Coffee Break: Asher Drop Earrings

kendra scott tiny earringsOooh: I’ve always liked the stones and settings for Kendra Scott, but the long pendants and bigger earrings aren’t always my cup of tea. These smaller earrings are gorgeous, and I now want like three colors — these red/gold ones are the top of my list, probably followed by ivory/gold and grey/rose gold. They’re $65 at Nordstrom. Asher Drop Earrings

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  1. Anon Lawyer :

    What do folks think of the Halogen raw-edge tweed peplum jacket for a work presentation? Link to follow. I thought it might be interesting enough to not feel like I’m in a basic lawyer outfit but not so interesting as to be distracting. I’d probably wear it with one of my M.M. LaFleur dresses.

    • Anon Lawyer :

      Oh and I definitely wouldn’t get the fugly skirt.

      • I think this is something to see in person. It could look nice or cheap, depending on construction (Halogen tends to go either way).

      • I like the jacket and think it would suit your purpose very well. Fugly may be a kind and gentle description of the skirt. It has an @ss ruffle. I can’t believe it, but there it is.

      • Lol. Fugly. I haven’t used that word in a while but it’s time to put it back in circulation.

    • Anon Lawyer :

    • Senior Attorney :

      Can anybody recommend a packable hat for my upcoming vacation? I love a straw hat but obviously they don’t stand up to travel very well.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Dammit. Fail.

      • I LOVED this hat, which I bought for a beach vacation.

      • OfCounsel :

        I cannot wear standard sized hats (I have a VERY LARGE head) so love the hats at Tilley ( Lots of options and they wear like iron.

      • Anonymous :

        My dad loves his Tilley hat, and it is definitely very sturdy! I have a straw-style fedora from Goorin Bros. (they have stores in Boston, DC, and New York, and a few other places), except instead of being straw the things are some sort of plastic, but it packs really well. You fold it and then roll it loosely, and it pops up again perfectly when you want to wear it again. I wouldn’t put something heavy on top, though.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Now that I’ve messed up your thread the least I can do is respond on the merits. It’s hard to tell from the photo but I think the idea of that jacket over a dress is a good one!

      And OMG is that skirt ever fugly!

    • Mrs. Jones :

      I like the jacket with a dress.

    • Coach Laura :

      Has anyone seen it in person? Does it really have pink threads in it? Blush pink?

    • Jacket is good, skirt is heinous. Who thinks a ruffle at the widest point of the hip is a good thing? (Probably the same people who put pockets with flaps that button on jackets – because they think that the girls need additional features.)

  2. National_Anthem :

    I would love some gift giving help for my significant other’s upcoming birthday. He’s turning 34 at the end of the month, and he loves golf, wine, cats, antiques, and food. He’s also pretty gadget-inclined. I have a really hard time getting him presents because he usually buys the things that he wants. Additionally, consumables are hard because he works in the restaurant industry so he gets all sorts of wine and food stuff wholesale, so he both buys all the stuff he wants himself, and tells me not to buy that kind of stuff because he can get it so much cheaper through work.

    Last year I got him a Coravin, which is a cool gadget that uses a needle to pour wine without taking the cork out of the bottle (so you can taste without having to drink the whole bottle, and see how bottles are aging). This was a hit, but I have no idea where we go from there. I’m hoping to spend less than $150, but would spend more for something awesome and perfect. Thanks in advance!

    • Senior Attorney :

      My gadgety husband loves his rooftop weather station.

    • Is there anything one-of-a-kind that he would like? I’ve had really successful gifts of things like first editions or signed copies of favorite books, cool vintage cufflinks, retro movie posters, etc. It can take some effort because you have to work with sellers (usually I use eBay) and make sure you’re getting something good quality, but you can get some really thoughtful gifts for the person who has everything.

      • National_Anthem :

        That’s a great idea. He has a lot of assorted memorabilia so I’ve been hesitant to go down that road, but he recently cataloged it all for insurance purposes, so now I have a list and can make sure I’m not getting something he already has! Thanks.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m a big believer in experiences as gifts – tickets to a show or concert? Museum exhibition?

    • Anonymous :

      What about a golf club fitting? They can be expensive, but serious golfers love that.

      • National_Anthem :

        I had no idea this was a thing. Thank you!

        • Anonymous :

          Sure! Full disclosure – I work for a golf company which is how I know about this. I got to do one when I first joined. It was a ton of fun, and I’m a real beginner golfer. I’m not in marketing, but I will say if your guy has a particular brand he likes the best, you might be better off trying to get a fitting at that brand’s fitting facility/services than going to a Golf Galaxy or one that is more generic. Of course, the generic ones will probably show him more brands. Depends if you are looking for a whole new set of clubs or just a particular one.

    • If you both like wine, you might want to buy a “Blind Six” tasting from SommSelect. They put together six bottles for you of good wine (all their stuff is curated and I’ve never had a bad bottle from there) and wrap them all up. You can have a tasting party where everyon takes notes and then you compare against what the “real” notes are. It’s really fun if you’re into wine. (Note–if you have a good bottle shop near you, you can do this too, as a varietal/geography tasting, vertical tasting, etc.) This is a fun wine “experience” he might enjoy.

    • Durand corkscrew (seriously, it’s the shizzle), Vinturi (if he does not already have one), Riedel decanter with drying stand and decanter balls, or leather monogrammed wine bag.

  3. Grilled Cheese :

    Anyone had luck selling clothes on Poshmark? I listed a bunch of stuff a couple of weeks ago, and two items sold but the rest is just sitting. I have been sharing to parties and sharing the listings of sellers who share mine (as recommended) but I’m not interested in stalking people I know on social media to share my stuff. I am thinking maybe it’s priced too high? It’s mostly (very) gently worn stuff, worn 1-2 times, and I’ve posted on average about 60% below retail. Is that too high for gently used items? Would love any words of wisdom. There’s no rush, per se, I just want it out of the house.

    • I usually priced max at 40% of retail or whatever I paid, just to get it out. The only things I held a little firmer on were things that were NWT. They’ll move! If they don’t just keep dropping prices every week or so to move things to the top of peoples’ radars.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve done it. Two things: (1) good photos. It makes a difference. (2) if it doesn’t sell, but you want it gone, drop the price. Depending on the item, 60% below retail may still be too much. Especially if there is any chance the item you’re selling ever drops close to that low when purchased new (think for instance, a North Face jacket – 50% off retail is not unusual at many retailers for those, esp. out of season – you would need to go lower).

    • Marshmallow :

      I sell a ton on Poshmark. Agree that you need to price things significantly below retail, at least 50%. I mostly sell to get rid of stuff, not because I expect to make decent money off it. And good pictures for sure. I hang items on the back of my white closet door on a sunny day and make sure to take a few different shots including a close-up of the tag and fabric.

  4. so totally anon for this :

    In June I moved nearly all my furniture and possessions into a storage unit while I settled in a new city. The settling (buying a home) process is taking longer than I thought so I went out to the unit this weekend to swap some summer clothes for fall/winter ones. The minute I opened the door I saw, all over the couch and a rug, rodent droppings. I went and commandeered a manager who was young and junior. He was apologetic and managed to get someone somewhat more senior on the phone. I was promised one phone call from one person yesterday and another phone call from someone separate today (I think one manager and one person who had more of a handle on the insurance implications.) Needless to say neither call has come.

    Here’s my question(s) for the hive. Part of me to be totally honest doesn’t want to deal with this. I’m hoping to close on the new apartment in mid-October. I know, I know, I know that it’s disgusting to let vermin run around crazy and while they had not burrowed into any of my boxes as of this past weekend, it’s possible they might. But I have literally zero time for this right now (helping a relative with surgery, overextended at work, still deadling with paperwork for the home purchase, getting ready to go on vacation for 10 days). I’m afraid that even if I take off work for half a day and go out and do whatever needs to be done to deal with this now it’ll be the same thing in a few weeks if they don’t address the root problem (which I have no faith they will) so I might as well just wait until I move out. Also, what do I do, demand a professional cleaning for my rug and my couch and then move it back in to linger in a rat den for two more months?

    I’m already a bit overwhelmed with everything that’s gone on and the idea of having to track down these bozos who couldn’t be bothered to call me … and then to demand what? has me totally flummoxed and upset. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

    • If you really don’t want to deal with it, it’s not completely ridiculous to just wait. However, this depends a lot on what you’re storing and it’s probably worth moving out anything you REALLY care about if it’s vulnerable to mice and packed in cardboard or anything they can easily chew through. For me, this would probably include clothes and any important paper material. Dishes and kitchen stuff could probably stay and you’ll just have to wash everything when you get it out, which you’d probably do anyway. Is there food or anything else attracting rodents?

      • Anonymous :

        This. If there is anything truly important in there that’s vulnerable to mice, I would get it out now. Dishes, small appliances or things in storage tubs are probably safe. Definitely document this all too (don’t just rely on the storage place). And assume you’re relatively limited in what you will get from them for the damage (ask me how I know…).

      • so totally anon for this :

        that’s exactly the question. And I agree that I probably need to address it… including moving out if they won’t clean it up, but I just don’t feel up to the task.
        To the person who said “ask me how I know” – if you have first-hand experience I’d love to correspond in person. This is Uhaul. : (

        • is there task rabbit in your city or a fb group where local neighbors chat? You may be able to pay a couple college kids or someone to get the boxes and do whatever you want with them (wash items, put them in new plastic totes from big lots or shake out items to remove droppings and place them in a new box with a label, etc.).

    • IHateRats :

      At a minimum, I’d suggest getting out of that storage unit and into another one. This can probably be done on successive Saturdays, if you are willing to look at online reviews (Sat. 1) and use movers (Sat. 2).

      I’d wait till tomorrow and leave a scathing review to see if that gets results. When they get in touch with you demand moving costs and cleaning costs for rug and sofa (+ any damage you find during the move).

      Sorry you’re dealing with this. Good luck.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Now that you’ve discovered the problem, I wouldn’t sit on it. If/when you do get settled, it may be outside the window for whatever claims you could pursue with them. And, as busy as you are, I’d inspect the other boxes in your unit to see if there is other damage that you should be compensated for.

      FWIW, I would, at a minimum, demand a professional cleaning of your rug and carpet. I’d also demand a new storage unit (not sure where you are, but perhaps one indoors/climate controlled if this one isn’t) if you don’t have the bandwidth to move your stuff to a new facility. I’d want some sort of compensation in terms of free months of storage. I don’t know that you’d get all of those things, but that’s what I’d ask for.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Hmm, I’m not sure if my response got eaten or is in mod. Apologies if this is a double post.

      I think that now that you know this is happening, you need to take steps to deal with it (sorry). If you sit on it until things are more settled, you may find yourself outside of whatever window is necessary to file a claim against them. I also think that you should inspect your boxes and see if there is evidence of rodent damage because it might be more than just your carpet and couch.

      In terms of what you should ask for: at a minimum, I’d want my couch and rug professional cleaned (and compensation for any other damage, like to clothing, towels, etc.). If you don’t have the bandwidth to move to a different storage facility, I’d want my storage unit to move indoors/on a higher floor/with climate control (if it’s not already). I’d also want some money back for the fees you’ve paid to date (or a credit for future months).

    • Ugh. And you are covered up. Any chance you can outsource a move to a different storage unit? Is it possible for you to document the problem and then throw money at a solution? You can see the mouse droppings, but what you aren’t seeing are the little mouse puddles. In addition to the ick factor, mouse urine is a likely allergen and a potential disease transmitter.

    • Pictures, some mouse traps (receipt cost deducted from next payment), and follow up in writing and threaten to write a bad review online.

      Make sure to address clearly (and calmly – don’t be a jerk it never helps) what you want and whom you contacted and when.

      You are too busy for this. But if it’s fragile you don’t want some jackhole moving your valuables. If it’s not valuable, I’d tell them I want them to move your stuff to a different unit, clean the rug.

      • I would call relentlessly and demand:
        – that they have my things moved to a climate controlled pest-free unit
        – that they pay for cleaning of the furniture
        – that they replace any items destroyed by the mice

        I know its hard to find the time but I think you will regret it if you don’t. Try to carve out 10 minutes twice a day to call and write down the date and time of the call until they talk to you. Keep asking to speak to someone more senior until you get someone who can fix this.

  5. Anonymous :

    Are sonicare toothbrushes worth it? I’m thinking about getting one, but they can be pricey.

    • Anonymous :

      I love mine, and my teeth are considerably cleaner when I use it. I know dentists recommend them as well. If you’re a Costco member, you can usually find them (along with replacement heads) there for a good deal.

    • anon a mouse :

      YES. Unequivocally.

      Side note, I gave them as gifts to several family members (who indicated an interest, not just randomly) and every single recipient raves about them.

    • Anonymous :

      My cleanings are nothing now that I have the Sonicare. Totally worth it for that reason alone.

    • If it helps to think about the dental equivalent of “cost per wear” haha, they last for years. I have an Oral-B electric toothbrush (moderately nice model – not the bottom or next to bottom, but not the top either – it was maybe $130 at the time) that I bought in 2012 that’s still going strong!

    • Shopaholic :

      Yes I think so. I have the one that cleans the brushhead in a side container and I really like it. I found it on sale online and ended up getting $100 off so maybe search the internet a bit?

    • cat socks :

      Yes, I really like mine. My dentist was selling them at a special price and I got a rebate.

    • Anonymous :

      I think they are totally worth it. I mentioned this a few weeks ago as the item that has improved my life. My hygienist & dentist know right away that I am using a good electric toothbrush at my (sometimes infrequent) cleanings. Specifically, it was 18 months between my last cleaning and the one before (lots of mishaps!), and the dentist commented that people typically have the same level of plaque after 3-4 months. I am just a consistent, twice-a-day brusher. It is an expense, an ongoing one with the replacement heads (buy them in bulk for savings), but I feel like it is a good investment. Dental work is expensive and dental cleanings suck so much less now.

    • I have the Oral B base model toothbrush and switching to this from a manual toothbrush has made a ton of difference in my teeth – less staining (I do like my tea), less plaque and less gum irritation. My hygienist cleanings are much more pleasant now and she always comments that I must use an electric toothbrush.

      I spent about $30 on it with some sort of instant rebate at Amazon.

      I would not spend $100+ on one when the base model is just fine.

  6. GUYS.

  7. Anonymous :

    Student loan is now in the teens — as in the 19k range. Not like paying it off or anything but it feels like it’s so “close” now — esp. since I started in the 73-74k range. Next goal — get it into the 4 digits — $9999 or lower.

    So on a bigger note — what are some of your financial goals and how do you set them? Do you think of them in small increments or only as long term things — i.e. retirement in 30 yrs or whatever.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I am all about the small increments. I once paid off six figures of debt and I celebrated every 4 and every 9! Congrats on your nine!

    • Way to go! $19k is a lot closer to $0 than $74k, so you should definitely be proud of yourself for achieving that.

      My financial goals at the moment are, in order of priority:
      -Be financially stable, with an emergency fund and various sinking funds for medical, pet, car, etc. expenses
      -Maximize employer match on retirement
      -Save $X/mo in order to support $Y down payment for a future house
      -Save $Z for travel
      -Contribute extra into IRA
      -Reach NW of $number

      I track everything on YNAB, which was a game-changer for my finances. Instead of just generally saving money, I see the real numbers for how slashing my Whole Foods habit will support my financial goals. And I know exactly the number I need to hit monthly, in order to hit those longer-term goals like NW and the down payment. I can’t stay focused unless I break it down into smaller increments than “retire someday.”

  8. Is there a place to shop for interesting fine jewelry? Most fine jewelry is not at all my taste, but I would love to buy, say, a 24k gold octopus necklace or earrings that look like tiny knives or something. Where would you shop for such a thing? Etsy has all kinds of cool things, but I’m suspicious about quality and actually getting what they say you are getting.

    • Try Catbird in Brooklyn. (You can order online).

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      Claude Morady in Beverly Hills. (You can order online.)

    • Erica Weiner, the 1909 collection (in NYC and online).

    • Anonymous :

      Some jewelers/artists I like in this vein (but full disclosure just admire via Instagram, as of now):

      Kaye Blegvad
      Ali Munn
      Wasted Effort

      I don’t know of anyone who makes octopus pendants though so if you find one, report back!

    • Art fairs! I don’t know what price range you’re looking for exactly, but I’ve found lots of really interesting jewelry in the $100-$300 range – it’s not quite fine jewelry, but nice enough to wear to work or out and not feel like it’s costume jewelry. The only challenge is that a lot of jewelry booths sell stuff that mostly just looks like stuff your kooky aunt would wear. Especially fun if you can find an artist you like.

    • Fiat Lux!!

    • Audry Rose

    • Monica Vinader and Astley Clarke are two of my favourites.

  9. I think I need to see a psychiatrist because my patchwork of 6 months of therapy last year (I’ve moved and can’t go back to that therapist) + meds from my GP isn’t getting the job done anymore. It looks like the only psychiatrists offered through my insurance are associated with my area’s major hospitals…which makes me think they aren’t an appropriate choice to handle run-of-the-mill anxiety (vs major inpatient mental issues), though the website says they handle anxiety and depression. Their offices are actually located inside these hospitals, not merely that they’re affiliated with it. I can’t afford to see a therapist on my own without some pretty uncomfortable financial pressure, but is there even any point in trying to see these who are tied to a hospital? Input appreciated.

    • It should be 100% worth it to see a psychiatrist employed by a hospital, especially if the hospital is an academic medical center. The doctors at AMCs divide their time between patient care, research, and teaching, which means that they tend to be up to date on treatment options, and can get you into a study if that’s appropriate for your situation. You may even be able to find someone whose specialty is anxiety.

      Good luck and keep fighting for your mental health!

    • My GP has an office in a hospital. I think these days many doctors do routine care in hospital buildings. I wouldn’t read too much into their location.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Psychiatrists are not just for major inpatient issues- mine is within the hospital system near me and she’s really good, really responsive, and works with my specialists. Go for it.

    • Anonymous :

      As someone who prefers academic medical centers for everything bc I think they are more update/have more qualified MDs — don’t read anything into location. I know UPenn best — some of their doctors of every specialty are located in regular office suites in buildings in Philadelphia and its surrounding suburbs. Yet more than 1/2 of their doctors are in actual hospital buildings. These buildings are set up to do outpatient care — they’ve made regular doctors office suites with waiting rooms and patient exam rooms; often there are entire floors in academic hospital buildings that just have suite after suite for outpatient care — GPs; cardiology; etc.; you name it. It’s not like you’re wandering the in patient floors looking for your doctor and then you find him hanging at the nurses station and he’s like oh yeah – this in patient room is free, let’s step in here and I’ll talk to you for 2 seconds.

  10. Skincare routine for body? :

    Hello all.

    I’m in my mid-thirties and for the last 5 years I’ve focused on actually starting to take care of my skin for the first time (face and neck), with good results.

    I am hoping to incorporate better skin care for the rest of me, which unfortunately has been very sun-damaged in the past (I now religiously wear SPF and try to cover up when at high altitudes or outside in the middle of the day, but that has unfortunately not always been my approach). Probably due to the sun-damage as well as age, I’m starting to get more wrinkles, particularly on my shoulders, arms, and hands.

    I’d love suggestions for products, regimens, or webs i t e s / approaches to dealing with this. TIA!

    • Check out Caroline Hirons! She has face and body recommendations

    • No suggestions, but please tell me more about how you took care of your face and neck with good results.
      Same age range but worse skin. A lot of cosmetic claims sound hokey short of actual plastic surgery. thanks!

  11. I just tried to buy something at Bed Bath and Beyond with my visa card and BBB wanted me to enter all this additional info as part of a “visa verified” program, inc. the last 4 digits of my ss no., etc. Am i just being paranoid to be uncomfortable with this? I remember this happened once before and I just used my amex but wondering if I am being silly.

    • I just bought something a couple days ago online at BBB with a Visa and wasn’t asked any additional questions.

    • Flats Only :

      I’ve only ever seen that come up for overseas transactions (trying to buy tickets for Buckingham Palace and the like) and never on something simple like BBB.

    • This popped up after I submitted my payment information on yesterday, but I was able to click out without entering that informaiton. I would call Visa, this seemed like a scam to me.

      • I can’t opt out of it. I called my credit card and they said I had to call visa directly (as opposed to the issuing bank). The rep I spoke with had no idea what to do. I suppose I can just use a different card but this is just super annoying.

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      I’ve run into this on many trustworthy websites(mostly for overseas, but occasionally domestic). It seems like some sites do random checks. Call your bank if you’re concerned, but it does stink having to disclose more and more info for transactions.

      • So apparently this is a thing but doesn’t typically happen with small, domestic purchases. After spending 20 minutes on hold, I was able to verify the purchase with visa by phone and it went through. The rep didn’t know why it was flagged but at least there is an alternative way to do it without handing over more sensitive info (I had to give my name and phone number but nothing else).

    • I’ve had that pop up on certain s!tes. Maybe BB&B is a popular shopping destination for scammers?

      • This. Also if you don’t typically shop at places like BB&B and then suddenly make a large purchase it’ll sometimes trigger the extra verification.

    • lost academic :

      I’ve seen this for years, it’s not a scam.

  12. Linda from HR :

    Question on how to handle a death in the family during a bachelorette party.

    I’m attending my best friend from childhood’s bachelorette party this weekend – first one I’ve ever been to. I’m super excited, and have been ever since I got the invite a few weeks ago.

    However, last night I heard my grandfather really isn’t doing well. He’s held on longer than we thought, we thought we were saying “goodbye” at Christmas two years ago, but now everyone’s sure he’s going to go soon. In fact, my mother is taking a very last-minute trip down to see him one last time this week.

    It’s likely I’ll get some bad news very soon . . . and I’m thinking there’s a chance it’ll happen during the party this weekend, especially since the party goes from Saturday afternoon through bunchtime on Sunday. Hearing the news that my grandfather has passed would be awful any time, but I would feel awful if my family’s loss also dampened the festivities for everyone. I’m thinking that if my mom were to call, I would step out of the room, take the call, compose myself if needed, then come back like nothing happened.

    Beyond that, should I inform the maid of honor – another close friend from childhood – that this may happen an see how she may want me to handle it if it happens? It’s a “destination” bachelorette party, we’re staying in a hotel a good hour’s drive from home, I may even be carpooling, but would leaving early actually be the best course of action? Should I let the maid of honor know I might need to bail?

    I know it seems like a lot of planning for a “what if” and I know no one likes an anxious over-thinker, but I’ll feel better if I have a contingency plan in place, and I think I’ll be better able to handle the situation gracefully if I’m prepared.

    • Anonymous :

      No. Don’t say anything to anyone. There doesn’t need to be a big fuss about this. Do you want to go? Then go. If something bad happens you deal with it how you want, whether that’s leaving or staying. If you think you’ll be distraught and ruin the party, leave or don’t go. And pay whatever you’ve agreed to pay for fixed costs.

      Do not involve the maid of honor in this.

    • If you get a call, it’s fine to say, “Hey guys, I just got some bad news: my grandfather died. It’s not unexpected, but I’m still pretty upset, so I’m going to go home. All of you enjoy the weekend!” Cue hugs and depart quickly to minimize bringing the party down.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yep. And the costs will be paid and everybody will be sympathetic and not resentful.

        Boom! You have a plan. (And hopefully you won’t have to execute it.)

    • I think you should really drive separately, so you have options if the worst does happen. You may think you’ll want to stay at the party, but in the moment, you may change your mind.

      I feel like it’s completely reasonable to leave early if you need to, but I also think that if you’re going to stay, you need to put on a brave face and not say anything about what’s happening, but that’s just me.

      I’m so sorry you’re going through this.

      • +1 to driving separately so you can take care of yourself if you get bad news and need to leave early. You’ll probably have to explain to others why you need to drive separately. I think that’s perfectly OK. We’re all human, and it’s unreasonable and selfish to expect that nobody in a large bridal party has anything sad or distressing happening in their lives at the same time. You don’t need to hide what’s going on, but if you stay, you do need to put on a brave face and celebrate and have fun. If you’re not up for celebrating, leave.

        FWIW, in my very large family, we’re celebrating marriages and pregnancies and births and struggling with illnesses and divorces and infertility and mourning deaths, all at the same time, all the time. If you’re part of a large friend group, I expect the same will be true.

    • I’m sorry about your grandfather. Ime it’s hard to know how this sort of thing will affect you and how much your family might want to lean on you. Like, if your mom calls you sobbing you’re not exactly going to say, sry your dad just died but I gotta get my drink on.

      I agree it’s best to have an exit strategy. You don’t want to be stuck and you don’t want to leave anyone else stranded. It’s probably best for you to drive yourself if possible. Make sure you pay your share of fixed costs for the weekend as soon as you get there. I don’t think it’s necessary to tell MOH about the situation, but if she’s a childhood friend then she must know your grandfather’s sick right? I would only bring it up if people give you pushback about, say, not driving other people around or wanting to pay your share up front.

    • Anonymous :

      You know, I had something really similar happen. Grandpa was not doing well, but I had a birthday party I’d planned – dinner and drinks out with friends – that we had all be looking forward to. I waffled a bit on whether I would feel weird going out (and getting drunk) when there was the chance that it could be the weekend my grandfather died.

      It was a case where I would not have been by his beside but for this party, so I didn’t want to cancel my plans (which I had been looking forward to), on the off chance i would get a telephone call that night. So I went out, had a wonderful time, and didn’t say anything to my friends, since I didn’t want to make it weird for them. Ultimately I did get a call the next morning that he had passed away. And was a little bit numb (and hung over) the rest of the day. But I still had a really good time out with my friend and don’t regret it. May have also toasted Grandpa with whiskey at one point in the evening (Grandpa is a whiskey man).

      So, I’ll agree to have a plan in case you want to leave if you get news, but also try to live in the moment and enjoy the time with your friends.

  13. Noisy Gym :

    I posted about this a few weeks ago. Basically I live a few blocks a gym that has recently decided to have exercise classes on its roof where they play very loud music and an instructor yells into a microphone. Even a few blocks away, and with my windows closed, it is so loud that I can identify the song and understand what the instructor is saying. A neighbor told me his windows vibrate. Another neighbor resorted to trying to put earplugs in her infant’s ears so she can take naps during the day. There are many negative reviews about the issue on yelp, and we have a NextDoor thread on the issue.

    I have called the gym, my husband has called and gone to the gym, I went to the gym and gave them a copy of the noise ordinances they are violating, I have called the corporate headquarters of the gym to file a complaint, I have called my city council member, I have called the city police on numerous occasions. The gym employees recognize that they have received many complaints. It just isn’t stopping. I don’t know if the police are issuing citations or not.

    What would you take as a next step? Hire a lawyer? Draft a cease and desist letter on my own?

    And do you think I should keep calling the police? I hate to be a pest, but I know for a fact that I am not the only one calling them.

    • City council. City council. City council. As a political staffer, I can tell you 1) the squeaky wheel gets the grease and 2) local politicians actually get things accomplished.

      Like the posters said last time, stop contacting the gym. Annoying the heck out of the minimum wage clerk at the front isn’t going to do anything. Management clearly does not care, so the only thing that’s going to stop them is law enforcement.

      • Noisy Gym :

        So keep calling my city councilman each time it happens?

        And yes, I stopped contacting the gym directly. I just call the police now.

        • Noisy Gym :

          Oh also, what if I am in one district and the gym is in another? Call them both?

          • Call the one that corresponds to your home. You (in theory) elected the official, so they answer to you. Officials in other districts may not speak with you.

        • No, not each time it happens. But twice a week or so. “Hi, I spoke with [staffer’s name] last time I called. I’m the constituent who lives near the noisy gym? I was wondering if [Name] had made any progress on helping with this situation.”

          If your city is small enough that politicians don’t have staffers, this should be even easier. My mom is a city councilwoman in a town of 12,000 – she hands out her home phone number and would make a phone call to the police for something like this in a couple minutes.

          • Noisy Gym :

            I live in one of the biggest cities in the country, so they do have staffers. I’ll give them a call again in a few days. Thanks for this advice!

          • When you next talk with the staffer, casually mention, “Ok, thanks for your help so far! I’ll call back on [Wednesday] to check in with you.” That way the staffer thinks, “ok, this constituent isn’t going to let this go and I’d better have an answer for her.”

        • Did you talk to them at all yet? Lots of people mentioned it the last time you asked.

          • Noisy Gym :

            I haven’t talked to the council member directly, but I have called his office twice and spoken to two different staffers. I also sent an email, and got a response along the lines of “we’re looking into it -staffer.”

          • Noisy Gym :

            I should add my husband also called twice, and many neighbors (at least 10?) have as well. We coordinated this and other activities on NextDoor, as someone recommended last time.

    • Flats Only :

      Get your neighbors together and picket them with signs. Call a news crew to stop by while you do it.

      • Anonymous :

        When this question came up last time, I recommended using the gym’s social media (Yelp, Facebook, etc.) to pressure the gym to make changes.

        • Noisy Gym :

          Yes, and we did that. There are about 10 one-star reviews on yelp from people that live in the neighborhood. The gym is responding to reviews unrelated to the noise, but not to reviews related to noise.

    • Also keep in mind that you might not win, the gym might be paying people off or paying enough in taxes the city will turn a blind eye and your only option might be to move. You might not be there yet but it’s a possibility and you should start working on contingency plans.

      • Anonymous :

        +1. Even if they aren’t paying people off or something, if they aren’t violating codes and particularly since you don’t live in the same district, there may not be a thing city council can do.

      • Noisy Gym :

        I have thought about this already and my husband and I recognize it unfortunately is a possibility. We agreed to give it until the end of the year before looking for a new home. In the meantime, we bought a huge container of ear plugs. Moving a family of six is obviously something I would like to avoid. We may be able to find something in the neighborhood more distanced from the gym, but if not we’d be looking at potentially changing schools for four children mid-year.

        I have read the relevant codes and it is clear they are violating them, but that still doesn’t matter if the city will turn a blind eye anyways/if they are paying people off.

        • If the police are citing them, that is public record. You should contact the police department to see if they have.

          If they have a court date, I would find out when that is and turn out with a contigent of your local neighbors.

          I would also encourage you and your neighbors to contact the city council person and the community group for that area repeatedly about the issue.

          I would also have enough people write reviews on yelp, etc that it tanks their score.

          Finally, I would have the most sympathetic member of your neighbors (ie disabled senior who has to put up with this, parents of a new born who won’t nap, etc.) reach out to your local tv new investigative/consumer affairs reporter regarding this issue.

          Good luck

          • Noisy Gym :

            I had asked the police twice if they had cited them, and I got a non-answer. I may need to keep calling or physically show up at the local precinct to get an answer.

            The yelp thing is tough since they have SO MANY REVIEWS, that even our many reviews aren’t bringing the number of stars they have down. But I can encourage more of this. And having a bunch of recent negative reviews is bad for business anyways I would think.

            I like the idea of getting the media involved and coordinating with neighbors on that. There are both elderly people and families with babies in my condo building. I am not sure how much they will care, but worth trying.

          • If you leave the name of the gym/location/city, I will write a negative review (and I bet others will too).

          • Noisy Gym :

            At the risk of outing myself, Equinox West Los Angeles.

    • Does your city have a neighborhood blog, a la popville for DC? If so, try writing there and documenting your steps to see if anyone else has any suggestions or ideas. But when I say document your steps, I mean it: commenters can be obnoxious about “well complaining here won’t fix it!,” so avoid that by being explicit in your “ask” and you may get some good info/find other buildings who are experiencing the same thing.

      • Noisy Gym :

        Aside from NextDoor, not that I know of. I’ll look into this.

        • Try Curbed’s LA blog, or the Time Out LA blog. LA times might be a good bet- I also found this just googling west LA blogs westside mommy dot com- take the spaces out, obviously, and replace the dot with a .

    • Do you mind saying which city you’re in? There may be some city-specific recommendations.

      For example, in NYC, you can:
      1) Contact NY1, the 24-hour local cable news station. They have a “NY1 For You” segment that’s all about resolving this sort of thing.
      2) Call 311 and log noise complaints, and encourage your neighbors to do the same. The city tracks these.
      3) Contact the office of the Public Advocate for assistance if you aren’t getting any response from other city services.

    • Organize all your neighbors to attend a city council meeting together. Find out the rules for public comment at the council meeting and if possible, have as many of you as allowed speak at the meeting about the noise. Contact a few media outlets ahead of time to let them know you’ve organized this. At the meeting, tell the council you’ve contacted staff and haven’t gotten anywhere with it yet.

      I work for local government. Our Board would respond quickly to this type of public pressure.

  14. What are your hobbies? I have a lot of free time outside of work and am looking for interesting ways to fill it. Right now I mainly do yoga and binge watch tv, so I’m looking for other ideas. I don’t have kids, but all my friends do and are not interested in kid-free activities, so if the activity is a solo activity or where I can meet new friends, even better!

    • Get involved with a cause! I’m on my church board and take on a fair number of tasks beyond the one meeting per month because I have the time and the ability. Animals, the environment, the less fortunate…pick a cause and lend a hand!

    • I’ve made friends for life taking writing classes. It’s an intimate setting by default, as you’re often sharing personal stories.

    • Linda from HR :

      I’m a swing dancer, and I always recommend social dancing to people looking for new hobbies, especially if they also want to meet people. Look to see if there are any studios or programs in your areas dedicated to teaching salsa, lindy hop, west coast swing, or blues dancing. Ballroom studios are everywhere but they’re usually very expensive and often focus more on teaching you how to put on a show than how to dance socially.

    • Green Hat :

      Peruse this thread:

    • Anonymous :

      Also try where you can find tons of groups that share new interests. It’s pretty easy to connect with new friends there (and you need new ones since they will probably have special snowflake child brain for the foreseeable future if they won’t do non-family activities).

  15. Need Advice for Sassy Kid :

    Our much-loved nanny has moved after many years with us and I found out (from my visiting parents who overheard the interaction) that my 5-year old is being very rude to the new nanny. (She refused to eat her breakfast because it wasn’t the way the old nanny made it then demanded a new breakfast; she’s sassy and makes rude comments and refuses to perform tasks when directed such as letting new nanny help her brush her teeth, etc).

    I am horrified that my 5-year is rude to anyone and I don’t know how to correct this behavior when I am not home. The nanny is patient but I think she isn’t sure what to do because she’s new and still learning the ropes. I did speak to her about the breakfast debacle and assured her that she can calmly tell 5-year old that this is the only breakfast there is and if you don’t want to eat it you are excused and will go without.

    I have noticed my daughter being sassier and talking back more since starting kindergarten this fall. For example, after going to a play place I told her that we would take her bath early because the play place is dirty and she yelled, “WHY??” I don’t know how much of this is developmental or what to do about it before it gets worse.

    • Anonymous :

      It might be developmental, and she’s probably testing boundaries with the new nanny. I think you are starting to enter the “whiny” years (i.e. 6-10). You can try some of the tips like “I can’t hear you when you speak in that tone of voice” Or just a simple “don’t talk back”.

      • I will start out by saying that I’m not a parent, but I was a sassy kid and teen. And it was definitely about testing boundaries. My mom never called me out on being sassy…or even downright rude…so it continued for YEARS, yes, long enough for me to be well aware of it. In some ways, I wanted her to tell me no/correct me/provide guidance.

        I also remember getting my knickers in a twist over things that I was secretly ok with (like your daughter’s bath) because I had seen on tv/had heard a friend get THEIR knickers in a twist over it. And I wanted to do what the other kids were doing.

    • Anonymous :

      Starting school + new nanny = big changes that can overwhelm a little person. Be patient. She’s probably dealing with a lot of internal feelings and doesn’t know how to express them, so she acts out. Plus, refusing to take a bath or eat her breakfast are totally normal little kid things, I’m sorry to say. It’s also likely she’ll pick up some behaviour from watching other kids at school.

      Nanny needs to step up and be firm and set boundaries early.

      • Need Advice for Sassy Kid :

        Thanks, this is new behavior for her so I am somewhat relieved that it is normal but I think firm boundaries are in order.

        It’s ok to not be hungry, it is not ok to throw you pancake back on your plate because it is made differently and then demand a new breakfast. To me, this behavior is so far outside of acceptable that I am appalled and I want to take swift corrective action. I see a lot of time outs and “I can’t hear you when you speak to me that way” in our future.

    • Anonymous :

      Dear god. Fire your new nanny. She can’t handle a rude 5 year old? What? This is completely normal boundary testing in response to a rough transition.

      • Anonymous :

        The nanny didn’t complain or otherwise indicate she was incapable of handling it. OP says the grandparents overheard and told her about it. No cause to fire the new nanny, who appears to be doing fine.

        • Need Advice for Sassy Kid :


          I don’t fault the nanny, she is new to our home and learning our boundaries/discipline style. I have friends whose children behave this way and their nannies are expected to tolerate it, so I think the nanny is just sorting our what direction I would like her to take.

          My real issue is *I* don’t know how to handle this since stating “you need to speak respectfully” or explaining why a statement isn’t respectful and taking about how it makes the other person feel hasn’t worked. Time outs don’t seem to do much either.

    • Anonymous :

      Worse? A kid complaining about bath time is totally normal. I think you’d benefit from a good book on childhood development.

      • OfCounsel :

        Oh I remember this phase (not fondly). YMMV, but in our case:

        “You are not allowed to speak to me that way. It is rude and disrespectful. Go to your room until I tell you that you can come out.” (Which would have been about 10 minutes at that age.) I physically picked her up and carried her a couple of times.

        Again, in our case, it was followed by: “I can only assume you are picking that tone up from Disney Channel. No TV for the rest of the day.” Eventually I banned a couple of Disney Channel shows were the children were particularly mouthy (looking at you Suite Life of Zach and Cody) and told her why. I was clear that I thought she was a good kid, but clearly picking up inappropriate ways of speaking from somewhere. Give your nanny this script and tell her to use it as needed. Right now she is trying to be liked, which is great, but she needs to be respected too.

        Rinse and repeat, and repeat, and repeat. Eventually it will stick but you have to be consistent and firm. This too shall pass!

        • Need Advice for Sassy Kid :

          Good point about TV. She mostly gets Nick Jr but I like linking it to TV (because she is either getting this stuff from TV or school) and then revoking TV privileges.

          The internet parenting article consensus seems to be giving reward stickers for good days and then getting a small treat after earning several stickers. I’m not really into bribery, I tend to take the “this is the acceptable way to treat others and therefore it is what I expect from you” approach but if stickers will nip this in the bud….

      • Need Advice for Sassy Kid :

        I will set aside the issue of whether it’s normal but it isn’t acceptable. Baths are required, particularly after being somewhere riddled with germs. Being respectful to your caregivers is required.

        If she wants to learn about germs or understand what makes a place dirty or have another 5 minutes to finish a task before bathing, for example, I can work with that. If she just wants to push back on every request just to see if she can, that needs to be nipped in the bud.

        • Anonymous :

          Have you met children before? Srsly. Girl is 5. She’s gonna misbehave.

        • Anonymous :

          Eye roll. She’ll live with the germs. It’s fine. Are you always this uptight?

        • Pretty sure you’re being t r 0 l l 3 d. Either that or these are the kinds of people who raise hellions with no boundaries.

          • Or people who are a little more realistic about what kind of behavior to expect from a five year-old . . . I don’t think a lecture on germ theory is gonna work.

          • Anonymous :

            Really not a troll. Former kindergarten teacher here. This is really normal behavior, it’s upsetting she’s so disturbed by it.

    • Anonymous :

      Is there a way that you can be home at some points with the nanny, but have your nanny maintain control during those times? It could be effective to have the nanny use the scripts above while in your presence to reinforce that you and the nanny are a unified front, and you both require respectful communication. At the same time, I don’t think anything you’ve said indicates your child is particularly irreverent or out of the ordinary in her boundary pushing, esp. given a new authority figure at a time of other transition.

    • Is your nanny inexperienced in general, or do you just mean new to your family?

      • Need Advice for Sassy Kid :

        Sorry, new to our family. But her last family was 3 slightly older boys so it was most likely a different dynamic. (I have an older son but never had any of these issues with him.)

        • OfCounsel :

          Piping up again (partly because you seem to have attracted a bunch of responses from people who have no experience with children). I do not dispute that this is a perfectly normal developmental phase just like biting other children at age 2 is normal. There is a difference between acknowledging this is normal and thinking it is OK. When your 2-year old bites someone or throws herself on the ground in a tantrum because you wouldn’t buy her a candy bar, you don’t just nod and think “well that is normal”. You start teaching her that is not acceptable and that she needs to learn to control herself or there will be consequences.

          Being rude and mouthy and testing is normal. Trying to figure out what she can get away with and where the limits are is normal. I am not suggesting otherwise. However, I viewed my job as a parent to teach my child self control and acceptable behavior.

          Personally I did not reward the bare minimum of acceptable behavior. I saved rewards for things like remembering to do chores. For us, the sticker system worked for that. I did not want to send the message that displaying basic courtesy deserved rewards. However, children can be very different so maybe it will work for you.

          One caution: I saw friends who did not nip that behavior in the bud and it did not get easier to stop the eye-rolling, disrespectful, demanding behaviors as their children got older. We had a relatively smooth (relatively being the operative term!) adolescence that I think was at least in part because my daughter learned to respect me when she was younger.

          • Anonymous :

            Thank you from a struggling mother of almost 5 year old twin girls.

          • Anonymous :

            Oh please. Literally zero people have said you don’t try to correct it. Of course you do. It’s just normal behavior and it’s not a one time and some thing, nor is it a big deal. We all survived having kids just fine.

    • this kid is young and not yet able to think ahead to the impact of her words (her brain isn’t developed enough for this yet), so if her words hurt, it’s okay to say, “ouch, when you say something so rude, it really hurts my feelings. I know you didn’t mean to hurt them so how about you apologize and then explain to me again -using nicer words- what you’re upset about so we can address that?” or “I can tell you are really frustrated but when you speak that way, I feel sad. Can you think of a way to say the same thing using nicer words?” Let the kid connect her words to the way it made you feel and also allow her intentions to be heard, so she learns that she can still have her opinion heard, even when she uses kinder words.

  16. Associate Review Help :

    I just finished my first full review year at a BigLaw firm. I’m on track to meet my creditable hours target (2000), which is both the expectation and the threshold for a bonus.

    Also in the past year, an immediate family member passed away unexpectedly (cancer, not a grandparent). I am weighing whether to bring this up in my associate review, and if so, how I should do that. On our associate review form, there’s optional space for “factors that may have affected your performance.” I took two weeks of bereavement leave immediately before/after, and also worked remotely for a period of time, but I’m not sure that I requested and received a formal leave for this, or whether my practice group just was great by accommodating me, and didn’t formally tell the firm. (I was in touch with my practice mentor and practice group head throughout this period). I billed all of my time during the two-week time when I was out of the office to a nonbillable/PTO number.

    It seems terrible to somehow point out my family tragedy to the firm, but I’m not sure how else to let them know that this happened. It definitely affected my performance, but since it didn’t affect my billable/creditable hours from the firm’s perspective, I’m not sure they’ll care that this was a factor.

    Do I bring this up? If so, how?

    • Didn’t affect your hours = don’t mention it.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I disagree. From a partner’s perspective, I think that takes you from “doing well, on track, met basic expectations” to “doing very well, met expectations even in the face of family tragedy, expecting great things next year.”

        I’d just write “took two weeks bereavement leave in [Month] due to unexpected death of [non-grandparent immediate family member].”

        • Senior Attorney :

          But this applies only if you think there is someone important who is unaware of your situation.

        • WestCoast Lawyer :

          I agree with this. Strangely, this type of thing can be viewed as a mark of dedication in biglaw. I once had a senior partner write in a review that I had performed particularly well in a transaction, which was noteworthy because my grandmother had died in the middle of the deal. While I was sad, I only took a couple days off for the funeral, but he seemed to think my performance was especially commendable. I understood the sentiment he was trying to convey, but was also somewhat amused when the person who was reading my reviews to me said “OMG – I can’t believe he actually wrote that!”

    • Anonymous :

      If you took formal bereavement leave or FMLA or something, mention it in that space as briefly as you can (i.e., “I took two weeks bereavement leave from x to x.”) No elaboration. No color commentary. If you did not take formal leave, you do not mention it at all.

    • IMO, in these situations, there are two reasons to bring it up in your review: (1) it affected your hours, or (2) it affected your work product and therefore might impact the substantive reviews your supervisors write for you (because they were not aware of your extenuating circumstances). It sounds like neither is at issue here. Your hours are fine and you kept your practice group/supervisors aware of the issue at the time, so they should not hold any lapses in work product against you. If you think that is not the case or you worked with people outside your main practice group who were not aware of the issue, you might want to raise it.

      And I’m sorry for your loss.

    • I would mention the bereavement leave as Senior Attorney describes. I think there is a difference between “on track” and “on track even when something significant happened.” And if you’re in BigLaw there likely is someone important who is unaware of your situation.

      Based on my own experiences and others’ horror stores, I also think there is value in documenting things like bereavement leave–some partner may write something negative and nit-picky about OP’s responsiveness to emails during those 2 weeks (god forbid OP took 2 hours to respond to an email instead of 5 minutes), or the firm may need to lay people off in the next couple of years and decide based on hours worked but take into account formal leave. You never know, and BigLaw can be brutal even when the individuals you see and work with everyday are understanding.

      • Anonymous :

        Agreed. I think it’s important to say something about it in the formal review, not really for this evaluation year, but in case someone is trying to make a case against you in the future.

      • anonymous :

        Agreed. Write it as simply as stated above by SA. If you have a chance to document it, you should do so. My old firm didn’t have such a section and when one partner was nitpicky about my normally great writing (he even said, “your writing is always wonderful, except for that *one time* that section needed re-writing…”) and I mentioned that I was in the hospital with appendicitis at the time, the managing partner above him looked shocked that (1) he would bring that up during my review – and that I was working in post-op recovery and (2) that the managing partner didn’t know about it as he obviously considered it a big factor (duh! there was no section for me to write anything!). I wish I had been able to formally document it. My firm was so convinced of what a great culture it had but a lot of that was a facade maintained by partners who kept all of this from the managing partners who didn’t really practice much.

        Big law can turn on you quickly and any excuse will be given. (My friend’s condo literally burned down because of a neighbor’s fire and her work didn’t cut her *any* slack.)

    • Associate Review Help-OP :

      Super helpful, thank you all. I think I will probably just include SA’s suggested language, and leave it at that. That way it’s documented for the future, but I won’t include any other explanation.

  17. Green Hat :

    My husband and I have been able to save about 300K in addition to maxing out our 401K contributions over the past 5 years or so. That money is currently invested in index funds, and we also keep about 15K in a regular savings account for emergencies. We also have an infant son and are starting to think about saving for college. Is there any downside to front-loading a 529 plan now with enough money to cover the cost of tuition? If not, would you put in the projected cost of public or private school? I understand there’s a steep penalty if you withdraw the funds for reasons other than education, so I don’t want to over-contribute, but I also want to take advantage of whatever tax savings we might get if we make a lump sum contribution now.

    • I think I wouldn’t front load that. There are loans for school. There are not loans for various life emergencies that you might someday need that money for. But maybe I’m being too risk averse?

    • Anonymous :

      I wouldn’t put 300K in a 529 unless you plan to have at least three or four kids. Not every kid goes to college and many kids go to public schools or get significant scholarships. We have an only child and we are only planning to put ~100k in hers (and not 100k now, which would be way more with interest in 20 years, but shooting for 100k by the time she’s college-age). We will save the rest in regular savings so we won’t be penalized if we/her use the money for something else.

    • Some of it depends on your state. Many states provide a current income tax deduction for contributions, but it is limited each year. So it would make more sense to contribute the annual amount (unless it’s super low, but this is something you should consider).

      If you do decide to fund the whole thing now, I would use estimates for a public school, unless you plan to have multiple children (funds not used by this child could be utilized by a sibling)

  18. Travel Insurance :

    I’m traveling to SE Asia next month for vacation and want to get good travel insurance in case I need med evac to a first-world hospital. I’m generally healthy, this would be just to cover accidents/unforeseen emergency-type situations. I am totally overwhelmed by all the options out there, and by all the warnings that many policies have exclusions that render them worthless. Anyone have recommendations to keep me from getting ripped off?

    • Anonymous :

      Your regular health insurance may cover this, mine does. Also, “medical evacuation” normally means being transported to a major trauma center from a rural area without a real hospital. You will not be evacuated from Thailand or Cambodia to Japan or another “first world” hospital. Hospitals in Bangkok, etc. are perfectly capable of performing surgeries and basically doing everything a hospital in Japan or the US could do. Obviously surgery in Southeast Asia is not without risks (HIV infection, etc.) but if you need emergency surgery, you will probably not have a choice about having it performed there unless treatment can be deferred until you can get yourself home via normal methods. It’s one of the risks (albeit a pretty microscopic one) of traveling in that region.

    • Flats Only :

      I have used to compare plans. I found that even though there was a lot of information, it was nicely organized, and policies were written in relatively plain English. Since you know what you want (medical evacuation in case of emergency/accident) you can focus on that part of the various policies.

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