The Top Posts of 2012…

Top Posts of 2012

(according to Google Analytics)
1. Do You Have to Wear Pantyhose in the Summer?
2. Tattoo Sleeves — in the Workplace
3. Sheer Blouses: Some Don’ts Should Stay Don’ts
4. The Best Graduation Gifts for Friends
5. Professional Watches for Women
6. How to Do Black Tie on a Budget
7. The Best Bags for Walking to Work
8. How to Build a Professional Wardrobe for $150 (from guest poster Cassie Boorn of Ask a PR Girl)
9. How to Dress Professionally with a “Bubble Butt”
10. Flared Pants, Hems, and Commutes (with The Corporette Guide to Hems)

Some of my other favorite posts…

Tales from the Wallet: Tax Savvy Investments
How to Improve Your Writing
Which Are Your Favorite Magazines?
The Professional Implications of a Naturally Frowny Face
How to Hire a Cleaning Lady
PSA: Tired, Dry Eyes + Allergies = Bad News
How to Make Your Style Edgier
The Best Washable Pants for Work (and How to Care for Them)
How to Announce Your Pregnancy at Work
How to Secretly Use LinkedIn
Easy Weeknight Dinners (I wasn’t kidding when I said these were my laziest dinners of all time…)
How to Wear a Brooch (with more pictures from the Kat Archives)
What NOT to Wear to Holiday Networking Events

Check our all of our top posts from all four and a half years of Corporette!

Readers, do you have any other favorite posts from 2012? Any favorite discussions in the comment threads?


  1. Okay ladies, what was the best thing you did for yourself in 2012?

    For me, one was transitioning back to my hair’s natural texture because it showed me that when I focus, I can take care of my hair on my own. And the other was taking time to re-learn that I love to make others happy though cooking and baking for others.

    • What a great THRED Jack! I have to HURRY b/c Myrna is comeing over soon, but the best thing I did FOR myself is to be independent, knoweing that I do NOT have to rely on a MAN to be complete. I do NOT care if I am NOT in a releationship with a man, b/c after haveing been involved with a looser and meeting so many other’s who do NOT care about me, but onley them, that I feel best when I am abel to think for myself and be smart without haveing to ask a man what he think’s.

      I have become a MAJOR influence at work, and the manageing partner has come to depend on ME. Instead of just stareing at me and buffeing his head all day (tho he still does), he lookes to me to get NEW buseiness, and to do his CLE presentation’s for him. He also let me plan the holiday party ALL by myself! Yay!!!! All he did was pay for it.

      I have even became freinds with some of the law firm cleint’s, and gotten some cleint’s to refer other new peeople who became cleint’s! Jim refered Roberta and now she is one of my BEST freind’s! In fact, Myrna and I are goeing to see her TODAY! Yay! She is becomeing my role model b/c she work’s in house and has alot of infleuence at work and is alot of fun!

      So now my biggest task is to loose 5 pounds and I have 2 more day’s. I have lost 3 pound’s and have 2 more. No bread for 2 day’s and the corn beef I eat today in the BRONX will onley have Mustard on it and Dr. Brown’s DIET soda. Yum!!!!!!! But I have to loose the weight, so if I need to I will NOT eat tomorow and until AFTER I have a way-in with the manageing partner on Wednesday morning. FOOEY! But I have to go now, so HAPPY NEW YEAR to the HIVE! We all have to have a great 2013 next year, with or without men. YAY!!!!!!!!!!

    • Buying myself a beach club membership. I finally did something for myself and it was awesome. Not only is there a beach, but it has a gym, indoor and outdoor pools and a restaurant discount. I’m going to go work out today and then take myself to lunch.

    • Diana Barry :

      Um, I really don’t know. Having a baby was pretty great, but it wasn’t just for me! :)

      • Ha, the first time I read this comment, I saw it as “Having a baby was pretty great, but it just wasn’t for me” which is a whole new meaning.

    • I started running. I found it was a great ‘me’ time, cheaper than going to the gym, and I really responded to being able to set personal goals. Next year – running a 5K straight through!

    • Ekaterin Nile :

      Reclaiming my personal time on *gasp* the weekends and holidays (as much as possible) after billing 1,600 hours in the first 6 months of the year. That means no brief-writing over Christmas “just to get a head start” and turning my work email OFF on my iPhone today and tomorrow. My colleagues can call my cell phone if they really need me, and opposing counsel can wait until Wednesday.

      • Ekaterin Nile :

        Sorry, that’s 1,400 hours, not 1,600, in six months. Life didn’t suck that much.

        • Cornellian :

          1,400 sounds sucky enough for me. Good on you for reclaiming a bit of your life!

      • I did something similar. My life has been so much better since I decided that I would work late Monday through Friday but would not work on the weekends except for when I was in trial. I also used all my use or lose leave by taking random days off

    • Cornellian :

      Good question. I think I’ve had a pretty bad 2012, to be honest.

      I think maybe the best thing I’ve done is make good friends with my neighbors. It’s great to have good friends who you can chat with for five minutes on the way home, who have nothing to do with work/law/your firm, and through whom you can live vicariously. I’m hoping to grab one of them to climb on the roof for fireworks tonight.

    • I went with my gut to take a job in a city where I knew no one (which also means I’ll be in a LDR for a few years). So far it’s been a great fit in terms of the work and office culture. So happy what was a big gamble turned out alright.

    • Chnaged jobs and moved to a new city. I am much happier now and love the new challenges/opportunities that are opening up before me.

    • anon in tejas :

      I completed my first triathlon! It was a sprint distance. I trained well, and worked hard. I was really proud that I completed it, and it was a few weeks before my 30th birthday– so I was in the best shape of my adult life :) I’m a strong woman, but it felt great to “prove” it to myself.

    • I bit the bullet and had lap-band surgery. I had to pay out of pocket because insurance wouldn’t cover it and it’s been a painful process, but I’m so happy I did it. One of the first things I’ve done just for me in a very long time.

    • Lost 25 pounds and counting!

    • I stopped running and started weightlifting!

      I’m actually *good* at it (unlike the struggle of running) and exercising regularly is so much easier. It’s one of the reasons I’ve been happier this winter, despite 2012 being horrible in other ways.

    • Got the nerve to ask my firm to transfer me so that I now spend 20 minutes commuting per day instead of 2 hours.

    • Lost more than 25 lbs. I’m so much more comfortable in my own skin and feeling like me again.

    • Moved from my small home city to Big City, with the new job and new home (purchased jointly with BF) that came with it. It was a long, painful process but I am so glad I did it – I am so much happier here (though I do still miss my old house and neighbourhood from time to time). The changes have all been positive – I have better work now, am in a stimulating environment with lots of smart people, have a great home, am no longer in a long-distance relationship, and my finances are settling down. I can’t wait to see what 2013 will bring!

    • Ran 2 10k races – one I came in under 1 hour. This past summer I was probably in the best shape ever since jr high (when I was on a swim team). And I’ve continued running even in the cold weather (amazing what you can run in with proper clothing).

      2013 I plan on loosing the 13 lbs that have crept on after losing 27 a few years ago. Although I’m sure my measurements haven’t changed too much because of all that running!

    • I decided to start accepting that I might never marry and begin planning the rest of my life without the assumption that I will have kids. Kids and a family might still happen, sure, but it not happening was a major source of stress for me.

      This year, my goal is to shut down patronizing comments by smug-marrieds that “you still have time”, “my friend met her husband when she was 42!”, and “you might find someone now that you aren’t looking.” I realized that following that “advice” and keeping hope alive was making me miserable on many levels.

      • Round Two... :

        I have a friend who has not yet decided that she shouldn’t allow her marital and reproductive status to be a huge source of stress in her life. She often mentions her dating woes, fear of being alone forever, resenting how “all” her friends have babies. I got married when I was younger than she is now, and enjoy a pleasant, child-free life with my husband. If you were in her shoes, what would you like to hear from me (a genuine smug-married) instead of the patronizing comments above? I’m not being snarky – I am genuinely curious. I find myself saying those types of things to her in an effort to be positive and try to get her out of her funk – it feels better than saying “yeah, no guy will ever marry you and you’ll die a spinster and be eaten by your cats.”

        • The issue with those comments is that, no matter how well intended, they are patronizing. I like it when my friends and family are excited about my plans and encourage me to get out and do new things.

          For example, I’m going on a solo scuba trip in a few weeks. Wrong response: “OMG! Aren’t you afraid to travel alone? I’d never travel without DH! Maybe you’ll find a cute dive buddy to marry while you are there.” Right response: “How wonderful! Where are you going? Do you need someone to check in on your cats?”

          FWIW, if she’s ready, I think you can ask her what she plans to do if she doesn’t find Mr. Right. Not “no man will ever marry you” but “hey, what if He never shows up?”–blame it on the Mystery Man, not her. Facing that question was important to me accepting that my cats would eat me if I wasn’t strong enough to fight them off every morning.

        • I think the best things to say are things that don’t imply her future happiness are dependent on her finding a man. Which is hard if she’s implying that herself. But showing genuine excitement about her interests, hobbies, etc. independent of whether she might meet a man is important, I think, as is not assuming that the relationships she has in her life are worth less because they’re not romantic.

        • Round Two... :

          Thanks for both these. I am excited for her when she tries new things, and I certainly don’t think that her future happiness is, or will be, or should be, dependent on finding a husband, but she thinks that. I feel like as a smug-married I don’t have much credibility when offering alternative outcomes as positive – it seems rude to imply that she should be happy even if she doesn’t get what she wanted, when I got what she wanted and am happy. Next time she gets going on the “woe is me” I’ll try re-directing to “what are you doing that’s just for you” instead of “it’ll happen, be patient”.

        • blind saacnmama leading blind sister :

          Yikes! The options are either marriage, kids, and a mortgage or spinsterhood and being eaten by your cats?
          And you got what she wanted? She wanted your husband and your life?
          I don’t mean this in a snarky way, but you might want to think though some options of a fulfilling life that doesn’t involve a husband. You don’t have to talk to her about them, but maybe just making an effort to sketch it out in your own mind or look for it in books and movies might open you up to seeing options spontaneously when you feel one of those comments coming on.

          Comments that are intended as supportive can be some of the most condemning. When we lived on the high plains, people used to say they admired how I was raising a kid on my own, it must be hard, didn’t I miss a husband, etc. The undertone was hard to miss.

      • Miss Marple :

        Amen. I finally reached this point after several particularly dark periods of depression and anxiety and horrible dating experiences in my 30s. So hard when the rest of the world keeps broadcasting the message that marriage/kids is the only path to happiness and fulfillment for women. It just doesn’t happen for some people.

    • MaggieLizer :

      Got in the habit of exercising twice a day every day. Which I’ve now stopped over the holiday, but I’m determined to get back to it after tomorrow. I haven’t seen a big difference on the scale yet, but I feel a lot better, have eliminated lower back pain, and I have a better shape.

    • I’m hoping to be able to look back and feel that the best thing I did for myself in 2012 was ending a long relationship with a jealous and manipulative man, but I’m not quite there yet (right now I think the break-up was the WORST thing I did in 2012).

      So, for now the best thing I did in 2012 was to make a lot of new friends by going out of my comfort zone, showing up to things, and making an effort. Being single forces you to do that, and it has been so worthwhile.

      So long, 2012. You truly s*cked.

    • I moved to Spain! So that’s pretty hard to top, in terms of things I did for myself.

      In second place would be dating my ex (he of lady garden fame). I’m still really sad sometimes that things didn’t work out, and I still intermittently miss him so. damn. much., but it was such a valuable experience to be in a relationship with an actual adult of the species. And even if things don’t work out between us when I go back to America (whenever that is? ladies, I need help, expect a TJ soon), I know now what a relationship SHOULD feel like.

      • Cornellian :

        Good for you! I don’t want to fall too much into media hype, but sometimes I really do feel like there are so many more “grown-up” women in their 20s and 30s than men.

    • Great question. I had a rough year in a lot of ways, but one thing I definitely know I did right was cut off contact with someone who consistently hurt my feelings and undermined whatever I was trying to accomplish. It was scary at the time, but I have absolutely no doubt that it was a huge and lasting gift to myself. It also gave me more confidence that I will be able to do the same thing again if the need ever arises, rather than just hang around and take it.

    • Stopped waiting for an offer from Potential Employer (who has strung me and a few other freelancers along with “We might have an opening soon” for almost two years now) and got myself a full-time job with slightly lower pay and longer commute than the maybe-job, but hey! At least it exists.

    • I took my dream job even though I knew it would be short-term. I just came away so inspired and was able to cram in so much more experience in this short-term job than I had for years at my last one. Now on to the next one… but this was totally worth it and I’m proud of myself for taking the risk.

      Also, I learned to invest in expensive haircuts. I started going to someone that costs double my usual, but it was worth every penny in terms of not just look, but also daily styling time. And because the expensive ones grow out so much better, I go less frequently and the annual cost isn’t that much higher.

    • I made it a priority to get no less than 7hrs of sleep every night, and it has really made a difference.

      I mean, I’m as crusty and grumpy as ever, but I’m a lot more productive and clear-headed in the mornings!

    • Getting a new job was huge for me. I felt so stuck and bitter. It was great to move on to something better!

  2. Diana Barry :

    Thanks to Kat for making this such a great place! :)

    Quick rant on my review last week: It went OK, I didn’t get fired or anything, etc. My substantive work is very good, yadda yadda. But when are law firms going to learn to live in the 21st century? I got all the usual cliches: “face time is very important”, “billable hours are very important” etc. I HATE both face time and measuring good work via number of hours (and not productivity!)! I hope that when the people in Gen X/Y are in charge, we can change this culture. RAWR!

    • I hate face time too but I think that is the 21st century. I know of very few jobs or professions where you don’t have to be in the office.

      • I agree – while Gen X/Y will use more virtual tools in the future, relationships are still the foundation of anything in the business/working world and face time is a crucial part in that. Until we all have constant video chats going on in the corner of our screens/off our smart phones of course.

        • Cornellian :

          Also, as someone who can be rather easily distracted I find facetime sort of helpful. I feel morally obligated to listen to the person in front of me, which I don’t if it’s a television screen or something. This is something I should have considered before I signed up for an online bar review course, although I passed anyway. But grr billable hour, indeed.

        • Diana Barry :

          Yep, this is how my 23yo cousin works. His company has NO OFFICES. They have a company meeting once every quarter. It can be done!

          Maybe if I am ever a boss myself, I will do this.

    • Cornellian :

      How much facetime are we talking about? I imagine this would change if I had a small child at home, but I really find it helpful to be in the office 10-7, especially as a junior person. It’s how I end up getting interesting assignments that help me grow, and how I’ve gotten to know coworkers better.

      But I’m with you on the billable hour. Some of my hardest, most demanding assignemnts take 3 hours, and sometimes I (accurately) bill 30 hours for work I could have done as a 16 year old.

      • Second that it’s helpful to be in the office until 7pm. Truth is, people with work to distribute spend most of the day talking to clients. The client goes home (or at least doesn’t have meetings/calls/etc.) at 5pm or so. So between 5pm and 5:30pm, the work is grouped into projects and begins getting distributed. If there’s something that has to be delegated in-person or while it is still fresh in that person’s mind (typically the “best” or most interesting project), the person who is in the office at 6pm gets it.

        FWIW, my secret pet peeve is junior associates who leave at 4pm. We are a very work-from-home-friendly office so it’s technically acceptable and I can’t tell them not to do that. Sigh.

        • Cornellian :

          4 pm! I can’t imagine! I’m nine months in and feel like I’m sneaking out if I leave before 7, and consider rerouting through the hallways to avoid people. That would be my pet peeve, as well!

          I also think that even if you get stuck working much later than 7, you end up building bonds with older lawyers about how awful that opposing counsel was, or how stupid the financial printer you worked with was, or how you both ordered the exact same dinner, or whatever it is.

          • Very true. Staying late was how I got some of my best mentors.

            I really really like the firm I work for. But it does have a work-from-home culture which isn’t me. I attempt to not let drive me crazy. I figure that they don’t call me out for staying late instead of going home; they gave me a beautiful big office; and they don’t complain that I eat all the leftover firm food and snacks when I’m here late. So I’ve chosen to not fight this battle.

          • Don’t eat everything k-padi, or your tush will look like Ellen’s!

          • WHY is it a pet peeve for both of you? It’s your choice to stay at the office these ungodly hours: you want to be a martyr, you want to work yourselves to death, then go ahead. Don’t impose it on others, and don’t get resentful that they’re not working in exactly the same way as you. I get it if these folks aren’t producing but that doesn’t appear to be the case. Rather, it seems you’re just concerned with face time — and not yours, but theirs.

          • @Geez,

            I disagree….it’s especially hard for a junior or mid level to truly come up the curve if he or she is not willing to put in the hours within easy shouting distance of mentors. I think that’s what Kpadi is getting at. It’s not that she wants to haze juniors because she worked that long or that late–it’s that someone that leaves at four is sending a signal that they just don’t care that much or aren’t willing to be in the office to be taught.

        • While I wouldn’t leave at 4pm as a junior associate (the stage where you’re getting the most value out of facetime), I now frequently leave the office at 4pm and finish off at home if I only have another two hours or so of work left to do for the day. Otherwise, due to traffic, I’d have to wait until 8pm. For me it has hugely improved my quality of life. Of course, if there’s a ton of work to do I stay as long as needed (and this happens often), but I try to avoid sitting in the office with my work done waiting for traffic to clear. Also, I get to the office around 6.30/7am (again, due to traffic…not by choice as an early bird or anything), so by 4pm I feel like it’s been a long day already.

    • Hey, if Gen x/Y can figure out a way to make a living without the equivalent of billable hours, more power to them! May I live long enough to see the day :-). But you know, this existed once, this disconnect between work and profit imperative, it was called communism. Let me know if it comes back somewhere.

      • Cornellian :

        I think Generation X has had their chance, they’re well in to their 40s. I’m not sure what you’re criticizing with the work/profit comment, but I think we are criticizing the billable hour system for reflecting neither the amount of work that went in, nor the amount actually collected from the client. It doesn’t really make sense that when a client needs me to travel and speak Russian at 3 AM they pay the same as when I’m comfortable in my office after coming in at 10, to me. It also is sort of ridiculous what BigLaw firms charge for lawyers’ work that on a bad day could be done by a trained monkey. I think there has to be a move from the billable hour, as much as I’m pretty sure it will hurt my career in the short term.

        • I disagree, I think Gen X is just barely coming-of-age. The Boomers are still in charge at most places and not retiring anytime soon. Gen X is just now getting into the leadership roles.

          In my experience as a borderline X/Y, Gen X is leading the adoption of technologies that allow people to work from home. Gen Y uses them, sure, but it was Gen X that convinced the Boomers to get laptops, Citrix, and web-access to Outlook about 10 years ago and now continues the push for more work-from-home options.

          I don’t think Gen X will change the billable hours paradigm. Gen Y might though.

          • Cornellian :

            My impression of the industry is that the clients are slowly forcing BigLaw to abandon that model, even if so far all they’ve done is chip away at the edges. BigLaw is a lot smaller than it used to be, there are clients who simply won’t pay for first-year associates, etc.

          • Diana Barry :

            Yup, the boomers are firmly in charge at my firm. I am a borderline X-Y too (I think the end of X is 1977?).

          • Agreed–from the “outside”. I work with clients who use flat fee arrangements and refuse to work with anyone not on their “list”. But, from an associate’s level on the “inside”, they still have to “bill” their hours for that work–even though it isn’t technically “billable hours”.

            I don’t see the internal accounting structure of law firms moving away from billable hours at least until Gen Y takes the lead.

      • I’m confused, too. I actually think the billable hour severs the connection between work and profit imperative. When I was a teenager, I was taught how to hold a hammer properly — near the end to get the most leverage and pound in the nail faster. I was told that that was how a master carpenter holds it; holding it up near the head is the mark of a paid-by-the-hour journeyman. I’m an incredibly fast worker. I’ve never had a job where I didn’t have a much larger workload than most of my peers. In a firm setting, this is a huge disadvantage because work the partner figured on getting paid 8 or 10 hours’ worth for instead had only 5 or 6 hours on my time sheet. The work was just as good, but wound up costing the client $1,500 less. Shouldn’t the firm and I have gotten the benefit of my faster work? Also, totally second Cornellian — my time at 3:00am is worth way more to me than my time at 3:00pm, and waaaay more to me than my time at 3:00am in the middle of a vacation.

        • Diana Barry :

          YES, this x1000.

          I remember when I was a summer associate in biglaw, my folder of work for the summer was about 5x bigger than my peers’. No joke. Shouldn’t we be able to do our work and GO HOME?

          • Cornellian :

            Yeah. One of the negative feedback poitns that has come up from several billing attorneys is that they expected to see me bill more hours than I had. I feel like one of them was essentially giving me carte blanche to pad my hours, which I’m not comfortable doing. I had other definitely negative points in my review, but hey, at least I’m fast?

  3. My husband has recently decided that he wants to apply for the FBI. I know that not many people make it through the process, so I could be worried about nothing. The thing is that I have a job that is not very portable (attorney), and I absolutely love my firm. I know I could take the bar exam in a new state and get a job there, but I don’t know that I want to do that. I’m currently in a smaller market and I’ve established a good reputation for myself. I’ve told him that I don’t want to move. He’s really unhappy in his current job. I can’t tell him not to apply. I don’t want to completely start over somewhere else. Any thoughts/words of wisdom/cookies and wine?

    • Cornellian :

      Well, cookies and wine, first.

      Second, I would probably make sure that if you do decide to follow him in the unlikely situation he gets in at the FBI, that he’s set up to provide for the family for a few years in case you need to reeducate yourself, get a LLM, take a new bar, take a lower-paying job, etc. If he’s asking you to sacrifice so much, I think you deserve a level of certainty for taking that leap.

    • That’s really tough, especially since there’s no possibility of not moving if he gets the job (for other readers — my understanding is that FBI agents MUST be placed in a location other than where they applied, so she would absolutely be moving if he got the job). Would you be willing to consider moving? Would it depend on where he got placed? Is there something else he could offer you — e.g., you do this for X years then move to (near your family, someplace else you’ve always wanted to live but he was never interested in)? To what extent do you guys rely on your salary? Has he fully thought through not only what it would mean for you personally if you moved, but what it would mean to the family’s bottom line if you couldn’t find work for awhile? Also, is this a brand new idea, or is it something he’s had kicking around in his head for years? If the former, are there other options that would also be attractive to him that wouldn’t require relocation? If it’s the latter, it would be a harder call in my book since it’s not just about hating his current job but giving up a long held dream. I think, even though marriages aren’t tit for tat, if he does this, he should really appreciate what it means that you’re willing to consider doing something that’s purely for him. It also seems to me that this is a case where both people need to be really, really honest with each other. Either option will require one of you to make a sacrifice. If you are not willing to move, then there’s no point in him applying. It would be worse to say nothing, have him go through the whole process and make it, only for you to say you really can’t move. But if you do move, no fair later seething with resentment. Same thing for him if he doesn’t apply. Here’s lots of good thoughts to you as you work through this! It’s not an easy question.

    • anon in tejas :

      are you willing to consider practicing or changing your practice to do more work where you can be licensed anywhere? (i.e. federal admission & practice, immigration, etc.)?

      there are a large number of govt opportunities where you just need to be licensed in a jurisdiction that could be available to you as well.

    • FMS, believe it or not I am in exactly the same situation. My husband has a good job as a CPA, but his father and grandfather were both in the FBI and my husband has always expressed an interest. He knows I am not happy about this, he said he is going to apply once and if he doesn’t get selected he will drop it. If he does get selected I most likely would not move as I really like my job, my current city and being near family and friends. We are young, together 9 years and married for 4, no kids. We were long distance (though within a few hours drive) the first 3 years of our relationship and if he relocated we would do that again.

    • just drink wine, eat cookies, and tell him to apply. they are barely hiring right now. If he gets it, come back and everyone can give you better advice.

    • Good food for thought, everyone. I’ve been thinking that I would do what Susie plans–not move and have a LDR for a while. That makes me nervous, though, because what if he’s never able to come back here.

      I guess we’ll have to talk about all of this and see what happens if he decides to apply anyway. Plenty of wine and cookies in the meantime…

      • It’s so hard! I want to be supportive but I really really hate the idea! My inner shrew is hoping he doesn’t get selected, but I’m worried with his experience and family connections he will. I’m not sure if what TBK says is correct regarding requirement to be placed in a different location than where you apply, I’ve never heard this – my understanding is that you rank your preferences but are not guaranteed any particular location. There is a basic training in Virginia, not sure how long that is. The application and background check process is fairly lengthy so will cross that bring if/when I get to it. :/

        • I know a few people who applied (none made it) and they told me that there was a rule that you had to be placed somewhere other than where you applied. I think it had something to do with preventing favoritism.

        • Yes! These are exactly my feelings.

        • TBK is correct that you can’t immediately go to the field office you applied through. If you or he want to know more about the process and the life, I’d recommend checking out the 911 job forums. It’s a very long, very strenuous application process, so try not to worry too much just yet (easier said than done, I realize). Best wishes (and lots of cookies) to both of you, FMS and Susie.

    • My brother’s wife applied…they are both attys. she got very far into the process, and it caused a lot of strife in their very-new marriage. She did a lot of research and figured out which states my brother could waive into. However, my brother was very upset…he was a sixth year on partner track at the time. Thankfully, despite the fact that she was a former prosecutor, the FBI turned up that her pot use in college was less experimental and more recreational than she’d claimed, and….poof…the FBI dream died right there. What I am trying to say is that you should let him apply and talk about how it might affect your practice. The chances he’ll make it all the way through a long and arduous process are slim, even I’d he’s a rock star. Hang in there!

  4. anon for this :

    Hello, regular reader going anon for a moment.

    This morning I got prescribed Adderall. I’ve never taken adderall before, and have serious concerns about the role of it and other neuroenhancers in society, but I think it was maybe time to face the music on my own psychiatric issues. I never took it recreationally or for studying or anything, and really worry that it is seen as a harmless drug that makes you more productive, which sort of raises the bar in already competitive fields without real acknowledgement of the fact that is an amphetamine and we’re not sure what it does to the body over the long term.

    I’m not sure if I really have a question, but do any other BigLaw types take adderall or similar drugs? prescribed? I feel dirty or cheating for taking it, but it was prescribed, and only after a year of me resisting a prescription. Obviously I don’t know how it will effect me, but I’m definitely already struggling with the ethical effect.

    • I was under the impression everyone in biglaw was on adderall

      • anon for this :

        Haha, of the ~10 friends I have in BigLaw who I trust to tell me the truth about these things, 3 are. Higher than the average population, but not astronomical. I’m also 26… I’m not sure about older lawyers. My impression was that maybe a third of my friends in law school had used it to study for finals, but I don’t know, I suppose everyone self selects friends.

        I’m going to link to an article in a separate comment about this. It talks about how in the studies they’ve done at colleges, the average off-label user has a GPA under 3.0 and is more likely than average to belong to a sorority or fraternity. The studies gave the impression that the average user used it to balance social with work demands, rather than really get ahead in w
        ork/school. Of course if their GPA remained under 3.0, one might wonder if that was a wise move.

      • anon for this :

    • I am assuming that it was prescribed to help with some sort of attention deficit disorder? Should treating your psychological/neurological needs be any different than treating a “physicial” disease, either acute or chronic? Is it misused by people? Absolutely, but that shouldn’t discount its value for people who use it as a part of a bigger strategy to treat their particular condition. I have a family member who takes Adderall and it makes a huge difference in their basic ability to function and be a sucessful employee and spouse. I wouldn’t call it cheating or unethical.

      • As the mom to 2 ADD/ADHD children who are on Vyvanse, I completely agree. If you have an actual medical need for the drug, then by all means take it. My older ds who is on meds has been on for almost 2 years and it seriously changed his life for the better. Ds#2 just started about a month ago, so we’re still in the ‘wait and see’ stage, but so far we’ve noticed some very positive changes.

        One pediatrician we went to said having ADD/ADHD was like your brain needing glasses. The meds help give your brain that extra help it needs to focus so you can be successful. You wouldn’t have any qualms about wearing glasses if you needed them, would you?

        On the other hand, if you don’t have an actual neurological need for the drugs & you are using them more to give yourself an edge, then I can see why you would be conflicted, and your decision would be more difficult, for sure.

        • Cornellian :

          No, I’m not using them to give myself an edge, but if they work correctly, I think they will give me an edge on my former self, if that makes sense. And, per the article above the studies cited, a pretty large section of the population performs objectively better on tests when they’re on it, so I’m not sure where the line is between “needs” it and “performs better with it” is.

        • KansasAnalyst :

          This is a great thought- like your brain needs glasses… It really articulates what I haven’t been able to for a long time

      • anon for this :

        I’m hoping it makes a big change in my life, as well. I think because I grew up the daughter of a special ed teacher who saw her emotionally disturbed kids medicated into oblivion, I’m skeptical of drugs like this. Seeing people use it in college for fun/to make up for bad planning definitely solidified my negative view of these drugs. Although I’ve had doctors and family members mentioning medicating ADHD for years, I think my (less than stellar) yearly review that mentioned these issues last week put me over the edge.

        • Also anon for this. I’m a psychologist and was diagnosed with ADHD in grad school. The research shows that women more than men tend not to be diagnosed as children because they are more often have the dreamy, inattentive type of attentional problems, rather than the disruptive hyperactive type.

          If you are highly intelligent and have been able to function at least minimally in a highly competitive environment such as BigLaw, even without medication to treat your diagnosed ADD, it still doesn’t mean that you don’t “need” medication. It means you are smart enough to compensate and work around your issues, but you may still have been underperforming for your level of intelligence and potential.

          That was the case for me — I had abysmal organizational skills that I can trace back to say, second or third grade?, but still had excellent grades throughout school, so no one ever questioned how I got things done. Which was crazy last minute disorganization for any bigger projects, because I just got lost in all the levels of details, and couldn’t create a structure to organize all the information. Now that I’ve been on medication for a few years, I’ve seen what an immense difference it makes in *how* I work and organize. Also, when taken as prescribed, it’s absolutely not the same thing as people recreationally abusing stimulants. People trying to get high will abuse just about anything (bath salts, etc.).

          • anon for this :

            OP here, very helpful. I think that’s something I’ve struggled with, as well. My brain seems to have always gone fast enough to make up these weaknesses, but as I sort of progress into more and more demanding roles in life (first a good college, then a good law school, now a BigLaw fimr, etc), I’m realizing how much organization and focus I’m missing.

    • My husband had ADHD and felt much sharper when he was taking it. You aren’t cheating. If you have ADHD then the meds will put you on the same level as others.

  5. anon but regular :

    anyone else think of this site with the first question?

    • I did!

    • I saw that on the original live chat and thought the same thing!

    • Remember when that weird guy found his ex-girlfriends posts about him here and then posted some weird retaliatory rant? I suppose it could happen.

      Though they’d have to wade through A LOT of boring posts about panty hose and polka dots to do it.

      • MaggieLizer :

        Ha, yeah, I had an ex read my anon post on here about him about a year ago and confront me about it (privately – not the ranty guy). At first he was mad because he felt like I cast him in an unfairly poor light, but when I asked him how he would have described it differently, he was kind of like, “Uhhh… oh, yeah I guess you’re right.” It actually really helped him/us that so many people had the same or a worse reaction than I’d had because to his mind it was nbd and I was just overreacting/overly sensitive/[insert dismissive gaslighting comment here]. Sometimes I think we all just need someone objective to tell us when we’re being a DOOSH.

    • Yes, That was my first thought too!

  6. Boss advice, please :

    I got a (quasi) promotion a couple weeks ago – same duties but a title change and a raise. My boss said I should wait to say anything until he made the announcement, which would have been last week. No announcement has been made. It is end of year, and the holidays, so I understand being busy. However, if a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it . . . .

    How long do I wait to say something to him, and how would you word it?

    • I would wait until next week. At my workplace, at least, there are a lot of people who take time off in December and through NYE, so it may be that he is just waiting until more people are back in the office and on a normal schedule. If there hasn’t been an announcement by mid-next week, I would just stop by his office casually and mention that you’re excited about the promotion, and you understood that you were supposed to keep it under wraps until is was officially announced, so you just wanted to check in regarding when the announcement is planned.

    • Cornellian :

      I would probably wait until early next week, then stop by in person and mention how excited about your new job and how you’ve had to bite your tongue a couple times in order to let him make the announcement first. I would phrase in a “I’m excited about my (sort of) new role in this organization” way, I think.

      Also, why are you concerned about people not know if it’s mostly about a raise? That’s actually the type of news I’d rather my coworkers not hear…

      • Boss advice, please :

        I only want the title change recognized – and frankly to be able to update my linkedin profile. I’d never talk about my income or a raise.

        • It’ll be interesting to see whether your Dec31st paycheck reflected the new scale?

  7. What are everyone’s favorite recipes for post-holiday, deep winter healthy eating? Mr. and I often do salads with lean protein as our easy weeknight healthy dinner, but in wintertime, I want hot food at night. I’ll probably do some coq au vin (easy 1960s Betty Crocker recipe) soon and maybe a beef stew (with lean meat and lots of veggies). What are your favorites?

    • I do a lot of soups with side salads. I also like roasting veggies and baking sweet potatoes.

    • I make chili but with stew meat (trimmed well) and black beans. I always thought I didn’t like chili, but then I realized it was just that I didn’t like ground meat with tomato sauce and I don’t like kidney beans, so I just substituted other things that I do like. I base my chili recipe on one from an Eating Well cookbook. It was meatless with sundried tomatoes to give it more substance.

    • Yesterday I made three kinds of bean soup, from the South Beach diet cookbook – all hearty, all can hold in the fridge for a few days, and all yummy.

    • Cornellian :

      I’ll third the vote for chili, and add that, for some reason, avocadoes make chili 10X better in my book. I think trying to add something fresh to the chili each time you eat it (assuming you make a lot, which you should) makes it more palatable to eat for a week.

      • Avocados, if you can find decent ones, make everything 100x better :) Especially on top of soup or toast.

    • anon in tejas :

      healthy currys, indian food, and healthy chilis are my favorites.

    • My family gatherings tend to be meat and cheese heavy, so I make lots of vegetarian dishes post holidays.
      Black eyed peas, kale, and bulgar wheat is my favorite dish. Roasted vegetables in sandwiches, fritatas, and with beans and rice are also a staple.

      As far as soups go, I like spinach and tofu in a miso broth. Bean-based chilis are delicious, but I have a serious cornbread weakness :)

    • I had steamed veggies and salmon on top of wild rocket last night (hot enough that it wilted the leaves a bit). Sometimes, putting a spoonful of quinoa or orzo on top of salads makes them feel heartier.

  8. Cornellian :

    Crazy stalker estranged father update (can anyone tell I have very little work today?)

    I finally got my much-awaited Christmas card, which I figured was coming when reception let me know he called to check my address. I think my argument for him being a clinical narcissist is now stronger. It’s a card for daughters at Christmas, with the note:

    I would like to reclaim you. I was very hurt. Dad

    You don’t “reclaim” or “claim” people. ew. creepy, creepy, creepy! Good thing I don’t have much to focus on today.

    • Yikes, Cornellian. That is creepy. Also, wouldn’t an apology have been more appropriate in his card? Does he ever consider if his own behavior is why you don’t want to have any contact? (My guess is that he doesn’t.) Stay strong – you’re doing the right thing.

    • It’s too bad we can’t divorce parents. But you don’t have to respond…

      • Cornellian :

        Yeah, I don’t plan on it. I am starting to worry he’ll show up, though. I have this vaguely funny image of him trying to grab me by the arm when I’m out with one of my coworkers who used to play college football. If he’s going to show up or wait outside, I really hope I’m with that colleague.

    • goldribbons :

      There’s a book called Children of the Self-Absorbed that was recommended to me for parent issues. I haven’t read it yet, but I’m sure you could read the first few pages on A m a z o n to see if it would help you distance yourself from this sort of behavior.
      In any event, that’s super creepy and I’m sorry you’re dealing with that!

  9. anon for this :

    Need a reality check. I’ve been furious with my husband for about a week and a half. He’s out of town on a six week business trip, which has been awful for me. He volunteered to go on this trip in place of a coworker, even though it would cause him to miss Christmas and New Years, because he thinks it is good for his long-term career. (Nevermind that he could have gone after the New Year, a much better time for me, and experienced the same career benefits.) We have a toddler, and he normally handles day care (which I cannot do for geographic reasons). I am a biglaw attorney and I have been slammed the whole time he has been gone (billed 70 hours last week, while I was supposedly on vacation). I haven’t had more than four hours of sleep a night for the past three weeks. He did nothing to help make things easier while he would be gone. I found alternative transportation to get our child to day care; I hired a cleaning lady and babysitters to pick up the slack; I cooked and froze food for while he was gone, etc. I had to do 80% of the Christmas shopping and wrapping because he was too lazy to do it before he left despite me repeatedly nagging him to do his fair share. What pushed me from annoyed to angry was when he failed to get me a Christmas present (after we had a talk earlier this year about how it hurt my feelings that he hadn’t gotten me a birthday, Mother’s Day, or landmark anniversary gift, even though I had bought him gifts for each of these occasions; yes, I know the Five Languages of Love is relevant, but he’s not a reader). He was exasperated with me when I told him I was upset that he hadn’t gotten me a gift. He expresses no remorse about leaving me in this stressful, exhausting situation. I am considering telling him that I don’t want to talk to him until he gets back because I don’t think it is productive to chew him out long distance and I don’t feel like I can be civil to him any longer. Plus, I really don’t have time to talk to him; sleep is more important to me at this point. Am I out of line?

    • That sounds horrible. Perhaps write him a long email describing what you’ve said here. He may get it better when it’s laid out without emotion. It sounds like these issues are way beyond this trip. Have you thought about marriage counseling?

      • Good points. I think it would be a good idea but he thinks therapists are quacks, so I doubt that it would be efficacious. I think counseling for me would be beneficial, but I have so little time. I have tried to write an email but I can’t seem to get rid of the flagrantly hostile tone. I’ve tried doing what I do when I’m angry at opposing counsel, which is to write a nasty letter then edit it into a frosty but civil one,, but I can’t seem to get rid of the furor. Maybe this weekend if I can catch up on sleep.

        • Cornellian :

          I don’t think you need to let go of the furor. I’d save how you’re feeling, even if you just talk in to your cell phone (they all seem to do voice recording now) or make bullet points. But I don’t think you should necessarily direct it at him until you’re in a better place and he’s back.

        • there seems to be a huge correlation between huge jerk husbands on this site and men who think therapists are quacks.

          • SFBayA (SF Bay Associate) :

            I was just thinking the same thing, cc.

          • Amen. I think it has something to do with the inability to admit that others might be right or have insights that you yourself could not have. and with the inability or unwillingness to give up control.

          • Yes, because deep down the jerks know that an objective, reasonably intelligent third-party would quickly peg them as jerks and call them on their bullsh!t so they make up reasons to avoid therapists, and try to discredit them.

            OP, your husband is behaving like a total @sshole. Is he always like this? Or is this a recent bout of selfishness aggravated by other stuff?

            About wrapping the Xmas gifts–were they for your kids? If they were, I can see why you did them, even if your husband deserves to be chewed out for leaving them all to you. Seriously, next year, do not wrap any gifts for anyone other than your kids. Then, when these people either get no gifts from your husband or get a pile of ugly unwrapped stuff, tell them your husband didn’t bother to wrap them. Don’t rescue him from the consequences of his @ssholishness.

            As for being supportive in general, I think the two of you need a long talk. If he doesn’t see the light and isn’t willing to be more considerate, then for godssake, don’t have more children with him and dig yourself deeper in the hole.

      • Diana Barry :

        Ditto. Maybe write the email/ltr and give it to him when he has been back for a day or so?

        Big hugs.

    • Cornellian :

      No, you don’t sound out of line, unless you’re omitting a whole bunch of details. It reminds me a little bit of a well-intentioned ex-boyfriend, who was really bad at doing things without explicit instructions, but who also chafed under feeling “managed”, which was a hard balance. Your husband sounds like he’s being ridiculous, but I would just write down how you’re feeling, what things happened, etc. and try to confront him when you’re both a bit better rested. I would let him know you don’t think you can be civil right now, so you’d like to keep communication to a minimum until he gets back in order to avoid further hurt feelings.

    • This is a tough one to judge without knowing all the details, but maybe husband is feeling like his career has been put on hold to support yours? It sounds like he does help when he is home – dropping kids off at day care. Does he normally do the cooking and cleaning, or you, or both? Maybe he feels like he has always supported your career, but when he asked for 6 weeks for you to support his he didn’t get the same response? Men can definitely feel that way when they are married to smart women with great careers. As for the present thing, there is no excuse for not buying you one, that is definitely an issue that needs to be dealt with later when you are both calmer.

      Clearly you are tired and overwhelmed. Can you get a nanny, or family to stay for the balance of his trip so thatyou can get some well deserved rest? Order in food? I wouldn’t approach the situation with your husband when you are frazzled and need sleep, you won’t be able to have the rational conversation you need to have. I think counseling, even just for you, is a great idea. It seems like there are communication issues on both sides (“repeatedly nagging” will never end well) that need to be worked out so each of you understand where the other is coming from.

      I definitely understand not having any time, but it sounds like you need to prioritize you instead of your career (billing 70 hours Xmas week is crazy!). Find a therapist near your office and take an hour each week, if your employer can’t deal with that, f them and find a new job that understands family is more important than billing.

      Try to get some rest and enjoy your baby on New Year’s Eve!

      • +1,000!!! This was exactly what I was going to write. My husband has a lot more flexibility in his schedule than I do, and also works closer to home, so he always winds up doing errands, taking the cars into the shop, dealing with the dog, etc. It always makes more sense for him to do it, but he gets resentful if there’s always the assumption that he can make time in his day for it while I can’t. Your husband should have talked to you before going away for six weeks (and this should have been a joint decision) but do you ever do this? Maybe you feel like it’s not your choice (I know how BigLaw is — “we have you on a plane to Dubai tonight; go home and be at the airport with your suitcase in two hours and, no, we don’t know how long you’ll be gone”) but he might resent an assumption that he’ll be always be around for kid duty. I also agree that not having time for therapy isn’t an option, especially if you care about your marriage.

      • Silvercurls :

        Definitely do whatever you have to do to get more sleep–even if it means hiring child care! **everything** is harder to handle (and looks more discouraging) when you’re totally exhausted. Also, getting some rest will help you to replace the cycle of negative self-reinforcement (going from one frazzling, depleting experience to the next) with a cycle of self-reinforcing better experiences(not necessarily great, but better): eating a meal sitting down instead of standing up; having a few minutes to read & cuddle with your toddler; waking up and having “I’m SO exhausted!” be your second or third instead of first thought of the day.

      • Thanks for the insight; you’ve given me a lot to think about. I do the cooking and cleaning and laundry. I also handled daycare for the first 9 months of our child’s attendance at daycare; my husband has only been responsible for two months. I also arrange backup childcare when I have to travel for work. So I don’t think that I have taken advantage of my husband.

        • Why (or how) were you ever doing the house cleaning when you work at BigLaw? I was single and childless, living in a one bedroom apartment when I was in BigLaw and I had housecleaners, sent out my laundry, and cooked maybe once a week.

          • I am very fast (I had a job that required a lot of cleaning in high school). I usually get home around 5:30 on Fridays (before husband and the baby) and can get our place cleaned in about 2 hours. We are only home and awake for 2 hours on weekdays so the mess is minimal and I make a point of spending 10 minutes a day putting things away before bed, which is necessary for my sanity. I would lose it if I came home to toys all over the house every day. As to the why, we are frugal (except when I am a de facto single parent and will throw money at anyone who will do things for me).

        • Cornellian :

          OP: Now that I read other responses, I sort of want to amend mine. It does sound like you’re taking on a lot, and that is also adding strain to the situation. I can’t imagine how stressed out you are right now, but I do think that maybe cleaning for just one hour on Fridays, getting a biweekly service, and spending that hour in therapy or meditation or something for you would be a great idea.

          This post makes me really sad. I see a lot of me and my smart young female friends in it.

          • Sorry to not be clear. I have a cleaning lady now that I hired to clean hike husband was away. When he is not traveling, I clean. Good thing I am not drafting documents at work today.

    • No Problem :

      Copy and paste your post here into an email to him. Ask him how he would feel if the tables were turned and you did to him all of the things you described here.

    • MaggieLizer :

      I can’t even imagine the pressure you’re under, and I’m very sorry you’re going through this, but it sounds like you may be directing a lot of frustration toward DH that he doesn’t deserve. Did you agree to/acquiesce in him taking the trip at the time he did? If this is something you agreed to or didn’t clearly object to, as opposed to him going anyway over your objection, I don’t think it’s fair to hold it against DH that it’s turned out to be more burdensome than you expected. You can certainly expect him to support you in getting whatever help you need – cleaner, nanny, etc. – but it sounds like he’s done that, or at least hasn’t tried to stop you. He absolutely should express appreciation that you’re doing all this for him, but it might be hard for him to do that if he feels attacked and powerless because he can’t really help you with anything right now. Maybe suggest that you would love a spa weekend away from household responsibilities when he gets back since you’ve been shouldering the burden?

      As for not getting you a Christmas gift, totally out of line, but maybe he’ll give you something when he gets back? How has he reacted when you talked to him about gifts before? If he’s not getting that that’s important to you, that warrants a serious talk. He also should’ve helped with the Christmas shopping for your child before he left, but a lot of people just aren’t good at thinking about things that far in advance; it’s annoying, but not so egregious by itself that it calls for counseling or a major sit-down. Good luck and I hope you get some time to relax very very soon!

      • He didn’t tell me about the trip until the flight (which could not be changed due to reasons that I can’t disclose for fear of outing myself) had been booked. And he didn’t tell me he had volunteered untilt he day he left. And he has been quite clear that he hasn’t and isn’t planning to buy me a gift. He always acted remorseful when we talked about it in the past, but doesn’t change. He claims I am hard to buy for but we both maintain wishlists. This is where I think a counselor would be helpful, but see above re him saying therapists are quacks.

        • MaggieLizer :

          Oh ouch. It’s definitely not cool for him to just book a voluntary trip without consulting you first; it makes it that much worse that it’s over the holidays. It’s hard to tell if he’s taking advantage of you, or has checked out of the relationship, or both, but you should definitely have a serious talk a day or two after he gets back about what being in a relationship means to both of you. How would he feel if you had done this to him? Why does he think it’s OK to book a trip without checking with you? What are some things that you do because you know they’re important to him even if you think they’re nbd, and how would he feel if you refused to do them? Also cosign the suggestions for counseling, even if it’s just for you. Hugs.

        • Wow. I’m so sorry. I don’t know what’s going on with him, but it sounds like there’s something not right. I’m thinking good thoughts toward you.

        • So wait. He booked a trip that caused him to miss Christmas and New Year’s, you have a toddler, he left you in the lurch by not telling you about it until right beforehand, and he thinks therapists are quacks? And you get no Christmas present?

          I wish I had something encouraging to say or some practical advice, but I’m angry on your behalf and in your shoes I believe I would be issuing ultimatums about certain people either agreeing to therapy and mending their selfish-a** ways or moving the h*** out of my house. (I’m not recommending that, but man, I’d be fiercely angry in your shoes.)

          • GlassSpider :

            Wow. I don’t have anything constructive to say, but man, in your shoes I’d be livid. That sure doesn’t sound like a healthy relationship. Fears about things like this are exactly why I refused to reproduce with my ex.

            Regardless of what led up to this, clearly something is amiss in communication and building resentments. Spend whatever you need to get the help you need to get through the rest of this time reasonably sane. And, FWIW, I’d check the impulse to rant long-distance while tired and too angry to be rational. Even if you are 100% in the right, when overtired you can lose perspective and sabotage your own best interests. I would probably say that you’re just too tired and busy to talk much (particularly if there’s a significant time difference?) for now, and if he suspects there’s more to it, then just say you’d rather discuss things when he’s back.

          • Lucy, you are a woman after my own heart because that’s pretty much what my draft email says. But the email is too hostile and too obscenity-filled to ever see the light of my sent folder.

            Thanks for the commiseration, everyone. I think I’m going to limit contact for the remainder of the trip (not hard to justify with how busy I am with work and our kid) and try to squeeze in a few targeted sessions with a therapist to (a) process my anger/resentment and (b) brainstorm new ways of approaching festering problems such as springing trips on me at the last minute, not pulling his weight at home without me acting like his mother, and failing to demonstrate that he cares about me (assuming he does) in the ways I have explained are important to me. Oh, and I also decided that my Christmas present to me is going to be a long weekend at a spa resort right after he gets back.

        • That sounds terrible. Refusing to buy you a gift on top of everything else is such a red flag to me. What husband refuses to buy a Christmas gift for his wife? That’s a pretty basic expression of love and appreciation and thoughtfulness. Take care of yourself, even if your husband is a jerk.

    • It is impossible for both parents of a toddler to go full tilt boogie at their jobs. Either your career has to take precedence or his but you can’t have it all unless you pay someone else to be you. Billing 70 hours a week over the holidays with a toddler and no daddy to help with the kid? I am surprised you aren’t hospitalized for exhaustion at this point. So much more going on here than Christmas presents!!!! The two of you really need to set your priorities and in the meantime, maybe you can hire a live-in nanny. Best wishes for the new year.

    • I don’t really see anything good about his man. At all. Where is the kid in all this?

  10. Just in case you live under a rock…. I wanted to remind everyone how awesome Zappos customer service is! I just returned a pair of boots that I purchased in SEPTEMBER… no packaging/box/etc. and no questions asked. I had even mentioned that I liked a different pair better and the salesperson exchanged them for me, they ship out Wednesday! Love, love, love Zappos.

  11. FYI — I hear the President is supposed to talk about the fiscal cliff at 1:30. Fingers crossed for a deal!

  12. I have a gruelling 3 weeks ahead of me, but – after that, I get to go to Hawaii! More specifically, Kona.

    I’ve done lots of travelling to tropical destinations before, but never Hawaii, and I don’t really “do” beach vacations – I prefer cultural destinations. Any packing tips, must-sees, eating experiences that I should know about?


    • Coach Laura :

      Nonny, Kona is great. There are tons of cultural (native Hawaiian) things to do. I don’t have all the names at my fingertips now but King Kamehameha’s spiritual site on the NW coast is interesting, as is Honokaa. Google National Geographic Road Trip Big Island for ideas, too. And in Waimea see the Parker Ranch. I’m assuming that you have a car as it’s hard to see things if you don’t. Have fun – I’m so jealous – would love to be going to Kona.

    • Laura Holt :

      I love the Big Island, especially Kona. You said you’re not in to beach vacations, so I don’t know if you like to snorkel or not, but if you do there is fantastic snorkeling there. I had probably the best snorkeling of my life (definitely the best in Hawaii) at Kahaluu Beach Park. Even if you are not a big swimmer you can wade and see lots of turtles and fish. As for other Big Island must sees, I recommend driving a full loop around the island. Different parts are dramatically different. Volcanoes National Park is certainly worth a visit, as are Waipio Valley and Pololu Valley. We just stopped at the scenic overlooks for both, but I believe you can also hike/jeep down into the valley (at least Waipio) if that interests you.

    • Kona is amazing! You will have a great time. I had some family who lived out there until recently. They made all their guests a guide of (I want to say) 42 things to do when visiting the Big Island. I’ll look for it and if you are interested in it you can email me at lfgttb at google’s mail service and I can send it on to you. I can’t guarantee that all the stuff is still open (restaurants in particular), but it would be a good place to start. Have fun!

  13. Hair Problem :

    Do any of you experience this? I have medium length hair and every time I let it down, it gets super tangly just above the nape of my neck. It’s definitely not my jewelry as I wear very thin chains – what causes it and can I avoid it? I mostly tie my hair up because of this problem.

    • Cornellian :

      I think it gets super tangly there BECAUSE you tie it up. Hair ties rough up the cuticle, making hair more prone to breakage and tangles.

    • I haven’t had hair that long in awhile but I found that using a good conditioner helped but never eliminated the problem. I usually brushed my hair (not 100 strokes–more like three quick strokes directed at the back of my neck) every few hours to prevent the tangles from getting really bad.

    • This happens to me too. I’m not sure of the causes, but recently I’ve been dabbing on a little argan oil after washing my hair, and the problem seems to have lessened.

    • Maybe you have a bit of curl (not noticeable, but there) underneath? I do and definitely get tangled there.

    • The last time I had this problem, it was due to a bad layering job. I got my hair cut by someone else and tangling problem went away.

  14. Are there any things that you do at the end of every year to get a fresh start?

    I always sort and file all of my bills and receipts and pack them up in a Rubbermaid box. This year I also decided that it was a good time to buy new shaver handles (the old ones were disgusting) and change the head on my toothbrush.

    • I buy a new accordion file every year which I use to file all non-food receipts alphabetically by store throughout the year. That way, I always have proof of purchase for everything in the home, which I can whip out for a price adjustment or if something breaks down (hello, Costco return policy!) or I realize something is still new with tags hanging in my closet weeks after purchase (hello, Nordstrom return policy!) or something is defective (side-eye J.Crew sweaters) or Mint tells me I’ve spent a ton of cash at Target recently and I want to figure out wtf I’ve been buying at Target.

      • Cornellian :

        Mint recently told me I spent 11,000 on clothes. It turns out it was classifying everything I put on my banana republic card (much much much more than clothes, really just about everything whiel I was studying for the bar and moving) as banana republic purchases. Whoops.

    • Cornellian :

      Hmm, not really. I meant to spend 4 or 5 hours this weekend going through my closets and getting rid of crap. Finally accepting I’ll never be a 0 again, after my first year in biglaw. Instead I drank too much and then slept in, which was out of character and sort of disappointing. I like your idea, though. Sorting through bills for my first meeting with an accountant in a month or two would be a good idea. I’ve sort of just been shoving “important papers” in a pile, but that definition includes car titles, bills, letters, random pictures, etc. Maybe I’ll sort that out and try to set out a system for the new year.

    • It used to change every year with new jobs, new apartments, etc. But my year-end projects are more settled now.

      1) I review my investments/cash flow. Mostly, I just double-check that I’m saving enough money and that it’s going to the right places. This year, I’m going to close an extra checking account that’s a relic of a past boyfriend. I also review where my direct deposit is depositing.

      2) I decide on a home improvement project for the year. Because I have to flip my flipper, I allocate about 2% of my home value each year to renovation projects–I’m in a high-cost city, so it’s a good chunk of change. This year, I am going to get a handyman to do some fixes (like every year) and get a landscaper to hide some of the concrete in my 90% concrete backyard. Mostly I just chose the project that is most annoying to me in the moment–so I may paint and buy furniture instead because the decor is getting on my nerves…

      3) Plan my vacations! I try to take a vacation every odd-numbered month. So I chose specific dates, locales, etc.

      • Not trying to be snarky, but how do you take a vacation every other month? Or am I misunderstanding?

        • I don’t have a significant other or kids and by planning and working ahead. I have about a 3-month horizon in my niche so I check out my upcoming deadlines and pick a week where I don’t have much going and the following week is pretty light. I give away some projects, ask another attorney to be my back-up, and just start clearing my desk.

          My firm doesn’t do vacation time–they just expect me to be “on target” to meet my billing goal. So with an 1800 goal, it’s 36 hours per week. There are about 35 “working days” every two months with a one-week vacation. It comes out to an extra hour per day. I used to limit vacations to once or twice per year until I discovered that I actually billed more than an hour extra per working day in the months when I took vacation and felt better because I got my vacation.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I have a few things I like to do:

      1. My very favorite year-end chore (not really a chore at all) is deciding how to allocate the money we’ve been saving for charity all year, and then making the actual donations. This year we chose Doctors Without Borders, ReSurge, the Fistula Foundation, Heifer International, our local arts organization, a local food bank, and the Matt Cweirtny Memorial Foundation, which provides support to young adult cancer patients. It’s a great boost to the spirit as the year draws to a close!

      2. Clean out my home file cabinet and toss most of the year’s bills, etc. to make room for the coming year.

      3. This is silly, but I replace my containers of baking powder and baking soda at the end of the year!

      4. Like k-padi, we like to always have a vacation in the works. We only do one big vacation every year and we like to pick it out by the end of the previous year. For 2013 we’re thinking a river cruise in France.

    • I start reading a new book to kick off the New Year.

      The one I’ve picked out has been out for quite awhile but I’ve only just gotten to it. So far, it’s interesting: Atul Gawande’s _The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right_.

  15. Chilled Coyote :

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  16. For anyone who needs a good laugh to balance out the non-stop fiscal cliff coverage…