Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user  Cheikh.Ra Films

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.

373 Comment

  • Looked like there was a pedestrian struck by a car on 18th just north of Florida around 5:30 last night. Anyone know what happened? The street was blocked off for some time, but after they loaded the person into the ambulance it just sat there for a while.

    • There was a ped hit by a bicycle at that intersection according to MPD twitter, though I don’t recall what time. Guessing this was the same incident.

  • Rave: Christmas travel and time off booked
    Rant: What kind of person steals an umbrella from the bin and leaves their broken one in its place? Especially in weather like this.

    • The kind of person who probably also steals candy from babies!

    • SFT

      Infuriating! This happened to me last year – I had a really nice Nike golf umbrella and someone took it from a get together in someone’s home. They left a flimsy one in it’s place. This was someone at the party, so I’ve been on the lookout for any of my friends who may have taken my umbrella by *ahem*…mistake!

      • epric002

        we had a great, huge golf one with wind flaps stolen while we were at kapnos for dinner. they didn’t even leave a crappy one in its place. grumblegrumblegrumble.

    • I Dont Get It

      My rave today was going to be that I’ve had the same umbrella for 15 years as of this month but then i worried about Karma…

    • skj84

      That sucks. I had an umbrella stolen at Belga Cafe a few years ago. They let me borrow a staff members which was nice. I made sure to return it asap!

  • rave: made it to step class last night!!!
    rant: huffed and puffed through it.
    rant: my attempts to organize a cookie swap have failed…sad…
    rave: talking to some owners of a business that might want to expand in DC….but then I’d have to stay here (mild rant, we’ve really had it, but if I could work for myself it wouldn’t be as bad, I don’t think)

  • Rave: I have committed to a big career change, going back to school, and I’m very excited!

    Rant: There are a few prerequisites I have to take before applying. I work maaaany hours a week, so I was planning to take them all online. Called Northern Virginia Community College to register, and apparently DC residents aren’t allowed to take classes online at NVCC?! How does that make sense? No comparable class is offered at UDC.

    Question: Do any of you have recommendation for good online course offerings, particularly in the sciences? I’m back at square one and this DC reciprocity law is screwing me up!

    • special_k

      Good for you! What about Montgomery College?

      • I’ve looked into them, and think I can take my non-labs there. Not as inexpensive as I’d like, though – DC desperately needs to set up some sort of tuition reciprocity with surrounding community colleges given that we don’t have the same options here!

    • I’m sure you’ve considered this, but be sure you check about how online courses might transfer/count wherever you want them to go. There’s no way to do lab courses, online, for example, and high quality grad programs may not regard them very highly even if they are non-lab courses.

      • Yep – I’ve set up time with a few of my target programs this week to discuss how things might transfer. Johns Hopkins (the #1 program in what I’m looking to do) offers a prereq grouping online (although it’s $$$$), and I might take the labs with them. They should transfer alllllmmoooost everywhere, except for really picky places 🙂

        • Oh! I think you’re talking about the program that I did at Hopkins. Best in the world, better than Harvard!
          I loved it. If you’re planning to go to a happy hour, let me know, I can talk your ear off about it.

    • By the way, this isn’t the same anonforthis who posted yesterday about career frustration. That one is me. Anonymity is confusing! And congrats to this anonforthis for making the big move!

    • Have you looked at University of MD on-line classes?

    • Not allowed or you just have to pay higher tuition?

      • Not allowed at all. DC residents are allowed to take on campus classes, but are not allowed to take online courses. So weird.

  • I Dont Get It

    Rave: We are having a team luncheon today so I’m wearing my Ugly Christmas sweater.
    Rant: I feel the need to tell people I know it’s ugly.
    Rant: Crazy, homeless people love this sweater although one confused soul said I looked like an Italian mobster.
    Rave: My color changing LED Christmas tree that plugs into a USB port is making me happy at work today.

    • Rave: I’ve finished catching up on “Serial.”
      Tiny rant: I’ve finished catching up on “Serial.” I know there’s a new episode coming on Thursday, but I was enjoying the binge-listening. After finishing Episode 10, I felt a little bit like the way I felt in high school (or maybe it was college?) when I’d finished reading all six Jane Austen novels — disappointed that there were no more.*
      * Except “Lady Susan,” but that doesn’t really count.

      • I used to feel the same way after binge-watching Mad Men seasons. But now you can maybe join the rest of us in trying to figure out what’s happening in real time. If you haven’t already done so, I definitely recommend Rabia Chadry’s blog Split the Moon and the Slate Spoiler Special podcast as ways to make the time between new episodes pass by more quickly.

    • Oops… that wasn’t supposed to be a reply to I Don’t Get It.

    • Emmaleigh504

      How are your villagers doing? Any good gossip?

      • I Dont Get It

        I haven’t been in the dining room lately to see what those drunks are up to.

        • IDGI, what is My Holiday Village? I googled it, but wasn’t getting any good results. From the way you were describing it, I thought it was some kind of physical setup, but if it is, then I can’t figure out how the characters are moving around and doing things without involvement from you.

          • With the hopes that spelling it out doesn’t remove some of the magic for others, I suspect it’s one of those holiday scenes like you get at Hallmark stores (that IDGI may or may not actually have), but I’m pretty sure the activities are entirely figments of his imagination.

          • It’s Elf on the Shelf for adults, apparently.

          • textdoc, not sure if this is what IDGI has but search for lemax villages

          • I’ve been wondering the same thing, and even though I’m sure I missed something important about what the Holiday Village TM actually is, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed following the characters’ adventures and hope we’ll hear more of them.

      • I Dont Get It

        My Holiday Village® (Trademarked only in my head) is made up of bits and pieces of various holiday villages purchased at deep discount after the holidays.
        As Jeslett said, Elf on the Shelf for adults without the creepy “snitches get stitches” revenge porn.

  • Sad rant: Heartbroken for the family in Gaithersburg who died from the plane crash.

  • Rant: It took me 1 hour and 40 minutes to get to work today, ugh.
    Rave: Made a lot of progress on my DIY xmas gifts. Cookies, chili oil, homemade granola, and pumpkin chocolate chip bread. What are some other DIY gift ideas?
    Rave: Off to Thailand in two weeks!!!

    • Emmaleigh504

      I wish I were on your list to get pumpkin chocolate chip bread! yum!

    • I used to make people boxes of treats – I’d make these things called babycakes (peanut butter sandwiched between two ritz crackers, dipped in white chocolate, decorated with holiday sprinkles); I’d make saltine crack (the saltine/caramel/chocolate toffee stuff); oreo balls; ect. Put them in to little cupcake wrappers in a nice box with a ribbon around it. You could also make homemade salted caramel sauce.

    • Andie302

      An old roommate made homemade vanilla syrup with fresh vanilla bean and hard alcohol (vodka I think?) It didn’t seem like it was hard, she just had to find the right containers for it. If you’re an eggwhite eater you could save yolkes and make lemon curd. Also, there are some great sweet and savory popcorn recipes out there. I once did that for favors at a baby shower. Let us know how your gifts turn out! Sounds like fun!

      • oh! I have family friends who make lemoncello and give that as gifts in a lovely bottle

        • Andie302

          I have a bottle right now that I was supposed to do the sugar step on…like over a year ago 🙁 I’m pretty sure at this point it should just be poured out. Womp womp

      • Emmaleigh504

        Mmmm my mom gives people lemon curd, there’s never any left over for me 🙁
        I like to make marmalade flavored with herbs to make it different. I screwed up a mixed citrus & rosemary marmalade and added lavender. I thought it would be too many flavors but I get requests for it every year.

      • Making vanilla extract is really easy – fresh vanilla bean/s, some type of alcohol (I like bourbon, but rum or vodka also work well). Let the beans steep for 6 weeks (or longer).
        I’ve used mini bottles of alcohol – perfect size for this.

    • you could also make really nice spiced nuts (like cashews or pecans) with that yummy crunchy coating – my mom does sweet/spicy pecans. There are lots of recipes for that type of stuff on Pinterest.

    • It took me that long to get to work as well. Got caught in terrible traffic on GA Ave. I only live a mile form the metro and it took me over 45 minutes to get there via bus. Great way to start the day!

    • Have fun! I miss Thailand.

    • Probably too late for this, but I bought a variety pack of different vanilla beans one year and made small bottles of homemade vanilla, then gave 2 to a person so they’d have different flavor vanilla extract. I put on the tag the type of bean used and described the flavor of the bean (as described on beanilla, where I got the beans). YUM

      bath balls are pretty easy to make.

    • Thanks for the tips everyone! Babycakes sound amazing!

    • I’m making salted chocolate caramels. Most years, I make truffles. Those are always a hit.

  • Blithe

    Rave: I needed something wonderful to listen to, and my dear friend, Pete Muldoon, came through with “The Score”. I’m loving it. And it’s yet another nudge that gets me to practice more.
    Rave: Many thanks to anonanon (awesome screen name!) and andy2 who made suggestions re: merino wool socks. I bought a pair of smartwool socks, and they’re exactly what I needed. I will definitely be asking Santa for a few more pairs — assuming I pass the Naughty or Nice test.
    Rave: Hanging out with a friend who’s a makeup artist — and letting him work his magic. Fun treat!
    Rave/Rant: Chocolate body scrub smells and feels wonderful. Cleaning the tub afterwords — not so wonderful.
    It reminded me of the time I proudly bought ethnically matching baby powder as a teen — and realized why this would NOT be flying off the shelves. :-0

  • What does the hivemind think of taking kids (aged 6-10) to the March Against Violence on Saturday? If we go, it will be with a school group.

    • epric002

      please tell me more about the march against violence! what do said kids think about it?

      • It’s on Saturday, 10am, starting at 13th and Pennsylvania. Al Sharpton has his name attached, but I hope that doesn’t keep reasonable people away.
        The kids want to go. They’re talking about issues of race and justice at school, we’re talking about it at home. I worry about their safety, because that’s my job. But it’s also my job to raise humans who are aware and compassionate and not-silent.

    • Blithe

      If I were a parent, I’d definitely take my kids to something like this — so they could experience being a part of a larger group working for positive change. As someone who has worked in many school settings, I couldn’t imagine doing this with a school group, in part because of the very real possibility that something could go horribly awry at the March. In a public school setting, I’d likely mention the March and encourage discussion about the goals of the people marching. In a private school setting, I’d be more likely to go a bit further and send home flyers, and maybe even encouraging parents to join in with their kids so that a group from the school could march together. What I would not do is be in the position of supervising someone else’s kids as part of a school-sanctioned event — both because it’s a social justice/political activity and because of the possible (if hopefully minimal)risks.
      Short version: I think it’s an awesome idea to have kids participate, I just have serious concerns about doing it as a “school group” — even as I realize that “school group” might mean something different from my assumptions.

    • If you feel like a march is too much, there’s also a vigil this weekend (the details escape me) – I believe that the plan is to have a line of light (candles, flashlights) going from downtown DC all the way to Silver Spring. Local religious organizations are taking responsibility for sections of 16th Street. It’s not a march, so perhaps a little less of what you are concerned about.

    • thebear

      Absolutely take them. It is important for children to experience first-hand how the real world works, and that they have a role in changing things. My parents took me to several of the civil rights protests in San Francisco in 1963 when I was 9-10. I didn’t fully understand and appreciate why white people were protesting with blacks and latinos until I got there.

    • I think you should take kids anywhere if you think they can handle it. I would bear in mind that this is a March Against *Police Violence*, not just *Violence*. There’s going to be a lot of rhetoric about bad cops and police violence against innocent civilians – you may get some questions if you’ve told your child, say, that the police are there to help people.

      • That’s what I’m struggling with. Can they handle it. I know they can handle the idea that some police officers don’t act right, and that safety and justice should be for everyone but that everyone’s not being treated the same. It’s more blithe’s comment, “the very real possibility that something could go horribly awry at the March” that concerns me.

        • I’ve organized and participated in a lot of marches in DC. Actually, I think that Al Sharpton’s name is attached is a good thing. That means that there is an organization that knows they have to be accountable and will want to protest again in DC therefore they will have marshals and others there to help control the crowd. I also checked out their website and they have information for church groups and youth groups. I think you will find this to be a pretty mainstream group.

    • skj84

      I say take them. It could be a great learning experience for them. I’ve been reading about the schools in Denver that staged Walk outs and it warms my heart that student want to get involved.

    • anonymouse_dianne

      By all means, take them. It’s important to get involved in our democracy as soon as possible.

      Be sure to have a back up plan in case you get separated, a place to meet. You will not be able to get service on ;your cell phone. (From experience) 😉

    • Afraid some scary person will kidnap your kids, or what? It’s a peaceful protest on the nation’s front lawn that will likely be crawling with videographers and still photographers. The eyes of the world will be upon the march, making it the safest place in America.

  • Emmaleigh504

    I hope Allison made delicous cookies and Farragut got to enjoy some.
    Rant: Eggnog does not seem to be as deliscious as it used to be (like last year!)
    Rant: I will never be able to spell delicsious without help.
    Rave: I’ve misspelled it 3 different ways in 1 post.

    • Farragut

      No cookies were baked! 🙁 I don’t think she’s planning on any until my sister comes for Christmas. On the plus side, we now have a rolling pin, so maybe Allison will stop using the wine bottle as a stand-in. Ha ha.

      • Allison

        Wine bottles make perfectly good rolling pins!

        • Emmaleigh504

          Allison! I am so disappointed! I was enjoying the thought of your homemade cookies (even if I don’t like thumbprint cookies). But I”m with you, wine bottles are perfectly good rolling pins. No need for special gadgets 🙂

    • Come on Emilie, I expect you to be drinking milk punch.

      • Emmaleigh504

        for sure! milk punch when I want a boozy drink (note: buy more brandy Emily). But I really used to like store bought eggnog. But now it’s just ok. I wish I had the recipe to my late great aunt’s boozy eggnog. soooo good and sooooo drunk making.

        • Emmaleigh504

          I should say my dead great aunt’s even deader maid’s eggnog recipe. My aunt didn’t make it, all she did was put the nutmeg on top. And Alice’s biscuits! sob now I’m thinking of all the great food I”ll never have again b/c no one got the recipe from the maid while she was still alive. Stupid not cooking relatives….

        • Blithe

          What kind did you get? I haven’t had any in a few years, but Whole Foods eggnog used to be great — and Bolton Farms low fat is actually decent. I’d maybe add some nutmeg — and brandy or rum for those who want it — but then there’s no way I’d make it from scratch. (I appreciate the advantages of pasteurized egg nog.)

          • Emmaleigh504

            I got lucerne. When I first moved here I tried all the store bought and it was my favorite. Now it’s just blah. I’m going to see what my tiny Yes has to offer tonight. I’ve never made it from scratch, seems like too much work. Milk punch forevah!

          • I make eggnog from scratch using Alton Brown’s recipe – easy and fantastic!! Of course, I add so much bourbon to it that any nasty bacteria is probably killed off…

          • saf

            Trickling Springs eggnog is good.

    • re: Eggnog
      Has anyone here ever had any South Mountain Creamery products? I have half a bottle of eggnog in the fridge now, and it’s awesome.
      They are up in Middletown, near Frederick, (and I’ve known these folks my entire life), but they deliver to most of the DC area, plus they are at the farmers market in Rockville, or maybe Gaithersburg, I can’t remember.
      They grow all of the food for the cows right on the farm, and when they milk them it’s bottled a couple of dozen yards away, in reusable glass bottles. Unless the milk is used to make butter, or cheese, or yougurt, or eggnog, or…you get the idea. Plus of course beef, and cage free eggs and chicken, and turkey, and, again, you get the idea. Also, no growth hormones or any of that factory farm shiznit.
      No, I don’t work for this place, but I know it well and am a happy customer. Check it out!


      Those little f’ers.

    • I Dont Get It

      I’m so sorry! Ugh!

    • I am so sorry for you. I still have bedbug related paranoia.
      I know it’s expensive, but I would suggest getting the heat treatment. I regret not doing it because I still worried about them coming back after the chemical treatment and laundering EVERYTHING in my apartment left me physically and emotionally spent.

    • Agh!!

    • Oh my gosh, so sorry. I have bed bug PTSD, especially since they are now renovating the house where the bed bugs initially came from. For what it is worth, we did the chemical treatment because we couldn’t afford the heat treatment at the time, and it worked great. We did catch our case pretty early though thanks to me being highly sensitive to the bites. Also, laundering every single piece of fabric i owned, including couch cushions, was really tough, especially as I was 15 weeks pregnant at the time.

      • Wow, the replies are actually making me feel better. Thanks :’]

        Context: I live in a mid-sized apartment building and called the management this morning about it. They are sending an exterminator to do an inspection tomorrow and then they will take it from there. I will try my best to get them to do the heat treatment but I had friends who had to do the heat treatment multiple times because it too failed. I’m also worried that since I’m in a building – there are probably about 60 units? – this is a starcrossed battle.

        Advice? Words of wisdom from any BB battle scarred veterans, anyone?????? THANK YOU!!!

        • Depending on what treatment they choose to do, buy a whole bunch of seal-able plastic bags. Because they had to do three rounds of the chemical treatment to kill all of the life cycles, we kept all of our clothes and linens in sealed bags in the living room until they were done. That way I didn’t have to go through the laundering process three times. Also, once they finish treatment, have them put a bed bug certified encasement on your mattress and box spring. You then absolutely do not open it for over a year. You will have to buy this ahead of time – the company we used just put them on for us after the last treatment.

        • Also, if you have only seen them in your bed and have no evidence of them on other furniture, don’t transfer linens between furniture (i.e. don’t bring a blanket from your bed to the couch). We additionally took the extra step of changing out of the clothes we slept in immediately and left them on the bed before we went anywhere else in the house.

          • Maybe a silly question but… am I just a social pariah now? Persona non grata? Can I go over to friends’ homes without putting them at risk?

          • We didn’t become social pariahs, but we also didn’t tell absolutely everybody about the problem. However, to make people feel more comfortable (i.e. when we went over to my parents who knew we were having the treatments), we did change our clothes immediately before we left the house, and used the clothes that were already laundered and in the sealed bags, so very little chance we carried anything with us. In my research, I did read that it is much harder to transmit bed bugs on clothes that you are actually wearing because they really don’t like when you move around (hence why they wait until you are asleep to bite – you aren’t moving too much!). That is why when you get them from hotels, it is usually in your suitcase and not actually on the clothes you are wearing. Just take the precautions, and your friends can rest easy.

    • NOOO!!!! I’m so sorry to hear that!!!

    • hispanicandproud

      augh… I had them when I lived in the Alegro several years ago. For the longest time I would wake up in night terrors thinking about them. They sure bug.

    • That is horrifying! I’m so sorry. One tip from a friend who had her apartment treated for bedbugs – take all posters/frames/etc off the wall before the treatment. Apparently they sometimes can hide behind wall hangings & survive through the exterminator! Horrible little monsters.

      Good luck!

    • I have been BB free for 3.5 years now, and I still get nightmares from time to time about them. Good luck in your battle.

  • Rant: Just coming back to work today after being out for a week because of a head cold. I still feel crappy, but at least I’m not contagious.

    Rant: Came back to a new coworker in the room whose perfume is absolutely nauseating.

    Rave: Cold and lack of appetite during it made me lose a little over 5lbs. Sweet.

  • Farragut

    RANT/RAVE: Today is the “office holiday party” and one aspect is we always raffle off some small prizes. This will be my fifth holiday party here, and I’ve yet to win anything. I’m hoping this is my year! I’ll update this comment in a couple hours with the results.
    RANT: I decided to drive instead of taking the Metro today and I screwed myself over since I expected this unzoned stretch of road to have a spot for me this morning and it didn’t (first time that’s happened!), so I had to park in a garage and now I’m spending 5+ times more than I would’ve had I taken the Metro in the first place.
    RAVE: Christmas music. Mannheim Steamroller is great.

    • Fingers crossed for a raffle win! Curious as to what the coveted (and maybe not-so-coveted) prizes are in other offices. Last year, when I realized the last raffles were for potted flowers, I “accidentally” dropped my raffle tickets…[And yes, I know I should be grateful that my office holds an annual holiday party. I am. But I can still complain about it, right? :)]

      • Last year I won a Dirt Devil– it’s something I’d never owned before and now I don’t know how I ever lived without it. Unfortunately it’s stopped working already, and now I work for a company that does a fancy offsite party instead of raffles in a conference room, so I guess I’ll have to buy a new one.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Fingers crossed! We used to have really fabulous parties with raffles for pearl necklaces and cruises and Tvs. My sister won a lovely watch with 24 tiny diamonds. I stole it from her 🙂
      Now we have potluck luncheons with bingo for white elephant prizes. I never win 🙁

      • Wow! At least you got a taste of the fancy life! (I think!)

        • Emmaleigh504

          Yes I got 4 or 5 wonderful fancy parties. They used to do themes, so the first was “A Night at the Oscars” They had a red carpet with paparazzi at the entrance. It was awesome! then they just went with plain fancy which was still pretty awesome. Then the economy tanked.

      • palisades

        That sounds wonderful. Last year (my first year) we went to the Mansion on O street and had brunch and booze all paid for. This year we’re just doing lunch in Tysons. Quite the step down.

        • Count your blessings — the holiday parties in my past government jobs were booze-free ones where you had to pay to attend, and the one at my current job is a potluck.

        • We’re going on the Odyssey. Because there’s nothing like a three hour tour with your whole company. This is our first off site party and I’m really not sure how it’s going to go, but I do know one thing, no one can leave!

    • hispanicandproud

      I am close to completing my Christmas playlist for a lunch I’m hosting this Sunday. Thanks to all the awesome suggestions from PoPvillers yesterday.

    • Back before my current gig as a Fed, I worked for a small, fancy consulting company in NYC. My absolute FAVORITE holiday party was when they rented MoMA for our holiday party (about 60 people total). The docents gave us a private tour of the collection and it was wonderful. We then had an incredible private dinner at the MoMA restaurant and proceeded to run up a $30K bar tab alone (so much expensive wine). Everyone was trashed.
      The COO of the firm got super trashed and decided that since he had recently purchased a personal liability sexual harassment insurance policy (at his wife’s insistence), it would be a great opportunity to drop his pants in the MoMA and show us his fraternity tattoo on his ass cheek 😮

    • Farragut

      Once again, I win nothing. Five losses in a row! The gift selection was a bit limited this year, though–a couple coffee mugs, a pen, a couple T-shirts, and a bottle opener. Some of the past raffles had more gift cards for stuff like iTunes and Starbucks. I think what adds to the annoyance is that the people who win are usually people I never see (since they work in another part of the office). And one of the people who won was a GS-15, too. C’mon, man…

    • skj84

      I had the best luck at winning the holiday party prizes when I worked at the hotel. I won a hotel stay in Boston, a hotel stay in NYC and a gift card 3 out of the 5 years I attended. Sending some prize winning luck your way!

  • Rant: Stalled train at Gallery Place meant that I had to stand in a packed train waiting for ten minutes while feeling overheated and a bit light-headed.
    Rave: The awesome commuters who offered to give up their seats to help out a father commuting with his two toddlers.
    Rave: Toddler chatter on my commute. Yes, it would be a good idea to buy a carousel and name all the horses after your family members. Adorable darling girl.
    Rave: I made it to the gym this morning.
    Rant: I was a pack animal this morning. Along with carrying clothes and my lunch, I hauled a ton of food into the office which I’m taking after work to friends that recently had a kid. Too many bags.

    • …I’m always the bag lady!

      I like when toddlers are cute on my commute. Sometimes, it’s a fine line between cute and total meltdown. I always feel for the parents during the meltdowns.

  • Andie302

    Rave: First box of ingredients for fresh meals arrives tonight…I’m excited to try this and all the services I’ve heard about from this forum. (Accountering got a groupon, so I don’t even know which service is delivering today!)
    Rave: New roommate seems to be working out really well so far
    Rave: Zero days of an empty bedroom in the house
    Rave: Feeling much better today

    • I haven’t been following the chatter, but delivered meals sound like a good Christmas gift for my pregnant sister and her husband. Do people have recommendations? They live near Columbia, MD though, so it’d have to be a wide delivery area.

      • epric002

        yes! have tried blue apron (don’t like that they pick the meals for you; meals can be very adventurous/a bit time consuming); hellofresh (definitely the easiest to make/least adventurous); plated (meal prices vary based on ingredients); and homechef (pretty broad selection that covers most food preferences/restrictions). i currently alternate b/n homechef and plated based on who has the better menu each week.

  • Rant: Toilet overflowed, kitchen sink won’t drain green gunk upchucked from garbage disposal, shower head started leaking. Plumber can’t come until tomorrow. Why does everything break down at once?
    Rave: Nothing was in the toilet when flushed, I don’t have to use the kitchen sink today, shower head joint just needed to be tightened. My plumber is awesome.

  • SFT

    Rant: My coworker is clipping his fingernails again. *shiver*
    Rave: My parents left yesterday and the calm has been restored in my house! My dad was really pleasant for the first afternoon/evening.
    Rant: Sunday and Monday he was over the pleasantries. Usually when grandparents come it is to dote on the grandchild and to help out. I waited on him hand and foot the entire weekend and am exhausted emotionally and physically. My son (who is the chillest kid on the block) cried the entire weekend. He never cries! The energy in our house was so negative and so thick that it caused him to cry during the day and to not sleep well at night. He degraded our house, kept telling us that it wasn’t a house that we lived in an apartment (we have a very lovely row house). My coffee was bad, the couch was the wrong height, it’s too cold, we cut our crepe myrtle trees wrong, the sandwich i made him was gross, we have the wrong kind of peanut butter, the pie i made wasn’t as good as he thought it was going to be, the pringles up here in the north are different than the ones he gets in the south, he can’t believe what a bleeding heart liberal yankee I’ve become, my car isn’t very comfortable and needs to be waxed, and the whole weekend he talked about how much he couldn’t wait to go home. I told him that he didn’t have to come back, ever. I meant it. I won’t let him back in my house, and more than that, I think my husband would divorce me if I ever invited him back. It’s over now….breathe!

    • I’m angry just reading about this, never mind having lived it. FWIW, this semi-anonymous internet commenter wholeheartedly supports your decision to not permit him to come back, even if it wouldn’t lead to marital dissolution.

    • ugh I’m sorry it was so awful. Makes me glad we’re estranged from my FIL – a total piece of human garbage. Who interestingly wanted to make up for the years of emotional and verbal abuse he hurled at my husband and my MIL once we had a child. Yeah, you were SUCH a good father, I’d let you around MY kid? I’m happy to be the bad guy when it comes to not letting him around our child.

      Put your foot down – you’re a good mom, have a great home and family – screw him if he can’t see that. And don’t feel obligated to entertain him any more! (as you can tell, I hate parents/in laws like this)

    • binpetworth

      Honey, you need a drink! Good for you for putting up with that disagreeable man for the weekend. Glad peace is now restored.

    • Oh you poor thing. I got stressed reading your account of your weekend. BREATHE.

    • Wow. Sounds like what my mom would say if she would just communicate like a normal human instead of bottling up everything. It makes me feel better when someone else complains about a parent. I’ve never had the courage to before. I would guess he has some kind of horribly deep seated insecurity, from something like depression or news of a chronic illness. At least my parents never travel, so I can visit as often as I want for as long as I want and spend all my visit outside.

    • Ugh, I’m so sorry, Crappy relatives are just the worst and I’m glad you gave him a piece of your mind. No one should be treated like that, especially not by people who claim to love them. Congratulations on getting your home back!

    • Blithe

      Wow! I’m glad that y’all survived the visit, and if you need support for your decision to never ever let him back in your house again, I’ll join with the villagers in supplying it. I’m sure there are ways to maintain a minimalistic positive relationship with him without letting him wreck the stability of your home. I’m glad you can breathe again!
      I have to say though, I snickered majorly reading the Pringles comment. I’d truly never thought about the possibility of meaningful regional differences is heavily processed junk.

    • Wait a minute….I was too busy being indignant about everything else in your story to notice that he actually complained about your PIE? What kind of heathen is he?!?! a) Pie is always great. Some may be greater than others, but all pie is pretty awesome. b) a pie made by your CHILD is 10x better c) The appropriate response when someone makes you a pie is abject gratitude. Always. Anything less is grounds for termination of the relationship and expulsion from decent society.

      • SFT

        Right…it was a delicious chocolate pecan pie! I left out the bourbon specifically for him, because I didn’t want to hear the “Jesus hates people who put bourbon in pie” rant.

        • Emmaleigh504

          He is mistaken, Jesus lovse bourbon in pie, it adds flavor. Jesus loves flavor. He told me.

        • Blithe

          And my MOM told me that Santa Claus would rather have a shot of rum in eggnog than plain eggnog and a cookie, so there!

        • I’m pretty sure that Jesus hates mannerless, judgey ingrates who turn their noses up at lovely pies a whole lot more…I seem to remember him being big on treating others as you would have them treat you.

        • Blithe

          This is a serious question: Why would Jesus, who turned water into wine for a wedding, hate people who put bourbon in pie? Is it the difference between wine and hard liquor — or something else?

          • SFT

            I don’t know, he (my dad not Jesus) has gotten extra crotchety in his old age. My aunt brought beer to their house one day for a BBQ and he told her that she could not bring beer onto his property. I have no idea where this came from. He used to drink beer.

          • SFT, if we ever meet in person, we might trade “war” stories. My favorite one from my family is being scolded for making “unnecessary” left-hand turns while driving because they are “dangerous.” Same thing goes for taking escalators. Can’t make this stuff up. I think people who have relatives like this really are in a unique position. You can’t turn away family — they’re family! — but you have to stand up to irrational demands, too. And the former has to trump the latter much of the time. I’m really sorry you’re facing this.

          • Blithe

            Thanks SFT. I’m impressed by your ability to try so hard to make things work out well — and even more by your ability to realize that having a peaceful home and a sense of well-being is worth way way more than working things out with people who aren’t willing or able to work for that too.

        • I don’t think Jesus hates anyone — hating is rather un-Jesuslike.

    • Congratulations on making it through & here’s another vote for your resolve to never let him stay with you again.

    • Emmaleigh504

      I’m so sorry you and your family had to go through that. Big hugs for you.

    • Oh dear, you deserve a medal and more than one drink for surviving the weekend.

    • I face similar issues with close family members and just want to applaud your response — both that you kept your cool through several harrowing days and that you made a firm decision not to do so again. I know this decision isn’t an easy one or one that’s taken lightly, but it’s the right decision. I hope you’ll have some opportunities in the next few days to do something really nice for yourself. The “breathing” you mention at the end of your post is really important!

      • SFT

        Ya know, I tried with my whole heart. Making the effort was really important to me, because you never want to look back and say…’but what if I had just tried a little harder”. I did and I know how it turned out.

    • I Dont Get It

      Well I agree with him on the Pringles 😉

    • This may not make you feel any better, but my stepdad is not welcome at our house either, for almost identical reasons. Good riddance. 🙂

    • I am so sorry. My mother is exactly the same. Several years ago I came to the realization that I’m not the bad person she says that I am and made the decision that that if she can’t see that then she’s not allowed in my home and I don’t really want to deal with her. It has been the most liberating decision of my life.

      • SFT

        Good for you!! It’s tough, man. The people who brought you into this world are supposed to be the people who have your back to the end. It’s sad when that’s not the case.

    • Accountering

      That is ridiculous… Happy you are through that, and I agree, do not permit him back. What a douche.

    • Ally

      Jeeze, I’m sorry. I had a bit of a row with my mother while I was home, but I’m starting to really appreciate how minor that was now. I know you know this already, but try to keep in mind that the criticism was in no way about you. Oddly enough, some people (especially older people) make their small talk and “jokes” by criticizing and complaining. Sounds like you have a great husband and kiddo to help you recover!

    • Wow — that is just awful!
      Rave for having a backbone and defending your happiness and welfare!

    • whoooa. His rants are so hilariously absurd it sounds like he’s auditioning for the role of “cranky a-hole father” on an ABC sitcom.

  • Rave: Amazing pole class last night – elbow grip Iron X for the win.
    Rant: The weather today – seriously – either be warmer or just snow. This winter-y mix business is for the birds.
    Rave: Drove in due to having to proctor exams today and because of the aforementioned weather; traffic was not bad at all, and I found my usual parking space and I was nice and toasty the whole way.
    Rant-ish: the WOD tonight has double-unders….le sigh..I know I’ll only get better at them with practice, but they’re so annoyingly difficult for me!

  • Rant: Reflux prevented me from enjoying my delicious brisket last night.
    Rave: Brisket for dinner tonight.

  • Rant: Crazy, crazy day as I prep for a big work event tonight. Ahhhh stop adding people to the guest list last minute, we are already way over capacity! Stress stress stress.
    Rave: I managed to convince my supervisors that we need to use laptops to check in guests tonight, rather than flipping through a 55 page (not exaggerating) guest list. I LOVE TECHNOLOGY. We really need to catch up to the 21st century at my job…
    Rant: So much craziness between now and Christmas. I don’t know when I am going to fit in time for Christmas shopping – will probably be mostly doing it on Amazon…
    Rave: I love my Amazon Prime. Love love love.

    • Oh my goodness yes on amazon prime. The best thing ever.

      • SFT

        +1,000,000 for Amazon Prime. I dont’ know how I ever lived without it 🙂

      • palisades

        Because I’m lazy: As opposed to the 1 min drive to the hardware store, I ordered nails from Amazon. A huge box of them for so cheap delivered in 2 days. Prime is worth every penny

    • 頑張って!I really don’t know why people in our offices are so opposed to using technology. Sometimes I send an email and then have to print the email out for the person I sent it to…it’s ridiculous!

      • I was cleaning our offices this summer (university so summer is reallllllly slow) – and there were ungodly amounts of printed out emails…..of entire conversations….stapled together….seriously people, you’re missing the point…..

      • Hahahha oh yes I’ve had to do that too. Or they print out an e-mail, bring it over to me, ask me to correct it/just give me the information on it (like someone’s contact info). Uh, thanks? You could just e-mail it to me…

        • If you work in an environment where your emails are subject to open records laws or Congressional requests), then it makes sense to start a draft, print the draft, get edits, then finish and just send the final. Otherwise every @#$#@$#@$ version of an email you send could be subject to scrutiny by outside interests and you might have to explain why changes were made that you thought were insignificant at the time, but clearly someone else thinks are evidence of a deep conspiracy. Not that I’ve been in this situation.

          • Allison

            Yeah but then you have to save the paper drafts as federal records. (Or at least my very rudimentary understanding of records laws is that drafts circulated for comment are records subject to FOIA etc.)

          • Hah true… Not really the case with my workplace though, it’s more that they are just… really technologically behind. (Scanners? What’s that? We use fax machines…)

    • Pablo Raw

      There are a lot of charities or non profits that can be benefited through the use of Amazon Smile. My choice is the DC Roller Girls. I take advantage of the movies and it’s always fun to read the comments!

  • epric002

    rant: woke up at 1:30 to a 4 vehicle police response in the 3800 block of 13th st NW. the alley (that runs behind randolph) entrance on 13th was taped off. an officer told me “a lady was robbed”. this incident hasn’t been reported on the MPD listserv (has anyone else seen it?) nor did we get a DC alerts crime alert. haven’t gotten any info from MPD yet either.
    rave: humidifier means i don’t wake up coughing at night anymore.
    request: took the dogs walking last night to look at xmas lights but they were rather few and far between. does anyone recommend any blocks w/lots of lights in the 16th st heights/crestwood/petworth/park view/columbia heights area?

    • I’ve seen three or four incidents in the last few weeks involving a large police response that haven’t been on DC Alerts and it freaks me out every time. I’m not sure if the reporting is especially shoddy lately or if I’m just noticing it more. Either way, it’s unsettling to see major police activity and not know the reason for it, particularly when it’s close to home.

    • RE: Christmas lights!
      I would love to put Christmas lights up on my house…but I do not have any sort of outlet on the front (rowhouse). The only thing I can think of doing is running an extension cord through the mail slot, but that is kinda janky looking and will also not be very heat efficient. Any ideas?

      • I’m in a similar situation (no outlets on front of house).
        For what it’s worth: My safety-paranoid dad told me that if I wanted to put lights outside, they needed to be plugged into a GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter) outlet. They’re the kind you see in your kitchen or bathroom, with test/reset buttons; they’re required for places where there’s water around. I didn’t feel like running a heavy-duty extension cord all the way from the kitchen, so I decided not to bother.

      • There are battery powered ones. Not ideal, but better than nothing. In your situation, I would be inclined to go with the candle in every window, and maybe a battery-powered lighted wreath on the front door.

        • epric002

          +1 my neighbor has some cute battery operated lanterns she hung on her porch that she said she got from CVS! i like the window candles and lit wreathes too.

      • If you buy a marine battery or even use an old car battery, it’s pretty easy to buy a converter to run them off the old battery. Keep the battery on your front porch or in the bushes, no one will steal it. The Christmas lights – especially the LED ones – use very little power. You can then use a trickle charger to recharge the battery during the day inside your house (plugged into a wall outlet).

      • I’m fairly sure I saw solar powered lights somewhere. I have no idea how effective they are.

        • I remember IKEA had an array of solar-powered outdoor lights over the summer; it’s too bad they don’t carry ones that would work as winter holiday lights.
          (It wouldn’t help in my particular situation, though, as the front of my house gets so much light from the streetlight that photocells don’t work properly.)

        • My sister-in-law has solar lights up in her courtyard – they are lovely and very festive. From Amazon, I believe.

      • Ally

        There are solar ones that work okay for a while. I’m in the same boat with no front outlet. I’ve decided just to decorate my front windows with inside christmas lights (a la gingerbread house). Better than nothing 😉

      • epric002

        we don’t either. we run them under the porch through a basement window (obviously we can’t keep the lights on when we’re not home b/c the window is unlocked/cracked). i see a lot of people in my neighborhood whose exterior porch lights have an outlet attached- kind of like those old bathroom light fixtures.

      • Blithe

        Do you have a porch light? I’ve no idea if this is a good idea or not, but I’ve seen people replace the bulb in their porch lights with an adapter that screws in and has plugs. The absence of the porch light is balanced out by all the lit Christmas lights. I’m guessing that you can then switch them on and off with the light switch for the porch light — but don’t know for sure.

        • Blithe

          oops — didn’t read down far enough. I’m pretty sure that what I’m talking about is the same thing that epric002 is describing.

      • djdc

        Do you have a porch light? You can buy a simple adapter that has electrical outlets on it where you plug in the cords and you can still screw in the lightbulb.

        • djdc

          I’m with you, Blithe. I guess I type too slowly…

        • This was what I was planning to do, until my safety-paranoid dad told me that I shouldn’t be plugging outdoor Christmas lights into a regular outlet — only into a GFCI outlet.

      • I Dont Get It

        I don’t have outlets out front either and always wanted to put lights on my porch. There are now battery operated LED lights with timers and I put some on my porch and they look great. The ones on my wreath are actually indoor lighs but I put a plastic storage bag around the battery pack and its doing fine!

        • IDGI, I’ll have to look into these battery-operated LED lights with timers. That sounds like it might be the perfect solution!

          • I Dont Get It

            They aren’t long strings but were enough to do the handrails down my steps. Target and Home Depot have them and various light places online.

    • It’s always worth taking a drive past the Bishop’s house at 1665 N Portal NW.

      • epric002

        i don’t know anything about this house. is there some story behind it?

        • Blithe

          I don’t know if there’s a story, but the Christmas light displays are always fantastic.

          • I think that’s the one where the pastor who used to live there always did amazing displays, and when he died, his parish kept up the tradition.

          • It is (was?) the house of the bishop from the United House of Prayer. A 1995 Washington City Paper article about UHOP says:

            “Walter McCollough was a spellbinding preacher who took Daddy Grace’s outreach programs to new heights. He poured church monies into low- and moderate-income housing in Washington and other East Coast cities. He opened food banks, senior-citizen homes, and day care centers, and fostered partnerships with charitable organizations such as the House of Ruth. And at Christmas, he put on the best light show in town. Using thousands of colored lights, McCollough began an annual tradition at the main bishop’s pad at 1665 North Portal Dr. NW that still draws gawkers by the tour-bus load.”

          • Textdoc, thanks for this. The article you posted reminded me that I really wish someone would provide an updated article on UHOP for circulation, since this is the most comprehensive one out there and it’s from 20 years ago. UHOP used to be my landlord at my last apartment and I had nothing but wonderful dealings with them. I’m curious what an article circa 2015 would have to say about it. I’m tempted to do the research myself.

  • Rave? Rant? Terror? Have an unexpected interview event with a large consulting firm this afternoon. Applied on a whim 6 months ago and was contacted by a recruiter for two different positions. My young career is comprised of academic and nonprofit experience, and this is a massive shift that I feel wholly unprepared and unqualified for, not to mention what it would mean to go from very meaningful, underpaid work to less meaningful but much, much better pay. Anyone else make this kind of shift before?

    • As someone who has worked for a large consulting firm the past three years I would not recommend it. I have been looking to get out for awhile now, but so have many of my colleagues so it is competitive. The last two years we have seen our 401k cut, stagnant salaries–cut in some cases!, PTO cut, and now our health insurance plans gutted. At the end of the day I’d rather do more meaningful work, for less pay than what I do now. But could be a case of grass isn’t always greener… anyhow good luck!

    • Give it a try – you may enjoy the change.

    • i spent 15 years in the nonprofit and academic sectors before joining the private sector 2 years ago. while i miss the meaningfulness of my former positions, any regret is completely assuaged every two weeks when i get that direct deposit. i’m making almost twice what i was before, working around the same number of hours (if not slightly fewer). i can now afford to do all those things i always dreamed of doing — little things like affording a great vacation, buying a new pair of shoes on a whim, going into anthropologie and being outraged at the prices, but still buying something. going out for dinner and drinks and not worrying so much about how much i’m spending.
      i felt totally unprepared for the jump, and was intimidated because i had heard from so many people who inefficient nonprofit, public service, and academia are in comparison to the private sector and thought that i would be considered lazy and inefficient and would soon be unmasked as a fraud. well, 2 years in, i realized that there are lazy and inefficient people everywhere, and if you’re a hard worker at your current job, those skills will transfer over.
      i think in the end for me, while i enjoyed my former job/career, i have A LOT of hobbies outside of work, and am never going to be someone defined by my job so having a job that allowed me to afford all of the toys and travel i enjoy for my hobbies (hiking in remote places, traveling, trying new food in different countries) is more meaningful than anything i ever accomplished at work.

    • Depends on who the firm is. If it’s McKinsey (or one of a similar very high prestige and profitability), definitely go for it. As a young person, they prefer you to not have a ton of experience. At the entry level, consulting is essentially a grueling boot camp involving the MS Office suite 😀
      Be confident, but more importantly be thoughtful. They’re looking to see how you attack a problem and organize your thoughts/workflow. Good luck!

      • They will also work you to the bone since they do not care if you have a work-life balance, because you have to bill the client. Always be billing. Awful.

      • It is a firm of similar caliber, though not an entry-level position (something else that baffles me, though I’m sure that’ll be weeded out at the hiring “event”). I’m just worried I’m gonna hate my life in a year, even though right now I work 55+ hours a week for less than 50k a year. The population I serve makes me really happy, even though there are no opportunities for promotion or raises in the horizon, which admittedly are pretty important to me as professional markers of accomplishment. I do like the idea of seeing if I can hack it in the corporate world, and I think I can… but there’s a little part of my brain nagging me that some of the operations of this particular firm (ones I would not be involved with) don’t align with my moral compass.

  • Rave: Done with Christmas shopping after getting my dad a fitbit. I hope he doesn’t already have one/will like it. Boy is getting Foo Fighter tickets 🙂
    Rant: Final tonight. I’m wicked nervous, and was hoping to study a bit more at work, but that’s not happening.
    Rave: Have over a month break after this. I can’t wait to rediscover boredom!
    Rant: People who put wet umbrellas on public transit seats. It’s so inconsiderate – and for some reason turned my mood sour even though I wasn’t affected!
    Rave: Sleep. Which won’t happen until the weekend after next since my mom will be in town this weekend. Tons of cleaning to do before then…

  • Revel: Offer accepted and closing scheduled for less than 30 days. Woot!
    Rave: Visiting a friend’s marital arts school tonight.
    Rant: People who leave lights on all day. Why does your room need to glow neon at 12 noon?
    Revel: Getting dog back on a regular schedule with plenty of walks has helped him become less whiny.

    Question for the forum: Any recommendations to sell high end jewelry? Tired of looking at an old ring but not desperate, so I definitely want to get fair price.

    • Marital arts school? But for whatever for? 😉

    • For the ring, check out Auctionata online. They’ll give you a free appraisal and will buy it from you and then auction it off if you decide you like the offer. Plus, their website is fun to poke around, especially if you’re into shiny things.
      (Full disclosure: I know about them not because I’ve sold anything to them, but because I’m friends with someone who works there.)

    • I’m interested in your jewelry selling question too. I have an antique diamond ring that I’ve been trying to sell on ebay with no luck.

      • Emmaleigh504

        listing? I’m on the hunt for a diamond ring.

        • The auctionata site has all sorts of jewelry…may be worth a look for you too.

        • This is my craigslist posting. I have three antique diamond rings (one of which belonged to my grandmother and I would never sell) and another that I bought recently as a promotion present to myself (from the early 1900s- one of my favorite eras). I bought this one as a birthday present to myself last year and find that now I never wear it any more. Might as well sell it so someone else can enjoy it!


        • I’m not sure my comment with the link made it through moderation. I have it posted on DC craigslist under jewelry for sale by owner too. It’s a 1920s diamond flanked by two sapphires. The listing title is : Antique Diamond Ring Circa 1920s.

      • I don’t think eBay is a good choice as people tend to be leery of jewelry purchases (could be fake, etc). I’m checking out auctionata, and I’ll post later in the week.

  • hispanicandproud

    Rave: White House event tonight with bestie and friends! Fancy time!

    Rave: Got invited to a holiday lights run next Wednesday night. Checking out all the big trees!

    Rant: DC people who wear rain boots when it sprinkles.

  • Blithe

    Query: Yesterday I considered doing a donation to Wikipedia (my first) via Amazon. I clicked through to the Amazon site via Wikipedia, and was startled to see that the “Amazon” site requested that I change my password — so I signed out without completing the donation process. When I sign directly into the Amazon site, it’s the way it usually is, with no mention of any need to change my password. Has anyone else had this happen? Does it suggest security problems with Wikipedia and/or Amazon? I’m bummed, because I would like to support Wikipedia, but I was sketched out by this.

  • Bear

    Not sure what this is, but I had that talk with my VP yesterday. I think he heard me, and agrees with the issues I raised, and is going to explore options with HR. He also acknowledged that I’ve been doing my boss’s job for some time now. What still gets me is that there was no “sorry you’re having to go through this and thanks for being a loyal employee.” Even if they can’t do anything in the short term, some kind of acknowledgement would go a long way.
    Also, I signed on after the discussion started about brain vs. gut. My gut says GTFO, my brain says that it’s really not a good idea since pregnancy could be a consideration in the near future. If that weren’t an issue I’d be applying like mad.

    • SFT

      If you gut says GTFO, then why not explore and apply like mad. You already have a job, so you’re not desperate to take the first thing that comes your way. Something may pop up that is much better than your current situation. If you don’t explore you’ll never know. I turned down several jobs before finally making a move. This one felt right and it’s been the best move ever. Pregnancy/the kiddo did throw a wrench into my devil may care attitude towards jobs, money, life, so I totally understand the feeling that you need to lead with your head. I guess I said all of that to say this… Why not explore your options?

      • I agree with SFT. A friend of mine is more than halfway through her pregnancy and is in the last round of interviews for a job that would give her more flexibility and higher pay, among other benefits. She never thought it was possible that’s she’d find something like, but it looks like she’s going to get it. Definitely explore your options!

        • Bear

          One of my hang-ups is that I have a lot of flexibility and benefits now that I don’t think are typical for my field – and I know this because I’ve explored options in the last couple of years. I suppose I won’t know unless I really start looking, but that’s been a big reason for sticking it out.

    • You probably know this, but just keep in mind that FMLA only applies if you’ve worked somewhere for a year (assuming the employer is subject to the law). And the maternity leave at most places is truly terrible, so if you aren’t eligible for FMLA, leave could be quite difficult.

      • Bear

        Yes, that’s a concern – even if I am somewhere long enough to qualify for FMLA, unpaid leave isn’t terribly attractive. At least where I am now I have a good amount of PTO saved up and would qualify for short-term disability, so I’d be able to have a decent maternity leave.

        • Rant: Pregnancy being classified as a disability. Jeez.

          • *Or, rather, having to claim pregnancy as a disability in order to take maternity leave. JEEZ.

          • It’s classified that way so employers can’t fire you for being pregnant/potentially could get pregnant in the future, since “disabilities” are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Employers must also provide pregnant women with “reasonable accommodations” in order to allow them to fulfill the responsibilities of their job.
            It’s a good thing.
            But yes, it’s utter crap that we don’t have mandatory minimum PTO.

  • justinbc

    Rant: Doing Venetian plaster in the bedroom this weekend really kicked my ass. I had no idea it was going to be that difficult. Granted, it’s a large space, but jeez. Still kind of hard to breathe around the fumes a few days later, and the dust from the sanding is all over, woops. Not looking forward to the second coat application at all. As much as I would have liked some help, it’s kind of a good thing I tackled this project alone.
    Random: Way too busy this month to get around to planning out the PoP HH for December. Someone else can take a stab at it, or we can just push to early January, up to you guys.
    More random: Was catching up on old posts and saw people talking about eating live prawns, was it similar to this? https://www.flickr.com/photos/wedoitforlove/7555935438/in/set-72157630549482020 If so, I loved my experience! At least it was a lot better flavor than when I had the sannakji (live octopus).

  • Rave: Kiddo is in day care today! I’m at work!
    Rant: Pediatrician checkup on Thursday. I dread those. The office is so disorganized and we’ll likely barely make it to day care by lunchtime after a 9:20 appointment. And at the last visit, my daughter lost her mind every time anyone walked in the room–even just for getting height/weight measurements. Ugh. And my wife doesn’t get home until Thursday aftermoon. It’s been a long week already and it’s only Tuesday!

    • SFT

      Is there a lolly pop drawer? We recently discovered that each room at our pedi’s office has a drawer full of dum dums. Sneaking hand fulls of dum dums has become my new favorite thing to do at the doctors office. I don’t think we’ll give one to the kiddo yet, but it makes me feel better 🙂

  • jim_ed

    Rave: John Wall’s incredible performance last night followed by his emotional tribute to his 6 year old friend who lost her battle with cancer. It had my wife and I straight up crying. DC is so lucky to have such an incredible athlete and good person in town.

    Rave/Rant: I feel so conflicted about Uber. I know the people that run it area bunch of Randian whackjobs, but the people who drive for Uber seem to genuinely love it, and it’s so much better than the cabbies who drive dangerously and act like they’re doing you the worlds biggest favor.

    • Ugh genuinely love it? Look at just some of their reviews on Indeed. http://www.indeed.com/cmp/Uber-7/reviews

    • justinbc

      I’ve been curious if the people who were initially outraged by their public comments have continued their boycott, or forgotten it and gone back to using them already. I know that Lyft reported record usage for the week immediately after, but that seems to people about the length of most folks’ attention span these days (if not shorter).

      • I wasn’t outraged with the first story or the second, or any of them really. But when I put them all together it was like hmm, this company kind of sucks. I didn’t say I wouldn’t use it anymore, but I did say I’d use it less. I only used it about 1-2 times a month away so not a huge customer. Then about 2 weeks ago I deleted the app and haven’t looked back. I took a Lyft and enjoyed it so I will probably continue to use them, but mostly I rely on walking, metro, and fiancee.

        • justinbc

          Good to hear (not that I have a stake in the Uber or taxi debate anyway, since I rarely use either). I know lots of people that I know personally were decrying their sins and swearing to never use them again, but I don’t ever go home with them after bars, so I have no idea if they’re sticking to it or not.

    • I’ve reluctant to use Uber since reading this

      but I have unfortunately not yet come up with a workable alternative. When Hailo was around, they got my commuting money. But Taxi Magic is not as reliable and I just can’t get on board with Lyft or going back to spending unpredictable amounts of time hailing cabs.

    • palisades

      Were you at the game? It was an awesome time. I went with a big group of friends and the Celtics fans were getting WAY too loud! Luckily we shut them up! None of us were aware of the heartbreaking story about the girl with cancer but I saw it on Sportscenter later and started tearing up. Wall is a genuinely good guy, DC is lucky to have him.

      • jim_ed

        No, I watched on TV. I refuse to pay the premium price set by all the bandwagon fans for bad teams like the Knicks, Lakers, and Celtics. Utah Jazz in town? Then you can find me at the VC sitting club level for $25 bucks. But yeah, the Wall interview was just heartbreaking. It’s rare to see actual, honest to god, genuine emotion out of players. We really are lucky, despite what that racist turd Colin Cowherd has to say.

    • skj84

      Uber has been testing my love recently. Between the CEO’s comments about the journalist and their surge pricing. I had a bit too much Saturday night and needed to Uber home. What should’ve been a $18.00 ride was almost $50 due to surge pricing. At 11pm. I accepted because I really needed to get home, but I really feel gouged. Like I use Uber because they are supposed to be more consumer friendly than cabs but these recent developments is making me feel uneasy about them.

      • justinbc

        Are they really that much better to justify a $50 ride over one that would be less than $20 in a cab? I know for a long time their unofficial slogan was along the lines of “at least we won’t rape you”, but now with the continuing streak of Uber rape claims it seems like that benefit is being lost too.

        • skj84

          I do wish I had tried to hail a cab. I mean I did get an Uber almost immidiatly, and it probably would’ve taken a while to flag a cab. And I knew I was able to use my credit card no hassle with Uber, which is a huge selling point for me. But I feel like they know they have a monopoly and exploit users. I sent an email complaining about the surge and got the most condescending response.

          • As someone who uses credit cards religiously, I make sure to always have $20-25 just in case. I cannot imagine dealing with surge pricing without being able to take the cheaper option when needed.

      • When I see that they’re doing surge pricing, I usually just take the black car option. I have not seen surge pricing for them and they are usually available more quickly than UberX is.

  • Rave – Ariel Arts recital this evening. get to see little kids swinging around.
    Rant/Rave – Have to take lots of time off for recitals the next couple of weeks – Ariel Arts, Dance, Piano.
    Rave – job that permits me to take time off for things like this.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: miserable head cold making it impossible to concentrate on work. don’t really have time for this. but can’t summon any cares.
    Rave: The Sisterhood: becoming nuns comes on tonight.

  • Rant: People that get on crowded, rush-hour buses with huge suitcases and then get annoyed when they have to move back. It’s a bus. You know this if you don’t want to maneuver with luggage take a cab!
    Rant: Job review coming up. Ready for a change, but not sure what. Need to figure out how to better articulate and figure out what I want before end of Jan.

    • Blithe

      I sympathize with the discomfort connected with your first rant, but as someone who spent multiple years trudging from one school or another during the holidays, I can assure you that the reason at least some of us are lugging huge suitcases — on buses and subways is because the unknown — or possibly the known — expense of cab fare is outside of our budgets. So “take a cab”/”let them eat cake” is not always a realistic option, even when it’s one that the luggage toters as well as their fellow passengers would likely all prefer.
      * Full disclosure: Yes, I have been that person with the backpack, the duffel bag, and the guitar case trying for the cheapest route home.

      • If you simply cannot afford a cab, then you should accept what comes with traveling with luggage. You can’t have your cake (cheap commute) and eat it too (expect the other passengers to maneuver around and accommodate you). It’s not our fault you cannot afford a cab, after all. I’m sure even the poorest person who can afford to go home (many people can’t do so) could budget 11 months out for cab fare.

        • Blithe

          That’s true. But the original post didn’t say anything about forcing other people to accommodate the person with luggage — the OP complained about such people getting “annoyed”, and offered the alternative of “taking a cab”. My post was intended to suggest that lugging luggage on public transportation is, indeed, annoying — to the lugger as well as to his/her fellow passengers.

          As to your last point, um, no. Cab fare to and from Union Station to wherever one happens to live is not always something that “even the poorest person who can afford to go home….could budget”, despite your assurances. Taking the bus from NYC to DC — if you plan well, can cost far far less than cab fare from, say, Union Station to Wheaton, and that’s not in everyone’s budget.

          • +1 to this.

          • The post addressed someone getting annoyed because they have to move back. If you’re refusing to move back on a crowded bus, you’re asking the others around you who either have to move past you or be squished at the front of the bus to accommodate the luggage.
            I’ve encountered plenty of poor people who haven’t seen family in years because of the cost of going home, so yes, I gather someone who can afford that expense and luggage can probably save the $1-5/week to afford a cab ride around the holidays.

        • Sheesh. Is this really that big of a deal? Seems like the folks with big bags, etc. can/should do their best not to knock into other people, and other people can do stuff like move their knees in from the aisle so that people with bags can get through more easily. It doesn’t have to be an adversarial relationship.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rant: The 17-year-old. 80% of the time, she is an intelligent, thoughtful, delightful young woman. We’re in the middle of the other 20% right now.
    Rave: Instead of meh turkey at the in-laws’ Christmas dinner, we’re having prime rib. It will be awesome; my FIL takes his beef seriously (his father was a cattle broker in the the old country).
    Not sure: My new lipstick is a gorgeous color, but it may be too dark and Gothy for me. I haven’t decided yet.

    • When I was 17, I was 90% awful and 10% okay. I’m really terrified that I’m going to have a teenage daughter who acts like I did. My poor, poor mother…

      • Emmaleigh504

        lol 17 year old acts just like Quotia Zelda did only not quite as bad! I learned from her example and did the opposite. I was the best teen ever. I hope the younger Zelda’s are taking notes on what not to do.
        Do you realize that if Cricket follows in you or or mom’s footsteps you could be grandmother in about 5 years?

        • Quotia Zelda

          SHUT UP!
          (Also, I will give you surly, mouthy, and stubborn, but I always went to school, always did my homework, and was never late.)

  • Ally

    Rave: One year anniversary coming up this weekend and lots of fun stuff planned.
    Rant: Pregnancy hormones have turned me from Star Trek’s Data into The Tasmanian Devil. Hopping this tapers off some eventually before major appliances start getting thrown.
    Rave: Fiance being more than understanding about now being partnered with the Tasmanian Devil.

  • RANT: The CIA. Barbarism, incompetence at the highest level, and bald faced lying that only served to worsen U.S. security. But hey, you made a bunch of money for yourselves. It will be interesting to see how far the Deep State (aka The Federal Mormon Government of Potomac and McLean) will go to smear Senator Feinstein and the President.
    RAVE: The Senate committee staff who dedicated 5 to 6 years of their lives – against blatant hostility and obfuscation – to publish that report. You’ve done a great thing for your country. On the good chance that some of you read PoP’ville, thank you for your integrity and service. You’ve continued to prove why checks and balances are important. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  • Rant: jet lag meant I slept 3 hours last night
    Rave: gave up tossing and turning and went to gym for 2 hr workout – colleague then mentioned at breakfast how good of shape I’ve gotten in
    Rant: Rhino cuff links didn’t help with meeting with my foreign “partners”
    Rave: new boss was also on travel and texted to have dinner and talk future – looks great and I’m so lucky to have been blessed with so many great bosses and colleagues lately

    Okay – here goes solid attempt at hopefully six hours of sleep.

  • Pablo Raw

    Rant: late to RRRR because of talk about mold
    Rave: Didn’t lose my first pair of earmuffs this season thanks to wmata employee. I usually lose one or two every year.
    Rave: My iPad mini is yogurtproof.
    Rave: My musical taste is very eclectic, a very wide range. These days I’m into the Blues.

    • I don’t know why more people don’t use earmuffs, they’re fabulous. I have an amazing sheepskin pair I got a number of years ago. Instead of removing them entirely, I just slide them down so the headband part is on the nape of my neck and the muff part is near my chin. It probably looks dumb, but I really don’t care. Sometimes when I’m wearing a huge scarf I can’t get them past my cheeks and they become cheek warmers.
      If they’re coiled enough, you can also put them on a strap if you carry a bag. I sometimes hook them on a purse handle for easy accessibility.

      • I’m a big fan of earmuffs! Last winter I was using my earmuffs and a work acquaintance asked me “is that like…an Asian thing or something?” So weird, the things people say.

      • Pablo Raw

        We should promote their use, once they become trendy prices will go down. I think.

      • Many of us simply wear hats that cover our ears. Personally I can’t imagine a scenario where I would want my ears covered but not the rest of my head; that’s why I would never use earmuffs. Also I don’t like wearing things that can fall off fairly easily.

        • Pablo Raw

          Well, imagine that you want to feel warm but don’t want a hat to mess up your hair style 😉

        • I have a big head and thick puffy hair. If I can find a hat that fits, which is hard enough to do, it’s guaranteed to look ridiculous. I’ve never had a cold head, except maybe when skiing, probably because all the hair keeps me warm. I do get cold ears sometimes, though, so the earmuffs are useful.

      • I just ordered earmuffs — faux mink earmuffs that are super furry — because of this conversation. It’s entirely possible that I will look ridiculous wearing them, but I’m excited to find out 🙂

    • justinbc

      I think your winter earmuffs are my Oktoberfest steins.

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