Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user caroline.angelo

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.

279 Comment

  • Rant: I don’t even remember going to bed last night, but apparently I failed to set an alarm. I woke up at 8:00 am, missing my doctor’s appointment. Great start to the morning.
    Rave: At least it is Friday. This weekend can’t come soon enough.
    Rant/Rave: I have an epic bruise from helping my friends move last night. I need to make up a more interesting story about how I got it.
    Rave: An unscheduled weekend ahead.

  • justinbc

    Reminder to anyone who missed it earlier this week: Next unofficial PoPville HH gathering is at Smith Public Trust on the 17th. Actual HH specials at the bar run from 5-7, but if you can’t make that many of us will likely still be hanging around long after. Hope to see you there!
    Rave: Eating dinner solo tonight, which always means a trip to Toki!

    • Awesome! I checked out Smith Public Trust last Saturday. Very cool space.
      And your rave reminds me that I’ve got to make my way over to Toki ASAP. It’s been far too long.

    • Yayy Brookland! Will try to make it!

    • Not sure if I can make it — I didn’t originally have any conflicts, but the ANC 1A meeting that was originally scheduled for Wed. 7/9 was postponed to Thurs. 7/17.
      Maybe I can start/finish work earlier than usual, swing by the happy hour, and then head back to my area for the ANC meeting.

  • Rave: I had a great time raspberry/blueberry picking with Andie yesterday morning. I’d love to do it again later this summer (different fruits though) with anybody who’s interested.
    Rant: I spent $18 on a ridiculous amount of berries
    Rave: Thinking about all the pies I can make!
    Rant: This is petty, but why is it that the trash collectors insist on putting the bins right in front of the empty space in my parking pad when I leave them out in front of the car that stays home all day? It’s much more of a pain in the ass to move the bins so you can get out of the driveway than it is to get out of your car when you’re in the alley just so you can pull in? This happens without fail every single week.

    • dcgator

      Ok, I will try to make it next time you plan on it. Weekends are best for me, Internet Friend.

    • Blueberries also freeze very well – last time I went blueberry picking, I had blueberries for a year to use in pancakes and such! Just make sure to freeze them spread out on a cookie sheet or something similar first so that they don’t mush together.

      • I doubt mine will last that long. The last time I went blueberry picking, I had a quart and a half and I ate them all fresh within a day or two.

        • Damn. That’s a lot of blueberries to eat. Pretty sure my pee would turn blue.

          • It is a lot and I’m sure I’d be better off showing some restraint, but if I’m going to be eating any food by the fistful, blueberries are probably the way to go.

        • Haha I’m the same way with strawberries, they are my favorite berry. They are in season for such a short time, so when I get fresh picked strawberries I just eat them all. I never have leftovers to freeze. Also add me to the list of people looking to go berry picking!

    • Rant: The trash collectors are the absurdly lazy. Every morning after trash collection I have to walk the length of the alley behind my row house and pull all the cans to the side so I can get my car out. How hard is it to not leave them in the middle of the alley??

      • YESSSSS. How hard can it be for them to put it back where they got it?

        • I think you should spend a few days running the trash routes with them so you can gain some perspective on how high “precise placement of trash cans after emptying them” is on their priority list. As long as they leave them next to the correct property I think that’s quite good enough.

          • They’re grabbing them from the side of the alley, emptying them into the back of the truck, and then just leaving them sitting right there in the center of the alley. Which makes their job now my job when I have to walk the length of the alley to unblock it.

            I don’t think I’m being unreasonable when I say that’s lazy.

          • I was responding more to iindsay’s rant. You’re right, they shouldn’t leave them blocking the alley; the trash guys in my alley never do.

    • justinbc

      Blackberries and peaches at Larriland in August!

      • Oooh, I was wondering where I could get peaches! I always go to Butlers or Homestead. Have you been to those to know how Larriland compares?

    • Re your last rant: Maybe they do it to avoid the possibility of doing damage to your car? It’s easier and faster to put something in an empty space than it is to deal with a space that requires a bit more precision. It’s also probably more of a pita to deal with a scraped or dented car than it is to move a few bins once a week.

      • Yeah, it’s insane to think they could put the trash bins back without throwing them.

        • No, it’s not. But it’s pretty callous to ignore the possibility that someone with a grueling job that you likely wouldn’t want to do yourself might actually be doing something out of consideration — even if it annoys you.

  • saf

    Rant: Park Police. Earlier this year, someone they were chasing trashed my back fence. They have retraced the driver’s identifying information from the report, and won’t even give it to my insurance company.

  • Rave: Last day in my current position. Moving on up the ladder!
    Rant: New office (same organization) hasn’t told me when to report on Monday, even though I’ve asked. How hard is it to say “…show up at 9am”?!

  • Rant: Regretting not requesting to telework today.

    • +1
      I love teleworking because I get so much off my plate work wise sans distractions and life wise doing the chores with little action and lots of waiting ala laundry, dishwasher, etc

  • Rant: iPhone update that required me to plug my phone into the computer and subsequently restored to the last back-up. Luckily that was only last Saturday, but annoying losing an entire week’s worth of texts! Some were important.
    Rant: The men of this town who apparently have HUGE balls. That is the only explanation I can think of for why I am constantly fighting for even a sliver of space on the metro. Why must you spread your legs so much??
    Rave: Free slurpees!
    Rave: Friday!!

    • +1 to both of your rants! I backed up my phone and then had to factory restore, but my iPhone still thought it was January 21 in regard to all my texts/calls. At least I kept all my contacts.

    • Seriously, if your junk is so big that it takes up that much room, go to the doctor because something is wrong with you!

    • Could not agree more with your second rant. When it isn’t the spread legs taking up too much space, its the arms over the back of the bench or facing the aisle with backs against the window and an elbow over the back of the seat– way too close to my personal space. So frustrating!

    • definitely agree with your balls rant!

      you will enjoy this tumblr: http://mentakingup2muchspaceonthetrain.tumblr.com/

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Insomnia
    Rave: A happy pitt-bull on her morning walk greeted everyone she passed with a wagging tail. She brought huge smiles to everyone’s faces. It was like a smile chain reaction.

  • Rant: I’m conflicted about applying for a lower-grade job. I’m currently a GS-12, and it would be a GS-11 but with promotion potential to a GS-13 (current job tops out at a 12). I like my current job, but this job is better aligned with my interests and what I eventually want to be doing. I’m wondering whether this would look good to a hiring manager (I’m interested enough in the job to take a pay cut) or bad like I’m applying to anything I can find.
    Rant: I’m also starting grad school next year (after putting it off for too many years), so between that and a GS-11, I’d essentially spend a year taking in $20,000 less than I do now. Not impossible, but would definitely take a chunk out of my savings.
    Rave: I didn’t know there were any federal jobs that really aligned with what I want to be doing. Happy to have options.

    • Is the grade level something you could negotiate? Not a fed, so sorry if that’s a silly question. Money is important, but if the job is better aligned to your interests, has better promotion possibilities, and you can swing it financially, I’d say the short-term loss is worth the long-term gain. Couldn’t hurt to apply, interview, and see if it’s really something you want. Good luck!

      • I think it is for some positions. I recently got hired for a grade higher than the grade that the job was advertised for. I was surprised because I didn’t even ask for it, but HR offered it to me “based on my experience.” Give it a shot!

        • I’ve read that they might have the option to do that–they could take me on as a GS-11 step whatever would be equivalent to my current salary–but I wouldn’t count on it in the current federal budget climate.
          But thanks, you’re right, there’s no reason not to apply and see what happens. If nothing else, I’ll have a better idea of what they’re looking for for future job postings.

    • It can’t hurt to apply. You might be able to negotiate a 12. Or to get paid at a higher step within the 11 to make the 11 competitive with your current salary. We’ve done that at my agency before. You’re not stuck starting at step 1.

    • If it has promotion potential to GS-13, they might even be able to hire you as a GS-12. Definitely worth pursuing.

    • Also, keep in mind that even if they insist on bringing you in at the GS-11 level, they will likely try to match your salary using the steps. So yes, you will likely be “behind” in getting your GS-13, but your bank account will likely not know the difference immediately. However, I am not sure how the promotion to the GS-12 would work then – it may be effectively a “lateral,” at least as far as your paycheck is concerned. I wouldn’t worry about it right now – apply for it, interview, and see if you like it. These are discussions to have with HR after you’re extended an offer.

      • +1 to “apply for it, interview, and see if you like it. These are discussions to have with HR after you’re extended an offer.”

    • as I learned in my job, don’t take “promotion potential” as a given. At my fed employer, they essentially stopped promoting people.

    • Apply for the new job. You can negotiate with the agency to see if they will match your pay coming in. You might also want to inquire about education reimbursement and see if they will cover any of your grad school costs.

    • I believe they would match your current salary, either as a lateral move (12 step whatever you currently are or 11 step whatever is equivalent). We dont usually ask people to take pay cuts. I was hired as a 13/14 and had my 14 on my 1 year anniversary. A 13 was actually a raise for me, so I didn’t pay match, but others did. I did leave match instead, to get 6hrs/pay period instead of 4.

  • Rant: I will be so sad when the mural on the other side of the old NGA building (pictured)–the cool bat or whatever is demolished.

  • Rave: Working from home!
    Rave: My fiance got us a paddle board, trying it out this evening!

  • Rant: Matchbox Pizza has their flaming natural gas torches and chalice flaming away all day long when it’s 90+ degrees and there are air quality warnings. Turn those things off! So wasteful. It would be different if they were actually cooking their food over those flames.

  • Rave: home this weekend – while we have quite a bit planned, it’s still more low-key than being out of town the last two weekends!

    Rave: my parents are on board with overnight babysitting so my wife & I can spend the night in a hotel nearby for our anniversary next month 🙂

    Rave: While the first 5 months or so were somewhat hellish, my now 13-month old is totally awesome and fun to watch and play with. It’s amazing to watch her explore, learn, and develop.

    Neither rant nor rave: on the fence about #2. Pregnancy was pretty easy the first time around, and I think I learned enough from the first breastfeeding/infancy go-round that those stages would be easier the second time around. I think I’d prefer to have a sibling for my daughter since it doesn’t look like she’ll have cousins, but I’m not wholly certain. Then again, sometimes I’m completely on board with the idea of another baby. If only the process of getting knocked up weren’t such a pain in the rear…

    • If it’s a pain in the rear, you’re doing it wrong.

      Couldn’t resist.

    • Not sure if this will factor into your decision, but I was an only child with no cousins my own age (I have a 2nd cousin who is like 15 years old than me, and some other distant cousins that live overseas) and I was incredibly lonely as a child. Part of it was my specific situation – living out in the middle of nowhere with parents who weren’t really into the whole playdate thing – but both when I was younger and now that I’m older I would have loved to have a sibling. I see the bond that my friends have with their siblings as adults, and it makes me very jealous and lonely.

      • But the bond between siblings isn’t a given. And I know lots of only children who grew up with the children of their parents’ friends and they’re like family. I think it depends a lot on your circumstances, the child’s temperament, etc.

      • This is what I worry about. I also understand that bonds between siblings aren’t a given – I’ve lived that, and my sister and I have only recently gotten pretty close – but having a sibling makes it more likely to have lasting family bonds and help when my wife and I age, etc than if there isn’t a sibling.

        • My sibling basically split my family apart — my parents split up largely because they disagreed about how to deal with him. He and I don’t speak to each other.

          • Same with my family. My brother basically drove my parents to divorce. It’s obviously more complicated than that, but the gist of it was that my brother’s behavioral issues & bad decision making drove a massive wedge between my parents that led to divorce after 25 years of marriage.
            My sister no longer has a relationship with our father and my brother is not attending said sister’s wedding next month because she refuses to invite our father. And this isn’t a socioeconomic thing – we’ve always been a solidly upper-middle class family.
            Siblings can be extremely messy. I know when you’re an only child “the grass is always greener,” but you really should have no expectation that your child and a potential sibling will be close. So much unexpected stuff can happen in life. Have another kid if that’s what you want, but you should go into it accepting that you can’t perfectly plan your family’s life and it’s basically out of your control once the kid hits their teens.

          • EW. I cant believe anyone would think this was a “socioeconomic” thing to begin with. Being from a non-“solidly upper-middle class” family doesn’t mean you automatically have familial issues. And no, don’t say it’s an indicator.

          • I was puzzled by the “socioeconomic” reference too, but I think maybe the OP was implying that the brother was declining to attend the sister’s wedding not for _financial_ reasons, but because the sister wasn’t inviting the father. (Not really sure where the “socio” would come into it anyway, but…)

      • FWIW I’m also an only child and my youngest first cousin is 9 years older than me. I LOVED being an only child when I was a child. Even through my teens and 20s. It wasn’t until I got a bit older that part of me wished I had a sibling. Especially now that my parents are aging, it is going to be hard dealing with their eventual deaths by myself (and yes I do have a partner, but I feel like it’s not the same as having a sibling who shared the experience of growing up with said parents).
        However, if you only want one kid, I definitely don’t think you’re damaging them by not having a second.

    • I have a 2 week old and now want to get sterilized!! I dont mean to sound insensitive to those with fertility issues, we are just really struggling with our newborn so we are thinking maybe only one child now too…I am glad to hear it gets bettter….after a super easy pregs, I am in tears daily from the hormones, lack of sleep, feeding issues, and crying jags. Seeing a lactation expert monday hping that will help all of the above. I knew the early weeks would be hard but its worse then I expected…I think my discomfort from own injuries from the birth are adding to that and once I heal things will seem better though! I can make it it 5 months =)

      • As someone with fertility issues I do find this very insensitive.

        • Sorry about your issues, regarding both fertility and sensitivity. Good luck getting yourself into a position where you can identify with nonnny; it does eventually happen for most and don’t be afraid to explore every option out there.

        • epric002

          i’m genuinely trying to understand this. it is insensitive to not want children/not want any more children?

          • It’s insensitive to say you want to get sterilized…

          • It is insensitive to say you want to purposely destroy your ability to have children to those who do not have the ability (but deeply wish they did.)

          • How is that insensitive? So people who have tubal ligations or vasectomies are insensitive to those who have fertility issues? Wow people really need to lighten up. We all want different things in life. Someone not wanting to have any more kids and taking steps to prevent it has zero bearing on whether someone with fertility issues can have a child.

          • epric002

            ok, i totally disagree. it is not insensitive to say that you want to take steps to prevent having children if you do not want any/more children. i truly feel for people who desperately want children and are struggling with fertility/cannot have biological children. but that doesn’t mean that other people can’t say that they want to not have any/more children.

          • Some of you are not paying attention. The insensitive part here (for some, mind you) is not being sterile or even getting sterilized, it is *saying* you want to be sterilized. Kind of like it’s not rude to be rich, but it’s kind of rude to go around telling everyone that you wish you didn’t have so much damn money and are thinking of burning it. And if you want to burn all your cash then go right ahead, but you don’t need to mention to everyone that you did it. (I realize not everyone will agree with this, I’m just illustrating the point.)

          • Accountering

            I cannot in any way shape or form understand the feeling of wanting a child, but not being able to conceive – my heart certainly goes out to you.
            I do not however think this is insensitive. It is a deeply personal choice to decide to have a child, and I don’t think to say that you are attempting to not have a child is insensitive. Discussing condom use is very similar, and I don’t think anyone would argue that that is insensitive?

          • epric002

            everyone, at some point, wants something that is hard for them to come by/they are not able to have, but that other people have/was easy to acquire/they do not want. i don’t think that should mean that the people who have “it” but don’t want/appreciate it, are prohibited from saying so. intentionally flaunting it to those who want/can’t have it is indeed insensitive.

          • anon @ 12:13– poor analogy. It is not insensitive to say you want to be sterilized, nor sterilization akin to “burning money” because you have too much- I understand how deeply you feel about this, but her ability to conceive does not change your outcome. I encourage you to not view other women’s choices as a personal stab at you, or let the despair cloud your ability to see that it is insensitive to downplay this woman’s emotions and feelings, as hers are just as valid as yours.

          • @Anon 1:04 – I don’t “feel deeply” about this, I am not in this situation myself (either side of it), but I do have empathy. Pick your own analogy if you don’t like mine: think of something you can never do but you wish you could, and then imagine someone who can do it really well telling you that they don’t want to do it anymore and are permanently destroying their ability to do it. Sure it doesn’t change your situation, and fine if they want to do it, but you’ll probably wish they hadn’t bothered telling you about it.

      • It will get much easier after 4-6 months. That’s when they start to develop their personalities and become much more fun!

        Also, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to get sterilized. I’m sure that people may be offended by the fact that some people will always be childfree.

        • “I’m sure that people may be offended by the fact that some people will always be childfree.”
          Ugh, my coworker who has one 2 year old kid is like this. This always asks when I’m going to get married and have a kid with my girlfriend. When I say that kids are probably not in my future, she goes off on how “it’s so selfish” to not have a kid. WTF, lady? Not everyone wants your life.

      • It GETS better. Then worse, then better 🙂 I have a two and a half year old and a seven month old and there were times that it was rough but the joy after the hard parts is truly awesome. We find a lot of joy in our kids and especially watching our older child love and play with our younger one. Just breathe through the rough times.

      • It’s tough. And breastfeeding can be super tough. Don’t feel you need to keep on breastfeeding if it’s miserable (and I say this as someone who still nurses my 13mo morning & evening). That said, it should get easier with time. Breastfeeding can be hard on the nipples for awhile – if that’s part of what’s making things difficult, try soaking them in a warm epsom salt solution and then letting them air-dry (I used shot glasses to do this); that helps.

        Also try to get outside each day. The fresh air and sunlight are good for you & good for the baby.

        FWIW, we loved The Happiest Baby on the Block – Dr. Karp’s 5 S’s worked well for us – especially swaddling. The first few weeks are a hard adjustment, especially if you had a hard delivery. You’ll get there, though. Try to get as much sleep as you can, even if it’s random naps throughout the day – that should help as well. Sending soothing baby thoughts your way!

      • The lactation consultation really could be a game changer. My friend struggled in the first six weeks. It turned out the baby was tongue-tied. Once the little one had a procedure to address that issue, nursing (and consequently everything else) was so much easier. I’m not a parent, but from the outside perspective of watching friends, I have seen that for all of them it really does get better/easier as the kids grow.

        Hang in there, and please consider getting help if you find the depression spiraling.

    • I’m seven months long with my second, and I too thought the second pregnancy would be easier. HAHAHAHAHA NO. This time around has been so much harder physically, but easier mentally because I worry about so much less. Still a joy and still very excited, but damn this has been rough. I’m really looking forward to closing up the shop!

    • In the same boat. But everyone tells me you only have a second child because YOU want one, not because you want to give your kid a sibling. I am married to an only kid and he said it never bothered him one bit. Siblings can be a crap shoot. You can just make sure you kid has lots of social opportunities, always be open to having her friends over etc…

      • Totally true. I’m not just considering it just because of the sibling issue, though that seems an important side issue. I’ll cop to having a bit of babylust occasionally as well 😉 And I like the idea of two kids (hopefully) playing together and growing together. My wife is an only child and swore she would never have an only child because she was lonely – but is still a bit scarred from the challenge of the first few months with our daughter. But she’s on board if I am…

  • Rave: I’ve had a very celebratory birthday week!
    Rant: I have eaten every meal out since Sunday, not good
    Rant: It’s been very very difficult to concentrate on work!
    Rave/Rant: Super busy weekend coming up! Lots of fun activities planned but I wish I could find some time to clean the house and cook some home-made meals!

    Question: How does one ask to be switched to part-time? Also what’s the etiquette on doing so if I know that I likely will only be part-time until I find another job? I really like my boss but I can’t stay here another year. I said at the initial interview that I was looking for somewhere to stay for two years but that’s just not going to happen and I don’t know how to tell him that.

    • I switched to part time almost by accident because my boss offered it to me when I gave notice. Maybe have a discussion about the way you want to spend your time and that you’d be happier as a whole with less money and more free time??? I wouldn’t bring up another position. Let us know how it goes! My boss took it muchhhh better than I anticipated!

    • I think a GREAT friday poll would be how long people actually stay at their jobs. How long is appropriate for a job you know isn’t a good fit? I am thinking about taking a job after being in my current position for a year, that I know I could only do for a year or two tops.

      • I think that would be a good poll. There may be some clear divides along generational lines I’m sure. Personally, I think a year is long enough. I had a job once and after about 4 months, I knew that I could not stay there for any longer than a year, so I began preparing for the next step. And by the time that I had actually secured another job, about a year had passed from the time that I started the crappy one. Some potential employers were a bit wary that I was seeking to leave a job after only a year, and I can understand how/why they may be. But I had some darn good reasons, and I appreciated those (and ended up accepting an offer from one) potential employers that totally understood, and realized that I was doing what was not only in the best interest of me, but the place that I was leaving as well.

  • Question: I emailed a (new) principal at this school in the district I subbed at for the past several years letting him know that I’ve always loved subbing at his school and that I applied for one of the teacher positions there. He replied back “thank you for your interest!”. Is that a “no thank you”? A “I’ll look for your file”? Or something else? Should I bother writing back?

    Ughhh, job searching is frustrating and this is why I may end up in PGCPS by default.

    • I think it’s more likely a “I don’t have a lot of time to go look up your file right now.” Unless you really fucked up your email, I’d say it was a good move on your part and just wait to hear back about the position.

    • I wouldn’t take it personally. I’m sure as a new principal he’s got bigger issues on his plate. I went to UMD and got a masters in Special Ed. I student taught in PG and liked it. A few of my classmates ended up with jobs there and they’re happy. Anytime I told people I was student teaching in PG it was like “OH BE CAREFUL” which was ridiculous because they knew nothing about the schools or the kids I was working with. You’ll do fine, and if you don’t like it, just get your year in and switch schools 🙂

  • Rant: Still really angry about some of the recent Supreme Court decisions. Not only do I think they were wrong and the decisions will hurt people, but now I’ve got a whole lot more tiring work to do to help people out. And the creeping ACA cases are also making me grumpy.

    Rant: I want to travel but not sure if I want to go by myself this time, and no one can go/will go with me. 🙁

    Rant: Made a really tough decision to not travel somewhere else partly based on the short amount of time I’d have, was really happy to get the decision behind me, then discovered I’d have a whole week longer than I thought. Now I’m agonizing again and realizing that I really have an inability to make decisions.

    Rave: It’s Friday, yay!

  • rave/rant: due to some rather fortunate circumstances, it looks like i’ll be moving from adams morgan to a 1 br condo in columbia heights, which i’m really excited about. the only thing is that the new condo needs to have its kitchen and bathroom redone. i have noooooooo idea how much this would cost– can anyone ballpark it for me? i wouldn’t be changing any of the space itself or anything. i’m not very good at DIY stuff.

    • Accountering

      You can assume 4k-12k for the bathroom, depending on size, fixtures, and what you decide to do/how nice you want it.

      Kitchen you can assume probably 8k for very basic, all the way up to 50k (or more) depending on if you want custom cabinets and top of the line appliances etc.

      If you are just doing some standard stuff (IKEA Cabinets – Home Depot fixtures/toilets etc) depending hugely on the size of the rooms, for $25-40k you can probably put yourself in a pretty good spot.

      • wow i guess i was thinking i could do both for cheaper- damn! that’s alot.

        • Accountering

          Well, you can do both for cheaper, but you would have to do them yourself. Boomtown and all, but yes, DC is a very expensive place to have work done unfortunately. Good news is, you get the money out when you sell. Is it possible to incorporate into your mortgage? Both of these projects are big investments in your home, and as such are appropriate (IMO) to fund with long-term, low interest debt.

          • justinbc

            To springboard off of that, whenever you see estimates for how much projects cost online, just assume they’re not referring to DC. Even sites that supposedly use zip code data to determine costs are grossly inaccurate. We always get multiple bids before doing any projects and they are consistently 2, 3, even 5 times more than what the Internet has projected because DC contractors know they can charge out the ass.

      • If you come up with your own design and layout and all, buy your own fixtures, cabinets, etc., and just pay a contractor for labor and construction materials, you can probably stay safely on the low end of that range. If you want them to do basically everything, you’ll pay a lot more. If you just want to spruce up what is there (nicer bath/shower, nicer sink/vanity, new tile floor, paint, etc, i.e., not change the location of plumbing fixtures), $2-3K for labor for the bathroom, $5-7K for labor the kitchen, plus however much you want to spend on your tub/shower/sink/vanity/cabinets/whatever should be sufficient. If you want to, say, move the toilet or the shower to a different location in the room, labor costs will increase fast.

    • Others can probably advise better, but from what I’ve heard, it would be something like $10,000 for the bathroom and $20,000-$40,000 for the kitchen.

    • I spent $40K within the last year on my bathroom (15) and kitchen (25) in dupont. My place is only 500 sq feet but EVERYTHING needed to be replaced. Its an expensive project that needs to last a long time, so choose the new designs wisely.

    • Can you be more specific about what needs to be done? Replace all appliances/fixtures/cabinets/flooring ? Ikea has a good kitchen planning tool that lets you customize the cabinets. etc. You could end up buying cabinets someplace else but this will give you a ballpark figure of cabinet costs.
      Look on line at Home Depot, Sears, Lowes, M&M Appliances (local dealer) & see what appliances you like and their cost.
      I don’t know how to factor the cost of installation – another 30%? 50%?

    • I replaced my entire kitchen (gutted down to the studs) several years ago and managed it for almost exactly $20k. I’m in a 1 bed 1 bath in Adams Morgan so the kitchen is small, but that included all appliances, including purchase and install of a microwave over the cooktop. I didn’t get the highest end appliances, but not the lowest either – all stainless steel Kitchenaid/Fisher Paykel. The good thing about a small space is that if you do want to splurge on some of the materials, you don’t need a whole lot of it. In my case the most pricy material was the glass tile for a backsplash.

      • “In my case the most pricy material was the glass tile for a backsplash.”
        Seriously, how does the backsplash end up being the most expensive part of kitchen renovations?!?! I’ve heard this from multiple friends who’ve recently renovated.

        • Easy – the glass tile I used was a little bit over $20/sq. ft. By comparison, the travertine tile I used for the floor was around $4.50/sq. ft. I could have gotten a less expensive backsplash tile, but as I indicated, since I didn’t have to get that much of it, it was worth it to me to splurge to get exactly what I wanted.

      • do you recall, by any chance, about how much it was to replace the floor? Ours is really sad – it was the only part not ripped out when the last people redid our kitchen – but the rest of the place is quite nice. I’m looking at a mid-range slate tile, probably a little cheaper than yours, but it’s the labor I’m really curious about.

        • No, sorry – since I had the entire kitchen done by the same guy I really don’t know what the labor for just a floor would be. The materials were only about $160, though.

        • Floors are tricky. If you currently have vinyl or tile and it runs under the existing cabinets, you will have to remove the cabinets and all appliances to replace the floor. If you want to work around the existing cabinets you may have to run tile in front of the dishwasher, instead of underneath, because of height issues. Your dishwasher is then tiled into place and it’s a pain to have repairs done. Price for labor and materials will also depend on what kind of shape your subfloor is in. My floors were hardwood that had been covered with some kind of cement, a layer of plywood, and about 3 layers of vinyl. The hardwoods were trashed beyond repair so we stripped it down to the plywood, poured leveling compound, and then tiled. It’s a lot of work.

        • saf

          Don’t do slate in a kitchen that you intend to cook in. It’s VERY hard on the knees and the back.

          (I love my cork floor.)

    • Just about to start a master bath reno (pull and replace everything – not moving plumbing). Estimate was 10k. Earlier estimate was $14.5. Hopefully comes in under 10k but we’ll see (that was $7k labor, $3k materials).

  • Rant: You’d think that “my entire life so far” would be enough time to get used to the humidity around here, but apparently not
    Rant: All the non-humid places are so far away from family ties (and I have no idea how people find a job and a place to live in a city on the other end of the country anyway, unless they have tons of money to tide them over or an employer is arranging everything)
    Revel: They’re really cranking the air conditioning on the buses

    • RE: Humidity and evening storms
      Seriously. If I wanted to enjoy Florida summers, I’d move to Florida. And at least benefit from being near the beach and no income tax. DC isn’t charming or cheap enough to have to tolerate Florida weather.

  • Becks

    Rave: Happy Friday Y’all!
    Rave:ish? Lady Carlotta has her first (with me) vet appointment tomorrow to get her second round of vaccinations and micro-chipped!
    Rant: Logistics on how to get her to the vet tomorrow are confusing me. Do I take a taxi or rent a car?

    Question: Do DC taxis accept cats in crates?

    • Emmaleigh504

      There’s a dude in my building who takes his cat to the vet via taxi, but you never know about individual drivers.

      • Supposedly, animals are fine on public transportation so long as they’re in a crate/carrier. I have a copy of the regs with my cat carrier just in case someone raises a fuss. I usually do uber and call the driver to let him know ahead of time. No one’s had an issue, but I’d hate to get someone severely allergic and make them miserable.

      • laduvet

        I haven’t had a problem.

        Uber will!

    • I take my dog in cabs all the time – I promise to tip extravagantly (which I do) and they’re usually fine with it.

    • Before I had a car, I always put my cat in a carrier and then hailed a cab. I never had a problem and most cab drivers seemed amused when they realized what I was actually carrying when my carrier started meowing very loudly!

      I think you can also take a cat in a crate in zipcar, not sure about car2go but the website should say.

      • Becks

        Thanks for the suggestions. Renting a car would be cheaper than a taxi, but more convenient.

        • Becks

          The taxi would be more convenient.

          • I have done both Zipcar and taxi to my cats’ vet (Friendship Hospital, in Tenleytown). I never had a problem taking my cat in a taxi, but what I did have issues with was finding a taxi to get us home. Once, I called for a cab, waited almost an hour, and then ended up going out on the street to just flag one down. The next couple of times, I tried to hail one in the street and couldn’t get one. After standing outside in January with my cat for 30+ minutes a couple of years ago, trying in vain to find a cab, I have just used Zipcar and never had an issue. Caged pets are perfectly fine in Zipcars.

      • Car2Go definitely says you’re not allowed to bring animals in their cars. They are very explicit about it.

      • epric002

        you can only transport animals in zipcar if they are in a crate.

    • I have always taken my cat in her carry bag in cabs. Never had a problem!

  • Rant: GAO. Could you please direct you low level staff to get their ignorant questions vetted by seniors before passing them on to me, the client? We’re not paying you to do your job for you.

    • epric002

      GAO report? after working with them on a report, i will never again take seriously their “findings” in published reports. their investigators don’t understand the specific subject matter they are investigating and don’t seem to care if they publish factual inaccuracies which have been repeatedly pointed out to them.

  • Rant: Can’t find good Mexicans anywhere in DC since moving here, not even moderate really.
    Rant: I miss LA, but had to move here to keep my job.

    • I hear you. The Mexicans in LA are the best.

    • “Good Mexcians”? Are you referring to food or people or something else?

      • Hahaha. As a San Diego transplant, I agree with both. I think I just broke my record on not going to, or buying a gift for, or seeing photos of, or hearing about someone’s (or their daughter, or niece, or cousin’s, etc) quince. I kinda miss it. As for the food, avoid Lauriol Plaza like the plague. Taqueria Nacional is pretty close to home, although it’s not quite the same. Bonus points for Mexican coke.

    • justinbc

      Trying looking down HWY 1 in Alexandria? (not sure if you’re meaning food or people, but either one that’s your best bet)

    • Are you having more success finding good Anglos?

    • My wife and I are Mexican (well, she’s Texican), but I don’t know if either of us qualify as the “good” kind. ; )

  • GiantSquid

    Revel: get to hang out with friends tonight
    Rant: totally not prepared to host, oh well.
    Revel: have it stuck in my head that I want to get my nose repierced. Just a tiny stud. Third life crisis?
    Revel: painting cornhole boards this weekend for a friend’s wedding next month. Love doing cool things for people.

    • My boyfriend and I got our noses pierced on my 18th birthday. We were super cute. I had to take mine out because I got surgery, and his got infected/never really headed so we are noseringless now. But I say go for it! It’s fun and if you decide you don’t want it, it doesn’t leave a scar

    • When I was in India one of the friends I was traveling with got her nose pierced. I kind of regret not doing it with her.

    • Not crazy, I love a little stud nose piercing! It can look really cool and classy with the right stud. I would do it myself but (1) I work in a really conservative industry, and (2) my freckles would make it disappear. I compensate by having multiple holes in each ear.

    • I pierced my nose for my 30th bday and LOVE it. My jewelry is just a tiny silver ball so it’s a very tiny piece of sparkle. Often people don’t even notice it. It’s actually my third nose piercing, although the other two were in my teens and didn’t last long.

      • Nice. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a nose piercing. This has motivated me to get it done before the big 31!

  • Rant: Husband is maybe depressed, I’m not sure. He hates his job, and he didn’t get another job he thought he would (due to veteran’s preference) and now he’s just… kind of a lump. He hardly ever works, doesn’t work out, won’t think about graduate school. He keeps talking about crazy shit like moving to South America and opening a hotel.
    Rant: Me. I wish I were more compassionate and empathetic toward him but instead I just feel so angry at him and contemptuous. I want to yell at him to pull himself together.

    • Marriage counseling? Or individual counseling, if he refuses to go with you?

      • I’ve been encouraging him into counseling. Does marriage counseling make sense? It’s not really a problem with our relationship, per se… I mean, I’m secretly upset about it, but our relationship itself is as good as ever. I was thinking he’d be better off seeing someone on his own who can focus on his issues, and also where he can be totally honest about me, maybe.

        But, if marriage counseling makes sense, I’d do that also.

        • “I mean, I’m secretly upset about it, but our relationship itself is as good as ever”
          I see a huge massive gigantic contradiction in this sentence. If you are secretly upset (and angry and contemptuous at him) then your relationship is not “as good as ever”, unless it has always been kind of bad. Your relationship may not be “the problem” but if your relationship doesn’t provide a safe place to work on “the problem” then it becomes part of the problem. I’m no counselor but it sounds like you need to find a way to open up completely to each other so you’re at least on the same side.

          • +1. You’re frustrated with him, and you’re not expressing that frustration. This isn’t just about him and his issues; it’s about how you interact with each other. It sounds like you’re also on completely different pages about what he should do next.

    • So sorry to hear that. Does it seem to be mostly chemical, situational (you mentioned the job issue), or a mix?

      • I think it’s situational, so far. He’s normally an exceedingly optimistic and happy person. He just hates his job a lot and it’s sucking the life out of him, I guess.

        Which, I can relate to, but I’m frustrated because when I hated my job, I basically made it my full time job to get out of the situation. I applied to 3+ jobs a day, took the GMATs, applied to a few schools, etc. Just started throwing sh*t at the wall to see what stuck. His response, instead, is to just do… nothing. Maybe that makes it chemical, I don’t know.

        • Oops, outed myself with my normal posting name 😛

          (I didn’t want anyone who may have an idea of who I am from previous posting, to know about H. But, oh well. I doubt anyone is paying attention.)

        • If he’s depressed, it could be totally sapping his energy, and applying to jobs, grad schools, etc. takes energy.
          It sounds like therapy for him and marriage counseling for you both could be helpful. And if he won’t go to individual therapy and/or won’t join you for marriage counseling, go on your own.

    • GiantSquid

      We should start a support group for depressed spouses. I posted about the same thing yesterday.

      • Count me in. I can really identify with this. So hard to see the person you love in such a slump. and i feel selfish for getting hung up on how it brings ME down when I think he’s in a worse place. but it does! It’s really hard to live with so much negativity in the house.

        • My depressed partner has taken to putting bowls of salt water all over the house to clear the negative energy. I wish she’d focus her efforts on the real problem!

      • I would support this as another PoPville sub-group! Because, let’s face it, this is one of those issues that your friends can’t help with if they have never experienced it. And sometimes it helps to have people to talk to that totally get what you’re going through!

    • My partner is like that and it’s a constant struggle. The best thing I’ve found to do is be there for her but not let her depression take over my life (that makes things worse for everyone). The hardest days are when it’s a beautiful weekend and she tries to coerce me into staying home being a lump with her. Sometimes it can take most of the day just to get her out of the house. You need to recognize those times and try to break away and do your own thing before the weekend’a over and you’re resentful.

    • I’ve never thought of moving to South America to open a hotel – that sounds awesome. Tell your hubby thank you!

  • RANT: Jeans that looked so good over the interweb when ordered arrived and are “mom jeans.” At least this will amuse my interns who think that I, at 36, am already old as God and unhip as Urkel.
    RAVE: Date night with the S.O. tomorrow and it’s going to be a Supermoon! No, that’s not a metaphor. The moon’s supposed to look spectacularly large tomorrow night.

    • skj84

      Are they high waisted? Apparently that look is in now a days. Depending on how you style them they could look more contemporary and less “Mom”.

      • Yep, high waisted. Which, on 20-something me would have looked spectacular. On 30-something me, really requires a tunic to make them wearable. Damn pizza. 😉

        • jim_ed

          The high waisted jeans do not look spectacular on 20-somethings. They still look like mom jeans, just on someone younger. Between that and the crop tops, its like everyone is trying to emulate the styles from Heavy Metal Parking Lot.

    • Double check that Atlanta doesn’t change your gate at the last minute. I’d left myself an hour+ to spare after checking in at the gate. Left to go get some lunch, during which time, at the last minute, they changed the gate to the other side of the airport. Missed my flight. Atlanta’s a little rough for transfers just due to its size.

  • skj84

    Rave/Rant: Last day in Minnesota. I had such a great time hanging with my sister and exploring the city. We hung out at one of the lakes yesterday and it was lovely. A bit cold but lovely. I wish I could stay longer.

    Rant: I’m really worried about my transfer in Atlanta. I have less time for my layover and I
    m worried my flight out of Minneapolis will be delayed. I really don’t want to have to rush for my gate or worse get trapped in that airport. Last layover was traumatizing enough.

    • Would you kindly re-consider your use of the word traumatic in referring to an airport transfer? Difficult, stressful, frustrating perhaps?

      • skj84

        May I ask why? It was pretty traumatic to me as a someone who doesn’t travel by air that often. I mean the definition of Traumatic is ” emotionally disturbing or distressing”. Is it a thing now not to use that word? I’m not trying to be confrontational , I’m genuinely curious.

        • Accountering

          I am intrigued by this as well. My first instinct says that it is not, in fact, traumatic to have a layover. Would you say it was in fact emotionally disturbing or distressing to have that layover?

          I think of traumatic as seeing an assault, or a mugging, or someone get hit by a car, or being assaulted yourself etc. Something that actually sticks with you, and bothers you long after the incident.

          • It seems to be likening a frustrating or upsetting (temporary) situation with a trauma that has a long-lasting psychological effect such as rape, or a profound physical injury such as traumatic brain injury.

          • justinbc

            Yes and the premise of a rant is that you’re generally upset about something. In those circumstances people tend to use hyperbolic language. Nothing new here, move along.

          • skj84

            It wasn’t the layover that was traumatic but the gates being changed repeatedly. I mentioned before I’m an anxious flyer and was already on edge. No one seemed to know what was going on which wasn’t helping. I don’t mind layovers at all, it was just this one was pretty rotten.

          • Accountering

            I wasn’t trying to be a jerk, just genuinely intrigued. I don’t think anyone actually likes layovers haha! I basically make a point of only flying out of DCA, because it is so much closer and security is so easy, and try very hard to avoid connections. Normally works out fairly well for me.

          • I actually like layovers! I mean, it depends a lot on the situation/airport, but in the right circumstances it’s nice to have nothing to do but sit, have a coffee/beer, and read a book or knit or browse magazines.

            A few years ago on a work trip I got bumped at the Charlotte airport and it was perfect. I wasn’t in a big hurry to get to Alabama anyway, and I got to chill out on a rocking chair for a couple hours and surf the internet. Not a bad way to get a free flight.

          • justinbc

            Charlotte’s airport is actually really nice though. There are a lot I’ve flown through that I wouldn’t want to be there a second more than necessary.

      • Seaf is being overly sensitive and needs to lighten up. Everyone is entitled to their share of hyperbole. Besides, if you suffer from an anxiety disorder, layovers can actually be “traumatizing.” I had a coworker who hyperventilated and became like a child when he was stuck in Philly once. It happens.

        • skj84

          Yeah. I hate flying. I’ve had a phobia for years. I especially hate flying alone, but I had no choice in this matter. My situation in the Atlanta airport the last time(Gate being moved twice, no one seemed to know what was going on, not to mention I’ve never flown into that airport before) on top of my regular anxiety over flying was indeed “traumatic”. I’m not a seasoned flyer like other people on this board and I was really freaked out.

          • saf

            I have flown a lot, but I am still a fearful flyer. I get it. I hope the flight home goes smoothly and that getting on the flight is easy.

          • I’m an extremely experienced flyer (>140,000 miles just last year) and I hate it. Flying makes me so anxious that I basically spent several weeks of my life last year convinced of my imminent death. I take a small dose of Xanax now when I fly and it’s helped a ton – takes the edge off without making me feel like a zombie, so I can actually relax, get work done, sleep, etc. and not break out in a flop sweat every time the plane hits a bump. It made a huge difference for me (and I say that as someone who hates taking pills for stuff) – if you really hate flying it might be worth checking out.

    • Accountering

      The other thing that may help, is to realize that there are probably 50 flights from Atlanta to DC every day. If you miss your flight, you will be on another in an hour or so.

      • skj84

        I hope. I’m getting back to BWI after midnight with the scheduled flight and I just don’t want to have to wait much later. Especially since I need to arrange a super shuttle to get back, the last Amtrak back into the city leaves around 1:00am.

        • Accountering

          Fair enough.
          I am flying to MN for work in 11 days. Get to avoid the disaster you are talking about, but my flights are $1400. Certainly would not do that if I was paying, and would wind up doing something similar to what you are going through. Good luck!

          • skj84

            Thanks! I hope the next time I fly out here I can fly non stop. Expedia occasionally has rates that don’t cost an arm and a leg. I guess I need to plan way in advance.

          • As a person who flies 2-3 times per week for work, the cheapest flights are usually 6 weeks out and to anyone trying to save money with layovers or using BWI/IAD include extra meals and cab costs in your tab, you’ll find the $100 premium for direct from DCA is almost always worth it.

  • rant/rave? got mistaken in the elevator as one of the new crop of interns. i know i look young, but really? everyone tells me to appreciate my youthful looks, but it’s getting old not being taken serious in workplaces. i’m a managing director, and at an event i was at a few months ago, someone asked me to go fetch (yes, they actually used that word) coffee for everyone.
    rant: LD boyfriend is feeling insecure that we don’t talk every day. is this normal? we text multiple times a day, so i think it’s ok that we only talk once or twice a week.

    • justinbc

      I’m gonna guess if you had been a man that request would have never happened. This happened to my partner once and the general was reminded by another senior staff member that he currently enjoyed his position and would not like to be removed from it due to an EEO complaint.
      For rant #2, can you clarify if you mean learning disabled or long distance?

      • +1 to Justin’s comment — young-ish looking men generally don’t get asked to do clerical tasks, “fetch” coffee, etc.
        Justin, I too was originally reading “LD” as “learning disabled,” but from the context, I think it must be “long distance.”

      • Yeah, try being a 30-year-old woman in an office full of 50-year-old men. Generally they’re respectful, and thankfully no one’s ever asked me to fetch coffee, but it still seems like I get stuck with the bulk of the admin-type work even though I’m an engineer. Occasionally I’ll meet someone that I’ve never crossed paths with before (though this is happening less and less as I’ve been here almost a decade) and they always assume I’m an entry-level new hire.

        • That does suck but it sounds like that all could be entirely explained by your relative age, not your gender. Probably impossible to really know for sure.

          • Yeah I think it’s a combination of both. Still, it’s frustraing to hear of friends that are a similar age and managing teams of people! I can’t imagine being in that position (though if I stick around another 10 years all my coworkers will have retired and maybe I will be the most senior).

        • Oh that’s me, too! I’m a 30-year-old woman working in office full of men 50 and over. Generally it’s ok, except I also get stuck with the admin work, even though I’m not an admin and we do have secretaries and executive assistants who do that work. The worst is during meetings when people assume I’m just there to take to notes (I’m not), or direct answers to questions I ask to my boss instead of me. Thankfully I’ve never been asked to get coffee… yet.

          • On the answering questions to someone else. A few weeks ago I actually had to say to someone “Do not look to X when you’re answering a question I just asked. It is rude and borderline sexist.” I was the most senior person in the room. People are idiots.

      • Absolutely. I work in a industry that is male-dominated and regularly have to field condescending questions/comments. I am often asked how old I am, if I’m married, and in discussing, a previous project “you were probably only this big (short hand gesture) when that happened”. I also find that in working with older men, I remind them of their daughters and while they are kind, they do not see me as a serious colleague.

        • “and in discussing, a previous project ‘you were probably only this big (short hand gesture) when that happened’.” Hahaha, I get that one all the time! And I think the being treated like a daughter has pros as well as cons. They’re more protective of you, and are more likely to believe that women are capable of doing their job (especially if their daughters are in the same field).

    • I’m in an LDR and one or two times per week isn’t very much. I’d feel pretty neglected if my girlfriend only wanted to chat once or twice per week. We usually Skype everyday for 20 minutes. I couldn’t tolerate one or two long calls every week. Frequency is more important than duration, IMHO.

    • 1) what did you say when they told you to go fetch? I also am quite young but look quite a bit younger than that, despite being at a higher rank than some of my older colleagues.
      2) Why don’t you want to talk to you LD BF? While every day may be too much, I think 2-3 times per week is probably very low. His bringing it up to you is good, it means he is communicating with you, and he may be experiencing some things he doesn’t want to bring up when you only talk twice a week. He is probably lonely.

      • haha… LD = long distance.
        i’m almost 40 with a graduate degree, and actually considered getting fake glasses to look older. i cut my long hair off earlier this year, and was promptly told by some of the senior department heads how “cute” i looked. fail. i get carded every single time i go out for a drink so i know that i look young, and generally try not to get upset about people mistaking me for being 10-15 years younger than i am, but it gets annoying at the workplace. and honestly, i’m really not that young — i have almost 20 years of work experience! i think being a very petite woman doesn’t help my cause.
        when i was told to fetch coffee, i just looked back at the person making the request and told him i don’t drink coffee. this didn’t address why i couldn’t go out and fetch for everyone else, but made him feel awkward enough to not repeat the request.
        there’s no reason i don’t want to talk to my boyfriend more often, just that i usually see him fri, sat, and sun so i thought talking 1-2 times during the remaining days was enough. he finally came out and told me he was feeling insecure today, but i didn’t realize he wanted to talk more often so i’ll try to step up the communication, but i wanted to know if others in LDRs talked every day. somedays i go straight from work to HH and then dinner, and get home late and it’s hard to find time. (i know, i know — i should probably make time, but i didn’t realize he would get so upset about not talking every day)

        • Being a petite woman is deadly in terms of getting people to take you seriously.

          • about 10 years ago, i was an invited speaker to a pretty big conference. As i was waiting in the back to be called up, some late comers walked in through the doors and casually handed me their coats to hang for them. you can bet that i found them in the audience and shot them the winningest smile ever. when i was called up to get my award and give my speech. priceless.

        • I see my boyfriend on about the same schedule. We do talk for a few minutes just about every night during the week, unless one of is traveling or has an event or something that prevents calling. But that works for us. You and your BF have to figure out what works for you guys. Sounds like he’d like a little more contact during the week – maybe even a 3-minute check-in might be enough.

          • Agreed. Myself and my girlfriend keep the same exact schedule as you, Jerseygirl. We see each other on weekends and are then apart during the work week. If I’ve got extensive after work plans and she’s going to bed early, even a couple minutes on the phone does a lot to reassure someone. Otherwise, we make it a point to Skype everyday in the evenings for about 15-20 minutes. We don’t really do longer than that.
            But yes, figure out what works for the both of you. You can also mitigate some of his apprehension/loneliness by keeping in touch throughout the day via text messaging or Facebook, if you won’t have time to call.

        • Ah, well I didn’t realize you see him on the weekends!! Very different than my former LDR where we only saw each other every 6 weeks or so.

        • I think it really just depends on the two folks in the relationship. If you go from talking every day to only talking a couple times a week, I could see the issue. But I’ve never been the type of person that likes to talk on the phone, especially everyday, especially if it feels almost obligatory, but neither is he. We are in constant communication, but just not necessarily via phone. It works for him. It works for me. It works for us.

    • There aren’t any rules about how often you should be communicating in any relationship. It seems that 1-2x week is good for you but not enough for him = can you see talking more frequently?

    • This has happened to me a number of times – I’m in your shoes too. Early 30s, look younger. Was once in a meeting when the girl next to me asked if it was my first day as an intern, too. I totally feel you – it’s both flattering (or at least you understand it’s supposed to be a good thing) and super frustrating. I don’t know if this will help you, but after a while I decided to change my wardrobe/haircut to make myself look a little older. Grew out my bangs, started wearing more heels and blazers, fewer prints (no flowers), more grown-up cuts, and lots of black and beige (and other solid colors) at work. Also, less “statement jewelry.” I figure I can always reverse the trend when I want to look younger, but for now I just want to be taken seriously.

      • I understand you are just trying to adapt to a crappy situation, but good lord that totally sucks that you are changing the way you dress to accommodate other people’s professional ineptitude. It’s one thing if your preferred wardrobe was unprofessional, but if it was professional, I’d stick with it, and just call people out when they assume (young) women are not capable of out or equal-ranking them. It’s their issue. Not ours!

        • I’d say I have to disagree, there are certain jobs where you can tell people’s levels by how they dress or style themselves (heels vs flats, jacket vs business casual). I don’t like unconscious bias either, but people jump to conclusions and we’ve already established that you’re willing to compromise when you but on a button down instead of pajamas, now it’s just how far you’ll go.

          I’m also was fairly baby faced and pushed the style envelope so as a manager people thought I was a staff, some small changes (adding a tie, dumping my more forward shirts to friday/saturday status) and mostly just upgrading my staples to the next level of quality made a monumental difference.

          • heels vs flats? which do you perceive makes you at a higher level? At my job it’s mixed. Some young women wear flats, some wear heels, some wear shoes that are more appropriate for the discotheque. It seems to be more based on height (taller women tend to wear flats), body type, medical issues (bunions anyone?), or style (some women who are very higher up just have very poor taste in footwear).

          • + a beard IIRC. That definitely helps with baby face but not for everyone.

        • I absolutely agree. It kind of sucks to be in a store and say “well, this is cute and trendy, but I can’t buy it because it makes me look 12.” That said, I can have my own style (to some extent) while still dressing older. It also means wearing nicer stuff (e.g. real leather bags, more expensive shoes), which is a nice treat to myself. And I think the respect that I get – both as a first impression and in longer interaction – is a trade-off I’m willing to make. I spent too many years with older men snickering at me when I told them I was a lawyer.

    • My relationship was long distance for 1.5 years and we talked pretty much all day via online chat and would Skype a few times a week. We NEVER had phone conversations, but we’d text a lot. Both of us are really not “phone people” and we figured we’d already been talking all day on chat so what more did we have to say on the phone? Skype was nice because we actually got to see each other, but it usually wasn’t an every day occurrence.
      That said, I think every couple’s comfort level is different, so maybe you can find a middle ground.

    • I skype with my gf every day for at least 20 minutes, usually closer to an hour. Only exception is when one (or both) of us is on a trip, then we just stick to texting and maybe a brief phone call. Been doing it since December and thankfully only have 5 more months to go…

  • Rave: Berry picking yesterday with iindsay – I’m almost out of black raspberries already! I would love to go back.
    Rave: My dog got groomed and no longer resembles a schnauzer version of Pig Pen.
    Rant: Between the ONE flea they found (extra $10) and the additional brushing ($15) plus tip this was a $100+ grooming appointment. Luckily the last three times she got groomed I did it with help from my mom…so I guess that evens out. Holy crap!
    Rant: AND she’s in heat (which for those of you that don’t know means I’m chasing around my schnauzer with a doggy diaper and disposable inserts…if it wasn’t such a pain in the rear it would be funny).
    Rave: I miss the new guy when he’s not around – a great sign. I’m having a wonderful time with him and excited for upcoming plans!
    Rave: Dinner tonight at Oyamel with the ladies. I’ve never been, so I’m looking forward to it.
    Rave: Friday – have a great weekend everyone!

    • Wow, where did you get her groomed? I can get both my Schnauzers done for around $100. Right now they definitely have the Pig Pen look going on though. It was bad enough before, but then they got wet in our walk yesterday and the fur is sticking up in all kinds of crazy angles now. It’s kind of adorable though. It’s funny how much smaller they look after being groomed.

      • Bonnie’s Dog and Cat Grooming: They do an excellent job and got me an appointment last minute…but it’s certainly at a premium (plus I tipped well…she looked awesome). She does look so much smaller 🙂

        Textdoc: She’s not spayed because she belongs to my brother and they want to breed her. She was bread during her last heat and they want to give her a break, so I get to deal with her heat this time. She’ll have one more litter and then they’ll get her spayed. I’m sort of her foster mom for their very small breeding operation. (And yes – I have a moral objection to this but at least they do it responsibly and my sister in law takes amazing care of the puppies.) Once she’s done breeding they will get her fixed and give her to me – so I get a free dog, they get someone to take care of her while they need her to breed, and they know she goes to a loving home afterwards. Plus she’s adorable and a great dog…so the pain that will be the next couple weeks is well worth it.

        • That’s weird. I’ve taken my Schnauzers to Bonnie’s and it was only $60 a dog (and they didn’t charge me for the male dog because he was being wild and wouldn’t let them finish). They did a great job on the other dog, but since they couldn’t handle the male I haven’t been back (Wagtime does a good job for the same price) but I’m shocked they they charged you so much more. Then again I’m assuming yours is a mini like mine.

          • Also– we bred ours once and it was an incredible experience watching the puppies be born and grow up. I guess it was a bit irresponisble, but we had a waiting list for the puppies and they all ended up in loving homes. Some of the owners have moved away, but it was fun getting together for reunions when everyone was still in DC.

          • This was her first time there – I think for new clients it’s $70…they gave me a 10% discount (so $63, then then the additional $25 for the flea treatment and brushing). They gave me the heads up when I dropped her off about the brushing charge and I agreed (instead of just having them shave her), and called me about the flea treatment…so I appreciate the communication. It just ended up being a lot!

    • Why isn’t she spayed?

    • Accountering

      Schnauzers are sweet dogs. A friend has one and her’s is an awesome dog!
      Same new guy from past posts? Sounds like things are going well… Hooray for new things!

    • justinbc

      Oyamel has some great cocktails, and their chicharron taco is one of my favorite things in DC.

  • Rave: Great dinner and discussion last night – life is pretty darn great at this point
    Rave: Got a new assignment at work and an amazing new portfolio of international work to manage – it’s going to be a challenge but really excited
    Rave: two months of making sure I text/call/email my siblings more regularly – love getting to share the everyday stuff with sister
    Rant: brother doesn’t return texts/calls
    Rave: Its Friday and the weekend is looking great with all these raves!

  • Rave: My first Tai Chi class! I was nervous. It was great. And, as a surprising bonus, I got this amazing woosh of well-being a few hours after the class was over. I’m in!
    Rave: Glad that I have so many blessings to count. And glad that I can remind myself of this when my challenges seem insurmountable.
    Minor Rant: I’m paying far too much for pre-cut watermelon because I never learned the secrets of plucking the whole ones. Crisp, not to sweet watermelon is wonderful. Grainy, mushy watermelon is awful. Wonder if there’s an apprenticeship for this sort of skill?
    Rave: Finally crawling out of the morass that I’ve been struggling with for quite awhile. To celebrate, I bought some pjs from “Life Is Good”.

  • Rave: My Fitbit *should* come today. Can’t wait to start living a healthier lifestyle!
    Rave: TGIF

  • Rave: Two days ago I applied for an awesome sounding job in NYC. That afternoon I got an email that they want to discuss it more it me. Last night I had what I guess what like a screening interview. I think I did pretty well. The person was hard to read, but when I told my mom and boyfriend my answers to her questions afterwards they said it was good. It was just the general interview questions that everyone hates (where do you see yourself in 5 years, name a time when you were on a deadline, etc). She said if I’m moving on to the next phase I would hear something mid next week. I’m reallly hoping for this. I’ve already gotten my hopes up about it, which I wish I hadn’t, but couldn’t help myself.

    Rant: I’ve never moved that far away and I’m scared (originally from NoVa, went to UMD), but I need to get away from DC for awhile.
    Rant: My roommate is in Israel until mid-August. I love her so much and I feel bad leaving, especially when I just moved in January so my lease doesn’t end for a few more months. I think I’d be able to find a subletter pretty easily, but I’d want her to be there for it. I’m worried about the timing of everything.

    • skj84

      Good Luck! How very exciting for you. NYC is just a four hour bus ride away and its super easy to come back and visit DC. Change is scary but sometimes scary is good. Sending positive vibes your way!

  • I got a very brief invitation by email (“I’m having people over for my b-day, do you want to come? I also invited mutual friend X.”) Question: Can I assume this invitation includes my boyfriend? She didn’t mention X’s husband…. I’ve sent a followup email but I don’t think she monitors email often, and I must have an old phone number b/c it isn’t working, and X is out of the country until shortly before the event so i can’t ask her, either! Normally I would just not bring him, but this is way out in MD and he and I will be way out in MD just before so it will actually be a hassle not to bring him. So I guess he’s coming….

    • Accountering

      “People” means to me it is a party, and that yes, a boyfriend would be invited. I would definitely bring him.

    • I’d try e-mailing her again if you can, but if you don’t hear back, I think it would be OK to bring him.

  • Does anyone know if it’s possible to sell a gift card a week before its expiration? And how? I have a $25 card to a downtown salon that I’m not going to be able to use, and would be glad to let it go for less than face value.

    Related: I thought I read somewhere that it was actually not legal to put an expiration date (or that it had to be really long… like 7 years) on gift cards. Anyone in the know?

    • You could go buy fancy shampoo/conditioner

    • Depends on the state (presumably where it was purchased). My reading is that they are valid for 5 years but you should check state regs to be sure. Google search should point you to the right resource.

    • Accountering

      Gift cards cannot expire for five years at a minimum. In DC, they cannot expire at all. I think for something this small, I would go ahead and use it. Shampoo or Conditioner like the person above mentioned.

      If this was for Target or something, I would have no problem going in there and pushing the issue until they extended it, but do you really want to have to pick a fight with a salon downtown? Best to just use it I would say.

    • Since it’s for a salon, it might be worth calling them to see if it can be exchanged or honored past the expectation date. You could sell it, but the logistics of getting it to the person who needs to use it – and schedule an appointment to use it — in less than a week are pretty tight. Not sure how many people would make the effort for $25, especially since the salon services will probably cost more than that.

      • skj84

        I agree with calling and ask. In my experience most places will more than likely honor your request. I worked in hospitality and as long as the guest spoke to the manager in advance we would accept expired gift cards.

  • Rant: After work event in Ashburn Freaking VA.

    Rant #2: Safeway social media fail. Neither at the corporate level or at the local store leve have they bothered to acknowledge the many comments about the 7/02 assult in the Mt. Vernon store.

    Rave: Working from home! Listening to calls and folding laundry!

    • Accountering

      Don’t go. There are tons of possible excuses to avoid Ashburn. I could come up with a half dozen good ones with no issue whatsoever.

      • And if the nature of the event involves drinking that’s definitely a good reason to not get involved.

        • It will but I have a one drink rule at work events.

          • Oh right, you’re a guy aren’t you? I’m a small woman so one drink will put me over the limit in VA (plus one drink tends to turn into two if it’s a good event). I guess you can get away with it!

      • Since we are in layoff season it’s not good to skip an event.

  • RANT: Just found out my dentist no longer accepts Cigna dental. My appointment for next Monday is canceled.
    Anyone have a good dentist recommendation who is in-network for Cigna? I work on K/19th Streets NW.

    • I don’t know what insurance they take, but Dr. Porvaznik at Ingber Dental is near you, and very good. A note of caution: make sure you get Dr. P. The senior guy, Dr. Ingber, is a crook.

      • Ha! I’ve been going there for the past couple of years and have just figured out that billing is totally different if Ingber sees you.
        But I second the rec for Dr. P. He’s the first dentist I’ve seen in years who isn’t always trying to push expensive but unnecessary procedures to replace some of my outdated but totally functional dental work. And the office staff have always been good about sorting out billing problems (usually stemming from Ingber crashing my appointment).

        • Sorry, but this place sounds like a shitshow. I don’t want to deal with the headaches of sorting out billing.

          • Just make sure you don’t get Ingber, and you won’t have problems. Like the poster above, the only problem I EVER had with them was the result of having been seen by Ingber. Since then, I’m very careful to specify that I only want to see Dr. P. He’s good enough to merit the risk of a billing snafu, which won’t happen anyway if you’re aware of the issue.

    • Washington Center for Dentistry at K & Vermont. Great hygienists and dentists for simple cleanings to major surgery.

  • Rave: Redheaded woman with very small top on PoP. Nice afternoon surprise.

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