Weekend Open Thread

Valentino Patent Leather Rockstud Slingback PumpsSomething on your mind? Chat about it here.

I’m usually able to resist the allure of designer shoes… but my goodness these are gorgeous. Love that rocker vibe mixed with what looks like a pretty flattering design and a walkable 2.5″ heel. The one review on Saks is ebullient — the woman is so pleased with the blush version that she says she’s off to buy other colors. Impressive! But — for $895 I think I’d have to be happy with just one pair. Valentino Patent Leather Rockstud Slingback Pumps

2016 Update: These heels are now in our Workwear Hall of Fame — they’ve been around for years now, win amazing reviews, and keep coming back in new styles and colors.



  1. 2L (formerly 1L) :

    Happy weekend, everybody!

    Lawyers out there: I’m a 2L that just received notice of in-firm interviews at my top choice firms. I’m so excited and feel really lucky because I know how competitive it is out there. I wanted to ask if anyone has any in-firm interview tips, and/or any tips about the process itself (eg. if its the students that show the most interest that get the offers, etc). Anything I could use would be a great help!

    Also, I’m in Canada, if that’s any help to you – but I assume most US rules would apply.

    Thank you!

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Congrats!!! I’m in love with the “life in big law” Tumblr because each of the posts is so true. One of the posts that cracks me up is when summer associate candidates talk about looking for work/life balance. You have no idea, silly candidate. So, don’t say that. And don’t ask about the maternity leave policy either. That happened once. Facepalm.

      Know your writing sample – I’ve had candidates that obviously remembered nothing about it when I asked. If you have interests on your resume, be able to talk about them briefly (why do you like hiking?). If you have gaps in your resume, be ready to explain them. If you have something unusual on your resume (census of monkeys in Costa Rica or built dams in Iowa or something), I will ask about it because my job is sometimes boring and that sounds really interesting. And know a blurb for “why did you go to law school?” “Helping people” is not a good answer in a big firm.

      Don’t hold anything in the interview (clickable pen, hair tie, paper clip). Don’t futz with your hair. Know a little about our office, our practice, and ideally my practice. Don’t ask me about my work in corporate law, for pete’s sake. The website shows I don’t do that. Sit up straight, but don’t be rigid. Be friendly :). It’s not the student who shows the most interest who gets the offer – the uber enthusiastic are obnoxious. All of the candidates brought in have the grades, so now it’s a question of personality fit and teachability. I like the confident, smart, friendly, interesting, curious ones. I am looking at you as a person I may be stuck working next to at 2am someday. Do I want to spend time with you? Do you seem teachable and reliable? If the answer to either of these questions is no, I’m going to not be in favor of an offer. If it’s yes to both, I will.

      • yes yes yes. Especially the last paragraph.

        I will add:
        – if the practice group you are thinking of expressing an interest in has a well-known partner, don’t talk about how you’d love to work with that partner to every single person you interview with. most of the time, you won’t be, and you’ll come off as if you don’t care about the other 95% of the group. It’s ok to mention it as the reason you got interested in X practice group, though, or perhaps as a reason you think this firm would give you better experience in X area.
        – I am baffled by candidates that have absolutely NO clue whether they want to focus on a transactional or litigation practice, although this is apparently very common. Help me out by thinking of a few reasons why you’re not sure yet, or why you think you’d be a good fit for both areas. (PSA to law students: transactional attorneys seem to have an easier time going in-house, not that you should mention that of course).
        – It’s OK not to have tons of reasons why you want to be in a particular geographic location if you’ve never lived there, but at least act like you’ve googled the place – “is it safe to live downtown” is not the type of question that scores points in a thriving city.
        – Questions about how the assignment process works, how summers can meet the most attorneys and get the most experience, and questions that otherwise indicate you’re approaching this from a thoughtful angle are good.

        • Thank you, SF Bay and Cat! I never thought about the individual partner thing – good to know. I don’t want to alienate the person I’m interviewing with!

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          Re: transactional vs. litigation: I admit, I still probably could not definitively tell you what transactional lawyers do on a day-to-day basis, and I definitely didn’t know when interviewing for summer associate positions. So I’d probably cut 1Ls interviewing for 2L summer positions slack on that one because for the most part, it’s not like they would have had any actual exposure to transactional law to decide.

          • Gail the Goldfish :

            (Seriously, what do you guys do all day? And why does it always seem to need doing at 2 am?)

          • ha. I had such a hatred of Westlaw when I was in law school that the idea of spending the next FOREVER OF MY LIFE having to deal with researching case law was my idea of hell. Reading / revising / discussing / negotiating contract terms, and figuring out how to translate the business deal into words – perfectly happy :)

          • I’m right there with you, Cat!

          • I’m with you, Gail. I didn’t really know that I wanted to be a transactional lawyer until fate made me one. I even clerked! In general, though, I think transactional practice is likely to be a good fit for people who didn’t like law school — there’s little reading cases, you don’t ever have to go to court if you don’t want to, and I think it’s somewhat less contentious than litigation overall. But I had no idea what transactional practice entailed before, during, or after law school, and I’ve spent more time in law firms than a lot of candidates.

            PS: No idea why these things have to happen in the middle of the night.

    • Congratulations! I assume this is for summer articles?

      Not sure where you are located exactly, but my number one tip is that what firms are really looking for is a good fit. Like it or not, there are lots of smart law students out there. What the firms want is someone who is going to fit into their existing culture and personality mix. Tell the interviewers about yourself if they ask. Let them know you are an interesting person. But no matter what, they are looking for enthusiasm. Enthusiasm and desire to learn will get you a long way. No matter how great someone’s grades are, I am not going to offer a second interview to someone who is giving the impression that they are too good for the firm.

      My second tip, if you are doing a series of interviews in one week or over the course of a couple of days, is to find a comfortable “home base” where you can regroup before and between interviews. If you are in a large urban centre, chances are that most of the law firms are clustered within a small area. Find a hotel lobby, a food court or a similar facility that is central to your area, and go there between your interviews to decompress, make notes about your previous interview, and regroup for the next one. I found it so helpful to know there was somewhere I could go between interviews to just relax and mentally prepare.

      You will get lots of other tips about doing your firm research, what to wear, etc., but these were what helped me the most.

      Good luck! If you are in Vancouver, let me know – I’d be happy to give you more specific tips.

      • Equity's Darling :

        Seconded especially the fit part. 2L, let me know if you need tips for Calgary.

      • After reading SF Bay Associate’s comments, interesting that our suggestions re enthusiasm are different! But perhaps I should elaborate. SF Bay is right – you don’t want to come off as obnoxious. But you do want to come off as engaged, interested and someone who is ready to learn. I have interviewed students before who have gone to great lengths to tell me what they *already* know and how they are *already* a great corporate lawyer. Um, nope, you aren’t. I am basically assuming when I interview you that I am working with a blank lawyerly slate. I can tell from your law school transcript that you are a smart person, but law school does not teach you how to be a good lawyer. I hope this helps clarify!

        • SF Bay Associate :

          I think we agree 100%, Nonny. We have a nomenclature difference. I would call such a person you describe as curious or interested or engaged. Enthusiastic to me is fake, kinda like a cheerleader. You can’t wait to practice products liability defense? Really? Uh huh. And the uber enthusiastic guy/gal tells me that he knows a ton (usually from Fancy University) and how he will contribute to the firm starting on Day One. Um, nope, you aren’t. I know I’m looking at a black lawyerly slate, the question is whether you’re worth my time and energy to teach, just as my superiors once asked themselves that question about me.

          • I know. I actually had a student try to tell me once how he had a number of people he wanted to bring in as clients and that he saw his place in the firm as being a rainmaker. Um, yeah…..and how did you meet these clients who are suitable for a Biglaw M&A practice? And how are you going to be a rainmaker when you haven’t even learned how to draft a shareholders’ resolution? Let’s put our priorities in order, folks.

          • Hahaha. Well, I certainly won’t do that.

      • Thank you so much, Nonny! You have great advice. I’ll focus less on “I’m a SUPERSTAR!” (which was OCIs) and more on “Your firm is a pretty good place to learn how to be a lawyer.”

        I am not in Vancouver – but maybe that is better because I can ask you tips without having you be in a conflict! Is there an e-mail address I can reach you at?

      • I’m assuming you’re in Toronto (since I know call day was today at 8am)- I will reply with some more specific tips this weekend. Interviewing here is a bit different than in the US.

    • At my firm, after I do a callback interview, I have to fill out an evaluation form w/ not just my general impressions but also specific info (ie stories or anecdotes) that the candidate gave that support various qualities such as intellectual curiosity, leadership capabilities, ability to bounce back from a setback etc. If the candidate gives specific instances, then filling out the form is easier for me, which I like. You can prepare by making sure that you can expand on everything in your resume and offer short, to-the-point stories in response to the usual questions that you are likely to get. Also, I dig enthusiasm, a firm handshake, a request for business card and I like to hear thoughtful questions. Best of luck!

      • Thank you, Pinecone. This information helps me a lot – I will make sure to think about what qualities the stories about my resume highlight.

        • Alta_Litgirl :

          Hi 2L,

          I went through the big firm summer job interview process a few years ago in Canada (specifically Calgary). I’m now working at a large national firm that has a very aggressive recruitment program and I can expand on a few of the points that others have mentioned above.

          At this point, getting a full interview from an OCI means that you met the baseline criteria that the firm had for successful candidates and that you stood out from others for one reason or another. Try to key in on what that reason might be (e.g., leadership in student politics, mooting, law review, etc.) and expand on it more during your interviews. Sometimes interviewers spend a lot of the interview shooting the breeze and trying to get a feel for the candidate, but that means that you might not get to remind them of key aspects that distinguish you from others–be your own best advocate and don’t expect that they already know about the interesting/significant points on your resume because you already attended an OCI.

          Also, I know it’s kind of after-school-special-esque, but you need to be your true authentic self during the interview. As SF Bay Associate said, the interviewers will be looking at you for fit with the firm, and you want to ensure that if you get the job they actually know who they’re getting (and you won’t be compelled to put on an act indefinitely). Additionally, I think that having good questions for the interviewers is one of the most important things you can do to prepare. Don’t ask anything that is on the firm’s website, or that you could have found out by asking your school’s career services liason–those questions show that you’re lazy and have no true interest in the firm. At this point you likely also know about the firm’s summer student program (and if you don’t, ask one of the students that has been assigned to give you a tour). The best questions I have heard are ones that show that the student is imagining herself at the firm as an associate. Ask, ask, ask about what a typical day looks like for the interviewers in their respective practices, ask about the kind of projects that associates typically get involved in, etc. I’m sure you’ve heard at this point that summer positions turn into articling positions, that articling positions turn into associate positions, etc. The summer experience (assuming you get the job) will be a blip in your career as a lawyer, and the worst thing a student can do in an interview is come off as short-sighted.

      • Meg Murry :

        I don’t know if they do this as much in law, but in industry it is common to ask about negative experiences as well such as “tell me about a time you made a mistake and how you handled it” or “tell me about a time you failed/something wasn’t successful” or “whats your greatest weakness”. The first time I got hit with questions like these I was totally flustered & unprepared. Be prepared to answer questions like this with a genuine answer, as well as how you deal with it/fixed it. DON’T give a “fake weakness” answer like “my biggest weakness is that I’m a workaholic”, that is BS. Everyone has a weakness/time they failed, etc, but interviewers ask this question to see how you handle a tough question and if you have had experiences you’ve learned from.

    • One more thought – I appreciate when a candidate shows a willingness to learn and grow and take on more work etc. because learning the law is an apprenticeship kind of model.

    • Good luck! You must remember to dress VERY conseravatively, b/c you do NOT want the partner’s to think of you as anything other than a competent profesional. I learned this the hard way, b/c men started to be lookeing at me the wrong way, but the manageing partner at least treat’s me like a professioneal.

      Myrna and I will be goeing to Brooklyn to go furneture shoppeing tomorrow, before the hurrecaine hit’s. My mom say’s David has come along way from the small weaseley guy with thick glasses to become the business man he is now. I am not sure exeactely what he does, but he is involved with the INTERNET! Yay! I know that will be around for a while.

      Roberta is also interested in meeting David b/c she want’s to be sure I do NOT get burned again like I did with my ex. I told her it is way to early to worry, but I realy think she is acting like a big sister to me. She also knows that Jim can be a jerk, but she is happy he refered us together. Yay! Me too b/c the manageing partner said I made my monthley’s and will be getting my bonus this month! Yay! I do have the full weekend off, tho the manageing partner wants me to call his wife to help plan the pilgrim party. I can do that b/c she like’s me also!

      • 2Law, sort of jealous you got a response from Ellen. Technically, I guess I could be David because I am involved with the INTERNET! Because I surf it and stuff and buy all the things.

        Good luck in your interview.

    • TO Lawyer :

      I assume this is for Toronto interviews? I have found, through watching 3 years of law school classes go through the OCI process that the people who tend to get the most offers are those who work hard AND are personable. Let your personality shine through, while also demonstrating that you’re willing to and capable of working hard, and eager to learn and take on more work.

      A lot of students have trouble differentiating most of the big firms, so really know why that specific firm is unique and why you want to work there (i.e. because you have a good reputation and a breadth of practice areas isn’t really enough when there are at least 10-15 firms that can fit that description).

      Good luck! It’s a stressful process but you must be very qualified to have already made it this far!

  2. Coach Laura :

    Not my taste, but I can see those shoes with the right dress on the right person. Happy weekend everyone.

    • Not my taste at all!! And a podiatrist’s nightmare. But to each her own :-).

  3. TJ for criminal attorneys or others in the know :

    TJ off the bat (sorry) –

    Does anyone have any resources (books, websites, organizations) that I could suggest to a friend whose ex-husband was recently sentenced to much time in prison? Her head is spinning, and I’d love to give her some recommendations for information on how to handle the situation w/r/t their 3 year old son (she already has sole custody but dad had frequent visitation), how to handle the loss of much-needed child support, how to work through the shame she feels at being the ex-wife of a felon and the parent to a child whose father is a felon, etc. etc.

    Thanks in advance.

    • The public defender’s office and legal aid office in her area might maintain a resource list. Perhaps give them a call on her behalf?

    • Our state corrections agency has a whole department related to family services for inmates. Maybe the prison there has something similar?

      • I will just say that there are a number of studies showing that maintaining contact with the incarcerated parent is good for the kids, even though it’s hard. It’s instinctual to think that taking a 3 year old to a prison is bad, but the evidence I’ve seen doesn’t bear that out. Particularly given that we are talking about a same-gender parent. Assuming his crime wasn’t related to any type of child abuse(or something really violent like rape or murder), it’s generally better for kids to have regular visits and/or phone conversations with the incarcerated parent. There are a ton of books and articles on the subject, try google scholar.
        It’s also important to give kids an age appropriate explanation. It’s uncomfortable, and people want to say something like “Daddy did something bad, and so now he has to live at the prison”, but kids need more than that, particularly younger kids. A 3 year old doesn’t have the maturity to understand that Daddy’s ‘something bad’ is different than, say, when he threw a toy at his friend. That’s “something bad”, so will he have to go to prison now? I am pretty sure there are children’s books that explain this in kid-friendly language.

        I’m not a lawyer yet, but this was a significant aspect of my undergrad education.

        • TJ for criminal attorneys or others in the know :

          Without revealing too much, his crimes included multiple counts of rape (including of a minor, so he’ll be on the sex offender list, and I”m not sure how that will affect ability to even see his minor-child) and child endangerment (because his son was at the home at the time). Does that change your answer at all re: visitation?

          • Yeah, it does. Quite a bit.
            In that case, he might not even be allowed to have contact with his son, since the son would be the victim in the child endangerment charge, and that might come with a no-contact provision. And, of course, the safety of the child is paramount.
            The concern here will probably be to make sure the child understands, like I said before, that the ‘something bad’ daddy did is not like regular naughty behavior; and that it has nothing to do with son. Particularly since the child was present, kids often think it’s their fault.

            Honestly, I’d strongly suggest she consult a professional with experience in this, as others mentioned, the prison itself may have such resources. If your area has a women’s prison, she could also check their website for family resources. Often the women’s facilities do a much better job of providing resources because the incarcerated women were so often the primary care providers. The resources would be the same, it’s just that they might be easier to find through the women’s facility.

          • “Assuming his crime wasn’t related to any type of child abuse(or something really violent like rape or murder), it’s generally better for kids to have regular visits”

            Yeah, Sadie said in her first answer that it matters a lot. I feel terrible for your friend, it is nice that you are looking for resources for her.

          • Meg Murry :

            I don’t have any specific resources except to say that I’m so sorry for her and her son, but I would suggest that she needs to find a therapist for herself and her son, someone the son can talk to semi-regularly as he gets older. I worked in a school where there were quite a few kids who had a parent in prison, and a lot of the children had anger issues related to their parent being in jail. Best if she can find someone for him to talk to early and keep talking to that person.

          • Sure it changes things. This isn’t your aggravated parking ticket. I’d see a lawyer to be certain she really can’t change that frequent visitation. And then I’d keep it to the minimum required. Making a 2-year-old visit a rapist in prison, are you all insane?!?
            I think the poor wife needs therapy urgently, and possibly the child too. But most of all she needs a divorce.

          • M-C, no one suggested that 2 kid should visit his rapist father in prison. Once OP clarified, everyone agreed the kid’s safety is paramount and that this is an awful situation. So no, we aren’t all insane?!?

          • err, 2 yo. I guess I can’t read/type, either.

    • i know there are also support organziations and groups for families of incarcerated individuals. She could probably definitely use the support of talking to others who have been through a similar situation. I agree with Sadie, to try women’s prisons to find those groups. You are being a great friend by being there for her.

      This organization CenterForce seems to be based in CA, but has a page listing support groups for families of the incarcerated, that is the kind of thing that would probably be very helpful:

    • health care anon :

      Without saying how I know this… part of the restitution, at least in my state, that the offender is ordered should be going to your friend, but she has to request/petition. Whatever dept of the state that was handling the support should be doing this, so that caseworker/dept should know.

  4. I’ve seen these shoes on various bloggers and love them. Excellent pick, Kat :)

  5. 2L (formerly 1L) :

    I love, love love the shoes. I can’t afford ’em. But I love ’em.

    • I’m also a big fan of these. I think they would look particularly gorgeous with cigar*tte pants.

    • Honey Pillows :

      Similar shoes at a lower price point? Paging TCFKAG!

  6. I’m re-posting my request for wedding-guest dress advice with more specifics, as requested. Thanks for any help! I swear I am incapable of dressing myself. Anyone in AZ want to take me shopping? I’ll buy the wine..

    I’m 5’8″ and something like 34x26x36, but my legs are about 2-4″ shorter than most women my height, so my back is that much longer and I have trouble finding ‘fitted’ dresses that don’t need 2+ trips to the tailor. Stretchy works better, I guess.

    I was looking for something to or above the knee, but something longer could be fun too. And any colors that work with blonde/fair with pink skin (and too many pimples, ugh!). Mostly, I want something that will look awesome in the photos. That’s probably not specific enough, but I really am not sure where to start. I would love some help!

    p.s. thanks for all the make up advice in my earlier post, too!

    • I think a bright color would look best in photos. What about something like this:

      I feel like the higher gathering on this would give you a good illussion of longer legs and the bright blue color would look lovely on a blonde. It’s also relatively stretchy so I don’t think you’d need to alter it too much.

    • karenpadi :

      Did you check Dolly Couture?


      Their dresses look so fun! Plus, they do custom dresses so you could drop the waist or modify it.

      • My wedding dress came from Dolly Couture! I can attest to the quality: it’s great. The ladies behind the brand are also GREAT to work with.

    • Hey, I just sent my friend an email with about 50 links for wedding appropriate dresses. If you e-mail me at boardroombelles [at] googlemail.com I would be happy to pass that link list on to you.

      Best of luck,

  7. Friendship Question :

    Friendship TJ – My best friend’s boyfriend has cheated on her twice. Last time, she was really depressed, couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, lost a ton of weight. He wanted to get back together, so they did. This time, she was stark raving mad, calling him all sorts of names. They ended up getting back together again. She is convinced he is “the one” (at age 24) and that she can’t do better. IMO, she has low self-esteem and can’t see there are a thousand other, better guys out there for her.

    She is in therapy, thinking that she is part of the problem (she has anxiety and whatnot so is dealing with that as well). But I really feel like a lousy friend for hating her boyfriend. I really don’t want to see him on Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. which is when we tend to get together. I literally don’t want to see his face. Me and my other friend literally want to punch him in the face for treating her this way (I haven’t seen him since he cheated the second time).

    Any advice?

    • Reg Poster, Anon for This :

      I’m in a very similar situation (he was apparently keeping “score” of the women he was sleeping with while dating her). My friends and I all handle it differently, but I do my best to be warm, loving, and perfectly normal to her, while ignoring him as often as possible (without infringing on my treatment of her). At parties, they’re often separate enough that I can pull this off, and I’ve so far politely declined attending events hosted by him & her together. Even then, though, I think this works. I just have to remind myself that letting her isolate herself, or letting him isolate her, makes things 100% worse. She needs to see and know that she is loved, accepted, and valued by her friends. Pushing her away at all because of him “lets him win,” in my view.

      At least, that’s what I tell myself when I get the urge to rip his..um, .garden spade…off and shove it down his throat. :)

      • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

        Garden spade– love it! LOL!

        I have a friend like this. She recently got engaged to her prize d**chebag. When they get married, I will attend the wedding, with gritted teeth, because I want her to know I love and support her, and that I will always be there if she ever needs help, support, etc. But oh, my dentist will flip out after that wedding…

    • Not too much advice, except to say I hear you. My friend has been on-again-off-again w/ a cheater for years now (though he only cheated one time that she knows of, I’m sure there were others). I think he knows I don’t like him though, so whenever we hang out he does his best to make himself invisible, which I appreciate. I agree that you have to still be supportive to your friend, and just be aloof to the guy, to keep yourself from punching him.

      My only solace is they were off at the time of my wedding, so he isn’t in any pictures. LOL. And I have one very good friend who was dating a guy who was really, really terrible to her, and she finally saw the light and was like, “You guys were right all those years!” So dreams do come true.

    • anon for this :

      Regular poster, anon for this. If you can, send her some info on emotional abuse and what it means to be a victim of emotional abuse. Therapy is great, but she might not be getting the specific treatment she needs. Particularly, this website helped me. http://www.heart-2-heart.ca/women/page1.htm

      • And “why does he do that” by Lundy Bancroft. Which does specifically discuss infidelity as an abuse tactic. A broader perspective might help her, rather than focusing only on the cheating..

    • No advice, really, but I do want to partially commiserate. My best friend’s boyfriend is not a bad guy, but they have their issues, and I just don’t see it working out long-term. Her last boyfriend was a HUGE jerk (who cheated, of course), so I think she is overly attached to this fairly new guy because he is a decent person. She also struggles with low self-esteem, trust issues and depression, and is convinced she will never find anyone nearly as good as him (and is pretty sure he will leave her for someone better anyway).

      But as much as it would hurt in the short term, I think she will be better off if they break up before it gets even more serious. She has acknowledged that their relationship has some fundamental problems, but is hesitant to address them because it might result in breaking up.

      I, too, feel like a lousy friend. I have been supportive so far, but I am reaching the end of my rope. Each time she says “But what if he breaks up with me!” all I can think is “Good, and then be sad once and move on, instead of constantly getting upset over and over again!”

    • Anon for this :

      My take on this: place your friend’s interests first. I totally understand that you don’t want to see her boyfriend. But for now your friend has decided to stay with him and you’ll have to work with that reality.

      Here’s how I learned this lesson. My sister’s ex cheated on her during her pregnancy, after they had been together for more than ten years. When I went to visit them after my niece was born (they live a long flight away from me), he was the last person I wanted to see, especially because he had never really taken responsibility and throughout her pregnancy kept being unable to sort out his feelings. Those days were surreal, because my sister acted like everything was normal and they were just going through a rough patch, while everybody else in my family had grave concerns. Eventually they broke up, but because of my niece I still see him every so often. I have come to realize that it kills my sister when these encounters are strained and unpleasant. So for the sake of her and my niece, I act warmly toward him, although there are many elephants in the room whenever we meet.

      It will be incredibly hard to act normally toward your friend’s boyfriend (after all, the situation is anything but normal). But think of how much more difficult this is for her. Definitely try to have a heart-to-heart with her alone during which you can tell her of your concerns and give her a pep-talk. But if you and other friends go out of your way to avoid or ignore her boyfriend, you may end up creating a situation that’s very painful for her. The last thing you want to do is isolate her.

  8. Goosebumpy :

    Emma Stone recently wore a higher-heeled version of these–very, very hot.

    Looking for suggestions: my husband and I are expecting our first child in a couple months (a girl!), and I’d really like to get him a present to congratulate him on becoming a dad. Ideally, I’d like it to be something that he could pass on to our daughter at some landmark birthday or occasion of his choosing (16th birthday, 18th birthday, going off to college, etc.). The tricky part is thinking of something that would be meaningful to him AND our daughter. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but I’d be willing to shell out for something that would last for a while and that would age well. Any ideas?

    • SF Bay Associate :

      A bottle of Port or Scotch?

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t know, but as someone who is also expecting, I think this idea is AMAZING. I’d can’t wait to check back with ideas people come up with.

    • Cornellian :

      I think there are fine watches that could go with both male and female wrists. Maybe a very nicely made travel bag of some sort. Maybe a pocket square? It’s hard to know what your daughter’s personality will be 20 years in advance, of course, but I think those items might conceivably be interesting to a college freshman.

    • If you are religious, maybe a book related to your faith (like the Bible) with meaningful passages highlighted and notated. If you are not religious, still could do something similar with a favorite book (Dr. Suess’ Oh the Places you’ll go for example) or a journal where he can write letters or thoughts every year on her birthday or just whenever.

      I have a pocketwatch that belonged to my grandfather that I really love. Maybe you could do something similar with a special engraving added.

      Does he play any instruments? My dad gave my brother one of his guitars which was very special to him, but my brother had also learned to play. I guess it is impossible to know at this point if that would be appreciated by the child!

    • What about an ID bracelet with your last name? It’ll be a little chunky on her, but that may work. Or, if he’s a sports guy, what about something like a really nice baseball glove? Get him a tiny one, too, to teach her with, and then maybe he can give her his glove if/when she gets into the sport in high school or something? (Ok, lots of assumptions there.) Really nice toiletry case with last name or initials embossed? Flask?

    • My mom and dad bought a few cases of really nice wine (Heitz and something else) made in the year I was born (same w/ my brother). We now drink it for special occasions.

      • I like this. Especially if your husband is a wine person. It commemorates the occasion without being maudlin (which I hate, personally).

        I’m having a hard time thinking of something that I would have been interested in at 16/18/21 that my dad would have also appreciated when I was born. I think the idea of a parental interest is good. My dad is really into music and I have a very eclectic taste in it as a result. I would have loved his records/record player, but theres a space issue and a huge technology one there.

      • I’d be careful with wine. Depending on the quality — the chances are that unless its of very good quality and has specific types of cork — it’ll kick in the bottle well before the child is old enough to appreciate it. :-)

    • Goosebumpy :

      Oooh, I like all of these! The Scotch option is great–we’re currently “cellaring” some pumpkin ales that we bought this fall for me to drink post-pregnancy, so that would fit right in. And my initial thoughts ran toward a watch/leather item of some sort, since those can be somewhat gender-neutral and timeless (no pun intended). Our last name is quite unique (fifteen letters!), so I also like the idea of putting that on a bracelet (in very small print, naturally). To his great chagrin, my husband doesn’t play any instruments, but he is a bigtime soccer guy who’s already investigating how soon we can enroll her in a neighborhood soccer league….

      My dream would be for it to be something treasured like a pocketwatch, but of course, our teenage daughter might think we’re just, like, totally lame and roll her eyes at that sort of thing. Such is the risk of parenting, I suppose.

      • Your daughter may think a pocketwatch is lame at 16, and may not know what to do with it when she’s 18, or 25, etc. She may never have use for a pocketwatch. BUT, that doesn’t mean that it won’t be a treasured item. In my mind, if your DH loves the item and periodically tells her (when she is a child) that it’s special because you gave it to him to celebrate her birth, she will eventually reach an age where that has meaning to her and it will become important because it’s a connection back to him and you.

        ps – I love the sentimentality of your idea! Will keep it in mind for my DH when the time comes!

      • Anonymous :

        If you’re looking at leather goods you should check out Saddle Back Leather. They have a gorgeous passport wallet (what an awesome, “you’re all grown up” present!) http://www.saddlebackleather.com/Classic-Wallet-Passport?sc=8&category=87 and other bags etc.

        And they have a 100 year guarantee.

    • My father bought a ring for himself at a music festival the year I was born. The music festival was around Father’s Day, so he called it his Father’s Day Ring. He wears it on his right hand, and continues to wear it every day, still today.

      I’m sure the jewelery industry hasn’t really thought of this one, but if your husband is a jewelry-type guy, that might be a possibility.

      I doubt my father thought of passing the ring on to me when he bought it, but I can’t really imagine that it would go to anyone else when he passes.

    • This isn’t something that he could pass on, but my mom got my dad a money clip when I was really little that was engraved from me. Something like “To Daddy, Love Me.” He ADORES it. And every time it wears out, we replace it with a similar one.

      I don’t know a lot of guys who use money clips, but this was a gift that was certainly a sentimental hit.

    • Not sure how much money you are talking about spending here, but how about a Love bracelet?

      • Goosebumpy :

        That’s gorgeous. Maybe I’ll buy that for ME to pass on, assuming I can force myself to part with it….

    • My father in law passed away about a year after I met him. A year after his passing I mentioned in conversation to my husband, mom and sister-in-law that I wanted to buy a men’s style watch for myself. They then told me about my Father in law’s watch collection and a few week’s later when i visited my MIL, she offered for me to choose one to wear. I love having this piece of my FIL with me, even though I didn’t know him that well, not to mention it was a lovely gesture by my mother in law.

      A really nice leather travel bag that looks better with age would also be great.

    • How about a beautiful silver picture frame you can have engraved, that always has a pic of the two of them in it together. She can then take it away to school, etc.

    • When I was born, my dad gave my mom a necklace to celebrate. She wore it constantly, only to take it off 25 years later to give to me when I graduated law school. I didn’t know it until I received it, but my dad’s idea the whole time was that it was intended to go to me. So it kinda feels like he bought it for me if that makes any sense.

    • goirishkj :

      This is so sweet! No ideas, but just want a great idea–my dad passed away when I was 18 and to have had something of his like this would have meant the world to me. I’m also expecting a girl this winter and hadn’t thought of this–maybe I will do something like this–since I want DH and our daughter to have a relationship like me and my dad (without the whole dying early thing).

    • People might think I’m crazy, but my dad gave me his first gun (the one that he got when he was about ~15 from his father) when I was about 16, and I loved it. He then ended up buying a gun that fits the same “set” for Christmas last year for me (~age 25). But we used shooting sports as the vehicle for dad/daughter time throughout my adolescence.

      Considering that I’m highly unusual, how about a nice edition of a book that has a good father/daughter relationship? To Kill a Mockingbird? A fancy book of fairytales that he can read to her when she’s little and give to her when she’s grown?

    • Watch?

  9. Devastating :

    Is anyone else devastated by the news of the two children being murdered (allegedly by their nanny) in New York last night? It is so distressing to me I am having a hard time working.

    • e_pontellier :

      Allegedly by their nanny, and allegedly the nanny took her own life too. I am devastated and terrified. I’m sorry you’re having a hard time too.

      • Nanny is in a comma. It was reported that she had a self inflicted stab wound to her neck, but not that she took her own life.

        Agree that it is incredibly tragic. Also just can’t seem to make sense of it. Sad, too, that I just know that the Law & Order writers are already writing this as an episode…

    • It’s haunting.

    • Anastasia :

      I almost cried at my desk at work as I read that story. I have been researching childcare options, and was leaning toward a nanny — rationally, I know this is a terrible, isolated thing (and the nanny is only “accused” at this point) — but I am still really freaked out at the idea that you could trust someone with your kids for years and then come home to something so horrifying.

    • PharmaGirl :

      Absolutely. I am considering a break from itnernet/television until this passes. Hearing the story on the radio this morning had me crying all the way to work.

      I can’t imagine the horror.

    • I know that you are posting this out of genuine compassion and horror at something unthinkable happening, and I don’t mean to criticize you.
      I have trouble understanding why an event like this personally affects people and generates so much conversation, whereas all of the dying civilians (including children) in war zones or famine-stricken areas or sweatshops are so easy to just put out of our minds. The atrocities suffered by children around the world should be taking our breath away *every day*.

      Is it just geography that makes these deaths so much more personally devastating? Why do some little lives have more value than others?

      • Devastating :

        That’s a fair point. I think part of it is media coverage. You just don’t read about the details of those deaths in the way that the details of these has been so widely broadcast. Doesn’t make it right, but it does bring it to the forefront of the mind/emotions so much more.

        • I agree that how the media cover events makes a big difference. I am not very susceptible to being strongly moved by stories about people I don’t know, but I once read a story about inflation in North Korea (I think in the NYT) that made me cry and e-mail my then-BF a series of “what does it all mean” type questions. I don’t think I’ll ever forget one part of that article about a teenage girl and a pair of khaki pants.

          Additionally, probably many posters here find it easier to imagine themselves having two children and a nanny in NYC than being a victim of famine and rape in a war-torn county. I don’t think it means people aren’t compassionate.

      • I think this event is so devastating to read about for many of us as it hits very close to home. Not that we’re all necessary in the same socio-economic sphere, but a lot of us are working women who need to trust some of our day care to another person. I am not saying in any way that one death is more horrifying than others – I think it’s just human nature to pay more attention to atrocities that happen close to home and that “could happen to us.”

      • Its similarity to the victims. It is natural, and I think almost biological. It makes our “flight or fight” reaction kick in almost. I feel just as much sadness for victims of war, but when there is an awful crime to say, a woman near my age, and in my country or region, its the “it could happen to me” response. So its more horror and fear in addition to sadness and empathy. One of the headlines about this story is already about how it is affecting working mothers.

        • Natural, I suppose. But not necessarily right. Manipulating this “it could happen to me” or “oh no my family looks like that” instinct is how Nancy Grace makes fortune exploiting dead or missing white girls.

          It can’t be argued that we all tend to view events through a “how does it affect me” lens, but I think it’s a tendency that should be overcome rather than indulged.

          • You might be right, but all I want to say to you is… get off your high horse.

            Why are you making people who already feel brokenhearted and emotional about a terrible tragedy feel bad for not feeling bad about other atrocities?

          • +1, anon @ 9:44. Compassion and sympathy for others is not a zero-sum game. My first thought when I read Malala’s comment was that either she’s not a mom or she’s unbelievably cold-hearted.

      • This is such an interesting question. I think people *do* have a better ability to respond to stories that have lots of detail, that seem like their own lives, that are local in some sense, etc. There’s some great work by the philosopher Peter Singer on this problem.

        Sometimes one’s response isn’t predictable or rational, though – I didn’t cry at this particular story, although it is horrifying, but an NPR story this week that included specific, explicit details of torture had me in tears and running at the radio to turn it off.

        If this story upset you, one way to respond ethically might be to spend five minutes researching how a small amount of donated money can save the lives of children in developing nations, and donate money in honor of this family so that another family will not experience such a tragedy.

      • Coach Laura :

        To Malala and others, I think there are two reasons that some posters react to this as opposed to reacting to dying children in developing countries:

        First, if one hires a nanny, they don’t expect to come home to dead or injured children. There’s an implied covenant that the nanny will be a protector and not a killer, and the shock is strong. This is especially true for parents due to the effects of oxytocin and they may “feel” the loss greater than someone who doesn’t have young children.

        Second, developing countries are removed from our day to day life and people who are affected by the nanny tragedy can easily imagine it happening to their kids.

        My kids are college-aged, so I react less strongly to the stories of kids being killed than I did when mine were young. (Shootings on college campuses chill me to the bone.) When mine were young, a local father (who was a SAHD like my hubby was) killed both his kids (same age as mine) via a running car in the garage. The mom came home as it was in progress, called 911 and the husband survived. The kids did not. This event traumatized me for a year because I knew the family tangetally and the similarity in situations.

    • I am a pretty unemotional person and this news brought me to tears in my office.

      • Me too. My boyfriend read me the headline out loud, and I was like, stop, please stop. Those kind of news stories just kill me.

  10. Any words of wisdom for getting through a miscarriage? I found out Wednesday and had a D&C yesterday. I am a wreck. 10 months of trying, and 10 weeks of a pregnancy that wasn’t going well from the beginning — all over in a 15-minute procedure. I am heartbroken and am upset at my body for failing me. I am not at work, thank god, but I have no appetite and can’t sleep at all. When will this start to suck less?

    • I'm Just Me :

      I’m very sorry. Many internet {{hugs}}

    • I’m so very sorry. Let yourself mourn the loss, but seek out help if that mourning goes on longer than you’d like. Remember, miscarriages are VERY common. It’s very likely you’ll have a successful pregnancy down the road if you’re interested in doing so.

    • No words of wisdom, Midwest, but you have my deepest sympathies.

    • For me, even though the pregnancy was unplanned, it hit me so hard. I couldn’t get out of bed for a couple of days. And, it took so long for my hormone levels to return to normal that it almost seemed like piling on emotionally. Because I don’t have children, I still wonder what my life would have been like if I currently had a child who would be 5 years old. Hugs to you. I hope you feel better soon.

    • anon in tejas :

      midwest, I am so sorry for your loss. if you feel up to it, there is a hugely supportive community of women at altdotlife DOT com. you would need to register, but the message boards are a huge wealth of support for women who’ve walked in your shoes.

    • Hugs Midwest. All I can say is that it takes time. I miscarried months ago and am dreading what would have been my due date. It does get easier and there are days that I don’t think about it but that’s rare. It does hurt less every day. I learned that it’s much more common that I had thought and that does give me a little peace of mind.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      *hugs* *tea & sympathy*

      I’m so sorry, my dear.

    • I’m so sorry, Midwest. I had a story very similar to yours (trying for a while, miscarriage at 12 weeks after a normal ultrasound at 8 weeks). Honestly, time was the only thing that helped me heal. Intellectually you know that miscarriages are common, but that doesn’t help your heart. Do whatever you need to emotionally heal. For me, it was retreating to time with my family, husband, and dogs and talking about it with friends who had been through the same process.

      It’s a terrible thing to have to go through, but you’ll soon find out that you’re not alone. And you have an entire internet community thinking of you.

    • Maddie Ross :

      Midwest, you have my sympathy. I will second everyone else that there is no one “thing” that makes it easier, but you will feel better (physically and emotionally) as time passes. I felt numb for a few weeks, but eventually the clouds started to part and I felt more like myself. I see someone above posted about message boards. For me, I think reading those made it worse. While it did help to see I was not alone, it became overwhelming and all consumming reading everyone’s stories. I would suggest, when you start feeling up to it, to start spending time with your friends and getting back into your activities that make you happy (working out, hobbies, etc.). I told very few people about what happened, but just getting back into the swing of “life” helped.

    • anon for this :

      I am so sorry. I had an early miscarriage eight days ago, and it totally effing sucks. I haven’t fully regrouped yet, but so far I have just taken a big mental break from all things TTC / pregnancy / kid related. Like you, my pregnancy was not going well from the beginning, and after a few days I started to feel some relief that I had an answer and didn’t have to be so anxious and worried about what was going on anymore. I’m trying to focus my energy on my current life with my wonderful husband instead of all the what-ifs. I’ve also just tried to be kind to myself and let myself feel whatever I feel. Sometimes I’m angry, sometimes I’m worried, sometimes I’m completely and totally fine.

      I have also taken some comfort in other women who have come out of the woodwork and said that they’ve had miscarriages. I think it’s something that no one ever talks about, because you’re not supposed to tell people you’re pregnant in the first trimester so the whole thing happens and no one knows about it. But I have learned that it really does happen all the time. Even my doctor said that they estimate that 1 in 2 women have miscarriages at some point in their lives. It sucks. I’m really sorry for your loss.

      • I’m sorry you’re going through this too. I am definitely taking a break from all things baby and TTC-related. I have an almost 3-year-old son and my closest friends have had babies in the last month, so I have accepted that I can’t break free from the kid scene altogether, otherwise it’s going to be even lonelier.

        I do feel some sense of relief and closure. I am no longer dreading the constant spotting and what the lack of pregnancy signs “mean.” But I swear, the next person who asks me when we’ll add to our family is going to get punched. It happens at least once a week and I am so sick of it.

      • I’m sorry you’re going through this, as well, anon for this. I also took some comfort in learning how common it is.

    • Midwest, so sorry for your loss. I am 5.5 weeks pregnant myself after 10 months of trying, and very scared of a potential miscarriage, particularly since I am 37 and my husband is 42. I think one bit of good news that I would hold on to if I were to m/c is that we were able to conceive in the first place – you know that everything is functional, and you can try again with some more confidence than you had before. When you are ready, of course. And it is not your fault or your body’s failure – sometimes it is just odds. There is so much going on in early fetal development, which means the more things can go wrong. Hence the average 15-20% miscarriage rate (which I did not become aware of until I became pregnant).

      • Anon for this :

        Late reply but I wanted to respond to you b/c I just went through this same thing and I feel your pain. It SUCKS! But like Anon above I took some comfort in knowing at least I *could* get pg. in the first place. We Also have a lot of friends w/ kids, including new infants & it is SO HARD to be around them sometimes. You just have to know yourself and don’t be afraid to call a time out if you need one. Also I am really embracing enjoying the easy lifestyle DH & I have now that will go away if/when baby comes.

        FWIW, after my experience we learned my MIL had a miscarriage between having my husband and his younger brother. This was something my DH did not even know, so yeah there are women out there you know who have been where you are. *hugs*

    • I wish I could share some secret…but I haven’t found one yet (5 months since D&C, about to hit 2 years of TTC, starting IVF #4). I had my D&C a few days before a long weekend, and we scheduled a last minute trip away (just a resort a couple hours drive). It was actually good just to be in a different space without mundane stresses. It’s weird to think on it now, but we actually even had a little bit of fun. It’s a loss…and in some ways it’s harder because most people don’t know (and even if they do, they don’t know what to say).

      Time does make it easier. I cried off and on for months. I still cry sometimes, but not as often (and frankly I don’t know if its because of the stress of TTC or the loss of the pregnancy). The one book that made me both laugh and cry was “An Exact Replica of a Figment of my Imagination” which is a memoir, by a very good writer, of her very late pregnancy loss. Obviously there are differences in her situation, but there were parts of reading it that just helped me release some of my sadness…which wasn’t easy to do…though I did sob for a long time in the recovery room after my surgery.

      All I can say is that it’s okay to be sad. Don’t let anyone put time lines on your grief, because that’s what you’re experiencing. But it does get easier after a while…even if it’s hard to imagine that now.

      I’m so sorry for your loss.

    • Hugs. I’m so sorry Midwest.

    • Midwest, I’m very sorry for your loss.

  11. phillygirlruns :

    update to my review of the suzy chin dolman sleeve dress posted last week:

    the smaller of the two sizes came and, much to my surprise, fits really well. i was sure it would be too tight on the bottom, but it’s not. one caveat: the dress is on the short side. it’s completely appropriate on me, but i am only 5’3″ and it comes just above my knee.

    the belt is still cheap-looking. wearing it today without a belt and it looks fine – there is plenty of structure in the waist and it doesn’t need it. not cutting off the loops just yet, since i have a couple others that i could swap in. i like it so much that i’ll probably exchange the larger size so i have this in two colors.

    first chunk of my review with link to dress: http://corporette.com/2012/10/23/cynthia-steffe-brea-dress/#comment-1116571

    • Curious as I’ve been wanting to try these Suzy Chin dresses but am a pear so have been following the reviews with dismay.

      I can’t recall your body type – are you a pear or – ? Is the size that fits you what you consider to be your *normal* size?


      • phillygirlruns :

        i don’t know that this would work for a pear. i’m a definite hourglass, 32DD-28-38ish. hips aren’t wide, but i have a pretty big butt and muscular thighs. i wear a 4 or 6 in ann taylor and j.crew and bought this dress in a 6 and an 8 – the 8 fit well on the bottom but was huge on top, and i was worried that the 6 would be too small on the bottom. the reviews said to order a size up, but i don’t think that’s really accurate.

        • Actually, your measurements are similar to mine other than bust size, so this is really helpful. Thank you!

  12. Hey ladies, I have a career question for the hive. Please forgive any braggy pieces here, but I’m trying to give a full picture so I can get your collective advice.

    I graduated from a top 10 law school in 2008, went to a law firm for about 2.5 years, then moved on (left on good terms) to a major non-profit’s litigation department for two-year fellowship. As it winds to an end, I’m considering what my options might be and while I have no desire to return to Big Law for the long haul, I am considering trying to get a position at a firm for another 2-3 year gig so I can beef up my litigation experience and pay off the rest of my loans.

    Is it crazy that Big Law would have me back? If not, how should I go about looking into firms from a non-profit? Would it be ridiculous to think I could then go back to the non-profit world afterward? Part of me thinks I’m crazy because it was so hard to get into this non-profit world in the first place, but my loans are killing me and maybe two more years would do me some good?

    Final piece of info: my old firm would surely take me back (they’ve said so) but I’m not sure that I would choose them again.

    Thanks in advance!

    • You should contact a good recruiter in your city and say all of this, exactly, and see what they think about your marketability and find out if firms are hiring lateral associates.
      To me, it sounds like you’re still Biglaw-marketable, but you might have to haggle a little about years of credited service (i.e., you might have to accept placement in class of 2009, or agree not to put yourself up for partner for x number of years).

    • Is there a specific reason you wouldn’t go back to your old firm? From my perspective, if I were looking at your resume down the road, I would be really impressed that the firm wanted you back after you left for a 2 year fellowship. It would immediately speak to your value and the fact that you made a great impression as a junior associate (during terrible law firm times, no less). Of course, if you make that impression everywhere you go, you will always be a great candidate!

    • It’s good that your old firm would take you back – I might be inclined to do that because is it REALLY going to be better at a different BigLaw firm? If your plan is to stay for a couple of years, make money and try to position yourself for yuor next move, it might be easier to do that at a place you know than at a new place.

  13. There was a post about how we power through our evenings so we can be more productive. I want to know how other parents, whether single or married, deal with homework! I have one kid and it seems like the school wants me to be the teacher. Routine homework takes a few hours and this time of year, they pile on the projects. The school EXPECTS parent participation in these projects and we are supposed to sign off every step of the way. Sometimes, it is a trade-off between staying up working on a brief, or helping my kid with his science fair research. Can anyone relate?

    • Yep. I’m doing homework every night with my first grader (it started last year in kindergarten.) When my younger son gets into school I’m hoping my older son will be working more independently and I won’t have to juggle two homework assignment lists.

      My younger son’s daycare sent home a poster board for parents to make collages. He is 1 year old. He’s also the only 1 year old without a collage in his daycare room. Those teachers are freaking nuts!

    • Wow! That’s insane. No kids but perhaps because there is more and more they are expected to fit in the school day?

    • Divaliscious11 :

      You don’t have to do the work, the child does. You just have to make sure its done. If the child is unable to do the work, that needs to be relayed to the teacher. My oldest is in 5th grade and the biggest challenge we are having is planning, ie planning for homework due in 2, 3 or 4 days later…. We have a calendar and assignments are added, so each day, he has to complete something….

      • When they send home an invitation for parents to come to parent night to learn how to do a bibliography and do research along with a guide for the parent’s role to take the kid to the library, assist them in picking a project, assist in finding materials, make sure there is no plagarism. . ., etc., I am pretty sure that I am supposed to be doing half of it. I really think they want me to teach. Oh, how we have been relaying our feelings to the teacher, principals, and school board. I just want to know how other professionals manage all of it!

        • Divaliscious11 :

          Push back. Yes, you may need to know the process, so that you can provide guidance but your child has to do the work/learning. Are you in public or private?

        • SpaceMountain :

          My kids are in what is supposed to be a good public school in our state, but it seems pretty mediocre to me. They’re in 5th & 7th grades now, and homework is minimal. Usually they finish it at school before they even come home. I have never had to do any of the things you are talking about.

      • No, unfortunately my son gets constant assignments that DO require my participation. The latest one was a three page “interview” of me he had to do for a class. Another one required us to spend over an hour going over our ‘household budget’ with him, for an assignment about understanding what income is required to support a family. And so on.
        When he was younger, there was more “just make sure he does it”. Now, they are literally designing the assignments to require parental participation, because it’s the only way they can get some parents to be involved.

      • I’m always wondering about that. Growing up, my parents *never* helped me with my homework – I mean, they were there and generally involved, but it really never even would have occurred to me to expect them to; it was my job, not theirs. Is this really required nowadays?

    • Yes! My oldest is in 3rd grade and is on her 4th “at home” project. One project required that she come up with a mathematical equation for 30 days with at least 3 steps each. I make sure my kids do the work, I just review. That’s the hard part-making sure they do the work and understand how to get the right answer. The current project is an every other day research project on the Presidential Election. I’m glad they are trying to get the kids involved, but having an 8 year old pick an issue and then write about it really means mommy having to talk about all the issues and try to find a way to make sure she understands them…anyway, yes. It sucks. Right now we spend about 30 minutes-1 hour reviewing homework (the minute I get home until dinner and then a bit after). She is supposed to get as much done during after-school care as possible. My 1st grader usually only has 15-25 minutes per day. I can only imagine it getting worse as time goes on.

  14. Suzer: it started in kindergarten and now that he is in 7th grade, some of the assignments are similar to what I did in college. Now, he has different folders to juggle and some of the classes are for high school credit so the pressure is on. So, no, it doesn’t get any better.

    • This is my experience with a seventh grader as well. I’m in law school, and so between my homework and his (which is frequently designed to REQUIRE parental assistance)…it is ridiculous.
      It has definitely gotten WORSE as he’s gotten older, NOT better.

    • SpaceMountain :

      Sounds hard, but I’m sure it will pay off. I suspect your 7th graders are learning a lot more than mine is, and will be in a better position to do well in high school. The private schools around here cost more than I’m saving per year for college, so I feel stuck with a public school that is probably not teaching them much.

  15. Undecided voter :

    After the very intelligent, thoughtful and mature discussion about abortion the other day, I’m hoping for some similar discussion about HOW you chose the presidential candidate who will get your vote.
    I’m still undecided at this point. My views on social issues are liberal, but I’m a fiscal conservative.
    I am really struggling with which is more important to consider in this election, so I would love to hear how others, who may not line up with a single candidate across the board, are deciding.

    (And obviously I’m hoping this doesn’t turn into a heated argument about which candidate should win.)

    • Whose appointment to the Supreme Court would you rather have?

      • Yes, this is the huge issue that gets almost zero press. Spot on.

        • The bigger impact is in the district courts. That is the only reason I will vote for Obama. I am still considering a vote for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson because they are more aligned with my beliefs. May not decide until election day. Take this quiz to see where you really stand. My prediction is that many of you will pick Johnson! http://www.isidewith.com/

      • That’s my #1 priority as well – Supreme Court decisions have a much more lasting impact on our lives than anything the candidates can promise.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Exactly. Who do I want to choose to sit on the bench for the next several decades? RBG and JPS are really getting up there. I don’t think they’ll make it through another 4 years. Do I want another Alito/Roberts or another Sotomayor/Kagan?

    • AnonInfinity :

      There are certain issues that are so important to me, personally, that I would never vote for a candidate who does not support those issues. That is where I always start. Applying that test often narrows the field down to a manageable number. If it only leaves one person and I don’t agree with the rest of that person’s platform, then I don’t vote in that race. If there are still several to choose from, then I start thinking what is the second most important issue to me, etc. I think this method makes things more manageable because it’s impossible to decide what issue or group of issues is most important to the country as a whole.

    • Anon for this :

      I have dealbreakers. If a candidate supports something I find abhorrent, or fails to support something that I find critical, then I can’t/won’t vote for them. Even if I agree with many other things that they say. I’ve yet to find a candidate (since I became eligible to vote) that I’ve agreed with 100%, but I’ve always been able to strike candidates off my list due to my non-negotiable dealbreakers.

      For me personally, abortion is a dealbreaker. If a candidate does not support a woman’s right to choose in all circumstances, then he/she does not get my vote. End of story. And for what it is worth, my personal belief lines up more closely with the rape/incest/life of mother exceptions (which are the only circumstances under which I would consider an abortion for myself). But I strongly, strongly believe that this is my own choice to make for myself, and that I don’t get to make this choice for anyone else. And nor should anyone else have the ability to make it for me.

      • I agree with everything in Anon for this at 3:28 pm’s first paragraph and nothing in the second paragraph.

        I think when picking a candidate, you have to figure out what your most important issues (maybe your top 5) are and then look at which candidate lines up best with those top issues. The candidate I’m voting for lines up most closely with my top issues—he doesn’t have my position on those top 5 issues, but his positions are a whole lot closer than the guy who isn’t getting my vote. Sure there are some things I may agree with the other guy about, but those issues are far less important to me. So I vote for the guy who most closely represents what I think even though he is a far far cry from my ideal candidate.

        • What if the candidate has a history of, um, being very inconsistent with his positions? Then how do you choose? Or is that one of the criteria as well?

    • Honestly, what matters most to me right now is the Supreme Court. It might sound silly but just look at what a difference Bush’s picks have made. I would not be so nervous about Romney’s presidency if it wasn’t for the fact that he is sure to pick at least one or two SC justices and there is a good chance that one of the justices he replaces will be Justice Ginsburg, so his pick will drastically alter the balance of the Court.
      For all of the right’s complaints about activist judges, I really don’t think that’s been true on the left in at least the last decade or longer. The real activism has been almost entirely from recent republican-appointed judges. So, faced with the prospect of more decisions like Citizens United and knowing the very important (to me) cases coming before SCOTUS in the near future, I just can’t risk a Romney presidency.
      Plus, the fact that he has no chance to carry his own home state says a lot to me. I get that’s it’s MA, but they did elect him once and he isn’t even polling close there. That tells you something.

      • Silvercurls :

        +1 on this. Whenever I vote for a presidential candidate (which sometimes has been mostly a vote against the other party) I’m aware that I’m also voting for his/her (alas, only “his” so far) Supreme Court Nominations. I’m concerned about our debt but I think that Obama’s ways of increasing taxes on the more fortunate will be better than continuing our current policy of giving tax breaks to the wealthiest and hoping that this will lead to jobs. (If this method works, why has our unemployment rate been so high for so long?) I’m also a social liberal and lifelong Democrat, so in this case it’s an easy decision for me.

        Full disclosure: I consider myself a single-issue voter, and that issue is reproductive choice. I figure that any candidate who wants to barge into my private business can’t be trusted not to find other ways to diminish my standing as a person. I understand the people who grieve at the lost life of the embryo / baby / unborn child but I cannot see how mandatory pregnancy can ever be the only answer when a woman is forced to choose between horrible choice #1 and #2 (e.g. continuing unwanted, unsought pregnancy vs. maintaining one’s mental health, etc. etc.) Life has many shades of gray IMO.

        I know my views on this issue are pretty strong, so please take this as a character trait (flaw?) of mine rather than as an attack on any other viewpoint. It may seem terribly contradictory but I deeply regret the polarization of public discourse and still believe that whatever divides Americans is smaller than the beliefs we share (optimism, willingness to work for a solution, neighborliness, the desire to have a peaceful, happy, family life, and a basic sense that everybody deserves to be treated with kindness and respect). If you met me in person I would probably not seem as type A or Ferocious as you might conclude after reading this message. Kudos to all who participated in yesterday’s discussion on abortion. I stayed out which was probably the best decision. Hope I’m not putting all four feet in my mouth with this message.

    • I’m not voting because I hate literally everyperson on facebook that supports the candidate I would vote for. I literally went from a supporter to hating the party with a passion but I would never vote for mitt so now I am just not voting and avoiding all snarky “brilliant” observations like the plague and I realize that is super immature of me but I hate, hate, hate the comments from all these fanatics who don’t question anything. If I were in the deep south I’d prob feel that way about republicans too but I’m not so.

      • I’m sorry, I know you said you know this but this is really, *really* immature.

        • was your comment productive or just to pile on something I already admitted? Just curious, when other people admit faults on this site (angry, jealous, or whatever it is) do you post on all their posts and tell them what they already know? Because that seems a little immature too.

          • Anon 338: I suggest you take the quiz http://www.isidewith.com/ and then vote for the one person who agrees with you the most. I think that third party candidates need more exposure. Just my two cents.

          • Stein, Johnson, and Obama are in a dead heat for me in this quiz.

          • Actually, I wasn’t trying to pile on or be snarky. I was just pointing out that while you acknowledge that it’s immature, you may want to reconsider in light of how truly, very immature that is.
            If you had written that, “I know it’s bad, but sometimes when I eat something unhealthy at lunch, I throw it up afterwards to avoid the calories,” I probably would have responded, “I’m sorry, but that’s really, really bad.” I guess I should have added, “please reconsider.” If this offends you, it’s not my intent and I’m sorry.

      • Also anon :

        Yes, that is immature. I hope you realize that catty comments on the Facebook are not worth giving up on your most important right (and responsibility) as a citizen. Surely there is some issue you care about locally, state-wide, or nationally that you find worth voting for, even if if you don’t feel comfortable with the major party presidential candidates.

        This is from someone who has 14 state/local propositions and four state/local elected officials on the ballot that have almost nothing to do with our presidential election. Voting matters, even if the presidential candidates don’t give two figs about my vote because I don’t live in a swing state.

        • Well its also that I disagree with both. TBK describes it much better than I did below. So feel free to go call her immature too!

          • Also anon :

            While I would encourage her to find a third-party candidate, she doesn’t come across as immature. Not voting to spite your Facebook friends (especially when you have the option of muting them)? That is, in my opinion, absurd. I agree with manoman below. I am glad to see you plan on voting for state and local officials.

          • Its not about spiting them, its more about the company my candidate keeps. If these uninformed people, who just stupidly promote every thing they see no questions ask, support my candidate,what does it say about my candidate? And really, people post on this site stuff they are not proud of every single day. Only certain people seem to get shamed for it. I guess I am one of them but I am entitled to my opinion, however absurd it may seem to you. I think its *really* immature to go around calling people immature when they have already admitted they are doing something immature, but that is just me.

            Also question- if I had written that I was a republican but did not want to support Romney because his supporters were uninformed rednecks, would everyone be piling it on?

          • Anonymous :

            Anon 338 – Stupid people support Romney and stupid people support Obama. Try not to let all the uninformed people in the US sour you to being an informed voter. In fact, the abundance of uninformed voters out there should really be motivation for you to get out and vote!

      • Just out of curiousity, are you still voting for state/local candidates?

      • manomanon :

        I don’t want to address the immature- that is your own decision. But is there really no way you can find someone to vote for? Even in a legislative race?
        I realize this comes across as pushy from a stranger on the internet. But there is really nothing I find more important than voting when it comes to government, not protesting not paying (or not paying taxes) nothing. Primarily because women have had the right to vote for such a short period of time comparatively, and because at least to me… if you (or anyone else) don’t/ doesn’t vote, frankly I think you forfeit the right to complain about any portion of the government until the next election for that group. Voting gives us the chance to decide who governs us- abdicating that means you also abdicate the right to complain and share your opinion (or at least to have someone like me care about it)
        please vote! (or ignore the pushy woman on the internet who might place a little too much importance on the act of voting)

        • manomanon :

          Sorry anon.. I didn’t mean to totally pile on – I got halfway through writing then had to stop to (gasp) actually work (shocking that I need to work at work). And finished my post before seeing that several other people had also posted, some more snarkily than others.

        • No you make a good point. And I do think about third party candidates, I am still mulling that over. Obama will win my state anyway, so that is partly why it feels less like abdicating my right to vote and more like my silent protest about what elections have become.

          • anon all the time :

            People do protest by not voting. It can be confused with apathy, but it is a legitimate means of protesting the lack of good candidates. I don’t think of it as immature.

    • manomanon :

      I’ll bite… I think for me it comes down to dealbreakers and what is the most important. I think that the social issues facing our country right now are far more important to than the financial ones. For that reason, and because he has the same opinions that I have on these social issues I am voting for Obama.
      To say I don’t care about the financial aspects would be a lie but I just don’t find them as important as I find things like the right to choose, gay marriage, equal access to healthcare and education.
      ***One of the things that has been making the rounds on facebook (at least among my slightly politics obsessed group of friends is a post or message from the playwright David Wright. He essentially says that for fiscally conservative people who are voting the Republican ticket they are … “My taxes and take-home pay mean more than your fundamental civil rights, the sanctity of your marriage, your right to visit an ailing spouse in the hospital, your dignity as a citizen of this country, your healthcare, your right to inherit, the mental welfare and emotional well-being of your youth, and your very personhood.”…
      Now I don’t necessarily agree with everything about this post, and I can see why the Republican economic plan would be attractive after not achieving the economic success we had all hoped for under Obama. That enables me to understand voting for Romney from a conservative side. However, (and I realize this got a little longwinded) I don’t think anyone could have accurately predicted how much the economy would go south and how to handle it. The final big thing for me is that a country with a strong economy is useless if the citizens (or a large chunk of the citizens) have no rights over the choices in their lives, which is where many Republican ideas would leave more than half the population.

      • The final big thing for me is that a country with a strong economy is useless if the citizens (or a large chunk of the citizens) have no rights over the choices in their lives, which is where many Republican ideas would leave more than half the population.

        This is why I hate politics. Like wtf? Why would Romney leave you with NO rights? are you referring to abortion? because nothing about your abortion rights would change under Romney. I hate all this hyperbole

        • Maybe not NO rights (lord knows, I’m still not happy about a lot of the Patriot act stuff and Guantanamo that Obama has done jack about), but as a gay person, even putting aside actual marriage, Romney has previously stated that things like visiting a partner in the hospital or getting to be on a birth certificate are privileges, not rights. I care about gay marriage, but before I can agitate for that, I have to ensure that my basic human rights to love and support my family are not abridged.

          • He actually supports domestic benefits for same sex couples. But yes, I completely understand that would be a huge issue for you and for all people. But same sex couples dont have the right to marry right now, under Obama. so half the country would not lose all their rights if Romney was elected.

          • http://web.archive.org/web/20021218005104/www.romneyhealey.com/issues/

          • Yes, while running for/being governor of a more liberal state, his policies were slightly more liberal. THIS WEEK, his spokesman said : “”Governor Romney also believes, consistent with the 10th Amendment, that it should be left to states to decide whether to grant same-sex couples certain benefits, such as hospital visitation rights and the ability to adopt children.”

            I understand the concept of state’s rights, and while I vehemently disagree, can understand why some are against marriage/think it should be up to states, but I think my right to VISIT MY (theoretical) PARTNER IN THE HOSPITAL should not be up to some bigots in random states, or your vote. Especially since that’s not just a thing that happens in one state–I might be living in a perfectly accepting state, but on a work trip in another, when an accident happens.


          • Divaliscious11 :

            Sorry, but I don’t trust “states rights.” The concept doesn’t have a particularly strong record in the civil rights protecting arena, and since I drive past multiple confederate flags, longing for for states rights, on a monthly basis, I’ll pass….

        • manomanon :

          You’re right, even under an administration that thinks I shouldn’t have access to an abortion if I want it, or is ok with the fact that being a woman is considered a preexisting condition for insurance claims or that doesn’t want me to be able to access birth control and thinks they should decide who my friends do and don’t get to marry, I still have rights. But I don’t have the same amount of rights as the guy in the next office simply because of my gender. And I don’t have the same rights as women in other countries where things like meara pointed out, having your name on the birth certificate or visiting your partner in the hospital under an administration like Romney’s.
          And frankly, depending on which day of the week you talk to Romney or his campaign, my right to a safe and legal abortion would change, dramatically. That’s not a chance I am willing to take.

        • karenpadi :

          “Why would Romney leave you with NO rights? are you referring to abortion? because nothing about your abortion rights would change under Romney”

          Hello? The president chooses Supreme Court Justices. With a Romney presidency, guess what? He’ll appoint people who can’t wait to overturn Roe v Wade and either 1) declare a 2 minute-old, 3-celled zygote a “person” who’s “personhood” trumps a 30-year-old woman’s “personhood” or 2) that “the states should decide” whether to give women their fundamental rights. Under scenario 1, every woman’s right to abortion would change. Being that my state is deep blue, scenario 2 would have no effect on me personally. But, for every woman in a red state, their fundamental rights will be taken away without notice, without due process, without consideration for whether she was a victim of rape or incest or even to save her life or her health.

          If you think the right to abortion isn’t important–just think of all the women in this community who have had miscarriages. Guess what the “treatment” is for a miscarriage to prevent a life-threatening infection? A D&C or a D&E–aka an abortion. If you want women to die needlessly, take away the right to a safe, legal, and accessible abortion.

          • He really won’t. 1) there is a confirmation process to become a SCJ, it is not magic. 2) he has stated he will not take any action to make abortion illegal. and I know you voted for Obama even though at the time he said marriage was between a man and a woman. You can vote for Romney and know that he wont actually make abortion illegal. I care about abortion rights and I gaurentee, nothing will change for the women in this country as far as abortion rights. Dems want to be all fired up about abortion, it should literally be like 15th on your list of most important issues. And I think that about marriage equality too because guess what? Obama is not actually doing anything for marriage equality. Even though he could have taken action with DOMA. these two are such BS issues the political machine wants you to be spouting the party line about.

          • Your argument lost a lot of steam at the end there. You understand that the President can’t actually repeal legislation, right? And that the DOJ declined to defend DOMA at the President’s election? http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2011/February/11-ag-223.html And that DOMA will almost certainly face Supreme Court review in the coming years, given the 1st and 2nd Circuit’s recent rulings?

          • AnonInfinity :

            But the president nominates the justices. If he only nominates candidates that will vote with the more conservative justices on the Roe v. Wade issue, then he does affect abortion rights.

            I view abortion as an important aspect of a candidate for two reasons, whether or not I think the right is actually in danger. 1.I think they should be legal and it’s important to me that they are legal. 2. The average candidate that shares my view of this also shares my views about other personal liberties. Of course it doesn’t match up 100%, but it’s a good starting point.

          • What are the first 14 issues that you think should be on my list, please?

          • Divaliscious11 :

            Dude – Clarence Thomas was confirmed, despite being rated essentially mediocre and some pretty compelling evidence of sexual harassment. Nominating another Sam Alito gets you there. And if you don’t think there are cases winding their way through the lower courts, begging for a split decision in the circuitss and a cert grant, you aren’t paying attention.

      • The sixties are over. Today we have the feds ignoring the will of the states when it comes to the death penalty and medical marijuana.

      • When you voted for Obama in 2008, who said that marriage is between a man and a women, were you putting his above the fundamental civil rights then?

    • Specifically on the question of “which is more important to consider,” I think that the Doug Wright post that went viral in the last day or two discussed that choice pretty powerfully. I don’t think it’s as simple as he posits (I believe one can care about economic policy without exclusive focus on one’s own taxes) but I still appreciated the perspective.

      In case none of your Facebook friends posted it, it appears in this write-up:

    • non-partisan :

      I know I should be concerned with social issues, the economy, national defense…but Mitt Romney tied his dog to the roof of his car for a 12-hour trip. Someone who is either that cruel, or that lacking in common sense, should not be president. For me, that’s the deciding factor.

      • X1000.

      • oh we are doing this? :

        Obama actually ate a dog. So that is why I am voting for Romney.

        • People of some cultures eat dog normally. Please do not equate dog-eaters with people who are cruel to animals.

          • Romney wasn’t cruel. It is like having a dog, secured in a kennel, in the back of a pickup truck. Not that I agree with equating it with eating a dog, but the romney dog incident is so overblown, and by people who never read the story.

          • oh we are doing this? :

            Dog eaters are objectively crueler. Because the dog is dead. and eaten. So if we are just going to take stories out of context and run with them, Romney performed an act of animal cruelty, and Obama is going to try to eat Bo!! ahhh! I hate facts! whatever side I am not going to vote for is a monster! the world will end if they are elected!

            Romney and Obama are extremely similar. The fact that people are so sure that if there candidate doesn’t win that the world will end, the fact that corpor e t t e s, who I thought were smart people, are pushing all this bullsh*t, makes me realize that everyone is just stupid.

            Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says they suck. Well, where do people think these politicians come from? They don’t fall out of the sky. They don’t pass through a membrane from another reality. They come from American parents and American families, American homes, American schools, American churches, American businesses and American universities, and they are elected by American citizens. This is the best we can do folks. This is what we have to offer. It’s what our system produces: Garbage in, garbage out. If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you’re going to get selfish, ignorant leaders. Term limits ain’t going to do any good; you’re just going to end up with a brand new bunch of selfish, ignorant Americans. So, maybe, maybe, maybe, it’s not the politicians who suck. Maybe something else sucks around here… like, the public. Yeah, the public sucks. There’s a nice campaign slogan for somebody: ‘The Public Sucks. F*ck Hope.'”

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          I am seriously rofl right now.

      • Wasn’t he also a jerkface to a secretary at Kanye East’s firm? Or am I just making this up?

        • No, no. That really happened, although I didn’t witness it firsthand.

          Mitt totally dissed one of our receptionists (who happens to be a sweet, Mormon grandmother and a *huge* [at that time] supporter).

          I don’t have a lot of tests IRL, but how you treat the receptionist can be a dealbreaker.

          • ... seriously? :

            …because Barack has never been a jerk to somebody before?

            Ugh. This conversation is getting really pointless and non-substantive.

          • Hey, I didn’t say it was my test for POTUS. I was just confirming that what Herbie heard was true.

      • this was actually a huge factor for my republican family members. My father will actually vote Obama this year.

        Several years ago, our yellow labrador, raised from a puppy and taken on every single family vacation, developed a paralyzing disorder that started with one hind leg and spread. It was devastating to watch, and putting her down was heartbreaking. I don’t think my family ever really recovered.

        When people talk about about single issue voters, I’m sure they have other social agendas in mine, but for my family, humane treatment of a family pet is a legitimate issue.

      • Yup, this is exactly what I was talking about. And yet people are agreeing with her, and calling me immature.

        • http://www.snopes.com/politics/romney/dog.asp

          • Hey, thanks for that–I hadn’t really bothered to look up anything about that alleged incident, but it makes me feel a little better to hear he rigged up a windshield, and not just bungeed the carrier to the car. Not that it changes my vote, but it makes me raise slightly less of an eyebrow. :)

          • Also, seriously? That was long enough ago that we still allowed young kids to ride in the front seat and ride bikes without helmets.

            I have a dog. I love my dog and treat him more like a child than an animal. He gets to sit on the couch, has a dog bed, goes to DAYCARE for cryin’ out loud.

            But my grandmother’s dog was an “outside dog.” The dog didn’t wear haloween costumes, or get high end dog food, or have a dog bed or a place inside other than next to the hearth on a cold night. That dog would have been pretty darn happy to ride along on a family vacation, roof or not.

            I am VERY pro-animal, and really pretty lukewarm on Romney. But it has nothing to do with how the family dog was brought on vacation.

          • Odessa was that supposed to call me out? Or make my point? BEcause it makes my point. the sentence “I hadn’t really bothered to look up anything about that alleged incident,” sums up every person running with this dog story. If you hear something that sounds crazy, look it up. NO ONE was upset about this when the article came out. Only when he started to run and the other side looked for dirt (which both sides do) I just hate that about politics. People see a story on facebook or from a biased blog and then post it with omg!! can you believe it!! Like the bachman story that went viral the other day. Every posting like “really bachman??” and if you actually CLICKED ON THE ARTICLE YOU WERE POSTING you’d see it was from an onion like paper that says satire in the headline. (and I’ve seen literally unbelivable(great site btw) and I know the right does it to) But I am seeing college educated people just swallow stories without questioning anything. And I just want us as a country to questions things, not just keep posting them and believing them. And I really think it makes my point that above, I get called immature because I am thinking about not voting because my candidate’s followers are really uninformed and are doing this, and then further down someone says they aren’t voting for a candidate based on misinformation about a dog, and everyone is like ditto! me too! he is such a meanie! animal cruelty!

          • thanks, but I already knew this.
            In the original article, the boston globe painted the ‘pulling off the highway to hose down a dog and car covered in defecation’ as an example of Romney’s “emotion free crisis management”…. because anyone else with a pet would just crash the car when the animal accidentally relieves itself.

            I can understand that people disagree on what constitutes cruelty to animals (if people want to have a pets vs farm animals debate, sure let’s do it further down where there’s more space) but please do not lump everyone that finds this event an issue into one dismissive ’emotional uninformed kneejerk!’ category.

      • Ugh….what??? I have never heard this. Did he really do this? How [sorry to his supporters] stupid do you have to be to think that is a good idea? This boggles my mind. The poor dog.

        • Do you think that a dog in a kennel in the back of a pickup truck is cruel? If not, don’t worry about this. I don’t think that’s cruel, so I don’t think his supporters are stupid.

          • Well….For a twelve hour drive I would think this was cruel (though cruel’s probably not precisely the right word…because my dog would probably love it. Just unsafe.). But I also wouldn’t vote based solely on this…so…we’ll put it aside.

        • ... seriously? :

          The dog Obama ate probably didn’t fare to well either. Arguably if not objectively it did worse than Mitt’s dog on the top of the car.

          • How about those pigs you ate the other day? Or those cows? Or that deer? Or gasp, god forbid, some people eat rabbit (hey, go look at per se)! but it’s OKAY because people don’t keep pet rabbits. Psh.

    • Mr. TBK would advise you to vote for Gary Johnson. I’m not 100% convinced yet, especially since we live in a swing state. I voted for Obama and was a huge supporter, but I don’t like how he handled the bailouts (no decisiveness, lots of rancor toward the financial sector, and lots of mid-stream changes that destabilized portions of the economy that had started to stabilize in early 2009) and I REALLY don’t like the drone strikes. On the other hand, I don’t think I would ever vote for Romney. A big part of it is social issues, and I realize that doesn’t make a lot of sense because there’s only so much a president can actually do on those issues (and on a lot of these issues, the public is already aligning more and more with my view — compare things like gay rights circa 1990 with gay rights now). At the same time, I think how the country votes sends a message to all of our leaders, including those who do have the power to legislate social issues, and so I don’t want to show support for positions I disagree with. Neither of them is willing to admit that the war on drugs is a colossal failure that has only served to incarcerate too many Americans (including way too many black Americans) and fuel violence in Mexico. Ultimately, I think I might just not vote for anyone for president this time.

      • non-partisan :

        The BBC attended the Libertarian convention, and Gary Johnson admitted that he left the Republican party because he couldn’t run for president otherwise. The LP was attractive to me years ago, but the last few elections have them running recycled Republicans.

        • The Republican Party left Johnson, not the other way around.

        • But don’t you find Libertarian positions on social issues to be far left of mainstream Republicans? I actually think this is what makes most Libertarians unelectable as Republicans. So while they may be people who once identified as Republican (my husband, for example) they find they can no longer tolerate the Santorums and so go Libertarian.

          • We are married to the same man! The Republican Party didn’t use to be so repugnant on social issues. They get worse every year. As far as I am concerned, I don’t agree with the Libertarian economic plan but I respect it and think someone should question the spending.

          • Mrs. Jed Bartlett :

            That may be true of Libertarians on some, maybe even many, issues. But not reproductive choice. Ron Paul ran in the primary this election cycle as a Libertarian who believes that government has virtually no role in my life. Except that it can ensure I have no access to birth control or abortion. I really don’t understand that. Actually, I was very surprised to learn that was his position on reproductive choice because it is so out of line with his “small government” position.

          • Gary Johnson represents the true Libertarian position, which includes staying out of your reproductive choices.
            Ron Paul wanted republican votes.

          • lucy stone :

            I also married that guy. Mine voted for Obama in 2008 but isn’t happy with him, but refuses to vote for Romney.

      • If you could write in your ideal candidate for president, who would it be, regardless of elect-ability?

    • Divaliscious11 :

      I look at multiple issues:

      1 – I am a lawyer, so yes the Supreme court is a huge issue for me

      2 – I look at what is being proposed and how do I feel about various issues such as taxes, education, the deficit etc… This does not mean I won’t/don’t vote against my own personal interest, but as a general matter, I realize everything is not about me.

      3 – Since I am never going to agree with ALL of the positions of any candidates – unless I run for office – I start looking at the things I find disagreeable – who do they impact? Then I look at where I DO agree and what is more important?

      4 – Who is the VP pick? While I don’t think the VP is hugely important as a stand alone, who you pick says quite a bit about you.

      5. Do I have any experience with the candidate – thoughts there (In this election, I am from Mass but now live in Chicago)

      Then I do a pro/con list and it pretty well shakes out. And even if I don’t like anyone, I vote. Too many people died to get me this right, and I honor them every time I fill in a dash or pull a lever.

      • Anonymous :

        If you do run, you might still not believe! Someone I know ran for office recently – you’re only as electable as the money you can raise. That can mean adopting palatable positions.

    • Anastasia :

      I am also undecided for the same reasons, but I am leaning toward voting on social issues rather than fiscal ones, mainly because of the point others have made about the Supreme Court. Also, I don’t think the President, himself, can do all that much about major economic issues facing the country. Even if he has the best ideas in the world, Congress, the world economy/events, and a whole host of other players are mitigating influences.

      One thing the president can do is set a tone for the public discourse. I really don’t like the direction I think that would go under a Romney administration, if only because the Republican Party would think it has a mandate to go for the gusto with its platform, whether or not Romney personally agrees.

      I don’t know. I’m really not happy with my choices this year. Not that it matters, since I live in a state where the outcome is a foregone conclusion.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Yes! I’m so sick of everyone saying the president has to create jobs or improve the economy. I wasn’t a finance major but I’m pretty sure that the government, particularly in a democratic country, does not and can not control the economy or create jobs. If it does, literally, create jobs, it is just creating more of the dreaded “big government jobs.”

        • I’m late to the thread, but I have to chime in on this one. The president alone cannot change the economy. Any bill to stimulate the economy – whether by changing tax code or by spending federal monies – must go through congress.

          And congress looks to remain a clusterf*ck, no matter who wins the presidential election.

      • applesandcheddar :

        Thia is is similar to how I decide as well. I really don’t think the president can do much about the economy, particularly with the situation we are in now. No matter who is president, it is going to take years to get out of this economic crisis.

        Because of that, social issues are most important to me. I think that, especially in recent years, the Republican party’s views on social issues are so abhorrent. Their views on women, abortion, gay marriage, education, and health care blow my mind. I find these views and what would be done if Mitt Romney was president frightening. I think it would really set us back.

        Not as important to me, but still important, is the candidate’s ability to deal with foreign policy. Mitt Romney has zero experience with foreign policy. We all saw is missteps over the summer. Although some Americans support Romney, I can assure you that our allies abroad would be disappointed to see a Romney presidency.

    • This is such an interesting topic for discussion, and I am looking forward to what all you smart ladies have to say. I wish I could make my response completely non-partisan but I can’t figure out a way to.

      So. There are a few issues that I feel really, really strongly about. Women’s reproductive rights. Gay rights. Health care for all. How we deal with the rest of the world. How we tax different income levels. What responsibility we, as a society, owe to those less fortunate than us. On those lines, I line up right alongside President Obama.

      I admit, I am fascinated to think about Romney as president. I think he’s a smart guy and may be an effective problem solver. But in my view his positions have changed so much over the course of his political life and over the course of the campaign that who knows what he means and what he doesn’t? So which Mitt gets sworn in? The one who de-funds Planned Parenthood on day 1 or the one who protects women’s rights to contraception? The one who wants to abolish universal health care or the one who preserves health care? If he were the former, I would have a lot less problem voting for him.

      I think they are both smart guys who want to get the debt down but my thinking aligns to Obama’s tax philosophy better than Romney’s. And Romney’s cr*p about not being willing to cite which tax deductions he’s going to target is cr*p the voters shouldn’t have to put up with.

    • 4 questions:

      1. What is your general philosophy about what government should and shouldn’t be involved with?

      2. What issues, broadly speaking, are most important, with the full knowledge that you can never have a candidate that agrees with you on everything?

      3. What can/will the president potentially realistically do to impact the issues in number 2?

      4. Who has demonstrated competence in the past to get the things that he would want done?

      Although I certainly don’t fit neatly into a catagory, these questions make it extremely easy to decide who I should support – it’s not even a question. Yeah, social issues are important in some ways, but, ultimately, very few of them are the place of the federal government – many if not most are more cultural or to be determined at local levels. No matter what, Romney is no more going to suddenly make abortion and birth control illegal than Obama is suddenly going to impose Sharia law (yes, that’s true even in the incredibly unlikely event of Roe v. Wade being overturned). States are addressing gay marriage pretty well right now; no one can change that (short of a constitutional amendment, which is not going to happen).

      The fiscal issues, and how they impact the economy and the future of our country, are far more pressing; I can’t avoid what the government spends mine and others’ money on. I feel good about the level of understanding that Romney has about them, and very bad about the level of understanding that President Obama does, based on a number of things that he has said and done. The President’s competence on other affairs is also greatly in question right now, based on the extraordinary mishandling of the Benghazi situation. I also don’t think that he respects things like our freedom of speech (which I find far more important than my uterus, personally), but I’ll admit that that doesn’t really fit my questions above.

      • Pretzel_Logic :

        I totally wish I had read this and agreed with it before I posted. HAHA. All this is credited and you explained it way better than I did.

      • Divaliscious11 :

        I am fascinated that you would call Benghazi mishandled when the facts have not yet been determined. That is not to say that is hasn’t been mishandled, but how can anyone possibly know before the investigation is complete?

        I’d love to hear what you think is a lack of respect of freedom of speech – that is an assertion I’ve not heard before, but I think we don’t want to debate policy, just articulate how we reach decisions, so I’ll walk away.

        I do, however, want to clarify, that you don’t have to make abortion or birth control illegal, to make them inaccessible, except for those with the financial ability to pay for it out of pocket, or fly to Europe.

        • I actually came back to clarify my statement on free speech – I realized that I didn’t finish my thoughts on it. It was based, specifically, on the rush to blame the Benghazi situation on that nutty filmmaker (so my statement probably read as a lot more of a non-sequiter than it should have!), particularly given that now it’s come out that that had nothing to do with it. I’m not saying that his rights were violated per se with the arrest (since he was on probation), but the general attitude of blaming him was a problem to me. There have been a number of other concerns about free speech I’ve had in the past, though, as well. In the interest of not getting into policy any more, I’ll just say that I can assure you that I’m not alone in that, so please, if you haven’t heard it, do look into it.

          More is coming out every day about Benghazi, and the more that does, the more it looks like a charlie foxtrot, if you know what I mean. There are so many stories that the administration ignored solid warnings that it’s simply impossible for me to believe that there are some facts that we are waiting for that would somehow make it OK, particularly when what we now know was deliberate misdirection is taken into account.

          Your concern about abortion goes back to my # 3 – Government’s not going to start paying for abortion regardless of who is presiden, it’s politically infeasible, t, so it is now and will remain inaccessable to people who don’t have their own means or access to charitable assistance. So I don’t find that to be a relevant concern.

          • Divaliscious11 :

            Paying for abortion is not the same as making it reproductive decision making accessible.

      • Left Coaster :

        I have to ask: Why do you characterize it as “unlikely” that the Supreme Court would overrule Roe v. Wade? I think that is a very, very realistic scenario if Romney is elected and if he appoints someone to the Court (which it’s likely he will, as much as I hope that RBG holds on!). The four conservatives have made abundantly clear that they will overturn Roe if they have the votes to do so, and all they need is one more conservative appointee. I’m sure that’s a big reason that Supreme Court appointments are such a big deal for so many voters expressing their views on here.

        • Well, to get all legalistic, Roe isn’t really the law of the land, Casey v. Planned Parenthood is. Kennedy supported that one, so I doubt that he’ll really change. Then you’ve got Roberts, who’s strongly adverse to making sweeping changes (see, ObamaCare). I would strongly suspect that if he could find a way to avoid the question, he would.

          And all that assumes that Romney nominates a Scalia or a Thomas. I doubt that he will; his history is such that he’s certainly not going to make abortion a litmus test. Most likely, he’ll nominate a Kennedy, if not a Souter. (Hey, maybe he’ll even get really wacky and nominate a non-Catholic!)

          But even to get there, you’ve got to get to the court. That’s an enormous hurdle to get over; I would be shocked if it were to happen before yet another, now uncontemplated, president gets a shot at the bench. Narrower questions, such as the partial birth abortion question, sure, but not the core holding one. It won’t get there until it’s good and 100% ready, which is almost certainly years and years away. It’s just too big and contentious to take unless there’s a clear change in prevailing attitudes.

          All that being said, even if it were to be overturned completely, do bear in mind that Roe only took the issue from the states. It doesn’t say legal or illegal, and I’ll bet that the people worried about it here live in a state where it won’t even be close to an issue.

          • Really? Because lots of people who post here live in Texas, which has already voted to ban all funding to Planned Parenthood, so I’m about a 100% positive Texas would ban abortion if the issue were left to the states. Glossy overbroad generalizations do not equal persuasive arguments.

          • I think that people can care about the effect of banning abortion on women and families in other states, even if those people themselves live in states where a ban isn’t an option.

            I’m moderate on abortion (supportive of parental consent requirements, okay with fairly strict limitations on timing, etc.) but I would be very concerned about the impact of a total ban, and I live in a state where I think it would be a very close thing if it went to a vote, with the odds probably slightly in favor of a ban.

      • Anne Shirley :

        Except I get the feeling Romney would like it if abortion were illegal. And by “I get the feeling” I mean- that’s what the party platform is. And I’m pretty sure Obama has never argued in favor of imposing Sharia law.

    • This is a follow up question to your question. As much as it pains me to admit it, on paper, Romney actually looks kind of OK. But in my own opinion, his record shows that his platforms and his positions are unreliable. Sometimes he seems very moderate and sometimes he seems like an extreme conservative. So how have people decided to vote for him? What criteria made you decide that you liked him and were comfortable voting for him?

      • I think he is actually more moderate. Unfortunately, in this country you have to be one or the other. I didn’t vote for McCain because he went so far right, and I think it was a huge mistake. I think he was still his moderate self. If I didn’t trust McCain I suppose I shouldn’t trust Romney, but I think Romney is still a moderate. I think he only started becoming more right when he put his eye to the white house.

    • Pretzel_Logic :

      I’m a registered Republican and still, after much thought, fiscally conservative and socially conservative (although I care more about where the Pres stands on abortion than gay marriage–I think the latter should be a state decision), with some libertarian leanings. I really dislike how both candidates are big government guys. Obviously Obama is all about a big government, but Republicans in recent years have also been pro-big government, even if they don’t announce it. Mitt falls in that category, but Mitt’s projected government looks smaller than the one the Obama administration has fostered. I agree that the President himself isn’t going to do the work to fix the economy, but his influence over SCOTUS and Congress can go toward that. The Supreme Court thing is pretty important to me, particularly since Ginsburg is probably headed out. For the record, I already mailed in my absentee ballot for Romney to a state that will 100% go for Obama, so…take all this FWIW.

      Also…and this isn’t meant to start anything, but the whole “middle class” thing sounds like complete BS to me and I hate that argument from both sides. Literally everyone in America thinks they’re middle class. That is a statistical impossibility. /rant

      • I so agree with you! Romney’s an easy choice for me (and I’ve already voted, too), but he’s far from perfect or ideal to me. And the whole way “middle class” is suddently the buzzword that everyone has to bow down to is just incredibly silly in a completely non-partisan way.

    • legitimately curious, what are the reasons for having certain issues “left up to the states”? I see this used a lot with social issues, (gay marriage or abortion, gun control, and in the past healthcare) and it confuses me.

      State governance is still governance? Why is a state government’s decision different from a federal one? Do people expect state government to be more inline with their views?
      Do people move/not move more than I think they do? Has someone moved/not moved states in the past due to one of these issues?

      • People consider all sorts of things, though more about “culture” than political issues per se, when they decide where they want to live. I haven’t moved because of it, but I have taken steps to stay in the state I’m in very much because of it (and when I’ve considered moving to other states, states that I feel are similar to my current one are the only ones that I would consider for those reasons.) I was born in a very different state, and my parents have often expressed how much better it is here. But I may be unusual.

        In a broader sense, though, you definitely have more control over your local gov’t than federal. Also, that’s very much the way the country was designed – the states are considered sovereign, like small countries of their own that have freedom to mostly be what they want to be, and the people should have the most possible control. And, because states do have different cultures, it does often make a difference how policies can work in one state but not in others.

        I used to think that there should just be national policies, because, hey, if it’s the best policy, shouldn’t it apply all over? But then I started to understand things a lot better about what “best policy” might mean. States really can be “laboratories” to experiment with different policies. If things are imposed on a national scale, it’s a lot harder to know how they’re working (we don’t know if conditions are such that things would have been better or worse without them). I know that my state has cribbed a lot of successful programs from a neighboring state, because we saw how that state was doing things and liked them. But we can also look at programs that don’t work as well and learn from them as well, rather than starting on a national scale. I also started to understand the inefficiencies of government a lot better, and realized that things imposed on the federal level are a lot more difficult to control, and a lot more difficult to pull back on when they don’t work out as we would prefer.

        • hey thanks for that explanation, I like thinking of the states as laboratories. I realize that I probably should have phrased my first question clearer, but that’s okay. :)
          Now I’m really interested in what state you live in and what states you think would be similar? And were your parents were living before??
          I’ve lived in two states, and any differences in culture were also attributed to changes in lifestyle, since I went from a suburban area to a city. For me, geographical location is as important as culture- I liked Pittsburgh, but missed the ocean (hurricane season be damned!)

        • Anyone remember Jon Stewart calling AZ the “meth lab of democracy”? So funny.

      • Federalism! :


    • Out of curiosity, why do you think that the socially liberal candidate is the one who is more fiscally profligate? I don’t think the Republican platform puts forward a realistic plan for how to reduce deficits in the long run (it’s unclear whether it would reduce spending in the form of outlays, but let’s take them at their word for argument’s). The underlying premise is that lower tax rates would increase total revenues, but I’m not aware of any evidence for this. Without touching the defense budget there really is no mathematical way to reduce deficits without increasing revenues…and as I said, there is no evidence or precedent to suggest that lower tax rates lead to increased revenues.

      Now if you feel that government should be smaller (e.g. less oversight of private entities, less government agencies, etc) then a Romney Administration may or may not offer that. They suggest that they will, though they don’t say how…but for argument’s sake let’s imagine they will (except for the Pentagon whose budget and presumably authority/footprint they will increase). But I don’t necessarily think that’s the same thing as fiscal conservatism.

      So basically, just trying to understand what people mean when they say fiscally conservative. I’m pretty left of center, but in many ways I would consider myself fiscally conservative when it comes to deficits (though I think that some debt/deficit always makes sense if interests rates are low and especially in a downturn). I don’t think either candidate is particularly fiscally conservative. There are clear differences on social policy…and probably a few on the size of their government. Notably, if you count the Defense Department as part of the size of government, though, it would be bigger under a Romney Administration…and it’s unlikely that growth could possibly be offset elsewhere in the government. I assume a lot of people don’t count the DOD as part of the government in the same was as the Department of Health and Human Services, though.

      • I should add, I think people lose sight of the fact that 2/3 of discretionary spending (i.e. not Medicare and Social Security) is security (mostly Defense, some State Department, some Homeland Security). There is no path to fiscal balance that doesn’t address 2/3 of the country’s discretionary spending. It’s math.

        I know how I’m voting, but I respect people having different opinions. That said, they should be based on facts. Both sides have obscured the fiscal issues to the point where it’s impossible to mete out what’s true. But the Wikipedia summary isn’t bad: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_United_States_federal_budget

      • This nicely articulates my thoughts on fiscal policy.

      • Mrs. Jed Bartlett :

        It’s also interesting that the conservative states, whose politicians and voters think that “government spends too much” are the states that receive more money from the federal government than they send to the federal government. Speaking about voting based on facts.

      • Praxidike :

        I always LOL when people say they are fiscally conservative, which implies that the “other side” is fiscally liberal or that they spend without concern for anything. My take on the meaning of fiscal conservatism is this: both sides believe they are fiscally conservative and fiscally responsible, but the things they define as being “conservative” and “responsible” are different.

        Republicans traditionally view defense spending as important and will generally support defense spending (and increasing defense spending) while they gut programs they deem “wasteful” like welfare, Planned Parenthood, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.

        Democrats traditionally view social welfare programs like welfare, PP, Medicare, Medicaid, and education as important and therefore spend more on those programs, perhaps to the detriment of defense spending (but not really).

        In other words, I believe the concept of being a “fiscal conservative” is a false dichotomy because there is no such thing. Both sides want and need money, both want to spend that money, and both want to spend it on different things. I am a Democrat and I would 100% support reducing defense spending in order to balance our budget, while directing more federal funds towards public education, PP, Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA.

        • Federalism! :

          You forgot about taxes.

          • Praxidike :

            I didn’t, but I am one of those people who think that we should all pay our fair share of taxes. I take advantage of deductions available to me, but I don’t go out of my way to minimize the taxes I pay. There are obviously differences in the way the Dems and Republicans view and apply the tax code (or would like to) and I lean more towards FAIR taxation than anything else (fair being in the eye of the beholder, of course).

          • Federalism! :

            I just wanted to make the point that beyond your original post, there are additional reasons someone might consider herself a fiscal conservative.

          • I’m confused. Do you mean high taxes =/= fiscal conservative and low taxes = fiscal conservative?

            I’m not sure how taxes alone relate to fiscal conservatism, except if the Congress were somehow obligated not to appropriate more than the revenue collected…which it’s not. At the end of the day, I don’t see how you can be a fiscal conservative if you aren’t for a balance between tax revenue and outlays. I mean, sure, you can call yourself one, but you can also call yourself a toaster and that doesn’t mean you automatically have the ability to make bread crispy.

            My point is that neither platform really speaks to balancing revenues and outlays…though I’m okay with that during a recession if interest rates are low as long as it’s not done in a way to create structural expectations (which is hard no matter what).

    • Cornellian :

      as an FYI: I’m voting Obama, but have never voted a straight ticket in my life and was once a registered Republican.

      I try to decide not so much on individual issues as on their approach to issues. A big turnoff of McCain was that I think he repeatedly surrounds himself with dishonest people, and seems to want to keep all of their approval, which is not something I want in my president. After the nasty despicable smear campaign Bush II conudcted in the Republican primaries in 2000 (insinuating nasty things about his adopted daughter and her origins), McCain CHOSE THE SAME GUY in 2004. Weird. I think he is an awful judge of character.

      I think both Obama and Romney overpromise, and neither has lived up/will live up to as President all things they promise. That said, I think Obama basically has moved in one direction in his political career, and I’m generally confident in it. I also think he’s stood by his past decisions. I don’t think Romney has an endgame, and he has flopped all over the place. Not something I want in my president. SO… Obama it is.

      • Your comment gets at what bugs me the most about the election process (well maybe not the most, but it for sure rankles me) – to get elected candidates MUST over promise, but the reality is once they get in office, it is not entirely up to them to deliver. So they often end up under delivering because a lot of things are not directly in their control. However, if you don’t sell the American public this unicorns pooping rainbows version of what America will be like when you are in the White House, you have no chance of being elected. In my fantasy dream land, candidates could be realistic about the problems and the solutions and the public wouldn’t have a freaking heart attack and think the world was going to end the day after the election.


    • Praxidike :

      The way I make my decision is really black and white:

      My husband and I make over $300k combined. I’ve inherited over seven figures. So by rights, I “should” be voting for Romney because of his fiscal policies.

      In truth, however, the most important thing to me is that people in our society are treated fairly and equally, and that people who don’t have the same privileges that I had have opportunity for “better”. I don’t care if I pay more in taxes for that to happen. So I vote for the most socially progressive candidate.

      In addition, I am truly a one-issue voter, and that issue is abortion. I would never vote for a pro-life candidate, ever. Ever.

      • ... seriously? :

        It’s not fair or equal that almost half the population pays no income tax when some pay over 50% (when you consider state taxes).

        Also, you can voluntarily pay more taxes if you want. Do you? If no, why do you vote for somebody who will force me/others to pay extra taxes you don’t even want to voluntarily pay?

        • I’m a similar position as Praxidike re: family income and inheritance and it has made me go in the other direction on income taxes, but not for the expected reasons.

          I absolutely realize 100% how lucky I am to be in the position I’m in and do what I can to give back. One of the things that I think is most unfair about our income tax system is that it treats me making $300,000/year the same way it treats someone with zero inheritance making $300,000 per year. Taking 1/2 of what they makes means it will be practically impossible for someone making the same amount as me to EVER be in the same circumstances as I am. I actually think higher taxes on income (not wealth) does more to prevent equality of circumstances and upward mobility.

          I think it would make much more sense to make inheritance taxes higher (while recognizing that the money HAS been taxed and should be allowed to be passed down, otherwise people would just spend 100% of what they have or do shifty things to get around it) if it meant lowering income tax levels. I think it’s strange that someone can be in the top 95% of income levels, and yet not be near the top 95% of wealth levels in the country.

        • Praxidike :

          I pay the taxes I am “supposed” to pay. No, I won’t voluntarily pay more because I don’t particularly agree with the way the government spends my money. But I am also not going to balk at the undisputed FACT that the government needs my tax money in order to repair roads, educate children, etc.

          You say: “It’s not fair or equal that almost half the population pays no income tax when some pay over 50% (when you consider state taxes).”

          What does that have to do with my situation? The question was what I consider when I vote. The answer is that I consider social issues more important than so-called fiscal ones (in reality, they are ALL fiscal), and that’s how I decide for whom to cast my vote.

          I also take issue with the concept that almost half the population pays no income tax because it does not consider: 1) the elderly; 2) people in the armed services; and 3) people who DO pay “income tax” in the form of a payroll tax. But even if you were correct that there are people who pay no income tax, that makes me LESS angry than it does when people who are mega-wealthy pay less in sheer percentage than people who are middle class pay.

          • Cornellian :

            also medicare/ssi, property taxes, and sales taxes which we all pay…

          • I paid taxes the entire time I served in the armed services, except when I was serving in a combat zone. Was my entire income taxed? No, because a significant portion of it was “allowances” rather than salary, so I paid a lower rate than I otherwise may have. I also didn’t pay state taxes because my state waived them for active duty military serving out-of-state. But the military pays federal income taxes. I’m not sure where this misconception came from.

          • SpaceMountain :

            My husband is in the military. We pay all the same taxes for his military salary that we pay for my civilian one.

        • Anonymous :

          State taxes. . . that’s just states rights!

      • Mrs. Jed Bartlett :

        This is precisely why the “so long as I can afford to live in/travel to a blue state where abortion is available” argument does not resonate with me. Of course I will always be able to afford that (whether it will be medically safe for me to travel if I happen to be in a medically unstable condition is another issue). But I don’t want to live in a country that prevents other women who are unlucky enough to live in the “bad” states from controlling their own futures. We’re supposed to be in this together — “our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor” — so it’s not nice to vote based on what I can afford when others can’t. I’m not saying all women in those other states want abortions or must have abortions, but I want them to have the choice to make for themselves.

    • libertarian :

      These comments are truly atrocious. I can’t believe a group of women (who I presumed to be intelligent) can be so incredibly ignorant. Enjoy your social liberties while unemployment reaches double digits. Clearly we should sacrifice our economy in the name of justice for Romney’s dog.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Serious question, non-snarky, seeking serious answer. How does the president control the economy/unemployment in a democratic society?

      • And we should live in a state with 4% unemployment and more spending on militaries and prisons than education (for your fully employed economy)? If you want a good example of where austerity will lead us, look at the UK.

        Not that Obama has been great on this front, I admit, but the alternative is so frightening.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          I was coming back to add something that you touched upon. Part of the rise in unemployment has to do with changing technology and a forward moving society. This came up when we discussed “self-scanners” at check-outs and mobile apps for depositing checks instead of going to banks. Those cost jobs. Others responded about how that is necessary and how we need to retrain people for jobs that are still current and in demand. Unskilled labor is becoming less and less important in a technologically forward society. Factory workers get replaced by machines.

          The wars we have engaged in have employed so many. One of the major employers in my state is defense technology. If we suddenly had world peace, 5,000 more people in my state would be unemployed due to that business alone. I don’t think we should stay at war just to keep people employed. That same training could probably parlay into medical research and technology.

          How many jobs would we lose if we found a cure for cancer tomorrow? If we moved to single payer health care, we would lose tons of insurance jobs. Those jobs, in and of themselves, are not a reason to not try to fix our broken healthcare system. (Not arguing that single payer is the way to go, just making an example.)

          I don’t think job loss is a good thing but I do think moving forward as a society is a good thing. Even the military and prison jobs are government jobs, not free market jobs. I also equate all the military contracts and contractors as government jobs as well.

      • I’m confused…you think it’s atrocious that people value different things than you when they vote? I can imagine thinking that’s not a good value system, but atrocious? I don’t understand what’s atrocious about thinking that a democratic country should value the principles upon which it was founded. The founders of this country were generally pretty well off…and while it’s true that at least some of their motivation for the revolutions was to have financial independence from the British, they were also influenced by Enlightenment thought about the rights and liberties afforded to all people. You can read the founding documents cynically and assume they were written just to excuse lower taxes, or you can imagine that it’s hard to imagine Jefferson could write a document as passionate and revolutionary as the Declaration of Independence if he wasn’t consumed by some of the vigor and indignity it conveys: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html

        You have every right to vote your pocket book (though as someone with a combined household income in low six figures, I think that’s probably Obama for me)…but I don’t think it’s atrocious to value civil liberties and freedom. [FWIW, I would concede that there is a strong civil liberties argument to be made in favor of smaller government and the fewer social protections it would afford…but it doesn’t sound like you’re making that argument…and I don’t think the “increase defense spending and have the largest navy in history” value system is consistent with the idea of small government.]

    • WorkingMom :

      Tardy to the party, but of course would like to add my own 2 cents :) Like others have mentioned, I don’t agree 100% with either of the candidates on all of their platforms. So, I have to decide what I think is most important. I am a somewhat socially moderate/liberal republican. For me, that means I am pro gay marriage & gay rights, but am pro life, and fiscally conservative. I don’t think that Roe v. Wade will change with either president, and while I feel strongly about gay rights, I am personally very concerned about the future of our country. I cannot vote for a president who is endorsed by the Communist Party, and is in favor of continued financial aid to the Muslim Brotherhood – of which, all Al Qaeda leaders have come from. I am against wealth redistribution – we work hard for our money, I don’t want to give more of it the government. I would prefer to donate privately to the groups I choose to support. That’s why I am proudly voting for Romney.

      • Anonymous :

        “I am against wealth redistribution – we work hard for our money, I don’t want to give more of it the government. I would prefer to donate privately to the groups I choose to support. That’s why I am proudly voting for Romney.”

        You’re selfish and disgusting. If you want to be proud of that, go ahead. You’re also pretty dumb — I feel bad for you. “Wealth distribution?” It’s called taxes, which pays for roads, childrens’ education, police and firemen — shall I go on?

        • Silvercurls :

          @Anonymous and @WorkingMom–I can’t resist responding to both of you, even though I’m probably going to end up look like a hypocrite. More later on that. At least I’m being even-handed in my criticism. :-D
          This is a long entry. If you want to jump to the end you’ll be able to read my self-criticism without all the other intermediate stuff.

          I’ll start by questioning two of WorkingMom’s claims. I’m prepared to be convinced, but I want more facts, please.

          1. Can you document that Obama was endorsed by the Communist Party? Even if they like him, that alone does not mean that Obama is a Communist. In politics it’s not infrequent for unlikely pairs or groups to agree on one issue even if they disagree passionately on others. (Example: the Catholic Church is happy to work with Equality Maryland to support a ballot question making in-state tuition available to undocumented young people. However, the Church makes it clear that it is not working with Equality Maryland to support another ballot question that would allow the recognition of same-sex marriages.)

          2. Ditto re Obama favoring “continued financial aid to the Muslim Brotherhood”…are you sure you’re not confusing this with Obama favoring continued financial aid to governments (such as Egypt?) which currently are run by politicians affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood?

          Okay, now to question Anonymous—and criticize myself:

          1. In theory, I agree with Anonymous’s choice of “selfish” and her argument that “Wealth description” is better termed “taxes” because that’s how our society pays for the collective benefits that very few of us could afford on our own. Anonymous lists a few such benefits. I’ll add to the list: air traffic controllers (so our planes don’t collide in mid-air); food inspectors (not perfect, but without them many more food processors would cut corners on sanitation, meaning that many more members of the public would get sick or drop dead from eating plain old filthy food); psychologists’ and social workers’ licensing boards (so that people have at least minimal protection against “counseling” offered by charlatans and sexual predators)…

          2. Where I differ with Anonymous is that I’m willing to put a veneer of politeness over my ferociously liberal opinions. Thus I’m not willing to agree with her use of “disgusting” in the ‘r e t t e comments. I’m happy to use such language on public figures (e.g. the idiotic Senatorial candidates Akin in Missouri and what’s-his-name in Indiana) because they’ve already entered the public fray, but I don’t see the point in slinging mud in a more intimate setting, both because I keep hoping that we’ll be able to dial down the rancor in our political discourse and because, frankly, in a more personal conversation I still have hope of convincing other people!

          So that’s where I call myself a hypocrite—because I think it’s “disgusting” when Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan speak against collective sacrifice via taxes, but because I’m willing to refrain from using that term in a more personal exchange. Okay, maybe on the one hand I’m guilty, but on the other hand, how is this different from deciding to overlook the politics-opposite-to-mine of Cousin X or Uncle Z, because for one evening I just want to enjoy being with family?

          Novel nothing—this is War and Peace! Sorry this got so long. I’m honestly interested in your responses—both Anonymous and WorkingMom. I’m going offline now but will check back in a day or so.

          Hey, if/when you respond, will you help me find some common ground? I mean—do either of you enjoy gardening? Sewing? Reading mysteries? Let’s do a little experiment here. We may be poles apart politically but does that mean we disagree about everything_??

          • Anonymous :

            @Silvercurls —
            Thank you for your levity. Of course my phrasing was out of line, and truly – people like you make this world a better place, and certainly words like mine don’t.
            I can’t help my anger sometimes, though. To “proudly” vote for someone on the basis of your prejudice (Muslim brotherhood) and selfishness is just too galling. And it *is* selfish, I’m sorry. I feel like some Republicans have this attitude of “I’ve got mine, you get yours” and it’s appalling – they seem to have no sense of responsibility to others. Not all, mind you. But when I hear the phrase “I’m fiscally conservative,” I just want to scream. Honestly, that makes as much sense as, “I support good government.” Like, no sh*t you’re fiscally conservative – who of us if fiscally liberal, for God’s sake? Do these Republicans think we actually all want to pay taxes? We don’t, but we get that we have to give back. And for everyone to have a leg up — we ALL have to give back. And if you make more money, you should give more. I’m blessed that I finally have started making decent money in the last few years. It was hard work, but I was also lucky — I had a loving family and good schools that I attended. Not everyone has that. So it’s only fair that I kick in a bit more.

  16. eastbaybanker :

    I have love love LOVED these shoes ever since they first appeared on every fashion editor’s fancy feet in…was it Fall 2011? And now there’s a pointy toe flats version, too. Oh, and the bags. The whole rockstud line is genius remake of the brand. Maybe some day when I’m running the world I will be able to afford $900 shoes.

  17. Posted this earlier and ended up in moderation, I think for the shortened URL.

    I know people have posted looking for stretchy jeans. I bought a pair of the INC straight leg jeans at Macy’s. They’re dark wash and they just look like jeans but they’re very stretchy. They run big and long. I am average height and I had to hem mine almost 2 inches. But they look great! No bagging or sagging. I’m wearing mine today with the Vince Camuto booties I bought during the NAS and I’ve gotten so many compliments. I’m apple shaped, but I think they also have a curvy fit.

  18. AnonInfinity :

    I have a question about non-profit boards. How does one typically get on the board for a nonprofit? Is it typically someone who donates a certain amount of money? A certain amount of time? Is chosen by other board members based on something other than that? Does it vary by organization?

    I feel like this is one of those things I should know. I’m a little embarrassed to ask the people I look up to who are on boards, so I turn to my trusted r e t t e s.

    • My employer encouraged me to join the board of a nonprofit as a “goal.” Uh, ok… I was totally clueless on how to start. I mean, awkward to just show up somewhere and ask to be on a board, especially if you haven’t given big $$$ or have other connections. I have been an active volunteer with several nonprofits, however, and when an unexpected vacancy occurred in one I stepped up and was appointed to the position as I have worked closely with another board member before. So my best advice is find one whose mission you’re passionate about and volunteer, volunteer, volunteer.

    • Seventh Sister :

      It depends a lot on the nonprofit. For smallish ones, it’s often somebody who is involved in the organization, has worked on various projects/events* over a few years, and does not appear to be an enormous pain in the rear end. Also, most boards want a mix of professions/genders/ages, e.g., it’s nice to have a lawyer or two on the board of a non-law nonprofit, but not too many.

      As for money, my sense from the nonprofits I’ve been involved in is that the amount matters less than the consistency of giving (YMMV, of course). If you respond to annual campaigns, buy tickets for events, etc., that can be seen as a good financial commitment, even if the amounts are not huge.

      Some nonprofit orgs have term limits for their boards, and some don’t, which adds to the complexity.

      *Especially time-consuming or unpopular projects.

    • manomanon :

      As someone who works in the non-profit sector it happens in a variety of ways. Certainly if you are a large and frequent donor you will more than likely be asked to sit on the board unless you have made clear you wish to be silent and just promote their work. It also has a lot to do with networking.
      The boards I have been involved with (not on just heavily involved with in other capacities) have said the crucial things are interest in the mission of the organization, having skills or connections that will help further the organization, surprisingly, youth (relatively) and being a donor.
      Being a donor ranks lower because, sometimes you join the board of a new organization to you through connections etc. And because many non-profit boards skew older they love having people between the ages of 30-45 join. (They like to work and make decisions faster has been my experience)

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I was sought out by a non-profit. They looked at websites and public bios for people with a background that aligned with their organization and fit the criteria for which they were searching. They called and asked to take me to lunch, introduced me to the rest of the board, and I accepted. In my case they were looking for a young lawyer that had worked with the disadvantaged, particularly children, in a social services or law enforcement field prior to entering law.

    • United Way has a program where they match up professionals with non-profits looking for board members. You take a class about boards and best practices, and then they have a database with non-profits looking for members. They also have non-profit “fairs.” I know they do this in NYC. They may do it in other cities as well.

    • anon today :

      I currently serve on one nonprofit board and have experience on several others. My husband and daughter do/have also. My take: A well functioning Board of Directors needs to have a variety of skills and talents. Always looking for a lawyer. An accountant is good too, and a local small business owner, and a marketing person, and someone active in politics…you get the drift. And a few big hitters when it comes to making financial gifts to the organization. My family cannot make significant gifts but we are somewhat well-known in the community for our service, and I think that’s why we get asked. I highly recommend the experience. Find a cause you have some passion for, volunteer “on the ground”, and then move into a Board position.

  19. Is anyone experienced in fire evacuations for neighborhoods and such? There is a wildfire really close to my house right now, and I don’t know the procedures on how we’ll be notified if we need to evacuate. Google isn’t helping (I’m sure I’m just not typing in the correct questions to find the right answers. )

    • I grew up in Florida, and had to evacuate for all sorts of things, including fires. In my town, it was the same sort of process as hurricanes, watch your local news, etc. Weather dot com is usually pretty up to speed with these things. Check to see if your city has a website!
      I will say, with hurricanes and the like, there’s alot more notice. A wildfire can spread very quickly, and very far. So just try to stay safe!!!

      • Yeah, fires spread extremely quickly out here. The wind today is about 30 mph, and it’s 90 degrees out, so the conditions are right for a wildfire. Unfortunately. I will go to our city website though and see if there is any info, thanks for that suggestion! I could always call the fire department, but I’m guessing they’re innundated and would rather find the info on my own.

        • Trying phoning your local police department non-emergency line to ask where evacuation locations would be posted.

    • Watch your local news. Having been in an extremely short notice fire evacuation before, firefighters/police officers actually came door to door to tell people to evacuate. You may also get a phone call if you have a local emergency management system.

      Be safe!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Did everything turn out okay?

      • Thanks ladies!

        Blonde Lawyer, yes thank you! They got it out within a few hours and it didn’t get any houses. It’s always scary when a wildfire starts in our area, because they can literally last for months.

    • Anonymous :

      Contact your local Office of Emergency Management or check out their website. In NYC the OEM will send you emergency text messages. You can also contact your cell phone provider and see what, if any emergency notification you can sign up for (I get emergency weather alert texts on my cell).

      This is also a good reason to know your neighbors! The old timers probably know the best way to get information about evacuations.

  20. Speaking of shoes like the featured pair… Yesterday I saw a woman in a pair of black almond toe flats, with studs like the ones featured but all over, and a thin, low ankle strap. The strap itself wasnt studded. GORGEOUS! I checked the Valentino site and it doesn’t look like it’s their design even though it’s tres similar. Anyone seen a pair like this??? I am seriously jonesing to own this pair and hoping that because they weren’t Valentino, they won’t be $900. Help!

    • Similar to what you described, but with a T-strap: https://www.maraisusa.com/products-page/new-arrivals/studded-t-bar-flat-black/

      • These are perfect!!!! Might even have been the ones – I didn’t get the best look from the front. Love!!! Thank you :-)

      • LOVE THESE! I totally want them. Also, in case website designers from all the major retailers are reading our threads for ideas- always include a picture of the shoes on a person’s feet. For some reason I have such a better feel about the show by seeing it on someone rather than just against a white background.

      • Those shoes are adorable! Unfortunately the black are sold out. :(

    • Zara online has lots of studded shoes — not any exactly like you described, but perhaps worth checking out?

  21. All Saints :

    Anyone know what physical stores sell clothing by the brand all saints? I am in Philly and want to buy a sweater from them but want to see the clothes in person before I pull the trigger. Thanks!

    • http://www.us.allsaints.com/store_locator/

      They have their own stores, but I’ve even seen some of their stuff at Nordstrom Rack, so I’d think possibly some department stores.

    • Bloomingdales also carries a lot of AllSaints (but not the whole collection).

    • Is their stuff good? There’s a huge store in Boston with a really cool sewing machine window display, but I’ve never really gone inside.

      • SoCal Gal :

        Some of their stuff is gorgeous and creative and I covet it. Some of it is just perplexing unto me.

  22. Brooklyn, Esq. :

    Ungh…ladies. I had a stressful week at work. My husband has been coming from home from work after I go to sleep.

    But this post is about how today my mom went to the doctor to find out the results of some tests she had done. She had a strange episode a couple weeks back that her PCP thought might have been a petite mal seizure, so she got a CAT scan and an MRI…so far everything looks ok except she has a cyst or tumor at the top of her head. The doctor thinks it’s benign and said it’s not urgent to figure out because she’s not having symptoms (I think the cyst/tumor has been ruled out as a possible cause of the seizure-like episode). She has to have it re-checked in 3 months. She had a heart valve replacement just last December and has had a very long and difficult recovery. This is complicated by the fact that she never remarried or even really dated after she and my dad divorced 17 years ago, so she has no partner I can rely on. I have two siblings but I am the “leader” among the three of us. Luckily a friend of hers went to the doctor with her today (the same friend also helped out a lot around the time of the heart surgery) so I know my mom didn’t have to go through this alone.

    Long story short…I am super worried about my mom but I’m trying not to be because nothing is really wrong? As far as we know? It’s a weird space to inhabit…

    • My dad had a major epileptic seizure out of the blue several years ago, and they found a tumour in his brain. It was benign (pretty much the most benign thing you could have in your brain except your brain apparently), but because of its size and location it caused the seizure and would likely cause more in the future, so they removed it. Post-surgery recovery took a long time – the surgeon described it as a concussion in slow motion – but dad is back to normal now.
      Apparently that kind of benign tumour is more common than you´d think, and since it rarely causes trouble it is rarely discovered. Brain surgery on the other hand is about as traumatic as you can imagine, so if the tumour behaves nicely it´s probably better to leave it be. But yeah, I kind of know how scared and worried you are right now. Dad was pretty freaked out by the thing as well. Couldn´t wait to have it cut out, but was nervous about the surgery too. It´s hard not to imagine the worst case scenarios. A confidence-inspiring doctor and good, curated information help. Try not to read all the stuff on the internets about brain tumours, ok? I have no useful advice to you, just an internet hug.

  23. Pretzel_Logic :

    PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Magic Mike is now available on Amazon Instant Video.

  24. LinkedIn etiquette question:

    Hopefully one of you ladies knows how to handle this. An intern who worked with my group this summer has requested a recommendation via LinkedIn (twice now). While she was very personable and we talked a few times about broad career advice, I didn’t actually work on anything substantive with her (maybe a few interactions in passing). I don’t think I ever saw a copy of the project she spent most of the summer working on. I can say she handled herself professionally, but that’s about it. And I haven’t actually recommended anyone else, so I feel weird having a single recommendation for a person whose work product I’ve never even seen.

    Should I tell her no directly? Or just ignore her request? I know she’s finishing school this year and presumably trying to do all the right things to make herself attractive to employers…but I don’t really have anything to say about her professionally.

    • Kontraktor :

      “Hi Jane, it is good to hear from you. I hope you are doing well. I apologize, but I will not be able to write you a LI recommendation. I appreciate you reaching out to me, but I have a personal policy that I do not write any LI recommendations. I seem to recall that your main supervisor while you were at our company was John Johnson. Perhaps you might contact him? Thank you again for reaching out to me, and I wish you the best of luck in your search.”

      • I think that will come off as cold. Just tell her that although you enjoyed meeting her, you didn’t get to see her work product yourself and that her supervisor would be a better person to recommend her. Or just write a short recommendation that talks about her personality “professional demeanor, friendly, positve attitude.”

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Keep in mind it’s possible LinkedIn sent you a second reminder, not necessarily that she actually asked twice.

    • I don’t see the harm in shooting her a quick note saying that you don’t do LI recommendations.

  25. Ok, Sending out the Hive Signal for long-distance wedding attendance help!

    a friend is getting married in Winnipeg in June 2013. She has already sent out info about blocks of hotel rooms they are getting deals for, but saying that we should reserve soon bc hotels are saying they are already booking up for June. This freaks my ADD-self out, because the thought of planning my life that far ahead gives me vapors!! And, i don’t have very many friends who’ve gotten married, so i’ve never done this full out traveling to a wedding thing, so I need your help!! ;o) Also, this is tough on a nonprofit salary.

    1- do I really need to reserve a hotel room and officially commit to this now? Is it possible for me to reserve one and cancel if it turns out I can’t make it without losing money? At this point, I don’t know if anyone is going that would share a room with me, but I know some people are trying to arrange room shares.

    2- any advice on finding cheap flights from the SF bay area to Winnipeg? Right now the cheapest flights are $460. Is there a best time of the year for me to search for flights? Or are they only going to get more expensive from now on? Is there a secret to finding deals for US-Canada flights? Because otherwise they look kind of rich for my bank account.

    3- anything else for a long-distance wedding trip that I should think about that i might be forgetting, because i haven’t done this before?

    TIA for saving me with your amazing wealth of hive-knowledge, r e t t e s!! ;o)

    • Former Partner, Now In-House :

      Hotels usually have a 24 or 48 hour cancellation policy. So you can book a room now, try to find a roommate, decide whether you want to go, and cancel next spring if you need to. Call the hotel and ask them.

      On the rest, I have no idea. I have not been a frequent wedding guest.

    • Don’t know anything about Winnipeg but generally hotels, both in the US and internationally, are cancelable free of charge on 24-48 hours notice. You might get a slight discount by booking a nonrefundable rate through a third party site like Expedia, but you almost always can reserve a room directly with the hotel that is refundable on a day or twos notice. So I would go ahead & reserve one of those rooms now & you can cancel it later with no penalty if you find a roomie.

      I’ve traveled a lot for weddings and also had my own quasi-destination wedding & the best advice I can give about air travel is to plan to arrive at least 24 hours before the wedding begins. Flights get cancelled and often the airline cannot get you to your destination until the next day (this is especially true in winter when a blizzard can knock out a whole region ,but it can happen in summer with hurricanes and electrical storms too). It would be really upseting to you (and the bride, I’m sure) if you had to miss the wedding at the lat minute for this reason. Also I recommend staying in the official hotel, because it will be convenient to be with other guests and there might also be welcome bags or information in the rooms of the official hotel and you won’t get this if you reserve a hotel on your own. Sounds like you plan to stay in the official hotel though.

      And yes, it is hideously expensive to travel for weddings. We usually spend over $1000 for a domestic wedding on air tickets, hotel rooms and the wedding gift. More if you are in the wedding party. Unfortunately international tickets are just inherently expensive, even for short haul flights, because of all the fees associated with border crossing. We had to shell out $700 per ticket for Bay Area to Toronto (and this was a couple years ago when airplane ticket prices were generally better) so $460 doesn’t seem that bad to me, but maybe others who have experience with that particular route can comment.

    • Before you do anything, buy a giant-sized insect repeller. Winnipeg in June is prime mosquito time and they grow them hella-big there.

      The flight will cost you more than a U.S. destination. Canadian airport taxes are sometimes more than the cost of the airfare If WestJet is still flying out of SFO, you can probably get a connection in Calgary, otherwise, you are probably stuck with Air Canada (and I’m pretty sure they don’t offer a non-stop to Winnipeg, so you’ll probably have to connect through Vcr or Calgary). Check Kayak, Expedia, and the others so you get a sense of the cost. At the end of the day, because there are so few carriers, there are unlikely to be many choices.

      • Equity's Darling :

        Yeah, flights in Canada are so stupid expensive. Sale prices to London are often cheaper than sale prices to visit my family. I’ve never spent less than $900 to see them at Christmas, and I’m flying between two major cities, it’s not like I’m flying to middle-of-nowhere Labrador on a biplane.

        I recently read an article on flying in Canada and getting “deals”, and it basically said “yeahhhhh, you probably won’t find anything better than 10-20% off…”. I’d sign up for the Air Canada emails, at least you’ll hear about seat sales. Given that the wedding isn’t until June, prices will probably be stable until….March/April, I’d say, so there’s no harm in waiting a bit to buy your flight.

        I would book a hotel- I think most places are pretty good about cancellations here, though they may take a deposit? If you’re looking to save money, you could also check our airbnb, I’ve always been so happy when I rent an entire condo – it’s cheaper than a hotel, and I can cook, etc.

        In fact, here’s a link to the article, and a website that lists flight deals on occasion (I added spaces, to try to avoid moderation…):

        www. ywg deals. com / is- it- possible- to- get- a- good- deal- on- a- flight- within- canada

    • anonymous :

      My SO and I regularly book rooms and cancel them if we aren’t sure if we are going to an event, aren’t sure which hotel we want, etc, and cancel them if we decide we don’t want them. Better to have the option! Just ask about the cancellation policy when you book and put a reminder in the calendar to cancel so you don’t forget:)

    • Clueless summer :

      For cheaper flights, you have to fly to a US border city. Most people in the peg would do that for us flights. Check north Dakota or other close by airports in the us, then rent a car or get a shuttle.

    • I was also going to suggest airbnb. There looks like there are a 10 “Entire homes” listed for winnipeg, and sharing with 4 people makes it really cheap. Some guy has a small house on the water, which would be either really nice or horrible depending on mosquitoes.
      airbnb means you might have to rent a car tho.

      I don’t think it will get cheaper than 460. I’d sign up for kayak fare alerts and emails for whatever airlines service the route. You might get lucky but I would buy a plane ticket by xmas.

      • I’ve used Yapta for fare alerts– I saved $250/ticket when we flew to Europe last year!

    • Closest US dairport is GFK (Grand Forks, ND). Fargo is an hour further south, so that may also be an option for you (Fargo is a larger airport…though that’s relative!). Though flights to ND aren’t cheap either. Good luck!

    • wow, THANK YOU everyone! This is an amazing amount of helpful info for such a random question, and exactly the kinds of things I needed to know, and even the things I didn’t know that i needed to know ;o)
      I knew i could count on the Power of the R e t t e s!!!

  26. OC Lawyer :

    Has anyone here had Juvederm? I had a small amount injected in my whistle lines (the fine wrinkles that appear when you drink from a straw or purse your lips) and along the outline of my upper lip. It was earlier today, and the numbing cream is still wearing off.

    Here is my question: one of the wrinkles between my nose and upper lip shows the Juvederm. You can see a little ridge under the skin where the wrinkle used to be. Will this go away? Will the Juverderm settle in? Or is it going to look like this for the next year?

    Thanks for any information you can share.

    • I’ve had a similar experience with Juvederm Plus. I started getting injections in that same area (as well as nasolabial folds and between the brows for my super furrows) three years ago. The last treatment, nearly a year ago, left me with a small “ball” or round spot just above my lip line. It gradually went away but took a better part of the year. In reality, I’m probably the only one who noticed it…but I’m still debating about whether or not to get more Juvederm there, or try to find a different injector. Can you get in touch with your injector and ask?

      Depending on how much inflammation you have in the area, it may get better! I had a bit of puffiness and uneven-looking places in the nasolabial area and that definitely smoothed out and looked great after a few days.

      • Thanks. The swelling has gone down some overnight. The ridge is gone. The lip is still swollen, but less so. I will give it a few days and then go back to the MD if necessary.

  27. anonymous :

    When a new opportunity presents itself in which your skills aren’t fully developed, how do you decide whether to take it and do your best to learn along the way or that the opportunity is too advanced for you at this point in time?

    • karenpadi :

      Let the person who is providing the opportunity decide whether you are qualified. If you are qualified, evaluate what the leadership is like. How will they train you? Who is your supervisor and will she train you? Is it a “learn from your mistakes” culture or a survival of the fittest culture?

      I have been in situations where it’s gone horribly wrong and where it’s been a great opportunity. Culture has made all the difference:

      The bad was when I was hired into a practice group that dealt with a broad area of technology where I had expertise in engineering. They told me I’d be working in engineering and that I wouldn’t have much to do with other sub-fields. But once I joined, they put me in chemistry where I had no experience and only intro college courses. I tried to learn chemistry from graduate-level textbooks in my spare time because every question was treated by my mentors as a stupid question. But it was dog-eat-dog and perfection was expected. I decided to leave within months.

      I moved to another firm where, after some years, they needed someone to take a client-based role. I was asked to take it on. I was hesitant because it involves people management skills that I was never formally trained in and hadn’t used in years. But the culture here is very different. I have a mentor who is willing to answer questions and who doesn’t point fingers and assign blame. Six months later, I’m glad I took the new role. It’s forced me out of my comfort zone but also made me feel more satisfied about my career.

  28. So, I was reading Animals in All Caps and…it mentioned ladygarden. Is that a THING?? I thought it was just here!!


    • Yeah, Ladygarden is a thing, but I think a. (right?) on this site was the first person to use “Ladygarden Party” as a phrase. As far as I’ve heard. And then developing the full ‘garden party’ metaphor in all its multilayered glory i think is pretty original to here. ;o)

      I don’t know where else lady garden may have started, but I heard it at least one other place before: The Bloggess said it on teevee: http://thebloggess.com/2012/04/and-then-i-used-the-phrase-lady-garden-on-cnn/

      • I noticed she hasn’t been posting since right after her move to Spain. I thought I bookmarked her blog but now can’t find it. Do you have it?

        • Yep a.’s blog is: girlgwengalicia dot blogspot dot com

          I know, i miss having her around here, but I’m sure she’s just busy. I miss b23, too.

          • Thanks! Should have figured you’d know.

          • id bet b23 is commenting but anon on the politics threads

          • I think this is unfair. b23 has been absent for a long time and I hope she is doing ok personally and professionally. She comes across as the type of person to post under her own name, even if she is in the minority opinion.

  29. Not in the US, so I won’t comment on the election, but this is just a note to say that I found the discussion very interesting, particularly since I will be voting in two elections next year about which I am, for the first time in my life, extremely undecided. I will have to go and look at the issues more closely. (If only I could take the leader of one party and graft them onto one of the other main parties…)

    So thanks for making me think!

  30. Hurricane Sandy! :

    Does anyone know if the Virginia Supreme Court swearing in ceremony on Monday is still on in Richmond? Frankenstorm is supposed to hit that area pretty hard.

  31. I tried on a version of these Valentinos – pumps with the same bone trim and studs – and I loved them. I would truly call them “fierce.” In the end, I bought the Stuart Weitzmans I asked the salesman to bring out. He brought the Valentinos out for fun.

  32. Etiquette Question :

    I run a small nonprofit, and we print the list of our supporters in the program materials each time we have an event. Two couples who have been longtime supporters have recently split up (both kind of acrimoniously); I know from the RSVPs that at least one person from each former couple will be attending our event next month.

    So here’s the quandary: for gifts that were given by the couples before the breakups, do we still acknowledge the donors as a couple? “John Doe and Jane Smith”? Or do we split them up and list John Doe and Jane Smith individually? For what it’s worth, none of the people involved have given since the breakups, though they probably will in the future.

    What do you think? My old copy of Emily Post doesn’t have any ideas, but I bet you ladies will.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I would list them separately as individual donors. I just think that’s the most sensitive way to handle it, even if they gave the gift as a “couple” so it’s not technically correct.

      • AnonInfinity :

        Agree. You don’t want to lose the support of 4 donors over something like this, so listing separately is the safest thing to do.

    • Coach Laura :

      Ettiquette Question – I would say to list separate, but only if you are 100% certain that they are indeed separated. If you have the email address of one or the other of the couple, I’d email and say something like “We are going to list your donation under your separate names unless you notify us otherwise by X date. Thank you for your support of X Charity.”

      • Sounds like you know the couple–at least well enough to know they are separated/divorced. Would it be appropriate to reach out to one of the two (or both) and say that you are putting together your program and want to know she/he’d like to be listed., and thank them for their continued support/you look forward to seeing them at the event. YMMV.

    • Unless you have confirmation the divorces are final, I would list the donation as it was reflected on the check or donation paperwork. I cannot imagine how humiliating it would be to have my (perhaps non-mutual) separation documented in the organization literature, making it obvious that people have been discussing my marriage outside of my presence.

  33. I recently started working and my work clothes require dry cleaning, which is getting expensive. Has anyone ever tried those at home cleaners? I think it is called Dryel. Or how do I find a less expensive cleaner?

    • I’ve use Dryel a fair amount. I think that it really just works if what you need is freshening up. So if I’ve worn a suit a handful of times but there aren’t any stains, Dryel is a good “boost” to make it fresh again. Same for sweaters etc. But if there’s a stain, or if you haven’t had an item really cleaned thoroughly in a while, or if what you’re dry cleaning is something where the fabric has extended a little (i.e., cashmere sweater that starting to bag in the elbows), then Dryel won’t do the trick. Also, it’ll freshen the clothes and gives them a nice scent, but in my experience won’t take out any odors (i.e., cigarette smoke or sweat). So Dryel is great for the in-between dry cleaning upkeep, but doesn’t do any of the heavy duty work you expect from a professional dry cleaner.

    • Try The Laundress clothes washing detergent. I know–WASH wool? But it works, and it was recommended to me by a very expensive clothing shop, where I felt like they knew whereof they spoke. I”ve washed everything except suit jackets–I am too worried about getting them pressed correctly with the lining. I’ve done lined and unlined wool pants and other “dry clean only” fabrics. One trick is to hang dry to lay flat to dry, but do NOT use heat or hang in the sun. I think heat may make things shrink.

      I’ve also used Dryel and it freshens but I do not like the heavy scent and do not feel like it really gets clothes actually clean as opposed to just fresher smelling.

      • Love The Laundress Wool & Cashemere wash. You can buy it at The Container Store.

  34. Ladies, today I asked my nieces what they were going to be for Halloween. The youngest one said she was going to be a Dragon. She said she has a dinosaur shirt that looks like it’s opening its jaws to devour someone when she crosses her arms and I told her I’d seen that shirt. Shout out to Godzilla and the original poster who’d seem the image in a catalog on her flight! She’s wearing the shirt with green leggings and black wings.

  35. K...in transition :

    Is anyone participating in NaNoWriMo? (Or has anyone in the past?)

    Am considering it this year and wondered :)

    • AnonInfinity :

      I did it a few years ago! (Before law school) I also started in college a couple of times and didn’t finish. It was really, really fun.

    • anonymous :

      I’ve done it three times–best thing about it was learning about Scrivener, which I rely on quite a bit now when organizing white paper research.

      Definitely thinking about doing it this year!

    • I have participated since 2005, and managed to finish twice. I´ll be giving it a shot this year too, but since I´ll also be starting my new job (Yay!) on November 1, it won´t be my first priority.

      But it´s amazing when you´re on a roll. Go for it, says I!

    • I’m doing the academic version. Haven’t written anything since submitting my prospectus and really need a kick in the pants to start writing!

      • Me too! Am spending today sorting out everything else in my life so I can put my head down from next week.

        (Well, apart from a large group excursion to see the new Bond film. We’ve been planning that for months!)

  36. Ptooey!

  37. I might be going to the ballet tomorrow for the final performance of the principal dancer. It’s in Philly, at the Academy of Music, at 2pm, and the catch is that if I go I’ll be one of the people in a box by the stage throwing roses. What on earth do you wear for this??

  38. Was wondering if some one could help me—a couple of weeks ago, someone posted a link to a dress from a UK boutique (I believe)– does anyone remember the name of that boutique? Thanks!

  39. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=lady%20garden

  40. Yay! No work tomorow. The manageing partner called and told me that he was giveing everyone the day off b/c their is NOT any transporteation. I could almost walk to work, in NICE weather, but I am NOT goieing to go through the rain and wind to get there, especialy if there is NO power! FOOEY! So I am writeing this now in case the power goe’s out.

    I had a good weekend and saw David with Myrna. Adam was to hungover to meet us. FOOEY another Alan! And this one does NOT bathe! Doubel Fooey. We went to some furneture stores in Brooklyn tryeing to find Adam a real bed. Right now he is sleepeing on a footon! FOOEY on Footon’s! Myrna wanted to try out the bed in the showroom with David, but she was only kiddeing! Can you imagene sleeping on a matress someone tried out in the showroom? FOOEY! I would NOT want to have to sleep on a soyled matress! David embarased me b/c he said he would onley try it out with me, not Myrna. I told him I do NOT sleep with a man without a comitment, and he was good with that I think. He also said that I do NOT have a big tuchus, and he was nice for sayeing that! Yay!

    I think there will NOT be any calender call tomorow either. I was suposed to make an argument against Brian b/c his cleint will NOT settel. FOOEY! But now I will find out when the case is continued to.

    I hope every one stay’s dry and safe with hurricane Sandy. FOOEY on Hurricane’s ! I want to work! FOOEY!

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