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14 Dec 15:26

Spiced Pumpkin Pie Martini

by Laura Gummerman

at first i was mad about it and then i wanted one.

Pumpkin pie lovers unite! If the best part of the Thanksgiving meal is the dessert round, well, then this is the after dinner drink for you! To create a creamy pumpkin pie-inspired drink that has a bit of a spicy kick to it, I added some horchata flavored liqueur and the result is pure and decadently delicious if I do say so myself …Spiced Pumpkin Pie Martini, serves one

1 part vanilla vodka
3 parts pumpkin liqueur
2 parts horchata liqueur
2 parts milk

graham crackers, honey, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie for garnish

Pour your ingredients into a martini shaker (love this pretty gold one) that is filled with ice. Shake to combine. I love having those giant ice cubes around, they look so pretty in drinks too!Swirl some honey on a plate, take your martini glass and place it upside down into the honey so the rim is coated. Crush up some graham crackers in a plastic bag and pour the bits onto another plate. Place your sticky rim into the graham crackers so you get a graham cracker ring around the glass.Pour your martini mixture into the glass, top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and add a small wedge of pie to the rim!  Deeeelish!! Don’t worry if the graham cracker rim starts to fall into your drink a bit—it just tastes like a graham cracker pie crust! The warm spices in the horchata liqueur really help to round out this martini and add some spicier notes to the pumpkin flavor as well. This is a great option to serve on Thanksgiving (that gold and marble tray is the perfect serving platter), buuuut I think it’s also a great treat to serve at any party all season long! xo. Laura

Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
13 Dec 21:10

Colorize by The Seaweed Sisters

by swissmiss

required watching!

This video makes me happy.


12 Dec 19:18

uglyfun: Hi, I’m here to propose that A.A. Milne’s distinctive syntax in the Winnie-the-Pooh books...


This is Everything.


Hi, I’m here to propose that A.A. Milne’s distinctive syntax in the Winnie-the-Pooh books is a major origin of modern Capital Letters Used For Emphasis On The Internet. Observe:

(in which Pooh wryly self-deprecates)

(in which Eeyore masters modern sarcasm)

(in which Eeyore is vagueblogging)

(in which Owl says something i would absolutely type in the YOOL 2017)

(In which Eeyore continues to be a shining example to us all)

(in which Pooh describes a Big Mood)

(in which Piglet has a Relatable Experience)

I could go on, but you can read the books and find your own. It’s a weirdly modern-feeling layer to an old, thoroughly enjoyable story and most of the original Pooh books are online for free. I cited from this online text upload of the book. Enjoy!

12 Dec 17:21

A Seven-Year-Old’s Guide to Surviving Holiday Travel

by Joanna Goddard

There is some really sage advice in here. "I always pack a jean jacket because they are really cool and snazzy. Snazzy means fancy. I know that word from Fuller House."

A Seven-Year-Old's Guide to Surviving Holiday Travel

Are you traveling with any little ones this holiday? Seven-year-old Toby loves nothing more than planning trips (just like his mama!), so while he splashed around in the bath this weekend, I asked for his thoughts on flying on planes, choosing rental cars and visiting relatives.… Read more

The post A Seven-Year-Old’s Guide to Surviving Holiday Travel appeared first on A Cup of Jo.

11 Dec 20:53

I Am Extremely Here for This America's Next Top Model—RuPaul's Drag Race Crossover!!

by Megan Reynolds

excuse me I just died on my keyboard and was revived because this gave me life.

Also everybody needs to watch Katya and Trixie's youtube series "UNHhhh" - they just got picked up for a show (on viceland I think?) but I don't have the cables and there are dozens of shows for you to watch and enjoy for free.

It seems that someone at VH1 has been gotten ahold of my vision board because all my quiet prayers have been answered: the forthcoming, Tyra Banks-helmed season of America’s Next Top Model will feature a RuPaul’s Drag Race crossover!!!


11 Dec 17:17

banana thefts, peppers for potlucks, and other weird office food stories

by Ask a Manager

#5 omg

In honor of the day of gorging that will take place tomorrow, here are some of my favorite stories from last week’s post about weird food happenings in your offices.

1. “I used to work with an awful guy who used to dig his hand into bowls of catered food at our work lunches. Like pasta salad. it’s one thing to grab a few chips with your hand, but he’d put his dirty ass hand into a BOWL OF MACARONI. he was a total pig and if there was an email that said ‘leftovers from whatever meeting in the kitchen now!’ people would run to make sure they got there before old filthy hands got there because once he was spotted in the kitchen, all food was officially considered contaminated.

One time I was carrying a stack of boxes that I had a huge bowl of fruit salad perched on top, and was struggling with a door. He ran to get in front of me and I thought he was going to open the door, but he stuffed his hand down into the bowl of fruit salad and grabbed himself a handful of dripping, juicy watermelon and pineapple and cantelope and walked away from me just munching on it. I almost puked. I seriously hated that guy, it’s been years and I still hate him.”

2. “Not weird, but one of the funniest potluck moments was at a breakfast potluck. On the sign-up sheet, someone wrote ‘Peppers.’ We all assumed he was going to make some kind of savoury breakfast dish with peppers. Nope. He literally brought in a couple bell peppers and cut them up. For breakfast. Everyone else in my office makes fairly elaborate potluck dishes, so we had fun teasing him for that one.”

3. “I worked in a small office for a larger company with about 12 people in my department and we had our own lunch room. When it was time for lunch (11:30 am), someone would ring a bell (like at the hotel front desk) alerting everyone it was lunch time. If you did not come to the lunch room, someone would come looking for you and ask why you were not at lunch. The boss said it was for team building, but in reality he liked to have an audience for his stories/rantings/topics of the day. If someone was having a side conversation while he was telling a story, he would glare at the offenders and talk louder. Lunch was often the worst part of the day.”

4. “I’ve been through my share of great and not-great potlucks, but my most extreme office food story is the moment I learned to appreciate my surly coworker.

My surly coworker and I were tasked with providing light refreshments for an all-staff meeting (more than 200 people) on an extremely tight budget (less than $1 per person). My coworker went to great lengths to talk (badger) local vendors into deals so we could get the best spread possible, and she did a great job. It was nothing fancy, but fresh fruits, mini pastries, crackers, spreads, and coffee–enough for everyone to have some of everything.

During the opening address (by a senior manager), before the refreshments were officially served, someone standing near the refreshments at the back of the room was sneaking food off the tables and putting them into a plastic bag she had brought. A few of us noticed but were so appalled (and trying to stay quiet) that we just watched, silently aghast, the collective ‘who *does* that??’ on hold in our minds, waiting for the speech to end. That is until my surly coworker saw her take an entire bunch of bananas. ‘EXCUSE ME,’ she shouted from the front of the room, ‘THIS IS NOT A GROCERY STORE, AND YOU DO NOT DO YOUR FOOD SHOPPING HERE. PLEASE PUT THOSE BANANAS BACK ON THE TABLE.'”

One beat of silence, bananas go back on the table, speech resumes. I’ve never been so impressed.

5. “I make a mean chocolate cake with cherry pie filling included …chocolatey, moist, great texture and a Carmel frosting. At OldJob, I had to quit bringing it because Donna would talk about it, talk TO it, and make moaning NSFW adult noises while eating it.

No one could look her in the eye for days after eating that cake.”

6. “At my last job, I invited a bunch of coworkers over for pizza from my wood-fired oven. It’s a serious piece of kit – it’s effortless to crank it up to 900 degrees, and it’ll put out a Neapolitan pizza in about a minute and a half. My coworkers brought a ton of beer, and I slung pie for hours while we all debated the merits of various IPAs. While drinking them.

When everyone’s pizza urges were sated, I closed the oven door and let it start to burn itself out, which takes over a day. My wife and I know to never open the door once it’s time to let the oven wind down, but my coworker Bill didn’t know the rules. And Bill was very deep in his cups. So he bellowed, ‘Man, I wonder if it’s still hot in there?’ and grabbed the door.

One of the interesting side-effects of flameless combustion in a low-oxygen environment is the buildup of pyrolytic gases in the oven. This is more than an academic point. PROTIP: when your drunkass opens the oven while your host screams NOOOOOOOOOO and tackles you, the inrushing draft of oxygen will result in explosively energetic resumption of combustion, firing a jet of howling flame across the patio and lighting several pots of decorative plants on fire. And that’s if you’re lucky enough to be Bill, and aren’t just lit on fire like a human road flare. Maybe just don’t.”

7. “Yesterday there was a multi-department company-sponsored pizza lunch as a thanks for a big launch. He whipped out a Swiss army knife and walked around the building to every pizza, cutting out the ‘buy ten, get one”’ coupons on every box. This was very soon after the food was delivered and served, so he was hacking and sawing away at the boxes while holding up a line of people who actually wanted to eat, and also mangling/creating giant holes in the boxes that made the hot food turn cold right away.

I watched this go down with a mix of aggravation and admiration for his sheer DGAF.”

8. “We usually have a potluck at the end of the year. Some people make a fancy dish, buy a thing of cookies or chips, a veggie tray, etc. My favorite was last year when someone unwrapped a block of cheddar, put it on a plate and stuck a plastic fork in it. Like it was Excalibur.”

banana thefts, peppers for potlucks, and other weird office food stories was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

07 Dec 22:13

Quick Craft: Make Your Own Furry Monster Christmas Tree!

by Jen

omg. this is great. reminds me of sweetums of the muppets.

It all started when John and I were browsing the Christmas decorations - like ya do - and I suddenly asked, "Who on EARTH would want a furry brown Christmas tree??"

Then, exactly 2 seconds later, I realized it was me. I WAS THE ONE ON EARTH WHO WANTED A FURRY BROWN CHRISTMAS TREE.

You know, to make this:


We figured it'd be OK if we invented a few of the fantastic beasts at our coming Potter party. :D

This is a ridiculously easy craft, plus there are sooo many ways you can customize your own tree monster. I kind of want to make a whole army of them now.

If you don't have any craft or home decor stores in your area with the kind of discerning taste it takes to sell furry trees, then you can always make your own: just roll some posterboard into a cone and glue on fun fur fabric. This tree was huge and like 60% off, though (yay coupons!), so I decided it was worth the ten bucks.

Next you'll need eyes. I grabbed this pack on the left:

 Again with a half-off coupon, booya!

You can also use fancy googly eyes (they have some great colorful styles now) or even paint eyes on the back of glass drops. Sky's the limit.

The last things you'll need are a little clay (I used paper clay), some craft paint, and hot glue.

I actually made my monster tree so fast I did the unthinkable: I didn't take process photos. I can tell you I just parted the hair and used hot glue to press in the eyes, though, then rolled a quick snake of clay for the bottom lip:

 ... which I painted reddish pink before aging with black. To glue on the lip I had to trim his mustache so the hair wouldn't overlap the teeth.

Playing with his hair is super fun, btw; brushing up the section around his eyes makes it look like he has eyebrows. :D

The teeth are more paper clay, painted white and then aged with yellow and brown.

I accidentally got a big hot glue splooge on the left there. I'm calling that drool. :D

Again, you can do all sorts of funny things with the teeth - or skip them all together and make giant lips, or just a nose, you name it.

To give our monster tree an extra ridiculous touch, John added the Santa hat. It's one of those little dollar hats from Bath & Body Works, which I recommend stocking up on, since they fit all KINDS of toys.

It really brings out his eyes.

And to give the monster tree more height, I stuck it on a big wooden candlestick. Candlesticks are fantastic with cone trees. Try pairing different sizes/styles, gives any tree an instant upgrade.

Our Monster Tree is on a tiny shelf in the guest bath, right next to the mirror.

» Read More
07 Dec 18:17

Add Light

by swissmiss

06 Dec 15:50

update: my employee dressed up as a coworker for Halloween to mock her

by Ask a Manager

noooooo this is sad sad sad!!!

Remember the letter-writer last month whose employee dressed up as a coworker for Halloween to mock her? Here’s the update.

As of the Monday following Halloween, my report stopped coming in. She didn’t say anything about resigning or leaving. She just stopped coming in (the Friday after Halloween was her last day).

I was concerned when she didn’t come in because it wasn’t like her. I called police to do a welfare check when she didn’t show up and could not be reached. The police did a check and told me she moved and didn’t live at the address we had on file. I called the property management office, but they didn’t have a forwarding address and said she had informed them abruptly she would be moving a month before her lease ended and wouldn’t be renewing and she was moved out within days. The email and Google voice number she put on her resume and hiring paperwork are no long in service and we don’t know any other contact/phone/social media information for her.

I feel terrible about what happened. As for going to HR, we are in the HR department. I am the manager of Employee and Labor Relations. The director of HR and the C-suite individual they report to both voted for the costume in the contest. Everyone including them thinks it was “good fun.” The company I work for is a large one, anyone who lives in this state would recognize the name, but no one sees things my way.

I didn’t mention this in my first letter, but some of the comments did pick up on this. My report who wore the costume was not the same race as the report she imitated. The costumed report also weighs more than the person she dressed up as and intentionally wore too small clothing and a crop shirt with her stomach and cleavage showing. Her makeup and mannerisms were exaggerated, according to everyone. My report she dressed up as is actually very intelligent and articulate. She said her portrayal was not meant to be insulting even though it obviously was.

I’ve started looking for another job. If it wasn’t for the fact that I’m going to be a dad soon, I would have resigned already (my wife is a freelancer with many clients, but given that she is pregnant we want the stability of a guaranteed income).

Thanks to Alison and all who commented. It made a big difference knowing I was right to be upset even though no one else saw it this way.

update: my employee dressed up as a coworker for Halloween to mock her was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

04 Dec 23:09

can I leverage a job offer to get my organization to fire my boss?

by Ask a Manager

some classic AaM excellent advice. AND the LW has updated in the post comments - search for "Letter Writer" which is the username she's posting under in the comments.

A reader writes:

I work for a nonprofit and have been there for two years. I am part of a three-person team — me, my counterpart, and our boss, who is the department director. The director is meant to be a technical expert and has an important role in guiding organizational strategy. I was involved in the hiring process for my boss (“Janet”), who was our second choice candidate. Our first choice turned down the offer. Since Janet did well enough in the interview and has a Ph.D. and almost 15 years of applicable experience, we thought it would work out.

In short, Janet has been terrible. She is impossible to work with – she has atrocious communication skills, comes in late and leaves early every day, skips out on meetings, doesn’t get work done on time (if at all), has no emotional intelligence, can’t navigate the office environment, refuses to take feedback even when she asks for it, takes everything personally, and the list goes on. Her overall team and project management skills are very poor and she lacks the ability to communicate simple concepts that have to do with our technical area.

I work well with everyone else at my organization and have had great performance reviews. I am confident and enjoy taking initiative, but Janet sees things very hierarchically and wants to be in control. I believe she is threatened by me. She has taken me off so many projects that I now have very little work to do, while she gives most projects to my counterpart “Carl” and treats them like a slave. When I do have to work with Janet, I am miserable because she is openly hostile toward me.

I have spoken directly with Janet’s boss (our COO) multiple times about her performance and how she treats me – the first time was six months ago and I have had two additional meetings with her since. Our COO is concerned and says she doesn’t want to lose me. I had been hesitant to file a formal HR complaint because I feared Janet would treat me even worse. However, after a particularly bad incident a few weeks ago where Janet raised her voice, I did file a formal complaint. Carl ended up filing a complaint the same week. I am also aware of one department manager who called a meeting with HR and Janet because her department’s working relationship with Janet had become very difficult. Janet reacted so negatively to the meeting that this department now feels that they can’t work with her anymore.

I know that HR and COO have met with Janet about these issues. COO said that “changes are coming down the pike” but I’ve received no other updates about the situation. I’m at the end of my rope. I have been job searching and have been invited to a second round interview for a job I’m not very excited about. I love my current organization and if not for Janet would not even consider the other job option. If I get a job offer, can I use it as leverage against Janet? Can I say that if she stays, I’m gone? Or that I don’t want to report to her anymore?

Don’t do it quite like that.

For one thing, no healthy organization would fire someone based on that kind of threat — so if they agreed, they’d have proved themselves to be an organization you should escape from, not one you should stay at. Plus, even if they did it, you’ll then be the person who forced their hand on a decision that wasn’t yours, which raises the risk that you’ll start to be seen as difficult or prima donna-ish, and you’ll have used up a ton of capital that will take a long time to build back up.

It’s not that they shouldn’t fire Janet. It sounds like they should. But they should do it based on everything they already know about, not as a reaction to you leaving.

And here’s the thing: You’ve already brought them ample evidence for why they need to deal with Janet. They’ve had the opportunity to do it for months, and they haven’t. Yes, they told you that “changes are coming down the pike,” whatever that means. But organizations that want to act in situations like this will act. Plus, who knows what “changes” this means — maybe it means they’re truly going to fix the situation, but maybe it just means Janet will get a stern talking-to.

What you know for sure is that your organization has allowed someone to stay in her position who can’t do the work, can’t communicate with others, has generated multiple complaints about her behavior, is openly hostile to the people who work for her, has yelled at employees, and has a whole department refusing to work with her.

It’s not that hard to handle this if they want to. The fact that it’s been allowed to drag out this long says some pretty bad things about how the organization functions. I get that you’re otherwise happy there, but what if you pressure them to get rid of Janet and someone else comes along who’s awful as well? Is it going to go any more easily or quickly the next time?

Maybe that’s not enough to counter all the things you like about working there, which would be a legitimate decision on your part. But make sure you’re clearly seeing this aspect of it too as you figure out what you want to do, because at its core this isn’t a Janet problem. Janets come and go. This is a problem with your organization’s management.

As for what you should do now, talk to your COO again (no need to wait for a job offer) and say this: “The situation with Janet is increasingly untenable to me. Can you tell me more about what you meant when you told me changes are coming, and what the timeline is for those?”

That’s not an explicit “either she goes or I do.” But your subtext will be clear. It’s likely that you won’t get a fully transparent answer (and that’s fair of them), but you should get something that helps you decide what to do. And if only get vague platitudes, try saying this: “I’m at the point where I need to understand how this is going to be handled so that I can make good decisions for myself, so I’d appreciate anything you can let me know.” If you still don’t get anything useful, that’s an answer in itself.

It might also be reasonable to ask if you could report to someone other than Janet, but whether that will make sense depends on the nature of your role and the size and structure of the organization.

Meanwhile, keep job searching. Don’t take that job you’re interviewing for if you’re not excited about it, but your choice isn’t just between that one or your current job. There are other options out there, and you should keep actively looking while you wait to see how the Janet situation is going to play out.

can I leverage a job offer to get my organization to fire my boss? was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

04 Dec 21:52

my company is pushing me to give up my car, which I need

by Ask a Manager


A reader writes:

The company I work for encourages environmentalism and recycling. They started an initiative where they want everyone who works here to live environmentally friendly lifestyles. Every single person I work for has given up car ownership, as part of this initiative, except for me. I’m getting pressure because I’m the only one not participating and I’m keeping the company from a 100 percent participation rate.

I live with my 72-year-old grandfather and my cousin, who has cerebral palsy and uses a walker or wheelchair. All my coworkers and the management live in the downtown core of our city, near bus stops or subway stations. I live outside of the downtown core. Because transit is not great outside of the core, I would have to take three different buses and wait outside in all weather conditions for stretches of 20 minutes or more for each bus. There are no bus shelters. My commute time would also triple.

The company wants me to give up my van altogether and not just for my commute, but the van is outfitted for my cousin’s wheelchair. It would be impossible for him to get to doctor’s appointments and other places without the van because we don’t live in the downtown core. My grandfather has arthritis and anything beyond short trips on transit or foot are impossible for him. My grandfather and cousin can do short trips in our neighborhood, but beyond that they need me to drive them and my cousin needs an accessible vehicle. There are no services here besides private ones I can’t afford.

I have told my boss and his boss. I have gone over the situation in detail even though I normally don’t share such personal stuff at work. They keep asking me to do it and going on about the company’s green initiative.

My grandfather owns the house we live in. If I had to pay rent or a mortgage, we would be in trouble. My grandfather has a small pension and my cousin gets disability and works as a writer, but I’m the breadwinner and we need my income or I already would have quit. I couldn’t quit without having another job. Family helps when they can but they all have bills too.

My boss and the company don’t get that we need the van and we can’t afford to move. I want them to stop and leave me alone but they won’t, even after I have told them everything and explained why I can’t. What can I do? I have nothing against being environmentally friendly, but I need the van.

What the hell?! Your boss and your company are being completely ridiculous here, and they’re vastly overstepping reasonable employer/employee boundaries.

Giving up a car for environmental reasons is great, if you happen to be in a position that allows you to do it. Not everyone is. Far from everyone is. You are the poster child for not being able to do it — it’s hard to imagine stronger reasons to need a car or a van than what you have, and it’s bizarre that your company seems unable to realize this.

There are two different ways to approach this, depending on how hard-line of a stance you’re comfortable taking with your company. I’m going to suggest wording for a lower-key, play-it-safe approach that still conveys what you need to convey. But I’m also going to suggest wording for if you’re comfortable telling them more directly to cut it out. (Either way, you’ll be telling them to cut it out. It’s just a question of how you want to frame it.)

Here’s the play-it-safer approach that you could use the next time this comes up: “It’s not possible for me to give up my van because of the health situations of the people who depend on it. At your request, I’ve given a lot of thought to whether there’s any way for me to make it work, and there’s not. This keeps coming up, and my answer can’t change. I need the company to respect that I have disabled people relying on the vehicle. It doesn’t make sense for us to keep discussing this, so please consider this my final decision.”

Frankly, you could even add, “I need to understand — is this going to affect my continued employment here?” (You might feel like you shouldn’t raise that as a possibility in case they weren’t otherwise thinking of it. But they probably aren’t, and getting them to clearly say no to that may be useful. And if it is actually a possibility, you might as well get it out on the table.)

Alternately, it would also be reasonable to be more firm in shutting this down and instead approach it this way: “It’s not possible for me to give up my van because of the health situations of the people who depend on it. I support the company’s environmental initiative, but because of the disabilities of the people I live with, what you’re suggesting is not an option, period. Please respect that and stop pushing me to do it. I’m concerned that this keeps coming up after I’ve repeatedly explained the situation, and I’m taking it off the table for discussion. Will that be a problem?”

(Frankly, there’s also a third option, which is “It’s bizarre and unkind that you keep bringing this up, knowing the needs of my family members with disabilities. Please don’t ask me about it again.” But if you were in an office and a role where that was going to feel appropriate to you, I don’t think you would have written to me in the first place.)

Really, though, you do get to say “no” and “no more” in this situation. It’s possible that they’re so off their rockers about this that it will harm your standing there, but (a) you might as well find out sooner rather than later if that’s the case since you’re not getting rid of the van anyway, and (b) there’s a decent chance this will shut it down and they’ll move on.

my company is pushing me to give up my car, which I need was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

04 Dec 20:58

how to get hired for a nonprofit job

by Ask a Manager

some great points about making a transition from for-profit to not-for-profit.

If you want to get paid to help make the world a better place, working at a nonprofit organization might be for you. But if you don’t already have nonprofit experience in your background, there are some things you need to know about how to get hired — like what makes nonprofits different, what kind of salary to expect, and even basics like where to look for nonprofit jobs.

I talk about all this and more at U.S. News & World Report today. You can read it here.

how to get hired for a nonprofit job was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

30 Nov 17:14

We’re All Pros Already

by swissmiss

We’re all pros already.
1) We show up every day
2) We show up no matter what
3) We stay on the job all day
4) We are committed over the long haul
5) The stakes for us are high and real
6) We accept remuneration for our labor
7) We do not overidentify with our jobs
8) We master the technique of our jobs
9) We have a sense of humor about our jobs
10) We receive praise or blame in the real world
― Steven Pressfield

From the book: The War of Art

22 Nov 13:45

This Week I Wanna Dress Like: Tahani From ‘The Good Place’

by Elana Fishman

very much into this.

also, coveting Janet's look, both "Good Place" and "Bad Place" versions.

Her style is pretty forking great.

Sometimes, you come across an outfit you just can’t forget. It could be from a movie, a music video, a TV show, or a book — or perhaps it’s something your favorite famous person once wore while walking the dog or grabbing coffee. Welcome to This Week I Wanna Dress Like, where we pair pop culture inspiration with actually shoppable outfits.

It’s honestly impossible to pick a favorite character from The Good Place, NBC’s genius sitcom about the decisions that alter our experience in the afterlife but from a fashion perspective, at least, none of the other key players can really compete with Jameela Jamil’s Tahani. In addition to getting some of the show’s best lines (“I haven’t been this upset since my good friend, Taylor, was rudely upstaged by my other good friend, Kanye, who was just defending my best friend, Beyoncé!”), the self-obsessed philanthropist — yes, it’s possible — also has one of the best collections of party dresses ever captured on the small screen.

Always one to overdress for the occasion, Tahani favors off-the-shoulder florals, embellished midi skirts, and pearls, which contrast sharply against Eleanor (Kristen Bell) and Chidi’s (William Jackson Harper) casual denim, plaid, and khaki. It’s all part of the joke, of course — nobody that put-together on the outside is ever quite as polished on the inside — but you’ve got to admit, Tahani looks pretty forking great. Plus, her signature look would work swimmingly for any winter weddings you might have on your calendar.

Reformation Layley Dress, $248. Topshop Jessa Ankle Strap Pump, $110. Kate Spade New York Girls in Pearls Choker, $90.

While most of Tahani’s florals lean more on the summery side, Reformation’s Layley Dress ($248) is a perfect pick for the colder months. She’d never be caught dead in flats, of course — but with its conical shape and manageable height, Topshop’s Jessa Ankle Strap Pump ($110) is a great pick to help you get the look. Finish things off with Kate Spade New York’s Girls in Pearls Choker ($90), because you’re classy like that.

Got an iconic outfit you’re equally obsessed with? Email me at — I just might shop it out for you!

20 Nov 21:33

The Wig Responsible For Killing Bad Men’s Careers

by Kady Ruth Ashcraft

So, giving Big Little Lies (watch out, spoilers ahead) credit for this current moment is definitely a big leap BUT I can't not share another chance to talk BLL.

I agree that the ending is oddly satisfying, even though it was left open-ended and Season 2 is on deck. And I'm trying to figure out why it felt that way. I guess there are not a lot of other examples where the story allows women to start healing, or even just TRY to heal after a major trauma, in a way that isn't super dark, or on the flip side, super maudlin.

Satisfaction is a feeling hard to come by, especially in a year as troubling as this one. But two moments have stuck out as particularly satisfactory. One is the current moment we’re in, witnessing brave women (and men) outing serial abusers and watching those serial abusers face the consequences of their actions. There are many, many women responsible for this uptick. Just the other evening Anita Hill shared a stage with Aly Raisman at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards and I couldn’t help but be struck by the debt Aly and all women owed Hill. Her courage almost 20 years ago started the groundswell we are experiencing right now. Since then, many victims have come forward and while the outcome is not always, and often not, satisfying, it’s been vital to the satisfaction we are feeling in this moment.

There are five women in particular who I believe helped bridge that gap between the early fearlessness it took to come forward with no assurance of justice, and what we are witnessing now. Their names are Madeline, Renata, Celeste, Bonnie, and Jane. Yes, I think it’s no coincidence that after we saw such a powerful display of women destroying an abuser and continuing on about their lives, victims have been coming forth in droves to do the same in real life. “Big Little Lies” showed us justice isn’t only possible, but it is also necessary in order to heal. It gave us a sense of fearlessness in our fortitude and in our unapologetic stance of believing women.

Have you ever seen those videos on Instagram that are labeled, “Oddly Satisfying”? It’s people playing with goop or demonstrating their perfect handwriting. Whatever it is, once you’re sucked into it you can’t stop watching until the final moment and, as the caption promised, you’re oddly satisfied. I was watching one the other day featuring wet floral foam being sliced with a large knife. I clicked on it and after the first few slices, I felt good. Something about the noise and the precision is so delectable, like taking little swipes at icing on a cake. But what makes the video ‘oddly satisfying’ and so watchable, is seeing the whole block of wet floral foam be sliced. I couldn’t turn away until  it was done. I realized I was holding my breath in anticipation. At the last slice, I let out a deep exhale. I could then move onto whatever other very important business I had to do on Instagram.

The finale of “Big Little Lies” felt like that exhale. My friends and I, and many people on Twitter and elsewhere, noted how cathartic the ending felt. It became clearer as the show progressed that Perry would suffer but you weren’t sure how are by whose hands and you had to watch till the very end to believe it would happen. And when it did, when I saw these women punish the man who hurt their friend, it felt so incredibly and oddly satisfying. Odd because how often do women successfully pull that off? Almost never. Incredible because how often do women fantasize revenge against those who are the cause of their trauma? A lot.

Now, I’m not saying women should be killing men vigilante style (I’m not-not saying that either, for the record) but there felt a swell amongst women who watched that finale. That they aren’t alone and that justice, in whatever form it comes is not unattainable. It felt like watching the final slice of wet floral foam. You needed to see that in order to move on.

In the final scene of the series the five women are picnicking on a private beach, watching their children play, and laughing amongst strewn Ugg boots. I’m willing to guess few readers, myself included, have access to a private beach or the stunning knits cozily draped over these gorgeous women. But what felt more strikingly uplifting, what I wanted to feel familiar, was seeing Celeste (Nicole Kidman), who had just killed with the help of these friends, her husband and abuser, happy. It was the first point in the show, albeit the last 30 seconds, we see her not cast in the shadow of abuse. She’s no longer a victim. That visual, that happy women wearing that wonderful, terrible auburn wig that led us through her tumultuous storyline, allowed us to see what was possible and I think in no small part is responsible for the victims now coming forward and the careers of powerful men falling backwards. It was oddly satisfying.

20 Nov 19:16

Beautiful People Don’t Just Happen

by swissmiss

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
– Elisabeth Kubler-Ross


20 Nov 16:31

my boyfriend’s horrible ex-girlfriend got a job at my company

by Ask a Manager

alison's level-headed advice and gentle reproach is so good.

this "make a presence of some kind" language is straight up batty.

A reader writes:

I am a woman in my later 20’s who has been in a relationship with my boyfriend for two years now. He is my best friend, I couldn’t be happier with him! The issue does not lie with my boyfriend or our relationship, but with his ex-girlfriend.

My boyfriend and I used to work at the same place. I knew him a year before we started dating, but he was in a relationship with said ex-girlfriend. When I showed interest in him, a mutual friend and coworker of ours told me he was unhappy. He also showed interest in me, but he was in a dead-end relationship he didn’t know how to get out of. Eventually he dumped her and we started dating. We have been in a happy relationship ever since!

I was warned his ex-girlfriend is crazy, and in the beginning of our relationship she fully lived up to that expectation. It was a pretty frequent stream of calls and texts, even showing up outside his apartment to get some reaction out of him. My boyfriend told me she did have some underlying issues, depression and Behavioral Personality Disorder, and the best thing he could do was just to ignore it. He finally decided it was time to block her everywhere he could after one particular freak, even though he was nervous what she may do. Her presence was no longer an issue. Until about three weeks ago….

I was getting lunch in the cafe with my friends at work, and I thought I noticed a familiar face. It was indeed his ex-girlfriend. Within minutes she approached me, asked if I was so and so, and told me she had dated my boyfriend. She said she was working there now, in another department, but wanted me know she would be around, so it wasn’t “weird.” For someone I was told was quite shy, I felt her approaching me was quite bold of her. While she very well could have been doing a respectful thing, it made me feel she was trying to make a statement of some kind. I was too shocked to realize I was now face to face with her, so I said hello and thank you, and carried on with my lunch.

I cannot understand why out of all the places to work, she chooses her ex-boyfriend’s old job, and where his current girlfriend works. I do work at a decent sized company where a lot of people around my age work, I will give her that. But considering the history??!! Ever since she approached me I feel as though I need to make a presence of some kind. This is MY job, MY space … and now because she has invaded it, I feel so anxious. It was one thing to know she exists and was part of his past, you can put something like that away. But it is another when you have to see it at your job every day. Now I know she is there, I feel I need to make a presence of some kind. I want her to feel as uncomfortable as she has made me, and I hate that I care.

I am frustrated because I know how happy my boyfriend and I are, and I know how UNHAPPY he was with her. The issue lives solely within me, being aware this person is where I work every day. I just want to go to work without wondering if I’ll see her everywhere I go. I really just want to not care.

Definitely do not try to make her uncomfortable. That will reflect really poorly on you to anyone at work who hears about it or observes it, and it could horribly trash your reputation there. You want to be known as mature and professional, not as someone who tries to make a colleague uncomfortable because she used to date your boyfriend. Seriously, it doesn’t matter what the provocation is — it will hurt you at work to do what you’re talking about.

It’s entirely possible that the reason she’s working there has nothing to do with you (you note that it’s a big company where lots of people your age work; it would be different if it were a 10-person company). Or sure, it’s also possible that it’s some kind of weird attempt to mess with you and/or your boyfriend — but until you actually see evidence that she’s doing that, you should proceed as if it’s not.

To be clear, if she had been threatening to you in the past, that’s something you should share with your employer now. But it doesn’t sound like that’s the case.

If she is trying to make some sort of point to you, the best possible point that you could make in return is to just be normal. Go about your job, be pleasant and professional, and don’t get pulled into game-playing with her.

If she targets you in some way (other than just introducing herself in the cafeteria, which is actually pretty mature), then talk to your boss and/or HR about the situation. But until and unless that happens, this is just a new coworker who happens to have a history with your boyfriend.

And for what it’s worth — all the “she’s so crazy” stuff your boyfriend has told you? Well … maybe. But it’s worth noting that your boyfriend chose to date her. He’s also told you he stayed in a bad relationship with someone he didn’t want to be with, while showing interest in someone else. Neither of those is great behavior on his part. You’re seeing “poor Fergus, who was trapped in a bad relationship with a crazy woman.” But if you’re taking him at his word, it sounds more like “Fergus engaged in really unhealthy behavior in a relationship and chose not to take the adult step of ending it when he should have.” I don’t mean to crap all over your boyfriend here — plenty of people stay in bad relationships longer than they should, and that’s not a mortal sin. But it’s important to see it for what it is, rather than thinking of the ex as the only one who messed up. (I’d also look at how he talks about other exes. If he’s kind and respectful about the others, that’s a good sign. But if he talks about them all as “crazy,” that’s awfully troubling.)

my boyfriend’s horrible ex-girlfriend got a job at my company was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

17 Nov 20:02

Project Runway’s First Modest Fashion Designer Loves Ruffly Socks and Loud Lipstick

by Saadia R. Chevel

anybody else watching this season? I haven't seen the finale yet and can't wait! this was a really good season.

Ayana Ife proves that conservative clothes don’t have to be boring.

Growing up in a family of 11 children, Ayana Ife had a fairly no-frills lifestyle, but her love for ruffles and bows runs deep. For proof, look no further than the clothes she’s created as Project Runway’s first-ever modest — and first Muslim— fashion designer.

The series finalist has been a season 16 frontrunner since episode 2, when designers were tasked with creating looks out of (literal) garbage. Ife credits her big family with her gift for creating something great out of nothing. Growing up, she’d deconstruct and jazz up the hand-me-downs she inherited from her siblings.

But when Ife started working, she noticed few brands were offering stylish modest wear. Not finding anything that fit her criteria, she started designing stylish conservative pieces for her own closet, and eventually, she established her own brand.

Below, Ife discusses her design process, what it’s like being Project Runway’s first Muslim contestant, and her extensive collection of bold, bright lip colors. And tune in to tonight’s finale to see if she takes home the prize!

What inspired you to become a designer?

During my brief fling with nursing (which my parents looked upon as a more stable profession), I remember watching a YouTube video of [UAE-based designer] Rabia Z’s collection. When I saw all those models dressed in vibrant harem pants and flowy hijabs, it inspired me to throw caution to the wind and realize my true calling as a designer. That’s when I decided to pursue a degree in apparel design.

What was it like competing alongside so many other talented designers on Project Runway?

I think I’m a sponge. So while I was trying to put my best foot forward during the challenges, I was feeding off of other designers, and applying their interesting perspectives into my design philosophy as well.

For instance, I picked up Amy Bond’s technique of draping on the form in muslin, and using that to create the final piece instead of making patterns. So without her knowing (and she still doesn’t know), I started doing that as well! [Laughs] I feel that if you see someone doing something more efficient, than you should take from that.

What’s the worst and best critique you’ve received from the judges on the show?

During the first “unconventional materials” challenge, Nina Garcia was so excited about my piece that she was almost jumping out of her chair. So that was really flattering.

In the “winter wonderland” challenge, Heidi Klum said my jumpsuit underneath the coat was really childish and gimmicky. I understand where she’s coming from, but I actually really like it and I wore it already. I love that thing! [Laughs]

Ayana Ife’s design for episode 11’s “warrior fashion” challenge. Photo: Lifetime
Ayana Ife’s design for episode 11’s “warrior fashion” challenge.

Being Muslim, have you dealt with any pressure to represent Islam a certain way on the show?

I was just being myself throughout the show, and I think it came across as very genuine. I wanted to represent myself and my parents in a positive light, and the fact that I’m Muslim just worked in my favor. But it wasn’t hard at all.

What’s your ultimate vision for your brand?

My goal is to continue bridging the gap between mainstream and modest, so I see myself showing at more and more runway shows throughout the US. I’d also love to show in countries like Trinidad, Dubai, Canada, Indonesia, and Italy. I see myself expanding and using all the feedback I’m getting from the audience. For instance, there’s a demand for more performance pieces and street style.

In future, do you plan to stock your clothes in stores? If so, where would you like to see them?

Absolutely; I’m looking for brand deals right now. In terms of my performance pieces, I’d love to see them in Nike, Under Armour, or Reebok. I feel it’s very tricky to find modest but really cute sportswear, so I’d love to start there.

#tbt to when @alexvalentephotography had me looking like a cutie Outfit: Lingerie Dress with Boyfriend jeans coming soon

A post shared by Ayana Ife | Apparel Designer (@ayanaife) on

What’s your own personal style like?

It’s a combination of preppy-meets-rugged street style, so I’ll wear a cute dress with ripped jeans. It’s usually a mix of whatever I’m feeling in the moment.

What’s the best thing you bought recently?

I love the plaid holiday pajamas I got from Old Navy.

What’s your shopping weakness?

I’m obsessed with colorful socks; if they’re plain, I add ruffles to them! I normally get them from Old Navy, Ross, and Walmart.

Tell me about your collection of hijabs — where do you get them, and what do you look for?

Oh my gosh, I probably have around 100 hijabs! I get them from different places: H&M, Forever 21, Old Navy. I even get them from fabric stores, and cut [different materials] to the size I need.

I like lightweight georgettes and anything chiffon that isn’t too sheer. These days, I wear a lot of neutral colors, because they go with everything. One of my favorites right now is a nude power mesh that’s very comfortable. I like the way it falls.

What are some of your favorite beauty products?

I’ve been using Maybelline BB cream for a really long time. I also love really loud lip colors; that’s where my adventurous nature kicks in. I do have some MAC, but I buy a lot of drugstore makeup from Walgreens and Walmart.

What’s the nicest thing you’ve bought for yourself lately?

I’m choosy when it comes to spending money on myself, so I only buy things if I need them. I put a lot of my funds toward my clothing label. So the most expensive thing that I’ve bought is fabric, which was $100 a yard.

What’s the most expensive thing currently in your closet?

A Louis Vuitton bag and a Movado watch — which I didn’t buy for myself [laughs].

15 Nov 21:03

my team keeps coming to work hungover

by Ask a Manager

at my last job hangovers were a true badge of honor after staff parties.

i've had like, maybe less than 10 hangovers in my whole life because each time i truly feel like my insides are working to become my outsides. i don't understand how someone could do this week after week!

A reader writes:

What’s your take on being hungover at work? Specifically in an office situation where nothing truly bad will happen if someone has reduced concentration.

I have a team of six reports at the moment, and over any given month, one or two of them will have a hangover each week. In my city there’s a culture of going out drinking after work, and in some of the worst offices I’ve worked previously a hangover is even seen as a badge of pride.

Mostly the hangovers are just the mildly sweaty slumped over their desks sort, and I’m not worried that anyone in the team has an alcohol problem (having experienced this in a previous job/colleague, I understand how this is different and is much more serious and my question does not relate to that).

Sometimes the hangovers are work-related, if there’s been a work event with lots of free alcohol, either provided by the company or by other organizations that we are expected to network with.

Added to this is that I’m a teetotaler and have been for over a decade, and I worry that I’ll be seen a prudish or judgemental, which I’m not; I just can’t drink for medical reasons.

Is it reasonable to say anything to my team about my expectations of them considering the need to be clear-headed when they come to work each day? Or am I interfering with their personal lives? And on a final note, why can’t bars and event venues provide something nice that’s not alcoholic or full of sugar to drink? But that’s not your problem!

It’s not okay to come into work hungover.

It’s one thing if it happens very rarely by accident; sometimes people just drink more than intended or didn’t realize their stomach was so empty or so forth. But one or two people on a team of six coming in hungover every single week? So on average each person coming to work hungover every three to six weeks?

That’s really not okay. And the fact that they’re apparently open about it around you, their boss, is troubling, because it says that they don’t care how cavalier it makes them look about their jobs.

It’s not interfering with their personal lives to expect people to show up at work clear-headed and ready to work. If someone were, say, playing video games all night and coming into work on no sleep — and it showed in their demeanor, energy, and ability to focus and be productive — you’d be on firm ground in saying, “Hey, it’s up to you what you do in your off-hours, but when you come to work, I need you to be awake and focused.” It’s the same thing here.

And you don’t need to relax those expectations just because the drinks were consumed at a work event. It’s reasonable to expect people not to drink to excess at a work event, and to control their drinking to whatever extent is necessary to ensure they can still function at work the next day.

So yes, the next time someone comes in hungover, take that person aside and say, “This has been happening frequently, it’s impacting your work, and it can’t continue. I need you to show up at work clear-headed and ready to work, and if that means you need to manage your drinking differently, consider this notice that you need to do that. You can’t keep showing up at work hungover.” Repeat as needed with the others.

my team keeps coming to work hungover was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

15 Nov 19:16

Jon Hamm's New York Apartment Comes With Jon Hamm As Your Landlord

by Nora Taylor

worth it.

The New York apartment of actor Jon Hamm is now available to rent. After recently purchasing a home in California, the Mad Men star decided to rent out the two bedroom, 1,000 square foot penthouse—for $14,995 a month. Recently renovated, it still has plenty of pre-war charm and, most importantly, offers you a connection to Jon Hamm.


14 Nov 17:28

myjetpack: For the Guardian. Order my new book of cartoons...


(still gonna see the movie)


For the Guardian.
Order my new book of cartoons ‘Baking with Kafka’ here:

07 Nov 19:20

should I show how angry I am when I resign?

by Ask a Manager

gee, I wonder why the OP had their hours cut...

A reader writes:

Three months ago, I applied for a short-term contract position in order to get my foot in the door with a company in an industry I had previously worked in and missed immensely. Shortly before my interview, my resume was shared with a separate department in that company and I came in to the interview to the news that a completely separate team (headed by the OM) had seen my resume and wanted to “steal” me (their word). My previous experience made me a great asset and I was offered a temp-to-perm job on the spot by the OM himself.

I brought my A game to this job. I developed organizational tools and documentation to be used in the field at my boss’s request, in addition to performing my regular duties. I received glowing feedback and handshakes, meetings to present my products to higher-ups, and no indications that there was any dissatisfaction with my work. I was even told I could be the OM’s “right hand man” in the future, whatever that means. Basically, I could do this job with my eyes closed due to my previous experience and had the drive and wit to do even more. On the downside, I’m all about work and do not have any need to socialize or gossip and have been ostracized by the other people in this office because I don’t allow people to use me to boost their own self esteem. Meaning, I don’t give audience to trash talk. I am respectful and civil and try to make conversation, but when I see unprofessional behavior towards internal and external clients I will say something. I will never be the person who brown noses and gives people credit where none is due. I lack the skill to be fake or to giggle and brush off reprehensible behavior. If someone comes to my desk talking to me in a showboat fashion to correct a typo I’ve made, I will first ask them why they are talking so loudly and then quickly fix it. I’m that person.

Fast forward to present day. About two weeks ago, the OM notified me that department finances were tight and that they would have to cut my hours from full-time to 20 per week. I spent the next week choking down my pride, keeping a smile on my face, and hiding from my coworkers the utter chaos this has thrown into my life (specifically finances and fights with the spousal unit). The OM told me that this was temporary and that a new permanent req would eventually be opened … in April 2018. He said if I leave for a full-time job, he will personally call me when the req opens. More pride choking. He hasn’t spoken to me since that day.

On the Monday of my second part-time week, I overheard people teasing the temp who applied for the same job I originally applied for. It was apparently her first day of being a *permanent employee*. The same job. That I originally applied for. But my “better job” is now part-time?? I am fully aware that they by no means owe me an explanation, but it hit me like a truck. I think I was literally physically stunned. Nobody warned me to soften the blow at all. Like: “Hey, you’re going to notice that Temp B was hired on. Don’t take it personally.” Or even, “Hey, thanks for choosing to stay with us so far.” Just crickets.

That night, because I know only I can control and fix this, I started applying for other jobs, including one that was a shot in the dark. Tuesday, call received to schedule an interview for that job. Wednesday, interview. Friday, job offer. Not sure if the details of this job are important to mention, but it’s full-time, direct hire, great pay, and they align with my ambitious nature.

So now I get the pleasure of resigning from my current job in a few hours. Except I’m freaking out. I will of course offer two weeks, which due to my new shiny part-time schedule will actually be about a week and a half. But I’m wondering how much to say during that conversation. I know it was well within their rights to cut my hours, to hire someone else permanently on, to not talk to me about it at all after the initial notification, and to feed me a line about calling me in April. But it doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck.

So far I’ve played it cool, but my pride and emotions are starting to emerge. Can I tell him “do not call me in April” or do I just smile and nod knowing that there is no chance I’d come back even if he does call? Can I ask him to stop blowing smoke and tell me if this had anything to do with me pissing off the queen bee? Can I absolutely refuse to tell anyone where I’m going? Can I delete all of the working copies of the projects I was given? (Joking.) I feel the need to send him the message “hey, don’t for one second think that I’m not on to this BS, so don’t patronize me.” I am really upset and feel that somehow this opportunity to really shine and be a game changer at this company was ripped right from under my feet. I want them to know that. It may appear that I’m fine, but I’m pissed.

Probably should just give him the two weeks, smile and nod, and tell him only that the new job is not with a competitor, and move on, huh?


You’re taking this all really personally. And I get that it feels personal. But it’s almost certainly a lot less personal than you think it is.

Cutting your hours sucks, but it’s not a personal slight. It’s almost certainly, as they explained, about their budget.

And I get that it was a blow to hear that the job you’d originally applied to had gone permanent … but first, they may not even remember that that’s the job you originally applied for. It’s really common for manager to forget that kind of detail around someone’s hiring; you remember it because it was a big deal to you, but they’re usually juggling a bunch of different candidates. Second, even if they did remember, it might not occur to them that you’d need special messaging around it, since it’s a different job than yours. (To be clear, they should have thought about that — cutting someone’s hours is a big deal, and a good manager will be as thoughtful as they can around that — but it’s not outrageous that they didn’t.)

You said that you feel like your opportunity to shine at this company was ripped away from you. But business needs change. Jobs get changed or eliminated. That’s just how it goes.

It sounds like you think there may have been internal politics at play. Maybe there were! But if your hours got cut because you weren’t getting along with people you needed to get along with, that’s a pretty clear sign that you weren’t operating in the way that this particular company wanted you to operate, rightly or wrongly. Which means it wasn’t a spectacular fit for you after all. (Or maybe it truly was just finances. Either way, it’s not the personal attack that you’re taking it as.)

I’m not saying that this doesn’t suck. But sometimes this stuff happens, and it’s no one’s fault, and the best thing you can do is to just carry on making good decisions for yourself, without getting bogged down in anger or resentment about things that ultimately are just business decisions. You’ve done the “making good decisions for yourself” part of that: You went out and got yourself a better job, which is great. But now you need to deal with the emotional side of it too.

The thing is, it might feel good in the moment to say something cutting when you resign, but (a) it’s likely to leave them more bewildered than humbled or dressed down, and (b) it will burn a bridge that you may want in the future. What if your circumstances change and next April you really want or need that phone call inviting you to come back? It’s not worth shutting that door for yourself. (There are some circumstances where it would be worth burning a bridge — but it takes worse behavior than what’s happened here.) If they call you in April and ask you back, you can politely tell them that you’re happy where you are and not interested in returning … and that will feel a lot better than prematurely telling them that now.

When you resign, be professional and polite. You lose nothing in doing that, and you preserve your professional reputation, your good standing with this company, and a bridge you might want in the future.

should I show how angry I am when I resign? was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

04 Nov 02:28

We Are All This Raccoon Who Ate So Much He Got Stuck in a Sewer

by River Donaghey

it me.

It looks like humans aren't the only species who are currently burying their feelings about the sorry state of the world under mass amounts of food. On Thursday, police in the Chicago suburb of Zion had to rescue a raccoon after the critter ate so much that he wound up getting stuck inside a sewer grate, NBC Chicago reports.

The little plumper was apparently hanging inside the sewer like a whiskered Pennywise, feasting on some discarded sewer foods. But when he tried to climb out, the sewer grate's mouth wasn't quite big enough for his newly filled belly.

Police found the raccoon stuck halfway out of the grate's opening, flailing to get free with bits of bread scattered around him. With the help of Zion Public Works and Animal Control, they managed to break the big guy loose.

In a video of the raccoon rescue, one worker secured the spooked animal as another pulled up the sewer grate. "Fatty!" one of them laughs.

"They were able to free him and our friend was no worse for wear," the police department wrote in a Facebook post. The raccoon scurried back down into the sewer and disappeared, likely off in search of another delicious subterranean snack.

Good luck out there, buddy. Hope your future is full of more tasty sewer morsels and pipes wide enough for your rotund form to fit through. If you need us, we'll be spending the rest of the year in various stages of food coma.

30 Oct 21:04

Ah Apparently-Kid! Weary Of Time, Who Countest The Steps Of The Sun

by Kelly Conaboy

stop what you're doing and watch this right now

“Apparently Kid” entered our lives in the summer of 2014 and he was so great that it was insane, I’m still screaming. Please take a moment now to re-watch the video and appreciate being alive at a time when you are not only able to watch “Apparently Kid,” but also when you are able to watch at least a few men worry about possibly having to face consequences for their many, many counts of sexual abuse. (Watch now.)

Yes, “Apparently Kid” was scared HALF TO DEATH! and watched the POWERBALL! in the summer of 2014, but did you know that he is still in our lives, peripherally? It’s true(—apparently, ha!). He is on an ABC reality television show called The Toy Box that is hosted by Eric Stonestreet. What? It’s currently in its second season. What? It’s Shark Tank but with toys and all of the “sharks” are children. What?!? I did not know this until essentially just now, but it’s true.

“Apparently Kid” is the only child from the first season who was chosen to return for season two, which sounds right to me. (If I may make a request of the Toy Box producers: Please get this baby from MasterChef Jr. for season three, and also “More Sand” girl. Thank you in advance.) Also, here is something else I learned just now. Are you ready? OK. WNEP, my hometown news station, a small brag, has continued to make “Apparently Kid” content throughout the years, and ran an “Apparently Kid” interview as recently as in July of 2017!

Incredible. So, anyway. That’s all the news from today so far!

30 Oct 17:07

Remembering Linda Nochlin, Pioneering Feminist Art Historian

by Sarah Cascone

Groundbreaking art historian Linda Nochlin died on Sunday at the age of 86. The author of the landmark 1971 essay “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?,” Nochlin redefined the field with a feminist perspective that confronted notions of male creative genius and pointed out societal obstacles that precluded women from pursuing their own artistic ambitions.

“Her role in introducing feminist analysis into the field is well known,” wrote the College Art Association when the organization honored Nochlin with its Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art in 2006, adding, “What art historian today does not know her essay ‘Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” as the founding moment of this methodological shift?”

Born in Brooklyn on January 30, 1931, Nochlin, née Weinberg, majored in philosophy with minors in Greek and art history at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. A master’s degree in English at New York’s Columbia University followed, and then a Ph.D. in art history at New York University’s renowned Institute of Fine Arts.

ARTnews, which published her most famous essay, broke the news of her passing, which was confirmed by friends of Nochlin’s family. Nochlin was inspired to write the essay by a 1970 encounter with gallerist Richard Feigen, who told her he was having trouble finding women artists to represent and then asked her the now-famous question.

Earlier this year, speaking with the College Art Association, Nochlin recalled her entrée into the women’s movement. “Do you know about feminism?” a friend asked her, bearing reading materials. “I said, ‘No.’ She said, ‘Read this.’ She left me [feminist newspaper] Off Our Backs and… the somewhat crude broadsheets of the early feminist movement. I stayed up all night reading and I was a feminist the next day.”

After her conversation with Feigen, “the article almost wrote itself,” she recalled. “It seemed all so hitched together, so logical.”

Linda Nochlin in front of Philip Pearlstein’s <em>Portrait of Linda Nochlin and Richard Pommer</em> from 1968. © Matthew Begun.

Linda Nochlin in front of Philip Pearlstein’s Portrait of Linda Nochlin and Richard Pommer from 1968. © Matthew Begun.

“The arts,” she wrote, “as in a hundred other areas, are stultifying, oppressive, and discouraging to all those, women among them, who did not have the good fortune to be born white, preferably middle class and, above all, male.”

Nochlin flipped the narrative, which had long implied that lack of female achievement in the arts was due to an inherent inferiority. “The miracle is, in fact, that given the overwhelming odds against women,” she argued, “that so many… have managed to achieve so much sheer excellence, in those bailiwicks of white masculine prerogative like science, politics, or the arts.”

Throughout her career, Nochlin published extensively, specializing in 19th- and 20th-century painting and sculpture, contemporary art and theory, and women and art. She wrote her dissertation on Gustave Courbet and co-organized the 1988 Brooklyn Museum exhibition of his work, “Courbet Reconsidered,” which included the first public display of his controversial canvas The Origin of the World (1866).

Among Nochlin’s other curatorial work are the exhibitions “Realism Now” at the Vassar College Art Gallery (1968), “Women Artists: 1550–1950” (1976) at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and “Global Feminisms: New Directions in Contemporary Art” (2007), the inaugural show at the Brooklyn Museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art.

Alice Neel, <em>Linda Nochlin and Daisy</em> (1973). Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

Alice Neel, Linda Nochlin and Daisy (1973). Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

Nochlin taught at Vassar College, Yale University, and, in New York, Hunter College and the City University’s Graduate Center. Her major writings include Realism and Tradition in Art, 1848–1900 (1966), Women, Art, and Power and Other Essays (1988), and The Politics of Vision: Essays on Nineteenth-Century Art and Society (1989).

Her forthcoming book, Misère, focuses on how art responded to the changing social conditions of the Industrial Revolution and what she dubbed the “phenomenon of misery.” It will be published by Thames & Hudson in March.

Nochlin’s first husband, Philip H. Nochlin, died in 1960. The couple had a daughter, Jessica. In 1968, Nochlin married art historian Richard Pommer (1930–1992), with whom she had a second daughter, Daisy. Alice Neel painted mother and daughter in 1973.

The post Remembering Linda Nochlin, Pioneering Feminist Art Historian appeared first on artnet News.

27 Oct 15:07

Friday Link Pack

by swissmiss

Sharing for fourth link down: The Silent Rise of the Female Driven Economy


I spoke at Adobe MAX last week!

The TBH app: What parents should know about this hot new app for kids

Humblebragging just makes you look like a fraud.

Why is it you can sense when someone is staring at you?

The Silent Rise of the Female Driven Economy

This rain poncho!

Europe’s First Underwater Restaurant Is Also Going To Purify Sea Water

How to Power Dress Like History’s Greatest Women

Lego builds life-size Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 car

– Photographer Spends Almost 10 Years Photographing the Most Beautiful Libraries Around the World

Google and the resurgence of Italian Design

– Some of the design fails in this post made me laugh out loud.

– This sloth pillow made me smile.

– These Fiber Art Rainbows are charming

– This made me laugh: Walk On The Wild Side – Funny Talking Animals

Every IKEA Product translated. FUN! (via)

– This is a beautiful planter.

Rainbow kitten makes everything better.

25 Oct 14:22

The Void Rug

by swissmiss


Scott Jarvie’s Void Rug creates the illusion of a gaping black hole. Fun.


23 Oct 18:57

how to have nice furniture AND cats

by Molly Madfis

nothing too earth shattering in here but i like pictures of cats in pretty homes.

i get asked constantly about how i deal with having three cats and a fairly tidy house and nice furniture — and to be honest, it’s a constant struggle because all three of our cats are assholes in different ways (assholes whom i love). but here are the tips i do have, hopefully they can help you decide to adopt that cat that needs a home!


for sure our biggest challenge is the scratching. we have a couple different methods that we use, but the most important one is to make sure you have scratching pads for them in any room they are doing it.

our two older cats are good about using scratching pads because we raised them since kittens, but our third was an adult rescue who definitely never used one and we can’t seem to convince her to. there are some decent looking cardboard ones or you can diy a permanent one like we did. (only one cat actually uses this one and the other one only likes cardboard, if you’re worried about whether they’d like before making it, just get some rope and see if they’re into it)

when we get a new piece of furniture they’re interested in, we first cover it for a week with a familiar smelling blanket. once it smells like they’re used to, we take it off and spray it with feliaway. it’s a product that makes it smell like they’ve marked it already.

if that doesn’t stop them, we put sticky paw strips, they’re basically just large double sided tape strips that you can run on the side of any chairs or the top of your sofa etc. these work really well but after they’re fully covered in fur i take them off, and sometimes the cats come back. the other less sticky method we use is blankets — everywhere. if you don’t feel like having strips of furry tape all over your furniture is that cool, i get it. it’s not. toss a throw blanket over any spots they keep messing with (your headboard, your sofa, an arm chair…) it really does work!

when you’re ready to remove the strips once they’re over it, always make sure they’re not in the room to see you do it!


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another question i get is “how do you keep your house clean with three cats?” short answer is we don’t if you look closely. our last apartment had light hardwood floors, and when we bought our house i debated for a minute if we should lighten our wood floors here (for looks as well) — well the answer was yes, but i didn’t do it obv. light floors are waaay more forgiving when it comes to fur everywhere and scratches. so my first tip would be live somewhere with light hardwood floors. if you can’t do that — hire a housekeeper. and if you can’t do that, you just have a lot of upkeep.

we have a housekeeper twice a month and it is the best use of money for the sake of our happiness and marriage. neither of us ever clean the toilets and resent each other for how we use the toilets. but unfortunately with three cats, twice a month isn’t really enough to keep up with the incessant fur. so in between her visits, i have a dustpan close by for all corners and we use a swiffer as well. we’re also planning to get a roomba soon because i think that will help us big time.

as for the barf and bathroom stains, we always use nature’s miracle and it works really well. it gets rid of the smell so they don’t try to keep marking it or anything, and it gets out the stains well too.


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sadly, we haven’t mastered the whole living with a cat without having a disgusting shit situation in our house. the other mistake we made as cat owners when buying our house was not buying a place with a mudroom or laundry room. if we could contain the litter box in a separate place like that, we’d all be much happier, but because we have no space for it anywhere — we use the guest room as their poop dungeon.

in my dreams, they’d all happily share one box and never track litter outside of it, but in reality — we got an expensive litter robot in the biggest size so our biggest cat bodhi would be able to fit, and he has refused and revolted against this idea. so now we’re back to two boxes, the girls share the litter robot and bodhi uses an old shitty one in the closet. it’s really not even close to ideal and the room reeks and cleaning takes gid forever (hey! i do lots of other stuff! just not litterboxes). so i’m hoping we figure out a better situation in the future.

we also used to have a really cute one that i didn’t mind being out, but again — bodhi couldn’t hang with it so we had to get rid of it. i get asked a lot how we hide our litter boxes and i hope to someday astonish you with my solutions. but if you also can’t hide yours, there are also tons of great ideas for disguising litter boxes in the open. we just haven’t figured that part out yet (and now that baby has arrived we may never). here are two cute pieces of furniture, one is a vintage cabinet with a hole cut on the side, the other is obviously made for concealing the litter box. if you’re able to scour a flea market, i’d try a vintage cabinet because it’s way less obvious and probably fits into your decor way better.

inside that cabinet is a litter box!



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lastly, spray bottles and lint rollers are your friends. stock the f up on them.

i hope i covered everything, let me know if you have any additional questions though!

The post how to have nice furniture AND cats appeared first on almost makes perfect.

21 Oct 18:05

Tim Hortons introduces spicy new Buffalo Latte


welp i feel like it would be irresponsible not to report back on this... but also i get heartburn just reading the description

But it’s only available in two locations.
20 Oct 10:45

Doing Our Dirty Work: Crows Trained to Clean Up Cigarette Butts

by SA Rogers

i'm picturing an anti-tobacco ad featuring crows swooping down on unsuspecting smokers during their breaks.

[ By SA Rogers in Gadgets & Geekery & Technology. ]

Should we really be training ultra-smart birds to do our dirty work for us, picking up cigarette butts all over our cities in exchange for treats? One Dutch start-up hopes their clever ‘Crowbar’ will be an easy and mutually beneficial way to deal with the ongoing problem of this specific kind of urban litter, making use of the corvid’s unusual intelligence. Crowded Cities proposes hanging smart machines around the city that train the birds to clean up butts.

‘Crowbar’ is based on the ‘Crow Box,’ an open-source project that gives crows peanuts in exchange for coins. The birds learned that they only get rewarded for inserting a particular kind of object. The Crow Box is just one example of humans testing crows’ ability to understand cause and effect and documenting the results.  They explain the process as follows:

“The crows bring a cigarette filter to the Crowbar, where they drop it into the bottom funnel to get it checked. After the camera has recognized the cigarette filter as  a filter, it returns a bit of food to the table in front of the crow. The crow goes out telling others, or keeps his secret to himself – we are not sure.”

Apparently we’ll find out, as the team finishes assembling the CrowBar and puts it out into the world. In the Netherlands, more than 6 billion cigarette filters are tossed onto the street each year, and each one takes 12 years to degrade. It’s not hard to imagine this project seeing some kind of success – have you ever had a crow drop a nut right in front of your car while you’re driving, in the hopes that your tires will act as giant nutcrackers? They’re incredibly smart.

But it’s a bit disturbing to imagine crows being repeatedly exposed to the carcinogens present in cigarette butts, potentially punishing them in the long term for a stupid human behavior. Plus, it’s only a matter of time before the crows start snatching lit cigarettes right out of people’s hands.

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[ By SA Rogers in Gadgets & Geekery & Technology. ]

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