Guilty pleasures

by July

What’s your latest guilty pleasure?

Martha Stewart sounds a bit totebaggy.

“My guilty pleasure is not at all interesting: It’s a spoon of really good organic peanut butter, or a slice of American cheese from my housekeeper’s drawer. I steal American slices sometimes — in the plastic, it’s so horrible. But it’s such a good snack. I eat pickled herring as a late-night snack before I go to bed because it’s savory and good. I like liverwurst, and I know how bad it is now. I love squeezing it out of the tube and just eating calves’ liverwurst.” – Town & Country, June 2017

Some of you may relate to some of the guilty pleasures confessed by these women, including trashy TV, reading all the time, and property (?).

25 Famous Women on Their Guilty Pleasures

Since I follow some celebrities and other people with fabulous lifestyles on Instagram, I can relate to this one.

“Following Justin Bieber on Instagram.” – The Guardian, July 2016

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132 thoughts on “Guilty pleasures

  1. Kashi cereal? I thought they were good for you, unlike Frosted Flakes or Captain Crunch.

  2. I thought they were good for you, unlike Frosted Flakes or Captain Crunch.

    Not if left to your own devices you’d a whole box in day.

  3. Smuckers Natural Peanut Butter. Crunchy is preferred, creamy acceptable. It’s really the only brand I like.

  4. I don’t know. S’mores? I grilled outside last night, so we made S’mores afterward over the smoldering charcoal. I could eat those forever. (But I don’t have the “guilty” sense about it like Martha and her processed American cheese. I don’t eat them ironically.)

    It also got me thinking about the various iterations we have of toasting or burning sugar. Toasted marshmallows, of course. And caramel, or flan. And crème brulee. But that’s all I could come up with.

  5. Oreos: I like the thins. If those also come in mint, I like that, too.

    But lately I have been trying so hard to avoid crap that I have been eating a couple of 1/4 slices of watermelon when I’m foraging ($3/seedless watermelon at TJs, and we’ve been going thru 1+/week).

  6. Oh come on – natural peanut butter and kashi? You people are more Totebaggy than I thought. Those are “dessert tomato” guilty pleasures. ;)

    Whipped cream straight out of the can into your mouth
    Ballpark Nachos with cheese sauce out of a dispenser
    Pop Tarts and Fruit Loops
    Rotel & Velveeta Queso Dip
    Cheaters TV show
    Listening to the 80’s/90’s pop channel and singing enthusiastically along to “Baby Got Back” and “Whoop! There it is!”
    Yacht Rock Radio

  7. Haagen Dazs ice cream (speaking of which it’s buy one, get one free right now at Publix so I am adding that to my to do list for the day). I eat way too much of it. And now I want to order that sourdough bread that Ina was rhapsodizing about because bread and butter is one of my favorite things ever.

  8. My car, which has no reason to exist except sheer indulgent fun.

    The rest largely fall in the category of “food I can’t keep in the house.” Girl Scout Thin Mints (frozen). Mint moose tracks or chocolate moose tracks ice cream (and now salted bananas foster, holy cow). Baked thick-cut crispy bacon — or even better, that praline bacon, OMG. Any kind of pie. Ding-dongs. Krispy Kreme right off the line. Sweet tea. Right out of the oven bread slathered with butter. Noodles and butter and salt, rice and butter and salt or sugar, or, you know, butter on just about anything. Homemade macaroni and cheese casserole with crackers on top (and butter!), which I can eat for every meal for at least 4.5 days. Cheetos and nacho cheese doritos. Chocolate in any form, preferably dark. Any kind of Sugarbakers cake or pie, even though I don’t like cake. Undercooked brownies while they’re still warm and gloopy. Those little cream-cheese mints with the white nonpareil dots on them. Homemade hot cocoa. Sopapaillas.

    And the granddaddy of them all, the one that continues to kick my ass at every movie I go see: buttered popcorn and Sno-Caps.

  9. Oh, yeah: bad TV. How could I forget the bad TV?

    And strawberry frosted pop-tarts, toasted, Apple Jacks, and Captain Crunch.

  10. I forgot pop tarts! :) I don’t like the frosted ones though, they’re too sweet.

    I don’t think of bread and butter as a guilty pleasure. I get a baguette at least once a week just so I can eat it with butter and sprinkle a teeny bit of salt on top. :)

  11. Oh, please don’t take my current state of “trying to be good” as criticism for anything you all are enjoying or for being ultra-totebaggy*, perhaps most especially re the Haagen-Dazs. I just can’t, or, said positively, I just have to reform my ways.

    *any cred I have on that front is very limited even on my most totebaggy days.

  12. I am at an age where my pleasures rarely involve the seven deadly sins. Sloth most often, and a distant second, gluttony. So not as much occasion for guilt as in younger, more responsible days. Also, one of the great perks of getting older is the eff u factor, which buries if not entirely eliminates the feeling of guilt when putting one’s own desires before those of others.

    Sloth = various hand held puzzle games, real estate shows, web surfing.
    Gluttony = Artisanal mixed drinks at every possible occasion, Costco mini pastries in the big clamshell box, White Cheezits, and by extension to all consumption, additional watches

  13. I like Haagen Dazs and Ben and Jerry’s, but for those who are near Wegman’s, their house brand pistachio ice cream is just incredible. It’s the most intense pistachio-flavored I’ve ever tasted, much more than Haagan Daz’s pistachio.

  14. My long-term guilty pleasure is People Magazine. I have been a subscriber since 1989 and still look forward to it arriving in the mail every Friday.

  15. I like to try chocolates, jams, fruitcakes, soaps and perfumes. Many of things I try are not widely marketed when I try them but some enter the mainstream later on.
    That’s my guilty pleasure.
    I am tempted to try the bread Ina Garten mentioned.
    I tried Revolution Gelato this past week. Not sure whether it is widely marketed but their non diary gelato is very good.

  16. M&M’s, sour skittles

    trashy military/commando novels, the kind where some macho dude with an impossibly manly name either saves us from the Chinese high tech suprise assault or finds the kidnapped president or saves an orphange full of kids taken hostage by some secretive Islamic terrorist group.

    cooking contest TV shows like Top Chef. Actually I am in the middle of season 2 of Next Iron Chef right now.

  17. I totally agree on PopTarts. I like the unfrosted strawberry the best. When we go camping, we take PopTarts and one of those packs of all the different single serve cerals, the one that includes the Lucky Charms and the Choco-whatever and the sugar coated bombs.

    And at the movies, the big tub of popcorn, YES to the butter goo that they pour over it.

  18. my best friend in college, later a groomsman in my wedding, used to request that the movie concessionaires fill his popcorn tub in thirds, pausing at each third to pump the butter on top to ensure a more even distribution.

    I’ve since noticed that a lot of theaters are now doing that by default!

  19. Too much Youtube. I’m becoming like my kids. i also eat more junk food than I should, but I don’t feel guilty about it. I haven’t worked out all July because I tell myself that it’s too hot.

  20. @Fred – I tease. I don’t often indulge in whipped cream out of the can (we really only buy it once a year for strawberry shortcake), but it is still a fun and trashy guilty pleasure. Going to the fridge to get something sensible like ice water and then taking a small hit of whipped cream. Same with ballpark nachos. I haven’t had them this season, but last year I had the most delicious guilty pleasure when we went to Miller Park to see the Cubs – Bratchos. They are potato chips with nacho cheese and crumbled bits of bratwurst. Amazing.

    Last week, I actually had leftover tomato slices instead of dessert, so I live on both sides of the aisle. ;)

  21. I try to like movie popcorn but I just cannot eat it with the butter they put on it. Plain popcorn is fine. I am always trying different flavors of popcorn. I love the combination of sweet and salty popcorn.

  22. Louise, to me, popcorn should never, ever, be sweet. And the best popcorn in the world is made in a big traditional style popcorn maker, the kind that is glassed in with a red base, at the Sloan-Kettering cafeteria. If they ever get rid of that popcorm maker, I will be very sad.

  23. I love popcorn, but only the kind that I make at home in a pot with oil. Then I add butter and salt. I hate movie theater popcorn. I also love ice cream. All kinds. Super premium, soft serve, homemade, and even cheap chemical filled will do in a pinch. David Lebovitz has the best ice cream recipes. The kids and I have been testing them out all summer. I could survive on popcorn and ice cream alone.

  24. Doritos and Teen Mom are my weakness.

    I like how Martha Stewart has a housekeeper. This is a women who is single, no little kids in the house, and makes her living being perfect at household stuff.

  25. I like how Martha Stewart has a housekeeper.

    That poor housekeeper must really be on here game.

  26. Lemon – in order to keep up that appearance, she has an army of housekeepers. She also has gardeners, and other staff to make her life perfect. I used to subscribe to her magazine and once I realized that she was a fraud (that she did none of the hard work herself), I just walked away from the entire brand.

    I have so many guilty pleasures that I don’t feel guilty about them anymore… ice cream, popcorn, cakes, cookies, potato chips (I could live off potato chips alone), horrible TV (B science fiction movies, those horrid SyFy movies (yes, like Sharknado), crappy Rom Coms, a number of TV shows on the Disney Channel, Expedition Unknown, ghost-hunting style shows, HGTV, those new-parent tv shows on TLC (like Rattled and Outdaughtered)… the list goes on), People magazine…

    I watch too much TV and don’t read enough. But I don’t care. And when I do read, I pick up easy beach reads, YA, chick lit…. It’s rare that I pick up better literature… And I don’t care.

  27. “This is a women who is single, no little kids in the house, and makes her living being perfect at household stuff.”

    As my late grandmother used to observe, all that yet she still couldn’t keep her marriage intact.

  28. I always thought of Martha Stewart as a version of an American Downton Abbey duchess who had to think of a business to keep her estate going. So, behind that perfection is a big army of housekeepers and grounds keepers.
    I think the same of every celebrity when they come out with some perfect lifestyle type business.

  29. Bad TV/reality TV for sure. And those Magnum ice cream bars w/ caramel underneath the chocolate.

  30. “I have so many guilty pleasures that I don’t feel guilty about them anymore”

    I like your attitude!!!

  31. I like baloney and Wonder Bread and mayonnaise sandwiches. Maybe with sliced tomatoes. Corn chips doused with Cholula on the side.

    I also like to have junky non-dinners for dinner. Like a cocktail with chips and dip or an A&W root beer float drizzled with chocolate sauce, maybe with vodka. Nothing else, thank you very much.
    When I finally really retire that may become a regular thing and my kids will worry about me, in my Naples condo far away from them. :)

  32. July – I catch myself saying the say things about eating a healthy diet to BOTH my parents and my children ! Belonging to the sandwich generation means making sure everyone eats their dessert tomatoes.

  33. For Connecticut rail commuters, until recently, New Haven was where the earth dropped off: more than two hours each way. Today, terra firma extends north into the Naugatuck River Valley south of Waterbury, and east toward New London.

    “We are now getting more middle- and upper-level executives with young families looking for prime waterfront property,” said Meig Walz of Coldwell Banker in Madison, Conn., which is about 15 minutes east of New Haven and halfway between New York and Boston. Four- and five-bedroom waterfront homes in Madison are in the $2 million range, half of what they would fetch in Fairfield County, and with lower taxes.

  34. As my late grandmother used to observe, all that yet she still couldn’t keep her marriage intact.

  35. Milo,

    Other than the recruiter it seems like all of those people need to be in the office 5 days a week. I could see doing it if you only need to be in the city 2 or 3 days a week. But 5?

  36. Ditto to Rhett. I have 1 hr each way (sometimes 90 minutes) and I only ever go in 2x/week now.

  37. Rhett – It does seem like a bit much. What I wonder, though, is what makes their jobs specific to Manhattan? Some of them, maybe, and even then it seems questionable. Like, an executive who can afford a $2M house on Long Island Sound in Madison could probably afford a nicer, $600k house on a lake in Tennessee.

    But the electrical engineer? Why go to NYC to work as an engineer?

  38. This may win me the Golden Totebag award, but it’s legit guilty because of how many books we already have in the house (I’m constantly de-acquisitioning them): going to the annual Friends of the Library used book sale — it’s so big that it takes up a high school cafeteria plus an auxiliary tent area. In recent years we’ve been hitting up some of those Time-Life series. This year my youngest and I convinced each other that we really *needed* more than a dozen books in the What Life Was Like series.

    Cherry Garcia and mint chip ice cream. French fries. Bubblegum pop.

  39. “I also like to have junky non-dinners for dinner.”

    Oh yes. When I am home alone for dinner (which is almost never), I like boxed mac-n-cheese, cheese and crackers, or chips/dip for dinner.

    Commuting even 4 days a week over an hour is hellish. Madison is really out there from Manhattan. I could see commuting from there to Stamford or Fairfield or something, but it seems like a lot of the big businesses (like GE) have left those two places.

  40. Speaking of long commutes, the Santa Cruz Sentinel had an article about the high housing prices in the Bay Area. The writer was looking for properties in the Bay Area for under $500K, and included a place in Boulder Creek and a place in Pleasanton. Since when are Boulder Creek and Pleasanton in “The Bay Area”? Trying to get from either of the those places to, say, Sunnyvale, would be a bitch and a half.

    http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/business/20170731/heres-what-500000-will-get-you-in-the-bay-area-housing-market

  41. I have so many guilty pleasures that I don’t feel guilty about them anymore

    This. I eat sugar cereal almost every day (Cookie Crisp, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, etc.) without a spec of guilt.

  42. RMS, thank you, but I think we’d better digest the ones we have for a year or so before I start looking to complete the series.

  43. Like, an executive who can afford a $2M house on Long Island

    I assume a lot of those folks at that income level in NYC are in finance which is concentrated in NYC.

  44. Why go to NYC to work as an engineer?

    I assume he didn’t go there that’s where he’s from.

  45. HM, we used to go to the Friends library used book sale and stock up on the Eyewitness series. A few years ago, I sadly donated almost the entire collection. But kept every book about rocks and seashells, of course.

    My guilty pleasure is spending at least two hours of every day with good pool weather in or in a lounge chair adjacent to our pool. It is short-lived because by mid-September, there is no more good pool weather, so I have to make the most of it while it lasts. I try not to schedule anything for after 2 pm. Most of the items on my DIN list are there because of my pool habit.

  46. Milo said “But the electrical engineer? Why go to NYC to work as an engineer?”

    Because you have a spouse in the financial industry? Because you love NYC? Because you want to work for one of the NYC based companies or agencies that employs EEs? Did you know the US Army Corp of Engineers has an engineering design facility in Manhattan that employs EEs? The Port Authority also employs engineers of all types. There are a lot of construction engineering companies in the city, and companies that work with the various high tech companies on product design.

  47. “Because you love NYC?”

    If he loved NYC so much, you wouldn’t be living two hours away from it and commuting in five days a week!

    “I assume a lot of those folks at that income level in NYC are in finance which is concentrated in NYC.”

    I think Louise and I could find them something nice on Lake Norman, and they could get jobs in Charlotte.

  48. There are folks who become habituated to the long commutes. My BIL commute each way was an hour and half by car. Now, it is only marginally better. They bought a house in the distant burbs so no matter what their commutes to even a close by employer will be thirty minutes at the minimum. The area is not pretty, there are hardly any stores nearby and all other amenities are at least 30 minutes away. We just couldn’t see the appeal of spending so much time in the car on a daily basis.

  49. “If he loved NYC so much, you wouldn’t be living two hours away from it and commuting in five days a week!”

    I gotta agree with you there…

  50. I think Louise and I could find them something nice on Lake Norman, and they could get jobs in Charlotte.

    Maybe Charlotte’s more commercial banking and NYC is that and everything else?

  51. Rhett – the culture here is different. It’s not frowned upon to adjust your schedule to fit your kids in, to fit your dogs in or to train for a marathon. I would say “family friendly” but it doesn’t cover all the different things that take up people’s time outside of work.

  52. Marie Kondo’s relaxation technique:
    “A comfortable environment, a space that feels good to be in, a place where you can relax — these are the traits that make a home a power spot. Would you rather live in a home like this or in one that resembles a storage shed? The answer, I hope, is obvious.” —The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, January 2011

    from the article linked to the OP: https://www.thecut.com/2016/12/25-famous-women-on-their-best-relaxation-techniques.html

    I guess that’s what most of us are trying to achieve with a Do It Now challenge?? Though Ms. Kondo will kick my butt every day in the tidying up life…

  53. It’s not frowned upon to adjust your schedule to fit your kids in, to fit your dogs in or to train for a marathon.

    Is the money commensurately lower?

  54. “I like baloney and Wonder Bread and mayonnaise sandwiches.” Oh, yes please! Or substitute vienna sausages for the baloney.

    “I also like to have junky non-dinners for dinner. Like a cocktail with chips and dip or an A&W root beer float drizzled with chocolate sauce, maybe with vodka. Nothing else, thank you very much.”

    Hmm. OK, somehow I think it’s telling that, in coming up with my list above, I didn’t even think of the two days in the past 6 weeks when our official “lunch” consisted of ice cream or movie popcorn/candy. I think I need to raise my food game a bit once summer’s over.

  55. “Joe Nevins finishes work at 5:30pm and gets home at 9pm.”

    That is just soul-sucking.

  56. Rhett – not the gobs lower as one might imagine. And it is really a less stressful
    lifestyle for the average family. I think this is because there is a mix of housing so you can have these big luxury houses in their gated communities and down the road you can have apartments and condos that are affordable.
    At the executive level if you want you can live in a luxury house on the lake or you can buy a city house and a lake house (one family in my neighborhood moves to their lake house for the summer).

  57. I know I several people that commute by boat, train, bus or a combination. It’s not always a choice that they made even if they love NY.

    My old boss commuted from Cherry Hill to midtown. He left for a hedge fund and he can easily afford five apartments in NYC. His wife grew up near Philly and she won’t move. He rarely stayed in the city unless we were working on a big deal. His hours and money are much better at the hedge fund. His kids are in college now, but they won’t move closer. They love their friends and family in south Jersey/Philly.

    My other friends didn’t have as much of a choice. One worked for an investment bank in Stamford and then they moved back to lower Manhattan. She lived near Danbury. She couldn’t find a new job because her product sort of disappeared during the financial crisis. She did the crazy commute for five years, but she never saw her kids during the week. Some Wall Street jobs don’t lend themselves to telecommute especially traders. She couldn’t take it anymore and took a job with a different back in Atlanta. They moved this summer. It’s not always so easy to just move if your kids have special needs and you’re tied to a school district or private school. Same for certain health issues that may require you to live near certain facilities.

  58. The chef gets home at midnight to start over again at 5am! I just don’t understand it.

    I considered a job in Cambridge, MA. DH and I agreed that it would be either (a) a temp gig, or (b) if serious, consider moving between Cambridge and PVD. I couldn’t keep up with that life.

    Notice that no one profiled was a mom?

  59. ” She did the crazy commute for five years, but she never saw her kids during the week. ”

    What did her husband/partner do? Still work full time?

  60. “There are folks who become habituated to the long commutes. My BIL commute each way was an hour and half by car.”

    That was me when I had a 3-hour daily commute. When I look back I realize it was a bit crazy.

    I worked with many others who had long commutes. When I worked downtown Manhattan one of my coworkers commuted from Newburgh like one of people profiled in the article.

    “For one, virtually all possess a sense of resigned equanimity when discussing their routines. No one complained. ”

    We all just got used to it.

    “(Well, one groused about the removal of beer carts from the platform entrances in Grand Central.)” — Was my husband interviewed? :)

  61. As I mentioned the other day, jobs in the Boston area are definitely north, downtown, south or west. 95/128, the inner circumferential highway, is the worst for traffic, so a commute between north and south is impossible. There are some straight shots along the outer circumferential highway between Metrowest and north or southwest that are not too bad. Downtown from anywhere beyond 128 is the second worst commute if a car is involved or if you are L’Abbey distance from the office on a train. So even if Rhode family moved to the southern burbs of Boston, she would still have a killer commute to Cambridge.

  62. My office was only about 8 miles from our house in to the city, but it took well over an hour during rush hour, and closer to 1.5 if there was rain or an accident. When I worked full time, it wasn’t a big deal because I often avoided rush hour, especially in the evenings. But when I went to a reduced schedule, it became terrible because my “reduced hours” were regular business hours and the time suck was a factor in my decision to quit.

  63. About 180 miles to the west, in Bethlehem, Pa., Scott Ubert, a corporate chef in Manhattan, starts his extended day at 5 a.m. An hour later, coffee in hand, he drives 10 minutes to an open-air bus stop where he catches the 6:20 to the Port Authority Bus Terminal — two hours if the stars align. From there, he has a leg-stretching 20-minute walk to work…He typically logs a 10- to 12-hour workday, returning home at close to midnight.

    At that point wouldn’t you just rent a room in Manhattan for $1000/month and go home on weekends?

  64. Rhode, her husband worked for Lehman and lost his job in ’08. He tried to get back into financial services, but most of the positions didn’t last very long. She is the primary bread winner.

    I realized after July posted that I also had a 90 minute commute when I was in lower Manhattan. I was transferred downtown after 9/11 and I worked downtown for 3 years until I was able to get back to midtown with my new employer.

    I had to commute to Wilimington two times a week for over 2 years when my bank merged with another bank, and our middle office remained in DE. I didn’t have a blackberry when I started the commute, but it was life changing once I had a cell phone and blackberry.

    Speaking of Lehman, this is a real risk. My husband worked for them before I knew him, and he lost money when they declared bankruptcy in 08.

  65. Lauren,

    It reminds me of Allan Greenspan’s admission that his greatest surprise was the degree to which the employees of Lehman, at all levels, had so much at stake and still let it all go down the toilet.

  66. BTW, my guilty pleasure is free time this summer due to sleep away camp, avoiding home projects and no work projects. I went to lunch with a friend yesterday and we sat outside in Westport at a restaurant along the LI sound. We shared a glass of wine and just sat there because we didn’t have to rush home for any reason. The fall will bring the craziness of school, carpools, part time work and volunteer work. I have one week left of the gift of time, but I really should sign up for the 30 day challenge and tackle some of the home projects.

  67. Mmmm guilty pleasures. So fun to,read everyone’s. Mine are coffee, sour cream and onion chips, and sour patch kids.

  68. “At that point wouldn’t you just rent a room in Manhattan for $1000/month and go home on weekends?”

    He probably spends that much on commuting anyway. They quoted just the monthly train pass at $500.

  69. “Since when are Boulder Creek and Pleasanton in “The Bay Area”?”

    When I worked in SV, I had quite a few coworkers from places like that.

  70. “I am always trying different flavors of popcorn.”

    As HM recently suggested, try mixing in furikake. There are many flavors of furikake; I suggest starting with nori (what is typically served in movie theaters). I really like katsuo.

    Also popular here with popcorn is arare (aka kakimochi, or mochi crunch).

    If you can’t find them locally, you can get furikake and arare online. Or you could buy Hurricane popcorn with arare and furikake already mixed in, although there are health concerns with microwave popcorn that you may want to avoid.

  71. “Oh come on – natural peanut butter and kashi? You people are more Totebaggy than I thought. Those are “dessert tomato” guilty pleasures. ;)

    Whipped cream straight out of the can into your mouth”

    That whipped cream might be just as little of a guilty pleasure as natural peanut butter. Have you looked at the nutrition information for Reddi Whip? And if that’s too much for you, get the fat free version.

    http://www.reddiwip.com/products/original

  72. At various points we lived in the middle class suburbs and commuted to downtown Boston by T. It was great. One of my coworkers who was brought up in a leafy suburb told me that I was living in the ghetto. I was shocked at this statement. Those suburbs were no where close to a ghetto.
    A few years later the guy was married and no longer on the parental dime. I met him at the train station and he had to commute from a newer far west suburb to downtown. He didn’t like it all but that was what he could afford.
    I looked at Rhett’s real estate listings and was thinking that now the ghetto houses must be close to a million dollars.

  73. I work with a guy who lives way north and across the Hudson, on the boundary between Orange and Ulster counties. His commute is crazy, but he only has to come in 3 days a week. But here is the kicker – he used to work for the NYPD, running a lot of their cybersecurity operations. He was commuting 5 days a week from way north to Manhattan. Maybe it was the job that he loved, but when he quit to get into teaching, I notice he did not choose SUNY New Paltz or other schools near him. He still wanted to work in the city. Some people are just like that

    When I worked in the healthcare sector, one of our developers, a guy who had been there quite some time, was communting about 2 hours each way from someplace in NJ near the Delaware Water Gap area. Why? There was nothing particular about the job, except that he liked it, and he also liked where he was living.

  74. Can you rent a room in Manhattan for $1000 a month? That sounds too cheap to me.

  75. I have something in common with Martha Stewart! For the last few months, I can’t get enough of tahini. I eat it by the spoonful, quite a few spoonfuls a day. Could be part of the waist creeping upwards, lol (yes, Finn, my waist itself, not just its measurement, actually moves up–I gain fat in my belly, it gets more pumpkinesque, and the increasing diameter of that sphere means the narrowest point on my trunk is higher than it was). I quit after I finished the last container of it in less than a week. I’m sort of instinctually going lower fat (i.e. Greek yogurt instead of ice cream) as i work to whittle my waist by the eclipse.

  76. I looked at Rhett’s real estate listings and was thinking that now the ghetto houses must be close to a million dollars.

    I just noticed a flaw in the Zillow greatshools rankings. It’s not 1-10 based on the national average, it’s 1-10 per state. According to USNews “Massachusetts ranks as the No. 1 Best State in education, by all these measures.” Does that man a MA 6 is a SC 10? (SC is 50th in the rankings.)

  77. Rhett – while relative to the rest of the state, I think they’re based on the percent of kids passing the standardized tests in math and reading. A better score indicates a lower proportion of kids from socioeconomically disadvantaged families attend that school.

    For the purposes of Totebag considerations, I would not make that conversion from a 6 to a 10, as the metrics aren’t evaluating anything like level or quality of mathematics or writing instruction.

    A 6 in MA might suggest that 30% of the kids are from disadvantaged backgrounds. A 6 in SC might indicate that 40% of the kids are from disadvantaged backgrounds.

    A 9 or a 10 in either case means that just about every student is solidly middle class or above.

  78. Drift alert for those with kids nearing HS graduation….

    We recently discussed the Tufts effect. A reading of this article suggests that it is real, and that there is a way to mitigate that:

    https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/07/27/study-says-common-admissions-practice-measuring-demonstrated-interest-favors

    My suggestion to you: Make sure your kids demonstrate interest at their safety schools. Talk to the school reps at college fairs and when they visit, identifiably visit their websites, and most importantly, visit the campuses.

    This advice is probably relevant for at least rising seniors and juniors. I suspect that as this becomes increasingly common knowledge, at least among the College Confidential crowd, colleges may adjust their selection processes as it becomes a less effective tool to manage yield.

  79. “I would say “family friendly” but it doesn’t cover all the different things that take up people’s time outside of work.”

    Is “work/life balance” still a relevant buzzword?

  80. An apartment in NYC might subject a commuter to city income tax. Also, there is something about a late nights working dad having a permanent city place that just sounds bad.

    S&M. What does that picture mean? I don’t recognize the reference.

  81. An apartment in NYC might subject a commuter to city income tax.

    If he’s only making money in NYC does it matter where he resides? He’s going to get taxed where the income is earned, right?

  82. Ivy on August 1, 2017 at 11:04 am
    That show about the Duggars probably qualifies.

    To qualify and a “guilty pleasure”, the thing has to be questionable. The Duggars & their mentality are things I stay as far away from as lossible.

  83. The Theresa May post made me realize that both Theresa May and Angela Merkel are PK’s (pastor’s kids)

  84. I like a lot of the foods people have listed, but don’t feel guilty about them. There are some I don’t like. If I ate that frozen chocolate cake, I’d feel gross, not guilty.
    FB has been serving up a huge amount of listies on sites like Knowable and Bored Panda. I finally figured out why: it’s because I read them and click through for more.

    Milo, I’m going to guess that for your grandmother, holding together a relationship with her husband was a much more important throng for a woman to do than any of business venture. Is that right?

  85. Not “listies”–listacles! That’s what my kid calls them anyway.

    WCE, I hadn’t thought of that. Hm.

  86. Rhett. No. He can only be taxed in NYCity if he maintains a permanent place of abode and stays in the City for 184 days a year. Just working there if you go home at night to your domicile does not make you a resident. The city doesn’t impose an income tax on commuters, just residents. (Exception is city workers who live outside the city). However, NYS taxes your wage income if you live in Connecticut, just like MA taxes NH residents who work in MA, and even then only your wage income would be taxed, not your investment income.

  87. Finn, any study that states high SAT scores and a campus visit are both signs of financial advantage and analyzes them together doesn’t have much credibility with me.

    “Those with both high SAT scores (on average wealthier applicants than others) and a campus visit are up to 40 percentage points more likely to be admitted than comparable students without those two “signals,” as the paper calls those qualities.”

    A rational policy would consider how far a student has to travel for a campus visit to demonstrate interest (100 miles or 2000 miles?) and offer other ways of demonstrating interest, such as a Skype session with a professor from the department they’re applying to. A well-reasoned research paper would not analyze campus visits and high SAT’s scores together in order to observe an effect on probability of admission.

    Any sensible school without an enormous endowment has to recruit wealthy students who can afford to attend. Inside Higher Ed needs to get its head out of the clouds.

  88. WCE, I posted that article primarily for the practical actions it suggests.

    My guess is that the Tufts effect could come into play for many totebaggers’ kids, regardless of any causal relationships between wealth and SAT scores or campus visits.

  89. Finn – I appreciate you posting. Our family is technically not first generation to go to college. But our kids are prospective first generation U.S. college goers. Given our income level there seem to be expectations by colleges that I wouldn’t have thought would be that important, college visits in person before you get accepted is one of them. Our experience in the home country was – meet the college cut off for state exam scores and you are in.

  90. “Tufts effect”

    So here’s a tangible benefit of “demonstrated interest” for those who enroll at the University of Dayton: a $500/semester, up to 8 semesters, credit toward books at the campus bookstore. Requirements: campus visit, participation in info session & tour, completing the FAFSA on time (Dayton’s timetable).

    Now, getting to Dayton is pretty easy if you’re in the Cincinnati-Columbus-Indianapolis circle (<100 miles o/w), but for us it'd be 7 hours. And we can easily afford the (driving + hotel) trip, get the time off of work, complete a FAFSA. But for plenty of others, not so simple.

  91. I agree with Finn’s advice to pay attention to your safety schools–and make sure that they are *real* safeties.

  92. Finn,

    I assume the campus visit helps avoid this?

    Long story short schools send out X acceptances safe in the knowledge that only a given percentage will accept the offer. When more than expected accept the offer – they have problems.

  93. Rhett – in the UCI case, “the university took a “harder line” (I assume, than in prior years) on enforcing its policies requiring students to keep their grades up and submit transcripts and test scores by a specific deadline,”

    So, unfortunate as it is for 500 kids/families, the rules were in plain view. Of course in any kind of process like this there will be glitches (i.e. both transcripts sent in the same envelope, timely, and UCI claims they only got 1) that should be fixed. But I’ll bet in the majority of cases the rescissions are within the rules as stated. JMHO.

  94. Fred, the articles I read about UCI interviewed quite a few students who did follow the rules and still were rescinded. Several had been reinstated after appealing. It does seem like they took the harder line because they had too high of a yield so they are trying to thin it out a little.

    I agree with Finn’s advice to pay attention to your safety schools–and make sure that they are *real* safeties.

    This. I’m guessing a lot of these schools are pretty selective and not what most people would consider to be safety schools.

    On the campus visits to show demonstrable interest, can those be done at any time during HS or do they need to be during junior or senior year or something? We are thinking of taking a trip next summer that will include some schools DS and DD are interested in, and I don’t know if that would be too early (DS is a sophomore this year and DD a freshman).

  95. But I’ll bet in the majority of cases the rescissions are within the rules as stated.

    If they’ve never enforced those rules before their legal standing to enforce them now might be in question.

  96. The on campus touch can be anytime. Then the trick is to do local followups at college fairs and if the school comes to your kids’ HS and also emailing a couple of random questions to their assigned admissions counselor over time.

    UCI: as I said, a mass de-enrollment is bound to “catch” at least some people who actually did everything asked of them, on time. I do not have the feeling a high %age of those whose offers were rescinded have a legitimate appeal process to pursue because either their senior year/final semester performance actually tanked or they didn’t get something in on time.

  97. Rhett – I agree. But (1) never is a long time and (2) even if in prior years they only rescinded a few offers/year due to not passing muster (vs hundreds this time around) I think their legal footing is probably solid.

  98. unfortunate as it is for 500 kids/families,

    Two things. 1. Surprise gap year! 2. Some number of those kids are too immature to thrive in college and going a year later is going to be great for them.

  99. Fred – I get what you are saying about the rules, but if the performance of the students stayed on course, they had no other bad behavior just getting them on other technicalities seems unfair, this late. The deposits were sent in by May – so by June the college should have been aware of how many were attending.
    Another aspect I wouldn’t have paid attention to, I would think, pay the deposit – you are in.

  100. “I tried calling the Admissions office all day today because I saw the message yesterday after work,” one applicant wrote. “I called and was on hold for 40 minutes then I called 50 more times after work. No answer. I have sent out three emails and no response.”

    This is just inexcusable. It would serve UCI right if their applications went way way down this season. Someone screwed up big time in enrollment management and should be fired. It makes so much more sense to under-accept and then take grateful, thrilled students off the wait list. Yes, the fine print says that you have to get final transcripts in, etc. but the underlying issue is that they accepted too many students.

  101. “the underlying issue is that they accepted too many students.”

    Yes, indeed. I agree with everything you say. Their metrics (specifically their yield metric = enrollees/admissions) were clearly not applicable this year for any number of reasons and the director of admissions needs to answer for it.

  102. ” I’m guessing a lot of these schools are pretty selective and not what most people would consider to be safety schools.”

    Yeah, I was thinking the same thing.

    Scarlett – I agree with you on this one. Someone screwed up big time. Better to delight waitlist kids than to cause this madness. I also agree with Louise – rules aside, I’d think – my deposit is paid, it’s done. It’s August for God’s sake. Doesn’t school start in about 2 weeks at a lot of schools? When is freshman orientation?

  103. UCI is on the quarter system, classes start ~Sept 25 this year, so orientation, etc is probably happening this month.

  104. “UCI is on the quarter system, classes start ~Sept 25 this year, so orientation, etc is probably happening this month.”

    But it still screws over the kids who are trying to find another school for the fall, since those classes are likely starting very shortly.

    IDK. I think if a kid bombed his last semester, that’s one thing. But if they did ok substantively and just missed one formality, and the school cashed their deposit check, I think the school may find itself in a bit of trouble here — especially if they have let things like that slide in the past. I suspect there is enough to work here that any plaintiff’s lawyer worth his salt would have enough leverage to at least arm-twist an admission (first thing you do is make a demand for all prior records demonstrating that they consistently rescind admission for a missed deadline/incorrectly checked box).

  105. Oh, I completely agree. Once they rescinded 500 people and there was this backlash they should have just sucked it up, enrolled them, and moved forward. I know, I know, the downstream impacts: freshman housing, class space (even in 400 person lectures, there is still a limit), parking for commuters, etc, etc. But except for the infrequent cases (<10/yr at UCLA & UCSD, even 150 on probably a comparable base for UCD), almost all of these kids should have just been enrolled as expected.

    Having been part of that system I know no one there is going to make it easy for you. Perhaps unfair to many good employees and based on my experience I told DS2 when he was seriously considering enrolling at a big (Big 10 big) state flagship "remember, everyone you'll be asking for help from is a state government employee. Not saying you'll have a bad time of it, just a fact to keep in mind."

  106. I went to a Big Ten state flagship (Illinois) and pretty much everyone I dealt with staff-wise was very helpful. And I dealt with quite a few extra things (establishing residency due to my father living in Illinois, a disciplinary issue, getting dropped and readmitted, etc.).

  107. “I assume the campus visit helps avoid this?”

    No, that’s a totally separate issue.

    The campus visits would help with acceptance to schools that might otherwise perceive your kid to be treating them as a safety (e.g., Tufts as a safety to Harvard).

    The UCI rescissions happened well after the application/acceptance process.

  108. “Yes, the fine print says that you have to get final transcripts in, etc. but the underlying issue is that they accepted too many students.”

    In fairness, the HS class of 2017 was hit with a lot of changes. Both the SAT and ACT changed, the FAFSA process changed, and more specifically to the UCs, I believe there was a legislative mandate to enroll more in-state students, at least as a %age.

    I believe there’s also somewhat of a precedent; I recall reading several years ago in CC about a bunch of kids getting rescinded from another UC for stuff like not submitting transcripts on time.

    My guess is that a fair number of the rescissions are due to the kids’ schools not submitting transcripts on time.

  109. “This. I’m guessing a lot of these schools are pretty selective and not what most people would consider to be safety schools.”

    Yes, I believe it’s mostly an issue at schools that don’t like to be thought of as safety schools, thus the moniker.

  110. I’m curious as to the in-state/OOS split for the UCI rescissions.

    The UC system has been under fire recently because of increasing OOS enrollment, apparently in an effort to increase tuition collection.

  111. Even for enrolling at the local community college, this is on the late side. For instance, I think my son’s CC (he’s doing the dual enrollment thing this year) has its absolute final application deadline shortly before classes start less than two weeks from now, and someone applying as a HS graduate would still have to get the HS transcript sent over, in addition to the test scores and any other college transcripts; and then get the placement testing done to be able to register; and go through this 3 part orientation they require of new students. Maybe the California community colleges have later start dates, but then again, maybe some of these students weren’t coming from California.

  112. Finn, every other college in the country was dealing with those changes, and the other CA schools had the same OOS issues. But no other school overshot its acceptances by such a huge margin. There is simply no excuse for that massive fail. I hope that the persons responsible are all replaced, but it would be better if they resigned instead of having to be fired. And then ideally each would have a subsequent job offer withdrawn. Perhaps after they had sold their homes and moved across the country.

  113. WCE, it’s called a proxy. It’s something that is easy to measure that tends to vary with something of intrest that is hard to track/measure. Pretty standard practice, really.

    I’m not a first generation college student, but my family’s approach hasn’t been much different that Louise described. (My little sister may be changing that, has visited about five schools with her rising senior. I think this is because the prep school the girls go to recommends it ). Is UDaytob what most people here think of as a safety?

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