Weekend Open Thread

Blue Sandals: Nine West Naci EspadrilleSomething on your mind? Chat about it here.

Happy weekend, ladies! Are you a fan of espadrilles for the summer? I haven’t had a pair in years, but these Nine West espadrilles look great for the weekend. They’re available in four colors, all great: blue, beige, black, and a nice coral, in sizes 5-12 at Zappos for $79. Nine West Naci Espadrille



  1. pugsnbourbon :

    Last week I posted asking for advice on talking to my neighbors – the smell from their chickens was out of control. I’m happy to say that we did end up talking to them, they took it very well, and there has been a noticeable improvement. So thanks everyone for your ideas!

    • Coach Laura :

      Great! I love my chickens (but have two acres so neighbors aren’t too close to them) and have never had a smell problem but I’m cognizant that it could be a problem.

  2. I have been offered a research opportunity in China. The fellowship would be located in Guizhou province. Although I have visited the place once I have no idea what it would be like to actually live here. I am thinking of reaching out to someone I know who had a similar research experience. But the person is not someone I know personally, I was looking at their professional website and happened to notice the entry on their C.V. If I do contact them how do I go about it without seeming creepy?

    • I studied abroad in China for 6 weeks and I have had a few strangers reach out to me about the program. I am not sure if the school sent them my way or if they saw it in my bio on our webpage or linkedIN maybe?

      Send an initial email explaining your quandary and why you think the person might be able to help you and see if they respond. Then gauge whether meeting up, phone call, more e-mails are the appropriate form of communication. I would want to meet them in person.

      Also, China is interesting. I lived in Shanghai and went to Xi’an, Suzhou, Hangzhou, and Beijing. The cities are much different and you are out in the landlocked area. I remember in Xi’an, which is as close as I got to where you would live, was much less commercialized over all and I thought that was quaint at times and then I also wanted less pollution and a Starbucks sometimes…

      Assuming it would be one year, I think that it sounds cool. Travel is pretty cheap and the country is interesting to say the least.

      • I have been to Beijing as well. And I found it easier to navigate than elsewhere. I do find the culture interesting as well. Obviously living somewhere is very different from visiting. My only qualms here are that during my visit to China, there was some pointing and staring. I’m black and I suppose some had never seen anyone who likes me before but it was still very unsettling.
        I’ll reach out to this person and see if they are willing to share their experiences.

        • I went with my friend who is Nigerian and they stared at her like …. what happened to you? But then we remembered pushing isn’t rude. So we would just plow right through them when we would get off the train. This wasn’t everyday but after so long it does get old. They adapted very well to us where we lived. So they seemed to assimilate. No one ever like spit at us or refused service (which she was very worried about). I am the opposite in that I am as white as a ghost and people would straight up touch my face and arms on the subway. Some people who could speak English would ask how we are even friends? That was pretty funny.

          Don’t forget to bargain for that “student price” ;) while on your fellowship.

          FWIW I always felt starred at too. It’s not rude to them.

          If you are in a rural region though, they would probably get used to you since they see you and then find something else to point at. Whereas if you were in a city, there’s a whole big crop of Chinese tourists who would point and stare which gets old.

          Good luck! Sounds cool. I am jealous.

          • **they would probably get used to you since they see you ALL THE TIME and then find something else to point at.

          • Okay this gives me hope. You are right, the staring was worse in Beijing where some people even took pictures with their phones. :(

          • We would just act like that was the paparazzi. Being famous would so suck.

          • Nancy Raygun :

            I spent some time in Shanghai and as a black lady with dreadlocks, I got a lot of stares, but it was kind of like being in suburban US too… Otherwise, people were pretty nice. Go ahead and reach out to people. I wouldn’t think it was weird if it were me.

    • Wildkitten :

      Subject Line: Guizhou

      Hello Person,

      I am a professor of X and have been offered a research fellowship in Guizhou. I was looking at your website for {reason] and noticed that you also spent time in Gizhou. Would you be able to chat with me sometime about your experience, and any suggestions you might have? I would really appreciate hearing from your first hand experience.

      Thank you,

    • AnonInChina :

      I don’t know if you’re still reading (I’m obviously in a different time zone), but I live in reasonably rural SW China and work as a consultant at a medical school and hospital. I’d be happy to talk to you about my experiences here. You can email me at anoninchina16 at the G.

  3. Underwear :

    I’m looking to buy underwear, a step up from VS but not crazy expensive. I don’t need anything frilly, but would like one that sits low on the hips (similar to the VS low hip hugger style). Any recs?

    • Soma! They are wonderful. I’ve had a good experience just walking into the store and describing what I want out of underwear (e.g. “full coverage rear while still being low rise”) and they are very helpful.

    • My favorite full(er) coverage bottoms are Commando girl shorts or JKNIX chandler girl short- both are seamless and super comfortable. I actually started a company to help women upgrade their underwear drawers and discover new brands- check us out! https://underclub.co

  4. Hair loss :

    I’ve been losing hair steadily over the years. I went to a derm and she said that Rogaine is the only thing that really works. Anyone have good/bad experiences with Rogaine? I’ve been looking online and some say that they get headaches from using it.

    • I use rogaine and have had no side effects. I use the foam dispenser.

    • I have had thinning hair since my early 20s. I tried Rogaine for awhile but stopped. I had problems with it making me grow thicker facial hair, especially around my side burns. I know it was probably from my pillow. Also, after a few years of using it, the rogaine just didn’t seem to be working.

      I strongly recommend Toppick. It’s a powder made up of hair fiber that you put on your head to fill in spots. It keeps me from having scalp show through. Toppik has been a complete life saver / game changer for me. I don’t even care (that much) about my thin hair on a daily basis anymore because I can keep it from being noticeable.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve been using Rogaine for about 10 years. No side effects (with the men’s version) and it has made a huge difference for me. The only issue I’ve ever heard of is pregnancy with a girl. I have always used the liquid, not the foam.

    • Anonymous :

      Did you rule out birth control as the cause of your hair Lisa? This is why I don’t use hormonal BC :( AND why I have a daughter lol.

  5. Closet Redux :

    How do you deal when you realize you hate your job? I’ve only been in my new position for a month, but am certain it’s a terrible fit. My boss is rude and controlling, I’m underpaid, and worse– the work isn’t interesting. It also turns out the schedule is in fits– for example I got an assignment yesterday at 4:30pm that was due at 10 the next morning and took me 10 hours to complete. This is par for the course– happens a couple times a week with no way to change it (assignment is based on an external list that isn’t published until late afternoon).

    I feel compelled to stay for a few reasons: (1) I’m new here and it’s a very small market and I don’t want to make a name for myself as unreliable; (2) I don’t yet have my professional license so finding another job is not easy; and (3) I just found out I’m pregnant and don’t want to be job hopping in the months before I need leave.

    Words of advice? Keep your head down and soldier on?

    • Give it some more time. I would only leave if the conditions were so bad you felt you couldn’t cope. You may appreciate a job you can dial back on as you go along with the pregnancy.

    • Sounds like if there are not options before you get your license, you need to just check out while you are there and focus on the good parts of your life coming up until you can make a meaningful change. and wine

    • Is going to back to your previous position an option? I did that once when I started a new job and realized immediately that I hated it for a lot of reasons. My previous employer was glad to have me back, matched the raise I’d gotten when I left, and I ended up staying there several more years.

      • Anonymous :

        How long did you wait before contacting/going back to your prior employer?

        • I half-joked about it with my previous boss after only a week or two at the new office, and he said I was welcome back any time. I seriously inquired whether that was possible after about a month, and it took another month or so to work out the details (my previous position had already been back-filled). All told, I was back within 3 months. Luckily, my company ignored employment gaps of less than 6 months, so I lost nothing as far as 401k vesting, PTO accrual, FMLA eligibility, etc. And, like I said, got a significant raise. What were the reasons you left in the first place, though? Would you still want to leave again soon? In my case, I just couldn’t turn down the money and a much better commute; I had really liked my old job and colleagues. As part of our conversation, my boss made it very clear that I shouldn’t come back if I was planning to jump ship again when the next shiny object came along. I would be expected to stay for at least a year. Obviously there’s no way he could have actually enforced that, but it seemed a fair request to me.

          I hate to say this, but if you go this route I think you need to be up-front about your pregnancy, at least once you have something in writing. That’s a wrinkle that wasn’t present for me. It -shouldn’t- be an issue in whether they decide to rehire you, but it might seem sneaky if you come back to work and then drop it on them a month later.

          • Anonymous at 4:12 :

            Oh I wasn’t the OP. But I am curious about this, being in a similar situation.

            How did your new employer take it when you left so quickly? I want to explore doing something similar but I’m worried about how my new employer will react…

          • Oops, my oversight! Anyway, that was a bridge I was OK with burning. The whole place was dysfunctional, and my two immediate supervisors were misogynists. One of them was visibly happy to see me go. My peers were understanding, and I was low-level enough that no one higher up in management paid any attention. It might have been different if I’d been in a more critical role.

            It has had zero impact on my career. The organization actually has gained a reputation as a terrible place to work, so if it ever comes up, people just laugh and congratulate me for getting out quickly.

  6. DC personal stylist feedback :

    There seems to be quite a few of us in DC who were looking for a personal stylist, so I wanted to share my feedback based on suggestions for stylists through this forum. I saw Kelsey at Trunk Club and Nataley at Nordstrom Pentagon City.

    Trunk Club was underwhelming. The biggest issue had nothing to do with the stylist, but the reality of their business model. Stylists pick up all clothing from a Nordstrom store and haul it back to Penn Quarter, but they are limited to 20 items. So if you like what they pick but need a different size or different color, you’re out of luck. You have to wait until the next appointment or go to Nordstrom yourself to pick it out. Kelsey was very nice, but I was a little annoyed that she didn’t listen to me/take notes during our initial phone call. She picked out wrong sizes and colors that I specifically told her not to get. The one benefit of Trunk Club is that the location is ideally located, right in Penn Quarter. So you can hop over during your lunch break easily if you work downtown.

    My experience with Nataley at Nordstrom was so much better. I filled out a detailed survey beforehand and she really nailed it for me. She chose things that I would never have worn in a million years, but when I tried them on I really liked them. This was exactly what I was hoping for, for a stylist to push me out of my comfort zone. I also appreciated that she was low pressure, and she stayed within my budget. She picked out a lot of inexpensive things on sale too, not just high end designer stuff. And unlike Trunk Club, which is limited to 20 items at a time, Nataley could immediately go out into the store and pull out different sizes/colors for me right away.

    • Thank you for this! I was thinking about trying Trunk Club.

    • Little Red :

      Thanks for the feedback. I’ve been pondering using Nordstrom’s personal styling service. Sounds like it might be worth it. I need help with pants.

  7. boston anon :

    Does anyone else here suffer from dry eye? My eyes have always been a bit dry with soft contacts that I wore for decades. In my late 20s I switched to glasses only and things improved, but now they are sooo excruciatingly dry. I went to a dry eye doc here and was told it’s meibomian gland (oil glands) dysfunction which is common in people who do computer/reading work, to do warm compresses, and to make sure I blink lots and use drops like Retaine MGD. but my eyes are still so incredibly dry as soon as the drops wear off and I’m not sure that the compresses or blinking has helped much. Any other sufferers or strategies to cope? This doc appointment was two weeks ago but I just haven’t been improving much.

    • I have the same problem (I always called it dry eye and the doctor said it was blepharitis/gland dysfunction). Compresses and fish oil have helped me a lot (I used to have to use eye drops several times a day and now I once a week or less – this made a BIG difference in quality of life for me). Are you using washcloths for the compress? Those don’t hold the heat long enough; you’ll want to try a beanbag-style compress (I got mine on Amazon). Good luck – I completely sympathize!!

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t know the name for them, but your eye doctor can insert these little plugs into your eyes that stop your tear ducts from draining so much. Your eyes get dry in two ways: not producing enough tears and from draining the tears. This addresses the latter. They will fall out after a period of time, but you can have hem inserted again. My eye doctor told me that all eye doctors use the plugs. You don’t even need to make a special appointment- they’ll do it right there in a check-up. These plugs, combined with Refresh drops, have helped me post-LASIK.

    • Post Lasik, I used Refresh Cellivisc before going to sleep and Refresh preservative free during the day with good results. Is it possible that pollen is irritating it more?

    • Dry eye sufferer here (have ocular rosacea). Try taking flax oil seed supplements. They have helped me immensely.

      • AnonInChina :

        +1 for flax seed oil. I take 1-2 tbsps every morning with orange juice and have seen a marked improvement in my dry eyes. There is research to back up the use of flax seed oil for dry eyes.

    • Also in Boston with the same issue!

      I’ve been told compresses, fish oil, etc. None of them made a substantially difference except when it was going through an especially rough time.

      The best I’ve used is OcuSoft eye wipes, which my eye doctor recommended. I get the high strength ones. The doctor said to wipe each eye fifteen or twenty times daily. I don’t do exactly that, but it’s very useful.

  8. Productivity Tips :

    Curious to hear how others stay focused and keep up productivity at work? I find I get distracted easily and often leave at the end of the day wishing I had accomplished more. What’s your secret?

    • based on recommendations on thissite, I read ‘how to have a good day’ by someone who tries to combine behavioral science with productivity strategies and it has really changed my work life. I use lists and try to be intentional about what I want to accomplish throughout the day in different chunks of time and also take the time to summarize at the end of the day what my goals are for the following day.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        If you want another book recommendation, check out Flow by Mihaly Csiksgentmihalyi. It isn’t specifically about productivity, but getting into a flow state allows you to get incredible amounts of stuff done and for time to pass really quickly.

    • TO Lawyer :

      I have a to-do list on a post it. I find the size of the post-it stops the list from getting out of control and it keeps me focused because I know exactly what I want to get done.

    • Vyvanse. Green tea. Diffuser with peppermint, serenity, and purity. Trying to break records for how fast I can do something for mundane items. Making sure I get up every hour and move around.

    • Coffee.

    • I use a bullet journal to keep my tasks in front of me and to check things off as I go. I rapid log tasks such as “reply to X’s email” and use signifiers to prioritize. I also get up and move every hour and have found that although it takes a minute or two for me to refocus after getting up, I am getting more work done in each of the hour increments.

  9. Does anyone have experience with Havenly design? It’s $79 for the limited package and $199 for the full package but I can’t get a sense of what they really offer and whether it’s necessary to do the full package. I’m also concerned they’re going to recommend pieces you can only buy exclusively through their site. Any insight would be appreciated!

    • Nichole with an H :

      I did it recently, and it was a great experience. I did end up getting recommended a couple items that went out of stock in the price range I wanted. My decorator recommended substitutes very very quickly when that happened – in one case I went with her substitute, in another case I just found something on my own. They completely honored my price ranges in the first concept, and when they went too high with the substitutes they took a few more days but did get me some good options. She also worked with my small bit of existing furniture that I wanted to keep (TV stand, sofa, armchair)

      I can’t see needing the $199 option, but if you have trouble with placement or a big space to fill it might be helpful. My apartment is pretty small so I am confident that I can use their recommendations and place the items myself, here and when I move. I still have some shopping to do (moving soon), and I’ll base my shopping on the concept boards. I might also have the same decorator do my bedroom for me in a few months.

      TL;DR version – it’s nothing you can’t do yourself, but if you’ve pinned a million completely different ideas on pintrest and just want someone to help you figure out what YOU like and finally MAKE a decision, I think it’s worth every dollar.

  10. Noticed this article about a study suggesting there may be more of a “grooming” bias in the workplace rather than a beauty/attractiveness bias. The general tenor seems to be that appearing put together is particularly important for women. And “put together” or “well groomed” for women, of course, entails a lot more than it does for men— makeup, etc.


  11. Hypnotized :

    So I have a hypnosis appointment next week. Has anyone ever tried it?

    The reason is kind of funny. So I work in male dominated industry and I have no problems keeping up with the guys in the workplace. I’ve been on this softball team with them where I am the only female on my team and most other teams (same industry as well) have no females (One team might have a girl who played in college but I haven’t seen her in a while). For some reason I got psyched out by myself, even though it’s like this all the time, and I can’t hit the ball. I used to be able to the first started to play. I can hit it at the batting cages. I hired a coach to pitch to me and I could placement hit it when it was just us. I am in a co-ed rec league outside of my work and I can hit it there. I have been to therapy about it, the eye doctor, the chiropractor to make sure my shoulders were up to par. The more I try to shake it off the worse it gets.

    I don’t have anything else like this in my life. Even reading the list of what they can hypnotize you for, I couldn’t think of anything else in case the appointment isn’t filled up. Anyways it’s just embarrassing and funny at the same time but they won’t let me quit the team and every week is so demoralizing to be up to bat and strike out. Interested to hear if others have tried it and for what.

    • Well, my grandmother went to a huge hypnosis seminar at a hotel at the age of 82. She had been smoking since she was 16. She quit that day and never smoked again. It was crazy. So, there’s something to it.

      I was hypnotized a few times as a child when I was having really bad asthma and it actually worked. So, based on my own experiences, I’d go for it.

      If you have any bad habits at all, have them try to talk you out of them! :)

      • I procrastinate at folding my laundry. I am late to things more than I should be but I am already working through those issues. Maybe worth a try.

    • Dinosaurs :

      I had a friend from college who used to have an irrational extreme paralyzing fear of dinosaurs. She did hypnosis and it cured her of the fear.

      • I went on a date with a guy who was afraid of unmelted butter. It just freaked him out. Not the flavor, or the cholesterol, or like whipped butter. The restaurant put a little plate of butter with a small stick of butter on the table. Nothing happened to him traumatically with butter. He will eat butter once it’s melted. He hasn’t seen that Woody Allen movie with the stick of butter (sick).

        Sounds like I know what my closure text is gonna be. Maybe he can go with you and take up the extra time? ;-D

        Get hypnosis is such a refreshing change from get therapy. It’s nice to break up the monotony you know?

        • LOL. Also, can you fix his butter thing with my remaining time? Then do you want me to send him back over to you? Set him free? What?

    • Anonymous :

      Can I say that I’m not even sure why you’d do hypnosis for this? You can’t just quit the team? It doesn’t seem important enough to me and doesn’t hypnosis have some risks if it’s done for real?

      • Wildkitten :

        Apparently it’s important enough to her.

      • Well, I enjoy playing. I definitely don’t want to be excluded from the camaraderie because it definitely helps professionally. But yeah, if it doesn’t work I will quit. My team is also very supportive but it’s starting to feel like they are just being nice to the girl. So if I don’t improve, I will quit. Or keep score or something.

        I only shared that because it’s lady site and I thought it’s funny. I am NEVER TELLING ANYONE THIS either way. If it works, I’ve been practicing. If it doesn’t, then I’ll quit.

        It was fun when I could actually hit and be competitive. But it’s just embarrassing now. And clearly in my head. When I walk out there, I am like automatically thinking I will mess it up. I don’t usually have this problem shaking things so….I am trying it!

        • Is it that those pitchers are better? Or much worse?

          • No, they are about the same as the other league I play in. If I could walk, I would but I usually get struck out that way too.

          • This was me not sure why it says Jordan….

        • Anonymous :

          This was me, a while ago. I went to the batting cages with my son for something else and was still missing., and some random coach sat behind me and said I was swinging too early. Next pitch I followed, he said “SWING” and I connected, and we went through that whole round of robo-pitches like that and I hit every one. It stayed for a while, but then I took a long break and have a different group of people due to work and moving.

          Do you have someone you trust that you can take to the batting cages? Doesn’t have to be from your team. If they know the game well, they can tell you what’s going on. If they don’t, you can have them film you on your phone.

      • Also, if it works that’s freaking amazing. If it doesn’t, that’s a funny story. So I figure win win really.

      • I’ve had hypnosis and I know of no risks. I used it to stop picking at the skin on my head. It helped but didn’t totally cure me. You have to want to change. Which she does. I would also be driven nuts by an irrational mental block stopping me from doing something I wanted to do. Hypnosis sounds perfect for this.

      • Not sure what the risks are. Isn’t it just that she’s either better or not because she’s not psyching herself out? She might still stink but it won’t be because she’s in her head. What risks? Like she falls into a trance and gets hit by the ball?

        And yeah if it works on Mr. butter, send him back over for second try. I recycle.

    • Reminds me of the hypnobirthing thread this week on the moms site. I did hypnosis podcasts for my second birth and I enjoyed it. I’m not sure if it really does everything it says it does, but I did like “rehearsing” and walking through in my mind how things would happen, especially for a “scary” or intimidating event. Probably not for everyone but I could see it working.

    • do you have what people call the “yips”? If you haven’t heard of it, look it up — apparently not unusual in baseball and golf. I read a great New Yorker article about it a few years ago. Not sure it will help except to put a name to your experience.

  12. Apartment hunting :

    Any tips on how best to present yourself as a desirable tenant? My husband and I are moving to a very high-COL area and have enough savings to pay some expensive rent while he looks for work (I’ll be in grad school), but we’re concerned about losing out compared to other high-earning candidates. We’ve been good tenants with one landlord for the past five years and I’m sure we can get a good reference, but is there anything else we can do to make ourselves stand out when filling out new applications?

    • The biggest thing (besides having a good credit score) is to have your checkbook in hand to do first, last and security. The best tenant is one who can say, “I’ll take it, and here’s my check.” Good luck!

    • anonymous :

      is this the bay area? as a recent transplant, the housing search was awful. you need to put together a package of your self (either via email or in person) to give that includes most of the following, which i’m trying to make comprehensive so it does seem like overkill. but you will sound prepared:

      – occupation and company and you will likely be asked for an offer letter or some other demonstration of payment capability. i’ve been asked to give a snapshot of my checking account for instance. or you need to show you make 3x rent per month
      – proof of renters insurance (not always, maybe like 30% of the time they wanted this)
      – references from past landlords and roommates (not always, like 50% of the time i’ve found this)
      – linked in, facebook, instagram. i ‘groomed’ and updated all my social media and made things public/put up good pictures
      – description of if you are neat, easy-going, etc. if you aren’t looking for a roommate this doesn’t matter
      – you are looking for a long term lease!! you plan to stay multiple years!! in the bay area, long term means 6+ months…
      – do you need parking? that’ll be harder or more expensive. do you have pets? that will make it harder or waaay more expensive. i would advise to move without pets initially if at all possible
      – anything else to make you sound like a nice, stable, wholesome and reliable couple. my best friend included a photo of her and her SO looking cute and wholesome and went door to door for rental places
      – get a credit check and print out the results

      if you’re doing this in person, i would put together a packet with reference, rental history, credit check, offer letter/proof of income, proof of renters insurance and cute wholesome photo. and bring that to places. if you find a good one be prepared to put down a deposit right away. i know this sounds insane but the bay area (especially sf proper) rental market is bananas.

      • Apartment hunting : :

        Ugh, it is indeed the Bay Area!! Thanks for the tips – I’ll have to dig up a wholesome picture or two :)

        • anonymous :

          consider east bay as well. I looked at a few places in berkeley that I liked and it is sunnier than in SF proper. I did also look at oakland as it is very ‘up and coming’ but honestly could not feel comfortable with the safety level of many of the areas near the bart stations as a single and very short female who will be coming home from work late at night using the BART. I’m pretty skittish though and I have multiple friends who have lived near lake merritt without incident and like oakland.

        • SF renter :

          FWIW, I apartment-hunted in San Francisco in July and didn’t find it to be nearly as challenging as the above comment (or everything else online) says it will be. My husband and I did the whole thing–packets and checkbook and everything–and ended up leasing somewhere that required very little of that stuff, that we like a lot, and that I saw on a Thursday, we sat on for a few days while we looked at other things, and then actually applied for on Monday (I think).

          It may be the case that we’re overpaying, that something about the apartment or building is uniquely (and invisibly to me) undesirable, or whatever else–people obviously have the extremely challenging experiences and the advice comes from there–but honestly, other than the fact that it’s just so expensive to rent here, the experience was essentially exactly like what we found in DC.

      • Anonymous :

        I know the Bay Area is basically Heaven on Earth but this is bananas!

      • My rental market is nowhere near as competitive as the Bay Area (thank god) but I’ve missed out on five places in the last two weeks because other people applied faster. I have three showings on Monday, including one for someplace that seems perfect on paper where I have a pretty good texting vibe with the landlord. I’m going to make an application package along those lines this weekend, thanks for the checklist!

        Also, why is apartment searching so invariably soul-sucking? We have a solid budget in a non-insane city, but it seems like there just isn’t enough inventory in the neighborhoods we want to live in.

      • Anonymous :

        It’s tough. A lot of places want proof that the rent is no more than X percent of your income. We had huge savings and a decent income and paid our own bills but my mom had to consign our lease when we moved there in 2010 because our income wasn’t quite high enough. It was pretty mortifying.

    • Can anyone in the Boston/Cambridge area comment on whether the list above (for Bay Area) applies for Boston as well? Moving in a few months and we have a large (non-negotiable) dog and a car.

      • I am from the Bay Area and live in Boston. In Boston, dog-Friendly apartments for 8/1 or 9/1 go very early. The best way to find them is to try Padmapper.com or to look in neighborhoods that are generally dog-friendly (Beacon Hill and Chestnut Hill both are good). Boston is ultra-competitive for 8/1 and 9/1, but much less so for other times of year. There’s also a large supply of luxury housing coming onto the market, so if you can pay top dollar, you can have a dog.

        Bay Area, on the whole, is way more OOC than Boston. Way more.

        • Thank you for the quick reply!

        • anonymous :

          I am the above ‘anonymous’ and just moved from cambridge to the bay area! so I lived in cambridge and can’t speak for boston proper. I would try to avoid moving on 9/1 if at all possible (absolute nightmare to get a uhaul, or even just to move in/out because the streets are clogged). but TONS of leases start 9/1. It is absolutely not as crazy in cambridge as it is in the bay area. The further away you go from main transport locations the easier it is to find a place that will take dogs and also give you parking. i’ve lived within 5 mins of harvard and central sq and it would be hard there. I would look along western ave (close to central, i walked by a bunch of places being remodeled along there a few weeks ago), in cambridgeport (e.g. there are complexes on chestnut st, along putnam st), in east cambridge (older stock, some newer and nicer places). There are luxury buildings near kendall sq that are outrageously expensive. Inman square would be where I would move to now, but keep in mind that it is not near the T for the winter (but great bars, restaurants, more affordable and more parking/space). SE of harvard square and north of mass ave has a lot of residential buildings and is a really pretty area. Use padmapper and zillow rentals (friends have had more luck avoiding the broker fee using those listings). Craigslist works but you will likely have to pay a broker fee which is really obnoxious. If you are affiliated with any of the universities, they will frequently have within-university apartment listings of buildings they either own or people who want to rent to those affiliated with the university.

          • Thank you for this!

            Moving from out of town and I have no problem paying a broker fee to cut down on the hassle of searching through piles of “dog friendly” listings to find the 2% that aren’t “small dog only”.

            The 9/1 heads up is useful. I’ll likely extend our current lease (up at the end of August) for a few weeks to give us a cushion – that way we can sign a 9/1 lease for the Boston area but have the flexibility not to actually move in for a week or so after 9/1 (and let all the other uhauls vacate!).

          • And when you do use a uhaul, don’t take Storrow. People hit bridges every year. It’s ridiculous.

            I’d recommend looking for an 8/1 and overlapping that way if possible. They are cheaper typically. 9/1 is the biggest moving day, so beyond the hassle day of, it’s the most expensive and competitive as well.

            Everything really depends on where in Boston/area you’ll be looking.

            Dogs are normally an extra fee (I’d say 50 per pet per month is usual for less expensive places) but definitely something you can find.

            As an FYI, Boston rents usually include heat and hot water, no utilities but appliances (specifics vary). If it specifies otherwise, be sure to think of that for price comparison.

      • Apartment hunting : :

        I’m moving from the Boston area and I do expect the Bay Area to be worse, but it can be insane here for that 9/1 start date. You will definitely want to act early, be ready to go look at places on the same day (within a few hours in a lot of cases), and have ALL your documentation ready to go.

        • Thanks. Moving from out of town, so that adds extra “fun” to the search process.

          • anonymous :

            consider doing a weekend or two day trip to just apartment hunt if you are not super far away. otherwise, can you recruit a friend to help you look at places? the problem with us is that the housing stock can be very old and gross (or not gross!) but you need to go see it. things that are hard to find unless you are paying for a luxury apartment building: in unit washer dryer, dishwasher, central AC and included parking.

          • Oh, sorry, yes I will definitely be taking weekend trips to see places in person. Just means I’m limited to weekends-only, since I can’t just see a few places after work on a Wednesday…

    • ShamefulButTrue :

      Look nice…like really nice… for all of your appointments. Hubs was always freshly shaved in slacks and a button up. I always had a full face of make up a neat dress, heels, and a trench coat. Seriously landlords have some bad bias. It helped us snag an apartment about 30% below market because every landlord wants the wholesome white couple. It’s awful and I’m ashamed that that is how I got my apartment. But that is my honest best tip.

      • Not trying to shame you (further), but not all of us can look white and wholesome due to the whole not being white thing

      • Anonymous :

        Go easy on that race thing. SF has a huge asian population, as well as international people, and there are more than a few places that “test” based on race, so most landlords worth their salt are looking for people who have-it-together, and not to get sued. There is a white majority regionally, however, this is a city that, if you are a homeowner or a landlord there, the majority of bad tenants and awful neighbors are white. People are more willing to report minorities, so there is that.

        • ShamefulButTrue :

          Hey, I am just telling you my experience. My 12 Unit building is full of couples just like me and my hubs. The rental agent even said that we were “the type”. I don’t agree with it but that was the reality.

  13. I heard on the Stuff you Should Know podcast during one of my travel days that most road signs use lead paint because it’s durable and no one is touching or eating off of it.

    But um, we stole like 8 road signs in college and they were practically our wall paper. I didn’t but I lived there. I dated a guy who I could’ve sworn was smart when I met him and his bedroom was covered in road signs both bought and stolen. But he got dumber, I swear.

    Anyways just thought I would share. Tell your kids not to do that!

    • Lead paint is only dangerous if it’s peeling or flaking (dust) or you ingest it. Many pre-1978 homes have lead paint, both in and out. I am sure you’re fine!

      • It’s also only really dangerous in small amounts to young kids (it harms brain development). It takes a lot of lead to impact an adult.

        One of the impacts that lead seems to have on brain development is that it harms the part that regulates impulse control. I’m really interested in the theory that one of the reasons that violent crime has dropped immensely in the past few decades is that we’re no longer impacted by this the way previous generations were back when lead was very common.

        • Heard that one :

          What I heard is how lead deposits itself where calcium is supposed to go. So while the children part is dangerous and can cause permanent damage, there are also very harmful lead related or accelerating problems for adults too relating to that loss of calcium and where it is needed (which is lots of places). But many don’t think to test for that. They think it’s because the person isn’t consuming enough calcium.

    • Random Story :

      I used to work for a guy who built church organs. I worked in the office, but there was a pipe shop where several workers made pipes for the organs. Metal organ pipes must be made of a high percentage of lead. The guys who worked in the pipe shop had to go through periodic blood testing to make sure they didn’t have dangerous levels of lead in their systems. They were always fine, despite working with lead all day long. So I doubt touching a street sign is going to make you lead poisoned or stupid.

    • Anonymous :

      Speaking of getting dumber, do you think lead paint like gives off air molecules of poison ? Kids shouldn’t steal road signs because it’s vandalism (of course that won’t stop them) but no one is in danger from the lead paint unless you were trying to eat this signs…

      • Anonymous :

        Well, that’s weirdly antagonistic…

        “Air molecules of poison” – you mean like fine particles, or fibers (asbestos) or vapor (mercury)?

        Since other hazardous materials are known to transmit from the sources in those ways and not everyone is an expert in heavy metal characteristics, I think it’s a fair question to ask. No need to be snide about it.

      • hahaha yeah I did not finish the whole podcast to be honest. Probably should’ve listened to the part about how lead can affect you. I didn’t. Admittedly. Obviously. FRIYAY

    • Since it’s Friday afternoon… Beethoven likely had lead poisoning. His hair was tested in the modern day and found to contain high levels. Also, many of his eccentricities are consistent with the symptoms of lead poisoning. (A friend recommended a book about this, “Beethoven’s Hair”. It was awesome!)

      • My mom loved that book and I keep meaning to snag it from her. Thanks for the reminder!

        • Elizabeth Joan McPherson :

          Is “Beethoven’s Hair ” the name of the book?
          P.S. As far as what I have read, lead is transmitted orally. I.e. the old water pipes in US cities contained lead and were never updated (one wouldn’t want to increase any taxes to update and maintain infrastructure and all) $now $later..
          Now they can’t use the water from their pipes. The other major concern has always been toddlers (especially the teething variety), like toy colour paint etc. Then there’s water (un)filtered water, if there’s Pb/lead content in whatever one is drinking from
          My 2¢’s worth anyway.

    • Anonymous :

      Alcohol or other drugs could be a factor, did he play a sport and have an undiagnosed concussion?

      A mental health disorder that onset later and was untreated?

      I ask because he’s one of the group. What made him different?

      • Anonymous :

        Or he made a good first impression and then was actually just less impressive as time went on.

  14. Any input on Karen Kane dresses? Looking at the faux wrap and the Maggie…

    • Baconpancakes :

      Yes, LOVE the faux wrap. It’s 100% work appropriate, unlike most wrap and faux wrap dresses, and it’s heavy enough fabric that it drapes nicely, washes in the machine with line dry, and looks new after 2 years of heavy wear.

    • I bought and promptly returned one of her dresses. It was H&M level quality for double the price. Pass.

  15. Sydney Bristow :

    If you had 2 nights and could go to Portland, Maine, Montreal, Boston, Charleston, or Savannah in late June, which would you pick and why?

    • Wildkitten :


      • +1 from NYC Montreal is an hour and 15 minute puddle jumper flight. The weather is beautiful this time of year and there is so much fantastic culture and food. Montreal is a hub of festivals and events in the summer.

    • Savannah in late June might be on the hot side, but it’s a great place and I would love to go back. If you do go, try staying at The Mansion on Forsyth Park.

    • Where am I coming from (in other words, how long would my flight/drive be)? For two nights, I’m not going to want a lot of travel time.

      How well do I handle heat and humidity? If you don’t handle it well, Savannah in late June is bad news bears.

      I’d ask myself these before I made a choice.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Coming from NYC. I’m not good with the humidity so I’ll cross Savannah out.

        • I’d cross off Charleston too.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            For future planning, when would be the best time heat and humidity wise to visit Charleston or Savannah?

            High 60s-high 70s with low humidity is my happy place. It’s a wonder I’ve lived in NYC this long!

          • Charlestown is great in April/May and Sept/Oct!

          • We went for Valentine’s Weekend in February to Savannah and loved it.

    • Yay! Open Thread’s! I love Weekend Open Thread’s and Espadrille’s, especialy b/c they make me look taller then I am!

      As for Syndey Bristow, this is fairley Easy. In late June, Savannah and Charleston (I asume SC) are quite HOT and Humid, so unless you want to go to a steam bath, stay away from them. Montreal is where my freind lives, and it is VERY nice in June, as is Boston — if you have a passport, go to Montreal, otherwise go to Boston. If you are adventurus, you can go to Portaland Maine, but there is NOT alot to do, and 2 nights would probably be my max. It is much smaller then Boston or Montreal. Another cute place Sheketovits took me was Nashuea NH, which is an old mill town. We did NOT see to much of it b/c it was raining, but it was cute and he was SOBER the whole weekend. Good luck to you, and be sure to tell the HIVE how you like it!!! YAY!!!

      • Are you now back with Sheketovits? We haven’t heard much from you lately and have wondered about you. We all appreciate a man who can warm our loins and pray you will soon find such a man, if not Sheketovits!

    • Anonymous :

      Portland Portland Portland. Cute shops,tons of breweries, near the ocean, good food, boating, whiskey and wine tours, LOBSTER.

    • Charleston. She crab soup.

      • sweetknee :

        Native South Carolinean here….. Charleston in late June is usually at least 95 degrees with 80-90% humidity. If you are sensitive to the heat, not a good time. Best time in Charleston in September-October or February, March, April. Keep in mind September is still hurricane season, though.

    • Coming from NYC, Boston all the way, on the Acela. It is an absolutely gorgeous ride up, you get dropped off either in the middle of Back Bay or downtown, and I actually needed a jacket(!) on July 4th weekend. I also abhor heat and humidity, I would totally relocate to Boston from June-October if my husband and kid wouldn’t miss me ;)

      • Not to be negative, because I love Boston, but that does depends on the year/day. Sometimes it’s hot, sometimes it’s cold, sometimes you experience a few seasons in the same day. I enjoy that kind of weather but others may not.

    • Super late, but I just visited Bangor, Maine and loved it!

      • What is there to do in Bangor? Seems so remote but not far enough for hiking or rafting.

  16. Capsule Wardrobe Help :

    capsule wardrobe ideas for me?

    I spent 9 yrs as a college student earning multiple degrees and I work from home and will indefinitely. No kids, most of my socializing is at casual restaurants or someone’s home, and I probably attend one formal event per year. If it were up to me, I’d be in modal pants and a tshirt at home and jeans/tshirt when out, but I am in my early/mid 30s and look young for my age, my friends are high ranking in entertainment industries, and my partner is significantly older than I am… so looking like a college kid feels like I’m either a kid hanging out with cool grownups and trying to fit in or a kid out to dinner with her pops– not good.

    I’m a minimalist on a tight budget, but I’d rather have stuff I adore and always have the right thing for the occasion rather than to hope something can pass for being ok. Everything for small or capsule wardrobes online seems to be for office workers or moms or the like, so I thought I’d ask here!

    • Okay so my preferred colors are black, nude/camel, grey, cream, and medium blues, so with that bias in mind, I’d go with:

      – Dark wash jeans
      – Black skinny pants (or other cut you prefer)
      – Grey skinny pants (or other cut you prefer)
      – Black shorts of preferred length

      – Black skirt
      – Camel or grey skirt

      – A few nice jersey material dresses that can be dressed down or up, depending on shoes and accessories. Maybe one maxi, one knee length, and one with sleeves to start.

      – 6 tshirts (solids, Breton stripes, whatever you prefer)

      – a few casual blazers

      – a few sweaters or other tops, depending on climate

    • Killer Kitten Heels :

      A few links for you:

      http://theeverygirl.com/how-to-create-a-capsule-wardrobe (I really like this one personally and would probably live in it if I didn’t have an office job)

      http://www.paris-to-go.com/2014/08/10-pieces-1-year-project-333-zero-waste.html (maybe a little more “dressed up” than you’re going for, but still on the casual side and could be a good baseline for coming up with ideas of your own)

      http://www.whowhatwear.com/how-to-five-piece-french-wardrobe/ (this one has a good list of categories to get you started, although I do not love the actual pieces the blogger picked to fit each category)

      http://theblissfulmind.com/2015/08/17/capsule-wardrobe-basics/ (good guide to basics)

      http://www.catherinedenton.com/2016/01/earthy-casual-capsule-wardrobe.html (this one might skew a little too college-student, but it’s definitely very casual)

      • Killer Kitten Heels :

        Also, Old Navy and Uniqlo are my go-tos for interesting basics at low cost, so I’d suggest buying the basic stuff (t-shirts, jeans, etc.) at a place like that, and then shopping consignment and thrift stores for a few higher-end “statement pieces” like a good casual jacket or something.

    • Goatsgoatsgoats :

      If I were you I would buy a ton of modal maxi dresses and pair them with fitted cardigans and statement necklaces–just as comfy but dresses make you look more sophisticated, especially maxi dresses

      • Senior Attorney :

        I completely disagree with this. I think maxi dresses, especially worn as a personal uniform, say “I am very young and trying to look sophisticated.”

      • Concur with SA on the maxi dresses. There’s no way that Maxi and sophisticated go together.

      • I think this is a very specific look – kind of Mormon/Midwestern. If you live in Indiana it’s chic, but in a big city it would not be what the cool kids are wearing.

      • Brunette Elle Woods :

        I love my maxi dresses because it feels like I’m hanging out in a blanket all day. However, it’s usually a maxi dress that has some s3xy element to it or I’m really just hanging out in someone’s backyard. Never for work of course.

    • Emerson Fry! Check out the EF outlet.

  17. Has anyone ever made the jump from being in a more technical science/engineering/compsci position into management? What made you decide to make the switch? My manager keeps sending me management postings, since we’re going through a big reorg. I love the technical work I do, but know that at some point I will probably want a more active leadership role… but I don’t know if now is the time and I don’t know if I want to manage anyone. My technical background would still play a part in managing the group, but there’s a big difference between that and actually performing the technical work all the time.

    • Anonymous :

      If you love doing your technical work, I would think long and hard about this, because it’s hard to go backwards (without leaving the organization) if you realize that you don’t like management. Managing is a skill, and not one that comes naturally to many people, so it can be intensely frustrating at first, especially if you liked and were good at what you were doing before.

      My advice: Think about what your ultimate career ambition is. Does it involve leadership and management, or does it involve being a really skilled technician? Your career can be fun and fulfilling without ever making the transition. Also think about what you would want to do or change if you could take a more active leadership role. Then try to think of the reasons all of that isn’t happening now. Probably some combination of personalities, budget, strategic direction, etc. Does it sound fun to you to swim upstream against those things? Do you think you could make change? If you enjoy the process of coding/architecting/whatever, it’s still possible to like your job if you disagree with the end goal. If your job is to make sure the end goal happens, you need a little more personal buy-in to avoid apathy, cynicism and burnout.

      • Meg Murry :

        Yup, this. I’ve met people who were great at the technical stuff but horrible managers, and people who were ok but not amazing at the tech side that made great managers. It’s really a different skill set, because it’s a lot more dealing with people and budgets – you would go from being a maker or do-er to a person who plans the making or spends time communicating the status of the makers or helping them get road blocks out of the way.

        I think the hardest shift from a technical perspective is that part of why I love my job is that at the end of the day I usually have a tangible thing I have accomplished (I made this physical thing! or I wrote this block of code! or I tested these things and got these results!) whereas management doesn’t have as much of that – it’s more about coordinating moving parts than being the one moving the parts.

        However, if you like dealing with people and are good at dealing with the current management, it might not be a bad move for you. If you prefer to shut yourself in your office/cube/lab for hours to days at a time by yourself maybe not so much. Also, project management is sometimes a good fit between leading a group and being a sole tech person, if that is a path you could think about heading down.

    • Amberwitch :

      I started as a SW programmer when I got my Engineering degree. After a couple of years I took on a more project management role, and a couple of years later I became P&L responsible – all for the same customer.
      I’m currently a middle manager in an IT staff function, and I don’t miss programming. I wouldn’t be able to go back to a more technical role by now, at least not without a lot of effort and a very good explanation to convince an employer to hire me.
      There were a couple of reasons for my decision:
      1) It was an easier career path than advancing technically – the pipeline was a lot more open on the leadership path
      2) I found that I could create more value, and influence more by becoming a project manager/manager than producing something myself
      3) I like to be the one who makes the decisions

      A couple of conclusions I’ve come to:
      You have to be able to feel accomplished by producing through others, otherwise you end up resenting the time it takes to manage others, and the fact that your people get to do the fun stuff.
      I think it helps that I think of management as a sort of mental puzzle, not much different from the mental exercise of producing great code.
      It helps to actually like people, talking to people and helping them be better

    • Anonshmanon :

      Agree with the others telling you to seriously think what YOU want. In my field, it is the norm to move “up or out”, ie, move from technical into management or change fields. So people who want to stick to the more technical job descriptions have to go against mainstream in some ways.
      I have seen more than one who allowed themselves to be pushed into managing positions, but it wasn’t right for them, it wasn’t what made them fulfilled.
      On the other hand, if you are intrigued and just wonder whether you would be able to do it: managing can be learned. There are rules and strategies and you are not born with a magic talent.

  18. Coach Laura :

    Angie at youlookfab dot com has a lot of capsules that are not just for office workers or moms. I’ll post a link in next message.

    • Coach Laura :

      For Capsule Wardrobe Help above; http://youlookfab.com/category/outfits/capsules/

  19. Fellowship Application :

    I’m in the process of applying for a fellowship in Europe. Right now, I’m looking for a host and preparing the application.

    The fellowship is a design your own project one, and I’ve designed a project that crosses disciplines but has a root in my ultimate career goal and will be focused from a lawyer’s perspective (as I’m a lawyer). It includes my current practice area but is broader than just what I do now.

    First of all, if anyone has advice or thoughts on the application, I’m all ears. I’ve never applied for a fellowship before this.

    More so, I’m wondering long term about my office. I’m not saying anything now to my coworkers (other than one who is doing similarly and I’m friends with outside), even those I’m close with – I assume that’s the best approach. If I get an interview (most do, but it’s in Europe), do I tell them then? I think my bosses and coworkers (midsized firm, team of under 10 attorneys) would be offended if I told them I got a fellowship out of nowhere. Plus, ideally, I’d like to keep returning here in the future open, perhaps expanding my practice area (complementary areas), which I think they’ll be open to if I don’t accidentally offend anyone. I guess I’m more so seeing if this makes sense to others on here and looking for advice.

    • Wildkitten :

      Don’t tell them until you win.

      • Fellowship Application :

        Thanks. This was my initial inclination but then someone said something the other day that made me think maybe I was wrong.

  20. I’ve got a pair of Puma Zandy flats that I absolutely LOVE, but after less than a year of walking/train commutes (2 miles daily) they’re starting to get pretty battered. Is this what I should expect for a lot of walking, or should I look for another brand when I replace them?

    • Clementine :

      Assuming you wore them 200 days last year, at an average 2 miles/day, you got 400 miles out of them. That’s really good,

    • Most of my flats last 3-4 months with city walking. That sounds really good.

  21. Law school application question: what did you write your personal statement about? I wish I could just say “I’m super cool and smart, let me in” but that is a tad brief and vague. Any insight is much appreciated!

    • I don’t remember exactly, but it definitely included Star Trek: TNG. I remember getting a personal note back from one of the admission people (with my acceptance) about being a fellow Trekkie.

      • That’s awesome!

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I love this!

        I wrote about how the different cities I’d lived in would respond to an e.coli outbreak, which was actually happening in my city when I wrote my statement. My hometown would have had protestors (likely a hunger strike or two), college town would have hosted seminars on what happened and how to deal with it, and current city’s response was to just ignore, ignore, ignore and then suggest everyone buy bottled water. I wrapped it all up in talking about how those various cities shaped who I had become. I wrote it at the suggestion of my interviewer from a school I was planning to apply to.

    • A time you spoke truth to power.
      A time you made a difference in somebody’s life
      Something difficult you overcame.
      A time you worked really hard and were really proud of youself.
      A time you helped someone else at your expense of time, etc.

      • I’m finding it incredibly difficult to write about myself, could actually writing this friggin thing count as overcoming adversity?

    • I wrote a draft to get my roommate going because she felt the same way. Hers ended up being completely different but it got the ball rolling. Anyone like that who could help you?

    • Wildkitten :

      It doesn’t matter. What is your LSAT score and your GPA? That’s what matters.

      Also – don’t go to law school.

      • Anonymous :

        I was going to actually answer the question (open water swimming and my first post-college job), but actually, this.

      • Yup.

      • 160 and 3.8

        But I want to go!

        • If you want to go, go! I’m a lawyer and I love it. And I loved law school. And I hate it when people just say “don’t go.” You do you, sister.

          I wrote my law school application essay about how being a ballet dancer taught me discipline, confidence, and how to put determination to work for me to overcome some challenges. It told a story about me, and also showcased skills learned. Aim for something that gives them a sense of who you are while also showcasing something unique/motivated/great about you.

        • Wildkitten :

          SCHOOL IS FUN! I want to go to school too! But when they dump you out three years later, with a quarter of a million dollars in debt and you can’t get a job, will it be worth it? Are you passionate about BEING A LAWYER or passionate about going to school?

          If you don’t have a burning knowledge of what you want to write your statement on,. If you write your statement on how your life experiences led you to want to be a lawyer, and you plan to help communities of them afterwards.

        • layered bob :

          holy cow you need to retake the LSAT. Don’t worry about your personal statement – it basically doesn’t matter – until you’ve got your LSAT above *at least* 166 and ideally above 170.

          I’m very happy with my decision to go to law school but I retook the LSAT three times over a period of four years while I accumulated enough interesting life experiences that I had something good to write about in my personal statement AND had an LSAT score high enough to get a decent scholarship at a T14 school. Without that scholarship and a high-ranking school law school is a life-ruining waste of money.

          If you’ve already graduated from college, your GPA is set and there’s nothing you can do about it, but your LSAT is still under your control! If you’re not willing to make the time to do a chunk of tedious study to improve it, then don’t go to law school.

          • Anonymous :

            I disagree. Your GPA and LSAT score are pretty good. I mean, take it again if you want to go to Harvard with a scholarship. But if you want to attend a major public university in the state you want to practice in, what you’ve listed should be fine. I am sure you are smart enough to realize law school costs lots of money and that many lawyers don’t like practicing law. But don’t let that scare you if you have a plan and a passion.

          • I am not applying to a T14 school, I’m applying to a state school that is very well regarded and will enable me to do what I want. My GPA and LSAT are high enough to get me in, but I appreciate your advice.

          • Your numbers may be high enough to get you in, but are they high enough to get you scholarship money? State schools want to keep their rankings up too, but they are competing with other well-ranked schools for students to do that. And they attract those well-numbered students with money.

            So – it’s something to think about, as a way to avoid as much debt as possible on the back end.

          • layered bob :


            compare those employment stats with the 25th percentile LSAT score, consider the projected debt at repayment, and don’t say nobody warned you.

          • Compare your comments to my original question, and don’t be surprised that I don’t give a f*ck

          • New Poster :

            I’m a new poster. I went to law school 2006-2009. I had a 166 and went to a good school and had a 1/3 scholarship. My peers were smart. VERY few of us are doing well in law (most are doing something non-law) and most regret the money and time spent. I’m one of the lucky ones who is in Biglaw but my husband wasn’t lucky out of law school and I’m still paying off his debts.

            No WAY should you be doing this with only a 160, unless you have the cash/net worth to pay for it, are doing it for fun, and want to go public servic jobs. If you really insist, get your score up to the high 160s.

          • I agree with Don’t Go to Law School (not that anyone I tell that to listens to me…), but LSAT score isn’t really the defining reason. People aren’t worth investing in if they can’t take the test 3 times and pay for those expensive LSAT study classes (that really do make a difference, but that a lot of people can’t afford)? The LSAT really tests whether or not you’re wealthy enough to spend the time and money it takes to prepare for it.

            OP, don’t go to law school because becoming a lawyer is a bad investment. Ignore the nonsense about your LSAT score, if you think its enough to get you into the school you want to go to. Pay attention to your total cost/potential gain instead, which really has little to do with your LSAT score.

        • Go! Absolutely invest the money if you have it! Why not? The concern is so many people go to law school and find themselves in a lower standard of living than they had before they went.

        • I’d expect someone with those numbers to be eligible for some significant scholarships from mid-tier schools. Talk to your undergrad school’s prelaw advisor. Law schools are still figuring out how to deal with the dearth of applicants and money is out there. If you want to be a lawyer, go. Don’t take on too much debt. And don’t write about silly things in your personal statement. Talk about what you want to do with your degree, why you want to go to law school, some major achievement, a major obstacle you’ve overcome or something really unique you have done (started a business or non-profit, worked as a volunteer abroad, danced in the NYC Ballet, etc.)

          Don’t let internet commenters determine your future.

      • I disagree. Definitely evaluate long and hard, but if you know this is what you want to do, and you get into a school where you can do what you want (in reality, not what the school tells you), then go.

        I was in that position and don’t regret it. And yes, I have massive student debt and am underpaid, but I’m in a job I love (obtained post graduation) in the field I wanted with lots of room for growth, great coworkers (mostly), and have a plan for the debt.

      • Brunette Elle Woods :

        Amen! Get an MBA instead!

    • I work in law admissions. I won’t comment on a topic but as a bit of advice – PROOFREAD. Good lord, there’s nothing that drives me crazier than grammatical or punctuation errors in a personal statement. Not saying your writing has to be perfect all the time but for those couple of pages – yes it has to be perfect.

    • Marshmallow :

      An inspiring story from my experience as a classroom teacher. When I applied again as a transfer student, I wrote about the socioeconomic bubble of law school.

    • Don’t refer to law as ‘the oldest profession’.
      Apparently this is a common error.

    • I respect and appreciate the sincere concern a lot of you have expressed (except for your judgy BS about my LSAT score, you can gtfo with that). Please don’t think I’m undertaking this lightly. I have read the horror stories, weighed the pros and cons, and made up my mind. I’m not going to get into all the ways that my situation is different than a 22 year old who doesn’t know what else to do with her life, but there are significant differences.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m late to the party, but if you want to be a lawyer, then go for it. I LOVED law school and I LOVE being a lawyer. My husband is the same way. We are a few years out of law school, so I can’t speak to what it’s like to be a recent grad, but overall, we’ve done very well (not in BigLaw), and we’re both very happy being lawyers. Haters gonna hate…

  22. Anonymous :

    This is not a troll post, I promise. I just found out this morning that I have – very unexpectedly – inherited a sizable amount of money from a distant relative who died actually over a year ago. Nobody knew about this account until recently. I’ve confirmed it in writing from the bank. Just under 200K. What resources should I turn to in order to think through my next steps? Specifically, what books/articles/resources would you recommend before I go to meet with our accountant?

    I grew up in a paycheck-to-paycheck family, and right now we’re in the throes of young children, mortgage, lots of debt, and small business we started last year (thus all the debt). Our combined income is just under 100K/year (we live in a low pay, extremely LCOL area and are probably in the top 1-2% in our area, though certainly not on this board).
    I know that throwing this at our debt is probably not the best idea right now for a lot of reasons, but I’m not sure how to develop a policy for how I do want to manage it.

    I’m also really hesitant to tell my husband even though we have an excellent marriage because I know that he absolutely WILL want to throw anything we can at the debt/cash flow that we currently have. But if we threw this money at our debt it would not quiiiite cancel it out. I think we have a great marriage but yet I’d like to keep this from him for a few weeks or even months until our current situation levels itself out, which it will by the end of the year, and I can look past our short-term needs to our long-term goals. (Which is probably a different post issue. We’ve never kept secrets before but it somehow seems better to keep this secret for a few months.)

    Also, this is awesome.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Wow! Very awesome!

      I can’t imagine that this is not legally your separate property, and I feel like in this specific case it’s okay to treat this as YOUR money. Tell him when you feel comfortable, but in a way that makes it clear it is YOUR inheritance and YOU are going to decide what to do with it.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Posted too soon.

        You can explain your reasoning, of course, and solicit his agreement, but at the end of the day you get to make the call, and please don’t give that power away by, for example, putting the money in a joint account.

    • Anonymous :

      I think the damage that might be done by revealing you’ve hidden $200k for months might be more problematic than the damage that could be done by having to really figure out together what’s going to happen to this money. Just keep in mind that avoiding an argument now may result in a bigger argument later, except that later it won’t just be about money- it’ll be about trust, too.

      • Meg Murry :

        +1 to not keeping it a secret. Could you instead tell your husband about it, but explain that you are feeling overwhelmed and don’t want to make any big decisions for a few months but rather just keep on the same path while you mull this over?

        However, you definitely want to ask your accountant about any tax implications this could have for you, and make sure you account for that before you start spending any of the money. Is it in a straight up bank account right now, or in investments you would have to divest to get ahold of?

        Also, before you count your chickens – was their any other unpaid debt from her estate? Are you certain this money is yours in the clear and doesn’t have any other claims on it?

        • +2.

          If my husband said “I found out this morning that I inherited 200K from Great Aunt Susan, and I’m in shock. I’d like for us each to take a few weeks/months to separately think about the best plan for this money, and I don’t want to discuss it until a few weeks have passed because it’s just so overwhelming right now” – I’d be totally cool with this.

          If my husband said “I found out a few weeks/months ago that I inherited 200K from Great Aunt Susan but I didn’t tell you b/c I was in shock and thinking about the best plan for the money”, I’d be sooooooo pissed. Not b/c of the money, but because of the secret-keeping.

    • Not a tax lawyer or a CPA, but I’d be reluctant to throw this money at your business debt. Personal debt, yes. I came into a smaller inheritance last year which I was upfront with my husband about. We ended up splitting it into a few buckets- part of it went into emergency fund, part of it paid for a tuition payment for our child and the remainder was mine to do what I wanted to. My husband was very supportive that I got to direct the allocations. We are a common pot, no financial secrets family though, so keeping it from him would have been a very big deal and not in a good way.

    • Meg Murry :

      Actually, if your debt is in multiple forms ($20k in this loan, $50k in that one, $150k in mortgage, etc) throwing a big chunk of it to eliminate a few of those loans completely probably is a good idea. Having a good sized rainy day fund, especially if you are small business owners with potentially fluctuating incomes is probably also a good idea. This would be an excellent start to a debt snowball plan.

      However, I think another big question I’ve recently learned is: how is your business debt financed? Do you have a separate LLC and in the debt under that, or did you take out personal loans against your own credit or your house? We just learned the hard way that a family member has a huge chunk of debt on a credit card for his LLC, and the business might not make it. However, what he didn’t realize was that when he got the credit card he signed a form personally backing it – so even if he declares bankrupcy on behalf of the business he’ll still owe this debt personally.

    • Are you two normally on the same page about money?

      I understand the urge to eliminate debt completely, and if the amount of the inheritance were significantly greater than the debt, I’d probably eliminate the debt first. But this is also a chance to set aside/increase any safety net you have for you and your children. I think you need to tell your husband about this, but with the caveat that you don’t want to make any decisions until you meet with the accountant, figure out your tax implications, and have some time to digest the news. In a few weeks, or when you’re comfortable, you can discuss the range of options you have.

      I keep coming back to my Dad’s cheesy financial advice–don’t spend it all in one place. I think this is a time where there’s multiple answers to ‘what should we do with this money’ and you should weigh them all before making any decision.

    • Anonymous :

      OP here.

      I hear these thoughts. I think maybe I just need a week or so to keep this to myself. I think it is more about me and not really about my marriage. I grew up in a family where every time someone had any money (I mean, literally, if they won $500 on a lottery ticket), everyone “needed” something from them and demanded to know what was being done with it until it was all gone. We have all of these expenses right now that we can keep going by keeping our belts tightened down for another 6-8 months and that’s what I want to do.
      I think if I can come up with a plan for how to allocate these funds then I am more comfortable talking about it. So I would be very interested in any advice on what to think about over the next week or two.

      • Meg Murry :

        Collect all your debt information in one place (I’d put it into a debt snowball spreadsheet myself). Then make another list (or another tab in your spreadsheet) for your current monthly financial obligations (beyond debt – daycare, insurance, etc), which you could use to figure out your monthly expenses toward calculating an emergency fund. You probably want to split it up into business and personal.

        Then make a “dream list”. What if this debt didn’t exist? What would you have done with the money then? Is there some “thing” you’ve always wanted but never let yourself have, like a specific model of car or a trip to Paris? Do you still want it, or do you like the idea of it more than the reality? Think about “what-ifs”

        Also, was there something that made Great Aunt Susan (or whoever it was) really happy? Did she play the piano, or did she love to travel, or did she love to read? It would be really nice to do something with a piece of the money that you could always say “Great Aunt Susan loved music, so we bought this piano and got the kids lessons, so every time I look at the piano I think of her.” It doesn’t have to be a big thing – it could be something as small as a favorite book, or a scarf in her favorite color, or a weekend trip to the place she grew up – but it seems like it would be good to have at least one thing or experience that commemorates this person instead of it just all disappearing into the black hole that is debt. Or if your kids don’t have 529 plans maybe Aunt Susan would have appreciated that, etc. Think of at least one way your spending the money would have made the person happy or honored them.

        However, all that said – my husband has a terrible habit of keeping a plan like this in his head, reseraching, making lists, etc – and then springing the plan on me fully formed, and being mad when I don’t just say “yes, dear, this thing you’ve been thinking about and researching for days, weeks or months sounds fantastic and of course I agree with everything you’ve put in front of me, I don’t need to think about this at all!” It really ticks me off to be presented with the fully formed plan, knowing he’s been thinking on it for quite a while but doesn’t allow me to do the same.

        Waiting until you had confirmation that yup, the money really was yours and there wasn’t a mistake is one thing. But if you started meeting with the accountant and researching investments and things like that before talking to your husband, i think that could really come across as not trusting him. Now if there is a trust issue, like you worry he’d jump and start spending the money right away while you are the careful planner, I might see that a little bit – but if you are both planners and mull-ers, don’t do that yourself and not give him the same opportunity. Because while the money is technically “yours” since it came from your aunt, it could make a big difference to your whole family’s life and should be treated as such.

        • Meg Murry :

          Oh, and think about if you want him to keep this completely between the two of you or if you are going to let any family know in any way. Or how you would respond if people in your lives noticed changes – if you got a new car or started a remodel or even just stopped stressing about going out to only the cheapest restaurant. Because you may very well have people coming out of the woodwork wondering, and you probably want a pat line like “oh, we were able to finally pay off some old debt and that loosened up the tight budget a little bit” or similar.

      • Coach Laura :

        I’m an experienced middle-market bank lender and have financed thousands of small businesses. In my personal experience, keeping the inheritance as your separate property would be the way to go, especially if your spouse has signed a personal guarantee for the loans/debts or if the debt is in his personal name. I’m assuming that you aren’t personally liable for the business debt or you would have mentioned it but if you did and the business fails, the windfall money most likely wouldn’t be protected. (Unless you put it into a 529 plan or an IRA or something like that, but that is a question for a CPA.) Depending on state law, keeping your money separate might protect it in the event of a business failure – *might* being the operative word here depending on who signed the note/guarantee and state laws such as community property.

        I’d think about what you would do with the money if you didn’t have business debt and what your plan for the business debt was prior to getting the windfall.

        If you would have put $50,000 toward your mortgage, $100,000 toward your kids’ college funds and $50,000 for stock-market investing, for example, perhaps you leave $150,000 in an investment fund (earmarked for tuition and housing) and then use $50,000 to invest jointly now. The $150,000 may not earn the highest interest if it sits there and maybe that interest rate is less than the interest rate on the business debt but the funds would be available if you had a catastrophe.

        It sounds like your plan might have been to pay off or reduce the business debt through a combination of belt-tightening and income from the business but you recognize that that plan would result in only slowly paying off the debt and think that your husband would take the easy way out. If that is true, then I would suggest holding firm on that debt repayment plan and not let your husband talk you into paying off the debt. Stay the course. Evaluate if the business is going to be viable.

        I don’t have any specific resources for dealing with an inheritance but suggest trying to anticipate what your money situation will be in five years given various scenarios. Telling your spouse “We should keep this inheritance in reserve while we build the business. We can pay off debt as we had previously planned and that will make us better off in five years than throwing the money at the debt now would.” is a way to frame that idea.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Could you tell him exactly that? Tell him right away but that because of how money was handled growing up and everyone showing up for a handout even when someone won a small amount from a lottery ticket that you’d like to not discuss it further yet. That’s something that he should be able to respect.

    • I don’t know what to say about when you should tell your husband, etc, but it seems like an extremely questionable idea to spend all the money to pay off business debt. And I’m someone who hates debt. If you sink all that money into the business, it is not letting the business fail or succeed on its own merit, it’s creating a false sense of security. It feels to me like when an employee works a ton of overtime off the clock so it looks like they can get a lot more done than they can. Or when a not for profit doesn’t include all the gifts in kind and so they grossly underestimate operating expenses.

      If you are passionate about the business and really want to put all or some of the money into it, that’s one thing, but if you aren’t, then really really put your foot down and refuse to do it. If the business failed and you had thrown the entire 200k into it after being pressured into it by your husband, would you be angry and resentful? There have been junctures of my and my husband’s communal life where we have openly and honestly asked each other “if we do XYZ do you anticipate becoming resentful?” If you can have those open and honest conversations, and share your history and your background, that can be very helpful to them in creating context for why you feel a certain way. I think its a good idea to have a deadline you come up with together for the earliest you can begin to use the money. Maybe 6 months. Maybe a year. That way you are on the same page and you are not just blowing through it willy nilly.

    • Please get informed about the community property laws in your state. Inheritances generally are your separate money and are not part of the community property if you’re in that state, but as others have stated, this ultimately can depend upon whether you keep this actually separated into an account just for you. You need to know how to protect the money and how it will be characterized, even if you end up using it for joint expenses later (and note that just because you are married doesn’t mean that you have to use it for joint expenses–that’s up to you and you know your relationship best).

    • anon a mouse :

      I don’t have anything else to add, but just wanted to note that the range of really thoughtful replies here is one of the many reasons I keep coming back to this site. Thanks, hive.

    • I recommend the book “The Bogleheads Guide to Investing” which has a nice section on handling a windfall. https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Managing_a_windfall

      I would recommend having the discussion with your spouse sooner rather than later. Make part of the discussion about how money and windfalls were handled in your family of origin. You don’t have to make any decisions right now, In fact many people recommend doing nothing for several months while researching/grieving/deciding what to do. I agree with the posters who said if my spouse kept this type of secret from me for a long time then I would wonder about trust issues.

    • Shopping challenged :

      When my babe was an infant, I learned his daddy was in debt almost exactly as much as my total savings-mid $3k. I gave it to him to lay off the card, thinking it was an investment in our family’s future. Fast forward half a year, when the baby stress was getting strong, and I learned he still had credit card debt. What has he done with the rest? Paid someone to marry him so he could get a teen card; marrying me would have given me too much power over him. I’d be surprised if your husband came up with anything that crazy/making, but you can likely guess my stance on sharing the wealth. Telling what you did with it after the decision’s done and the investment’s made, yes. Taking him out to dinner, or even on vacation, with a portion of it you decide, yes. But the only way I think it should change your family’s day to day finances is if there is an opportunity for something life-changing for one of the kids.

    • Shopping challenged :

      You have incorporated the business, so its debt is not yours, right? My sister and her husband found out about the need to do that the hard way (Actually they did incorporate, but in their heads, they held themselves liable for the business’s debts; when it went under, they had to declare bankruptcy).
      A way to create certain resentment is to give people requirements or hoops to jump through before you give them $x, unless those things were already in their plans.
      Before you think my family’s just full of bad examples, I will say that our dad was sort of in your position for decades–grew up with a widower dad in a small farming community, became a successful professional, and from I can tell just stayed tight-lipped about the financial differences. They had some idea, of course, but any conversations about it would have been shit down before they began.

  23. Need to vent: we finally got our tax returns back from the CPA. (Yes, we had an extension.) We are newbies to professional tax prep and were recommended to this firm by a trusted source because of some specific complicated issues this year, but we haven’t loved the experience for a number of reasons.

    In our initial client portfolio, we asked about standard vs. itemized deductions and offered to hand over a lot more documentation about charitable giving, etc. if itemized was appropriate; they kind of scoffed and said that standard was probably our best bet.

    Tax returns have an itemized deduction after all. They never followed up to ask for the additional documentation, so lots of stuff is missing. So now we have to delay again (I know, extension, no penalty) and, most annoying, honestly, have further interactions with this company that treats us like idiots but really doesn’t seem to demonstrate a whole lot of competence or care in their work.

    Oh, and the invoice–which we just got–is dated mid-April and says it’s due within 10 days. They better not dun us for late payment.

    Blech. I guess at least maybe the tax situation will improve when they add in the additional deductions?

    • Anonymous :

      My professional tax prep situations have been fairly similar. Our CPA kept emphasizing his ability to handle high-wealth individuals and complicated business, trust, charity, -type returns. We probably should’ve taken that as a warning that our fairly vanilla return wasn’t going to get any of his time or attention. Overall, it was an unpleasant experience and we’ll just TurboTax it from here on out.

    • ugh, taxes :

      We also found our accountant via recommendation from a trusted colleague, and were unhappy. He told us on April 17th that we would be filing an extension. There had never been any indication that he would not be able to file our return on time, and in fact when he asked us if we would be available in April to go over the returns, we said we were out of town late in the month and he said something to the effect of “Oh, that’s not a problem. It’s after the filing deadline, so we’ll be done before your trip.” On April 17th, he gave us an estimated amount that we owed, and when he finally finished our filing, it turned out we owed quite a bit more (like 3x his initial estimate). He kept asking us the same question over again and his tone was like he couldn’t quite believe our response. Yes, it was a negative fact (it caused part of the large tax liability), but we gave him the information at our very first meeting.

  24. Need to get over this. :

    Saw a picture of my ex today with his new gf. I so want to be over it and I’m mostly over it but it just stings… I think part of the sting is that he started dating her veryyy soon after we broke up and I’m still single…Thought it was going to be a passing fling but it’s been a bit of time now so seems serious. At this point maybe more serious than we even were (he seems so all in). Plus, if I’m being completely honest here — I just always wonder if she’s prettier / more XYZ qualities than me.

    And yes, I did unfollow on social media. It was a thumbnail of his new profile picture so can’t really avoid.

    • Been there. It gets better. Ex is marrying the person he dated after me. She’s got a lot of physical similarities, but is 8 years younger (than both of us). The physical attributes made me realize he had type – and that type closely resembled his mother, with whom he has an interesting relationship.

      But – that doesn’t mean it’s a more successful or better relationship than what you had, though it could be. Either way it isn’t a reflection on you.


  25. 20 Something :

    Hi all,

    I’ve been a lurker for a while, but now I need career advice. I’m very early in my career (1 year out of school) and have been in a job that I like since graduation. While I truly love the company I work for and all of my coworkers, I have no opportunity for advancement here (for at least 5 more years) and the kind of pay/title increase that I’d like. It is also a very long/stressful commute and I spend about half of the week every week away from home and my fiance.

    So…with this in mind I’ve been quietly applying for jobs in my city that would be great fits, but haven’t heard anything back yet. Enter Company X….they are a sort of partner, sort of competitor to my current firm (its complicated), they are opening a new office in my city and informally interviewed me today (it went great, they’re very excited about maybe having me on board) about the possibility of me heading up the new office and leading their new market development efforts there. It would be a very significant pay increase, a huge amount of new responsibilities, and a shmancy new title. The problem is that they’re not thinking anything will happen until early next year….

    So two questions:
    1) They have asked me for my salary requirements….I personally think it is way too early to discuss this as A LOT can change in 6ish months. Can I say negotiable/let’s talk about it closer to the start date?
    2) I feel weird going to my job (that I really like!) knowing that I’m being recruited by another firm in the same industry…I know I need to get over it, but any advice as to how?


    • 1) Go to Ask A Manager and read her advice on salary requirements. Really, they should be giving you the number they’re willing to pay. Make them do the market research for the initial number to show they are serious.
      2) The new job is in no way a done deal. There is so much that could change between now and then. You don’t have an offer and they don’t have a solid plan yet. Do not treat this as a thing until your have a real offer.

      As far as no advancement for 5 years…is that abnormal for your industry? Is it typical for someone in your industry to have a promotion after only a year or two? Because I think 3-5 years for the first promotion is not-unusual for a lot of office-based jobs. The commute, on the other hand, is probably a more compelling reason for moving.

      Do you feel qualified to take on the responsibilities of this new job being floated? Because going to Person In Charge with only a year of work experience under your belt seems risky, if you aren’t familiar with any of those new responsibilities – that learning curve is likely to take up alot of your time and be pretty stressful and may be a wash with the time you are saving on your commute.

      On the other hand is could be totally awesome and the perfect fit for you. But don’t let the shiny prize of a new title and bump in pay distract you from the questions you should be asking.

      • 20 Something :

        1) Great suggestion- thanks!
        Re: advancement, think of my position as an in-house consultant in a very different industry than my specialty. There is no where to go up except my direct manager’s position (ever) and he will be at the company for at least 5 more years. Currently: I’m fine with my title but I’m grossly underpaid and would like more responsibility/work — neither my pay or my workload will change enough to make up for the commute unfortunately

        2) I’m fully aware this is not a real offer, I just feel awkward talking to another company. It makes me feel…shady? I know, I know, I need to get over it. I’ve just never navigated these waters before.

      • 20 Something :

        Missed the second part of your post, apologies! Yes, I’m 80% qualified for the new position, I still have things to learn, but I’m good at what I do. I wouldn’t be Person In Charge – I would have a direct manager to report to…but at the OG office. To clarify, I meant heading up the new office’s new market efforts. I likely would be the only person there for the first 6 months to year, so I guess I’d technically be the Person In Charge ;)

      • Do some market research on Glassdoor.com. You mention it’ll be a new branch in your city– check what they’re paying similarly titled position in other cities with similar COLs. Compare that to a few other companies/firms in your field in your city. If they push back on an answer like “I’m looking for a salary commensurate with the new position’s responsibilities” you can then say “I’m aware/my research indicates/my familiarity with the field informs me that this type of position’s salary is typically in the $XXk-XXk range.”

        If you skew too high some companies can balk, but if you skew too low it can impact your earnings for years.

    • Being so early in your career, I’d keep working at the current job for a few more months and see what happens with the other company, especially because you stated you really like your job. Talent trade happens all the time! Just keep excelling and see what happens.

      Also, I would research what the average salary is for the job you think you’ll be getting and use that as the baseline with the addendum that potential additional duties resulting from working in a brand new office may need to be considered.

      Good luck!

    • Wildkitten :

      1. Give a broad range or just give a really high number. You can negotiate down to a fair number but you can’t negotiate up, so start high.
      2. Get over it.

      • If you start way higher than your budget organizations will often decide you’re at best too experienced or at worst delusional about market rates. Do your research and give a real, reasonable range that doesn’t undervalue yourself.

  26. Paging whoever in the Friday morning thread who said they could do pull ups-can you recommend exercises to lead up to doing pull ups? I’m in good shape and do a balance of cardio/weights but I can’t seem to get all the way up!

    • So, I can’t do a pull-up either but I’ve been working on it, and have been informed that doing reverse pull-ups helps (jump or step up so you are at the “top” of the pull-up, with chin over the bar, and then slowly lower yourself down.) I’ve been pretty sporadic about it but doing like five of them definitely makes me feel it the next day. And i’d say I’m maybe 50% closer to doing an actual pull-up? Oh, and hanging, but I have terrible grip strength so ymmv. (I got one of those bars that you hang on a doorway in your house).

    • I bought the WODFitters pullup strap. For a few weeks I would do pullups using the strap…maybe 3 times a week for 3 sets of 8? After a few weeks I tried to do one without, and it worked! Now I can do four in a row unassisted. Still training with the strap too though!

      BTW, this is after years of doing the assisted pullup machine and it never translated.

      • Link: http://www.amazon.com/WODFitters-Pull-Assist-Stretch-Resistance/dp/B00IQM3VJQ

  27. Dyeing Jeans? :

    Weird question about dyeing jeans. I’m short and just found some *magical* jeans (Rag & Bone, Capri – Rae for those interested) that are perfect in every way, fit, length, stretchy-ness, but they only make them in two colors – one regular wash and one super light wash I don’t like. I’d like to have another version (because I want to wear them every. single. day. For any “The Office” fans out there, I literally feel like Michael Scott in the jeans he has dry cleaned) and I’ve tried other R&B jeans of the same material (10 oz. Japanese tech denim) and figured I’d have them hemmed, but the cut is just not right. Wondering if getting another pair and having them dyed so I can have a dark wash version is the way to go. Is that a thing? Where would I get that done? Would the dye potentially change the feel? I’ve googled and come across a lot of DIY articles but this is something that would need to be outsourced. Thanks!

    Also, if you are 5′ 2″-ish/size 25-ish and interested in some very awesome jeans, see above. Happy weekend, all!

    • This is really easily DIYable and super cheap. I wouldn’t have even thought to try and outsource it. All you need is a bucket, dye, and washer/dryer. The whole process is about 15 minutes hands on time and the rest just waiting.

  28. Nonprofit board advice :

    I’ve recently moved to a new city and am looking to get on a nonprofit board to increase ties to the community/meet people/be market facing in my quest to make partner at my firm. I’m going to a nonprofit board fair. Does anyone have any advice? I despise small talk but know I’ll have to suck it up. How do you sell yourself?

    • Wildkitten :

      Some non-profits need people on boards to do hard work, some non-profits need people on boards to write big checks and ask their friends to do the same. Know which board member you want to be and tell them that.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes, this is true. And since I suspect you’re not going to be the “big check” person (although I could be wrong), see my response below.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Honestly I think you’re going about this the wrong way. Nobody wants you on their board if you’re only in it to make partner at your firm. And especially not if you despise talking to them and consider it sucking it up. Ugh.

      Think about causes you actually care about and go from there. Please.

  29. Anonymous Preggo :

    Got a lot of great advice this AM about a meeting scheduled today to go over a project that my teammate and I disagreed on whether it had failed with our boss, so I wanted to post an update.

    The meeting went very differently than I expected, with our boss basically criticizing a decision we had made very early on in the project which he felt essentially set us up for not delivering what was really needed instead of what was requested. Because of this, he shared the view that the project had failed, though he also thought it was salvageable…and he suggested a path forward. It’s not 100% clear whether he’s spoken to the COO or not directly, though I’m pretty sure he hasn’t.

    I’m truly questioning my entire perception of reality right now, since my read on this project has been so very different. I was a little nervous about the early decision that we made and agree it limited the scope of what we could achieve, but I still don’t think it makes the project a complete failure. Regardless, I’m truly not sure I would know how to handle a similar situation any better…or even this one, which is a point my teammate actually defended us both on. I don’t know, but I feel really out of my element right now, lacking an understanding of what I’m even supposed to be doing. I would really like some guidance/mentorship, but I don’t feel my boss is willing/able to provide it…and I don’t know where else to turn. I guess I have the weekend to rethink my next steps, but I’m feeling pretty deflated.

  30. Anonymous :

    Well, Banana Republic, Old Navy, and the Gap are loosing sale. Could it be the cheaper product???!!!

  31. BigLaw Summer :

    Any thoughts on what I should wear to a summer associate bowling party with associates and partners at a BigLaw firm in the midwest? It’s directly after work (so I’ll be wearing a suit during the day), but the email specifically says to bring something more casual. I prefer dresses/skirts over pants. I have no idea what would be appropriate? Summer dress and cardigan and flats?

    • Dress to bowling = pretty much guaranteed wardrobe malfunction. Wear pants. Otherwise, when you bowl, you risk revealing things you would prefer to keep private

    • I had one of these events way back when in NYC biglaw. The dress code said “casual” so I wore my casual, which was skinny jeans, tshirt, very worn-in converse (this was back when skinny jeans were considered hipster – bootcut was still very much a thing). Everyone else was in khakis and a polo shirt. I don’t think I even owned khakis and a polo shirt. Biglaw sucks.

      TL;DR: khakis and a polo shirt.

    • Pants. We bowl in pants.

    • Regardless of what you wear (pants) you will be wearing bowling shoes, so your footwear doesn’t matter.

    • BigLaw Summer :

      Ugh. Casual for me in the summer means dress or skirt and wedges or sandals. It’s one of those events where it’s WAY easier for men to do something appropriate (isn’t that every event?).

      So should I wear jeans? I literally haven’t been bowling since I was like 8. Is it a situation where I can choose not to actually bowl? Or do I then look like a party pooper?

      • You can wear jeans. You can’t choose not to bowl.

      • Ekaterin Nile :

        This actually is NOT one of those events where it’s “WAY easier for men to do something appropriate.” Physical size and strength makes no difference in bowling. Both genders can bowl and both genders can bowl well. Women don’t have to worry about their make-up sweating off during bowling, women don’t have to pull their hair back or stuff it under a baseball cap, and it isn’t the kind of event where not playing well ruins it for others and men typically have more experience (e.g., golf). Unless you have religious or cultural reasons that require you to wear a skirt/dress at all times, which doesn’t sound like the case, the fact that a dress/skirt is not appropriate attire for commonsense reasons does not make this event easier for men. I don’t know how to say this gently, but you’ll have to deal with a lot of gender issues if you practice law, and I would suggest you save your energy for the real battles. I have no doubt there are male summer associates who are fretting about their bowling skills and trying to figure out what to wear. Many of the male attorneys I work with frequently ask for advice about attire for client events, networking events, etc.

        Finally, I’m sure the people at this firm who run the summer program would be happy to hear any suggestions you have for fun, gender-neutral events that don’t have a high risk of drunken summer associates/lawyers that fit within the budget.

      • There are a ton of good pants for this right now. A cropped ankle pant with a cotton base is perfect- something like this – http://www.loft.com/doubleweave-riviera-cropped-pants-in-marisa-fit/388186?skuId=20298487&defaultColor=6600&colorExplode=false&catid=catl000014&productPageType=fullPriceProducts

        You can do a cardigan with it or a long sleeve blouse http://www.loft.com/stripe-shirred-utility-blouse/401497?skuId=20777128&defaultColor=5256&colorExplode=false&catid=catl000011&productPageType=fullPriceProducts or a polo

    • Ekaterin Nile :

      My Midwestern law firm does a summer associate bowling event every year. Don’t wear a dress or a skirt. You’ll either have some kind of wardrobe malfunction while bowling or possibly be the summer associate who “couldn’t bowl because she wore a dress,” which suggests you don’t know how to dress appropriately for an event.

      We do not judge our summer associates on their bowling expertise. I don’t bowl and probably bowled a 42 when I was a summer many years ago. Nobody cared, I got an offer, now I’m a partner. However, if you refuse to bowl without a reason like “I have some kind of injury that makes bowling unsafe or risky,” you could come across as not being a team player or as a special snowflake. Keep in mind that the people who plan the summer program have to come up with “fun” events that don’t require a ton of drinking and are theoretically gender neutral. So make their lives easier and play along. You’ll come across much better if you totally suck at bowling and are laughing about it and having a good time than if you’re standing off to the side making conversation in a nice summer outfit.

      My advice is to wear capris or cropped pants and a casual top. Bring ankle socks for the bowling shoes. You definitely do not have to wear khakis and a polo. (Ugh. So thankful I am not in NYC Biglaw.) You might actually have fun!

  32. Would love some recommendations on one-piece bathing suits for the dreaded office pool party. I’m 5’4″ and usually a size 4-6; smaller on top and wider on the bottom. I’d be interested in looking into suits that camouflage my midsection, though that’s not a requirement, and simple bright colors would be great. Thanks so much in advance!

    • So Land’s End just resurrected its Canvas line and I’ve been totally eyeing their swimwear. This one-piece is gorgeous: http://www.landsend.com/products/womens-halter-one-piece-swimsuit/id_298597?sku_0=::Z2H

      It also comes in a polka-dot print: http://www.landsend.com/products/womens-halter-one-piece-swimsuit/id_298597?sku_0=::Z2H

    • anon in SV :

      The hive consensus is don’t wear a swimsuit, no one at an office pool party is actually going to go swimming. Know your office, etc, but I’ve yet to attend a pool party for my firm where anyone actually got wet.

      • This was my assumption going into the same event as a summer associate a few years ago, so I didn’t even bring a bathing suit, but I was mistaken. A lot of people went swimming and I think it will be the same this year. I probably will wear a suit under a cover up and not get in the pool myself, but I want to come prepared this year.

  33. Does anyone here have severe adult acne? How do you handle going to work while looking like a pockmarked teenager? I find it so embarrassing and need advice on dealing. Totally setting aside the impact on dating with severe acne as a 30-year-old, walking into a conference room is just a nightmare.

    And before this turns into a discussion on how to get rid of acne… basically it looks as if mine is here to stay. I’ve had it for years and tried everything EXCEPT Accutane (can’t take it for medical reasons). I’ve tried prescription meds, antibiotics, every type of cream and wash in the drugstore, changing sheets every night, washing more, washing less, changing my diet, etc. I’ve been to several dermatologists. For whatever reason, the gods have decided I’m stuck with terrible acne.

    • I understand the agony of trying everything under the sun to get rid of it. I’m older than you and still have horrible acne. Like you, I have just had to make peace with it. But that’s so hard. I still haven’t. My latest development is really painful acne on my neck (Gah!) and it has left me emotionally scarred. I don’t want to leave the house on really bad days. I just try to focus on the positive things, my body works, I don’t have chronic pain, the people who know me love me for who I am. Wishing you all the best with this, it can feel like a lonely road at this age.

    • Mary Ann Singleton :

      Have you tried spironolactone? I had similarly persistent acne (in my 30s) and nothing helped, but finally found a derm who was willing to prescribe it (and who actually recommended it over Accutane for me since my acne is hormonal). It’s an off-label treatment so not every derm is willing to do it or even familiar with it, but it was the only thing that helped me. I have been able to stay on a low dose (50mg per day), and spironolactone together with Vitamin D supplements and a gentle face wash has worked wonders. A little dizziness and diuretic effect in the beginning, but I’ve been on it for 6+ years now and have no side effects. All the harsh medicated face washes and creams were just making things worse and stressing out my face.

    • Anonymous preggo :

      I hope this doesn’t sound insensitive, but have you tried using make up to cover it up? I’ve known people with pretty severe acne (and my sister has a different skin condition that also covers parts of her face) who are very good at applying makeup to the point where you may not even know they had it. My sister learned how to do this by going to a very talented (and somewhat expensive) makeup artist and asking tons of questions and buying the products she recommended. On the really off chance you’re from the Detroit area, I can recommend her. But wherever you are, I’m sure you can find someone who knows their stuff.

      Again, I really hope that’s not insensitive. I had terrible acne as a teen, so I totally understand being self-conscious about it. I can tell you something that really resonated with me at that time which is that no matter how bad it looks to you, it is far less noticeable to anyone else in the room. And the more self-conscious you are (trying to cover your face with your hair etc), the more attention you draw to it. I believe this, since I’ve had friends complain about a huge pimple or something that I’ve barely noticed.

    • Anonymous :

      I sympathize, I’m in my 30s with bad flares of cystic acne, I might be “lucky” though in that it correlates with crohns flares so is pretty clearly caused by the related inflammation and therefore is only ever going to be moderately treatable. I think that in addition to the inflammation the difficulty my body has absorbing nutrients and/or using them effectively plays a major part in my acne, energy, and other “extra intestinal” symptoms. So, my doctor allows me to take fermented cod liver oil like I was given as a child for the vitamin a, I drink a lot of carrot juice and green juice because I can’t eat any fruit or veg solid because of the fibre, and I also supplement with magnesium on my skin (Epsom salt or magnesium salt baths/sprays for when I’m being lazy) because I can’t absorb it by mouth. All of this combined seems to help contain the more minor flares, but the major immune-suppressants are way more effective for me. I have always suspected that the people who think Accutane gave them colitis actually had colitis that caused the acne and the vitamin A in the Accutane gave them temporary remission just like the TNF inhibitors like Remicade do now that their disease is flaring back up

  34. I am ALSO a longtime lurker needing career advice! I’ve been working at my organization for 7 years, and have been promoted a couple times and am now in a management role. However, when I received my last promotion, I was basically asked to take on a whole new job, and at at the same time, keep my old responsibilities as well. I’ve learned a lot and am grateful for the promotion but I don’t know how long I can handle this work load. I’ve pushed through for 2 years in this role but I’m spread very thin, work long hours, and always feel behind. I’ve expressed this to my boss, and as she is planning for next year’s budget, she’s requested that my role change, and that they hire someone else to take on the old responsibilities so that my role can be more manageable. She’s told me that there’s no guarantee this will work out though.

    However, in the last couple months a position opened up at a similar company which would be a lateral move for me in some ways, but more pay, and my job would be much more focused on the areas I care about most, and more manageable. Next week I am going into the final interview for that position. The budget at my current company will be decided in the next couple weeks as well. Do I tell my boss I am in the final interview round, with the hopes that this will bolster the chances of my job changing for the better?

    I’ve heard conflicting advice about trying to negotiate your job, but she has told me in the past that if I ever am considering leaving, that she would offer a counter offer. So I feel like I’m in a strong position to let them know this, but don’t want to mess it up. Thanks for your perspective!

    • Anonymous preggo :

      This is a know your office situation, I think. I really regret not trying to negotiate a job I had a couple of years ago, since my jobs have been much worse since then. My DH advised me not to mention the new job and instead just arrange a meeting with my boss to discuss my job future and areas I’d like to grow/change. It was actually a good discussion with some concrete development opportunities, but the new job was an almost 50% raise (I was severely underpaid in the job I was leaving), so it was difficult to turn down. There were other issues with the employer I was leaving, but I didn’t fully appreciate the risk of joining a new organization no matter how rosy it seemed from the outside. In retrospect, if I had mentioned the money as well, I think my boss would have made a counter-offer…and I would have been happy with a lower pay bump. My DH’s advice was based on what would fly at his company, where someone who mentioned another job would be viewed as unreliable and not worth developing.

    • I don’t see any reason that you should let your current boss know until you have an offer in hand. You sound excited about the new opportunity right now, but you might learn more through the final stages of interviews. And it sounds like you still have a few weeks before the budget is nailed down. What do you have to gain by telling now?

  35. What should I wear to a funeral over memorial day weekend?? My grandfather passed away a couple days ago… I am sad, but I saw him recently, and said goodbye, and he was in a lot of pain, so I am ok. but I have never been to a funeral as an adult, and I just don’t want to have to be worried about feeling like I look wrong. the service will be in florida, for whatever that’s worth.

    • I'm Just Me ... :

      Something dark and conservative would be best. But a skirt and top, or dress, or pants and top. I wore a grey sheath to the last one I attended, but I’ve also worn a black and white print wrap dress, and a grey skirt with a print top in mostly dark colors.

  36. Is this style of skirt (minus the white blobs and with a simple waistband) ever appropriate for work? It is what I’m most comfortable in, but I never see it in style reports. If it’s just less fashionable but is not too casual, that’s fine with me. I like it because I don’t feel compelled to think about my clothes in any way when I’m wearing this type of skirt.

    • anon in SV :

      In my law firm office, assuming no religious obligations requiring modest dress, that skirt is way, way too casual. Elastic waist, floaty lack of a structure, cotton knit… no, no, no. It definitely says the wearer is not thinking about her clothes in any way, which is not a message that’s good to send. Of course you don’t want to send the message that you think about your clothes a lot either, but zero thought is also not good.

    • I'm Just Me ... :

      I do think you could make an A Line Midi skirt work if it’s in the right fabric. The style is not shown on fashion blogs very frequently, but I see women wearing them.

      I have this skirt in the navy: http://www.lordandtaylor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/en/lord-and-taylor/brands/wa-bottoms-skirts/flared-panel-skirt-0104-all1347–1

      and wear it to work. My office is business casual, so it’s fine. I don’t know if it would work in a business formal environment.

      • I like that one a lot. Thanks for the link! I’ve been noticing Nic + Zoe a lot lately, should probably start looking for them.

        • Anonymous preggo :

          Nic+Zoe is great for relaxed pieces that are a step up from your typical knitwear lines. What I like is that they don’t seem to fade or stretch out as much because of how they are constructed and the materials they use (they can also tend toward frumpy, IMHO, so you have to be thoughtful about how to mix and match them). But it really depends on your office and field. I now own a few N+Z pieces, but they would have been way too informal for some jobs I’ve had in the past.

          Your line of work and office setting would be helpful in providing more specifics.

    • Wildkitten :

      It looks like you murdered a giant butterfly and made a skirt out of the wings.

      • Anonymous :

        Hahaha, yes! Now that you said that, I can’t I see it. But that’s why I was careful to say the cut, not the colors. :)