliant guy and great at his job, but he was never taught these little social skills and when he did try writing notes on his own, it was always a few days later and, at most, said something like, “Thanks for interviewing me. I am really excited to work for you. Hope to hear from you soon.” Meanwhile, other kids I know learned how to speak in public, network and write cover letters back in high school. The playing field is not equal and there are so many subtleties when it comes to these sorts of things. The more you can impart to your intern, the better!

    • Options for higher education beyond college. Pros and Cons of law school, MBA, master’s programs, etc. for whatever career the student wants. When I was applying to law school I had no idea that the lower-ranked schools give such big scholarships, or how important the whole law school ranking system was (I know, I know, its like I was living under a rock). Also, this probably plays into all your topics so far, but being purposeful in career and education choices – seeking out jobs where upward mobility is possible, setting goals for 5, 10 years. Financial planning? Maybe a bit too personal for a working relationship, but its high up there on the list of things I wish I had known more about 10 years ago.

    • big dipper :

      I think that a conversation about the types of things that make someone a good employee at any job are useful. I’m thinking things along the lines of –

      (1) Asking questions when taking an assignment – what kinds of questions are useful to ask? Things like timing, resources to use, other employees that need help

      (2) It’s key to learn how your superiors like to communicate, and follow their lead. If they’re an email person, don’t call. If they’re a “stop by my office” person – no emails or calls.

      (3) How to tout your successes so people know you do good work

      (4) How to graciously receive criticism and how to learn from it

      etc. etc.

  19. Charlotte? :

    Is anyone here familiar with Charlotte? Where is a place where a minority family would be comfortable that also has good public schools and maybe even a walkable downtown?

    • NoDa (North Davidson) is a very popular area that might be exactly what you’re looking for. Good schools and is basically a great historic district.

  20. Charlotte :

    Hi, all. I need some party-attire advice. The party is tonight, (and if it matters, it’s a summer associate good-bye party). A fellow partner of my husband (law firm) is hosting it at his house. I don’t know why I’m overthinking this so much, because it truly doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, but I don’t know if I should go a more business-y route (as in, I wore this to work but changed shoes) or if I should just change into something else. I really have two finite choices: No. 1 is a dressy-ish business-type jersey sheath with a fitted waist, sleeveless. (I would post a picture, but I can’t find one.) The other one is a navy polka-dotted dress (J Crew Elinor dress).

    I’m leaning toward the latter, but I guess my basic question is, does it look weird or okay that I completely changed my outfit — to something I clearly didn’t wear to work, even though it’s a weeknight party occurring right after work? TIA!

    • How do they know you didn’t wear polka dots to work today? :)

      • Charlotte :

        Ha ha, you make a fair point. I guess I look at the dress, and it seems a little frou-frou for work. And I’m a lawyer who goes to court a lot. But you’re right.

    • Anonymous :

      Do you work at the firm? If so, stick with what you’re wearing. If not, I don’t think it matters at all.

    • Is this with work people from your work? Then I would wear what you wore to work with different accesories. If it’s your husband’s office people, wear the polka dots. No one will know or think about what you wore all day.

    • Thanks, guys. I don’t work with them, so it’s true… no one would know either way. I’ll go with the polka dots.

  21. Kat, you smoke weed? Viper = pothead.

  22. Equity's Darling :

    For those of you that have to swipe in the elevator, and then swipe once you get to your floor, what’s the etiquette on holding doors for others? I always hold the door for people I know work on my floor, but I never hold the door for anyone else, which seems pretty reasonable.

    However, there is one summer student that consistently never holds the door, and even more rudely, just now saw me open the first door (no swipe needed), as he was coming out of the second door, and looked and me and pushed the door shut then walked by and gave me a nod. To be fair, I also think he has a stupidly hipster haircut, and I think his pants are too tight, so it’s not like he’s my favourite of the summer students, but I’m pretty annoyed by the staring at me while he pushed the swipe door closed. What’s the point of that? He knows who I am..I’ve given him work..his office is like 10 away from me, and we share the same printer. It’s the little things.

    On a positive note, KLM had super cheap flights to Lisbon ($850! So cheap for Canada!), with unlimited stopovers in Amsterdam, so I’m going to spend just under 3 weeks in May flouncing around Europe. I am SO excited to spend my 27th birthday wandering the streets of Amsterdam, or perhaps Brussels if I train over there for a week.

    • Well, maybe he’s playing the off chance that you’ve been replaced by an alien that DOESN’T have a swipe card. And is just, you know, doing his part for humanity by enforcing security.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Either he thinks it’s a security policy that everyone has to swipe in (my building has that, but we have a swipey gate thing, not the main door), or he’s being a little prat in his hipster haircut, thinking his as$ looks way better than it actually does in his tight pants. He’s actually a little hurt you haven’t complimented him on his pants yet. He thought everyone would notice, and he put so much thought into matching them with his bow tie (I’m guessing) that he just can’t understand why he isn’t fighting off sexy executive sugar mamas.

      • Equity's Darling :

        There totally is a bow tie some days! And I’m about 5 years younger than him, but 3 years senior at work, so, I don’t think that helps- he always seems a little annoyed when I assign him work.

      • As a sexy executive sugar mama, I’d like to weigh in on the tight pants and the bow tie. I effing hate the things. Where did this come from? WHY do they wear them? Twenty something women, help your men!

  23. Anonymous :

    Can someone who has been down this road before answer this for me? I feel so inept asking this but I also haven’t slept more than three hours at a time in about 10 days (the joys of an 8-week-old). Am I correct that the childcare tax credit, for those who make >$43K, is only 20% of $3000 for a single child? So, basically around $1200 is the maximum credit I could take?

    And so, if I have a full-time fantastic care provider who wants to be paid under the table at a rate that equals $3000 less per year than jumping through all of these hoops, isn’t that actually way better for me to just pay her in cash than it is to try to claim this credit?

    (In this hypothetical situation, let’s not discuss the legality aspect of this – purely the financial).

    • Don't do it :

      I know you didn’t ask for the legality of it, but don’t pay her under the table. It isn’t worth it.

      • Anonymous :

        Can you help me understand why? I live in a more rural region where probably 90% of private childcare providers are paid under the table.

        • I think it’s not worth it if you or your SO have any political ambitions (including, say, becoming a judge or holding any kind of appointed gov’t office). I think it’s also a potential problem if you look at it from an ethical point of view, in terms of everyone should pay taxes and your nanny should reap the security benefits of being paid on the books so she earns SS and unemployment ins. benefits. But that said, almost all childcare and housecare workers don’t want to be paid on the books, so I am not sure I see too many workable solutions and if the politics of it aren’t a concern, I don’t necessarily see a problem for you, personally.

        • Could you do a true-up so that she takes home the hourly rate she is asking for? So if she is looking for $10/hr and doing it with taxes would make it a take home of $9, then pay her a bit more to cover some of that hit.
          I agree with the concept that grown-ups have jobs that pay taxes.

        • As an aside, you may need to get comp insurance. We have a case right now involving a nanny who sued her uninsured employer. They were actually paying taxes, but did not think to get comp insurance. Check your state law, you may be exempt from coverage requirements, depending on her salary and how your state defines employees requiring coverage, but if you’re not exempt, get the coverage. Our clients are taking a huge financial hit.

      • Because “paid under the table” is a nice-sounding euphemism for the less nice-sounding “tax evasion.” The fact that you know other people who do it doesn’t make it any more acceptable. Also, from a more personal standpoint, I always felt it was important to have a nanny who felt like this was her profession, as opposed to being more like some teenager babysitting for a few bucks on the weekend. Grownups have jobs that require you to pay taxes.

        • This and what the other posts have already said +1000
          Also, the IRS has very much started to crack down on this sort of “under the table” payment of domestic employees. That could have very serious ‘financial aspect’ implications for you related to the legal ones.

          • Particularly if you take the credit this year…taking it, then claiming the same jobs and income next year without it , might prompt someone to ask, gee, where did that baby go all day, every day?

  24. SoCalAtty :

    Question for the hive! Have any of you ever had any dental veneers put in? My front teeth don’t have a lot of enamel left, but all of the structures / bones / roots are really healthy. New dentist (I was still trying to use my old one in nor-Cal, it was really tough to switch!) has suggested I do the thin veneers that don’t require any grinding down to protect my front teeth. Really the front two, but maybe even the front 6 since my mouth is so tiny and the others are looking to go that way.

    Very expensive, but definitely doable as long as we cut back for a few months. I can also pay with pre-tax money from my HSA by just upping the contribution from my paycheck. I’m just worried about getting anything glued into my mouth! I’ve only had 1-2 tiny cavities before, so this is a little scary for me.

    The good thing is he is a very well known dentist that specializes in cosmetics, and has great reviews (100s) and 0 complaints. He has a portfolio of work / pictures that is pretty amazing to look at, and I am good friends with his assistant, who has worked there for years, and says he is amazing (I ride with her).

    What do you think? He’s going to make a mold and mock up what it would look like after. My 2 front teeth have squared off a little due to their lack of enamel and are starting to look square/short, so he said the veneers would have the added advantage of looking really good.

    • I would get a second opinion before getting the veneers. I run all my proposed dental work past a friend before agreeing and, wow, do dentists like to run up a bill!

      Maybe the veneers would be helpful but maybe they are purely cosmetic and optional. Maybe the cosmetics are what needs to be fixed. But before spending the money, I’d like to know if it’s really necessary–especially when your teeth are otherwise very healthy.

      • SoCalAtty :

        I put in a call to my family dentist in nor-Cal to see what he thinks. The veneer wouldn’t just be for looks, but to protect the teeth that no longer have any enamel. They are starting to wear down, and they are at a big risk of breakage because they don’t have any protection. So they’re healthy, but at risk. Thanks!!

  25. Neurotic Nelly :

    I posted about six weeks ago because I was about to start a big job, and I was being eaten alive with anxiety. Someone here (I wish I could remember who) posted that she was in a similar situation, and to expect great days and less great days, though she put it far more eloquently than that. Whoever you are, you were right, and thank you!

    I have another, somewhat less crazy question for the hive. When you start a new job, how long do you wait to check in with your boss about how you’re doing? Or do you just not check in at all and assume that no news is good news? These bosses are pleasant but busy and have, I think, a low tolerance for neediness.

    • When i first started my job I would check in with my boss pretty much daily, just to discuss what I learned/am working on and any questions I have, but without asking outright how I was doing. My office is fairlyblaid back and my boss very friendly/chatty though, YMMV. The most important thing in the beginning is to not assume anything, if you’re not sure ask. Sorry not terribly insightful but wanted to give you some sort of response.

    • I would check in frequently about specific tasks, and definitely ask for feedback at the end of a project. However, I would wait at least a few months to ask for general feedback about how you are measuring up as an employee. It’s difficult to give that sort of high-level feedback as a manager, and can be very uncomfortable if it’s not 100% positive. This is a very difficult thing to master, but try not to stress about how you are measuring up in general. The best thing you can do is to focus on what you can control — your day-to-day performance — and try to forget about whether people like you.