Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user p.bjork

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.

244 Comment

  • Rave: Went to my first therapy session with new therapist yesterday months after disasterous end of relationship with last therapist. It went OK. Hopefully he will be able to help me with depression/anxiety issues.
    Rant: Freezing in my office right now.
    Rant: Planctar facilitis is not getting any better.

    • What happened with your last therapist? Could be helpful to us who are considering therapy ourselves…

      • There was a lack of communication between us. I kept telling her that I had depressive thoughts and recurring thoughts but she talked over me saying telling me that I just needed more confidence in myself . That was in addition to giving a self-help book that didn’t help me. Finally, she actually listened to me one session, saw that I was still in pain and had a hissy fit on me in the office. She told me she could not see me anymore and referred me to a clinic in the District. I didn’t go where she recommended, I am going elsewhere now.

        • She sounds terribly incompetent. I’m sorry you had to go through that.

          Things ended awkwardly with my last therapist-it took me 5 months to find another one and I really should have tried earlier. I’m glad you found a new therapist and best of luck.

        • Your old therapist also sounds like a terrible businesswoman.

    • congrats on persevering and getting to the next doc. Sometimes that can be the hardest hurdle.

  • Rant: I was taking the toddler I’m babysitting for a walk -he loves when I run with the stroller and I somehow managed to twist and run over my foot with the stroller when I stopped too abruptly.

    A couple questions: I posted a couple weeks ago about having a good deal on a room in a group house that my landlord wants to gut and renovate. He’s not a slumlord, it’s just that the house had been a group house since the 70s and nobody ever moved out for the lease to end. He is giving us the (what I’m told is) required 120 day notice and the right to move back in at the increased rate. I thought I heard there’s a limit as to how much the rent can be raised (all I know is it can be higher than under normal circumstances but there may still be a limit?) Does anybody know what this is?

    Secondly, if he increases the rent to the high end of his estimate, the most expensive room in the house would be an enormous room on the third floor sharing the bathroom with one other person for about $1050-1100/month. The house will be renovated, but it’s a five-person house 1/4 mile from the Woodley Park metro. How difficult do you think it would be to find a roommate at that rate?

    • i dont think it would be hard at all for that price, its actually very “affordable” for that location.

      • Even with a shared bathroom and 4 roommates? I have such an amazing deal right now that I really have no sense of what is normal.

        • shouldnt be a problem. I live off 14th smack between u street and columbia heights in a 2br 1bath with little to no sunlight, renovated and is nice. We pay $1,150 each (which is actually pretty good deal for the area/new apartment building has studios for 3k a month right on our corner), woodley park area usually is even more expensive so it sounds like it would be a good deal.

        • Yup. It sounds like you have a GREAT deal going if you’re paying under 1k/room that close to the woodley metro. Even at 1k+, that’s a relative steal.

          • Agreed. There are rooms in group houses going for that much in neighborhoods much less nice than Woodley Park.

        • Yep. [Large] rooms with shared bathrooms in well located group houses are teetering between 1,000 and 1,100. I wouldn’t go above 1,100 without a private bathroom though.

      • You’ve got a steal at that rate! What ever you’re paying now must be unbelievable

        • Well the house hasn’t had any upgrades since the 80s I’m guessing and is pretty shabby but yes, I’m paying well below $1000.

    • There’s a limit on the amount he can increase the rent IF the house is covered under rent control (not likely – he would need to be renting out more than 4 individual housing units in District. Landlords can get around this by incorporating properties under different LLCs or S-Corps to get around the 4-unit limit).
      That said, the amount the rent is rising to is still an incredible deal. $1100 month in Woodley for the “big room” is still pretty cheap. I know people paying $1200-1300 for master suites in Columbia Heights, which is a much stabbier ‘hood. Sadly, any room in a group house under $1000 in a desirable area is considered a “deal.”

  • Rant: Having my HSG procedure today to see if my lady-parts look ok. Pretty nervous – for the pain and the results of the test. πŸ™
    Rave: It will be over quickly?

    • Yes, it will be over quickly. I don’t remember pain. I do remember fascinating views on the screen. It’ll be fine, and you’ll be fine!

    • I’ve had one and didn’t experience any pain at all, for what it’s worth. It felt a little odd, but not particularly uncomfortable.

    • Its fairly quick (less than a few minutes) and not painful. Hoping for the best! I had the endometrial biopsy on Monday and was in so much pain I cried. This is the first time through 2 years of tests, IUI’s, IVF’s, etc. that a test has made me cry. I think it was a combination of the pain and that the whole pregnancy journey is really getting to me.

      • Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that! I hope it was at least a good step in the right direction in terms of your treatment. Thinking good thoughts for you today!

  • QUERY: Does anyone have suggestions/good ideas on picking up random, part-time work? I have a hodge-podge of skills, and I could use a freelance side gig to bring in some extra income. Ideas/suggestions? I feel somewhat overwhelmed in terms of where to begin.
    Rave: I had an awesome dinner with friends last night. I love my community here.
    Rave: i’m looking forward to my first yin yoga class tonight.
    Rave: After discussing my challenging relationship with my lil sis in therapy last night, I walked out to see a VM message from said little sister. She must have sensed that I was talking about her! It made me happy to see that she made an effort to reach out. I’m hoping we can work on moving our relationship forward. Baby steps.
    Rave: Affogato: a dessert that was made for me (or so I’d like to think).

  • Rant: New prescription is giving me a wonky sense of time, which is awkward and unsettling.
    Rave: Caught a 16th St bus this morning that not only had available seats, but never got crowded!
    Rant: Lots of shore shoulder muscles but I can’t tell if it’s from exercise or from sleeping in bad positions.
    Rave: [solidcore] tonight! Week 4 of doing a class every other day, and I’m still loving it. I can see biceps forming! I have muscles there, hah!

    • dcgator

      You’re a wizard. What 16th Street Bus, and at what time? I know if I get to the stop by 7:15, I’ll be fine, but the bed calls…

      • you were probably on the 2 S2 busses that was behind the articulated one that i got on (F-ing slow as anything) that passed us! They looked empty

  • epric002

    rant: there is virtually no rush+ northbound on the yellow line in the evening. last night at around 6:30 the only trains going north were yellow terminating at mt. vernon. 2 in a row dumped their full train loads at mt. vernon so we all had to wait for a green line train, which of course didn’t have room for 2 full trains worth of people. WHY aren’t there more trains going north? there is clearly plenty of demand for it. the trains running south through mt vernon were mostly empty. there is more than enough demand to run trains past mt. vernon. fix this WMATA!

    • It is a rail capacity issue. They can only run a rush plus yellow train every 20 minutes.

    • When this happens I try to get off the yellow line train before Mt Vernon – easier to get on a green line train if you’re not waiting at the last (crowded) yellow line stop.

      • Yes, when I commuted between Columbia Heights and Crystal City, I’d always get on the GL at L’Enfant when coming home.

        • epric002

          i usually do this too, but there was an exceedingly long wait for a greenline at l’enfant as well. SO frustrating to watch trains full of people disembark to have to wait for multiple trains in order to continue in the exact same direction on the exact same track.

          • My commute is shorter (L’Enfant Plaza to Georgia Ave.-Petworth), but I have the same peeve about the number of Yellow Line trains going to Mt. Vernon Sq. vs. the number of Green Line trains. Couldn’t they run the Yellow Line trains all the way to Greenbelt, if the turnaround thing is such a problem? Or would that take so much time that they wouldn’t have enough Yellow Line trains going back to VA?
            It’s a pity Metro didn’t build more “pocket tracks” into the system — the population growth near the Columbia Heights Metro and Georgia Ave.-Petworth Metro seems to be making the “Yellow Line turning around at Mt. Vernon Sq.” thing less and less suited to commuting patterns.

          • epric002

            @ anon 12:16- the link from anon @10:36 provides a good explanation of WHY we have this mess. they still need to fix it though. there is absolutely enough of a demand for people traveling north of mt vernon in the evenings; both residents who live north, as well as people visiting u st/co heights/petworth for evening activities.

    • Ranty: I don’t understand why there are 3-4 Orange line trains to Vienna to every 1 Blue line train to Franconia at rush hour every day. When the blue line train finally comes we all beat the snot out of each other trying to board it. Is this a capacity issue too? It makes me postal but I am hoping there is so me valid reason…

      • Completely agree. I commute from either Foggy Bottom or Dupont to Crystal City, and 9 times out of 10 I choose Dupont because I’d rather transfer and only have to wait 1-2 minutes for each train than wait 10 minutes and be on a crowded blue train.

      • Similar to above with the yellow line, they can only run 24 trains through the Rosslyn tunnel each hour. Those orange line trains are placeholders for when the silver line (ever?) starts service. They run yellow line trains to Franconia out of L’Enfant so while not ideal you could take either blue or orange to that transfer point and then catch a train straight home. Of course if you live in the only blue line only spot of Arlington Cemetery you’re dead meat!

  • justinbc

    Reminder: PoPville HH @ The Partisan one week from today, 6-8PM “unofficial hours” but I’ll probably get there much earlier and stay much later.
    Rave: New fence going in today! Wish I could be at home to observe, but can’t get out of the office today unfortunately. Hopefully they have a good understanding of what my design was.

    • Rave: that’s two blocks from my office
      Rant: I’ll be out of town next week for a conference

    • What kind of fence? How much?

      • justinbc

        Pressure treated wood fence, horizontal stack with alternating widths, 2 opening lockable gates covering an appx 24’W x 13’L patio on 2.5 sides (shares one wall with existing fence, plus house wall) = $2,650

        • Who are you using? I got three quotes to replace my fence and driveway gate (I wanted a 7′ high privacy fence, and it’s about 45′ long and 20′ wide) and I was quoted between $5000 and $7000. I thought that seemed awfully high, but maybe I’m wrong.

          • justinbc

            Given that’s just a little under double the size of what they’re doing for mine, I would say the $5K quote is pretty close in line with what my guys quoted.

        • epric002

          yes, please let us know who/if you recommend after the work is done. our fencing quotes were also outrageously expensive.

          • justinbc

            Optima Designs is who we used. I’ll post some before / after pics and review of their quality once the work is done for sure.

          • saf

            I”m using Expert Fence to repair a fence that was messed up by a car crashing through it. The price is good, and while my fence is not done yet, a friend who is a landscaper uses them a lot and is very pleased with their work.

        • Nice, thanks, justindc! We are long overdue for replacing a rusty chainlink fence, but interior upgrades and repairs always seem to take precedent.

          • justinbc

            Tell me about it. This wasn’t really a priority at all for us when we bought the place but lately I’m worried that it will become a liability and fall over and hurt some kid on the street.

    • I’m going to try to go. I usually get into work early and leave by 3:30 or 4. Maybe I’ll come in later that day, or work late and go.

      • justinbc

        It’s pretty close to my office, so I’ll probably be there around 5PM. The bar opens at 4PM for anyone wanting to get a really early start πŸ™‚

    • skj84

      Super excited about unofficial happy hour!

    • pablo .raw

      I missed the official announcement of the HH, is it Wednesday the 21st?

    • Rave: Everything about The Partisan – my new favorite spot in Penn Quarter
      Rant: Won’t be able to attend

    • I’m going to try to stop by before a dinner meeting.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Fun research project on twitter got replaced by boring research on graphs.
    Rave: That’s my only rant. Life is pretty good.

  • Accountering

    Rave: Had a good night last night. Umpired a game between Yorktown and Washington Lee – they got through 5 innings and it was a ten run rule, but I enjoyed myself.
    Rave2: Helped Textdoc move a table last night, very cool table
    Rant: I apparently do not know how to measure, as the 47″ table did not fit the easy way into my SUV
    Rave3: We were able to finagle it inside the truck eventually!

    Rant: Had to park in a polish embassy spot last night after moving. The spots are reserved starting at 7:00am.
    Rave4: Got started early as a result, had an AWESOME workout, and then a good post-op appt with LASIK guys, and next appt isn’t for another month. Going to be a great day!

    • Thanks for the moving help, Accountering — much appreciated!
      Rave: Very grown-up looking antique table and chairs in my dining room.
      Rave: Moving help (at a very reasonable rate) from Accountering.
      Rave: Got to meet Accountering in real life.
      Minor rant: Gotta figure out what to do with my previous dining table and chairs. I know I could sell them, but I don’t really want to let them go. I’m thinking about moving the table up to my bedroom and using it as a (large) desk.
      Rave: Also, thanks to Irving Streete for the encouragement on Monday when I was vacillating about whether to get the table/chairs. Feeling good about my decision!

    • Accountering

      Last two related raves:

      Finally figured out where Echo Stage is. I have been there twice, but both by bus, and had no clue where it was. GPS had me turn down the road it was on to pick up the table.

      Rave2: Now inspired to find a new dining room table for the house. Currently am using a plastic beer-pong type table, and it isn’t good. Upgrade is necessary.

      • I should send you the info on my old dining set (well, if I can bring myself to part with it). Seems like there’s also a lot of possibilities on Craigslist.
        I’d been looking for some IKEA items on Craigslist, and it’s interesting/perplexing to me the wide range of prices people try to get. I guess most fall in the range of “reasonable” (and of course the more reasonably priced and underpriced items go quickly), but I see some listings for items where people are trying to get the same as what they paid, or in some cases, more!

        • Accountering

          I once sold an Ikea dresser in great shape for the same price I paid.

          My logic:

          It was in great/new condition
          I was saving someone a four hour trip to Woodbridge/CP
          I was saving someone two hours of assembly time
          I delivered it

          • Yeah, I now remember your posting about that. Under those circumstances — especially with the delivery aspect! — I think it makes sense. But for things that are easily disassembled/moved, and/or have sustained noticeable wear and tear, I think it’s taking the p1ss.
            The other day I saw a listing for a single IKEA GRANAS chair for $40. The set with the small table and TWO chairs sells for $99. (The larger set — larger table and four chairs — is $199.) I guess if you needed one replacement chair and one only, maybe it’d make sense, but it’s like you could get two brand-new replacement chairs at that price, plus a table for an additional $20.

          • textdoc, I think it’s ok to write the word “piss” on here.

          • I’ve gotten accustomed to euphemizing everything, just in case — not only for whatever swear words my work’s IT might be monitoring for, but also for what other people’s might be.

      • justinbc

        I love the stuff from GoodWood on U Street, got my whole set there.

        • GoodWood does a fantastic job curating their inventory. However I just have fundamental problem paying that much money for things I could dig up at a junk sale if I wanted to drive three hours south. I have the same issue with Miss Pixie’s (though i’m less of a fan of their stuff). That said, I know lots of people prefer the convenience.
          FWIW, we just bought a new table off Wayfair and the experience was great. Table arrived quickly and in good shape, and the delivery company confirmed by email with plenty of contact information – much better than the delivery service for pottery barn/crate and barrel. The guys even carried it up 3 flights to our apartment without us asking (though we tipped them well for that).

          • justinbc

            I thought Miss Pixie’s was cute at first, but a lot of their vintage stuff just looks really cheaply fabricated in house. GoodWood’s stuff has a lot more quality to it and a lot of it actually looks / is vintage. We picked up an old church bench from the 1800s there that’s still in excellent condition!

          • Oooh, pretty! Should have said, I love GoodWood’s stuff. It’s good quality and unique. I just can’t bring myself to pay that much money for it. And I’m totally with you on Miss Pixie’s, especially the weird whitewashed country-style benches and tables they seem to have a never-ending supply of.

    • You’re an umpire?!?! I’m impressed. I’m kinda obsessed with referees/umpires/etc, as unsung sporting hero’s but often vehemently criticized villains. I think a movie or reality show about the life has the potential to be compelling (for me). Growing up, our neighbor was a pro football ref. He would never know where he was going until he got to the airport.

      • Accountering

        I am! Only occaisonally, as that certainly isn’t paying the bills, but yeah, I do games ranging from 13 year olds to 65 year olds, but prefer the pretty competitive VA varsity games, as well as some lower level college summer ball and such. I am in my 11th year, and am pretty good at it too πŸ™‚

  • Rant: this will be my first 5-day work week in a long while
    Rave: but it’s hump day!
    Question: does anyone here have experience with the rumsey aquatic center (eatern market). I’m going to get back into swimming, and this is my best pool option. I’m checking it out this weekend but would appreciate any tips or insights.

    • Rumsey is great. Try and get there at the beginning of posted lap swim times – it can get a little crowded

    • Swimming before work for me used to work out a while back. I found nights and weekends difficult with the unsupervised kids. Weekends were particularly horrendous with the unsupervised kiddos.

  • Rave: Had a great time at the Food and Friends Chef’s Best event last night
    Rave: Much needed job interview very soon. The one I have now is not the least bit challenging

  • Rave: Wizards making things interesting! Had a bagel this morning to prep for my 2nd date w/ coffee meets bagel girl.
    Rant: All of my team is at a meeting in herndon and im the only one in the office. Work stream is getting really really slow….feeling rather useless already and its only 10:30am

  • Rant: More friends announced that they are leaving the city. I really don’t know if I am suited to living in such a transient place. I don’t want to have to make new friends every 3 years…
    Rave: Had some major car work done that could have run as much as $4k but ended up only being half that – highly recommend D&B Transmission on Rhode Island, the got it running for cheap and gave me a warranty on their work.

    • grass isnt always greener on the other side. DC is ranked one of the best places to live in the country so, I say if you dont like living here…probably wont like living anywhere else. But i hear you, it gets old hearing about how people wanna leave.

    • It’s hard when friends leave. I had that happen numerous times, and then at some point my friends became friends who settled in DC. Which isn’t to say the’ll be here forever, but plenty of people put down roots and live here for many years.

    • I have NINE very good friends (4 couples and my current girlfriend) moving out of the area this summer. It’s a friend (and relationship!) massacre. πŸ™
      They are all moving to Europe or to other far flung parts of the US.

    • I’m pretty sure that any major city that attracts talented and ambitious “young” people (say, under 35) is going to come off as “transient.” Grad school, job opportunities, romantic partners all call people to new places, wherever they are. And, without mortgages (or having made a bundle in a short time) kids and job anchors, they answer. In my twenties and early thirties people were always moving in and out. I can;t imagine it being different in New York or Seattle, for the same reasons. Eventually, people hit their stride (or drop anchor) and things settle down.

      • Hope you’re right! I know most big cities are that way – I would expect NYC and San Fran to be the same way. But for some reason I feel like some other cities… Chicago, Denver, San Diego, Boston… have more people that feel anchored to the area. I’m just feeling sorry for myself, though. Husband and I are thinking of having kids soon and I feel like that, combined with all my friends leaving the city, means we’re going to be all alone (no family nearby either), but I’m sure I’m being dramatic.

        • when you have kids you’ll make friends with other parents. so many people in this area don’t have family, you’ll have new friends soon enough. and those with kids seem to stick around.

  • Rant: I need a new bank, Bank of America charged me $2.50 to check my balance at an ATM that was not owned by them.

    • Accountering

      I can certainly agree on needing a new bank. May I suggest Ally? No ATM fees, you can use any ATM in the country, and they reverse any charge the other ATM owner charges you.

      With that said, in the meantime, I would also suggest you download the BOA app, so you can check your balance on your phone, and not by using some random ATM πŸ™‚

      • +1 to Ally. They typically have higher interest rates as well (although I haven’t checked recently). I’ve had great experiences with their customer service, which I think makes up for not having physical bank locations

    • justinbc

      That sounds absurd, just to check a balance? You know they have an app though right, you can check it anytime on your phone…

      • Accountering

        +1 and see above, haha.

      • I assume the poster was using the ATM to withdraw cash, and was given the option to check his balance, for which he was charged. I got rid of BoA years ago after dealing with stupid things like that. I like USAA.

    • Also look into credit unions. Your employer might have one, and there are ones in D.C. that you can join without any special affiliation (e.g., Signal Financial).
      Generally speaking, banks are fascist. (Although I’m not sure credit unions are any different as far as charging you to use an ATM not owned by them or not part of a specific group of credit unions.)

      • I love credit unions. I dropped AllFirst (formerly First National Bank of Maryland) once I joined a credit union. My ATM fees are reimbursed up to $16 a month. I get 2% on my checking account (up to $10k). Pretty awesome. The customer service is outstanding, too.

      • My credit union sucks. I’m going to stop using them soon because they just aren’t competitive with perks like ATM fee reimbursement, and the service is going down the tube. I know there used to be a large difference, but banks and credit unions seem to be settling in to the same place now.

        • Try shopping around for a better credit union! Some are still fantastic. I think credit unions have better values than for-profit banks, but hey, if your credit union has bank-level customer service, find a better one.

          Good ones I know of: NARFE, TRANSFCU.
          Mediocre: SECU of Maryland.

          • Really? I’m with SECU of Maryland and when I was comparing them to a different credit union (after I got into the federal government), they came out ahead.
            Maybe I need to look around more.

          • Are you a fed? I highly recommend NARFE.

    • Was it BoA that charged you or the bank whose machine you used?

    • Capitol One recently messed me up when I was traveling abroad, BUT they refunded me all the fees my boyfriend’s bank charged him since I couldn’t use my card, and refunded me all the roaming charges for calling them from Portugal. Shouldn’t have been a problem in the first place, but I was impressed that they quickly reimbursed me for all of these charges. (the day after I sent the documentation). BOA would have never done that.

    • PNC refunds all ATM fees charged me if I use another bank’s ATM. But I may have been grandfathered in — have been with them since it was Riggs Bank.

      • PNC changed their policy. They will refund you for two transactions/month now. I found out the hard way in February.

    • I really like Fidelity. They refund me ATM fees if I am charged.

  • binpetworth

    Rant: Ever since I got a new work computer, certain functions in MS are crazy–like I can’t drag and drop an email into an Outlook folder without it opening the email a half dozen times, and I can’t seem to ever select the text I want to copy in Word.
    Rant: I’m gonna miss another PoP happy hour next week. Last one I was on vacation, and next week I’ll be at the Nats game.
    Rave: Another mini-vacation this weekend! Yay to six weeks of accrued leave.

  • rave: trivia last night! is there a popville trivia team yet? It was actually the first time I’d played, but I had a lot of fun.
    Rant: huuungry. Trying to save the pittance of a lunch I brought til actual lunch time but its not working.
    Rant: need to start waking up earlier so I can pack an actual lunch.

  • RAVE: Sister is getting married in August!
    RANT: I’ve never met the guy (he’s Special Forces in military, always traveling, they live across the country)
    RANT: Wedding conflicts with existing vacation plans.
    RAVE: I’ve been a procrastinator and had not yet booked tickets for my vacation. So can easily adjust my schedule.

    • she just now unveiled plans for an august wedding? thats 3 months! no one can plan around that. rude.

      • if he’s military, then they could be planning around a deployment schedule – not rude.

        • still rude to expect others to drop plans and make their life focus around them

          • As long as their attitude is “We know this is really short notice, so we totally understand if you can’t make it,” I’m not sure it would really qualify as rude.
            It does strike me as odd that they didn’t run the date by immediate family first, though. (Or maybe this _was_ the running-the-date-by-family, and the OP said it was OK because (s)he hadn’t yet booked tickets?)

          • It’s not rude. Planning a wedding does not mean you expect others to drop their plans and focus their life on yours. Some people do that, but they’re kind of jerks; conversely, people who play along with other peoples’ wedding narcissism are kind of dumb.
            Basically, the way normal people do it is you plan a wedding according to what fits with your life schedule. You hope that others will be able to come celebrate with you, and if they can’t, then it’s too bad but that’s life.

        • Exactly, Lindsey. He’s Special Forces and just got back from Afghanistan a few weeks ago. He can leave at the drop of a hat, so planning out into August even carries a risk. That said, his next planned deployment is not until early 2015, so they hopefully have the next few months to plan the wedding and move to their new base on the East Coast (they are currently in Arizona).
          I hold no ill-will against my sister, what can she do about it? Quick weddings are very common in the military, especially among the elite forces. They are well paid (his signing bonus this year was 6 figures – UNTAXED), but live at the whims of the President and Pentagon top brass.
          Also, this concept of planning a year (or more!) in advance for your wedding is very American. My friends from Europe and Israel think that its completely absurd. Most people in other countries only plan a few months in advance, unless you come from a ridiculously wealthy family that are inviting VIPs and traveling long distance (international guests).

          • Army wife myself πŸ™‚ Congrats on him on both the wedding and a safe return – and best wishes to your sister!

            I personally did a very small justice of the peace ceremony with my husband – about 3 months after we got engaged. We’ll do the fun party stuff when he returns safely next year. Of course, I can’t pick a date until I know both approximate return time and where/when we’re moving next! Such is the military wife life πŸ™‚

          • If you re-up while you’re in combat, you don’t pay taxes on the bonus. Honestly, it’s such a pittance compared to what the in-country contractors get paid to sit around a base behind blast walls (multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars per year).
            That’s the better place to direct your outrage.
            PS – congrats to you too, Lindsey. And safe travels to your husband πŸ™‚

          • Accountering

            I think we can safely still direct our outrage at the crew of jokers/liars/criminals that got us into Afghanistan and Iraq in the first place.

          • Also, this concept of planning a year (or more!) in advance for your wedding is very American. My friends from Europe and Israel think that its completely absurd. Most people in other countries only plan a few months in advance, unless you come from a ridiculously wealthy family that are inviting VIPs and traveling long distance (international guests).
            You have to remember that these people are from the same primitive cultures that think you only need a few months to plan a national election and fail to appreciate the sophisticated beauty of American timelines — where the right wing will deem Hillary the nominee and launch attacks almost before the previous elections are over (aka Benghazi) and serious campaigning begins three years before the first primary. This is why British elections and French weddings are so poorly executed. : )

      • lol really…..guests need more than 3 months to plan?

      • i hope you’re being sarcastic. i planned my wedding in about a month. was pleasantly surprised when some friends/family could make it, and not at all surprised or disappointed when many others couldn’t. i was just happy for few who made it and celebrated our day with them. most my my family lives overseas and does not have the money to travel, so regardless of how far in advance i planned, they wouldn’t have been able to attend.

        • Are you me?! πŸ™‚ We planned our wedding in 6 weeks, exactly for same reason. We actually picked the date because my future husband’s father just happened to be in the States. We were surprised by how many people were able to make it. But our wedding was small and sweet.

          And also I have never planned my vacations more than 2-3 months out.

      • epric002

        even discounting all of the military-related extenuating circumstances, it is not at all rude to plan a wedding 3 months out. the only thing that would be rude would be *expecting* people to drop other commitments in order to attend.

      • My stepsister recently announced her engagement. The wedding is in late June. They don’t have a venue yet, but it’s going to be a small, low-key event. They’ve been living together a while, so the wedding is just a formality.

        Interesting thing about this wedding – her best friend is some kind of ordained minister (maybe Unitarian) and she’s an atheist who doesn’t believe in the patriarchical institution of marriage (she and her husband actually got “unmarried” because they don’t believe in marriage. But, ironically, she is going to perform the ceremony. Should be interesting.

  • any updates on brunch club? I think skj84 was organizing something…

  • Rant: The hubster deploys next week..
    Rant: Must find lots of activities to distract myself for the next year….
    Rave-ish: Means I can take more pole/hoop/yoga classes, start stand up paddleboard yoga class, and do a lot of runs?
    Rave-ish: Will likely lose 15 pounds due to stress non-eating and working out so much?

  • Rave: great show at Black Cat last night
    Rant: hangover associated with the evening

  • Some bike-crazy international development workers in downtown have shown how they interpret biking to work in preparation for Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 16! Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7iA2igQAQg

  • Rave: I took advantage of the $15 Frontier flights out of Dulles yesterday and booked a flight to Las Vegas in October! I’m really excited. Never been before, and I’m not a huge gambly drinky clubby person, but I’m excited to just go and have a good time, spend too much money, and eat too much food. Any recommendations on where to go / what to see??
    Towards the end of the week we are either going to drive out to LA or the Grand Canyon. I really needed something to look forward to and I’m so happy this came along.

    • That Frontier sale was pretty cool, but remember Frontier is a lot like RyanAir in terms of charging for bags. One trick is to ship your clothes (for Grand Canyon, you might need some extra gear that doesn’t fit in 18x14x8 packaging), UPS and FedEx ground are reliable. Worse comes to worst, you can just buy new stuff at a NV Wal-Mart, I guess.

      • Yep I’ve flown them before when I went to Denver last year. I think they had actually raised their prices about a week after I booked my flight. But we only plan on bringing one checked bag ($20-$25) and then a personal item each. Normally a flight there is around $150 each, not including taxes, bags, fees, so I’m fine paying a total of $50-$55.

      • If you want to hike down the Grand Canyon (and you should!) you should book your trail now. Avoid at all costs the Bright Angel & Kaibab trails.

    • Try to see a Cirque du Soleil show. They are pricey, but magnificent! I’ve seen two and it was worth every penny. I heard “O” is the best, but it was 10 years ago. I’m sure they have new cool stuff.

    • Ever since Frontier discontinued their warm chocolate chip cookie service, they’ve been dead to me (and charging for carry-on bags didn’t help their case).

    • Going out there in 2 weeks. We’re heading to Bryce Canyon, Zion and the north rim of the Grand Canyon as well as several days in Vegas. I figure perhaps a side trip to Red Rocks state park and/or the Hoover Dam may be in order too. My best memory of a past Vegas visit was when we went far off the strip to some super cheap casino that had 10 cent roulette!! 10 Cents!! The place was filled with blue hairs and random crazy people, but I loved it so much.

  • Rave: Date tonight!
    Rant: Nervous about it. I’m generally very comfortable meeting new people and dating, but after casually dating around for a while I’ve realized I want something more serious. Makes me feel vulnerable somehow.
    Anyways, wish me luck!

  • rant: I hate having to literally spell out everything for my boss. I sent him a conference room confirmation email which has the room number in the email and he sent me an email back saying whats the number?
    rant2: is it friday yet?
    rant3: I am tired and fat and tired of being fat. I exercise everyday and I am fairly careful about what I eat but nothing has budged in a year. However, on the plus side I havent gained anymore than I already have? woo?

    No raves today I am just over work and life.

    • same here wrt the workout with little payoff…you are not alone

    • Try cutting something unhealthy (just one thing – maybe bread, soda, sweets, etc) out of your diet and see if that helps. I cut dessert/candy for lent and I immediately saw a difference. I wasn’t eating that much of it before, but I saw almost instant results.

  • Rant: Since yesterday I have had a migraine or massive sinus headache.
    Rant: I left work a bit early and got rear ended on my way home. I was stopped at a red light and some guy behind me must have been driving like he didin’t even notice people were stopped. I don’t know how fast he was going, but he wrecked my bumper, trunk, rear lights, and I think even bent my rear passenger side panel. Not what I needed with an already raging headache.
    Now soliciting guesses as to which local jurisdiction the driver is from!
    Rave: even though I was supposed to help with a training today and I still have a lot of work this week I manned up and took the day off. Good thing too, because this headache isn’t going anywhere and my neck is pretty sore.
    Rant: now I have to drag myself to the doctor.
    Rave: I’m going to see Steve Levitt and Steve Dubner (Freakonomics authors) at 6th and I tomorrow. Something to look forward to!

    • Ugh; sorry to hear about the car accident. You weren’t injured, were you? Sounds like he did more damage than just a fender-bender, so I guess he must’ve hit you pretty hard.
      Even when the other party’s insurance covers all the repairs, it’s still a stressful and annoying experience.

    • Did the headache start after the car crash? If so, please go to the doctor IMMEDIATELY – it may be a sign of a concussion. Otherwise I would say it’s likely the weather (swings in barometric pressure cause problems for me too).

      • The headache was raging before the accident and then got worse. I’m also really congested, so I think it’s probably yet another spring sinus infection. I’m off to the walk in clinic in a few minutes and will bring up both the sinus issue and the car accident.
        Luckily(?) for me I’m rather tall and I drive a Corolla, so I didn’t hit my head on the headrest, I hit my neck on it. It’s definitely tender to the touch today and sore. There doesn’t seem to be any visible bruising though.

        • Well, better than a concussion but still sucks. Hope you feel better soon!

        • Good plan to bring up the accident at the walk-in clinic. With luck the neck pain will go away quickly, but if for some reason it doesn’t, you will definitely want the other person’s insurance covering medical/physical therapy costs.
          I have a Corolla too and somehow didn’t realize for a couple of years that the headrest was adjustable and could be raised. Probably just me, but I thought I’d throw that out there, just in case. πŸ˜‰

          • I love my little car and I’m not obscenely too tall for it, but all of my height is in my torso (corgi legs), so when I’m the first car at a red light I sometimes have to lean forward to see it. I think my headrest is at the top of its range. I should check, but I think if I got up any more I’ll just pull it out.

          • Yeah, sounds like you’ve already adjusted it, then.
            When I got my Corolla, the headrest was flush with the top of the seat. I tried to pull it up (which was how the headrest worked in my previous cars) and it wouldn’t budge. IIRC, the deal was that I needed to push a little button thing on the side for it to release.

      • Accountering

        Meh, if you have a concussion, you have a concussion. Not much they can do about it. Sounds like you are doing the right thing taking some time off. Pretty much all you can do is not use your brain. Go take a nap! Don’t read, TV, internet etc.

  • Rave: Frontier’s terrible website inspired a trip to bourbon country. The website was so slow and crashed so many times while attempting to book a flight for two to Cincy, that my trip partner suggested driving (9 hours with beautiful scenery) as opposed to 5 hours of driving to IAD, checking in, flying to Cincy, driving to Louisville. We’re going to check out the Red River Gorge on the way – any other recommendations?
    Rant: annual performance review today – I really have to work on framing the entire meeting and not letting my emotions get in the way.
    Rave: the Wizards!!!!!
    Rave: this time next week, I will be on the way to the beach for a three night stay in a cramped hotel room with my elderly mom and little sister. Headphones and ipad will keep me sane. Headphones and ipad will keep me sane. Headphones and ipad will keep me sane. Also bringing my bicycle.

    Requestish: I’m looking to grab drinks tonight and meet new people – happy hour or taking photos around DC or something. Anyone want to join? I’m thinking 630ish.

    • Churchill Downs is fun and Louisville is beautiful! And of course tour the Bourbon Trail!

    • For all my Cinci travel, I usually fly nonstop on American DCA-DAY. Dayton is far, but it’s so nice to only be 20 min away from home when i got back to DC.

    • If you head to Frankfort, check out Buffalo Trace distillery (a bit outside of town) and get some amazing food (and a dose of local characters) at Rick’s White Light Diner!

    • Thank you all.

      We’ll be heading by Frankfort, it looks like – taking 66 to 81 to 64 I think.

  • My roommate called earlier and said when she was leaving someone was waiting at the gate and told them that I sent them to ‘do work on the house.” He used my first name. She didn’t let him in after calling me to see if I had anyone sent (I did not). She also started asking him what kind of work, and he began biking away. (We rent, so we would not be hiring anyone to work on the house regardless). We recently had some packages stolen, so I’m assuming someone could get my name from our mail? Very weird. Anyone else have this happen to them?

    • Holy crap that is terrifying! Would ask neighbors to keep an eye on your place and warn them not to fall for the same trick.

      • +1. Are you on a neighborhood Yahoogroup (Petworth, Columbia Heights, etc.) that you can mention the experience on? Would be good warning for others in the area.

        • Yeah so odd. I told my landlord. I’m not on any listserv (I live in Lanier heights/adams morgan) but will ask my neighbors to keep an eye out. People are wack!

  • Rant: The term “butt hurt”. As in “Haha! You liberals are all butt hurt about the snow because it disproves your global warming theory.” I don’t understand it. Is it just beavis & butthead types who enjoy inserting juvenile language wherever they can? Is it a cultural reference? I’m seeing it more and more, and would appreciate a solid cluing-in.

  • Rant #1: Last night I had a weird dream that I bought Twitter. Great, another expensive item I’ll barely use much like my membership at the hipster Y.

    Rant #2: My VCE softphone the peons at work were given totally blows.

    Rave: The cafeteria today had slices of canned cranberry sauce.

  • Rant: My partner and I are fairly young, and have been dating a little less than a year, but see in each other definite long-term possibilities, and have articulated that fact to one another. The only problem is that she wants children and I am fairly certain I don’t. We had talked about moving in together in a few months, but now don’t know if we should. Neither of us want to break up, since we completely love each other, but we’re wondering if we’re postponing the inevitable, getting deeper in, just hoping one of us (me) will change while my partner wastes her time. We’re both feeling pretty heartbroken about this situation. Anyone have any experience with this?

    • How old are you? Under 30? And why are you fairly certain you don’t want to have kids?

      • Believe it or not, some people want very different things in life. Not everyone wants a family (not that there’s anything wrong with people that do) and some people realize that at what some may consider a very early age (and then hit them with the “you’re young, you’ll change your mind). If you’re certain that you don’t want kids, and she’s certain that she does, I think you should think long and hard about the future of your relationship. Yes, people can change their position on big issues over time, but if you feel this is something that you’re not going to budge on (due to your reasons for you feeling the way you do now), than that should not be taken lightly.

        • Totally agree. Having or not having kids is probably one of the biggest decisions anyone will make in their life and if you’re with someone who isn’t aligned with what you want, it is going to mean major heartache and resentment later on.

      • I’m not sure that this matters, but we’re both in our late 20s. I don’t want children for the massive lifestyle change (/domination), the financial commitment (I’m passionate about my work but not in a field that is particularly well paid), and the fact that we have very different approaches to children/family/parenting.

      • OP here–not sure it matters, but we are both in our late twenties. She would like to begin trying to have children in 5 years, and I can say with certainty I don’t want that. Generally speaking I don’t want children because of the massive lifestyle change (/domination), as well as fairly divergent opinions on children/child-raising/family. Feeling totally lost when faced with what is likely the rational solution.

        • epric002

          i think the only way you *might* be able to make this work would be to find a professional and start to try and talk this through. it can’t hurt to try, and least then you’d know you did everything you could to try and make this work. i’m sorry.

        • Yeah — it sounds like it’s a matter of trying to come to terms emotionally with the rational solution (breaking up). Not easy, but it just doesn’t seem like there’s any way to break the impasse.

    • How old are you?

      Couples grow together. People commonly change their position on some of the big issues over time, to come closer to their partner’s position.

      This was definitely the case for my spouse and me. We went from completely different starting points on a lot of issues (kids/ no kids, live poor/ live on credit, cat/ dog) to a happily-agreed-upon medium down the road.
      I think it’s a bad idea to pick which hill you’re going to die on before the operation even gets off the ground.

    • epric002

      oy. i think you guys might want to talk this through with a professional before you decide to move in. having/not having kids is a HUGE thing to compromise on. find someone who can help both of you walk through this topic together. good luck.

      • Agreed.

      • saf

        So agreed.
        And yes, there are plenty of us who know we aren’t meant to be parents, and have known since we were quite young. It isn’t something you can be certain will change with age.

        • ^This.
          I too have known since I was young. In my early 20s I met my partner who also didn’t want kids. Literally everyone we knew (unsolicted-ugh) felt they had to tell us differently; that we or at least I will grow up, change my mind, have my biological clock go off, therefore wasting my precious fertile years with a man who doesn’t want to bear children with me. A decade later, we still very, very happily child free. It appears my clock is broken. We outlasted a handful of marriages that didn’t reconcile the children issue beforehand. This is just my experience, but relationships are always work and compromises, but it’s much easier if you at least start out with similar views on the most fundamental issues.

    • Agreed on all the points above. I’ve seen couples like this survive (with good compromise from both sides) and also not. Communication is key – make sure you and she are talking (and listening!) to the important issues: why does she want kids so badly? why do you not want kids so badly? what are the deal breakers in your relationship future? what could change your mind? I was uncertain about kids with my partner because I thought I might need to do all the raising alone without his full support. Then we got a dog. Turns out I’M the lazy parent, not him! Dogs are great kid-proxies if your concerns stem from anything like labor distribution between partners or considerations of lifestyle impact (i.e., that dog needs to go out whether or not I want a 7th glass of wine at happy hour).

      • I’d be very cautious about the “dog is a great kid proxy” thing. Dogs are like kids who never grow up in a lot of ways, but I just don’t think they’re comparable. The commitment is on average about 10 years- not the rest of your life. You can’t leave a kid alone for 8 hours a day and while dogs are expensive, it’s not even close to the amount it costs to feed/cloth/send a kid to college.
        Also, as someone who is involved in rescue, I have seen so many dogs turned in because the couple had gotten the dog as “practice” for a kid and then as soon as the human baby came along, they can’t be bothered. I’m not saying that’s what you would do, but it’s extremely common so I’d urge people to get a dog because they want a dog- not because they want a kid.

    • I wanted kids, my boyfriend didn’t. I had male friends say oh, he’ll change his mind, don’t worry. He didn’t and we stayed together too long. Is it possible one of you will change your mind? Of course. Is it possible one of you won’t? Of course to that too. There’s just no easy answer here. I’m sorry. But staying together, hoping one of you will change your mind seems like a recipe for a lot of disappointment.

      • epric002

        + 100 to “staying together, hoping one of you will change your mind seems like a recipe for a lot of disappointment”. and resentment.

      • houseintherear

        Yep. Be careful with this… some people have always known they don’t want kids. At one point with a now-ex, I compromised and said I would adopt (I really don’t have the motherly thing going, chemically speaking) and soon after I had a huge meltdown about it and that contributed to our eventual breakup. There is no “compromise” when it comes to having kids, so it’s important to figure this out now.

    • Maybe some couple’s therapy before deciding to break up? It does sound heartbreaking.

    • In my mid 20s, I did not want kids and my boyfriend did. People kept telling me my maternal instinct would kick in and I would grow to want them. I’m now in my late 30s and still don’t want kids. Love (some of) my friends kids, but am so thankful that I didn’t let anyone convince me that I’d change my mind. Ex is now married and has three kids of his own and is blissfully happy. Our decision to split was really hard at the time, but best for both of us in the long run.

    • Like it or not, women have a clock that is real. If she wants to have kids and you are adamant you do not, it’s probably best for both involved to go separate ways.

    • In my experience, if it’s the woman who wants kids and the man doesn’t, then you’re best off breaking up. There’s no way you’ll be able to keep her happy in the long run if she really wants to have children. She will be resentful and secretly hoping that you change your mind.
      In the case where the woman doesn’t want to have children and the man does, things are a bit murkier since the woman really has all the control in that situation (it’s her body!). Many men eventually move to their female partner’s preference over time, especially as he sees friends have children and see how much time, money, effort, and hassle goes into raising kids. If he’s really desperate to have kids, then he will leave but only after a long relationship.
      I know I’ve made some generalizations and not every relationship fits into this rubric. Just my 2 cents.

  • Rave: The Thunder won last night!
    Rave: Second round of interviews for job tomorrow
    Rave: Going out to happy hour tonight.
    All raves for me today.

  • Rave: OBX horse pic on the day before I leave for an OBX vacation!
    Rave: OBX vacation starts tomorrow!

  • Rant: job searching – constantly running across job postings where they need an expert in one field, but put a totally unrelated skill into a “nice to have/preference given to”. It’s like saying we want a really great lawyer who has been doing nothing but law for past 10 years, big plus if they are a great ballet dancer. Uhm, what?!
    Rave: neighbor’s kitty finally figured out how to climb the fence and visit us. Love me some little kitty visitors.

    • Hehe, yeah I love seeing job postings like: “entry level, must have experience in [insert incredibly obscure area of law that no one has experience in right out of law school here.]”

  • KSB

    Rant: Bone-crushingly tired. Having three kids under age five is insanely hard work. Not complaining since I made these choices (to a degree – hello contraception failure!) but I’m delirious.
    Rave: Raising little humans. They’re incredible.
    Rant: Little humans have a lot of STUFF. My house is out of control. Seriously.
    Rave: Being back at work. The cost of childcare this summer *almost* negates my salary, but I’m speaking to grown-ups every day and getting some quiet time. We’ll figure out how to manage the dirty house in time and sleep will come eventually.
    Rant: People who only talk about their kids and how tough life with kids can be. Oh, wait…

    • Re: stuff: I’m reading Little House in the Big Woods to my daughter at bedtime, and I keep emphasizing the STUFF issue. “Laura and Mary are happy with one doll each, and a broken cup and saucer to share. They use their imagination for the rest!” And “Laura and Mary share a room, with the rest of the family, and they even share a bed! They couldn’t even imagine having a whole room just for themselves and their stuff.”
      I don’t think it’s sinking in.

      • KSB

        I love that. We are definitely working on the STUFF but, man, it’s relentless and never-ending!

  • Rant: ex-boyfriend (with whom I am still pretty good friends) told me he met someone through online dating who shares his exact (and pretty niche) hobbies. This is really bothering me for reasons I can’t explain (his dating never bothers me).
    Rant: my online dating lately consists of messages that say only “hey”, “want to chat” or invite me to do certain activities (and I’m not talking golf or tennis here).
    Rave: small work success this week

  • Rave: All the people who were super helpful and nice to me (the pregnant lady) on my massive grocery run yesterday afternoon. The Whole Foods employee who got me a cab and put all my groceries in the trunk, the cabbie who took everything out and put by front door, the neighbor who held the door open for me and helped me take my stuff into the elevator. You’re all awesome thank you.

  • Rave: Job interview. Feeling good about this one.
    Rant: Looming rain. Bring back the sun (even if it does teeter around 100*)!

    • If you interviewed for the same position that I did on Monday: you’re welcome. I was happy to poorly answer the questions to make it that much clearer you’re the right choice.

      • Haha. I’m sure that is the kind of thing that comes around and goes around.
        I absolutely bombed the first interview for the last job I was applying for. Some of the questions caught me off guard, didn’t seem to have chemistry (with regard to the communication, not romance) with the interviewer, etc. I ended up going through to the 3rd round. Unless you were already notified, sometimes you just have to stop replaying the interview in your head and let things play out however they will.
        In the meantime, you just gave me an idea. Planting another candidate to give a terrible interview and, thus, making you look even better. Could be a profitable business!

  • Rant: Someone dumped a giant couch in front of my neighbor’s house, and it wasn’t said neighbor. Now it will just sit. Who just puts stuff on the curb? It is SO easy to get the city to take things away if you call. Lame.

    • Lame indeed. Can you report it to 311 (with a mention that it was NOT dumped by your neighbors, so that they don’t get ticketed)?

    • Call 311, report it as an illegal dumping. It will get taken away faster than if you had set up an appointment for bulk trash collection for your own couch.

      • Will do. Thank you both. I was wondering bulk collection vs. illegal dumping.

        • If you report it as illegal dumping be sure to state that it wasn’t left there by you or by any of your neighbors. When you report illegal dumping they may talk to nearby residents to try to find out who might have dumped it there, and they may issue unwarranted citations based on their “investigation”. (This happened to me and I’m assuming it’s happened to others as well.)

  • Anybody know what’s going on with the Eurasian Hot Pot location by the Tenley metro? It appears to be vacant, and the restaurant’s webpage says that it’s relocated to P street. Any idea about what’s going here?! Fingers crossed for something good!

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