Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user clif_burns

You can talk about whatever is on your mind โ€“ 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 peopleโ€™s grammar. This is a place to vent and/or celebrate things about daily life in DC.

203 Comment

  • Rant: D.C. is a southern city.

  • QUESTION: Does anyone know the status of the upgrades/contruction of U Street between 14th and 18th? I thought this work was supposed to start as soon as the work was complete between 9th and 14th. It has been months and I see nothing.

  • Question for PoPville: If your boyfriend/girlfriend goes home with you for the holidays, who should pay for the ticket?

    • Each pays their own.

      • Whoever makes more money! Hah… Actually, it depends on how long you’ve been in the relationship, but communication is key. Expecting someone to pay for you is always a matter of courtesy tho.

    • It depends. If one party demands that the other visits their family, then that person can be reasonably expected to pay for the ticket/transportation. If you and your bf/gf are taking turns visiting each other’s family, then it seems very reasonable to simply split the costs / pay for your own share.

    • justinbc

      Really depends on your relationship.

    • Bottom line, each person should expect to pay their own way. But there are a lot of factors that could change that answer. On the other hand, if the *only* way they will come visit your family is if *you* pay for it, then you might have more important questions to ask than this one.

    • How much is the ticket? Substantial, or is this more of a “principle of the thing” argument, in which case a trial separation might be preferable to traveling over the holidays. Also, to what extent is the SO being dragged along as opposed to happily accompanying, and what are the larger family dynamics (ie, is this the first Major Family Event with a Spouse Material, or just a routine holiday pilgrimage)?
      Generally, you’d think the travel expenses would be divided the way they’d be divided for a long weekend away together, however that’s shaken out over the months or years.

      • For context, there’s no nickel or diming or resistance to paying on either part! I’ve just never faced the question before, in the past I’ve always lived driving distance from each side and my family had Christmas in MD the past couple of years so it never came up with this boyfriend. We have equal incomes, neither of us would go into debt for the ticket but whoever buys it would feel a bit of a pinch. He’s Jewish so isn’t missing holidays with his family and there’s a lot to do in my hometown so it’s not like I’m dragging him to sit on my grandma’s sofa for 4 days. If that were the case I’d pay for the ticket and give him a hardship bonus!

    • If I extended the invite I would most likely pay for both tickets. If they extended the invite and volunteered to pay for the tickets, great- if I had to pay for my own- still no biggie.

      Glad that I’ve never dated anyone who nickle and dime for everything. It’s nice for both parties to give/treat eachother. I’ve both paid for and have been treated to vacations.

    • A: It depends.
      If you’re splitting holidays between families, then you should each pay your own way. Especially if you’re both paying with your own hard earned money.
      If Mommy and Daddy pay for your ticket every time, then I think it’s fair that the two of you split the second ticket.
      I was fortunate enough that my girlfriend’s parents paid for both of our airline tickets this Thanksgiving (they are both doctors and have plenty of money). It was very unexpected and generous. I sent her family a nice flower arrangement (~$50) to show my thanks and they appreciated the gesture.

      • talking about hitting the lotto without playing…..Lucky you…You better marry her asap…lol…

        • LOL. We’ll see, her parents love me ๐Ÿ˜‰
          We are heading back to their place for Xmas (driving there, then I’m flying back early to get back to work). I’ve paid for my own ticket to fly back to DC. So yeah, obviously I don’t expect for them to always pay for me and I do feel a bit guilty when they pay for things. Thanksgiving tickets were very expensive this year, so they generously offered to cover it.
          My girlfriend is also in grad school, so I think they understand and appreciate that I often pay for her (dinners, drinks, entertainment, etc.)

        • never marry for money.

          • Exactly. “Other people’s money” always comes with strings and power/control issues. The grass ain’t always greener.
            Storytime: my co-worker just bought her first house with her boyfriend/soon-to-be-fiance. Boyfriend’s family – very wealthy – provided the 50% downpayment and co-worker agreed to pay for closing costs and repairs/improvements (repainting, adding a fence, etc). Coworker is very much looking forward to decorating, but mother-in-law has other plans. MIL has been buying furniture and decor for the house and moving it into the place during the day, while coworker is at work. And, of course, my coworker doesn’t share the same design sensibilities as her MIL. It’s become a hugely contentious issue and my coworker is now appearing to be “ungrateful.”
            So yeah, don’t marry for money. Especially if someone else is controlling the purse strings.

          • Esmond Sr (Taylor Holmes).: Have you got the nerve to tell me you don’t want to marry my son for his money?
            Lorelei Lee (Marilyn Monroe) : It’s true.
            Esmond Sr.: Then what do you want to marry him for?
            Lorelei Lee: I want to marry him for YOUR money.
            –Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

          • I’m in a similar situation as the co-worker. Happened to fall in love with someone whose family is very wealthy, and after a few years of dating we decided to buy a home together. I would have been happy with a condo or fixer upper in a less desirable location, but she felt we should be spending “a little more” for something better. It was exhausting steering her away from million+ homes, and we ended up compromising on a house that was close to $800k. Although the mortgage is very affordable with our salaries, we didn’t have enough for the closing costs and her mother covered half of it. They had me sign a promissory note that they would get the difference back whenever we sell, but she is constantly reminding me that “she” put more money into the home. Or when she’s not doing that she’s wishing that we’d gotten a bigger house (“all we had to do was throw another $200k into the downpayment!”). Her family is also famous for booking vacations at the absolute last minute when flights are expensive because money is more dispensable them. I love her to death, but expect clashes in money values when you date someone from a rich family.

          • It’s as easy to fall in love with a rich man as a poor one . . .

      • yeah man that’s a great deal to have your girlfriend’s Mommy and Daddy pay for not only her ticket but yours! SCORE! She’s a keeper!

    • Whoever has points or an airline/train credit card.

    • I agree with the ‘it depends’ crowd, but I would add the option that your boyfriend could pay for his own ticket and then you could treat him to dinner, movies, etc. while on the trip.

  • Rant: More dating travails. Alone foreverrrrrrr!
    Rave: I’ve been binge-watching Deep Space Nine (after going through the original Star Trek and Next Generation, both of which are great) and really enjoying it.
    Question: Is there a cheap portrait studio in DC proper? I want to get some nice photos of my dog (and me) for holiday cards and general use. Traditional, somewhat cheesy, Olan Mills-style portraits.

  • epric002

    rant: took the dogs to my parents’ house for thanksgiving after being assured that my sister’s dogs would not be there (they live in the same town, 1 of each of ours do.not.get.along) and of course her dogs were there. spent the 3 days playing musical dogs. 3 mini dog fights ensued.
    rave: no blood was drawn.
    rave: home now. got christmas decorations up yesterday.

    • Rave: I have the better behaved dogs so mine always get precedence at my parents’ house. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Two of our three family dogs don’t get along – fortunately mine is a the get-along kind of dog.

        • epric002

          my sister’s non friendly dog gets along with NO other dogs, other than their 2nd one. my non friendly dog just takes a long time to make dog friends, but she’ll mostly just ignore other dogs. i’m annoyed that they told me the dogs wouldn’t be there, and SURPRISE, they were. i would have made other arrangements if i’d known they were going to be there.

          • Seems inconsiderate of your sister to bring her dogs when she told you she wasn’t (knowing they don’t all get along) when you could have made other arrangements if you had known….

  • Rave: Amazing time in NYC for Thanksgiving, including a meet-up with a really wonderful guy.
    Rant: It’s still too cold.
    Rave: Still loving the new O St Giant. So convenient!

    • O St Giant is nice, but why on earth don’t they have small carts? I feel ridiculous pushing one of the behemoths around, and then have to practically climb into the cart to get my few things out at the checkout, and the hand baskets aren’t quite big enough and get too heavy.

      • You should suggest it to the manager – the Social Safeway has both large and small carts, and it’s really great to have the choice when you need a large cart, but most of us don’t and that makes it easier to navigate the aisles.

        • I DID mention it to some sort of manager type on their first open day, and she gave me a kind of flip response: “Sure, we’ll get them, but they’ll be gone in a week.” I also mentioned it to the person at the service desk yesterday and was told that they had received similar feedback from others, but as far as he knew, there are no plans to get any.

          • Lame response from the manager. If I was going to the trouble of stealing a cart, it would be b/c I had stuff to carry around so the bigger carts would be much more attractive!! It’s not like the little ones are so small you can just stick one in your pocket and walk off with it. If cart theft is really an issue, they should install that system that locks the wheels, and they can do that on carts large or small.

          • saf

            I HATE that attitude. I would take it up the chain.

      • I couldn’t agree more. That’s my one major hang-up. Those giant (pun intended) carts really block the aisles in a major way. I did mention it to folks when I was in there.

      • victoria,
        marrying for love is a different story.

        it is called GIANT afterall.

      • I agree! Pushinhg one of those carts around is like driving a 1972 Lincoln Towncar. They are huuuuuuge!!!!!!!

  • Rant: Made the mistake of checking out Cyber Monday deals on Amazon and now there’s a camera I feel like I should buy. It wouldn’t be entirely impulsive, as my current camera is very old and I’ve been wanting to upgrade it for years. But I feel like a purchase like this should require some research first, which I never feel like doing.

  • Rave: decided to stop being the guy who listens to NPR as he gets dressed for work and start being the guy who listens to NPR. “Rockaway Beach” is such a better sendoff than “The Montgomery County Council today considers a measure to….”

    • I started listening to Howard Stern in the morning. Laughter really is the best medicine and makes the mornings much more bearable. There are times during my commute when I am hysterically laughing like an idiot on the street.

    • I don’t follow – “stop being guy who listens to NPR and become a guy who listens to NPR” ?

  • Two weeks to plan and execute a move, start to finish. And at the holidays when there’s already a million things to do and buy. I’m going to lose my mind.
    Rave: Two Marines and A Truck movers. So nice, so flexible and easy to work with.
    Rant: Property manager at my current building is awol and impossible to track down.

    Does anyone know who at the Board of Health or DCRA to complain to about a persisent rodent problem (the reason I’m moving) in a corporate-managed apartment building?

    • Ask your councilmember, or Tommy Wells’s office. His people always seem to know the exact person to contact in DCRA.

  • Rave: Got a new job and a raise! After being cut from my last job due to budgets, it feels like a major win.

    Rave: Thanksgiving was nice, Stuck with too many leftovers, realizing though the food was great that I can’t eat the same thing for more than one day… I know, I’m spoiled.

    Rant: Man, prices have skyrocketed on homes in Petworth… I’m looking for houses for a friend around the $500k range and he used to be looking in my area, but he now has to go north and up there is quickly climbing out of his range too. So many friends talking now about moving to DC… It’s wild how people wouldn’t touch the area a few years ago and now it’s gold.

    Rave: Okay, Halloween and Thanksgiving are gone… NOW we can bring on the Christmas.

    • Congrats.

    • Congratulations! Hope to be in your boat sometime soon!

    • next popville happy hour on Jack5’s boat! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Thanks yall! I’ll host a POP party on it once I accumulate enough wealth to buy one! Hah.

        My job hunting tip – Ignore IT recruiters, they totally wasted my time and tried to steer me into non-salaried/out of town jobs. Make sure your linked in profile is correct and up to date. Also, go directly to hiring companie’s web sites and apply, job sites these days are flooded with scumbag recruiters.

        • Yeah I vote avoid recruiters in general. I dipped one toe into the legal recruiting arena and immediately regretted it. Never doing that again!

    • Great news!

    • Rave: Prices have skyrocketed in Petworth. Totally understand your rant, but as someone who bought in 2010, when no one would touch the area, the skyrocketing prices allowed us to:

      1. Refinance for lower rate to get out of PMI
      2. Refinance to 15 year at lower rate to pay off student loans
      3. Refinance to 15 year at even lower rate and borrow enough to do 100% of the renovations we wanted in one fell swoop.

      The house we bought on my wifes salary (I was still in grad school) is now going to be our dream home, and we have a 15 year mortgage at 2.5% that we can easily afford the payments on.

      I will say, some of the people buying in the 500s and 600s are less friendly than the people they are replacing/the people who have been in the neighborhood for a while, so that is a negative for sure.

  • Rave: Good long weekend, got to spend time with immediate family and relatives. Went on a date with a girl Friday night – it was just OK I would be surprised if we had another date but I am open to it.
    Rant: Slowly realizing that most people who are also in their 20’s are not looking for a boy friend. I guess neither am I i just want someone to hang out (consistently and without doubt) with me once or twice a week, make food, watch tv shows together and go to sleep with. I think i need to take a break on trying to go on dates til the new year and start fresh ๐Ÿ™‚
    Revel: Got a seat on the first bus that came on the S2 this morning, was running late and is usually packed.

    • “Slowly realizing that most people who are also in their 20โ€ฒs are not looking for a boy friend. I guess neither am I i just want someone to hang out (consistently and without doubt) with me once or twice a week, make food, watch tv shows together and go to sleep with. I think i need to take a break on trying to go on dates til the new year and start fresh :)”

      Have I missed the definition of boyfriend/girlfriend along the way to my ripe old age of 31? In fact, it appears that you are looking for a boyfriend based on your description of activities you want to share with said person. Good luck either way!

      • Yeah, sounds like it to me.

        And most people in their 20s are not looking for a bf? I don’t know if a majority do, but certainly a big minority does.Or at least when I was in my 20s that was the case… Don’t think things have changed that much in recent years ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I’m sure that at least some people in their 20’s want to hang out consistently and be in relationships that include more intimacy than partying. At the same time, even beyond one’s 20’s, except in very special circumstances, “watching tv shows together” is not a “first date” activity. It’s something you do with someone you care about and have established some degree of intimacy with.
      So, you went on a date that was “just ok”. You’re “open” to another date, but “would be surprised” if that happened. Your wording suggests that you’re not planning to do much to make it happen. IMO it’s a big leap from your lukewarm response to your date — to developing the intimacy of a relationship. I’m wondering if you’re expecting your dates to do a lot of the “work” to make this intimacy happen, or if you’re hoping to forgo the “fun/” parts of dating that help many people build connections that can lead to the intimacy of a deeper, more committed relationship.

      • I guess just recently since i have gone on dates with a few people recently and have put in extra effort (when i felt it was necessary/when i felt like they were putting in a little effort as-well) and even those have just ended up as dead ends and fizzled out after 3 to 4 dates/hang outs.

        Since this has been happening i am toning down expectations, these girls who agree to go out with me put little to no effort (aside from looking pretty) and then rarely follow up or ever ask me what i am doing the following week or weekend. I feel like i do a good job on a first date making sure the girl is comfortable and have a good idea when to move things quickly or to take it slow.

        I just dont get why they would not want to follow up and at least chat after we go on a date. The only thing i can think of is that they are seeing other people.

        • epric002

          is the issue that they’re not explicitly stating that they don’t want to go out with you again, or is the issue that they’re just not interested?

          • Yeah i guess it would be nice to receive actual evidence (good or bad) about my dates at least then i would know what i am doing wrong (i.e picking the wrong women or if its something i said…who knows). But to go on a date and then not even say thanks for picking up the bill in my opinion is just rude. Its like if i do not message them, there is no way they will ever take the time to reach out to me…i dont know its just not a great feeling.

          • epric002

            are you following up with them afterwards? fwiw, if i was asked out on a date and my date paid, i’d say thank you then and there- i wouldn’t follow up again just to say thanks (again).

          • Yeah, I’m very confused as to why a thank you text/call would be required after a date, particularly if a thank you is given on the date. This is why I prefer to pay for myself on earlier dates.

        • — First, it’s likely that your dates are seeing other people — just as you are. So that’s kind of a given. FWIW, my suggestion is that you be very clear about your expectations — and discuss them with your dates. Not as demands, but as efforts to communicate with clarity. You’re wondering why your dates don’t make more of an effort. Maybe they’re wondering why you don’t. I don’t mean that in a negative way — more that you could be wondering why they don’t call, or suggest getting together, and they might be wondering the same thing. Why not end each date talking a little bit about what comes next?
          Also, keep in mind that “looking pretty” might take a lot of planning, time, and cash. Depending on your dates, they might view the “effort” that they’ve put forth to be quite substantial. Again — worth chatting about with your dates.

          • I agree with maybe putting a little time into the end of dates talking about how it went and if we want to do it again, although i feel like that would still get mixed results (i.e a girl is put on the spot says she has fun and then could just flake out anyways).

            I agree i am sure they are putting in more effort than i think…i just have this idea of how dating is suppose to work (and it has panned out this way from time to time) of a nice dinner date get two drinks some food, good conversation and then kiss her good night. She would text me before i got back to my place saying thanks (assuming it was good) and then i would follow up a day or two later and try to make plans to see her again. thats all i really want out of a first date…but maybe thats asking a lot?

          • – I don’t think that’s asking a lot. I do wonder, though, if your expectations of how dating is supposed to work matches your dates’ expectations, and the only way to get to that is to talk about it a bit. Or, decide that you’re going to take the initiative and do a lot of the work of following through and initiating things until you feel comfortable having the kind of discussion that I’ve been advocating. FWIW, I think your plans for a first date sound great. But while you’re expecting that your date will text you (a reasonable expectation), she might be expecting that you’ll text her — and it would be a shame to get so stuck in your (meaning both of you) expectations that you miss out on chances for future dates. All I’m suggesting is that different people have different expectations — and you can’t expect for anyone to know what yours are, and you can’t assume that you know what theirs might be — without explicitly discussing them. So you can either discuss them a bit or decide to take the initiative, if you want to move things further. Again, I’m not in your age group, so all of this blathering on my part is just food for thought.

          • You seem a little hung up on receiving this thank you text after the date. Why is that required/expected if she thanked you on the date? And why not just call her and see if she wants to get together again? Or, gasp, make plans for the next date while you’re still together?

        • Wow! To not even say “Thank you” is rude. Way back when I was in my 20’s, we sometimes did things in packs. Which meant that I’d have peers to get feedback from — about my behavior as well as the behavior (and maybe history) of guys that I was interested in. Do people still do that?

          • we definitely do go out for drinks and bars in ‘packs’ or groups of friends (some of which i would be interested in). This is usually a lot less formal (even if i ask the girl to come out) and also the added element of friends being there tends to make things not happen (i.e a kiss good night or whatnot). Still not a bad idea to just go with something more casual for a while and see what happens….i think i am putting a lil too much pressure on myself lately (which is ok because i wanted to get outside my comfort zone after i broke up with my last gf a few months back) but the dating scene in general is just wearing me down, it doesnt make sense which is frustrating. Just dumb luck i suppose

          • The reason I asked about packs is because it can be less intense — but also because you can get info from people who know you in real life. i.e. who can tell you if something other than “dumb luck” might be going on. Good for you for pushing yourself to get out of your comfort zone!

        • Are you saying they never say ‘thank you’ when you pick up the bill? If that’s the case, I would say that’s rude and you shouldn’t want to go out with them again.

          But if you’re also expecting them to say ‘thank you’ again after the date, you might be disappointed, if they assume sine they already said thank you they don’t need to again.

          Are you expecting them to ask you out for the 2nd date? That could be another case where it could be that your expectations don’t line up with theirs, and they are expecting YOU to be the one to get in touch to suggest another date.

          Or they might just not be interested. Only way to find out is to ask.

  • GiantSquid

    Revel: Nice, productive trip to in-laws for Turkey Day
    Rant: Lopsided visiting. I don’t expect quid pro quo, but when we’re up several times a year and it’s been over two years since you last visited us, don’t expect us back within the month. I’d like to use my vacation time and gas money for an actual vacation for a change, and I-81 goes north AND south.
    Revel: The original Star Wars trilogy. So good, so much fun.
    Rant: Scary this moment tweaking my lower back reaching into the dishwasher. I want/need August’s surgery to last me a loooooong time.
    Revel: Holiday season!

    • Lopsided visiting: ugh…yes! it’s really beginning to drive me nuts, too.

    • This is beginning to be a major peeve of mine, as well. My parents are retired and they own a car (two, even!) and are rather well-off. We have have full time jobs and a kid in full time school and we DON’T have a car. Yet somehow, every conversation turns into a whiny “when are you going to bring that grandbaby down to visit us??” And when I suggest that they come to visit us (using the same “the highway goes both north and south, you know” line), I get a long list of all the commitments they can’t get out of. None of which are work, but still… church socials, concert tickets, party at the neighbor’s… I just wish they would say what they mean. “Life here is comfortable and maintaining our comfortable routine is more important than spending time with our child and grandchild.”

      • Have you ever explicitly invited them? Parents are used to being the home base. Have you done the “We’re doing (holiday) dinner here this year, and we’d love it if you stayed with us? In order for this to work, though, you might have to actually do it, though .

        • Frequently. Kid’s birthday parties and violin recitals, tickets to a performance I know they would enjoy, etc. 9 times out of 10, it’s “oh, we’d LOVE to! But we said we would bring the cole slaw to the historical society picnic that day”.
          They did come for Thanksgiving. I put on a big party and didn’t ask them to lift a finger. They seemed to enjoy it. But now I know (from experience) that all invitations for the next year will get the response “We were JUST there… why don’t you come down here? Junior can miss school; it’s only 3rd grade…”

    • Agree on the lopsided visits. Try being the childless couple so everyone thinks you should come to them! The in-law parents have passed away, so it’s the sister we go to visit. I get that they have two kids, but we are constantly paying expensive flights and then taking the commuter train to near their house for them (and boarding the dog). They have been to our house once (for less than 24 hours for a Thanksgiving drop-in). Plus, travel is anxiety-inducing to my husband, so it’s not like its a cakewalk for us.

      It is really bugging me.

      • It’s even worse when you’re the SINGLE family member. I don’t even get consulted about where the family will spend the holidays, I’m always just told where everyone else decided we would celebrate (usually after others have bought tickets so it’s even more pointless to try to negotiate).

        • Yeah that sucks, but there is a practical reason for it. And really, you don’t have to go if you don’t want to. “I don’t feel like traveling for the holidays this year” is a perfectly legit thing whether it’s one or ten of you.

          • Just because I’m single doesn’t mean I don’t also have reasons why one location or another might be preferable. For example, one year I had to choose between spending the holiday with my family or attending my best friend from high school’s wedding. If they’d included me in the original discussion the more likely outcome was that we would have celebrated at my parents’ house that year, because the reason to go to my sister’s was far less compelling (as they all agreed, but by the time I found out the location it was too late to change it).

          • Of course you have preferences, everybody does. I’m saying that their preferences outweigh yours because it involves more people moving. It’s not necessarily fair but’s it’s a practical reality. And like I said you don’t have to spend the holidays with family. If they’re not giving you a vote then wait til they tell you where they’re going to be and then you decide if you want to go there or not. (Plus the more you just go along with their plans the less they’ll think they need to consult you.)

          • No, just because there are more of them doesn’t mean their reasons or preferences are more important or compelling or that they should make decisions without consulting everyone. When the family of four’s preference is “it doesn’t really matter” or “if we go to Mom’s we can visit the outlets on Friday” and the singleton can’t attend at all if it’s one of the locations, then the singleton’s reasons trump the family’s.

          • Also, you’re writing from the point of view of someone looking for an excuse not to be with their family. I WANT to spend the holidays with mine (despite this shortcoming, they have redeeming qualities!) so am frustrated when that isn’t possible because of singletons being treated as somehow less important (which you seem to believe) rather than legitimate conflicts/need to compromise.

          • A little late getting back here, but Anonymous, I’m not judging your importance as a single vs. non-single person, I’m saying you’re outnumbered. And I’m not assuming you’re looking for a way out, I’m saying that making your own plans is an option if you don’t like what the “group” is offering. If you feel like you’re not part of the “group” then that’s probably a different discussion that you should bring up at Christmas dinner.
            (And by the way, in my family, the first person to propose a plan is usually the one whose plan is agreed by the family. And that person is always one with a spouse and/or kids, because they’re the ones that have to plan ahead the most.)

        • +1000! my family wanted to “move” thanksgiving to Friday this year because it was better for my brother’s schedule…his kids had like swimming lessons or something. Never mind that i already had plans for Friday-Sunday, and Thanksgiving falls on a Thursday, damnit! it feels unamerican to celebrate it on a different day out of convenience. Oh did I mention that my brother is unemployed, so it’s not like he had his hands full at work and was looking forward to using the vacation day to do something fun like I was?

      • saf

        Yeah. It sucks.

  • Rave: holiday season…so much good food!!
    Rant: holiday season….too much food. so much for losing those 10#

  • justinbc

    Rant: Had to go get a Christmas tree yesterday to make the partner happy.
    Rave: Now that that’s done, my Christmas obligations for the year are complete.
    Indifferent: The only thing I bought this year for the whole Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday nonsense was a pair of movie tickets to see Thor. It was OK, but I was more excited about the end credits scene that previews more of what to expect once they finally give Thanos some screen time.

  • QUESTION: Does anyone know the story behind that burnt car sitting on Kansas Ave NW near Georgia Ave? It’s been there since yesterday morning at least, and I’ve seen multiple police cars and fire trucks stationed near it (and sometimes it’s just sitting there without anything around it), but it was still there this morning. There is a pile of burnt items next to the car, and it looks like the car was completely engulfed in flames at some point. But no police tape, etc. Everyone okay?

  • Rant: Spending a lot of money on friends’ major life events.
    Rave: Friends are having major life events to celebrate, and with budgeting, I can afford to be generous in gift giving.
    Rave: Thanksgiving was awesome. I made Cuban pork instead of turkey (I think this may become a new tradition). I made entirely too many sides, but discovered that creamed kale is awesome. And if you had chickpeas and brown rice, it becomes an Indian-ish curry dish for lunch. Yummy.
    Rave: Le Diplomate tonight for our anniversary dinner!

    • justinbc

      We have 2 sets of friends who live in DC that are getting married in Sicily and Las Vegas. Seriously people? It’s your day, do what you want and I’ll be happy for you, but unless you’re related to me I’m not paying to fly to see it.

      • so don’t go.

        • It could all be so simple.
          Trust me, they won’t care if you don’t go- especially if they see hear/read about you whinging about it. It’s not all about you, as much as you think it is.

      • I doubt the ones getting hitched in Sicily expect many people to show up.

        And the only way I’m getting married in DC is if my future spouse has some family connection here (but I’d also choose DC over Vegas any day for a wedding).

        • justinbc

          I have no idea what the expectation is. I would absolutely love to go, but spending thousands of dollars on someone else’s wedding just ain’t ever gonna happen. It also requires taking a full week off, and sticking to their schedule of what to do. When I go abroad I want to use my time how I want, not how someone else dictates.

          • What’s so inconsiderate about them inviting you to an event where they’d pay for a feast and a party? They’re taking on the hassle to plan and pay for about 30 hours of a week long trip, and you’d have some days on either side to do what you want. My experience is that you rarely regret going to a wedding, whereas not going is often the end of the friendship. So, if it is in your price range, go have an adventure and come back and bitch about it later.

          • Asking someone to invest a substantial amount of limited money and limited vacation time to travel to a place of their choosing at a time of their choosing and then expecting them to fall unquestioningly into line is the definition of inconsiderate and, possibly, narcissism. Anyone who ends a friendship over your unwillingness to drop a week of your life and three grand for their “special day” is no friend.

            For an extreme (satirical) example: http://www.newyorker.com/humor/2007/05/21/070521sh_shouts_doyle

          • “My experience is that you rarely regret going to a wedding, whereas not going is often the end of the friendship.”
            But that’s the thing – it shouldn’t be the end of the friendship if Justin decides not to attend. Resources are finite. It calls into question how strong the friendship really was if the newlyweds hold it against him. I understand Justin’s rant – he doesn’t want to be put into a situation where he has to pay a bunch of money in order to keep the friendship going.

          • “Whatโ€™s so inconsiderate about them inviting you to an event where theyโ€™d pay for a feast and a party?”
            It’s not the invitation that’s inconsiderate; it’s the whining/complaining in cases where invitees have chosen not to attend.
            The only “destination” wedding I’ve ever been invited to (in Israel, where my friend’s grandparents, who were too frail to travel, lived) was one where my friend made it clear that she would be delighted if people chose to attend, but she didn’t expect it at all, and that she and her husband would be hosting a post-wedding party Stateside.

          • yeah, I missed out on good friends’ wedding because it was abroad and at a financially uncertain time for me. I don’t wish I spent the $3k it would’ve cost to go, but I do wish I could have been there. I think they and some of our mutual friends think I didn’t really want to go because their priorities are always travel (to the tune of not having any savings). but I was trying to build a life and save for my future and I can’t just plunk down thousands for a vacation I wouldn’t have taken myself. there’s distance now. it’s sad.

      • “…unless youโ€™re related to me Iโ€™m not paying to fly to see it.”
        I think that’s a fair standard.
        This only becomes an issue if the friends decide to give you crap for not attending. In which case, not cool on their part.

        • justinbc

          I think that’s what irks me more than anything. It’s brought up pretty much weekly.

          • Then it’s worth letting them know that while you’d love to celebrate with them, you’ll have to take them out to see the pictures when they come back because it’s not possible given your budget/time off schedule/etc. to attend. If they still give you grief about it, then they’re definitely not worth spending that kind of money or time on!!

          • I can understand them being excited about the wedding and talking about it all the time. It’s to be expected with newlyweds. But I think you should be clear with them now that you won’t be able to make it, due to work commitments and resource constraints. It sounds like they think you’re undecided and they’re trying to “sell” you on it. You need to communicate a bit more clearly with them.
            If they are continually giving you a guilt trip about it, then they’re proven themselves to not be worth the money! Unless they’ve got Sergey Brin levels of money and can afford to cover all expenses for their guests, having a destination wedding means accepting the fact that not everyone can make it.

      • Are your friends mad that you’re not coming? If not, then all is well. People should do what they want and as long as they understand that others may or may not be able to attend. If that’s the case, then there’s no reason to get upset about it. Only when the couple involved gets all upset that people can’t participate is it worth getting upset about.

      • We just attended the last wedding of a two year cycle involving 4-6 wedding per year. I’m hoping 2014 will be quieter on the marital front. I’d like to spend some of my extra cash and leave on a non-wedding related vacation.

        • I think at some point you just have to say “I can’t make it” and buy the newlyweds a gift in lieu of attending. I have a hard limit of two weddings per year. My order of choosing is: (1.) close family, (2.) closest friends, (3.) more distant family, (4.) other friends/acquaintances/coworkers.
          If I only see you once or twice a year, I probably won’t attend your wedding.

          • hard limit of 2 weddings per year? i had a banner year in 2004 (yes, i’m old…all my friends have been married for almost a decade now) where i went to 15 weddings. it was almost one every three weeks. that didn’t include the 4 i didn’t make it to becuase they were too far away/conflicted with another wedding. i figure it’s a once in a lifetime thing (or maybe twice at most!) and it’s worth it to see so many friends and family.

          • I guess we all have different tastes, but 15 weddings in a year sounds like hell and not remotely enjoyable. And I’m a really outgoing person.
            Considering that half of those 15 couples will divorce at some point in time, I’d rather concentrate my effort, time, and money on my closest friends and family. The only people I know who have that many weddings to attend are girls from the South and people with big Italian-American families (where you’ll get grief for not attending your third-cousin-twice-removed’s wedding).

          • justinbc

            15 in one year, holy moly! If I were single it would be a different story, but agreed that sounds like Hell to me.

          • it was a bit much, but the majority of them were within easy driving distance/or accessible via public transit. i was living in NYC at the time, and a lot of my friends were either NY’ers or transplants who thought it would be fun to have their weddings in the city. so it was just an excuse to put on a nice dress, take the subway to a party, get stumbling drunk and then take the subway home which –except for the getting dressed up part — is pretty much how i spent most weekends in my 20s anyways. i’m sure i would have felt differently if they were all over the country.

    • We’re going to Le Diplomate for our anniversary next Monday! Enjoy!

  • Rant: Does anyone know where I can buy schnecken in the area? My search skills are failing me.

  • Rave – Had a great Thanksgiving with my family and all my little nieces and nephews!
    Rant – Spent Saturday cleaning out my old bedroom at my mom’s house and unearthed so much stuff from my childhood that brought on some intense nostalgia. I felt happy to done with high school and proud of the adult that I’ve become, but also sad about how that part of my life is over, and that I’ll never go back to just being a kid living in the comfort of my parent’s home. Growing up is weird.

  • Rant: Back to work.

  • Rant: Seems like everyone I know is getting these amazing job offers lately. Happy for them but I feel like I’ll never get out of this boring job.

    • People don’t just “get” amazing job offers. They have likely already put in the work to build their network and to make sure that their skills are market-worthy and unique.

      • I don’t think the OP’s use of the word “get” signals any kind of underestimation or ignorance of his or her friends’ hard work or skills and the part those played in getting new jobs. Geez.

        • No, but it definitely underestimates their own ability to “get out of [their] boring job.” This is something that can be fixed.

          • It can’t always be fixed, though. Sometimes the right job just isn’t there when you’re looking and you have to look a while to find it. I haven’t been actively looking that long, but I’m going through the same thing as the OP right now, where friends who are looking are finding new positions almost immediately, whereas I’ve been looking for about five weeks with no luck. Again, I know that’s not a very long time, but it’s still frustrating when others find new positions within 1-2 weeks of searching.

          • Believe me, I’ve tried. One of my friends is leaving a great job for an even better one, and referred me to fill her position since I have exactly the same qualifications. But someone even more perfect for the job must have come along.

          • I think you’re way overthinking this.

        • Yeah, and if my comment did imply that it wasn’t supposed to. A lot of them are people I volunteer with and I would be the first to vouch for their hard work and special skills. I just hope a someone recognizes mine next!

      • You mean the president of a company or agency doesn’t just walk into a bar looking for folks who want a job? I had no idea! Guess I’ll have to look into this “resume” thing…

    • I feel you! I have put in a ton of work and have a large network as well as market-worthy/unique skills, but I’m having trouble finding something, as well. I haven’t even been looking that long, but it’s still frustrating. My only solace is that the friends I know who are finding jobs are in a different field, so I know that it’s just that there’s not a lot open in my field right now.

  • One holiday down, and it sucked beyond belief. One more to go, and I imagine it will suck even more. I still can’t fathom how some people actually enjoy the holidays and forced family interaction. I can’t think of another time of year that I abhor more.

    • I love my family, but also live pretty far away from them, so I don’t see them often. I think that makes a huge difference. I’m sure if I saw them all of the time, I wouldn’t love the holidays all that much, either.

    • Have you considered that attitude is a HUGE part of enjoying ANYTHING?

      I had an awesome thanksgiving. Sure, my mom was a tad overbearing in the kitchen, and my husband was kind of useless, but I really have to reach to find things to be negative about. Maybe you need to look for the good and drink through the bad. I made good food and enjoyed my guests’ enjoyment of it. I poured stiff drinks and we all laughed a lot. I sent everyone home with a container of leftovers, which they weren’t expecting and seriously appreciated. It was a lot of work, but I got a lot out of it. If it matters to you (and it might not), maybe you should designate yourself Official Holiday Merry Maker and feed off the pleasure you create in others.

      • Riiiiiiight… I’ll just turn that frown upside down. Why didn’t I think of that??? I like peace, quiet, and social interaction only on my own terms (i.e., Infrequent and mellow), which is pretty much at antipodes with overblown holidays and interacting with family and in-laws I can only tolerate at a great distance.

        I plan on surviving the final holiday by getting/staying drunk, not saying a damned thing to anyone, and quietly reading, until my wife has a run-in with her mother and/or sister and we get to leave early.

    • Don’t spend it with them. Go to Miami or someplace like that. I knew someone who couldn’t take it and went on a three week Eco tour in New Zealand.

    • I used to feel like this. Then I realized that I’d rather be alone than deal with my family. So I stopped. And it was freeing. I am FREE. It may have been one of the most liberating choices I have made in my entire life. So much happiness. Sure, they guilted me about it for the first couple years, but I ignored them and did what is right for me (because the guilt trips were all about how it “looked” that I wasn’t there anyway). And now my holidays are blissfully peaseful. I seriously advocate trying it if you’re that miserable.

      • Unfortunately, while I have made it clear to my family that all interaction will be infrequent and as superficial as possible, my wife still feels that she needs to keep her parents happy. Unfortunately, by moving back to DC, we are within a couple of hours of both of her folks and they are fairly relentless in their demands that we either visit or host them several times a year.

        • “several times a year” hardly seems excessive, even for annoying parents. What is their defining transgression?

        • Perhaps she could make some of the visits to them without you so it’s only a couple of times a year that you have to see them.

        • Do you have the possibility to go somewhere else for the holiday – just you and your wife? Doesn’t have to be far/expensive. J ust far enough away (or in the opposite direction from where family lives).

  • em

    Rant: SmarTrip card split when I tried to exit the station this morning.

    Revel: The SmarTrip machine spit out a Van Gogh card and I am already on the way to transferring personal and SmartBenefits purses.

    Revel: Work trip to southern Cali Tuesday-Friday.

    Rant: Temperatures only in the high 50s in San Diego and La Jolla this week – not much better than DC’s forecast.

    • I’d be suprised if it doesn’t get above 60 the days you’re there.

      And at least you’ll be able to get cheaper beer and good Mexican food!

      • justinbc

        Yeah, even in the summer it regularly dips down to those temps. If you’re not near the ocean breeze you don’t notice it so much.

        • Yeah, I went there for work in June and had to buy a heavier jacket while I was there. I don’t think it ever got above 50. Southern California is nowhere near as warm and sunny as everyone makes it out to be!

          • Know how we know who’s a tourist? They don’t have a jacket. haahahahaha. My parents are about a half hour inland from San Diego and I’ve scraped ice off my windshield last Christmas.

  • justinbc

    Rave: The college football games this past weekend. Wow, rivalry week is always great, but this one was exceptional. Loved the FSU beatdown of the Gators, that’s a rare one. The OSU/UM game was a thrill to watch, and that Bama/Auburn game was the best I’ve seen all year. Now debating whether or not to fly out to Pasadena for the BCS title game to watch the Noles…

    • You might not want to mention that Pasadena flight to your friends who are complaining that you aren’t attending their Sicily/Vegas weddings. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • justinbc

        Oh I don’t care, this is me wanting to spend my own money, not someone else suggesting how I should do it :p

        • Sorry, you’ve exposed yourself today. Come on man, you love the attention. Obviously your friends are not that important to you if you’re considering flying to the bcs title game instead of their wedding! Get a grip, sir.
          Yes, I’m giving you a hard time- but you deserve it.

          • justinbc

            Exposed myself? I think you think you know me better than you apparently do. Yes, I would rather fly to the BCS title game for a team I’ve supported since I was old enough to understand what football was, rather than spend that money on someone else’s idea of something important.

        • Yes. E-x-p-o-s-e-d Y-o-s-e-l-f.
          You care more about a football game than your friends’ wedding. Which is fine by me.
          Why don’t you tell them that? After all, it’s completely reasonable. Don’t forget to mention how somehow you think that THEY are the inconsiderate ones for inviting you.
          Come on…
          thread closed/

          • You are ridiculous. Stop it.

          • justinbc

            What I’ve learned from this is I’m quite glad that I’m not your friend. God forbid I spend my money on something you disagree on.

          • The scale of the two trips is so different (flight to CA vs flight to Italy, hotel in LA vs villa in Italy, etc.), the time commitment/vacation days is different (long weekend vs almost a week), that the happy couple shouldn’t make any comparisons. I’m with the others who said that if people plan a destination wedding, especially to an expensive and distant place that you can’t just pop over to, they should not have any expectations about guests attending. And they certainly shouldn’t then monitor their friends’ travel and expenditures to see if they “could” have gone to the wedding.

        • I’m with Justin on this. I wouldn’t spend this much money on a football game, but at some point just because he can, doesn’t mean he should spend his extra income and his vacation on a wedding instead. There is no social contract that says we must spend all of our vacation and disposable income on our friend’s weddings, no matter what the wedding industrial complex tells us.

          • justinbc

            Thank you, sensible person. I work for my money, not anyone else. I should be able to spend it on whatever I so choose.

          • I know I’m being ridiculous and I’m giving Justin a hard time.
            I made my original point earlier, when I said that he should simply not go – because his friends’ wedding doesnt mean that much to him. instead of whinging about it on this blog. If they were “good” friends of his, he would attempt to go. And if he didn’t have the money then fine.
            Then I read further down the page about how he’s flinging money around to go to a bowl game. Which is great for him.
            But then don’t complain about having to go to your acquaintances’ wedding, like he even wants to go in the first place.
            Hey, I’m selfish too, but at least I realize it.

          • justinbc

            There are literally hundreds of things I spend my money on during the course of a year. The point is that they’re all up to my own personal discretion. Saying that one thing I happen to enjoy that’s not at all related to something else is somehow an injustice to my friendship is just silly, and shows how shortsighted you are.

          • My point is: I agree with you. You should be able to spend your money on whatever you’d like.
            I disagree with how you’re complaining about how inconvenienced you are about having been invited to your *friends* wedding.
            Have you told them that you aren’t going? Let them be excited about their wedding, and talk about it as much as they want.
            And for all I care, you can literally burn the cash money in front of their faces. But if you’re not man enough to tell them you aren’t going, and then at the same time you come on this blog and talk ALL about it- then you sir, are not the good friend.
            So my original point stands. Tell them you aren’t going – so that they are free to be excited about their day- without you feeling the pressure.
            In other words, be a good friend/man-up/stop whinging about your *friends* for wanting to have a special wedding.

        • Also contemplating going. Big OSU fan, but still trying to decide my budget for tickets. The $900 ones are gone, and it looks like the price is now $1100. I do really want to go though.

          • justinbc

            Yeah, it’s definitely a bit outrageous on the scalper side. There will still be some sold via Ticketmaster at face value, but I’m betting they get snatched up immediately. Thankfully we get to play Duke (ahahaha…) for the chance to go, that OSU against MSU matchup will be much more hotly contested.

          • Still have to beat MSU ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • Well obviously I won’t go if we lose to MSU ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Rant: Lost my SmarTrip card, again.
    Rave: SmarTrip vending machines in the Metro station near my office actually worked (a first for me), and online registration and balance transfer process went seamlessly (another first). Plus, the machine dispensed me one of the pretty Van Gogh special edition SmarTrip cards, so that’s something.

  • Why the hell does my Kozy Shack pudding turn all liquidy after a day????????

  • If you work w/in DC government you’ll experience the DC southern culture (emphasis on appearance, rather than character; too much talk about religion and going to church; insularity and inefficiency) much more than if you work outside of DC gov. As a midwesterner it drives me crazy.

    Also, DC’s inability to handle even a 1/4 inch of snow is definitely southern.

    • have a blessed day shugah.

    • The church thing is definitely not limited to DC government. I work for a Federal contractor and can’t believe how everyone, even the kids in their 20’s, are so involved with church. I still don’t feel comfortable coming out at work because I’m sure at least some of them will have a problem with it.

      • What agency do you work in? It’s a huge faux pas to discuss religion and personal politics in my agency – it’s pretty much a no-go and you’ll get a talking to by the senior management if you ever bring it up. The only jokes we make are about the ineptitude of Congress (something everyone can agree on!).
        Then again, I think 95% of people here have a masters degree, JD, or PhD. So it’s a high achieving, well educated bunch.

        • NAVSEA. We’re all highly educated as well. I wouldn’t say people are having deep conversations about God at the water cooler, but they’ll say things like “Man, I’m so tired. We didn’t get out of our church meeting until 11 last night.”

  • Rave: Amazing Thanksgiving. Sometimes the holidays are stressful, and in-laws are nightmares, but overall it was great to break bread and drink up with my partner’s crazy weird family(s).
    Rant: Haven’t heard on our approval (or not) from the adoption agency on our doggie we applied for. It’s only been three weeks and they say it takes four or more for confirmation of adoption so I’m just trying to be patient because he is the cutest bowl-legged bulldog ever. Hopefully will know by Christmas!
    Rave: Been really busy at work and it’s been great! I really like feeling like I’m useful and appreciated.

  • Rave: Thanksgiving dinner from Three Little Pigs on Georgia Ave. I bought the pre-cooked smoked turkey and it was one of the best and juiciest turkeys I’ve ever had. My kitchen still has a smokey honey smell. The stuffing was so good I ate half of it cold from the fridge.

    Rave: Went to The Coupe on Saturday. It was packed but I got my food in 11 minutes. My friend and I almost fell over in shock.

    Rant: Next door neighbors moved out around midnight to avoid eviction and left a rat motel full of trash and junk on the porch and the side of the house nearest me.

    Rave: The picture of the dog and his red ball. So cute.

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