Random Reader Rant and/or Revel


Photo by PoPville flickr user DC@rt

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.

71 Comment

  • Rant: Dupont Circle metro. If they are going to close one of the entrances, they need to be on their A game when it comes to maintaining the other one. One working escalator is unacceptable.

    Rave: Signed up for a yoga class for the first time.

    Rant: I hope I don’t look ridiculous. I signed up for the beginner class but I’m terrified of looking like an idiot in a room full of people who know what they’re doing. :(

    • That’s awesome about the yoga class. Congrats! Don’t worry about it one bit. Every single person in that room either went thru feeling the same way at one point or will be going thru it with you in class. It doesn’t matter what level anyone is – we all look ridiculous. Give it time and you’ll learn to love it. :) Enjoy!

    • You’ll be fine. I’m doing yoga for my third time this weekend and i’d say each class is about 25% people who are there for the first time. Try to sit behind someone that looks like they’ve been there before!

    • Don’t worry about it. Unless you’ve signed up for some sort of Intermediate/Advanced class, you won’t be the only beginner. I feel the same way about the dance class I’m starting tonight (hip-hop) but keep telling myself “It’s okay, it’s only an Intro class!”

    • To fully appreciate yoga, you have to read this: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-3153/Hilarious-Yoga-Mat-for-Sale-Ad-on-Craigslist.html

      You can take comfort in the fact that at least you’re not doing bikram (or “hot”) yoga, while you’re stretching and grunting. Have fun!

    • Blithe

      I’m cheering you on re: your courage (!) in signing up for your first yoga class. Please don’t worry about how you look — if you have a good teacher, the focus should be on how you feel. You might want to avoid the front row though — which means that you can glance at other students a bit if you feel the need. I hope you enjoy it! And if it’s not a great fit, there are lots of styles of yoga and LOTS of styles of teachers out there!

  • Rant/rave: Five-day weekend coming up. One of those days will actually be for getting things done and relaxing. The other four will be indoors in a(n interesting) training for 10+ hours/day.
    Rant: Feeling gross after eating what felt like a smorgasbord every day with my family last weekend. Bleegggh.

  • Rant: I didn’t get the job. It wasn’t quite what I was looking for (too assistant-y) but the rejection still stings. How is it possible to interview for, and be rejected from about 7-10 jobs in 1.5 years? Back to square one :(

    Rave: Got the fire lit under my ass to email some old connections. Hoping something can come through that way.

    Rave: Should be starting to write some articles for the international affairs section of a website with decent readership soon. Exciting new project with an outlet for my passion, since my job isn’t one.

    • Keep your head up! It’s very possible (and probably normal) given the amount of people that are looking for work and the dearth of opportunities. I will say, however, that if you weren’t that keen on the position, that might have come through in the interview. As somebody who just hired someone for the first time, one of the things that stood out to me was the candidate’s enthusiasm for the job. There were two other interviewees who just seemed like they were doing their best to go through the motions of the interview, but the one we went with seemed really psyched to join our team. That’s what made us choose him.

    • Emilie504

      I feel your pain. It sucks not to get a job, even if it wasn’t quite what you were looking for.

    • “How is it possible to interview for, and be rejected from about 7-10 jobs in 1.5 years? ”

      My dear, that’s perfectly normal. I must have gone on around 50 interviews before finally getting an offer.

    • claire

      Congrats on the new international affairs writing project! Seems like pursuing your passion(s) in your spare time is the best way to stay sane (and can give you an extra boost for getting a job in that field down the line).

    • I know how tough the job market is, but that’s totally possible. I must have sent out 70 plus applications and had 10 or more interviews in my last job search.

      Keep on plugging, and don’t forget to apply for things that are out of your field, but related or are a reach. I applied for everything I thought I could do well and ended up in a different field that required similar skills.

    • Keep your head up! Applying is hard and getting rejected is even harder. The whole process is completely random and often relies on factors like timing or personality fit. I should know, I’ve been job searching for forever! Keep us updated on your search, it comforting to know others are in my same situation!

      • Will do :) Yes, it is comforting knowing that everyone faces the struggle at some point, and you aren’t alone. Good luck to you!

  • Emilie504

    Rant: My awesome building manager go promoted to another building. He totally deserves it, but I’ll miss him.

    Rant: The people who got the job I wanted were announced.

    Rant: Boss set up weird coffee meeting, 2 hours before my annual review…

    Rave: I have good friends at work and outside work.

  • MsNesbitt

    I’m going to join in on the job search related rants…

    Rant: Feeling frustrated when I spend a lot of time crafting cover letters and then my application goes into a black hole. I know I’m qualified for these jobs; I know I’m enthusiastic about these positions. Why is no one calling me for an interview? Job searching, especially when it’s a career change, is so aggravating!

    Rave: I have a job. It’s not a job I love. It’s not even a job I like. But after being unemployed for part of 2011, I’m glad to just have a job.

    • I’m a corporate recruiter….in the 5 years I’ve been doing this I’ve never read a cover letter. If you’re interviewing with companies/firms that have recruiting teams, then I wouldn’t waste time with a cover letter. A potential hiring manager might read one.

      Finding a job is tough work. Changing careers is tougher. I rarely consider career changers unless they have the relevant work experience I’m looking for.

      • MsNesbitt

        Thanks for the recruiter perspective. As far as I’m aware, I haven’t been applying for positions at companies that utilize recruiters. I’m switching from nonprofit student-focused work into student-focused work at institutions of higher education, in conjunction with finishing up a grad degree in the same field. My past experience is completely relevant, but it seems to be a small field with a lot of candidates seeking the same positions.

        • work LinkedIn just as hard as you’re working the job boards like Monster or Careerbuilder. Connect with people in the higher ed– the HR rep, the program managers, the executive director. As them for an informal phone conversation.

  • rave: I’ve really been a very lucky person my whole life.

    rant: my boss communicates in very indirect and confusing ways. she’s also a gossip which makes life really difficult when I have personal stuff going on that I need time off for. I already know way too much about coworkers thanks to her.

  • binpetworth

    Rant: My cat has an excessive grooming habit, to the point of licking bald spots near her tail. Even worse, she seems to believe the ideal grooming environment is a) on my bed, b) as I’m sleeping, and c) while leaning up against me.

    Revel: Had a chat with a friendly 12-year-old neighbor boy as I walked home from work yesterday. Restored my faith in the future of DC youth.

    • Emilie504

      Last week on the bus I encountered 2 young men (approximately 13 and 10 years of age) who stood aside to let the adults exit the bus first. Very kind of them. I’m sad to say, I’m the only adult who thanked them.

    • my cat was doing the excessive licking thing, the vet wanted to put her on prozac(!). I changed her food and the excessive grroming stopped. At the time, I was student and had been buying the cheapo catfood made from the stuff that falls in the floor in slaughterhouses. After changing to wholesome, natural food she was fine.

      • What brand had you been feeding your cat? I recently bought Iams for my cat as she had been having some stomach issues with Purina (which I had bought her entire life), as it claimed to be for sensitive stomachs. I thought at first it was treating her better, but she has vomited 3x in the past week, which concerns me. I am hoping she is just eating too fast, because it appears she isn’t fully digesting the food.

        • I feed her Paul Newman’s cat food. I have it as a monthly subscribtion order from Amazon. She also really likes “grass gel” http://www.amazon.com/Gimborn-Grass-Gel-for-Cats/dp/tech-data/B00106VLHY

          if she is grooming excessively she may have more hairballs, which leads to poor digestion, which leads to more anxiety based behavior (excessive grooming), etc. BUT I am NOT a vet so it wouldn’t hurt to call your vet.:)

          • binpetworth

            Thanks for the tip! My cat eats pretty high quality food (Wellness brand) but she might like that cat grass gel, since she loves cat grass–I’ll give it a try and see if it helps.

          • Wellness is a good brand but your kitty could still be allergic to something in it (a friend of mine had a cat with your cat’s exact problem and it was cleared up by switching her food to the Science Diet food for allergies, but it’s pricy). You may also want to try Evo, and try different flavors in case your kitty is allergic to something common like chicken or fish. I recall my friend’s cat being tested for allergies, but I don’t know how expensive that is or whether if it’s worth it. Good luck!

  • To all those who have rooftop decks or have occasion to visit rooftop decks: now that we are entering the warm months, please know that sound does not float. It goes all directions quite well, including down. So, when I am on my first floor deck and you are on a roof deck within a roughly three townhouse radius, I can hear everything you say. Everything. This is not a rant nor a rave nor a revel, just an FYI. You have no privacy.

  • shaybee

    Rant: My ear is really blocked and I can’t hear well out of it. This happens frequently and always goes away on it’s own, but it’s really frustrating!

    • Get rid of Q-Tips… Put 2 drops of Witch Hazel in your ears, then clean water and used a rolled up (clean) paper towel in there to dry your ear canal out. Always works for me, barely have the issue any more. The inside of my ear canals are very sensitive, so witch hazel is an all natural antiseptic that is safe (made from tree bark) much less irritating than peroxide. Cheers.

    • if it’s allergy or sinus related, try using Afrin for 2 days (3 days max). Check the box or google it– it relieves the pressure in the ear’s eustacian tube.

    • I’ve had my ears irrigated several times and if there’s wax buildup in your ears, I recommend having it done. I prefer to have someone in an ENT’s office do it b/c I figure they know what they’re doing (but I’ve also had the nurse at the CVS minute clinic offer to do it for me). But if your ears are blocked because of sinus inflammation, then Afrin could provide temporary relief (but you can’t take it for more than 2-3 days at a time) or you could use a steroid nasal spray (I like Veramyst) but it requires a prescription.

    • shaybee

      Thanks for the advice everyone! I actually used Hydrogen Peroxide (which made me really nervous, but it was totally fine) and flushed it out with warm water and I can hear again!

  • Rant: The following childhood jeer is stuck in my head:
    “2, 4, 6, 8, who don’t we apprepciate?! [insert name]! Lock him in a high chair. Sock him in the jaw! Flush him down the toilet. Rah! Rah! Rah!”

    Rave: At least I can still remember obscure things from my youth.

    • Hands down, the BEST thing I learned in elementary school was the song where you sing all 50 states in alphabetical order. It has come in very handy over the years…

      • me

        One of the only obscure things I remember from school is the US presidents in order, which I had to memorize in 5th grade. It really hasn’t served me at all, except when I watched Die Hard 3 for the first time and one of the riddles was that they had to figure out the thirteenth president, which I spouted off within 5 seconds. But that’s about it. :)

      • OMG! I distinctly remember learning this.

      • I LOVE that song (from 5th grade) and sing it in the car with my kids when we are traveling. They, by the way, HATE the song as a result. (“Aaaallllaaa-BAMA, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado….”)

  • I am none too pleased that the American soccer squad failed to make the Olympics. That’s just pathetic. And a loss to Canada (first time in 20yrs) makes me physically ill.

    That is all. As you were.

  • Rant: Found more mice in our apartment when we thought we had finally gotten rid of them. after dealing with flooding, a landlord who won’t replace a light in our hallway because it’s “original to the house”, smoking downstairs neighbors with constantly yapping dogs, and a wood floor that’s literally falling apart, it’s too much.

    Rave: Boyfriend and I agreed it was the last straw. Putting in our 60 day notice today.

    Rave: Found an AMAZING new apartment with all the bells and whistles, it feels like moving back to civilization after this horrid living experience (which goes beyond the mice).

    Rant: Amazing new apartment isn’t in DC. Hellooooooo Arlington!

    • I did the rental shuffle for several years before meeting my girlfriend and buying a place. As much as I hate to admit it, the bells-and-whistles apartment in Arlington was my favorite. It’s still an easy commute to DC, and depending on where you live it can be quite walkable with good Metro access. Better than dealing with small landlords who don’t have the experience, or time, or team of people to deal with your problems.

  • Rave: Had a healthy baby boy in January via emergency csection and a miserable labor prior to that. He’s the joy of my life.

    Rant: Back at work and trying to figure out a schedule with limited time in the evening and maximum time with my son (while he’s awake, preferably).

  • Rant: I have NOTHING to do at work today. I repeat, NOTHING. Guess I just sit and wait for the phone to ring…

    Rave: Had a 5 minute phone coversation with a 76 year-old man yesterday who called looking for someone who worked here 20 years ago. Everytime he was about to hang up, he’d launch into a new topic. I really love old people sometimes–this call made my day. :o) (Except when he told me I sound like I’m 18 or 20 on the phone).

    Rant: Had TWO friends get engaged during the past FOUR days. One has barely known her now-fiance for 4 months! I’ve been with The Boyfriend for five years! *sigh*

    Rave: As much as I want to “grow up” and get on with my life, I’m having a lot of fun in this space.

    Rant: None of this fun is with said Boyfriend because he is ALWAYS WORKING.

    • I bet you are a lot better off than your friend who is getting engaged after barely knowing her fiance. To each his own, but how can you know someone well enough to commit your life to them after 1/3 of a year?! Sorry about The Boyfriend, though. That sounds tough.

  • Rave: Started eating lean cuisines and surprised at how good they taste! Spring rolls for lunch today.
    Rant: $4 a box but still cheaper than carry-out.

    • I’d be a little wary of eating too many of those processed foods. did you look at the ingredients list? yikes.

      • Or the sodium!

        Spring rolls are easy to make once you get the hang of it. They get a little hard if they sit out, but if you cover them with a damp towel during storage it will solve the problem.

        I can’t even imagine how a frozen spring roll could possibly be good. But everything Lean Cusine makes tastes like chemicals to me.

      • Lean Cuisines are pretty good as frozen meals go. For those of us with limited cooking skills, they’re a good option.

        The takeout that the OP had been getting isn’t necessarily low(er) in sodium… restaurant food is notoriously high in salt.

        • True. I’ve only bought lunch about a dozen times in my life, so I forget that for some people it’s an everyday thing.

          So for those who don’t cook, what do you eat for dinner? Leftovers are usually what I bring for lunch but I guess you wouldn’t have those? On days when I don’t have leftovers I might throw together a composed salad, which involves little or no cooking. Or if I’m tired or hungover or something I’ll just grab half an avocado and a piece of bread to stick in the toaster. Keep nuts and fruit on hand and it’s plenty of food. I don’t think you need to resort to bad frozen meals if you can’t cook.

  • Bear

    Rave: Just got done with the internal review on the proposal I’m currently managing–my first big one that I’m handling solo. Feedback from the reviewers was that it’s one of the best they’ve seen. Hooray for not screwing up the first big opportunity I’ve been given!

    Rave: When I got out of the meeting I had a call from the executive director of another firm that might be interested in poaching me. Their work isn’t really in my area of expertise, but it’s certainly worth a conversation :)

    Rant: Screwy seasons. My body is supremely confused by the fact that it’s cold outside but my allergies are in full effect.

  • Rant: Fairly certain I just bombed in an interview. I’m totally qualified, have the knowledge, credentials, and experience, but when I went into the room with a panel of 9 interviewers I froze. I speak in groups all the time but this totally got to me! I did not demonstrate or convey my abilities well at all. I know it’s good experience and yet I’m so disappointed in myself. Stinks.

    • You might be surprised that you did better than you thought. But if you really bombed it, write a note or an email thanking them for meeting with you, but explaining that you feel that nerves got the best of you and you’d like to talk to them again.
      It can’t hurt.

      • Thanks. Yeah, I will definitely write a thank you note. Guess it can’t hurt to acknowledge that I was nervous. Just experiencing one of those moments where all the answers to their questions are crystal clear after the fact. Ugh.

        • Even if you don’t explicitly acknowledge your nerves in the thank-you note, you should follow up on a question or two that you didn’t answer as well as you wished you had!

  • Rave: Crescent moon + Venus + Jupiter last night! Not sure what they’re up to tonight, but go out after dusk and look in the western sky.

    Rant: Turbo Tax!!!!!! This year’s version doesn’t work on my operating system and required all sorts of downloads that took a computer pro 4+ hours and cost me $300.00!

  • Rant: The controversy over lean finely textured beef. So crazy.

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