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.

154 Comment

  • Rant: Credit Card fraud protection blocking purchases I actually made
    Rave: At least I know my bank is watching out for me

  • RAVE: I don’t ride the red line.
    RAVE:It’s getting warmer out
    RANT: It’s still too cold
    RANT: Got a promotion from the federal goverment but I won’t know how much more money I will get till they pay me. I don’t like surprises

  • Rave: My adopted daughter is almost 2 months old. She’s just getting into the phase where she smiles and coos and I’m pretty sure it’s not gas.

    Rant: Today was the first day I had to leave her with my neighbor to go back to work. This sucks.

  • REVEL: The photo above! Awesome. Where’d it come from??

  • Rave: Avoided the red line delays because I leave for work at an ungodly hour
    Rant: My girlfriend unfortunately didn’t and it took her 45 minutes to get from van ness to dupont because she goes to work at a normal hour.
    Rave: My girlfriend. It should be illegal to be this happy.

  • Rave: I have come out of the last three red line messes unscathed! One was because I drove, but that was coincidental timing.
    Rave: I am so thankful I just happen to know that one of my coworkers is a notary public, because it turns out I need one to deal with an interstate financial mess.
    Rant: I’m stressed that I’m imposing on my friends by asking them to help me move. I’m trying to remember that they’re my friends and want to help me, but I’m still not there. At least it’s only the load they’re helping with, not also the unloading.

    • But, of course if your friends needed help, you’d help them, right? And you probably wouldn’t think of them as “imposing”. Um, think of it as an opportunity for an intense bonding experience. Are y’all at the stage where pizza and beer after the truck is loaded still feels like a treat?

      • I hope so. I have a lot of very good beer and good home brews, plus I’m getting Pete’s. So I would say yes, that seems like the appropriate beer and pizza treat for no longer super young crowd. I would also definitely help them out, but currently a lot of my moving karma is really old.

      • Disagree. Not sure about the ages here but I think after a certain point (25?) you should hire movers. If the moving fee isn’t reasonable, you have too much stuff.

        • For my wider group of friends the “certain point” was more like 30; it coincided with the period of time when folks started “settling down”, so to speak. But there definitely was that “certain point”. Having said that I would always help my closest friends if they asked, because they are my closest friends and they wouldn’t be mad even if I said no.

        • Some people over 25 are still on tight budgets, especially if they already had to put down first month’s rent and a security deposit on a new place (or maybe closing costs or other things related to purchase, if it’s a condo/co-op). Moving fees can be steep, even if you only have a small/medium-sized truck worth of stuff. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with enlisting the help of friends, as long as: a) you’re judicious about it and not asking them for help too too often; and b) you’re happy to reciprocate when the friends need you. (Those conditions apply to moving as well as other unpleasant-but-necessary tasks.) Although in my case, I lucked out by having a friend whose secret, unrealized career dream if she hadn’t gone into nonprofit management was to get her CDL and drive trucks–so she’s always leapt at the opportunity to drive my U-Haul. πŸ™‚

        • It’s a mix in my circle who hires movers and who doesn’t. When I moved into this place I hired movers. I would absolutely hire movers if I were moving out of here and into the new place the same day, but I’m just loading a POD right now. I will be hiring movers when I do move into the new place. Also, a few of my friends outright offered help when I said I was moving but had made no mention that I was doing it myself.

        • Those of us who have non-profit type jobs and close-knit friendships tend to keep up this tradition of helping each other out a little longer…. usually until conversations start focusing on stuff like chiropractors and back surgery. And I really did mean it about being a potential bonding experience. I’ve had some of my best and deepest conversations when helping — and being helped out by — friends.

          • Thanks that’s good to hear. I think it will all work out and anyway, it’s too late to change plans now.

          • The trick is to hire movers for the heavy stuff and have friends do the light but time-consuming things – lamps, plants, clothes. You can shave your mover costs down to 2-4 hours of heavy labor and still save a lot without breaking your friends’ backs.

  • Rave: working up to my 29th day as a vegan. I had one slip last weekend, ate pizza with cheese, promptly felt the difference. This experience has changed my way of eating for good. Now why the frakle isn’t the pounds dropping off!!??

  • valentina

    Rant: turning 35 tomorrow and none of my “friends” have time for a quick HH; they all have better things to do.
    Rant:2013 has turned out to be a big suck fest; thought this year would be better.
    Rant: Winter is here. I HATE cold weather.
    Rant: Life overall sucks.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      We can lift a beer together next Thursday at Meridian Pint (my birthday was yesterday)

      Happy b-day valentina!

    • I never organize birthday celebrations because it’s too stressful making sure enough people show up, and birthdays shouldn’t be stressful. I think a better approach is to celebrate one-on-one with a few special people if they show interest. That’s more fun anyway because it spreads the birthday dinner/drinks/cake out over a longer period of time.

      • valentina

        I don’t even have a few special people. Everyone I invited declined. It’s a pretty sucky feeling.

        • My 41st was last week. I told no one at work, went home after work, walked the dog, cooked a ribeye and drank a bottle of decent red wine, watched a movie and went to bed. And considered it a pretty good birthday. It’s all about managing expectations.

          • One of my worst birthdays was when I was in my 20’s and a girl I was seeing wanted to throw me a party. I got really excited until the night of, when I realized the only people who showed up were her friends who she had bribed with free drinks. I would have felt better about myself if I’d just avoid the whole party thing.

        • Someone once told me to never expect anything of people, and then when they do something for you, you will be pleasantly surprised. It sounds really pessimistic, but you know what? That thought process has really helped me not get upset about stuff like this. People tend to get wrapped up in themselves, and it’s not about you, so try to not get down about it, if you can. I know it’s hard.

    • How far in advance did you plan? At 35, you got to set things up much further in advance than when you were 25. Kids, careers, school events, aging family members, pets, etc make it much harder to sporadically head out to happy hour. That’s been the lesson I’ve learned as I age into my 30s.

      • Mid-November’s tough because there seem to be a ton of birthdays this time of year, and Halloween just happened, and everyone’s gearing up for the holidays. It’s easy to get people to come out in April when it’s less busy and they’re not burnt out from too many happy hours, but November is more challenging.

    • Happy birthday! Come celebrate belatedly with your Popville friends. We’re much cooler anyway.

    • Happy Birthday valentina! I don’t know if this would be something you would want to do, but I try to plan ways to celebrate my birthday that don’t have to involve other people. If I can, I always take leave on my birthday — so I can sleep late, and enjoy my own personal holiday. Breakfast is usually a lovely mess, and I put on favorite clothes and go exploring. One year I stayed in all day — reading expensive magazines, and reveling in the time-suck. This past year I went shopping, and spritzed on every single vanilla-based perfume that I could find. When I turned 35 — I made a list of 35 things that I wanted to do, and started checking them off. So, yeah, some of this is kind of dippy, but for me, it feels empowering to know that no matter what my friends and family might or might not do, I can still get a few wishes fulfilled just because….

      • I also take a vacation day on my birthday! It’s a great way to celebrate and do whatever I want without relying on other people to make birthday plans (or not). I highly recommend it! Happy Birthday Valentina!

      • valentina

        That sounds like a fun! You did all 35 things in one day? Wow!

        • It was a LOT of fun. I didn’t do them ALL on my birthday — but that meant that I felt I had a list of little celebrations throughout the year. A lot of them were small-ish — going ice skating by myself, and remembering how much I loved it when I was in college; writing a real letter to an old friend, who once meant a lot to me; splurging on a copy of Italian Vogue; stuff like that. I saved up and celebrated another monumental birthday by Finally getting my ears pierced, and diamond studs from Tiffany’s. The cool part though, was just figuring out what I wanted — and making it happen.

    • Liking the Popville commentariat here. Bravo!

    • Happy Birthday! Today is mine and it made me realize how few close friends I have left in DC. Trying to remember that I have a job, my health, and a great dog.

  • Rant – Stitches from Monday’s mole removal surgery still hurt. The Doc and the nurses told me recovery was no big deal, but it’s kind of a big deal. The cut is on my back on my shoulder blade, so every time I move it hurts. I’m paranoid about people bumping into me on the bus. I can’t sit comfortably because I can’t lean back in my chair. Can’t sleep well because I can’t lay down comfortably. No exercise for two weeks. I mean obviously this short term pain is better than having skin cancer, but I just wanted to rant about it.

    Rave – Pain is better today than it was yesterday, and the day before. I know I’m getting better, but just very slowly.

    Sad rant – Called DC’s hypothermia hotline last after I saw a homeless man sleeping outside in the streets. Hope he was able to get somewhere warm for the night.

    • Wow, that must have been some mole. I just had my 5th one removed (3 from my back), and none of them have needed stitches. the worst part for me is that i’m allergic to band-aid adhesive, and even the paper tape irritates my skin. pretty painful changing the bandage every day. It is amazing how fast these things heal – I predict things will feel much better by Monday. And yeah, way better than cancer!

  • Rave: After many weeks of feeling sluggish, I’m now starting to get back to my bouncier self. Maybe it’s true about this Mercury retrograde stuff?…..
    Rave: I went out of my way to help someone yesterday — and was pleasantly surprised by an unexpected reward. It’s nice when my efforts are appreciated!
    Rave: Finally checking off some significant things on my ToDo list.
    Rant: It’s STILL cold out. How many more days ’til Summer?
    Rave: Building my Tribe! “I get by with a little help from my friends…”
    Query: Can anyone recommend a good upholsterer? I have some chairs that belonged to my grandmother that I’d love –even more — if the fabric was not what it is.

  • Rant: Irreconcilable conflict with sibling

  • Rant: Red line. AGAIN. All I want is one day of a non-hellish commute.
    Rant: I hate my winter clothes. I feel like a complete frumpalump.
    Rant: My new shoes hurt my feet.
    Rant: Weird scary looking mole on my back that I just noticed. And it’s freaking me out.

    I just want to go back to bed and start today all over again.

    • Emmaleigh504

      I think you are me, except my mole is on my head… I”m particularly annoyed with the winter outfit I threw on today. It’s awful.

    • Seconding the winter clothes rant. I always get so crabby when it is too cold to wear anything but my puffy jacket because I feel so unattractive in it.

    • I love winter clothes. My rant is about the linings in wool coats. Last night I spent an hour (a pleasant hour listening to an audiobook, but still) mending all the rips and loose seams in my pea coat lining. Even on my new coat (I consider a 4-year-old-coat new) the seams around the armholes have come undone already.

      • I share your rant. What’s awful, is when the linings on a “good” coat turn out to be made of horrible cheap fabric. I have a coat like that, and the lining shreds and frays even when I’m mending it. I really miss the tailors at Woodies!

        • Yeah, that’s how my pea coat lining is. There’s a big area where it’s completely worn away and I’m wondering if I should patch it up. The coat’s like 30 years old though, so I guess it’s to be expected. πŸ™‚

  • Rave: Braved the cold for last nights DC Bike Party
    Rave: Went solo but ran into some old old friends who I hadn’t seen in YEARS, really put a smile on my face to reconnect
    Rave: Said friend said “Everything happens for a reason, you’re here now for a reason.”
    Rave: I’m slowly seeing my depression disappear, bit by bit, because of experiences like this.

    • How do you work up the motivation/energy to do things like that? My girlfriend has depression and she’s always too tired or uninterested in doing even simple things like a walk around the block with me. Something like the Bike Party would be great for her, I think, but I can’t imagine her ever being willing to do it.

      • I’m not the Anon above, but I agree–one of the crappy things about depression is that it tries to sabotage you from doing exactly the type of things that would probably help lift the depression. This doesn’t always work, but one of the things I try to do that works sometimes is to give myself a reality check about my options and the likely outcome of each, by saying to myself “OK, if I get out and go for a walk (or go to the gym), once that’s done, I’m going to think ‘I feel better, and I’m glad I went out for that walk.’ If I stay home and do nothing, let’s be honest, when that’s all over, I’m probably NOT going to feel like ‘Wow, I’m SO glad I kept my butt on the couch all night and didn’t go out for a walk!'” Again, doesn’t always work, but…baby steps. (This is in addition to things like therapy or medication, depending on whether those are warranted for each individual’s particular case of depression.)

      • I know it’s a fine line and you don’t want to be the bully/nagger, but have you tried to sell things like going for a walk as being for you, not her?

        • I think I have. She’ll just tell me to go on my own because there’s no way she can do it.

          • Sorry about that. I obviously don’t know your dynamics, but when I was depressed the only thing that finally got me motivated to do something about it (or even to recognize it) was when my boyfriend stopped one of our typical conversations (he was making suggestions, I was shooting them all down by pointing out why it wasn’t a good option) and just said, “You are depressed. You need to do something about this, because it is affecting me and my life quality as well as you and your quality of life.” Frankly, I needed someone to be that blunt about it and to point out that it wasn’t just about me. There are lots of good options for treating depression now, I hope your girlfriend will take advantage of them, for her sake and yours.

          • Yeah, we’ve had that talk a few times and she’s tried every medication on the market. I think she could benefit from a good therapist, but there are so many bad ones out there and I think she’s too fed up with them to try some new ones.

          • I’m sorry her depression is so difficult to treat, and can understand how hard it can be to find the right therapist. Make sure you look after yourself and don’t stop doing fun things!

      • I’m the OP and I know we’ve talked about your gf before in past RnRs. It’s tough. Only she can take the steps to combat depression. I know you want the best for her but unless she’s will to confront it, it’s not happening. And it’s absolutely frustrating for you, I’m sure. Thing to remember is, depression is not an easy “Well why doesn’t she just do this or that?” To be brutally frank, it may take her to get to some really really dark place before she is hopefully willing to confront it. I contemplated suicide and actually started planning for it before a really good friend of mine noticed I was heading down that path. It was pretty eye opening to see from an outsider POV where I was going.

        I still deal with depression on a daily basis. But knowing that I have family and friends, and quite frankly, more friends than family, that do love and care for me is what keeps me going. So I’ve forced myself out of my “comfort” zone and I just do things. Because I know myself and if I don’t do things, I’ll be back to writing a will and farewell letter. So I take it a day at a time. I’ve really gotten into cycling, lost a lot of weight, and force myself to do a lot of social things. And as I found last night, good things can happen. I wish you and your girlfriend the best of luck.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rave: My apartment should be ready to move back into this weekend. Though I looked yesterday and the wall is till gone. I suppose the professionals know what they are doing and can get it done.
    Rant: Will miss the prettier view and more living space of the temporary apartment.
    Rave: So excited to move back to my tiny apartment because it is so much quieter!

  • Rant: Corporate Speak. My boss’s fav is: “Do some due diligence….” I HATE that term! Besides, is it even grammatically correct? He uses it all the time and it just makes me cringe. As does all Corporate Speak.

    Rant: Speaking of the Boss, I asked ~10 a.m. if he had time to talk about something. He said my door is open, give me 5 minutes. That was almost 2 hours ago–I keep getting bumped.

    Rant: Sitting here realizing that I’m in a really foul mood. Eesh.

    Rave: Boyfriend growing full beard instead of just mustache!

    • Just imagine how his wife and kids must feel! I know from experience that the Corporate Speak makes its way home when it’s being used that much.

      • Son: “Dad, I want a playstation for Christmas.”
        Dad: “Have you done your due diligence? If not, that’s a nonstarter. Why don’t you pull together some comps on the other game systems and then we’ll dialog on this.”

  • Rant: people submitting reimbursement requests for transit costs (due to shutdown) and having to deny them when seeing they received and spent their given funds (for MARC and VRE). Come on people, WTF? One dude even asked for $100 more than he normally gets each month. Uh, do you think we wouldn’t notice that?

  • My worries about the economy have really grown over the past months. In spite of the occasional “good news”, I sense that livable wage job base is eroding at an hyper-accelerated clip. And I see no hope in sight for a revived economy with plentiful livable wage/ growth potential jobs. Add to that the mounting issues with ACA, and I’m feeling grim. And laying the blame at either political party seems pointless and ineffectual. Realistically, it all seems truly unfixable, like climate change.

    Other than that, things are actually going pretty well.

    • We should have a minimum income like the Swiss are comtemplating right now. Don’t think it will ever happen here, but I think it would be a good policy that would be very beneficial.

    • Scrillin

      Hear hear, I’m glad I’m not the only person feeling this anxiety about the economy. It feels like 2007 all over again, except this time everyone but the manager types are still hurting from the last crash. I have a bad feeling we’re not gonna be out of the woods for another few years at least.

  • Rant: They announced that the development of that long vacant lot at Union Market will be apartments. Was so hoping this was going to be loft style/larger floorplan condos that would fit so well with it’s sorroundings. Wasted opportunity.

  • Rave: after months of searching, Found a book club to try out, of all places, on Craigslist. Heres hoping I pass the interview and make new friends!
    Rant: currently on a miserable x country flight to LAX. Why is california so far?
    Rave: in LA for a college friends wedding! Reunion time!

  • Rant: Freezing in my office!
    Rave: at least the sun is out.
    Rant: Just realized it’s only Thursday. I kept thinking it was Friday!
    Rave: Tomorrow should be an easy peazy day.
    Rant: Looking for a new apartment. Like a lot of people I have seen post here, I don’t make a heck of a lot of money, and rents in DC and even northern VA are insane to me! I wish I could move, but alas, I have fallen in love here.
    Rave: Him.

    • What’s wrong with MD?

      • Higher taxes, same high rent? And the OP probably works in an area where living in Nova would be more practical than MD.

        • I’m not talking about Montgomery County.

        • saf

          No personal property tax, fewer regressive social policies. (I have always said that if I HAD to leave the District, I would go to MD.)

          • Same here. I have no interest in living in a state where public employees can be fired solely for being gay! And based on conversations I’ve had with coworkers it’s a LOT easier to commute to DC from MD.

          • You’re assuming the person works in DC. Maybe s/he works in Arlington or elsewhere in Nova. Also depends where in DC. I’d much prefer to live in Northern Virginia than MD if I worked in Foggy Bottom or Georgetown.

          • I’m not assuming. That’s why I asked why MD was being ruled out. I know some people rule if out because they think it’s too low-class (which is why VA is overpriced and overcrowded) but I think it’s a great option for many.

          • Sorry, I responding to the comment saying it was “a LOT easier to commute to DC from MD.”

          • That was me also. I was just giving a couple examples of how MD might be better. The person could just as easily be working in Baltimore or Delaware for all we know.

  • GiantSquid

    Revel: Mr. Squid gets home tomorrow!
    Rant: Design client giving me crap because personal stuff came up that kept me from doing their very short notice project. You pay me a fraction of my freelance rate, not enough for me to take this. Think it’s time to part ways.
    Revel: my Charlie Brown Christmas station on Pandora
    Rant: Hand is crazy sore from addressing my brother’s wedding invites. 23 down, 23 to go…

    • Seriously, the cheapest clients are always the biggest pains. They are not worth the energy.

      • Ah, no. A professional accepts a job for a price. The client doesn’t have the upper hand at that point in proceedings. Either the professional is desperate enough to do the work for the amount offered, or he haggles and gets a better amount, or he’s not desperate and he declines the work.
        Once the job is accepted, it is the last word in Unprofessional to make excuses about why it isn’t getting done, and the very worst of those excuses/ justifications is “you’re not paying me enough (to honor our agreement)”. The agreement goes both ways. And I doubt that it was made with a gun to your head.
        I have similar contempt for clients who don’t pay their consultants promptly, and offer up “cash flow…. office manager’s sick…” type excuses. The work is done (or the invoicing period or whatever), you pay the worker. Pronto.

        • Uh ok. Not my point at all. Yes, when you accept a job, you follow through with it. Get it done and then sever ties. In my experience, cheap clients always value you way less than clients with actual money, and tend to be very unprofessional, overly demanding, unreasonable, and want more than what’s in the contract. So, my point is that it is not worth it to accept projects with cheap clients. It’s a red flag. Once you sign on the dotted line, you gotta do the gig, but don’t accept it in the first place and you won’t have to deal with the excessive b.s. that comes along with these types of clients.

          • We are in agreement. But sounds like GiantSquid accepted the gig and then didn’t follow through due to “personal stuff”, and is rationalizing the failure because she took the gig at a rate below what she usually gets. That’s unprofessional. Or if I misunderstood, disregard.

  • Superficial rave: So many holiday eye makeup palettes this season! (I discovered makeup relatively late in life–most of the lipsticks and foundation-y stuff I could take or leave, but I have a newfound minor obsession with eyeshadow.)
    Rant: Bad for my budget. Must resist. (Well, ok maybe I can get one, but must resist the rest.)

    • There are so many pretty gift sets! I’m trying to resist, but I’m not sure how much longer I can hold out.

    • I can’t recommend subscription boxes enough for this sort of stuff. My favorites in order: glossy box, Indy and birch box. They keep you on a steady budget for makeup and you try lots of things you may not have picked up on your own

      • I think I’m the only person who found the majority of the beauty subscription boxes to be a huge waste of money. They rarely sent me samples of products I liked and, when they did, the samples were small. I subscribed to several when they first started becoming a thing and unscribed within a year or so. That was a while ago, so maybe they’ve gotten better? How long have you had your subscriptions and have you noticed any improvement over the years?

        • Youre right, some are a total waste of money especially the grab bag ones that don’t focus on a particular product. Birch box is mainly samples but the products are high quality. My favorite is Glossy box, it’s 20 a month but there are always lots of full size ones. I’ve tried almost every box for at least a month…glossy box, elizabeth and Clarke (black and white work tops) and rocks box (jewelry rental) are the ones I’ve stuck with.

          • Thanks for the subscription box suggestions! The only one I’ve tried so far was Ipsy, and I was in the same camp as KMB on that one. Beyond the great mascara sample in my first package, it was a mishmash of stuff that I didn’t really like, with maybe the occasional nail polish that I used since it’d been sent to me, but I wouldn’t have bought on my own. I’m sure it doesn’t help that I’m overly picky (don’t use much nail polish, attached to my existing shampoo/conditioner, fragrances aggravate my allergies, don’t use blush/bronzer/powder), and so probably not the best candidate for grab-bag beauty stuff. (I am also clueless about color combinations, which is why I tend to prefer palettes over single-compact eyeshadows.) But I’ll have to give some of those other services a try in 2014!

          • $20.00 a month for makeup just seems insane – especially when you don’t even know what you’re getting. Seriously, if you’re not doing a red carpet you are fine with the basics. If you happen to be naturally gorgeous you can always get by with a bit of makeup and if you happen to be naturally plain, the same bit of makeup will make a big difference – and more won’t really help.

          • I wasn’t a big Birchbox fan, but maybe I will try Glossybox, since I haven’t tried that one yet. The non-beauty ones you subscribe to both sounds interesting, as well. The only subscription boxes I currently get are Graze, which I get sent to work since I’m always forgetting to bring snacks to work and Barkbox.

    • It’s not necessarily a holiday palette, but I’m obsessed with getting the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette as soon as it hits the stores! Of course, there are about a million others I want, too, but that one really caught my eye.

      • Damn you! Now I want Naked and Naked 2 and Naked 3 (in addition to the others on my wish list)…. πŸ˜‰

        • There are tons of videos based on the Naked pallets, just search youtube. Unfortunately I don’t know which are good and which are crap, just that there are a lot.

        • Ha ha. Sorry! Naked 2 is great, though I think I like the orginial Naked slightly better. I’m really excited about Naked 3 though. The pink undertones might not be for every skin type, but I think they’ll look really good on me!

    • valentina

      Welcome to the dark side. lol!

    • Emmaleigh504

      I love this! I love eye make up so much. Currently I’m obsessed with eyeliner colors. I want to find a red one like I had in 2000. It was divine.

    • Ladies, any suggestions for good YouTube channels or websites with eyeshadow tutorials (either video or just step-by-step looks)? I’ve found some good videos on a few brands’ websites, and a couple of YouTube videos, but always on the lookout for more (and sometimes a general YouTube search requires a LOT of separating the wheat from the chaff!). I’m terrible at coming up with color combinations and application options myself, so I’m all about the tutorials.

      • I like the small things blog, she has videos and updates her product list often. Plus, she does more everyday makeup tutorials, not all smokey eye stuff. She has good hair ones as well.

      • No, but I’ve had good experiences with Sephora and Bobbi Brown (at department stores) and MAC . It doesn’t cost anything, and I’ve found sales associates to be very helpful with suggestions and instruction. Sephora is nice because they pick from a wide range of brands.

        • I should give those ideas another try. I had a couple of bad experiences with sales associates in years past that kind of scared me away. The dept. store ones tend to be way too pushy, and one time I stopped by a Mac counter on lunch break and left–and had to sneak back to my desk, hoping not too many people noticed my face–looking like I was headed for a rave. I should keep an eye out for a Sephora associate who has good makeup, but not too over the top (nothing wrong with it if that’s their personal style, but some of the Sephora associates’ makeup can be pretty extreme. I do like a pop of color or something a little bold/fun, but I have my limits.) But I do really appreciate that, unlike the commission-based sales staff at department stores, the Sephora associates are lower-pressure and tend to leave you alone once you say you’re just browsing.

          • I really don’t work for Sephora…..but….. grin: I think part of the reason I’ve had good experiences is that I’ve been very clear about what I want. Saying that I want to look “polished” — not “made-up” is, for me, a good place to start. And I’ve had great experiences with makeup artists who had flamboyant personal styles.

          • Emmaleigh504

            Yes you have to tell them your style. The cosmetics person wants you to be happy with your look so tell them your style and that you don’t want a new look just tips. If you see them putting too much on tell them. It also helps to go on a slow day so they can really take a lot of time with you.
            I used to work in fragrances at a department store right next to cosmetics and it was soooo much fun. We would do each others’ make-up. It was fun to try different looks, whether it was a wild look or just colors I didn’t normally wear like brown. That was my favorite job ever.

          • I did use to work at Sephora (it was over three years ago) and I agree that, as long as you’re specific about what you want, you should be good! The woman who wore the most crazy, over-the-top makeup when I worked there was actually great at doing more natural looks. It may vary by store, but I found that the people who’d been in the business longer tended to amass way more products and do bolder looks for themselves, but were often the best at doing any kind of look for someone else because their range of knowledge. YMMV, though, so obviously if you go, find someone you’re comfortable with!

            On a side note, you can make an appointment at Sephora and make-up artist will give you a more specialized tutorial, you just have to commit to spending $50. Typically you buy a $50 giftcard before the tutorial, so you don’t have to spend it all that day. And, let’s be honest, $50 isn’t too hard to spend at Sephora!

      • valentina

        I can suggest a few. Pixiwoo is a good one. What is your skin tone?

    • Rant: I’ve never been able to get eyeshadow to look good on me. I have strong Italian features– olive skin, thick dark eyebrows, dark thick curly hair– and anything besides mascara and a thin eyeliner always looks insane. Have any of you with a similar appearance been able to pull it off?

      • Have you tried Bobbi Brown? Her stuff has yellow undertones, and is great for looking like yourself — only more polished. Not all of her colors are understated, but you definitely won’t look insane.

        • No– I guess that’s something you can’t just pick up at CVS?

          • Most department stores have Bobbi Brown. As someone with skin tones that are not easy to match, I prefer being able to not only test products before I buy them, but have access to suggestions from sales associates and decent-ish lighting when I buy makeup. The prices are higher than cvs — but my satisfaction tends to be higher as well, and the gifts-with-purchase and return policies kind of even things out when it comes to pricing.

      • valentina

        I second Bobbi Brown. There are counter’s in Macy’s and in Nordstroms. Also, if you try to get your face done at MAC on the weekend, they require a purchase of $50.

  • houseintherear

    Venting… Lately I’ve been wondering if I am bi-polar. There are mood swings, but I think they’re just like anyone else’s periods of anger when driving in traffic or whatever. What I wonder about are my periods of inactivity and being introverted and then periods of acitivity and productivity. Sometimes I’ll do absolutely nothing in my house for two weeks- no cleaning, laundry, anything- and then I’ll suddenly clean out my entire closet and paint the living room or something, and that stage of projects will last for a couple weeks. It’s the same for socializing with friends or family. I keep wondering what is “normal” human behavior. I guess it doesn’t matter really, but I’m curious.

    • That sounds pretty normal to me. Maybe not everyone is like that, but a lot of us are and it doesn’t sound anything like bipolar. But you should see a professional about it since I’m in no position to evaluate you.

    • I dont think this is being bipolar! No expert here, but I’m the same way and most people I know are as well. It shocks me when people seem to have it together all the time. At least you have periods of productivity, right? Sometimes I fear my laziness will take over, but it hasnt yet.

      For your reading pleasure: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/06/this-is-why-ill-never-be-adult.html

    • I’m no medical expert, but in my limited experience, people who have issues aren’t usually aware of them – it’s everyone else who’s crazy. By all means, go talk to someone if it makes you feel better, but I wouldn’t worry too much.

    • I don’t think bipolar is the word your looking for. Maybe extremely mild manic-depression (alternating periods of mania and depressive activity.) Hard to say where just having “ups and downs” ends and manic-depression begins, but as long as it’s not disrupting any major life activities (i.e. friends dumping you, job performance suffering) it sounds pretty normal.

  • Rave: Making some positive changes to try and close this rough year out on a good note
    Revel: should have a new puppy by the end of the month!
    Rant: NOT ready for the holiday gift frenzy. I may proactively decide not to participate in all that this year

    • “Making some positive changes to try and close this rough year out on a good note” — Although many people wait until the New Year to change, I like your idea much better!

  • Rant: Having a tough time on my project in Uganda – we’ve got serious budget issues and I hate seeing our staff’s morale sink every time I tell them we can’t afford something.

    Rave: The random woman who stopped me in the elevator in my hotel in Uganda to tell me she liked my 9:30 club t-shirt and that she really missed DC.

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