Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user NCinDC

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.

183 Comment

  • I know I’m slipping into depression and feel really helpless against it.

    • Make an appointment with a therapist ASAP.

      Change your diet (less carbs & processed sugars, more fruits/veggies/protein) and start working out, if you’re not already. One of the best defenses against depression is a healthier lifestyle (of course, that won’t work for everyone, but it’s generally very helpful).

      • pablo .raw

        You can get depression medication from your regular Dr. I’m really glad I did! you’ll feel much better and able to deal with whatever problem is causing it. Good luck!

      • My friend in San Francisco is battling depression right now as well. I feel really bad for him, he’s been in a deep “funk” (as he calls it) for around 5 days now. He sees a therapist and takes meds but it doesn’t seem to be working. Wish there was something I could do.

    • Seriously, very brave of you to acknowledge how you’re feeling! Take care of yourself and call a therapist today, not tomorrow. Sending you good vibes and thoughts

      • I went out into the car for 2 hours just now and dealt with my health insurance company to straighten some things and find out what my benefits are. I was also able to make an appt for Tues morning with a psychologist. So now I just need to make it through the weekend, pour all my alcohol down the sink, and keep myself busy. Pretty much this entire morning I sat at my desk and stared at nothing and really felt nothing but enormous sorrow and sadness. And my job is not something I can do stuff like that. Thanks for the kind thoughts, everyone. I’m really going to try and get up and exercise and stuff but that’s been my intention for the past 2 weeks and I just end up on my couch, inebriated and really doing nothing. The TV isn’t even on.

        • saf

          Congratulations on taking a HUGE step forward. Best of luck until Tuesday, and in the process that follows. Try to do small but worthwhile things this weekend – walk around the block a few times. make a good meal. walk to the coffee shop. pet the cat/dog for a while.

          We’re cheering for you.

        • epric002

          and don’t beat yourself up for feeling this way. i’ve been there. there’s nothing wrong with you for not being able to “snap yourself out of it”, just like you can’t snap yourself out of a physical illness. it’s a vicious cycle, but you made the first step. sometimes even if you can’t muster the energy to go outside, just opening the windows (great weather this weekend, yay!) and getting some fresh air will motivate you to the next small step. you can do it 🙂

        • You’ve taken one of the hardest steps – and I’d say spending two hours getting your insurance sorted out took energy and initiative. As someone else said – try not to be too hard on yourself.
          See if it helps to take small steps and put them on your “done” list – find a bench under a tree, listen to some of your favorite music, something that you enjoy.

        • Any chance you can crash with a friend this weekend? It might be nice to get out of your “routine” and spend the weekend with friends. Hit up a yoga class or two, go sunbathing at Banneker pool (free! great weather!), join friends at brunch, etc. Just keep yourself occupied and accompanied by others.

          • I am taking a little road trip with some friends on Sunday up to PA for the day. My plan was to take a long walk today after work since the weather is awesome. Tomorrow I was going to spend cleaning up my apartment because it’s a disaster zone (at least by my standards) from all the neglect. I don’t like to “reach out” to friends like this as I feel I’m imposing, but then again, that’s probably part of my problem.

          • If they are a good friend, you’re not imposing at all. Just ask them:
            “Hey I’ve had a rough couple days, is there any chance I could hang out and crash with you for the weekend? I just really need to get out of my place for a couple nights and be around my good friends. If it interferes with other plans, no worries – I have other friends I can ask.”

            A friend who is going through a separation from her husband but still living together asked me this a few weeks ago. She asked me the night before she wanted to come over. It was no problem at all and we had a good time grabbing dinner, going to the gym, and watching bad movies on Netflix. A good friend will understand.

        • Emmaleigh504

          Good for you! As others have said before me, don’t beat yourself up over this. We are all cheering for you!

    • Emmaleigh504

      I know it’s hard, but please see a doctor/therapist so you don’t slide further! Sending good vibes your way.

    • take st john wart its over the counter and it works

      • Allison

        Warning: St. John’s wort may interfere with birth control pills. Don’t take it for depression if you are on the pill.

  • gotryit

    Rant: DC government inability to keep their crime cameras working. And then they wonder why they are rated as ineffective!?

    • They can’t make money for the government the way traffic cameras do. Why keep them running if they’re just there for public safety?

      • Scrillin

        The traffic cameras are barely working too, but hey, whatever provides your rationale for dangerous driving.

  • Rave: I think my recent switch from red wine to champagne plus a little extra exercising has helped me lose some weight. My clothes have a little extra room in them, and the summer clothes I couldn’t fit into last year fit this year 🙂 It seems too good to be true… And why hasn’t losing weight been easier before!? Whatever, I’ll take it.

    Rant: I’d probably be able to shed a few more pounds if it weren’t for the Dunkin Donuts across the street from my office.

    RAVE: TGIF!!!!

    • Rant: I hate bigots.
      Rave: I’m not one.

    • Pretty sure The Passenger won’t be serving you this weekend.

    • Allison

      Does champagne have fewer calories than red wine or does one just sip it slower?

      Teehee, I love drinking champagne when I have no “good” celebratory reason to do so. *Accent:* Oh dahling, I think I’ll have some champagne tonight! Why? ‘Cause it’s Tueeeeeeeesday!

  • Rant: Still can’t sign in and still have giant orange banner.

    Rave: FRIDAY!!!

    Rant: Got my hair done last night. Highlights look great but the cut is too short AND one side is shorter than the other! Ugh, pissed off.

    Random: Is there any sort of Urban Gardening in DC? My roommate wants to get involved…

    • I have a bunch of weeding needing attention after all these rains. Roommate is welcome to take care of that for me!

      In all seriousness, there are a ton of community gardens in DC. I’ve never been a member of one, but a little googling should turn up some good info. Good luck!

    • Prince Of Petworth

      Have you tried clearing your cache?

      • FYI – I cleared my cache, and I still have a huge banner at the top (can see anything under it, covers everything through the title of the first post). I am on IE 8, can’t use anything else or upgrade here at work.

        • I just cleared my cache too – but all the PoP copy still appears in italics, as well as grey type on a grey page block. Is this how it is supposed to be?

        • Prince Of Petworth

          Can you send me a screen shot of the big banner? princeofpetworth(at)gmail

    • There’s a DC Urban Gardeners yahoo group, also a number of community garden groups like City Blossoms, Common Good City Farm.

    • What do you mean by “Urban Gardening”? Growing plants and vegetables in the city? I know lots of people who do it. You just need to find place to grow stuff and then plant seeds and then tend to them.

  • I started reading Game of Thrones books and I’m not impressed. Finished the first book, halfway through the second….perhaps this works better on TV.

    Unrelated – it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

    • If you’re halfway through the second book and you’re not feeling it, you might as well stop now. The writing isn’t great; the books’ strength is that they’re page-turners. Books 3 and 4 (or maybe it was just Book 4 — I don’t remember) felt to me like the author was trying to “create a diversion” — too many new locations, new characters, etc. Book 5 was also disappointing; I hope Book 6 gets the series back on track.

      • I agree. Also, I think that seeing the TV show first might make the books a lot less fun. They are not high literature but a great read nonetheless. Much of the fun comes from awaiting the next plot twist.

      • There are too many plot lines and little depth (at least so far) in the stories. It’s easy for me to put down – that’s a sign of a book that’s not very interesting.

        I haven’t watched the TV servies but read reactions on FB and twitter which made me want to read the book.

        I’ve read enough – now on to the next book (And the Mountains Echoed – has anyone read it?)

  • Rave/Rant/WTF combo platter: I just got engaged this week, which is very exciting and I am blissfully in love, but I really don’t like the ring. In fact, I really hate the ring. I hate to sound like a total bitch on wheels here, but what do I do? I’m a little embarrassed by it. Am I a horrible person? Anyone else gone through this?

    • You didn’t discuss what you wanted before you got engaged? Is this a family ring he gave you?

      One option would be to keep the stone(s) and get it reset inside another type of ring design. Offer to pay for that. That’s probably the least awkward/offensive way to approach this.

    • I like your honesty and bluntness!
      What do you hate about the ring? The cut? The size? The metal?

      • It’s the ring overall, it’s just not me.

        • First – congratulations! I know how you feel, I couldn’t find any ring I liked, and actually we ended up going without it. I would definitely talk to him, maybe in a few days when all the excitement starts to settle.

          (and for the curious – can you describe the ring?)

          • Thank you. I love him endlessly and it seem so trival to be upset about a ring. But this ring is a round diamond in an antique setting. I’m more modern and feel like I’m wearing my grandmother’s ring. I might feel differently if it was his grandmother’s ring and had some sort of sentiment behind it. It’s not, it’s new and just has an antique-y feel. I feel so spoiled talking about it so negatively!

          • Can’t blame him, antique rings are all the rage now, he fell victim to a current trend, happens to the best of us. A (cool designer) friend at work has a round diamond set in a tension setting similar to this: http://diamondsforeversandiego.com/benefits-of-tension-setting-engagement-rings-in-san-diego

            Looks very cool and modern!

    • I would have a heart-to-heart with the person who gave it to you. Seems like a bad start to your life together to not be on the same page about something so superficial. This won’t even compare to the most difficult times you’ll have to face together so it’s a good time to see how much you really love each other.


    • This happened to a friend of mine. She and her guy were totally heads over heels in love and happy to be engaged, but she hated the ring. She just told him she didn’t like it and it wasn’t her style (I saw it and it really was NOT her style). He took the ring back and they went shopping together for a new one. Then he did a re-do of the proposal with the new ring. It’s definitely an awkward conversation, but it’s a piece of jewelery you’ll be wearing every day and looking at every day and you should enjoy wearing it. Maybe give it a few days and see if your feelings change. If they don’t then I think you should tell him.

    • Maybe you can ask him what he likes about that ring and find one with similar qualities that is not ugly. That way he feels like he still had a role in selecting it.

    • why do you need a ring? tell him you’re not fond of it, don’t see yourself wearing such a formal piece of jewelry everyday and instead you’d like to cash it in and the two of you can take a trip to paris.

      • Happened to a friend of mine, too. She was thrilled to be engaged but seriously disappointed with the ring. It was a ring she couldn’t see herself happily wearing for the rest of her life. She ended up telling the guy her true feelings about the ring and explaining her reasoning. He was understanding and cooperative in getting a ring that better suited her tastes and desires. If you really hate the ring that much and think seeing it on your hand forever after will cause you grief, say something now, but do it delicately and back it up with lots of love.

      • Some people don’t need a ring, others do. I think it’s a great thing to have and to wear to show your committment outwardly.

        • Um, nobody NEEDS a ring. If it’s your thing, great, but personally I think they are a cliche status symbol.

          • thanks maslow,

          • it’s an emotional need, just like love and companionship. you probably shouldn’t get a ring then – for me and mine, we want to have rings. it’s a beautiful thing if that’s what you want.

        • How do men outwardly show their commitment?

          • it’s called a wedding ring. the point of an engagement is to eventually get married – hence the wedding ring. if you choose not to wear one, fine, that’s up to you. but i want to wear the ring and i want my husband to wear his ring. don’t denegrade it, it’s a tradition. some countries have a tradition of a tatoo, a marking on the face or forehead, ect. I get the ‘commercialism argument’, but it’s also something that is very personal for the individual.

          • Anonymous, I think you missed lolo’s point, which is that men do not get engagement rings. Married couples show their commitment to each other by both weering wedding rings, but the engagment ring is something different. We all know what the tradition is so no need to lecture us on it; but the engagement ring really is all about the woman (in hetero couples, anyway).

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Boring meetings today.

    Rave: Preliminary cancer test came back normal, so cancer not likely.

    • That’s a great rave!!

      • Emmaleigh504

        Probably the best Rave I’ve ever had! I really wasn’t concerned it would be cancer, but having the test be normal is great news anyway and 1 lest thing to worry/think about.

        • A guy goes to the doctor. The doctor pokes and prods him, and then leaves the room. When he comes back, his face is grave. “Well?”, the guy inquires.
          The doctor responds, “Well, I have bad news and worse news.”
          The guy says, “Let’s hear the worse news first.”
          The doctor says, “I’m sorry to say that you have cancer.”
          The guy shakes his head, and says, “Wow…what’s the bad news?”
          The doctor says, “The bad news is that you have Alzheimer’s disease.”
          The guy says, “Ahh…well, at least I don’t have cancer.”

  • Rant: The library book I’m reading is due today and I can’t renew it. Don’t know if I should return and and request another copy (getting it might take a couple of weeks) or just keep it for the weekend and pay the overdue fine when I return it.

    Rave: Weekend starts soon, with no plans. Might stop by the Silver Spring Blues Festival.

    • The library doesn’t issue fines anymore until the book is a month overdue. So you don’t need to worry about that. I would feel bad holding on to a book that has a wait list, but if you’re really enjoying it and you’re sure you can finish it in a couple days I’d go ahead and keep it for the weekend.

    • Keep the book and pay the fine – at least that’s what I’d do.

  • Rave: One of four people in the office today and the senior most person is leaving at noon. I’ve been instructed to “take a long lunch” and there’s a good chance I’ll head out early for my haircut.
    Rant: Husband in voir dire for a special federal trial, which would last for six weeks if he’s selected to serve. I’m all for doing your civic duty, but man will that do funny things to our routines. Oh well, no sense putting the cart before the horse.

    • epric002

      amen. the amount of time required for grand jury service is mind-boggling husband and i have both narrowly (but legally!) avoided getting called for GJ. cannot imagine how disruptive that would have been.

      • This isn’t grand jury, it’s a special trial in federal court, but yes to the time consuming part. He’s been released for the day while the other half go through voir dire and then he’s supposed to call Monday to see if he needs to report back on Tuesday.

        I have a friend who served on a grand jury while working full time AND getting her PhD. That was a stressful time for her.

    • I was summoned for that 6-week “special trial” too! I told them I was getting married and traveling in August so I didn’t have to report (but they said they’d call back soon…). I hope you provide an update when you can, maybe after the trial.

  • Blithe

    Rave: It’s Friday, Friday!!!!!!

    Rant: Residents in my building voted on designs for renovating the restrooms near the gym. The ones there now have saunas. The winning vote was for a design without the saunas. Even if you don’t like this amenity, why vote to remove it — and spoil things for those of us who do? Arrrgh.

    Rave-ish: This might nudge me to find a gym with an indoor pool and a sauna. I could do without the additional expense though, and my compliance is MUCH better when all I have to do to use the gym is go upstairs.

  • msmaryedith

    Rave: Reservations for Le Diplomate tonight! I’m very excited to finally try it.
    Rave: Friend in town means good eating–Toki last night. Le Diplomate tonight. Zaytinya Saturday. Brunch at Tabard Inn Sunday…
    Rant: I suspect my friend might have thrown up after dinner last night (headed straight to the restroom after eating). I’ve been worried about her for months now. She had a nasty breakup at the beginning of the year and stopped eating for a while, lost some weight, and now she is working out excessively (like two classes a day almost every day). I think she has probably lost more than 20 lbs since I saw her at Christmas. She can’t go for a conversation without talking about food or working out in a concerning way. I don’t know how to bring it up without seeming like I’m attacking her. Any time I say “I’m worried you are working out too much” she denies it and says she is just trying to “tone up.” Any ideas about how to address it with her without putting her on the defensive are welcome!

    • As someone who has had many, many friends with these kinds of issues over the years, I think the best thing is not to focus on the eating/exercising, because that’s not really the issue and will only make her defensive. You mention she had a nasty breakup – maybe just try to get her talking about how other things in her life are going right now and try to brainstorm fun things she could do that would lift her spirits without involving food or exercising per se. Once you’ve talked about that, if things don’t seem better, you could just say everything you’ve said to us: “I am concerned because it seems that you’ve lost a lot of weight and are more focused on food and exercise than before. I am your friend and want to make sure everything’s ok.”

      She’ll probably ignore that but eventually may be able to discuss with you and ask for help and the important thing is to have made clear all along that she is your friend no matter what and that you aren’t judging her. Also, don’t let that be the only thing you all talk about.

      Not sure if this help – it’s a tough situation to be in as a friend.

      • msmaryedith

        I’ve basically tried not to acknowledge her comments about eating/exercising at all except for one time when she was talking about taking “a few” classes that day.

        She’s always had bad self-esteem. Her relatives are mostly very overweight. She is not built to be thin, and she has always been obsessed with fitting into small sizes, etc. I know it has consumed her for a long time and that she has major ups and downs with her weight.

        I’ve talked to her a lot about how she is doing. I talked to her about a (fling) relationship she has had since then with an ex (that I didn’t feel great about, because he’s a fitness fanatic and was only encouraging her bad behavior). I recently encouraged her to try online dating, and I think I’m the only one she has really been openly discussing that with.

        I still haven’t directly commented on the weight loss (last night was the first time I have seen her in person and been able to observe how thin she has gotten). I’d kind-of rather not bring it up while she is here–she has not been to visit me in years, and I don’t want to ruin her visit. But I also don’t want to ignore what seems to be a pretty serious health issue. She also has a bad habit of skipping eating when she knows she will be drinking, and she ends up VERY drunk. She was telling us last night about waking up last weekend after a wedding and not knowing how she had gotten home, etc.

        It’s definitely a tough situation. I’m close enough to her younger brother that I have thought of possibly bringing it up with him, but I don’t really know whether she would be more inclined to listen to him than us. I’m her closest high school friend, and her best friend from college is also here (and equally concerned, if not more so). We both feel compelled to bring it up, but neither of us knows how to do so in a constructive way.

  • Rant: I miss the link to view individual threads under the images on the POP main page, I end up still looking for them after the images. Otherwise, I dig the new site.

    Rave: Hopefully a decent movie to watch this weekend – Superman!

    Rant: Now that the internet has been shaped by big money, it’s entertainment value is about the same as cable TV. Too many ads, very little useful content, and personal web sites are dying. The quality of music and video has suffered greatly over the past few years. I hate to say it, but The internet is be coming boring, and more like a coffee maker that I only use in the morning and then no longer need for the rest of the day. Hopefully this changes some time soon.

    Rave: Fridays are the best. No, I am not coming in to work on this or any other weekend boss.

  • Rave: Nice weather this weekend after a week of craptastic weather.

    Rant: Girlfriend with depression is insisting that I begin going to therapy, in order to “make me a better person” and “learn how to communicate.” If I don’t go, she’s threatening to break up and insisting that I’m sabotaging our relationship. I really don’t want to go to therapy. People actually go to therapy to be more like me – I’m laidback, very happy, outgoing/social/lots of supportive friends, very patient, not prone to anger, and have a great career. I accept her for who she is and accept her faults and problems; I love her in spite of everything. She just can’t seem to accept me for who I am and wants to change me. How to move forward? Le sigh.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Go to a therapist, who will then say you don’t need to be there, and then tell your girlfriend. done. You can even have the therapist tell her directly or put in in writing or whatever.

      • I think the odds of someone paid to find a problem and fix it slowly and expensively not finding a problem that needs to be fixed are long. But I’m a cynic.

        [How does one get a break between paragraphs?]

        • Emmaleigh504

          Most jobs have an ERA program that pays for X number of therapy sessions so it won’t cost the OP if they go this way. Therapists are not all evil, they will tell you whether or not you need help and if they can help you if you do. I have experienced the therapist who said, you don’t need to be here, you are fine. (I had been depressed and was checking in after I moved here and settled in.) She was correct.

    • So she has faults and problems but you don’t? She has faults and problems that you are gracious enough to overlook? Yeah. You might want to think your perfection.

      • Yes, I have issues, just like anyone. No one is perfect. However, I’m very happy and content with my life and my personality. She’s not happy with her life and suffers from depression that can be crippling at times. She also has anxiety issues. In my opinion, that’s what therapy is for. The only real stress in my life stems from her not being happy with me.

        I think part of it is that she wants me to strive to reach some sort of higher level of “awareness” of my personality and how I communicate. Frankly, I’m not interested in going to therapy for the sake of going to therapy, which is what she’s advocating. The whole thing is a circular argument that has no start or end point.

    • “People actually go to therapy to be more like me…”

      Hah. Clearly you have a narcissistic personality disorder and and need therapy more than you think!


      Someone wanting to change you strikes as a bad sign.

    • There may be something in her desire for you to “learn how to communicate” as in, communicate better with her. Communication is in the eyes/ears of the beholder – she may be feeling the communication between the two of you could be improved.

      Making you a better person – has she been specific about what that means?

      • Yes, you hit the nail on the head. For her, it comes down to communication and her wanting more of it from me. But, in my opinion, I communicate with her constantly and tell her everything that’s happening to me and what I’m feeling – much more than I’ve ever done in any other relationship.

        I honestly don’t know what else to communicate with her. I think, due to her depression, she feels a much wider range of emotions than I ever do (much more peaks and valleys) and doesn’t understand that my personality & the emotions I feel are much more muted. I’m just simply not as “passionate” as her, for lack of a better word.

        And frankly, I don’t want to change that. I’m really content with how I feel about myself and how I experience life. Hence why I feel like she’s trying to change me into someone I’m not.

        • I’m reading your posts and you sound like you’re describing me in my previous relationship. The bottom line is that there’s something in the relationship that’s not working for her and she’s 50% of the vote. You may or may not have to change, but you do have to work with her to find a solution that will make the relationship work. Call it therapy, counseling, team-building exercises, whatever you want. Otherwise you will either break up or live together unhappily.

        • It sounds like there’s something she needs but is unable to express; her communication style is different, and so she feels that she’s not getting something. There’s a great book about communication in relationships called “The Five Love Languages” that is really helpful for figuring out how to communicate across different styles.

          It is very explicitly Christian, but the ideas it has about love languages (which are words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch) and how to express them are useful across all beliefs/non-beliefs. The website is: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/

          For example, my LL is quality time/acts of service. My husband’s are words of affirmation and physical touch. When he communicated to me in his language, it did not satisfy my need for time/service. But when I came to understand his way of communicating, that changed – I began to be open to it. And that I could “speak his language” more clearly too (and vice versa).

          • That sounds interesting. Unfortunately the quiz on the website is so heteronormative that the questions don’t apply to me.

          • Yeah, that’s a problem with the whole Christian take on it; it isn’t an open system. I’m happy to try a more “open” interpretation of it and send it to you, if you like.

          • Or, here’s a brief blog about it from a gay men’s life coach’s perspective (again, might not be totally helpful, but does break out of the heteronormative aspect):

          • I’m a lesbian and tried it, selecting the “husband” option. The results sound about right to me (Acts of Service was #1).

          • Perhaps you’re right – thanks for the interesting resource. This is probably the root of the issue.

            Also, I should add, that she had a very tough day yesterday. She’s been having issues at work with colleagues who are sort of sabotaging her and her car also got booted yesterday (to the tune of a $300 fine).

            After she has a “bad day” (once every 6-8 weeks), she usually likes to really lay into me about my faults, lack of communication, how I’m not there for her, etc. I essentially become the outlet for her stress and frustration stemming from other things in life. I point out that she keeps replaying the same pattern (tough day -> extremely critical of me -> she threatens to break up) and that just makes her even more angry and obstinate.

            I’m fine with trying to make our relationship better and listening to constructive criticism, but it’s usually done only when she’s already fuming about other things in life and under a lot of stress.

        • “I honestly don’t know what else to communicate with her.”

          Try going once (jointly?) to the counselor to see if you are missing something on this front. This isn’t necessarily about your personality but may be about your relationship. It’s not such a terrible thing to get an outside perspective on your relationship/communication style and to make your GF happy in the process. Even if you don’t learn anything about yourself, you may learn what your GF sees as your issues/communication problems. (Right now you are making an uneducated guess about what is driving her comments.) If you don’t like what the counselor has to say, disregard it.

    • “People actually go to therapy to be more like me”

      I would not make statements like that. People don’t go to therapy to “be” a certain way. They go because they are having problems and need help sorting them out.

      And just because YOU don’t need therapy doesn’t mean your relationship doesn’t need help. I think your gf is making it quite clear that your relationship needs help – that may or may not mean therapy (maybe counseling is a better word) but if you think she just needs to come around then I’d say things probably aren’t going to work out for you two.

    • I think you could benefit from therapy because it will give you an outlet for talking about the issues you’re having with your girlfriend. I’m in a similar situation and I’m considering it. Like you, I’m a relaxed and confident person but I find my girlfriend’s depression and anxiety hard to cope with at times. Also, it’s possible you DO have communication issues (I hear that from my girlfriend too) that you just can’t see from your perspective. We all have room for self improvement! If it’s not going to cost you a lot of money or time I’d give it a try.

    • Does the GF want you to go to therapy with her, or go solo yourself? If you can coax her into more of a couples arrangement, that could be helpful for you both. One of my oldest friends went through a period of pretty serious anxiety and depression. and had her boyfriend (now fiance) sit in on a couple of her sessions. She actually found that it was very eye-opening for her because she got to hear for the first time how her boyfriend experienced her flare-ups and how her condition was affecting him. (Something he’d never really talked about because he didn’t want to upset her and wasn’t sure how to broach the subject non-judgmentally; the therapist helped talk them through that.) It could also be that your girlfriend things you need therapy because you’re not communicating well with HER, as opposed to you being a bad communicator in general–ie, you’re communicating with her in a normal and healthy way, but her condition is distorting her perception of that. (My friend went through periods where she was *convinced* that someone was giving her the cold shoulder, or judging her, or talking down to her or whatever, and having been alongside her for the conversation, I would think “Huh?? How did in the world did she get *that* impression?”) So a therapist may also be able to suggest alternative ways to communicate when you’re trying to respond rationally, but hitting a brick wall.

      • Thanks. I’ve booked a solo appointment for myself next week. I will try to attend one of her sessions with her therapist, so we can work on things together too. I think it might be really useful.

        It’s just tough because she lives in northern MD and we only see each other on the weekends (Fri night – Mon morning)

    • Maybe you (singular) don’t need therapy, but it sounds like you (plural) might. Go to some couples counseling sessions with your girlfriend, it sounds like that would be more productive.

  • novadancer

    I would just keep it. Fines for 30 days overdue are only $5 so over a weekend should be nominal!

    • novadancer

      whoops! that was for the poster above on the library book.

    • I know, and I guess it’s more of a matter of principle. I’ve never (as an adult) had anything overdue. I have had to pay for a couple of books my dog destroyed. Maybe I’ll just hold onto it for a while. Sorry, whoever requested ithis book (which is probably the reason why I can’t renew it.)

    • Except that it sound like there might be a waiting list for the book, which would be kind of a jerk move to hold on to the book.

      • I don’t think they let you renew a book if someone else placed a hold on it, but I could be wrong.

      • Read it quickly and get it back ASAP. If it’s a popular book there are probably many other copies in circulation, so it’s not going to impact anyone that much if you keep it an extra day or two. The library’s not open to process the return on Sunday anyway.

        • I agree with the above poster. Given that there’s a waiting list, you shouldn’t hold onto it any longer than you have to… but if you can finish it in another two days, it shouldn’t have much of an effect.

      • If you can’t renew online there is probably a hold on the book, and it will indicate this.

  • Rave: Just booked my ticket for eastern Europe. Does anyone have any good suggestions for vodkas to buy in Poland or Russia?!

    • Fun! Are you planning on smuggling it back in? I think you can only bring one liter bottle in your luggage.

    • Khortitsya – its Ukrainian and amazing. The golden wheat, and honey-pepper are my two favorites.
      You can bring back more than two bottles – just don’t declare. Also – new slippers make excellent bottle protectors.

    • I lived on zubrowka and apple juice when I lived in Poland

    • novadancer

      When we were in moscow we brought back several bottles each of vodka. even if you exceed the 1 litre requirement you will just have to pay duty on it.

      • How much duty are we talking about? A few bucks per bottle?

        • saf

          Not even. It depends on the proof, but generally under $1 a bottle. Just make sure that you are not bringing in enough to require an import license.

        • saf

          And the thing is, if you don’t declare it and they decide to search and find it, they impound it.

          I generally list things on the declaration form by category and value. If they want to ask, they will. Have receipts to back it up. For example:
          Clothing: $100
          Wine/beer: $100
          Liquor: $100
          Food: $100
          Christmas Ornaments: $50

          They will always ask what the food is, so I should switch to itemizing it, but I feel silly writing “chocolate and mustard – $100.”

          • PDleftMtP

            Saf has it exactly right. Going over the limit is not a big deal; not declaring is. I never write “food,” though – always exactly what it is. Too many times hanging with the USDA beagles while they go through my stuff – some CBP folk just automatically send you into secondary.

  • Rant: I have a car but only need it a couple times a month, so I let my girlfriend use it. She uses it almost every day to go to work, to run errands, and to visit her family in the suburbs.

    I needed the car last night to go to a party, and asked her a week in advance if she would be needing it. She said no. Then, yesterday afternoon, she mentioned that she and her brother had an appointment downtown and she’d offered him a ride back to Virginia. I reminded her (for the second or third time that week) that I needed the car, but as a compromise told her we could do a trade-off. When they were ready to go back to Virginia they could metro over to where I was, call me, and pick up the car. I’d find some other way home.

    So I’m at the party, obsessively checking my phone for her call. I had the ringer set as loud as it could go, and on vibrate, and kept my purse close to my body so I’d feel it ring. The party I was at was fairly subdued (no music and quiet conversation) so I felt confident I could hear the call. 45 minutes after she said she’d be done I tried calling her, but her phone was dead and I didn’t have her brother’s number. 20 minutes later she called from her brother’s phone and, despite my efforts, I didn’t hear or feel the phone ring.

    I called her back and she was pissed– they’d already hopped on a metro out to the end of the line, and would be begging someone for a ride from there. Feeling resentful that she was making me feel bad about it, I mentioned that maybe she should get a car of her own. That made her even angrier, but oh well. She and her brother had been downtown meeting with the president of a bank, where they are VIPs because they have so much money in there. They needed help figuring out what to do with all that money. They clearly have more than enough to buy cars or pay for cabs, yet they mooch off me because I believe in letting friends borrow things I’m not actively using. I feel like that person from a couple days ago who tried to share her parking space with neighbors when she wasn’t home. You try to share resources and people take advantage of you.

    • I think it’s human nature to become entitled to something once you become accustomed to doing something regularly (in this case, it’s using your car). You should have never allowed her to use your car for her daily commute – she now feels like it’s “her car” too. Of course your friend is acting ridiculous, but you need to lay down clear boundaries.

      Also, she should really be on your insurance policy if she’s using it that often. What would happen if she got in an accident or goes through a red light camera? Your insurance is going to skyrocket.

      As the owner of the car, you should really sit down and have a tough conversation about what you expect from her. It seems like the rules are not very well defined, which just ends up breeding resentment.

      • She is on my policy. I guess that doesn’t help with the sense of entitlement.

        • Also, I don’t think it’s that unheard of to share a car in a long-term relationship (we’ve been dating 5 years). She pays for half the insurance now that she’s using it for her commute, and that’s pretty much the only expense besides gas (maintenance is minimal right now, and the car is paid off). She’s also been good about paying parking tickets she incurs when using it, and for keeping the gas tank filled. I just want to be able to use it occasionally without feeling like I’m inconveniencing her.

          • Ah, I didn’t realize that she’s your partner (I thought she was just a friend) and that you actually split all costs & are legal about it.

            That’s a much trickier situation.

          • “I needed the car last night to go to a party, and asked her a week in advance if she would be needing it. She said no.”

            The car is yours – assuming you paid for it – if she isn’t willing to let you use your own car when you need it, I say ditch her. If she can’t share something that isn’t even hers, imagine what’ll happen in the future.

          • Well, she did let me use it. I think she genuinely forgot that I had plans that involved it.

          • It may just be inadvertent word choice, but I think it’s pretty telling that we’re discussing your girlfriend “letting” you use your own car.

      • Even if they were bona fide co-owners of the car, both paying all expenses jointly, and even if they used it with equal frequency, it’s still inconsiderate. Person #1 says well in advance that they need the car on X night, Person #2 knows about the request and is fine with it; Person #2 shouldn’t then expect their last-minute needs to trump everything, unless it’s some kind of urgent situation where there’s no viable alternative to using the car. And given that Person #1 bent over backwards to compromise, even if it sucks being uncertain about the car handoff and waiting 20 minutes to hear back, I think the onus is on Person #2 to say “hey, sorry my meeting ran late and my phone died so you couldn’t get a hold of me, and sorry you had to spend the party constantly checking your phone.”

    • dump her.

      • Gosh, you’re harsh. It’s just a car.

        • you think it’s just a car?
          i read it and comprehended that 3 times his girlfriend completely ignored him, utterly invalidating what he felt and wanted to do. not only did she ignore him, but she made plans to then use the car, without checking with him. then, rather than use a cab, or find a ride for her brother, she drug op into a highly dramatic situation and very manipulative mindfuck that just made him feel like a bad guy. dude feels like he’s inconveniencing his girlfriend when he wants to use his own car.

          but yeah, just a car.

          • I’m a she. But yeah… I definitely got the impression that she thought my party was insignificant compared to her appointment with the bank president.

          • whoops. i apologize for my assumption of sex.
            and yes, my reaction was extreme. while i feel that many problems can be worked out, you have reason to be upset, and i feel that when someone takes their relationship problem to the internet, including specifics that might make then get caught, i think the writing is on the wall.

            i would question her sense of respect for you. there seems to be expressions of contempt, anger, trying to make you feel guilty. all that is just destroying your sense of self and happiness.

            i hope, whatever happens, results in increased happiness for you.

      • +1 Sounds like a self-centered user.

    • Whoops, just realized I mis-wrote part of the story:
      3 minutes later she called from her brother’s phone and, despite my efforts, I didn’t hear or feel the phone ring and didn’t see the missed call until 20 minutes later.

  • Rant: Big orange banner blocking top section of this site.

    Rave: Beautiful weather today. Can’t wait to go out and play!

    • Prince Of Petworth

      Can you email me a screenshot of what it looks like and let me know what browser you are using please?

  • pablo .raw

    Rave: Great review on the progress of the consultant work I’m doing.
    Rant: sleepy

  • Rant: Bloated.
    Rave: Great hair day.
    Neither, just weird: Haven’t gotten a work-related email since 1:45 yesterday.
    Question: I still need to get a Father’s Day gift and I don’t have any ideas. My dad’s tie collection is more than sufficient for the occasional wedding or funeral, and I’m sure he hasn’t worn a cufflink in his entire life. His hobbies require specialized equipment that I wouldn’t know how to begin selecting. I’m thinking something edible. Any suggestions? Maybe some nice chocolates and a bag of good coffee? He’s so hard to shop for. I’m leaving to go visit tomorrow morning so I’d probably need to get it tonight.

    • I like the idea of coffee and chocolate. Or biscotti, or make some muffins. Well, you know your fathers food preferences.

      • I’m making a cake also, for the BBQ my sister and I are having for him, but I want something I can wrap up and have him enjoy later. Anyone have suggestions on where to get fancy chocolates and coffee?

    • Every relationship is different, but as a dad of a (semi-) adult daughter, nothing would please me more than something home-cooked delivered with a hug and a smile that came close to expressing the delight she felt in seeing me when she was about 8 and you hadn’t figured out how many faults I actually have.

      (On the other hand, the book of rock poster art she dropped off while I was out of town last week was pretty cool, to).

      • I’m glad to hear that because I’ll be doing that already. 🙂 But I still feel like I need a gift, if for no other reason because I got my mom something for Mother’s Day and I need to be fair.

        • Does he read? “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand is a fantastic book and especially good for guys. Will he wear socks that are slightly flashier than usual? Everyone can use socks.

          • I actually recommended that book to him a few years ago! I can’t remember if he read it, but I know my mom did so he probably did too. That’s a great “dad book” suggestion though.

      • How the hell has no one suggested a sh!t-ton of BACON yet!!!! I’m sorry if I’ve offended b/c of religious beliefs or health condition…..but if not, BACON!!!! It’s the candy of meats for Pete’s sake!!! There’s gotta be a bacon of the month club or something.

        • Haha, but in what form? Do I fry up a whole bunch of it Sunday morning, or give him a slab of raw bacon for him to cook and enjoy at his leisure? Or do I go with one of the many bacony food products that are on the market? I don’t eat much bacon myself, so can anyone recommend a good bacon gift?

          • In raw form. I googled “bacon of the month” and got a ton of hits. I’m sure there is something in your price range. Seriously…it’s a good suggestion right? I would freakin LOVE IT!!!!

        • BACON CANDY! I had it at a party recently and WOW. There’s lots of recipes out there – I don’t have one to recommend but let me say again – BACON CANDY!

    • Emmaleigh504

      Does he like going to movies or restaurants? A gift certificate might be nice. I gave my mom a movie theater gift certificate 1 year and she loved it.

      • He has no interest in movies (it must be genetic; I don’t either). Restaurant gift certificate is a possibility. There aren’t a lot of restaurants out where my parents live but I know one or two he likes.

    • If he drinks, a bottle of single malt scotch.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Another idea is to make a silly portrait of yourself. For example, my dad REALLY likes baseball. I do not. One year I found stock photo of a little league team and put a picture of my face over one of the kids. I framed it and sent it to my dad. He thought it was great.

    • I get my dad various gourmet food items from places like Smucker’s Farm and he loves it!

  • Rave: It’s Friday.
    Rant: No one seems to be at work today.
    Rave: Guess I’ll be leaving early then…

  • Rant : Speed cameras mounted on long-term stationary police vehicles. Why are we paying people to sit in these cars every day when they can be replaced by a metal pole? It seems that we’d be better off paying them to do real police work or something.

  • Rave: I started seeing someone via online dating. Since it’s my first time, I can say that I’m pretty happy how it turned out. I like getting to know him and am just enjoying the moment.
    Rant: Said moment is ruined by the fact that I am definitely moving across the Pond in 2 months and I’ve got a packed summer schedule. Makes figuring out when to see each other quite difficult especially because I’ve got many friends and family to see before the jump!
    Rave: Getting to start a whole new adventure shortly! Whoohoo!

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rave: Working at home.

    Rave: Summer flowers!

    Rave: Vacation coming up!

    Rant: Not a thing today. 🙂

  • Rave: So many interesting Rant/Raves today! All kinds of topics/dilemmas and a lot I can relate to. Work’s really boring so I’m glad I have them to entertain me.

  • epric002

    rant: sooooo upset that the kitten i brought to WHS earlier this week was euthanized. trying to find comfort knowing that he is no longer suffering, but this one has hit me surprisingly hard. i wish i’d taken him to my own vet immediately (yes, i know this doesn’t mean that he could have been saved, but maybe 🙁 )
    rant: b/n this and the neglected neighborhood dog, i’m not having much success helping animals. waaaaaaah.
    rant: AC is busted
    rave: AC guy is coming this afternoon, and it’s not ungodly hot today. it’s friday.

    • Many SPCA’s do this. Their standards for whether the animals brought to them are fit for adoption or require euthanizing are not always up to the standards of those who bring the animals in to them. The sad but true reality is there are just too many neglected animals and not enough money financing no-kill shelters or families willing to take the animals in. The USDA regulates domestic animal breeding and could do a lot for the neglected population by placing more restrictions on breeding, but for reasons unknown to me has not done so.

      • epric002

        i knew going in that they are not a no-kill shelter. i think i’m so upset b/c when i called yesterday morning (the day after i brought him in) they said he was doing well and had been vaccinated. i assumed that meant that he had been evaluated by a vet/tech and was being treated. i only learned today that he was euthanized shortly after yesterday’s conversation, and that that was his initial evaluation. if i had brought him directly to my vet, then he wouldn’t have had to wait a full day before being evaluated. though rationally i recognize that he still might have had to be euthanized, my emotions are probably trumping my rationality. just sad. and yes, i so wish people would fix their pets. the number of abused, neglected, stray animals in this country is incredibly depressing.

    • saf

      I’m sorry about the kitten. Was he/she injured?

      It’s hard to help them sometimes, but the fact that you are trying is important.

      • epric002

        s/he was very sick. i found him laying listless on the sidewalk, no mama cat in sight, with very red/inflamed eyes and a lot of discharge. once i got him in the car though he was incredibly friendly and mew-y, and active! though very sneezy. s/he had an upper respiratory infection, and i optimistically/ignorantly thought it would be pretty easy to treat/save him once i got him to the shelter. lesson learned- i will take seriously ill/injured animals directly to a vet for faster treatment.

    • Sorry to hear this. I don’t think it would have occurred to me either that it would make a difference to take the kitten immediately to a vet vs. to the shelter. Please don’t beat yourself up about it too much — even if you had taken the kitten to the vet immediately, it’s possible that it still wouldn’t have made it. I’ve learned from reading the http://50kittens.com/ blog (written by a couple who’ve fostered many litters of kittens, many of them for Homeward Trails) that kittens are a lot more vulnerable than I would have expected — some of the things they can come down with can prove fatal even WITH careful attention, medication, etc. And it sounds like this kitten was in bad shape when you found him, poor thing.

      • epric002

        thanks for the perspective. you’re right- it just didn’t even occur to me that s/he might have to wait a long time at the shelter in order to be medically evaluated. and yes, he was pretty pitiful when i found him. at least he didn’t have to suffer further/die on the street. poor kitty.

        and thanks for the blog. i’m not even a cat person! well that’s not fair, i’m an all-animal person with a preference for dogs 🙂

    • epric002

      rant updated to rave: AC is fixed, it was only a blown capacitor (?)! saul at arcticHVAC is great 🙂

  • Rave: New “lady friend” is fantastic and making me glad I’ve started dating ppl that treat me the way I should be treated. Thx therapy lol

    Rant: Awkward relationship with my parents always makes mothers/fathers day very stressful. Anxious phone calls, difficult silence. Guilt and resentment….oye vey

  • I have a question. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to make some extra money over the next few weeks? I am in the process of trying to take some certification tests for my field, but the tests cost a lot and I’m not trying to rack up debt in the process. I look at Craigslist in the ‘gigs’ section, but everything looks so shady there. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

    • I’m not sure how you’d find these gigs other than CL, but we’re smack dab in the middle of wedding season so it seems like someone would need help with catering or photography or setting up stuff. Any skills or things you like to do?

      • I have a design background and I’m good at manual labor (I grew up on a farm). It seems like it would be easy for me to find something, but I’ve never really looked into this kind of thing before and I guess I’m a little lost. #firstworldproblems

    • binpetworth

      Clinical trials (www.clinicaltrials.gov) – look for ones that are recruiting healthy volunteers (unless you have some interesting disease you’d like studied). They pay well, though sometimes you have to come back for multiple trips during the day.

    • Did you play a sport growing up? Perhaps you could get your reffing/umpiring certification? I’m a soccer referee and, frankly, it’s good money for what I have to do and the time commitment, plus I’m doing something I like to do and getting exercise. Obviously, there might not be a class right away and/or it may take a bit of time to get assignments, but generally referees are in pretty high demand with all the different leagues around here.

    • The Winery at Bull Run posted on their facebook page a few weeks ago that they’re looking for extra hands at events, mainly nights and weekends. Setting up for weddings, pouring wine at weddings, moving stuff around. If you have a car, that could be fun! Once I’m done with grad school, I’m hoping to help out and make some extra cash for my upcoming wedding 🙂

  • Revel: 26 wk ultrasound this morning went very well. Started off not being able to see the spine AGAIN, and that freaked us out (baby didn’t cooperate 6 weeks ago either), but the wife went to the bathroom, the baby moved, and we were able to view the spine. Everything is proceeding well and it’s such a relief. Praying that the rest of her pregnancy goes well….it’s getting very real now!

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