Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user ekelly80

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.

164 Comment

  • Revel: The warm weather yesterday which is making me very anxious for spring and patio weather.
    Rant: Another lost dog this morning in Petworth between Farragut and Gallatin Streets, NW. He was interested in my dog but ran away any time I tried to get near him. He headed toward another man with a dog at Illinois and Gallatin and proceeded to follow toward Georgia Ave. He was medium sized and probably weighed around 45. He had a collar but no tags. I didn’t have my phone so was not able to get a photo unfortunately.

  • Rave: Late night bike ride with some dear friends around the monuments. So calming, so joie de vivre.
    Rant: Bike chain was super squeaky, need to really oil it up tonight.

  • Rave: Yesterday and today’s warm weather!
    Rant: Tomorrow’s weather!
    Rave: Imminent spring!

  • Rave: Got into the last Elder Scrolls Online beta this weekend. Anyone else playing?

    • Yes! Still on the fence about pre-ordering but looking forward to playing as an Imperial for this last beta.

  • rave: tax error resolved in my favor! (h&r block forgot to forward them my mortgage deduction forms, but I had them so I knew I was right… and this is why I do my own taxes now)
    rant: pants. why is it so difficult to find a pair that fits?

    • Ugh, work pants are so bad I gave up on them years ago. I wear skirts and dresses to work, never pants.

      • +1 on the pants discussion. I’m 5’10 and love a bit of a heel and it’s so hard to find good pants!

        • Hah, I’m 5’11”, I always wear heels, and that was never my problem. Work pants are all too low waisted and I’m like a human corgi, all of my length is in my torso, so I looked ridiculous and I could never tuck anything in. I stick with high waisted pencil skirts to hide my corgi legs and pretend my waist is like 6 inches above where it actually is.

          • jeslett are you my twin? I’m also a long-waisted 5’11.” I’m not really up on work pants (my work pants are pajamas) but have you looked at Land’s End or Eddie Bauer? They offer different rises and shapes.

          • Victoria, I might be.
            I appreciate the info, but I just gave up. I love skirts and dresses and I find most at thrifts stores. It gets tedious with the tights as winter wears on, but any time I try on work pants I remember why I stop trying. I do have an awesome pair or high waisted jeans from J Crew though, those are great.

    • epric002

      i don’t know who they make pants for, b/c i don’t know anyone who can find a pair off the rack that fit correctly. do you have a good tailor? i get just about everything i buy altered.

      • I’m short so I have to get all my pants hemmed, but I’ve found that I have a really hard time finding pants that fit my legs (calves and/or thighs) without needing to be completely reconstructed above the crotch, and at that point it’s just not worth the investment. BUT I do get my jeans tailored (for some reason, those are easier to find than work pants) – so that’s a good tip for other folks!

        • epric002

          i feel ya. i’m not short at 5’6″, but still have to get most of them hemmed, AND the waist taken in. i have fuller thighs/rear, but not hips, and a smaller waist, so if it fits my bottom half it doesn’t fit my waist. so frustrating. though i guess if you’re talking about slim/straight/skinny cut pants, i can’t find those to fit more than 1 part of me to save my life.

    • I’m on here ranting about pants all the time! It’s so frustrating. I’m a different size in every store, some fit ok in places, and look terrible in other places. They’re too tight in some areas, too loose in others. I seriously hate pants. My work wardrobe is like 99% skirts and dresses, and 1% pants.

      • It’s not just at different stores. What irritates me the most is when I buy pants in 2 different colors (same size, length, fit) but they fit differently. This happens all of the freaking time! Why can’t stores get their patterns together and have the same pants be uniform?!?!?! Rant of my life!

  • Rave: Pre-approved for a mortgage with my man, excited to be taking this step!
    Rant: I have to get my condo ready to sell, which involved some painting. Hired a guy that other in my building recommended. He was cheap, and the work showed it. I’m going to have to spend the rest of the week fixing sloppy lines and getting paint off my floors and bathroom tiles. You get what you pay for people! Not sure why I haven’t learned that yet.
    Rave: My realtor already has three clients he wants to show my place to once it’s ready.

  • Why does it bother me so much when people refuse to pronounce “t” in words, like “Did-en” or “Bu–en” when the word is Didn’t and Button ? Every time I hear it , it is like fingernails on a chalkboard lol.

    Did anybody else see the posting on the Bloomingdale and Shaw blogs about hundreds of trees being vandalized with big chunks being cut out of the bark? That is totally insane!

    • It’s bothersome that you are so bothered by other people’s dialects. Hope that gets resolved!

      In reference to the trees, I have not seen any such blogs but sounds like it could be cases of ‘knotting’ aka people cutting out the knots from trees to turn into bowls and other decorative items.

      • Prince Of Petworth

        An arrest has been made – from MPD:

        “”Kishter, Jacob (MPD)” [email protected]> wrote:

        Due to swift action of our officers this morning we made an arrest in this case.

        Thanks to everyone for the information that led to a quick arrest.

        This is a great example of the how the community and the police department work together.”

      • Oops, it’s not called knotting, it’s called “burling” or burl poaching.

  • Rant: Fired my architect.

    Anyone know a good kitchen designer?

    • to me kitchen’s are one of the easiest spaces to design. As long as you have the proper measurments, cabinets placement and selection is really simple. If you talk about moving plumbing/gas etc then a contractor can help with that.

    • I don’t know why you need an architect to redo a kitchen unless it includes an addition. I designed my own kitchen using the Ikea tool (even though we got much nicer cabinets, their tool is still pretty handy for visualizing things and free). It included moving every appliance, the door, two windows and the sink. My contractor was able to help me figure out the exact placement of the new plumbing and electric.
      If you need inspiration, check out houzz.com. There are some great ideas on there.

    • Try Karen at Design Milieu in Columbia Heights. designmilieu.com

  • justinbc

    Rave/Rant: Partner accepted a (voluntary) 6 month deployment to Afghanistan, starting in July. It’s going to suck being apart for so long, but the huge payout afterwards will be worth it (and should accelerate a lot of home remodeling projects we’ve had tabled). Plus we’re meeting in Morocco to celebrate when it’s over!

    • I’ve been the one deployed there and only realized after that it was very hard on the people back here worrying about me. My totally unsolicited advice is to be realistic that it might change her a bit and be patient as she finds her way back to her usual steady state when she returns. [My then-partner was not, and the relationship fell apart.] Also, Morocco is great!

      • justinbc

        The one big advantage she has going for her is that she actually has been in the Army before, so she’s used to the boys club kind of mentality, and this is a civilian deployment, so much less stressful. That’s not to downplay it though, I think it’s going to be extremely challenging for both of us. The sad thing is I worry more about what our own people will do over there than any sort of “enemy” combatant.

    • Enjoy Morocco!

    • I loved Afghanistan. The people are among the kindest and most generous I’ve ever met. Food’s pretty good too. I don’t know how much she will be out and about, or if she’ll be stuck on a base the whole time, but I was reminded that before the Soviets invaded, Afghanistan was a popular tourist destination for a whole host of reasons. I hope she’s able to enjoy her surroundings and the people.

      • The guy who wrote the kite runner has written two beautiful books about Afghanistan since then, and it sounds like the country is amazingly beautiful and was modern before the wars started a few decades ago. I hope that one day it will be safe enough and modern enough for me as a female, jewish civilian to go there.

      • Ditto WDC’s comments. It is a beautiful and fascinating and complicated place. I believe there were still Peace Corps volunteers there in the 1970s–I am guessing they were pulled around or somewhat before the Soviet invasion. To anonymous @ 1:11, I know many female, Jewish civiians who lived and worked there. It is a country of somewhere around 30 million people (the count is actually a matter of political debate there with no recent census) so I discourage people from judging all Afghans or the nation as a whole from the most visible segment.

        @Justinbc–best wishes to you and your partner on this next stage.

  • Rant: Finding basic, regular size Cadbury Creme Eggs (regular vanilla, not caramel or chocolate!) is quite the challenge here in DC.

    Rave: Friend found they are being sold as individuals at a Safeway. She brought me four of them- hooray!!

    Semi-rave: At least Harris Teeter is selling the mini-Cadbury vanilla eggs. Not ideal, but it gives me my fix.

    • Try CVS, I get them for my husband there.

      • Thanks. I guess this means I should try multiple CVS locations. The one I frequent only has the chocolate and caramel ones. Worse comes to worse, I know which Safeway has them!

  • Rant: feeling kind of aimless. Work is fine, life is fine, nothing is exciting and I feel a bit lacking for goals lately.
    Rave: my post workout chocolate milk is in the fridge, waiting for me.

    • Ah, know just what to do. Volunteer to help others. When your life is THAT good that you just can’t stand it and it makes you feel uncomfortable that is an internal sign that you are not giving back to the overall karma of the world. Your sponge is full and dripping over, so give it a squeeze. Jump out there and help others who don’t have it as good as you and things will work themselves out. Easy Peasy!

      • I have been volunteering with a non profit dance organization for 7 years. Our event is coming up in April (I am about to add it to the PoPville events section). I think when it’s over I’m going to look into helping out with Lucky Dog. The dance event is a huge time sink, so I want to wait until my time is actually free to start something else.
        I love the dance event, but I think my work on it has gotten stale.

    • justinbc

      Have you had the Belgian dark chocolate milk from the Trickling Springs Creamery booth at Union Market? It’s so incredibly indulgent.

      • I haven’t tried that, though it sounds great. I’m currently drinking TrooMoo I think. There are only so many grocery store chocolate milk offerings that don’t have high fructose corn syrup.
        This is decidedly not indulgent. But at least is doesn’t taste like super saturated sugar syrup with a side of chocolate.

        • justinbc

          Ugh, I hate that syrupy stuff. We got a pint (I think) of the Belgian stuff from the TSC shop and were going to split half of it then while we walked around and take the other half home for later (due to the high fat content), but we barely made it halfway through Union Market before destroying it.

        • Can’t lie, I love ovaltine. Haven’t had it in a decade though.

    • I feel the same way, been at this job for almost a year now (its good but not exciting, not my passion, just a job), been single for about 7 months now (not the worst thing…but like is there good girls out there who arent afraid to get in a relationship?), a lot of friends are looking to go to grad school and i feel like i might be left behind…stuck in DC forever! Also i volunteer once a week at higher achievement…its pretty good and i met some cool people, helping kids in my neighborhood, but like….my kid almost cried yesterday because we said we would take him to jumbo slice at the end of the lesson if we got through everything, and we didnt have enough time, so we will go next week. But like….volunteering wont fill a void

      • justinbc

        Maybe if you didn’t view it as being “stuck” in DC you would enjoy it more? It’s a pretty great city overall, with more development happening than almost anywhere else in the country.

      • I empathize with you, obviously I feel the same way. But I think things will go a lot easier for you if you don’t try to define people as either “good” or “bad.” I’m not sure what you think a “good girl” is, but I can’t imagine it’s helping you keep your options open or see people for the complex beings they are and the pasts they’ve been through before meeting you.

        • You’re reading a lot into the use of the word “good” here. I’ve never seen anyone make this point when someone mentions “good guys”.

          • True, but the word “good” isn’t really a loaded word when applied to guys.

          • I’m pretty sure there are all sorts of stereotypes about “bad boys” and “good guys.” But my point is that if you’re putting people in binary it’s very restrictive and it makes me wonder what this person thinks a good girl is. Generally, good girls are held to an unattainable double standard of purity and decorum that men are not. Maybe it was used as short hand to mean ‘smart, compassionate, women who is my complement’. If so, I’m over reacting, but it’s a loaded phrase that bothers me.

          • Anon 11:09, sure it is. It’s almost always used to imply that most guys are immature, sleazy, unfaithful, and so on. But I would also argue it’s only loaded if you choose to read it that way.

          • Jeslett’s comment from 11:16 explains it pretty well.

          • jeslett, that’s all fair but it’s a lot to draw from the use of the word “good”. I don’t think it’s any more loaded than “good guys”, but ultimately I think when people say “good guy” or “good girl” they mean “good match for me” – the specifics of what they mean obviously will be different for everyone.

      • It’s like, you hit a point where things are like, “Nothing’s wrong, but where’s the newness?” For me (one man’s opinion only), it seems like people are increasingly reticent to truly share their life – like Facebook, “surf and you will find it” eHarmonyization of the world has entered everyone’s consciousness to such a degree that if the emotional payoff isn’t immediate, it’s not worth considering. Like everyone is thinking, “make me happy” when achieving happiness is really found by making others happy, like horror alert – finding truth, peace and joy thru sacrifice. We want it all, and have plumb nothing to show for it.

        • I get what you’re saying and I think the immediacy we crave is a good point.
          But I think at some point you plateau and it’s not wanting instant emotional gratification so much as it is looking for the next hill and not seeing any on the horizon. Or maybe it’s seeing a few but not being drawn to any of them.
          I think I have plenty to show for my hard work. I just feel like I’ve reached a good level on a number of fronts and now that I don’t *need* to climb higher, at least not on an obvious path, I’m finding I don’t have a plan. Some people know what they ultimately want to do and what the next steps are. I don’t know.

          • I felt this way until I was 39 – when I became a parent. It has not totally gone, but much less consuming.

      • sorry @justinbc – i dont really view it as stuck I love DC i have lived in the DMV forever so it is home and i am happy to be here. But i also grew up with all my friends here a lot have stayed, it will be different when they go. I also come from an area where it was somewhat looked down upon to go to your state school it was ‘cooler’ to go to ‘penn state’ and pay way higher tuition. And yes you all are over analyzing ‘good girl’, i just meant i want to meet someone fun who gets me. Cheers

    • Emmaleigh504

      I’m in the same boat. WTF are my life goals? I have no idea. Work is fine, social life is fine, but I feel aimless.

  • Rant (?): How do you know when you should start looking for a new job? At about 8 months in my first and I can’t tell if it’s really that bad or all entry level jobs are the worst.
    Rave: lucky to have a full-time job.

    • I would say stay at your first job for at least a year, then you are free to look around. Its also easier to find the second one (from personal experience)

      • justinbc

        I agree, although I would suggest extending that to two years, unless you absolutely hate it. It looks poor on a resume to leave your first job so early.

        • Disagree — I think a year is sufficient time for it not to look bad on your resume.
          If you’re not happy in your current job, it doesn’t hurt to start looking for a new one. Job-hunting can take a fair amount of time/energy, but otherwise, I don’t see a downside.
          Is your current job something that’s in your field and/or makes good use of your skills? If it’s not, and if it’s something you took for the sake of being employed, having health insurance, etc., I think it’s a good idea to start looking. (Especially since the process can take a while.)

          • justinbc

            If it’s something you took merely for the sake of being employed, then there might not be any benefit to staying longer. But if it’s in your field I would worry, as someone who’s done hiring, why you’re leaving so quickly, and what you possibly could have learned there in a year. Most people just get grunt work in year 1, so you would be going from grunt work A to grunt work B, still at the bottom of the totem pole if you left.

          • Justin — Fair enough.
            I still can’t believe the guy who took a job at my organization — in the government — and left for another job A MONTH LATER. (He’d been applying for multiple government jobs, and the other offer came in later.) Really not fair, considering how long it takes to hire someone in the government.

          • justinbc

            Haha, wow, yeah that stinks. I once got a callback from a Gov’t agency offering me the position about 4-6 months after my interview with them, long after I had already accepted another position. It would have been a minor salary increase over what I had taken, but the complications of switching again simply weren’t worth it.

    • I think you nailed it – entry level jobs are just the pits. I don’t say this to be a total downer – in fact, i think it can be liberating to realize this. It’s not YOU. and it doesn’t mean you should be scrambling to move on and job search all over again. entry level jobs are just pretty lousy in a lot of fields.

      I’m 12 years out of college and I have gotten happier the more i’ve moved up, my jobs have gotten more interesting, and i feel increasingly bad for the folks in the entry ranks who just don’t have good work to do. It stinks.

      and another bit – it sometimes helps to stay in the job longer. I have tried jumping ship and i have tried sticking it out. sticking it out and getting in to the 2nd or 3rd year in a job can make your experience better b/c you’ll be better at what you do and closer to the front of the line when something good comes up. When you jump ship and go somewhere new, you go back to the back of the line.

      Hang in there. better jobs/assignments will come with time. i think it’s pretty damn hard to find a job at 22-24 that holds a candle to how awesome and fulfilling college probably was for you (or was for me).

      • +a million. Jumping ship totally puts you at the back of the line, unless you move to a different type/size of company. I did find that the smaller the organization, the more interesting stuff you get to do in your first few years out of school. A lot of people want to work at the prestigious, large name orgs, but those really suck at entry level, because there are so many in front of you in line who have paid their dues.

    • Same boat. I’m coming up on a year on my first real job, and though the pay is decent, I don’t want to be the lowest on the totem pole for more than a year. A coworker said I should look into applying for a higher position, but I don’t know if I want to stay in this organization. Just grateful to have a job right now since I was once an embarrassed unemployed Ivy League grad. This economy…

    • The only good thing about jumping jobs is that you can usually negotiate yourself a nice raise. I have a friend who jumps jobs every 12-18 months, usually always getting a 10-15% raise. She’s 31, has a high school education, and makes $130K per year in IT contracting.
      That said, when you start somewhere new, you start all over again. Crappy projects, needing to “prove yourself,” less vacation time (not a problem for you since you haven’t banked much yet), etc.

      • “The only good thing about jumping jobs is that you can usually negotiate yourself a nice raise.”
        Somehow I don’t think that applies to all people in all occupations.

        • Obviously not. But if you’re posting on PoP’ville then there’s probably a 90% chance that you have some sort of “professional” job here in DC. A guy at McDonalds probably won’t get himself a raise if he jumps to Burger King. However, a white collar professional in government, contracting, business services, or non-profits definitely can. Employers are more interested in poaching people who already have jobs, rather than hiring the (qualified and experienced) unemployed. How do they get someone to leave their job? Offer them more money.

    • I feel like a lot of people in their entry level jobs right now think they deserve something special in their first job. My first job was fun but it was all crappy admin type work. I feel like you have to put in your time in your first and maybe second job to make your way up to get more responsibility and a better experience. If you acknowledge this is the way life is, and your first job won’t be amazing, you will realize that everyone has put in their time and YOUR time for a better job will come after a lot of hard work.

  • Rave: Spent time with my favorite little person last night. I managed to get him down only an hour past his bedtime AND to get him back to sleep within 20 minutes of a wake up. He’s so sweet; my partner had to remind me that I had to give him back when his parents came to pick him up later in the evening.
    Rant: Arms seriously hurt from holding and rocking an 8 month old for several hours. Oy.
    Rave: Watched the first episode of Cosmos last night. My inner science nerd rejoiced.
    Rave: Yoga tonight and then drinks with friends.
    Rave/rant: This weekend is swiftly filling up with plans. Great to see people and be out and about. But it reminds me of the downside of the warmer months: I’m rarely home, and it leaves little time for the necessary weekly household chores.
    Rave: Just deeply grateful for the life I have.

  • Rave: I got my wedding dress in the mail from the designer!
    Rant: It is the wrong, freaking dress.

    Does anyone have advice for last minute wedding dress shopping?

    • My friend rented her wedding dress from Rent The Runway. It was gorgeous, she looked fantastic, and she had a great experience. That said, she’s very practical and thought it was pointless to buy a dress for multiple thousands of dollars that she would only wear once. Instead, she used the money to upgrade to a “premium” open bar at her reception LOL

      • Thank you all for the advice –

        My full comments keep getting erased (posting too quickly?), so hopefully my thank you will go through.

        The designer was Jenny Yoo – waiting 4 months to get this one and now they haven’t gotten back to me with a possible new date expcept to say at least a month. With the wedding 2.5 months away, I don’t have the trust for them to deliver.

        • epric002

          one more thought- you can get almost any bridesmaid dress in white or cream, they’re usually cheaper, and they take less time to deliver. i almost did this for my own wedding dress.

      • That sounds like very smart thinking. (Especially from the point of view of the guests!)

        • She’s also in the Foreign Service, so she thought it was silly to pack and ship a used wedding dress every two years to a new destination. Wedding dresses are definitely one of those overpriced things that you don’t need to buy, if you’re looking to save money.

    • Oh, no! JCrew, Ann Taylor, Anthropolgie’s wedding collection (http://www.bhldn.com/), or Once Wed? Good luck! And remember, you will be beautiful and happily married, regardless of the dress you wear.

    • Wow. just wow.
      Lots of good suggestions made, here’s another – lightinthebox.com . I’ve not ordered clothes from them, but I’ve ordered lots of other stuff, and their customer service is top notch. people post pictures with their reviews, so you can get a good idea of how a dress actually looks. I think lots of people use LITB for bridesmaid dresses.

    • justinbc

      J Crew, love their wedding stuff. Classy, can be used multipurpose, and not overly expensive. Plus if you make an appointment with a “personal shopper” they’ll cut 10% off your bill (or at least they used to), and it costs you nothing.

    • H&M just released a $99 wedding dress.

    • It might be a longshot, but try craigslist. I got really lucky and found mine there brand new with tags. It needed alterations, but those are easier to get done in a shorter time frame than waiting for a dress order to arrive.

    • I love Aria Dress (www.ariadress.com). I bought my bridesmaid dresses there and they were wonderful to work with. They have a whole line of wedding dresses that are just beautiful!

  • Rant: Siiiiiick. I hate that I become such a whiny baby when I’m sick, but I seriously just want my blanket and to be cuddled.
    Rave/Rant: Nyquil hangover. Is that a real thing? If so I think I have one.
    Rave: Final round interview discussions and an offer pending with a company of great interest. It’s been a long search, but thank God, I think it’s about to be over.

  • Rant: My fiancé thinks he didn’t get a job in DC… we’ve been doing long distance for two years and I’m so tired of it, but I don’t want to move to where he lives. Because he’s a professor, he can only get a job in academia once year during the “job market”.

    • I have to ask…is your fiance an economist? Our market is super-regimented, and it’s wrapping up right about now.

    • He could look at think tanks. It seems like Brookings for example employs about ten thousand people, and half of them are economists.
      I know the concern of leaving academia and not being able to get back in, but in DC, it’s not uncommon for professors to spread themselves around a little more. Think tanks, consulting, a one-off course at some other university…

    • What about a World Bank or IMF short term contract to start? If he’s half-smart and half-competent, they will extend the contract to a full two years. The wages are very competitive. He’s got to be more flexible, IMO. Holding out for an academic position is basically like winning the lotto, even if his references and research are top-notch.

      • Totally agree – WB, IMF, Brookings, Fed – all good options. Problem is that he already has a cozy tenure-track assistant professor job at a research university and he doesn’t want to give it up! Said job is in the south though, and I work for Congress and have no interest in moving there 🙁

        • Hate to say it, but he’s never going to get another job like that if he leaves. Unless he has the potential to be an academic “superstar” (and you should already know if he does), it’s just so rare and difficult to find another position, especially in a major city. One of you has to compromise or relegate yourself to a weekend marriage. I know lots of couples who are only together Thursday to Monday morning – it can definitely work and be beneficial to your career.

          • Slowly starting to realize such an arrangement might be the only solution if we both want to keep our careers for now. So hard to face it but might be worth it in the long run. Thanks for the thoughts, definitely helpful to hear other people’s views.

  • Rave: Beautiful weather for my bike ride home last night.
    Rant: I almost ran into a cop car driving on the bike path near the Fort Totten dump to get around the gate at the top of the hill. At least he gave me a “sorry I’m being an asshole” apologetic wave. Also had a close call with a driver in a large SUV who swerved into my lane while on his cell phone.
    Rave: I’m alive!

  • Rant: My bus to work this morning reeked of urine. Retching from many riders ensued. Culprit was the man the bus driver let in without paying a fare or showing any identification indicating a free bus ride. I’m not against “doing people a solid” when they need it, but seriously, when they reek of urine AND don’t want to pay the bus fare please don’t let them ride the bus. (FYI, this was a 90 bus.)

  • epric002

    rant: my company’s HR and our new abysmal transit provider- chard snyder. collectively they have screwed up my transit benefits for more than a month. every time they “fix” it, they make it worse. my company still owes me money they incorrectly took out of my paycheck, and chard snyder won’t put my money on my transit card until the 22nd, b/c that’s their process, even though they effed it up last month to begin with. and of course i have no option but to continue to deal with them.
    rave-ish: drafting a email to my boss’ boss about this colossal eff-up. some bigwig in HR needs to know that they have screwed this up royally. i have a feeling i’m not the only one who’s gotten screwed in this transition. i actually miss wageworks.
    rant: unduly cranky about the transit benefits snafu.

    • OMG, it took TWENTY MONTHS to sort out my smartbenefits after making a small change in the amount contributed each month (not with your company, in house). It was craziness — they somehow changed how much came out of my check without changing how much went onto my card, then tried to make it up by giving me a weird rebate, but they miscalculated, blah blah blah. And every month there was a mistake, it would be at least 7 weeks before I could tell if it was corrected (I’m paid monthly, by the time I could detect a problem we were already in the pay period for the NEXT month). It was so mystifyingly badly handled I was able to just treat it like a big giant comedy of errors being staged just for me and my amusement.

  • Rant: walked out of the interview feeling I’d turned in a very mediocre performance.
    Rave: If I don’t get the job, I get to stay in DC with a spectacular girlfriend, spectacularly (fingers crossed, all they’ve done so far is jackhammer out the basement) renovated house, and potentially spectacular rowing season ahead. The downside is not so far down.

  • Oh, no! JCrew, Ann Taylor, Anthropolgie’s wedding collection (http://www.bhldn.com/), or Once Wed? Good luck! And remember, you will be beautiful and happily married, regardless of the dress you wear.

  • Rant. In the last two weeks two family members have been in the hospital. Everything is going to be mostly fine, but still stressful

    Rant. While dealing with family crap my ancient phone stops making phone calls so I finally suck it up and go out and but an iPhone. The first two days it is dead by 4 pm with fairly light usage (no phone calls, very little internet/email). Is this normal? I looked online at how to increase battery like and I’d already done most do what the various articles said to do. I may need to return it because I need a functioning phone

    Rant. Somehow my fitbit fell out of my bra ANSI lost it. How does that even happen? Can’t decide if I am going to replace it and, if so, which one I’ll buy

    • This doesn’t sound right, unless you’re in an area with no signal (e.g. inside a large building where there is no coverage) and the phone is constantly searching for a cell tower. My old iphone 4 can go for days with light usage and a new phone should do even better. If the battery is being run down because you spend a lot of time in an area with no service (like, at work) you can put it into airplane mode to save the battery. If that’s not it, I’d take it back in.

    • I contacted Fitbit after I lost mine, and they sent me a new one for free!

  • Rave: So happy to see Vincent Gray get what’s coming to him.
    Rant: His endless ad campaign on YouTube. I hate how he appeals to the lowest common denominator…Phrases that especially piss me off: “One of us” and “I’m sure not done yet.” Race baiting and awful grammar. I hope his ass goes to jail.

  • Rant: dog sitting
    Rant: as I’m grabbing my coat, the dog poops on the floor
    Rave: only have the dog for 2 days

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rave: Slept until my alarm went off again last night. If I can do it again tonight I will declare my insomnia gone! (Well, the super bad insomnia, I’ve always had trouble falling asleep, just never this waking up at 4 am BS.)

  • The photo here reminded me – what’s up with the Elastic Highways/Fojol Brothers thing at the corner of Florida and R NW? I’ve seen the buses there every now and then, but are they actually going to do some regular food-related activity there?

  • Rant: After a series of calls over confusion over pre-lab work required, I discovered that my surgery had not only been moved to another date but had been moved from WHC to Georgetown Hospital.

    Rave: I guess it’s classier to say I’m having “work” done at Georgetown Hospital versus WHC.

    • I would say you’re better off at Georgetown (but only from repeated and extensive lab work done there rather than surgery)

      • I have had to spend a lot of time at both, and I actually much prefer the lab at WHC to the one at Georgetown for a few reasons. One, it’s easier to get to. The H buses go right by, and there are also shuttles that pick up across the street that will take you to the red or green line. The waiting area is also much bigger than the one at Gtown, and you can check in electronically at the kiosk rather than waiting in line for a person to do it. I definitely preferred my Gtown doctors and the overall facilities, but since they are both medstar, I’d just get my labs done at WHC and have them sent over.

        • anonymouse_dianne

          There is actually a free shuttle from the Red Line stop — I’m very familiar with WHC after 33 radiation treatments. Everybody there was super. 😉

          • Yep, I mentioned the shuttles in my comment. They are a godsend! I hope the radiation treatments are in the past? Everyone there is really great, but I’m so grateful that I no longer need to go!

        • Hmm, getting to Georgetown is easier for me since my work is near the D buses. I’m not a fan of the shuttles to WHC, several times I’ve waited far too long for the red line shuttle. For the labs I’ve done I didn’t encounter much of a wait while checking in. Personally I’m much too biased against WHC at this point 🙁

          • I don’t like how that part of WHC always smells strongly of fried food. I think it’s one of the places in that little food court right there. I guess it also depends on which lab you use at Gtown. I would always have to wait forever at the main lab, but if i was using the one in the cancer center 🙁 , it was much faster (and understandably so!). Cbc, I also hope you are in better health now!

      • It’s the same surgeon, it’s just been a major cluster figuring out the changing pre-op requirements when suddenly I realized the problem was I had been moved to a new hospital.

  • Query: I’d like to get a few of those metal stars that you see on the sides of older brick houses. I think they’re covering some type of metal reinforcing rods. I’m not sure what they’re called — which makes it hard to scour the internet /call stores in search of them. If anyone out in Popville has any suggestions, I’d appreciate it!

  • hispanicandproud

    Rave: Best wishes to all Rock ‘n’ Roll runners this Saturday. Go out and support all the runners! Virginia Beach Shamrock marathon on Sunday for me!
    Rants: None! It’s a great day.

  • Rant: was looking at volunteering at the Kennedy Center, but they want you to commit to a shift every week for a year. Does anyone volunteer there? Is there any provision for taking a week or two off for vacations? Or switching shifts to take into account going out of town? I really want to do it, but I don’t know that there are any years where I am in DC every week of the year. I don’t take many vacations, but I do go out of town every now and again.

    In the alternative, anyone know of any music-based organizations that need volunteers?

    • You can volunteer to teach music one-on-one at the Sitar Center in Adams Morgan. You do have to be there fairly regularly but can reschedule or cancel a session if needed, and their semesters are not year long, so there are gaps.

    • Most other theatres are more lenient. I’ve volunteered at both Signature and Ford’s. You sign up for shows at the beginning of the year and you can always cancel/reschedule. They just ask you give a few days notice so they can find someone to replace you. I think Signature asks you to do at least 5 shows or something like that, but it’s for the whole year.

  • Rave: Planning a trip to Croatia for a week this summer. If you have tips let me know!
    Rant: Am so tired. Have not been sleeping well lately. I suspect afternoon caffeine is in my future.

    • If you don’t love Croatia then you are a terrible person. 🙂
      I would recommend Dubrovnik because it’s a cool place to see but I don’t think you need to spend more than one day/night there. If you’re looking for seaside relaxation I highly recommend the islands off the coast – i know Korcula and Hvar are nice, but the others are supposed to be similarly great; easiest to get there by car/ferry. When I have been it was easy to just drive around and find rooms/apartments for rent in local houses, though it may be tougher in the summer. You can also find nice places without leaving the mainland coast but there’s something about being on an island…
      Although the coast is amazing, consider leaving time for a trip to Plitvice National Park (which I regret not visiting when I was last there) and also a day or two in Zagreb. You might also enjoy a day walking around Split, it’s a cool city.

    • I’ve been to Croatia twice. It’s a great place to visit, but very touristy at this point. If it’s your first time there I would suggest the following itinerary:

      2 nights in Zagreb, including a day trip to Plitvice National Park
      1 night in Split or Zadar
      4 nights in Dubrovnik – use Dubrovnik as a base of operations. Spend one day exploring the city itself, one day for a trip to an island (Hvar or Korcula, etc), one day for a road trip to Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and one day for a road trip to Montenegro. There are many cities in Montenegro similar to Dubrovnik but with far fewer tourists. Budva is a much mellower version of Dubrovnik while Herceg Novi has sandy beaches.

    • I have been to Dubrovnik & Split and liked both a lot. We spent a few days in Dubrovnik and had a great time. Once you’ve seen the sites in town, you can do some day trips, or just relax and hang out in a town made of marble!

  • rave: my doc’s office in Woodley park. Never have to wait more than 5 minutes, always efficient. And the doc and her staff have been very competent in the handful of times I’ve used their services…

  • rave: the recent weather
    rant: douche bags
    rant: racist douche bags
    rave: at least i now know why the douche bag was being a douche x 120 to me. mystery solved…YAY!!!!

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