Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user wolfkann

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 and no need to correct people’s grammar. This is a place to vent and/or celebrate things about daily life in DC.

88 Comment

  • Rave: Falling asleep with the woman you love.
    Rant: When the alarm goes off in the morning. And broccoli.

  • Rave: beautiful morning, got some great writing and bike riding in

    Rant: Did something to my wrist and now it hurts when I lift things up. So now I’m rocking a lovely wrist wrap today. I almost made it a month since the last time I hurt myself.

  • Revel: Chopping off all of my hair is one of the most empowering and fun things I have ever done. I can’t believe I was so afraid to do it! Also, I never would have guessed I’d feel this pretty with short hair. Holy crap.

    Rant: Slept through my Pilates class this morning. $16 down the drain.

    • That is awesome!! Did you get a pixie cut? I’ve always wanted to cut off all my hair, but I always chicken out. Plus my hair is curly and I’m afraid of the growing-out process!

      • epric002

        go for it! just use a hair stylist you trust who can give you the best short cut for your hair type/face shape. i looooove having short hair, and never receive more compliments than i do when i have a pixie cut 🙂

        • I recently chopped off my hair too. It is a great feeling. I have an appt tomorrow to get a trim.

          • And this is why I won’t cut my hair. I hate going to the salon and love that with long hair I only have to go every six months or so. With short hair, it probably would be about every six weeks, which would drive me nuts.

      • I am also scared of doing it because of the “curly factor.” In the past, just growing out bangs has been agonizing for this reason.

      • I think curly hair would look great super short!

        • Really?? I’m afraid I will look like Corey Matthews from Boy Meets World with short curly hair.

  • Rant: dropped a metro card in the office this week and the finder won’t give it back because I can’t prove it’s mine. Unfortunately, it’s not registered grrr
    Rave: finally going to try out Mothership tonight!

    • Jeez! What kind of office do you work in?!?!

      • continued rant: just a government office, but one where people seem to have overblown definitions of “integrity.” when i asked the guy to simply turn it into lost and found, he balked and said he didnt like the “accusation” i was making that he was going to keep it for himself. like i enjoyed the accusation i was claiming metro cards that weren’t mine! my dignity is worth more than the $30 and change on that card…

        • For lesser offenses than this I would contemplate a long, slow method of career-wrecking revenge

        • Now he’s probably going to bring some kind of lawsuit to better secure his job.

  • Rave: Hayes Carll at the Birchmere tonight

    His “serious” songs are actually better than his novelty work, but they seem to be the only songs his label will spend money to do a video for. Nonetheless, take a few minutes to laugh over “She Left Me for Jesus” (then google “KMAG YO YO” or “Drunken Poet’s Dream”).


  • Rave: Caps play-offs start tonight! Super excited, and I am going to game 1!!!

    Rant: We are probably going to lose in round 1 or 2 again. Damn them.

    • Rant: Your losing attitude!
      Rant: You’re probably right.

      • Rave: Low expectations leads to less disappointment

        Rave: This is the only part of my life I allow myself to be pessimistic in. Otherwise I am in general quite optimistic!

        Rave: They are playing really well right now, and could certainly make a run like the Kings did last year.

  • Rant: My memory is not good. Any tips for strengthening it?

    • get more sleep?

    • Check out lumosity.com – they have a lot of brain improvement exercises, including memory strengthening games. I also read somewhere that before you fall asleep that night, you should try to recall every single thing you did that day in as much detail as possible. Over time, you get better at it and subsequently better at retaining events and details.

    • you might find the book “moonwalking with einstein” interesting.

    • pablo .raw

      Rave: Beautiful sunset and evening that eliminates every single rant.

    • I’ve been Lumosity the last few weeks. I like it – you can try it free before you buy anything.

    • I read somewhere that walking two miles a day greatly improves memory. But I think that’s just a cure-all. Although my 99-year-old grandmother has walked two miles a day almost her entire life, and not only remembers the content of newspaper articles from the 1920s, but even their titles. And I just googled walking and memory, and it seems fairly legit.

    • Get off the damn internet. I seriously think the internet/smartphones have destroyed my brain.

      Also, sitting and reading a book or a long article that isn’t on a device. That helps.

    • Cross train your brain – take a class & learn something new, do crossword puzzles and sudoku. Try different kinds of creative activities such as drawing, writing (by hand, not on the computer), building something…

  • Rave: guilty in the Maslin trial.
    Rant: always the fear of light sentences in DC

    rant: day 5 of migraines.

    • I saw the maximum sentence is 105 years. Anything less than that will be too light as far as I’m concerned.

  • Rave: It’s our wedding anniversary today. My husband is, without a doubt, the best thing in my life. Love that man.

  • special_k

    Rave: Great San Francisco trip with awesome recommendations from friends about what to see and eat.

    Rant: The Pirate Supply Store closed at 6 so I missed it!

    Rave: Home sweet home.

  • Rave: Smitten with new dude.

    Rave: The smitten-ness is reciprocated.

  • Rave: New eyeglass prescription and new frames! I didn’t think I needed a new prescription, but obviously I did. I can see so much better! I noticed that I’m not leaning towards my computer screen to read emails.

    Rant: Tripped over myself twice since wearing the new glasses. My depth perception is all messed up.

  • Any dog whisperers in PoPville? My dog started barking when the mailman came to the door. Now she starts barking when the mailman’s truck parks across the street (and a few houses down). The barking escalates when he gets closer (she can hear when he’s a few houses away) – it’s both barking and whimpering. I’ve tried distracting her with treats which only works as long as it takes her to eat the treat.

    I’ve started wrapping her in a blanket (she’s also shaking) and holding her on the couch, turning the music up & feeding her treats. She still freaks when the mailman comes to the door.

    If I’m not there, she’ll grab the mail when it comes through the mailslot and fling it around. Magazines get special treatment.

    Any suggestions?

    • Your Dog’s Friend in Rockville does a number of positive training courses. We use Hedda Garland at School of Dogs as a positive trainer too and she is working with us to help the dog overcome some anxiety.

      Our dog has developed a bad habit of barking at every person/dog/child we pass in the car – used to just be dogs. We’re working on that.

    • My dog does the same thing with grabbing the mail, but, fortunately, he only barks when the mailman is right in front of the house.

      Did she seem any better (even marginally) when you wrapped her in a blanket or held her tightly? If so, you may want to try a Thundershirt. If that doesn’t work, maybe you could try to be outside (with your dog) for a few days when the mailman arrives-say hi to him, make sure your dog sees he’s not a threat. I’m far from an expert (all of my knowledge comes solely from a lifetime of having dogs), so maybe someone else can give you better advice!

      • She does seem better when I hold her, although agree with Anon below that there can be a downside to doing this. She has the same reaction to the UPS and Fedex men, although they don’t come daily.

        When we’re outside, I try to give her treats when we see any of the above (her first reaction is to bark at them – she’ll even bark at their parked trucks). This helps in the moment.

        There is a female mail carrier who delivers on the next block – my dog approaches her with a wagging tail. No barks, no fear…

    • Two things: The fact that you (as the leader or the alpha) is wrapping her up in blankets and cradling her on the couch in response to the situation actually sends her the message that there IS something to fear. It is tough to not comfort them, but going about your business sends the dog the message that there is nothing to fear. The dog may also pick up on your anxiety in response to her anxiety and thus, the situation escalates. My parents learned this after dealing with our Great Dane who turned into a shaking mess during thunderstorms.

      Second, have you considered a thunder shirt? This has worked for both of our Danes.

      Good luck!

      • Install a mailbox outside so the mail doesn’t pop through the slot?

        • This might be a good option – I’d come home to intact magazines and mail without toothmarks!

        • I had to do that when I had a dog that would attack the mail. Screwed it shut, put a metal plate on the inside side of the door and attached a mailbox to the wall outside.

    • Contain her in a room or even in a crate. My dogs are less anxious if they only have a small area to “guard”.

    • Not to blame you, but… it’s your fault. Jk, sort of. Showing the dog any sort of positive attention, like cuddling or whatever, enforces the behavior. Redirection is the best option, and planned ignoring. Not unlike a child. 🙂

    • Thanks for your advice – it’s become more clear we both would benefit from dog training. I’ve been working from home more often these days so I’m seeing this behavior on a regular basis. And what I’ve tried so far (including ignoring) hasn’t been effective.

      The single-mindedness that made her Border Collie ancestors good working dogs has a downside. I just need to figure out how to channel it away from our mail carrier.

  • pablo .raw

    Rave: Beautiful sunset and evening that eliminates every single rant.

    (reposting bcause it went to the wrong place before)

  • Rant: Woman
    Rave: Women

  • Got a great deal for a nice beach front condo in Broadkill Beach, DE for the long Memorial Day weekend for me & my lady. This will be my third year in a row going there. It’s such a wonderful, stress free place – I always return home feeling re-energized and well rested.

    Soooooo much nicer than Rehoboth, Ocean Shitty, Bethany, or VA Beach. Can’t wait to buy my own place there one day. It’s the best kept secret in the DMV.

    • Good for you. Sounds pretty boring.

      • It really is. But I have lots of trips planned this year to more interesting locations (Berlin, Brazil, Burning Man, California, Mexico), that I already have all the action I need.

        Broadkill is my place to unwind, literally forget everything, and eat a crapton of delicious seafood. And build a bonfire on the beach.

        • Allison

          Sounds awesome to me!! (People’s ideas of boring in this town astound me, but maybe I’m a country bumpkin.) I’m looking for a beach in Delaware to let my brain melt after the bar exam.

          • Do Broadkill Beach – you’ll find a ton of properties on Homeaway.com. I’ve gotten my last three house rentals through there, worked great each time.

            Broadkill is great because its sparsely populated, the beach is practically private. Yet it’s still only a 25 minute drive to Rehoboth or the Dogfish brewing factory. Great place to bring pets, too.

  • Rant: Neighbor leaves his or her dog out all evening long, and it howls constantly, without interruption. It sounds like it’s in pain, so I want to cry in empathy. It’s impossible to hang out on the front porch or the back patio. Can’t really be in the house without music either since it can be heard in there. And I can’t figure out which neighbor it is!

  • I received some money recently that is enough to cover my student loans, which are fairly modest ($11,000) and at a low interest rate (average is 1.85%). I feel like financially, it may be better for me to invest the money somewhere that would make a better interest rate and just continue paying my loans. But it would be great to pay them off. What do you think, Popville?

    Rave: this is a pretty great problem to have
    Rant: the money was an inheritance from my grandmother, who passed away about a month before my son was born, so she never got to meet him.

    • Pay it off

    • Max out tax-deferred investments before paying off your loans. Will earn far more than the crazy low interest rates you’re paying.

      • That’s sound advise. Yeah, if you have an IRA, put in the max contribution then put the rest towards your loan.

        1.85% interest? I wish I were that lucky!

        • I agree too. I would 1) pay off credit cards; 2) max out an IRA; 3) pay the student loans. I would not mess with trying to beat the 1.85% interest by putting it in the stock market or some other short term investment.

      • I had to force myself to do this against the temptation to be “free” of student loans. But, yeah, paying off any higher interest loans first, then maxing tax-deferred investments.

    • Listen to Michelle Singletary – get rid of the debt. I did that a few years ago in a similar situation and it felt SO freeing.

    • Pay credit cards first.

      Do you have a cash reserve? Something so that you’d never need to carry a credit card balance? If not, that’s the first $3,500.

      I think at 1.85%, I would not pay it off. It’s different at 6% or more.

      So, look at your overall finances, and see if you can simply accelerate payments or, as the other poster said, increase your retirement contributions. You can cut your budget more closely, now that you have this pile of reserves.

      • I already have an emergency cushion, contributed to my Roth (I don’t think I can make a lump sum payment to my TSP), and don’t have credit card debt.

        My plan would be to put the money that I was paying towards the loan into more Roth contributions or up my contributions to my son’s 529. I guess I could put the money straight into my son’s 529, but the limitations of that investment (it can only be used for educational expenses, etc) makes me kind of reluctant to do so.

        • Are you maxing out your TSP? Although you can’t make a lump-sum contribution, you can increase whatever you’re already contributing so as to hit the max.

        • binpetworth

          There is financial aid for education…there is no financial aid for retirement. Invest in your future first.

    • I have a similar issue. I received $5000 from a relative. I have some extra cash that I have sitting there (tax returns & a work bonus), so let’s say $10K to invest.

      No credit card debt. I definitely don’t put enough in my retirement account. I have $17K in student loan debt (2.75% interest).

      What’s my best investsment option? Thanks in advance for the ideas.

      • I think Suze Orman says it best.

        How does the debt make you feel? Is it something you think about every day? If so, pay it off, because being debt free makes you feel more powerful, and powerful people are more successful.

        On the same token, if you never think about it and just pay the minimum, the smarter move financially is surely to invest to money. You can get 2.75% yield on Apple, and any appreciation is just gravy.

    • p.s. Sorry for your loss.

    • disagree with paying the student loan off, esp when your interest rate is that low (i have about $10k of loans at 1.125% interest, and have no plans to pay them off early). I was in a similar situation as you, and used the unexpected cash to as a downpayment on my house. if you already have property, or no other outstanding loans with higher interest rates, i would invest the $.

      you get to deduct the interest from your student loans from your taxes, so you lose that by paying it off. also, having a little tiny bit of debt like that actually helps your credit rating — my parents paid off their mortgage and their car, and now have no long-term credit history to show they are a stable risk so their scores actually went down. having a periodic payment loan that you pay regularly (i.e., important that you are NOT late with this payment) is actually a good thing.

      just my $0.02

      • The student loan interest tax deduction has a low limit ($2,500), and even lower when your income grows. My deduction was very low this year and I have a much higher interest rate (good ol’ 6.625%) for a higher amount in loans (about $25K now), and my income is pretty average.

        In short, that’s pretty much a non-factor in this person’s case.

        • Yeah, I completely lost the student loan interest deduction this year because I made over $75K as a single person. That sucked.

          If you’re married, I think you can have a HH income up to $125K and claim the whole amount. If your HH income is above $155K, you don’t get to claim anything. Such BS, I should probably just marry my debt-free girlfriend so I can claim the deduction.

  • Rave: Student loans are officially paid off! Woohoo!
    Rave: Am going back to prior company and am way more interested in the work than my current role.
    Rant: Prior company won’t agree to give me a raise.
    Rave: They did agree to count my prior service for terms of getting more vacation days and 401k vesting.

  • rant: beyond the miracle of life, this pregnancy has given me a hellacious case of carpal tunnel syndrome. my arms go numb when i lay down, my wrists and hands hurt and go numb, and i can’t get a decent nights sleep. 20 more weeks (140 more nights) to go…

    rave: it’s a boy 🙂

    • I had the same thing (except it was my legs that would go numb when laying down) until a couple of weeks ago. Now I’m 26 weeks and I feel great aside from being able to eat everything in sight. Congratulations and good luck!

      • were you able to do anything about it?? i would sleep hanging upsidedown like a bat if i could get a solid night’s sleep 🙂

  • Rave: Gorgeous spring weather, flowers and cute kids
    Rant: Not quite warm enough for the oceanfront Groupon deal I am doing this weekend. Guess I have to find things to do at the beach besides walking in bundled up sweatshirts.

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