Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user angela n.

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.

114 Comment

  • Rant: There’s a government job posting that’s exactly what I want to do, but the Open Period is only two weeks and the Specialized Experience Requirements are so specific that only someone already working for the agency could possibly have them. Is it safe to assume they already have an internal hire in mind and I’d be wasting my time by applying?

    • You’re probably right – but if I were you, I’d still apply.

    • gotryit

      Yes, that happens frequently, but it may not be a waste of your time to apply. Sometimes its helpful to just get your information in front of the people who are hiring.

    • Even if they already have someone in mind, I believe it is the law that they have to interview X amount of applicants if they are deemed qualified. I could be very wrong, but the agency I contract for seems to have these requirements.

      • It might be the policy for that specific agency, but I don’t think it’s the law.

        I thought the law was they had to advertise the position publicly for a certain amount of time (say a 1 month), review applications, for a certain amount of time (say 1 month), have a certain interview period, etc..

        • Yes that is wrong. You can have advertisements out for a week. If it is a week advertisment they have someone in mind don’t apply. I know because I had an office put one out for me. There isn’t a set number of people they interview you. If the applicant meets certification level for the highest ranked level they have to interview them. Unless they have direct hire authority then you have a little more leverage to cherry pick who you interview. Direct Hire authority is usually for Contract Specislists (Rrepresent SON!!) and HR Specialist or other positions that are hard to fill. However OP if the annoucement is for 2 weeks or longer it might be worth your time. But if the experience is very agency specific and its for a GS-12 or hire I wouldn’t bother. They aren’t looking for someone to train to get up to speed on how they operate.

          • Thanks for the insight. It’s for a GS 13/14. I meet all the other requirements and qualifications, and have relevant grad school/volunteer work in this field, but my current work experience is supporting a completely different agency.

    • dirty little secret of the US government = a lot of job postings are tailored to the specific resumes of the candidate they already have in mind (interviewed, vetted, etc). whether internal or external.

      Unless your resume matches exactly, you don’t stand a chance.

    • It could be tailored to fit someone who already works there, but you should still apply. I know of two instances in one agency where they wrote the posting to fit a specific person (a current employee who was a grade below the posted position), and after the interviews, the agency ended up making an offer to a different person.

    • Yes, super-specific experience requirements usually indicate they already have someone in mind. But I agree with everyone else, go ahead and apply. Nothing to lose I guess…

    • The shortest opening is 3 days (I thought?) so if they had a specific person in mind, it wouldn’t be open for 2 weeks. They could have someone in mind, but it being open for 2 weeks tells me they might not.

      Apply…nothing to lose but a few minutes of your time.

      • lolzy lolzy lol. if you don’t have a veteran’s preference, don’t bother. i stopped applying for gov’t jobs after getting ENDLESS “eligible but not referred” responses. tell me, please, how a non-veteran is EVER supposed to get hired w/o the preference? on most of the EBNR responses, i scored 99 or 100 out of 100, and i couldn’t even get an interview. the system is broken.

        • The system isn’t broken, it’s just set up in a way that doesn’t favor you. It was a public policy decision made by the Congress that veterans get a preference. So there are people that are 100 out of 100 scores, ie veterans that are getting the job. As intended.

          • Veterans preference is but one preference used in Federal hiring- there are a lot of ways to exclude otherwise well-qualified people. But yeah, this is not a merit-based system (not in the truest sense). Hence, why I continue to believe we do not get the biggest bang for our buck with some employees. Based on how hard it is to get in, you’d think the halls of agencies would be filled will wunderkinds and Ivy League graduates. This is definitely NOT the case!

          • Sometimes it’s easy to get in. I was accepted at the USPTO before I even got out of college because they’re so desperate for people.

          • “Based on how hard it is to get in, you’d think the halls of agencies would be filled will wunderkinds and Ivy League graduates.”

            Right, because an Ivy League education is the truest measure of “merit.”

          • the system is broken if qualified candidates cannot.even.get.an.interview unless they are a veteran. and i have seen, too many times to count, non-qualified veterans get hired into positions for which they have absolutely zero experience. i have also seen (too many times to count) contractor positions get converted to fed positions, and that contractor cannot even get an interview for the job they’ve been successfully doing, simply b/c they are not a veteran. it is absolutely not in the country’s best interest to exclusively hire veterans to work as federal civilians. unless you want to start at a very low level (GS-7/9), or through an internship program, it is virtually impossible to get hired by the federal gov’t in my field w/o having a veterans preference.

        • if you are not in the government already you have to someone otherwise its hard to get in against those with Veteran Preference.

        • I got my job without being a veteran or knowing anyone. I just kept applying. And I’ve moved up and around. Granted, I think gov’t is a dead end career and I’m trying to leave (though, not a good time right now at home to do that), but it happens. Obviously.

          • You do know, right, that hundreds of people apply for each job and that qualified applicants don’t get interviews in every sector of the economy? Also, the public policy considerations for veterans includes a number of factors including recruiting people to the military with promised benefits, cutting down on veteran benefits and other government costs.

            If we want to talk about a bigger problem in government hiring, the massive growth of consulting firms that totally screw the government with admin fees and other ridiculous costs are a bigger problem. There was a study done in 2011 that showed that most contractors cost double than government employees. But they contract out to make a political point–“smaller government” than on what is actually in the best interest of getting the work done. So the problem, as usual, is in Congress and crappy anti-government policies.

          • i’m amazed that there are people defending federal hiring practices. absolutely amazed. i’ve been working in this field (as a contractor) for over 7 years. i applied for well over a hundred federal positions for which i was more than qualified (as evidenced by my 99/100 scores). i have not had a single interview. not one. and only a single referral. and i could list the names of at least 10 other colleagues in our field who have had the exact same experience. i am regularly sought out by contracting companies to fill equivalent positions, so this is not an issue of my not being qualified or experienced. i’ve given up on trying to get a job as a federal employee. i’ll continue on my merry way as a slimy contractor, b/c, as you point out, that’s how congress has decided to make gov’t *look* smaller, while actually costing more and being more inefficient. know what’s even worse than that? exclusively awarding contracts to veteran-owned/small businesses, who have zero experience in the field of work they are competing for. it forces them to partner with the large companies, who actually have employees with that expertise, thereby adding another layer to the bureaucracy and jacking up prices even more. both the hiring and contracting systems used by the fed gov’t are beyond messed up.

      • A few minutes…my sweet fanny! Govt applications take days to complete. Writing the KSAs/EFs/QRFs are brutal and if you only put a few minutes into it there is no way you are getting an interview. Take this from someone who used to review these for a living. Reviewing them is almost worse than writing them. Applying on USAjobs is a committment, folks!

    • Obviously not all government jobs go to existing employees–everyone had to get in the system somewhere.

      I think you should always apply but it doesn’t hurt to know someone who can make sure your resume gets reviewed!

    • anon. gardener

      Since the hiring reform happened, 2 weeks is actually a long time to leave a posting open. Feds have an 80-day hiring timeline to meet, so most jobs won’t be open longer than 2 weeks. Hiring officials can choose anyone off the list, after they’ve given the veterans a chance. No need to even interview anymore, although most hiring managers do. Definitely apply. If the skills are so specialized, it will be a small cert list, and the hiring manager will get to know you.

  • Rant: Frigidaire customer service. I have a dishwasher that is BRAND NEW, and under warranty. While the authorized repairman has told us that it is not fixable, and that we need a new machine, Frigidaire tells us that they require up to 6 visits to try to fix it before they’ll repair it. Um, hi, i have a JOB. I cannot sit home for 6 different 4 hour service windows. In addition, now, at service appointment number 3, they sent the repair people a broken part. I know they’re just trying to wear us down so we’ll give up, but what jerks! Any suggestions/recommendations for how to deal with this, from the Popville world?

    • I’d like to know how the repairmen feel about being forced to repeatedly visit a machine that is unfixable. I’m sure they appreciate the waste of time just as little as you do.

      • But they’re getting paid.

        • Yeah, what is really frustrating is that the repair guy tells us it’s not fixable. Then when we call frigidaire, they tell us that they spoke to the repair guy, and that he never said it’s not fixable. Today, we’re going to try to get it in writing from the repair guy, because I feel like he is telling us it’s not fixable, but then he’s under pressure from frigidaire to tell us it is, because they dont want to replace the unit!

    • My Frigidaire refrigerator is just as bad. 5 or 6 repairs and the freezer is still mostly coated with frost and items soften & re-freeze all the time so everything is covered in ice crystals. I’m approaching the one-year warranty expiration, but the whole process has been so arduous that I might just accept it and live with a crappy freezer.

  • How do I report a drug house in D.C. where I can (a) remain anonymous, and (b) hope that the tip, which is well founded, will be taken seriously? I have personally witnessed many transactions. I need this to stop not only because it is a blight on the neighborhood but because of personal safety concerns related to living in close proximity to drug trafficing.

    • Prince Of Petworth


      Text 50411
      Community members can now use their cell phones to anonymously text tips to the Metropolitan Police Department.

      Give 5-0 the 411 with the new Text Tip Line: 50411. Text messages are monitored by members of the department 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Tips are then analyzed and passed on to the appropriate unit or division for follow-up. Because the tip line is anonymous, the sender will not receive a response to the original message.

      • I worry about whether or not this can be trusted. If everyone in the neighborhood knows about the drug house, the police must know too, right? Using my cell number that can be traced back to me gives me some concern in that regard.

        • The drug dealers aren’t going to be getting your phone number, and what do you think the cops would do with it? Worst case scenario is they call you to follow-up if they actually do anything.

    • MPD has an anonymous tip text number – 50411. You can also call 911 and remain anonymous. They will have the phone number you called from, though. Not sure if they keep that. You should definitely call the police.

    • I don’t know where you live, but in my neighborhood the lieutenant in charge of the local PSA (police districts are broken down into PSAs) is very responsive. You can figure out which PSA you live in and the responsible Lieutenant on the MPD website. He is the guy to call when you want to talk about long term activity but aren’t reporting something going on at the exact moment you’re calling. Also, keep calling 911 every time you see something happen so there is a documented history. The D.C. attorney general’s office also has a dedicated unit that takes owners of nuisance properties to court to force a sale or levy heavy fines. You should contact them as well.

    • jim_ed

      I’d recommend calling or emailing your PSA lieutenant directly, and then following up with them.

      If you’re unsure if your PSA, use this:


      You can find your PSA lieutenant’s contact info on the MPD website.

    • KSB

      Definitely report it but don’t be discouraged if you don’t see resolution right away. We reported a suspected drug house and there was no indication it was being handled until a beautifully executed, early morning raid about 5 months later that resulted in the occupants being removed in handcuffs. Yay MPD!

    • call 911 to report the deals going down. you can remain anonymous on 911. be as specific as possible about the suspect. Then, call your local district police HQ and ask for the vice detective for your area. you can get his/her direct phone number and email to report future drug activity. at this point you clearly won’t be anonymous to the vice officer, but you don’t have to fill out any formal reports with your name on them, or be called as a witness or anything if a case goes to trial. We had a similar problem on our block as you and the vice guys have been really helpful.

  • Rave: Great dinner party last night to celebrate friends’ upcoming wedding

    Revel: Beautiful weather. It was hard to turn my bike toward work – I wanted to keep going.

    Rant: Slight headache from last night’s festivities. Teeny bit too much champagne

  • Rant: Next door neighbors and dodgy home improvements not up to code… SMH… Seriously thinking of calling DCRA on them, but I probably won’t because it would bankrupt them even though they’re not good neighbors (running an overcrowded rooming house).

    Rant: People from other neighborhoods hanging out in front of my house drinking being a nuisance while I’m at work and then pissing on my stairs… They know I live there, and they’re ritually gone before I come home. Lord have mercy on them if I come home from work one day early and catch them.

    • I think bankrupting bad neighbors running an overcrowded rooming house is EXACTLY what you want to do. Forget the quality of life stuff (trash, noise, peeing on your steps)– overcrowding is a fire hazard. Increases pests, too, and that affects everyone. Call DCRA. Do it today. Let your councilmember’s staff know you’ve done so, so that they can shepherd the process.

      • If there’s one thing I’ve learned in DC is that pushing out bad neighbors often makes space for even worse ones to move in…

        I spent over $5,000 in permits for my home renovation, come to find next door neighbors getting away with not even doing any. It’s a shame, but DCRA should actively be looking into neighborhoods to ensure this stuff doesn’t happen.

        I don’t work for DCRA and I’m no snitch. It’s bad karma in my opinion to report someone unless they’re being unsafe and/or a total nuisance. They haven’t done anything significantly bad to piss me off yet. I’ll just let the hand of fate rule their construction future. 😛

        • Er, no. Pushing out bad neighbors makes room for developers, who turn everything beige, which invites new beige neighbors.

          And yes, an overcrowded rooming house IS unsafe. Almost by definition.

    • I’d report ’em. May be your only chance to get rid of bad neighbors. My block just petitioned the landlord of one particularly seedy group home to evict the tenants. Apparently she has been trying to, but it’s a very onerous process (evidently even if your tenants are openly selling drugs out of your house in plain sight).

  • Rant: Mortgage lenders are the devil. I am going insane with all the demands.

    • Who are you working with? I worked with my broker three times in the past 3 years and he is fantastic (two home purchases and one refinance). Yes, they are bound by the underwriter as far as requirements go, but the person you work with can make that often frustrating process either smooth or a nightmare.

      I used Jody Eichenblatt at Prosperity Mortgage.

    • Agreed, rustling up all the paperwork is extremely burdensome for me right now…

      I’m still on the fence on whether it’s better to have a higher interest rate for a better income tax deduction, to retain a lot of equity in the house with a lower payment, or to have cash in the bank for future emergencies…

      The up-front costs for appraisal is totally inconvenient on a cash-out re-fi. It’s amazing how this never changes.

    • Has anyone used http://www.closeyourownloan.com/? They seem to have good rates and offer interest only mortgages that are hard to find today. Before anyone lectures me on the dangers of a interest only mortgage, I have $500k in equity, excellent credit and don’t care to put any more towards principal. I retire in 8 years and intend on selling it.

      • I’m afraid of interest only loans, they can turn into a problem if the housing market tanks or if it surges… Home values have to remain pretty stable for that to work out well.

        My main problem is that as the value of my home rises, prices of everything else goes up too. I could easily buy a house in North Carolina for cash on my equity and retire at 45, but I wouldn’t want to live in North Carolina. 🙁

        I like living in the city, would like to buy another house here, but can’t find any good reason to buy another house at today’s prices and they only seem to be going up.

  • Rave- There’s an awesome job posting that I qualify for, and it’s in a national organization’s regional office that is located about 7 miles from my house! Additional rave- I’ve found out that a former supervisor of mine is the director of said national organization!

    Question- since I’m applying to this job, should I email my former boss to let them know? Or would that put them in an awkward position (I doubt that they’re directly involved in the hiring of their regional office, but still). They’ve been really helpful in the past when I’ve asked for mentoring and career advice, but I’m not exactly certain how to approach this in a non-demanding and professional way. But I also want to make sure that I’m doing everything that I can (ethically) do to make my application stand out in the crowd!

    Rant: Professional networking is awkward and rife with the possibility of shooting yourself in the foot.

    • I would call. Keep it casual. Note that you are applying for the job. Ask for any advice or insights that might help. You have to work your network. Very difficult to get a job sometimes without doing so. People understand this and will not be bothered by it.

      • Thanks! That’s helpful- I’ve been out of contact with them for about a year or so, so casual is probably the right tone to take. I’m not asking for an automatic in, but I know that they’ve got valuable insight and experience, and I’d love to hear what they’ve got to say- this is really helping me figure out how to reach out!

    • Definitely contact your old supervisor and talk to them about the position. It doesn’t put them in an awkward position; they are not required to hire you, but if they like you and think you do good work, you have a very, very good in. I wouldn’t email and say “Hi. I’m applying for position x at your organization. Put in a good word for me.” but just be conversational and normal, and they will end up putting in a good word for you without you asking for it.

    • This is Washington. Networks are what we do. My son’s career started when I made a call to an old friend and she sent him out to his first campaign. My current job came through a co-worker who is a former co-worker of my new director. I’m dating a former boss. Go for it. And remember:

      1) If they don’t want to hire you, they won’t, so you needn’t feel that you’ve imposed if you get the gig.

      2) Everyone wants to have someone they already know and trust on the team.

      3) You have a moral obligation not to make your contact look bad to his peers/supervisors.

      4) All they do is get you started, you can take pride in what you actually do.

      5) The legendary Thurgood Marshall says it’s OK: “None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody – a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns – bent down and helped us pick up our boots.”

      6) And if you get the job, I’m looking 😉

      • That is a pretty amazing quote, and so true! Thanks for the reminder!

        Although I’m not sure I’ve ever had nuns bend down and pick up my boots… but as a former Catholic, I do remember some particularly “tough love” I got during my childhood… To this day, I still get nervous around a black habit 😉

    • I’ve never gotten a job in DC without some kind of personal “in”. It’s more important here than anywhere else. I’d say you need to figure out a way to get in touch with your old boss. But I agree with you, it’s awkward!

  • Rave: beautiful morning made even better with a great run!

    Rave: today is national running day, which really only means there’s some good discounts on races.

    Rant: race fees continue to climb outrageously.

    • Care to pass on the races with discounts?

      • All Rock n’ Roll races are $20 off today. I went ahead and registered for DC 2014. I’ve gotten a few emails for some other races, which I can’t think of off the top of my head. If there is a race you’re interested in, I’d go ahead and check their website today!

  • RAVE: Mock me if you will, but man, Hall and Oates really rock my world.

  • Rave: Yesterday was my birthday, which I spent doing the following things: sleeping late, getting a pedicure, reading/napping in the backyard, viewing the Hangover 3, and eating birthday cake. It was the PERFECT day to be off – such beautiful weather!

    Rant: After SIX YEARS, the Boyfriend has not yet figured out HOW to get me a birthday present ON my birthday. Not ONCE in SIX years. He couldn’t even find the time/put for the effort to get me a CARD. REALLY? He KNEW it was coming!

    Rant: Really don’t want to be back at work today…just not feelin’ the job. Especially with the new boss. Time to start looking. Plus he scheduled my Annual Review for today. Ugh.

    Rave: New album from my favorite band!

    • Ditch the boyfriend. You deserve better. That’s really lame.

      Happy Birthday!

      • Geez, tough crowd. Maybe the boyfriend’s really practical and doesn’t see the value of a card, and doesn’t want to buy her something she doesn’t specifically want or need.

        • I absolutely HATE cards – both receiving and giving them. They are utterly useless, superficial, and a waste of money. Then again, I’m ruthlessly practical about these things.

          By the way, note for all the straight men out there:
          When a woman, particularly a significant other, say she “doesn’t want/care about getting a gift” it really means “I’ll be disappointed if you don’t get me a gift.” I’ve been burned by this numerous times. I now know better.

          • must disagree. if i say i don’t want anything for my birthday, i really don’t. if you want something for your birthday (or anything else!), be a grownup and ask for it or get it for yourself. please don’t punish your SOs for not being mind readers.

          • i hate lies.
            just be honest with your partner.

        • That’s just the thing! I TOLD him what I wanted. And he usually LOVES getting cheesy cards. And he should know by NOW that my ‘Love Language’ is the giving and receiving of gifts. As usual, work wins out over me. ::end bitter/disappointed rant…for now::

          • its great youre honest.
            its quite rude of him to not try and make you happy.

          • so, you usually ask for X and he complies, but this time you ask for X and he didn’t? if that’s the case, i’d say give him a pass based on the 5 previous years of successfully fulfilling birthday requests. if i’ve mis-understood and you always ask for X and never get X, then i’m going to channel carolyn hax and recommend you accept that he doesn’t do birthdays the way you want them done, so do them yourself.

          • Anonymous at 11:58, she said that he has never ONCE done something for her birthday on time in the six years they’ve dated. Hiphopanonymous, I think you can do better. If I remember correctly, this is the guy who has left you hanging for weeks at a time and made time for you on Tuesday evenings, when he was apparently working on Friday and Saturday nights. You’re worth more than that! Don’t wake up five years from now and realize he is still the same guy, and this is going nowhere. Good luck.

          • After six years, YOU should know that is just how he is. You have expressed your desires to no avail. Only he can choose to change his nature, and apparently chosen not to do so. Thus, the decision is to either love him and accept him in his less than perfect state without having your feelings hurt, or move on. Is this something that you can accommodate or not?

    • Emmaleigh504

      Hahaha My parents haven’t been able to get me presents on my birthday since I went to college. I don’t think they have wrapped a present since I was about 10. It’s a big joke in our family.

    • I’m not necessarily in favor of ditching the boy over a card, and in three decades with my wife, I was spectacularly irregular at presenting presents (she was only marginally better, and it wasn’t a big deal, so we may be atypical). But what concerns me, as an amateur busybody, is that on the list of birthday activities i don’t see “slow, sensual foot rub,” “belly-button champagne-sipping,” “slipping the waiter a twenty to have him seat us in a dark corner and mostly leave us alone.”

    • Such a shame, they even sell birthday cards at Home Depot… LOL. This is probably why I’m still single though. I’m a dude who is horrible at giving cards because I never know what to write on them. I just get flowers.

  • Rant: Perimenopause

    Rave: This weather. It could stay like this all summer

  • Just Rants today:
    Mrs. Squaredeal is out of town till Saturday. This is, I guess, both rant and revel…rant b/c I miss her a ton when she’s gone and she’s missing all of her dog-walking duties which I have to do and revel b/c I get the bed to myself.
    Today was the 8th day in a row I didn’t commute by bike. Both of mine need repairs and I haven’t had time to do them. I’ve been somewhat lucky w/ Metro over the last week (two days were bad), but drove today b/c I had to drop off the Mrs. Squaredeal at DCA. Traffic was backed up from the exit ramps of DCA to the entrance of the 14th St. bridge. I seriously don’t know how people who drive every day do it…or why they’d want to. We commuted by car 2-3/wk. when up in Gaithersburg for a year to save money for a house and it destroyed me. I was so stressed all of the time.

    • I hear ya. We commuted by car 5 days a week from Fairfax County to save money for our house, and it was the worst three years of my life. My suburban-dwelling coworkers leave home by 5am to beat the rush, but we were never able to get up that early consistently. So we’d be stuck with a 60 to 90-minute commute each way. It actually made me physically ill– panic attacks, dizziness, neck pain, headaches, weight gain– and I didn’t have time to do much outside of work and commuting. Now I walk to work!

      • I think some people grossly undervalue their free time. Even if you “discount” the value of this time commuting because you can get something done you actually enjoy (books on tape, listening to Stern, reading on the Metro, whatever), the fact is that you are spending HUGE chunks of your waking hours getting to and from work (10-15 hours a WEEK in the above example). And that time is very valuable, even if you can’t put an exact dollar figure on it. You are severely limited in the leisure activities that a long commute allows for.

        Now, I get it. Some people have other reasons for living way out (they like the space, the quiet, perceived safety, school choice, etc). But if your *primary* reason for doing so is to save money you may only be breaking even when you factor in the other costs taken out of your life. Assign some value to your free time (“pay” yourself $20/hour or whatever) and recalculate that expense with the actual costs of a commute. We did that and realized that a larger mortgage that meant a 15 minute commute was an absolute bargain mentally, physically and emotionally

  • Rant: Checked on the yogurt panna cotta I made last night and it still hasn’t set. Maybe it’s because I couldn’t find full-fat yogurt in this health-obsessed town. The berry compote I made to go with it is looking runnier than I would like, as well. Oh well, it’ll still taste good!

    • low/nonfat yogurt is the devil. i’m currently hooked on vanilla skyr from siggi’s, and vanilla cream top from brown cow. not sure if you can make panna cotta from either of those, but you should try them anyway. 😀

      • I want to try skyr but have never seen it in a store; where do you get it?

        • (don’t know why this didn’t post in response, but here it is again) i get it from the Giant in C-Heights (actually, through PeaPod too), and i’ve seen it at other Giants too. they usually carry: blueberry, strawberry, vanilla, passionfruit, and orange ginger. i’m a sucker for vanilla yogurt so that’s pretty much all i eat but the husband likes the blueberry & strawberry too. google or FB siggi’s- they’re kind of great.

          • Hmm, I’m not terribly close to a Giant but I’ve been meaning to check out the new one on H Street. Thanks! I never eat flavored yogurts but maybe I’ll try some if you say they’re really good.

        • I get Siggi’s skyr at the P St. Whole Foods – love the orange ginger flavor!

        • Blithe

          Whole Foods stores usually carry Skyr and Brown Cow Farms yogurt.

          • I got Brown Cow from Yes Organic recently… to me the taste/texture was like Stoneyfield Farm, which I’m not a huge fan of. What makes it so special?

          • saf

            They don’t use gelatin (which I don’t eat), and they use good milk.

            What do you find wanting in it?

          • I didn’t think most yogurts used gelatin, except the fake Greek ones. I just don’t like how Brown Cow and Stoneyfield have a gelatinous texture with whey they tends to pool on top. I like smoother yogurt.

        • Safeways also have Syggi’s. Sometimes it’s filed under yogurt, sometimes in the totally separate “orgnaic/healthy foods” section, sometimes in both places.

          • i stopped eating stonyfield farms yogurt when they stopped offering the cream top. i can’t tell the difference b/n the brown cow cream top and what was the stonyfield cream top, so that’s why i like it. but i also generally refuse to eat low/non fat yogurt- i think it’s a bunch of watery, over-sugared crap. i prefer greek, skyr, or the cream top.

          • Ok, I thought I knew my yogurt pretty well but have never heard of a cream top– what’s that? Also, how is low/non fat yogurt over-sugared? I tend to buy generic or whatever’s on sale and none of it has added sugar so I’m confused by your statement.

          • cream top is exactly what it sounds like- there’s a layer of thick cream on the top of each yogurt carton. it’s insanely delicious. i don’t know that the low/non fat yogurts are actually loaded with added sugar or another sweetner, but they taste that way to me. especially yoplait. they tend to be runny and saccharine. i prefer thicker yogurts in plain or vanilla flavors. you actually need fat in your dairy in order to assist with vitamin absorption, as well as to actually make you feel full.

          • saf

            Along these lines – read the labels and you will be shocked. So many of the large yogurt brands use artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners. And yes, many of them use gelatin too.

    • You could add a little unflavored gelatin to firm it up. Just be sure to dissolve it well.

      • That’s already part of the recipe. I even used a little more than the recipe (Smitten Kitchen) called for.

  • Rave: 31 weeks today!
    Rave: Have felt great during pregnancy (minus the hot days because those were miserable, but probably would have been miserable for me even if I weren’t pregnant)
    Rant: Starting to think about actually having to give birth…wish I could just skip to having a newborn

    • I’ve said to my wife a couple of times now “I need to feel some urgency from you” regarding actually giving birth. She was incredibly scared of that part before we got pregnant, but hasn’t talked much about it since. I’m constantly reminding her (gently, of course) that we’re getting close and that she needs to prepare her body now by doing the stretching and exercises and breathing we’re learning about in Lamaze. I feel like maybe she’s lulled herself into the feeling that since it’s gone so well so far, the birth itself will be a breeze. I’m afraid she’s going to fold to the pain early on and get “the drugs” (not what we want to do) if she doesn’t physically and, more importantly, mentally prepare now.

      • Square, please do not pester your wife to have a sense of urgency. She’s allowed to feel what she’s feeling (or not feeling), and really doesn’t need the added pressure of her husband/wife telling her how she should feel and what she needs to be doing to get ready. I’m sure you’re anxious for her to have it go as smoothly as possible, and yes, there can be some benefit to mental/physical preparation beforehand. But I know SO many women who did Lamaze/Bradlee/Birthworks and ended up with epidurals and/or C-sections, and I know several women who took a “whatever comes will come” approach whose deliveries were relatively easy. You just can’t necessarily manage an outcome that you want, so try your best to support her as she’s currently feeling.

      • Listen from someone that’s actually been through it. All your plans could potentially get thrown out the window (which just prepares you for parenthood). Her body will know what to do without the lamaze, and if she ultimately decides that she wants the epidural, that’s okay too. As a dad, your ONLY job is to be supportive of HER, because despite people making this a mom AND dad experience, you’re not the one pushing a baby out of a tiny, tiny hole. I went in thinking I wouldn’t have an epidural, but you have to get one if you have an emergency c-section.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rave: Speaking of birthdays, my mother is sending my present up early this year. She doesn’t want to mail it, so she’s giving it to my sister when the have a vacation together. I’ve gotten my hopes up that it’s a ring that I love and she never wears.

    Rant: It’s probably not the ring because this is not a significant birthday (not the big 4-0 or 5-0 etc).

    Rave: I think I’m going to turn 43 this year, but I might bump it up to 44. I can’t remember if I turned 43 last year or if it was 42…

    Rave: These are not my real ages. I add some years so I can look good for my age; my grandmother taught me well 😉

  • Rant: Setting up a website on Wix.com is not really as easy as they make it sound!

  • Rant: Another day, another dollar – or something. Ho hum.

    Rave: Weather is GORGEOUS!

    Rave: Got a call for interview from a company that sounds super interesting.

  • Rave: Looking forward to outdoor yoga, a free cupcake, and the organic farmer’s market tonight!

    Rant: …God, I’ve become such a yuppie.

  • i get it from the Giant in C-Heights (actually, through PeaPod too), and i’ve seen it at other Giants too. they usually carry: blueberry, strawberry, vanilla, passionfruit, and orange ginger. i’m a sucker for vanilla yogurt so that’s pretty much all i eat but the husband likes the blueberry & strawberry too. google or FB siggi’s- they’re kind of great.

  • Rant: sucralose and other diet sweeteners. I bought what I thought was juice, but it has the awful sucralose after taste that I’ll taste for days.

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