Weekend Open Thread

Onitsuka Tiger by AsicsSomething on your mind? Chat about it here.

As the weather gets warmer (F.I.N.A.L.L.Y!), thoughts turn to sunny walks and happily running around town. My boots are mostly away at this point in time — but I feel like a fool in sandals. So this is the time of year that my “fun sneakers” get the most wear.  I like the look of these muted gray Onitsuka Tigers, from Asics, but they have a zillion colors to choose from. Ladies, what are your favorite non-workout sneakers? The pictured shoes are $75 at Zappos. Onitsuka Tiger by Asics


  1. I love these type of shoes for commuting and travel. They don’t scream “running” or “tourist.”

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Same here. I have a pair of Sketchers very similar to these that I have worn much more than I thought I would when I got them.

      • I love my similar Skechers – they look a little like bowling shoes but not too much.

      • I am at the point in my life where I have more sketchers than pumps. Sketchers for the win.

    • Anon for Medical Stuff :

      Based on this morning’s thread I bought a pair of dark grey Toms.

    • I don’t usually wear sneakers but lately I have been wanting a pair of canvas ones.. These are still too athletic looking for my taste, but I’ve been eyeing some canvas tretorns in white or pale gray.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I really like canvas slip ons. I have an old pair of leather converse that I just don’t wear anymore since the slip ons are so comfy and convenient.

      • la vie en bleu :

        I love the canvas Bensimons, because they are French and I am a pretentious dork. ;o) but really, they are comfortable and have better support than Converse. … and they’re French…

        • I didn’t think Bensimons have better support than converse. They are dirt cheap in my country (like pharmacy things and everything french) so I will probably stock up.

          • la vie en bleu :

            i have really high arches and I cannot wear Converse at all. I guess mine could use a little more arch support, but they definitely have more cushion than Converse.

      • My tretorns gave me terrible footbite – LOVE my supergas, though!

    • Love these shoes!

    • Doesn’t scream tourist but is ironically what I wear whenever I am a tourist!

    • Anonononon :

      Not trying to be snarky, but when do adult women wear sneakers if not for running/hiking/general athletic pursuits? My only pair of sneakers is for the gym and I can’t imagine wearing even sneakers like the ones in the post anywhere else. I am neither a mom nor particularly hipster-y – maybe that changes things? When do you guys wear sneakers? Are they just your standard weekend wear?

      • LondonLeisureYear :

        I have a ton of casual sneakers for: trips to the farmer’s market, going on a picnic, quick errands, morning walks where I want be able to transition to be able to sit in a cafe and not look like I am just wearing my exercise clothes…Brands: Superga, Ash, Bensimon, Tretorn, etc. I wear them with jeans and also with casual dresses and skirts. Especially good in the city when walking around in sandals can be filthy on the subways etc.

      • Must be Tuesday :

        I wear sneakers to get to and from the yoga studio in the mornings and on weekends. I wear them to walk around the neighborhood on weekdays and evenings, when I might do a little shopping or stop into a coffee shop. I wear them to run errands like going to the grocery store or shopping at the thrift store. I wear them when I’m on vacation and walking a lot. I wear them to picnics and bbqs outdoors if it’s a little too cool to wear sandals. I wear them when I go to my nieces’ and nephews’ high school sporting events. I like skechers and converse. I have 5 pairs in various colors.

        If I’m going out to a restaurant or the theater or a party, I’ll dress up a little more and wear boots or sandals or something other than sneakers, but aside from those occasions and work, I default to sneakers for weather that’s cooler than 70 degrees and warmer than snow on the ground.

      • I wear sneakers all the time and I’m definitely not a mom and definitely not a hipster. I wear them for any occasion for which one requires shoes but does not require that the shoes be dressy. I wear them because they’re cute. I actually have trouble imagining a life that does not require a pair of cute sneakers.

  2. gift for shower host? :

    A friend of mine volunteered months ago, planned, and is throwing me a baby shower tomorrow. I didn’t have a bridal shower or a bridal party, so I’m not sure of the etiquette here. Do I give her a gift as a thank you for hosting? She’s going to a lot of trouble to do this really nice thing for me. If a gift is appropriate, what sort of gift? I’d normally do a nice bottle of champagne or such but she’s pregnant too, so that probably not the greatest idea.

    • I think it’s nice to give a gift with a nice note of thanks. Maybe a gift certificate for a manicure/pedicure at a salon she likes? Or if you want to be cutesy about it, a fancy umbrella (cause shower…)?

      • That umbrella is such a cute idea!

      • The umbrella is such a cute idea!

      • Sydney Bristow :

        If you want a cute umbrella, I love my Totes clear bubble umbrella with a colored stripe at the bottom. It brightens my day when I have to use it (so to speak). They are available on Amazon.

    • Maddie Ross :

      I think it’s a nice gesture to do something. For my baby shower hosts, I gave them each a gift certificate for a manicure. I’ve received as a host nice candles, gift certs for manicures (which is where I got the idea), and flower arrangements. It doesn’t have to be huge – just nice to be remembered.

    • Yes, I would give her a hostess gift. I think this may be regional, and I’m in the south where I’m sure we overdo it, but here there are often four or five “hostesses,” and we usually give them all the same gift, like a nice candle, some cute tea towels, etc. For a close friend who is doing the shower mostly on her own, you could get her something a little nicer. Since she’s pregnant too, maybe something from her registry? Or maybe something she would enjoy like a pedicure gift certificate? I think you’re on the right track with the bottle of champagne, so something on that level, just not alcohol :)

    • Anon in NYC :

      I gave gifts to the hosts of my baby shower – I gave one a gift certificate for a massage and the other I gave this really pretty hand blown glass globe thing (she’s into that kind of thing).

    • +1 for my bridal shower I got the hostesses nice candles.

  3. We’re going to a wedding in Houston this June and having never been to that part of the country, thought it would be fun to take a few extra days to see what’s there. Preliminary plan is to also go to Austin, but what else would you do if you were planning a TX trip? We’d be flying in on Friday and will be busy with the wedding in Houston till Sunday at noon, after that I’d like to see a friend who recently moved to that town but other than our schedule is flexible and we can take 2-5 more days, leaving Houston as early as that Monday. Any ideas on how to plan our journey? Is it worth taking the extra time?

    • houston, we have a problem :

      Houston is a great city!! It’ll be pretty hot in July, so please plan accordingly.

      Here is what I would suggest for what to do:
      — NASA (it’s a drive, but a lot of really great stuff if you are interested in space)
      — eating/food (houston is a great foodie city– tons of ethnic food, but also fine dining at great prices)
      — museum district (museum of fine arts, contemporary arts and natural science) and surrounding parks/gardens
      — astros baseball game
      — houston zoo is also great (and a fair amount of air conditioned time)
      — theatre (houston has a ton of shows, and many many venues, so it may be worth checking out)

      there are a ton of parks and fun outdoor space, but it’s hard to gauge how hot it will be (it’ll probably be 100% humidity and in the 90s) and how much you can handle– don’t overdo outside time.

      • Minor Point :

        “Ethnic food” and “fine dining” are not mutually exclusive.

        • houston, we have a problem :

          agreed. as I stated it, it sounds mutually exclusive, but I was making two separate points, not related points.

    • I live in Houston and love it but it’s not a great tourist destination in my opinion. I’m in a rush so will try to write more later, but where are you coming from? That will impact my recommendations. I think checking out Austin/the Hill Country is a good call. Also, agree that by June it is going to be very hot/humid in Houston (in Austin/the Hill County, hot but not as humid), so definitely something to keep in mind when planning activities.

      • Thanks! I’m less interested in Houston recs, though I appreciate them, because we’ll have our hands full of wedding stuff. I guess my question is whether it’s worthwhile to extend the trip beyond friday – Monday to explore the rest of Texas/neighboring states and if so what to explore/how much time to alot. We’re trying to book tix now so trying to figure out how much time to budget. Oh, and we’re coming from the northeast if that matters.

        • What kind of things are you interested in seeing or doing? I think Austin/San Antonio/Hill Country might be a good side trip. Good barbeque. Live music in Austin. And this place is neat: https://parks.traviscountytx.gov/find-a-park/hamilton-pool

          Let us know what interests you can maybe we can fine tune our recs.

        • San Antonio is an easy 3 hour drive from Houston–you could drive there, see the Alamo and some other sites in town, check out the Riverwalk, etc., stay overnight there. On the way there you could check out Gruene (small, cute, famous hall–would not be a long stop), and if you’re interested in barbecue some of the most revered barbecue places are out that way (sort of in between Houston and San Antonio/Austin). San Antonio and Austin aren’t far apart, either, so you could head up towards Austin after San Antonio and spend a day or two there (I haven’t spent a lot of time there so don’t have any great tourist recs). Heading towards San Antonio/Austin puts you out towards the Hill Country and there are various outdoor options there, and also towards Austin there is a “wine trail” (though the wines are not a draw in and of themselves imo).

          There are other interesting places to visit in Texas but because the state is so big some would be 6-8 hour drives or more. Sticking to the Houston/San Antonio/Austin triangle would allow you to see quite a bit without excessive driving.

          • I think if you plan a day or two in each city that is probably enough, plus a day or two for attractions outside the cities if there are particular things you want to see/do. FYI Lockhart is considered barbecue central–my favorite place there is Black’s. If you plan to hit a barbecue place, plan to go early (I have friends who aim for 10 a.m.) because things sell out.

      • We should say it will be very hot everywhere in TX, not just Houston. Where is the wedding? Houston is pretty sprawling so you could easily be an hours drive from the museum district which would make a difference.

        Houston has all the culture that money can buy. The Menil Collection is one of the best places to see art in the entire world. It’s closed Mon/Tue – if you have any interest at all in art I would make a point to go see it on Sunday. I think the Opera/Symphony etc will be in off season since the summers are pretty quiet. Galveston is a really easy drive from Houston and is also fun in its quirky way (it doesn’t have the prettiest beaches in the world but if you want to see what middle class Texans look like in their bathing suits, you can).

        I think San Antonio is a boring, tourist trap, snooze fest and I would not recommend going there. (Although it does a couple of good museums.) The famed Alamo is basically a gift shop. Austin is good fun – Barton Springs is a cold natural pool perfect in the summer. LBJ library is worth a visit for the animatronic LBJ who tells stories and the cadillac he was riding in when JFK was assasinated.

        Dallas/Ft Worth are a bit more of a drive – 4 hours vs. 2-1/2 but plenty to do (museums, stockyards, grassy knoll).

    • What kind of things are you interested in seeing or doing? I think Austin/San Antonio/Hill Country might be a good side trip. Good barbeque. Live music in Austin. And this place is neat: https://parks.traviscountytx.gov/find-a-park/hamilton-pool

      Let us know what interests you can maybe we can fine tune our recs.

  4. I don’t think you’re expected to give her or anyone else a thank you gift but I usually do give gifts to the host and even others who attend the shower. It takes a lot of time and effort (not to mention money) to host a baby shower so I normally bring a thank you gift (whatever you want or can afford). I also bring small thank you gifts for people who attend the shower since they brought my baby gifts (usually fresh baked cookies in a cute little wrapper or something small like that). I started doing this after attending a shower where the expectant mother brought thank you gifts for everyone. She made little bunnies out of pink towels with a small thank you note. Another mom did small $1 Godiva chocolates as a thank you.

    Again, it is not expected but nice to do.

  5. What’s the craziest/funniest thing that’s ever happened to you at the doctor’s office?

    One time I was waiting forever and ever and ever in an exam room at my allergists. Eventually I heard people singing Happy Birthday down the hall. Turns out they had forgotten about me and were celebrating one of the staff’s birthdays…while I waited.

    [I am sure this story will be trumped by someone saying, “Finding out I had triplets on the way,” but I was pretty floored by my birthday celebration.]

    • I was at the student health clinic for my annual lady exam. It was a large university and some of the graduate students/medical students did rotations there. The poor student tried and tried, but could not find my cervix. Which I was fairly certain had not otherwise left my pelvis. Finally, someone more experienced came in and suggested that I needed to shift position and problem solved. I think that this student was more uncomfortable than I was.

      • Actually, this isn’t that unusual. I have a uterus that is tipped back so frequently I get to be on the upside of a little “digging around” with the speculum before it’s found. Even with very experienced practitioners. My mom has the same condition, and says this happens to her too.

        My brother and sister-in-law went in for their 20-week pregnancy ultrasound, and the ultrasound tech said, “I’m having some trouble seeing the heart.” Of course, they later found out he meant he just couldn’t get a good picture of it, but it sure did freak out the parents-to-be.

        Some of the staff, especially in OB-GYN land, really should recognize how distressing these offhand comments can be!

        Also, that allergist birthday party sounds awful!

    • I once brought my 8-year old daughter to a prenatal exam. I vaguely remember that she was supposed to go on a trip to an amusement park that day, but was being punished for running in the street when she knew she wasn’t supposed to. I don’t know why we made the punishment so severe, nor why I thought it was OK to bring her into the room with me… thank goodness I was only in my 6th month and not having internal exams yet. Anyway, she’s now 21 and wasn’t scarred for life or anything like that.

    • When I was a freshman in high school they found a suspicious lump on my breast and sent me in for additional screening (it ended up being nothing). The radiologist ended up being my ex-boyfriends dad.

      • Baconpancakes :

        I know it’s post-weekend, but I’m just catching up, and I had to share this – I went to a psychiatrist during college, only to find out later that he was my ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend’s father. I was mortified, but trusted that I was both a boring enough patient and he was a professional enough doctor to not share anything, even accidentally.

    • I had a cyst removed near my lady parts. It is caused by a pretty rare medical condition. My doctor is a professor at the med school. My lady parts were photographed and used as part of his lecture on the rare condition and the delicate surgery.

    • Meg Murry :

      I don’t know about funny, but I used to go to an office that had both OB and GYN services when I was pregnant, and there was another patient with my same first, middle initial and last name, and they would routinely pull her chart instead of mine and then say things like “test results? what test results? you haven’t been here is 6 months? oh wait ….”

      However, I was pregnant at the time and I’m pretty sure she wasn’t, so I suspect it was even worse on her if they ever pulled my chart for her appointments and commented on her pregnancy! I finally asked if there was any way they could put a giant note on the front of both folders that said “check birthdate – 2 patients with same name” or something similar.

      Everyone else I know rolls their eyes when doctor’s offices ask you for your date of birth 1,000 times in one appointment – but having been on the side of an office that was really not doing that when they should have, I am happy when they do.

      This was also an office where I was kept waiting for more than 2 hours for the first appointment of the day more than once because the doctor lived 60 miles away and regularly got stuck in snow or traffic. I really should have added up all the red flags and found a new doctor sooner, but I didn’t want to switch so late in pregnancy.

      • anonymous :

        When I was in college and before I was married, my doc was at Planned Parenthood. There was a woman with the same first, middle and last name as I AND she had the same birth month and birth day, but luckily a different year. She also went to the same university and I got collection calls regularly from people looking to collect from her.

    • Not funny, but when I had mastitis, my OBGYN referred me for an emergency ultrasound of my chest to make sure I did not have any abscesses. The only radiologist in the building that could my shirtless, braless ultrasound right away was…my mother in law.

      It’s a good thing we have a good relationship.

    • Senior Attorney :

      This isn’t exactly about the doctor’s office, but my son cracked me up last night when I was telling him about the paramedics coming to my parents’ house twice in three days: “Did they make sure to have the paramedics punch their loyalty card?”

    • At my last physical, I was completely undressed and in the gown, sitting on the table when… the fire alarm went off! And no, there was no “this is a drill” announcement, in fact it was saying to “evacuate immediately.” Turns out it was a drill and staff all knew about it and had told the patients beforehand to stay put– except for the nurse who sent me to my exam room. You can imagine the competing thoughts of: am I really going to evacuate down 20+ floors in an open front hospital gown if this is just a drill? Am I going to die in a fire? In a hospital gown? Luckily, the nurse realized she forgot to tell me and popped her head in just as I was getting off the table to grab my clothes and see how quickly I could get dressed under the gown. Cracked me up, though, to imagine what it would be like wandering the halls in a gown when everyone knew it was a drill but me.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        In college I was forced to evacuate my dorm while wearing only a towel. I was showering when the alarm went off. One other woman was too and the time we spent arguing with the RA begging to let us get dressed meant that we were the last to evacuate. To the park across the street. In front of our entire dorm full of people.

    • I once had a mole removed from my ladyparts as a teenager. I asked the derm (a woman) whether it will affect sensation down there and she gave me laughed out loud as I turned beet red.

    • Anonymous :

      For reasons not relevant to the discussion (and frankly, probably because the doctor did not know what he was doing), I had my first pelvic exam in high school. I had just won a contentious student government election. As the nurse was putting me into stirrups for my very first time and I was fearing what was to come next, she revealed that she was the loser’s mother.

  6. Debating with SO :

    Last night I got into a bit of a tift with my SO, which I think really boils down to the fact that he enjoys sparring and intellectual debating, and I really do not. I am a lawyer so I do that all day so it is not fun for me. Also, I often have situations where I feel like my opinion is not taken seriously, even if I know for certain I have the most direct relevant experience for the situation we are discussing (i.e., someone telling me that living in England would be terrible even though they have never been there, whereas I lived there for years).

    I tried to convey that I wasn’t okay with the debate (I said I would prefer if we didn’t talk about this anymore because I don’t like debating) and I felt like I was given a bit of a ‘haha okay there there darling” (which immediately made me think I’m not being treated with respect because I am a female) response which is really what caused me to be irritated. I think I might be a bit sensitive because of the aforementioned issues, but I do think I have a ‘right’ to be a bit sensitive.

    I don’t know how to deal with this. I feel like people don’t respect when people refuse to engage in debates, but I also want to protect myself. Any tips on how to handle this? I’m worried this would become a bigger problem. I don’t like getting into arguments with a SO (I know they are inevitable), and it has been distracting me all day. We haven’t spoken all day, his last message was he was too tired to fight with me about it, so let’s drop it altogether.

    • are you referring to your SO when you say “I often have situations where I feel like my situation isn’t taking seriously”? If so, then that’s a problem that he needs to address. But if you’re referring to other people, and your SO does take your opinions into account, then I can understand why he would want to have these types of debates with you. I’m like your SO- I really enjoy harmless debating/sparring with my SO and friends but I don’t take it personally. It’s understandable that you do, but if you don’t want to have that conversation, I think it’s better to steer away from it with humor than by saying you don’t want to talk about it anymore (which might make him feel defensive because he wasn’t intending to hurt you or be aggressive). Does that make sense?

      • Debating with SO :

        It sort of makes sense! I am referring to many times of feeling like my opinions have not been taken seriously over the years, not really him.

        I guess what bothers me is when I asserted my right not to engage, then it felt like my feelings about not wanting to argue weren’t taken seriously. It should have been a ‘understood. so how is your day going?’ as opposed to the laughing and “okay dear” type of response I felt I got.

        • Gotcha. I think rosie (below) is right about how to not engage- do it before the conversation starts so that he doesn’t feel like you’re just cutting off the conversation when it suits you.

        • I’m more like your significant other. I don’t understand sometimes why someone wouldn’t want to harmlessly debate a non-sensitive subject. I feel like they are happy to talk about it if I’m agreeing with them but if I’m not then they declare conversation over. I’m usually annoyed then thinking “why did you talk to me about this if you didn’t want my opinion.” Sometimes my SO will say “I just wanted you to listen, not for you to tell me why I’m wrong or to tell me how to solve this.” And I might laugh and say “okay, fine, if that’s what you want.” But I still feel like “what is the point of me listening to this if you aren’t going to do anything to resolve it or listen to ways you can resolve it.” It is just two different ways of thinking. People who like debates don’t understand why you need to protect yourself. It doesn’t feel hurtful to them and it is hard to understand it feels hurtful to someone else.

          • Debating with SO :

            Thanks for this! Really helpful to hear!!

          • Yup. I have this problem with my husband all the time (still . . . after 25 years together). I like to debate things for fun. When I do this, he feels like we’re having an argument and gets upset. Different temperaments.

          • oh my. sigh. my SO likes to debate things that he knows we have differing opinions on and that I don’t want to argue about – quality of teachers; taxation rates; president barack obama. I’m seriously wondering if I want to marry him because of his refusal to listen when I tell him, I don’t want to talk about it. Although perhaps he has listened because his bringing these things up is a couple times a year now instead of every day.

    • I think you need to have a conversation removed from any particular debate about how you like to relax and spend your time away from work. If he really enjoys all the debate, maybe you can agree to hear about it, but not engage in it with him, and then he can find someone else with whom to debate (I don’t know, maybe the internet, if all else fails).

      And you need to cut these debates off right away, not after you’ve said your piece and don’t feel like talking about it anymore. Helpful if you’ve had a general convo already, so you can say, “honey, remember I like to stick to less adversarial conversations when we’re having dinner?”

      If you feel like he doesn’t take your opinion seriously, I think that’s a bigger problem, but I cannot tell if you are saying that happens with your SO or that happens, generally, contributing to overall frustrations.

      • Diana Barry :

        +1. OR you can have a big blowout fight – I fought with my DH about speed limits. Every time we would drive anywhere on the highway he would complain about speed limits, so arbitrary, why do they have such dumb laws, etc., and I felt like I had to defend the law because I was a lawyer, and finally I could just NOT take it any more. But he hasn’t complained about speed limits once since! :) I think he didn’t get that I felt personally attacked until I explained it VERY clearly.

    • I think I have dated this guy (well, not this guy, but one like him). I always felt like he thought his opinion was the correct one and I had to prove it to him otherwise. He once tried to school me on my undergrad major, and I always regretted I didn’t pin him down on that (“I’m sorry, did YOU study X for 4 years of your life? No? Then, let’s work from the idea that *I’M* right”). He also had a tendency to “tease” me with explaining how I was wrong about something. It was totally annoying.

      Part of it was his conversation style (he preferred debate over conversation) and part of it was just him being an arrogant know-it-all (who was wrong about stuff lots of time, according to my friends after we broke up). You can try to have a conversation about conversation styles, but if he can’t understand that his experience is not universal (ie, people can legitimately want to do things different than him), you have a failure to communicate that does bode well for the future.

      Not to get all doom and gloom.

      • Debating with SO :

        Your first paragraph is how I feel. Totally. Then add in the fact that I played a sport high-level (which is total ‘man territory’ lol) and you can imagine the things I have heard over the years.

        He is not an arrogant know it all. He’s very smart, but humble. So I don’t feel doom and gloom!!

        • Well, I equated the inability to give me the benefit of the doubt (not assume his answer is the right one) as the arrogance. And the know-it-all-ness is part of the same package. He’s not mean, but very secure in his certitude – part of which I attribute to being white, male, and first born son.

          But in my case, it got to the point where I didn’t feel like I could talk to him about anything – I didn’t want to need to always justify my answer, or have him tease me about something. As long as the debating/my opinion is right thing isn’t an all-the-time thing, you have room to work. Just beware the fatigue that may come from pushing off debate time and again.

      • Yay! Open thread’s! I love open thread’s and running shoes, but without big tread’s, b/c if I step in poopie, which happens alot on the Upper East Side, I can NEVER get it out of my shoe’s and have to give the shoe’s away to the cleaneing lady! FOOEY!

        As for the OP, I had this issue with Alan Sheketovits. He was not a lawyer, but he loved to argue and put me down so that he felt better. He was also a drunk, and prefered a bottel of wine to me. So when he argued and put me down, I got defensive and tried even harder to be nice for a while. He also threw up on my rugs and soiled my cotton sheets with multiple bodiley fluid’s. FOOEY! So I finaly got smart and stopped giveing him everything he wanted, both in and out of the bedroom. I got tired of him takeing but not giveing, so I stopped giveing. He was in the dark when I stopped pleasureing him and finaly stopped letting him have any kind of sex with me, b/f I threw him and his smelley clotheing OUT of my apartement. You have to get a backbone and NOT have sex with him. That should be a wake up call unless he is an incorigibble drunk, like Sheketovits was.

        But enough about him. My dad wants me to buy a bigger coop on 3rd Avenue w/3 bedroom’s b/c he think’s I will stay there if I get married and prices are bound to go up now. I said I am happy with my 2 bedroom, but he has been workeing with an agent about getting me a 3 bedroom / 2 1/2 bath’s with 2600 square feet and doubel exposures. I am NOT sure I need all that space, but he said he could come over with mom from time to time when they are in the city and stay over. I am NOT sure I want that, particulearly if I ever can find a guy willeing to spend the night with me. How strange it would be if dad came out of the toilet and bumped into my boyfreind. Dad say’s he needs a better write off and this would work for BOTH of us. He did mention capital gain’s which I would have to pay for MY coop. FOOEY! I pay alot of taxes already. But he said that O’Bama is bad, but Hillary will be worse for peeople who work for a living. DOUBEL FOOEY on that! Why should I pay MORE just b/c I work all day and night? I bill 7500 hours a year, and pay enough tax, so why do I get Capital Gains also? TRIPEL FOOEY!

        And I don’t even have a boyfreind b/c I am workeing all the time. There should be a law that you should NOT pay to much taxes if you do NOT have a boyfreind. YAY!!!!!

    • Wildkitten :

      I just say no and hold my ground. My SO tries to engage me in intellectual discussions via the socratic method before I’ve had my coffee (because he really wants to understand stuff and thinks I am smart and appreciates my opinion) and NOPE! That is not good for our relationship or my sanity or the things I actually have to do in the morning, like get to work on time without murdering my SO.

      • Debating with SO :

        It makes me feel better than I’m not alone in this. My biggest fear is always if I’m being unreasonable and it sounds like this is a relatively common issue and something that hopefully can be worked through.

  7. Banana Republic is having a 50% off clearance sale, and I went in and bought quite a bit. Do you think the cocoon style jackets are on their way out, or should I be able to get at least a season (next fall or winter) out of one? I found one that was $298, but I got it for $32.99. Trying to decide if I should keep it, since it is pretty trendy…I love it though. It’s black and white tweed and the perfect weight for So. Cal.

  8. SO this isn’t entirely fair because I worked in a clinic and was working, not a patient, at the time…however, there were patients in the waiting room and also in areas where this was visible.

    Elderly (but with no noted dementia or other known ailments that could explain the following) patient in his johnny walked from the exam room over to get some blood drawn. was apparently not wearing underwear, because he pooped mid-route and just kept going. Poop on floor. Like nothing happened.


    The amount of “rock/paper/scissoring” that went on to see who got to clean it up was intense.

    • Anonymous :

      No lie. A woman did this in the copy room of our library. Wearing a skirt and apparently no underwear.

    • Rogue Banker :

      I worked in a casino for the first two years out of college. More than once(!!!) we had people urinate and/or defacate in the seats at the slot machines, because they were convinced the machine was about to pay out and didn’t want someone else to sit down and get “their” jackpot. They weren’t obviously mentally impaired, but any addiction does funny things to your mind and priorities, and gambling addicts are no exception.
      There was definitely some “OK, if you guys clean that up, the rest of us will buy you lunch for the next week.” going on. :P

  9. SF in House :

    Piggybacking on a question from this morning’s thread. I have a girls’ weekend coming up in NYC. We’re staying near Times Square (something of an ugh, but the best we could find). Restaurant suggestions? We want to sit, talk, and drink wine, so nothing too loud. We’re all married and mid-late 40s, so a “scene” is not needed, but we do love good food. TIA

    • Anonymous :

      Ai Fiori is right near there and has wonderful Italian food.

      • Oooh, a little pricey, but really fun and pleasant! I love all the Michael White/Altamarea places!

    • Anon in NYC :

      In the Times Square area: I’ve been to Osteria Al Doge in Times Square for lunch, and it’s good. I’ve never done dinner there. The Lamb’s Club is great.

      If you’re willing to venture a little farther from Times Square into Hell’s Kitchen, I’d recommend Esca, if you like seafood, or Pio Pio if you want to try Peruvian (I crave their chicken with green sauce). I also love Taboon, on 10th Ave & 52nd for Mediterranean food. If you want to do casual, I’d recommend Gotham West Market, which is more of a fancy cafeteria style place, where you can get Spanish tapas, diner food, charcuterie, ramen, etc. I’ve eaten from every place there and it was all good. They do have wine/beer, and one place can do mixed drinks. The seating is very casual, but you can be guaranteed to stay there for a long time and nobody will bother you. The downside is that there’s no real service.

      Some people have recommended Bea and Adella to me (all right around Esca on 9th Ave & 43rd), but I haven’t eaten at either so YMMV. Adella is more of a wine bar with some food. Bea is more of a restaurant.

    • If you want to stay right in Times Square for lunch/dinner, Sushi Zen would fit the bill. Saju Bistro is fine, too.

    • Nino’s 46 on 46th Street. It’s technically a few blocks away from Times Square but has nice ambiance and isn’t too scene-y.

    • Caselulla is a wine bar with good food, including lots of cheese(!) on Ninth Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen, a bit west of Times Square. Also, Bocca di Bacco is a cute Italian restaurant/wine bar, also on Ninth Avenue. Glass House Tavern is near Times Square, with American food, good drinks, and a Broadway scene – busy pre-theater dinner, and full of Broadway performers and crew after the shows get out.

      Speaking of Broadway, if it’s something you’re interested in, this weekend is the last performances of Hedwig and the Angry Inch with John Cameron Mitchell, the author, playing the lead role. It’s a rock musical, so pretty loud, and the subject matter is risque, but if that sounds like something your crew would enjoy, and you can get tickets, it’s an amazing performance. DH and I went on Wednesday night and loved it.

    • SF in House :

      Thanks all. We definitely want to get away from Times Square for our activities!

      • Then ignore my previous advice, and try this: Tournesol in Long Island City. It’s just a few stops on the 7 train from Times Square, and you’ll get there more quickly and easily than most places in Manhattan. The food (French) and atmosphere are wonderful, you can get in without a reservation (or waiting forever), it’s quiet enough to talk but still lively, and you are never rushed from the table or pressured.

      • If you spend time in West Village, one of my all time favorite bars is The Otheroom on Perry street. Beer and wine only, great spot for day drinking.

    • The “Bar Downstairs” at the Andaz on 5th avenue has fantastic drinks and pretty good small plates/tapas. It’s a good place to sit and talk and drink, but if you’re going at a peak time you’ll need a reservation. There is a restaurant upstairs called The Shop that my coworkers say is good, but I haven’t been.

  10. Debating with SO :

    My comment disappeared. Sorry if this is a re-post.

    I got into a bit of a tift with my SO last night. I think it boils down to he likes to engage in debates/intellectual arguments with people he is close with, and I generally don’t. In particular, I don’t like to debate things that are personal to me- i.e., where I grew up, my job, or something like that. After a couple of replies back and forth on email, I changed topics on text about something fun and silly. He replied he was drafting an email response to our discussion, and you could tell he found it fun. I told him I do not like debating and I would prefer if he did not. I got most upset when I got basically a “haha there there okay…you started this by sending me an article” and it just reminded me of all of the times people have discounted my opinion or when I take a stance on what I am not okay with. That’s when I got upset and it lead to us having to drop the topic entirely without resolving it.

    I thought I had made it clear I do not like to debate, especially since I am a lawyer and that’s all I do all day. Maybe I am being overly sensitive- or maybe I am valid in feeling overly sensitive due to past experiences. But now I am upset that we fought and am distracted. I do not like to get into silly arguments (re why I don’t debate) and we haven’t spoken since. I don’t really want to b ring out the women card, but I have had a lot of experiences where my opinion felt like it wasn’t taken seriously because I am a female, and even in situations where I am the only party that has direct and relevant experience to the conversation at hand (i.e., if I lived in England, I have more direct knowledge about living in England). But I also understand that people are entitled to opinions and while I love to read articles and threads on opinions since I think it’s important to see all viewpoints.

    Am I being too sensitive? I don’t know where to go from here with him and express what the real issue is. Then I think society has taught me to think I am being too sensitive when my feelings are valid (sorta like gaslighting?) and I get all mixed up and want to take a nap and forget it all!

  11. Not Exactly Sherlock Holmes :

    I have been pretty critical of myself for a lot of my life due to what I perceive as a problem of me being lazy/easily distractible. Yesterday I had an “a-ha moment”, when I was able to work with complete focus on a 6 hour long recurring annual project that I’ve done for the last several years at my job.

    I realized I’m not lazy and distractible, it’s that I have basically no problem solving skills. If I know what I’m doing, like I did on that project that I’ve done before, I can focus and complete tasks easily, but as soon as I come to a problem, I am stumped and it’s like I hit a wall and just spin my wheels for a ridiculous amount of time.

    Has anyone out there recognized this problem in themselves and found a solution to it? Is there a way to develop problem solving skills?

    • I’m quite the same, but haven’t really figured out a solution. If I’m taking over something that another person worked on, usually I like to restart from the ground up to gain an understanding so I can problem solve, but that’s not always possible. Following for replies though!

    • I do problem solving every day as my job (engineer). I always had good problem solving skills to begin with. Many times, people either enjoy it or hate it. However, in my job, we have to solve very difficult problems like something is not working, no one knows why and we have limited visibility into what is going on. Many times, it can takes months to solve an issue at hand and we have to work day in and day out on the same thing. I have just written what I think about developing problem solving skills.
      1. If you want to develop problem solving skills, the single most important thing you need to develop is patience.
      2. If hitting a problem makes you just switch tasks, start with just stay with the problem for few minutes before quitting.
      3. Try understanding what the problem is. Many times it can be really small and you can solve it while trying to understand it.
      4. If you understand what your problem is, then think about what might be causing the problem. Answers may not be apparent to you and you may lose patience. Switch to a different task and come back later. Many times, if I end up understanding the problem but have to leave before figuring out the cause of the problem, my brain just keeps thinking non stop, even when cooking, walking, showering etc and all of a sudden I have clues about what might be going on.
      5. If you understand what is causing the problem, think of ways to fix the problem. Your first approach may fail, if so think again. Iterate till you find a good solution.
      So I wrote pretty much what I do every single day :-). I like this activity a lot because once at the end of every step I feel very happy..like I accomplished something. Try to treat it like hide and seek game like the problem is hiding and you have to find it. Then you will enjoy it a bit more.

      • anonymous :

        1 and 2 really resonate with me. Sometimes I feel lazy/unskilled because I don’t want to do the work of problem-solving, but really, I think it’s more helpful to think of it as an issue with patience instead of a moral failing or deficit. Just my two cents.

    • Have you looked into the symptoms of ADD?

      It’s rampant in my family. I am not lazy either (at all), but I am easily distracted, especially when I am feeling overwhelmed by a task. I tend to procrastinate/avoid it until I really can’t anymore, and then when I eventually get down in the weeds, I always realize it just seemed insurmountable until I got my mind wrapped around it. Then it was fine. I’m confident this is not a problem with my problem solving skills.

    • This sounds like a copout, but knowing which question to ask the right person has saved me a ton of time. Earlier in my career, either I didn’t know who to ask, was to shy to ask, or didn’t have the right resources, and problems sat on my desk forever. Now, when there’s some information I need, I can really home in on the right person, identify the right question, and get the answer I need without wasting either my time or theirs.

    • I actually took a class in college on problem solving. It was a pretty weird class but something that stuck with me is the idea that to solve a problem, you need to “go shopping” – basically, start thinking through various options, physically looking at them if possible. Try to avoid just sitting at your desk trying to solve a problem with only the thoughts in your head.

      For example, if you need to start planning a home improvement project, go to the hardware store and start thinking through what you need / want. This is the most literal “shopping” example. But try to apply the same ideas elsewhere… if you’re working on a presentation and can’t think of how to convey yourself in your slides, do a related Google image search and see what other people have done. If you’re struggling with a document, review old ones you or others have written to get ideas. Telling a co-worker, “I’m working on x and I’m stuck, can I talk it through with you?” Sometimes a spark is all you need.

      Basically, when presented with a problem, think “where should I shop for a solution to this?” Your own head is rarely the answer – if you’ve thought about something for a little bit and don’t have an answer, then it’s unlikely the answer is in there and you will only frustrate yourself. For me personally, it helps to physically move (and studies have backed this up), but even just mentally shifting can be a big help!

    • Identifying the disease is 90% of curing it.

      You don’t have to solve every problem by yourself and nobody can solve every problem by themselves. When you find yourself stuck – ask someone for help. Two heads are always better than one. Plus you will get yourself out of your head.

    • I taught high school 15 years ago, and I was shocked by the “collaborative learning” trend that had developed since my own high school days 12 years before. It seems that students weren’t being allowed to work through problems on their own but only in groups. I couldn’t figure it out –you don’t work like this in an office most of the time, so maybe this is why so many under-40s are feeling this way? It’s not ADD but a simple lack of training.

  12. I ordered this dress (Hollyhock dress – link to follow) from Anthro that just arrived. I love the fit on my body, the fabric, everything – except it makes me look extra broad in the shoulders. I think it’s something to do with the sleeves, which are a bit tight (though not over tight) on my upper arms. Is this something a tailor could alter? Could the dress be converted to sleeveless?

    • http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/pdp/detail.jsp?&pageName=Hollyhock+Dress&catId=SHOPSALE-FRESHCUTS&id=4130340387204#/

      • I think the seam placement, combined with the wide scoop neck, is what emphasizes shoulders. Altering the sleeves won’t change the seaming.

    • Lorelai Gilmore :

      A) I’m pretty sure I owned this dress in 1993 and wore it with knee socks and heeled Mary Janes. I didn’t know baby doll dresses were back in style, but now I feel really old.

      B) I think it makes even the model look like she has linebacker shoulders. Probably something about the very wide scoop neck combined with the slightly puffed short sleeves. I think a tailor could probably convert this into a sleeveless dress for you – but I’d find a good one, not just an alterations guy at your local dry cleaner.

      Good luck!

      • +1. Pretty sure I bought this dress at Wet Seal in 1993. I wore mine with high top Doc Martens and a black lacy choker.

      • uh oh – maybe I should just return it. Didn’t realize it was so hideous and outdated….

        • Anonymous :

          Good grief the responses above were unnecessary and out of character for those regulars. I think the dress is cute and am actually thinking about getting it myself now that you’ve drawn my attention to it. Perfect with nude flats or sandals to wear for a nice weekend afternoon on a patio :)

          I’m not really sure how to fix the arms, but my general approach to alterations is to assume nothing can be expanded…so is it possible for you to buy a size up to fit your arms and get the body taken in? (I know sometimes sizing up doesn’t add any more room in the arms so maybe that’s not an option.) I think the dress loses something design-wise by making it sleeveless so I don’t like that option as much, and I think that alteration would cost enough to question whether it’s worth it–but if you really love the print and silhouette, I’m sure you can find a good tailor who can do it.

        • Anonymama :

          I don’t think anyone was criticizing the dress, just more commenting on how fashions from our youth have come back into style. Which is true, and makes one feel old, while also giving one flashbacks. They’re making fun of themselves, not you or the dress.

          • Lorelai Gilmore :

            I hope you read this because I never meant to critique the dress and certainly didn’t mean to suggest that it was outdated – just the opposite! I think it’s really cute and definitely on trend. I was just commenting on how old I feel now that fashions of my youth are back in vogue. I hope you keep it and rock it.

        • Don’t do it! The dress is awesome.

  13. Graduation Gift :

    Reposting to the Weekend thread to see if there might be other suggestions (and thank you to the posters who clued me in that a name plate might not be the best idea!). I’d like to get my friend, who just completed a PhD in a science field, a gift for graduation. I don’t really have a budget for this and would splurge for the right item. Any suggestions welcome. Thank you!

    • I usually go with a fancy dinner out and a heartfelt card.

    • hoola hoopa :

      Drinks. Or the like.

      When I completed my advanced degree in a science-y field, I didn’t expect gifts from my friends. I just wanted to spend much needed fun time with them.

      But if you’d like to give an object, browse thinkgeek.com. If your friend is female, I’m a fan of the atom or dna earrings. You can also find similar jewelry (like necklaces with organic chemistry diagrams for caffeine, etc) on etsy.

    • Lorelai Gilmore :

      How about flowers? I honestly would take flowers as a celebration gift over just about anything else.

    • The gift I most appreciated was a conservative piece of jewelry (think pearl earrings or similar). I had been working in a jeans & t-shirt STEM environment for so long, and it was great to have something in hand when I started interviewing.

      • Wildkitten :

        +1 YES! People getting STEM Phds have none of the interview gear that we lawyers just wear every day. Conservative jewelry, interview handbag, etc.

      • On the flip side, if she’s staying in academia she might have no use for a fancy handbag or jewelry. Academic interviews are very informal.

  14. Policy work :

    Is it possible for someone with a science degree to work in the policy world, think science PhD. I know most people in the policy world have public policy or law degrees. But if you don’t have this background is it possible to find a way in? TIA!

    • I got into (Canadian) government with an MSc, under a specific program that hired both MPAs and those with science backgrounds to work in policy.

      • In Canada :

        What is the name of this program?

        • Policy Analyst Recruitment and Development Program – part of NRCan. There’s an across government one for people with PhDs called the Recruitment of Policy Leaders.

    • Simple answer: Yes. Not only will it help you stand out, lots of places are looking for people with science degrees nowadays. I have a good friend with a PHD in Physics who works on the hill as a science policy advisor to a congressman.

      • Anonymous :


      • anonymous :

        How do you get a job like this?

        • la vie en bleu :

          start with the AAAS Hellman Fellowship. The Academy might also have suggestions for other resources.

          The people I know who’ve done it have spent a year as a fellow. That opened doors for an entry level policy position at either a hill office or govt agency. After doing that for a couple of years they had the connections to move into either a Committee office on the hill, or a Congressional office when a position opened.

    • AAAS has several policy internship programs designed to help precisely that transition (science degree to policy work).

      • la vie en bleu :

        I was coming here to post this, too. They have fellowships in legislative offices, govt agencies, and related NGOs. I have worked with their fellows in Congressional offices. It is a better step in than starting from the bottom as a generic intern. I would definitely look into this first.

      • Wildkitten :

        + 1

      • +1

    • Anonymous :

      I also have a friend with a PhD in physics who works for the federal government doing policy stuff.

    • I work in regulatory law for a private firm and our pharma/medical/energy group has several PhDs on staff as “science advisors,” including one who was hired while she was finishing her degree without prior experience. I also know several IP firms that have similar positions for engineering/tech to help the lawyers figure out the details of patent cases, etc. Definitely possible!

  15. Headed to New Orleans :

    Hey there! My boyfriend and I have decided to take a weekend trip to New Orleans in a few weeks. Neither of us has ever been as an adult (and we are in our mid-thirties!). I was wondering if anyone has any good recommendations, specifically for cool hotels that are conveniently located and not too crazy expensive. Also, any great tips for things, places, or restaurants we absolutely can’t miss while we are there? This will be our first trip away together! Thanks!!

    • houston, we have a problem :

      we just went. we stayed at the crown astor, and it was a great price on expedia. if you’re looking to have a memorable experience look for small BnBs in mansions in the garden district, or the monteleon (my favorite hotel in nola). we really loved Felix for oysters and fried seafood. I’ve also loved Mothers, Deenies and Dookie Chase. Hope that you have a great time. It’ll be hot. Plan for that.

    • Recommend against the Intercontinental (newly renovated but apparently no soundproofing between rooms). A friend stayed at Le Papillon and loved it. The T-P just put out a new dining guide and a lot of it sounded pretty amazing: http://www.nola.com/dining-guide/

      • Maddie Ross :

        Le Pavillion? I stayed there once and enjoyed it. It’s an easy walk to Bourbon Street and the traditional French Quarter stuff. The roof pool was very nice in the summer. We’ve also stayed at some more traditional chain hotels, including the Intercontinental NOLA mentions. At the time it was totally unremarkable (nice, but nothing stood out about it being in New Orleans over any other place). I prefer the W over the Intercontinental.

        • Oops. You’re right. Le Pavillon. On Poydras. I don’t know if they do this during the summer but in the winter, they serve PB&J and hot chocolate for guests every night. I also like International House on Camp St.

          Also, spend some time outside the French Quarter. There’s a lot more than Bourbon St.

  16. anonymous :

    Same question but with a computer science masters. Interested to hear responses.

  17. anonymous :

    How often does Loft have sitewide sales?

    • Pretty often – at least a few a month, it seems? 40% is usually the best deal you’ll get, though occasionally you’ll see 50% off full price or up to 60% off for sale items. I won’t buy anything there unless it’s at least 40% off.

  18. Scarfs for chemotherapy patients :

    Hi all – a close relative has been diagnosed with cancer and her daughter tells me that she’s interested in finding a hat or a scarf to wear when her hair falls out. Can anyone recommend a good company that carries scarves that can be tied well around the head? Do ordinary scarves work just as well? My relative is a really outdoorsy, casual type of person and it would need to be functional more than fashionable, but I’d like to see a few options that I can send her. TIA!

    • Not a scarf, but I have a knitting pattern book of chemo caps that was a download and a bunch of us here have used it. If you are interested, email me at [email protected] (substitute e for 3). I could possibly knit one for her.

    • Meg Murry :

      Not a scarf, but when my grandmother had chemo, she liked the hats someone knit her from bamboo fiber yarn the best – she said it was lightweight, super soft, and helped her stay not too hot and not too cold indoors.

    • I'm Just Me :

      http://www.buffusa.com/sports/collections/filter/original They stay on. And are durable. And provide UV protection.

    • I’ve gotten into scarves lately – there are tonnnnnns of tutorials on youtube and elsewhere on head-scarf tying by Muslims (hijabs) and Jews (tichels) in lots of different styles. She should check them out, the posters are usually quite specific about the size of scarf that’s needed for the particular style. I’m sure she will find one that she likes. You can buy some nice ready-made tichels on etsy. Muslims often wear an underscarf (like a little cap or bonnet) or a wide headband, so there is something under the scarf to make it stay put, and you can put attach the scarf to the headband or underscarf with a couple of pins (or hijab-pins – safety pins that won’t get pulled through the material). You can buy these things all over the place online.

    • A turban could work as well – they’re in style now apparently.

  19. Any suggestions for life insurance that does not require a physical?

    • Life insurance :

      My husband got term life insurance through our AAA membership. He had to fill out a fairly detailed questionnaire. He has had some health problems in the past but more than 10 years ago, which is how far back the questions went.

      The price is not the greatest, but he did not have to have a physical.

    • Anonymous :


  20. Okay fellow lawyers, how do you respond when someone launches into a rant about how all lawyers are unethical, greedy, etc.? I filled out a form at the doctor’s today that asked for job information, and when the receptionist saw I was a lawyer I was immediately treated to a drawn out lecture about how “it takes a special person to be a lawyer” because “you can’t be a lawyer and be ethical.” Etc. Etc. Followed by some snide comments about how she chose the medical profession because she “would rather do good” in the world.

    I’ve gotten this a few times from relatives who hate lawyers, and it really really irritates me. I consider myself an ethical person, and I honestly believe that I do a lot of good in my job. I would quit tomorrow if I thought my career demanded anything immoral. Today’s conversation was even more irritating because prior to law school I was in a STEM field and worked and went to school with a lot of folks who are now doctors. Not to insult anyone here, but as a rule the pre-meds were not some sort of angelic species overflowing with saintly goodness. Hell, the only kid to get expelled from my graduating class for cheating was a pre-med.

    So what is the proper way to respond to people like this? Do you even bother explaining why you aren’t Satan, even if you’re pretty sure they won’t believe you? Do you just ignore them and take it?

    • “Do you believe everything you see on TV?” “Wow, that was rude.” “Yup, the world reviles us. Until they need one.”

      Are all things I wish I had at the tip of my tongue. With the relatives, I might be more inclined to go the “Why do you say that?” and do a little PR/education about the role of legal advocates in the US justice system. For the receptionist (who is is the medical field, but not the profession, IMO), that is horrible customer service and I might consider filing a complaint with the office, or noting it to the doctor during my appointment (“You know, I just got a lecture from the receptionist on the horribleness of my profession, which does not make for a welcoming customer/patient experience.:)

    • “Good thing you can work in the medical field and not be polite.”

      Just kidding. But I’d likely give them my best “Oh really?” face and say nothing. They’ll either realize they’re being an ass, or were too out-to-lunch to have their minds changed anyway.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Like Mpls, I generally smile and say, “Yeah, that’s what everybody says about lawyers until they need one.”

      And I would definitely tell the doctor I do not appreciate the editorializing from the receptionist. That is completely unacceptable.

    • If it’s your relatives have at it. If it is just some rando, be the bigger person and ignore it. Points on your karma card.

      Hint: whenever someone who is supposed to be doing their job is rude to me in the course of said job, I always ask them what their name is. (I’ve never actually complained.) They definitely get the message. Bonus, I get to both maintain feeling calm cool and collected, but feel like I wasn’t being totally passive.

    • My fantasy non-constructive response to the woman would have been, “Wow, at least my job isn’t to be overhead in a doctor’s office, no wonder why healthcare is so expensive these days.” But a simple, drawn-out “wow” is usually my response.

  21. Wow. If that happened to me at a doctor’s office I would absolutely complain to the doctor about why the staff is so rude to the patients! If you haven’t already, call and report her!

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