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.

74 Comment

  • Rant: Last week’s cold has morphed into a sinus infection, ear infection, and bronchitis. Oh happy day.
    Rave: I’m on meds and spent the whole weekend in bed. I’m starting to feel like a functional human again.
    Rant: This illness means at least another week without working out. And it is so hard to get back into an exercise routine after being away from it for a few weeks.
    Rave: The weekend spent in bed meant that I finished all my holiday cards. Now, If I can just get my shopping done…

    • I had the dreaded grunk. After weeks of suffering, I finally got antibiotics and voila, healed. It was brutal while it lasted!

    • This is the worse holiday season I’ve encountered in my life. My mother was recently diagnosed with multiple myeloma. She starts her Chemo treatments today. I’m so sad and depressed because I don’t want to loose my mother.

      • I’m sorry to hear about your Mother’s illness, and your distress. I hope that you and your Mother can find and share moments of joy – despite the serious challenges that you are facing.

      • So sorry to hear that! Virtual hugs 🙂 Please don’t forget to take care of yourself – this kind of illness can be very hard on family and caretakers, and your mom needs you to be strong.

  • Mildly Freaked Out Rant: I developed a rash from taking ibuprofen. Googling “ibuprofen rash” revels some scary stuff. Waiting to hear back from my DR.

  • Rant: Part of the ceiling in my apartment is leaking off and on due to a faulty radiator in the apartment above me. A chunk of ceiling fell down Friday night. Fun times! It’s supposedly getting repaired and fixed starting today…

  • RANT: Strange flu bug ruined some weekend plans.
    RAVE: Bug only lasted for 48 hours and now I’m back to normal!
    RAVE: Being cooped up in the house gave me & the GF the time to make ridiculously good matzo ball soup from scratch (an 8 hour ordeal). The leftover chicken from the boiled chicken was turned into the best chicken salad I’ve ever had. Also had time to make a new batch of spicy pickles.
    RANT: Loathing work this week.

    • ADDITIONAL RAVE: The GF and myself got HOOKED on a Masterpiece Theater series called “The Paradise.” We watched the entire first season and a few episodes of the second season this weekend. SO GOOD!!! Better than Downton Abbey, IMHO.

      • You’re like the third person who I’ve heard raving about that show. I’ll have to check it out!

      • Thanks for the lead — that looks great! One flaw of Downton is that the premise makes it difficult to introduce new characters (especially someone who would be a complete stranger to everyone) and to have characters who appear only occasionally. Paradise seems to have that problem solved!

      • Emmaleigh504

        Interesting, I kind of hated the Paradise. I found the characters mostly annoying.

        • I thought it was all right, but not great. And with it coming on the heels of “Mr. Selfridge,” I thought, “What is this, ANOTHER drama about a charismatic department-store owner??”
          At least “The Paradise” was based on a literary classic (an installment in Zola’s “Rougon-Macquart” series). Not that being based on a classic necessarily makes a series great, but that was the originally the concept with “Masterpiece Theatre.” (And it prevents weird plot twists resulting solely from actors needing to leave the show, as in Season 3 of “Downton Abbey.”)

          • Emmaleigh504

            It was miles better than Mr Selfridge! But I really dislike the actor who played Mr Selfridge.

          • “But I really dislike the actor who played Mr Selfridge.”
            Jeremy Piven is an ass-face. No idea why he was casted for that role!

          • You just helped me pinpoint why I couldn’t get into Mr. Selfridge. That actor! He seemed so smug all the time. The theme music was also weird (I think part of what draws me into Downton Abbey every time is the song!).

  • Rant: our 2.5 year old cat stopped eating on Friday and we took him to the vet, where they hospitalized him. He’s on several antibiotics, but the vet doesn’t know what is wrong with him (something with his liver, but unclear what it is).
    Rant: Vet bills! We are talking a couple thousand dollars already and the vet wants us to keep him overnight for at least one more night, as well as do an ultrasound and possibly other treatments.
    Rant: having to make a health decision for our cat based partially on financial considerations. Anyone have advice on how to do this?

    • Have you looked into Care Credit? My dad used it to pay the vet bills for some dental work his cat had done. Unfortunately I don’t know much about how it works since I haven’t used it, but he was happy with it.

      • I was thinking of this. I believe the line of credit goes up to $2000 or $2500, and that they might still defer interest for a year. (I wouldn’t have been able to afford surgery for my cat without it.)

    • Very young for an ill cat. Sucks to be little kitty, but you must be honest with how much money you can afford, or debt you can take on, before you seek further treatment. Do not be afraid to ask the vet how much it costs. Euthanizing a little kitty is a terrible decision to have to make, but as a pet owner you must always be prepared to make that decision when it’s necessary.

      Last summer, I was planning on taking my cat to be euthanized. I made an appointment for the next day, and when the day came and I resolved myself to it, I went to retrieve her and found that she’d passed away on her own. I always hoped she didn’t experience undue pain, but she probably did. I should have taken her in some time before. If you can’t afford endless treatment for a cat with a mysterious ailment, do not let that cat live in pain. They are very stoic, and do not display pain and suffering except in the most extreme circumstances.

    • Emergency cost-of-care for animals is insane. Unless you have the cash on hand or are willing to go into debt for your animal, your only other option is putting the poor guy down. Or you get a vet who is willing to provide free/cheap services to those who can’t afford it.
      But similar to human hospitals in the US, vets try to recover costs by charging more to those who can afford it. You end up subsidizing low income pet owners. It’s sort of insane and I feel bad for vets who are trying to make a living while balancing humane care for every animal that comes through the door.
      This is a major reason why I don’t have a pet. I can’t afford thousands of dollars out of pocket, if something goes wrong.

      • “[V]ets try to recover costs by charging more to those who can afford it. You end up subsidizing low income pet owners.”
        Evidence for this? Vets, unlike emergency rooms, aren’t required to provide treatment without regard to ability to pay.

        • Yeah but I’m guessing a lot of vets have sympathy for their patients and will treat a dying animal for free if there are no alternatives.

          • Yes, this has been my (anecdotal) experience. They are not required to provide care, but there’s A LOT of sympathetic vets out there that don’t want to see an animal in pain, regardless of the owner’s ability to repay. So yes, they do need to recoup costs on those who can afford it.
            No prices are set in stone at the vets office, everything is on a sliding scale. Pull up in a BWM 5 Series and wearing expensive designer clothing? I guarantee you will be asked to pay more than the low income single mother for the same procedure.

    • Given how young your cat is, my inclination would be to spend some more money at least trying to figure out what’s wrong.
      Mahajohn makes a very good point, though: “[Y]ou must be honest with how much money you can afford, or debt you can take on, before you seek further treatment.”

    • First – don’t feel guilty about considering the financial aspects. And shame on vets who don’t do more to present this honestly to people right up front. I currently have 3 cats. I love them and spent close to $500.00 on shots, vet bills and medicines for the two kittens when they came from the shelter with acute infections. They are now healthy and I love them, but if one should develop a mysterious illness, I would probably not even start down the treatment path because I know it would likely be $1000 or more.

      When the vet decided that there was probably something wrong with his liver, did s/he present the various somethings it might be and the cost or feasibility of treating each one? If the expensive ultrasound does show something – again – what might it show and what would the cost and probable outcome of treatment be?

      I know people will chastise me for this. But there is no such thing as a thousand dollar cat – especially when there are thousands of cats euthanized every day for lack of homes.

      • Emmaleigh504

        I agree. As much as pets add to your life, they are just pets. And there are plenty who need a nice home. I do sympathize with having to make this decision. It’s never fun when your pet gets sick and you have to consider all the options.

    • The strategy I have used when confronting similar issues with my cats is as follows:
      1. Figure out what the possible diagnoses are.
      2. Of those, figure out which you would be willing to spend the cash to treat (yes to $1000 worth meds that will completely cure the issue, no to $5000 worth of chemo that will only prolong life for 6 months, or whatever).
      3. If there is more than one possible diagnosis that you would treat, have the vet complete the minimal amount of tests to figure out which, if any of those diagnoses, is the source of the problem. If there is only one diagnosis you would treat, assume that is the diagnosis and treat it. If it works, great. If not, proceed to step 4.
      4. If there are no diagnoses/tests that are within what you are willing to treat, then consider taking the cat home and putting him on fluids and painkillers for a few days. This incurs minimal costs, is relatively comfortable for the cat, and sometimes the cat is able to clear the issue itself (pancreatitis, e.g.).
      5. After a few days, if he is still not eating, and you still do not know what is wrong with him but are out of options that fall within the range of what you are willing to treat, then put him down.

      I have, thankfully, never had to get to step 5, although I came very close once. The vet (understandably) wants to figure out definitively what is wrong, and will spend thousands of dollars of your money to find out. But if the end result of knowing the cat has liver cancer, for example, is that you will put him down anyway, it is simply a waste of money and an unnecessary burden on the cat to find that out.

      Good luck!

    • It’s a terrible position. I had a dog that ended up with some form of diabetes at age 11 and I had to put him down after using my savings (whilst unemployed) in order to try and treat the situation. In the end, he wasn’t going to be cured so I was just spending money to prolong a lower quality of life for him (decreased energy, lack of appetite, extreme thirst, shots twice a daily, accidents on the rug which made him feel ashamed and bad) all while bleeding out my account. It hurt like hell to lose him, but after that heartbreak I decided to look at pets as a part of the family that’s not guaranteed to stick around for long. Enjoy them while you have them and know when to let go.

    • If your vet is spinning his or her wheels, he or she should be honest about it and refer you to someone else. A few years ago one of my cats stopped eating and was very sluggish. I took him to a local vet in Adams Morgan who couldn’t figure out what was wrong. They referred me to the Springfield Animal Hospital. Once I took the cat there they diagnosed him as having a problem with his liver. The prescription was an operation to install a feeding tube, and then me feeding him 4 times a day with the “possibility” that he would get enough strength back to start eating on his own. There really wasn’t a cure for the underlying issue. Rather than put either of us through that, I made the hard decision to put him down.
      Whatever you decide, don’t feel guilty because there are financial considerations involved. A good vet will not try to make you feel guilty because you’re not willing to go into debt to exhaust every medial option to care for your pet.

  • Rave: Loved the eggplant curry I got from Salt and Pepper Grill last week so I decided to make it myself. Easy and really good! And leftovers for breakfast.
    Rant: Various aches and pains – I’m long overdue for a massage.

  • epric002

    rave: hosted our first holiday party this weekend! after freaking out about everything, it all turned out (mostly) smoothly, we didn’t run out of anything, and everyone seemed to have a good time. yay!
    rave: last week of work before visiting my in-laws for christmas, and my family for NYE/my cousin’s wedding.
    rave: our wonderful neighbors who let our dog hang with theirs during the party.
    rave: no rants at the moment. 😀

  • I went into Walmart on saturday. The management was very smart, the X2 bus stops in front of the store. From what I can tell, lots of the food isn’t produced in the US. Plaintain chips from Ecuadore, frozen fish from Chile.

  • Rant: I was surprised to see this picture of a tree that still had most of its leaves and was still in the process of changing colors. Turns out it was taken in Paris, not DC! Thanks for screwing with my mind on a Monday morning.

  • Rave: I was at a fancy party this weekend and a woman went up to my boyfriend while I was out on the dance floor and said “I love your beard are you single?” The bf is great, so I don’t worry about ballsy women hitting on him. But I applaud her chutzpah and it’s a good story.
    Rant: An ergonomist came to my cube and changed some stuff a few weeks ago, and now my right shoulder is in tons of pain. It gives me a headache every afternoon.
    Rave: I can’t wait to see my family next week!

    • re: Rant – -dude sucks at his job!

      • Well, in the (female) ergonomist’s defense I’m not tall enough to have my keyboard on my desk, but at the same time, I’m too tall to fit a keyboard tray under my desk. So, I’m in an unfortunate grey area. They could move my desk up 3 inches and install a keyboard tray, but then if that makes it even worse I have my doubts that my office will return it to its original height.

  • Rant: woke up around 2am and couldn’t fall back asleep until nearly dawn. Feeling nauseous and achy and can’t concentrate now. This rarely happens to me and I feel sorry for those that struggle with insomnia on a regular basis.

  • Revel: Remember the Old Bill Cosby skit about if you only have one child, you know who did it. Today, my wedding ring was missing. The 4 year old said the 7 year old was playing with it on her stuffed animal. The 7 year old denied it. Then the 4 yerar old denied it. They both were insistent, no way, we didn’t take it, we didn’t play with it. After searching, it turns up hidden in the kids shoes! I think the 4 year old with squirrel like tendencies did it with the help of the 7 year old! Incredible! What stories will I hear when they are teenagers!?

    • When I was in college and my brother was in his 30s, my mother got a call from someone from her college. Someone in the town we lived in when we were children had been showing the kids at an elementary school we went to for one year how to use a metal detector. One of the things he found was her class ring. He contacted her university, which then contacted her. My brother then confessed that he’d taken it to show and tell in 5th grade and lost it at recess and never told her. At some point after that she’d realized it was missing and had it replaced, but never even thought that one of us had played with it and lost it. Good thing it was only realized 20 something years later, or we’d both have been dead. But it makes a great story now.

    • Your last question is easy – when they’re teenagers they just won’t talk to you at all. But when they’re in their twenties, you’ll hear all their stories of what they did in high school that you didn’t know about.

  • Rave – Had a great weekend involving snuggling on the couch, Christmas movie marathan, making soup, and drinking tea, and going for long walks. Just gotta get through this week at work then I’m off to the see the family in New York for the holidays.

    Rant – have a million thing to finish at work before I leave. Usually the the week before Christmas is a quiet one, but not this year.

  • I asked too late on Friday, so thought I’d ask again. Where is a good place to get glasses that takes the Federal BCBS vision insurance? I just got my eyes checked and didn’t like any of the frames that the place attached to my eye doc’s office had. Any ideas? I’ll need to do it in the next week to take advantage of my insurance this year (I thought I had through the end of 2013 pay periods, which would have given me into 2014, but apparently I was wrong and now I need to get it done before the Christmas holiday). Thanks!

    • i bypass my insurance and buy my glasses on warby parker. i wear them daily so i want to have frames that i love — so for me it’s worth the $100

      • I don’t understand the online thing. How does it work better than trying things on in person? My face is wide and I find that many/most glasses don’t fit, so I’m not sure how ordering online would work for me. I’m worried I’d order a bunch and not only would they not look right, they wouldn’t even actually fit my face.

        What I may do is use my insurance to get new sunglasses this year and then use next year’s benefits to get new regular glasses when I’m under less of a time crunch

        • Well, whether it’s better or worse is a matter of personal preference. How it works is fully explained on their website, but you do get to try them before you buy them.

          • I looked at their website this weekend a bit and I really didn’t see how it works other than that they send you a few frames and you can send them back if you don’t like them. How do they do the thing where they measure where you actually look out of your glasses and all of that stuff they do at an actual eyeglass store to get the lenses right? Maybe I’m just being dense about it?

          • You go to the doctor and get a prescription. You then provide the prescription measurements to Warby Parker.
            WP sends you five frames for free to try on at home. If you don’t like any, you can send them back. If you want to try a second set of five frames, you pay for the shipping.
            Once you like a pair of frames, you order it on their website using the lens measurements you gave them. It’s a very efficient, affordable system.
            They have a cool online feature on their website where you can upload a photo and “try on” the frames to see how each pair looks on your face. That’s good for narrowing down the 5 frames to ship to you.

          • “…the thing where they measure where you actually look out of your glasses…”
            I don’t know what you mean by that. But you do have to get your eyes tested the normal way (at an optometrist) so you can give your lens prescription when you order online. Is that what you mean?

          • You have to provide them the pupilliary distance, which is really all the eyeglass store does. They have a guide on how you can do it yourself.

            But even better (!) right now until Dec 22nd they have a “pop up” bus in Georgetown where you can try on all their frames in person and they’ll measure your PD for you. And they’ll order you for them right there, if you want. Just need your prescription. http://www.warbyparkerclasstrip.com/2013/10/21/dc-sched/

            I have a feeling they’ll have a brick and mortar store in DC within the year.

          • I suspect the question is about distance between pupils, which it’s really important for centering the lenses in the frame properly. It’s typically measured by the tech helping you select frames and does not appear on the prescription.

          • Yes, was talking about the distance between the pupils. Maybe I’ll try out the bus.

    • Don’t know if Fed BCBS means free glasses but my husband is loving Warby Parker. Has three pairs – $95 for classes, $125 for Rx sunglasses. I have horrible eyes so I think they might be a little extra for higher Rxs but still reasonable if you find a style you like.

      • No, they don’t do higher Rx’s at all. It’s only for people with fairly good vision.

        • They do. I had to pay a little bit more for my Coke bottle lenses (i’m about 20/300 and legally blind without contacts or glasses), but it was still way cheaper than going through the doctor’s office.

          • Count yourself lucky… 20/300 (-4 diopters) is nothing.

          • Your vision’s not that bad (“legally blind” sounds scary but doesn’t mean much really). I looked into WP a while ago and they wouldn’t take my prescription. And there are people like my gf whose vision is significantly worse than mine who would love to not pay $1000 (with insurance) for a pair of glasses but can’t take advantage of these cheaper options. If anyone knows of a similar service for those of us with higher prescriptions let me know!

          • I believe that legally blind means that your vision is still bad (20/200) with the best possible correction. So, legally blind without correction doesn’t make sense.

    • I get my glasses and eye exams at See in Georgetown. They have fun, one of a kind frames and I love them. I think they take the federal BCBS insurance, definitely check them out. Prices aren’t that bad either.

    • I don’t know if it is compatible with your insurance but my glasses are actually from Costco. Exam, lenses and frames were very reasonable (definitely less than I’d spent before at Lens Crafters). And my frames are stylish, if I do say so myself.

    • For Eyes (at least their downtown locations, on G near 13 and L near 21(? or 22? or 20?)) takes BCBS and I’ve been very pleased with their frame options. My optometrist is Dr. Simon on L.

      Speaking of high prescriptions: I’m -12/-13 with astigmatism, and with BCBS Fed High Option I’m paying $123 for frames & lenses–high index lenses, scratch resistant, Transitions and one-year scratch insurance. List price is around $550.

    • Try I-doc on F st downtown.

  • Rave: BEYONCE.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Having kind of a shitty day (month)
    Rant: Rheumatism in my hand is acting up
    Rave: Scheduled delivery of new mattress, new mattress will hopefully help with the dreaded i word
    Rave: I freaking love @sweden

  • Rave: Tried a new (to me) food truck, Endless Pastabilities, today and I was definitely impressed! I think they need to work on their marketing-it looks like they don’t have a Twitter account and the truck isn’t as nice looking as many of the others, but the product is great!

    Rant: I lent a former friend my ski jacket (she was still a friend at the time) last February and she never returned it. I texted and e-mailed her one last time to try to get it back, but she refuses to even answer my calls/texts/e-mails. It looks like I’ll have to chalk it up as a loss and buy a new one. It stinks because it was pretty much brand new when I lent it to her and, while it wasn’t extremely expensive, it wasn’t cheap either.

    Rave: It’s my last week of work for the year! I have a ton to do and will likely be working 12+ hour days, but then I’ll have 1.5 weeks off!

Comments are closed.