Weekend Open Thread

Good news: High heels are dead!

It seems that flat shoes with roomy footbeds are all the rage.

Running shoes, Birkenstocks, Teva-type hiking sandals and Adidas-style slides were among the low shoes with a high profile during the recent spring fashion shows on the runway—and in the audience. Wide, flat footbeds, toe room, cushiony soles. Slaves to fashion have never been so comfortable.

I won’t wear Birkenstocks, Tevas or Adidas slides, but I am loyal to ballet flats, and rock flip flops year-round. A platform sandal is as close as I’ll get to voluntarily wearing heels. I did wear a beautiful pair of heels to a wedding a few weeks ago and my calves were sore for FOUR DAYS. Oy.

I am also loving tall, flat riding boots for fall. I found a similar pair at Target for less than $40, paired them with skinny jeans and a loose sweater and VOILA! Instant style and comfort. I spend about 80 percent of my days in semi-sweaty workout clothes, so I am trying to make more of an effort to look halfway decent (on the weekends, at least). What are your go-to clothing and shoe styles? Which trends do you wish would make a comeback? I miss chunky Mary Jane shoes. Sigh.

What’s on your mind today? Chat away!

 

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Friday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

I’ve got nothing. I’ve been hustling all week to head out to Santa Cruz, California today for Ari’s soccer tournament. I also have a two-day work retreat next week, which required some advance planning on my end.

Whew! What’s up with you? Have a great weekend all!

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Thursday Open Thread

Every year they show up at my door, usually a little later than all the little kids: overgrown trick-or-treaters. Sometimes they don’t even bother to wear a costume. And I’m left feeling like I’ve just been shaken down for candy by a bunch of high schoolers.

But this column about teenagers that are “too old” to be asking for candy made me see them in a whole new light.

When a crowd of under-costumed teens shows up on your doorstep, welcome them. It’s a big group because they find strength in numbers. They’re not wearing costumes because they didn’t realize that they’d want to go–nor how badly.

Give them big bars. Don’t tell them they’re too old. They already know that.

Let them pretend it just isn’t so.

I think I will be much more welcoming this year. What say you? At what point do you say, “No candy for you, Sparky!” Or are you happy to give goodies to all comers?

What’s on your mind today? Chat away!

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Hump Day Open Thread

What’s up?

Working Mother magazine celebrated National Flex Day yesterday, October 21, with a series of profiles highlighting open and flexible work arrangements. Working for an organization, in which this is one of our key issues, I read so many great articles on why providing workers with flextime is good for families and the bottom line. Workers with access to flex time are less likely to call in sick and more likely to care for themselves — like take the time to exercise or meditate — which has repercussions for the business and community at large.

Here is another great article on flexible work schedules:

Why Flex Time Is the #2 Most Important Employee Benefit“, by Gloria Feldt, Take the Lead

For me, the ability to work from home — or have flexible hours — was the No. 1 reason for a career change from journalism to community organizing. I don’t know how I could have continued my former position with a baby or toddler, a two-hour round-trip commute and no family nearby to pick up the slack.

What about you? Do you have access to flex time?

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?

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Monday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

I was relieved to see that the U.S. Health and Human Services put out a simple fact sheet on Ebola. I am starting to get uncomfortable with some of the hysteria — like restaurants spraying sanitizer after their African clientele leave — as it strikes me as xenophobic. It reminds me of a Margaret Cho joke some years ago after the SARS scare in Asia, and how she purposely started coughing when a non-Asian person put on a mask around her.

Anyways, the bottom line is — you can’t get Ebola from casual contact nor from air, water, or food grown or legally purchased in the United States. Here’s how you can get the disease:

Ebola is transmitted through direct contact with bodily fluids of someone who is already showing symptoms of the disease, including:

-Bodily fluids of a person who is sick with or has died from Ebola (blood, vomit, pee, poop, sweat, semen, spit, other fluids).
-Objects contaminated with the virus (needles, medical equipment).
-Infected animals (by contact with blood or fluids or infected meat).

Are you worried about Ebola? What else is in the news? What’s up with you?

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Friday Morning Open Thread

What’s up? This is what I’ve been up to every Monday, Tuesday and Friday at 6am the last two months:

As I mentioned over Facebook, I feel strong. I haven’t gotten sick — knock on wood — since my bout with e.coli over the summer. I have endless energy throughout the day, and I’m starting to see some definition. Hee! Have any of you gone to boot camp? What do you think?

Pay Gap for Caregivers: Just to show you that the pay gap between caregivers and non-caregivers has long-term ramifications, please see this article in RH Reality Check. It is about a cash-strapped grandmother taking care of her severely disabled granddaughter knowing that her sacrifice may cost her future work and retirement. What will it take for U.S. decision makers to see this is not okay?

Ebola Hype: And you know what else is in not okay? Xenophobia and stigma of African people because of Ebola. This Liberian mom had enough when her daughter was told by a classmate that she was diseased. The mom created this powerful video — most definitely worth a view!

Don’t mess with mom.

Last, but certainly not least, it is my mom “Taponsito’s” birthday! Make sure to drop your wishes in the comments thread here or on Facebook. Love you, mami!

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?

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Thursday Open Thread

How much weight did you gain while pregnant?

Because people seem to have strong opinions on the topic. While some (including feminist author Germaine Greer) have criticized Princess Kate for gaining too little weight while pregnant, this unhinged woman wrote a column for The Daily Mail condemning undisciplined lard-asses for using pregnancy as nothing more than an excuse to pig out. But while she judged all the fatties, she claims the fatties were judging her just as harshly– because they were mad jealous, natch!

‘When are you due?’ a woman asked me. ‘Four weeks,’ I replied proudly. Her eyes dropped immediately to my compact bump, and I could see her mental processes working overtime.

Her initial incredulity rapidly morphed into anger at me and pity for my unborn child. ‘Anorexic,’ I could tell she was thinking. ‘Obsessive. Narcissistic. Putting her own vanity before the health of her baby.’

In a word, she was seized by jealousy – the green-eyed monster that seems to turn the most sensible and intelligent of women into bile-spitting harpies when faced with something they wish they had.

That is . . . a whole heck of a lot of projection, right there! Like, Olympic-level mind-reading! Wow.

I exercised right up until my daughter was born, and still gained 35 pounds. When pregnant with my son after a miscarriage, I was too nervous to exercise, and ended up gaining 40 pounds. Some would say that I gained too much weight, but I wasn’t really fussed. My babies were healthy, my pregnancies were smooth (joyous, even!) and my deliveries were uncomplicated. Weight gain was the last thing on my mind. And I will admit to enjoying a lot of Nutella while gestating. :-)

I have always marveled at the pregnant women who stay skinny, acquiring the perfectly round belly and nothing else. I carried my babies ALL OVER, if you know what I mean. But I also never experienced any morning sickness or significant swelling.

In short, it’s different for every woman, and it never occurred to me to judge anyone for gaining too much weight or staying too skinny while pregnant. It’s sad to think that for some, the Mommy Wars start while their babies are still in utero.

What do you think? What else is on your mind today? Chat away!

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Hump Day Open Thread

What’s up?

Free College Tuition! Wow — check it out: Germany is offering free college tuition to U.S. and international students, according to the Daily Kos. Considering how much debt U.S. students accrue for even an associate’s degree, it may be worthwhile to encourage our kids to learn German. lol!

Politics More Divisive Than Race: From the Latina Lista blog: as it turns out, political affiliation is now more divisive than racial differences, Stanford University researchers found. The study itself is interesting and worth a read!

Speaking of Divisive Politics: I had to pick my jaw off the ground when I read this Talking Points Memo story about a GOP lawmaker in New Hampshire calling a Democratic state woman representative “ugly as sin.”

“Let’s be honest. Does anyone not believe that Congressman Annie Kuster is as ugly as sin? And I hope I haven’t offended sin,” state Rep. Steve Vaillancourt (R) wrote Friday on New Hampshire politics blog NH Insider….

“If I may be so bold as to speak the truth, Republican Marilinda Garcia is one of the mot attractive women on the political scene anywhere, not so attractive as to be intimindating [sic], but truly attractive,” Vaillancourt wrote of his state House colleague.

Oy. Just when I was thinking how grateful I am for not running for office, I watched this interview with Annette Taddeo, who is one of three Latina candidates nationwide for lieutenant governor — in this case, Florida. She addressed the lack of action around immigration reform and encouraged women to run for office. “When you don’t have a seat at the table, you may be on the menu.”

Wow. Okay — keep at it ladies! I, for one, will be watching Kuster’s and Taddeo’s races closely.

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?

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