Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user philliefan99

You can talk about whatever is on your mind – quality of life issues, a beautiful tree you spotted, scuttlebutt, or any random questions/thoughts you may have. But please no personal attacks. I’ll open this thread every morning at 10am.

164 Comment

  • Any idea if there are any Toys for Tots drop-off spots in DC? The DC-specific website is woefully constructed and the contact person hasn’t responded to my inquiry email. I may have already missed the deadline for dropping off toys since other cities have cut-off dates today. If all else fails, I’d like to make a monetary donation specifically to the DC area, but even that seems impossible on the site. Any reader suggestions or suggestions of other similar, reputable charities? I do like the sound of the Holiday Hope Drive discussed yesterday, but might be a bit out of the budget this year.

  • Rant: Need to write a resume, haven’t done so since college, overwhelmed with where to start. Online resources all contradict each other (include this, never include that, blah, blah, blah).

    Rave: I have lots of options of where I could go and what I could do.

    • Here’s the few things I’ve learned about resume writing recently:

      – List your skills FIRST. That’s what employers want to see, and they’re not all that concerned about what your goals are. That can go in your cover letter.
      – When listing your job duties at different places, use action verbs instead of passive
      – Use statistics when talking about your accomplishments (“increased this program’s participation by 50%”)
      – It’s ok to have more than one page of your resume, as long as it’s all relevant to the job you’re applying for
      – Don’t be afraid to edit your resume when considering different positions.

      • PDleftMtP

        Speaking from the hiring side, I wouldn’t go to two pages unless you’re really sure everything you’re adding is important. Better to cut some detail to make it fit on one. I can’t tell you how many resumes I’ve seen that look padded – if you’re 32, I probably don’t care what student organizations you were in in college. I agree with Meg that it might be ok if you really have a lot of relevant experience, but make sure every line is necessary if you’re going to go there.

        Also, axe the interests – they are by far the number one source of hiring committee mockery. Unless you have something that’s jaw-droppingly awesome, like climbing Everest, there is no upside in banal interests like travel, vegetarian cooking, or Carolina football and much potential downside in trying to get creative.

        • Also speaking from the hiring side: keep the education stuff brief (like, just the essentials) and low in the resumé … When I see it taking up a bunch of space at the top, I assume the candidate has very little real world experience.

        • hahaha people really include interests in the resume? That is hilarious. My university luckily never recommended that.

        • Disagree about the interests. If I am holding two virtually identical resumes and have only one interview slot, I am more apt to go with someone who shares an interest with me. It’s better than flipping a coin. I agree that they should be kept short.

          • This is the hard part about preparing a resume. You never know who’s going to be looking at it and people can have very different preferences. I’m also someone who hires and my pet peeves are resumes that are more than one page unless absolutely necessary and spelling errors, grammatical mistakes, etc. I also prefer to see education at the bottom, unless it’s for an entry level position. I will agree wholeheartedly with Meg that you should definitely tailor your resume for the job you are applying for.

          • Interesting — I’m the exact opposite. If I see interests on a resume, I’m less likely to take the candidate seriously. I kind of feel like I’m reading a personal ad (“I like long walks on the beach…”).

            I agree with everyone else about keeping it brief (1 page) and limiting college activities.


            PROOFREAD! Unless a candidate has a unique talent and fantastic experience, resumes with typos go into the circular file.

    • we’ve got lots of opinions. 🙂

    • Start with just brainstorming bullet points for each job – don’t worry about format, etc. Especially if you can do this over a few days and think of everything, then you can pick and choose what to include and work on your wordings, statistics, etc.

    • I won’t offer advice on content (plenty of that already) but will say this:

      Have someone else (or even better, several others) proofread your resume for spelling and grammar errors! Don’t just trust spellcheck.

  • Rave: Boyfriend came to Bikram yoga last night for the first time with me. He’s coming again tonight!!!!

    Rant: Forgot my lunch.. Thankfully I don’t live too far and can go pick it up later!

  • Rave: Went to a really funny and entertaining Trivia last night at Touchdown. Helped after a long work day.

    Rant: Finding cigarette butts from my smoking friends all over my front walk.

  • Rant:
    Was in the Columbia Heights Best buy last night in line behind this woman buying two 55 inch flat screens. She pulled out a handful of plastic, flipping between them and finally putting 3 credit cards down indicating to the cashier how much of the ~2300 purchase he could put on each. The really galling part is that one of the cards in the pile she was sorting through (but obviously didn’t give the cashier) was her food stamps charge card.

    Seriously? You are getting food stamps and you go out and blow 2300 bucks on tv’s? Ridiculous.

  • Went to the Occupy D.C. encampment to see for myself what’s it’s all about before offering comment. (I don’t trust the mainstream media to report fairly what’s happening there, in both words and pictures). My takeaways:


    – People who complain that they can’t find a job when they’re covered in tattoos, strange body piercings, funky hair colors, and look like they haven’t showered in a week.

    – People who’d rather practice neck hoola-hooping (see pic above)on a weekday who somehow think they’re entitled to a six-figure job by virtue of being born in America.

    – Students at Occupy whose parents pay $50,000/yr. to send them to G’town or GW. Or worse, people who get financial aid to attend these schools thanks to federal grants (privileges, not entitlements) who talk about “unfair.”


    – That we live in a tolerant enough country to allow these people to congregate and vent without locking them up pre-Gaddafi Libya-style.

    – The silent majority who work one and two jobs — or who put in 12-hours a day at their one job — who put food on their table rather than complain about “the man” over drum-circles.

    • Rant- judgemental people. What makes you think people in the occupy movement necessarily want your type of job? There are a variety of ways to make a living, many of which offer ways of individual expression.

      Rave- Not everybody is like you

      • +1. you sound like you had your mind made up before you event went there.

      • PDleftMtP

        Rant: not that that was judgmental or anything.

      • wanting something, and feeling entitled to it / protesting until the government hands it to you for free, are two different things.

        i have no problem with people who want to spend their days camping and hula-hooping. however, I don’t think it’s reasonable for those same people to complain that the economy is stacked against them.

        • The occupy movement is made up of a variety of different people who want a variety of different things. Judging the movement based on the preception of wanting a handout seems both dismissive and innacurate.

          If anything, one of their beefs seems to be the no-strings-attached handout given to an industry that caused a financial crisis that spilled out and permanently affected the livelihood and chances of the rest of the population. You could actually argue the group is against the government handing things out for free…

          • This is the problem with liberal politics/movements. There are so many complex, equally valid ideas and different perspectives on how to improve society that it’s hard to get everyone on the same page for a coherent, singular message.

            Which is why conservatives are much more successful: their demographic enjoys authoritarianism and mono-syllabic platitudes that can fit on bumper stickers.

          • Ok, fine…then where were they 3 years ago when it happened?

            I think the nations banking cabal is as ridiculous as it gets, but you don’t sit quiet for 2.5 years after the deed has been done and then get all indignant.

            Nobody except for the banks liked the fact that were bailing them out. The simple fact of the matter is, had we not bailed them out, then we would have the economy of El Salvador right now, with the rest of global economy not far behind.

            The “need” came out of incredibly lax policies and a concerted deregulation of the banks. Hopefully we learned that we need to fix it so we don’t “have” to bail them out again.

            Lastly, you go down to the occupy camp and see signs protesting everything from banking to high fructose corn syrup. Protests mean nothing if they aren’t organzied. You simply come off as ridiculous screechers otherwise.

          • Three years ago, we were campaigning for Obama, who we thought would bring some sense to this madness.

          • I’m certainly not against them propping up the financial industry- the economy and everybody in this country benefitted from that. The government even made money doing it after selling the toxic assets they had acquired!

            But what I don’t like, was the manner in which it propped up the industry. Very little has changed- many of the same practices that caused the crisis continue. There can be no better case of government regulation to account for all these externalities exposed by the crisis, but the finance industry now is pouring a TON of money to water down any sort of financial regulation. It’s beyond sickening.

    • Not to say you shouldn’t maintain a healthy skepticism (or look with your own eyes), but I think you could have gotten the same takeaways from the mainstream media.

    • The blonde neck hoola-hoop gal in that picture is hot. Stop hating!

    • Kalorini

      Rave: John said what I’ve been thinking all along.

      Rant: The amount of DC/other city tax dollars and man hours WASTED trying to contain and manage the Occupy movement. Guess who’s going to have to pay for the resodding of grass and mega-clean-up of Freedom Park when these cats eventually head home? You and me–not “the man”

      • Do you have those exact figures that cities are spending on this? Or are you letting hyperbole run wild in your head? I’m not sure how your individual economy is being altered by people camping out.

        • Trust me Richard, it will cost a huge amount of money to repair the damage to the beautiful McPherson Square. Not to mention all of the compression of the soil could definitely hurt the health of the trees and then you’re looking at hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs.

          • So you’re more worried about people hurting grass than people whose greed is destroying the economy, pulling apart the the middle class, and letting the poor suffer. Nice.

          • The Post reported the figure at around a million a week or so ago.

            And it’s not about being “more worried about the grass.” Thinking that way is so stupidly simplistic that it doesn’t do your argument any favors. It is entirely possible to be worried about “SOCIAL JUSTICE!!! THE ECONOMY!!! THE POOR!!!” and still be irritated at the costs (not just “grass”) to our city.

        • I think the exact figures are irrelevant. Cities are spending more than zero dollars on resodding, cleanup, policing, etc. – all of which they would not be spending if there were no Occupy campouts. Whether that is money “wasted” depends on your personal viewpoint.

          • How can exact figures be irrelevant? If people are complaining about their tax money being wasted, and care so much, they should take the time to research exactly how much – down to the cent – this will affect them. Maybe then there wouldn’t be so much sanctimonious indignation.

          • Exact figures can be irrelevant. If it’s your opinion that a particular expense is wasteful, it doesn’t matter if it’s 1 dollar or 1 billion dollars. It’s still wasteful, it’s just a matter of scale.

        • Kalorini

          I care about DC because I’m a DC resident who pays taxes. Other cities have published similar statistics, but DC is spending $22,000 per DAY on the Occupy DC movement


          NPS said it would be an additional expense to resod the grass: washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/capital-land/2011/10/nps-unsure-cost-fix-occupy-dcs-turf-damage-mcpherson-square

          • They’ve been in the park 61 days. Total sum thus far (22,000 x 61) is $1,342,000.

            Let’s say only 300,000 of DC’s 600,000 residents pay taxes.

            You’re currently on the hook for $4.47. I hope you can manage.

            If you’re posting from a job, you’ve already wasted more money on PoP than doing work.

          • Also, you should actually take time to read the second article you posted.

            “When asked how much it would cost NPS to replant the grass, Johnson said the park service hasn’t determined “if there is damage and we certainly don’t know how much [it would cost to repair]. Clearly it would not be anywhere near the $437,000 though.”

          • The $22,000 a day is being spent right now. This is an extraordinary expense that clearly could not have been budgeted for by the city. As a city resident, I am irritated that my tax dollars are subsidizing this situation, but more importantly, I wonder what city programs and services may be suffering because money is being diverted to cover these unanticipated expenses.

          • I think this is hilarious. Maybe you should take an actual look at the big picture and how DC’s entire budget is spent before you bring your lame “protests are stupid and their costing us money” argument. This country was FOUNDED on civil disobedience and this lazy ignorance isn’t doing you any favors.

          • *they’re

          • Kalorini

            Thanks anon. gardener – you took the words out of my mouth

        • Actually, the mayor was interviewed this weekend and he stated that it’s costing DC taxpayers half a million dollars a month for things including DPW, closing streets for marches, and police.

      • This is the essence of what’s wrong with America. This “me first” attitude. People don’t want “their” tax money being used for anything they disagree with. People don’t want to be inconvenienced. People don’t want to stand up for what is right, as long as they are comfortable.

        The fact that so many people are misdirecting their frustrations at the protestors is evidence enough that we’re screwed as a nation.

        • No, I think we’re just tired of hearing from a bunch of iPhone-carrying and LL Bean tent-using cry babies, who still can’t articulate what it is they are protesting. Granted, some frustration is warranted (i.e. over the public policies that led government to get into the college loan business and thereby, led to inflation-busting increases in tuition). However, these people are a nuisance, and they’re polluting public grounds. The “me first” attitude is most certainly from OWS. Wah, wah, wah, gimme, gimme, gimme. They have no concept of history, and how good they actually have it.

          • Amen.

          • All of this complaining about OWS and the money they are costing the tax payer reminds me of a great quote from MLK from the Letter From a Birmingham Jail:

            “In your statement you assert that our actions, even though peaceful, must be condemned because they precipitate violence. But is this a logical assertion? Isn’t this like condemning a robbed man because his possession of money precipitated the evil act of robbery? Isn’t this like condemning Socrates because his unswerving commitment to truth and his philosophical inquiries precipitated the act by the misguided populace in which they made him drink hemlock? Isn’t this like condemning Jesus because his unique God consciousness and never ceasing devotion to God’s will precipitated the evil act of crucifixion? We must come to see that, as the federal courts have consistently affirmed, it is wrong to urge an individual to cease his efforts to gain his basic constitutional rights because the quest may precipitate violence. Society must protect the robbed and punish the robber”

            and also the reason Occupy must continue:

            “You may well ask: “Why direct action? Why sit ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?” You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dram…atize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word “tension.” I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood. The purpose of our direct action program is to create a situation so crisis packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. I therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation. Too long has our beloved Southland been bogged down in a tragic effort to live in monologue rather than dialogue” – mlk jr

          • who still can’t articulate what it is they are protesting.

            Funny how we never heard this critique when the middle-aged far-right white folks who were protesting because they “want their country back”.

            Unemployment has been above 10% for years. For new college graduates is something like 15%. For high school grads it’s 20%.

            It looks like our government has decided the course of action is austerity for middle- and working-class people and endless sacks of free money for the wealthiest of the wealthy.

            I agree with you though. Whatever could these people be protesting?

    • So who did you speak with specifically that feels they are entitled to a six figure salary for being an American? I’d love to go chat with them, it’s right across the street from my office.

    • The complaint isn’t that these individuals don’t have jobs, but that executives are taking home bonuses in the 10s of millions while slashing pay, cutting benefits and laying people off.
      Perhaps you didn’t notice the overarching slogan of “We are the 99%” that accompanies the occupy protests. It is not about being treated unfairly as a individual. It is about a ever increasing concentration of wealth that benefits the very few while leaving the many with less and less.
      They are out there for the benefit of all the people who need to work 2 jobs or 12 hour days just to put food on the table, and unless you are the 1% they are out there for you too.

      • Wrong.

        The 99% are the people who do work, take of their families (both children and aging parents).

        The “real” 99% looks very skeptically at movements that hijack causes while claiming to “represent” them.

        • Yes, actually most concentration of wealth is with older people (age 65 and above). You know, the oldsters who have been saving their whole lives. Maybe we need to occupy Grandma’s house!

        • I didn’t realize you were a realer person than I am. Or are you saying that 99% of Americans are taking care of both children and their aging parents, in which case I guess I would be in this fictional 1% of yours.
          While you are sharing your impressive knowledge of American demographics could you also inform me as to what cause was hijacked by protesting inequality?

        • This is true. Show a member of the “real” 99% a hippy playing hacky-sack and they’ll gladly vote against their economic interests every time.

          No different from the sharecropper whites who’d do the wet-work for the landed gentry in the Reconstruction South. After all, both blacks and whites might be living in tar paper shacks and in debt, but at least the white sharecropper gets to tell himself he ain’t no n*gger.

    • Rant:
      – Not sure I agree that the neck hoola-hoopers thing they deserve a six-figure job.

      – I agree it’s is galling to see people who look like they just walked out of a tribal experiment complain that they can’t be hired. Is it fair to call it self-centered entitlement when individual expression surpasses basic community standards of presentability (e.g., basic cleanliness, a reasonable number of piercings, no face or hand tattoos, etc.)?

    • I 100% agree with you, John.

    • Actually, the Occupy movement has awakened much of that “silent majority” of which you speak. A majority of Americans have a favorable view of the movement insofar as they perceive it to be about the growing inequality of wealth and opportunity.
      Personally, I think the extended camping out in public spaces is getting old and these folks will just become part of the background unless they tie their protests to some political action. But when conservative Republicans are talking about their credentials to represent the “99%”, it’s clear these people have made a difference.

    • andy

      John – I will generally express my agreement with your rant.

      I also agree with much of what the Occupy Wherever guys are concerned about.

      I just wish they were more respectable. Do you think this country is willing to listen to people who present themselves like Phish concertgoers?

      There was a Daily Show bit on this a while ago that boiled down to this: people who are more respectable than this have better things to do: work, kids, school, etc., so we are stuck with slacklining hemp-clothed drummers as the voice of a lot more unhappy people without the time to live in a city park.

      Protesters seem to boil down to two groups. On the left, it’s the neo-hippies. On the right, it’s the angry retirees.

      Everybody else has work to do.

      • houseintherear

        Well said, and very true.

      • I don’t know why you’re complaining. If we’re too attached to our lifestyles to go down there and make a difference, we should be thankful that somebody’s willing to draw attention to the issues.

      • PDleftMtP

        Exactly. First, drum circles never changed jack (except perhaps by destroying credibility), and second, agreeing with much of what people who identify with Occupy are trying to say doesn’t mean they’re doing it effectively. “We’re right, so it’s working” is delusional; OWS hasn’t been a tenth as effective as the Tea Party, and thinking that that’s a bad thing doesn’t mean it’s not so.

        I thought this interview with an Egyptian involved in Tahrir Square was spot on.

    • Interesting you claim to be forming an independent opinion based purely on direct observation when you address none of the issue my friends involved in the movement and my own direct observation gather to be integral to the movement.

      Firstly, no one is asking to be given a job. But rather for us to have an economy where companies abandon the ‘new normal’ of forcing less people to do more work for less pay and actually hire more people. Last calculation I did based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data, there about 10-20 people looking for jobs per 1 job available.

      Secondly, just because I was privileged to have parents to pay for my college education (and tuition is rising much faster than inflation, leaving the lower classes behind) does not mean that I cannot stand up for the less advantaged men and women of this country to say that the system as a whole is unfair. The fact that Georgetown students are protesting is a great testament to their character that they wish everyone in the U.S. would have the same opportunities as they had.

      Some actual core issues; banks not being held accountable for the financial disaster, companies buying the government through lobbying and campaign donations, our government considering not being able to reach a solution on the debt crisis as an actual way to do ‘work,’ wealth continuing to concentrate in the hands of a few, instead of people being actually able to better their socioeconomic class.

      But I have a feeling you will continue to fit the movement into the mold you created for it before you even visited.

      • This seems to be EXACTLY what I have gathered from the 3 major city Occupations I have visited (DC, Baltimore, Richmond). Anyone not getting this message now is intentionally trying to ignore it or disseminate false info (in my opinion).

      • Those are all very well-made points.

        However, I think the core of John’s comments come down to this: if you want to see change in the world, staging a sit-in while dressing and behaving outlandishly only serves to undermine your message.

        If the OWS movement is made up of such savvy people, they should recognize they’ve developed an image problem. Simply parking your ass in a public space and behaving like modern-day hippies, day-time hula-hoopers, and drum-circle afficinados contributes nothing meaningful to the debate around the points you’ve made above.

        On the other hand, if OWS folks were to camp out in front of Congress, or spend all day lobbying the various members voting against extending payroll tax cuts, or even were to spend time canvassing passers by on city streets and conducting teach-ins, the movement could be taken much more seriously.

        • Indeed. There’s something disingenuous about the fact that they seem to be attempting some lame recreation of the Summer of Love. It’s actually the Winter of It-Ain’t-1967-Anymore. I don’t have a problem with their message(s), I have a problem with the way they’ve chosen to communicate it.

  • em

    Rant: Backache that started yesterday around lunch time is still going strong, even with application of heating pad, Aleve, Bayer cream, hot shower, massage, etc.

    not-quite Revel: At least the Aleve has dulled the pain enough that I can sit in a chair today.

  • Rant: Two anxiety attacks in a span of 24 hours on Sun/Monday. Felt like I was dying and had no will to live.

    Rave: Feeling fully recovered today – and thanking amazing friends, family and the awesome boyfriend for constant support during my depression.

    Rave: Even though my last day at work is next week, I have stopped doing any and all ridiculous assignments that my boss has assigned to me.

    Rave: Getting clarity in my life. Eating better. Working out. Buying those nose strips that allow me to have the best sleep I’ve had in years. Damn you, deviated septum.

    Rave: Scheduled an appointment for my first-ever therapy session. And yes, I can’t wait.

  • Can anyone recommend a personal trainer, and/or let me know what their experience with the cost of one has been?

    I’d prefer a woman, but am open to a male trainer if the price/location/availability works best.


    • I know a ton but help me here and narrow it down as to what you thought you could afford, what location you are willing to go to, and what your general availability is.

      • I work on the Nat’l Mall and live in Petworth, so a place that’s on the green line would be ideal for me. That being said, I am willing to go to another location in the city. My availability is evenings (6 and on) and weekends. As for price… I honestly have no idea how much a private session would cost. $100 an hour? The fact is that I can’t afford this, period, but am willing to do pay it anyway in order to improve my health.

        • I went to a trainer at the Gold’s Gym on Capitol Hill. I signed up for 30 minute sessions, which were half the cost of a full hour (I think they were $45/half-hour session), but I always got trained for the full hour anyway. It might have been just this one particular trainer who did this, but I found him and the rest of the staff to be knowledgeable, motivating, and fun to work out with.

        • You can get a good trainer for less than that especially if you buy a packaged deal. If you’re not affiliated with a gym, try Jordin’s Paradise (Mt. Vernon Square metro) which provides limited personal training. It’s a very female empowering place. Contact Rania at 202-997-8211.

          If you are willing to join a gym, VIDA-Verizon is close to the Mall and Christina Vasquez and Kelly Tongol are great trainers. I know you want a female, but check out George Cruz too.

          WSC-Columbia Heights is most convenient to you but I don’t know much about the trainers there.

          Good luck!

          • Thanks to all respondents! Some really great suggestions in here. And congrats to Anonymous who lost 21lbs!

    • I’d recommend any of the trainers a Balance Gym. I know a few and they know their stuff. Reasonably priced too, especially given what you get from them versus the “trainers” at someplace like WSC or Golds.

    • I have lost 21 pounds in 9 weeks by doing the 30 Day Shred with Jillian Michaels DVD and following the Couch to 5k running application. I track all of my food intake with the Tap&Track app. I hold myself accountable by weighing every Monday morning and posting it on facebook. Who really wants to admit they’ve gained weight on facebook? not me.

      I used to pay the bucks to see a personal trainer and nutritionist as well so I see the benefits both ways. If money is tight for you, like me, then you might find it easier to invest in a $15 DVD and a few $1 apps!

    • I’ve found that taking group fitness classes at a gym or studio is often more cost-effective and just as effective, results-wise, as going to a personal trainer. You’ll be doing all of the same moves that a trainer would teach you, but you save a ton of money. Just my two cents 🙂

    • Big fan of Sport & Health on Wisconsin Ave. in Tenleytown (not near any Metro Station, unfort). Great group of trainers, both male and female. Dues are about $80/mth, and of course they have promotions for new members.

  • Rant: No response from my job interview pre-Thanksgiving. Was really hoping to switch this year….

    Rave: Our family Christmas traditions start on Saturday when we get our Christmas tree. Looking forward to a relaxing day of decorating, movies, and baking cookies!

  • Rant: Got rear ended on the way to work. Sore. Insurance Claims.

    Rave: I get to take tomorrow off to deal with this?

  • Rant: After months of running without injury, my knee has started tweaking 4 days before my second longest race. (I know I’ve been lucky) Icing it, taking it easy and hoping that I’ll be ok by then!

    Rave: Race day looks to be clear and sunny!

  • Rave: Still riding high from lovely Thanksgiving with the family.

    Rant: I think I have fleas in my bedroom. I don’t have any pets. Info/tips on how to get rid of them would be much appreciated!

    • Better hope they are not bed bugs! Are you being bitten?

      • I am being bitten. I’ve talked with a few NPs and MDs and they have all said that the bites don’t look like bed bug bites. I saw two flea-looking things in my bedroom so I’m pretty sure they’re the culprit.

        • When my cat had fleas they lived in my carpet and were very hard to kill. I bought a spray called Adams (blue spray bottle) from a pet outlet online that you can spray into your carpet (as well as a pet’s fur) since they can flourish inside the carpet or upholstery of furniture or your bed (YUCK!). It took regular spraying for a couple of weeks, but eventually I was able to eradicate them from my cat and my carpet shortly thereafter. Good luck–I know how annoying and nasty a flea problem can be.

        • Bug bombs work on fleas, including the eggs (I think). Get them at any pet or hardware store. There is some prep and clean up, but not a big deal. While you’re doing it wash all your linens in hot water.

        • Had fleas at my one apt after my upstairs neighbor w/2 cats moved out and the surrounding apts were vacant. Got rid of them without chemicals by using a bowl and a desk lamp. Note,I was working mid shift at the time so it might not work as well for you.

          Put lamp on floor in center of room with head pointed down low. Fill bowl with soapy water(enough to have covering of bubbles) and place it under lamp. Leave overnight(sleep in another room). The next day I would find little black things drowned at the bottom of the bowl. Took about 4 nights,but no probs after that.

  • Rant: Piece in the New York Times yesterday positing that the 3 money managers from Connecticut who (supposedly) won the Powerball Jackpot don’t really “deserve” it and have some responsibility to give the money away. A lottery is a game of chance and no one who participates is more deserving of winning it than anyone else. And while some people have a more pressing need for money, very few individuals can say that they truly “need” $100 million dollars (the after tax lump-sum payment). So these guys are under no greater obligation to give away some portion of the money than anyone else would be.

  • Rant: I finished the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers for breakfast and can’t remember what else I ever used to eat.

  • Rant – Comcast. I’m done.

    Anyone use Dish Network? I’m finding some solid looking deals online.

    • we have them. they are awesome. they came when they said they were coming, the price is great, and reception is excellent. we only lose signal during VERY heavy rains, and even then only for a minute or two.

    • Going over to RCN myself. Internet and basic HD cable for 40 bucks a month. A little better than the 137 I just got billed for. . .

    • We too ditched Comcast, felt so good to tell them that on the phone, and then turn in the equipment and say goodbye. There were lots of other people in line with me also holding equipment. Maybe it’s a trend and Comcast will get what’s coming to them.

  • Rave: still working with the recruiter on an exciting new position

    Rant: this process is looooong….and I don’t think anything will happen before the end of the year

    Rant/Rave: Watching the piece on homelessness on 60 minutes and being shaken enough to take action. I always give to the homeless on a case-by-case basis, but realize I need to do more.

  • Rant: Sister, disabled 15 years ago from a drunk driver, had a grand mal seizure last night. It’s the 3rd in 18 months. Cause is likely her addiction to prescription painkillers, but she’s unwilling to change, and I feel helpless to do anything for her, especially from half the country away.

    • Dealing with family members who have disabilities is really hard. I know what you’re going through. It’s really important to set good boundaries while providing support.

  • rave: nice visit with grandma and family over the weekend. nice to be back in DC

    rant: grandma still hanging in there but not doing so well. it was so hard to leave.
    the holidays coming up, feeling lonely.

  • me

    Rant: So sick. I hate medicine that makes you feel worse while taking it. I’m sick of being sick.

    Rave: Constant nausea has caused me to lose weight. Gotta find the silver lining, I guess.

    • Meds did this to me over the summer. Zofran helped calm the nausea down. maybe you can try that?

      • me

        Thanks, but I think I’m SOL. I’ve tried Zofran, Phenergan, Dramamine, Bonine, natural remedies, and all that, but no luck.

        • Ugh, that’s terrible. ginger tea? it may not help the nausea, but it tastes good!

        • are you combining drugs? I have a disorder that makes me nauseous 98% of the time. Combining Zofran and Phenergan (the liquid kind works better) tends to knock it out and then Benedryl on top if its really bad. It will make you feel way drugged BUT you get used to it and then you only feel kinda drugged.

    • Hang in there, Me. We’re still thinking about you.

  • houseintherear

    Rant: Finally dealing with my grief after the death of my infant neice this year. I put it off for a while, but it’s here now in full force and I’m kind of a mess. Brother keeps asking me if I have anyone to talk to about it… I don’t. One of the bad things about being a single adult, it seems.

    Raves: Doing very well at work. Refinancing my wonderful house and will save lots of $. Great pets, very cuddly with cold weather rolling in. Going to decorate the house with some jolly xmas lights tonight. Got a new infrared space heater today, thanks to Bob Villa’s recommendation. Left for work 30 minutes earlier than usual and had no traffic AND got a lot done before it got busy around here… that’ll be the new plan from now on!

    • I’m so sorry. Can you talk to a therapist? grief counselor? join a group? I personally would have no idea where to begin sorting through life and feelings and family so I’d probably need outside help.

    • I’m so very sorry for your loss. I can’t even imagine how difficult that must be for you and your family.

      Can you talk to a counselor about it? Or if that isn’t an option, I’m sure there are support groups in the area.

      Wish I could make it all better.

    • Condolences on the loss. I’m not sure the modern idea of “dealing with grief” is realistic or effective. Grief isn’t something you face, accept etc. and then be done with. I think of grief like spraining your soul. It is acute and crippling at first, eases over time, re-erupts now and then, may leave you with a bit of a limp, but ultimately becomes part of the whole of your life, a reminder that risk, emotional or physical is usually worth the pain.

      • houseintherear

        So true. My brother and his wife did it right and grieved hard and with full honesty for the first six months, and now they’re doing better. I can’t even be around newborns at this point. Everyone’s different.


    • I am so sorry for you and your family. Losing a child is such a sad and tragic event.

      Might you consider talking to a priest, minister, imam, or rabbi?

      Even if you don’t believe in spirituality, the clergy can often lend a kind and compassionate ear and give you some perspective on life and death. And, they don’t charge an hourly fee.

    • houseintherear

      Thanks for the condolences, guys. 🙂

  • More sorry than I can say for your family’s loss.

  • Rave: Now that all the “kids” in my family are actually grown adults, we’re giving up the hoopla of buying everyone lots of big Christmas presents and focusing on spending quality time with each other and maybe sticking to a few stocking stuffers.

    Rant: I loved buying presents for everyone! Stocking stuffer ideas (small in both size and cost) are hard for me to come up with. Recommendations for appropriately sized presents for both male and female recipients?

    • Good chocolate!

      • My family went the stocking stuffer route for a few years and it just turned into a chance to buy small things that are expensive. I hope your family can avoid that.

        In terms of recommendations, I would second Trixie’s chocolate and add any favorite/specialty food products are nice. Other things I’ve gotten that I’ve really appreciated include: those fold-up reuseable shopping bags and nice socks.

    • I actually asked my mom for a years subscription to Nat Geo as my stocking stuffer.

    • PDleftMtP

      We did the same thing – my rule of thumb is one or two small useful things (CD, rubber cord manager to wind headphones, etc.) and the rest stupid fun things (rubber band guns, wind-up robots that walk across a desk, etc.)

    • Might be a good idea to check out World Market. They have some unique, cheap things there.

      • Man, I do SO much X-mas shopping at World Market every year. I can get something for almost everyone on my list there. And yes, when in doubt go edible.

    • My partner always wanted to do stocking stuffers and was good at finding inexpensive silly things. However, I wasn’t ever good at it, and it totally stressed me out.

    • Little tools like wrenches, and blinkie lights (think head lamps.) Gardening things, little cooking tools, cheap cookbooks. Tiny tasty things. Nostalgic toys like slinkies…

    • These are awesome ideas! Thanks, everyone!

    • saf

      Go to museum shops!

  • Rant: I really hate it when I see a great event planned that I know my ex-girlfriend will probably go to, or that we probably would have gone to together. Saw something on DCist earlier today and thought “Oh, I should send that to X. She’ll love that. We should totally go.” Almost forgot for a moment she dumped me.

  • Rave: New roof replacement work starts today!
    Rave: went to my once-a-year Caps game last night.
    Rant: They lost, and my friend who goes with me didn’t show up till the third period, so I mostly watched them lose alone.

  • Nail polish, fancy lip gloss in neutral colors, hand cream – all can be bought at Sephora near check outs. Also – a nice set of pens, headphones (small ones, obviously). Anything from Wake Up little Susie in Cleveland park – right near metro. Whole Foods has good stuff if they like to cook – spice mixes, truffle salt! Hand made soaps. Fun jewelry from H&M, etc. and yes, chocolate!

  • oops, was meant as a reply for stocking stuffers.

  • Rant: I’ve accomplished nothing today
    Rave: … but that’s mostly because my inbox has been filled with filthy emails and photos from a very hot new acquaintance of mine. 🙂

  • PoP has had a question like this before, but all the answers involved piano movers rather than technicians, so perhaps I thought I’d ask again.

    We just moved into an apartment in the District and brought our piano up out of storage, and it’s gotten quite out of tune. Does anyone have a recommendation for a reasonably-priced competent registered piano technician (RPT) who works in the District?

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