Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user clif_burns

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.

151 Comment

  • Freaking out.

    • The royal baby news has me excited too, but no need to panic.

      Seriously, you okay?

      • Very kind of you. I will be ok. I sometimes just feel that I am one anxious step away from blowing a pretty nice life I have made for myself and my family.

        • What do you mean by “blowing a pretty nice life”? Abandoning your family? Are you a parent?

        • It’s normal to have that anxiety, but I’m sure your life is more secure than one step away from disaster. When I get anxious, I remind myself that these are just thoughts, not truths. Thank you CBT.

  • Rave: just bought a new-to-me car
    Rant: having a hard time learning to drive stick shift

    Any recommendations for a good place to practice? I got super flustered and ended up stalling 5 times at a light on a slight incline on MacArthur Blvd on the Maryland side.

    • A big parking lot is the best place to practice shifting in general. The hardest part for me in learning to shift on hills was having cars close behind me which added to the stress.

      Is there a neighborhood nearby that has hills where you can practice (and maybe not have so much traffic)?

      • Oops, forgot to log in. I’m anon

        I spent some time in parking lots and on this one street that was a circle. I was doing fine and feeling bored so I felt like I was ready to move on. I got all the way up to third gear, then stopped at the light. I just couldn’t get started again since there was a slight hill. To their credit, the drivers behind me were incredibly patient and didn’t start honking until about 3 or 4 minutes of me stalling. In the end, I had my friend take over.

      • pablo .raw

        +1 on the hills part. Maybe driving around the city on a Sunday or a day without much traffic and practicing on city hills.

        • Driving a stick is a lot about feel. When starting on a hill, try gently releasing the clutch til you almost feel the engine grab. Then when you need to go, release the brake, hit the gas, and release the clutch to go. It’ll probably take a little time to get the hang of it and you’ll probably really rev the engine a couple of times, but you’ll get the hang of it.

          Manuals are awesome.

          • In addition to the above technique, you can use the E-brake to hold yourself if you need to. It gives you more time to feel where the “friction point” (where the clutch disengages) is so that you can give the right amount of gas. Once you get the hang of it, you won’t need to do that unless you’re on a seriously steep hill (I haven’t been on one steep enough around DC to do this).

            Also, when you’re at lights just for practice, keep your right foot on the brake and practice letting off the clutch w/ your left. Wait till you feel it start to engage the engine and then push it back in. You’ll build muscle memory for when you need to apply power.
            My first car was an ’86 Audi 4000…a hand-me-down. It’s the toughest clutch I’ve ever had to deal with and not just b/c I learned on it. You either hit the friction point with the right amount of gas or you either peeled out or stalled. More modern manuals have quite a bit of leeway…unless you’re driving a high-performance vehicle that is.

    • And people here like to make fun of Maryland drivers!

    • Once you learn you will love it and never go back to auto…well unless you commute in traffic then you are going to be over stick shift in a week. good luck!

      • I keep hearing how fun my car is to drive. I’m just waiting for the fun part. I have a lovely reverse commute (Woodley park to Virginia) so that certainly helps.

        • It sounds like you are close to Maryland, so I’d check out the GEICO parking lot by Friendship Heights. I spent a lot of time practicing starting and stopping there. Also, the Whitman parking lot. Weekends only for both of these, thought Whitman might work since it’s summer. Honestly, it sounds like you really need to work on stopping and getting into first a little more. Once you have the hang of that, the rest of the gears are really easy and even hills seem less daunting.

          One thing that helped me a lot (and that i still do), is to keep your heel down when you are pressing on the gas and the clutch – I think it gives you extra control over how hard you are pressing/letting up and you avoid some of the lurching and stalling.

          Finally, I absolutely LOVE driving stick! I think it gives me more control and makes me a better driver and no one ever asks to borrow my car because they can’t drive it!! It took me a little bit thought to get the hang of it and the first month or so I was pretty nervous driving and thought I’d made a huge mistake…I hadn’t!

    • I learned in Petworth; there are some hills and lots of stop signs, so I got lots of practice with stopping/starting, which is the hardest thing about learning how to drive a manual, imo.

    • I want to learn how to drive stick but I can’t find a driving school that offers lessons!! And I couldn’t imagine asking a friend to let me ruin their car to learn ;-).

    • Crestwood. Quiet hilly streets with lots of stop signs. Perfect for grinding those new gears.

      • +1

        And go out early on Saturday and Sunday mornings. You don’t want to be around a lot of traffic. When I was 16, I learned to drive on my dad’s POS stick shift Dodge pick-up truck. It’s a great life skill.

    • Blithe

      A friend pointed out that a HUGE advantage of having a car with a stick shift is that it’s MUCH less likely to get stolen because relatively few car thieves know how to drive sticks. Maybe this is a Baltimore thing though….

      • Nope, this is DC too. My buddy was violently carjacked of his late model BMW in Petworth two years ago. He suffered a massive concussion and was in a coma for two days, but the thieves couldn’t get more than half a block away with his car since they didn’t know how to drive stick shift. Idiots.

    • I think the key to driving a stick is to not panic. Even if you stall, no big deal. Just let people wait. You’ll get more comfortable. Parking lots are cool but I do think it’s one of those things that you just need to do to learn.

      You’ll get it. Don’t let other drivers fluster you.

    • thank you, parents, for making me learn to drive stick before I got my license.

  • Rant: Can’t think of one which is highly unusual for me.

    Rave: So after 2.5 months my new medication has made me stop smoking, quit overeating, and it’s made me drop 13 pounds. I haven’t weighed this amount since college!

  • binpetworth

    Rave: Pre-dawn raid of a drug house on my block.
    Rant: I can’t think of one. The rave put me in an awesome mood; that house had been a serious nuisance for years.

    • Where in Petworth? Really hope it was the one near me!

      • 14thandChapin

        yeah im curious where it was

      • binpetworth

        Shepherd and Kansas

        • epric002

          ooo that’s close to me. is it obvious which house it was? i’m curious πŸ™‚

          • binpetworth

            Howdy neighborino! If you’re thinking of the obvious one (as anyone familiar with that stretch should be), no, it wasn’t that, though curiously that house has had no one around/in it for a few weeks now. It was the apt building next to the now boarded up property on the corner.

          • epric002

            hello neighbor! i live a few blocks away from that intersection, so i’m probably not as aware of which house is the obvious one. i wonder though if “the obvious one” is the same residence that housed the neglected dog situation i’ve been ranting about…did not know that that apt bldg was such a nuisance. glad to hear your rave!

      • andy

        you know, I went and looked at the DC Crime Map the other day, and I think it doesn’t show the location of drug crimes. Not that I am obsessed about where someone got their dime bag, but I would be interested in where someone was arrested for drug distribution.

        • There’s a ton of stuff not included on the crime maps. Simple assault will not show up in the crime stats. It’s a big point of contention and controversy.

  • Rave: Great date last night – first ever experience with Screen on the Green. Great movie, great company, and hopefully a second date in the near future.

  • Rant: My neighbor’s tree is infested with bagworms, no they are not pine cones honey. After 2 hours of picking the little pests, the bucket is starting to fill up.

  • Rave (always the good first): Had a great dream about, and memory, of my dad, who passed away recently from cancer at a too-young age.
    Rant: Makes me think too much about my own and others’ mortality, aging, and life. Is anyone else obsessed with mortality? I love life and it makes me sad to think about the slow march towards… you know.

    Final Rave: Love my life, spouse, family and friends. Even my job.

    • Yes. Obsessed with mortality since having a child. I imagine me dying, the child dying, my spouse dying, in vivid and varied ways, frequently. It was not something that happened before the child was born.

    • My dad passed away 8 years ago. I don’t dream of him often, but whenver I do he NEVER speaks. I like to think he’s just dropping in to check on me…

    • Thought about it last year when I had cancer. Took solace in the fact that there were only a few things I HAD to do if I knew I was dying in a few months (basically revisit a couple places and spend time with those close to me). Figured that was a sign I’ve had a pretty good life so far. Thankfully I’m in remission and looks like I won’t have to face death in the immediate future.

      On the other hand, yes, bummed that no matter when one dies, life seems too short and quick. Hearing stories about those who die abruptly (especially at a younger age) definitely affects me more now.

    • I have issues with realizing that my parents are getting old (they are grandparents now!). I think about the not-so-distant future, to when my siblings and I are the older adults, my baby nieces and nephews are teenagers, and my parents have passed away, and that scenario freaks me out. I’m very lucky that both my parents are in relatively good health now and I treasure the time I spend with them.

    • Yes. My father passed away a few years ago, and it definitely changed my perspective on life. Sometimes I think about death and it makes me sad. sometimes i am filled with wonder, observing births and deaths – our bodies are amazing. Nature is amazing.

      I had a dream recently that my dad’s ghost was in my kitchen, making pancakes. It was pretty awesome. πŸ™‚

  • Rave: BFF’s visit to DC was a wonderful success! We tanned at one of the fine public pools, I had a *great* bachelorette party, and we capped it off with Screen on the Green. Obvs, she and the puppy were BFFs too. Yay!

    Rant: I missed the Middletons arriving on the Lindo Hospital livefeed. If that’s my rant… Live is pretty good!

  • Rant/Rave – Bob’s flubbed my furniture delivery last Saturday… I guilted them into refunding the delivery fee, saved 60 bucks and got a re-schedule for Thursday, dinner party on Friday, I really hope they come through this time.

    Rant: People that park in alleys and leave there cars there. They never get towed in time.

    Rant: One day off last week made me seriously miss the free time I used to have. Thinking about going freelance for a year, but too chicken to ditch a regular paycheck.

    Rant: Need to drop off of one of my best friend’s weddings, it’s 17 hours away by plane and tickets cost damn near $2000… I feel bad, but guess it’s better to give him a $800 check instead.

    • Bummer about the furniture delivery!! I know how much you were looking forward to having the new dining room table. Fingers crossed for Thursday!

    • Hmm, where is this wedding?? And is it in the summer?

    • weddings are a great place to pick up hot young ladies.

      • Yes, but those relationships usually only last a few hours tops. I don’t think Jack5 will waste his energy if he doesn’t get at least 2 weeks worth of blog comments out of it.

      • Yeah, but not after a 17 hour plane flight overseas… I’m not good with long distance relationships either… Too much work and expense. If I would have gone, I would have done it for my friend, but it’s just way too complex to make it all happen. πŸ™

    • Blithe

      Well, if you’re not going to tell us where the wedding will be, do we get a few details re: your planned dinner menu? Yup, it’s almost lunch time & I’m becoming a little too food-focused…..

  • Rant: Family puppy (15 years old!) not doing well. So so hard to see her that way.

    Rave: The whole family was there to be with her and understand where she is at with her quality of life. The vet yesterday said she has hope our puppy will be ok and back to her perky self shortly.

    Rant: Horse I half lease has not been cared for by her owner and I can only do so much – I can’t call the farrier or get the vet out…. it’s horrible to see sweet, wonderful animals in pain and only be able to do a little to help alleviate that.

    Rant/Rave: 7 hours of buses to Cape May, 7 hours back to DC – good time to read and watch tv shows!

    Rave: 3 days in Cape May with family and our wonderful, lovable family pup.

    • I see you’re achieving a more zen-like state regarding the Cape May trip. πŸ˜‰
      If someone doesn’t agree to pick you up at the bus station, though, let the dog eat the couch.

    • epric002

      that’s awful about the horse. is it being boarded at a facility where management could get involved? sounds like a third party needs to be made aware of the situation and exert some pressure to fix it. anonymous call to the vet? large-animal rescue/humane group?

    • How can you even ride if the horse is in pain, or has a foot problem? Read your lease – the owner may be breaking it by failing to keep the horse healthy. Vets and farriers are expensive, we can sympathize. If you can afford it, maybe you can offer to split the cost?

      • Nope – definitely not able to ride as she has torn her front shoes off due to no farrier care in a while (I’ve told the owner multiple times…). So frustrating as the barn is pretending they shouldn’t play a role in this. Owner is “particular” in her care and won’t let me play a role. Not sure how to move forward – it’s not a serious case of neglect (horse is fed, watered, sheltered) but the horse is certainly lame due to neglect (not having farrier out and not having vet out to treat a minor wound that, due to limited care, has turned into a concerning one)…

        • epric002

          given i know little about horses, but this sounds like a situation that needs some outside help since the owner is refusing to provide necessary care. can you call the humane society for the jurisdiction the animal is housed in? you can always remain anonymous, and ask for their recommendation on what to do. i’m sure the barn isn’t interested in the negative publicity that would likely accompany a humane society visit to their property…
          i also like anongardner’s recommendation about this lack of care potentially breaching your lease.

          • Unfortunately, it’s not a case of serious neglect as the horse is pastured safely, has shelter, water, and food. She’s cared for but just not enough…or quickly enough so I’m unsure of how the humane society could help. I’m reaching out to the owner to try and figure out a solution. It’s a tough line between being chastising and concerned and overstepping my boundaries…Thanks for your input though!

          • epric002

            britt- i don’t know where this horse is kept, but for example, virginia law requires that animals be provided “adequate care”, which includes “…the provision of veterinary care when needed to prevent suffering or impairment of health”. so this relatively low-level neglect might actually be a violation of law. i suggested the humane society/animal control for the jurisdiction where the horse is kept as a source for advice/expertise on whether or not the neglect rises to a level where the care could be compelled. also, my experience has been that they will always come out to the location and make their own determination about whether they need to get involved. good luck.

        • Ha, “particular” but not enough to keep up with hoof care. Even shoeless horses need to be trimmed every 6-8 weeks – sorry for preaching to the choir. πŸ™‚

          epric002, if the horse’s feet hadn’t been trimmed in a year and it was walking around on its curled up toenails, (do not google, it is horrifying), that would be an abuse case. shoes do come off sometimes, especially when it is time for new shoes. this is a case where the barn needs to get involved (wussies!), but doesn’t sound like it rises to the level of neglect. in this case I would cancel my lease, since my ability to use the horse is compromised. responsibility for the shoes/farrier cost should be written into the lease. I can imagine how frustrating this is – so basic and preventable!

  • em

    Revel: Saw the Amorphophallus yesterday at the peak of its bloom
    Revel / Rant: It wasn’t all that stinky…perhaps the combined funk of the throging masses overpowered the stench of the plant
    Revel: Saw Al Franken at the Nats game last night
    Rant: Nats lost

    • I saw it last night and there was zero smell. But I wasn’t expecting any, as I’d heard on the radio that the stink was mainly on Sunday night; Monday daytime visitors were complaining about the lack of smell.

    • I saw it yesterday evening. There definitely was a faint rotting-meat odor, but I could only smell it when I leaned in close to the bloom and took a deep breath. It was faint but unmistakable! If you’ve ever left meat in your fridge, and forgot about it for a few weeks, you know that smell.

  • Rant: Boyfriend’s bike was stolen off our front porch last night… Yes, it was locked to the railing with a NY style U-lock. Normally we don’t keep it there, but with construction going on in the basement, storage is at a minimum right now.
    Rant: Just bought said bike a month ago to replace his aging one
    Rave: We are lucky enough to be able to replace it

    • Wasn’t silver was it?

    • Renter’s/homeowners insurance should cover it.

      • Usually the deductible is $500. Not worth it for a bike, IMO, unless you have a very expensive model.

        • And you have to file a police report. Dealing with the police is not worth it.

          • gotryit

            It’s actually pretty easy – you may even be able to do it all over the phone. Doing so allowed me to get my stolen bike back on the spot when I ran into it in Chinatown.

          • Actually, from recent experience, filing a police report for a stolen bike is SUPER-easy. You can do it online, and you just need the serial number and a brief description, and other basic info like date and address. Within 5 minutes of uploading my report, the officer (or maybe it’s a civilian employee) who handles online reports called me back to ask for a clarification and re-upload, and then it was officially processed by the end of the day. Of course, the online report is basically acknowledging that there’s going to be no investigative action whatsoever, but if you simply need it for the record and for insurance, it’s a snap.

          • Gotryit, what did you do when you spotted your bike in Chinatown? That’s the one thing I forgot to ask the person who handled my stolen bike report. If I see it locked up on a bike rack in the neighborhood…I would feel silly calling 911 about something like that, but do I call the precinct directly? Do they actually come out with bolt cutters or something to free the bike? I’ve fantasized about running across my stolen bike, but haven’t thought through the process yet.

          • gotryit

            @Anon 11:46am – You call 911. Not every 911 call is an emergency, and they will respond appropriately. Stop feeling silly about it. Now.
            In my case, the police came out with bolt cutters (wasn’t going to work on the u-lock). The guy who had bought my stolen bike came back while the police were going at it wondering “what are you doing to my bike”? He unlocked it and the police took him aside to take down his info as he was “in receipt of stolen goods”. I doubt he got charged because he cooperated, but it was pretty funny.
            Make sure your bike serial number is in the police report so that they can verify that its yours.

        • Thanks for the encouragement, gotryit! If I ever spot my bike, 911 it is, then! πŸ™‚ I have my serial number in the police report (and an e-mail copy of the receipt from the bike shop), and I’ve been keeping both in my wallet just in case. Probably a long shot, but you never know.

    • Ugh, sorry that happened, but glad you’ll be able to replace. I miss my stolen bike, too (much-ranted about elswhere on this blog, and also stolen from being locked with a NY-style U-lock to a rack in my building’s locked bike room)…decided I’m going to start cooking austerity meals for the next few months to scrape together the money for a replacement. Also looking into changing renters’ insurance policies from my current $1,000 deductible to a company that’ll offer a $500 deductible. It’s not the biggest difference in the world, but if I have a theft again, every little bit helps.

    • Called my homeowners insurance and the deductible doesn’t make it worth it. They said my premium would go up 50% if I filed a claim… So much for them being there through everything!! He is going to file a police report today, but it’s primary transportation since we only have 1 car… So, off to the bike store he goes πŸ™

  • 14thandChapin

    Rave: 79 degrees and not a swamp this morning! I wore a suit jacket for the first time in a long while…and did not even break a sweat. Cant wait for football season and the fall weather to come in.
    Rant: Why do people have to act like ‘People’? So annoying sometimes how rediculious people act on their way to work…people think the world revolves around them and they are so important, when they are not

  • RANT: Went to Landmark Honda last night to test drive the new Honda Crosstour. What a cluster-eff that was! First of all, our salesman was in his 3rd week on the job and knew next to nothing. In fact, I was telling him about the car and showing him how the key worked. I asked to take one for a test drive, but apparently they don’t keep any of the new Crosstours on the lot – they keep them under the overpass at the Landmark mall – so he took us over to the sketchy overpass to check out the cars. Thank goodness that my husband came with me, or I would have though he was taking me to some abandoned construction zone to kill me. We get there and the cars have a thick layer of crust on them, and all of the batteries are dead, so we can’t even get into the car. It’s getting dark at this point, so I just wanted to get the eff out of there! We get back to the dealership, where there was 1 Crosstour (why we didn’t look at that one in the first place I’ll never know!), and our handy dandy salesman goes to get the key. *We’ve been there for an hour at this point, and have yet to look at a car* He gets the key and comes back, but that car was dead as well. So he gets a portable jumper and tries to jump start the car – it never starts πŸ™

    We leave the dealership over an hour later without having ever seen a working Crosstour. I’ve been involved in quite a few car purchases, and I’ve never experienced anything like this in my life. I am at a loss for words to accurately describe how I feel about our night last night.

    Moral of the story: Stay far far away from Landmark Honda!!!!!!!!!!

    Rave: We laughed the whole way home at what a cluster-eff that was πŸ™‚

    • You mean the car buying process what not pleasant?!?! I am totally shocked!

      • I’ve had lots of really great car buying experiences, this, however, was not one of them. Crusty cars and dead batteries on brand new cars – I’ve never!

    • Back in 2000, I looked at Landmark before ultimately going with Ourisman Honda in Bethesda. I was by myself and they claimed they couldn’t find my trade-in’s keys, kept pressuring me and saying “what can we do to get you into this new car?” Also tried charging me $3k over MSRP and undervalued my trade-in. I threatened to call the cops if my keys weren’t found within the next minute. The Landmark manager called me a week after I purchased from Ourisman and asked “Is there anything we can do to earn your business?” I laughed and hung up. Good times.
      Just leased a VW from Marten’s and that was a much more pleasant experience.

    • Try Herson’s Honda in Rockville.

      • Anyone have a recommendation for a Subaru dealership?

        • Herb Gordon Subaru in Silver Spring was pretty good when I went last month. No haggling, and the guy upped my trade-in by $500 without me really asking for it. They had a 2012 gently used/leased Subaru Impreza with 10K miles. Didn’t haggle on price as it was priced well. We were in and out in about 2 hours!

  • skj84

    Rant: Stupid family drama. I don’t know why were not capable of communicating properly.

    Rant: Stupid guy drama. Got involved with a guy friends knowing full well it was a bad idea. I need better judgement when it comes to men.

    Rave: Good friends who support you and patiently listen to you vent!

    • Re: guy drama. I’ve been there too and I don’t know what I was thinking! I think I watched When Harry Met Sally one too many times. Note to self, life is never, ever like a movie.

    • heh. Somewhere, that guy is thinking “stupid girl drama, got involved with a friend knowing it was a bad idea.”

      There’s hope, I had dinner last night with a good friend I got involved with against all good judgment. We’re good friends again, but with secret things to share and smile about.

      Of course, am now currently involved with a woman who has been one of my very closest friends for several decades — there’s a high-stakes gamble.

      Maybe I need to get out of my circle.

      • Blithe

        Ahhhh…. So this transition from Close Friend to um, Major Boo CAN work! πŸ™‚

        • Ask me in a year. But we did decide, in one of those often-angst-ridden conversations we have late at night every now and again, that things had been going pretty freaking well for long enough that we had at least broken even on the amorous gamble we’d made.

    • Blithe

      I’ve never seen When Harry Met Sally. But I do have a guy-friend, and I’ve been wondering if it might work …. Because we Get Along So Well. Which sounds pretty ominous, even to me. Are you sure it’s Never, EVER like a movie? Grin.
      Minor rant: no font for italics.
      Rave: Swimming outside – one of my major joys! I’m a much nicer human being when I get to go swimming every day.
      Rave: Smoked salmon. Yesterday’s supper was an asparagus omelet draped with smoked salmon. Major yum in under 5 minutes.

      • andy

        I think you can use some simple html tags on PoP. Use (no spaces) before the word and (no spaces) where you want the italics to end. Like this!

      • I mean, I guess I can’t say that it will NEVER work, I just think you should think long and hard about it before you make the plunge. Ask yourself why you guys haven’t gotten together already? It’s one thing if it’s just a matter of timing, or is it something more significant than that? If you take the gamble and it works out, it will be really awesome. If not, it can be pretty awkward (especially if you run in the same social circles).

      • I dated a good friend of mine for about a year, and then we both decided it was better if we were just friends. so we’re back to being good friends now again. it was only weird for a little bit, but is pretty much totally back to normal now.

      • Sounds like you like this guy. I say go for it. What if he is secretly in love with you? Have you never hooked up? I have to say that eventually I hooked up with all of my freinds that were women that I found attractive. Sort of inevitable, or so I thought.

        • But TG, haven’t you acknowledged being something of a “player” type prior to settling down and getting married?
          Are you still friends with any of the attractive women you hooked up with, and if so, what does your wife think about it?

          • I also hooked up with many of my female friends back when I was single. One of these friends is now my wife. Some others I dated for long periods. I’m still friends with most of these women. My wife and I even have dinner with one of my ex-girlfriends every year when we go back to our home town.

      • I was in a relationship with a good friend – after about six months the relationship part fizzled but we’re still friends. It was a mutual agreement that the relationship part wasn’t working which made it easier to transition back to being friends.

      • I had a good friend (guy) for about a year and a half. Liked him the whole time, but valued our friendship so much that I never did anything about it. A year and a half in, he finally brought it up, the fact that we got along so well and everything between us was so easy. Taking the actual plunge into dating someone who you know so well can be challenging – like trying to get over all of the girlfriend/sex information that you were privy to before, and knowing all kinds of ‘friend’ stuff that girlfriends should never know. This was the hardest part for me. It took a few months, and we definitely went through some major growing pains, but it was so worth it. 4 years later and I just married my best friend πŸ™‚ Make sure that you know that you want to be with him and that you are willing to work through the hard stuff to get to the really good stuff. Don’t bail when it gets hard – and it will get hard sometimes. If you go into it understanding that, you have a fighting chance. Good luck!

  • Rant: Not sure why I need to have a long meeting and sign an NDA just for you to tell me your deadline. I do have other work; I asked about the deadline in advance because I didn’t want to waste anyone’s time if I would be unable to meet the deadline.
    Rave: Busy with work = money money money
    Rant/Rave: Deciding between overextending by taking on another project and passing on project and its accompanying money …. always a dilemma …

  • Rave: saw the titan arum yesterday. What a magnificent, freaky plant. I kept expecting it to say, “Feed me, Seymour!”

  • Blithe

    Rant: It usually takes about 5 minutes for the water to boil, so how come when I make oatmeal, it boils over in 3?!!!! And then takes about 5 minutes for me to clean up the mess. Grrrrrrr.

  • Rave: Mr. S and I met with a financial planner this morning. I do not know why we waited so long, but it was so incredibly helpful. Now there are goals, allocations, and a plan in place for our future. I don’t have any idea why this is so exciting and awesome to me.
    Rave/Rant: There’s a woman at my gym who sings, fistbumps, and “raises the roof” during her run. While annoying to some, it’s such a great distraction from my own belabored breathing.

    • Could you say who you met with? I’ve been looking for someone.

    • For the last two years (and maybe longer) the DC gov sponsored a free financial planning day in October. I went and thought it was really helpful. Outside of different speakers/presentations I was able to meet with a financial planner to talk about my finances.

      • People who are interested in this issue might want to check out the book “Pound Foolish” by Helaine Olen. While I didn’t agree with everything in the book, it’s a really interesting and readable “takedown” (essentially) of the personal finance industry. Some of it focuses on the usual suspects–like Suze Orman and the Rich Dad/Poor Dad guy–but it also gives readers some ideas about red flags that may indicate when your financial professional is making recommendations in their best interest (ie, commissions for pitching certain products) rather than yours. She highly recommends “Personal Finance for Dummies”–even though the series might be a little hokey, she recommends the book as full of solid financial information and very reader-friendly. (That’s next on my to-read list. And if you are not of this mindset, be forwarned–Olen definitely believes that there are some major structural issues contributing to many people’s personal financial troubles, and she is sympathetic to some of Occupy’s goals. But even if you don’t agree with that assessment, some of her call-outs of shady players in the personal finance industry are excellent.)

        • Thanks for the book recs. I’ve done some reading, but it would be really helpful to talk this through with someone instead of trying to process lots of information on my own.

        • Care to explain the take-down of Suze Orman?

          I am quite financially educated, and all I really disagree with her on is keeping 8 months in an emergency fund. Instead we keep more than 8 months in investments, and continue contributing as much as possible.

          Otherwise, her advice is simple and straightforward. Don’t finance cars for too long, dont co-sign loans for anyone, dont spend more than you earn etc.

          • It wasn’t just her that got some scathing treatment, although she is probably one of the most famous personal finance gurus. I can’t remember all of the criticism, but the bottom line was that, ultimately, those finance personalities are focused on promoting their “brand” which is not always in harmony with giving their followers advice that’s in their best interest. One example was Orman’s attempt to pitch her pre-paid card, but I believe Olen cited other examples of Orman changing her advice, contradicting her advice, and advising her followers to do things that she does not and would not do herself, financially. I don’t doubt that some of Orman’s advice is solid (although her abrasive style is not for me), I think the overarching point was more that viewers/followers who are perhaps not financially savvy put blind trust into some of these finance personalities, assuming that they’re consumer advocates and that they’re giving objective third-party advice, when that’s not necessarily the case.

  • Rant: Absolutely exhausted today after an impromptu trip to the ER last night (I say that like any ER trips are really planned). Had a bad headache, blurriness, and some temporary numbness in my tongue and arm. Being 10 weeks pregnant, that guarantees you a trip to the ER. Side note: NEVER go to Washington Adventist.
    Rave: I’m ok, and baby is ok. While they couldn’t say definitely what it was, their best assumption was an ocular migraine.
    Rave #2: My husband is fantastic and a trooper. I need to find a good way thank him this weekend for being my advocate last night. Maybe go with him fishing?

    • Georgetown Hospital ER is pretty good, especially with migraine. I had a weird headache last night too – blame it on the weird weather. Hope it was a one-time thing for you!

      • I have actually been to Georgetown before, and it definitely would have been way better than this (and I didn’t have a great experience the time I went there). We went to Adventist because it was what was closest at the time (we were at dinner). The hubs actually talked to one of the nurses about it, and she said by far the best ER is Sibley. We will now be going there for anything that can handle a drive across the city.

        • Blithe

          I, too, would HIGHLy recommend Sibley.

        • I’ve heard great things about SIbley, but haven’t been there. I have to say, Gtown is great if you can get there very early in the morning. After 10 AM, it’s too crowded and slow.

        • The Sibley ER is great – it’s usually not too busy. We opted to go there when my husband had severe dehydration and couldn’t keep anything down – it was past my due date and I figured it was where I would be delivering anyway, in case I went into labor. Got seen right away.

      • I hate to get political, but in general it is best not to go to a Catholic hospital emergency room for what might be a pregnancy complication. In the vast majority of cases it will all work out fine, but if it doesn’t, you can’t be sure that your (and your partner’s, if applicable) wishes will be followed.

        • +1 a million times.

        • I am skeptical that this is really an issue one needs to worry about in an emergency situation.

          • Agreed. I’m not pregnant and am youngish (mid-30s) and generally healthy, but I have similar trepidation about Catholic hospitals on the off chance that decisions about life-sustaining or end-of-life treatment would need to be made. The challening and unfortunate thing, though, is that a number of secular health systems have merged with Catholic ones (not sure about the DC area, I’m speaking generally/nationally) so it may not always be obvious by the hospital’s name whether it’s following Catholic dicates about medical treatment.

          • epric002

            i’m with anon at 2:00. unless i’m being transported in an ambulance, i would avoid going to a catholic hospital. also a 30ish female.

          • saf

            It is indeed an issue, both with reproductive issues and end-of-life issues.

    • epric002

      atmospheric pressure changes are definitely a migraine trigger for some (me included). hope you’re feeling better!

      • Thanks! Working on the feeling better part πŸ™‚

      • Yes to that and also dehydration. I had a terrible headache on Sunday after an active Saturday of being outside and sweating a lot. I was dehydrated but didn’t even know it. If you’re pregnant, you really need to keep super hydrated.

  • What’s the deal with that terrible house at 1324 Kenyon NW? It has the oddest facade I have ever seen. There is a misplaced round window, a terrible roof on the front porch and even the numbers are placed on the building sloppily.

  • I found some belongings in my alleyway (3600 block of 13th Street, NW) yesterday morning, around 7 am. These included a passport, credit cards, papers, etc.

    I looked around for a car that looked broken-into, having found none, I gave the belongings to the police (Col Heights). There’s a bunch more trash in the alley, so if you are still missing some items, have a look back there to see if I missed anything.

  • Rave: Less than 3 weeks left of this gig and onto to greener pastures.
    Rant: Wedding, bachelorette and grad school starting in August. Looking like an expensive month!

  • Rave: Had an awesome time at SOTG! Played Cards Against Humanity for the first time – ohhhhhhhh my. And it was great to see ET again!

    Rant: Can’t seem to focus on anything today, therefore not accomplishing anything. Lots of PoP for me today…

    Rave: The weather!!!

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