weekend free-for-all – October 31-November 1, 2015

Olive and pumpkinThis comment section is open for any non-work-related discussion you’d like to have with other readers, by popular demand. (This one is truly no work and no school. If you have a work question, you can email it to me or post it in the work-related open thread on Fridays.)

Book Recommendation of the Week: The Golem and the Jinni, by Helene Wecker. Someone recommended this in last weekend’s open thread, and I’m loving it. A woman made of clay and a man made of fire are marooned in 19th century New York. Surprising things happen.

{ 818 comments… read them below }

  1. Afiendishthingy

    Anyone have tips for getting a new speaker system for your car? I have a 2013 Mazda3; I got the base model because I prefer stick shift, but the speakers are the car audio equivalent of the earbuds that come with an iPhone. I don’t need foundation-shaking bass, I just want some good clarity in all registers at higher volumes. Where do I start? I’m worried about salespeople convincing me to get a bunch of stuff I don’t need because I’m clueless.

    1. Wrench Turner

      There’s always Best Buy but honestly I’d look for your local custom shop and be really really upfront about what you want and don’t want. If they try to hustle you in to the WOMPMASTER 9000 XXXTRA BA$$ when really just some new JBL speakers and a slightly larger amp are enough, then leave. There are plenty of fish in the aftermarket sea!

      Also, something a custom car shop can do that Big Box might not is do non-sound-system things that give you better car acoustics, like secure loose wire harnesses, add a little sound dampening insulation inside your doors and ceiling and so on.

      Set yourself a budget with some fudge room and work within that. You’d be surprised what you can get! Good luck!

      1. Stephanie

        If they try to hustle you in to the WOMPMASTER 9000 XXXTRA BA$$ when really just some new JBL speakers and a slightly larger amp are enough, then leave

        ^Hahahaha.

        I was actually surprised how much I was able to get when I needed to replace my factory system. I’ll second a local shop–they’ll work with you and give you different options.

      2. afiendishthingy

        yes – the cheap plastic interior of my car is doing nothing for the sound quality. And I love my JBL iPod dock, so that’s something :)

    2. The Cosmic Avenger

      I’d start at Crutchfield.com. They have great information. However, if you’re on a really tight budget, they aren’t the place to shop. They do have great sales reps who will advise you even if you aren’t sure you’re going to buy anything yet (or at least they did a few years ago), and if you have the money, their customer service is really good. They sent me these little labels for the wires when I had to buy a harness with a new car radio.

      Sorry I can’t be more specific, but I’m not that picky about audio, most of the stock speakers seem OK to me, and besides, I listen to NPR most of the time anyway.

    3. carquestioner

      Side comment: Do you like your car? I’m considering getting one, and prefer the manual transmission as well.

      1. afiendishthingy

        I wouldn’t get another base model anything, no. It’s fine, but it doesn’t have power locks or cruise control – things I didn’t even think to ask about because I didn’t think they made cars in 2013 without them! It stinks that it’s so hard to find good cars with manual transmissions these days. I think maybe you can get one of the upper trim Mazda3s with a standard transmission – not sure, in any case they’re hard to find. I think they’re good cars on the whole, they just reeeally cheaped out on the basic model.

        1. Stephanie

          I have a manual VW Golf that has some features (like power locks and cruise control).

          My first car was a base model, though and had none of that. Passengers would always leave my door unlocked (“Yeah, you have to lock it yourself…”).

          My current car is the first car I’ve had with cruise control. I had gotten so used to driving without it on long road trips that I didn’t even think to use it until like six months ago. It was kind of a revelation (and a really weird feeling).

          1. Anx

            I actually don’t care at all for cruise control because I feel like there’s no good place to put my foot.

        2. Audiophile

          I didn’t know base models didn’t come with power locks or windows or no cruise control until a few years ago, when I was first car shopping. I looked at Toyota and a base model Yaris. Saleswoman told me “oh the car has 10 cup holders!” And I looked at her and said “but I’d have to unlock/lock all the doors and have people roll their windows down? Yeah, I have no friends who’d be willing to do that.” I’m exaggerating a little bit, but not by much. I couldn’t believe it, this was 2011-2012.

              1. Afiendishthingy

                Personally I would have a place to store way more mostly empty coffee cups than I do now, but I don’t think that would be a good thing.

              2. TL -

                The Yaris hatchback at least is pretty much a smuggler’s dream car – I had mine searched by a navy base once and they didn’t catch all the small compartments in the car. (It was a random search and we were going to our prom on base but still….)

                For context, I have 3 glove compartments.

            1. Lionness

              Or, you can keep one of those things on your keychain that cuts seatbelts and shatters windows. I’ve had one since Grampa bought it for my 16th birthday. Never leaves my keychain.

                1. The Cosmic Avenger

                  I think Lionness is talking about what’s usually called a multitool, but we had plain brass center punches when I volunteered with the fire department, and those are also cheap and easy to handle.

          1. Audiophile

            It might have been a Matrix, I was looking at both at the time. I just couldn’t believe how few perks the cars had. I ended up buying a base model Nissan that had power locks, windows and cruise control. Maybe that was mid-range. Current car is base model Hyundai Elantra GT with touch package upgrade.

          2. super anon

            my first car back in 2006 was a 2007 dodge sx 2.0 that was a manual transmission, and it was so base that it didn’t even have a trunk release in the car. you had to turn off the car and open the trunk with a key. it sucked a lot.

        3. OriginalEmma

          I have a used Honda Fit Sport with manual trans and I love it. Cruise control, power locks/windows, AM/FM/CD player radio with an aux hook-up for MP3 player.

      2. CollegeAdmin

        My friend and I both have 2012 Mazda 3s and we both really like them. Mine is the top line model with an automatic transmission; I’ve had it for 2 years. The only issues I’ve had are a tire pressure monitor went, and a recall issue with the back windshield making a slight rattling noise – both were fixed under my warranty, no problem. His is a more baseline model with a manual transmission that he bought about two months ago; he’s had no problems so far and loves it.

      3. I own a Mazda

        I own a Mazda 3 (2007 Touring Edition) bought it in 2008 with 31,000 miles on it from a dealership. I bought it based on all the good things I read about it in consumer reports. It’s been a great car and I recommend it.

    4. Noah

      I had to special order my Mazda 3 to get the manual transmission. Mine is a mid-level model with the tech package added. I love it, but no way would I drive a car without power locks. I could deal with manual windows but would hate having to make sure all the doors are locked all the time.

      1. Afiendishthingy

        I think that’s what I would if I could do it over- plus the base model doesn’t have the horsepower of the mid level trims. I like my car, but no more base models for me.

  2. Alma

    Kitty has checked out those skeletons, and is giving Alison the “Is there something we need to talk about?” look. The others are hiding behind the sofa, I bet.

    My dog is put out because the only super hero costume I could find was XXS. There were many, many Super Girl outfits in every size, but they had tulle skirts, and I would not do that to my boy. The XXS Batman costume does fit his loofa dog that he carries with him everywhere. He gives me “the look” like Kitty does – he is not amused.

  3. fposte

    I’m surprised how horrifying I find the cat skeletons. I guess I’m not inured to them the way I am to the human variety.

    1. QualityControlFreak

      Hmm, neither bother me greatly. I prefer to visualize Olive leading her skeleton army in search of Halloween treats. :)

    2. TootsNYC

      I had a friend who kept a real cat’s skull on a ledge in her house. It was from her cat. He’d died several years before, and she buried him at the edge of the garden. Years later, she was digging up bulbs and found it, and she brought it inside, and kept Killer on the ledge.

  4. Ask a Manager Post author

    There should be a word for the mild shame one feels at having no plans to report to one’s hair stylist, dental hygienist, etc. when they ask what you did this summer, if you traveled anywhere recently, what your plans are for the weekend, etc. I’m always like “I’m just going to nap all weekend, “staying in tonight, doing nothing,” and “nope, we stayed home all summer” and it seems I’m letting them down. I sometimes report on my lack of activity in a smug tone (like a tone that says, “I’m so privileged that I don’t have to leave my house and stand in bars and crowded social events, and it’s amazing”) because that’s actually how I feel, but they all seem perplexed and want me to have a more exciting social life. I know I can’t be the only one experiencing this. We need a word for it.

    1. fposte

      I was just going to post that being at home on a rainy fall day, getting work done and drinking hot chocolate, is about as good as life gets.

      1. Former Diet Coke Addict

        I was actually disappointed this week because we had a rainy/stormy day and I was at work, because I love nothing better than spending a rainy, stormy day inside and reading, cooking something fragrant, drinking tea, catching up on chores, while watching a documentary or something in the background. BEST days.

        1. Heather

          I love stormy days! Lap time with the kitty and grilled cheese sandwiches and cream of tomato soup for lunch! Course I get lap time all the time but when it’s stormy it just seems better

      2. The IT Manager

        Woke up early due to good sleep hygiene (asleep before 11pm for the last 8 of 9 days) and DST. Rainy weather perfect excuse to stay in go through winter clothes since I will need them for a vacation trip to DC Thanksgiving week. Still summer weather here but I may need some long pants before then.

    2. Ruffingit

      I feel no shame about this. What am I doing this weekend? Nothing. I’m napping and lighting my pine-scented candles. That’s the extent of my plans. Personally, I nominate the word “languorous” to describe this. It’s a synonym for lazy, but it sounds way more sophisticated :)

      1. Bruce H.

        The novel The Philosophical Strangler, by Eric Flint, describes a religion called Ethical Entropy, in which the three stages of increasing enlightenment are Languour, Torpor, and Stupor.

    3. Afiendishthingy

      I just experienced this with my hairdresser the other day. Fortunately I asked her the same questions in response and she had nothing but work also.

    4. A Dispatcher

      Oh my god, this is me, all the time… What if I like doing nothing in my spare time! No one seems to understand this. I now get to use the excuse that it’s because I have a stressful job and long/crazy hours, but truthfully, I’ve always kind of been a homebody (exception is traveling, I do like that and try to go as often as I can) whose only regret about not going out more is when it comes up in the situations like you describe.

      1. Alma

        Mom used to call it “unwinding” – I actually say that I’m going to hang around the house and “defrag.” Literally, my hard drive or cloud or whatever it is now needs time to sort, rearrange, re-order, and repair.

    5. Heather

      I don’t think there needs to be shame. To me it’s just life. Some people like to do low key things in their down time while others like to be busier. Neither way is wrong. Although technically reading, or watching tv/movies is not doing nothing in my book. Some weekends I’m busier than others but most of the time I recharge by low key activities like reading or knitting and watching movies. Others ways of recharging may be different. I find it tiring to have too many things on the go especially crammed into a weekend. I tend to do all my errands during the week so I can just relax on the weekend. Although I notice that a lot of people are constantly exhausted so maybe they could do with a quiet weekend too. ;)

        1. Heather

          Interesting yes. And I knew you were joking.

          But I’m past “apologizing/being embarrassed” about my life. Yes I’m unmarried, yes I live alone, no I don’t get lonely and if someone thinks it’s pathetic that’s on them. I also tend not to believe that people’s lives aren’t as exciting or busy as they pretend – I think it’s the “happy, happy, Facebook syndrome” where everyone has to be picture perfect and movie-like. Also I think when people ask what someone is doing they aren’t really expecting to hear that someone is jetting off to Paris for the weekend. What do most people do? Errands, housework, gardening, yard work, blah blah. Not much better or different than spending the day doing whatever.

        2. Tamsin

          The only time I truly did feel guilty was when, as she was blowing my hair out, she asked where I was going that night — and I had no plans at all. I have such long, thick hair, too, so I’m sure it was shocking to her that I was going to “waste” the blowout. (I have such long, thick hair, though, that I can’t wash my hair every day and a blowout can last me the better part of an entire work week.)

          1. Elizabeth West

            I can’t stand it when my stylist wants to do my hair and I have nowhere to go. It just makes me feel bad. I left with wet, undone hair today. I’m not wasting a style on the cat.

            1. fretnone

              Haha yes, I got a haircut last week and thought, as she was spraying on hair shine… “You know I’m going to wash that out as soon as I get home right?”

              I had a vision of Psycho Kitty smiling when you come home with a new do :)

      1. Eva

        Omg yes there needs to be a word for this! I experienced this exact thing last week when I had my hair done. The hairdresser checked two more times throughout the appointment that I definitely did not have any plans this weekend and I kept reassuring him that no, I did not have plans.

        I used to have a fabulous hairdresser who had much more interesting conversation topics like politics and current events. This new guy only seems to have “plans for the weekend” in his small-talk repertoire.

        1. Alma

          My hair stylist and I both understand what it is to have jobs with intense people contact. We laugh about how the sound is turned off on our computers, and we have older model cars so they don’t talk to us. Sometimes she does her artistry, and I zone out (until one of us hears an exchange of mutual aggrandizement from a stylist/client, and makes a snarky remark under our breath). She has to stop and hold on to the chair while we laugh. I love that time!

    6. Weekend Warrior

      This is a serious issue for new retirees! Such pressure to justify ourselves by doing. Probably self imposed to think we need to impress others but pretty universal. I’m still working but planning my next stage so have been reading a lot about this issue on retirement blogs. retiredsyd is a great blog for these musings.

    7. Wrench Turner

      chagrindoors – The slight embarrassment for choosing to stay home instead of going out to be social.

      You’re welcome.

    8. anonanonanon

      I’m so lucky that my hair stylist doesn’t feel the need to engage me in conversation if I don’t feel like talking. Sometimes I just really enjoy relaxing as I get my hair done and I don’t particularly want to talk, and he’s awesome at picking up on those moments. When we do talk, we tend to discuss new things we’ve baked or dogs or how much we get annoyed by people on public transportation.

      1. Wrench Turner

        Last time I had my hair done (when it was down to my hips) I fell asleep. Nothing to talk aboutzzz

        1. anonanonanon

          My salon gives excellent head massages when they’re shampooing hair and it always makes me want to fall asleep. I haven’t yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I did at some point.

          1. Natalie

            Some of the best massages I’ve had have started with the therapist saying “it’s fine if you fall asleep”.

        2. Dynamic Beige

          Sometimes I wish there was something I could sit in that would support my head the way a stylist needs it to be so that I could just go to sleep and not have to conversate with them. It would be nice to have a nap, there’s something about having my hair brushed that I find so soothing.

          Also, I am surprised that there isn’t a word for this “smug because I’m staying home doing nothing” thing in German. But maybe because Europe isn’t so go-Go-GO! like over here, there isn’t the same “what do you mean? I took the kids to hockey, judo, got groceries [insert 5 other things] before noon! I still have to…” humblebrag thing that seems to be somewhat designed to make another person feel like they’re not accomplishing as much. There is someone I know who is fond of saying things like “I’m on this job right now and I haven’t slept in 4 days!” like it’s a Girl Scout merit badge that we should all ooo and aah over. Uh, no.

          1. Revanche

            I wish for the same. There’s very little as awkward as staring at myself in the mirror while a near stranger lops off my hair especially when my desired ‘do is nothing more than “I dunno, just shorter.”

            We need a German speaker to find that word for us.

            1. Ruffingit

              My husband is a native German and says the word is “faul” pronounced like foul or fowl. Translation is “lazy.” :)

              1. Myrin

                Ah, that’s good, only that “faul” doesn’t really have the “smug” angle. I mean, it can, especially if said, well, smugly, but it really just means “lazy” and can have a deriding or matter-of-fact-neutral connotation just as much.

      2. afiendishthingy

        Yeah, last week after my hairdresser and I had established that neither of us had any plans for mountain climbing or dinner with the Kennedys, we had a good conversation about the snooze button and the unfair advantages early risers get. The time before that we bonded over being women of child-bearing age with no interest in reproducing. I like her. I do feel a little lame that every time I come she asks how I want my hair done and I say “the usual”, but whatever, it looks good and it’s low maintenance, and it’s nice to have someone know exactly how to do “the usual”.

    9. AnotherFed

      My parents do this to me just about every time I call them! They just don’t get that after a long work week, having to go be social sounds like more work and I would much rather sit on my sofa and play video games all weekend. Since both DS and I travel a fair amount for work, even for vacation time we’d rather do something like a staycation or a low-key camping trip where no one has to plan travel arrangements and we can catch up on stuff at home!

    10. OhNo

      On a related note, have you guys heard of the Danish concept of hygge? I just read an article about it, and it makes for an awesome description of that feeling you get when you get to stay indoors and be comfy instead of going out to socialize.

      I’ll post the link in a reply.

    11. Shell

      I firmly believe that one can have an amazing time staying at home, no adventures necessary. I’m reading a book! I’m playing video games! That’s not nothing in my book.

      I’ve a week’s vacation starting next Wednesday and I’m bloody excited about it. I’m staying at home, sleeping in, doing a bunch of cleaning and errands that desperately needs to be done (and I might reward myself with a gift I’ll ask about in a separate comment)…and when StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void drops on November 10? I’m going to be glued to my computer playing it non-stop. And I tell people so quite cheerfully. They think I’m a hopeless dork, I’m sure, but I so don’t care. :D

    12. Hush42

      One of my coworkers asked me if I was going to party this weekend. My response was “if by “party” you mean do homework”… I am a full time student with a full time job so I don’t have time to go out and party. But even if I did I wouldn’t because I hate parties. Napping all weekend sounds like heaven.

    13. Mimmy

      I don’t think there’s any shame. It must be a societal thing, that there’s an expectation to always be doing something exciting. DH and I did more things on the weekends when we were younger, but now we’ve become more laid back and tend to just play it by ear. If we do anything, it’s usually go out for lunch or dinner, see a movie, or home project / yard work.

      Our excitement tends to occur in spurts. There was one week last year where we had 3 shows in the space of 6 days!

    14. Stephanie

      Eh. Since I started working swing shift, I get really excited to stay at home Saturday night. It feels lame, but I really enjoy being able to go to bed at 10 since I’m usually still at work then.

      1. Not So NewReader

        For decades staying home Saturday night was one of the most comforting activities I had during the week. I got just way to much pleasure out of it.

        1. Ruffingit

          This is totally me. I look forward to the weekends so I can stay home and veg out. Saturday nights mean hot bubble baths and comfy nightgowns with Netflix or documentaries.

          1. Trixie

            I like Friday nights at home, esp after a long week. I’m usually a little burned out on people and feel anti-social. Good night’s sleep then I can enjoy the weekend well-rested and refreshed.

            1. Ruffingit

              Exactly. I am totally burned out on peopling by the time the weekend rolls around. I love being able to take my bath and recharge.

    15. Soupspoon McGee

      I wonder if they hope for glimpses into other worlds through conversations.

      I work with the elderly now, and I’ve found they light up when I tell them the smallest stories about my day. I grew tomatoes this summer, so every day, I’d be asked for the farm report by nearly everyone–and I’m still called Tomato Lady (or Tomato Cat Lady). I told four people that I usually wear cat ears and a cat tail as my costume, but this year, my dog ate my cat ears. I got a lot of laughs. I need new material every day, though :-).

      1. pandq

        I gotta tell you Soupspoon – your post made me smile. I’m so glad you are able to be there for these folks. Thank you!

    16. Nina

      I had a stylist who would ask me that question every time I saw him, lol. And my answer was always “Studying and/or homework,” because it was true! Thankfully my new one doesn’t do that.

    17. pony tailed wonder

      I forget which comedian had this in their routine (I listen to the Pandora comedy mix), it might just be John Mulaney though but a part of the routine is when you finally realize that you are an adult when you look forward to doing nothing on the weekend. Kids are crushed if they have nothing to do on weekends but look at all the sly self satisfied smiles adults have when you ask them what they did over the weekend and they say that they did nothing at all.

      This sadly however doesn’t stop me from deadpanning my good friends with the phrase “Oh, black out drunk again?” when they pull the nothing routine.

    18. Sara

      I usually make something up. I also get my hair cut at chain salons (Great Clips and the like), so I don’t really need to worry about telling the stylist for the umpteenth time “Oh, I’m going to my friend’s housewarming party!” (I use this one a lot) since I’ve probably never seen her before and probably won’t again.

    19. Merry and Bright

      I’m the same. I can never remember what I’ve done in the last few weeks since I saw my stylist anyway. And for my plans for the rest of the weekend (I usually go on Saturdays) chilling out somehow draws a blank.

    20. edj3

      You need a stylist like mine! She’s as much of a homebody as I am and we both prefer quiet, orderly lives. We joke that we are incredibly boring but the truth is, I love it. I get my excitement when my husband and I travel–otherwise, we’re at home doing things we love (like gaming).

    21. Sammie

      Boy, do I hear you! I’ve been going to my hair guy forever and he knew me when I had a much more “rock and roll” lifestyle. Now I just will talk about art/music/theatre to throw him off the scent that I am just no longer “cool”.

    22. The Other Dawn

      I’m the same way. And it’s not like I’m busy. I’m just home, vegetating. Usually I’m watching TV or on the computer, or both at the same time. I make all sorts of grand plans in my head, and by “grand” I mean that I’m going to spend a whole day cooking new recipes, reading a book, organizing something, etc. Reality? I get up early, do the grocery shopping, take a break to watch The Golden Girls…and it all ends there, pretty much. Suddenly it’s 3 pm and hubby will be home from work soon (he’s been working weekends lately), which means I SHOULD cook something for dinner. I piece together something passable, go back to watching TV, then get all pissed off when it’s 9 pm and I haven’t done the wash or put together tomorrow’s breakfast and lunch for work. Then it’s Monday and I start making “grand” plans for the following weekend. Wash, rinse, repeat.

    23. Windchime

      Yeah, I’m a real homebody. Sometimes the whole weekend will go by and I’ve literally spoken no words to anyone except the cat. This weekend is rainy, so I’ve been doing lots of knitting in my sweatpants. I see that I have about one teaspoon of sugar left, so that means I can have one more cup of tea before I need to go to the store.

      I love staying in and just decompressing on the weekends. There is another site where I lurk and people are always asking things like, “We have a 3-day weekend coming up and are celebrating the fact that I didn’t break a nail all week. Should we fly to Spain or Iceland? Any recommendations?” Yeah, we get it. You’re awesome.

    24. Grey

      I completely misunderstood that the first time I read it. I thought you were talking about the guilt you feel when you hint to people that you’re not there to socialize, much like your recent comment about a woman who worked at your spa. I don’t talk to people in the service industry about such things, because I don’t believe they really care what I did this summer or how my day is going. I think it’s all just a way to break the silence and appear friendly.

      Even if spent my summer skydiving, mountain climbing or bull riding, I’d reply with “oh, not much”. I’m there for a reason and it’s not to socialize.

    25. kelseywanderer

      LOL I always get my hair cut on the rare occasions when I’m back home, so I always end up discussing my life in [ongoing conflict zone country] with the hairstylist. It’s actually a lot more boring than it sounds, to be honest, but at least it gives me something that *sounds* exciting to talk about.

    26. MashaKasha

      Oh god yes. Weirdly I had a pretty big lifestyle change when I went from my last relationship to being single and then to my current one. My ex loved to travel and traveled a LOT! (I’m guessing his work paid for some of it – he’d go to a work conference and stay an extra few days or an extra week.) So each time a dental assistant would ask, I’d rattle off a list of cities without even thinking twice about it. Then we broke up and I wasn’t in the mood to travel for a while, then I got together with a guy who started a new business last year, business is growing like crazy, and requires him to be connected/available for work pretty much 24-7. Also most of his money is tied up in the business, and a lot of mine is tied up in my one kid that’s still in college, lol. So all of a sudden, instead of answering “so where did you go this summer?” with “oh, New York, Paris..” :) I’ve got nothing. But you know, weirdly, my weekends are so interesting *to me* that I never even thought of it as an embarrassing admission or whatnot. It’s not like my dental assistants have never spent a weekend doing yardwork and loving every minute of it. They totally understand! I do have a plan B though where I can always switch the conversation to kids. Mine are both out of the house, one lives on the other side of the country, both have some interesting stuff going on in their lives in one way or another, my dental assistants have grown kids of their own, so that is where the conversations usually end up.

      PS I ran into the traveling ex and his new partner a year after we split; on a Labor Day weekend. It went kind of like this: “so what have you been up to?” – “New partner and I had a great summer traveling!” – “Cool, where’d you travel?” – “Oh, around Europe”. A SUMMER AROUND EUROPE, people! Meanwhile, my dog had just been diagnosed with a terminal illness (took something like $3.5K to diagnose and $300-600/month afterwards for the meds and tests) and I’d dropped what was left of my savings on my youngest’s first college bill. Oh and took him to Boston for five days as a graduation present. I also had no PTO, and had barely scrambled enough for the Boston trip. THAT was the only time I left shame.

  5. A Dispatcher

    Ideas for “fancier” (and even better if they skew toward healthier since some of my picks are not so much) football snacks? Am already planning on bacon wrapped shrimp, a spinach and artichoke crostini, homemade cheese bread and some veggies with a homemade buttermilk ranch (and maybe hummus too, haven’t decided). Not sure what else I might need to round it out…

      1. A Dispatcher

        Oooh, you know what, that reminds me, I have seen her make these bacon wrapped cracker things and made a mental note to try them (the looked so good!), but had totally forgotten about them. Thank you. I may skip them this time since I already have something with bacon, but absolutely for the next game.

        1. afiendishthingy

          I love her bacon-cream cheese jalapeno poppers, although I am allergic to them in the same way Andy Dwyer is allergic to sushi… Every time I eat 40 of them I feel really sick

    1. The Artist Formally Known As UKAnon

      Don’t know if it helps, but with Halloween I am just munching on some toasted pumpkin seeds. I’ve never tried them before and they’re truly one of the most moreish things ever.

    2. Amber Rose

      Well you’ve already got a bacon wrapped item, but the fanciest item I can make is bacon wrapped water chestnuts. Soak them in soy sauce for a few hours, wrap them in bacon, secure with a toothpick and throw them in the oven until the bacon cooks.

      I usually use clean sharp scissors to cut the bacon in thirds.

    3. Natalie

      Generally, I like the Smitten Kitchen for good, manageable recipes that are often fancy (or fancy looking) but not fussy.

      Specifically, a good cheese and olive plate is always nice. Also, I make a feta dip from Cooks Illustrated. It’s behind a paywall, but the gist is sauté some shallots and crushed red pepper in olive oil (a lot, like a cup), add oregano and lemon zest, take off heat, and stir in cubed or crumbled feta. Serve warm with bread. The oil biz that’s left after you’ve eaten all the cheese is delicious as well.

      1. A Dispatcher

        Oooh thank you! Those might be perfect. I didn’t want to bother trying to make wings but the love the flavor of them and they’re such traditional football food. I’ve made pepperoni pizza and breakfast quinoa bites before and enjoyed, but didn’t think to do a buffalo version.

    4. Al Lo

      It’s not fancy, but one of my favorite (and fastest-to-go) bacon-wrapped items is:

      Slice a hot dog lengthwise (but don’t cut all the way in half). Fill the cut with peanut butter. Wrap in bacon. Stick in about 4-5 toothpicks per hot dog. Bake until the bacon is cooked. Cut into bite-sized pieces with a toothpick in each. Watch them disappear.

    5. Sunflower

      Baked Brie and cranberries(can also add walnuts) in phyllo cups. Grilled chicken and veggie skewers.

      1. A Dispatcher

        Thank you :) I’ve made those with brie and apple with walnuts (one of the first things to go when I bring them to parties) but cranberries would be a really nice twist I think!

    6. OriginalEmma

      Smitten Kitchen has a solid flaky pastry crust that can be used in hand pies – my favorite kind of pies! So you can make healthy versions of pasties, empanadas, samosas – whatever veggie, meat or fruit combination you can think of. They come together very quickly and are easy to make in batches.

    1. Sunny with a Chance of Showers

      BEST: I hit two estate sales today (for my online vintage shop) and got some super cool goodies that I don’t often come across: a camp stool, a strappy old shipping box, child’s folding camp chair, beer signs, child’s teaching clock.

      WORST: I’m out of chocolate.

      1. afiendishthingy

        I’m out of cookies. There are these cookies at Whole Foods called “chipwiches”. It’s two chocolate chip cookies with vanilla frosting in the middle. I need all of them.

        1. danr

          The chipwiches that I knew were large chocolate chip cookies with vanilla ice cream between them and rolled in tiny chocolate chips. They were wonderful when bought from an ice cream vendor in a park on a hot summer day.

          1. OriginalEmma

            Yes! But they were always solid when you unwrap them at first so you had to nip away at it until it hit that point where it melted rapidly.

    2. mondegreen

      Best: I found an amazing winter coat at Uniqlo and scored a free ticket to see Rigoletto at the Met tonight.

      Worst: my apartment is right along the route of New York’s Halloween parade, which is scheduled for the exact time I’ll be heading uptown.

    3. Dangitmegan

      Best: dressing up as Zenon with my best friend as Nebula from the old Disney Channel movie. So fun!

      Worst: I tore my plantar fascia. In a boot for awhile. Sad about it.

      1. Anonyby

        I remember enjoying that movie when they first played it! I didn’t/don’t watch many made-for-TV movies (or movies in general), but I remember not being able to resist. :)

    4. Oryx

      BEST: I got interviewed by Alison on AAM ;) But, really, my boyfriend has never seen Rocky Horror Picture Show so we are having movie tonight and I’m introducing him.

      WORST: My boyfriend has never seen Rocky Horror Picture Show. I just can’t even.

      1. Anonyby

        Truth: I haven’t seen Rocky Horror either.

        Admittedly, it’s not because I haven’t tried. I did try to record it once when it was playing on TV… but I forgot to warn my grandmother and she panicked when the VCR turned on for no apparent reason, and shut it off. And since then it just hasn’t been a priority.

        1. Amber Rose

          It’s not a good movie. It’s highly entertaining with an excellent sound track but it’s honestly rather silly.

          I guess what I’m saying is, you should rent it some time with zero expectations, if you need a laugh.

          1. Clever Name

            It’s really at its best watching it in costume with a group of people. It’s very campy. Tim Curry in a bustier….

          2. Num Lock

            Rocky Horror is best live! I do think it’s worth watching the movie so you have an idea of what you’re going to see at the show if you’ve never been, since there’s a TON of audience participation. Oh and getting a feel for the style so you can pick the right (wildly inappropriate) outfit for the show. We have a local theater group that puts it on each year.

          3. Sarah

            In all honesty, I loved it when I first saw it on DVD sitting with my mom in my living room, but I really tend to love campy sci-fi terribleness. Like I love early Star Trek: The Original Series too. (Also, Tim Curry in fishnets really does not hurt the movie’s appeal at all.) I’m now on a shadowcast as Janet and performed just last night for Halloween! Because I love the movie and Rocky community so much.

            But most people I know, including the people I perform with, probably wouldn’t watch the movie by itself just for fun. It takes a special kind of weird and specific passion for campy movies, or a couple of beers, to enjoy it as-is.

            Still, seeing the movie with a live shadowcast with callbacks and TP getting thrown all over the place is something that all adults should at least try, IMO. It’s great fun.

        2. Elizabeth West

          The first time you see it (as a RH virgin), you really need to go to a midnight showing with friends and participate. You can’t just sit and watch it the first time.

      2. super anon

        My boyfriend hasn’t seen it either and when I tried to play Time Warp as part of our Halloween playlist he hated the song and now refuses to watch Rocky Horror at all. :(

    5. Anonyby

      Best: After several years of not doing anything for Halloween and lamenting it (it was my favorite holiday growing up!), I finally got my act somewhat together to throw together a costume for this year. I just need to put the finishing touches on the cloak, but otherwise everything’s made! (And that includes homemade wands that I’m very proud of!) And then last night friends announced that they decided last-minute to host a Halloween party! YES! I have both a costume and somewhere to wear it TO! :D

      Worst: Just feeling generally icky and run down from lack of of self-care, and feeling like I don’t have the time/money/energy/space to do healthier things.

      1. danr

        Well, then… pick one healthier thing to do and stick with it. Don’t feel the need to add another one unless you really, really want to.

      2. Not So NewReader

        When my health went south years ago, I started by stopping things. I stopped coloring my hair. I stopped using perfume. And so on. I did manage to free up some time to do other things…like SLEEP! The next thing I looked at was “what can I do as I go along?”, in other words taking something I am doing and make it a bit healthier some how. I started using a luffa (loufa?) sponge, why not? I have to shower anyway, I figured, so might just try this for a while. I got hooked.

        I did not do any major work in any one day. It was that I just kept making small tweaks for months. And I went with the things that I was drawn to, not someone else’s ideas of what I SHOULD do. That helped because I was addressing my own personal needs.

        1. Sally

          I agree on the stopping things. I stopped wearing makeup (and my complexion improved!), stopped painstakingly washing and recycling every container or piece of paper I use (aka gave myself permission to just throw something away once in awhile without guilt), and quit two of my non-fulfilling volunteer positions. Removing little burdens from your day-to-day life can give you some breathing room for better self care.

    6. Mimmy

      BEST: Had a really nice time with my husband’s nephew and his wife last Sunday in Philadelphia.

      WORST: Looks like our combination leaf blower / leaf mulcher died :( The trick-or-treaters probably passed up our house because we were still outside collecting the leaves by hand while they were walking around.

    7. Lizabeth

      Best: having Friday’s off
      Worse: not being able to talk my sweetie into letting me get the moose head I saw at a local antique store. And it’s a REALLY nice one…

    8. Amber Rose

      Best: I got to teach newbies some sword fighting basics. I just, really love teaching. I probably missed my calling as a teacher. Plus swords.

      Worst: is a tie between left foot hurting so bad I couldn’t wear my shoe for 4 days, and failing my driving test due to having the one examiner in the city who knows who I am, and hates me. :/

    9. Elkay

      Best: Found a new exercise class which was really fun.

      Worst: Fighting a losing battle trying to keeping the house clean. I’m on top of laundry but that’s about it.

    10. danr

      Worst: the cord of wood that I stacked in good steel racks had to be undone and restacked onto pallets because the legs of the racks sank into the ground after a hard rain. And they sank unevenly.
      Best: I’m in after two afternoons of restacking the wood. My back feels fine (which was our big worry). Tomorrow I go and get some solid bricks to put under the crosspieces to keep the legs from sinking in. We haven’t burned any wood yet and it’s warmed me twice.

      1. Not So NewReader

        Wood heat is great. It warms you to the bone like nothing else. But, man, it’s a lot of work.

      2. danr

        Best II: And now we’re warmed a third time. We’ve just finished re-restacking the wood in the racks with extra supports and fore thought. Now we just need some cold nights to start using the wood. :)=

    11. SL #2

      Best: The Halloween party at work. (I don’t want to go into detail in case it’s crossing into work open thread territory, but it was a lot of fun and my team and I pulled off our (totally optional and awesome) theme fantastically.

      Worst: The weekend only being two days, haha.

    12. Nashira

      Best: Totally called my psychiatrist and therapist to move up my appointments when I realized that some stuff was triggering my mental illness stuff badly. I am very very proud of me.

      Worst: My husband’s boss invited us to an open house barbeque tomorrow and I keep randomly panicking over it. We do have a small cheap-but-nice host gift now and I know what to wear but ahhhhh. I only know how these things work in the more formal DC environment! Not Missouri! (I realize it will go fine.)

      1. StillHealing

        Good for you! Taking care of your health is your number one priority. No one else can truly know or understand how you are feeling and coping. I’m very,very proud of you too! I personally know just how difficult taking those step can be. By celebrating it and giving yourself kudos you are making it easier and easier to take the necessary steps for your mental health in the future.

    13. Anony-moose

      Lots of best this weekend! Took today off (I usually have a horseback riding lesson) after wrapping a major event Thursday. Had brunch with the honey, bought some autumn flowers, and got a ton of writing done.

      The best? Realizing ten minutes into research I didn’t want to do that *that* was the reason i’d hired my little sister to help me out, and assigned the project to her instead! Now I get to focus on my side business a bit more intensely because she’s doing lots of research, outlining, and “grunt work” for me!

      Worst? It’s super rainy and cold in Chicago and I could not plant my beautiful plants!

    14. StillHealing

      BEST: Insurance claim check from claim I sent via email on Tuesday morning, arrived in my mailbox yesterday! That was FAST! It’s in the bank now.

      WORST: Not horrible, just spooky and inconvenient. Woke to a possessed television this morning. It has a red light that blinks nine times then pauses then blinks another nine times. It you turn it on, the picture blinks on then screen goes black and the sound eerily loops like a broken record. It’s a Sony only three years old. Ugh.

    15. Revanche

      Best: we had an amazing anniversary dinner in the city where the servers were so kind and welcoming of our squirrel-child (who was also relatively well behaved but still, a child, so we took hir outside at decent intervals to shake off the restlessness). The food was incredible and fancy and a step or three up from our usual dining.

      Worst: it’s going to be the nth anniversary of Mom’s passing which is hard enough but I also cruised right into a huge chronic pain flare up this weekend and I can barely move. Typing on the iPad hurts. So this’ll be extra painful.

    16. Blurgle

      BEST: Got the laundry done, had steak salad (well, stir-fry salad) for dinner.

      WORST: Some rando just screamed vile names at me in the street. Ah, life in the city…

      1. Anx

        Ah, I just had a passive-aggressive comment with someone I used to hang out (mutual friends) where I mentioned an upcoming car tune-up and he got really smug about living in a city with public transportation. I’ve walked and biked and rode transit, but you know one thing I’m not looking forward to about moving back to a city? The walkability.

        I used to love it; I don’t like driving much. But the reprieve from common yelling in the streets and forced interaction has been so refreshing.

    17. Coffee Ninja

      BEST: Trick or treating! I LOVE handing out candy. I dress my dog up every year and bring him to the door with me, the kiddos get a kick out of it. (Although I got a lot less kids than usual this year, strangely).

      WORST 1: A new friend canceled our plans (that I was really looking forward to) and didn’t want to reschedule :(

      WORST 2: I shattered the screen on my 3 week old iPhone 6s.

      1. Nashira

        We got 5. My in-laws, in another neighborhood, got 8. Normally, we get about 50 and they get 100. I’m not sure if it was the drizzle or the first day of deer hunting or the World Series, since we live in MO and well KC Royals… Does anyone want some Butterfingers?

    18. Elizabeth West

      Worst: Left work early to get ready for the Halloween show, and I forgot my bag with my makeup, etc. in it when I went to the rink. When I got there, they informed us we were going to be skating on the east ice. So everything was backward and wrong. My program, already shaky and choreographed for the west ice, was a bucket of suck. At least my spirals were good, and I got applause for doing a back catch spiral into a jump combination. The rest was awful. And it was so cold in there that by the time I got home, it took me three hours to warm up and get rid of the frostbite on my feet.

      Worst 2: Nowhere to go today and nothing to do. Halloween USED to be my favorite holiday.

      Worst 3: Tomorrow is the first day of NaNoWriMo and my brain is completely shut off.

      Best: Eh, nothing really except we started my Christmas ice show program today (it’s to “Glasgow Love Theme” from Love Actually) and I think it will be decent.

    19. pony tailed wonder

      Best – not sure. My good days were just good days, nothing extraordinary but very nice.
      Worst – still vomiting a lot and I can’t figure out the pattern. This last time I think it was a migraine precursor but I just want to go at least one week with out vomit. I need to go and see my doctor but I really need to start a log of when it happens and what I ate and all of that first.

      1. StillHealing

        Did you eat at Chipotle in either Washington or Oregon at all in October? They are closed down due to E-coli.

        1. Chocolate Teapot

          Best – Got on top of post holiday laundry basket and discovered that the horribly sweet sherry I bought tastes really good if you put a big slug of it in hot chocolate. My next experiment will be in coffee (Spanish Coffee?)

          Worst – Horrible cold. The sore throat has gone (although I am now addicted to Strepsils) but the runny nose is running on and on. Also, I failed a test and need to resit it, but it won’t be until Spring next year.

        2. pony tailed wonder

          No, I haven’t eaten at Chipotle for several months now. They sent me an e-mail saying that a certain amount would be donated to my favorite charity if I printed out the e-mail and showed it at the register when I paid. I tried to do the deal, the deal that was even mentioned in the local paper but no one at the restaurant had heard of the deal and they said they didn’t know what code to punch into the register to give my charity a donation.

    20. AvonLady Barksdale

      BEST: Last night, we went to a comedy show and out for a bite, then we decided to have a cocktail at our favorite spot. We hadn’t been there in about four months, but when we walked in, we were greeted by everyone who knew us. We got high-fives. We got hugs. It felt so nice not only to be remembered, but to be greeted so warmly. Then we got special mini-cocktails on the house. Regulars!

      WORST: Work crisis on Friday after things had been going so smoothly. Solve-able, but… gah.

    21. Hush42

      Best-I got 13.5 hours of sleep last night :)
      Worst- I’ve had a cold all week. It means I’ve only been able to do the bare minimum on my homework- I hate not being able to get ahead.

    22. Sarah

      Best: I just joined a new Rocky Horror cast, and performed for the first time with them last night! We sold out and kicked major butt and are getting tons of great reviews on our Facebook page.

      Worst: I’m so not used to staying up that late and got very little sleep because of it. I also can’t drink caffeine, so I am the most exhausted I’ve been in years.

    23. Trixie

      Best: Making progress on various projects instead of them stagnate.
      Worst: Ate pretty poorly one day and definitely making up for it by feeling almost nauseous. Tomorrow it’s starting fresh with smoothies, heavy on the spinach.

    24. Mallory Janis Ian

      Best: I was asked earlier last week if I would like to be one of the speakers to share memories of a loved one at my church’s Dia de los Muertos service today. I didn’t answer the email right away, because that wasn’t something I could see myself doing; I don’t like being in front of people, especially having to speak before an audience. Then last Sunday, the guy who asked caught me in person, and I made myself say ‘yes’. I didn’t prepare any remarks; I just told the story of my grandparents who adopted me as a child the way I would tell it to someone I was just carrying on a normal conversation with, and I got a very positive response from the congregation (several laughs, and several people coming up to me after the service to tell me they enjoyed it). So now I am apparently okay with speaking in public — yay me!

      Worst: I aggravated my hurt foot by wearing stupid shoes to stand in line for hours to see the Pioneer Woman at the local Wal Mart. I didn’t even get to see her, because I ran out of time before the line got to her and I needed to leave for a Halloween party (which party was the other best thing of the week). My friend I was with took my copy of her new cookbook for her to sign for me, though.

  6. anonanonanon

    I really don’t want to hand out Halloween candy this year. My city neighborhood gets a around 500 kids each year (partially because the super wealthy people in the neighborhood open up their homes and block off the streets and give out a lot of candy to each kid – like king sized candy bars, etc), and I don’t trust leaving a bowl outside the door for the fear that someone would just dump all the candy into their bag.

    But I’m really tired and recovering from being sick and just want to relax on the couch. Plus, last year I had a surprising amount of kids and adults giving me evil eyes or snide comments about only handing out two fun sized candy bars per kid (even though it’s super expensive to buy enough candy to last through hundreds of kids) – or, from one parent who said that if I took the time to separate candy with nuts, I should have had another bowl for vegan or gluten free options.

    I just don’t want to deal with any of that this year and I’m feeling really guilty about it.

    1. Sunny with a Chance of Showers

      Halloween should be a guilt-free endeavor (or non-endeavor). My dog goes ballistic when the doorbell rings — like, levitating into air ballistic — so we have to draw the shades and pretend we’re not home. It’s not worth the aggravation. Sorry, kids.

    2. OK

      Dont feel guilty. Handing out candy isnt an obligation. I would’ve silly stringed the complainers and slammed my door shut on them.

      It’s free candy.

      I am no longer handing out candy. Kids and parents are rude. Kids dont even say thank you.

      2yrs ago, a neighbor told my in-laws that my kids were the only ones that said thank you and wished them a happy halloween. I handed out candy last year and paid attenion, NO kids said it to me. A couple of kids asked if they could have more candy (they were about 10yrs old, old enough to know better).

      Dont feel bad. I hope you recover soon.

      1. anonanonanon

        Thanks! I’m at the tail end of a cold, so it’s that gross period when I’m going through multiple tissue boxes.

        But yeah, last year the lack of please and thank you really surprised me. When I was young, it was always drilled into my head to ask how many pieces I could take and to say thank you, and my brothers and I were always told to accept what we were given even if we didn’t like it or want more.

        I can forgive kids a bit more because they’re excited and it’s free candy, but parents who are rude just make me really irritated.

    3. Hornswoggler

      I’m in the UK so trick-or-treat is viewed in different ways mostly according to whether or not you have young children. Parents with young children: Yay! Dress ’em up and get ’em out there! Others: Oh no… it’s awkward, foreign and weird. I personally have no problem with children having fun at Halloween, but I’d rather not participate so I put up a very polite notice saying ‘No Trick Or Treat Thank You – Have a Fun Night’.

      Also here is a brilliant cartoon from the Guardian newspaper, nailing the difference between the USA and the UK on the matter: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/ng-interactive/2015/oct/31/stephen-collins-on-halloween-cartoon

      1. TheLazyB (UK)

        I’m a UK parent of a small child and I still think euch, noooooo :)

        My parents always threw a Hallowe’en party every year to get out of going trick or treating. It’s one of my best memories of being a kid. I had a party for my small child yesterday. Only two kids invited (so only three total) but it was awesome.

      2. Elkay

        I’m in the UK too, we used to go trick or treating but only to pre-arranged houses and we had to do something to get the treat (I think that might be a Scottish thing). Luckily no-one can ever find our front door so no trick or treaters for us!

        1. Cristina in England

          From what I’ve read, having to do something to get a treat is more closely aligned with the origins of trick or treating. In Ireland you had to say prayers for the dead, and in Scotland you had to perform in some way. If I remember where I read that (it was only this week!) I will reply with a link.

        2. TootsNYC

          I grew up in southern Iowa, and in my small town, you had to do a trick to get a treat. In fact, the word geek in me spent several years wondering why it wasn’t called “trick ‘n’ treat.”

          Kids planned their “trick” for weeks. Would you stand in your head? Recite a poem? Tell a riddle or knock-knock joke?

          My best friend moved from Missouri and Kansas to Des Moines and was completely blind-sided by “trick ‘n’ treat.” Her favorite was the little girl who said, “Why did Dorothy cross the yellow brick road?” My friend said, “I don’t know, why?” and the little girl took a big breath and sang, “Because, because, because, because, because!”

          I always thought that little exchange made trick-or-treating so much more fun.

          My kids, and any friends who came with me, always said thank you and “happy Halloween!” Except for the time they all chimed in “Merry Christmas!” without realizing what they’d said. Cracked the lady at the door up; she said, “Hey, we haven’t even had Thanksgiving yet!” So then all five of these kids got wise-acre, and started calling out, “Happy Easter!’ and “Happy thanksgiving!” and “Have a nice 4th of July!” And finally, at the end, “Anyway, thanks for the candy!” It was a fun moment.

          1. Windchime

            A little boy told me this joke last night:

            Q: What do you get when you cross a galaxy with a frog?
            A; Star Warts.

            I thought it was really cute. :)

            Around here, the signal that you aren’t participating in handing out candy is just to turn off the porch light. Most kids understand it. I had one kid knock last night after the candy was gone and I had turned off the light, but most people just pass by the house when the light is off.

          2. kelseywanderer

            Really? I grew up in central Iowa and this was definitely not a thing. Occasionally we’d get an old lady who would expect us to do a ‘trick’ in order to get our ‘treat’ but this usually just resulted in blank stares, so they would give up and just give us our candy.

          3. kelseywanderer

            Really? I grew up in central Iowa (not far from DSM) and this was definitely not a thing. Occasionally we’d get an old lady who would expect us to do a ‘trick’ in order to get our ‘treat’ but this usually just resulted in blank stares, so they would give up and just give us our candy.

      3. Not So NewReader

        I’m in the US. I decided to look at this cartoon without reading and guess which one was the US. I picked the one for the UK as being the one for the US. I guess that is the way I see it now. I hate how commercial it is. And it used to be that you made a costume out of what you had laying around- this meant you used creativity. And the non-stop complaining. Oh my.

        The kids here are polite and the parents are heavily involved, which is a really nice to see so much involvement. So there is that much on the plus side at any rate.

        1. Dynamic Beige

          I live in a low-residential area, so there aren’t many kids. I go to Costco and get one of these 18 full-size bar combo packs and I always have ones left. So far, I’ve had a dozen kids. I don’t mind treat or treating, it only happens once a year. I remember having a blast running around the neighbourhood and it’s nice — if somewhat sad — watching all the kids grow up. Only the sister from across the road came this year, I guess her older brother is now too old to go out. I know pretty much everyone in the neighbourhood, so it can also be a way to see the parents/families for a bit.

          This year I put on a sort of costume for a change, since I didn’t carve a pumpkin. I went to get something at the mall and was surprised to see a sweater that was the same pattern as my cat — cream with huge black random dots — so I bought some cat ears and hey presto! I’m dressed as my cat. She is not impressed.

          Normally, I hate shopping and today was no exception but what was more annoying than a Saturday full of shoppers was that kids — and adults — were dressed in costume and trick or treating in the mall at the stores. There were people from each store that was participating dressed up outside the store handing out treats. I had no idea that that was A Thing. I mean, in a way it was kind of cute but… what? It’s a mall. There were displays set up where you could get your picture taken with various characters. I wonder if those kids will be out tonight in their neighbourhoods, too, or if it’s gotten to the point that certain parents are only OK with their kids trick or treating in broad daylight in a closed “safe” environment.

          1. YaH

            When I lived in Memphis as a young kid the Mall of Memphis had trick-or-treating every year. This was in the very early to mid-1980’s, and it was fun and safe for kids. I lived in an apartment complex at the time and I’m guessing it wasn’t in a very safe part of town because my parents never took me trick-or-treating in the complex. We didn’t have a whole lot of money, so the Mall was a good alternative for me and probably hundreds of other kids.

          2. VintageLydia USA

            Mall trick or treating is great for younger kids because around here normal trick or treating is close to bed time for a lot of toddlers, yet they’re old enough to know what it is and want to go. Also on my street only about 5 houses had their lights on last night and the next street over it was still less than half the houses (but more than mine–my street is mostly older retirees whereas next street over is families with middle school aged kids.) So if you’re a kid with no one in your neighborhood participating, the mall version is better than nothing.

    4. Florida

      I’m not participating and Its because I don’t feel like it. No better excuse. I’m just hanging out at home tonight. Won’t turn the outside lights on. If someone knocks on the door, I’ll ignore it. I feel no guilt at all. There are plenty of other houses in my neighborhood that will be participating so I’m sure the kids will survive.

      1. nep

        Me, exactly. If I still lived alone. But I live with a family member so the lights will be on; she’ll be handing out candy. I’ll be going about my own business, doing things I want to get done on a weekend.

      2. anonanonanon

        My building is unfortunately right near a streetlamp, so I have no outdoor lights I can turn off. I think I might just put a sign on the door.

        1. The Cosmic Avenger

          As long as no lights are on outside, and the door is closed, they should get the idea. And any inside foyer lights, I suppose.

        2. Florida

          You could put a sign out that says, “No candy. Knock if you want raisins.” That should keep it quiet. :)

      3. Shell

        I got pranked really, really badly when I was a kid for several years so I’m completely cold on Halloween. Don’t like the costumes (but I don’t mind other people enjoying them, so long as I’m not involved), don’t like the holiday, don’t like handing out candy. The concept of Halloween is forever stained in my mind after SO MANY TIMES of cleaning egg off my mom’s car and bright pink paintball paint off my house’s walls. The final straw was when someone rang the doorbell and my mom went to answer it, and a firecracker went off. Thankfully we had a screen door otherwise it would’ve gone off in her face.

        Anyway, that was longwinded, but suffice to say I’m with you, I don’t feel like it every year and I don’t feel any shame about it.

        1. Not So NewReader

          This bothers me. Why can’t people just play nicely. I don’t get it. I am sorry this happened to you. And, yeah, if I were you, I would not bother much with the holiday, either.

        2. Revanche

          That is hideous and boy I hope it’s paid back tenfold to the pranksters. That trick with the firecracker could really have hurt your mom!!

          1. Shell

            We also had firecrackers aimed at our windows. Didn’t break any, but we had a sooty round mark on our living room window where the firecracker hit. I still remember it, even though it’s been like 15 years.

            These incidents have made me utterly cold to the concept of pranks, too. Call me a killjoy. :\

        3. Dynamic Beige

          One year, our windows got soaped and my mother went ballistic. Yeah, that was a fun time, as she stood there and yelled that it must’ve been my sort-of stepbrother who had done it — completely ignoring me saying that it was impossible because he had been with me all night a few miles away. We never found out who did it but I know they knew us because of what they spelled on the windows, which referenced my mother’s name. I’m glad it only happened the once, if it had been a yearly thing, I don’t want to know how bad the freak out would have been. But from that point on, I have to admit we keep the lights off in the house as much as possible and the outside lights on as much as possible.

          1. TootsNYC

            We were actually not allowed to go trick-or-treating because my mother didn’t want anyone to be able to accuse us of pranks. Her big brother had apparently been accused of participating in a serious spate of pranks because the group he’d bailed from earlier in the evening (bcs he didn’t like their behavior) got out of control.

            His dad said, “I can’t prove where you were, and while I believe you, I can’t very well ask all the farmer neighbors to go on my word alone.”

            So Mom made us stay home.

            Plus, she thought ToTing was greedy: “I’ll buy you every kind of candy you want; you don’t need to go ask other people.” We did go show off our costumes to our next-door neighbor, and she gave us candy, but it was never labeled as ToTing, and we went to the back door, so it didn’t count, I guess. To us anyway.

            We answered the door and passed out candy instead. Which turned out to be a ton of fun. Plus, we ate all the candy we wanted.

    5. A Dispatcher

      ” or, from one parent who said that if I took the time to separate candy with nuts, I should have had another bowl for vegan or gluten free options. ”

      The gall of some people never ceases to amaze me. You are giving them FREE things, which you went above and beyond to sort, and they still complain. I’d be tempted to refuse to give her anything but it’s not fair to punish her kid because she’s ridiculous.

      I’m actually quite excited to give out candy this year (and hope I don’t run into anyone like the above :/ ). It’s the first time I haven’t been working in years and so even though I’ve been here for a while I’m considering it my first Halloween in my new house. I am both terrified I’ll run out of candy or that I ridiculously overbought at the same time though (absolutely no idea how many kids come through here).

        1. A Dispatcher

          Depends a bit on when it falls. This year it’s probably going to be pretty insane. Saturday night, decent weather, recipe for trouble. I did work last night and it was very busy. If it’s a weeknight, it tends not to be so bad.

          Really though, it’s usually pretty comparable to a normal summer night (always much busier at night in the summer time) The big ones are 4th of July and New Years, at least in my area. However, for Halloween I must say I kind of love the descriptions in calls: “Suspect was last seen wearing a Super Mario costume, headed eastbound…”

      1. anonanonanon

        The first year I was in this neighborhood, I significantly underestimated how much candy I would need and ran out within an hour. But honestly, to buy enough to last from 4:30 – 8:30 (which are city trick or treat hours) I’d have to spend well over $150 and that’s just….a lot for me to spend on candy.

          1. anonanonanon

            I unfortunately live in a city that’s been called one of the best for trick or treating and my neighborhood is a safe, easily walkable one downtown, so hordes of kids come each year. Last year I ended up sitting outside because opening the door every couple of seconds was starting to become annoying.

        1. Nina

          I was at a mall one year during Halloween, and outside, it was pouring rain, so a few parents brought their kids to the mall to trick or treat. Happens every year, so it’s no big deal when it was just a handful. But word spread after an hour or so, and dozens and dozens of kids and their parents started showing up at the mall. I must have seen at least 200 kids.

          I heard one manager complain that he’d already made two candy runs to the store (king size bags) and he couldn’t spend any more on it. Plus, he had to get back to work. After seeing all that, I can definitely see how you can spend a ton of $$$ on candy.

          1. Al Lo

            Trick or Treating in the malls here is huge. It’s a rare year when costumes don’t have to be fitted over snowsuits (although tonight was lovely — but still chilly, so still had layers and jackets), and it’s just so nice to go somewhere where the costume can look like it was intended to. Some malls have specific hours; others let the stores choose. Even so, most stores run out at some point. If you go later in the evening, it’s pretty slim pickings.

            My sister took my nephews to one mall this afternoon, and then they did their neighborhood this evening. Another mall had a “spooky science” craft centre set up for older kids.

            1. Nina

              That’s a good point about the climate. If you live in an area where it’s always freezing or raining during Halloween, it makes more sense to go to the mall and do the trick-or-treating in one shot.

              1. Al Lo

                It wasn’t really a thing when I was a kid, but in the last 15 years or so, it’s become really popular. (Trunk or Treat isn’t really a thing here, though it’s become really popular in about the same time frame.)

          2. anonanonanon

            I remember a few stores and businesses giving out candy on Halloween growing up, but I lived in a rural suburb so it wasn’t that common. In the city most of the businesses near residential areas get trick or treaters. Even Fenway Park opens up for trick or treaters on Halloween!

      2. Nina

        IA, that’s really out of line. The candy itself is a courtesy, and they want you to sift through it for the gluten/vegan stuff? Whatever to that.

        1. OriginalEmma

          There was a picture going around Imgur highlighting the gall. This woman plastered her neighborhood with signs asking neighbors to have nut-free/gluten-free/whatever candies and wrote suggestions (Necco wafers, lemon drops, etc.). What?! Why not just TRADE with your siblings and friends for the edible ones? That’s part of the fun. Trading my Twizzlers for your Milk Duds, etc…

    6. Hush42

      Turn out all the lights and pretend you’re not home. I don’t like Halloween and we also get an absurd number of trick or treaters. Last year we went to see Guardians of the Galaxy on Halloween so we didn’t have to be home and give out candy. This year our churches annual fall festival is tonight so we’re going there- again so we don’t have to be home on Halloween.

    7. Vanilla

      If I were dealing with kids and parents like that, I wouldn’t want to participate either.

      If me or my siblings had acted that way, we would have been in big trouble. I just can’t believe the entitlement of this generation of kids and their parents – it’s like they all have a bad case of the “gimmes.”

      1. anonanonanon

        Yeah, my brothers and I would have been in so much trouble.

        Though, I will say it probably isn’t just this generation of kids. I can think of kids in my generation who were just as bad and I’m sure there were some in my parents’ generation who were just as entitled.

    8. Ask a Manager Post author

      Am I the only one who loves answering the door for trick or treaters?! I adore Halloween. The outside of our house is decorated in the most terrifying ways, there will be spooky lights and music playing, and I will personally give each tricker or treater 1-3 cavities.

      1. anonanonanon

        I ALWAYS avoided the spookily decorated houses when I was a kid. They terrified me.

        But, kids make me really uncomfortable and it always feels really strained and forced when I interact with them, so while I’d be fine just dropping candy in their bags, I don’t really want to have to pretend to get excited over their costumes. And some people get really offended when you don’t coo over their kids, especially on this holiday?

        IDK, I want kids to have fun and enjoy the holiday and eat all the candy, but I don’t want to interact with them. Maybe I’ll just leave a bowl (that I don’t mind getting stolen) out on the doorstep this year.

        1. acmx

          I feel the same way (except the spooky houses). I was tempted to leave a bowl of candy but had nothing to set it on really except lawn chairs. Maybe by next year I will get my act together.

      2. abby

        We used to. We would decorate and play music and be very generous with candy. But then scary big kids from other neighborhoods with no costumes and pillow cases started showing up and demanding candy. It stopped being fun, so now we go out or hang out in the back of the house and pretend to not be home.

        1. Clever Name

          Some high schoolers with no costume showed up at our house one year. I took one look at them and said “no!” And slammed the door shut. Even if a kid is probably too old for trick or treating, if they’re in a costume I’ll still give them candy. :)

      3. Natalie

        Nah, I like it too. We really wanted to do something crazy on our yard this year – it’s a long walk and it’s pretty dark, so already spooky. Time just got away from us (and fiancé is on call this weekend). But next year!

      4. Former Diet Coke Addict

        I adore answering the door for trick or treaters. I just love it. I don’t really decorate, but I just love seeing little kids in their costumes running around.

        5pm and nobody has come near our house yet. Where are they???

        1. A Dispatcher

          6:30 and I’ve only had 2 groups (6 kids total). My coworkers may be very happy with the tons of extra candy I’ll be bringing it if it doesn’t pick up.

          Contrary to what others have been saying, luckily all were very polite and I’ve been letting them pick what they want and no one has taken more than one. I wouldn’t mind at all if they took more!

            1. A Dispatcher

              Haven’t had any in about 45 mins, so grand total may be 15. Soooo much extra candy. I’m almost hoping for those rude teens looking to fill their pillowcases people below are talking about just so I can get rid of the stuff! lol

      5. misspiggy

        We love it too! Our neighbourhood association sends round a poster for everyone with a happy pumpkin on one side and a ‘go away’ pumpkin on the other, and a leaflet explaining you can put up either side if you want to welcome or repel trick or treaters, no pressure. Lots of adorable kids come all dressed up, and very few take too much candy. It feels like a lovely way for us to get to know the local kids just a little bit, and even the bigger ones who haven’t made a huge costume effort are quite sweet really. When you run out of sweets you just put up the ‘no trick or treaters’ poster and you can relax. Plus it’s great to have a pumpkin in the window keeping away the dark and the gloom.

      6. SL #2

        This is my first Halloween back at home in years (I’ve been in dorms or apartments for about 5 years now) and I’m so excited even though my parents said that the number of trick-or-treaters we get is steadily declining. Neighborhood demographic changes and all.

      7. Revanche

        I like it when it’s relatively organized and the kids are polite. It’s a complete turnoff when the kids are actually rude boorish teens and adults.

        1. Don't dox me, bro!

          Going anon for this… because it’s too embarrassing. When my sister got married (while still in high school) it was early October. She and her husband (who was one year older than she was and out of high school) came back from their honeymoon and… went out trick or treating. I was speechless, which wasn’t hard because I’d been in shock pretty much since the engagement had been announced.

          1. AnotherAlison

            This is kind of awesome. . .I got married young (not in hs!) and it’s almost a metaphor for what it feels like.

        2. Hellanon

          We had *hundreds* of kids this year and to a child they and their parents were exceedingly polite. Lots of moms and dads in the background prompting thank-yous (I went to put a piece of candy in the bag of a tiny Elsa and when her mom said, what do you say? she looked and me and squeaked, give me candy!), and everybody lined up neatly when it was a big group. Lots of dressed up parents, several dressed up dogs… lots of fun.

          1. Rovannen

            Our trick-or-treaters were also extremely polite: kids, parents and teens. We live in a small town and know 99% of the people, lol.

      8. Not So NewReader

        Generally, I like giving out treats and I have a lot of fun watching the kids. I don’t do anything spooky because I get some reeeal little ones, they are kids that are about knee high on me. Yeah, tiny. Mom or Dad is right there beside them, it is just so precious to watch.

        I like to get toys. I buy them from catalogs- where I can get a gross or half a gross of this or that. It’s fun picking stuff out and it’s not that expensive. Plus the left overs keep until the next year. One year I gave out whistles. Probably not the best idea, but it sure was fun.

      9. kristinemc

        We love Halloween, & I get so excited to have trick or treaters come. Our street is pretty busy for cars, so we don’t get as many trick or treaters as I’d like – we always have candy leftover.

        Even the pugs dress up!

      10. TootsNYC

        I mentioned above that as kids, my siblings and are weren’t allowed to ToT. So we answered the door. Which was a ton of fun!

      11. Clever Name

        Halloween is huge in my family. My husband adores it and made a zombie-infested graveyard in the front yard. His parents are in town so his dad could go trick or treating with our son. I wear all of my black clothing at once and put on a witch hat. It’s great fun. But I totally get not wanting to participate. Porch light off= no candy. Our light is off now as its nearly 10 here.

      12. Nina

        I do, but that’s because I live in an apartment and I never get trick-or-treaters. This year, we finally got a few, but of course I wasn’t home to see them. Grr.

      13. Al Lo

        We live in a rural area with no trick or treaters, so I spent the evening at my sister’s, and my 2 1/2 year old nephew helped me hand out candy (after he got back from his own rounds). It was the most adorable thing ever to watch him put the candy into other kids’ bags, hear him wish them Happy Halloween, and then stand in the door waving and saying “Good night!” as they walked down the sidewalk. He did really well, too — totally didn’t try to steal the candy he was supposed to be giving away at all! :)

      14. Emily

        I was excited to have trick or treaters this year, but only two groups came while I was at home. Oh well.

      15. Elizabeth

        I used to. However, our town now has 3 different major public events for trick-or-treating, which means that there aren’t nearly as many door-to-door kids. That leaves us a with a bowl full of candy. I haven’t ever liked anything candy-like that isn’t chocolate, and now chocolate gives me migraines. My husband really doesn’t need to eat that much candy on his own.

        Add in our poor cat who thinks that the doorbell ringing that many times is a sign of the impending apocolypse, and we decided not to this year.

      16. Windchime

        No, I love it too. I don’t really decorate the outside of the house, but I love seeing all the little kids coming to the door for their candy. I even love it when the big kids come; if you are brave enough to put on a costume and come to my door when you’re 15 or 16, then I will give you candy because there is still a little kid inside you.

        My sister’s cute little white dog was with me when I answered the door. She loved seeing all the kids and they had fun petting her. One little girl said, “I’ll come back tomorrow to play with your dog!”

        1. Ask a Manager Post author

          That’s what I think about the older kids too. I remember that my friends and I trick or treated a bit past the age where it was probably appropriate to do so, but we didn’t do it because we particularly wanted candy; we did it because we weren’t ready to accept that we were aging out of something that had been an annual tradition our whole lives. I think it’s as sweet as the little kids, when you think of it through that lens.

      17. catsAreCool

        I used to like giving out the candy, but having the door banging loudly at random intervals and repeatedly (they didn’t get the concept of “wait a minute for the person to get to the door”), getting scared by a kid who did it deliberately while I was handing out treats, and then having to give treats to trick-or-treaters who seemed to be adults (or almost) and who weren’t even dressed up just was too much. I started getting nervous about answering the door after dark when I was at home alone.

      18. Mallory Janis Ian

        I like to hand out candy for Halloween. When my kids were little, I would go around with them (always in our own neighborhood; I would hear other parents talking about going to richer neighborhoods to get “better candy”, but I always thought the holiday was about getting out and greeting your *own* neighbors). After they got tired, there would still be an hour or two when the older kids were still out, so we would turn on the porch light and hand out candy after we’d done our own trick-or-treating. Most of the kids we get are nice, polite kids who say ?Trick-or-Treat” up front and “Thank you” at the end of the interaction; they don’t complain about the candy or grab for it or ask for more.

        Now that my kids are old enough to go out alone, I stay home and man the candy dish for a few hours. My husband and I sit and watch something on TV, and take turns getting up to pass out the candy. We have mainly fun-size chocolate bars, and we give each kid a little handful (two – three pieces). I buy the $13 bag (about 200 pieces), and that’s enough to last the night.

    9. Seal

      I am actually at work right now just to avoid trick or treaters! My plan is to stay until the building closes at 7PM, then do a bit of shopping before heading home. There are very few kids in my neighborhood anyway, but just in case…

    10. abby

      Don’t hand out candy and don’t feel guilty. Make sure all outside lights are off, as well as interior lights near the front of your house. Hang out in the back of the house where interior lights are not as visible from the street.

      We used to enjoy handing out candy. The neighborhood was lively and there were lots of nice families and polite kids. Then kids from other neighborhoods started coming in, almost in busloads. I understand this happens in other areas of Southern California where I live, not sure if this happens everywhere. Then we started getting big kids with no costumes holding out pillow cases and demanding candy. I was afraid to say no. So we just stopped and either arranged to be elsewhere or did what I describe in the first paragraph. It’s been a rough few months at work, so this is what we’ll be doing tonight.

      1. F.

        I live in a trailer park, so houses are close together with few steps. They bus them in from other parts of town, and these kids clearly don’t live here. Curtains closed and watching a movie. Planning to ignore any knocks on the door. They threw a party for the kids who actually live here. That should be enough.

    11. Tris Prior

      I live in an apartment so not an issue for me…. but my mom has to deal with this and just HATES it. She is the only fixed-income senior citizen on a street filled with well-off families, and can’t afford to buy candy for the droves of kids who show up. So she usually just leaves her lights off and ignores the hours of POUNDING on her door. It terrorizes her cats and unnerves her too because some of the “kids” are teens who are bigger than her. She’s also gotten comments from parents wondering why she didn’t buy any candy for their kids?! And one year someone damaged the flowers in front of her house and vandalized her front yard – she assumes as retaliation for not giving out candy. :/

      Honest question: when you were kids, was it considered OK to vandalize or prank houses that failed to give candy? I would’ve gotten in sooooo much trouble.

      1. Izzy

        When I was a kid, pranking was throwing handfuls of dried corn kernels on the porch (they made a scary noise) or maybe drawing on the windows with soap or putting Vaseline on the doorknob, especially if we knew the people would be okay with it. We stayed in our neighborhood so we did know everyone. We also did stuff like hiding behind bushes and making scary noises at other trick or treaters. One year there was a water balloon battle (it was warm that year). But definitely no egging or anything that would cause permanent damage. Some kids rolled trees with toilet paper but we weren’t about to spend our allowance buying it and we better not take it from the house. We collected candy, apples, popcorn, and home made treats (this was a long time ago) and then we went back out to trick. It was all harmless fun though. Some of the parents handing out candy dressed up in costumes to scare us too.

      2. Revanche

        That’s horrid behavior. I think there have always been some entitled jerks taking advantage of the fun and it stinks that your mom is getting their rubbish behavior. :(

      3. Dynamic Beige

        She’s also gotten comments from parents wondering why she didn’t buy any candy for their kids?

        I was in Costco one day and overheard one of their workers saying to another colleague something along the lines of how the old people who came in were pushy, grabby, demanding at the free samples tables and he just didn’t understand it. I don’t think this guy was even 25. When/if I get to be an age where I’m on a fixed income and someone has the nerve to ask me why I didn’t buy candy, I’m going to come right out and say that I’m on a fixed income and can’t afford luxuries like that. If they persist, I will graciously offer that if they would like to purchase candy for me to give out, I would be happy to do so. And that they should make sure to invest early and often for their retirement or they will wind up just like me.

      4. nicolefromqueens

        I’ve heard of it and we’ve joked about it, but never did it. If I did it and got found out, I wouldn’t have any teeth to eat the Halloween candy.

    12. Not So NewReader

      Even though I enjoy the kids, I am not doing it this year, either. I am strengthening my resolve to do it next year. This year I have been swamped and I just don’t feel like doing one. more. thing. Yeah, like you are saying, I feel guilty. But I am also enjoying the down time.

    13. Beezus

      I had one rude kid all night. He tried to grab from my bucket when I was clearly handing candy over with my own hands and he tried to barge past two other kids. I didn’t feel like giving a lecture or making an overt point, but I gave him a glare and a handful of nothing but Whoppers. :P

      1. Mallory Janis Ian

        Ha. Whoppers are my favorite, but my son hates them. My brother and I used to love Whoppers when we were kids; we would by a box of them whenever either of us had any extra money and we’d hide from our other two siblings and eat them all to ourselves :-)

        1. Mallory Janis Ian

          My daughter recommends “the kind of candy that old people put out at christmas” for rude children. I think she means the hard clove or horehound candy.

  7. Wrench Turner

    BEST: The Skull Hedge in my front yard that I’ve been shaping for 3 years was coated with white clay and turned out beautifully – the clay will wash off with the next rain. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CSqvjTXVEAEJOOO.jpg

    WORST: I’m going to be sociable tonight to keep my wife company at her friends’ party. They’re all really good people, some I’d say friends of mine, but I’d rather stay home and watch bad scifi and draw. At least I can still bring my sketchbook.

    1. Not So NewReader

      This is pretty cool. I am impressed when people can shape plants into something. I love the clay idea.

  8. schnapps

    At my kid’s karate class on Thursday they were allowed to wear their Halloween costumes. One of the other girls was a jellyfish: she had a clear umbrella decorated to look like a jellyfish with the legs hanging over the edge, sequins and lights (on the inside).

    I thought it was a fabulous idea, because I live on the wet coast and it always rains here on Halloween.

    1. Hattie McDoogal

      That is an awesome idea (though I can’t really see how she’d do karate in it). It’s raining like crazy right now — hope it lightens up at least a bit for the kids later on.

      1. schnapps

        She managed for the warmup. When they went to spin kicks, he had her put it away, and using both hands for punching.

    2. Jazzy Red

      Sherry on Young House Love made that costume for their daughter a couple of years ago. So clever and so cute! You really need to consider the weather for trick or treat. I saw a few princesses wearing parkas over their fancy dresses last night.

      We had tons more kids than ever before. I ran out of candy early on, and as I gave out the last 3 bars, I mentioned that I was going in the house now, and those kids put candy from their bags into my bowl! The next group who was following them also put candy in my bowl so other kids could have some. I have NEVER seen such spontaneous caring & sharing from children before. Now that was awesome!

      1. GH in SoCAl

        Hooray for those kids! It tells you that they are enjoying the experience more than the spoils, too. Good for them.

        I ran out of candy and was down to Halloween pencils late in the night (I had more than 300+ kids come to the door — last year I actually got a blister on my hand from turning the doorknob!), and my friend’s 8-yr-old daughter, who had come over after her ToT, put some of her candy in my bowl to give out. I was impressed.

  9. blackcat

    So I have always had straight, easy to manage hair. As I’m getting older, I’m getting these super curly/wiry hairs. They’re the same texture as my husband’s gray hairs, but they’re not gray–I think this is my (redhead) version of gray.

    I have a question for folks who’ve experienced this type of hair-texture change. How do I manage the fly-away curly bits that this causes? I’ve always been a brush it and leave it kind of person with my hair, and I’d really hate to have to flat iron it to make it look presentable.

    Help! What do I do? This problem is (obviously) getting worse with time. I’d say like 2-5% of my hair has this new texture so this interim time is awkward.

    1. afiendishthingy

      I doubt flat ironing would really help anyway because you’ll just be frying already dry hair. I’m only 31 but have very noticeable streaks of silver; they’re definitely a different texture but generally not to a hugely annoying degree. Although all of my hair is prone to fly-aways, so. I’d say after you brush it or blow dry it, spray a little hairspray from fairly far – a foot maybe – and then very gently smooth it with your hands, don’t press too hard or you’ll plaster to it your skull.

      1. Cristina in England

        My hair behaves like this, but I had never thought of using hairspray (got obsessed with serums, which have not worked), thanks!

    2. Stephanie

      Moisturize! I went gray early (there’s like a chunk in the front) and it’s dry and wiry. The gray still has a mind of its own a bit, but ensuring it’s moisturized helps a ton. I’ve got coarse afro-textured hair, so I can’t really help you with products.

      1. Audiophile

        I think we have similar hair. I just feel lost about what to do with mine. :( Lately I’ve been keeping it relatively short, which doesn’t always work. I haven’t gone gray yet, but I think it will be happening sooner rather than later.

        1. Stephanie

          I have no clue what to do with mine either. I’ve been rocking a borderline Frederick Douglass. I kind of miss when it was like 0.5″ long.

    3. fposte

      I’m dealing with this a little too. I also used to be an oily-hair person, and now I’m a dry-hair person. Who knew?

      So I use different stuff on my hair to slick it down more–that might work for you. I use L’Oreal Moisture System Intense Nourishing Shampoo, which sounds like a nutrition supplement for famine areas; Pantene Keratin Repair Conditioner; and then Revlon Uniqone spray for styling. I chose all these based on Amazon and other reviews, but I’m not guaranteeing they’re the best; I also am really cheap about hair stuff, so I wasn’t willing to spend much on any specific product.

      1. fposte

        By the way, all you young and adorable women–this is an aspect of menopause that nobody told me about. This was nothing to do with graying and all to do with menopause for me. So, you know, don’t stock up on a year’s supply of any particular hair or skin product once you get into your forties or so, just in case.

        1. afiendishthingy

          So in the past year my skin has decided I need rosacea in addition to still being prone to acne at age 31, and I’m taking moisturizing somewhat seriously for the first time ever. Cetaphil moisturizing cream all the way! It actually never occurred to me that my hair would get dryer after menopause, regardless of gray, but it makes sense. Pretty sure I’ll be more or less 100% silver-haired by 40 anyway.

      1. blackcat

        Thanks. I might look for a version that would be clear rather than colored. These new hairs aren’t gray–they’re actually a bit darker than the rest of my hair. And my hair is a pretty unusual color, too (I’ve met 1 other person ever who naturally had my shade of red).

    4. Natalie

      What kind of shampoo do you use? If your hair is drying, something without SLS and other detergents might help. DevaCurl sells their shampoo in a little airplane size that might be worth trying.

      1. blackcat

        I use some products from Aussie and deep condition about once a week. But trying out some higher end products may be needed… Thanks for the suggestions.

    5. Not So NewReader

      I am probably 75% grey. There is enough color left that you can get an idea of my original color. I switched to using organic body wash on my hair. I quit using all other hair care products. My hair got BETTER. It’s more consistent each day. I no longer have to guess what kind of a hair day I am going to have. I also suggest watching to make sure you are getting healthy oils and plenty of water in to your system. These are the only things that have worked for me and this is after decades of trying so many hair products. I actually have days now where I kind of like my hair. lol.

      1. Merry and Bright

        Thanks to my colourist, I don’t really know how much grey hair I have, and I’m happy that. :)

        1. Windchime

          Thanks to my colorist, I know exactly how much grey hair I have…..zero :)

          Seriously, though, sometimes I think that maybe I’ll let it go grey . It’s a lot of work to keep it up; I go in to have her do all my roots every 6 weeks but I also have to do a touch-up myself at about week 3, because otherwise I have an obvious skunk stripe down the middle of my head. But I feel like I want to keep coloring it right now, because I’m in an industry where people skew younger and I don’t want to look like the granny in the group. I know that’s silly, because there are plenty of women my age and younger who rock the silver hair, but I’m just not ready yet.

  10. NDQ

    Today, I’m catching up on financials. I have saved much more money than usual since training for new job began, so I need to move that chunk into one of my investment accounts. Yippee!

    Tonight, I’ll enjoy a book and wine in between the trick or treaters.

    NDQ

    1. Tamsin

      This is fantastic. Last year, when I got raise, after the first two paychecks — I first wanted to see how much money was taken out for taxes and 401K etc — I had the entire take-home increase amount diverted to a new savings account set up at an entirely different credit union. That way I’ve been living on the same amount as before (it was all basically an increase I hadn’t started getting used to incorporating as spending money). It’s such a small but real thing to see it accumulating. It’s taken way too much time in my life to reach a point like this.

  11. JulieB

    Hoping this years trick or treaters behave better than last year. We’re not in a ritzy neighborhood, but I still buy the big bars as I want to be the house people like. I used to put them in an awesome coffin box and let kids choose, but last year one brat ruined that by using both hands to grab as much as he could – probably walked away with 10+ big bars. My hands were taken up holding the box with one hand and the lid open with the other, so I couldn’t shoo his hands away and then he ran. So this year I have regular size bars (not minis), and will be handing out one per child, and have much less variety. If they are still bratty this year I may just turn the lights off next year.

    1. Dynamic Beige

      A few years ago, I bought the most awesome copper pumpkin kettle thingy at Pottery Barn. It is gorgeous. I’m sure my neighbour comes by with her kids every year just to see it, she always comments on it “Oh, there’s that pumpkin again!” I’m going to have to leave it to her in my will ;) But because it has a handle, that makes it easy to hold and watch the kids pick. I let them pick because why not? I think this year, one kid might have gotten two since there were 4 boys at once and they were all “no, I want that one” like a game of 3 card Monte. But when it’s the really young kids who just don’t know any better the concept of 1 per customer, I can’t get annoyed at that.

    2. Lamington

      Late to the party. i usually leave a big bowl of candy outside and if someone takes all of it, that’s on them. We never had an issue people stealing the bowl or the little table and actually we had some leftovers.

  12. Carmen Sandiego JD

    I know a young close friend with type I diabetes (diagnosed in early childhood) whose parents are both attorneys. Said friend is interested in pursuing law school (already has a steady job, making decent money).

    I went to law school a few years back, graduated and all my friends and I found it a struggle to initially get into the job market. While we’re doing fine (*knock on wood*) now, I remember starting out with ***zero*** health insurance for 6 months during a clerkship.

    What would you advise my close friend to do? Does anyone else know people with type I diabetes who’ve gone through law school fine (and the horrific job market sans health insurance) and done well/ok/meh? Experiences/tips?

    1. Florida

      Not sure when you went to school/work, but the Affordable Care Act has made private insurance way better it used to be. I don’t have diabetes but I do have severe chronic conditions that insurers don’t like. I have insurance but not through an employer. It is much more affordable and covers everything now compared to before the Affordable Care Act.

    2. Stephanie

      She should be able to get health insurance through the school, right? I don’t imagine it’ll be the best insurance (probably a high-deductible plan), but it’ll be something and she might be able to do COBRA if she graduates and can’t land something that offers health insurance. And with a chronic condition like that, she’ll probably hit her deductible quickly. I agree with Florida that ACA has also made private insurance better.

      Also, how old is she? If she’s young enough (under 26, I think), she should be able to get back on her parents’ plan.

    3. abby

      I went through law school with a somewhat chronic health condition, but I was married and my husband had insurance. No way I’d do it without insurance, it’s too risky.

      As long as your friend is under 26, due tot he Affordable Care Act, this person can stay on his or her parents’ insurance. Once the friend turns 26, if he or she is not working, may be eligible for subsidies through the ACA exchange.

      And some schools offer insurance. Not all do (the one I went to did not), but that’s worth checking into.

      But no way I’d want to deal with any kind of chronic condition without insurance. Plus the stress of law school, which could aggravate things (don’t ask me how I know).

      1. Carmen Sandiego JD

        The friend is in age range of late 20s, and if going to law school, at earliest would be age 32 upon graduation/completion. The diabetes is monitored quite closely but I recall my friend having to buy test strips long ago for 2 months post-undergrad before getting a paying job and those couple boxes cost hefty $800 or so which had to be forked over.

        The friend is in a masters currently and is doing quite well. It’s just I never advise people to go to law school in this economy and the friend’s getting pressure from others to go to law school (well-meaning but nosy extended family/friends not in the legal field). And given the diabetes, I’m even more wary of giving well-intentioned advice that could affect diabetes care/paying for necessary life supplies. (test strips, glucose tablets, syringes, replacement pump, etc)….or I guess said friend could keep the day job and do a 4 yr law night program and still come out with a JD? hmmm….

        1. BRR

          Assuming they’re in the US, are they even allowed to not have health insurance?

          I’m a type 1 diabetic and have a ton of student loan debt. I wouldn’t advise them to leave a good paying job to go to law school due to cost, insurance, and the lawyer job market. I’m not quite sure from what you’ve said but it doesn’t sounds like they are dying to be a lawyer.

          For supplies, I’ve found test strips are far cheaper on Amazon than paying out of pocket at a drug store.

    4. Anx

      I’ve never had an employer involved in my health insurance.

      She should be able to get private insurance even with diabetes now. If you live in a major metro area, the plans available on the marketplace or medicaid should be accepted by at least one decent healthcare provider.

      Does she need regular access to medication and tests, or does she need more involved managment and an excellent doctor? Because then I guess I would be more worried about her perhaps changing networks.

      If she lives in a state that did not expand Medicaid, she may be too poor for any tax subsidies once she stops working to go to school, but should probably have enough to hit it if she can work part-time or if she has been employed for long enough during that tax year.

      If she makes too much for a subsidy and has no dependents, then there’s a good chance she can afford a monthly premium at her age. I’m in my late 20s in a state with a low cost of living and somewhat high insurance costs *my county is pretty unhealthy* and pay $260 a month for a policy. I don’t make enough for subsidies, but when I thought I would I had a policy for about $60.

      When I first moved to this state, I couldn’t get insurance for a while because a dermo had biopsied one of moles, “just to be on the safe side.” Like a fool, I went with it, not thinking about the fact that I couldn’t take insurance over state lines. Of course, that flagged me as un-insurable for a while after I moved. But that was before the pre-existing condition laws changed.

  13. Hornswoggler

    May I just check something re moderation? I’ve posted several times before but I’ve just made a comment that says it’s awaiting moderation, which hasn’t happened to me before. Is it because I put a URL link in the post? Or did I say something awful or break the rules before? Thanks for any info.

  14. Stephanie

    So I had a discretionary day left before our busy season hits at work. Took it to go up to Sedona and hike. I thought I’d see some fall color, but turns out it’s a little early in the season. I took this photo while I was up there. So pretty up there: http://imgur.com/TzxyJSG

    1. Windchime

      I’ve only been to Sedona once. So, so beautiful. I would love to go back again. When I went, the cacti were blooming and I got some amazing pictures. Being from the Pacific Northwest, I’d never seen anything like it.

  15. nep

    More on health insurance — Anyone on Medicaid since it was expanded (in some states) under Affordable Care Act? I’d be interested in hearing people’s experience with that.

    1. Soupspoon McGee

      Yes. My income dropped quite a bit in the last year, so I qualified after years on a pretty good insurance plan.

      My state sets up local cooperatives, so I have an insurance card that has the cooperative name. Fortunately, my providers all took it, so I didn’t have to change. I haven’t had problems getting things covered, but there have been delays because they require prior authorizations and referrals for everything. So, a medication I’ve been taking for over 10 years had to be approved, and I was without it for a month. But they didn’t bat an eye at letting me have Zomig for migraines, even though my old insurance company made it harder. An ADD medication isn’t approved at all (the short-term, generic version is, but not the extended-release), so I pay for it out of pocket and use it sparingly.

      That being said, I think a lot of HMOs do the same thing. I don’t think my care is any better or worse than I had before–but I’ve had to learn to remind my providers about the prior authorizations and adjust to delays while they go through.

    2. Anx

      I have a family member on it. He has to drive 2 hours away to get to a doctor that will take it (and this is in a major metro area, NY/NJ area) for cancer appointments.

      But he’s in his 60s and wouldn’t have had it otherwise. He had no savings.

      I have another family member who thought about going on, because she is too low income for subsidies. She’s in the 55-65 age group, though, and in a state with Medicaid asset recovery, so she’s still paying out of pocket as she doesn’t want to put the house on the line for insurance and doesn’t feel right not paying a premium at all (she can afford to pay something, it’s just a grand a month is too much)

  16. Vanilla

    Can I just share my love for cheesy, tacky movies with you all? Right now, I’m watching a Lifetime movie called “The bride he bought online.”

    1. Sunflower

      Same! I think you can purchase a $4.99/month package that gives you access to every single Lifetime movie online if your heart desires!

    2. Windchime

      LOL, I love them , too. They are so silly and predictable. They’re like the TV version of the Harlequin Romance novel.

  17. Shell

    I’m hesitant on posting this since I know this tends to be a hot topic, but the AAM commentariat is the best I’ve found on the internet and I know Alison has done work related to this before, so I think I’d get a better answer here than anywhere else. Using my regular username here because I want to be clear I’m not trolling.

    Can someone explain to me what the benefits of marijuana legalization are? I’m asking this sincerely, without snark. It rather baffles me why so many people I know think it’s a great idea.

    Firstly, I do agree it’d hamper illegal drug market a lot since the prices would drop. The government can tax it for revenue. The legalization can ensure that the products are of quality and not cut with who knows what. Maybe that alone is the driving force behind many people’s rationalization for legalization, because that’s the only one I agree with.

    The plural of anecdote is not data, I know. But just from personal experience, I don’t think demand will level off because it’s no longer “forbidden”. As a comparison to alcohol, most people I know had some wild party years when they were first able to drink (and even before then) and now, into adulthood, acknowledges it as a part of their lives (to whatever extent). They’re open about it. The default assumption is that most adults will drink occasionally or socially, if not more. My guess is that the same will happen to pot; rather than experimenting with a few wild years and tapering off, most just find it incorporated into their lives on an occasional basis (or more) because it’s allowed and they’re open about it. So I’m skeptical on the “demand will drop because it’s not forbidden and cool” part.

    Regarding personal freedom: on principle, I believe individuals should be free to make their own choices. I’ve seen comparisons with obesity and how obesity costs the nation money and yet the government will not regulate food consumption for citizens. I find that a ridiculous comparison, since food doesn’t cause physical addiction, nor does the consumption of food cause scary, erratic behaviour (which perhaps applies less for pot than the harder drugs, since the effect of pot is perhaps more vapid than erratic). There is of course an argument that one can use marijuana in moderation and safely in their private lives and it shouldn’t affect anyone else; one should penalize bad behaviour, which can be applied towards drunks, stoners, and whoever else can’t grok moderation. But my neighbours who drink a few glasses of wine on their porch affects me none whatsoever, whereas I will smell the pot several houses away. Personal freedom is an argument I sort of agree with, but I don’t think responsible pot use can be used in isolation and with as little disturbances to others as alcohol. I’ve already got cigarette smoke everywhere; adding pot smoke to that (because it would be legal) is not something I’m excited about.

    And on a personal level, I’m not fond of mind-altering substances (disclaimer: I don’t drink alcohol, I don’t smoke, I don’t drink coffee, I do drink tea but it has no physical effects on me; I drink it for the taste and not its stimulating properties. Far as I know, I am at least consistent in my stance against mind-altering substances, and I have never had any desire to try any of them, not even for experimentation’s sake). I am not comfortable with having pot, and other drugs, widely available on the market. You might make an argument that if alcohol or cigarettes are legal, then pot should be since pot isn’t markedly worse than either of them, but isn’t legalizing a third not-so-great substance rather a slippery slope?

    I am pro marijuana for medicinal purposes, don’t get me wrong. But by the same token, I am all for morphine when used under doctor supervision and prescription, but that doesn’t mean I like the idea of morphine being as widely available everywhere like one can easily buy a pack of cigarettes at the grocery store. And I know that legal or not, pot is around a lot. But I’m kind of uncomfortable with the line of thinking of “well, we can’t stop you, so hey, go for it.”

    So…I don’t know. My family runs conservative and don’t think additional legalization is necessary or beneficial. Generally all the liberal people I know think it’s a good idea, but I can’t understand why.

    Help?

    1. FD

      I think there are a few reasons for me personally.

      One of the big reasons is that we spend a HUGE amount of money trying to stop people from using it, and it doesn’t seem to work very well. As a nation, we spend millions every year seeking out, prosecuting, and arresting people for doing pot. It’s probably not spectacularly healthy for you, but neither is smoking cigarettes, which are legal. It’s particularly hard to accept that when so many crimes that are more serious and that don’t get nearly so much attention. It’s hard to swallow that as a nation, we want to bust anyone who’s considered smoking a joint, but we’ll let thousands of rape kits go unprocessed.

      In addition, we end up sending a lot of people to jail who aren’t very likely to be a threat to anything but the nearest pizza. This again costs a huge amount of money–not only on the front end, because there’s the cost of the prison time itself, but on the back end, as people who have been arrested often have a harder time getting work, and therefore may need more public assistance than they would have otherwise. (The caveat here is that I think most people agree that if you’re high, you shouldn’t be legally allowed to drive, just as you can’t drink and drive.)

      Thirdly, drug enforcement in general has some major racial bias issues. Although the rate of drug use seems to be pretty similar across different races, non-white people are much more likely to be arrested, and if arrested, to be convicted of drug use or drug dealing. Obviously, legalizing pot would not make bias go away, but it is one facet of the bigger picture.

      1. Observer

        It’s hard to swallow that as a nation, we want to bust anyone who’s considered smoking a joint, but we’ll let thousands of rape kits go unprocessed.

        That’s probably more stark than I would have been. But, boy are you right.

        The fundamental question here is why are we diverting resources, not just from social needs, but from basic law enforcement into fighting something that has not been proven to be a threat.

        And, of course, DUI should be illegal, regardless of the substance.

        1. Anon for this

          A neighbor of mine is in jail for marijuana possession.

          My cousin’s ex husband has threatened to murder our entire family when he gets out of prison. He beat my cousin and tortured their toddler children.

          Guess who got a shorter sentence (even after breaking house arrest).

      2. Not So NewReader

        Totally agree and this is why I favor legalization. Matter of fact these are the only reasons I favor legalization.
        To your well done list I would add: We have people that were arrested when MJ was a felony. This means they have a felony charge on their record and all the encumbrances that come with it. It’s not right or just that their main offense is their lack of foresight, if they could have managed to be arrested a while later, they would have been charged with a misdemeanor not a felony. Taxpayer dollars hard at work as one by one these cases are being reopened, reheard and resentenced as a misdemeanor. It’s time to let go of these costly laws (labor intensive) that do nothing.

        Currently, in my state if a person is arrested for possession and they fail to show up for court that is the end of the story. The law has no teeth, the courts cannot pursue the failure to appear and the case goes to the back of the drawer. Same deal if the defendant fails to pay her fine. Nothing happens. Police officers could be freed up to deal with more serious issues.

        1. Hellanon

          Yeah, keeping pot illegal just creates people with criminal records who are now locked out of most if not all good jobs.

          I’m fairly libertarian on these kinds of issues; my practical streak comes out, and it *kills* me to see all that money diverted into the illegal economy when we could keep it here at home, so to speak. Turn pot into a legitimate industry, tax it, regulate it, get it onto farms and out of the national forests & suburban grow houses – how is that bad?

    2. Amber Rose

      My primary argument for decriminalization of pot is simply that it’s too huge of a drain on the country to keep it illegal. We spend millions throwing people in jail for consuming something that is not harmful enough to warrant it. The government isn’t accomplishing anything by doing this. People aren’t going to stop using it and as its a nin-addictive substance you can’t make the argument for detoxing them in prison.

      It’s a waste of time and a waste of resources that we desperately need elsewhere.

      1. I am anon

        Yeah, marijuana is safer than both tobacco and alcohol, so it doesn’t make sense to waste the resources. Making it legal also allows governments to tax it, and more tax revenue is always a good thing.

      2. Florida

        I’d agree with Amber Rose. We waste so much money jailing people for this. Alcohol cause waaaay more societal problems than marijuana, but alcohol is legal. The societal problems that marijuana causes are all related to the crime of marijuana and not the actual use of marijuana.

      3. Goliath Gary Willikers

        This, and also, the application of marijuana laws is, and always has been in the US, incredibly racist.

        I read a 20-year longitudinal study in Washington state that found that blacks were actually less likely to use pot than whites, but they were arrested on pot charges at three times the rate of whites. The rest of the country is almost as bad. The system is deeply skewed and unfair.

        1. Florida

          That’s a great point. I’m curious…Does that apply to other crimes as well? For example, are blacks less likely to commit a violent act but more likely to get arrested for it? What about lesser crimes on the level of marijuana possession, for example shoplifting. I wonder about white collar crimes. Who is more likely to commit those vs. who gets charged with it?

          I am constantly amazed not just that race relations are still an issue in America, but the extent to which they are an issue. Also, that there is research like you mentioned that proves it, yet we continually pretend like it’s not a real problem. Or we pretend like it’s a problem in other cities, but not our fine, upstanding city.

          1. Revanche

            From a variety of reports, I’m seeing blacks are more likely to be arrested or killed for anything including *asking for help* than anybody else. Though, I’m laid up right now so can’t think of the name if the folks who pull any of that data.

          2. FD

            I’m not certain off hand–but I do know that if arrested, black people are far more likely to have their faces shown in the media than anyone else. This probably feeds a lot of unconscious bias.

          3. Blue_eyes

            You might be interested in reading The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander. She covers a lot of the data you’re wondering about. If I’m remembering correctly, blacks and whites commit some kinds of crimes at similar rates, but blacks are much more likely to be detained, arrested, charged, convicted, and given harsher sentences for pretty much every kind of crime.

          4. Goliath Gary Willikers

            I’ll second the recommendation of The New Jim Crow. Ta Nehisi Coates’s most recent investigation piece on mass incarceration and black families (can’t grab the link at the moment, but it’s easy to find by googling) also does a good job of delving into the history of incarceration as a form of racial control.

            That article also cited a study of Giuliani’s Stop-and-Frisk policy in New York, which found that while black men were stopped and subjected to force at a much higher rate than white men, illegal weapons were actually found on white men more often than black men. (And only 1% of everyone stopped actually had weapons on them, suggesting the whole policy was wildly inefficient.)

            1. Observer

              It was – which is why Bratton (who is now way a “softy liberal”) has sharply cut back on the policy.

              There are simply better ways to accomplish the same goals.

            2. Florida

              Thanks. I’ll check out that book. In my urban city, our police department uses stop and frisk quite regularly. One time I had the opportunity to do a ride-along with an officer. Several times that night, if we saw a black guy walking down the street, the officer would get out of the car and ask the guy questions. If we say a white guy walking down the street, we just assumed that he was a law-abiding resident.

              The whole policy is wildly inefficient. The officer would if he could do a patdown. Probably about half of the people consented. If anyone had contraband on them, they weren’t going to consent, so what’s the point?

          5. A Dispatcher

            A statistic I would love to see, and have never run across even in my many criminology classes (if someone has let me know!) would focus on the calling in of “suspicious persons” or “suspicious activity” to the police. I only have my immediate dispatch area to pull from, so my thoughts on this rely on anecdotal evidence only, but it seems to me that fellow citizens are more likely to call us to report people being suspicious or possible crimes in progress if it’s a person of color they are observing. And probably not even intentionally, just the same behavior from one group of people seems to elicit more suspicion than from another group. So, while there is certainly an issue of profiling on the law enforcement side, I’d love to see someone take a look at it from the other side as well.

            Most of our cops’ time is spent responding to citizen calls (we just don’t have the man power to always be generally patrolling the area), so police can only react to the calls they are given. If a large percent of those calls are for suspects that are minorities, it’s hard to tell where the statistics are being skewed, if that makes sense.

            1. Blue_eyes

              Alexander addresses that in The New Jim Crow. It’s actually being skewed at every step. Of people committing crimes, blacks are much more likely to be arrested. Of people arrested, blacks are much more likely to be charged with a crime. Of those charged with crimes, blacks are much more likely to be convicted, and so on.

    3. schnapps

      Taxation and revenue issues aside, when a substance is legalized it’s also regulated so you have better control over it and can dictate who can access (like alcohol), and who can grow it (right now every person with a bit of forest on their land could hide a numerous pot plants in there if they weren’t using hydroponics). I suspect that 9 times out of 10, if people could buy a substance legally rather than illegally, they’d do that (particularly when it comes to pot, because let’s face it, potheads are a tad on the lazy side).

      Personally, I’m of of the “legalize it, regulate it, and tax the *%&! out of it” mindset. I work in the public sector, was a lifeguard at community centres for a long time in Vancouver (where small amounts of pot for personal use are de facto legal). Anecdotally, I can tell you, when it came to telling the pot smokers that they had to go away and weren’t allowed to smoke pot here (“Hey dude. You can’t do that here. Lots of kids around”), they said, “Oh, ok. Sorry about that” and went away. When it came to telling the people who were drunk that they couldn’t be at the community centre – that always resulted in a 911 call because they invariably became aggressive. There was one point where one of our weight trainers (former linebacker for the BC Lions football team), had to sit on a guy for a half an hour until the police got there. I would much rather deal with someone who has smoked up rather than someone who is drunk.

      If you want more information on it, you might want to look at some of the studies coming out of Colorado and Washington state to see what the effects have been. My understanding is there is quite a robust regulation system along with enforcement mechanisms, and that seems to be the key to making legalized marijuana safe.

      1. Dynamic Beige

        if they weren’t using hydroponics

        I’d just like to add, property damage due to illegal cultivation is a real problem. I did some work with the Realtor’s association and they had classes that were literally “Signs Your Listing May Have Been an Illegal Grow-op.” There have been news articles of people getting sick and not understanding why, then it turned out their apartment building was full of black mold due to one floor being used as an illegal grow-op. I have heard many stories over the years of how people broke the law/stole to illegally grow marijuana. One of the best was someone who built a huge metal storage shed with a hidden basement and then tapped into the power lines so that the excess energy wouldn’t show up on their bill. Because that is one of the ways TPTB can check if you may be up to something, sudden huge increase in power consumption due to the heat/lights/ventilation that weed requires.

        1. FD

          Though, I’ll tell you the real kiss of death in real estate is meth labs. A lot of times, if a house has been used for making meth, it has to be torn down, because the cost of making it safe again is cost-prohibitive.

        2. Hellanon

          The grow houses are a disaster for the neighborhoods they’re in as well as their absentee owners. Here in CA we have a huge issue with illegal grow operations in the national forests, too, where the growers are destroying watersheds and poisoning everything around them with herbicides and pesticides. Stuff oughta be lining Interstate 5 through the Central Valley along with the almond trees, or in purpose-built warehouses subject to building codes like in Colorado….

    4. Tara R.

      I live in good ‘ol BC and grew up in a town where you could bet that literally 9 out of 10 adults smoke pot at least occasionally, and a good 5 out of 10 teenagers. So pot isn’t the jaw dropper for me that, say, crack cocaine is.

      But that being said, I don’t believe the use of ANY drug should be illegal. Addicts need help, not jail cells. Putting someone who hasn’t harmed anyone else into the system is never going to benefit society in any way. People of colour are disproportionately affected by the criminalization, even though white people do just as many drugs.

      And as an anecdote, I was once at a party where a girl was showing clear signs of alcohol poisoning, and everyone lost their s**t when I called 911. We were all underage, and people /physically/ tried to prevent me from calling for help even when someone’s life was potentially in danger. They were more worried about the law than they were about basic human decency. That experience has always stuck with me; you can’t stop kids from doing stupid things, but you can effectively stop them from seeking help when they need it. (As a side note, the paramedics couldn’t have cared less about the underage drinking. They just wanted to help the poor girl.)

      1. A Dispatcher

        In my state we actually have Good Samaritan laws to cover people when they call to get someone help when they are overdosing, and it includes under-aged drinking. I’m not sure how well known that is though, particularly in the teen/young adult set. It’s probably wider known in the drug community I would assume based on the calls we get.

        1. Tara R.

          Huh– I have no idea whether this is enshrined in law here or not, but I know the paramedics told us they weren’t interested in getting anyone into trouble, and gave a brief speech about “don’t do drugs, but if you do remember what you took and what it looked like and tell a friend, it’s hard for us to help you if you OD and we don’t know what you took”. Word spread around pretty quickly, and although I avoided parties after that (it was one of the scariest things that’s ever happened to me), I heard that when a girl had a bad reaction to E a few months later people were quick to call 911.

          1. schnapps

            There’s a good samaritan act in BC. You can’t be held responsible for trying to provide assistance to someone in distress and it’s on a voluntary basis. You can’t also be held responsible if you don’t provide assistance.

            1. Tara R.

              As I understand it, the BC Good Samaritan Act means that I can’t be held responsible if, for example, I tried to perform CPR on someone and they died; it wouldn’t protect me if I was doing something illegal and called 911 to help someone else.

              1. fposte

                I think that’s generally how they work. You can argue for leniency based on your intervention, maybe, but it won’t get you off the hook for other unrelated but adjacent crimes.

              2. schnapps

                Well, yes. If you’re selling drugs to someone and they spike up in front of you, OD and you call 911, you can be arrested for trafficking and whatever other charges related to it. But the inital charge is trafficking; you’re not being charged because you called 911, but because you were selling them drugs in the first place.

                1. Tara R.

                  I’m kind of torn about it in general. Obviously, we can’t just let people off the hook for serious crimes… but if, say, a dealer watches one of their clients OD and doesn’t call 911 because they don’t want to go to jail, then someone is dead. Honestly, underage drinking is a $230 ticket. I would have happily paid it to make sure that girl made it back to her parents safe and sound.

      2. schnapps

        You must be from the Fraser Valley. Or Shuswap :) (I currently live in the most western part of the Fraser Valley which is barely considered Fraser Valley, and my parents are in the Shuswap :))

        1. Tara R.

          I’m from the Island, actually. Not gonna say which town because my anonymity will be shot to heck!

    5. fposte

      This isn’t my area (I don’t really do pot or alcohol), but I’d never really heard arguments that it’ll make demand drop. For me it’s more about the fact that it seems to be placed wrong at the moment, culturally.

      Culturally, we’re all over the map when it comes to ingesting stuff that changes our mindset. Coffee is wonderful! A kajillion-dollar business! Tea is great! Alcohol is great! No, it’s horrible! Wow, banning it turned out to be *really* horrible! Plus it has some genuine benefits and a lot of people really find it enhances their life!

      But in reality, there’s no neat categorical binary, with stuff that’ll kill us all on one side and stuff that perks us up or relaxes us in a friendly, commercial-ready way on the other, and I think it’s hard for us culturally to get past the desire for a neat binary. And it is a binary, there’s reasonable evidence to suggest that a substantial portion of the U.S. uses marijuana on the coffee/tea/booze side of practice and that we use stuff every day that it’s easier to wreck yourself with.

      So if it is on the coffee/tea/booze side of practice, it doesn’t make sense to me to spend humongous amounts of money suppressing it and prosecuting people for it; I don’t see who it helps, I think it’s easier to make the stuff its safest if it’s legal and under oversight, and I think there are better things to do with that money.

      1. Tara R.

        I’ve heard people argue that it will drop demand among underage folks, and I think there’s probably some truth to that. I know plenty of people who wait until 19 to drink (although apparently that’s much more common in provinces where the age is 18, which makes sense– I think going to college/university is the downfall for a lot of folks who intended to wait), whether because of principle or ease of access, but obviously that doesn’t happen with weed. Not to mention, it’s wayyy easier to get pot (at least around here) than it is to get alcohol. Probably a third of the kids in my town had a parent who grew at least a plant or two; it was just constantly available. If you wanted alcohol, you had to track down someone who was 19 and bribe them to go buy for you. If they had to jump through the same hoops for pot, use might go down. Since (I believe) marijuana has a more pronounced effect on youth, that is one potential benefit.

        1. fposte

          That makes sense–I can see it with underage, once there’s a concept of “of age.” But if there’s no “of age,” why wait?

        2. Not So NewReader

          When I was in school, teachers grew pot on the window sills of the class room. If a teacher is using, it is very hard for that teacher to tell a student not to use. It was not hard to get pot and that was 40 years ago. I cannot image it being harder now. From what I hear teachers are still buying and selling with students, it just different teachers now.

          1. Tara R.

            If a teacher is using, it is very hard for that teacher to tell a student not to use.

            In a way, I think legalization will make this much easier. We all knew our teachers enjoyed a glass of wine or two on the weekends, but no one assumed this meant they implicitly approved of underage drinking. Once it’s not illegal, it opens the door for a teacher to say “Pot is a mind-altering substance that can negatively impact you, and disproportionately affects younger users. Like many other adults, I sometimes use it in moderation, but I would encourage you all to wait until you are of legal age before experimenting with it.”

            For the record, I hate pot. I hate how it dominates conversations, I hate how no one will accept “Nah, I don’t really do drugs”, I hated watching my dad slide back into active addiction to crack cocaine after he starting up with alcohol/weed again… but that’s my hang up. And it’s a silly one, because alcohol provokes similar frustrations, but I have no problem with it.

            1. Not So NewReader

              I agree with every sentence you have here. Am sorry about your dad. It’s my belief that we as a society failed him decades ago. Maybe I am wrong.

              I was just talking to a friend who is in recovery and doing really good. She said something that hit me between the eyes. “People who don’t do drugs/alcohol have their lives together and get everything right all the time.” I said that was simply not true. She said she’d have to think about that for a bit. She is 50 y/o and is now thinking about this. Some how we (society) failed her.

              1. Tara R.

                I went to a lot of NA meetings as a kid, and the stories that I heard were almost without exception tales of abuse and mistreatment that go back to childhood. Very few people decide to just throw themselves into heroin and crack and meth for the fun of it. My heart breaks every day for the scared little boy that my dad used to be, who was hurt by his family and then by foster families and then by the streets, and then promptly thrown into juvie to be mistreated some more. This is what creates addicts. Prisons do not rehabilitate drug users; they need human kindness, not a system designed to punish and hurt them more.

                1. Not So NewReader

                  “The beatings will continue until morale improves.”

                  A friend was coming down off of whatever in county lock up. I have no clue if anyone even checked him to see how he was doing.

                  A while ago, two women, both sisters with a long history of prescription drugs use were placed into separate nursing homes. Both women were religious about going to the doctor and they diligently took whatever the doctor said to take. When both women arrived at their respective nursing homes, the homes decided the women were taking way too many drugs. INCREDIBLY, both homes decided it was a good idea to pull ALL the drugs in ONE day for each woman.

                  Both sisters died within two weeks of entering the nursing homes. No one questioned why.

                  If we don’t some sort of compass inside us, steering us, we can get sooo screwed up. And that compass starts building in our childhoods, we consistency, we need a protective environment. Children can get so many misconceptions. And we carry the misconceptions into our adulthood.

                2. Dynamic Beige

                  This is a reply to Not So New Reader… Sometimes, it’s not just the doctors, it’s the families. #1 Child takes Mom to Doctor X, #2 Child thinks Doctor X is a quack, so they take Mom to Doctor Y — the only doctor they trust. #3 Child thinks neither of their siblings has any clue, so they take Mom to Doctor Z who came highly recommended. Mom is being overprescribed and cross diagnosed and no one is talking to anyone about what it going on. And they all wonder why Mom isn’t getting better.

                  When my neighbour had chemo, she took some kind of pills for it. Since they were done by weight and she wasn’t exactly thin, she had to take a bunch. Within a few days, she told me she had heard a “Pop!” noise in her head and had passed out, they had taken her to the hospital. When I found out they hadn’t ramped the pills up over a few weeks, I was outraged. To just give someone a full dose without any prep is insane in my extremely non-medical opinion. After the hospital stay, she did go on a system of 1 pill the first week, 2 the second, etc. to build up to the full dose.

                3. Not So NewReader

                  @DB, yep, there are many issues just with legal medications. Sometimes the person taking the med is not able to process what is happening or needs to happen. It’s scary to me that I could lose my full ability to exercise good judgement just because of a medication . Additionally, I could be on a med and get addicted within a week. It happens to some people. And these people are not necessarily people who are vulnerable to addictions.
                  We have a bunch of serious stuff going on that we really need to look at. A person with a few joints is just not a big fish to go after.

        3. Dynamic Beige

          I know plenty of people who wait until 19 to drink

          When I was a kid, it was acceptable to have a small glass of wine with special dinners — Xmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, birthdays. We didn’t have a big family so it’s not like there was a booze up every weekend. We also drank home brew, which was uh… potent (sorry gramps, but it was awful) so I never really had the “OMG! Gotta get drunk!” thing when I got older. Alcohol wasn’t really a big huge mystery. Also, not being one of the popular kids probably helped. Hard to underage drink when you don’t have kids to underage drink with you.

          Having said that, I had a friend over for something once, I forget what and we offered her the standard small glass of wine and she just about freaked out as she wasn’t 19. OK, fine. Years later, when I visited her in her dorm room, I was somewhat shocked to see the collection of empty vodka bottles that lined a shelf.

          1. Tara R.

            That’s actually legal here; you can provide alcohol to your children (or minor spouse) within your own home, but not to anyone else’s children. My parents didn’t drink until I was about 16, so I was very, very uncomfortable around anyone even a little bit tipsy up until recently. It also had the effect that I didn’t really understand how alcohol worked, and I got way drunker than I intended the first time I drank. (Me: well, in TV people do like 8 shots at a time! If I have like 3 or 4 drinks I should just be a little bit tipsy, right? 5’4″, 115 pound, 17 year old, never drank before, hadn’t eaten that day me. Bad memory.)

            1. catsAreCool

              For a parent to let a tween or teenage kid have a sip or 2 of a beer or a wine occasionally seems reasonable (if it’s legal). That way the kid gets to know what it tastes like, (and it’s an acquired taste for many people) (also, knowing the taste helps with not accidentally getting drunk), and it takes the mystery and forbidden allure away from it.

    6. Lady Bug

      Definitely agree with the all the reasons above about saving money on law enforcement and unnecessary imprisonment. I also think pain management is a huge reason. We have a country full of people addicted to opiates and doctors prescribing higher and higher doses as the effects lessen. We need some form of non-addictive pain management.

      1. Not So NewReader

        Our prisons are full and stretched. Yet it fails to be a deterant as people just keep offending/reoffending.

        Addictive pain killers. Recently a sad story came to me. A person had to be on pain killers. He got addicted. He worked through his original problem and went to rehab for the addiction that he got in the process of being treated for the original problem. He got out of rehab and things were fine for a bit. Then he got badly hurt. The DOCTOR said the only med he could take that would work was X. The very same med that the guy had been to rehab for. The man was almost crying, begging the doctor for something/anything else.
        The doctor said, “Nope. It’s this or nothing.”

        And we are worried about pot? REALLY? We have much bigger fish to fry.

      2. TL -

        Something like less than 20% of addiction cases comes from people who take legally prescribed drugs. And there’s actually a segment of the medical community saying that pain management is under utilized in the USA – and thus actually harming patient recovery, which is faster with managed pain – because of the paranoia over prescription drugs, which they argue the literature doesn’t support.

    7. Observer

      As a fellow “conservative” I find much of the furor around marijuana to be well overblown. To your arguiments:

      You personally don’t like mind altering substances. Neither do I – but so what. This i kind of personal preference should have absolutely NO bearing on what is or is not legal.

      You say that the comparison to obesity is ridiculous because it doesn’t cause addiction. Again, so what? Why is addiction a bigger problem that any other, to the point that we have to police against it? If you are worried about the EFFECTS of addiction, then you need to ban a LOT of other items, including cigarettes, which are highly addictive, and alcohol. We’ve tried that once, and it didn’t work too well. The effects of alcohol addiction and abuse (even without addiction – drunk driving IS alcohol abuse, eg.) are as horrifying as that of marijuana.

      It’s just as well that your distinction is not relevant, because it’s not at all accurate. One actually CAN be addicted to food. It’s kind of odd to think of it this way, but when you realize that eating disorders in general a a real, and often life threatening thing, it can become easier to wrap your head around.

      You claim that you can smell the marijuana your neighbors halfway down the block smoke. Color me skeptical. At the same time, I’ve yet to see any evidence that marijuana smoke is in any way worse for people than cigarette smoke. Cigarette smoke is actually very very bad for people, yet not only are they not illegal, there are still plenty of work-sites where smoking is allowed and employees are stuff breathing that stuff in or losing their jobs.

      The bottom line is that you fail to make any argument that in any significant way differentiates between alcohol and cigarettes on the one hand and marijuana on the other. “slippery slope” sounds scary, but what does that mean? What makes marijuana more “slippery” than the others?

      The real question is not what we should make legal. The real question is what should we ban. The DEFAULT should be legal. It should always be on the one who wants to ban, to prove that there is a moral issue or true societal risk. In order to ban, and in the process both limit personal freedom AND place a significant cost on the public, you need to show cause. You’ve shown neither.

      1. Not So NewReader

        To misquote Malcom Forbes “you can’t legislate sobriety”. If we as a society are concerned about addiction, then we must look at the underlying causes of addictions. And that is roll-up-your-sleeves hard work. Making or keeping substances illegal is a band aid that gives us the illusion we are “good people” who promote “well-being” and “care about others”. No. Just no. There is way more to it than that.

        In my area, heroin is taking over. It’s an epidemic. Our real question, the dead elephant in the middle of the room, is “why do people feel they want to use in the first place?”. What is particularly nasty about this question is that it requires some inward self-examination. And it requires us as a society to come to some sort of agreement on what is actually important and what is not.

        1. Dynamic Beige

          If we as a society are concerned about addiction, then we must look at the underlying causes of addictions.

          +1000000000.

          I have never known anyone who had a serious problem with addiction that didn’t have some other underlying serious problem that they were trying to avoid/mask/suppress.

          I grew up being told “they don’t call it dope for nothing” and “only dopes do dope.” Because my mother had done pot once and hadn’t felt anything and didn’t like it when my father did it. So, I’ve never done it. Whatever curiosity I have about it is fleeting and over weighed by knowing that if I got caught, I could have a record. I’m the kind of person who always gets caught, I probably have a guilty face or something, so I’m not going to chance it. If they did legalise it, one day I might try it just to see what all the fuss is about. If I got cancer, I would definitely try it to see if it helped with chemo side effects.

          Drugs are a bet with your mind. Jim Morrison. I think there’s a lot of truth there. I know someone who once took Melatonin to help them sleep and they had such disturbing dreams they never took it again (that is apparently a rare side effect). So I just don’t know how I would react and part of that fear is underlying the decision to not try this, that or the other because I don’t want to poke that bear. That bear could actually turn into a fabulous unicorn and I’d have all kinds of fun adventures… or it could rip me to shreds. I think I’m safer with reality, at least I know what to expect from that.

      2. Shell

        I think you’ve taken my tone to be far more aggressive than I intended. I didn’t say any of my reasons were ones to base off legislation about, I said they were reasons that makes me uncomfortable with pot. I’m not arguing that my reasons (and my personal feelings) are unassailable reasons to keep marijuana illegal, I’m simply saying these reasons and feelings are the reasons behind why I don’t understand people saying pot legalization is such a great idea. (Perhaps I didn’t make that clear enough.) Hence this question.

        Eating disorders are a very real thing, but I think it’s folly to say food is as addictive as other drugs. I probably can’t convince you about my sense of smell over the internet, so we’ll agree to disagree there.

        To everyone: thanks, you’ve given me a lot to think about.

        1. Ask a Manager Post author

          But your discomfort with X is a totally different thing than a reason to imprison people for X. Most of us are uncomfortable with all sorts of things — prunes, horror movies, furries, reality TV, skydiving — but presumably you’d think it was odd if someone wanted to ban those.

        2. Treena

          I wouldn’t say it’s folly to say food is as addictive as other drugs. There’s some new data coming out very recently that is trying to figure out what makes someone have an “addictive personality.” Basically, addictive personality + trauma + substance use = very high chance of addiction. But non-addictive personality + trauma + substance use = much lower chance of addiction.

          We know already that using a substance could trigger an addiction, but there are heroin users that aren’t addicted, and we’re slowly finding out why. All this to say, what you end up addicted to is largely based on what you interact with. So if you’ve never tried drugs, it makes sense that food might become addictive.

        3. Observer

          Eating disorders are a very real thing, but I think it’s folly to say food is as addictive as other drugs.

          I didn’t say that food is AS ADDICTIVE as anything else. However, you made a statement that food is NOT ADDICTIVE. That’s simply false. It is addictive, although it’s not clear HOW addictive it is. In other words, you are allowing a factual error to influence your thinking.

          I probably can’t convince you about my sense of smell over the internet, so we’ll agree to disagree there.

          Let me put it this way – if you can smell someone’s weed down the block, you can smell their cigarette smoke down the block as there is no real difference in how either carries.

          Having said that, do you really think it’s appropriate to ban anything based on people’s idiosyncrasies? Because that’s what your ability to smell pot down the block is. This is not a rhetorical question. There are plenty of people who would like to ban all sorts of stuff because of idiosyncratic reactions. (Some examples have come up here – ie people who want to ban some substance or other from their workplace because they have serious allergies. Those people, at least, have more than annoyance or inconvenience to deal with, but even then, it simply doesn’t fly.)

          1. catsAreCool

            Can we at least do something so that those of us who do NOT want to breath in smoke from cigarettes or pot don’t have to? Please? It is unfair to those of us who don’t like this stuff to have to breathe it.

            1. Observer

              I agree with that. And, for that reason I am VERY glad that in NYC, employers do have to keep their workplaces smoke free. It seems to me to be very logical that the same kinds of restrictions should be place on marijuana as well.

      3. Ask a Manager Post author

        The real question is not what we should make legal. The real question is what should we ban. The DEFAULT should be legal. It should always be on the one who wants to ban, to prove that there is a moral issue or true societal risk. In order to ban, and in the process both limit personal freedom AND place a significant cost on the public, you need to show cause. You’ve shown neither.

        This was exactly what I came here to say. Beyond all the other arguments people have made (bad use of tax dollars, terrible criminal justice priority relative to others, safer than alcohol or tobacco, etc. — all of which are great arguments), there’s the fundamental principle that the government should need really good reason to imprison someone for something they do to their own mind/body, in the privacy of their own home, without involving others. The default should be that we get to do what we want in the privacy of our own homes unless there’s true danger to others.

        Personal freedom and privacy are pretty sacred and fundamental rights.

        Shell, do you really think that half of all Americans belong in prison? Because research shows about half have used it. (I don’t mean that to be aggressive or confrontational; I just think often people don’t think through that that’s what they’re really saying when they support continued marijuana prohibition.)

        1. Shell

          No, I don’t think 50% of the population should go to prison. Realistically, I don’t really have a great suggestion of what I think the government would do, because having it as illegal doesn’t seem to be working but I’m also vaguely uncomfortable with the notion that a substance like that can be treated like…a can of soda?

          I think, at the end of the day, the biggest disconnect for me is why so many people want to use it in the first place. The volume of posts above indicate that pot isn’t going away, lots of people enjoy pot to whatever extent, it’s not as harmful as X, Y, and Z other substances, and it’s a dumb idea to continue to prosecute for something that’s not that harmful, especially given the sheer number of people using it. Which, okay. But the point of disconnect for me is why so many people want to use it in the first place. If the government outlawed, say, beef tomorrow I would wholeheartedly say it’s a stupid idea…but I don’t think I value beef so much that I’d continue to eat it. The risk (and any black market pricing), wouldn’t be worth it to me.

          That said, no one is obligated to explain their choices to me, and regardless of the reasons it doesn’t seem to warrant Observer’s framing of moral issue or societal risk (which is very helpful). But since a lot of the arguments for pro-legislation seems to stem from the large number of people who use it, the attraction to the substance for such a large number of people puzzles me. Which, upon preview, I think Not So NewReader says this much more eloquently. I feel like I’m missing a piece of the puzzle that the majority of people just intuitively get.

          Anyway. I don’t think I’m doing a very good job articulating myself or separating my feelings from the matter (though I acknowledge feelings alone aren’t the basis to write legislation upon). The opinions above are quite reasonable grounds that legislating pot is better than the alternative, and I do appreciate people explaining their reasoning to me. I think it’s the first time people have taken the time to.

          1. Treena

            I really get where you’re coming from in the “not getting it” camp. I’ve never tried pot and probably never will. I can’t stand the people I know who use it regularly (while they’re smoking), I also smell it from houses down and hate my neighbors for it. I’ve been thinking about why it bothers you and it doesn’t bother me (emotionally).

            I honestly think it has to do with my public health/sexual health background. There are so many injustices in sexuality, both in the past as well as today. To use Alison’s example. Do I want to be a furry? No. Do I want to see furry sex? (Well, kind of, but for professional research purposes only!) Do I want to see furries, oh I don’t know, making out in their living room window? Not particularly. Do I want the police to be able to knock on their door and arrest them? Um, no way! I used a silly example (although not too silly, this is a discriminated group), but think about gay sex. That used to be a criminal offense, and people were arrested *all the time* for it. Police used to entrap guys looking to score, arresting same-sex people for dancing in a club, seeing two same-sex partners kiss in their living room–all actual “crimes!”

            Now, we all know that was more pearl-clutching than safety, but the idea was rooted in that we can’t trust people to make “good” decisions, so let’s help them by outlawing things. Yea, “gay sex” is more “unhealthy” (STI risk) than vaginal sex, but arresting people doesn’t help to deter them! Good, public health education that isn’t scare-tactic based, and actually helps people make decisions for themselves is always the way to go on these issues. Imagine if your high school health class talked about how to recognize substance abuse in a friend, and what to do to help? I already give students tips on how to stay safe while drinking, but I can’t touch pot even though it’s just as illegal for them to use it!

          2. Sunny with a Chance of Showers

            “But the point of disconnect for me is why so many people want to use it in the first place. ”

            Because it’s relaxing, it’s fun, it’s like loosening up with a couple glasses of wine. It can be very social as well. People get nicotine rushes from cigarettes, right? Imagine it’s like that.

          3. A Dispatcher

            “If the government outlawed, say, beef tomorrow I would wholeheartedly say it’s a stupid idea…but I don’t think I value beef so much that I’d continue to eat it. The risk (and any black market pricing), wouldn’t be worth it to me.”

            If you changed beef to bacon I’m pretty sure I’d do just about anything to get my hands on some. I’m already majorly annoyed over the fact that we can’t have true unpasteurized/raw milk cheese here like they do in Europe and if it was something that was actually available to me (legal or not), yes, I would seek it out. And this is coming from someone who has never done and has no interest in any type of drug (though I do occasionally drink alcohol).

          4. Not So NewReader

            I don’t use and never did.
            Sad story.In high school I had one friend who hung out with me and my friends. She used routinely. But my friends ignored that she was stoned most of the time and the rest of us were not using at all.

            After we graduated, I ran into the friend who did pot. What she said almost made me cry. She thanked me and another friend for “letting” her hang out with us. She thanked us for being friends who did not “make” her use pot. “I never had to get high to hang out with you.” She went on to talk about her home life (nil) and her mother (abusive). She led an awful life, it was terrible.

            There was a couple dozen of us that hung out together. Once high school ended everyone scattered. I don’t hear from most of them. I think that we stayed together because we had one thing in common. We did not want to get caught up in the drugs. And we gave each other a place to be that was safe from that peer pressure. I think my friend who did smoke pot is a good example of the stories that many users have.
            Generally speaking, if a person is faced with a problem a bad plan is better than NO plan. Pot is a plan. So are other drugs. Our government is not big enough to solve everyone’s problems. It’s up to us to take care of each other. And there is no way to make a law that orders people to take care of each other.

            I am not saying it’s right or wrong. I am just saying this is the way I see things playing out.

            1. Dynamic Beige

              Generally speaking, if a person is faced with a problem a bad plan is better than NO plan. Pot is a plan. So are other drugs.

              If the only thing you have access to is a way to escape (or just make it feel less bad for a while), then that is the option you’ll take. Video games, books, sports, gangs, the internet, food, self-harm, sex, drugs. We aren’t born knowing how to cope with all the challenges we face.

              1. Not So NewReader

                Bingo. We are not born knowing how to cope with the challenges we face. I heard a lot of the “well, you should know” phrase growing up. I heard it so much that I have a deep resentment of that phrase. I think the reasons for resentment are pretty clear to people who read here. We read here because we DON’T know and we want to learn more. The same story is true with life, which kind of explains the popularity of Alison’s Open Forum on Sundays.

                1. Dynamic Beige

                  And if you’re lucky, your family will take your concerns seriously and teach you ways to cope that are healthy and age-appropriate. But if you aren’t — and I think most of us aren’t that lucky — it’s the sick leading the blind. Parenting is a tough job that no one and nothing can really prepare you for. I can see (having lived it) how some parents just don’t see a kid’s problems as that important — after all, they have *real* problems, like their job and keeping a roof over everyone’s head. Being treated meanly in class or not understanding your homework are just not up there in terms of threat or importance. I’m not saying that parents can or should solve all their kids’ problems — not at all. But when the message you get from your parents is “I can’t be bothered/I’m busy/I’m tired/Figure it out for yourself” is it any wonder when bad decisions get made, the path of least resistance/more pleasure is taken?

                2. Not So NewReader

                  @DB, yep, and it is other people around us that fill in the parents’ gaps. It takes a village. If we are fortunate enough to have others taking an interest in our lives as clearly so many do not have this. We just don’t know when we are that thread that someone else has decided to hang on to. I can’t point at parents or teachers or any one group of people. I think we all share the responsibility.

          5. fposte

            It’s interesting, because I’m somebody who was a long resister of mind-altering substances, and I still don’t do them, including alcohol, recreationally; I’ll put booze on fruit and might do pot in food, but I hate the smell of smoking anything and that seems like something that would make the food less enjoyable, which would be a terrible tragedy. Some of this may be related to the factory-installed stick up my butt; some of it may be lifestyle or taste, I dunno. And while I don’t seem to have an addictive personality, I do tend toward all-or-nothing behaviors anyway.

            But as I developed various medical problems, it was a bit of an eyeopener to realize how much a substance could change my day. For most of them, it was pretty workmanlike, and I didn’t get much of a rush beyond the pain relief. But I remember once during a really stressful period I took my Xanax preparing for a flight, and the flow from the stress faucet just cut off when it kicked in; I thought “Oh, that’s what a lot of this is about!”

            I’m not saying this is the response of everybody who likes to get drunk or high or buzzed or coffee-amped, but I’m thinking, Shell, that you and I may have some overlap in our wariness about mood alteration, and while experience didn’t change how I dealt with the substances, it really changed how I thought about their use.

            1. Not So NewReader

              Interesting point to me because I never seem to get good results with the various medications I have been prescribed. I fell off a bike at 60 mph when a deer jumped out in front of us. They gave me codine. It did nothing. I threw it out. I also threw out the motrin 800s. Likewise with various antibiotics and decongestants that have been prescribed, I did not see results. I felt pressured to tell the doctor I was getting results, which made matters worse.
              Additionally some of my non-participation could be a little fear based. What if my mind goes some where and I cannot get back from there? We are seeing this one with the heroin problem. (People around me were dealing with pot laced with something else. It seemed to me that you did not know what you were getting.)
              I probably had two ends working against a middle.

          6. Observer

            Here is the thing. I also don’t get the attraction of pot in the normal way. And, I certainly think that, absent compelling need (eg medical issues), using when it’s illegal is pretty stupid. But, that’s a totally different pair of questions from the question of whether to legalize. There are a LOT really stupid things people do, that we don’t think of making illegal. Bungee jumping, anyone? Yeah, lots of people think it’s wonderful. I think it’s insane. So what? It’s legal and I can’t think of any good reason to change that, despite my opinion of the matter.

            I’m also vaguely uncomfortable with the notion that a substance like that can be treated like…a can of soda?

            Who said to treat it like a can of soda? Why not like a bottle of whiskey or a pack of cigarettes?

          7. Ask a Manager Post author

            Why I occasionally use it: It makes everything fascinating, it makes everything funny, and it’s relaxing. Those are three awesome things that I enjoy.

            Do you know miracle fruit — those (legal) berries that change your sense of taste for an hour or so, so that everything tastes amazing? Marijuana is that for your mind. It’s a fun diversion, if you’re into that kind of thing and you’re in a safe and private setting.

            I use marijuana about as much as I drink, which is to say not very often at all. But I’m a big fan of altered states of consciousness, and I find it deeply disturbing that our government wants to send me to prison for that.

          8. catsAreCool

            I don’t really get why people want to use pot, etc. either. The idea of not being in full control of myself because of alcohol or drugs is uncomfortable to me.

        2. Knut Anderson Trull

          A lot of the concern on the macro level had to do with who controlled the supplies, especially during the Cold War. In political history, the Opium Wars loom large in the role drugs can play in allowing one country to control another.

          Marx said that religion is the opiate of the masses, but weed can work pretty well too. :-) (Butane hash oil became pretty popular in my area during the recession; we’re some of the most content downwardly-mobile Americans you will ever meet — until the money for dabs runs out, anyway.)

          I think that originally there was some discussion in the U.S. government over taking a legalization approach if they thought they could ensure that it would be controlled by American tobacco companies, but Nixon nixed it; he didn’t think we could keep the Soviets out of the supply chain.

          Of course, it’s a different world now — the Soviets are gone, Phillip Morris and R.J. Reynolds are shadows of their former selves, and hydroponics has grown into a booming industry… It will be interesting to see how things unfold.

      4. Treena

        “The real question is not what we should make legal. The real question is what should we ban. The DEFAULT should be legal.”

        This is what I came to say. People talk about “legalizing” things, when in reality, everything should be “legal” unless there is a real reason to ban it. If I’m remembering correctly, marijuana was originally banned primarily because cotton farmers didn’t want competition from hemp. They threw in a “it’s bad for you too!” and got it passed relatively easy because pearl-clutching is something Americans really like to do.

        I know you say you don’t want to throw up your hands and say, “well, we can’t stop you, so hey, go for it.” but the truth is people are human beings. Human beings do stupid things all the time. They do things that are bad for their health, safety, etc. all the time. But we’ve arbitrarily decided which ones need legal intervention for no good reason.

        On top of that, banning substances pretty much guarantees a black market and underlying system. Prohibition created some of the biggest gangsters this country had ever seen, and they were above the law. As much money as we pour into the “War on Drugs,” let’s face it, the vast majority of gangs/dealers are above the law. I would rather have stupid stoners above the law than gangs with semi-automatic weapons.

    8. Clever Name

      I live in Colorado. I voted for legalization. I’ve never tried it and neither has my husband. We are getting a shit-ton of tax revenue from it. Like so much the state isn’t quite sure what to do with it. I think that’s a good thing. I like having good public schools and driving on smooth roads and over bridges that won’t collapse. The economy is going nuts. My company can’t hire folks fast enough to keep up with the workload, and much of our work is on state government projects.

      Our next door neighbors smoke it. They are normal people just like us. Crime has not gone up. People drive just fine (because of a media blitz by the state that driving high is still illegal).

      I honestly can’t think of a reason not to legalize it that doesn’t hinge on old-fashioned pearl-clutching.

      1. Hellanon

        See, we could use a bunch of that cash in CA too! The roads, the schools, the universities – like I said upthread, it makes me actively angry to see all that money going into a black market economy while simultaneously forcing billions into the law enforcement/prison industry.

      2. Oryx

        I was in Denver a few months ago and was incredibly impressed with how the shops were run and I have friends there who have made comments related to how well it has helped the economy.

      3. mander

        I’m a Coloradan too, and while I’m currently living overseas, I voted to legalize it for all the same reasons mentioned at the beginning of this thread. I’ll admit that I used to smoke it, though I don’t now, because it was fun to do. I don’t think it did me much harm in the long run — after all, I’ve finished two advanced degrees, and I don’t have any substance abuse issues now.

        For me the main thing is the colossal waste of money that is the war on drugs, and especially the war on pot. I also think that making it legal, and particularly making it legal to grow, will help to eventually reduce the power of drug cartels and drug-related crime in general. Demand might not necessarily go down, but we can reap the benefits of tax revenue, safer growing conditions, safer products, and fewer people with criminal records for doing something fairly harmless.

    9. Anon Toker

      Another couple of reasons I haven’t seen mentioned yet:
      Reduce/eliminate influence of criminal cartels who may currently be providing illegal drugs (I don’t follow this much in the news, but I believe these are some of the more vicious criminals, murders, kidnappings, etc in service of their illegal business model.)
      Allow for the development of other legal products eg edibles, oils… You say you don’t like the smell of smoke. Many marijuana users in colorado now eat or vape. Personally, I enjoy smoking but I realize it has health drawbacks so if I had access to these other products, I’d be more likely to use those rather than smoke.
      You ask what are the advantages of legalization. I will counter by asking what, if any, are the advantages of criminalization? I can only think of one, that is, not having pot smoke in public places. But that can be accomplished by banning smoking in public places. Do your conservative friends have other reasons?

      1. Goliath Gary Willikers

        Pot smell-digression:

        I’ve lived in both Washington state and Colorado since they voted to legalize, and the difference in amount public pot smell between the two states is striking to me. I remember walking through downtown Seattle the morning after we voted to legalize, and you could smell it everywhere on the streets. (Technically, it wasn’t even legal yet, but Seattle PD had made it clear they weren’t going to intervene as soon as the measure passed, since they were sick of diverting resources to it.) Every subsequent time I’ve returned to Seattle in the past few years, I always smell people smoking it in public when I’m just walking down the street.

        Since moving to Large Liberal Town in Colorado though, I’ve hardly smelled it once. Not even in places you might expect, like a freaking ski movie festival. I don’t know what the difference between these two states is, but as someone who really doesn’t love the smell of pot either, I’d love to figure out how to channel whatever Colorado’s doing and import it back to my home state.

    10. Mando Diao

      I’m with you on the point that if marijuana were legalized, more people would use it.

      I think you have to parse away all of the arguments and understand that people want it to be legal simply because they want to use it without breaking the law. At the end of the day, all political and social-issue debates come down to some variation of “idk, it’s just what I want.”

      1. Ask a Manager Post author

        Wait, no, I don’t think that’s it at all. Loads of people support ending marijuana prohibition who don’t use marijuana. (I didn’t use it for years, including when I was working on the issue professionally.) They support it because they believe in personal freedom and liberty, because they think it’s absurd to spend criminal justice resources and taxpayer money locking people up for something they do in the privacy of their own home, and because they see how it’s enforced in racist ways. For most (intelligent) people, it has nothing to do with “I just want to use it.” That’s like saying only gay people support gay rights.

        1. Mando Diao

          Most of the people I know who are vocal proponents of legalization are, I’m sorry, the sorts of stoners who go on about cancer treatments even though they themselves just want to get high. It’s a case of the waters being muddied for everyone else by younger people who have the time and energy to have multiple political conversations with multiple people. I find that kind of bait-and-switch rhetoric to be really offensive, and when it comes to weed, I resent that no one’s really allowed to point out that (whether or not it’s actually addictive) weed sure does make a lot of people ACT like addicts. The stoner lifestyle is a real thing, and it’s not something I care to support.

          1. Ask a Manager Post author

            But the fact that some people are stoners doesn’t change the fact that many people who aren’t still support ending marijuana prohibition. If you look at political polling on this issue, you’ll see that it’s actually supported by a majority of voters now. Since presumably you don’t think the majority of adults are stoners, that’s an awful lot of people who don’t fit the profile you’re describing.

          2. pnw

            I am 60 years old and not one of those “younger people who have the time and energy to have multiple political conversations” but I have been a long time proponent of legalizing marijuana. When it recently became legal in Oregon I decided to give it a try (after a 35 year hiatus). I do not consider myself a stoner. I tried it recreationally just as someone might have a drink. I may or may not try it again. I think it’s ridiculous to outlaw a substance that has similar effects to alcohol.

          3. Treena

            But legalizing marijuana isn’t supporting the stoner lifestyle. If anything, it would allow people to get help more easily if they realize their stoner lifestyle is really addictive behavior.

            I have a good friend who for years I thought of as a “stoner.” She works a low-wage job. She has vague career aspirations, but has no motivation to get anywhere with those aspirations, lots of very typical stoner behavior. After living with her for a while, I had a heart to heart with her and asked her why she spent so much money and time getting high. It all came out that she pretty much has clinical-level (undiagnosed) anxiety that she self-medicates with pot and it’s the only thing that lets her sleep. It’s easier for her to smoke than it is to get into therapy. Think about how ridiculous that is.

            One thing that I learned very early on is that what people say isn’t always true. “I just wanna get high” can very easily mean “I need to self-medicate to survive” because people are human. And humans are proud. It’s way easier to claim you’re the cool guy who is all fun and games, rather than admit you have mental health issues and need to commit crimes to get any semblance of treatment.

          4. Observer

            I think you have a fairly narrow set of acquaintances AND you are ignoring what a lot of people here are saying. As offensive as bait and switch tactics are, I think that your claim that everyone who makes an argument for legalization that focuses on any of the issues mentioned don’t really mean it, and are just using it as an excuse for wanting to get high, is even more offensive. You’re basically accusing everyone if lying.

            It’s not that we don’t know about the “stoner lifestyle”, either. But, it exists, legalization or not. And no one has yet to show any evidence that the stoner lifestyle is essentially any different than the alcoholic lifestyle. So, the real question is why do we single out marijuana? It’s not like the prohibition is keeping people from getting stoned, anyway.

  18. Soupspoon McGee

    Yesterday’s thread on procrastination got me thinking. After many years of beating myself up for being lazy, it dawned on me that if I’m working hard to procrastinate a task–like when I have a deadline, I start scrubbing the bathtub or repainting the furniture–my brain has found a problem that I’m not aware of.

    When I was a grantwriter, the problem was that the project itself was missing something critical. When I’m mulling a big purchase, several little things don’t sit right, but I can’t point them out (until I make myself just buy a mattress already, then realize I can’t get the damn thing upstairs).

    Today is a deadline for a grad program. I’m all but done, but haven’t submitted it. If this were dating, I’d raise my eyebrows and decline a second date with someone so inattentive and picky, especially compared to other options. So instead of finishing and sending them $50, I’m burning daylight here, and making granola and thinking about costumes. I know what the problem is, this time, but the solution is to let the deadline pass, and that feels wrong too.

    Anyhow, for the procrastinators, maybe you have reasons your brain is telling you!

    1. TootsNYC

      if I’m working hard to procrastinate a task–like when I have a deadline, I start scrubbing the bathtub or repainting the furniture–my brain has found a problem that I’m not aware of.

      This is such a powerful insight.

      There are always reasons for procrastination, and sometimes it’s not that the task is boring.

      I recently discovered that I procrastinate when I’m not sure my decision is the right one. So I go after the insecurity, and sort that out. Then I find I can move right ahead.

      1. Hellanon

        I procrastinate when I’m afraid of getting something wrong – it’s like my brain instantly defaults me to doing something I know I’m good at (laundry! Cleaning! Baking! I rock these tasks, therefore I will do them, and feel accomplished.) Mind you, I wish I’d made this connection when I was 17, not as an adult…

    2. Clever Name

      I’m totally with you. I’ve also recently discovered that if a project is really really stressing me out at work, that’s a sign that something is wrong, and I should go to the project manager.

  19. LizB

    Any commenters planning on doing NaNoWriMo? I haven’t tried in a couple of years, but I’m thinking about giving it a shot again this year. I’m working on character profiles and a plot outline, and I’m pretty excited to get back into writing after a while of being too overwhelmed by work to do anything creative.

    1. Goliath Gary Willikers

      Not until this second, but actually, this is the best possible November in years for me to give it a go. And I’ve already got a story in mind.

      So… maybe? Thanks for the reminder that this exists!

      1. Liane

        Just some articles for the gaming blog, like every other month. I have a whole bunch in various stages and I have to get several done in the next week or so, because I’ve already offered those to fill open slots in the schedule, and am already behind due to the move.

    2. saro

      I want to do it this year. I have a rough idea of what I want to write and I’ve always wanted to finish it…so, tomorrow it is! :)

      1. OnTheTrack

        I am in publish or perish hell right now. Hoping NaNoWriMo will focus my efforts. Although not a novel, non completion is not an option

    3. Luna

      Yes, I’m doing it! Re-attempting an abandoned story from three years ago about a detective who finds his city isn’t quite as normal as it seems (ghouls, ghosties and banshees, oh my!) and ends up unwillingly in the middle of a plot by an ancient entity to destroy humanity. I only quit it because I spent most of the November I started it in hospital with a tube up my nose. Last years attempt ran out of steam at 25k words so meh. I must complete it this year!

    4. Anonyby

      Sort of! My original plan was to use NaNo to work on short fanfics, and not pay any attention to wordcount. As long as I did some writing a day, I’d consider it a success.

      …And then a week or so ago I had a dream plop into my head, as the good beginning of a story, with no idea where it would lead. I think I might work on that and just not care about plot at all. If it’s a rambling, nonsensical thing, then at least I wrote. If I get an actual story out of it… awesome!

  20. Amanda

    We just had a total nightmare experience with local insulation/energy contractors, and I want to check and see if my expectations were off-base.

    We had our attic roofdeck spray-foamed, the first insulation that’s ever been put into our 100 yo house. We bought the house in May and have had some type of work going on nearly every week since then, so I’ve had my share of professionals in and out in the last few months, but this is still my first home and my first time working with contractors.

    In August, we scheduled the work to start on October 5 after advice from the company to schedule far in advance because October was their busy season. We agreed on the work to do, etc.

    They proceeded to blow us off for three weeks straight, most of the time with no communication at all to say they would not be arriving the next day. We busted ourselves making sure everything was ready, and boarded the animals over and over again during the day to make sure they’d be out of the way. Finally one day one guy arrived to do a “final check” before they were supposed to start the next day and told me that we hadn’t done things right to prep – had to remove a whole bunch of wooden pieces that were blocking the soffits. I spent 2 hours removing them while running a fever and sick as a dog so that they would start the next day as I hoped.

    Then they STILL would show up late every day, and one day, did not show up; said they would show up at 10am, so I left work to go let them in, then they did not show up. Then they came on a Saturday, which, good to get the work done, bad for the 10 people we had staying with us that weekend to hike. Total PITA to work around. Then they came 5 hours late on the following Monday.

    I wrote an angry letter and copied the state energy efficiency program on it, and the owner of the company informed me that usually people just left their keys and he thought we just boarded our animals every day, so whatever. Um, no, we have one slightly lunatic puppy and one escape artist cat, and the contract specifically said the company was not responsible for any bad things that happened to pets, so I wanted them out of there.

    Do you usually wait to let contractors in? We live in a good neighborhood in a not-great city, so I felt really nervous about leaving the key out. (That was the same excuse the contractor used to say he needed to park his trailer in our driveway, taking up 75% of the driveway, instead of on the street.) So was I unreasonable to want to let the contractors in personally each day? Is this normal expected behavior for contractors? Everyone else we’ve worked with was early, pleasant, and thorough so I don’t know if I just really lucked out previously or what?

    I made an argument for a reduction on our bill which they are unwilling to make, though they did offer $100 to offset some of the boarding costs for days they did not show up + did not call. Should I argue harder? I hate playing hardball but I feel like the company owner is just a little sleazy and will try to manipulate me if I let him and I am working hard on being less equivocal in my communication, etc. I’ve already copied the state efficiency program & said I would not recommend them to anyone in the area, so maybe I just have no more leverage. I don’t know. I kind of hate it all, I wish people would just show up and do their jobs and if not, communicate effectively.

    1. Soupspoon McGee

      One of us always stays to let contractors in. The exception was about a year ago when a neighbor ( a contractor) did some work for us. We knew him and trusted him, so on a few occasions when we couldn’t be there, we left the door unlocked for him. But we were usually there because our big, friendly, goofy dog LOOOOVES him and will not leave him alone. We needed to be there to lure her into her carrier so he could work.

      The weirdest thing was that we’d talked to him about why contractors are so flakey, saying they’ll show up and then just not. It’s freakishly common. And a few times, he did the same thing — but he couldn’t do it for long because we’re right across the street, and the dog would beeline to him if he was outside.

    2. Not So NewReader

      A lot of contractors will not show up or communicate effectively. Even good contractors. Some of it is the nature of the biz. “Oh, I will just repair this wall here, it will take x time and then I will be on my way.” The contractor opens up the wall and there are massive problems in the wall that he never anticipated. The unforeseens in this biz can almost kill a contractor.

      Two suggestions, I am sure others will have some different ideas that will be helpful.

      Initially, when I first moved here, I wanted one general contractor. Someone with a good rep in the community. He would get the bulk of the work on my old house here. He was spendy but he seemed to know a lot of good people. He brought in good people who did the parts he did not want to do or did not have the background for doing. That was my leverage. They wanted to keep a good relationship with this guy so things went well. If I did have a problem later on the general contractor would help by either advising me or by fixing the problem himself.
      He was spendy. But he made a lot of hard things easier and he could get the job done in a reasonable time. I made no secret of the fact that I would call him again. He knew there was more work on the horizon so that made him happy.
      I crated my animals and many times I stayed home when he was working. He knew the dog in particular was an issue and he knew he had to coordinate with me so I could keep the dog out of his way. (The dog liked to lay down where he was working and so on.)

      Time passed. I lost my husband and with that money got tight. I managed to set some money aside and currently I have a different person with a different arrangement. I can’t afford the big contractor any more so I have my friend who describes himself as a carpenter helping me here. I pay him by the hour not by the job. This means if he opens up a wall and there are lots of surprises in the wall I am paying him to fix each one of those surprises. The previous guy would give me a set price and then absorb the cost of the surprises. But it also means that I can reduce my costs by pulling the work back on myself. I can chose to paint or spackle or whatever to reduce the labor and free him up to look at some thing else. Like the first guy, my friend knows people to call for the parts he does not want to do himself. So he can bring people in as needed. Back to the common thread of relationships. The people he brings in have an on-going relationship with my friend. They are motivated not to screw that up so this means I am more apt to get a fair shake.

      My friend loves my current dog. Not everyone loves my current dog. So he puts the dog out on his breaks and plays with the dog, etc. It works so well, I can leave and go to work. When my friend is on a ladder I insist that the dog be gated in a room off to the side. That is the only thing I do now.

      So these are two examples of different ways that things can work out. I do believe in getting one main person and sticking with them. My dad always said it was important to build lasting relationships with business people- keep going back to the same people he said, your loyalty will benefit you in the long run. I have many examples of how well that advice has worked.

    3. TootsNYC

      Well, considering that they were unreliable assholes, I sure as hell wouldn’t want to give them any copy of my keys!

      My co-op requires us to stay home while they’re here (though I’m absolutely certain that our co-op president didn’t).

      I have had many contractors who were in touch. They’d say, “Your start date is iffy because what happens if I open up a wall at the place before you, and things go bad?” And then they call and say, “I can’t come tomorrow, because I opened up a wall at this place, and it’s going to go bad.”

      Seriously, telling someone, “we’ll be there tomorrow” and then not showing up is an asshole move. There are cell phones; text me and say, “Can’t be there, sorry.”

      And I would never hand over my keys to someone. It’s risky enough to leave them in your house. But w/ the keys in their possession, who knows what jerky employee of his is going to make a copy for later.

  21. I am anon

    I was going to post this on Friday’s thread but I think it’s more of a relationship question than a work question.

    I am a freelance writer and work from home. I work about 60 hours a week, have lot of clients, have semi-prestigious clips that everyone has seen, basically I am am successful and have a real job despite wearing pajamas 24/7. Other than my husband, no one in my life believes I actually work. My parents show up uninvited in the middle of my work day and are mad that I don’t want to hang out with them. My mother-in-law says I have no excuse to not have a spotless house and dinner on the table because “I am just home all day anyways.” My brother nags me about making cookies for my husband because what else do I do with my time? My friend says it must be nice to never have to work and have my husband support me.

    tl;dr Everyone I know thinks I’m lounging on the couch and eating bon bons, how do I deal with them?

    1. Jillociraptor

      Honestly, I just made fun of them with my other friends who work from home. I know it’s not super mature, but when someone’s that smug about something there’s just not a lot of hope for them to act like normal people.

      Trying the “neutral question” trick might be helpful, like just responding with, “Oh, did you not realize that I actually work at home?”

      Another option might be laughing in their face? Kind of being serious. Your mother in law says you have no excuse not to have a spotless house and dinner on the table, you reply with, “Hahahahaha that’s hilarious! Good one!”

      1. Mephyle

        Regarding the not-super-mature strategy, we have a private Facebook group called “Things [people in our freelance profession] Don’t Say” where we vent about problem clients, friends and family members. It is a safe place where we can let off some steam by sharing the comebacks that would be too mean and snarky to say to the actual offenders.

        1. Dynamic Beige

          Oh. My. Gawd. That must be the best thing ever. Colour me jealous. I got tired of reading Clients from Hell because it was the same old stuff (now with ads! And spammers! Despite the sign-up!)

          Since this is not a thread about work, I will only say that something extremely upsetting happened to me yesterday due to a client and I wrote a bunch of unflattering stuff about them after it, privately, on my iPad. Very cathartic. Sometimes, you find yourself in a situation and you are all “did that really just happen? Am I overreacting by feeling this way about it? Am I crazy?” At times like that, having a bunch of people tell you you’re not crazy is a great thing if you can get it.

        2. Jillociraptor

          It’s important, honestly. Critical skill to know when and where to vent about it, but…sometimes it’s just necessary!

    2. TheLazyB (UK)

      WTF?! How rude are those people!

      The only thing I can think of is maybe to just react as little as possible. with parents: “Sorry, it’s not a good time. You could come back at x o’clock” & topic switch. Your MIL: “You might be right” & topic switch. Totally deadpan. Your brother… well TBH I would ask him why he’s not making the damn cookies if he thinks your DH should have them. But there’s probably a better idea :)

    3. Tomato Frog

      Tell everyone you’ve rented an office downtown, even though you haven’t. Don’t answer the door or take personal phone calls during your workday. Visit a psychic and discover what terrible thing you did in a past life that lead to you being surrounded by so many rude, disrespectful people in this life, so you can atone for that terrible thing and these people will stop being jackasses.

      Or option B: “Why would you say that to me? I work 60 hours a week.” And also don’t answer the door or take personal phone calls during your workday.

    4. nep

      You certainly don’t owe anyone an explanation. I wouldn’t waste the breath / energy. (I don’t think you meant you’ve got to explain yourself; just putting that out there.)
      I like the idea of not answering door / phone (to non-work calls). You’re at work. Period.
      Let people think what they will. The reality is you’re working your ass off. End of story.
      (‘I am successful and have a real job despite wearing pajamas 24/7’. Great line.)

    5. Revanche

      I went through a period of hating everyone who did stuff like you’ve described. So I second everything everyone else has said here. I both work and mind our kids at home so anyone who wants to comment on my house will find their calls and texts unanswered and the door always locked. That’s my civil alternative to verbally taking their heads off when they come up with something as ridiculous as your brother and the cookies. Or any of them, really. (Though, since he is your brother and not an inlaw I would totally charge him a cookie tax anytime he came over after that, only semi jokingly. No cookies? No entry. Go home, brother. Why? Because you think cookies are so important to Husband that I should interrupt my work.)

      That friend of yours, in my world, would be cut off so quick she’d be grateful she still had all her body parts. There’s simply not enough time or energy for that kind of rudeness and disrespect from a friend.

      1. The Cosmic Avenger

        What Revanche said comes pretty close to what I wanted to say. I will just add that if you have trouble not answering the phone or the door, remind yourself that you are at your office before you do, and then treat them as if they showed up at your office or called you at work.

    6. Nicole

      I agree with the others who said to not answer your door or take calls while you’re working. You can’t change these people’s minds about your work, but you can prevent them from interrupting your day.

      I’m curious – have they read any of your work? Maybe if they did they would realize it takes time to craft an article. Not that you owe them anything.

      Another suggestion to help stop their inconsiderate comments from irritating you – they’re probably jealous that you get to earn money in your pajamas. I know I am! Working as a freelance writer is a dream job in my book.

    7. Not So NewReader

      Send them a group email. “These are my hours for work each week. Do not call, do not come over, I will not be available.”
      If you wish go on to explain that you work 60 hours a week, carry a client load of x number on average and any other descriptive type things about your work.
      Personally, I think consider carving out an area of your house that is your “office”. When you are in your office you are not available, period. I don’t think that you have to worry about rudeness here. You have tried being polite, they do not get it. Take the gloves off and explain in a manner that is blatantly clear.

        1. Not So NewReader

          That is just plain rude/mean. She raised you, why does she think this way of you? I would ask her that, too.

    8. Dynamic Beige

      have semi-prestigious clips that everyone has seen, basically I am successful and have a real job despite wearing pajamas 24/7

      Have these people seen these clippings? Do they know what you’ve done? Unless you want to show them one of your cheques or your tax return or something to drive the point home…

      I feel really horrible about what I am about to say but it is true. When my grandfather was still alive, I was his only living relative that was nearby. I worked a lot, had a commute on top of it and when I had time off, I just wanted to be left alone. Gramps, however, was alone all the time and wanted company. So I stopped telling him when I had vacation (or stay-cation as they now call it) because I knew he would show up every day and instead of just loafing around staring quietly at the ceiling, he would turn it into a week of let’s do this project/get me a drink/make me a cheese sandwich for lunch. He was an Old European Male and did not really “get” the whole concept of feminism, even though Grandma had worked (and done all the cooking and cleaning, running herself ragged). So yeah, I dodged my grandfather, who I loved, to get quiet time for myself and now he’s no longer around to dodge. I am a horrible human being. OK, not really, but I do still feel guilty about it.

      Anyway, I think the thing to do is pretend your relatives are trick or treaters and you’re not into Hallowe’en. Don’t turn on the lights, don’t answer the door. If you can install one, get a security system with cameras so you can see who is on your front porch before you head to the door. As much as it pains me to say it, get dressed (I’m usually working in the jim-jams, too, so I understand how awesome that is). It doesn’t have to be fancy, just enough so that you can leave in a moment’s notice. If you think it’s Fedex and it’s actually MIL, aghast that your house doesn’t look like it’s ready for a photo shoot from Architectural Digest… “Oh, I have to meet an editor in (short period of time from that moment). I was just getting packed up with what I’ve been working on for the past X days/weeks to hand in. Sorry, but I’m going to have to leave now!” Pack up your computer/notes/whatever and head out to a coffee shop for a few hours until the coast is clear. Come up with more plausible excuses — meeting a new client/bookkeeper, interviewing a subject, lunch with agent. Once they see that you’re not always at home, they may realise that they just can’t drop by anytime they like for you to entertain them. Maybe.

      Don’t give them keys to your house — only give keys to someone you know isn’t going to be an interloper (I am a firm believer that you should give someone you trust a set of your house keys for emergencies, or have a secure place outside where you hide some). You are going to have to get your husband on board with this so he isn’t duped by his mother if you guys change all the locks or something (because: new security system).

      Because the problem is that unless you win a Pulitzer or the Nobel for literature or something, they probably aren’t going to get it. They aren’t going to get that you have a home office and when you’re in that office, you are working just like you would be if you were at an office building somewhere else. If it gets really bad, you can always check into a coworking space in your area, that way you would have an “office” to go to and then maybe they’d leave you alone. Another fun exercise is if they pooh-pooh writing as “not that hard” or whatever, suggest that they write a family history/their memoir to pass down so all that stuff doesn’t get lost to future generations. I would put money on it that you would never see a page of text because once they got started, they would see that’s it’s not easy.

        1. Nashira

          I’m starting to think that these people are somehow faulty. Are they under warranty? Maybe the empathy factory can fix em up for you?

        2. Sammie

          I am anon. I feel for you. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “writing isn’t work” from family and neighbors. I am everyone’s default–“Oh X is coming over to do Y…Can you just let him/her in?” or “Can you please move my car so I don’t get a ticket?”…..

        3. Dynamic Beige

          They wouldn’t happen to be people who hold traditionally “blue collar” jobs? I’ve noticed that sometimes people don’t consider it work if you don’t get dirty/sweaty/with your hands to make or fix something. I mean, you’re not *working*! You’re sitting! At a computer! Typing! That’s not work because it’s not hard! Anyone could do that!

          If a terse “I’m sorry, I can’t visit now, I’m on a deadline. I’ll call you later when I’m done working and we can arrange a time to get together. Bye!” with the door closed in their face as politely as possible won’t get rid of them, then leave. I know you want to be polite and nice but that cuts both ways. If they aren’t going to do you the courtesy of calling ahead first (so you can screen that they’re coming) or believing that you work, then they don’t deserve to be catered to. When it comes to your husband’s family, he’s going to have to be the one who lays down the law with them, because they’re his people. You do it, and it’ll just be another reason to dislike “that woman” who took their boy away.

    9. TootsNYC

      Lock the door and don’t answer the phone, for starters.

      Or, be in work clothes when they come by.

      Talk more about your clients, your work, etc.?

      Set up your answering machine to say, “hello, you have reached I Am Anon Consulting; our business ours are 9:30 to 6. We’re working on a client’s project right now, so please leave a message and we’ll call you back.”

      Set your mobile phone for a customized response to all texts or phone calls from these people’s numbers during your work hours (or, if you don’t use the mobile for work, set it for ALL calls) that says, “Sorry, I’m working during the day and won’t have time to respond to personal calls or texts. I’ll get back to you after quitting time.”

        1. Not So NewReader

          You have no choice. Get a book about setting boundaries. Figure out which parts apply to your setting and then go for it. Lower the boom, set your boundaries and stick to those boundaries.

          1. TootsNYC

            And, stop giving a shit what they say.

            Say, “Bless your heart,” each time they say one of these stupid things. And walk away (even if you have to go to the bathroom and make faces in the mirror). Immediately deprive them of any interaction with you. (But don’t forget the patronizing, pitying, “Bless your heart.”)

    10. Tamsin

      I had this problem when I was doing a major research and writing project on contract. I had literally thousands of data points to collect from all 50 states, synthesize, and then write about, and was working on it almost all waking hours. The only times it seemed I wasn’t were when I went shopping for groceries, or once a week to see family, or to hot yoga for exercise and relief of stress. Except the hot yoga instructor — I swear this is true — started asking me nearly every time I showed up for a class whether I had a job. I was in my 30s, and would tend to show up for a 10 am or noon workout. I repeatedly said yes, I’m on a writing/research contract. She seemed to think I was living high on the hog on some trust fund or something. It finally became so insulting and stress-inducing that it wasn’t worth it to take her classes anymore.

    11. Might've seen this before...

      Not to armchair diagnose, but you should look into the possibility that you attract narcissists. Narcissists exist in a world of nonreality where no matter how successful you are, how many clippings they see, how you dress, how you were raised to be a good person….you are “bad” (the black sheep).

      There’s a good chance I’m wrong and these people are just being dicks (I have family members who are a bit dickish to me, but who I know are not actual narcissists). But look up symptoms of narcissism and see if they apply to your friends and family. I recommend a guy on YouTube and Facebook named Ollie Mathews who knows what it’s like to be a constant attractor of people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

    12. Windchime

      I just live with it. I work from home one day a week and my mom calls it my “day off”. She’ll call me on the phone and say, “Oh, I hope it’s OK to call since it’s your day off.”. I’ll say, “Actually I’m working from home.” “Oh, yeah, yeah…….working from home.” As if that’s just a fancy phrase I use for taking a “day off”.

  22. Not so Lovely Wife

    I’m going crazy over here, and I’m so frustrated. My husband is up for re-election to city council on Tuesday, and I’m starting to wish he WON’T be re-elected, because politics is taking over our life. Tonight he’s ditching me and the kids for a last minute dinner with some high muckety mucks and a high ranking Senator. Fine, whatever, except the stupid dinner is in the middle of Trick or Treat and
    1) I really wanted him to take the kids out for T or T with me
    2) I honestly think going door to door with T or T would be better for the election than this dinner – the senator isn’t from our state, the muckety mucks don’t have much local influence, and all the rest of the candidates will be out tonight.

    AND on Wednesday he’s leaving for a 5 day political meeting/conference. Never mind that if he’s not re-elected there’s really nothing for him to do.

    I’m going to paraphrase what Goldie said at one point “He’s used up the ‘for worse’ in our vows on politics”.

    The only good news is that he’s been screened to run for a higher office, but has been determined to not be able to make it through the primary because he isn’t partisan enough for our screwed up local party to back him – they’d apparently rather back people who have 100% drank the koolaid of their side and do everything on party lines, never mind that the district leans far more the other way and a central candidate might actually appeal to the whole population and steal some votes from the other side.

    Ugh! I’m done done done. Any other political widows out tbere with me?

    FYI: the name is from Connie Schultz’s book “And His Lovely Wife”, about her life during her husband (now) Senator Sherrod Brown. Excellent book, totally worth reading, even if politics isn’t ruining your life.

    1. Elkay

      You need to get together with Diary of a Gold-digger, I’m sure she’ll be along to commiserate with you later.

    2. schnapps

      Not a political widow, but I work with local politicians and their schedules make me NEVER want to be a politician, particularly now that I have a young family. I figure their spouses must be very understanding and tolerant.

      I suggest you take your phone with you trick or treating and take a lot of photos. Send every one of them to him as he’s meeting with the muckety-mucks

    3. the gold digger

      Oh man I so feel your pain! I was so miserable when Primo was running. Campaigns are a nightmare – and we don’t even have kids. Primo has been dealing with all the stuff with his mom and dad this year during his “resting” sabbatical, but he wants to run for office again. He has already run for the state house and for Congress, trying the strategy you noted of going to the middle. Doesn’t work. People want rabid. I hate the whole thing.

    4. Not So NewReader

      Political orphan here. My father went to so many meetings, which some how generated going to more meetings. He was not home most nights of the week. And when he was, he was charged up about some stupid thing. There were bigger fish to fry on the home front but he never saw it. I hated politics with a passion.

      And now I am a part of local politics. In very small communities with no money, people don’t argue. There is no money to argue about. So it’s a service position. I am here to serve. That is it. I would never take on what my father took on, I don’t see value in it. And I value my personal time too much to give away that much of myself.

  23. Ruth (UK)

    I went round my parents’ house for dinner and they were hilariously excited over all the trick-or-treaters who kept knocking. My mom is american so she was remembering about trick-or-treating as a kid etc. My dad’s from London and trick or treating wasn’t a thing here when he was a kid. Even when I was a kid (I’m 26), most people I knew didn’t do it but it seems to be gaining popularity. They got knocked by like 5 or 6 different groups and gave out a mars bar for each child (like an actual mars bar, not a funsize one). Last year they didn’t get anyone knocking even though they put up decorations and my mom was really upset. It was funny how happy they were about it this year.

    It’s a good thing I wasn’t at home tonight cause I forgot to buy sweets so if anyone had knocked on my door, all I’ve got is durian candy. Really. Once when I was at uni we had a group of trick-or-treaters knock (I completely forgot and wasn’t expecting them) and I had literally nothing in the house I could use as a treat. I couldn’t even give them money as I didn’t have change. I could have given them biscuits but those aren’t wrapped… is there a word for the feeling of being at your door faced by trick-or-treaters and having nothing in your house suitable to give?

    1. Revanche

      Yay for your parents!
      And durian candy. Whew that’d be a good way to ensure no one came along next year :) note: my family loves durian while I used to run right out the front door if it was being unwrapped.

      1. Ruth (UK)

        I have become a little bit addicted to the durian candy even though I rarely eat sweets (hence why they’re the only kind currently in my house). I’m lucky enough to live near an area of my city that has many foreign shops including one where I can get dried durian in packets and the candy. It’s much harder to get it fresh but occasionally possible… I think some kids would like it and it’s got sugar in it anyway.

    2. fposte

      A net friend of mine in Norway was startled years ago, despite the fact that she was U.S. born, to get her first Norwegian trick-or-treaters. They were apparently not excited about getting crispbread.

    3. The IT Manager

      I hid out. I missed the memo that trick or treating was moved to Friday night due to weather and found out when I returned from dinner to crowded streets. Since I didn’t have any candy, I just keep the lights out.

  24. Aussie Teacher

    Mildly grumpy at the way Australia is slowly become more and more American when it comes to Halloween. 5 years ago, no one I knew dressed up. Yesterday and this morning my news feed is full of friends and their kids dressing up and going trick or treating or to Halloween events. I had to explain to my 5-yr-old what a zombie was the other day :( I haven’t explained Halloween to him yet but I’ll probably have to next year. Urg – it creeps me out!

    1. Neruda

      It’s interesting isn’t it? You go into shops now and Halloween paraphernalia is everywhere. I couldn’t help but think ‘Oh, is this a thing now?’ I had no idea!

    2. katamia

      I’m American currently in Taiwan, and WOW are people into Halloween here. Several of my coworkers wore funny hats in the days leading up to Halloween, and I’ve seen a ton of “Happy Halloween” banners in stores.

      I love creepy/Halloween stuff, though, so it was kinda nice to see it here.

  25. SL #2

    Alrighty, another Halloween question: what’s everyone’s costumes this year?

    I’m the Winter Soldier (from the Captain America comics and also as played by Sebastian Stan in last year’s Captain America movie). I’ve gotten quite a few salutes from various Caps this year, haha.

    1. Nashira

      I went with “pantsless procrastinating student”, but my husband insisted I stay in the bedroom and let him handle the five kids we got. He was a spoilsport.

    2. Jillociraptor

      I decided to blow off Halloween this year in favor of a Lost marathon, but here are some costumes I considered:

      – Flo from the Progressive commercials (co-starring Boyfriend as Jake from State Farm)
      – Tina Belcher from Bob’s Burgers
      – the “Yay Hamlet!” lady from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s twitter
      – Angelica Pickles from Rugrats (I live in a University town so it would be very cathartic to shout “YOU DUMB BABIES.” at college students who were making poor choices)

      Happy Halloween!

    3. Elsajeni

      I was the Terminator! Very simple costume — olive jeans, a gray tank top, a black leather jacket, and some facial makeup for “wounds” that exposed my “metal skeleton.”

      Then I made one of my wounds a little more realistic by walking face-first into the corner of a shelf at my friend’s party. Smooth move, me! (Could be worse — I scraped up the liquid latex I’d used to create torn skin around the wounds, but I think that saved me from scraping up my actual skin too badly. I do have a pretty great bruise, though.)

    4. Clever Name

      For the Halloween party we went to, I went as Reptilia (a friend made the name up). Basically a black mesh dress over leggings and a tank top with vampy makeup and I carried a staff with a snake wrapped around it. For Halloween I just wore a black dress and a witch hat.

    5. Emily

      I was Luigi and my boyfriend was Mario. I had a few other ideas, but this costume was the easiest to make – it’s been a busy past few weeks!

      1. SL #2

        Easy, non-time-consuming costumes are the best! My costume last year was even easier than this year’s; I was Edna Mode from the Incredibles but I owned nearly everything in the costume except for her glasses.

  26. Weekend Warrior

    Finishing up the jack o lantern carving and looking forward to seeing the little kids tonight. I also have a soft spot for the young teens too cool to dress up but not ready to give up the trick or treating. I was a tall 12 year old and remember the side eye I got even though I was in costume. Trick or treating door to door is a Canadian thing too, not just American, and a nice thing we share. I remember the thrill of going to strangers’ doors and getting, gasp, treats, and I especially want to give that fun to the new Canadian kids in my neighbourhood. And the scary kids with pillowcases and small acts of vandalism have always been part of Halloween too. No one should feel pressured to participate ( and I’m glad my elderly MIL turns her lights off) but I have a soft spot for the Eve.

    1. Ruth (UK)

      You’re the 2nd person on here to mention scary kids/teens ‘with pillowcases’ and now I have to ask – what does that mean? I can’t work out if it’s code for something or if the pillowcases mean something (or they do something with the pillowcases? dress as a ghost?).

      1. Former Diet Coke Addict

        Most kids who are trick-or-treating use Halloween-themed buckets, or something that goes along with their costumes, or whatever. SOmetimes teenagers who don’t bother with costumes will just go around with a pillowcase for collecting the candy in, and they’re generally a bit more aggressive/threatening since they tend to go around quite late and can be pretty irritable about folks not giving them candy when they’re not wearing a costume.

      2. Ruth (UK)

        Oh right… because both times I saw it used on here it was particularly when referencing teens/older kids I assumed it was for some sort of prank but I couldn’t figure out what. I never would have thought to use a pillowcase to collect candy in! I think I’d have sooner thought to use a plastic shopping bag or something if I wasn’t going to have a bucket..

        1. Weekend Warrior

          And pillowcases are large. :) The cute little kids in dragon outfits carry little bags or buckets. Too many big kids with pillowcases means it’s time to turn the lights out.

          When my dad was growing up in this Canadian city he and his pals had Guy Fawkes conker fights and neighbourhood bonfires so I think they had two sets of outside mischief in a few days. Halloween was smaller then but grew as Guy Fawkes disappeared with the Empire. :)

          1. Ruth (UK)

            lol bonfire night is still massive here.

            Here’s a fun fact: I thought I had totally discovered all the british-only words I used. By that I mean there used to be a bunch of words/terms I used that I thought were standard in all english-speaking countries/areas and did not realise were british (eg. posh which I found out when I was 16 is not used in the states). I thought I had by now worked out which were which (eg. that I was no longer using british terms to americans without realising I was doing so).

            But I used ‘conkers’ recently while visiting my family in Boston (I have an American mother but she’s lives here since before I was born) and found out 1. they don’t call them conkers but they call them ‘horse chesnuts’ and 2. they don’t play conkers!

            1. Ruth (UK)

              ps. I assume you can work this out from the context but I meant the american Boston, not the english one…

              1. Weekend Warrior

                Yes, conkers is def a British term but many Canadians are British/American bilingual, at least in the older generations. My grandparents were born in London, Liverpool, and Glasgow, so I grew up with bickies as well as cookies, etc. My Cockney granny and her sisters enjoyed a shot of rye in their tea for “elevenses” so they were merging cultures. :)

              1. Merry and Bright

                I used to play conkers as a kid. I remember my dad drilling holes through them so my sister and I could thread the string through. We never seemed short of conkers even growing up in the city.

                1. Elizabeth West

                  I don’t think we have any horse chestnut trees around here. They’re considered a nuisance tree because of the profusion of conkers and their weak resistance to storm damage. We have HUGE windstorms and bad tornadoes here, and that is not good to have near your house.

            2. Merry and Bright

              I know conkers grow on a horse chestnut tree but I (think) I’ve only heard the tree itself called horse chestnut here. But I used to love collecting conkers when I was kid – and acorns though my grandmother used to say I was making the squirrels go hungry!

            3. G

              I wouldn’t say posh is never used in the US. It’s just not used the way it seems to be in the UK, where (correct me if I’m wrong) it refers to an actual socio-economic class/culture that still holds quite a bit of outsized power within British society. For the US, posh implies a kind of sophisticated, Old Money culture that doesn’t exist much here anymore, so while I think a lot of Americans know it, it feels sort of alien and historical. We’d think of historical families or fictional characters rather than our own upper class, who may be wildly wealthy and privileged, but not classy or old enough to be posh.

      3. SL #2

        It might be more of an American trend but some kids (usually older kids or teenagers) will use pillowcases to collect candy during trick-or-treating instead of a bucket. Sadly, it’s usually the teenagers who are aggressive about not getting enough candy and so that’s why carrying a pillowcase around comes with a negative connotation.

        1. TootsNYC

          well, any huge container always has a negative connotation–my son rejected a tote bag tonight because it was too big, and it would make him look bad (and make people less willing to give him candy).

  27. Ungrateful Boss

    Deleted because work-related. Please post in the Friday open thread or email to me.

    (And other commenters: please don’t respond to work-related posts here because I end up having to delete the replies. Thank you!)

    1. Sara

      One of my students thinks his bathroom is haunted and has decided he’s going to brush his teeth in the backyard until the problem is resolved.

    2. Not So NewReader

      I remember this beautiful old abandoned house in my neighborhood growing up. No one lived there for as long as I could remember. People said the house was not salable because blood came up through the carpet and no one could get rid of the blood. It was a large house with nice detailing and a matching fence that went around the front of it.

      Fast forward decades later I am helping to sell a family member’s house. The realtor came and we got to chatting. She asked if the family member’s house was haunted. She told a story of a house similar to family member’s house. She said she went to show the house one day. She brought a family up to the second floor and happened to notice the bathroom had been cleaned up and all personal effects removed. She took the family up to show them the spacious attic. As they stood there, a trunk lid opened and slammed shut. Quickly they left the attic, on the way past the second floor bathroom, there was a pair of pantyhose drip drying in the bath tub. Those stockings were not there on the way UP to that attic. She lost the sale and eventually had to call an exorcist.

      I often wondered if they had to do that for the beautiful old house in my old neighborhood. It took over a decade to sell it. Finally someone got the house and fix it up. It’s everything you would expect it to be.

      Family member’s house sold without incident.

      1. Dynamic Beige

        I’ve been watching My Haunted House on A&E the past few weeks. Funny how many stories they just leave — no attempt to move the ghosts on or anything. I’m sorry but if I bought a house and it was haunted in some way, there would be some sort of fight to boot them out… unless they were willing to keep quiet and pay rent :P

        1. Not So NewReader

          A friend of mine has some sage and he is not afraid to use it. Yeah, he has gone to people’s houses and burned sage because there was something evil in there. He refuses to remove good/helpful spirits. He tells the home owners with good spirits that he can’t move them because they are there for a reason.

          Like you, I would tell the presence to leave or bring in someone like my friend. I OWN the house not this being without a body.

          1. Dynamic Beige

            You know, just like EvilQueenRegina… it’s a shame you can’t sage yourself/your brain to drive out recurring negative thoughts. Sometimes I think my thoughts/memories are like ghosts that just won’t move on. I wish I could trap them in a bottle or something so that they wouldn’t come around and haunt me any more. Or at least remove their power to bum me out.

    3. AnotherAlison

      My husband’s aunt lives in a house that his grandfather was born in. His grandparents lived there when they were alive, and his aunt and then lived in a converted apartment in the upstairs. When the grandfather died, the aunt and uncle bought the house and the grandma moved upstairs until she passed.

      The aunt and uncle would hear the grandparents talk to them and fans spin that weren’t plugged in, etc. My older son visited there when he was about 12 and he would not go upstairs even though he didn’t know anything about the house. Not long after that, they had ghost hunters come out and they found a lot of activity and said it was really bad.

      The uncle wouldn’t let them come back, so that’s all I know, but the aunt says her mom talks to her.

      I’ve been to the house but I haven’t gone upstairs. I don’t watch horror movies or go to haunted houses, so although I’m skeptical, I do easily freak myself out.

      1. mander

        I don’t think my own mother’s ghost would freak me out that much, unless it was clear that she was unhappy.

        Speaking of my mom, though, she told me the following story. Her grandfather had two pairs of glasses, one that he bought in a drug store and a prescription pair he got from the doctor. He always insisted he could see better with the drug store ones, and he’d wear them unless someone made him to swap. When he died, they buried him with the prescription glasses on.

        My mom came home from school a few days after the funeral, and noticed that his drugstore glasses were sitting on the kitchen counter. She went to the fridge to get something to drink, and when she turned around, there was her grandfather’s ghost, smiling at her. He picked up his drugstore glasses off the counter and put them on, leaving his prescription ones on the counter, and winked at her. She ran out of the house screaming and wouldn’t go back in until someone else came home.

        And when she went back in, the drugstore glasses were gone and the prescription ones were still there on the counter.

    4. katamia

      Yay! I was coming here to post a similar thread if no one else had. :)

      Growing up, much to my chagrin, our house was absolutely not haunted. I have zero creepy stories about it when I was growing up. We moved there in the 80s, I grew up there, and my parents still live there, so I’m pretty confident that, no, there is no resident ghost.

      But I had something really weird happen to me when I was dogsitting there earlier this year. Parents went on vacation and the dog gets horribly carsick, so I was staying there to watch her and keep her company. My mother sleeps with this weird body pillow thing that for some reason she’d propped up by the doorway of their bedroom before leaving, and every time I walked past it, I’d see the body pillow out of the corner of my eye, think it was someone standing there, and freak out, so I closed the door to their room because I was, er, too lazy to move the pillow. Left the door ajar instead of closing it all the way–old habit of mine.

      So I went about my business for a few days, watching the dog, playing video games, writing, and just generally vegging (I was unemployed then). Then, as I was walking past their room, “GAH THERE’S SOMEONE STANDING THERE…oh, wait, it’s just the body pillow. So I don’t get startled again, I should close the door…the door I already closed…wait….” That door gets left ajar frequently (I think my habit of leaving doors ajar might be genetic), and I have NEVER seen it do that. Even when the DC area had that earthquake a few years ago, none of the doors in that house moved. So I went “Huh, weird,” closed the door again, and took the dog for her nightly pre-bed walk and put her to bed.

      Then I heard the footsteps. Not mine–I was at my computer on another floor. Not the dog’s–they were too heavy to be hers (actually, they were too heavy to be mine), and anyway she was asleep and her toenails click on the floor. These were very human-sounding footprints coming from the front door.

      But when I went out to look, no one was there (I checked the whole house), and the dog (very neurotic, freaks out if anyone who isn’t me or my parents dares to enter the house, and also a light sleeper who sleeps close enough to the front door to hear if someone comes in) was silent.

      Still have no idea what happened that day, but the door stayed closed after that, and I never heard any more footsteps.

      1. Chocolate Teapot

        I once stayed in a hotel in Flanders, in an area where there had been fighting during the First World War. There was a small cemetery over the road and the ornamental lake in the garden was really a crater hole.

        At night, I could hear somebody marching up and down outside the window as if they were on sentry duty.

  28. Little Teapot

    Hey Alison, my partner and I have been discussing this a lot lately and I always cite you as a reference point: you and your husband have separate ensuites right? Did you build and purposely put two in? Or renevate a walk in robe? What is the layout of your room like? Does anyone else have this? I’m super interested as I really hate using a bathroom after anyone else (it’s all misty and damp and gross) but unsure logistically and would love some pointers :)

    1. danr

      Put a good ceiling or wall fan in the bathroom and it won’t be all damp and icky. Make sure it’s on its own switch.

    2. Ask a Manager Post author

      Well, this probably won’t help: Our upstairs has a main bedroom and a guest bedroom, and each one has its own en suite bathroom, so I use the bathroom off the main bedroom and he uses the one off the guest room. (It means he has to travel down the hall to his, but it’s not too far.) It just came this way, but now that we’ve lived this way, I’d definitely want separate bathrooms in our next house; it’s so much nicer having our own bathroom space.

      That’s hilarious that you cite me as a reference point; please carry on doing so!

      1. Little Teapot

        Don’t worry, you have celebrity status within our relationship. I often start conversations with, so, Alison said X or I read on AAM Y and so on. Haha.

        1. Christy

          Haha I do the same, both within my relationship and with my friendships. “Well, Alison says X” is like my only go-to argument for work stuff.

          1. Little Teapot

            So glad to know I’m not the only one! I am definitely passing that long to my partner, who usually thinks I’m insane and/or in love in Alison. Can’t everyone just accept Alison is a god?!

  29. EvilQueenRegina

    So I realised today that another thing from my past still haunts me to some extent. It was back when I was 19 and one of my former best friends, Princess Fiona, had told me (well, screamed at me in the middle of the pub) that I was self obsessed. In context, I’d not long since split up with Daniel the ex via rude text from the new girlfriend’s friend, and I really didn’t want to hear Princess Fiona bragging to me about all the guys with girlfriends she’d been kissing because it rubbed it in my face, and that was her response to me asking her to stop.

    I know she was wrong, and she isn’t in my life any more. But I spent a lot of time trying to prove to myself and others that I wasn’t self obsessed, and making sure to ask people questions about themselves had been one way I went about that. I hadn’t consciously realised I was doing it but someone recently said to me that I fired a lot of questions at him, and I realise now that Fiona’s putdown must still haunt me to some extent.

    Any tips on how to stop rubbish from the past haunting me like that?

    1. Little Teapot

      No advise just sympathy. I do the same. Past comments still run through my head and haunt me too :(

    2. Eva

      I am currently studying for my interpersonal communications paper final next week (well, I’m meant to be, but I’m procrastinating on here), and I just wrote a practice essay about this so I’ll try to give you some insight from that…

      One reason it may have hurt you when Princess Fiona told you that you were self-obsessed was because it attacked your self-concept, or identity. Your reaction was an “all-or-nothing” response – either Fiona was right and you are completely self-obsessed, which you have been worried about ever since, or Fiona was wrong and you’re not at all self-obsessed, which you have been trying to prove ever since.

      In reality, it is neither of these. Fiona perceived your behaviour in that moment to be self-obsessive, but that does not mean that your entire personality is like that. Perhaps in that moment, she felt your behaviour towards her was self-obsessive, but that does not define you as a person.

      The best way to get past these types of comments is to realise that your identity is made up of millions of tiny pieces of you, shaped by all your life experiences and interactions with other people. One comment from one person at one point of time does not define your whole person.

      The other part to getting past these negative comments is to realise that sometimes we do make mistakes, and we act outside of the identity we wish to portray to others. It is OK to occasionally act in a way that isn’t necessarily your ideal, and maybe in that instance you acted in a way that is not your usual “self” – we all do it. It does not mean that your entire identity is shaped by that behaviour.

      I hope that makes sense. Maybe someone with more in-depth understanding of communication and identities has more to add :)

    3. Not So NewReader

      PF was self-obsessed and used her conquests as proof of self-worth. Good thing she had those conquests because she had no other way to get any sense of self-worth.

      Do realize that there are points in our lives where we are self-focused. It is good, normal and we need to do that. Examples are health, education and family. There are other examples, too.

      Since you can’t seem to shake this off by the traditional method of responding to the criticism itself, I suggest you peel back a layer and see what is on the next layer.

      If it were me, one thing I would be saying to myself is that I did not stand up for myself very well. I like to point these things out to myself, you see. So I would work on standing up for me in a more effective manner.

      Now let’s say I still do not get any relief, FP’s words still echo in my head. That means time to look at another layer. My next layer might be “why do I pick out such stupid friends?” Not snark, I would actually think that to myself. The answer to that is I am older and wiser now. Even if it’s only 24 hours later, I am still older and wiser.

      And I would keep peeling back layers until FPs words were just a faint memory. Usually when we get words echoing like that it is for deeper or multi-layered reasons. It’s not usually just a straight-forward one, single reason. And that is okay, it’s normal. I have had this a few times in my life where months/ years later I am still hearing a person’s off the cuff remark in my head.

      You’re doing very well here. You ditched the friend and looked at the advice. Good choices. Sometimes people’s bad behavior causes us to look at what we are doing and we become better people for the experience.

      1. EvilQueenRegina

        At the time, as far as standing up for myself goes, I didn’t feel I got much of a chance. I got as far as saying “Excuse me?” to Princess Fiona and then one of her friends stepped in to stop me saying any more. At this point, Fiona stormed out. So yes, you’ve got it, I didn’t stand up for myself very well.

    4. Ruffingit

      Eva’s post is amazing, read that! Also, one thing that helps me is to consider the source. If someone tells me something judgmental about my character or what have you, then I consider what sort of source they are. If it’s my best friend, my husband, my mom, someone I trust and know has my best interest at heart, then I take it into account and consider it. If it’s someone like Fiona who bragged about all the taken guys she kissed, I’d toss her comments into the rubbish bin where they belong. That is not a source who can be trusted to comment on your character since she’s got none of her own.

      1. EvilQueenRegina

        I don’t feel that Fiona had my best interests at heart at the time. She was angry and lashing out. Yeah, I will try and shut the door on her comments.

        1. Observer

          I think there are two pieces here. Firstly, she clearly didn’t have your interests at heart. In fact, I’d say they weren’t even on the same planet as she was. Secondly, she clearly was not a decent person. Why would you take such a fundamental judgement from someone who is just a creep seriously? I think that if you step back and really think about that piece of it as well, it will help you to see that you really, REALLY don’t need to “prove” anything about what she said.

          1. EvilQueenRegina

            Yeah, guess you’re right. I should stop worrying about it. In fact I’m not entirely sure why I’m even worried about the person who said I asked too many questions, considering it was He Who I Shouldn’t Still Be Talking To anyway!

        2. Soupspoon McGee

          Yup, sound like she was very defensive, and rather than look at the impact of her own behavior, she attacked you for showing her what the girlfriends felt like. She was hurt by a glimmer of ugly truth and did her best to hurt you in turn. It was not your fault, and it certainly doesn’t mean she was right.

    5. FD

      I might be able to help with the technical side of this!

      Context, my family has Aspberger’s on both sides. Two of my siblings are diagnosed; one is on the cusp. Most of the rest of us have some traits of it. For me, that meant that I spent a lot of time when I was a teenager analyzing how communication seems to work, and am still a lot more aware of it than I think a lot of people. This might be somewhat helpful for your situation.

      I like to class people roughly into three different groups: peers, mentors, and mentees.

      Mentees are people who I feel need me to be a listening and advising ear, and whom I choose to offer that help to. For mentees, I will usually spend any conversation listening about 75-85% of the time, and when I do talk, it will usually be mostly questions.

      One crucial thing to realize is that mentees, of all the groups, are the most draining. This is because you have a situation where you will give more than you receive. That is fine–but you have to limit that, because if you try to have too many mentees, it drains your emotional energy, burns you out, and prevents you from being as helpful as you want to be. Mentees in this context isn’t limited to professional people–it may be friends in a bad situation, people from work, even parents! I personally try to limit myself to no more than five regular mentees. In addition, I usually try to limit it to people whom I actually have some chance of helping. There have been times when I’ve stepped back from a situation where a person was not ready to get help.

      The second group is mentors. It’s very important to have a few of these. In this context, a mentor is simply someone whom you can run things by, get input, and who listen to you. It’s usually someone who you trust and look up to. This might be a trusted boss, a parent, a religious figure, or a friend. In this case, you usually spend 75-85% of the time talking, which might take the form of asking for advice, or simply venting.

      Women especially tend to feel guilty over having this kind of mentor–they tend to feel they’re imposing or being a leech. However, having a few mentors is a crucial part of being a healthy person, in my experience. You do, however, want to try and avoid overloading any one person, when possible. That’s why it’s best to have a few of them.

      The final group is peers. These are people where you have a more or less reciprocal relationship. In general, it’s best to try and spend about half the time talking about each person. Both parties should both ask questions some of the time, and offer information in about equal portions. Ideally, this is the widest group of people. Most friends should fall here, and it’s really best if relationships fall here.

      One caveat is that in longer term peer relationships, it’s common to see-saw a little. For example, one person might be having a hard time right now, so the other person does extra listening and supporting. Then, the other person might be having a hard time, so it swings the other way.

      1. FD

        Most friends should fall here, and it’s really best if relationships fall here.

        *romantic relationships

    6. TootsNYC

      Well, maybe it stung so badly because part of you realized that you are a little self-obsessed. And it REALLY stung because you instinctively recognized that she was accusing you of the very thing she was doing. Her hypocrisy added tons of weight to it. You were, in that very moment, condemning her (mentally, and maybe even with your comments about not telling you about kissing other girls’ boyfriends) for being phenomenally self-obsessed.
      And here she was, accusing you of her sin–and part of you thought that part of that accusation was true. So it became really, really important to you to refuse this parallel accusation, because YOU had added so much weight to it on your side.

      But I have a couple of very visceral, intense reactions to that for you to consider.

      First: we ALL are self-interested–and at times we are all self-obsessed. It’s biological. It’s not appropriate to expect yourself to be so terribly much better than other people. It’s not fair to you, to apply such harsher standards. (But then, note that you greatly condemned her self-obsession, so it’s smart to recognize that even Princess Fiona needs some space to be multi-dimensional.)

      Second: There’s actually nothing wrong with being self-obsessed. In fact, it is necessary, almost biological (we -breathe- because we’re self-obsessed. Given that we’re all self-absorbed, you HAVE to be the one who says, Have I eaten? Do I like my job?Am I happy?
      The big question is, Does your self-absorption hurt anyone else?
      Hers was hurting people; yours was not. And does not.

      Third: Eva’s point–There are little pieces of you. You are not all or nothing. And little flaws don’t ruin the entire thing. You can be self-absorbed from time to time and still be a worthy person. (And I’ll repeat: But then, note that you greatly condemned her self-obsession, so it’s smart to recognize that even Princess Fiona needs some space to be multi-dimensional.)

      Fourth: Love your flaws. They make you human.

      So maybe part of you solution is to forgive Princess Fiona for HER self-obsession, and try to see HER as a multidimensional person. It’s OK to approve or disapprove of actions, but it can be damaging to YOU to condemn an entire person–because then you have set that up as “the” paradigm, and the only way to acknowledge a flaw in yourself is to totally condemn yourself as well.

    7. OriginalEmma

      An ex-friend of mine told me long ago she felt like I only wanted to hang out with people for them to entertain me. Others ganged up in this assessment. I don’t actively try to hang out with people anymore because I don’t want them to think I “need to be entertained.”

      1. AvonLady Barksdale

        My boyfriend has the most gorgeous sandy brown curls. When I first met him, I referred to him as “that kid with the crazy hair”. But him? He likes to shave it all off. He claims it’s “hot”. He says it makes him “look young.” He is now semi-bald with a goatee.

        Sigh. I love him and all, but I want that hair back. Alison is a lucky lady.

    1. Windchime

      Wow, he makes a really good Jon Snow! (And the dire wolf is hilarious). I second the motion that I hope you went as Ygritte.

  30. Willow

    I got a lot of crocheting done today while catching up on TV. I am working on a scarf as a Christmas present for someone and it’s about halfway done.

    1. Jazzy Red

      I found, a couple of weeks ago, that I can hold a crochet hook and I’m so excited that I can do some type of handwork again. I have osteoarthritis in both hands and had to give up embroidery, so this is really big for me. I looked up granny squares on youtube and bought a skein of practice yarn, and it’s going pretty well. I half-jokingly told my sister & brother-in-law that I’ll make them an afgan in their favorite team’s colors and figured I’d have a year to work on that. Well, surpise to me!, they’re moving away in less than 3 weeks, so I decided to do a laprobe for my sister instead (she’s pretty much wheelchair bound, so she’ll use it a lot). I have to look up each step in the process, but I really hope I can get this done in time.

      1. Blue_eyes

        Do you have a handle for your crochet hooks? I got one when I was crocheting 120 coffee sleeves as wedding favors. It definitely makes it more comfortable to hold. I’ll link the one I have in a reply.

        1. Willow

          Also, crochet is my therapy after a stressful work day. I have a coworker with myriad personal problems. I have learned that one should take a few deep breaths before crocheting, otherwise your stitches will be very tight if you are upset.

  31. Stephanie

    So I’ve been reading The Skies Belong to Us, about the spate of hijackings in the 60s and 70s.

    1. I’m amazed at how common these seemed.
    2. I’m laughing at all the things the airlines lobbied against for a while, like security screening, because of fear people wouldn’t fly anymore.
    3. I’m also amazed at how long the airlines just viewed this as a business risk.

    1. Not So NewReader

      I remember all those skyjackings. It was scary stuff. Yeah, it felt like the school shootings do now. Another one? Really? OMG.

      Business risk. We were harsher in those days in so many ways. My mother could not get a credit card in her name, nor could she take out a loan on her own. On the other end of that range, yeah, hijackings were a part of doing business. Some things were a lot harsher then. We still have a long ways to go with other things, though.

      1. Ruffingit

        The school shootings are just overwhelming these days and if hijackings were like that, I can’t even imagine how scary that time must have been.

        1. Mephyle

          In a way it was less scary, or at least many fewer people were at risk because a smaller percentage of people flew back then.

      2. TootsNYC

        Banks currently regard bank robberies as this sort of “one a day, just follow the procedures” risk.

    2. fposte

      Oh, I might have read some of that in excerpt–there was a clever one-hijacker-a-day countdown to release. After a while I started feeling a little bad for some of the hijackers–they’d be these clueless mopes who thought they’d get a parade in their honor in Cuba and frolic through the cane fields. And it was more like a custody battle where neither parent wanted the kid.

        1. Stephanie

          Yeah, I thought that was telling. According to the book, Castro sent most of them to live in a gulag and work in the sugar cane fields once he realized they weren’t political subversives.

    3. the gold digger

      We were flying from Madrid back to the US – in 1973, I think. My brother would have been seven years old. He, without my parents’ knowledge, had thrown a water pistol in his bag of toys to take on the plane.

      The security guy found it and was yelling at my brother in Spanish and my brother was crying and my mom was trying to figure out what was going on. But – it took only a few minutes to settle. Today, my brother would be in jail, probably. (Even though he totally did not fit the profile of hijackers – and nor did my mother, who was 29 and still had braces at the time.)

    4. Mimmy

      I may have to check this one out!

      gold digger – that security guy was just mean. Over a water pistol?!

      1. fposte

        That was the period, though; I got in trouble for making a hijack joke when I was about eight. Now the kid would get suspended for bringing it to school, so it’s not much different, it’s just that the venue has changed.

      2. Observer

        that security guy was just mean. Over a water pistol?!

        No, just very scared.

        You also need to realize that it was during this period that terrorists started using decoys and really innocent people to carry stuff onto the plane. The main reason you get asked about whether your baggage was in your control, or if you are carrying gifts is not because they are worried about tax evasion and smuggling, but because you might be carrying something dangerous without realizing it. (The first example I can find documented is a tape player that was given to two English women, which was actually an explosive which blew up in mid air.)

        1. Not So NewReader

          We really did not call them terrorists in those days. That’s a relatively new term. I think we should call them the cowards or something else. “Terrorist” is just acknowledging that they are capable of creating terror. We grant them too much acknowledgement. It almost feels like in using the term we are abdicating some of our own power, I’m just not sure what we should call them that we could put in print.

    5. Elizabeth West

      I remember a lot of that. In those days, the advice was to keep your head down, don’t be a hero–the skyjackers mostly took planes to get them from Point A to Point B and if you didn’t challenge them, you were probably going to survive the encounter.

      9/11 changed all that.

      1. Observer

        The truth is that 9/11 only changed or perception, not reality. While SOME cases ended reasonably well, all things considered, for the people on the plane, that was NOT a give AT ALL.

        1. Elizabeth West

          I know that some hostages were killed during those skyjackings. But Flight 93 changed the way people reacted, for sure. Now I think less people are likely to sit and not do anything. I don’t recall many stories of passengers dogpiling someone who lost it on a plane, but now you hear them all the time.

  32. Chorizo

    My 5-yr old Weimaraner had a dental cleaning/tooth extraction yesterday – 4th premolar on the upper left side that was abscessed. The vet said the upper right 4th premolar is cracked but shows no sign of root deterioration. It was so hard not to cry when I dropped her off at the vet.

    1. Revanche

      Oh poor puppy! I hope she feels so much better after the procedure. Our 10 year old (we adopted him at age 8) big guy had terrible teeth, think cracked or worn down to nubbins, and it used to make me so sad for him that we couldn’t do anything to make it better beyond what had already been done. If it helps at all, dogs can manage quite well after troublesome teeth are extracted.

      1. Jazzy Red

        Yes, they do manage after an extraction. The day after my boy dog had all his lower & upper front teeth removed (except for his upper fangs), he was eating kibble like nothing ever happened. The vet gave me pain pills for him, and the poor guy woke up crying in the morning, but once that pill got into his stomach, he was OK.. I was so thankful that he could bounce back and adjust so well.

    2. TootsNYC

      My poor kitty had a couple of cracked teeth that I didn’t know about for years. One of them hurt badly enough that when she was completely sedated, she still reacted to the pain when they touched it. Once they were pulled, she was suddenly SO much less crochety.

      I still feel like a total shitheel for not getting her taken care of earlier.

      You are doing such a good thing for your dog!

    3. Elizabeth West

      Aww. My kitty had tooth problems–she had to have an extraction. Now we do a cleaning at her yearly appointment (she has to be dropped off and anesthetized). It has kept her from having any more problems, thank goodness. I can’t even imagine trying to brush her teeth. :P

      I hope your doggie will be okay.

  33. Ruffingit

    Fellow Documentary Lovers, what have you seen recently or just in general that you think is worth watching?

    1. Stephanie

      The Search for General Tsao. It’s on Netflix and talks about the origins of General Tsao’s chicken and the evolution of Chinese food in America.

        1. Chocolate Teapot

          Lucy Worsley has just presented a 3 part documentary “A very British Romance” which was quite interesting, beginning with the 18th Century and marrying for love rather than money, then 19th Century Victorian courtship rituals and the 20th Century with the DeBeers diamond campaign for engagement rings.

    2. AvonLady Barksdale

      A Year on Ice, about spending a whole year in Antarctica. An acquaintance of mine recently returned for her second summer, and it was cool to get an idea of what she (and people who stay the whole year) experience.

    3. the gold digger

      The whole “Up!” series, which started with “Seven Up!” and is on “Fifty Six Up!” now. The filmmaker has tracked a group of British people – starting when they were seven years old – from different class backgrounds – to see what happens in their lives (and how much class affects it). (Spoiler – class affects it.)

    4. Sunflower

      After Tiller- A docu about the few doctors in the US who perform late term abortions. Really interesting to see the safety issues they face and internal struggles they have with what they do. Available on Netflix
      12th and Delaware- An abortion clinic and pro-life pregnancy crisis center share the same street corner. Very interesting look into both sides and unbiased. On HBO.
      L Word Mississippi- Highlights lives of several lesbian couples living in the deep South/Bible belt. On showtime. Really eye opening for someone like me who lives in the Northeast and makes you see how far we haven’t come in some parts of the country. On Showtime.

      So many of the ESPN 30 for 30’s avail on Netflix. ‘I Hate Christian Laettner’, ‘Survive and Advance’, ‘Broke’. Benji- so heart breaking. All of them are really just so, so good

    5. Lindsay J

      On Amazon:

      Deli Man
      Sriracha
      Candyman: The David Klein story

      On my list:
      Special When Lit: A Pinball Documentary

      Netflix:
      Som
      Any of the 30 for 30s
      Downloaded
      Atari: Game Over

      There was also a documentary on mail order brides that we watched and enjoyed but I can’t find it now.

    6. Elizabeth West

      I’m getting to this late, but on Halloween, I watched Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages on Hulu Plus. It’s a documentary with dramatizations from 1922 that covers the history of witchcraft and at the end it talks about hysteria, modern (well Twenties) “hysteria,” etc. It was really interesting and good for a film of that era. I love to watch silent films (especially horror) and pretend I’m not a modern person, and try to see it the way someone then would have. ;)

      The version they have is the Criterion Collection one; it uses the [classical] music the original did when it premiered in Stockholm. It has Swedish subtitles intersected so you have to pay attention. There is another soundtrack someone made to it and I’d kill to get it, but it’s an import and I can’t get it here. I’m sure I could find it if I lived in Europe. >:( *grumble grumble*

      I do have a friend with family in Poland. I can ask him if he could find it. He’s remarkably good at such things. Or one of my many European chat friends.

  34. MLT

    To my fellow rugby fans, what a fabulous final this morning! If you haven’t seen Sonny Bill Williams giving away his World Cup metal to the kid who ran out on the field and was tackled by security, google it. It’s so uplifting! There’s another video from last week where he helps a devastated South African opponent to his feet following their semi-final loss. Good character…

  35. Shell

    I’ve been doing a lot of whimsical online shopping lately. So far, I’ve been happy with every purchase; hopefully this trend continues.

    To continue the pattern (I hope), I’ve whimsically bought an aromatherapy oil diffuser earlier today. There are at least two large soap-making/dispensary type shops that I can get to, so I just grabbed a selection of 5 mL essential oils to play with.

    People who play with these things, do you have any blend recipes for me? I like citrus and warm/nutty scents the most. Getting rather overwhelmed by Pintrest at the moment.

    1. Clever Name

      What are your goals for the essential oils? They have a ton of uses. Were you thinking aromatherapy or just to have a nice smelling home? Do you want scents to relax or energize or de-stress or curb anxiety? What oils do you have? I’ve got a couple of recipe books.

      1. Shell

        I’m using it to make my bedroom smell nice and pleasant, so my bar isn’t set too high! :) I’m not really expecting it to do any miracles for my allergies, and thankfully I’m past the days where I was all wound up all day every day. Not intending to eat them or anything complicated right now.

        I bought 5 mL sample bottles of each of the following:
        Eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, sweet orange, Ylang Ylang, rosemary, cedarwood

        I might pick up peppermint at the store when I go to pick these up. I’m not a huge mint fan, but apparently peppermint is good for allergies? (Or I can always get it later)

        1. Clever Name

          Lavender is great just by itself to promote sleep. Yang ylang is nice and relaxing too. You can just mix up combinations that smell nice to you. Or you can look up the various properties of the different oils and experiment that way. As carquestioner says, it’s easy to go down the rabbit hole with essential oils. I find that the next recipe I want to try always has one or two oils I don’t have, so I go out and buy another one…

    2. carquestioner

      I suggest reading the two books by Mandy Aftel, Essence and Alchemy and Fragrant if you’d like to know more about natural scents. Let me warn you though, you are about to step close to the rabbit hole . . . I now have hundreds of absolutes and essential oils, worth thousands of dollars.

  36. AnotherAlison

    As long as we’re on the sports topics, yay Royals! I was at my parents’ for Halloween, and my mom wouldn’t watch it. It was a nice surprise to see we were up when I got home. Watched the last inning and a half. Relief!

    1. mander

      I’m overseas and I don’t have a way to watch the games, but I’m glad they are doing well! I was born in KC so even though I’ve never really lived there and don’t know anything about it, I feel obligated to support the Royals. ;-)

  37. Nina

    So late, but here goes.

    Has anyone here ever had a root canal? I got a sizable filling two weeks ago and it started hurting just a few days later. My dentist prescribed 800mg Ibuprofen along with an antibiotic in case of infection. I haven’t been able to eat anything really solid without pain flaring up in my jaw, which eventually spreads to the rest of my face. This really sucks.

    I’m hoping the antibiotic will treat the infection (assuming that’s what it is) but I’m fearing that I may need the root canal after all. For those who have had one, is it really painful, and were you laid out for a few days afterward? I have a ton of work to do and I would rather not get this procedure, but I would like to eat solid foods again so I may not have a choice.

    1. AnotherAlison

      I had a root canal that was supposedly an especially complicated one. I went back to work right after and didn’t have pain after the numbing agent wore off. Ironically, I haven’t had any cavities, so I am not sure how it compares, but I was stressed out beforehand like you are based on what I had read. Mine was really quick and easy. The appointments before were worse. They had me worried that they wouldn’t be able to do it and save my FRONT upper tooth.

      1. Nina

        Yeah, I’ve read that it’s not as bad as people make it out to be, so I’m hoping the panic is just in my head.

    2. Eva

      I had the same thing – after a filling, I had a ton of pain and I was told I needed a root canal.

      The root canal procedure did not hurt at all, and I had absolutely no pain afterwards!! Definitely recommend getting it done sooner rather than later.

    3. fposte

      I have had several root canals–medications dry out my mouth and make me vulnerable.

      I have a big inflammation response in the first twelve hours or so, so I do need good drugs (Vicodin is what they usually give me) until nightfall and I don’t go back to work that day. But things are no big deal by the next day.

      1. the gold digger

        For me, unless I take vicodin with food – which is hard to do right after you have had dental surgery, I will throw up. Also, I can take only half a tablet without throwing up. If you do take vicodin, I recommend eating something with it rather than finding out empirically if you can tolerate it on an empty stomach. Throwing up through your bloody mouth stitches is not pleasant.

        1. fposte

          The other problem is that you’re likelier to throw up if you’re already in pain. That’s why I just take one immediately when I get home.

          (I don’t remember blood or mouth stitches with a root canal, though–did you have a different procedure?)

            1. fposte

              I was thinking wisdom tooth–but I just didn’t want to scare Nina by throwing things in that she hadn’t thought to worry about before.

              1. Nina

                No worries, I did the wisdom tooth removal already. At least one of them. I just kept laughing because of the sedative I was on. :)

        2. Lore

          I had the same experience with Percocet when I had my wisdom teeth out (which I was stupid enough to do with local rather than general anesthesia while having all four out at once). The pain was not nearly so bad as the nausea from the pain meds, and the throwing up was excruciating. Root canals, by contrast, are pieces of cake. I’ve had three, two done well and one done poorly. Even the one done poorly was really only painful while it was going on. I had some prescription strength Advil after and also antibiotics but I think really the dentist just threw those things at me because she didn’t understand how she’d messed up the root canal so badly. (Moral of the story–don’t let a brand-new dentist who you’re seeing for the first time do any work without taking a full set of X-rays. I went because my longtime dentist moved his practice out of the city unexpectedly and a tooth was bothering me. The new one found a cavity and then noted I probably needed a crown that my other dentist had also flagged as a potential problem in the near future. I let her go ahead and do both; the filling took five tries to adjust the bite properly–in between which I was in constant, gnawing pain–and the crown turned into an emergency root canal that went very badly.)

    4. nep

      I’ve had a couple. In my experience, not nearly the nightmare it’s often made out to be. It was a relief to have it done.
      I feel for you — Dental pain is the worst. Take care and all the best to you.

    5. TootsNYC

      My first root canal, I was amazed at what a non-issue it was. I went right back to work with not the tiniest discomfort.

      After all, I realized, they take the root OUT.

      The next couple of them were a little more involved, but I wasn’t destroyed; just really uncomfortable for the rest of the day because of swelling right at the tooth site.

    6. the gold digger

      I had a root canal a few years ago and the worst thing about it was how boring it was.

      It is not bad! Really! I had mine done at the local dental college (a great option for anyone who does not want to spend thousands of dollars on advanced dentistry – root canals and implants and the like are done by students who have already practiced as dentists and are returned to school to specialize) and it took about three hours, but only because the student kept having to find his professor before he could go to the next step.

      It did not hurt while he was doing it, although my jaw got very sore from being propped open, and I drove myself home afterwards and used OTC meds to manage the pain, which I don’t remember as being bad at all. In fact, I kept thinking, “That’s it? That’s all there is to a root canal?” because I, too, had been dreading it.

      If you get anxious and stressed (as I do before the gum grafts I have had – five so far – oh the joys of bad teeth and gums), ask the dentists for an RX for valium. It helps.

    7. Sunflower

      I’m not sure where these terrifying stories about root canals have come from. Maybe in the past they were bad but they are no different from cavities to me. I have gotten a few. I go back to work afterwards. If you’re really nervous, get it done at the end of the day. I’ve only ever felt sore from having my mouth open for a while or having a tool pressing against my gums. Nothing advil doesn’t fix and it’s gone within 24 hours- no need to take any time off work though.

      Any discomfort you feel after the root canal probably won’t even come close to comparing to the pain you feel now. So definitely get it done if you need it.

      1. AcidMeFlux

        I had a bunch of root canals in my 20s (s0 35 and up years ago). They DID hurt a lot more back then, and involved multiple visits. The last time I had one done, it took about an hour and didn’t hurt at all.

    8. Puffle

      Seconding what everyone else has said. I was in agony before I had my root canal done. It hurt so much I couldn’t sleep for three days. Codeine was the only thing that helped. I’d heard all sorts of terrifying stories about root canals, but honestly the procedure was totally painless and I recovered more or less immediately. Even if I’d had pain/ discomfort afterwards (which I didn’t), there was no way it could have compared to the toothache beforehand. I couldn’t believe how immediate the relief was.

      1. Amy

        Ditto that. When they numbed up my mouth for the procedure and the pain went away it was one of the greatest feelings I’ve had in my life.

        My dentist couldn’t figure out what the pain in my mouth was coming from because nothing showed up on the x-rays. I’m pretty sure he just thought I was making up pain to get drugs- it got to the point where ibuprofen didn’t do anything anymore, but he refused to give me anything stronger. I went about 2 weeks without being able to sleep through the night, and eventually couldn’t work. I thought I’d have to call in sick and lay on the couch with my face on a hot water bottle for the rest of my life.

        Went to an endodontist and after about 10 more x-rays she finally found a spot that justified trying the root canal. When she got into the tooth, she said it needed the root canal without a doubt.

        Moral of the story: My root canal felt like a miracle solution to an unsolvable problem. It was absolutely nothing to be afraid of.

        I did end up with three prescriptions (Vicodin for the pain, methadone for the inflammation, and an antibiotic), but I was easily able to go back to work the next day. It did still hurt for a few days after the first session (my root was inflamed enough it required multiple sessions to complete), but NOTHING like the pain I’d had before.

        If you’re nervous about it and can afford it, I also highly recommend asking for a referral to an endodontist. Root canals are ALL they do, and they have higher-tech, much more expensive equipment than a regular dentist.

    9. Nina

      Thank you all for your responses! I really appreciate the insight. For now, I’ll finish the painkiller/antibiotic regimen, and see how it goes. Hopefully that will take of it, but if I do need to get the root canal, it’s a relief to know they aren’t the excruciating experience they’re made out to be.

      Thanks again. :)

    10. skyline

      I had a root canal a couple years ago, and I remember thinking, “That wasn’t bad at all!” I did take the entire day off from work, but I was fine the next day. At the time, I was having a lot of dental work done because I’d missed some preventative care, and my experience was that getting new crowns and replacing old crowns was a lot more tiring. Though that might have been because I tried to drag myself into work after getting the crowns done!

      1. skyline

        PS – My regular dentist referred me to an endodentist for the root canal. Like some others above, I think having a specialist do the work made it go better.

    11. Elizabeth West

      I had one. It was uncomfortable and long. But they got the tooth fixed. The worst part was having my mouth open that long–my jaw was very sore for a couple of days. The actual tooth didn’t hurt afterward. Once they removed the infected pulp, the pain I had experienced was all gone. I just had to chew on the other side of my mouth to preserve the crown.

      They said the crown should probably be replaced soon, but my dentist looked at it and said he thought it looked fine and that we’d just keep an eye on it.

  38. MMM

    The hardest part of the root canal is that it takes a couple of hours, and I tend to tense up so I will be muscle sore the next day. The procedure removes the nerve from the tooth, so the tooth shouldn’t hurt after (unless gum infection).

    1. LCL

      Yes, I’ve had a few, and another scheduled this week. I always end up with a headache from keeping my mouth open, but the tooth discomfort is minimal. I always fill the codeine prescription, but only use 1 or 2 pills, afterward.

      1. Amy

        The endodontist that did mine stuck a rubber block in between my teeth on the other side to keep my mouth propped open! Otherwise there is NO WAY I could’ve held my jaw open that long. I asked for one at the dentist when they put my crown on, and she said she didn’t use them. I can’t understand why–it made such a big difference!

  39. Jen RO

    On Friday evening a club in Bucharest burned down during a rock concert. 27 dead and 180 wounded… for now. Lots of people in critical condition. The accident was similar to the Station Club fire, if you are familiar. Luckily none of my close friends were there, but at least one coworker is in the hospital in pretty bad shape. I’ve spent a day just refreshing Facebook and news sites… this is the kind of place me, my brother or my friends would go for a concert… it’s scary. (Link in English in the next comment.)

    And, to top it off, lots of idiots are coming out of the woodwork to say that it was because we imported “the Devil’s holiday” – Halloween, going against our “Christian roots” and all sorts of crap like that…

    1. fposte

      Oh, no, that’s so horrible. Fires move so much faster than people realize.

      It does sound like at least people were able to get out safely; it could have been even worse than this.

    2. Not So NewReader

      Devil’s Holiday. This works well for them. It gives them a neat, tidy answer that wraps up the whole situation.

      And it totally loses sight of the big picture. A fire can happen anywhere- a mall, a store, a school anywhere. The critical folks have the luxury of being critical because they/their loved one were not caught in the fire. Amazing how people who are impacted by such an event never say those things.
      You can always tell the people who are sitting outside the impact of the problem.

    3. Mimmy

      Reminds me of a horrible fire over 10 years ago at a nightclub during a rock concert – I think it was in Connecticut or Rhode Island? Anyway, the band had used pyrotechnics and the shell behind them caught fire and went out of control. I think roughly 100 people died. Part of the problem, IIRC, was that there were few fire exits.

      1. Anx

        RI.

        I lived in RI for a few years after that and fire safety had become a pretty big part of the culture.

  40. A Dispatcher

    So I have a TON of candy leftover… Any ideas on what to do with it? I’d like to donate it somewhere but I feel like food pantries and similar probably don’t want or need that much candy and probably get an influx this time of year, moreso that they’d like or know what to do with.

    1. Christy

      There’s Operation Gratitude, which donates to overseas troops! They specifically look for leftover Halloween candy. Just google “donate leftover Halloween candy” and you’ll get some good ideas! We have figured this problem out, societally.

      1. Former Diet Coke Addict

        Yep, and Halloween Candy Buy Back benefits Operation Gratitude, and they have a list of participating dentists in your area. Operation Shoebox does the same thing. Also good are Ronald McDonald Houses if there’s one in your area, and plenty of nursing homes/long-term care facilities accept it, too.

    2. Hellanon

      Local women’s shelter? A lot of them take women who have young kids, and if the children are already pasted to the ceiling, they can save it for Christmas…

    3. Mp3

      Our local library keeps candy around to fuel teens who come in to volunteer after school. Adult volunteers aren’t averse to chocolate either.

    4. schnapps

      Make up gift bags and take it to a seniors’ home? I have a friend who lets his (three!) kids eat their halloween candy for 24 hours. After that, they make up gift bags and take it to the seniors’ centre.

    5. Mando Diao

      Bring it to work?

      You could make a facebook post asking a friend to take it off your hands if they can make it over by tomorrow.

  41. Today's anon

    Anyone running/watching/cheering on the NYC marathon? Any marathoners among us? I ran it once and am getting myself ready to run it next year.

    1. AvonLady Barksdale

      I’m kind of idly tracking my friends from 800 miles away. I used to hate the marathon– when I lived in Queens, it made getting into Manhattan to do anything a nightmare, and I never really appreciated what the marathon really was. Then I made more runner friends and moved into Manhattan, and standing at mile 20 with my dog and cheering and hugging a friend when she ran off the course to say hi… it’s one of those, “We are all in this together” events.

      There is a marathon in my current city this morning too, but the vibe is so different. People vying for parking spots, no one saying hi to each other, being completely unable to go about your day because all the streets are closed. A lot of people run here, but it feels like an exclusive club and not a city event.

      Good luck preparing for next year!

      1. Blue_eyes

        The marathon definitely makes travel a pain. I live on the UWS and usually tutor a student on the UES on Sundays, but we had to cancel today because it would just be too hard to get there.

    2. Blue_eyes

      We’re going to walk over in a bit and watch the runners as they go through Central Park. A few friends/acquaintances are running so we’re tracking them right now. My husband and a good friend of his will be running next year (they did the RR 9+1 for guaranteed entry). I can’t run because of knees/feet issues, but I never liked running anyway so I was pretty happy the day my podiatrist told me not to run anymore. I have however walked a marathon distance (with a 25lb backpack!) in one day.

      1. Today's anon

        I have one more race to go for my 9th! but I am in awe that you walked it with a 25lb backpack. Even a small bottle of water feels like a ton by the end of the race.

        1. Blue_eyes

          It was part of a 5 week trip in which I walked across Northern Spain from the Pyrenees to the north west coast. We were following the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route, hence the backpacks. That was our longest day (our average was about 16 mi/day), but it’s still pretty cool to get to say that I walked a marathon distance.

          1. Today's anon

            oh how cool! I saw a movie about that and it’s struck me as something I might enjoy doing. But clearly you also need training – doing several days of 16+ miles is a lot.

            1. Blue_eyes

              You definitely need to train for it. But if you’ve done marathon training, it would be totally do-able. Some people also walk shorter distances per day and/or a shorter overall walk. We did 500 miles in 5 weeks, but that is more than many people do. We were also all 16-17 years old. I’m not sure if I could do it at almost 30 with the knee/foot problems I have, at least not at that pace.

    3. AcidMeFlux

      I’m a native New Yorker who lives in Madrid now and I’m watching it on TV and getting teary from homesickness.

    4. Anon Runner Too

      I’d love to but NYC marathon is tough to get into.
      I did run the Detroit marathon two weekends ago and had the most fun ever. Great vibe and terrific course.
      The people with crazy signs cheering people on were awesome so I’d like to pay that forward at some point.

      1. Today's anon

        Yes, I think the lottery is skewed so that it’s easier to get in the further away you are from NYC. Congrats on running Detroit!!

    5. Stephanie

      My buddy is running it now! My company does the bag check. I accidentally was added to the mid-Atlantic distribution list and have been getting requests for volunteers for the last month or so. I half thought about replying to see if I could go. :)

      I did a 5k this morning and yesterday morning. Legs are exhausted, but it was fun. Thinking about trying a half-marathon next.

    6. skyline

      I’m doing my first half marathon in December, and hope to do my first full marathon in 2016. I’m looking at Portland.

  42. Christy

    Finally, it’s acceptable to prep for Christmas! I think I’ll watch the Rosemary Clooney commentary track on White Christmas today in celebration. (I started listening to carols last week.)

    1. fposte

      I love Christmas music. I used to just play it all year, but now I kind of like opening it like a present each year.

      1. Lore

        My SO has the most amazing collection of Christmas music. The box comes out of the closet the Friday after Thanksgiving and remains in constant rotation until the first weekend of January, and then back it goes. It’s magic, and it’s become a mild obsession for me to find Christmas music he doesn’t already have at every Salvation Army, record fair, and music website I stumble across.

      1. Chocolate Teapot

        Sir David Willcocks (composer, and editor of Carols for Choirs) died earlier this year, and so, in his memory, I will be mangling his descant for Oh come all ye faithful.

        For unto us a child is born from Messiah is great fun, and as I am a Bachoholic, I have to include the glorious Weihnachtsoratorium, especially Jauchzet Frohlocket.

    2. Elizabeth West

      NOOOOOOO

      Figure skates already have to listen to carols before Halloween–we start getting ready for the holiday ice show then. >_<

      I'm not doing anything. I don't see the point, especially if I end up going to my mum's house.

  43. AvonLady Barksdale

    I am trying my hand at homemade bagels for the second time. The first time, they turned out delicious but raggedy. Going for smoother this time. Please wish me luck.

    1. Not So NewReader

      I’ll eat the raggedy ones for you and get them out of the way! ;)

      Good luck with the new batch.

      1. AvonLady Barksdale

        Thank you! Some are still raggedy, but they are FAR less raggedy. BF is about to try one. I’m not quite ready for The Great British Bake-Off (nor am I in the UK), but I’m getting there!

        1. catsAreCool

          Good luck! As far as I’m concerned, the taste is the important part, and you’ve got that already.

    2. Stephanie

      I have wanted to try this! But I don’t want to end up with a dozen bagels, because I will eat them all.

      1. AvonLady Barksdale

        Don’t you have a town full of relatives right now that would eat them with/for you? :) Try it! It’s less of a pain than I thought and not a bad project for a rainy day.

    1. fposte

      For me it’s two parts–the treat and the planning of the treat. Even with fairly small stuff, I like the planning and the comparing and the contemplating and the imagining–otherwise known as “how to make a $10 garlic dish off of Etsy into an experience.”

      Cheese is a big one. I love to get cheeses that I can’t buy locally and try new ones. And they don’t take up room once they’re done.

      I did a recent soap splurge that I really enjoyed. It was a very tense period and I was out of town, and I thought “I would like to buy myself something that isn’t very expensive overall but that would be out of the ordinary for me,” and I got some very fancy soap that I am appreciating in my linen closets as well as in use.

      I do a lot more shopping for than buying in this one, but I really like art/sculpture/pottery. You can get amazing little original prints from print shops and online for the price of a mediocre lunch.

      I realize I’m talking in expenditure terms here; that’s how my mind classifies “treat,” because it’s something I wouldn’t do for myself regularly. Things like seeing friends, a nice bath, enjoying my garden, etc., are very rewarding but I’d hate to put them into the category of rare luxuries.

        1. fposte

          Sure. My cheapest stuff isn’t generally listed online (though some printmakers are on Etsy); that’s mostly in-person visits to places like the Chicago Printmakers Collaborative. There’s a DC gallery on my list for stopping by when next I’m in town (http://washingtonprintmakers.com/) that might be a fun place for you to dig around in; sounds a little posher than the Chicago one, but still nice.

          The place that got me started was Davidson Galleries in Seattle (https://www.davidsongalleries.com/); they are truly lovely people and happy to send stuff around, and I’ve bought from them several times. I don’t have wall space for really big stuff, and original prints have some amazing stuff in small packages. It’s a really easy site to browse, too.

          On the painting side, I haven’t found a US dealer that I continually hunger for stuff from, but there’s a UK gallery that’s very efficient at online sales, and that has a lot of cool stuff: Red Rag Gallery, which has English artists under that name and then links to subdomains featuring Scottish and Irish artists (be sure to look through all the sections). I got a lovely little painting from them earlier this year. A friend has also had a good experience with Carré d’Artistes (http://www.carredartistes.com/en/).

          At this point, I also have a pretty good idea of what I like, so if a random gallery has a new piece by a particular artist I’ve been hunting I just ask them if they can send it to me. I wouldn’t be able to afford it with big pieces or with sculpture (there’s a Scottish sculptor whose work I swear I’m going to lug home in my carryon next time I go), but it’s not too bad for small stuff. (I’m clearly not the only one shopping this way, because the smaller-sized pieces tend to go fast.)

          I have no idea where any of this work stands critically, so somebody like your husband may roll his eyes. But I’m pretty delighted with all my little treats.

            1. fposte

              My taste in prints and in paintings are almost diametrically opposed–prints I like intricate detail and clever conceptuality in monochrome or nearly, and in painting I like big color. Big, big color.

    2. Weekend Warrior

      I used to go to a library with a big magazine collection and read all the latest copies of Oprah, Real Simple, Martha Stewart, Harpers, Atlantic… Surfing the web has replaced some of this – easy to find Top 10 Turkey Recipes on blogs – but the visual appeal of print mags is still special. I need to do this again soon!

      1. nep

        Thanks for this reminder — I used to do this also from time to time. It is indeed great to sit in the library and browse the print versions.

    3. nep

      I’ll go out of my way (as in a one- or five- hour roadtrip) to attend a concert. That longer trip involved a stay in a hotel — turned out to be a super nice hotel and I had a blast.
      Similar to what fposte said — it’s allowing myself to spend money on something special for me / non-essential but super gratifying.

      1. The Other Dawn

        I’ll do the same. I flew to Vegas (I’m in CT) to see Def Leppard at the Hard Rock. They were doing a residency. I also went to Canada several times to see them. Had a blast every time.

    4. house mouse

      Really good tea. And some teas at the ‘really good’ level that you can resteep over and over again.

      I have a milk oolong that I can resteep many times over for an entire day of deliciousness.

    5. BRR

      What don’t I do? But my favorite is probably going clothes shopping during my lunch break at work. There are a lot of good sales during weekdays in order to bring people in.

    6. Trixie

      Recently I’ve splurged on face products at Marshall’s or TJ Maxx. I’ve good luck in quality and pricing. Hyaluronic serums, collagen masks, Vit C treatments. I’ve also ordered a couple products that are more natural chemical peels and such from Skin Actives. I used to do more DIY skin care but got away from it.

    7. Elizabeth West

      Hahhaa, the bagel post above–I go to Panera and buy bagels. Some kind of food is good and doesn’t cost much. Maybe nice cheese or something. Aldi usually has stuff I feel is treat-worthy but not expensive.

      Or I go buy something I don’t really need but I want. If I buy something I need, like a purse or shoes, instead of going to Target or the discount stores, I go to the mall.

  44. The Other Dawn

    So, what are the standard trick or treating hours? I don’t have kids and our previous neighborhood wasn’t very safe, so we just didn’t bother. Last year we moved to a neighborhood that’s actually safe for trick or treating. We didn’t hand out candy last year, because the neighbors said no one shows up. We bought some candy this year, but got home around 7:30 last night. I put the light on, but no one came. From what I hear, it seems like kids go out from like 6 pm to 7:30 pm these days. Seems way too early to me; when I was a kid we’d still be hitting houses at 10 pm as long as the lights were on.

    1. fposte

      We have official hours in town; it ends by 8 if Halloween is on a weeknight and 7 if it’s on a weekend. Kind of nice to have an official closing time.

    2. Clever Name

      Around here I’d say between 6 and 8 are the peak hours. We’ll get some earlier, and a few stragglers after 8. At 9 we turn out the light because we figure the littles are at home by then.

  45. Applesauced

    Anyone have tips for starting to exercise? I signed up to run a 5k with my family on Thanksgiving, so I’ve been trying the Couch to 5k program. And it SUCKS. Not the program, but the actual act of running. I’m currently alternating a few minutes of running with walking breaks and after about 2 minutes of jogging I’m checking my phone and willing it the timer to end. Please tell me this gets better!

    1. Oryx

      Look into Jeff Galloway — he advocates intervals like you’re talking about but unlike C25K you never work up to running all the time, you stick with intervals but your interval length might change. It’s also possible you’re running too long, I do 30 secs run/30 secs walk and I’ve used it for 5Ks, 10Ks, half-marathons, etc, and it leaves me feeling energized with great endurance.

    2. Stephanie

      You could just not like it. That’s fair. Different things work for different people–I realized I liked the idea of doing yoga better than actually doing yoga.

      You might be running too fast or for too long too soon. If you’re starting from scratch, it does take a while to get into shape. You could try a different route. I find running around my neighborhood dull and going on the treadmill soul crushing.

      Also…every race I’ve been to, there are a ton of people walking the course. Most give you a generous amount of time to finish, so there’s no harm in walking part or all of it.

      1. Today's anon

        I second that you could be doing too much too soon, or too fast. When I was just starting out running I could go FAST or walk. It took me a while to find a pace that I could maintain at all.

    3. nep

      I would suggest doing some strength work — esp lower body exercises like lunges and squats. This might help you feel better / stronger for the running. As Stephanie said, could turn out that running just isn’t your thing; I would give it some more time to find out, but at the same time don’t force it if it’s not the exercise you’d choose to do consistently.
      I’ll always advocate strength training, no matter what other kinds of exercise you do. Beneficial in so many ways.
      All the best to you and keep us posted.

    4. Jillociraptor

      I loved C25k, and generally like jogging now, but I remember the first 3 weeks being excruciatingly boring. Even though it was tiring before I built up enough stamina, it was just mind-numbing intellectually. Two things that helped were a great distraction–music, podcast, tv show, whatever you like–and actually going a little bit faster. It was weird but at first amping up about 0.5mph faster helped the time go faster for some reason. I then brought it back down right about at week 3.

    5. catsAreCool

      I haven’t been exercising lately (I’ve got to start again), but I found that it took roughly 7 minutes of exercise to get to the stage of “this isn’t all that awful”. When I exercise again, I’ll have the TV on or listen to music or to a book on CD or something like that – it distracts me (somewhat) from thinking “Can I stop now?”

  46. infj

    What budget software do folks use? I have been following YNAB but using mint because i dont want to pony up the $60 for YNAB software. But mint doesn’t appear to let you move money from one category to another unless you actually move it from one bank account to another.

    I’ve really gotten my finances under control and am building up a nice buffer and rainy day fund. I just need a better way to track it all now.

    1. danr

      A series of excel spreadsheets: combined monthly expenses, medical and medical insurance (also in the general spreadsheet, credit card carryovers (if we don’t pay off a card for a monthly cycle, with a note for the expense), totals in savings and checking accounts under the carryovers, gas and electricity, with therms and KW hours, donations, and investments. We can glance at three spreadsheets and see how much money we have and where it all goes. The donations and medical expenses come in very handy at tax time. The other good thing about the monthly expenses sheet is that we put down when automatic payments will be made, so we get them into the checkbook at the right times.

      1. Samantha

        My husband and I have used YNAB for almost 3 years now and we like it. They do have a free 30 day trial so you can test it out and see if you like it.

    2. Lindsay J

      I haven’t really dug into using it yet but I downloaded EveryDollar from the App Store and I like it so far.

    3. Blue_eyes

      I’ve been using Mint for about 6 months now and I really like it. Sometimes I encounter situations that it doesn’t seem to be able handle well (like I want to mark cash income as income, but then also as a transfer for cash spending). I’m not sure exactly what you mean by “move money from one category to another,” can you be more specific? I mostly just use the budgets and trends though, not the goals feature so I may not have run up against the roadblock you’re finding.

    4. Noah

      I just use an Excel spreadsheet. New one for each year. I download my bank account register each month in CSV format and then copy/paste the transactions over and categorize them. Each month has it own tab for the transactions. There’s also a summary tab with a list of catagories down the left and two columns per month, one budgeted and one actual.

      I tried using Quicken, gnuCash, and MoneyDance. I ended up not using them after a few months. It was such a pain to keep up with.

  47. schnapps

    I was having this same conversation with a coworker who is much more athletic than I am (plays soccer regularly, beach volleyball in the summer, trains all the time with a trainer). I’d just finished a cardio workout and was saying how much I hate cardio and she said she hates cardio too. We both agreed we prefer lifting heavy things.

    I did C25K once when I was heading up a team for the Run for the Cure and hated every second of it. I got to the point where I could run for 20 minutes straight, and then my brain decided “Achievement unlocked. Done now.” And stopped using the program. Running may not be your thing.

  48. Olivia

    I need help solving a marital discord issue. I do my makeup, hair, nails, and all primping in the bedroom. I also keep my massive horde of beauty products in the bedroom (in my defense I am a brand manager for a luxury cosmetic company). My husband thinks all personal maintenance (and accompanying paraphernalia) should be restricted to the bathroom. The is not the hill or marriage will die on, but I’ve had enough of him growing at me when I’m wielding the hairspray and he’s still in bed.

    1. AvonLady Barksdale

      I believe that anything that sprays should be confined to the bathroom, so I admit to being on his side with this one. Especially if you’re spraying something smelly like hairspray! Makeup makes sense to me in the bedroom, but anything that requires hand-washing or spraying (hair gel, for instance) belongs in the bathroom.

    2. CoffeeLover

      Are you getting ready while he’s sleeping? I would be pretty annoyed if my SO was making noise right beside me while I was trying to sleep. Anyway, if this is something you’re always fighting about, it may be worth giving it a try. Tell him you’ll try getting ready in the bathroom for a couple of weeks, and see if you can make it work. He’ll probably lay off bugging you if you go back to using the bedroom, since you gave it a good try.

    3. Not So NewReader

      I would try, “Okay, but I spend x time getting ready for work and that time would be tying up the bathroom. I don’t see that working for us.” [This presumes you have one bathroom.]

      Will all this fit in the bathroom? Maybe you need shelves or drawers. If so mention that.

      Is the objection just limited to the hairspray? If yes, then can you just put the hairspray in the bathroom?

      What do you have in your bedroom that you do not have in your bathroom? Lighting? Chair?

      1. Olivia

        My vanity table, mirror, and good lighting are all in the bedroom. The bathroom (single) is smallish and couldn’t hold the horde. I have a lot of makeup and an ocean of potions. Unfortunately the objection isn’t limited to the hairspray. I think reminding him if I take my daily prep into the bathroom it’ll be tied up for an hour (minimum) he might start to see my point of view.

        1. pony tailed wonder

          Do you have a small unused closet that you can convert to a make up station that is away from your bedroom? Or could you do one of those Ikea hacks and convert a bureau into a make up station? You could add outlets and two or three mirrors and then put it in another room. Then you can just open up the doors and get ready and not disturb him.

    4. Former Diet Coke Addict

      Can you divvy it up so that, say, you do your hair in the bathroom (especially if it’s involving spraying of smelly things, like hairspray, or noisy things, like hairdryers), and you do your makeup in the bedroom? That way you could not tie up the bathroom for an hour, but you’d be maybe creating less chaos in the bedroom?

      By the way, your job sounds REALLY interesting!

    5. Mindy

      Our master bath is open to the bedroom and we have a full bathroom in the hall. I get up first, shower in the master bath and do some getting ready there (deodorant, lotion, spray-in conditioner for hair). My major getting ready is in the non-master bath. I keep makeup in the bathroom cabinet. All of my hair stuff (and there’s a lot) is in a shoebox that I keep under the sink. So that’s all put away when I leave, but I have a space for everything.

      Generally, I try to keep the loud and smelly items out of the master bath. What also helps is that he keeps a sleep mask and earplugs in his bedside table for days when he needs them.

    6. The Cosmic Avenger

      It sounds like you need to ask him why he wants your stuff in the bathroom. The hardest part about this will be asking in an open and honest way, without defensiveness, and being ready to listen.

      However, if he thinks that’s the way things should be done just because, then he’s being a doodyhead.

      (I’m joking; even though I think “that’s the way things are done” is a horrible, indefensible reason, many times people can’t articulate what bothers them about something immediately, and it may take some time and some introspection.)

  49. The Other Dawn

    Any Def Leppard fans here? I’m so excited: their new album (CD? MP3?) hit the shelves on Friday! I was hesitant to listen to it. I haven’t liked a whole lot of what they’ve put out since Hysteria. Although, after Slang is when it was much harder to find stuff I liked. Anyway, I’m so happy to report that I like every song on the new album. I haven’t been able to say that since Hysteria. I felt so energized when I listened to it yesterday morning. I’m really loving Man Enough–I think I’m going to wear that song out! It’s got such a great groove and it’s a very sexy song. Time to go listen. Again.

  50. Carmen Sandiego JD

    Another question, this time re: property.

    In 1-2 years from now, I have the option to:
    A. Buy the current small studio apt I have now as a condo. It’s ok, but 40 yrs old, the maintenance is unresponsive and I always have to replace lightbulbs all the time, every few months. And, this means tearing down and repainting all walls, replacing all cabinetry, replacing the flooring entirely, and living 1 month at my parents (UGHHHH no, see previous posts re: passive-aggressive mother who took ton of money out of joint acct until I wised up and separated finances), or subletting for 1 month elsewhere.

    Or,

    B. Save more money and buy a different apartment several miles away in wonderful safe district, great location, awesome flooring/fixtures/the works, little to no additional work needed. Just–it’ll be much, much pricier from the get-go.

    Tl;dr: When is it financially good to buy an apartment that needs fixing up (a lot), and when is it better to throw in the towel and buy a much more modern and pricier place? Any advice/personal experience?

    1. danr

      If you can do most of the work yourself, get the fixer upper… If you have to pay someone to do the work, get the other one. It will be cheaper in the long run.

    2. CoffeeLover

      It really depends on how good of a deal you can get on your current place and how willing you are to put up with the renovation. You always end up uncovering more things to fix when you do a renovation like this so you end up spending more time at your parents and more on the reno. Also, if the building itself has issues that’s not really something you can fix. Is there an in-between option? Buy an apartment that’s not as pricey as the one you’re considering, but that may need a bit of updating.

    3. Soupspoon McGee

      It sounds like you already know that answer.

      Unless you really like and are good at fixing things up yourself, invest in something that’s closer to done. If the place you’re in now is older and in that much need of rehab, there are probably other expensive issues you don’t know about and aren’t already budgeting for–especially if maintenance hasn’t kept on top of things.

      Also look at what’s more important to you. Location, safety, maintenance and upkeep, size, initial cost, resale value . . . all are valid.

      I’ve purchased older homes (1920’s) in so-so locations, and I’ve loved them, but the first time, I didn’t really know how much work goes into an older building. I bought the house I’m now in with an eye to what I could do myself and what I had to save for.

    4. fposte

      Don’t you have a wedding to plan in there as well? Or am I thinking of somebody else?

      When I bought my house, I didn’t know what kind of a thing I was wanting, and there were beautiful old Victorians that just needed some love in my price range. My brisk realtor told me flatly that that was really not what I was looking for and they’d make me miserable. And she was right–I would have been stressed to the roof with herding contractors who never come when they say, living elsewhere for a month that turns into longer because none of this will be done in the time planned (if you have to replace lightbulbs every few months, that’s likely a wiring thing, which you haven’t even mentioned), figuring out where to keep my stuff safe or out of the way, etc. It is a second job. It’s not a second job I’d enjoy, and I don’t think it sounds like one that you would either.

      As danr notes, it’s one thing if you’re like my sibling’s family who just does their own cabinet replacement and hanging. But for the rest of us, it’s something to be done very, very judiciously.

      1. Not So NewReader

        Oh this is so important. Get something that you know you stand a good chance of managing. Unfortunately, that means in the end only you know what is best for you. My husband and I bought a place a little bit on the small side and the lot is small, too. I have never regretted it.
        The house is old and needs a lot of work but the yard did not require an army of people to take care of it. The floor plan just makes sense so it is easy to live here.

        I guess I am saying there is no one factor and a lot of it is trade offs. My main idea is to give it the reason-ability test. Is this reasonable, given my givens, to do this move? Being a conservative person I never relied on raises in the future or anything like that. I just used what I had on hand as my guide.

    5. Stephanie

      Echoing what everyone else said about the headaches of a fixer-upper. I rented in this beautiful 19th century rowhouse…that was falling apart. It was more than habitable, it just needed a lot of renovations and repair. The landlord had grand plans to do renovations, but he ended up taking a job that sent him abroad for long stretches of time. Even my untrained eye could spot that there was a ton of work that needed to be done on the house. My subsequent apartment was much more soulless and in a far less trendy neighborhood, but I was ecstatic that it was new construction.

      Personally, I wouldn’t get the fixer upper unless you can get a really good deal on it and don’t mind the renovation headaches. From what everyone’s told me about renovating places like that, you can pretty much assume everything will be over budget and behind schedule.

      I also wonder about the ease of resale of a studio. IIRC, you’re in DC. I imagine that that’s probably still a hot real estate market, but I wonder about how well a studio would sell when you’d want to move or upgrade. I’d imagine if I were about to go into something like property ownership, I’d want at least a bedroom.

  51. CoffeeLover

    I got a kitten! Some of you may not approve since my apartment doesn’t actually allow cats. It’s one of those giant apartments with a large property management company. I got her from a good friend who has a lot of cats, so worst case scenario, I would give her back to him if they caught me (I would not have gotten one if it meant having to abandon her if I got caught). I’m not too worried though. Concrete building, corner unit, no way to see into my windows, and they need to give me 24hour notice to come into my unit. I don’t really get that rule to be honest. Cats are pretty quiet, clean creatures, and any damage they could cause is superficial and would be covered by the damage deposit.

    1. The Other Dawn

      I’m glad to hear you say it came from a friend, and not a shelter. I volunteer with a rescue and we’ve had to take back many cats in the past because someone lied about renting and then the landlord told them they couldn’t have the cat. We now screen for that. We don’t catch them all, but the return rate has gone way down.

      Anyway, congrats on the kitten! I’ll be getting one myself in a couple weeks. I’ll also be fostering one of our special cases.

      1. Lindsay J

        Every shelter I’ve been to requires a copy of your lease specifying pets are allowed/note from your landlord or evidence that you own your home.

        (And they need confirmation from everyone on the lease/deed/mortgage that they’re okay with pets).

        I think it’s a good policy. I don’t always agree with all the measures rescues put in place (I think home visits are too invasive in most cases, for instance). However, I would bet that a large portion of pets are returned because the landlord, roommate, or spouse wasn’t on board with the adoption to begin with and this seems like a relatively uninvasive way to cut down on returns.

    2. The Other Dawn

      Forgot to say that even though cats can be clean and quiet, not all of them are. Some spray and that smell might never come out. Plus it can damage wood and carpeting. And cats do claw the woodwork sometimes or make a racket if they’re fighting with another cat or are in heat.

          1. The Other Dawn

            UGH the blinds! The little buggers know when I have new ones. They make a special point of jamming their heads through the slats the day after I put them up. Good thing they’re cheap!

          2. Anx

            Yep.

            My partner and I are trying to figure out the logistics of a two household relationship (after living together for years), and we are factoring the cost of all the blinds the cat would destroy in a second apartment.

    3. Luisa in Dallas

      A friendly warning! My boyfriend and I once rented a no-pets apartment even though we had a cat. (I forget why we thought that was a good idea.) We were foiled by our cat’s love of being on the window sill, catching sunbeams and watching birds. Your kitten may not be able to jump up there yet, but eventually she will find a way.

      1. CoffeeLover

        The only thing that would foil us at this point is the meowing (you know how new kittens can be). I’m trying to train her to be quiet and the meowing has decreased quite a bit even in the few days we’ve had her as she gets more comfortable with the place. I’m just hoping the neighbours directly beside us are merciful (I mean we do endure their crying baby :P).

        1. catsAreCool

          I knew someone who managed apartments who said that sometimes people had cats who peed all over the house. I’ve got 3 cats, and they’re pretty well behaved when it comes to that kind of thing (thank goodness).

    4. Elizabeth West

      Many places, if they do allow pets, will make you pay extra for the cat/dog deposit. So be aware that if they allow you to keep her, it might be at considerable cost.

  52. nep

    Yoga.
    For a couple of months there I was not as consistent, for various reasons — and wow does it make a difference. I’ve ‘lost some ground’, so to speak, in flexibility and such. And just overall, don’t feel nearly as good when I’m not yoga-ing on a regular basis.
    The weekends always allow me to spend more time with it, and yesterday it just came to me so strongly that I must get back to being consistent with the yoga. So good for my body and everything else.
    I’ve got a real sense of calm today — relief, almost…as if I’ve gotten back in touch with a dear friend I’d sort of been neglecting (Yoga Me).

    1. Trixie

      As an instructor, I see this a lot. Folks are busy of course because things come up. I encourage them to take just 5-10 minutes in the morning, and again at night. If they’re not good on their own, maybe follow an easy short sequence on Youtube. It doesn’t have to be an entire hour and hopefully these few minutes regularly will encourage them to add more time when they can. I love Yoga with Adrienne, SarahBethYoga, and Bad Yogi.

  53. Mando Diao

    This is late, but hopefully someone can help me.

    Does anyone know what exactly the requirements for apartment supers are in New Jersey? Or can you point me to any resources? Google is turning up nothing. I’ve called the NJ Department of Community Affairs, only to be told that the department was dismantled. They gave me two lawyers to call, but both of those numbers had been disconnected.

    The story: My apartment building is owned by a management company that owns several other buildings in the state. They employ one super to work on all of the buildings they own; he lives in one of the buildings but obviously none of the other buildings have live-in maintenance. The super takes weekends off, and the landlords are observant Jews who are unresponsive during Shabbat (Friday night through Saturday night). If you have an emergency over a weekend, no one can be reached, and during the week, the super is never local. I’ve found the regulations for these things in NYC, but I can’t find any clear indications that this situation isn’t up to snuff, though logically it should be a violation of [whichever] ordinances to skimp on supers this way. I guess I’m asking “is this legal?” I’d like to have some hard-and-fast facts in my back pocket.

    1. Amber Rose

      There should be details in your rental agreement. Or at least, I’d start there if I were you.

      1. Mando Diao

        My lease doesn’t say anything of that nature.

        Basically, I’m trying to find out what the law requires the landlord to provide in terms of maintenance.

    2. danr

      try this search in google: apartment building maintenance regulations nj . Plus your town should have it’s own maintenance code. A similar search with the name of your town instead of ‘nj’ should bring up some information. Go to the web page (hopefully there is one) for your town and just click through all of the menus. You might find information to help. I’ve found that many town websites are not logically arranged and information is in the oddest places.
      Good luck.

    3. BRR

      I’m not quite clear on your question. Is it that you are concerned if there is an emergency on the weekends? It looks to me like the law would specify the answer if you google “nj multiple dwelling code”

      It might be easier to email your landlord and say how you want to be prepared before this might arise but who do you contact if there is an emergency maintenance situation on the weekends?

      1. BRR

        Also if it’s an emergency and you cannot reach your landlord by phone or in person, you can hire someone and deduct the cost of the repair from your rent.

        Also second danr, check more local regulations like county and city.

        1. Observer

          I’m not a lawyer, and I would suggest you speak to one, if you think you can prove you’ve been harmed by this behavior. But, based on looking on the NJ Dept of Community Affairs site, that there is probably nothing illegal here.

          I’ll post links to the sites in a reply.

        2. BRR

          Ah. What are you hoping to accomplish by this? I’m only asking because you have something to lose by pointing it out to them just to point it out to them (unless you don’t care if you have to move).

          Also try searching “nj tenant rights/law”

        3. Treena

          I’m still confused as to the issue though. Are you worried that them breaking the law is somehow going to cost you something in the future (even if it’s just time) or has it already cost you? If they are breaking the law, what, realistically, are you going to do about it?

          Have you asked what to do if you need something urgently over the weekend? They may just tell you to call the super–they might mean the super is “off” on the weekends so people don’t call about lightbulbs at 8pm Saturdays.

          1. Treena

            I don’t mean to sound harsh, but I’ve had pretty unresponsive landlords, and really all it takes is one voicemail that says, “If I don’t hear from you in X hours, I’m going to call a plumber and deduct it from the rent.” I get a call back within the hour, guaranteed. I leave one nice vm, and give them 12-24 hours (depending on when I originally called) and then the “or else” vm. Hasn’t failed with 3 landlords so far.

        4. The IT Manager

          I would not expect this to be illegal. It’s bad customer service, but that isn’t illegal.

    4. Noah

      IANAL but I can’t find anything saying a super is required for each building. I’ve lived all over the country, and outside of NYC I’ve never had a live in super. Generally you call the landlord or management company and they arrange repairs.

      If the repair is urgent, like water flooding, and you can’t reach the landlord, you can pay for the repairs yourself and ask for reimbursement or remove it from rent. The repairs have to be reasonable though. You can’t replace all the tile in your bathroom with marble or something.

    5. FD

      Not a lawyer, but am in property management.

      In a rental situation, your rights are more or less governed by something called the “warrant of habitability.” This means that by renting you an apartment, your landlord is stating that it is fit for human habitation. This is basically a low baseline of condition, and will roughly consist of the heat and basic utilities working.

      However, let’s say that the heat went out over the weekend, and couldn’t be fixed until Monday.

      Your landlord hasn’t actually broken the law until he’s been notified of the situation, given ‘reasonable’ time to rectify it, and has failed to do so. In practice, this means that you have to send him a certified letter, and he will usually have at least ten days to fix the situation after receiving your letter.

      Now, you MIGHT be able to stay in a hotel because the heat was out for three days and go to small claims court to get reimbursement for it–but that’s hard to guaranty at best. You might also be able to do what others have said and get reimbursement for having a contractor in out of pocket. However, there’s no law that I can find which requires New Jersey landlords to have 24 hour maintenance.

      If you’re concerned about having an issue, I would recommend just asking the building manager how they’d like it handled, if there was an after hours emergency.

  54. Amber Rose

    Passed my advanced driving test! 40 points, not great but not awful. Mostly nervous errors.

    And the [insert stream of angry name calling] examiner who I failed with yesterday is being reported. She knows me, she knows my husband, she hates us both, their code of ethics required her to send me to a different examiner and she didn’t.

    Also she forbid me from asking for clarification on a confusing instruction which is a huge no. :/

  55. Mango

    Help! I need dating advice. I recently started seeing this guy and I like him. But I generally have trust issues with EVERYONE (relatives, coworkers, friends) and I’m afraid that may be clouding my judgment. This is what I need advice with: I have not been to new guy’s house and I recently looked him up in white pages. I found there that he lives in a very residential area in queens in a HOUSE. That raised alarm bells for me because no single man really lives in a house in NYC. When we went on our second date, i flat out asked him if he’s married because I dated a guy before who I THOUGHT was a single man and turned out he was a married (separated) dad! New guy and I have spoken on the phone late at night and we’ve gone out on late night dates, but I’m just …curious as to why he would live in a house in a residential neighborhood alone. (He does not live with his parents). Thoughts?

    1. Observer

      To be honest, it sounds like you really need to get a handle on your trust issues. To say that it’s clouding your judgement is a bit of an understatement.

      No one here has any real idea of whether this guy is a gem or jerk, because you have not given us a single piece of relevant information. The jump from “lives in a house” to “probably married but lying about it” is simply outlandish. The two are simply not especially related to each other, so no one can even try to make a guess.

      This presents two problems for you. One is that you are setting up a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. This level of suspicion / apparent neediness is going to drive most healthy people away. And, then you’ll be sure that that proves that you were right to not trust him in the first place. But, it’s quite possible that if you had been a bit more trusting, you would have had a chance to develop a decent relationship.

      The other problem is that when your antenna are so over sensitive, you wind up with a noise to signal ration that is very, very heavily tilted towards noise, which makes it hard to tell when you are getting a signal that you really need to pay attention to. Chicken Little is a story you read about is first grade, but it’s a really important lesson. If every signal you get is always a strong indicator of terrible things, you’ll never know which ones REALLY indicate a problem and which ones are just your insecurities talking. To take your own example – how will you be able to tell whether you are really seeing signs of a guy who is hiding a significant relationship vs phantoms of your own mind?

      Please try to get some help. I’m sure you have good reason for your issues. And, it’s clear that you’ve been burned. But, not being able to tell optical tricks from reality makes you MORE vulnerable, not less.

      1. Dan

        I wrote my reply below before I saw yours. It’s really telling that the OP gets two messages in a row suggesting that the spidey sense is off.

        Along with chicken little, we also learn about the boy who cried wolf. When your antenna always detects a wolf at the slightest breeze, you’ll never detect the real thing.

        One place the OP can start trying to get a handle on the trust issues is by asking herself what she actually has to lose if she’s lied to. She may very well find that it’s not as much as she thinks. For example, even if the worst of her fears are true — that this guy is married with kids, what did she actually lose by going on a few dates with him? Not much.

        The other thing to keep in mind is that there really are shades of lies, and we don’t always want the absolute truth even if we think or say that we do. Yes, you want a straight answer to “what’s your marital status?” But you really don’t want a straight answer to, “Honey, what do you think of my mother?” or for that matter, the classic “Do these pants make me look fat?” I only bring this paragraph up as part of the “If I’m lied to, was it really that bad” conversation.

    2. Stephanie

      If you have a good rapport with this guy (and sounds like it), just ask. There are far more mundane and likely explanations, such as:
      -He has two Great Danes that need a yard and wouldn’t work in a tiny apartment
      -He likes to garden or wanted a yard
      -He is from somewhere less dense and likes the space (given his druthers, my dad would be way out in the country if he could) and/or finds the closer in parts too hectic and dense
      -He has a car
      -He wanted to buy and that was in his budget
      -He got a really good rent deal
      -etc.

      I think it’s easy to jump to “This guy is a axe murderer and keeps the bodies out in Rego Park” or “This guy has a second family in Forest Hills” when a simpler explanation is more likely.

      1. Dan

        Is Rego Park a pop culture reference that I’m not familiar with, or did you just pick a random neighborhood in Queens?

        1. Stephanie

          Ha. Random neighborhood. I know someone from there and said it has its share of SFHs. She always referred to Manhattan as “the city.”

          1. AvonLady Barksdale

            I know I am late to this party, but I only just saw this thread. I used to live in Forest Hills– lots of SFHs there and in Rego Park, you’re right about that. The only time a single man living in a house in either neighborhood (or Fresh Meadows, Bayside, etc.) would give me pause would be if it was in one of these crazy, outlandish, totally OTT mansions… because then I would just question his line of business and decide it wasn’t too savory or legal.

      2. Dynamic Beige

        -He inherited it from a family member

        But I agree with the others. It was one date. If you’re already planning the wedding and what you’re going to name the kids… is it that this guy is The One, or The One Who Will Fill Need For Whatever Is Missing In Your Life Right Now? I mean, I get it. The holidays are coming. There will be parties to attend and no one likes to be alone on New Year’s Eve. Family members will be nosy about who you’re seeing (or not). Everyone else seems to be with someone and you’re the last single person on the planet. It sucks. Big Time.

        But… this guy isn’t the same married one who lied to you. Technically speaking, if the last one was legally separated then concerns about being the bandaid/rebound aside, he wasn’t cheating on his wife. You can’t hold new people accountable for the transgressions of others. I’m not saying you should just plow in and ignore red flags or warning signs, but if you’re this panicky after one date, are you sure you’re in a good place to be dating? Maybe you need to take a bit of a break and just be single/have You Time for a while.

    3. Dan

      Honestly? I’d consider getting some professional help. My ex was slightly paranoid, and that was a really difficult behavior to be around. Anytime someone said or did something that she could find some way to contort into some sort of personal attack, she did, even if what the person said was likely the truth, and the underlying behavior was rather innocuous. As an example, if I were to have traveled to Amsterdam, she would assume that I smoked weed while I was there. “Because everybody smokes weed in Amsterdam.” If I told her no, no pot for me, she’d say, “Yeah right” (and mean it sarcastically.) There’d be nothing I could do to prove to her or convince her that I did not smoke pot.

      Both of your examples strike me in a similar vain. The previous guy who was separated from his wife and had a kid? While you have every right to decide for yourself what marital status you’re comfortable with in a date, being separated with a kid doesn’t really rise to the “OMG!” status. If they’re separated, he’s certainly not cheating on his wife.

      The same goes for the new guy living in a HOUSE! A HOUSE, I TELL YOU! I kid you just a little bit here. I live in metro DC, and we have plenty of neighborhoods around here (particularly in the suburbs) where if a date lived there, you’d automatically go, WTF, OVER? While I get where you’re coming from, the reality is that your street address makes you automatically guilty of nothing. Sure, you ask the question. And you take he answer at face value until you have reason to believe otherwise. When *that* answer sound fishy, then go ask for advice on the internet ;)

      So you asked the guy. What did he say? How did he react? TBH, I live out in the suburbs, fairly close to “married, possibly with kids” territory. If I found out a potential date was asking around on the internet why I was living where I was, and not asking me, I’d find it a bit strange.

      Out here, if you’re a single dude living in a single family house, you either have roommates in a group house, or you own it, and you’re renting out the spare bedrooms. Perhaps you’re living with your parents, or as you’ve suggested, perhaps you’re living with your wife and kids.

      Part of your question is asking, “how do I know when someone is lying to me?” The answer is, you can’t know with certainty whether the response to any given question is the truth. So what do you do? Ask questions. Gauge the response. Is the person defensive? Does their answer even make any sense? How does that fit in with other parts of their life that they’ve told you about? After awhile, the things they tell you about their life generally make sense, or they don’t. If they don’t, drop him like a bad habit.

      As I asked earlier, have you considered a therapist? You recognize you have trust issues. With the experience I have had, if dates come across to me as to untrusting, I probably won’t pursue the relationship further. I barely know them, I have nothing to prove. If they think I’m lying to them off the bat, that’s more of a reflection on them than it is on me. Early on is supposed to be fun and easy; it’s too early to deal with someone who is always suspicious.

      At the same time, you do need a healthy guard system, you don’t want to expose yourself unnecessarily. A good therapist will help you rearrange what triggers your alarm system.

    4. nicolefromqueens

      Does he own the house? Even if he does, he could be renting out part of it. My last slum lord was a single 30’s male who had just purchased the house.

    5. fposte

      And, you know, if it turns out he’s married, that’s annoying but it’s not the end of the world, either. This isn’t a situation where your wariness would be saving you from death and dismemberment.

  56. Ada Lovelace

    I just needed to say the Mets are killing me. Ripping my heart out, tearing it into pieces, smashing it into the ground and waving the tattered pieces around, trying to rally a victory.

  57. Jean

    My 2 cents: Ask this guy! He could have a pet that needs quick access to the outside, or he could be a devoted gardener who can’t stand living far from a cultivable patch of land, or he randomly found this place and fell in love with some other feature (hardwood floors? wooden interior doors with cut-glass doorknobs? etc.?) … and along with all that, he’s either able to afford living there solo or he has one or more roommate(s) with whom he doesn’t share an intimate or romantic relationship.

    Beyond this, I wish you well in learning to live with your trust issues in a way that causes you minimal anxiety. It sounds like an unhappy burden to carry. Take care.

  58. Hlyssande

    This is vaguely work related to start. We had a build go live yesterday morning which meant I was testing from home for 3ish hours (booo). The problem is that immediately afterward I was hit with a pretty nasty migraine and spent the rest of the day languishing in the dark.

    Ugh. I’m not sure if it was caused by having the bluetooth in for three hours because I’ve done longer with it with no problems, or if it was related to TMJ or just…coincidental. Maybe all three? It was miserable.

    I can still feel the throbbing in my right temple and I hope it doesn’t decide to rain merry hell on me again.

    On the plus side, got an email just now from Caribou (up north equivalent of Starbucks) that perks members can get the new holiday stuff early. Ginger chai, here I come!

    1. OriginalEmma

      I was going to sign up for Caribou perks but the amount of personal information they wanted (for data-grubbing, marketing and advertising I’m sure) was off-putting. So no perks for me.

    2. Elizabeth West

      If you were staring at the screen intently for three-ish hours, that could trigger it. It probably would for me. My head gets wonky if I don’t look away from the screen much. Plus, I clench my jaw when I’m really concentrating, which doesn’t help.

  59. OriginalEmma

    For folks who live alone with no-to-few friends or relatives in their immediate areas: how do you care for pets when on business or vacation? I would love to get a pet again but the prospect of being sent for month-long business trips (happens occasionally) or simply wanting to take a week-long vacation have me convinced I cannot properly care for a pet. The cost of animal hoteling would bankrupt me. What do you do?

    1. beachlover

      Have you looked into the cost of a pet sitter? My BF and I travel a bit, fortunately we have a great neighbor that takes care of our pets and plants for us while we are gone. Boarding can be pricey, I am not sure if a pet sitter would be more reasonable. If you really can’t afford to pay for either, then perhaps it is just not the right time to have a pet. Also, if the cost of occasional boarding will bankrupt you, what would you do if you had a pet medical emergency? I am glad you are asking though, so many people do not take these issues into consideration when getting a pet, another reason why our shelters are overflowing. One more idea, if you just want to be around a dog or cat, check into volunteering with a rescue group, perhaps you can foster? This is a shorter term commitment, and they work with you if you need to be away from home.

  60. Nervous Accountant

    I hope it’s not too late to post here but this happened yesterday:

    I offered to take a friend out for dinner on her birthday weekend. She said it was a lovely offer but she’d really rather take cash bc she needs it. She’s a few years younger than me and not so set in life yet (still in school, looking for a job etc) so I can understand that she needs it. I’m on a tight budget too….my plan was to just take her out for a nice dinner and a greeting card or something small…but now giving the monetary value of the dinner seems too low, so it feels like I may have to spend more now ??

    I’m not sure what feels strange about it, I can’t put it in to words. I spent several years floundering (career wise) due to bad financial planning/shopping addiction, and even though I wasnt in a bad financial situation…there were times I felt SUPER relieved when a friend would pick up the check or something.

    I guess I’m more thinking out loud than anything….but is there any reason I shouldn’t? I figure, I’m in a good place now where I can help someone who needs it…I loaned her a small amount last year and even though she promised to pay it back, I honestly never expect her to. (That’s just how I see personal lending)….. whats wrong with giving what’s in my means if that’s what they want? Idk.

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      Oooh, that would bother me too. You weren’t offering to give her cash; you were saying “let’s share a meal together.” Those are very different things. Enjoying an experience together is different than just handing over some money.

      1. Nervous Accountant

        I think thats it! I mean we were going to go for dinner + another (low cost/free) activity afterwards, so we’d be spending time together anyways.

        I’m inclined to help, but I just feel odd about it.

    2. The Cosmic Avenger

      Yes, you didn’t offer “I’ll buy you food because you are so poor”, you wanted to treat your friend to something for their birthday, and enjoy their company in the process. They reduced it to a simple monetary exchange and took the social part completely out of the equation. Moreover, I would feel almost as if they don’t want to spend time with me.

    3. Not So NewReader

      I hope you do not give her cash, but barest minimum do not give her more than you planned to spend on just HER meal.

      I have a friend that could pull off a statement like this: “NO, the offer was for dinner and company. I am not offering you cash for your wallet. Would you like the dinner and company or no?” Not everyone can pull that one off. I think now that I have seen someone say that to someone else, I would be able to do it.

      But my friend is right. If someone has the brass to say something like “can I just have the cash instead” that means gloves are off and you can reply any way you wish. Maybe you could say something like, “Well, this was more about friendship and hanging out together than it was about the money involved.” Then pause and give her a second to think about what she just asked you for. Maybe she will regroup and say, “You’re right. It’s more fun to hang out and just forget about bills for a while.” If she does regroup, I would just let the initial remark slide.

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