Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user TDLphoto

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.

185 Comment

  • Going out on that ice is crazy. It’s definitely not very thick.

    • Seriously, I grew up in frozen pond hockey heaven. Someone’s Dad would always drill through the ice to check for thickness before we could play. I think the standard was either 4 or 5 inches of ice to be safe.

      • I heard a report over the weekend on either NPR or WTOP where some local official said that no ice in this area is thick enough to walk on at this point. Oh well, I guess we would’ve heard about it if someone had gone through. That water’s probably not too deep, anyway.

    • As one of 9 skaters on the canal Saturday morning (we skated from 8a-noon), I can tell you you are wrong. We tested the ice every 20-30′ for thickness. On average, the ice was around 4″ thick. Aside from a few pressure cracks that you would normally find on any lake or pond in the winter, we had no issues and actually had a pretty fun time. Coming from colder locations around the country, we were confident in our ability to determine proper thickness and ice quality.

      If you want more pictures, Carol Joynt happened upon us and took some after we had finished skating.

      • Okay so maybe you and your friends know what you are doing and are responsible. The problem is though some dumb kids will see you and think all ice is safe to play on.

        • I think that is going too far. It is up to the parents to give their children common sense advice about every day dangers. Don’t put that on this group that seems to have acted safely and responsibly in this instance.

          • The thing is, it’s been a longish time since we’ve had temperatures this cold, so it _hasn’t_ been an “everyday danger.” D.C. parents probably don’t have “Don’t skate on thin ice” in their repertoire of guidance for the kids, because usually there’s no ice to skate on except at skating rinks.

          • I can’t disagree with most of what you have said. I will tell you that once I heard about the incident in Maryland, I definitely sat my kids down to tell them about the danger. You are right, though, it was not in my usual repertoire.

    • Let’s give at least one human being in the world the benefit of the doubt and assume that maybe they checked the thickness (you can generally look for cracks to gauge depth) and made an informed decision. Last time I was down there some of the canal sections were nearly drained. In the photo you can see the high-water marks five feet up on the canal wall…

    • that looks like the canal, where the ice was plenty thick because the water isn’t that deep — i was out on the ice this weekend, and there were tons of other people skating and playing hockey.

      • This reminds me of a song on an album called Songs of Safety I had when I was young: “Ice skating is nice skating but never skate where the ice is thin or the ice will crack and you’ll fall right in and come up with icicles under your chin when you skate where the ice is thin.”

        • Haha, that sounds like a Ryan Styles song from the album-sale sketch on Whose Line Is It Anyway (not good enough to be Wayne Brady!)

  • Rant: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
    Why do so many people like to pretend the first half of that sentence doesn’t exist?

    • Perhaps the same reason so many people like to pretend the second half of that sentence doesn’t exist?

    • RANT: It took over 70 minutes to get from DCA to U Street via Metro last night at 9pm. And even then, I had to ditch the train at the Convention Center and cab it the rest of the way to U Street with my bags. Get your sh#t together WMATA.

    • Are you suggesting we should form a militia? I am guessing you would be against that as well.

      • I’m not against the forming of militias. Provided they operate like militias did when the 2nd amendment was written and the government can call on them in times of need. Sort of like the national guard.

  • Rave: Weather this morning was magnificent compared to the past few weeks. I’m tired of frozen fingers and dry air in my house. Why have the seasons here become so dramatic? I think it’s because I started paying attention more often, but past weather seemed much more moderate.

    Rant: People calling me on weekends for work. Yeah, I know, be thankful I have a job, but people send me emails on Sundays when the last thing I want to do is think about work. Weekends are for me damnit.

    Rant: Went to fill my car tire up with air by NY avenue, there were a bunch of beggars hanging out by the pump asking me for money at the BP gas station. I would have figured that This would be under control now, but I couldn’t imagine being a woman with a low tire trying to fill up and being intimidated by all the seedy characters hanging out at gas stations near to NY ave…

    Rave: Had some really good spaghetti and meat sauce at Mama Lucias in Silver Spring. I may have found a new carry out spot. As a single guy in DC, it’s more trouble to cook it and wash dishes than to buy it for 12$ after work.

    • Meat sauce is really pretty easy to cook. So is basic red sauce.

      • Making sauce is very easy
        Step 1: Pour jar of sauce into pot.
        Step 2: Heat

      • With Washington Gas raising rates for cooking gas, with the trip to the grocery store and the grocery check, with water bills for washing dishes, and with way too much in leftovers after cooking as a single guy, buying it individually works best. If I had a dinner party or even another person to cook for that would be another story. 🙂

        • I’m a single woman and I buy it, too. I’m cheap sometimes, but I’m also lazy, and my laziness usually wins out. I also work ridiculous hours, so when I get off work at 10:00 I’m hungry and I want to eat right when I get home, not after I’ve made noodles and heated sauce.

          • The time element is actually why I stopped eating much take out – it’s not fast compared to making something easy (like spag with jarred sauce). By the time I order, detour to the restaurant, wait for them to put my order together and pay, I can have already cooked the pasta. And in my comfy clothes, too!

          • I’ve never had a jarred sauce that didn’t taste pretty awful — dull, under-spiced and industrial. I realize that not everybody enjoys cooking like I do, but 20 minutes with a knife while sipping gin seems a great way to wind down after work.

          • ^ I love this guy.

          • Prego Mushroom Sauce in the bottle is great, I’ve been using it for years, but I always add a bunch of fresh ingredients to it to make it better, chopped tomatoes, onions, a dash of teriyaki, a bit of brown sugar, fresh green peppers and mushrooms, cilantro, and ground turkey.

            I’ve got way too many things to do when I get home to put it all on hold for cooking, unless maybe on sloppy joe night, that’s easy! lol. 😛

          • I don’t understand why someone would go through the trouble of adding fresh vegetables to a jarred sauce just to make it edible. You could start with plain old canned or boxed tomatoes for 1/3rd of the price, and the end result would either be the same or better (plus you wouldn’t have all those nasty preservatives and excess sodium and sugar).

          • Well, I place my order 15 minutes or so before leaving work and choose somewhere that’s within a block of either work or home, so getting takeout adds a maximum of five minutes to my commute home. I guess if there’s no where convenient to your office/home, it’s different.

        • What are the rates for cooking gas like?? I’m honestly curious–my apartment in my former city didn’t have gas, and my only apartment so far in DC includes utilities, so I have no sense of utility costs here. (But I would love to know, as I occasionally think about trying to find a place with cheaper rent, then I realize I might have to add back in the cost of gas/electric to make an accurate comparison between my current place and any prospective new apartment.)

          • I cooked a lot in my last place, gas range and stove, and it was max $6/month.

          • I can’t exactly tell, but my monthly gas bill is around 40$ per month including heat and water heating. I rarely cook though, so I’d expect my monthly cooking gas bill to go up by at least 20$ if I cooked most nights.

          • It probably wouldn’t go up nearly that much – cooking (even baking) uses a miniscule amount of gas compared to keeping your hot water tank full and hot.

          • It can’t possibly be only $40 this month if it includes heating!

          • I should add that I baked a lot for $6/month or less. And I cooked stove top or oven roasted/baked dinners. It’s cheap.

          • I didn’t realize there were separate rates for cooking gas (and if there are I can’t find that info on my bill). I spend about an hour a day cooking, so I’ve wondered about what the energy associated with it is costing me. My lowest gas bills are around $60 in the summer, but I’m sure most of that is going towards hot water heating.

          • There’s a nifty little calculator at http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/cooking.html
            If you cook on 2 burners and the oven for half an hour every single day, it will cost less than $20 per year ($45 for electric). Basically, cooking is free in terms of the cost of utilities.

          • gotryit

            um… if it’s a gas stove, then it’s the same natural gas as your heating system. If it’s an electric stove, then it’s on your electric bill. Unless you have a propane tank on your property, which I doubt.

          • There aren’t separate rates, but the only thing that used gas in my last place was the stove.

          • I have gas heat only and my bill is around $45-50/month… Everything else in my house is electric including the stove and water heater. Gas is actually not that expensive.

      • …and the last step of giving it a twirl in my blender :- (

    • Make your own sauce. One batch for me costs between 10-15 bucks (5 big cans of peeled tomatoes and tomato sauce, lean ground beef, one bottle of “italian seasoning”, garlic, onion). Provides over a dozen meals. Prep time? Less than 2 hours (plus a few hours to simmer on the stove).

      • It’s better to use fresh garlic and onions.

        • This is the issue, for one batch of pasta and sauce (as I’d make it) the ingredients would at least cost 20$ (ground turkey, onions, veggies, seasoning, pasta, tomato sauce, etc). I love to cook, but when added with prep time, it’s way too big an expense on most week nights…

          • I can make a batch of excellent marinara sauce that will last over a week for about $10 or less.

          • I’m not particularly thrifty, but I spend about $40 a week on groceries for two people. Almost all of our meals are homemade. We’re always talking ourselves out of going out to eat because a single meal at a restaurant will cost as much as a whole week of home cooking, and usually the home cooking is better.

          • Anyone who thinks buying spaghetti from a restaurant is cheaper than making it at home has only a tenuous grasp on the actual cost of anything. There are some things that might be cheaper or otherwise easier to buy out (b/c of unusual ingredients that you can only buy in large amounts, for example), but spaghetti and red sauce ain’t one of them.

          • Something I’ve wondered about– what if a person rents an apartment without a kitchen, and eats out every meal (mostly at fast casual type places)? Would the total food expenses be lower because they’re paying less rent, not buying groceries, not using energy on cooking, and not having to spend money on kitchenware? If you’re not that interested in cooking and would otherwise be cooking with things out of packages and cans, eating out might be healthier too.

        • Yes, I use fresh garlic and onions. Sorry if that wasn’t clear. The seasoning is dried basil, thyme, etc. I meant a bottle of all that PLUS (fresh) garlic and onion.

        • gotryit

          Wow, I would love to see your grocery list / meal plan. I end up at over $250 a week for a family of 5. And we cook at home a lot.

          • Wow, that seems high – my bill is more similar to Anonymous 12:14 (including most lunch, too). We don’t eat a lot of meat, so that might be one big difference. We also eat very little pre-packaged food (granola bars, spice kits, frozen meals, etc.). Almost everything I buy comes from the boundaries of the grocery store or from the beans and grains aisle. Along with some tortilla chips and cookies, of course. 🙂

          • I’m at about $110-120 for a family of three. This gets more produce than I can fit in my produce drawer, about 3-4 pounds of meat, and a couple bottles of wine. Plus all the usual pantry-fillers. I cook about 5 nights a week, and pack lunch for the office at least 3 days.
            I feel like my grocery bills are really high. But I’m not upset enough about it to stop buying the wine! 🙂

          • Yeah, that’s basically what I do. I shop at Harris Teeter, and plan 4-5 meals to cook based on what’s on sale. Usually one fish/seafood and the rest vegetarian, and also something like a cake or batch of cookies. We eat yogurt or oatmeal for breakfast, leftovers for lunch, and fruit or nuts or popcorn for snacks. We happen to love soups which are very inexpensive to make. We don’t drink beverages or eat packaged foods typically, although I will go down the interior aisles to grab dried beans, rice, nuts, flour, etc. Normally I shop once a week and carry it all home, which prevents impulse purchases. My bill might be lower because I buy stuff like dog food, beer/wine, toilet paper, and cosmetics elsewhere (I also order my spices from Penzey’s unless it’s urgent).

  • gotryit

    Rant: overslept – I don’t even know if I snoozed the alarm
    Rave: slept more than I expected

  • justinbc

    Rave: Pro Bowl was actually entertaining thanks to the changes, and players who actually played for real. Hopefully they continue that trend in future years.
    Rant: We started using the Washington Green Grocer produce delivery service and they’re 2 for 2 in forgetting items in our box. They’ve responded by saying they put a note on our account to double check our boxes before sending them out, but why wouldn’t that be the default for everyone? Aside from those screw ups we have been pleased with the produce they’ve provided and the price per pound winds up being around $2 which is great.

    • I used to use them quite frequently but haven’t since I moved, but I’ll probably ramp back up soon. I had that same issue once (with them forgetting one of the extra items that I ordered/paid for) but I sent them an email, and they had someone deliver it to me in less than 2 hours. I was pleased with the customer service so I kept going back. And I think their prices are great. For me at least, a small box provides enough produce for a week or two. All for less than $40? Yes please!

      • justinbc

        Yeah, the prices and flexibility are great. I still recommend it to everyone I know that I think would be interested, it’s just kind of frustrating from a new customer standpoint to already have 2 botched deliveries. For us they just credited us a few bucks back.

  • Rave: my boyfriend helped me move my bedroom furniture so I could finish painting and he helped cut in while I rolled. The paint job is done and it looks great!
    Whatever: I’m not even annoyed that all my furniture is still in the middle of the room, I’m in love with the color.
    Rave: I got a jump on a lot of little projects, like a painting I’m making and some jewelery holders copied from Emily Henderson.
    Rave: I get to hang with the nieces tonight.
    Rant: my wallpaper won’t hang itself. I’m prepped and pumped, but it’s going to be laborious and I hope it turns out well.

    • justinbc

      Painting in the winter, brave! I’m waiting til it warms up another 20 degrees or something so I can at least open the windows and air it out.

      • I painted my bathroom about a month ago. There is no reason to open the windows; modern paints are zero or low-odor.

        • Yeah, this didn’t even occur to me. I used primer and paint in the bathroom and paint and primer in one in the bedroom and none of it smelled. I probably killed some brain cells, but I didn’t feel it while it was happening.

          Now, stain is another story.

          • gotryit

            Oil based paint also… I spent too much time in close quarters with that stuff and felt like I had a flu for about a week.

          • Oh totally, I thought oil based was a given.
            I’ve never heard about a reaction that bad, that’s scary. It’s bad stuff.

          • gotryit

            I was repainting wainscotting in an already-finished bathroom, which required being in tight spaces – generally breathing inches away from the painted surface. In retrospect, quite dumb. I guess I was cocky from using it on trim throughout the house without the same consequences.
            Apparently the VOCs damage the respiratory tissue (or something like that – I’m not a doctor) that causes the similar symptoms.
            Particularly dumb because I had the P100 mask that is rated for VOCs…

          • A couple of years ago, I was supposed to move into an office that had recently been repainted, I guess with oil-based paint.
            I ended up having to camp out elsewhere for TWO MONTHS because the fumes were giving me migraines.

        • Oh god I wish my neighbors adhered to the no painting in winter (or at least use low VOC paint) rule. I’ve had to seal my lateral vents and throw open my windows in the middle of our single-digit temperatures lest I become a vegetable while I’m sleeping from the fumes. >:(

  • I read a funny thing this morning and it made me think of this blog. Happy internetting 🙂

    It is impossible to post something and not have someone misinterpret it, misunderstand it, or twist its meaning to suit their own agenda.

    For instance, if I say, “Blue is my favorite color”, this will happen:

    — You’re so closed minded. You’re not even considering the wide array of colors to choose from. The rainbow – duh!
    — That’s your opinion. What about those of us who don’t care for blue? I guess we don’t matter.
    — Why are you so judgmental? Just because someone chooses to like a different color doesn’t mean they’re a bad person.
    — You need to realize you’re privileged to even be able to choose a favorite color.
    — Could you clarify this? Because while I enjoy a lighter shade of blue, dark blue strikes me as malevolent.
    — This is stupid.
    — The OP is an idiot.
    — Try offering a different perspective once in a while. Those of us who don’t like blue often feel excluded from participating.
    — Typical propaganda — stating an opinion as though it were fact.
    — What do you suggest for those of us who don’t like blue?
    — That’s wonderful! And while we’re discussing the color blue, is anyone out there interested in making easy money from home? Ask me how I make $1000 a week without ever leaving the house…
    — Thanks a lot. I’m still blue over my chihuahua passing unexpectedly. Try to have a little more consideration.

    • What are you trying to say about the people who post on here?

    • This is pulled straight from any thread on DC Urban Moms. No shit, someone posted saying she was losing her mind with her toddler’s nonstop babble (it can get really overwhelming), and someone else posted “My child is severely autistic and will never speak. Count your blessings, you stupid bitch.” Or words to that effect. SMH.

      • Wow. I can sympathize with the first lady, as I can’t even tolerate 30 minutes with a typical chatty toddler. It’s kind of refreshing to see it drives the parents crazy too (even if they have a higher tolerance for it).

    • justinbc

      Blue? Is that the new Jose Andres restaurant?

  • epric002

    rant: totally ate it running to catch my train on friday. i literally took a knee, which is now entirely purple with a huge lump on top of my kneecap. i suppose that’s what i get for rolling my eyes at their stupid “no running” ads.
    rave: the nice gentleman who helped me up. i’m pretty sure i said thank you out loud- but if not, thank you!
    rave: last week of work before a week in curacao 🙂

  • Rant: Depression, after being absent for a few months, came back in full force this morning. Pretty debilitating actually. Had to call in sick to work and barely made it out of bed.
    Rant: Thoughts of suicide out of the blue.
    Rave: Therapist able to make emergency appt this afternoon. I need to make it there.

    • epric002

      i’m sorry, but good for you for recognizing what you need to do and scheduling an appt ASAP. you CAN make it to your appt this afternoon. good luck!

    • Well done for making an appointment with your therapist right away; that is huge. You’ll make it through this. Sending positive vibes!

    • +1 to what epric002 and yunkstahn said. Rooting for you, Anonymous!

    • I’ve been there, too, and I’m rooting for you! I’m so glad you were able to get in touch with your therapist. Best of luck.

    • Ditto!! You can absolutely push through this – reaching out for help is a huge sign of strength!!!

      “In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.”

      ― Albert Camus, The Stranger

    • Hang in there

    • good job on reaching out, both to your therapist and to PoPvillers! Just focus on today—you can make it to your appointment!

      And seeing all the support from PoPville is making me teary. Yet another reason I love this blog.

    • Get out of the house and get yourself a coffee + cupcake STAT!

    • Thanks for the support. I made it to my appt and feel much better. I also biked there and back which felt great. And indeed stopped at a bakery and treated myself to pain chocolat and a hot cocoa. Therapist was able to to talk me off the ledge so to speak… I have to go back to taking things a day at a time. Sort of feels like I’m starting from scratch but if that’s what it takes, so be it.

      • Glad you’re feeling better! It sounds to me like you’re taking good care of yourself. (Although I may be making too much over the powers of exercise and chocolate….)

  • anonymouse_dianne

    Rant: Friday night cooking dinner and the main fire alarm sounded. Frozen sprinkler head in one of the third floor units which have exposed pipes. Evacuated the building, fortunately we can go hang out in the Flats lobby and stay warm.

    Rant: Smoke alarm went off again Saturday morning. Same deal. Each time the fire department has to respond and turn off the alarm.

    Rant: I am tired of this bitter cold. Why I did not stay in Massachusetts.

    Rave: Scratch DC Hazelnut crusted Tilapia and Risotta with spinach and parm. Ymm.
    Rave: Kitties loved watching the snow. Cuddle on my lap and keep me warm.

  • Rave: not freezing my butt off on my way to work. 40 degrees now feels amazing.
    Rant: The cold will be back tonight.
    Rave: 2 weeks from today I’ll be in Indonesia for the rest of February enjoying temps in the 80s (albeit with a lot of rain).

  • Rant: Gearing up for the week/weekend from hell at work.
    Rave: Dogs. Mine and the other ones in the neighborhood.
    Rave: All the British television shows on Netflix.

    • What British shows are you watching on Netflix? (And do you use the discs or streaming?) I LOVED Jeeves and Wooster, but didn’t much like Fawlty Towers or Blackadder. Enjoy Downtown Abbey, never got in to Upstairs Downstairs. Can’t explain it.

      • Check out “The Fall” it’s a serial killer/mystery set in Belfast. It’s really good but also really scary and somewhat violent. But a good show starring Gillian Anderson.

      • I’ve been plowing through the mystery/detective shows: Foyle’s War, Inspector Morse/Lewis/Endeavor, George Gently, and the best, Prime Suspect. There are only three episodes, but The Bletchley Circle is good. The Miss Fisher Mysteries (which is an Australian show) is good but runs off the rails a bit at the end of the series. For non-detective dramas, Call the Midwife is good and Doc Martin is sort of cheesy but engaging. As for comedies, Peep Show and That Mitchell and Web Look are hilarious. Spaced is fun, especially for the Simon Pegg enthusiast.

      • Also check out Wallander. The original is a Swedish (English subtitles) detective series; there is also a British Wallander series that’s pretty good.

      • I really like Doc Martin. It’s a pretty funny show (in that dry British way), gorgeous scenery of Cornwall, and his love interest (“Loisiaaaaar”) is stupidly gorgeous.

    • I’m planning to watch the original British version of House of Cards when I get a chance to.

      • I watched the British House of Cards, it’s pretty good, not as intense as the american version, but the production value is so bad it almost makes it unwatchable. The unnecessary actor close ups are terrible.

  • pablo .raw

    Rave: 47 right now! time to go out and get some early lunch
    Rave: I’m really enjoying my gig as Roller Derby photographer
    Rave: I’m really enjoying my new Portrait photo project

  • rant: lost a friend this weekend in the Columbia mall shooting. these shootings need to stop. one troubled person should not be able to destroy so many lives so easily.

  • Rant: People who still haven’t shoveled their sidewalks! WTF?! It’s been a week! It’s a sheet of ice! You’ve kept the elderly and disabled from getting to work, the grocery store, and the pharmacy! What is wrong with you?!

    • I do it to make you mad. The elderly and disabled don’t work.

    • It’s not just people but the Park Service too. I ate pavement along the reflecting pool yesterday morning because shit is not totally cleared.

    • The churches near me (U Street area) are the worst offenders. They only clear the sidewalk adjacent to the entrance of the church, but then ignore the sidewalks that border the rest of their large properties.
      I wish they’d get some tickets for this. Not gonna hold my breath.

      • gotryit

        Ticket churches? In DC?? Hah. Not even if they shoveled snow onto the sidewalk.

        • To be fair, the sidewalk of the church I pass on the corner of Park as it comes off of New Hampshire, is immaculate.

          But my feeling is that people who haven’t shoveled yet aren’t going to shovel. My particular favorites are the gas stations; their interior car areas are spotless and they haven’t touched the sidewalks.

      • I called a church in our neighborhood who did the same and had the audacity to tell me that the sidewalk “looked shoveled.” Reminding them to shovel the sidewalk around their property AND a call to 311 = zero results.

    • Was thinking the same thing. There is a patch of ice in front of one neighboring house that is finally melting because of the higher temperatures, but I think I might go shovel it myself so that it doesn’t just melt and then freeze in place when the temperatures start falling later today.

    • Agreed! I had back surgery a couple weeks ago and, per doctor’s orders, have been taking walks every day. I am terrified of slipping and re-injuring my back, so the giant patches of ice I encounter on pretty much every other block are both inconvenient and frightening.

    • Maybe the people who haven’t shoveled are elderly or disabled? IF this might be the case, consider being a good neighbor, a good citizen, or someone who doesn’t want to slip and help out — if you can.

  • Rave: Finally got to see Bao Bao up and about this weekend! Super-cute!
    Rant: Photo buffs who parked themselves in the front row for who knows how long (I was milling around the panda house for quite a while, and they never budged), despite all the crowds and despite pleas from zoo staff for people to rotate the front-row space. I’m 5’9″ and can peer at least halfway over the average person’s head (which is the only way I got glimpses of Bao Bao), but children can’t. I don’t begrudge anyone their hobby/passion, but come on…once you’ve gotten a bunch of great shots (and they had), would it kill you to step back for a few minutes and make room for the kids?

  • Rant: forgot my wallet today
    Rave: have smarttrip and a smartphone which should get me through the day with what I need. Maybe I should Postmates my lunch?

  • Rave: Surprisingly suburban weekend. Took the Girlfriend out to Great Wall in Fairfax to find Sichuan peppercorns and generally be part of the cross-cultural crunch that was especially urgent as Lunar New Year approaches, then out that way again to the State Theater for Todd Sn8ider and the Hard Working Americans.
    Rave: Lamb with Sichaun peppercorn crust.
    Rant: Too few rambling & poetic Todd Snider storeis in between and during songs.
    Rave: HWA’s are a heck of a band out of the Widespread Panic mode. A fun night.

    • If it’s still there, I have always loved the Italian place Argia next to the State Theater for maybe your next suburban jaunt.

      • I’ll keep an eye peeled. Eden Center is about 5 minutes away, so we usually combine music with a little Vietnamese food while we’re out that way.

        • Clare & Don’s (also right by State Theatre) is a fun place for drinks. Especially in the spring and summer when they have live music outdoors.

  • Rave: Just finished eating my taco with a straw (enchilada sauce, spinach, black beans, ground chicken).

    Rant: Tired of eating all meals with a straw.

    Rave: I’ve lost 12 pounds!

  • Rave/Rant: My six month old has been sleeping in her own room and crib for the last few days.
    Rant: I really want to quit my job, but I think in the end I would feel guilty that my husband would have to bear all of the financial responsibility while I took care of our child. I’m really not happy working though. I just come to work and zone out until I can leave to be with my daughter.

    • Also think about what happens in a few years when your daughter (or later kids) go to school full-time. It can be really hard to re-enter the work force (as several of my friends are learning).

      • And even if you can re-enter, you won’t necessarily get to come back at the same salary level or level of responsibility. You’ll probably come back a step or two lower than when you left.
        My advice? Change jobs into something more flexible where you get paid on a project-by-project basis, either as a contractor or a consultant. That way you’re still contributing to the household finances, you’re still keeping up with work and maintaining contacts in your industry, but you also have more time and flexibility with the kid. It will make re-entry much easier.
        Though, if you’re zoning out at work and not contributing, you’ll get pushed aside pretty quickly and eventually laid off. Which is the worst (and most preventable) option.

    • Might I suggest that you keep SAHM as a goal for a few years down the road? I know it goes against the instincts, but your child will actually need you more once she’s in elementary school. Your bonding is not harmed by daycare or nanny. But once she hits the peer pressure phase and negative influences increase, you’ll want to step up the level of influence YOU have in her life. And you can use the baby/ toddler years to squirrel away money for your non-working years.

    • Anonymous, perhaps you and your husband could work out a budget where staying home was made possible. My parents managed to do it so that my mom could take care of my brother and me. We were frugal and did not take vacations to Europe, but things were pretty darn good. I’m very grateful that my mom was a stay-at-home mom. To me, that is probably one of the most important jobs in the world. I’m also grateful that my little nephew has a stay-at-home mom now, who truly cares about his development, language skills, etc… more than any paid staff could.

      • I love that not taking family vacations to Europe is the definition of frugality in this crowd.

        • I love how you seize on one portion of one sentence from one post and attribute it to the whole “crowd.”

          • I was just trying to be concise. 🙂 I’m sure there are plenty of us who had two working parents and still didn’t go to Europe until we were adults. But it’s definitely not the sort of comment you’re likely to hear outside of Wall Street or DC.

      • Hey, if you want to denigrate the choices (or necessities) of other families, not to mention the dedication of “any paid staff”, please take it over to DC Urban Moms.

        • I’m sick and tired of other women (and men) telling women they should resist their instincts to take care of their own children. It is natural that you would want to take care of your own family and not leave it to the high school degree-credentialed staff down the street (especially when a child’s language development is most crucial during 0-3 years of age). If you have the money, do it. Don’t feel an ounce of guilt. This is more important than (sorry, DC Type-A career-driven people), any bloody job in this town or anywhere else. It’s your choice- don’t let people guilt you into staying in the workforce. If you have the resources, you have options.

          • I mostly agree. If you want to stay at home for a few years (or longer) and can afford it, do it and don’t feel guilty! I don’t necessarily think it’s the best choice for everyone (not even everyone who can afford it), so I don’t want to denigrate those who feel going back to work is the best option for them. There are some people who are great parents, but would be unhappy staying home with their children-and unhappy parents aren’t good for babies, either.

          • My partner and I have good jobs in IT and engineering, but it would be a huge stretch living in DC and raising a child on our salaries. If one of us left our job to take care of the child it would simply be impossible to survive financially. Don’t shame people or dismiss them as “career-driven” because they can’t afford to be a stay-at-home parent.

          • So you’re saying that women who make the choice to pursue their career and necessarily divert some quantity of time and attention that night have been devoted to their children rather than their career have misprioritized? Since taking care of your children is “more important than any bloody job?”

          • “high school degree-credentialed staff”, really?
            I’m sick and tired of all the sanctimommies (and daddies) telling grown adults they can’t find excellent, loving care for their children with a little effort. Not to mention the ease with which you put down an entire profession. Shame on you.

          • “It’s your choice- don’t let people guilt you into staying in the workforce.”
            And don’t let them guilt you into staying home, either. Parents should consider 1) what they really want and 2) whether it’s feasible to do what they really want, whether it’s to return to work or to stay at home.

          • It’s ironic that Anonymous @12:32 slams “DC Type-A career-driven people” when he or she comes across as a DC Type-A helicopter parent. First, if you really think that having a child in day care from 0-3 will adversely affect your child’s language development in the long term, then you need to get a grip (not to mention that you need to put down the “What to Expect” books). Second, your knock on childcare providers with high school diplomas exposes you as an elitist snob. So you look down your nose at women who either have to or want to work, and then look down your nose at a generally loving and caring group of people just because their level of formal education doesn’t match yours. Honestly, your post says more about you than it does them.

          • You have to admit, it’s a good strategy for ensuring one’s kids are as narrow-minded as they are!

          • Yeah, yeah. You can get upset about my comment, but the real reason you’re upset is you know it’s true. This issue hits a real nerve with people because it brings up all the insecurities. I get it. I truly feel for the people who *really* can’t afford to have a stay-at-home parent, and I understand those who are not cut out for it. But it doesn’t require a “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” book to know about developmental psychology, etc… It’s called being educated. Can you honestly tell me that an under-educated (though well meaning, but not always) person doing it for the money is going to be better than a college-educated mother/father who is raising someone out of love? Are they going to have your child’s best interests in mind like you would? I won’t make apologies for my opinions. You can’t pay someone to make up for the time you’re at work. I remember one of my high school teachers systematically picking out each kid who had a stay-at-home mom without knowing if we did or not. She was right with every kid she picked. Why? Because being raised with a gaggle of kids in an institutional daycare center has an effect- an effect on how you interact, what sort of manners you employ with others, etc… Those who have the choice should consider it carefully.

          • Honestly, I would say that parenting is one place where a college education is not worth all that much. Yeah, yeah, making big picture decisions about vaccination, blah blah blah. Choosing between Monetessori or Waldorf or whatever, ok. But moment to moment? I’ll take a caring high school drop out who loves kids and has spent a lifetime around siblings and cousins over my college friends, even the developmental psych majors, who have little experience with kids and who don’t really like them that much (which even describes my SAHM friends, they like their OWN kid but in truth don’t like kids in general).

          • I think every family has to choose for themselves (and be especially grateful when they are in a position to choose) whether a parent will stay home with the kids full-time. There are pros and cons of staying home and of not staying home — for the family, for the kids, for each parent — and nobody should judge the decisions that others make. The bottom line is that there are a lot of different ways to do a good job raising a kid.

          • “You can get upset about my comment, but the real reason you’re upset is you know it’s true…” is about the lamest response one can offer. Unsupported anecdotes run a close second. I have never met a child care worker — legal or illegal, English-speaking or not so much — that didn’t have the kid’s best interest in mind, and I fail to see the advantage of a college degree when your most pressing task is getting a two-year-old to share his truck in the sandbox or eat her fruit cup.

          • 3:54 hit it spot on. I was so grateful that I was able to employ a nanny who actually ENJOYED the baby phase. She was so much better at it than I was. Endlessly patient, constantly singing and snuggling. I find that people who bash childcare providers are generally too cheap or too lazy to find a decent nanny. It does take quite a bit of work. But my baby was worth it.
            And, having worked through the baby and preschool years, I was in a financial and professional position to go part-time when my child got to elementary school. It seems very important to me to be there on the playground after school, to attend all the plays and concerts, to chaperone the field trips. MUCH more important than changing one thousand diapers.

          • Absolutely agree with Anon 3:54, and I have living proof in the example of my mother who’s been in early childhood education for many years without a college degree (she was grandfathered in prior to her workplace requiring BAs from all new hires), loves kids, has a wealth of experience, and is much-loved by the other teachers and parents alike. This is not to denigrate the achievements of ECE or daycare workers who DO have an education beyond high school, but a degree is not the be all, end all for quality childcare workers. And I’ve known several daycare workers who did have a degree and were doing daycare anyway, for example because their degree was in a field they felt became obsolete or because they became home daycare providers as a way to care for their own kids at home while still generating some income. Or they had teaching experience in a foreign country, but for various reasons, childcare was a quicker and easier path to employment vs. getting certified to teach in the U.S. (Hell, even my friends in elementary education have said that 90% of what they learned in their BA and MA/MS programs turned out to be totally freaking useless in the classroom.) As in any profession, there are great workers and crappy workers, and a good daycare will hire compassionate staff that love kids, and will provide good training or require ongoing continuing ed, in the form of workshops and such, on child development topics.

      • jim_ed

        “We were frugal and did not take vacations to Europe, but things were pretty darn good”

        Oh quelle horreur, the sacrafices required of our upper middle classses! Next thing you know you’ll tell us your parents could only afford private education for high school!

    • You might also keep your eyes peeled for a job that permits telecommuting. It’s not the same as being a full-time mom (or dad) but it has a lot of the same advantages vis-a-vis the kids, especially once they’re in school.

    • I totally understand. For about the first year after my son was born, I was just going through the motions. Then after he started getting older and became more independent, I started become more of an “active” participant in my job, because I could divert my attention elsewhere. There’s nothing wrong with saying you do everything you do for the sake of your child.

  • Rant: I’m smitten
    Rave: I’m smitten

  • Rant: I didn’t check the weather thoroughly enough. I knew the cold was returning but didn’t realize it would be starting now. I’m wearing a skirt without tights, ballet flats, and a loose lacey tee that’s very thin. I’m going to freeze my butt off on the way home. Help!

    • Oh my goodness! That’s what you wear when it’s 40F? It’s still cold!
      Since that isn’t going to help you, can you stop somewhere during lunch and get some tights? That’s not a big help with ballet flats, but at least it’s cheap and it’s something. In the future, you can keep the ballet flats at the office and wear boots with wool socks on the way in. I keep an emergency sweater on my chair, which is generally for wearing inside, but would be useful for you to wear home on a day like today.
      Good luck! At least when you get home you can put on warm clothes.

      • Yeah, I was a little chilly this morning but jumped at the opportunity to shed the heavy sweaters and layers for once. 🙂 The closest place to get tights is CVS, and that’s still a mile walk away. By then I’ll almost be home!

        • I think this might be a good day to treat yourself to a cab ride.

          • I’m laughing at the notion that riding in a DC cab is a treat. 🙂 I do get your point about it being better than freezing.

          • Well, in my case it would be an Uber because DC cabs don’t come out here even if you call for one. So it would be somewhat treat-like, especially since I only take cabs a couple times a year. But I’m the type that would rather suffer than spend money. If it’s really bad I’ll take the bus which will get me 2/3rds of the way home.

  • Rave: Fun weekend staying in/around DC. Columbia Heights Friday night with a cute date, Clarendon Saturday night with a great bunch of women, church Sunday to hear Frank Schaefer speak, and a great brunch with no wait afterwards.
    Rant: The inside of my nose is so dry that it cracked and it hurts…a lot.
    Rave: At least this morning’s commute wasn’t terribly cold. Tonight…we’ll see!

    • Might not be applicable to you, but I’ve started putting bowls of water on top of my radiators and it’s been great at putting some moisture into the air.

      • I found opening my dishwasher right after it was done running (and setting it to *not* heat dry) let a lot of warm, moist air into my apartment that helped.

    • My new humidifier is my favorite purchase pretty much ever. I had the same issue with my nose and it’s totally helped.

    • As much as I hate it, I have had to revert back to my childhood practice of putting Vaseline in my nose since I moved into my new apt with radiant heat. That plus the humidifier has cut my nosebleeds by more than half (My first week there, I would get one every time I walked into my apt!)

  • Rant: Lots of headaches. I get migraines occasionally, but lately it’s been a weird concentrated pain in the center of the forehead and the very top of my nasal passages, like up by the corners of my eyes (but no congestion, like one would have with a cold or sinus infection.) Wondering if it’s the relatively cold temperatures? Dryness? Allergies? Barometric pressure? Anybody experiencing the same types of headache? Gotta put it on my to-do list to finally find a general practitioner and get it checked out. Also starting to think seriously about tracking my “headache days” and investigating Botox as an option, much as it creeps me out. Haven’t been very good about tracking my headaches, but feels like they’re happening more often, including the migraines (I think you’re supposed to have at least 15 headache days a month for Botox, although I don’t think all of them need to be migraines.)

    • epric002

      i’m a fellow migraine sufferer. do you have allergies? i also occasionally get migraine-like headaches that are actually due to allergies- zyrtec is the only thing that helps them. barometric pressure changes are also migraine triggers. maybe you need a new migraine RX? have you tried chiropractic for your headaches? good luck, migraines are awful.

      • I’ve had the migraine-like allergy headaches too — apparently they result from a blocked Eustachian tube. With the first one, before it was diagnosed I was in such pain as to be almost immobilized for ~6 consecutive days and was beginning to wonder if I had a brain tumor.
        Bmoredc, the center-of-head headache sounds like a sinus headache to me. Does it respond to regular pain reliever (or to migraine medicine)?

      • Oh yeah, allergies big-time. I take Zyrtec daily as it is (well, not every single day, as I’m bad with pills and often miss a day). Thanks for the input, everyone! If I’m having a true migraine, along with the headache, I get nausea, shakiness, chills, total loss of appetite (even if I haven’t eaten for hours and should be starving), and OTC pain meds won’t touch it–the only remedy is to lie down in a dark room and sleep it off. Untill recently, the full-on migraines only happened once or twice a year, if that, and usually came on at night and were 90% if not 100% gone by morning. So because they didn’t seem like a huge inconvenience, up til now I’ve never looked into prescription treatment. Who knows why they’re becoming more prevalent…could be age, hormonal BC, a combo of both, or just random. The upper-nasal headaches are new though, and kind of bizarre–I noticed Advil doesn’t totally knock those out, but it helps more than it would for a true migraine. Maybe as a first step, I’ll try to alleviate the dryness in my apartment, and if that doesn’t help, look into a GP or an ENT. And thanks for the chiropractor rec, I would never have thought of that!

        • epric002

          maybe you need a new allergy med/treatment? if you haven’t tried RX migraine meds i would *definitely* try that route before botox. i’ve had migraines for about 25 years and have been through my fair share of RXs, but there really are some good ones out there now. and they even have preventive therapies that you take each day if you’re really getting them that frequently. though often those are actually rebound headaches and not individual migraines. i assume you’ve tried excedrin migraine? i primarily do chiropractic for a bulging disc, but it also helps with migraines.

          • Right, the preventive Rx, thx for the reminder! Can you tell I recently stumbled across a multi-page Botox-for-migraines ad in a magazine? Guh, guess my subconscious is more susceptible to marketing than I thought! 🙂

    • I have had the exact same type of headache for ~2 months. Mostly in my cheeks and lower part of my forehead. Dr. gave me 2 rounds of antibiotics for a sinus infection and it didn’t really help. On Saturday I tried Claritin-D just to give it a shot and it has helped SO much. Wondering if it is allergies or something along those lines?

    • I had a “stealth” sinus infection a few months back. Zero congestion, but the most severe sinus pain of my life. It took a visit to an ENT who confirmed with a scope– the urgent care doc refused to consider sinus infection because of the lack of congestion or other UR issues– and a solid week on heavy duty antibiotics to clear it up.

    • I’ve had atypical migraines for about 15 years, and my BIGGEST trigger by far is weather swings like these. The last couple of weeks have been THE WORST since I’ve had a headache lurking almost every day. Most days I can get through going to work (I’m lucky enough not to have nausea with mine), but just have to counter it by sitting in a dark, quiet room for a couple hours at night. FWIW, mine are also center-of-forehead sinus-type headaches.

      I know weather is a trigger for me, so I’ve been tracking the barometric pressure recently and it has been up and down like a yoyo. So for those of you who don’t usually get weather-related migraines, this may still cause it because of the wild fluctuations.

  • Rant: this weather makes it hard to exercise. any recommendations on good gyms in the rosslyn to virginia square area?

  • Raaaant: Water seepage in our basement, which appears to be coming from underground. Who knows how much this will cost us.

  • Rant: Ukraine. So heartbreaking. I feel so guilty that i can’t watch the news anymore, it’s just too much. (in Kiev now and safe)
    Rave: my people are amazing. hoping for a quick and peaceful resolution.

    • Rant/Rave: it’s going to be -11F in a few days here, I have forgotten what winter feels like. I’m scared and excited! And i got my mid-calf length fur coat ready. :)))

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