Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Tweed Jacket

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

Rebecca Taylor Jacket - Tweed Looooooove this tweed and leather jacket from Rebecca Taylor. It looks half motorycle jacket, half ladies who lunch — and I love the shrunken, not boxy fit. I love it as styled — all black — but I could see it working with pretty much any color combination. The jacket is $650 at Bloomingdale’s. Rebecca Taylor Jacket – Tweed

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


  1. Always a NYer :

    Wow, this is perfection! Too bad I don’t have $650 to spend on a blazer…

  2. Finally pulled the trigger on my first “the skirt” purchase. It sounds like the fit is different from previous years, so I’m really curious to see how the new iteration measures up to the reputation.

    (This site) and NAS are such enablers…

    • I’m wear my first The Skirt right now. I have a more straight up and down figure, and I love it.

      • Oh, that’s encouraging! I’m very similar (no curves at all). Now I just have to wait for it to arrive…

    • Totally agree! I had never purchased anything from Nordie’s and had never heard of this thing called an NAS before this site.

      I finally had a chance to try on the Vince Camuto booties in the smaller size (half size down) and they are heavenly. They fit perfectly, the leather is like buttah, and they are really well balanced despite the very high heels. I also bought a red sweater this week so I can wait to wear them together!

      • I thought Nordies was only where “very” *fancy* ladies were allowed to shop. And since I was clearly NOT a fancy lady I never went in there. And then I “met” y’all and I was like…ha! I’m AT LEAST as fancy as these crazies (just kidding). But seriously, I had no idea you could get such deals and such great items, because their stores always LOOK so intimidating.

        • Legally Brunette :

          Completely agree. I do find, however, that I rarely find anything good in the store but I always have such great luck online.

          • I was never really that intimidated by Nordstrom, because I know my mom and sister shop there frequently and they are definitely not *fancy*! But I agree with Legally Brunette, I never find much at my Nordstrom, (and I just don’t get how things are arranged – people on this site have tried to orient me to the brands/locations before, but I still just don’t get it) which I think is not a very good Nordstrom. I did take part in the Anniversary Sale this year, but just online. So far I’ve received the zigzag sweater that was featured last week and I like it very much.

            Really did not need another website to shop from, though. Oh well, so much for frugality.

        • I just hate the layout of Nordstrom. What the heck is a “narrative” or a “point of view”? Whatever happened to juniors, women’s, petites, etc? I can never f-ing find anything in a Nordstrom store.

          • That drives me nuts, even though I love Nordstrom.

          • I feel this way about all department stores. The whole layout by designer is so frustrating and time-consuming unless you always go to the same department. You can shop online for dresses or skirts or cardigans but you can’t do that in the store!

      • NOLA, I got the Vince Camuto as well (from DSW) and LOVE them. So comfortable for such a high heel.

        • Are they the same ones? I have some Vince Camuto booties from last year (black suede with chains up the back of the heel) and they are also really comfortable.

    • I like the seaming on the new version better; the old seaming just emphasized my stomach. I think this one is longer too so I got the petite size. I LOVE this jacket.

    • I love the colors this season. I’m wearing the dark purple one today.

  3. Kitty Update :

    Thank you to everyone who responded to my post on the open thread last Friday regarding one of my cats who has been having UTI/cystitis issues. The vet did a urinalysis and everything looked good. No crystals, a good pH (6.5) and a very small amount of red blood cells which she was only able to see through a microscope. The vet said the condition is feline idiopathic cystitis. She was tested for kidney stones previously and that came back negative, so it is probably stress that has brought on this issue.

    I got another litter box set up in the dining room and she and the other cats have been using it. I’ve been giving her pain medication once a day to take care of any of the cystitis issues so it’s not painful for her to go. Over the weekend, I noticed she’s making less trips to the box and overall seems to be feeling better.

    The vet did suggest putting her on an anti-anxiety medication called buspirone (or buspar). It’s just a liquid aministered once a day and it will take a few weeks to get into her system. The hope is that long term, this will help her calm down so her body does not react negatively to stress. I’m hoping that his combined with another litter box location will help her. I’m still open to finding a new home for Cat #3 if these modifications do not help.

    I didn’t get to respond to all the questions on Friday, but there were some about the food the cats are eating. Cat #2 is on the Royal Canine SO exclusively. No dry food. I started mixing in some water with her food and she seems to enjoy that. The other two cats are also on wet food, but for them I’ll mix in a few bits of dry food. I’ve also read about using apple cider vinegar to help keep the urine more acidic, so I use dropper to add some to all of their water bowls.

    Overall, I feel like I’m at a better place mentally to deal with this. I’ve been doing a lot of research and I feel more knowledgeable about the causes of this problem. It’s hard to explain, but that’s given me some comfort and calmness in dealing with this.

    Thanks again for listening. I’m feeling much better than I did a couple of days ago. :-)

    • I’m glad your kitty is doing better!! Fingers crossed she gets over this hump.

    • Kitty Update :

      On a related note, some co-workers were discussing the TV show My Cat From Hell. There was some scoffing and eyerolling about cats needing a behviorist and jokes about old school ways about dealing with pets.

      I was out of the office last Friday morning to take my cat to the vet, so someone asked about how she was doing. I mentioned that she was dealing with stress and is on anti-anxiety meds. I don’t recall the person that asked said anything specific in response, but sort of laughed at what I said. I sort of played it off and laughed too, but the vibe I got was…I don’t quite know how to describe it…but basically that it seemed silly to put a cat on anti-anxiety meds.

      I didn’t had any pets until a couple of years ago, so I probably would have thought the same thing. Once these kitties came into my life, I never realized the depth that I could love a little four-legged creature. I don’t have any kids, so these little animals are my babies. I just want to do everything I can to give them a good, comfortable life. I never thought I’d end up a cat lady, but now I can’t imagine my life any differently.

      • I love that show. It’s amazing what that guy can do. It seems like most of the changes are to the owners.

      • DC Lawyer :

        Good for you! We currently have 4 cats, and they’re endlessly funny, sweet, affectionate, curious. Just the ticket for de-stressing at the end of the day. One went through a long bout using anti-anxiety drugs, and eventually transitioned off to a placid, senior citizen cat.

      • It is a little funny, in a “first world problems” kind of way.

    • This is probably too late – but one of my dogs is on cranberry extract to help with UTIs as well.

    • I had guests and missed your weekend post. One of my cats, my sweet little fluffy tiger cat, had a serious cystitis problem for years. She always seemed to develop cystitis when I was out of town for a few days, evidencing itself whenI returned with the frequent litter box trips and peeing drops of blood. We tried everything! I took her to a very expensive specialist veterinary clinic in Memphis which did ultrasounds and other tests and arrived at the same conclusion as yours :feline idiopathic cystitis.

      The one thing that helped her (and she has not had an episode in over a year) was when I finally totally took her off dry food. Apparently about 90 percent of the cats with thision idiopathic condition eat dry food. I of course also added litter boxes (Having 3 cats and 3 boxes). I think it was the combination of the dry food and the stress of my being gone that precipitated episodes as over the years she had it, I do not hitnk she ever developed it while I was home. I never ws sure how much of an issue the cleanliness of the box was, as my cat sitter is quite large herself and I know did not clean the boxes as much as I do.

      We’ve gradually reintroduced dry food (for a weight issue) over the last year and still no recurrences.

      Good luck, it is a frustrating fight, but will probably subside now that you have a treatment plan.

  4. I’m not wild about this one. It looks like an “outside” jacket to me. I can see how it would look really cute with a cute floaty dress or jeans, I just don’t quite see it working for the office. Also, half motorcycle/half ladies-who-lunch doesn’t seem to be the best idea for your typical workplace. Totally can see how this would be cute in some contexts, just not your typical 9-5.

    • I think this is a Franken-jacket. Too outside for inside the office, too inside-for hopping on a real motorcycle.

      I think it’d overpower most dresses, if I really wanted the grunge look, I’d do the floaty dress + a real leather jacket. It also looks overdressed for jeans, like the way 60+ suburban matrons try to wear jeans.

    • I could see Dianne Lockhart wearing it – unzipped, over a shell with a drapy neck, pencil skirt and long pearl strands.

    • I would wear this to work with some nice trouser jeans and some [email protected]@ boots and I would walk around all day just wanting to kick someone’s [email protected]@. Or maybe with a pencil skirt and some knee-high [email protected]@-kicking boots. I quite like it, but there’s no way I would pay that much for a jacket.

      I think it’s a good thing I am going on vacation tomorrow, because obviously I am in a mood where my coworkers should watch their [email protected]@es.

      Disclaimer: I am really not a violent person, just sometimes have fantasies of becoming the Meryl Streep character in The Devil Wears Prada.

      • I would wear it too, in the Dianne Lockhart way I described above. I wouldn’t feel particularly like I was kicking a55…. at least, not more than usual..

  5. Update for anyone interested from the Bliss eyebrow fiasco. The GM of the location called me and was very nice/apologetic. They offered me another free eyebrow service, which I am going to politely decline, but appreciate the sentiment. Once I have enough of an eyebrow, I’m going to try threads thanks to all the recs here.

    • Yay! Make sure that you go to Preeti at Threads. The other owner, Sonia, made my eyebrows way too thin.

  6. I was wondering whether anyone has suggestions for itineraries/sights to see on a trip to the Ukraine (flying into Kiev; going to Chernobyl and Crimea are already in the plan)? Thanks in advance!

    • I went to Kiev about 7 years ago, and thought it was absolutely fascinating. One thing I would definitely recommend, that I can’t remember the name of, was this place with caves – I believe it may have been a monastery. Also, there are various churches that I thought were more interesting than the typical European church – one in particular was close to 100% gilded. I’m sorry I can’t remember more specifics!

      • Haven’t been to Kiev but have been to many gilded churches. Agree that they are fabulous but just a tip: bring a shawl/scarf to use as a headcovering and don’t go too bare (a big shawl can do double duty). There are usually plenty of old women there to scold you and it’s really considered bad form to not observe the formalities.

        • Cornellian :

          i’ve only been in Russia, but there you actually can’t enter in pants as a woman…

          • I wore pants our entire trip, and had no problems.
            But yes to the shawl to cover your head if needed. I think that I needed it infrequently if I remember correctly, but as AIMS said its better to err on the side of caution and observe the formalities.

          • RussiaRepeat :

            I was fine in pants in most Russian churches, but a monastery church in Novogorod wouldn’t let me in–I tied a long coat around my waist (since my shawl was already in use on my head) and they let that count.

          • Ukrainian Orthodox are less conservative than Russian. You can wear pants and they won’t insist on a head covering.

    • Thanks, ladies!

  7. Diana Barry :

    I like this a lot – in my alternate life as a ‘rebel’ lawyer! :)

    Spanx question. I notice that my spanx panties (actually yummie tummie) make my pants *tighter* since they are quite a bit thicker than my normal panties. Are there any super-thin spanx panties that wouldn’t have the same effect? Or am I better off just wearing my normal panties?

    • Same problem. Spanx are thicker and when I take them off, I find that my skirt/trouser feels a little looser on me.

      I want something that is super thin but at the same time holds it in.

      I shopped in Walmart a few yrs ago and foudn something there with super thin material which was great. Not sure if they carry them anymore. And I don’t even remember the brand

    • Assets (by Spanx) available at target has a thin one that’s lace at the top and I like it quite a bit.

  8. I’m a mid-level associate in Biglaw, and my firm has been going through what feels like a mass exodus of associates lately. Assuming this is a natural consequence of increased lateral hiring and expected attrition in Biglaw, has anyone gone through this and have any advice — more emotional than professional? I plan to stick around (knock on wood), but it’s candidly been really lonely having nearly all of my friends and even just friendly colleagues leave — especially knowing it will only get more pronounced and as we’re heading into arguably the most stressful few years. I know it’s not the same, but it almost feels like the transition from a team to an individual sport.

    • I left about the mid-point in the great attrition wave of my class (early in my 5th year year, if that makes sense) and I remember my hall getting pretty lonely. We were a very social class. But I think a few things happen. First, it’s just going to be less of a team thing even if all your friends stayed because case teams (if you’re a litigator, which maybe you aren’t) are pyramids and so when you’re a first year, there are a handful of juniors on the case with you, but as you move up the ranks, there are fewer and fewer at your level on each case. Second, this also often coincides with people moving out of their 20s and into their 30s. No matter where people work, they tend to start marrying and reproducing and so turn their focus inward to their families a lot more and spend less time focused on work and work people (which is why so many of them are leaving BigLaw anyway — to have kids). Finally, the upside is that now you’re going to have friends all over your city — which is great! You now have more friends because you’re now making friends with their new work friends (this is how I met my husband, btw, he was the new work friend of a former work friend who left my firm). And if you want to make partner at your firm, you now have a built-in network of future clients (who cares if they’re super junior assist GC now, by the time you need rain, they’ll be deputy GC or head of a division and be hiring outside counsel).

    • No advice, but in a similar boat. I’ve always been the one doing the leaving before (moved around as a kid, oldest kid so didn’t experience someone leaving for college), so it’s a bizarre feeling to be “left behind.” I know I’ll keep in touch with some, but that doesn’t help when you want to take a coffee break and your regulars are suddenly gone!

    • Diana Barry :

      What year are you? I was part of that exodus (not enough work in my department) when I was a 4th year. I had a small department, and it seemed like they picked one person per *every other class* to groom for partner. Everyone else was SOL if they wanted to stay. If you were in a bigger department there was more room to stay longer, but eventually 20/22 of our starting class has left 10 yrs out, in a 175ish lawyer firm.

    • Senior Attorney :

      You’re exactly right — you are transitioning from a team to an individual sport, and the best thing to do is accept that on a going-forward basis. As TBK pointed out, as time goes by your friends are more likely to be across the street than across the hall, and that’s normal and even desirable for the reasons she stated.

      My best advice is to really make the effort to keep your relationships with the people who leave, and to start thinking of yourself as a solo player in the partnership competition. Good luck!

    • Not sure if you were asking about this, but be prepared to be relied upon more heavily as competent troops leave. You are still there which means, surprise!, you will get more clients/cases as other folks leave. So that’s a not-fun side effect of lateral attrition. However, I have also noted that partners are very loyal and “protective” (even maybe, grateful) of the loyal folks who stick it out, so you might get a little bounce from that.

      Second the advice above regarding having a new network all over town. Try to keep in touch via quarterly lunches, parties, etc. It’s great to have options and hear what is up in other shops/at clients where your former colleagues now work.

      In terms of work friends…you will make new work friends. As you get more senior, work is more about work and less about friends…but you will still have work friends. Find a new lunch buddy or take the time to mentor someone junior. I promise it will pan out.

      • frou frou :

        “As you get more senior, work is more about work and less about friends…but you will still have work friends.”

        I’m glad to hear that this. Was beginning to think there might be something wrong with me…

  9. Boston Blonde :

    Hive, I’m looking for a Boston rec for blonde highlights! I’m trying to stay blonde without breaking the bank (student budget, sigh), but I would be willing to pay more for a great colorist. I have someone that I like well enough, but I have a hard time stomaching 150+ tip for a partial and a cut. I know there are some good deals to be had on groupon/ruelala/gilt, but I’m sick of bouncing around salons. I’d prefer somewhere out closer to Chestnut Hill, but all recs welcome. Thanks in advance!!

    • Diana Barry :

      Oh! me too! if you find someone good, will you let me know? I have seen good yelp reviews for Fulham Salon in Newton Ctr but haven’t been there yet.

      • Boston Blonde :

        That is where I go, love Thuy (I think that is the spelling). But its 65 for the cut, 85 for the highlight, and then I think I got charged 20 dollars for toner (which I haven’t seen as separate before and I have been coloring my hair forever, might be a NE thing?) If you go and say my name, I get 20% off my next visit though!

        • Boston Blonde :

          As a sidenote, I am very happy, and I’m rarely very happy with my hair color. I don’t think I ask for anything complicated, I like it to look natural and grow out nicely but that has not always translated. I have been able to go about 4 months instead of the usual 3 (only 2 if the highlights are really bad) & I have been too busy to get a cut in between times this summer, and I think that has held up really well also. So I’m kind of at the point where I’m willing to accept the price to be able to go that long in between. I like Thuy better than Ylena (I think that is her name) at Dellaria in NC, but I think she is also great. We just seemed to disagree on what was a “natural” look, so if you like platinum she might be great.

          • Diana Barry :

            Cool. Will check her out. I don’t need color yet but am finding more grey hairs so it won’t be long!

            If you give me your ‘real’ name I will use it when I go in (may be a few months) – you can email me at dianabarryr*tte at gmail (the * should be an ‘e’). :)

        • I’ve been charged for toner, too. What is it? Like primer?

          • Boston Blonde :

            I think toner is kind of like dye that you put over bleach from highlights to achieve the color you want. I get my hair toned when I don’t want my blonde to be too blonde, but I have just never seen it as a separate charge before.

      • But, Diana Barry, why are you looking for blonde highlights for your jet black tresses??? :)

    • Moe at Trephin is SERIOUSLY amazing! I mean it — AH-MAY-ZIIIIING! I was such a color floozy before finding her because, like you (it seems), I wanted good color, but was sick of breaking the bank of color that was “good” but not “great.” Seemed like a waste. Moe is not the cheapest, but she is really great and will work with whatever needs you have, and she REALLY listens. I think of her as a colorist and a problem-solver in one (meaning, she’s not just applying color to you the same way as to the 100 people before you — she will really hear exactly what you are looking for). If you do go in, tell her that Kelly R. sent you — I’ve sent a few people to her, and she’s always treated them well!

  10. Motoko Kusanagi :

    PSA for taller ladies:

    J.Crew finally has the No 2 wool pencil skirt in Tall sizes. 25.5 inch length.


    • SAlit-a-gator :

      I seem to remember that last fall the No. 2 in double surge wool was $98 (I internet stalked it a lot, bought and had to return because of bad color choice). Now, it’s priced at a whapping $130, way way more than The Skirt, even at non NAS price. And I get that it’s actually wool, etc so much higher quality, but it was wool last year too. So why the $32 price hike?!?!

      • It costs more to feed the sheep?

      • Cost of doing business? Maybe so when it goes on sale, they can charge a higher sale price and still make a profit? $32 does seem quite steep.

      • I think last year it was originally marked at $118, but then some of the colors went on sale at $98 pretty quickly. So, if I’m remembering right, it’s still a $20 price hike, which bothers me, but not $32. This seems to be part and parcel of J.Crew’s trend of increasingly outrageous prices for what their clothes are. I do love the wool No. 2, but at $130 I’m definitely going to hold out for a sale.

        • MissJackson :

          I am one of J. Crew’s biggest fans (at least for their pencil skirts, of which I own more than I am willing to say, even semi-anon on the internets). I love their prints, the preppy styling, the bright colors, and the classic shapes. But, their pricing structure drives me bonkers.

          The pricing is basically a game (that I wish I could stop playing). Things hit the floor at “full price” which is almost universally ridiculous for what you get, and then almost immediately things start going on “promo”, then sale, then sale + 20-30% off, then continual markdowns, etc. And they play games where they “hide” things from the website, rotate “promo” items, and charge for shipping unless you order $175 worth of stuff. Their pricing/sale items online and in-store do not match up, so I feel like I have to check every single item online from the dressing room before I buy it in-store (they will price match, but you have to ask for it). Since you can practically guarantee that most things will go on sale, there is little motivation to buy at full price, but then you have to play along with J. Crew’s pricing games to catch it on sale. It makes me nuts.

      • $130 now? You’ve got to be kidding. The waistband last season wasn’t even finished properly. Wonder if they fixed that this time around.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Dang it. That’s my favorite skirt. I’m hoping Eleanor is right that a promo is coming.

    • There’s also a long with a 27″ length:

      Only in cotton, it appears (but on sale!)

    • Diana Barry :

      Bah! I don’t like any of those colors! Arrrr.

    • I have a normal length No.2, which I usually save for the winter when I can wear it with tights (with bare legs, it’s just a little too short to be professional). I’m definitely going to have to check out the tall size!

      I’ve also had a lot of luck with the Telegraph skirt. It’s supposed to be a below-knee length skirt, but for me it hits just at the knees (I’m 5’11, fwiw).

    • Ooh, never thought to check out the JCrew tall sizes in skirts/dresses. I’m 5’9″ so I’m right on the cusp and often tall sizes are too long, but they have lots of skirts and dresses I love but that just hit too high on me (about where they hit on the models, which is always just about three inches too short for my taste). I’ll have to check this out!

  11. Monday fashion fail: About 8 months ago, while still pregnant, I bought an awesome pair of nude-for-me Cole Haan peep toe pumps with a 4″ heel (gasp and clutch your pearls, I know). Apparently, on the day I bought them, I had very swollen feet. I’m wearing them to work for the first time since being back from leave and they are a solid 1/2 size too big.

    So now I’m “walking” through the halls looking like Bambi on ice. And mostly just hanging out in my office today. Live and learn, I guess.

    • SAlit-a-gator :

      “Bambi on ice” – this made me smile; love the mental image. Good luck on lasting through the day, and I highly recommend heel inserts. They will shrink the fit just enough that you can wear the heels, but not so much you can’t wear them with swollen feet.

      • Second on the inserts. I have done this before and it works wonders and makes the shoes more comfy.

        On an aside, I went shoe shopping the other day and I think my feet mysteriously grew half a size. Though only in some brands… WTF. Is that even possible?! I am 31 and not pregnant. Very confused by this turn of events.

        • …Happy birthday? :)

          I’ve had some odd fluctuation in shoe sizes over the years too. I think for me it has had to do with my arches going down. It started about 10 years ago and after accepting it I have had no pain or other problems.

        • Shoes vary, just like clothing sizes do. It seems like a size 9 would always be a size 9, but it’s so not true. Our feet also continue to grow over the course of our lives, although it’s often such tiny lengths that it doesn’t end up mattering. Mine were a 9.5 in high school, a 10 later on, and now are a 10.5 in most shoes (although in some brands I can still swing a 10).

        • My podiatrist said that most people’s feet flatten as they age, which will mean you need larger (longer) shoes. He said that in general it happens to women more than men, and (again, in general) to urban women sooner than suburban women (because of all the sidewalk-pounding). I went up about a half size a few years ago.

          • But how am I supposed to justify spending too much money on shoes if my feet won’t stay a consistent size?!

            At least you’re all making me feel less alone about it. Maybe it is my arches…

    • With 4″ heels I think you might do better moving your foot back. Have you tried a ball of foot gel pad? It is supposed to keep your foot from sliding down into the toe of the shoe. Might help. I have to use these in the winter with some of my shoes when wearing tights makes my foot slippery (vs bare feet in summer)

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Superfeet insoles and foot petals (or similar) ball-of-foot pads will fix that.

    • Get some dancer’s wool and stuff it in the toes. Works for me.

  12. Amusing: my firm’s summer program ended last week, and now the ten pounds I’ve been trying to lose all summer is magically melting off with no effort. Although I’d been trying to make healthy choices during the summer, the weeknight events, lunches, and impromptu happy hours caused me to gain almost as much weight as the summer associates did (and I wasn’t even in the required attendance category). And now callback season (aka three course dinner two nights a week season) is right around the corner. ;-)

    • Cornellian :

      I would like to think that the summers having left means I’ll lose these 5- 8 lbs, but I was only tangentially involved in the program, so I should probably buckle down. Maybe I should be thankful I’m not senior enough to do callbacks, etc! Just the free lunches/cookies in teh conference room have made me put on 8 lbs in 4 mos.

    • Ha! I’m a summer and must have gained 15 pounds. I’m also a vegetarian, so at most restaurants around my town that means the option for me most days is pasta smothered in some sort of cheese or cream sauce. I’m really hoping that after Friday (my last day), I start slimming down again. The stress and not having enough time to work out anymore also didn’t help.

    • We tend to forget about two things that make us gain weight: drinking alcohol and not getting enough sleep. Both of those are risk factors during a summer associateship.

    • We had a term for this: Clerk Butt. Happens to the best of us.

  13. Living a Blah Day :

    Can somebody say something which will make me wake up early and workout and some tips of remaining energetic for the rest of the day? I have these lofty goals to have a reasonably good body, do very well at work, pursue a hobby (and be very good at it), and I know I can never get them done until I wake up at 5 and spend an hr on the elliptical, give my 200% at work, and do something in the evening other than making 30 min meals and crash.

    Right now, it’s more like I wake up at 6.45 or so, have coffee, take a shower, dress up and get out of the house by 8 am. And then get back home at 7, have dinner, watch TV, and browse through some blogs, sleep at 11 or 11.30. And the crux is I feel bad all day cause I’ve let myself down again and don’t even end up giving 80% of myself at work.

    Bah! Another downer day here…

    • Maybe you need more realistic goals?

      • Living a Blah Day :


        • How about getting up at 6:30 and making a 20 minute walk part of your commute?
          That’s 100 minutes a week!

          Twice a week, turn off the computer and tv between 8 and 9:30pm and spend that time on a hobby or two. Reading and drawing are easy hobbies. Knitting and embroidery can be done while watching tv or listening to books on tape. Or you can take a dance class once a week. Very few professionals actually excel at hobbies, unless they excelled while studying and are just maintaining it now.

    • Is working out in the evening really not an option? I accepted a long time ago that I’m just NOT a morning person. I tried working out in the morning and it didn’t last long.
      I find I actually prefer to workout in the evenings. It tires me out and so I’m good and ready to go to bed.

      • This. I found that I could never get myself to wake up in time for a workout in the morning, but if I went right after work, before getting home and settling in on the couch, I actually got it done. Not everyone is a morning workouter – don’t be too hard on yourself if you aren’t either.

      • Yeah, I hate working out in the morning. I get up at 5:45 already to come to work. I change in the office and go straight to the gym. Now sometimes that means I don’t get home until fairly late, but at least I’m working out.

      • All of this. I don’t move well in the morning. I deliberately chose a gym that is closer to work than to home (well, where I was working at the time also paid half the membership fee, but that was 2 jobs ago). I convince myself to go because otherwise I’d be sitting in traffic so might as well go to the gym. I don’t get home until close to 8, by the time I shower and sit down to eat it’s about 8:30, but I’m okay with that, it’s not like I usually do anything more exciting than read or watch tv on weeknights anyway. I also do not believe the admonitions that eating after a certain hour is bad for weight loss. Sure, if you eat a big dinner at 6pm and then eat a big bowl of ice cream after 8pm, you might have some problems, but it’s the calories consumed, not the time of day you consume them.

        I also joined a class – it’s a group personal training type of thing. Some of us have been going for a few years, so there’s a bit of a social aspect as well as being a really good work out.

        Mental things – when I wasn’t taking the class, sometimes I’d think, well, at least just go do 15 minutes of cardio. Once I was there and into it, I usually kept going. I think picturing small steps helps you get started. I also try to replace “should” with “want”: Instead of thinking, I SHOULD go to the gym, I think I WANT to go to the gym. Because I do, I generally feel much better after exercising, it’s just the activation energy that’s brutal. Also, if you can get into a regular schedule (which could just be, say, 30-40 minutes of exercise 2x per week) and keep it up for about 4-6 weeks, you’ll get yourself into a nice pattern and exercising will seem automatic.

    • Lofty goals are great, but you have to break them into more manageable, smaller goals. So instead of having a lofty goal of working out every single day — start with the goal of working out twice a week. And instead of an hour on the elliptical, start with half an hour.

      One of my favorite aphorisms ever (paraphrased from Voltaire) is that you can’t let the Perfect be the enemy of the Good. Right now, you’re shooting so hard for Perfect (with a deliberate capital P) that you’re ignoring Good. So try to break it down. Try to hit smaller goals. And perhaps someday you’ll get to perfect. Or perhaps one day you’ll wake up and realize you’re a lot happier with good.

      • Anonymous Poser :


        Also, making it to Good may be its own source of motivation that gets you to Better and then to Best. I’ve been finding that to be the case with my own efforts to exercise. I now exercise more often and have more varied workouts, and the motivation has spread to other areas of my life.

        It’s not going to be the same for everyone, but I’ve found my dabbling in yoga classes to be beneficial in taming my inner all-or-nothing perfectionist.

    • As someone who is working on a similar transition, it helps to have a bedtime, plan your meals, work outfits and exercise gear & clothes in advance. Do you enjoy the elliptical? Are there ways you could create incentives for yourself? For example, maybe after X number of elliptical sessions you could treat yourself. Is there anyone you know with similar goals and a similar fitness level? How much sleep do you need? At the beginning, consistency is more important than long or intense sessions.

      • Living a Blah Day :

        I can honestly get by with as little as 4 hrs daily and not feel a bit tired during the day. I don’t even fall asleep early on days I get 2 hrs of sleep. But I love to sleep, and I’m quite capable of sleeping 10 hrs or so.

        • Honey Pillows :

          CHEEZUS! That it not enough sleep for me.

        • Maybe you can’t do as well as you think on 4 hours of sleep. You just posted that you have a hard time getting up early.

          My advice: Sleep 8 hours. Then come back and talk to us.

          You will feel way better about yourself if you sleep more, even if you think you don’t “need” it. You do.

    • Start with 1 thing. Seriously you are just setting made up goals for your self. Itd be like me saying I really want to be a marine biologist and getting frusterated because everyday I wake up and I am still a lawyer. Start by waking up at 6 and getting a 30 minute workout in. Set a goal of doing that 2 times this week, 3 times next week, and 4 times the week after that.

    • The only way I’ll make it to an evening work out, is to go straight from work. If I go home after a long day, I will not leave again.
      I started to work out primarily in the morning, by getting up a little earlier at first (15-20 minutes, very doable) to do some crunches, push ups, jumping jacks etc. When I got used to that, I made myself get up a little earlier to get a run in. Make the work outs about quality, not quantity.

    • Anon Analyst :

      I can relate. Some days I feel like I’m just not making the best use of my time and don’t feel like I’ve done anything production. I second what others have said about smaller, more realistic goals. Maybe start doing 20 minutes on the elliptical 3 times a day. Sometimes rewarding yourself for meeting goals also helps. Like treating yourself to a new piece of makeup or clothing item.

      As far as hobbies, sometimes I feel overwhelmed reading blogs and Pinterest where everyone seems to be Martha Stewart. Lately, I’ve gotten into baking and I’ve got tons of cupcake recipes to try. I usually bake when it sounds like fun and don’t try to force myself into it or get down on myself if I don’t bake something every weekend. I think hobbies should be for fun and you shouldn’t feel bad if you’re not the best at something right away.

      • eastbaybanker :

        I agree! Pinterest and blogs can be overwhelming. I spend so much time looking around the online world of fashion and decorating, I forget to look around the real world occassionally, and remind myself I am actually doing a perfectly fine job of dressing myself and decorating my house.

    • I agree with everyone else about your needing more realistic goals and a plan of manageable, concrete steps for how to get there. You probably need to go to bed earlier, for one thing (less time on blogs! Fewer opportunities to feel bad about not living a magazine-quality life!) Also, do you love the elliptical? I don’t, and I personally would not get up earlier to go spend an hour doing the elliptical. Fitness can be a hobby — maybe you’d love running, or Zumba, or yoga, and then, you have a hobby AND you’re working towards your fitness goals!

      p.s. Read The Happiness Project, if you haven’t already. :) Today’s Happiness Project blog post had this quote, which I’m writing down and saving: The Internet is a good servant but a bad master.

    • Do you have any options during the workday? Do you have a gym or can you go walking during lunchtime for 20 or so minutes? There are a lot of people who do that at my office, be it going down to the gym down the street or walking up and down the stairs or a set number of times.

      • LadyEnginerd :

        Or for the hobbies too. For instance, if you’re into drawing, can you make a 10 minute sketch every day at lunch?

    • Honey Pillows :

      I don’t remember posting this, and yet I feel like you’re in my head…

    • Are you married to cardio? I like to work out in the mornings, but the time you have to put in on the elliptical/treadmill to burn even a couple hundred calories just wasn’t working for me. I find that a weight circuit and some core work wakes me up, makes me sweat, and gets me going for the day, but in 25-30 minutes, instead of an hour.

    • I workout in the mornings, but I can’t do it without going to bed early. I usually go to bed between 10 and 10:30 if I want to get up by 5:30. It means cutting down on the “winding down” part of the evening, which means watching less TV (including the Olympics, sadly!). I also vary my workouts and often go running with my husband so we can spend the time talking and hanging out rather than isolated on gym machines.

      In your case, it sounds like you’d have to cut down on watching TV and browsing blogs. And even if you currently feel like you won’t be tired by 10 p.m., you will be after a few days of working out in the morning!

    • Senior Attorney :

      This may be really stupid, but it works for me. I get up at 5:40 several mornings a week to make it to 6 a.m. boot camp class (right around the corner from home, yay). I HATE getting up that early and I HATE getting out of bed, but I always tell 5:40 Senior Attorney that 6:45 Senior Attorney is going to be super happy and is going to thank her for making the effort, and then when 6:45 rolls around and I’m done with my workout and happy and sweaty and full of self-esteem, I make it a point to thank 5:40 Senior Attorney for taking one for the team and rolling out of bed.

      And also, if I want to come home and crash, I can. Because 5:40 Senior Attorney had my back and took care of the workout thing early.

      • Your response is on point. I admire the fact that you are making an effort to make your future self happy. It’s so easy for your (the general you) to stick it to your future self in SO many ways.

    • No help with working out early, as I’m struggling with getting up in the mornings myself in the summertime. I have been successful about working out in the mornings – but it was more about doing the 30 day shred in the mornings before I went to the office. It was perfect in length – I got a decent enough workout in 30 minutes, at home (so no transport to gym, no packing gym bag and just doing my own ritual at home).

      Nowaways, I load my iPad with TV-shows, and bring it with me to the gym after work. For just over an hour on the elliptical (so 800-1000 calories), I can watch two episodes of Castle. And it beats going straight home and crashing on the couch where I would just watch TV anyway.

      I also like working out after work, because by then I’ve been sitting at the computer almost all day, so it feels good to get moving.

  14. Love this jacket but can’t justify that price. Maybe if it were a third the price. It’s definitely a non-office jacket for me, so splurging is out. It’d look great with jeans for fall though.

  15. I posted this yesterday but was a little late and so am re-posting — please forgive!
    Does anyone have any thoughts on how to handle a joint project when the other person’s work isn’t what you consider up to snuff? I’m co-writing an article right now and my co-author’s sections just seem to me to be not written well enough and are thin on analysis. While we’re co-authors, I’m the lead and my name will appear first. I’m also coordinating the effort and am doing most of the stylistic editing/assembling, and was the person the journal contacted to request the article. In the past, I’ve felt bad about re-writing what other people gave me, but it’s always back-fired because then I’m held responsible for other people’s poor work. (I realize I sound like a total b—ch. I’m asking now because I’m really trying not to be.) I can suggest some areas need to be fleshed out more, but some of the writing is very clunky. I’m also asking for advice just sort of in general for these types of situations because I feel like I’ve run into them a lot. For those of you who co-write things, how do you handle it if someone who’s your equal (or close to it) turns in less-than-stellar work product?

    • If someone writes poorly, you’re not being a b—ch for recognizing it as such and taking corrective action. Let’s not stigmatize trying to execute well.

      Can we stop confusing “getting results” with “being a b—ch”? So many women do this and it really bugs. I bet successful men don’t think they’re @ssholes for noticing that something is not done well and fixing the problem.

      My definition of being a b—ch is someone who is mean for sport. Examples like: making fun of someone because you don’t like her shoes, or spreading mean gossip about that person.

    • Absolutely do not feel like a b*tch for insisting that work product with your name on it be up to your standards. I feel like this is one of those questions you would never hear from a dude, but that women worry about all the time. I think you should (nicely) give your co-author the general feedback you said here – that x, y, z sections need additional analysis and the writing could be smoother. Give the person a chance to improve his or her work. If that doesn’t work out, make the edits yourself. Under no circumstances should you publish something that you feel is subpar.

    • I saw this yesterday but couldn’t get my head together to answer, but… maybe you should divide the work differently based on strengths. My co-writer and I have developed some better ways of collaborating. She is great at developing ideas and putting them in outline form and I’m terrible at that. But I’m great at just writing what she has outlined. Getting the words down. Then the two of us work on the “honing” together. In the past, she always rewrote things I wrote to make them sound like her voice and, to my mind, that’s just not necessary. One voice or another isn’t better, just different. You should be critiquing each other’s sections as well – what you’re talking about (areas that need to be fleshed out, pointing out clunky writing) is what co-authors do for each other.

      • AnthroMouse :

        I like how NOLA explained her collaborative style. Ideally, you should be able to talk back and forth with your co-author about any issues you may have (substantive, stylistic, etc). And no, it’s not being a biotch to want an article going out under your name as lead author to be the very best that it can be.

        From my own co-authoring experience, sometimes it just isn’t possible to have that kind of open and honest discussion. If you were the person contacted by the journal, and you are the lead author, you may need to ‘pull rank’ and politely-yet-firmly demand either rewrites from them, or that inform them that you will re-write it yourself. There may be issues of authorship that come out of this – they might get dropped as an author entirely, kept on as a contributor, if that’s possible in your field.

        And chalk this up to experience – if this person isn’t open to critique of their work, you won’t want to write with this person again in the future. I’m extremely easy-going, but have mentally blacklisted a couple of my colleagues because of their attitude towards co-authorship (while always being available to go the distance for others, because of *their* attitudes).

        • This. Also, any advice about when the co-authors are described as above and aren’t horizontal colleagues but people who out-rank you? And who insist on keeping obvious grammatical errors to keep the “tone” of the piece? And when it’s your name that goes on the piece?

    • My thoughts: STOP feeling bad about it right now. ;o) You are the lead author on this! The final product is your responsibility, therefore it is your job to make the edits happen. It is not personal! Just do it: send all the critiques and edits back to your co-author. Of course, try to word it neutrally, and don’t accuse them of bad writing, but this is just how editing works. Maybe pretend like you’re the book editor with the red pen? Just send back all the edits and notes on the sections that you want them to work on. And then, if what you get back still isn’t great, just do it yourself.

      We have a team process that all of our writing goes through, and people just make the changes that need to be made. There’s nothing personal about it, no one takes it personally, this is just how editing goes.

      • Zora has the best advice.

        Nit-picking someone’s writing is not personal. It is making the product better. It benefits all of you. They should not get offended.

        I would also put this person on my personal blacklist of collaborators.

    • Maybe you could have a standing process where each of you swaps your sections to review, redline, and do a technical and substantive edit. That way he won’t feel singled out or picked on, since he is editing your work as well, but he just won’t have as much to change. Your name is going to be on the whole thing, so you should make sure that the whole thing is up to snuff and will reflect well on you.

    • I replied to your original post on the weekend thread.

  16. I don’t know if any of you remember nicely comforting me about a month and a half ago when I was having a CPA exam study meltdown, but I wanted to say that I just found out that I passed that section! Thanks for all the support. One down, three to go!

  17. Blonde Lawyer :

    Since lots of people have posted here about family drama and having to be the “responsible” one, I figured I’d post my weekend story here. I’m posting part for the therapeutic effect of venting, part so others can think “so my family isn’t the only one,” and part in case anyone has any words of advice/encouragement.

    Sunday was my grandmother’s 100th birthday. Without getting into the history, because that would be a 10 page posting, my formerly happy and loving extended family has turned nasty and vindictive as my grandmother got older. My parents are the only ones responsible for her right now. My oldest cousin is an alcoholic w/ mental health problems that tends to ruin anything that is not about him. When he can’t ruin it with his usual tactics, he tries to kill himself. Unfortunately, my aunt and uncle just enable him and have even brought him to visit my grandmother drunk. My father was there when that happened recently and told them to never do it again and reminded them all he is not welcome there drunk. He is 40+, not 21. My grandmother was upset to see him like that and even in her old age, when he whined about how much he loved her, she told him he was full of sh!t.

    So, my parents threw my grandmother a 100th bday party at her nursing home. My aunt and uncle told everyone the wrong time so just my parents, my brother, my husband and my nana’s sister and her boyfriend were there for the first hour. Then my aunt and uncle show up w/ the alcoholic cousin. He walks in and the second I see him, I realize he is plastered drunk. He immediately starts crying and blubbering and I realize he is going to ruin her party.

    I let him say happy birthday to her, hug her, kiss, her say he loved her, and then I asked him to go speak with me outside. Once outside I asked if he had been drinking and after a very long standoff I got him to admit that he was drunk and in no condition to be at the party, in a public building, with the elderly and children. (The rest of my cousins with their kids were on their way and some walked by while this was going on.) My dad witnessed this and supported my decision. I called my husband out and together we drove the drunk cousin home. We didn’t force him in the car or anything, we waited until he decided to leave. My drunk cousin is also on probation for a dui and I did tell him that I could call his probation officer if he didn’t leave.

    In the car, he completely agreed with us, thanked us for getting him out of there before he made a scene, etc. I was pissed my aunt and uncle brought him like that. I assured him I’d tell people he wasn’t feeling well and we brought him home rather than saying he was drunk and not allowed in. When I got back, my aunt said “how’s cousin? he’s just emotional right now. he’s not drunk. I know, I brought him here.” I just didn’t respond. Obviously she knew he was drunk.

    That night she went to his place and he told her how I wouldn’t let him stay because he was drunk and that I threatened to call his probation officer if he didn’t leave. My aunt and uncle flew off the handle and called my parents house all night screaming about how he was their responsibility, not mine and how I had no right to make him leave the party and that I was blackmailing him and extorting him yadda yadda yadda. She said some really mean and hurtful things to my parents and I’m still waiting to see if she tries to contact me.

    I know I made the right decision and from my nana’s point of view, she had a wonderful 100th birthday party. But, I’m having some trouble with guilt over causing world war III in my family. My parents, brother, husband and grandmother’s sister all agree with my actions. My aunt and uncle hate me now. I have no idea how the rest of the cousins feel nor do I really care. To me, the day was about her, not him, and I wasn’t going to let him ruin it.

    • You did the right thing, for the sake of your grandma and everyone else. And maybe there is a silver lining – if aunt and uncle hate you and your family now, maybe they won’t show up to things when ya’ll are there? Then it is a double win!

    • Oh I’m so sorry. I’m also a little worried we’re related.

      Rise above, Blond Lawyer, rise above.

      This is a thing that speaks for itself. You do not need to respond at all.

    • The Unruly Star in the Dysfunctional Constellation :

      I worry about your comment that “But, I’m having some trouble with guilt over causing world war III in my family.”

      You did not cause WWIII. You were the only person who reacted rationally in the situation. I am sure there is a technical term for it (some pysch-educated ‘rette(s) will tell us), but in my experience, when there is a dysfunctional family constellation, in which everyone is orbiting around the dysfunction so as not to cause a collision, the first person to respond rationally to the dysfunction will inevitably cause a collision and will be blamed for everything. Because it is too difficult for all the other stars in the constellation to see and/or admit that they have been rotating in dysfunctional orbits all these years just to avoid a collision.

      You did the right thing. And you will be blamed for it. That doesn’t mean it was wrong.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Omg, I love this analogy. What a great way to help my DH visualize wtf is wrong with my family. People from functional families seem to have a really hard time understanding how the dysfunctional ones work. Thank you so much.

        • The Unruly Star in the Dysfunctional Constellation :

          If you want visuals, I always think of the 1950s version of the high school science book line drawing showing the protons and neutrons orbiting the nucleus of a molecule.

          Kind of like this: http://www.mediafocus.com/stock-photo-illustration-of-atom-icon-mp2112563.html

    • You absolutely did the right thing. Just say Fooey and move on.

    • Honey Pillows :

      When it comes to alcoholics and their enablers, unless you take complete responsibility for them, you have to let them come to their own decisions about quitting drinking.

      We’ve had a lot of alcoholics in my family, and a lot of drama, cruelty, and inappropriate accusations. They’re all dry and recovering, but it took a lot of time and heartbreak for them to get there. If you hadn’t stood up for your nana, eventually someone else would have caused a rift. You did the right thing, and I’m really glad your parents and siblings are all supporting you through this.

    • I’m sorry you had to deal with this, but I think you handled things very well and protected your nana to the best of your ability.

      Your aunt and uncle are being selfish and in denial and demanding that everybody else play their denial-enabling game. You did not cause WW III– that’s another game people like this play– they cause the problem, and when you swoop in to fix things, they blame you. Don’t fall for this ever. If they don’t want a war, they shouldn’t be firing the first shots. And don’t believe that you need their approval, because the people who actually matter, and who aren’t selfish @ssholes here already do approve of you and what you’ve done.

    • You did the right thing. It’s terrible that your aunt and uncle enable your cousin and that they blame you and others for not letting him run around drunk. The DUI didn’t wake them up to the fact that this is dangerous? That’s ridiculous! I’m sorry they are angry and guilting you but you have nothing to feel guilty about. You helped make your grandmother’s party a nice one and you drove home a drunk instead of leaving him to his own dangerous impulses. You didn’t start anything — you stopped a possible horror show. Please stop blaming yourself for being a sensible adult.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      You absolutely did the right thing. My family seems to share the same affliction your aunt and uncle do – they see only what they want to see, and get angry at anyone who acts on/mentions an “alternate” version of reality, probably because it subconsciously causes malfunctions in their 24/7 holodeck. We also have warring family dynamics centered on an aged grandparent. Facts: Your cousin is an addict and a drunk and an adult responsible for his own actions. Your aunt and uncle are enablers. You didn’t cause the problem. Your aunt, uncle, and cousin did. And WTF do you care if your aunt and uncle hate you? They would only like you if you participated in their enabling holodeck lifestyle.

      I decided recently when my grandparent took a turn for the worse to focus on my priority and everything else can go to he!! if need be. My priority is the health and happiness of my grandparent. I will do whatever is necessary to ensure that, whether it’s swallow my frustration and play nice with holodeck denizens because it makes my grandparent happy to see them, or do something which may be characterized as starting WWIII to protect my grandparent when they start behaving badly. I would absolutely have done what you did, and not give a flying f what my holodeck relatives thought of it.

      • “And WTF do you care if your aunt and uncle hate you?”

        When I realized this, it was so incredibly freeing.

    • You did your nana proud. Hugs.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Thank you all for your comments. I really appreciate them. Reading the comments made me realize I don’t feel “guilty for causing wwiii” b/c I know they caused it not me. I just feel sad that this situation had to happen at all, even if not my fault, and that it will cause further division within the family, and cause further hate to be spewed at my parents who don’t need the stress.

      I know I shouldn’t care if they hate me because they don’t add anything to my life anymore. I have lots of fond memories of times with them as a child but as my husband pointed out, I was a child then and don’t really know what was going on beneath the surface.

      SF Bay Assoc – you hit the nail on the head and what you do is exactly what my family does. We all sit in a room together and play nice to keep my nana happy since she doesn’t know what is really going on. But, this situation wasn’t one where we could all just sit around and play nice.

      Dysfunctional Constellation – you are also so right about their “alternate reality.” When my aunt was yelling at my dad she was saying that she had already made drunk cousin go sit outside and that she had removed him from the situation. She further ranted about him not getting to wish nana a happy bday. Dad corrected her and said, no blonde lawyer let him wish her a happy bday and when he was done she discretely escorted him outside. You did not intervene and in fact, you were the one that brought him there.

      He said talking to her was baffling and she had a completely different recollection of events and there was no convincing her otherwise. What-evs.

    • goirishkj :

      No advice, but hugs to you while you deal with the fallout (THAT IS ABSOLUTELY NOT YOUR FAULT AND IS BECAUSE THE “GROWNUPS” AREN’T DOING THEIR JOBS!) (Sorry for the Ellen caps!) (And I’m talking about your aunt and uncle, not your parents.) But kudos to you for making your grandma’s day special and wonderful and keeping it about her. You did the right thing and the reason you feel guilty is because you are a good person who is trying to do right by your family. Hugs!

    • You absolutely did the right thing.

      Many of us deal with addicts in the family, and when we don’t enable them, it causes rifts.

      You might want to check out Al-Anon. There are millions of this that experience this same thing every day.

  18. Constance Justice :

    Travel threadjack..

    I’m going to be in DC for a weekend in a couple of weeks. I’ve always had a great time in the city. The catch is, this time, I’m taking my 20 year old male cousin. Any suggestions? I’m looking for day time/evening activities, food, etc. He’s pretty bookish and easy going, so I’m pretty sure he’ll be happy no matter what, but I’d love some suggestions.

    • Honey Pillows :

      What kind of food?

      And as far as activities go, it’s summer, so you should see about one of the free outdoor film showings/concerts we have around the city.

      Check DCist as it gets closer to the date, and you’ll have tons of options for activities!

    • Nationals (baseball) game, night time bus tour of the monuments, the Ducks tour (land and sea), any of the Smithsonian museums (perhaps Air and Space & Native American/Indian – bonus points b/c they’re next door to each other).

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        American Indian is not a very good museum, but has excellent food. If you’ve already been to Air and Space, try Udvar Hazy (but only if you have a car and some time), out in Reston. But I wouldn’t recommend that unless you have already seen the usual sights.

        The Freer and Sackler Galleries are lovely if you haven’t seen them before.

    • A bookish fellow not old enough to drink might enjoy attending a reading or some other event at Busboys and Poets or Politics and Prose.

      If he enjoys art be sure to check the schedule at The Phillips Collection. They do lots of interesting events there.

      • Constance Justice :

        Yes! You are right. His interests are totally different than mine and I was having a hard time thinking of this stuff.

    • Hey, if he’s bookish, send him on the tour at the Library of Congress. The Jefferson building is beautiful and it’s actual librarians doing the tours (they volunteer). Also, if he’s interested in history, the new exhibits at the Capitol are pretty cool. My nephews and I enjoyed the interactive quizzes before we went on the tour because then we were better informed in advance. I also really liked the models of what Capitol hill looked like as each area was developed.

    • Museum of crime & punishment. My BF and I spent hours there last summer and didn’t even get to the punishment (law) section. Be forewarned, there are a million grammar mistakes on the info plaques. Only a slight exageration. Have a fun trip!

    • emcsquared :

      Is he a history buff? I love the historic canal in Georgetown, and the Georgetown campus itself. Arlington Cemetary also often has cool exhibits about past wars.

      Also, I haven’t been there in a while, but the Newseum was a great place to bring my book-ish family (bonus: good food, so no hangry meltdowns). Second the Busboys and Poets/Politics and Prose suggestions.

      • You can even ride on a barge in Georgetown, although it might feel a little silly as an adult. Mount Vernon is also good for history–I think you need a car, but it looks like you could rent bikes in Alexandria and bike down on a bike trail. The arboretum is good for a quieter activity, but also easier with a car.

  19. 50th Birthday Dinner in SF :

    I posted back on June 26th looking for a restaurant in San Francisco to celebrate my husband’s 50th birthday. We went to Pesce (on Polk), and it was fantastic.

    The food was great (Northern Italian seafood, fresh, creatively prepared), the service was lovely, and it was busy enough to be interesting but quiet enough for three hours of intimate conversation.

    Just wanted to report back.

  20. Honey Pillows :

    After two years of mold, random things breaking, and an unresponsive landlord (his excuse is that he’s a trial lawyer in Missouri and is always busy -so get a property manager!), I’ve firmly decided to move out of my DC “English Basement” apartment, and given notice.

    But I can’t find a new place! The DC rental market seems to be raising prices by 15% every year, and each place I look at seems smaller than the last. Who can afford these places? I know how much Hill staffers and non-profit employees make!

    I’ve considered a “group home” or moving in with random friends whose roommates are moving out, but my flatmate and I are both particular about living in a space with purposeful decoration and organization, not just four random gross sofas and Tupperware crammed into every drawer! Aghhhhhh!

    • Honey Pillows :

      Aw, it stripped off my clever “” and ” ” tags.

    • What is your price range, what area are you looking at?

      Are you looking for a two bedroom? Something needs to give. Either your budget needs to go up or you need to accept others decorating styles.

      I agree that the DC market is terrible. Im paying 1700 for a subpar english basement, its infuriating to think of how much of my money goes to rent. I also think the same thing when I see other young people living in better places than me, like how much are they making??

      • Honey Pillows :

        We’re looking at Union Station, New York Ave, Eastern Market, Columbia Heights, Petworth, Potomac Ave accessible, and yes, a two bedroom ideally.

        We’ve been considering finding a third roommate, which we would be fine with, but it’s one thing to move into a place with three people, and it’s another thing to move into a house where other people already live.

        And re the decorating styles, it’s not so much a difference in style, so much as a complete and utter lack thereof. Unframed movie posters? Really? What are we, eighteen?

        • I looked here www[DOT]parkplace-dc[DOT]com and it was so so nice. Pricey, but not too bad if you don’t have a car. Have you considered Cleveland Park?

        • How much are you looking to spend? and do you want apartment building? One thing to look for is 1 bedroom and a den or 2 bedrooms and a den for a 3rd roomate. sometimes they are actual rooms and you save a lot that way, but I dont know if your budget is like 1k a person or more like 600 a person

      • Honey Pillows :

        Oh, 900/person

        • with or without utilities? If you want, post an anon email address and I can send you a few places I’ve looked at in DC that may work.

          Too much down time on a Monday.

    • Have you considered switching neighborhoods or moving over the river? I bit the bullet and am in VA and LOVE it. 1200 square feet and under 2k (plus I have a car). It’s glorious.

      • Honey Pillows :

        Ugh, I know, I know. I’m just really in the “city” stage of my life, and the Clarendon/Ballston/VA Square metro-accessible apartments cost almost as much as places in the city.

        • Anita (formerly S) :

          Yeah, the parts of VA that are convenient really aren’t any cheaper.

        • I live in Pentagon/Crystal City area (mostly bc I HATE the orange line). I totally get wanting to live in the city; I do feel like I’m a bit out in the burbs. But it doesn’t impact my going out as much as I thought. I basically take a cab instead of waiting for metro (which I would prob do regardless of where I lived). The only times I wish I was somewhere else is usually weekend mornings when I want to walk out my door and go to brunch. But the price was right and my SO wanted more space.

          Have you looked at Senate square?

          • This is where I am as well. Honestly the dc housing market is ridiculously efficient and you get what you pay for, especially for apartments. Living in navy yard I was paying $2100 for a poorly designed 725 sq ft place. I could walk to work and there was a great restaurant half a block away. I move to nova, pay $200 more and have nearly 1000 sq feet, with a den, balcony and much better storage. I’m still only an 8 minute walk from the metro. But the only place within short walking distance is the mall food court. 23rd street is just a little further than I usually feel like trekking.

            There will always be trade offs an you need to just pick which trade off is the most importan to you. Don’t rule out the yellow/blue lines. I’d also check into the meridian at Eisenhower and Braddock road which are huge and brand new but lower priced as they aren’t near much besides the metro.

    • kerrycontrary :

      Yeh the rent is ridiculous. I live in MD (but on the DC line) and I found an affordable studio-that isn’t insanely small. Just keep looking. I get lucky with Craigslist a lot. You could also consider going through a Real Estate business. Usually people have their houses privately listed for sale that aren’t advertised other places. A lot of times you can get a 2-3 bedroom house for as much as a 1-2 bedroom apartment if you are willing to live in the suburbs (and not the far out suburbs, inside the beltway and close to metro).

    • Anita (formerly S) :

      If you and your roommate live well together and have similar ideas about the space you want, forgo the group house option and expand your search to other neighborhoods. Where are you looking right now? Many DC neighborhoods on the margins are cheaper, have new building with spacious units, and generally still on public transportation lines (e.g. Brookland/Michigan Ave, LeDroit Park, Petworth). You may have better luck there than in Dupont, Adams Morgan or other standbys closer to downtown.

      • Exactly. Like the Atlas District/H Street NE is near NY Ave, Union Station and Capitol Hill.

        • Honey Pillows :

          Those are actually the places I’m looking, and not finding anything. I currently live near H Street and LOVE it. (If you live in DC and haven’t gone to Dangerously Delicious, SOVA Wine and Coffee Bar, and the Queen Vic pub, what are you waiting for??)

          • http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/apa/3183188154.html

            you should live here!

          • Honey Pillows :

            Thanks Ki, I’ve seen that place, but I’m leaving a basement apartment and realizing I’ve got too much SADD to live underground for much longer.

    • What are you looking for (2 bedroom?) and what location and what price range? Yes, DC renting is more expensive now, but good places can be found. I have used housingmaps dot com, which plots out Craigslist postings so makes it easy for you to see location/price.

    • emcsquared :

      I used hotpads (dot) com to find my DC apartment several years ago – I found pretty good housing options in the Van Ness and Tenleytown areas, and ended up loving the neighborhoods.

      I also had friends who lived in Bethesda, and that had a lot of the benefits of suburban living (big, cheap, clean) with the neighborhood-y features of urban living (little restaurants close to housing, easy Metro access, walkable).

  21. Threadjack: Retirement Poll

    After seeing many threads on personal finance (which I love, btw), I thought I’d ask: What are your retirement plans?

    A. Retire at [minimum age to start collecting Social Security] or [full retirement age to start collecting Social Security]
    B. What retirement? I expect to work and drop dead at my job because I don’t think there’ll be any Social Security left. Sucks, but I think that’s my only option.
    C. What retirement? I love my job and want to work at it (full or part-time) until I die.
    D. I’ve got my (financial) ducks lined up to retire early, at [30/40/50/etc.]
    E. Assume (B), but know that my soulless company will probably figure out some excuse to get rid of me at 50, but hide it in a mass layoff/redundancy programme, so I can be replaced with a 20-something newly minted JD/MBA/postdoc/etc. who’s cheaper and more malleable.
    F. Other ____________

    Right now, I’m wondering if E is my option. I think I need to get in gear about trying to get to option D.

    • Combo of A and B. I’m a federal employee, and took the job so I wouldn’t end up with Option E, but given Congressional shenanigans, who knows? I am trying to make sure I save lots of money, but have no illusions about retiring early.

    • AnonInfinity :

      Some combination of A and C. I imagine that I’ll scale back at some point and start using the funds in my IRA and other retirement accounts. (For the record, I don’t believe Social Security will exist in anything like its present form by the time I retire). However, I can’t imagine dropping out completely. I’ll probably be one of those old lawyers who comes up to the office when I’m 80, wearing a sweater vest and reading the newspaper at my desk.

    • Diana Barry :

      Hopefully D, but otherwise B. We have about 500K liquid right now, need to raise that a lot before considering retirement.

      Definitely not counting on any social security.

    • Combo of A and B. If my generation actually gets to collect social security, I’ll be kind of shocked. I’m 27 and I fully expect to work for the next 35 years unless I hit the proverbial jackpot before then.

    • F. I don’t expect Social Security to be around when I’m ready, and I’m not currently in a job with a pension/retirement option, so I’m saving until I can retire on my own funds at around 65.

  22. I would recommend the Newseum for sure. It’s pricey especially compared to the free Smithsonians, but I would say the $20 admission is definitely worth it. If you are interested in movies, the Landmark and AFI theaters here are both great if you live somewhere without art house theaters.

  23. Ladies. I’m a bit worried about Brooks Brothers. This morning they sent me an e-mail advertising the “new” navy blazer for men. I will post a link in my next comment…but…its a puffy coat! A straight up puffy coat!

    Tell me this isn’t a thing. Because, I’ll just…lose it. For shame Brooks Brothers.

    • http://www.brooksbrothers.com/IWCatProductPage.process?Merchant_Id=1&Section_Id=569&Product_Id=1702328&Parent_Id=222&default_color=navy&CMP=EMC-20120806_NavyBlazer_e

      Seriously. Its a puffy coat.

    • I saw that too. No idea how that is a “blazer.” I really hope this Michelin man look does not become a trend.

    • phillygirlruns :

      wow. at least it’s in the “outerwear” category.

    • In their defense, I think they have done this with other outerwear before and just are in the habit of making outerwear that looks like blazers/sportscoats. The naming is just unfortunate.

      Not in their defense, I have noticed they have been having a slight bit of an idenitity crisis in the last year or so. I think – shudder – they are trying to become hip. I love BB but this is a terrible idea. They should make classic clothes and leave the creative styling to us customers on an as-needed basis. I hope someone puts an end to this before it gets any worse.

      • Because, seriously, this is not ok in my BB catalog:

        • SAlit-a-gator :

          Yikes! Can’t believe that’s in BB?! what are they turning into Abercombie and Fitch?!

  24. Question:
    I am going into my last year of law school (yay!). I worked this summer at Firm, and Firm has asked me to stay on part time during the school year (yay!). I was also pursuing doing an internship for credit during the fall, and was offered one with Government Agency (yay!). I didn’t mention to Government Agency that I was planning to work at Firm part time until they extended me an offer, and its looking like its going to be a problem. Firm and Government Agency don’t usually (maybe never) cross paths, and Firm seems ok with my doing both things. But Government Agency appears to have a policy of having interns be with them and only them. I didn’t think this would become such a problem, and am kind of surprised, and bummed that this may not work out. I guess there isn’t any advice I can ask for (since I’m just waiting to hear from Government Agency about how they feel about this), but if you have experience navigating these waters or want to commiserate, that might make me feel better. Thank you, internet people.

    • Muddy Buddy :

      I had a similar situation happen to me during law school. It all worked out in the end, though, and now I work for Firm.

      My strategy was to keep in touch with Firm. It will all probably work out in the end!

    • Barrister in the Bayou :

      Nothing positive to add, but during my second year I interned with a federal judge and they would not let me work at the local appellate court at the same time (even as a volunteer). They never told me why, but needless to say I was disappointed.

    • Part of working for the government is being limited by ethics regulations. If you choose to become a federal employee you will be limited in your political activities, investments (including your spouse’s investments), and other outside activities. As a government ethics attorney, I wish people had a better understanding of this before they accepted government jobs, so I’m glad you are becoming aware of it now, early in your career.

    • Aw, thanks. I know that too many good opportunities is a good problem to have, but its still a bummer when they can’t all work out. I know it will all work out for the best.
      Should I have let them know at some stage earlier than “offer”? It never came up in our interview, and I didn’t even think of it until after the offer when I was playing with my schedule to be sure I could get everything to fit. Now I feel bad because I think I blindsided them.

      • When an employer interviews you, they are interviewing multiple people and are not planning to hire everyone they meet. Likewise, when you go on interviews, you are interviewing with multiple employers. Don’t feel guilty, that’s how it works.

        • SpaceMountain :

          That said, keep in mind that government agencies are concerned with conflicts and ethics, so if I’m interviewing you, I’d prefer to learn at the interview if you think you will have conflicts (like another job), if you have citizenship issues, or if you think you might have a problem with the background check. It shows me you understand about working for the government, it gives me a chance to explain our policies to you, and it gives you a chance to withdraw gracefully if it turns out you can’t take the job.

  25. I know that there have been lots of threads on where to buy work appropriate maternity clothing. I scoured old threads and came up with this list. If anyone has additions, please let me know.

    1. Boden
    2. Gap
    3. Ann Taylor Loft
    4. Old Navy
    5. Suits Your Belly (all wool suits)
    6. Japanese Weekend
    7. Pea in a Pod/Motherhood Maternity
    8. Ebay (although I find navigating Ebay so overwhelming)
    9. JC Penney

    Would be interested in any higher end/higher quality stores if anyone has suggestions. Thanks!

    • No specific recs, but GILT has a lot of maternity clothes in the baby section. Might be worth checking out for brand ideas if nothing else.

    • I bought a few great maternity pieces from Isabella Oliver, a British company (website will come right up in Google). The knit tops were chic and flattering on me (even when I was big). It’s quite pricey but I always felt great in them. They also have non-maternity wear.

      • Two cents :

        I love these clothes! I will strongly consider buying once I’m further along. Looking for other brands just like this, if anyone else has ideas.

    • maternity :

      Asos, H&M, Target.

      The Motherhood Maternity full panel pants are the best, IMO. And affordable.

    • Thrift stores. Try the Buffalo Exchange. Their stuff is usually in mint condition.
      Other than that, H&M has a really nice maternity line.

      I can also recommend stealing a guy’s button down shirt. I think with leggings and a big scarf and earrings that is such an adorable look for a pregnant lady. My friend still walks around like that even though her pregnancy is over now and it is such a nonchalant look.

    • Online try amazon, figure8 maternity, and prelegant. Check out the blog pregnant fashionista as well. She doesn’t really have a lot of work appropriate recommendations, but reading her blog helped me find companies that made good quality maternity clothes/brands.

  26. Diana Barry :

    I would also add Isabella Oliver (so pricey!!!) and Picchu maternity (also UK, I believe).

  27. So can I wear these on business casual days?http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/wolford-booty-love-leggings/3224663?origin=category&BaseUrl=Apparel&BaseUrl=Apparel

  28. Bunny Boo :


  29. Anon for this... :

    Need some advice from the hive..

    My husband talks down to me and gets sharp/rude with me in public on occasion and it infuriates me. We have been married two years and he never did this while we were dating or engaged. This started soon after we were married. I have pointed it out to him multiple times and have corrected him on his behavior privately but I am dying inside when he makes a rude/embarrassing comment to me in front of others. A few times this happened in front of someone else and he/she looked uncomfortable by it. My husband also does this infront of my parents which is horribly embarrassing. In the moment I try to laugh it off so the other person won’t feel even more uncomfortable but I end up arguing with my husband about it later. He has apologized for his behavior twice. Most of the time he defends himself saying that my behavior “makes” him do that. Which I think is a bunch of garbage because there is never a reason to treat your wife like that in public.

    This is really getting to me as I think it is incredibly disrespectful and embarassing that my husband treats me this way. I am embarrassed for him too because I know what I would think if I saw a man treating his wife like that. Thankfully, we don’t have any children yet but I hate the thought of them growing up seeing their mother treated like that. I am not sure what to do to correct this as I have already tried talked to him about it and I correct him every time it happens. Nothing seems to change. I have also noticed that I am not the only person subjected to this – he treats his family this way too.


    • I’m sorry you have to deal with this, it sounds just terrible.

      I think you need to figure out why he is treating you this way. Is it just outright disrespect? Does he feel the need to “man up” in front of other people? Does his father treat his mother this way, and so this is his model for a happy marriage? Maybe individual or couple’s therapy could help with this.

      In the meantime, can you anticipate when he is going to go down this road, or do his comments come out of nowhere? If you can anticipate it, maybe you need a signal between the two of you to “preempt” his comment. If he is really sorry about, and sincerely wants to change, that might work. Like, if you feel his mood shifting and think he’s about to say something disrespectful, maybe suggest that the two of you step away from the conversation for a moment (in whatever way makes sense at the time). Maybe a touch on the shoulder or something that could make him think twice about whatever he is about to say.

      I don’t know how to make the situation better after the hurtful words come out of his mouth in public. I don’t know if there is anything that can be said to make them less awkward, and you certainly can’t make them less hurtful to you. If you’re in public and no one is immediately in conversation with you, you might just need to stand up for yourself and tell him that it isn’t ok to speak to you that way. I know you probably don’t want to escalate things, but the whole talking to him later thing doesn’t seem to be working. Maybe an in-the-moment “Excuse me, but if you feel that way about me I’m going to leave this _public event_ and call a cab.” would do the trick.

    • Wow. I’m not sure what I would do in that situation. Unacceptable.

      Maybe get up and leave the table? Let your dinner companion say, “What the heck, dude?”

    • There are so many potential causes/reasons here that it’s hard to give super specific advice. I would say couple’s therapy is a good place to start. Is that something that he would be open to? It’s worth talking about independently (i.e., not bringing up in the context of a discussion about a particular hurtful remark) and framing it in a “I feel like this is an area of our relationship that could be improved and I think this would be a way for us both to learn more about how to make the relationship better” (as opposed to in a “You need help because you’re being a jerk” way– even if that is ultimately the reason).

      I also agree that, depending on the circumstances, it might be time for you to be a little more assertive in these situations, as opposed to worrying primarily about not making others around you feel awkward. This makes me think of the discussion today about dysfunctional family members– you are not the one creating the awkward situation, and therefore it is not your “fault” if you have to respond to his awkward comments in an awkward way. You don’t have to cause a huge scene, but if he is rude or mean to you, you can tell him that his comment was rude or mean.

    • Man. I’m really sorry. My ex-h would call me all sorts of stuff and cut me down. One time we were in a huge shopping center. We just ate dinner, it was the middle of winter, and dark out and I did not want to walk the 5 minutes to the other side of the center to Target and haul the purchases back to the car. He said “You could really use a walk.” Um, that is just straight up rude no matter what but given that I exercised daily and he hadn’t done any in years, it was all a bit strange. Since I drove, I said “ok, see ya. Enjoy the walk.” And, I drove home. He walked home – it was about 3.5 miles and he got all the exercise he wanted.

      Point is, he’s disrespectful to you. He’s creating uncomfortable situations for others. And your behavior doesn’t make him do anything. He’s a [email protected] man responsible for himself.

      In the future, I would say “What do you mean by that? Could you elaborate?” Or, I would just remove myself from the situation. You wouldn’t let anyone else talk to you like that and I think spouses/SOs should always be respectful and have each other’s back. He doesn’t.

  30. <3 Have you seen this one? It's 35% Off Today. :) http://fashioningchange.com/store/products/leather-moto-jacket