Tuesday’s TPS Report: V-Neck Seam Detail Sheath Dress

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

La Petite Robe by Chiara Boni V-Neck Seam Detail Sheath DressI am not familiar with the brand La Petite Robe by Chiara Boni — but the offerings at Nordstrom look gorgeous, including this simple yet fabulous green dress. I like the diagonal draping, the ladylike length, and the 3/4 sleeves — to say nothing of that deep, dark emerald. Lovely. It’s still a bit of a splurge: it was $690, but is now marked to $413.98. La Petite Robe by Chiara Boni V-Neck Seam Detail Sheath Dress

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]



  1. Wow. This is beautiful. Sleeves, a long length, and emerald green!

    And then I saw the price. Le sigh.

    • Merabella :

      I just got my Lands End Ponte Knit dress – in purple, and it is amazing. They have long sleeves, and come in tall if you need it, and it is only $30. Seriously. Gorgeous.

      • Unfortunately, I think I’m sized out of the Lands End dresses. But they’ve received a lot of love here :)

      • Divaliscious11 :

        And i recommend the tall. Usually their regular length dresses are okay on me, but that particular dress is short. Its cute, so I kept it, but not work cute…

    • Beautiful dress. I think it would be a little too body-con for me for work. Here is a similar look for a portion of the price: http://www.lordandtaylor.com/eng/womensapparel-dresses-day-Crossover_V_Neck_Dress-lordandtaylor/256291/?utm_source=GAN&utm_medium=Affiliates&utm_campaign=ShopStyle.com&utm_content=Ban&utm_term=na&cm_mmc=Affiliate-_-GAN-_-ShopStyle.com-_-Primary Banner&tag=GAN&ctcampaign=221&gan_clickID=0004d4fc79ab284d0ae0a852ba006cf5&gan_affID=k108283&gan_affName=ShopStyle.com

      • I have that dress in red. It’s a very nice dress. Highly recommend.

      • Research, Not Law :

        I also think it would be too body-con for me at the office. I love it, though.

  2. kerrycontrary :

    So beautiful. I love the higher neckline, length, and the sleeves. Unfortunately I could never pay this much for a work dress.

  3. This dress is gorgeous.

    I’ve got a story for you ladies. Yesterday was the opening round of the Beanpot. For those of you not in the area, it’s an annual hockey tournament for Harvard, BU, BC and Northeastern. My parents went to it on a blind date over 50 years ago. They still go every year.

    This year his best friend flew in from D.C. to go, too. My dad and his best friend attended the most prestigious of the 4 schools and their 50th reunion is this year. When they got to their seats, they found them occupied. One young man immediately apologized and got up. Their were 3 women in his group (all students wearing the school’s gear). They smirked and rolled their eyes and refused to give op their seats.

    My dad’s group eventually took the seats in front of these woman, who proceeded to put their feet up on their chairs and chat and otherwise behave obnoxiously.

    My mother wants to send a letter to the school newspaper about their behavior and I fully support her. She emailed me this morning and even included a picture of the women. I can’t imagine behaving in this way. What do you guys think?

    • Really? I’m assuming these were specific seats based on a ticket purchase. I can’t imagine having the gall to act like that. I hope she does send the letter!!! And get off my lawn!

      • saacnmama :

        Isn’t there the hockey arena equivalent of an usher?

        I think an internet meme would be more likely to hit the rude girls than a letter to the editor. What is the response she’s looking for?

    • I think it’s petty. That ship has sailed. Why didn’t your parents/their party just contact someone at the arena if there were people in their seats?

      Also, no matter what school you go to, 18-22 year olds can be huge idiots.

    • kerrycontrary :

      Um RUDE! Yes, I would send a letter with those girls pictures as well. I’m also going to guess that your father is in his late 60s-70s? To not get up for an older person is just unimaginable.

      • Yup. My dad is 72.

      • saacnmama :

        I think assigned seats trump age, but either way your parents should’ve stood up for themselves.

        • Yes . They should have. But they were speechless and too polite. My mother, particularly, is a conflict avoider. My mother’s email this morning asked what we would have done.

          She’s not expecting that anything will come out of a letter to the newspaper, but it will make her feel better. And I bet the school will send them an apology. 50th reunion is a big deal.

          • Also – as a former staffer for the Crimson, I’m going to hedge my bets on “not getting published” on this one.

          • kerrycontrary :

            Hm…well adding that your mom is a conflict avoider, now the letter idea seems very passive aggressive.

          • Arg, my mom calls herself a conflict avoider too! It often leads to this kind of crap, where she refuses to deal with a problem in the present, but the problem still exists.

          • I can bring more than one bat, Bunkster. I’m absolutely infuriated by how poorly your parents were treated. Send the letter with the picture, fudge these brats.

    • 1. You can just say they went to harvard. 2. How did your mother find a picture of the women? Do you know her name? If you don’t know their name, I don’t think there is going to be any results 3. What is your mother hoping to get out of the letter sending? it is awful when people behave like this, but really, what is harvard going to do? Say hey, you shouldn’t put your feet up on people’s chairs? I am think it should have been handled in the moment. IF they were in your dad’s seats, he should have called over the security for the venue and had them straighten it out. It sucks they behaved that way, but you can’t really get someone in trouble for smirking.

      • My mother has an iphone. She took a picture.

      • I agree–I’ve been to these tournaments. They are PACKED. And often, the tickets can be quite expensive–or at least hard to get. Assuming this was at the Garden, there are plenty of staff to make the squatters move.

      • I had to lol at “my father went to the most prestigious of the schools.”

        • I’m sorry for the wording. I didn’t want to mention it, but it’s true. On the other hand, based on his many exploits during his time there and his grades, he wouldn’t have a chance of getting in now.

          • It might be true, but it isn’t relevant to the story. #thirdpartyhumblebrag

          • Seriously? That is not why I mentioned it. If I wanted to brag, I’d tell you where I went to college.

            And now I’m getting off this site. I should have known better.

          • I just have add a good natured (I promise!) note that of those four schools, Harvard is not the most prestigious when it comes to hockey, which would seem most relevant for the event. :)

          • Yeah it is just if you don’t want to mention it, don’t mention it. Or say “my dad went to Harvard and had seats in the student section.” Saying the most prestigious of the 4 is way more obnoxious. Same with oh in new haven, or saying if I really wanted to brag I’d tell you where I went. Tons of people on this site went to good schools or had scholarships or went to schools with great programs. It is not a dirty word to use the name of a college.

          • Bunkster…what can you do…your dad “went to school in Boston.” If you had said it, people would have called you out on it, and now people are hatering on you for not. I did not think it was a humblebrag…you were just trying not to be “MY DAD WENT TO HARVARD.” Geez, people…you can’t change what your parents did before you were born. Gah!

            -Bunkster defender

        • Diana Barry :

          It’s kind of a reflexive action for some of us who went there not to mention where we went to school – and I would guess the same for people whose parents went there. :)

          • Cornellian :

            I think my favorite are people who “went to school in New Haven.” :)

          • Diana Barry :

            I used to say “in Boston,” then “in Cambridge”, and then finally “Harvard” when pressed. And the people who would ask would always, ALWAYS then act like I was the snobbiest person in the world. Blech.

          • We called it “dropping the Y bomb.”

          • Yes, this exactly. Sometimes by avoiding directly calling it out, it gets more awkward. But I don’t think Bunkster’s intent was to humblebrag… I doubt she was looking to impress internet strangers with where her dad went to college. :) I think she was just trying to hint where the students were from and let people pick up on their existing reputation in Boston without being all “Harvard kids are rude y’all!!!”

          • Alanna of Trebond :

            Ah, the dangers of saying one went to school in “New Jersey”.

            I did this until I realized it was actually more obnoxious.

          • Honestly, I always find it ridiculous, because it seems to imply that the listener would be so wowed by the fact that the speaker went to Harvard/Yale/wherever, that they wouldn’t be able to continue a normal conversation. I went to prep school, worked at Yale, and attended a top-five law school; I’m completely unintimidated by the fact that someone attended an Ivy.

            I know someone who is a member of the royal family of a European country. She sort of vaguely talks around questions about what her parents do, and that makes sense, because I have actually observed that when you admit that, say, your mother’s occupation is “Princess”, that tends to make conversation kind of awkward. But stating that you went to Harvard? Well, so did a couple thousand other people. At the same time.

          • cbackson, that is funny!

            I’m not into dissecting the awkward phrasing that resulted when someone dashed something off on a blog, but the princess thing is just plain funny.

          • I find the “little school in New Haven” to be completely obnoxious. I’m a grown up. I’m allowed to hear four-letter words like Yale. Also irked by the people (from Harvard and Yale, mostly) who complain that they wish they could wear their school’s gear like everyone else, but, well, it’s just “not done” because that would be like throwing it in everyone’s face. Um, okay.

          • Respectfully and gently, I second cbackson. Acting like there’s something to hide or feel awkward about suggests that where you went to school would create some kind of division between you and the person you’re talking to, and there’s no reason for that (whether they went somewhere similar or not). When I am asked where I went, I respond with the name of the institution. If there’s any particular reaction either way, I shrug. Referring to comparative prestige only seems useful if you’re interrogating the underlying assumptions in some way, but like saacnmama I believe Bunkster didn’t mean anything by it.

          • Reminds me of how, here in DC, some people will say they work “in Langley.”

          • This behavior is never more funny than when it is done by Duke students. Your Duke degree is truly not intimidating. Sorry, I know they told you it would be when they took your tuition check, but it’s not.

          • Maybe in other parts of the country. But if you live here in the Northeast, and in the Boston area specifically, it’s so normal for someone to have attended Harvard that it’s totally weird to skirt the issue. The reason people act like you’re the snobbiest person ever is because you felt like there was a reason to hide it.

          • Guess I should stop telling Texas A&M grads that I “went to school in Austin.”

            I KID, I KID.

          • OH my god, for the sake of all of us who went to other schools in Boston, just say where you went to school. It’s not bragging to say that you went to Harvard. That’s where you went. The fake modesty is what’s so irritating.

            It’s like the Boston episode of 30 Rock: “I went to school in Boston. Well, not IN Boston, but nearby. NO, NOT TUFTS!”

          • Just a little school outisde Bryan... :

            +1000 To Herbie! Thanks. Gig ’em and Whoop!

          • Polly D, Langley is different. Those employees are neither supposed to lie to US citizens nor to advertise who their employer is. It can get tricky. Saying “Langley” is a stupid solution because there’s nothing else there but the Agency, but at least it’s better than pretending to work at the State Department.

          • I think it’s a know your audience situation. Honestly on this site, no one would bat an eye at the name of any university. I didn’t go to an Ivy but I have absolutely seen it derail a conversation when a person who did attend one mentions it in passing. “You went to XXXX!” “Must be nice…” “Are you a genius?” Etc.

            I think it’s similar to the whole size of your diamond engagement ring/ luxury handbag debate. I never notice stuff like that but coming on this site has told me that a whole slew of people do.

            That said I think Bunkster was trying to avoid saying “These jerks from Harvard…” I totally understand why she did that.

          • Just want to chime in on my favorite 30 rock episode- Ms Lemon, these are the Bruins Beat writers. They are all named Sean.

            and Who cares what people around here think? Your neighbors named their daughter Belichick!

        • I am truly struggling to see how the relative prestige of the schools was in any way relevant to the story. Because… if your parents went to BU, they totally wouldn’t have deserved respect?

          • I guess everyone got testy because while it’s not what she meant, the phrasing kind of implies that Harvard students are Different (that they should be more genteel or this behavior is indicative that the students there are usually spoiled 1%er brats or something. Not sure which is implied! ;))

        • Do I even have to say it?

        • Yeah. That one irrelevant detail totally takes away from the story in a way that even saying “they went to Harvard” would never have really registered. Would it be okay for the Harvard girls to take their seats if they had “only ” gone to BU? I’m also really confused – if your parents sat in seats that weren’t theirs, what were they going to do if those ticket holders showed up?

          Regardless, those girls were totally out of line. I hope your mom writes the letter, gets her official apology, and the girls get what’s coming to them.

      • Also, why is it relevant that your dad/his buddy attended Harvard and not one of the other schools? If it is relevant only because you somehow think that current Harvard undergrads should know better (whereas maybe not at the other schools), then this Harvard alum is here to tell you that rude, entitled 18-22 year olds exist everywhere, even at Fair Harvard.

        • Okay. I get it. I just mentioned it because it reinforces Harvard’s rep in the city.

          My bad. I just wanted to post about the rudeness of college students who should know better, particularly when dealing with elders who are also fellow alums.

          • Yeah, it is definitely rude. Unfortunately, as I noted below, all too common.

          • Yes, they should know better – and I’m sorry that your parents had to deal with this behavior. I’m not sure where the “respect for your elders” train started to derail in our society but it makes me sad.

        • Actually, I think it is relevant, because Ivy league reunions are a gigantic deal. That’s why.

      • These people are begging to have drinks accidentally or purposely spilled on them. Or to get punched in the face. Frankly, they’d deserve it, too. Some people just don’t respond to anything other than very negative reinforcement. Granted, I bet they’re just clever enough to pull this nonsense with people they think are not going to defend themselves or retaliate, but I would love these people to get their comeuppance, and to get it hard, too. It would also serve as an object lesson to other jerks.

    • Agreed that it’s very obnoxious behavior, but the thing to do was find an usher or someone else to assist. Been there, done that. It sucks but it’s actually fairly common at many of the concerts I go to.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      IMO, they should send a letter to the Alumni Council. These girls sound incredibly rude. I might also send a letter to the newspaper, but I would omit the picture (not sure what purpose it serves – I agree with the comments above that your parents should have involved security at the venue at the time) – a letter making it clear that behavior of several students was not behavior your father/mother expected of students attending their alma mater, and to encourage current students to get out of the “bubble” and remember that people (alumni, the elderly, etc) exist outside of their having-fun-going-to-the-game-get-drunk 21 year old mindset and that wherever they are, in public they are a representative of their alma mater and should behave that way.

      That said, people who behaved this way are absolutely going to dismiss the letter altogether. They won’t care. I’m sorry that happened to your parents though!

      • Thank you. That’s exactly what I was looking for. And, no, my mother is not going to send the picture in.

        • I agree with MOA but I’d send the picture to the Alumni Council too. The gal of these women to not get up for a 72 year old man whose seats they were knowingly sitting in absolutely blows my mind. I don’t care WHAT schools were involved. I don’t care if it was Podunk City College. I don’t care how important the event was. It could have been the semi-annual butter sculpting hoedown. Knowingly stealing seats from an elderly person (I’m sure your dad is spry and all, but is definitely eligible for Social Security) is absolute bullhooey, totally rude, and those women deserve to be publicly tarred and feathered. Let me know if you want me to come kick some bratty behind, Bunkster. Have bat, will travel.

          • Someone please tell me how to get tickets to the semi-annual butter sculpting hoedown because I would gladly pay mucho dinero for that.

          • Herbie – the Minnesota State Fair does a butter sculpture every year of that year’s Princess Kay of the Milky Way (dairy farm association). Come swing by in late August and you can have a gander.

          • I love me a good butter sculpture. The Texas State Fair has one every year. This year it was Girl Scouts themed in honor of their 100-yr anniversary (and frankly very meh as far as butter sculptures go). My favorite one was a Wizard of Oz-themed sculpture about 5 years ago.

            Anybody else thinking cross-country butter sculpture road trip? No? Just me? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WiAAFjbvOsM

          • Late to this, but I can’t let the Iowa State Fair butter cow be left out :-). A cross-counry butter sculpture road trip sounds fun to me!

          • Illinois State Fair also has a butter cow sculpture every year. Illinois and Iowa have a long running debate about which is the “original”butter cow.

          • This! Exactly! When it became ok for there to be a general disrespect for the older generations I will NEVER know. The gall of those girls. That is just disgusting behavior, and the alumni council should absolutely know about it. Let’s face it half of any school is the strength and support of its alums, and having current students treat the so rudely does nothing to inspire alumni loyalty.

      • Agreed. Send a letter, but no picture, and definitely send one to whichever department handles alumni outreach and so on. It’s a point worth making. I’m sorry that happened to your parents! If anyone acted that way to my dad (also in his 70s) and mom, I would definitely have unleashed All The Rage.

        • Diana Barry :

          Ditto – I would send to the alumni office and to the president’s office. Also the newspaper, but I would guess they aren’t going to publish it.

          • This. And if the paper does publish, the young ladies at issue will not recognize themselves. The snarky part of me believes these are the same young ladies who will go to their internships and think they’re too good to make copies and do other intern tasks.

      • This is exactly what I was going to say. And sorry that you’re receiving the patented thissite pile-on, Bunkster.

        • Agreed, I’m sorry too. It’s a little painful to watch, kind of like when you watch someone in a movie do something so embarrassing it makes you cringe. C’r’e’ttes, you’re making me CRINGE.

          When I read your post it didn’t even occur to me that you’d said something strange.

      • new york associate :

        Totally agree – send a letter to the Harvard Alumni Association.

    • I talked to my dad about this! He went to MIT (undergrad) and know’s about hockey, tho he was really a nerd, NOT a JOCK. He thinks kid’s these day’s are DISrespecteful, and this is a REAL example he will take to show peeople.

      Gonzalo called the office today expecting me to be recepteive to him?!? Lynn did NOT put the call thru (thank god) b/c I have no interest in a guy who make’s a move on my body WITHOUT permision. FOOEY! He also left a mesage on my CELL, but I saw it comeing in and DID NOT answer. What he does with OTHER WOMEN is his OWN business.

      My dad was LIVID when he found out I went out AND paid for his coffee. I did NOT even tell him about the BREAST incident. I think he would have GONE into ORBIT! FOOEY!

    • I’d tell your mom to send the letter and the picture, too (though I wouldn’t bet on the picture, much less the letter, getting published). It would be a good opportunity for the school to remind the students that just because they go to a really prestigous school doesn’t mean they can’t have good manners and get to act like entitled little snots.*

      *I know not everyone who went to Harvard or other prestigous schools act like that, but clearly some of them do.

      • What if someone took a picture of you and published it in the newspaper and said you were rude. You wouldn’t find that extremely creepy? They should have moved seats but it sounds like Bunksters parents barely asked them to, and then the rest of the complaints are that they smirked and had their feet up. Sorry but if someone published my picture for smirking at them when I was 18 I’d be pretty upset. I find it really creepy that your mom even took a picture, but I guess this is the age of electronics everywhere. I think a letter to the Alumni Council is fine but honestly this whole thing strikes me as so passive aggressive. If you can’t say, hey get out of my seat, or hey put your feet down, and instead just stew for days and send angry letters, I think there’s more problems then just the kids being rude.

        • I hear you on the creepy, but I think you’re being really unsupportive about Bunkster’s parents.

          Granted, I don’t think they handled it well, but they’re from a different generation and, for the most part, socialized in such a way that makes being confrontational and tough, especially on very young people, incredibly difficult.

          For all we try to give women a pass for struggling with the societal demands that we be “nice,” let’s try to do the same for people in their 70s. They are struggling with the old programming– rules probably beaten into some of them to be civil, and then rudely shocked by people who are completely unfettered and have greater verbal range of motion.

          • You haven’t met anyone in my family if you think that generation has a hard time being confrontational with young people.

    • Arrgh. Okay. I am sorry for mentioning the schools at all. I am sorry for implying that I went to a good school. I was actually just trying to explain what the Beanpot is. And for the record, when I say it is the most prestigious, I just mean the most well-known. Do I think it’s the best school in the world? No.

      Also, fyi, I know that Harvard is not the best hockey school. I have a graduate degree from the current top hockey school in the tournament.

      I think you’ve all officially driven me off this site, by attacking me and not addressing the issue at hand. I might even have to cancel the Boston Corporette events, which is too bad because I really enjoyed this site and the thoughtful, intelligent commenters.

      • boo freaking hoo. calm down – i know people are being mean but honestly, it’s the internet. people are always mean and rude on the internet because they CAN be. it shouldn’t change the sites that you frequent on the internet (i mean – just change your handle here!) and it’s silly to think that the threat of leaving this site forever would get people to stop saying mean comments.

      • Are you seriously packing your toys and going home because people called you out on being snotty about the Harvard thing?

      • Seriously? You sound 12.

    • My original comment is in moderation…

      Your comment is awaiting moderation.

      Arrgh. Okay. I am sorry for mentioning the schools at all. I am sorry for implying that I went to a good school. I was actually just trying to explain what the Beanpot is. And for the record, when I say it is the most prestigious, I just mean the most well-known. Do I think it’s the best school in the world? No.

      Also, fyi, I know that Harvard is not the best hockey school. I have a graduate degree from the current top hockey school in the tournament.

      I think you’ve all officially driven me off this site, by attacking me and not addressing the issue at hand. I might even have to cancel the Boston Corpor*tte events, which is too bad because I really enjoyed this site and the thoughtful, intelligent commenters.

      • Bunkster!! *head desk* Threatening to “cancel the Boston [this site] events” because some commenters took issue with something in one of your posts and you didn’t get quite the reaction you were hoping for? Now you’re just being silly.

        • I don’t think she’s being silly. She’s being rational.

          Frankly, some of the events are just kind of superficial. And there are some folks on here who are just not supportive and whatever the issue, find fault with the OP. Why should Bunkster invest additional energy to keep reading this site, writing here, or organizing and attending meetups if she feels like she’s with people who are overly critical and hostile? There are just too few hours in the day to put up with this sutff.

      • Hi Bunkster…I don’t have much to add to any of this stuff, I don’t care who went to what school or that I went to state school and who went to Yale or who went to community college…but I just want to say that I do like your posts and would laugh a little less each day if you left.

        Also, recently I’ve had a few moments on this site where I just want Tina Fey to come in and say “you’ve all gotta stop calling eachother b!tches and wh0res…that just makes it ok for the guys to call you b!itches and wh0res!” Or whatever the line is. And I wish I could bake a cake of rainbows and we could all get along. Or whatever that line is. Evidently it’s movie night tonight…

        • “but I just want to say that I do like your posts and would laugh a little less each day if you left”

          This. Please don’t leave!

          I agree that those girls were super rude, and it would have made me SO ANGRY to hear of my parents being treated that way. I also completely understand their actions at the time. No, I don’t think it will change anything for your mother to send a letter. But if it makes her feel better, then she should send it.

          Sorry for the off-topic pile on you received.

        • Yes. People need to relax. If you’re annoyed by someone’s question or how they asked it, just walk away and don’t bother answering or offering sympathy or whatever. It seems that sometimes people would rather nitpick phrasing than help people out, whether it’s work, or relationships, or anything. I think it makes people very cautious and hesitant to post about issues they’re dealing with and that doesn’t create a supportive community.

        • Respectfully disagree that the way to get men to stop calling women b!tches and [email protected] is for women to stop calling each other that.

          It doesn’t address the reasons why men do it (mostly, because their most likely rude proposition to some woman got rejected).

          And, it enforces a mindless solidarity. The type that we find objectionable, say, like when all the whites in certain Southern states in the 1950s automatically banded together against a black person on, oh just about everything.

          When someone actually is being an @sshole or a b!tch, s/he deserves to get called out as such. Doesn’t matter by which gender. Otherwise, it’s the feminist thought-police, the branch of feminism I can’t abide by where we have to pretend that some of the dumbsh!t stupid and downright nasty things that some women do is OK just because we share a gender with them. It’s fake, anti-intellectual, and just breeds resentment.

          • I was just trying to use a movie reference to say I just wanted us to all get alone. (And I think I butchered the movie quote in doing so anyway.)

          • Along. ggggggg.

      • Oh come on Bunkster there is no need to flounce. You said something a little obnoxious and people called you out on it. No one said they hate you or that youre awful, most explicitly recognize that you didn’t mean anything by it but that it is a bit obnoxious. You know that you are a valued member here. But people are allowed to have different opinions, and really most were not mean

        • Btw, this is exactly what makes people like Bunkster, who are aware of people’s reactions, afraid to say where they went to school.

          For all the people who say ” just say where you went,” there have been 1000 more of you who when we say where we went to school, want to start crap about it.

          • No one has ever tried to start crap about where I went to school. I’ve only rolled my eyes at people who try to do the faux modesty about it. Or people who are like “oh you know someone who lives in massachusetts? I WENT TO HARVARD” In this case bunkster didn’t need to mention that her dad went to the most prestigious of the schools and she got some gentle ribbing about it. This is not a big deal

          • You’re projecting onto them. How do you know they’re motivated by faux modesty?

            A lot of people who’ve gone to these schools have, as Calico said earlier, been the focus of snarky remarks and yes, it derails the conversation. So they’re avoidant, yes, but whether it’s because they’d like to stave off snark or for other less good reasons is not clear. Not sure how you can read their minds. It sounds like you want a reason to dislike them, and you’re going about your way to look for them.

          • I went there and haven’t received any snarky remarks. I can’t read their minds but I can read their tone, and I’ve only heard it said with what sounds to me like faux modesty. (just my opinion)

          • @harvard, I think everyone has different motivations.

            I didn’t go to an Ivy, but I have found myself sidestepping around my school after a few too many conversations where the follow-up to “I went to (school)” was something that made me uncomfortable “Oh my gosh, you must be so smart!” or cringingly “That was my dream school but I didn’t get in” or “Wow, you must have rich parents, (school) is so expensive!” It’s sort of hard to keep a conversation going after that, so I usually just shrug and say “Thanks, I really enjoyed my time there. So, how long have you known the host/lived in the city/worked at X?”

            I agree that not everyone reacts like this, but a number of awkward moments is enough to make some people a little shy about such things. Again, totally depends on the person/conversation/etc.

          • KC I totally get that. What I am talking about is people who make it very very clear what school they are talking about, but don’t say it. It is different than sidestepping the issue all together. I mention below that the 30 rock quote is perfect

      • OMG. Everyone needs to chill. This is over a hockey game that no one on this site went to. And, Bunkster is being oversensitive.

      • Bunkster, I always love your comments, so please take this in the good spirit that its meant, but did you really just say that you have a graduate degree from the best hockey team in the tourney instead of saying BC? If you did that on purpose I give you a million internet sarcasm points.

      • Dude, nobody is perfect. You said something that could be construed as mildly snobby, which is really not a big deal and not worth getting upset over.

        • Tell that to the several people who got snarky about it and took it out on Bunkster. They were clearly upset about the Harvard thing.

          • I think you’re reading too much into it and trying to stir stuff up.

          • Um, in case you hadn’t noticed, stuff has already been stirred up. At least half the reactions were anti-Harvard snarking or anti faux-modesty snarking.

          • I didn’t see any anti-harvard snarking. People thought that when you say “the most prestigious one” which is clearly Harvard, it is obnoxious. Thats where the faux modesty complaint comes in, because you are saying it clearly, without actually saying it. Saying “I went to college in the north east” could be anyone of a number of colleges. Saying I went to college “in new haven” clearly means yale. The mention of the 30 rock quote hit it perfectly- it is obnoxious because you aren’t trying to hide where you went. You are trying to let people know where you went without saying it.

      • regular anon :

        Wow, I think that’s such an overreaction. You’ve gotten so much support on this sight about your horrible boss, your job changes, another weird boss. And then one time you get gently called out for saying something silly, and you want to take your ball and go home? I hope you have a thicker skin IRL.

        • I don’t know that I’d call 10-20 repetitive comments about how calling Harvard the “most prestigious” is obnoxious is gentle. One or two people, heck even five people saying it? Sure. But surely we get to the point where we think, hey, Bunkster is generally an intelligent commenter. She probably gets it by now.

          No? I have too much faith in humanity?

          • Most people posted at very similar times. The site doesn’t auto refresh so a lot may be posts at the same time.

          • But she doesn’t get it and now she’s acting all petulant

      • MaggieLizer :

        Idk what the fondue is going on upthread but I just wanted to leave some Bunkster love here. Hugs.

    • Eli eli rah rah rah :

      Meh, school in boston, new haven, new jersey, whatevers.

      Bunkster, ignore the annoying ppl, it’s ok not to mention the school, which I did for awhile b/c ppl would FREAK OUT (like stop hitting on me at a bar, continue mentioning how smart I must be instead of talking about the topic at hand).

      Anyhow, as for your mom, if sending the letter makes HER feel better, by all means, she should do it. I would contact alumni relations/the stadium management and just mention that your seats were occupied and nobody did anything about it.

      At worst, they know about it and do nothing.

      At best, they apologize, know about the issue and try to prevent it in the future.

      • Bunkster, so sorry that your innocent comment has ignited such a s***storm. Please don’t abandon this site over this. As someone with no dog in this fight, I am sitting here laughing that people have gotten so riled up about this. And w/r/t your mom, I agree that she send a letter/email to the alumni association AND, if she really wants to get a response, the alumni development officer who covers your father (I say this as someone who is very involved with my alma mater’s fundraising efforts and no, I’m not going to say where I went to college).

      • Lady Enginerd :

        Count me in as another “doesn’t mention her undergrad until I have to because people freak out.” If you’re treated like a freak in New England for your HYP degree, just imagine those of us who moved west of the Connecticut river (in a throwback to the 1600’s, my father asserts civilization ends at that point). I’m way more over it at this point than guys who suddenly become super insecure about not being “the smart one” in the relationship and pull a disappearing act or worse try to make me feel stupid in order to assert their dominance when they find out I’m wicked smaht.

        And send the letter to the alumni association. And if, from the picture, you can determine what house they are in, email the housemaster too. It might end up being treated like a joke by the crimson, so I’d only contact them if you knew a staffer who wouldn’t make fun of the stuffy alumni ruining all their fun (and certainly sans photo).

    • Let’s leave Bunkster alone now and laugh at ugly, overpriced shoes: http://www.neimanmarcus.com/p/Versace-Plexi-Platform-Slingback-Light-Gray-Midday-Dash/prod156400072_cat21000740_cat8900735_/?isEditorial=false&index=41&cmCat=cat000000cat8900735cat21000740

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Also – I have nothing to add to the whole “can-we-say-the-word-Harvard” drama (except that Bunkster, I hope you keep posting on this site – I enjoy your comments!) but I do have a much nicer alumni/young alum moment.

      I went to a tiny liberal arts school, so while I sometimes run into alums (especially in my area where it’s common for new grads to move to — I graduated a couple of years ago) I don’t usually see a ton of bumper stickers, other alums, etc. A few weeks ago in my office parking lot, I saw a bumper sticker from my undergrad. Since it’s an office park, I’m pretty used to all the cars there and hadn’t seen this car/that bumper sticker before. So I left a little “Go [Mascots]!” on a post it under their wiper. When I came out at the end of the day, my car (which also has a bumper sticker) had a post-it under its wipers saying “Go [Mascots] from a Class of ’63 alum!”

      Made my heart all warm and fuzzy.

  4. Remote PG :

    Early Pregnancy TJ- for those working remotely (or– in a different office from your boss), how/when did you let them know you were pregnant? I see my boss about once per quarter. Found out I was pregnant (yay!) on Friday and probably won’t see my boss in person until early March, when we’ll be at a client site together. That’s a little earlier than I’d rather let the company know I’m pregnant (it will be about 8 weeks by then).

    Do I just call her up? Send a super awkward email? Put this on our weekly 1:1 agenda? i know this is a “know your office” thing, but I’m also wondering when to tell–if I don’t have the limitations of the “by X week, it’s so obvious I HAVE to tell”

    • In-House Europe :

      8 weeks is still really early on and especially if this is your first I seriously doubt anyone could tell. I would wait until the next quarter…in general I think it is better to wait as long as possible, but at least until after the first trimester. I’m at 20 weeks with my second, have already gained 13 pounds and people are *just now* realizing that I’m pregnant. I told my boss at about week 13 or 14 FWIW.

      It doesn’t sound like you have any specific issues (jerk boss, worries about maternity leave, etc) but I would still wait as long as possible – and you have that luxury.

      • I am basically in a situation where I can share the news anytime between now and, like, May, before seeing my boss live again. It feels weird to wait all the way until May, when I’ll have been clearly pregnant for some time.

        I wasn’t necessarily asking if I should tell her now (we haven’t even told family yet)– just when it made sense if there were no major other contributing factors…other than I’ll be out for most of Q4.

        • You have to decide, based on your relationship and how things progress. I know a couple people who saw me at 4 & 5 months were stunned to find out later on that I’d been preggo.

          If it was me, I wouldn’t say anything til next quarter, make sure to meet with her before going to the client, and when she figures it out, just blush and say something about having a conversation later.

      • Diana Barry :

        Ditto, I wouldn’t tell them until week 13-14 at least. If it feels weird to wait until May, just do it in April whenever you’ll be 13-14 weeks. :)

    • I told the people in my office right when I hit 13 weeks, but held off on telling people in other offices until 15-17 weeks. For one I waited until I saw her in person because I felt like the conversation would go better.

    • I know this answer is different from everyone else’s, but I told my boss really early on in my pregnancies. I was too tired to function (multiple naps during work hours) during my first trimester each time. I worked in a small office and felt it was best to tell everyone right away so that they would respect my closed door during nap time(s).

      So this is a “know your office” question and also a matter of figuring out if/how this affects your work.

    • This was exactly my situation. I just told my boss at the end of our weekly 1-1 once I was 14 or 15 weeks. I also felt really awkward about it, but it went just fine. Definitely don’t tell now. No one expects to be told before the end of the first tri.


    • I scheduled a call with my boss at 12 weeks and told him then. I wanted to tell him before I started telling other people, so I didn’t want to wait until the next time I saw him in person. It went fine.

    • Research, Not Law :

      I sent an email at 14 wks. I thought it would be super awkward, but it really wasn’t. It was our primary mode of communication for everything, so it felt natural.

      Congrats :)

    • hellskitchen :

      My boss is remote and I see her every couple of months. So I set up a call and told her that I would have loved to share it in person but also wanted her to be the first to know hence the call. Acknowledging it helped make it less awkward

  5. LE Lawyerette :

    Sorry for the early threadjack, but I’d appreciate advice from those with more job hunt knowledge than I have. I recently applied for a subject-specific in-house litigation position for a company I very very much would love to work for. My practice has focused on this area of litigation, but I have had a number of cases and significant coursework in other areas as well. Now, the company has posted another in-house litigation position, and I have experience in many of the areas this position would handle. Can I apply for this position as well without undermining my application for the first one? I’m afraid if I put in a new application playing up my experience with the new areas that they’ll wonder how honest my first application was.

    Can I apply for both? How do I do it without hurting my chances for either?

  6. I have a similar dress in navy from Ann Taylor. I love it and wore it a few times, but in the end I decided it’s a little too body-conscious for work. I look like Joan Holloway. Which is fabulous…but a little to va-voom for the office. I end up wearing it with sparkly jewelry and nude-for-me pumps on dates.

  7. Re-posting because I’m stuck in moderation (think it was my username, so so much for the e t t e)

    Sorry for the early threadjack, but I’d appreciate advice from those with more job hunt knowledge than I have. I recently applied for a subject-specific in-house litigation position for a company I very very much would love to work for. My practice has focused on this area of litigation, but I have had a number of cases and significant coursework in other areas as well. Now, the company has posted another in-house litigation position, and I have experience in many of the areas this position would handle. Can I apply for this position as well without undermining my application for the first one? I’m afraid if I put in a new application playing up my experience with the new areas that they’ll wonder how honest my first application was.

    Can I apply for both? How do I do it without hurting my chances for either?

    • Is there someone at the company you can reach out to and ask? If they have two spots open in their legal department, won’t you be interviewing with the same people for both spots? You might be able to cover it in one interview and they can decided which position better fits you. While you may have subject matter expertise and preference for one area, litigation skils are fairly transferable and these are both litigation positions. I don’t think it’s dishonest.

  8. Thanks to everyone who responded to my question about ouchie feet yesterday! I have a doctor’s appointment this weekend, and will hopefully figure out what the issue is!

  9. Diana Barry :

    Gah. First I forgot my suit jacket on the chair at home, so I am cold in my office. And then I spilled my coffee all over my desk!!!

    Can I go home now?

    • I left my id badge at home and since this is a new system, they don’t have any guest badges. And, of course, I have meetings on campus all day.

      • Girl, I’ll bring some good CA wine in my carry on. I’m going to have to check my bags anyway to bring all the bats.

    • Ooh, no fun! Yesterday I started the day by breaking a bowl and slipping on the ice. Hopefully it gets better from here?

    • I say yes – but seeing as how I don’t write your paychecks – I’m not sure you should listen to me.

    • Must be going around. I just could NOT find my keys this morning and had to use the spare. So frustrating.

    • I usually work from home on Tuesdays & Thursdays, but I dragged my sorry butt into the office today because I was supposed to have a meeting with a senior person who is visiting from an office outside the US. Of course as of this morning, she has rescheduled for Thursday, meaning that I get no days at home this week. Boo.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Yes. You may go home. Now.

  10. Question on describing foreign language proficiency on your resume. Are there standard guidelines somewhere? I’m applying for a job where language skills are important. I’m not sure how to describe my proficiency in one language. I can understand it well in conversation. My speaking is good but not always 100% gramatically correct (I learned this language by living for several years in a country where this language is spoken, rather than by taking a course). I read somewhat slowly but with good comprehension, with the occasional use of a dictionary to look up technical words. My writing is basic – I can write a short note (not gramatically perfect) but couldn’t write a report, for example. Would I describe my proficiency in this language as ‘conversational’ or is there some other term that would be more accurate?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Maybe “proficient non-native oral communication skills, some [or limited? not sure] written communication skills in [language]”?

    • Working knowledge?

      On my resume, I just have a line that says Languages, much like the line that says “Bar Admission.” I list my languages in order of proficiency – e.g., “Fluent in X, Working Knowledge of Y.”

      • I was thinking of a one-word descriptor to put in the ‘languages’ section on my resume. I thought more than “working knowledge” as I can carry on conversations, attend meetings, communicate professionally etc. in this language but my writing skills are lacking. Are there standardized guidelines for the federal government?

        • I think “working knowledge” includes conversations but you could always do conversational if you prefer that term.

          • Giraffe with curls :

            “Conversational” to me just means friendly, every-day conversation, not business or professional knowledge.

        • Language Proficiency :

          The federal government measures language proficiency by either the Defense Language Proficiency Test (Dept of Defense), or the Interagency Language Roundtable Scale (rest of the US government). Both of these are 5 point scales with 0 being no proficiency and 5 being equal to an educated native speaker.

          The DLPT measures only reading and listening, but the ILR scale also includes writing, translation and interpretation. Each skill set is rated separately, and there are very specific descriptions of what it means to be a “3” in writing, for example. If you are applying to a government job that require language skills, it might be worth being formally tested so you can use your actual scores in your resume/application, but at the least you can check out the descriptions and then use that standardized proficiency description.

    • Anne Shirley :

      I usually see:

      Conversational (what you’ve described)
      Proficient (can write a client email, handle a call in the language, draft a brief but would need a review by a fluent writer as well)
      Fluent (can carry on business in the language seamlessly)

      • My field usually describes it as:
        Fluent in
        Proficient in
        Working knowledge of

        In my case, proficiency meant I had passed an exam where I had to translate articles in my field in the language to idiomatic, scholarly English. Yeah, it was fun.

    • I’d probably put intermediate, but I usually qualify languages as Basic, Intermediate, Advanced, Fluent.

    • I obviously can’t promise that the people receiving your resume will necessarily know what to do with the information, but here are some common frameworks for assessing language abilities (these are the titles of the wikipedia articles, but I haven’t actually linked, in order to avoid moderation):

      – ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines
      – Defense Language Proficiency Tests
      – Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

      I can sympathize with what I think is the underlying issue: you don’t want to overstate or undersell your language skills. If it really is important for the job, maybe an HR person will have information on a scale/framework that is accepted. Good luck!

      • I usually list out spoken, oral comprehension, reading and writing with 1 word describing profficiecy. Group together any that are the same.

      • Woo hoo language nerds! I’m all about breaking out my skills in different categories. It drives me crazy when people oversell their skills. I used to hire interns and interview entry-level applicants, and I was amazed at the number that listed “fluent” in Chinese but were barely at intermediate conversational level when I threw out a few questions for them to answer.

    • I spent significant time learning a certain language (and being formally tested) to reach professional proficiency. I’d suggest you write something like “oral communication equivalent to _(professional working proficiency/whatever’s applicable)_ on the Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) scale.” Make it clear you are speaking of oral proficiency instead of written proficiency. Be honest about your skills, though–you don’t want to get in over your head. Make sure that you’re truly up to a professional proficiency if it’s important in the job. I have two certifications, so I just put those on my resume and offer an explanation. If you’ve reached a high level, it may be worth getting certified while your skills are sharp. For non-gov’t. or military work I recommend the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages’ Oral Proficiency Interview (often called ACTFL OPI) test. It only measures oral communication, and it’s available to anyone who pays to take it (ILR generally isn’t).

      Good luck! What language?

    • The European’s have a standardized method, of A1 – C2.
      I don’t think this has caught on in the US, but, I love the idea of being able to more precisely and concisely describe language skills.

      • Cornellian :

        based on Goethe Institut’s scale, if I’m not crazy, which would be another place to check.

        • I read this as “based on Goethe Institut’s scale, I’m not crazy.” Made me think of BBT – “I’m not crazy. My mother had me tested.”

        • Thank you all for your helpful comments!

          It’s for an NGO in DC, not for a government job, but I thought government descriptors might be standardized. It would indeed be very useful if everyone used standard terms to convey language skills more precisely.

          As part of my graduate work, I did have to do a timed translation of a technical artticle from this language into English, which was fine, but I could never do it the other way around!

          It seems “conversational” means different things to different people! I used that term in a previous job application, and they wondered if I could teach a university-level course in that langauage!

          I guess I’m a level 2 on the ILR gov’t scale. I’ll probably just use conversational or intermediate for the time being, and then specify further if the job application advances.

          Thanks once again!

    • I went to a school with a formalized language system. They used Basic, Practical, Business and Fluent. It sounds like you may be at the practical level. The levels the school used (INSEAD, if anyone’s interested) accepted tests to prove you were at the given level, which included reference to the CEFRL.

  11. Hey ladies, I am stumped.

    A followup w/the pcp has brought up a whole new set of questions. Instead of desperate crying, I’m trying to approach my health objectively, as a good engineer should.
    1. Have any of you had injected nerve-blockers? How did it feel? Do you recommend/not recommend?
    2. Have any of you had surgery for herniated discs? What was that like?
    3. How do you lose weight while managing GERD? (The weight gain from steroids. Doc apologized for giving me steroids. Lovely)

    I’ve done epidurals of the cervical spine – no pain reduction. I’m on nSAIDS and acid reflux meds. PCP thinks my headaches are undiagnosed and possibly not related to herniated discs, which is an interesting thought.

    Today is Day 87.

    • Hey Ru, I think I mentioned to you one time that I hated being on steroids for my asthma because a) it didn’t help; b) I couldn’t sleep; and c) I was hungry all.the.time. Just ravenous.

      I’m not sure what injected nerve-blockers are. When I had my shoulder surgery, they did a nerve-blocking thing so I wouldn’t have as much pain coming out of the surgery. It was so weird. I remember feeling something bumping against my leg and not knowing what it was. Then I realized that my arm had come out of the sling and was banging against my leg and I couldn’t feel my arm. Possibly one of the weirdest things I’ve ever experienced.

      • I was only on a 5-day course of 60 mg, which was the most evil medication I’ve ever taken. Coughing from acid eruption plus the ravenous hunger. Terrible. I am finally over the steroid starvation after being off of it for 2 weeks. Sad, because prednisone helps my asthma and allergies a lot (on much lower dosages).

        See, what you said about nerve-blocking totally scares me. What if I can’t feel my head anymore????????????

        • I use a steroid inhaler every day and it works sooo much better in preventing asthma issues than prednisone (for me). It keeps the tissues built up rather than throwing massive doses at it when I’m sick. I no longer have the evil 3-month death rattle cough after I have a cold.

          I can’t imagine they would nerve block your head. How would that even work? I’m thinking it can’t be the same thing.

          • Snap, I knew I was forgetting something yesterday. I should definitely be on a steroid inhaler for maintenance. Eh, whatever.

          • Yeah, I’m on a low dose of Allegra and 2 puffs of Pulmicort daily and it has made a world of difference. I used to get really scary symptoms when I had a cold. Now, I just double up my dosages (morning and night rather than just night) when I’m sick. Works like a charm.

      • frugal doc.. :

        Sounds like you are having a hard time – sorry to hear this. What is your problem exactly, as it is hard to give advice otherwise. Back pain? Weakness? Headaches?

        You need to be seen by a neurologist and only later, possibly a neurosurgeon – not a primary care doctor for your problems. A primary care doctor should not be talking to you about potential ?spine surgery and nerve blocks, as this is outside of their expertise. Spine surgeries are notorious for not helping, and some causing more complications then they help. Also, you want to see the best possible neurosurgeon you can find, and not an orthopedist if you are ever contemplating spine surgery.

        I have seen several patients who have become worse after surgery and some horribly so, so I recommend being conservative as long as possible in your treatment.

        Have you seen a neurologist?
        Have you already been through a good course or two of physical therapy?
        Have been been tried on nerve pain medicines in addition to NSAIDs? Medicines like neurontin or nortriptyline or cymbalta and have you increased them to the maximum tolerated dose?
        Have you seen a headache specialist?

        Your 3rd question does not make sense to me. Do you always have GERD, or only while you were on steroids? GERD is managed by proton pump inhibitors. Are you taking one twice a day? Are you avoiding your food triggers, avoiding eating for 3-4 hours before bed, sleeping on a wedge if needed? I definitely agree you should avoid taking oral steroids if you can, as the side effects can be terrible. Sometimes they are helpful when you hare having a bad flare, but shouldn’t be a regular thing unless you have a chronic disease where no other treatments exist.

        The nerve block would be quite similar to the epidural…. some help, many do not, and it is just temporary. But you need to be seen by the right doctors…. that worries me the most.

        Medicine is so complicated now…. the hardest thing sometimes is figuring out who the right person is to help with your problem.

        • You ask good questions.

          My pcp is coordinating my care btwn ENTs, opthamologists, allergists, neurologists and other specialists I can’t think of to rule out causes of a headache that’s been ongoing for 87 days. My pcp also happened to be the only doctor that prescribed something that provides some temporary relief of the headache.

          1. I have been to 5 neurologists, including 2 headache specialists. The first headache specialist sent me to a chiropractor and pain management specialist.
          2. I have doing physical therapy for about 5 months now. I didn’t know I had herniated discs before I went to an orthopedist regarding back pain.
          3. The pain management specialist is administering cervical epidurals and brought up the issue of injecting nerve blocks. I requested oral nerve blocks prior to injecting them (which is supposed to be in 2 weeks). I’m on 300 mg of neurontin 3x a day.
          4. The second headache specialist I went to told me to meditate my pain away.

          I have always had GERD, controlled by medication initially (kapidex/dexilant) and then by food, once I figured out my triggers. Pcp says to double the dose to deal with the effects of the oral prednisone and indomethacin.

          Since everything I’m doing is helping symptoms and not the root cause, my pcp wants a neurosurgeon to evaluate whether the herniated disc is the reason for the headache. And to work with another headache specialist.

          Mostly, I’m tired of going to the doctor every day.

    • I had surgery for a herniated disc in my back and will likely have more in my future (yay! degenerative discs!).

      Based on how much pain I was in at the time, it was the best decision I made. I’m not 100% familiar with your issues, but my disc/surgery was in the L5-S1 region. The surgery itself was roughly two hours (so I’m told). I was walking that night through the hospital after the surgery, discharged the next day, and back at work after a week. After a few weeks, you start physical therapy for 12 weeks and I went three times a week. It’s mostly core work, and I ended up with really strong abs as a nice benefit. Wearing a back brace after the surgery for 6 weeks sucked sartorially, but I’ve never regretted it.

      • My issues are in the C4-C7 area, so right at the base of the neck. A neurologist hypothesized that the continuous headache I’ve had for 87 days is due to pinched nerves stemming from disc herniation and bulges. I’m in physical therapy now and it helps but the muscles all tighten up again.

        TL;DR: My head hurts and I want it to stop.

      • Oh, I am so sorry to hear about this, Ru. I was so happy for you when the cause of your headaches was diagnosed, and now this!

        I haven’t had surgery for herniated discs before, but my sister has, and she will tell anyone who listens that it was the best thing she ever did. Her surgery was on the lower spine, though. Her recent comment on the subject was that she didn’t realize until after the surgery just how much the chronic pain had affected her life. Two weeks after her surgery she walked down the aisle at her wedding.

    • I have a love-hate relationship with prednisone. Love that it works, and fast. HATE what it does to me. I have the weight gain, insomnia, extreme moodiness, etc. Anyways, don’t know how to do it with GERD, but honestly it just took time for me to lose the extra weight. It didn’t help that I was REALLY weak (started steroids at the same time I needed 4 blood transfusions so my body was literally running on close to empty) so I couldn’t really work out. I had to build strength and endurance sloooooooowly which made it hard to take the weight off. Patience, never one of my strong points, was necessary. IF you have to go back on steroids, what I have learned since that seems to help is if I let myself eat, but only low calorie treats that are filling. I eat lots of carrots which seems to work.

      • I hope you’re feeling better now! Maybe I’ll just forget about the weight loss and focus on consuming low calorie foods in ridiculous amounts. I want to say that buckets of salad would do nothing for my GERDy stomach but I haven’t proven that yet. So I’ll try.

        • Add some protein to that salad, and cut the starches. I have GERD too, and I have done fine cutting out bread, potatoes, rice, etc. and it’s the only thing that helped me lose weight. I think having the protein in your stomach helps you stay fuller longer and may keep GERD symptoms at bay (depending on your triggers of course).

          • Yes, this. I had medical-related weight gain and have had GERD for years. I’ve done really well cutting down starches and focusing on eating more protein and vegetables. Dairy, particularly cheese, made a big difference for me — as in, when I don’t eat cheese, my GERD symptoms are better and I lost the weight faster. Also, with GERD, the volume eaten at a time makes a difference, so I try to eat more often (for me that means 3 meals a day plus a fourth substantial late afternoon snack), and not eat for several hours before bed (for GERD reasons, not weightloss reasons).

        • goirishkj :

          Thanks, yes this was many years ago and I have lost the pred weight. Just be patient and kind to yourself and it will come off.

    • Architect :

      I have had back surgery twice for a herniated disc. Mine is L5-S1 which is the last disc in your back. I tried PT the first time for 8 months including cortisone shots. It was getting worse not better. I was getting so sick of hearing I just needed to strengthed my core. Finally the herniation turned into a rupture. I had basically emergency surgery. Recovery was fairly easy though. Then it happened to the same disc 8 months later. Technically not a recurrence becasue it was the other side. Tried cortisone shots (those scare me) and a little PT again. I ended up in surgery though. My experience is VERY unsual though. I don’t have any of the risk factors nor a terrible accident to blame. My neuro has never seen anything like it and he’s done 3,000+ of these. Surgery is usually a last resort. I agree with that. The second surgery I had complications and still have some numbness 3 years later. But the pain was horrible. I was really suffering. PT and shots work for some poeple. Many herinations just receede if you can wait that long. It just depends. If these headaches are ruining your quality of life, surgery might be a good option. Good luck!

      • I was hoping you’d write in. I can’t recall an accident or fall that would cause me to have herniated/bulging discs either so the damage is very surprising. I don’t know if I can drive a car or walk in a straight line on a day-to-day basis. Or even hourly.

        It appears that I’ve done a great job consulting with not-so-great neurologists. Sigh. I’ll let my pcp get back to me.

    • Seattle Freeze :

      Can’t speak to your second or third questions, Ru, but I have had a nerve-block for chronic intractable headaches. With the standard caveat that my experience doesn’t mean you or anyone else would have a similar experience – it was awful.

      It was my first time seeing this particular neurologist, who got very excited about trying a nerve block, and wanted to do it RIGHT. NOW. She was so confident and enthusiastic and my headaches were so bad that I let her rush me in to it.

      The anesthesiologist numbed the injection areas (occipital nerves at the back of the skull, supraorbital nerves over the eyebrows) and started injecting the local anesthetic. The first occipital injection was shockingly painful, and I needed a long break before continuing with the remaining injections. They told me I’d feel numbing in the scalp for several hours, then could expect a dramatic reduction in my headaches that could last up to 6 months.

      Instead, I had a crushing migraine that started about 6 hours after the nerve block, was in bed for 4 days, and had a dramatic escalation in my overall headache pain for the next month.

      It was such a bad experience that I’ve resisted Botox injections – though they do work for many people. There’s some evidence that failing a nerve block is a good sign that Botox wouldn’t work, anyway. Again, that doesn’t mean a nerve block or Botox wouldn’t work for you.

      Feel free to email me at headacheyday at gmail dot com if you have more questions about coping with chronic headaches, especially those that have a sudden onset and don’t go away. Indeed, it’s surprising they haven’t diagnosed your headaches yet – your description of them sounds like NDPH, which is a form of chronic daily headache.

      • I am so emailing you.

        I am worried that this could happen to me as well. When I would trigger point injections (which is just lidocaine in the muscles), my occipital nerves would protest vehemently. I can’t imagine what a nerve block would be like. Yikes. I hope you’re feeling better now =\.

    • Ru – I have not seen the background on your story – it sounds like you’re experiencing pain caused by herniated discs in your cervical spine? I had two bulging discs in my cervical spine in 2006. The pain was excruciating – I couldn’t sleep; I could barely move. A five day steroid cycle was enough to make me functional again. (It sounds like you were on a longer regimen and it didn’t work?) My ortho sent me to 2-3x/week PT with follow-ups with him (the ortho) at 6 and 12 weeks. If it didn’t work, he said surgery would be the likely outcome.

      For me, PT was life changing. It helped me figure out what was causing the bulging discs (e.g. carrying my lap top; working long hours on a lap top; using a mouse), and gave me practical solutions to prevent the problem. I still occasionally feel the beginnings of the same pain, but now I know how to use my body to prevent a serious recurrence, and can up my PT (which I still do on my own, less than I probably should) to nip the issue in the bud. I have not had a serious recurrence since 2006.

      tl;dr – if you haven’t tried PT yet, I’d recommend giving it a shot before resorting to surgery. It was expensive, but worth every penny.

      • My writing wasn’t clear but I also did a 5-day course which wasn’t helpful for any of the pain. I’m happy to hear that the PT worked for you. I’ve been doing PT for 5 months now. It helps but I am still a work in progress.

        • I’m so sorry to hear that. I hope you find something that will make you feel better, and I’m sorry I don’t have anything helpful to offer!

  12. I love the look of this dress, but I think it would work better in real life (and for work) if it was wool instead of “polyamide/elastane.” Also if it was lined. And I wish it didn’t have that diagonal seaming all over – this, to me, is usually a trademark of cheaper dresses. I do love the color and the idea though.

    • Agree, esp. w.r.t that diagonal seaming. It’s the factory piecing together large scraps to make the dress.

  13. DC to Seattle? :

    My husband and I are seriously considering relocating our family (3 kids – 6, 5, and 2) to the Seattle area from Washington DC. Neither one of us has a job lined up, but we do have good connections and some interest from companies, primarily in Bellevue and Redmond. (We are both lawyers, and both focus on tech/privacy issues.) We are starting to get more serious in our job searches and in trying to make ourselves decide one way or the other if this is something we are really ready to/want to do. If we moved, we would ideally do it in the next 6 months.

    I would love any words of wisdom on the area, particularly with respect to the life with young kids, in the law, etc. I’m starting my “getting serious” phase by reaching out to my contacts and getting a lay of the land, making connections, etc. But if anyone knows a good legal recruiter in the area, I would love to hear that, too.

    We are planning a trip out there for late March to see how the city “feels” to us (and to meet with some job connections in person). If anyone has any recommendations for that trip, I’d love to hear those as well. I’m interested both in fun things to do with the kids (just like any other vacation), and in good things to try/places to explore as part of our “is this place for us?” mission. Also whether there are any particular neighborhoods that it would be worth exploring to get a sense of the real estate market/schools/etc. In all likelihood, we would end up living in or near Bellevue rather than Seattle, because of the proximity to jobs.

    Finally, if any of you have moved from the East Coast to Seattle, I’d love to hear your impressions of the area — similarities, differences, glad you moved, not glad, etc.

    Thanks for any thoughts!

    • I worked in Seattle, doing the sort of legal work you’re interested in – happy to share more if you’d like to email me (myname at the mail from Google).

      The upshot is that I moved back to the East Coast, but I do think it’s right for some people.

    • SouthAsian :

      My brother moved to Seattle straight out of college to work for Microsoft. He started off living in the Bellevue area and was very bored because it was a very calm neighborhood – “perfect for raising families,” says the single guy looking for friends to hang out with. He eventually moved to Seattle for the reasons you wouldn’t want to be in Seattle – noise and people.

    • I moved from DC to Seattle a few years ago. But I am neither a lawyer nor a parent. In general, Seattle has depressing weather nine months of the year and amazing weather 3. But if you can handle grey, and don’t get SAD, it’s not actually that bad–I can’t imagine moving back to heat and humidity and snowpocalypses. It’s much more laid back here–people do more work-to-live than live-to-work. But that does sometimes mean that my east-coast aggressiveness doesn’t fit in with the massive amount of passive-aggressive in Seattle. You can get used to it though. ;) also, while its not cheap here, it’s cheaper than DC, which made me happy. Even if you spend the same amount on a house, it would probably be in a nicer neighborhood. And no state income tax!

    • Sorry- this is sort of long:

      I grew up in Seattle and spent 3 years in D.C. I’m in california now, but I’ve recently decided I’m interested in moving back to Seattle, so,I come down on it being an overall great city (of course I also have family and friends there).

      Obviously, the weather takes some getting used to. Its the number one thing I dislike about the city. Even though DC has awful summers and icy winters, I preferred it because it was usually sunny. Seattle has almost constant cloud cover + drizzle 9+ months of the year, and it’s not uncommon to be wearing boots and rain jackets well into July. It can really get you down, particularly around February/March, when you’ve had 5 months of straight rain. On the other hand, August and September are absolutely beautiful. One thing I missed about Seattle when I was in D.C. was the proximity to nature. A lot of people told me that D.C. was “so green and pretty” and maybe it is if you’re coming from somewhere else, but compared to Seattle, it was …. not. I really missed (and still do miss) seeing water, mountains and trees from everywhere in the city. The parks there are incredible. You have really close proximity to mountains and snow sports as well as water, islands, canoeing/kayaking/boating, etc.

      I think you’ll find that Seattle, while not “cheap” is more affordable than D.C., at least in the rental market. I also find food to be better quality and cheaper. I grew up going to public schools in Seattle, as did my siblings, and they were fine- there are a lot of different high schools, so depends on the neighborhood, of course. We all went on to fine colleges, and were pretty successful, so I think the schools were generally okay, although nothing special. Schools on the eastside (redmond, bellevue-especially bellevue) are apt to be fancier and more competitive, more extracurriculars, more AP classes, etc. There are also quite a few private schools, in a range of prices. As I said, I grew up in Seattle proper, and always lived there, so I don’t have a good sense of neighborhoods on the east side, but if you’re interested in commuting from Seattle, you’ll definitely want to be close to one of the bridges- I-90 or 520. In my experience, Bellevue is an easier commute as opposed to Redmond. As far as neighborhoods, you can get to I-90 pretty quickly from Beacon hill and columbia city. Beacon Hill can be awesome or sketchy, really depends which street you’re on. Columbia city is very cute. If you’re taking 520 to the eastside, you could try eastlake, montlake, or madison park. Take my opinion with a grain of salt, because as I said, i’ve never lived on the east side, but…there’s a reason for that. Generally it’s more “cookie-cutter” and suburban. But, you may want a more suburban lifestyle, and being close to work might be nice for you.

      As far as culture: customer service beats D.C. every time; people are notoriously passive aggressive drivers; although ethnically diverse in some ways, it has a very different demographic than D.C.- the city will look much, much paler to you, I suspect.

      One other thing that might be a shock to you is the public transportation system. Of course, if you live on the east side you’ll need a car anyway, so maybe it won’t matter to you, but public transportation in Seattle is really kind of pathetic. There’s a new light rail system you might be able to take advantage of (it’s great for the airport) but other than that it’s mostly a patchwork of random busses.

      Finally, fun things to do: this might depend on weather (but really, in seattle, I feel like people just suck it up and do all kinds of stuff in the rain, as otherwise you’d be stuck inside 10 months of the year!):
      – visit the public market (lots of places for breakfast- try the fresh donut stall); your 6 year old might like the comic store- i think it’s still there, take a ferry (especially if it’s a nice day) to bainbridge to enjoy the views, walk around winslow, have lunch, take the ferry back, visit the sculpture park and let the kids run around. Other fun things downtown: Pioneer square, the new (ish) public library;
      – Visit Fremont, let the kids climb on the troll (he lives under the bridge), visit the sunday market if you’re there on sunday, or just wander around;
      – Other fun things: stroll around the university of washington campus, have lunch at portage bay; visit the arboretum or the conservatory at volunteer park; drive over to golden gardens, look at the boats in the marina, let the kids run on the beach (its beautiful at sunset), have ice-cream if it’s not too cold; visit the locks in ballard (kids seem to love the salmon ladder for some reason); the international district is fun- you can spend all morning at Uwajimaya, sampling various asian foods and eating in the food court (and easily combine that with a walk around pioneer square).

      This is super long, but if you have any follow up questions, I’d be happy to try to answer them! I love seattle, but it is pretty different from D.C., so it might take some getting used to. :)

      • As someone who has lived in both places, this is a great summary. I also lean toward Seattle (currently live in DC, would like to move back to Seattle), but they certainly both have their pros and cons. They’re very different places.

    • I lived in a few East Coast cities before moving to Seattle for work. Seattle is truly the world’s best kept secret. Where else can you visit a beach playground, have lunch at a big outdoor market, and then drive 45 mins. to go skiing for an afternoon, all in one day? This is our typical Saturday and we have 3 kids the same age as yours. Most lawyers here do not work nights or weekends (excluding the lawyers at Amazon and the Gates Foundation). For the companies in Bellevue, probably the best known recruiter here is Victoria Harris. If you are going to live in Bellevue, the best neighborhoods are Medina and Clyde Hill, but I would personally think that the best place to live would be on a house right on Lake Sammamish, where you can have a boat and go wake-boarding or water-skiing in your backyard. The public schools in Bellevue are among the best in the country. Best of all, you can have a short commute to work.

    • I lived on the east coast as a child and now live in Seattle. I love it. My H and I are both lawyers and we are planning to stay forever. It’s a beautiful city with tons to do, both urban and outdoorsy. The rain/grey weather get depressing at times, but we try to go on sunny beach vacations and take vitamin D supplements to balance it out. The benefits of the rain are that the grass never turns brown and the air always smells good! We also have the BEST sunsets on days when you can see the sun. One thing about Seattle is that it can be hard to meet people– I think it can take time to build a community after any relocation, but in Seattle it just seems like it takes a bit more effort.

      Let me know if you want to chat more about it! i will try to figure out a way to creat an anon email address or something.

    • DC to Seattle? :

      Thanks to all of you — this is incredibly helpful, and I really appreciate everyone taking the time to write such detailed responses.

      I am really nervous about the weather issue. But it seems to me that every place has its trade-offs, and that the weather might be less of a big deal than some of the downsides (for me) of DC — namely insanely high cost of living, horrible commutes, and what I feel is an overall culture of people-taking-themselves-very-seriously and too-much-work-and-too-little-life. I love the idea of living someplace where people really value being out of the office and doing things outside, and I especially love the idea of my kids growing up surrounded by water and mountains rather than politicians and other very-important-people. I think we will need to decide whether the weather is *too* much. I’m not seeing any other downsides (assuming, of course, that we are able to find jobs we like). Thank you all again!

  14. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/9845545/Women-in-Paris-finally-allowed-to-wear-trousers.html

    This seems crazy to me (that this law was on the books so long.) Eeesh. Laws that are 99.9999% of the time never-enforced just should be removed.

    • I happened to be in court recently when a visiting group of judges walked in. During the Q & A session after my hearing, one of them asked whether I was allowed to wear pants.

  15. Hey, Bunkster! :

    I’ve enjoyed your reading lists in the past–we seem to have similar tastes–and was wondering if you’ve compiled a list of books you read during the second half of 2012. Please share.

  16. Any recommended reading for Asperger’s? A good friend was recently diagnosed and I realised that my understanding of the syndrome is entirely based on Max from Parenthood.

    • No recommendations that I can remember, but good luck and A+ to you for being a supportive friend. My one piece of advice is that it’s often helpful to have that diagnosis/information, so you can remind yourself to be understanding/patient/thoughtful with your friend, but on the flip side, remember not to assume universality where it doesn’t necessarily exist.. individual personalities don’t always completely match up with what you would predict from the info on Asperger’s. So give your friend space to be himself and have his own non-typical reactions as well. Not sure if that makes sense but hopefully it does.. I have a good friend who let me know about his diagnosis a few years into our friendship and it certainly helped in terms of teaching me to be more patient and understanding with certain things, but he was also a little bit atypical in terms of his Asperger’s.

      If you haven’t read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Mark Haddon), you may want to check it out. It’s a novel about a young boy with Asperger’s and, aside from it generally being a good read, I found the descriptions of how the boy dealt with or tried to learn facial expressions and so on to be helpful.

      Also, if your friend was recently diagnosed, that is for sure a different process to work through than people who were diagnosed early on in childhood. He may want to talk through his discovery of the syndrome, the community of people with Asperger’s, how he fits/doesn’t fit, etc. Good luck to you and him. :)

      • This is super helpful, thanks! I was actually really surprised when he told me. My (admittedly superficial) understanding would never have connected his failure to read social cues (taking ages to ask me out / kiss me) with Asperger’s as he is much better at eye contact than I am (seriously, I’m like a feral puppy), seems quite naturally touchy (reaches out, holds hands easily, will idly touch my back or face or hair), and is quite possibly the kindest, gentlest person I’ve ever met.

        We spoke briefly about it over the weekend but ::shame face::, I was fairly tipsy and just wanted to continue making out so we didn’t talk in great detail about what it meant.

        • Is this The Boy You Have Been Seeing? Yay for progressing to tipsy make-outs!! I guess just let him take the lead in terms of what the diagnosis means for him, and since you’re just now learning each other’s personalities, that will go a little bit naturally at the same time. I suppose you will need a little extra dollop of patience sometimes, although frankly all relationships need a good amount of patience no matter what. Good luck!

          More fiction recs — I really enjoyed Adam (film with Hugh Dancy and Rose Byrne). Lovely although it made me cry a little/a lot.

          • Yes, it is TBIHBS! Oh gosh, I’m an oversharer :)

          • Seconding the yay!

            I’m enjoying the oversharing, partly because I’m in a similar situation of seeing-someone although not yet at the stage of tipsy makeouts :)

        • Senior Attorney :

          If you’re dating him, I highly recommend “The Journal of Best Practices” by David Finch. It’s by a reporter whose undiagnosed Asperger’s almost ruined his marriage, and the steps he took to turn things around after he was diagnosed.

        • There are varying degrees, as with so many other conditions.

          Someone in my family has come to realise (at age 50+) that he is probably mildly Aspergic; while he won’t be seeking treatment, it has been very helpful for him and others to gain that perspective on his character and interactions.

    • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night is supposed to be very good. Its fictional, but the main character has Asperger’s and it gives insight into the mind of someone with Asperger’s

    • East Coast Anon :

      Look Me In the Eye by John Elder Robison

    • A friend sent me this blog post years ago (I’ll post the link in a follow-up): it’s a first-person account by a woman who was diagnosed with Aspergers as an adult, and I thought it was really informative and powerful. If the link doesn’t come through you can find it by searching “Meowser AND Shakesville AND Aspergers.”

    • Notalawyer :

      Haven’t read them myself, but I’ve seen lots of recommendations for Temple Grandin’s books.

      If you’d like a fictional recommendation ‘The Speed of Dark’ by Elizabeth Moon was super.

  17. I’ve searched the internets… and cannot find where people are getting these adorable chevron striped tops. Twenty happy points to someone who can find me one (maybe even plus sized???). Thank you!!!

    • Like this?


  18. So my hubby’s 30th bday is coming up later this month and he’s hinted that he wants a watch. I would like to get him something nice since it’s a big date but my budget is limited to about $1000 or under, and hopefully waaay under. I am not a fan of fashion brands for watches, so looking for something kind of old school and traditional. A brand that’s stood the test of time, no pun intended. What are some good brands to consider? Also, what’s the best way to go about this? Online, in-store, flash sale? I have seen Raymond Weil watches on Rue La La before for great prices but how legit are those “deals”??? I got my own “nice” watch as a grad present so have never done this kind of shopping before.

    • I had a Raymond Weil for 7-8 years and was very pleased with how well it held up. I got it at Macy’s, probably spent $500 although I don’t think I price-shopped it much. If you have an independent jewelry store around, ask them how much they can come off a price. There’s more flexibility to deal than the price tag indicates.

      • Did it break after 8 years? I would like to get something that can last the lifetime, in theory anyway.

        • No, it still works. I just got a different watch from my husband for a milestone gift and I have been wearing that one. I should put the RW back in rotation some, it was a good piece.

    • I bought my hubs a Hamilton watch for our 20th anniversary. It’s a very plain square faced watch but really lovely. My husband had an antique Hamilton that I gave him for our wedding which still works, so I know they have been around a long time and the quality is good. My most recent purchase did cost about $500 as well.

      • Oh yes, Hamiltons are really awesome! It’s a definite “stand the test of time” watch, plus it’s an American brand which is kind of cool if you think how all the good watch brands are usually European or Japanese. I think they also look very classy.

        • Yes, Hamilton is a great option in this price range! Beautiful, classic designs and should last a long time!

          • P.S. Check out Costco for watches. They have some serious deals on some nice watches.

          • Sorry for the multiple posts, sometimes they have Tag Heuer’s at costco, which would also be great, especially if you want a metal band. They last forever. Most designers won’t honor their company warranty if bought at costco, but costco will take anything back basically forever, so you wouldn’t even need it.

    • I’ve heard Citizen Eco-drives are pretty good for a lower price range. (No personal experience though.)

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I received one as a gift and I love it and the fact that I never have to buy a battery for it makes it even better. It is my dad’s go-to brand, and he is very much a watch guy. I definitely second this recommendation.

      • I have a citizen that I love! I’ve worn it almost daily since 2008 and it still looks new and works like a charm. I also have a Movado, which I wear less but I’ve also had no problems with. I think both brands are meant to be fairly lifetime-ish pieces. At least I hope so :)

      • Senior Attorney :

        Mr. Senior Attorney and I both wear Citizen watches and we love them.

      • lucy stone :

        Husband and I both have two and love them.

      • SVTechLawyer :

        I have two citizen eco-drives, one casual with a leather band and one dressy, and I love them both. I keep the one I’m not wearing on the window ledge so it gets plenty of sun to keep on ticking. The not having to replace the battery, ever, is great!

    • I’ve worn a Rado for 30 years, still find it classic and beautiful.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      If you want something different, my husband has one he loves from Stauer. I don’t consider them a high quality brand though. I have an ESQ I got for my 30th. After posting here I was pointed to the Movado outlet where I ended up getting a much nicer ESQ than I originally imagined for cheaper than the one I had been eye-balling retail.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        The funky one my husband has is something like this:

        This one is only $99 though so probably not the “timeless” piece you are looking for.

        • Signy Mallory :

          I love this. I think I’m going to get one for myself if I make this quarter’s personal goals (savings and otherwise.)

    • Tissots are great and in your budget

    • Giraffe with curls :

      My husband wanted a beautiful, well-made watch that was classic yet still somewhat unique, and he picked a Xetum. http://www.xetum.com/

    • My husband is really into watches. Look at Stowa.

    • Anonchitect :

      I love Uniform Wares watches. They are old-school British, but updated with more modern details. A friend just got one for his birthday, and it manages to look young and professional at the same time.

  19. Yesterday, some people were commenting that they felt aimless after they had graduated/been called and were officially working etc. I was thinking about my situation and realized I’ve probably been feeling the same lately. I’ve had very little motivation at work and just generally feel aimless. For you ladies who have gone through this, how do you get yourself back on track?

    • espresso bean :

      Things that have helped me in the past:

      *Setting some new attainable goal that’s centered around a hobby or interest
      *Signing up for a class
      *Shaking up my social life — hosting a party, suggesting a new bar or restaurant to the group, etc.
      *Planning a trip
      *Reaching out to a friend that knows me well and can help me talk this out

      Good luck!

      • TO Lawyer, I’m so with you.

        I’ve done all the things you listed, and I still feel like I should have some greater all consuming goal…I’ve taken up yoga and running (one more successfully than the other…), I actively try to spend more time with friends, I sign up for classes (ballet! so fun! pottery is next on the list!), I go to cultural events that I love, I started a blog about a frivolous topic, and I’m sitting here packing for Barcelona.

        And yet…I sort of feel like I’m just trying to distract myself from the drifting feeling?

        I think my biggest problem is that I simply don’t know what I want my life to look like in 5 years, or in 10 years. I mean…I don’t want to spend the next 5 years just working and distracting myself? OR DO I!? Because I have *all* the options available to me (which is great, but at the same time, paralyzing). Really…I could spend the next 5 years dithering, and things would probably work out fine long term. I probably need a little time to figure out what I’m about outside of the schooling context, and hopefully one of my distractions will lead me to the next goal? My fingers are crossed that it works, because I’m not super pleased with the current state of affairs re: lack of direction.

        • Part of me thinks that for my entire life, I’ve been working towards this one goal. So I was always had focus and a defined path. And now, I don’t. And I have the same problem as you – I don’t know what I want the rest of my life to look like. I’m really early on in my career so I have tons of options but I just don’t know where to go so instead, I’m floundering. And I think without that vision, I have no motivation so I’m not being the best lawyer I can be and it’s putting pressure on other parts of my life as well.

          • Agree entirely. We cannot be the only ones with this problem. My friends all seem fine (I have talked to them about this feeling), which I think makes me feel even crazier for being so lost and unable to enjoy my current successes.

            It feels like every new thing I try, I’m trying simply to see if it fixes my internal compass. I enjoy my blog a lot, did it fix my problem? Nope. I love yoga. Does it make me feel internally content? Eh, for the 90m post class, sure, but it’s not maintainable. I have high hopes of some sort of revelation regarding what I want my life to be while I’m off travelling. Will it happen? Doubtful.

            So now I feel like I have the added problem of trying all the things because I’m trying to fix something, instead of just enjoying those things for what they are? Booooooo.

        • springtime :

          Thirded. I think just having random activities might not fuel your fire like you want it to. Hobbies are fun, but I think you need to find one with a goal.

          I was always an athlete and I realized awhile ago I missed being competitive. I ran a few races in 2012 and am training for another one. I’ve gotten really into researching training methods, technique, etc. I am probably going to invest in some more equipment since it’s been a year so I know this isn’t a phase (although, I have always always worked out so I highly doubted I would suddenly stop running/spinning).

          Obviously sports is what first came to mind but I am sure there are other examples of hobbies with end results/goals/achievements that you can work toward.

      • espresso bean :

        Reading it over again, I feel like my response came off as sort of pat, and I didn’t mean for it to. I can definitely relate to this sort of malaise, and I’m not sure that anything I suggested is as much a solution as it is a distraction.

        When I’m feeling low about the current state of my life, I try to envision it as I’d like it to look in five years, and then I work backwards. Do I see myself in the same company, but a different role? Then how can I start taking small steps now to get myself into that role? Or do I see myself in a totally different industry? In that case, can I start having coffee dates and going to networking events to connect with people in my field? Think about what you want to be able to say that you’ve done in five years, and then set up a plan working backwards to actually get those things done.

        • No no! your response wasn’t just pat, and it was appreciated, and they are fun distractions!

          I appreciate what you’re saying re: working backwards, and I totally agree, but like I said above, the bigger issue is lack of vision with respect to where I even want my life to be in 5 years, so I feel like I’m just…drifting and hoping some vision becomes apparently so I can take the required steps towards that vision.

          I guess I’m wondering how others found that vision of their future life? Did everyone just know where they were going? Or did others who are 5, 10,15 or 20 years ahead, feel the same way and then sort of figure it out as they went along? Or did others feel the same way and then take active steps to find their direction? What were those active steps? Did life just…provide you with a new goal at some point, either by design or by fluke? Is this just how it feels to be 25/26 and finished schooling, or am I just being super type A and obsessed with needing a goal instead of being content with where I am?

          • espresso bean :

            I can only offer my own perspective, but to answer your last question, I think it’s a little bit of both. I’m 32, and I still feel this way from time to time! It seems like people who know exactly what they want and exactly how to get there are in the minority.

            One thing that was really helpful to me was realizing that even doing nothing is still doing something. It’s still a choice — just a passive one. So even if you feel paralyzed, recognize that things will change, whether you’re the one that’s the catalyst or external circumstances intervene. The question is, do you want to be the one to set things moving, or would you rather just sit by and see what happens? There’s no right answer. At certain times in my life, I’ve definitely gone with the latter and just hoped for the best.

    • This is me too. Ugh.

      • Also I’ve done some of the things listed by espresso bean and I end up feeling 1. excited and motivated about that non-work goal/plan, and 2. still unexcited about work/career, and then guilty about being able to feel motivated about something else.

        • Every single time I do this I get really excited about certain things (relationships! family! travel!) and work is sort of a thing that I have to do. Sometimes I feel like I’m one of the only “work to live” people (as opposed to live to work) on this site, because my dream job is not a real person job.

    • I was one of the commenters saying I had this experience. If you’re in any kind of stasis–for example, employed with decent reviews and not needing to look for a different job in the near future–I’d also suggest some extracurricular goal-setting just to expand your thinking and let things even out over time. Suggestions above from espresso bean are along the lines of what I would have said, while simply doing your job and thinking shorter-term about work (for once!) Take a break from big picture thinking for a little while and see what emerges. Also remember that other factors may well influence your major decisions when they do come around, like your practice moving or wanting to make plans with a significant other.

    • I haven’t read it myself, but but a few years ago I saw a lot about a book called “Quarterlife Crisis” that sounds like it deals with a lot of the same issues you’re mentioning. I googled and there’s also a website with message boards – quarterlifecrisis dot com.

      FWIW, I’m 31 and have been out of school for several years at this point. For me, and I think a lot of people, there’s not necessarily a bolt from the blue as to “this being it” – but rather that as you along, you learn more about what you like and don’t like, and adjust your course along the way to do more of the former and less of the latter professionally and personally.

  20. No Problem :

    I need some SO gift ideas. Valentine’s Day and my SO’s birthday are both in February. This is the first February we’ve been together. For the holidays, I got him a football jersey from his college (he’s a big fan) and he got me a Kindle Fire HD, so he clearly outspent me by a lot. My budget for the birthday gift is about $200 and for v-day it’s about $50.

    Ideas I have so far:
    Kindle Fire HD (birthday; he said he’d buy one for himself eventually)
    Wine glasses (v-day)
    Lingerie strewn on the floor and me in bed (v-day; “you said you preferred lingerie on the floor instead of on me”)

    I really have no other ideas right now. He doesn’t cook, so kitchen-related stuff is pretty much out (so are cooking classes because he literally owns zero cooking pans and utensils to practice with). He’s very particular about work clothes so a nice tie or other clothes are out. He doesn’t wear cologne. He uses an electric razor, so shaving accessories would be useless. I hesitate to get another sports themed gift.

    What are some gifts your SO has received that he’s really enjoyed?

    • nice ($50-60?) bottle of scotch?

    • Is he in to sports? Most guys I know love the ESPN 30 for 30 box set. Should run you about $40 on Amazon.

    • Getaway trips- ski weekends, everything-planned-but-the-date long weekend road trips, that sort of thing.

      Also, agreeing to go with him to things like the new england boat show, where I know I will spend the entire time fighting with him about why we cannot buy another boat.

      • Or tickets to something- a local game if you can stand it, maybe a concert, play, etc.

    • v-day presents–DVD of a live concert of one of his favorite bands, books, bourbon, funny shirt from cafe press

      birthday presents–cuff links, tickets to things, multi-tool, golf/fishing gear

      • No Problem :

        He IS a golfer. But I know absolutely nothing about the sport. Maybe passes to a driving range or a round of golf somewhere?

        • Both are good ideas. I don’t know much about the sport either so I usually google golf gift ideas or look at an online golf magazine for ideas. Other ideas would be nice golf balls (they can get expensive) or a golf shirt.

  21. I’m on a board for a small non-profit organization, and we are planning a dinner in May. We like to go with themed dinners, last year it was BBQ themed, year before that it was space themed. This year, I have come up with the idea to do a mystery dinner.

    Have any of you ladies ever done a mystery dinner (hosted or attended)? Anything I should know before diving into this? I’m very involved in the planning portion of it, and I do the decor every year. So anything you can give me will help! Our attendance hovers around 100-120 each year (we’re trying to grow it, but we expect that many in attendance this year as well.)

    • Are you doing the murder mystery thing where people get assigned roles and you have to hunt clues? Or just a mystery themed deal – where you’d have Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie stuff incorporated into the decor?

      • Ah, I guess I should have been clear on that! We are assigning people roles and they have to hunt clues.

        • I believe there are box sets you can buy that give you the story and clues and everything. Maybe try Amazon?

        • I’ve been to a couple over the years and these are my thoughts.

          * I think they work well for a group of 10 to 20 (at least the versions I’ve seen) – everyone gets to be involved and can have a chance to interact. Maybe there are versions that are better designed to deal with a larger group of people?
          * It’s really hard to make small talk while in character (like when people show up before the “game” starts). I never knew if I was supposed to talk as myself or the character.
          * I think the success of such parties really depends on the personality of the people involved – how into character they are going to get, how much they’ll run with other people’s improvisations, how much they’ll get into the game itself vs. being annoyed that they can’t just chit-chat with each other.

  22. Hive, what is your favorite base coat and top coat? I’m sick of doing my nails and having them chip days later. Thanks!

    • Zoya’s base is awesome, so is Essie’s Feed Me. I really love Seche Vite’s top coat (I’m pretty certain it’s melted plastic, because it smells absolutely awful), but only because I’m too lazy to ever wait more than 20 minutes for my nails to dry. If I want a polish to last, I usually double up on the top coat and try to do an extra top coat 3 or so days in.

      I also find the Zoya remover to be the best prep and easiest on my nails out of all the removers I’ve tried (which is…a lot). Making sure that your nails are free of oils before painting the base is important for wear, or so I’ve found.

    • Also! Watch zippers on your nails, I do love how secure my zippered gym bag is, but zippers are nail eaters. The vast, vast majority of my chips come from hasty zippering of my dresses or bags. Same with dish washing, it’s really tough on polish. If you want your polish to last for a week, you need to treat your hands like you want your polish to last for a week.

    • Equity’s Darling turned me on to Seche Vite and seriously, it changed my nail polish life.

    • SpaceMountain :

      Orly bonder for base coat, seche vite for top coat.

    • I use OPI Start to Finish as my base coat. Sally Hanson Insta-Dri in the red bottle for my top coat. Totally agree that you need to use gloves if you clean or wash dishes. I do my nails on Sunday night, after my major cooking and cleaning is done for the weekend. As someone else mentioned, making sure there is no oil, soap, water, or even dust from filing on your nails is crucial. I read somewhere that it’s best to run over your nails with remover right before you polish, just to be sure. I also occasionally chip my polish by bumping with a razor. Drives me crazy.

      • JessiJames :

        Oh good, it’s not just me that nicks my mani with the razor! Super annoying.

        I’m still in the budget-everything phase (thank you student loans!) so I’m a big fan of Essie right now. Feed Me is an awesome base coat, and I love their colors. Mademoiselle is a perfect nude-for-me and I’ve gotten so many compliments on Fishnet Stockings (a deep red).

        Related: Does anyone know if OPI still makes I Swear I’m Not A Waitress? I loved that color in college but I can’t find it in stores anymore. :(

        • I think it’s “I’m not really a waitress” – I love that color too.

          • http://www.amazon.com/OPI-Lacquer-Really-Waitress-0-5-Fluid/dp/B00421Z0E4

            It’s available online.

    • This is awesome, thank you!!

    • I use a Sally Hansen base coat and Seche Vite for a top coat. My main polishes are Essie, Butter London and Zoya, and they all work fine with this combo. It does not play nicely with my OPI polishes though – chip city.

      I have read that the combo of base + top coats, plus your own body chemistry, can vary wildly person to person. So you may need to experiment some before you find one that works.

    • This sounds nuts, but I swear by the Wet and Wild clear polish “”Wild Shine.” I put it on every few days and my manis last 2 weeks that way. It is $.99 most places (sometimes $1.99 at nyc drugstores) so I stash bottles everywhere.

  23. Looking for Botox? :

    There’s an ad in my val-pak coupons for a chiropractor that does botox for $7… Lol! Reminded me of the thread this weekend. Thats probably a place to avoid!

  24. Sydney Bristow :

    If you had 3-4 weeks completely off from work and weren’t planning to go anywhere during that time, what would you do? Think relaxation, rejuvenation, and self-reflection.

    I’ve been working 60-80 hours a week for about 1.5 years and will have a few weeks off coming up. I’m looking forward to relaxing, reading, and catching up on all the things in my life that have been on the back burner for months. I’m looking at you bags full of clothes that need to go to Goodwill. I’d also like to use some of the time to figure out what I want to do next and go in my career. I’m a document review attorney and while it pays my student loans, its not what I want to be doing. The problem is that I can’t seem to figure out what it is I want to be doing or even if I want to practice or find something outside a legal career. Any advice on what I could do during my time off to either relax or figure out what I want to do in my work life?

    • Hokey advice: read over your college and law school applications. Diary and journal entries. See if anything resonates.

      Practical advice: SPA SPA SPA. Also, go for a hike, literally. There’s just something about walking around in nature for a very long time that is conducive to some serious thinking. With a small or large group of people.

    • Ooh. I would take the first week to do nothing for a few days and then do fun stuff around the city, the second week to deal with things around the house (filing, taxes, ordering my damn wedding photos 17 months later, picking out some new furniture we need, making sure all our med/dental appointments are scheduled), and the third week for more fun stuff, including shopping, haircuts, and more nothing (painting nails, watching movies, trying new recipes, baking for no reason). And lots of coffee dates and Skype chats with friends. I’m a homebody so a good balance of having that rejuvenating time at home plus making sure I get out and interact with the world and the friends I don’t talk to enough would be lovely.

      In your situation, I would add in scheduling informational interviews with people you admire – law profs, former managers or co-workers doing interesting things, even reaching out to people you’re only very tangentially connected to.

      I like Godzilla’s idea about reviewing your resume and old applications. They might tell you something about yourself you’ve forgotten. Long walks are also good — if they’re in a nature-y hike-y setting, awesome. If not, a long walk ending up at the frozen yogurt shop or a coffee shop for some really good hot chocolate (depending on the weather) also counts. (PS – Torontonians – hot chocolate at Aroma is fantastic.)

    • For me, I like to plan some home projects that I wouldn’t otherwise have time to do – paint a room, put up new light fixtures or window treatments. Also taking the clothes in bags to donate. Shop for that piece of furniture you need. Mix in some shopping for fun and laying around time.

    • Gym rat: 8 am yoga, 9 am boot camp, 10 am whatever. Clean my closets. Read more books, get my car washed, take everything to Goodwill, get life insurance, review my other insurances to find better deals, review my will, see movies, have lunches with friends.


    • No Problem :

      Take that pile of clothes to get tailored or dry cleaned. Kick start a new exercise routine with some personal trainer workouts, or just your own workouts if that’s not in your budget. Go to the spa for a massage and facial. Experiment with some recipes (e.g., try a different smoothie concoction each day). SLEEP. As Marilla said, schedule some informational interviews. Try a couple new restaurants. Deep clean your house/apartment. Take that picture to a framing store to get framed. Shop for gifts for upcoming birthdays/holidays/anniversaries. Evaluate your finances; if going a new direction in your career will involve additional training or schooling or a change in salary, evaluate what that will do to your budget. Volunteer. Go see movies in the middle of the day on a Wednesday. And most of all, get disconnected from work. No email, no phone.

    • In terms of figuring out what you want to do with your life: List all of the things you’ve enjoyed about every job you’ve ever had (this can be as detailed as “I really liked preparing specific type of report” or as simple as “I really liked being able to put my headphones in and zone out while I worked”) and everything you’ve disliked about every job you’ve ever had. Then put the list away and don’t worry about it for a week or so. When you come back to it, try to think about what aspects of the list are most important to you, and what fit various jobs that you know about. Something that also helped me was just doing an indeed search for my city without any limiting factors and paying attention to what jobs caught my eye, and of those jobs which descriptions bore the most resemblance to the things on my list.

      In terms of relaxing: I like reading books that have no literary merit whatsoever (and that’s a very high (or low, I suppose)) bar for me. I particularly recommend the Secrets of My Hollywood Life series and The Fame Game series (by Lauren Conrad). I can also recommend a lot of books that I read whenever I have a bad day or need a pick me up, but for the most part they’re all sci-fi or fantasy and (in my opinion) have varying levels of actual literary merit.

    • JessiJames :

      Seconding the shouts of GET THEE TO THE SPA. Facial, massage, the whole nine yards. Make a day out of it.

      This may depend on how long you’ve lived in your city, but there’s probably something that you’ve been meaning to go to, but never got the chance – a museum, a symphony, some famous landmark. Go do it. Get those clothes to Goodwill, or if there’s something like a Plato’s Closet around (one of those places that buys “gently used” clothing) take a bag or two there, and use the proceeds to get yourself a huge ice cream sundae. :P

      As far as job/direction advice, I can’t put it any better than Lynnet did above. Look at what matters and what you love, then look for a job that hits those buttons. Good luck!!

  25. Blonde Lawyer :

    I arrived early to a meeting this morning with 50+ professionals. I noticed something rather odd. The women all, well, mostly, found seats first, took off their winter jackets and placed them on the back of their chair, in their lap or under the seat. The men all/mostly found the coat rack in the hallway, hung their winter coat and then found a seat. One man came in late, took a seat, then got back up to find the coat rack, hang his coat, and come back in. I remembered being at a professional breakfast and meeting up w/ my boss there, ready to enter the event room w/ my winter jacket on. He pointed me back out in the hall to the coat rack to hang my coat first. So based on my totally non-scientific observations, any ideas why women tend to keep their coat with them and men seem to want to hang it up stat? In my case, I didn’t even see the coat rack and was just focused on getting in and getting a seat in a crowded venue.

    • I tend to get cold, so I don’t like to let my coat go, just in case I need it later.

      • Same. Plus, I personally like to be able to know I can leave without having to backtrack anywhere.

        • Signy Mallory :

          This. For the same reason I always keep my car keys on my person. Even at meetings.

          I guess it’s my kind of paranoia that if there’s ever an emergency evacuation, I have some shot at getting in my car and driving away instead of standing 100 feet from the building stuck without transport.

      • Same here as well. The larger the meeting/room, the more likely the A/C is going to get cranked up, so having my coat nearby keeps me from getting distracted by singular thoughts of “So cold… cannot feel fingers… did the temperature just fall ten more degrees?”

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I always want my coat near me because a good percentage of the time, the room is cold and I want it nearby so I can slip it back on. May not be This Site Approved and may be unprofessional, but it’s not useful for me to be in a meeting where I’m so cold, I can’t concentrate.

    • darjeeling :

      I don’t want to have to wait when everyone’s getting their coat at once at the end, plus I just generally like to keep my belongings in sight.

    • SpaceMountain :

      My parents attended an event recently, and my dad hung up his coat in the lobby, but my mom kept hers with her. Then some protesters crashed the event, the guests were moved elsewhere, and the crashers were stealing people’s coats before the police arrived. My dad couldn’t get back down there until after the event was over, and spent the whole time worrying that his coat had been stolen. I’m not sure what lesson to draw from this, but I usually keep my coat with me unless it’s a place I attend regularly and trust leaving it on an unattended rack.

    • Also, my coat pockets = my purse during the winter time. There is no way that my coat is leaving my sight.

      • Agree- that’s where my phone and wallet are, as opposed to pants pockets where I think men would keep theirs.

    • Cornellian :

      I think, honestly, that because men spend more time in suits as children than women do, dealing with coats is trained in to them earlier. Then it carries over to non-suit coats.

  26. SuperAnon :

    Super anon today because this would totally give me away. I’m going to Burma and Thailand for work in a few weeks. I’ve been to Cambodia so know generally what is acceptable clothing wise for tourism, but not at all for work. Any tips?

    • I’m not sure what industry you are in, but as a lawyer my advice for Thailand would be skirt suits or dresses, in cotton, silk or linen. Skirts are generally considered more acceptable than pant suits (and will be cooler as well). No-one there wears stockings – don’t even bother. If you wear heels, be aware that the sidewalks can be very cracked and uneven, so I don’t recomment stilettos – “chunkier” heels are better. You might be tempted to go without a suit jacket, but if you do, please be sure to keep your shoulders covered (e.g. silk shell with cap sleeves, not sleeveless shell).

      In Burma, things are even more conservative. Women generally do not wear pants. I remember wearing pants there once (admittedly, years ago), and I felt like an alien. Make sure your skirts reach your knees at least.

      Carry a handkerchief in your purse – it will be handy if you need to unobtrusively dab away perspiration, and you can wet it to cool your face down if you need to.

      Keep makeup light – it will basically just melt away anyway.

      You are going to my favourite part of the world – I am SOOO jealous!

      • SuperAnon :

        I’m so excited! Thanks for your tips. With regard to Burma, I assume it is below the knees, not the top of the knees? I own zero skirts that look like that, particularly that are in conservative colors. I’ve read that for Burma, flats are really best.

        Do you have any tips for tourism in Burma? Any places not to miss?

        • Re Burma: I would say your skirt should cover your kneecaps. Burmese women still wear full-length htamein (sarongs), so any glimpse of leg will be unusual. However, I would still say skirts are preferable to pants.

          If you are not familiar with the uneven pavement of Thailand and Burma, then by all means stick with flats, or very low pumps.

          Another thought re suits – you know those weird, short-sleeved suits that no-one in the real world would ever wear? Well, you are heading to a part of the world where a short-sleeved suit will actually make sense. You may actually see quite a lot of Thai businesswomen wearing raw silk, short-sleeved skirt suits (but the jacket is cut like a top so isn’t usually removed).

          Along the lines of the handkerchief: Talcum powder is your friend. Also, when you are travelling in Burma, carry a small flashlight in your bag. The power supply can be unreliable so if you are walking around after dark in, say, Mandalay, you don’t want to be caught without a flashlight.

          Burmese tourism: The entire country is so interesting that really, anything you do will be awesome. Definitely go to Pagan. Be aware that the military still holds a lot of power in Burma, so don’t be alarmed if you see soldiers with machine guns on the street. In Burma, there is often a publicly listed “foreigner’s price” and a “local price”….don’t make a fuss, just suck it up and pay the foreigner’s price. That’s the way life is there.

  27. Whoever recc’d the smartwool secret sleuth socks to me last week–they arrived last night from zappos & so far… 4 hrs without them slipping off & bunching under my toes.
    Thanks :)

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