It's been nearly a dozen years since I left my horrible boss. He was a Jekyll and Hyde type. One day, I was brilliant and he wanted me to have equity in the firm and be a partner. The next, I was lazy and shiftless and just awful. He was a "as I say, not as I do" type, making up his timesheets off of everyone else's at the end of the month. There wasn't enough work for 150 hours of billing every month, but somehow I still needed to come up with it. At some point, he changed my compensation from a set amount to eat what I kill, which meant I was really hungry for the last half of my working there. The breaking point was, about a week or two after 9/11, he brought everyone into the conference room. We all thought it was finally an opportunity to talk about what we were all going through. Instead, he yelled and told us all to stop procrastinating. The country was falling apart financially, and especially the Bay Area (where we were working), but it was somehow our fault that there wasn't much work. There were five attorneys that worked in the firm, including him. Shortly after that we started looking for new jobs. In a six week period in early 2002, three of us had left. The other was on a visa and couldn't leave. I felt terrible for her. Leaving felt like leaving an abusive relationship. I really couldn't believe what normal, sane bosses were like for the first year or so afterwards. It was just strange to come to work and not have to jump every time my boss came into view, wondering which version I'd get. Just a few months into working there, I checked out the letterhead when reviewing some file that was pretty old. It changed almost every six months. And it wasn't just attorneys. In the 26 month period that I worked for the firm, I think 20 people left it's employment. It wasn't a big firm. My boss hadn't been able to work with anyone else for years and years. Every now and then I go to his firm's website just to see what's going on, and almost every time there's someone new and someone else has left. A few months ago, I was interviewing for a new job, and they were looking for references. I was in a bit of a pickle, since I've been at my current employer for a dozen years and the people who know my work best are all people I didn't want knowing that I was looking elsewhere. The recruiter asked if there was anyone at the old firm. I laughed, and then very quickly said "no, absolutely not."
I saw this a few weeks ago. If it rolls through your town, I highly recommend it. http://www.circuscats.com/
Oh wow. This is really interesting. My sister left San Francisco (one bedroom in the Mission, rent controlled, just under 1K) right around the time that I was entertaining a job offer in Palo Alto. She'd been in the Bay Area for 15 years, and in San Francisco for 8. It wasn't until the last two or so that she started feeling negative about it. A good half of her friends have left or are in the process of leaving. She'd read that her apartment doubled in rent since she vacated in August. My offer was very generous. It was about 60% more money than I'm making now in Houston, Texas. But when my husband and I ran the numbers, we realized that we'd never be able to replicate the lifestyle we enjoy now (20 minutes from anywhere we want to be in the city, own our own home in a neighborhood we like, family support network) in the Bay Area. Living in Palo Alto was out of the question, and the more we discussed our options (and ventured onto real estate websites), the more we realized that even at an incredible salary, it didn't cover the change in the cost of living. I never thought I'd decline that offer, but I found myself saying no and staying put in Houston.
I paid about $700 for mine. I saw a designer I liked on Offbeat Bride, and I stalked her website for about six months deciding out which one I wanted. I e-mailed her my measurements and a deposit, and she sent me the dress six weeks later. I had some alterations made locally. I loved it. Hassle free, easy experience, and exactly what I wanted. Plus, I can wear it again. This is the dress: http://wai-ching.com/content/bliss-dress and this is the dress on me: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stinapag/7490025638/in/set-72157630516593470
I think Revival Market in Houston is similar. http://revivalmarket.com/
What's interesting about the Rio Grande Valley, though is that the health outcomes aren't what one would expect from the population demographics. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hispanic_paradox Is this really a problem that needs addressing given the low mortality rates?
In the mid 90s, I payed about $1000 a semester in tuition and fees to go to a mid-tier public law school. And book were about $400 a semester. I had a scholarship that kicked in another $1000 a semester, so my bill was roughly $2000 a semester/$4000 year. My law school's website says that residents pay $29,748 a year now to go to the same school. (And I'm pretty sure the school has gone DOWN in the rankings since then.) This is an insane increase in 15 years.
My mom was shocked when she got married (1971) that suddenly she had to ask my dad for permission for all sorts of things that she'd been doing for years. She'd had bank accounts, credit cards, property. But as soon as she got married, the companies wouldn't talk to her. Which, knowing my parents, is ridiculous. When my parents met, my dad was broke at the end of every month because he didn't balance his checkbooks or otherwise keep track of his money. My mom took over all of that stuff when they started getting serious. My dad still has no idea how the family finances are run. In the meantime, my mom knows every single dime.
@garli Someone I know is giving gift certificates to three restaurants in New York and three in LA. I think the couple lives in one and visits the other often enough. It sounded like a lovely gift.
We got our kitchen redone as our wedding present. We "registered" for IKEA gift cards, and we got various denominations enough to pay for a little over half of it. We really didn't care about the dollar value all that much, and we didn't track who gave us what (aside from thank you notes) or the people who didn't give us anything at all. I vaguely am aware of a few gifts that people gave off the "registry," but honestly, I have no idea who didn't give us anything. It wasn't that big of a deal to us, and we had 215 people at our wedding. The last gift I gave was a goat through Heifer International. I gave the same couple a sandwich press off the registry for the shower. I think it was about $100. My husband is a DJ and he's given his talents as gifts to the last two weddings we've been to. One was remote. He put together four or five ipod playlists for the wedding, and he actually djed that night at another event.