Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: One-Button Geometric Print ‘Afiraly 1’ Blazer

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

One-Button Geometric Print ‘Afiraly 1’ Blazer by HUGOI don’t know what it is about this blazer, but I love it. The odd geometric pattern is cool, and I think the salmon pink color could actually be worn year round. The blazer is made of “fine stretch silk.” Gorgeous. The Afiraly style is apparently a classic Hugo blazer style; Stylebop has a number of solid colors marked from $405-$470. This geometric silk one is $750 at HugoBoss.com. One-Button Geometric Print ‘Afiraly 1’ Blazer by HUGO

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  1. WorkingMom :

    Unrelated to that very pretty blazer… can I ask for some tips/advice/suggestions on asking for a raise? My review is coming up in a couple of months, and based on some research I have done, I want to ask for a 15% raise. To me, that is a shocking number and I am a little terrified. Backstory:

    I am not an attorney like many of you – I am in corporate wellness. I have been at my current office for just over 5 years, and have been in a new position for just about 1 year. This new position was a psuedo-promotion, I think – mostly lateral, but a more visible position within the company. When I moved into this position, my base salary got a big raise (about 25k), but my total take-home pay saw a 20k decrease – due to switching from a salary + commission position to a salary-only position.

    I’ve done research on positions like mine nationwide, and studied my company’s pay grade chart. Based on those two factors – a 15% raise from where I am now would put me smack dab in the middle of the range for my position, both nationally and within my company’s parameters.

    In this new position – I have taken on several high-profile and significant accounts and have gotten extremely positive feedback. My CEO even raved to me one day about how good I am at my job :)

    So… thoughts? Is asking for a 15% raise in this economy a terrible idea? I like my company and want to stay here, I have no plans or desires to leave. I don’t want to come across as money hungry, but I also don’t want to be the stereotypical woman who never gets a significant raise because she never asks for it. I realize I wouldn’t get the full 15%, but would like to negotiate something more than a cost of living increase. Any help is appreciated! TIA!

    • I am also in non-law, and know the corporate wellness field pretty well. Sounds like part of what you’re saying is that you recognize you should have asked for a more fair salary when you took on the new role (eg. switching from comission to higher base, national salary averages etc). I don’t know that you’ll have much luck negotiating on that front.

      Instead, focus on your successes in this role. Look for hard proof of the impact you’ve had to the organization (I’m not sure if you work IN corporate wellness –ie wellness officer– or for a firm that does corporate wellness as a vendor–I am assuming the former). I know hard ROI type numbers are hard to come by in the wellness field, but perhaps you can look at employee engagement, new initiatives you’ve brought on board, etc. and the projected impact to the company’s bottom line (employee retention, absenteeism rate, maybe even impact to health insurance premiums, though that’s not info you’re likely to have over just a year). Also focus on any work you do that is above and beyond the scope of your job. Ex: were you hired to roll out a program, and in fact you rolled it out and now manage it? That’s grounds for a raise.

      Do be aware of the overall financial situation in your company as you build your case– if your firm is in the middle of layoffs, you may want to see how things play out during your annual review. If you’re not happy with the number, lay the groundwork for another review (in 6 months) and ask your supervisor what you need to do to get yourself to the number you want.

      I would also caution you to see if a 15% raise is within your company’s ability. At my company, you typically can’t get a 15% raise without also getting a title bump. That’s HR policy and it is often over-ridden, but do be aware that you may also have to build (or help your boss build) a promotion case–not just a salary increase.

      Hope that’s helpful!

      • WorkingMom :

        Thanks guys! I am the vendor – and while a year later I realize the implications of a 20k pay cut, I understand that’s not the company’s problem. I know the corporate culture doesn’t view commission as reliable income, which is why my raise for the psuedo promotion was not based on my commission. So, I definitely want to focus on what I have accomplished.

        I have taken the lead on a new process change internally, that once fully executed, stands to save the company loads of time – and essentially allow the current team to handle nearly double their current workload. With my team, I presented this idea to upper management including the CEO personally, and hasn’t stopped talking about it!

        I definitely think I can make a good case for myself, but I’ve simply never really negotiated much before. when I was hired here, I did negotiate a very small increase in starting salary, to account for a significant change in benefits from previous employer, and that was nerve-wracking!

        • Ah, then I know your industry even more. I’m in a very similar field as a vendor. :)

          I would say go for it, but have a back up plan/request in case your boss doesn’t go for it. If you don’t leave with a pay bump, leave with a plan to a promotion/pay bump.

    • 15% may be reasonable. Make sure to bring out your research and bring supporting documents with you.

    • I think it’s great that you’ve done your homework on this. I’m not familiar with your field, but as someone in upper management I would want to hear more about Why You Deserve This Raise vs. Why The Number You’re Asking For is Nationally Comparable. I’m not going to give an average worker a big pay bump, but I will certainly give one to a great worker — and the fact that it would bring you in line with your industry average is good backup proof/icing on the cake. But the main argument is that you’ve done a great job at X, Y and Z since taking the position and you’d like me to consider a raise of $— in light of those accomplishments.

      Be prepared for the following scenarios: for your boss/reviewer to offer you a pay bump (hey, it happens!) before you bring it up, as part of the review process; or for them to balk at the total number (in which case have a Plan B ready for consideration — ex: getting to your desired salary over the next 6 months vs. all at once).

      Good luck! You should absolutely be negotiating for yourself.

    • Good luck – you got great advice – hopefully you are prepared for several scenarios and you walk away with something and/or a commitment to review your position and salary in the near future. Please report back.

    • A related question – My firm generally gives raises around the holidays, and the past two years I’ve gotten a modest raise (yay). Like WorkingMom, I’ve recently found out that my salary is well below industry average, and I believe I can make a case around why my work this past year merits a significant raise. I’m just not sure how to go about this. Do I wait until holiday “raise season” and if I get another modest raise, make my case for more? Should I plant the seed before the holidays so I’m considered when my boss creates his budget? We’re a very small (non-law) firm, so we don’t have strict policies or timelines in place. I appreciate any advice!

      • WorkingMom :

        Seeing as I am also asking for advice, take this with a grain of salt, but I would think it would be wise to plant the seed ahead of time – as you mentioned, so you can’t get the “Sorry it’s not in the budget this year!” response. Although I’m not sure what the best way to plant seed would be – a casual sit down to let your boss know you’re interested in discussing a pay raise this year, or a formal proposal? Not sure exactly, but I am thinking you’re on the right track to bring it up earlier rather than later. But again… I’m new to this negotiation-stuff! Good luck! I’m interested to see what others have to say!

    • In this economy, I would be very careful for asking for a raise that high. If I were your boss, I could anticipate thinking that you are not thinking of the well-being of the company and are out of touch. I would be inclined to take a less direct approach…lay out all of your supporting facts and explain what market range is and ask for them to consider a raise. Let them throw out a number.

      I am probably slightly more risk adverse when it comes to something that might hurt your employment situation because of how hard it is to move positions right now.

      • In mid-2011 I asked for a 20% raise, wanted a 10% raise and got 15% plus a normal 5% annual raise in early 2012. So I disagree that it hinges on the economy. Get your facts and figures ready and your successes and progress to big goals all ready to discuss.

  2. momentsofabsurdity :

    I hope everyone on the East Coast is staying safe during the storm!

    • Yes! I hope you all are prepared and safe. It’s weird being here away from a hurricane when we are usually in the path of the storm. Stay safe!

      • I think North Carolina is more often in the path than the gulf. I would not characterize New Orleans as “usually in the path.”

        Stay safe, everyone.

        • Probably right but when you live here, it feels that way.

          • I dunno, i pulled up historical data on paths of named hurricanes and visually it looked like more ran across Florida and into the gulf.

          • Here you go:

            My parents live near the NC coast and my cousins live in New Orleans. NOT saying that any one has it worse. NOT saying that any storm is not a big deal. Just, you know, a lawyer who can’t let any fact go unchallenged.

          • Sorry, but it’s still an unnecessarily jerky thing to say. I wasn’t attempting to state fact that could be backed up by statistics. Clearly you are the expert.

          • Agree with NOLA. No need to go out of your way to correct someone’s harmless statement. She didn’t mention North Carolina – no need to defend it.

          • SF Bay Associate :

            I have never experienced either. That said, I looked at your citation and believe your use of it is misleading. From its own text:

            “CAUTION!! This ranking system has become very popular with insurance companies, schools & local government offices. The ranking list has shown up on company brochures, text books & government hurricane pamphlets with mistakes. We have found many print errors. For example, title “Hurricane prone areas Delray Beach, Florida hit by hurricanes every 2.24 years”) is not true, this is for both TROPICAL STORMS & hurricanes. We do not want people thinking Delray Beach gets hit by a hurricane every three years.”

            So, what its statistics support is that North Carolina gets more tropical storms and hurricanes COMBINED versus Louisiana tropical storms and hurricanes COMBINED. NOLA’s statement was about hurricanes only. I don’t know if New Orleans has experienced more hurricanes than any given city in North Carolina, but that citation does not support such a statement.

            Katrina was not that long ago, and her (its?) devastating effects are still evident in Louisiana. A statement implying that some area of the US has it worse than New Orleans, even with a disclaimer, gets my hackles up and I am merely a frequent visitor to New Orleans, not a resident.

          • Sorry, I apologize to you, NOLA. Did not mean for it to come out that way.

        • Really? REALLY?

        • Thanks for the apology. I think, after Katrina and what we experienced this year with a slow-moving Cat 1, we are pretty edgy about hurricanes. One of my staff lost his apartment in Isaac and we are still helping him get back on his feet. People in St. John Parish lost everything. SFBay is right, Katrina hit us hard and took an emotional toll.

      • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

        Thanks! It’s supposed to hit me this afternoon, and the utility companies have already been doing their CYA spiel about how we may lose power for 7-10 days. Oh joy.

        I have bottled water, lots of canned foods (manual can opener), cereal, candles & matches, flashlights and batteries, handcrank radio with USB-charger, and lots and lots of cheap wine. We’ll see how the next 2 days go.

        • Having a charger for your phone is so important. After Isaac, I wished I had a solar charger. Sitting in the car to charge my phone was not fun. The WeatherBug app is also really helpful to see where you are in the storm.

        • And Jim Cantore is now on it, too. I was worried because I hadn’t seen him being carried away horizontally by a wind gust or riding a 60 ft wave and crashing into a pier. The Weather Channel has him on this morning, so take this stuff seriously!

          • I use Jim Cantore as a benchmark. If he’s in my state or region, it’s serious.

          • If Jim Cantore is there, that’s your sign that you shouldn’t be!

          • Gail the Goldfish :

            If Jim Cantore is joined by Anderson Cooper in a tight black tshirt, you’re totally doomed.

          • Ha. Love the Jim Cantore scale!

          • Miss Maple :

            I kept telling my husband that, storm-wise, Jim Cantore or it didn’t happen! I’m glad he showed up this morning to warn everyone with his presence.

      • Honestly, when it comes to hurricanes, everyone outside of New Orleans should just keep their mouth shut.

    • The big old tree in my neighbor’s yard is already swaying towards us. Two large branches have already fallen on us after storms this summer. Hoping for minimal damage this time.

    • Our office is closed! I’m in a satellite office, so I still have to work from home, but hey. I’ll take working in my PJs!

    • We’re not in an evacuation zone, and I thought I’d be working from home today (and will likely do some work, just to stay on top of things) but my office is closed. So at least for now, I’m hunkered down with coffee and apple bread I baked yesterday. The trees in the park across the street are blowing around so much that it looks like the ocean, but with leaves. Still, so far so good.

      For the humorous side of the storm, check out El Bloombito on twitter:https://twitter.com/ElBloombito

    • applesandcheddar :

      I’m a fed, so we’re shut down today as well. It’s mostly just been heavy rain here in downtown DC with some wind. We’re expecting winds to pick up this afternoon.

      I’m spending the day watching Scandal on Netflix… already addicted after two episodes!

    • Up here in Boston it just feels kind of like the eternal wait and see. Its kind of taking forever to get here (not that I want it to, but you know what I mean). We’re not likely to get the amount of rain everyone else is getting, but the wind and storm surges could do some serious damage…and power outages are still likely. But I’m holding out hope for the best.

      But the pictures coming out of NYC right now are a bit crazy, Red Hook, Brooklyn is completely flooded.

    • Parts of my area were evacuated, so I left my apartment and am staying at a relative’s house. Our office is closed as well, but “open for business.” Which means trying to get work done instead of watching the news and eating baked goods. So far in CT we’ve got a lot of wind, but not much else!!
      I failed as a former girl scout and went shopping too late–couldn’t find a single flashlight anywhere! Hopefully we don’t lose power too long. Stay safe ladies! (Sidebar: I love that everyone is checking in here!)

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Our office is closed, but the remote server is still up, and we did get an email from the managing partner informing us this was a great time to put our billing in while the power is still on! (yea, yea).

    • I’m enjoying copious amounts of baked goods while trying to focus on working remotely. Will likely give up and join my roommate’s SATC marathon before we lose power…

    • Coach Laura :

      Yes, stay safe everyone!

  3. Between the Giants in SF and the storm on the East Coast, my life in Europe seems much less exciting. Political controversy and a EU referendum are no match for the craziness going down on my Facebook feed.

    Stay safe everyone!

  4. Kat, shouldn’t you be battening down the hatches? Good luck to everyone on the East Coast… stay safe.

  5. AnonInfinity :

    You all might be interested in this from the Washington Post about why equal pay and flexible schedules aren’t just women’s issues. I know a lot of people here (including me) agree.


    • I just skimmed this article quickly, but one of the interesting things to me (and I’ve seen other studies/articles supporting this), but businesses tend to be more successful when they have female executives. There was a LearnVest article on Friday about this I think, in the context of start-ups, but I’ve also heard this in relation to corporate boards.

    • Amen. I HATE when work/life is cast as a women’s issue. Overall, I think the next big issue we need to deal with in our society is not opening more doors for women but opening more doors for men. Once it’s as okay for a boy to play with dolls as a girl to play with trucks, we’ll see a lot more gender equality across the boards. I think this often gets lost in the discussion.

      • I totally agree with you, but would add that the two things are not mutually exclusive. When “women’s work” or “girl stuff” becomes less stigmatized, men/boys will be able to do those things with less stigma as well.

  6. I love this jacket. It’s hard to find nice patterned jackets, but sadly even if I could afford it, it looks like it would be too short on my 6′ tall self.

    Quick question: Does anyone know of a drugstore foundation that’s similar to Makeup Forever Face & Body? I love it but don’t love the price. I’ve read good things about Revlon ColorStay, but that may be more coverage than I’m looking for as I usually mix my MUFE with moisturizer to thin it out even more.

    • e_pontellier :

      I’m 6′ tall too and I thought the same thing about the jacket!! That’s all. No advice on makeup, sadly. :(

    • WorkingMom :

      I used to use the Neutrogena loose powder foundation religiously! I loved it, but I recently tried the Benefit powder and have been using that, it’s really only a few bucks more than the Neutrogna stuff. I would recommend either of them!

    • Senior Attorney :

      I have used Revlon ColorStay for years and love it. I don’t find the coverage to be heavy at all. I do find it doesn’t spread all that easily and it goes on much more smoothly if I put use primer (I am cheap and use Monistate Anti-Chafing Powder Gel) and/or moisturize immediately before applying it.

  7. Former Partner, Now In-House :

    I’ve been thinking about our conversation the other day regarding leaving BigLaw after returning from maternity leave — and Janna Ryan. Stick with me, I have a point.

    I have read that she is a “tax attorney” who is now a SAHM. Based on what I’ve been able to piece together, she graduated from Wellesley in 1993, moved to DC and worked on the Hill while going to Georgetown Law at night (maybe part time?), graduated from Georgetown Law in 1998, worked at a law firm for 2 years, married Paul Ryan in 2000 when she was 31, and almost immediately moved to Janesville, OH and started having their 3 kids. (If my dates are off, please correct me.)

    So here are my questions:

    1. Her entire working life (post-college, I’m not counting summers and during school) was 7 years, 2 of which were practicing law. Yet the media call her a “tax attorney.” I had assumed that she had a substantial career as an attorney until I did the math. Am I the only one who thinks it’s weird that two years at the entry level qualifies someone as a professional in that specialized field? It’s one thing to say she is “trained as a lawyer” (she is), or that she’s smart (she is, you don’t get into Wellesley and Georgetown Law if you’re not), or even that she “practiced as a lawyer” before quitting to set up house. But to call her a “tax attorney?”

    2. She wanted to quit working completely, leave DC for Janesville, set up house and become a SAHM (some articles quote Paul Ryan saying they discussed it before getting married). Good for her that she got to do what she wanted. Here’s my concern: if that choice is the gold standard for a conservative woman, then won’t conservative men expect women to make that choice? No wonder conservative men look at all of us as if we are ticking “as soon as I get married and have kids I will abandon my career and clients” bombs.

    I should say that she seems smart, nice and lovely. So please don’t interpret this as a personal attack. (How could it be when I don’t know her?) The way she is being depicted, though, seems strange to me. If 2 years qualifies as a career, then what have I been doing working seriously for the last 25 years?

    • Honestly, I don’t think calling someone an attorney necessarily implies that they’ve had a “career” as an attorney. Once you’re sworn in, you’re an attorney, and if she did tax work during her short stint in the law, I think it’s a fair characterization. (P.S. According to the TaxProf Blog, she went to GWU, not Georgetown.)

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      I agree with you that 2 yrs is not a career. If you take away the SAHM issues, seriously, if a candidate came to me and had worked, say, 2yrs in media/advertising, and then spent another 10yrs in HR, I would say that this candidate had a career in HR. If the candidate said he had a career in media/advertising, I’d think he was confused, or being misleading.

    • 1a. Since she passed the bar and practiced, I think it’s fair to say she’s an attorney (or was, if she hasn’t kept up her license).

      1b. I think part of this is confusion on the part of non-lawyers about what it’s like to be a lawyer. I’ve been practicing for just over a year, so I feel (and am) quite entry-level and inexperienced. This does not stop all kinds of people from asking me questions about their personal legal situations or legal questions in the news, including questions far outside my practice area. As we’ve discussed here before, non-lawyers (like jouranlists) often don’t seem to understand that it takes years of practice to be qualified to advise clients on complex questions on your own. So, to the people writing those articles, she probably seems like a high-level professional.

      2. Why do you say her choices are the gold standard for conservative men?

      I try my level best to avoid coverage of the candidates’ wives, so I haven’t read anything about Janna Ryan, and am basing my response only on your comment.

    • Re point no. 2: What makes you assume that choice is the gold standard for conservative women? I guess I’m a so-called “conservative woman” married to a professional, conservative man, I have a son, and I fully intend to keep working, eventually become partner, etc etc etc. Based on your comment, you’re extrapolating one woman’s choice as some “gold standard” for all women who apparently agree with her on politics…(Not to mention assuming that all conservative men feel that way, but that’s a whole ‘nother comment thread).

      Re point no. 1: Generally, the media at large are not as careful with their word choices as attorneys. Even assuming that, however, if she practiced tax law, then it is accurate to call her a “tax attorney.” More accurate would be “former tax attorney,” unless she actually keeps her licensing fees up to date…but who knows at that point.

      • I agree. This is serious stereotyping based on one woman’s experience.

      • I was going to say something similar.

        To tell you the truth, and I mean this in the nicest way possible Former Partner because I’ve seen you on this board a lot and I like you plenty, but it’s actually somewhat hard not to take that kind of stereotyping as a little bit of a personal attack (I’m not, because you asked us not to, just pointing out that it’s more challenging). Just because it’s apparently the gold standard for one conservative woman doesn’t mean that it’s the gold standard for every conservative woman, any more than it’s every liberal woman’s dream to have their husband achieve some extremely high position and quit work, as Ms. Obama has (something which is absolutely fine and in no way a knock on Ms. Obama).

        I’d also echo what TBK said below, that she doesn’t get the impression that men with SAHM wives are biased against her. I live in a very, very red state, and I’ve never gotten that impression, either. (I do worry, as was expressed on the thread that Former Partner referenced, about cases where a woman is actually somewhat deceptive – pretends that she’s coming back to get the maternity benefits when she has no intention to, and what that can do to burn an employer.)

    • I’ll bite. It will remind me to get back on here later to check updates :)

      Regarding point number 1, I’m still pretty new to my field, so I just say “meh”. But I see your point and if I’d been out longer, I’d be more concerned with calling her a “tax attorney” instead of just saying she trained as a lawyer. I guess really, I’d never thought it before now which is why it probably didn’t concern me.

      Regarding point 2–I went to a fairly traditional conservative college. DH and I aren’t really traditional in many respects so I can’t give a personal point of view. HOWEVER, I will say that several of my male college peers DID openly state that they expected their future wives to stay home. Granted, personal experience is inherently limited, but I did see this. To be fair, many of the women openly stated that they wanted to stay home too, so I don’t know that it was such a problem since people were on the same page. I flat out told DH when we were dating and starting to get serious that I didn’t intend to be a traditional wife–that role is fine, but I didn’t think it was fair for either of us to have unrealistic expectations. I will admit that my undergrad experience makes me think that all men think I should stay home once I have a kid–I think I developed a bit of a chip on my shoulder that I just haven’t gotten rid of yet.

      Interestingly, not all those women who were SURE they’d stay home have stayed home full-time–there’s a lot of variety with working arrangements, just like we see on this board from time to time.

    • Anne Shirley :

      I think that’s one of the good things about being a professional. As law as my law license is valid, I get to call myself an attorney, even if I’m unemployed.

      • Yup. I work in higher ed, and I am an attorney. Whether I practice law or not.
        Trust me, my clients see me as an attorney lol.

    • This doesn’t bother me. (1) Technically, she was a tax attorney for those two years. I get that if she were holding herself out as qualified to give advice on complex issues, she’d be out of depth, but it’s not factually wrong to say she’s a tax lawyer. Also, this is the media. They’re not known for subtlety. If it helps their point to suggest that Ryan has some knowledge of tax because his wife is a tax lawyer, they’re going to go there. (2) I know a lot of conservative men and I have never gotten the sense that they view me as a “ticking time bomb.” Most of them married the kind of women who wanted to be SAHMs, but they realize that not all women are like that. Maybe it’s the region I’m in but I just don’t see these assumptions.

    • Maddie Ross :

      I guess I’m confused (and like others have said, also avoided coverage of Janna Ryan to this point) — do they say she “was” a tax attorney, or still “is” a tax attorney? If it’s was, it doesn’t bother me. It’s no different than me saying I was a waitress in college. If they say she still is, in my mind, even if she keeps paying her licensing fees and goes to CLEs, that’s an inaccurate statement to me.

      As for being the “conservative gold standard,” eh, it’s hard to judge. He picked her up and moved her to Janesville, Ohio, where she likely was not licensed, and where there were probably no firms of any size. Like so many things in life, it’s impossible to know all the factors that went into their individual decision.

    • I’m a lawyer myself, with substantially more than two years of experience (multiply by ten). But I can’t say as this bother me one bit. First, I think she’s more frequently described as a tax lawyer and lobbyist — in other words, she wasn’t really practicing law, she was a K Street lobbyist. She worked as a congressional aide while she went to law school at night, so if you look at that work as just being the flip side of her later lobbying work, I think it’s fair to say that — albeit not for a long time – she had a real DC career. But at any rate, once you’ve passed the bar, you are a lawyer and whatever your speciality is, I think you get to call yourself that.

    • I can’t coment to most else, but just a tiny detail as an Ohioan – Janesville is in Wisconsin, not Ohio. Not that it makes much difference to your argument, just wanted to put it out there for the sake of having the facts correct. I just care because there is an article in HuffPo titled “Paul Ryan Tries To Sell Ohioans That He’s One Of Them”, and I don’t do well with politicians who aren’t actually from my state claiming they are “just like me” and “know where I’m coming from”. Sell me on your platform, then I’ll decide if I’ll vote for you – I don’t care if you were my next door neighbor growing up, I’m going to vote on your platform, not on where you grew up . /end rant/

      • Yep, that was the part I zeroed in on as well, being from WI. As much as I’d like to claim they’re not from the state, Janesville is in the cheese state. :)

      • Former Partner, Now In-House :

        Well that’s an embarrassing mistake. Thanks.

      • Wow! I had no idea Janesville was right on the border like that. Just looked at it on the map. Not that i needed any help to not like Paul Ryan after reading his stupid budget, but wow. That is crazypants!

        • Seriously, why is that so bad? I get that you just don’t like him, and your comment about his budget is fine, but it seems crazy to think it’s so bad when someone lives right on the border to try to relate to people in the bordering state. Politicians do it all.the.time. People emphasize accents when they visit southern states, they categorize the whole midwest or south or northeast as one area with the same concerns. It makes me crazy when people don’t like a politician and then are like, “WOW he hates green beans and I’m from Oregon, and THEREFORE I HATE HIM!”

          • Apologies, my comment was very incoherent, bc i hadn’t had coffee yet. ;o) i just thought it was interesting his town was on the border, but after that I was referring to that article cited above “Paul Ryan Tries To Sell Ohioans That He’s One Of Them” and that’s what really annoyed me was how thickly he’s laying on the “I’m practically from this town!” in every town in OH which just sounds really obnoxious when you line up all the quotes like that. I’m probably being unfair, but i meant the article was crazypants. (Note to self: drink coffee BEFORE commenting) ;o)

          • lucy stone :

            Ohio doesn’t border Wisconsin…

          • Yeah, I realized that after I said it, but I think my point still stands that people from the midwest try to relate to everyone else from the midwest.

        • Praxidike :

          Janesville is right on the border (not really, Beloit is closer) between Wisconsin and Illinois. Consequently, even if Ryan wanted to say that he’s “like” an Ohioan, it would still be false because Ohio is a good 10 hour drive from here.

    • The media often exagerates previous careers, especially when they don’t understand them. Angela Merkel, who must meet everyone’s definition of a working woman, is often referred to as a former physicist. Yet I believe her physics career was confined to earning a PhD, after which point she promptly left the field.

      • Yeah, it’s challenging for degrees that don’t lead to a professional license. I have a PhD in physics and worked as a postdoc for a couple years before switching to a non-research job. Having a science PhD is a requirement for my specific job, though not for the majority of people I work with having the same title but somewhat different responsibilities…they generally all have Master’s degrees in the same field (non-science).

        Even though I no longer do research, though, I find it easiest to describe myself as a physicist (since that’s the background most relevant to what I do, and since that’s what I’ve spent most of my post-college life doing). Maybe 10 years from now I’ll have something else more concrete to describe myself as (e.g. Chancellor of Germany ;) ), but for the time being it’s simply easier to describe myself as a physicist…and technically still true (esp. by the standard that anyone who’s passed the bar is a lawyer even if they’re no longer practicing).

        Anyway, no particular point. My situation isn’t the same as Janna Ryan’s since I’m still working, so calling myself a physicist isn’t as opposed to SAHM. But it is a challenge to figure out how to describe yourself if the degree you have isn’t the same as what you do…especially if what you do is highly specialized and no one understands it anyway (though FWIW, physics is a bit like that).

      • So, I totally agree with your basic point, apples. I just wanted to chime in, though, and say that after 5-6 years in a PhD, I do think she’s earned the right to call herself a physicist! :) I do agree, though, that the media could/should probably find a better description.

      • LadyEnginerd :

        I think that it’s fair to call someone a former physicist or a physicist by training if they earned a PhD. If you earn a PhD, you are, in fact, a scientist who is the world’s leading expert in a teeny tiny little (probably unimportant) part of human knowledge. A PhD requires generating new knowledge and working fairly independently for 5-7 years to generate said knowledge. With a PhD, you are “qualified” to work independently as a scientist. That to me is different than a professional who would not yet be qualified to work independently (like a lawyer who is still in the “apprenticeship” period of their practice). I’d feel weird calling someone who quit mid-residency without board certification a “former surgeon”, but not uncomfortable calling them a former doctor or doctor by training.

        Journalists aren’t particularly good at making or communicating these distinctions, though. I rarely trust science journalism in part because I read articles about my sub-field in the popular press and they’re sensationalist and often just… wrong.

    • WorkingMom :

      I also am one who doesn’t know much about her, really nothing at all. But, I will add that when my future husband and I were dating, we had “the talk” – and I wanted to be a SAHM. He agreed that was a great idea, and that was our plan. Fast forward 5 or 6 years, and here I am, working mom! We simply cannot afford for me to stay home, as I am the breadwinner and carry the benefits.

      Now that I’ve been a working mom for 2 years… I don’t know if I could be a SAHM! I really, really like working. It shocked me… honestly. Turns out, I am really not all that domestic! LOL!

      Not really related directly to this thread I suppose, but I thought I’d share. In my house – my husband does work FT like me, but he does the chores, the dishes, etc, while I make the money and handle the finances :)

      • Maddie Ross :

        Ha – this same thing happened to me. On like our third date, even though we met in law school, my now husband told me he always anticipated that his future wife would stay home. His parents were both very liberal, but his mom did stay home the majority of the time with him growing up. I think that was just what he was raised to expect would happen. Needless to say, we could never afford for me to stay home. Even if I wanted to (which I don’t).

  8. I am really not about this blazer. It looks like drapes to me.

    • Motoko Kusanagi :

      +1 to drapes. Maria Von Trapp’s Spring 2013 collection.

      • I don’t know if I agree with the drapes analysis, but +1 to this joke.

      • Ha! Love that.

      • writergrrl :

        LOL. This comment wins the universe.

      • A blatant knock off of the Scarlet O’Hara collection.

      • Im actually pretty sure this is the same fabric. Big fan of the movie and sing a longs but I don’t think I could commit this much. http://m.anthropologie.com/anthro/product/clothes-sweaters/25546250.jsp

        • This is actually kind of cute in navy. But no way in the grey. The Sound of Music Sing A Long is one of my favorite things ever. I started going with my mom in high school and we still try to go together.

    • LOL I have been shopping for baby carriers lately and it looks like a pattern on one of those.

    • LOL I have been shopping for baby carriers lately and it looks like a pattern on one of those.

  9. Maine Associate :

    San Jose, CA ‘Rettes: I would like to send my Mom flowers from a local florist in San Jose. My mom works on Noth Seventh Street in San Jose. Anyone have a recommendation for a florist? Many thanks!

    • My wedding/birthday/assistants’ day/mothers’ day/sympathy florist is Edmunds in San Mateo. Their website says they deliver to San Jose for $20. They do a beautiful job every single time. I usually say my budget is $x before tax, I want these colors, I hate this flower and that flower, I want the arrangement to be tall/wide/short/full – do something pretty and in season. Gorgeous every time, and they really know how to work with in-season flowers to get a big bang for your buck.

    • anon today :

      Citti’s—several locations in San jose, locally owned by Citti family for 50 years.

  10. Alright… because I’m bored at work and we have an interesting mix of work from home and from the office today is anyone interested in playing what are you wearing?
    Given that we aren’t in evacuation mode yet and even if we were there is no way to get from the real world to where I live, I have on a wool sweater dress, comfy tights and a flowered scarf – rubber flats because I live just up the hill from the flood zone (which was already flooded at 8am… and high tide isn’t until 12:30 sigh)

    • Jeans, sweatshirt, glasses and slippers. It took all of my willpower to put on jeans instead of pajamas but I want to go check out the ocean as the tide gets higher so pants are probably important.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I’m in California, far away from the storm, sending warm and dry thoughts to those ofyou in its path!

        Today I’m wearing the (original) Skirt in bright turquoise, navy tie-neck blouse with little white birds and tiny magenta dots from ModCloth, and a navy and tan striped blazer. Nude shooties. I love my outfit today!

        • Ooh! Sounds like a great outfit!

        • What is Modcloth? I think I’ve seen ads online for the site – does anyone purchase from there regularly? How is the quality/price/etc? I’m always looking for good online shopping and “navy tie-neck blouse with little white birds and tiny magenta dots” sounds just perfect!

    • I’m nowhere near the storm, but I’ll play.

      I’m wearing a white tee, dark red cardigan, patterned pencil skirt (white with black cross-hatches), heathered grey tights & black pumps. Oh, and a black, grey & silver beaded necklace.

      I hope everyone in the path of the storm stays safe & warm!

    • Sweatpants, shearling slippers, and a waffle-knit tee. Sorry to those of you working!

    • An oversized t-shirt I received while working at a summer program in college and a pair of my husbands shorts. Basically, pajamas. Because why put on pants. Its like I’m 9 and they cancelled school.

    • Kontraktor :

      I have on a pumpkin orange seamed pencil skirt, a black satin top with a colorful, geometric square print (the squares are moss green, navy, maroon, orange, hot pink, and cream), some black patent heels, and a chunky/layered gold and black glass bead necklace. Also wearing thick black glasses and gold ball studs.

      • Your outfit sounds awesome!

      • Anastasia :

        I am jealous of your outfit, it sounds great!

        I have the day off thanks to Sandy, so I’m wearing yoga pants, t-shirt, a fleece, and thick fuzzy socks. :)

        • Kontraktor :

          Thanks! I feel Halloween-y without being ridiculous. This blouse also fits me perfectly so that’s always a plus. I am jealous of yoga pants/fuzzy socks outfit however. That sort of thing makes work at home awesome!

    • Like that episode of Revenge when Nolan isn’t wearing pants?

      • crap. that was for TCFKAG.

        I’m wearing jeans and a sweater. Working from home and my coffee tastes so much better than the really expensive work machine.

      • I am way excited to see Nolan pantsless and shirtless this season. Nolan is so geeky hot.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Velour sweats and a slouchy tee. I feel like it’s a snow day!

    • Yoga pants! Hooray Sandy!

    • Gray v-neck mitten sleeve T with black yoga pants. My office announced it was closing last night. Yay. I’m at my brother’s house, looking forward to playing with my baby nephew, drinking and watching Hart of Dixie all day.

      My sister-in-law called last evening to invite me over, figuring I’d have more fun with family than in my apartment. And since I work for a university, the chances were good that my office would close.

    • When I packed to leave my apartment, I just grabbed things without thinking if they’d make outfits. Right now I’m wearing dark blue yoga pants and an old tshirt from college, which I just realized during this thread is clashing with the yoga pants. Oops.

    • The temperature dropped 30 degrees here since Friday so I am very excited to wear warm clothes and boots. Wearing my new anthro sweater: http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/product/clothes-sweaters/25191214.jsp with a garnet tank, jeans and tan mid-calf high heeled boots.

    • Still in PJs, although I will likely put on real clothes (probably yoga pants) soon.

    • Anonylicious :

      I’m technically sort of working from my hotel today, but right now I’m just watching the Weather Channel and listening to the wind. I picked a great time to come up to DC!

      I’m wearing a gray tee shirt, skinny Levis, and wool socks. I’m about to put on my fleece jacket and go down to the laundry room while we still have power.

    • sdchicky619 :

      Nowhere near the storm…I’m in the office today, wearing black/white/gray patterned cropped pants from Loft, a white collared shirt, and a royal blue sweater from J.Crew. Oh, and pearls and black ballet flats.

    • From the other side of the continent, where it is raining as usual, but no hurricane:

      – cobalt blue (old) The Skirt
      – brown and cream zebra-striped silk shell from J Crew
      – brown tights
      – my new tasselled heels from J Crew

    • No storm here (but I’m thinking of you east coasters – stay safe, please!). I thought that I was in court today, but was excited to learn that the partner just told me the wrong day, you know, after I drove all the way out there (our office is in the ‘burbs). But, I feel surprisingly put together today, and have reminded myself of how much nicer separates can be compared to the roomy maternity dresses I’ve been wearing non-stop.

      So, gray pencil skirt from Motherhood Maternity, purple scoop-neck tee from Target, black pinstripe blazer from The Limited (or purple cardi from NY&Co, while I’m at my desk), black tights and black knee-high boots. Pearl necklace and earrings, hair clipped in an updo so I didn’t have to blow it out.

      Other than the pearls, it’s a very cheap outfit for me to feel so put together!

    • hellskitchen :

      I was in sweatpants and and a ratty tshirt but reading this thread I was inspired to put on gray pants and a hot pink shirt. I realized I had better put on real clothes if I am going to hunker down in my apartment for 2-3 days or I’ll feel like a slob

    • oh yes. working from home today in eagles sweatpants from VS’s pink/NFL line and a hoodie from my high school soccer team. i ran into the office around 7:30 this morning to pick up some files and wore a baseball cap and slightly more dressed-up sweats, in the form of lululemon crops.

      if we have to do this for more than a day or so, i’ll start wanting to wear real clothes again, but for now i’m perfectly content with my elastic waistband.

    • Praxidike :

      I am at work, so I am dressed in “real” clothes.

      Violet cashmere v-neck sweater, tweed (black and grey) skirt, black knee-high boots, and (green) boot socks just peeking out of the top. Watch, tiered necklace, and wedding band. I look cute (or so I think).

  11. Anon this time :

    Hoping to get some advice/reassurance on something that happened to me last night. This has nothing to do with clothes or office life, but you ladies give such good advice that I’m going to ask this here.

    I am a moderate drinker. Some days I don’t drink at all, but most days I have a glass or two of wine or a martini or something. This is pretty much on par with everyone else in my group of friends, and I’m not generally concerned with my drinking. Yesterday afternoon, I had a party at my house. Over the course of about 4 hours, I had two glasses of wine and a gin and tonic. I’m pretty sure I blacked out. Or something like that. I vaguely remember making more food, and then putting it in the oven, but I have no idea how it got out of the oven or anything (though it did). I then went to bed and passed out/took a nap for 3 hours.

    I am seriously freaked out and somewhat embarrassed. I have blacked out maybe two other times in my life, and I’ve been drinking for about 10 years. Has this ever happened to you? A random blackout after non-insane drinking? The only thing I can think is that I had a really stressful and exhausting weekend so the booze just hit me harder? Reassurance or advice or “that totally happened to me too, once!” would be very welcome.

    • That doesn’t seem like a lot of alcohol to me, based on my experience. When you blacked out the other two times, had you had considerably more to drink? What did you have to eat (if anything) yesterday? Were you on any OTC or prescription medications? How was your sleep leading up to the incident? I don’t think you should be embarrassed by it, but it does seem highly unusual so my advice would be to think about all the other factors that could be at play here and get yourself to the doctor.

      • Anon this time :

        The other two times I blacked out were college level binge drinking incidents, both years ago. I’m not on any new medicine, I ate a fair amount of snacks, but overall had a really emotionally rough weekend where I didn’t get a ton of sleep… on Friday found out a friend of seven years date-r#ped two people, has been fired from his job, etc. and had to deal with the other emotional people in our friend group who are all devastated about this. (This is a different group of friends from the ones who were at the party yesterday)

        • I find sometimes if I’m exhausted or have had an emotional experience, alcohol definitely hits me differently/harder. Do you remember feeling tipsy or drunk before you blacked out?

        • I wouldn’t discount the amount of stress you were experiencing as a contributing factor. Stress/anxiety can sometimes manifest as something like a blackout in my experience. Have you ever had a panic/anxiety attack?

          If you’re concerned you might want to talk to your doctor about it. I’m not a doctor, but maybe there is an underlying medical reason/condition that contributed to what you experienced.

          • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

            This. Definitely don’t underestimate the stress factor.

            The stress factor has been known to cause overdoses in people who take X amount of a controlled substance because that’s how much they always do, but that one time they’re superstressed is when they OD.

        • eastbaybanker :

          I agree with capnkate. I would definitely chalk it up to emotional stress. I’m really sorry you and your friends are going through this.

    • Are you sure no one put anything in any of your drinks?

      For someone who drinks moderately on a regular basis to black out after 2 glasses of wine and one mixed drink, particularly assuming that you also ate food during this timeframe, would be…unusual at best. Unless you’re on some kind of medication that could have interacted poorly with your alcohol…that is not normal, in my opinion.

    • Blacking out doesn’t sound normal in any way. However, sometimes if I have my period I seem to process alcohol differently and a small amount will affect me much more than it normally would, especially if I haven’t been eating.

    • Is there someone that was at your party that you trust? You could ask them if you were behaving strangely etc.

      • +1.

        Also, are you sure nobody stealth topped your wine? I got magnificently drunk once when I was convinced I had only had one glass of wine because my “friends” kept topping me up.

        And further alsoing, how did you feel otherwise the day after? As usual or worse than expected? Might clue you in on whether you had more to drink than you thought or that someone slipped you something nasty.

        And for my final also, have you had that particular wine before with no ill effects? Not all wines are created equal, and not everyone reacts the same to all wines.

      • I would agree with asking someone you trust. Its possible you don’t remember getting the food out of the oven because you didn’t get the food out of the oven – someone else said to you “you look exhausted, go take a nap, I’ve got this” and you’ve blanked on that part of the conversation.

        I would also add that if you read the tiny fine print that comes with BCP it says “may cause your body to metabolize alcohol differently” I didn’t read this fine print until had been taking the pill for almost 2 years, and when I changed brands (and hormone types) it definitely changed how I metabolised alcohol. So go read the fine print on any handouts you get from the pharmacy for anything you take, even if you ‘ve been taking it all along – the disclaimer may be there, even if you haven’t experienced it before.

    • I think a number of factors could have made you feel it more than you ordinarily would: 1) Did you really space them evenly over 4 hours? Any faster and that could have you feeling it a lot more intensely; 2) not eating much that day; 3) dehydration before you started drinking. On #3, I feel like red wine has a particularly dehydrating effect on me for some reason.

      Lack of sleep could be it too. I get really dazed and out of it when I haven’t slept much, occasionally to the point where I do almost feel drunk even without alcohol!

    • How large was the G&T? Was it like in a rocks glass/normal bar sized, or Super “I made this drink at home” sized? I think that would make a difference. If it was normal bar sized that does seem unusual, though if it was the Super Sized version it may have been more like 2 or 3 G&Ts which makes blacking out seem more likely. Same goes for the glasses of wine. If you filled your glass like they would at a restaurant, those are small, but some glasses can hold up to half a bottle of wine when filled.

      There are other factors at play here of course, but being honest with yourself about your alcohol consumption would be the first place to start.

    • Anonnynonnynon :

      This happens to me sometimes after three drinks if I don’t eat a meal before drinking. Also mixing wine with liquor can throw me for a loop.

      Just try to eat a meal next time first, snacks don’t do it for me either.

    • Coach Laura :

      Stress + exhaustion + dehydration + low food intake + moderate alcohol may equal blackout.

  12. My husband likes to play video games. I just found out that, in the game he’s been playing recently, he named one of the characters after me and it’s affecting his game play because he keeps protecting that character since he doesn’t want to see anything bad happen to her. Awww!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I am also a character in one of my husband’s games.

      • Mr. Monday chose to BE a female character inspired by me in Diablo 3! Though of course she looks about a foot taller, 10 lbs. lighter, and 3 cup sizes up. These things can’t be customized…

    • That is so sweet!

    • That is adorable.

      • I know. I found out because he was humblebragging to a buddy about it (as in “the reason I haven’t gotten to a higher level is because my wife is so awesome that I got sappy and named a character for her and now can’t use that character the way I would because I won’t let her get hurt.”)

  13. SV in House :

    Seeking help from crafty readers! My son’s Halloween costume includes what is essentially a cardboard box on his head (decorated to look like a video game character). How do I get the box to stay on his head without sliding around?

    • Find a way to attach/glue it to a t-shirt?

    • Attach an old/unloved baseball cap to the inside. I’m thinking staples or something, so it won’t be the same after. And depending on the size of the box, you may need to turn the cap backwards or cut the brim.

    • put padding on the inside, to fit around his head? like ina bicycle helmet. And is there some way to attach (hot glue?) a strap on the inside to attach under his chin? just some brainstorming ;o) sounds like a fun costume, hope he gets lots of candy!

    • Can you secure it to his shoulders somehow?

    • SV in House :

      Thanks, all — you are awesome! Planning to try the baseball cap method.

  14. writergrrl :

    Not feeling this one at all, Kat, sorry.

    TJ for any makeup mavens out there: how do you eyeshadow, seriously?

    So I’m pretty okay with basic makeup (liner, powder, gloss, mascara+foundation if I’m feeling fancy.) Eyeshadow, however, is beyond me. But I got a Naked palette as a gift recently and I’d like to use it, except I don’t know where to begin. Any tips for not looking like a circus clown?

    (FWIW, I’m South Asian, with dark skin and eyes, roughly the complexion of Sheetal Mallar, so if anyone has skin-tone specific help, that would be great, too.)

    • The Naked palette is really great for South Asian skin tones, especially because there are a lot of golds. Honestly, I don’t really mix too many eyeshadows and do complicated looks unless I’m going out and want to do smokey eyes. Most days, I just sweep a colour over my eyelid – most of the colours in the palette will probably warm up your eyes and make them sparkle so I would just try that with some of the gold shadows and see how you feel!

    • Always a NYer :

      I love eyeshadow!!! Probably too much but that’s another story. Before you go near the eyeshadows, use an eyeshadow primer to get the most wear time. Lots of folks love the UD primer but I’ve never tried it. What I use is Nanoblur cream (found at Walgreens online). Now onto the shadow. First, sweep Naked from lashline up to browbone. Then Toasted across the eye socket. Hustle, Darkhorse, or Smog can be used for definition in the crease. And for a final pop, apply Sin right under your eyebrows. Adding liquid liner at the lashline will definitely make your eyes pop! And add it on top of the shadow, not underneath it.

      I use the Naked II palette so this is all from looking at the colors online and using my best judgement. It also comes from years of playing with makeup colors and figuring out what look is most flattering.

      • You are awesome. I’m totally stealing this look Saturday night.

        • Always a NYer :

          Yay! I’d love to hear how you like it. I’m sure you’ll look amazing!

      • I’m south asian and my skin coloring is similar (maybe a little yellower). I just switched to Trish McEvoy Even Skin Foundation #5. It’s fairly light, more like a tinted moisturizer. I squirt a tiny amount onto the back of my hand and use a large foundation brush to spread it on my face. It’s not too heavy, but it does even out your complexion.

        If that doesn’t work for you, I used to use Bobbi Brown tinted moisturizer in “medium to dark”. Also a good match, but I like the Trish McEvoy coverage better. It takes a long time to find a good skin tone evener, b/c a lot of make up counter women don’t realize that South Asian skin has yellow undertones (they just see that it’s brown). I didn’t use foundation/tinted moisturizer for a long time, but I find that it really helps my skin glow.

    • dont use those little spongy applictors. Get a brush that is nice and poofy and rounded. Use that to get some color on it, flick it against the side of your sink or something to get extra powder off, and then just wiggle it into the crease of your eye on the outside half of your eye. Try that on both sides as just a little color for a workday.

      Also, check out Youtube for beauty tutorials on different eyeshadow looks, there are a bajillion out there. ;o)


    • Anon Analyst :

      A lot of beauty blogs have picture and video tutorials using the UD palette. Makeup by Tiffany D has at least a couple of videos. Temtalia is also a good site. Or just Google “urban decay naked palette tutorial”.

      I’m not good with putting together eyeshadow looks on my own, so I usually look online to get inspiration. Good luck and have fun!

    • Eyeshadow is fun! Primer is important for staying power. I use primer from the Body Shop but clear lip balm will do in a pinch. If you are just learning how to apply it, I would pick a shade that is slightly sparkly and close to your skin color. Practice painting or patting it on in short strokes and focus on the “shape” to start out, ie all over the lid, not too far beyond the crease and w/in the bounds of eyeliner if you wing the eyeliner out (sort of like a football shape?). After this, I would try blending 2+ colors, playing with how far out you extend the color, lining with shadow etc. :-)

  15. Anyone else’s dog freaking out in the storm? Mine keeps whining at me and whipping his tail around (like an “I want to play” wag), and then running back and forth to the window. I’m trying to get work done and this is not helping.

    • Mine is just sitting outside on the hill sniffing all the wind. I think his little brain might explode.

    • Not yet. Not too windy here (DC), yet, and I think that is what will freak her out more than the rain. She did surprisingly ok when we walked her a few hours ago, even though it was raining pretty hard.

  16. Swimmers, I need to buy a new pair of fins. I have a pair of FINIS Zoomers, but I really can’t stand them. I could buy socks to wear with them, but after having them for a year, I’m not feeling it. I used to have a pair of Speedo fins that were angled (longer and more flexible than Zoomers, but shorter than scuba fins).

    I’ve narrowed myself down to 3 pairs:
    -Speedo Optimus (they are notched in center and I think they are most like my old pair in terms of lenth and flexibility)
    – TYR Crossblade
    – Speedo Biofuse (reviews said these will give your legs the best workout – these are probably the most like Zoomers, but the heel material is much more flexible and molds to the foot).

    Does anyone have a pair of fins they like or can comment to the pairs above? Thank you.

  17. Ugh. Home sick today, but I’m supposed to be sworn-in this afternoon. I’m so mad because I’ve been looking forward to this day for so long and now, I feel so lousy and drained that I’m not at all interested in going.

    • Hugs and sympathy! I was just sworn in on Friday–it was nice. Maybe if you don’t attend this swearing-in ceremony you can have your own special, personal swearing in? Know any judges who could swear you in when you’re feeling up to it?

  18. I’ll second the “stay safe in the storm” sentiment! I do miss having days off for weather…that just doesn’t happen here in So Cal.

    I just want to say, my managing partner just cleared her throat down the hallway and it sounded EXACTLY like Professor Umbridge. And that about sums up my last few weeks.

  19. Anon for this :

    Today my entire goal for the work day is not running screaming from the building, crying (again), or flat out quitting. Not good, and burn out central. Just needed to vent.

  20. I read this article in Sunday’s SF Chronicle about a new Silicon Valley “sorority” and wondered if any of our Bay Area r e t t e s were involved?


  21. I would love to continue my education with an MBA but I am very concerned about the cost. My employer does offer tuition assistance but I would have to stay with the company for several years after completing my degree and I don’t want to commit to that. I have tried to look for scholarships but I haven’t seen very much out there. Any websites/resources that are good for this sort of thing?

    • I think that there are not a lot of big scholarships for JD and MBA programs because the idea is that you will be able to repay those loans (true or not). There are exceptions, if, e.g., you belong to certain groups (George Soros has a great scholarship for first generation Americans, etc.) … Also, schools sometimes offer at least partial scholarships based on how desirable you are as a candidate, so you could always apply and see what your actual costs will be.

      If this is something you really want to do, I would reconsider your employer’s assistance program — do you not want to commit because you just don’t like to make such a commitment or do you genuinely not want to work at your current job much longer?

    • MBA here. My first thought would be that doing an MBA is only worth it if: 1) You go to a top-tier program or 2) You go to any MBA, but are sponsored and going back to your current employer who will give you a raise for getting the degree.

      In general, if your company pays for you to go, you can still leave them before the commitment time is up, but will have to pay back a pro-rated amount of the tuition. Many schools also have school-specific scholarships that you can apply for, but there may only be 1-2 per school. There are also several scholarships for minority women.

      If you do #1, the average starting salary is somewhere around $115K and can be more if you are coming in with more experience. Depending on what you make now, that may or may not be enough for you to both get a raise and pay off the cost if you switch jobs. The reason I say only do this if you are going to a top-tier program is because the average salary decreases quite a bit for other programs, and you may not like the selection of roles you are offered during recruiting. The biggest and most prestigious companies will only recruit out of a handful of schools.

      I would also think about whether you need the MBA to progress in your career. It is both a signaling device (i.e. that you’re smart enough to get into whatever program) and can help you get some general business experience. The latter may be helpful if you do not have any managerial experience up to this point, but might be redundant if you are already on a management track and feel that you are adequately skilled to do your job. I think the major difference between MBA and law school is that a lot of what you learn during your MBA can be learned on the job by someone with a decent amount of intelligence and common sense. There are no legal codes or structures to memorize.

      That was a lot of random thoughts, sorry! Hope it was at least somewhat helpful.

      • Another consideration re: salary is the kind of experience you have going into the program as well as the position you want coming out. If you are a “career switcher,” I echo the suggestion above that the top programs will absolutely be your best route–even if only for the alumni network. If you are at a place where you need/should have an MBA to progress in your career, you may be fine at a strong local program.

        DH went to a top 20-30(?) school where the average starting salary was more like 100k, and the students were on the younger end (and therefore had fewer years of pre-MBA work experience). Post MBA, DH’s salary was much higher than the average student mainly because he qualified for more senior roles. He didn’t have to pay anything out for tuition AND we didn’t have to move. So there are other factors to consider when looking at programs.

      • ChinaRette :

        Thanks, BB! Your thoughts are helpful. I’m considering an MBA but holding back due to some of the factors you mentioned.

    • Are you looking to do a full time or part time MBA program? DH was thinking of doing part time, but during the application process found out that he might qualify for a scholarship…ended up getting a full ride for the full time program based on his GMAT scores, so went full time instead.

      Of course, it wasn’t “free” because he didn’t work for two years (though did work over summers), but we lived off my income.

    • Check out the Forte Foundation. And, if you are interested in finding out more about an MBA, for free, the Tuck School at Dartmouth does a Women’s Conference each fall and will fly you there FOR FREE from anywhere in the country. It’s pretty cool. But…you’d need to be interested in Tuck to want to schlep up there.

      Full disclosure: Tuck grad.

      • Also, if you are interested in anything social entreprenership-y or green, check out Net Impact.

  22. For those stuck at home in hurricane Sandy zones, what are you doing today?

    I keep thinking I should put away laundry and store some summer clothes/take out winter and organize my jewelry, which is currently a mess. But I also just want to stay in my PJs and sit on the couch. Looking for either inspiration or validation in my quest to watch Clue on Netflix (again).

    • I’m working unless/until the power goes out. Sound fun? No? Clue it is, then! The closet organizing will be there when you get restless to move around, and you can crank up some tunes for it.

      • You have convinced me. Clue is never a bad idea! But I am taking Nonny’s suggestion and untangling necklaces whilst watching it :)

    • I did the big closet switch last weekend, found a DvF I forgot I had (bought on sale at the end of last winter, so didn’t get a chance to wear it before storing for the summer), wore it this week and got tons of compliments! Maybe you’ll find a pleasant surprise as well??

      That said, I’m only working long enough to get one project finished, and then (assuming the internet stays on) watching The Artist (erm, finally) on Netflix :)

    • I am on bereavement leave but most practical things associated with that are completed so I am at home, reading blogs.
      The funeral was yesterday and ended before it started raining… kinda fortunate except using the words fortunate and funeral in the same sentence feels weird.
      I WILL get up RIGHT NOW and go do some exercises with weights and later will sort the laundry.

    • Can you sort your jewellery while sitting on the couch watching Clue? Double points for multitasking.

      • This is genius, thank you.

      • Sorting my jewelry is something I love to do while watching TV. It probably does not need sorting as often as I sort it, but I like getting my paws on ALL THE JEWELRIES every so often.

    • I’m working until I finish a project, then I’m probably going to putter around the apartment and catch up on all the posts on this site I’ve been missing!

    • I’m on the couch in PJs reading my book club book. Plans for the rest of the day include catching up on TV. Maybe I’ll put away all the laundry I did yesterday in anticipation of losing power.

      • Our kitten just snuggled up next to me, started purring and went to sleep. I’m definitely not leaving the couch now.

    • Hopefully finishing up sewing a really overdue “last gasp of summer” dress. Doing laundry. And finally trying to work up the motivation to prep for an interview later this week.

      • I wish I could be home sewing today. I have a shirt that is almost finished but I’m not sure when I’ll have a chance to finish it.

        • So you two sew. I used to sew but I kind of hate it. However, my 11 year old daughter is interested in learning to sew now. She’s been hand sewing some clothes and “decor” for her American Girl doll. I know she’s old enough to learn how to use the machine, but here’s my issue –

          where do you set up your sewing machine? It seems like it makes such a mess wherever I do it. I can take over the entire dining room easily, and that would be OK if I were doing an afternoon project, but you know it never works that way.

          We have a relatively big house for the bay area, but we are using all of the rooms already. I do not have a spare/guest/craft room.

          Interested in your ideas.

          • I don’t know how well it works with kids (and my hunch is that it might not really work), but I just do the sew-and-clear-away method. I actually live in a tiny studio apartment, so I have even less space to put my machine. I set it up on my desk (which is also where I do any work) and just make sure to clear it away when I’m done for the day.

            Not having kids, I’m not really sure how mature an 11yo is. If she’s old enough, maybe it’s a good lesson in project planning? I will use my ironing board/desk to cut the pattern pieces one evening, then clear everything. Next day is sewing one section, then clear everything. And repeat. I never have scissors, bolts of cloth, sewing machine, various needles etc. out at once, so it’s manageable.

            That being said, I cannot wait to get a place where I can have a proper sewing room! I’m getting the largest work table I can fit to put in there! And then chaos can reign! :)

          • I’m looking into purchasing a “craft table” for my own sewing — this may be helpful? It’s a small table that folds out into a bigger one, so she could keep the small table out (with a small machine on it?) and fold it out into a full table when she’s using it, but then clean up and fold it back down when she’s done. I had looked into a simple folding table for this, but I like the craft tables better, because it seems much simpler, and it provides a place to keep the machine when not in use.

            JoAnn’s is having a sale on hobby tables — here’s the one I was looking at, but note that you can find others with more storage, etc.

          • Maine Associate :

            I live in a small condo and do the sew and clear away method too. I have a couple of plastic bins that hold my supplies and 2 small tables that fold up that I can set up my sewing machine on and use as work space. My sewing machine lives in a rolling case so it has a place to live and it is easier to take to classes.

          • Meg Murry :

            If she’s the one who is mainly going to be using it, do you have a way to set it up in her room? Put it on a desk, etc? I do all my sewing projects at my mother’s house because she has a counter in the laundry room where the machine can stay setup for a few days, and an ironing board that folds out of the wall. Any work that requires to be spread out goes to the dining room table for the spreading/pinning phase, then back to the laundry room for sewing & ironing.

            Another friend of mine has a computer hutch/armoire that she converted to be a craft/sewing space – open the doors and sew, close the doors and close all the chaos behind you – might be something to consider for the longer term if she gets into sewing a lot.

          • Thank you all for your thoughts. I like the idea of clean up as you go but I don’t think my daughter is responsible enough for that – or rather, it would be me cleaning up as she goes.

            When I was a kid, I bought an old sewing machine in a cabinet from a garage sale. The cabinet looked like a regular small side table, but the top opened up to add two extended sides, then the sewing machine rotated up (from being upside-down in storage position.) I later converted it to hold a newer sewing machine, which I also found at a garage sale.

            …..Hmm, looking back, I was a pretty resourceful kid. I wonder if I’m trying to make things too easy for my kid!

          • Research, Not Law :

            I grew up sewing on the dining room table. I had been doing it by 11. Cleaning up after myself was implicitly required. My mother also modeled the behavior. It was her machine (I bought my own with my high school graduation money) and lived in a closet when not in use.

            I feel like learning to practice your hobbies in shared living space is a useful skill. My brother often had balsa wood models set up and we’d have to coordinate to have it fit, not to mention coordinate with my parents and dinner. It may be painful now, but her roommates will thank you later.

          • I’m pretty lucky that I have a craft room/office where I leave my machines set up. However, in our prior house I had a table set up in the family/play/tv room with a couple of bins nearby. The machine stayed out, but everything else went into the bins in between sewing sessions so little fingers & the cat couldn’t get into my work in progress or anything else.

    • we watched Clue on Friday! Do it!

    • Let us in, let us in! Let us out, let us out!

      • I have never seen Clue. Is it appropriate for kids? We are always looking for movies we can all watch. Extra points for slapstick silly.

        • It isn’t a kids movie , though I don’t think anything is horribly inappropriate for kids–just will be over their heads if they are young. There is murder (duh- it’s Clue!), a bit of drinking/cigar3tt3 smoking, etc but no real blood/gore. Couple of scenes with scary barking dogs/haunted house type stuff. It is not really of the same ilk as Pink Panther, if that’s what you’re looking for…but it does star Tim Curry!

          • I agree — it’s not exactly G-rated, but even the more salacious things are pretty tame, and they’ll likely go over the heads of youngsters anyway. ABC Family airs it from time to time, so they must think it’s family-friendly.

        • Motoko Kusanagi :

          Clue is extremely slapstick silly, and we (me plus sibs) watched it all the time growing up. Remind me how old your kids are mamabear?

          • They are 9 and 11. I am outing myself as a bad parent here because we let them watch Stepbrothers (covered their eyes for the one s3x scene)and they laughed so hard.

          • Motoko Kusanagi :

            I definitely think they are old enough for Clue. The most salacious it gets is innuendo and cleavage and a little making out on a couch. We’d definitely all watched Clue by that age and I don’t think any of us are scarred for life :)

          • Research, Not Law :

            I think it’s appropriate for that age – assuming we’re talking about the version that came out in the 80’s or 90’s.

    • locomotive :

      I’m attempting to work from home although I’ve been secretly praying my internet will go down and I will have no choice but to put on a face mask and read a crappy magazine on the couch :)

    • Almost There :

      I watched the first season of Girls on HBO Go today, still in jammies, and made a grilled cheese for lunch. I’m gonna start drinking soon, no reason not to!

  23. My BF spent the weekend in Vegas with his officemates. He actually went to the outlet mall to see whether the Kate Spade outlet had the Great Gatsby clutch that I have been obsessing over. They didn’t, but I can’t believe he actually did that. What guy goes into Kate Spade unprompted? He gets lots of points. :-)

  24. I’ve been watching season 1 of Once Upon a Time on Netflix. If I could push a button somewhere and order Regina’s entire mayor wardrobe, I would totally do it. I don’t have a lot of time or energy for shopping, but I’d love to buy a ready-made-in-my-size and pre-tailored version of her wardrobe – everything is so classic and classy.

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