Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user  nevermindtheend

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.

309 Comment

  • Had a nice time at the informal Popville happy hour Saturday. Thanks for organizing, BinPetworth.

  • lindz0722

    Neither a rant nor a rave, but I noticed the old Playbill Cafe space on 14th Street NW between Rhode Island Ave & P Street has a ‘coming soon’ sign on it. I wanted to get a photo yesterday but my phone was dead. Something along the lines of “Chinese – Sushi Bar – Wine Bar”.

    Does anyone have better knowledge of this?

  • gotryit

    Rave: The rest of my fence is going up today – I’ll now have a fully enclosed back yard. How suburban!
    Rant: I didn’t think to include a bullet proof layer. Maybe I can add that before finishing the inside. Anyone have a few hundred feet of Kevlar they can spare?

    • Emmaleigh504

      I think of fully enclosed backyards as urban, but I think it may just be turning into typical backyard.
      They need to invent Kevlar paint, like they did with chalkboard paint.

      • gotryit

        I’ll take 30 gallons!

      • justinbc

        My concern is more with the people coming over it, not the things going through.

        • gotryit

          You can glue shards of broken glass to the top 3rd-world style. You can even add decorative patterns!
          See most sidewalks for a free supply of broken glass.

          • Emmaleigh504

            I”m actually a fan of glass in walls. It’s pretty! Especially when the sun it’s it just right and it’s all sparkley… but would it work on a fence? I’ve only ever seen it cemented into walls.

          • My ornery Russian immigrant grandmother coated the top of her chain-link fence with lard to discourage people from leaning/climbing over. It was always a riot to see a little babushka out there at 6 in the morning with a spatula and a jam jar full of bacon grease, freshening up her defenses (though I did feel bad for the people who got it on their pants just waiting for the bus).

    • Out of curiosity (we’re considered replacing some ugly chain link), what did you pay per foot? Is it wood? How tall, etc?

      • gotryit

        The first contract I did was about 105′ at $45/foot of 6′ (solid sections of 1×6 cedar) with 1′ lattice on top. The last part that I’m finishing off now is a bit pricier around $70/foot, but is 7′ cedar lattice sections (mostly).

      • I’m curious about this too. Justin, didn’t you also recently have a fence built?
        Companies that do fences probably also do decks, right? I think my fence might last a while longer, but I am not optimistic about my deck, which seems to be slowly rotting. I probably should have put waterseal or something on it right after I got the house, but it wasn’t in great shape even then, so maybe that wouldn’t have made much of a difference.

      • To piggyback on this question, I’ve been wondering why so often house flippers don’t replace chain link fence with something nicer? It makes such a huge aesthetic upgrade. I mean I realize they’re cutting costs where they can, but it seems like this would be cheaper than other aesthetic changes. Is the permitting too much of a hassle?

        • justinbc

          If you already have a fence in place there’s really no permitting needed in order to replace it with a different one.

          • gotryit

            I don’t think that’s true – you need a permit for just about everything fence related. Now, I think that repair or ‘replace with like kind’ may just be a postcard permit, so $30 and no hassle. But I think that chain link to wood wouldn’t qualify for that. Different materials / different heights (probably).

            That said, not everyone always goes the full mile on pulling permits. If you do pull the permits, going through the homeowner’s center is fairly painless, so it can be better to DIY rather than have the contractor do it.

          • You can get a postcard permit for “replacement in kind” (on line and $30). Replacing chain link with wood doesn’t fit into this category.

          • gotryit

            Here are the words from DCRA – you can get postcard permits for:
            •Repairing a fence up to a height of 7 feet (2.13 meters) above grade, entirely on private property and behind the building restriction line.
            •Replacement in kind of existing fence on private property. Replacement in kind, when applied to architectural features, means replacement with a feature of like material that replicates the existing feature in proportion, appearance, texture, design, detail and dimensions.
            The “entirely on private property and behind the building restriction line” is what gets most fences as they’re typically done on the edge of the property, not set back from it. So by the books you’d need a regular building permit. By the books.

            http://dcra.dc. gov/service/permits-postcard-permit (remove the space before ‘gov’)

          • justinbc

            Yeah, I mean there’s minimal paperwork, but my point was there’s no significant time or investment needed since you’re just replacing an existing structure. It’s kind of surprising, given the lengthy process required for just about everything else.

          • gotryit

            I think that to truly do it correctly it can’t be done by postcard permit. It could include:
            -surveys / related reviews from DCRA
            -signatures from adjacent neighbors (not always friendly to a developer flipping the house next door)
            That can add up to a hassle for the developer. I’m not sure about the economics of it for them. If the neighbors aren’t friendly, then a visit from DCRA is almost a guarantee.

          • justinbc

            If they’re doing the rest of the flip to code they’ll likely have multiple visits / inspections anyway. I can’t imagine changing the fence being any more burdensome than everything else.

        • My impression was that most of the time, flippers DO add wooden fences (or replace chain-link fences with wooden ones), and add $$ to the asking price accordingly.
          I agree that it’s puzzling when they leave a chain-link fence as-is.

    • gotryit

      bonus rave: Watching my fence go up via the surveillance cameras. I pointed a couple at the area that the guys are working before leaving for work this morning.

  • Rave: Fabulous time at home, several fun parties, my daughter was a champ and slept well & was well-behaved & charming (for a toddler) at all the gatherings. Got to meet up with jeslett & her sister and niece at our elementary school playground (we went to the playground every day–tired toddlers are happy toddlers in my book!).
    Rant: Tough drive back, but it could have been worse.
    Rave: Back at work today. I love a quiet office.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Bush sr is in the hospital. Hold on until after Feb, bitte schön!
    Rant: still sick. It feels like minnows are swimming in my brain.
    Rave: bonus xmas present from my aunt. She sent me one of her son’s wee gifties. Too many E names in our family.

    • justinbc

      What happens after February?

      • Emmaleigh504

        I’m going to Sweden in Feb, so I need all my vacation days! I don’t have any extras for dead presidents!

        • justinbc

          I’m sure there’s something I’m missing there, but Sweden sounds fun!

          • Emilie is a contractor and thus has to use regular vacation days (I think) for days that federal employees get off. (Or maybe it’s just for days not on the usual calendar, like Dec. 26 or any presidential funeral days.)

          • Emmaleigh504

            Yeah, any days off that aren’t part of the 10, I think, federal holidays I have to use PTO. I usually keep about a day in the bank, but I miscounted my vacation days when I booked my Sweden tickets. Hold on Bush Sr! Don’t go into the light just yet!

          • Emmaleigh504

            That goes for you too Carter and Clinton! Don’t go gettin dead on me!

          • justinbc

            Oh damn, that sucks. Do they normally close the government the day it happens, or at some random day after in memoriam? I don’t think any President has died since I’ve been living in DC.

          • Justin — IIRC, the federal government is closed on the day of the presidential funeral.

          • justinbc

            Good info to know, since I’ll be gone almost all of February as well!

        • I am pretty sure the government is not closed as a regular thing, if a former president dies. I am sure it was not after Gerald Ford’s death, or Nixon’s. It might have been for Ronald Reagan, but that might be because there was some ceremonial stuff here in DC – I remember a procession on PA Ave, with jets flying over, etc. So if the govt closed that day, I think it was more for logistical reasons than a regular, expected sign of respect. I think your Sweden leave days are safe

          • It was closed on the day of Ford’s funeral, but it wasn’t very noticeable because that took place Jan. 2. I’m pretty sure it was closed on the day of Reagan’s funeral, but I’m not positive.

          • Emmaleigh504

            They closed for Ford, Reagan, and Nixon.

          • Nixon didn’t have a full state funeral (according to Wikipedia), so I’m assuming that’s why the government wouldn’t have been closed.
            I wasn’t working for the federal government when Reagan died, but my recollection is that friends/acquaintances who were feds got the day off work.

          • It was closed for Ford’s and Reagan’s and if I recall, Nixon’s as well These are usually (if they are lain in state) the day of the funeral, or if they don’t – then done as a “Day of Mourning” – and usually come about via Executive order.

          • Emmaleigh504

            It’s noticeable when you have to use vacation time when they close for a dead president!

          • Emilie, very true! I meant that because it happened to follow an existing holiday (I think it made it a four-day weekend?), and because it was at a time of year when many people choose to take leave anyway, people who weren’t in your position might not have noticed/remembered.

          • Emmaleigh504

            I’m just pointing out it’s easy to remember b/c every time this comes up someone (not you) tries to say that they didn’t close for Ford, like Reagan was something special. No! It’s a think they do! The federal government does close for dead presidents!

          • Emmaleigh504

            just restating that for emphasis

  • Rave: Had a very Popville few days with Chinese food on Christmas and the happy hour on Saturday.
    Rave: My annoyances with my roommate were validated by the landlord after she moved out.
    Rant: Nobody was around here on Friday and I didn’t know what to do with myself!
    Rant: Date from Wednesday night who I gave all sorts of signs I was disinterested is still texting me. I guess I need to be more clear.
    Rant/Rave: Moving day is Thursday and I want to go shopping at IKEA for furnishings and whatnot but I don’t really have space in my temp place and my storage unit is far away.

    • Yikes at the Wednesday night date. Has he texted you more than once? Did you ignore it? I’m always so curious about how people handle that…

      • No, he just texted me last night since the date. I thought I had made it clear when I pulled away when he tried to kiss me, but I guess not. I’ll text him back later and tell him I’m not interested.

        • Not wanting to kiss on a first date doesn’t speak to an overall lack of interest. He waited a few days to text so I gather he thought you wanted to take it slow.

          • This. I don’t understand why you seem genuinely annoyed here – one (presumably innocuous) text seems pretty harmless in this instance.

          • I gather she is easily annoyed. She mentioned all sorts of signs she gave but only listed one which could be interpreted multiple ways. He offered another date before this date, and she felt smothered. She met him knowing full well he was much more interested than she.
            And this is why dating in DC is hard!

            Also how does someone validate your annoyances? Aren’t those like opinions: neither true nor false and subjective?

          • I partially agree with anon 1.5, but I think we’re probably all missing some info here since we weren’t there. Sometimes people really don’t get the first signal (or the second), and sometimes it’s because we’re not clear, or they’re particularly aloof, which can be a little challenging.

          • Emmaleigh504

            anon 1.5, why are you so critical of iindsay?

          • I don’t find my statement of facts and an opinion that she’s easily annoyed to be “so critical” so I really don’t know how to answer your question.

          • There are a lot of reasons why dating in D.C. is hard, but I think iindsay was right to feel somewhat smothered with a guy who was trying to schedule another date before the first date had even taken place. Her only real mistake here was to signal/hint to him rather than be direct.
            And on the topic of “validating” annoyances: From the conversation at the PoPville unofficial happy hour on Saturday, I think the context was that after the other tenant moved out, the landlord — who lives in the house too — told iindsay that she was annoyed by the other tenant. So iindsay could then think, “Aha! It’s not just me!”

          • Emmaleigh504

            It’s not just today. Over the past week or so I’ve notice that you always comment on her rants and in, what seems to me, an overly critical way.

          • Lots of people have commented in mostly similar fashion, but again, I don’t have an answer for you since I don’t agree. I comment on any number of posts here or none at all, but I’ll try to be less critical…I guess.

          • Seeing now that most people didn’t agree with her, makes more sense on the validation.

            On smothering, if he insisted on 2 dates regardless how date 1 went, then yea, that’s very pushy. If he simply took an open opportunity to see you sooner, I don’t see that going to the level of a smother.

          • Emmaleigh504

            You do comment on many subjects, but I have noticed you comment and comment negatively on what iindsay posts more than on what other posters post. It comes across like you are picking on her. But since you say you don’t notice it, I can only assume that your areas of interest and her areas of interest overlap, but with different opinions on annoyances, so you comment a lot on her posts. And that you don’t mean to be picking on her.

          • I am one of the few people who felt going into someone’s room was strange (that means I agreed with her). I didn’t agree with the folding, but felt that a simple chat would do the trick and recommended she be more clear with her new roomies.
            I didn’t agree the guy was smothering her by trying to meet sooner, but gave reasons why I’d change my mind above (insisting on 2 dates).
            Prior to that I agreed her split on the house was ok even if another house down the block was a bit cheaper and encouraged her to take a bigger split if she felt it was warranted.
            Today I said (as several people did) that she should have been more direct, and she agreed.
            I mentioned her situation in regards to dating difficulties and was first confused by but then better understood the validation of annoyance.

            Now I’m sure I’ve missed something, but so far I’m about 50/50 positive and negative (or things that could have been seen as negative). Perhaps the issue is that the “negative” comments stuck out to you more or you misread prior comments where I was agreeing with her but disagreeing with someone else in the thread.

            Emilie, I’d gather if someone here felt picked on, they’d say so, and she hasn’t weighed in at all here. You’re off-base, but again, thank you for your opinion on my commenting habits.

          • justinbc

            It doesn’t matter. If it’s a website where people post opinions then other people are bound to disagree with them. Shit happens.

          • Justin — True, but the tone of that disagreement doesn’t necessarily have to be harsh/critical.

          • Okay, so I’m not crazy in thinking 1.5’s comments have seemed critical in the last few days.

    • special_k

      It’s unfortunate that he didn’t pick up on your cues, but think about how you would want to be treated if you liked someone and he didn’t return the feelings. Be kind, but be straight with him that you’re just not interested. Good luck!

    • Did you ever say I’m not interested? I assume everyone is dumb as a box of rocks and don’t waste time giving signals.

    • Yeah, if he’s still texting you, you need to respond with something like “It was nice to meet you/Thanks for your interest/[something], but I don’t think we’re a match.”

    • The great irony of dating-it’s always the ones you’re not into who are the most clearly and persistently interested. 🙁

      • Yep, dating’s the worst.

        • I used to always try and straight up tell people I wasn’t interested when dating because I HATED when someone gave me the fade out, or just danced around things. Also, I remember the times when it always felt like the ones I was most interested in weren’t interested in me. However, I had to remind myself to give people a chance because usually the ones I was head over heels for right away were wrong for me and the so so ones were the ones I came to like a lot more.

        • justinbc

          Dating is awesome (or can / should be). It’s the pressure that people put on themselves to find someone that’s “the worst”. On that note, I noticed over the long weekend that every single dating site commercial I saw, regardless of the site, featured only women as prospective clients they were trying to lure in. And it was almost always a guy trying to convince them that “no, it’s really not that bad.”

          • Pablo Raw

            All those dating sites sell themselves as the place where couples meet and have long relationships or the high percentage of marriages that happen between people who met on the site and it’s probably creating an expectation that it’s going to be easy to find someone relatively quickly. Then when it doesn’t happen, there is frustration.

          • Emmaleigh504

            That 50s or older site has 1 guy on their commercial. eHarmony has 1 Halloween commercial with a guy. Other than that I can’t think of any others, and I’ve been thinking about it since you mentioned it the other day. thanks for that.

      • Ally

        For me, that was usually the case because if someone was THAT invested in things and THAT persistent after only one date, it kind of made me think they either weren’t emotionally stable or that they didn’t have much else going on in their lives. Judgmental, I know, but I tend to respect men (and women) more who, after a date, let you know if they had a good time and would like to go out again, but who don’t drool or push things. Note, some from my past have actually drooled, so I speak from experience. heh.

        • I think I’m just turned off because he had pressed for two dates before we had even met. It was then that I realized he was way more interested than I am and I agreed to go out with him because I didn’t want to write him off immediately. He seemed very pushy during the date and I tried to hint that I wasn’t interested (big mistake, I’m learning) and he didn’t take any hints. I said I wanted to go home after dinner instead of stay out for drinks and he still didn’t get it. When he tried to kiss me, I pulled away. I guess that wasn’t enough (I thought it was since I hadn’t heard from him until last night). I’ll send him the sort of text you and textdoc suggested shortly.

          • Ally

            Yeah, that doesn’t sound like a fun date. Sorry! Hoping the next one (not with him) turns out to be more fun!

          • It can be tricky in dating to strike a balance between risking giving people too much of the benefit of the doubt and judging too harshly/prematurely. Better luck with the next one!

          • Sounds like he wasn’t picking up on your hints – although it may be harder to be upfront and say “thanks but I don’t think we’re a good match” it may help cut down on misunderstandings/miscommunication.

        • justinbc

          I had lots of women who I was actually interested in think I wasn’t in to them because I didn’t try to make out on the first date (I’m generally not overly forward like that). Quite a few even asked me directly.

          • Really? Wow, that’s …. interesting. I always expect there to be at least a couple dates before that happens. (Then again, I’ve also overheard lots of women say that they only date to get free food, which I think is totally rude. I feel for you guys…..)

          • +1 Justin I tend to agree with the ladies although I’m not expecting a make out session on the first date. I tend to prefer a first date goodnight kiss, and if she’s not into it, I’d assume she wasn’t interested.

          • justinbc

            I rarely ever even did that, unless we were both well inebriated and there was an obvious strong attraction (then it often led to more). I preferred typically to find out if I was actually interested in the person themselves, then assess the physical nature of it. I can see how this was unusual to some who are used to guys with a different approach.

          • This could be a matter of methods. I am busy, so I am primarily online dating. With this avenue and my schedule, I have a fair amount of time to get to know someone and see if there is an interest prior to a first date. I expect to see if there is a physical attraction and if we’re further on the same page. I also don’t feel a goodnight kiss is overly physical, but when you’ve made that leap on the 1st date it has involved lots of drinks and it usually led to more. I haven’t had either of those things happen often. As long as someone is clear about their interest but the fact that they prefer to take it slow, I’d certainly give it another date…I didn’t mean to imply kiss or nothing.

          • justinbc

            Well I should probably clarify some. If I was obviously really physically attracted to someone then I really wouldn’t hesitate to let them know. But if it was someone who I was sort of attracted to, or possibly attracted to, then going that route would be secondary to finding out if I could tolerate actually being around them after the fling effect wore off.

          • justinbc

            (and I did a lot of online dating too, so I knew generally if I was at least attracted to the parts of them that were honestly portrayed online in advance)

    • Ally

      Back when I was still dating (I’m in my late 30s and engaged, so we’re talking caveman times), if I got a text from a date who I didn’t really feel a spark with, I’d reply back (nicely) with something along the lines of, “I had a really fun time but didn’t really feel a romantic connection for whatever reason; it was nothing you did (even if it was). If you’re ever up for coffee or a drink as friends, let me know. If not, totally understand and it was great meeting you.” That usually gets rid of them. I tried subtlety in my 20s and found that I ended up with stalkers sitting outside my house with marriage proposals on more than one occasion. 😉

      • That’s what I would say too and this wasn’t that long ago as I am 30 and engaged as of June. I would be much shorter though haha with something like: “Thanks for going out with me, but I didn’t feel a connection.” The worst was when that wouldn’t get rid of them! I had a few that would come back with Why? What’s wrong with me? Did I do something wrong? And one that I tried to be friends with and about a month in asked me to detail why I didn’t want to date her!

        • Ally

          The verbosity takes care of some (but not all) of the “What did I do wrongs?” 😉 Also I’m just Southern and we tend to need at least 20 words to say “howdy.”

      • Bring direct doesn’t always work. Went on a few dates with a girl, told her it wasn’t going to work, and thought nothing else of it. Saw her out randomly one night and she’s with someone else but goes out of her way to say hello and immediately starts texting me after midnight. I found being blunt was the only thing I could do to get her away from me. Sidenote: the girl she was with looked exactly like me but fat…freaky!

  • Emmaleigh504

    Bonus rant: just found out a coworker I really like is in the hospital for appendicitis. And she’s got a new baby at home.
    Rave: modern medicine.

  • Mug of Glop

    Rant: Back at work.
    Revel: Looks to be another short week.
    Revel: Good Christmas party – tons of food and drink and fun and whatnot. And my secret Santa gift was well received. And I wasn’t even the only Jew there this time!
    Rant: Gotta run off about a hundred thousand extra calories now…

  • Rave: Many good meals the last few days (and lots of good leftovers). Splendid Table’s Renaissance Lasagna has become a family favorite.
    Rave: Ostkaka! Served with a sour cherry compote and fresh whipped cream – delicious 🙂
    Rave: New Weather Underground station installed at the farm (station name = Rivendell)
    Rave: Skeet shooting and finally hitting a moving target. Slow breathing and focus helps, also not closing my eyes and flinching before I pull the trigger
    And rave: No rants today!

    • Mug of Glop

      That lasagne recipe looks way good! Thanks for making me hungry.

      • You’re welcome 🙂
        The recipe is easy, especially if you don’t go the “hand-rolled pasta” route and opt for oven ready lasagna noodles. And I only use chicken (skinless boneless breasts), but that’s a personal preference more than a time-saver.

        • I love no-boil lasagna noodles! They’re the best.

          • Mug of Glop

            I usually just make my lasagne with regular noodles (not no-boil) that soak up the moisture and get real tasty. It also means that the lasagne is less wet and sets a lot better. That’s for mushroom and spinach lasagne with tons of cheese. This one looks pretty good all sloppy like that!

    • I Dont Get It


  • Rant: No cards or emails from my family except from my mom for Christmas and my birthday last month.
    Rave: Good friends and my mom.

    • justinbc

      That would be a rave for me, less crap to have to throw away.

      • Would just be nice to know that they cared. For all they know, I could be dead. 🙁

        • Andie302

          You’re not dead though, and it sounds like you might be better off without them. I have some wonderful family, but I also have a few people that I would otherwise never associate with if it wasn’t for that connection. Is it possible to count it as a bit of a blessing that you don’t have to deal with these people? Sorry that you are bummed about it, and glad that your mom and friends were in touch!

          • +1. And if there are family members you do like and miss, maybe try reaching out to them? Some people are not very good at initiating contact, but can be responsive if you contact them.

          • justinbc

            I disagree with this sentiment. Although, I guess it depends on whether the OP is male or female. I find me and my guy friends tend to place far less emphasis on this continual checking in and (realistically) meaningless complimenting than my girl friends do. If I don’t hear from someone all year long, then on my birthday they post on my Facebook wall it doesn’t mean I think they suddenly give a damn, it means the website told them it was that day and they did the minimum thing socially acceptable.

          • It gets lonely when your only family is one person. All of my grandparents are dead and I’m an only child. I did send cards out this year, albeit late, so I’m trying to reach out to them.

        • Pablo Raw

          The +1000 was for Justin. I’m not sure that sending a card means that people care for you. I’d say it’s mostly a tradition. Not in all cases of course. I also think that if someone wants to show that they care for you with a card, they would be sending cards to you all the time, not just for the Holidays. That’s my Grinch opinion.

          • Sorry for not being more clear. It’s not that they didn’t send cards, it’s that they didn’t wish me happy birthday or merry christmas by any means, verbal or otherwise. I don’t see them often so cards and phone calls are how we communicate.

          • Pablo Raw

            And I am sorry for being insensitive. The day I hate the most is my birthday mostly because that puts me in the spot. But I know for other people it is important.

    • Emmaleigh504

      I’m sorry your family didn’t acknowledge your birthday. Hurray for good friends!

    • Ally

      Yeah, that would get me a little down too. Well, belated Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas from your PopVille crew, FWIW <3

  • skj84

    Rave: Parents convinced me to stay an extra night. Spent Saturday evening playing board games and listening to records with my family.

    Rant: By staying an extra night meant I had to travel Sunday and The last bus out from Harrisburg was sold out when I went to buy tickets. I had to get a train ticket for this morning. Not only am I going to be 2 hours late for work and have my luggage on me all day, but I’m exhausted. I barely got any sleep and my train was pretty early in the morning.

    Rave: Did get have dinner last night with my brother. He was visiting his in laws for Christmas, but my delay allowed the entire family to be in the same space for a few hours.

    Rant: Night ended when my brothers got into a screaming fight over the protests in the Mall of America. At that point I realized I had enough family time.

  • Pablo Raw

    Rave: Unofficial PoPville Happy Hour
    Rant: Witnessed a little bit of Petworth violence
    Rave: Quick police response!

  • justinbc

    Rant: Why are there nail clippings all over the bathroom? In the sink…on the floor…everywhere. I don’t even think it’s possible for one man’s nails to be that long to produce so many trimmings. It’s like multiple people got together and had a clipping party this morning. I appreciate you all not doing it out in the office area, but jeez, clean up a bit when you’re done? Do people really not have the 15 seconds it takes to accomplish this task at home, or do they just like having other people clean up the mess?
    Rave: Beautiful weather this weekend allowed for 3 days straight of open windows so I could wrap up painting in the master bedroom. So glad to have that phase done and ready to move on to the next project, refacing the fireplace!

    • Some people are truly oblivious to how their actions affect others. At least no one pooped in the hallway. That happened at my old job…twice!

      • justinbc

        HALLWAY?? I would be contacting security for that camera footage.

        • This happened once in my office! There was a trail starting in the hallway that went all the way to the bathroom. Our office manager is probably still trying to figure out who did it – it was just as the ebola stuff was starting up and we have a lot of people who travel internationally.

  • One more rave: winter break = watching Looney Tunes on Cartoon Network in my pajamas!

  • emvee

    Rave: Back home after a very CA Christmas.
    Rave: Friends who get you headlamps for Christmas because you used your iphone light on your last camping trip.
    Rant: My old-school kindle died mid-book in the airport and I’m now finishing up All the Light We Cannot See on my phone. I’m now eagerly crowdsourcing for Kindle replacement recommendations. Voyager vs Paperwhite vs the no-frills?

    • Oh my – I just finished All the Light We Cannot See – do you love it? I was entranced (and telling everyone about it). I have the no-frills paperwhite (with ads) and it’s perfect – long battery life, great wi-fi connectivity when I need it, etc.

      • I just started this book – I’m sure someone on PoPville recommended it.
        Also per PoPville, I read Where’d You Go Bernadette – it was a quick fun read.

      • emvee

        I saw it on enough “Best of 2014” lists that I figured it was time I bite the bullet and read it. I’m really into it thus far, even when reading it on an iphone!

        I’m leaning towards the no-frills paperwhite. The one with the built in light looked tempting, but I’m not sure how much I love that it’s a backlit light, and not one that shines over the text.

    • I love my paperwhite. I read a lot at night and in the dark and I can really tell a difference with the paper white. It’s great and I think it seems kinder to my eyes. I highly recommend.

      • emvee

        How’s the backlighting situation? My old one has the case with that light that shines onto the Kindle, which I loved and was great for planes, camping, not disturbing the partner, etc.

      • With the regular no-frills paperwhite the lighting is perfect for airplanes. It senses the ambient light or something and glows just enough. It’s not backlit like a computer (and I HATE reading on computer screens). This is one of my favorite parts of the paperwhite.

    • Bear

      I have a kindle fire, and to be honest I’m not a huge fan. The response time for anything other than reading books is pretty slow, the apps are never configured right for the screen size, and the battery doesn’t last long. The end result is that I only use it for reading books – which means I’d probably be better off with the no frills version. And if you get one without a light you won’t ruin your sleep by reading before bed! (an aside – who actually reads for 4 hours before bed on a regular basis? That the one thing that sticks with me about that study)

  • Andie302

    Rave: Great holiday in Delaware and then on the river. Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and a nice break!
    Rant: So.much.food.
    Rave: My birthday is 1/1…I’m not paying attention until after then.
    Rave: Friends coming into town to celebrate NYE and my birthday – it should be a good time!
    Rave: I always enjoy coming up with my list for the year…getting excited about 2015!

  • Rave: Gym time feels so good. I love martial arts, but lifting heavy stuff is fun.
    Revel: Being able to slowly move over 2 weeks.

  • Rave: Apple cider donut holes.
    Rave: Went to lunch with a friend and the couple sitting near us secretly took care of our check. If you’re reading this, thank you!! We’ll be sure to pay it forward. 🙂
    Rant: Bride-friend seems to have decided on the jellyfish/labia dress. Sigh. I straight up told her it looks jellyfish-esque and even sent her some toned-down-but-still-ruffly dresses but she seems to have her mind made up. I went to try it on yesterday. It’s not good.

    • Andie302

      Oh nooo! (re: the dress)

    • Pablo Raw

      Somehow the concept of eating a donut hole sounds very metaphysical to me.

    • Oh no! Too bad on the dress.

    • Emmaleigh504

      I hope you have fun with the dress and pose for some hilarious pictures! You can do a lot with jellyfish/labia!

    • Tell me you have a photo of the jellyfish dress. Would love to see it!

    • Embrace the jellyfish dress – get some jellyfish print leggings, jellyfish jewelry, find some cool ornamentation for your hair 🙂

    • Oh dear, that is a shame! I’m so glad the friend that I’m a bridesmaid for this summer has just been “Here’s a color. Does everyone like this color and would wear it again? Cool. You guys pick out your dress style, get something you like and will wear again!” I don’t understand making people spend $100+ on a dress that they aren’t a fan of for a one day event. Crazy wedding business.

      • Maybe you can use it as a jellyfish Halloween costume this year, haha. :p

      • Agreed! A couple of the other bridesmaids have also told the bride they dislike the dress but she’s zeroed in on it for some reason. The dress is so wrong for my body type that I have to go up two dress sizes and then get everything altered down. Gah!

      • Allison

        No! I’m in this situation now. But the bride wants perfectly coordinated uncoordination. Meaning I have to make a pintrest account to make sure my dress is sufficiently like and yet not like the other bridesmaids’. *Forehead meet desk.* I would rather be told what to wear.

        • Dear Brides – why do you put us through this? What have we, your friends / sisters / cousins, done to deserve this?
          Love, A Bridesmaid for the 3rd time (luckily a low number!) who will end up with yet another expensive, one-time-only dress.
          PS – I’m eternally grateful that my 3rd dress is no where near as bad as the labia dress. It’s not my cup of tea, but it will look cute and not anything like lady-parts. I’ll chalk that up as a win.

          • Why don’t women stand up against the ridiculous “tradition” of bridesmaid dresses? Seriously – we’ve stood up to discrimination, inequality etc. why not this? As a survivor of 1980’s yellow taffeta poofy sleeved monstrosity (that I actually had to sew/alter – TWO – myself!) I think it it time to reclaim sanity.

            The tradition originally – back in the traditional days – was simply that the bride’s attendants wore bright ribbons to distract the evil spirits away from the bride.

          • Allison

            Hell if I’m going to be the bait for any evil spirits or demons!

          • Victoria, I suspect that the bridal-industrial complex would do its best to quash any such protest.
            What’s odd is that it seems to be almost universally acknowledged that bridesmaid dresses are usually unflattering and are never worn again… yet brides keep asking bridesmaids to wear X dress. How is a bridesmaid going to tell the bride to throw the matching-dress idea out the window, when (in theory) they’re close friends and emotions/stress are already high because of wedding planning?

    • Awesome rave!

    • Oh jeeez!!! Good luck with that battle. Altering is so incredibly expensive too – a wedding I was in had us get dresses that were 200 bucks and then altered everything (neck line, length, pleating, etc.) so that the alteration costs were more than the dress!

    • Pablo Raw

      I highly suggest that you add oversized googly eyes to your dress in order to let people know that it resembles Jelly fish and not something else. Not that there’s anything wrong with something else. But it would be less awkward IMO.

  • Rave: less than a week away from my vacation! I’m excited, but kind of dumbfounded that it’s here already. This winter has flown by.
    Rant: Conflicting stories about how long I will need to recuperate after surgery. Two days vs two weeks is a big difference, so it would be nice to get a clearer idea of which it will be before I am out for it.
    Rave: While it is kind of annoying to need to be out of the office for an indeterminate amount of time, I feel very lucky to have a job where that is possible.

    • Emmaleigh504

      plan to be out for the long recovery period, and be happy when it’s shorter.

    • I was give the same window for my recent surgery, and ended up asking for a week off with the understanding that I might need to extend it by another week. I only took the single week — I recovered pretty quickly — but part of me wishes I had asked for more at the outset. Another week off would have been magical!

      • It’s scheduled for a Friday and I’m hoping to only need to be off until the following Wednesday, so I’d have about 5 days downtime (as a best case scenario.) But I’m definitely laying the groundwork to be ready in case I need to be out for longer. But since I’m already out this month for vacation, I don’t want to take any longer than I have to.

        • Emmaleigh504

          You say you don’t want to be out any longer than you have to now, but the other side of surgery is a whole different game. For me it wasn’t pain, or healing that kept me out of work, it was the anesthesia. I just couldn’t move my legs very well or quickly for weeks after. That meant getting to work took almost twice as long, trying to catch an elevator if no one was around to hold it for me was near impossible, and getting to and from the bathroom took 20 mins. I used the longest recovery time the doctor gave me, and wished I had another week away from work, but I was out of leave. If I could have worked from home I would have only missed 2 days. And now I know. Hopefully, you do not have a similar reaction!
          Enjoy your vacation and have an easy and speedy surgery and recovery!

          • Agreed, there is no way to predict how I’ll react until it happens. So how long I stay out will ultimately depend on how well I am doing, especially since I’ll be off my feet for part of it. If I can’t get around, there’s not much point in my being back in the office. I’m just a planner/mild control freak and the not knowing is annoying. On the bright side, I will get to spend a lot of time with my family during the recuperation, so that will be fun.

          • Emmaleigh504

            Ah, you’re a planner, carry on! 😀

        • I agree with Emilie that you might feel differently after surgery and that the effects of anesthesia can really linger. I was really surprised by how exhausted I was for a solid four days after my surgery, and that exhaustion only lifted by a little bit each day after that. The actual, acute pain really only lasted for 2-3 days, but there is no way I could have been functional in an office for at least 5-6 days given how tired (and mentally sluggish) I was. The extra day just helped boost my confidence that I was ready to go back.

  • Rant: horrible sister in law got me stuff for my car. I don’t have a car.
    Rave: I got her a book on teaching your children manners. We’re even.

  • Rave: Managed to get a lot of things done during the four-day weekend.

  • Rave: In lovely, sunny Florida. Spent a good amount of time the last couple of days reading on the beach. 🙂
    Rant: Here to visit my granddad, who is not in very good shape. He was in the hospital through Christmas. Probably won’t be getting better, he’ll likely just keep being in and out of the hospital. It’s tough to see.
    Rave: He had major heart surgery in March, or else he wouldn’t have made it to Christmas. He’s still very frail and it’s had some unpleasant side effects (which keep sending him back to the hospital), but he is much sharper and more on the ball than he was before the surgery. It’s just tough to see him like this, especially when he’s just 75. 🙁

    • Emmaleigh504

      I’m sorry about your grandfather! I’m glad you can be with him for vacation. How nice of him to be in Florida! My gramps is in Florida too, now that I live in the frozen northland, I am so glad he moved to sunny Flor-ree-dah!

      • Thank you! And yes, agreed – the warm weather is SO much better for him. He really can’t handle the cold anymore. He’s wearing a sweater even though it’s in the mid-70s.

    • Tough situation. The best thing you can do now is to consult with him and family about advanced directives. Sorry – it’s a hard subject, but the best thing anyone can do for the frail elderly is set things up so they will be spared the horrors of end of life hospital care.

      • Emmaleigh504

        +1 Thanks for bringing this up! Lots of people don’t like to talk about these things, but it’s important!
        My grandparents were so cute about their directives and stuff. When I lived closer and visited more often, every time I was there they would tell me 1. where their papers were, 2. Aunt Nosy is the executive/executioner/whatever that word is of the will ec, 3. No matter what they could not be thrown out of their place. Now that I’m further away and it’s just my grandpa, he had periodic meetings to discuss his affairs. Like how much $ his has, how his health is, remember the papers are in the desk, etc. It’s never to early to plan!

    • Glad to hear that your grandfather has been doing better since the surgery, even if he’s still not doing well overall.
      Enjoy your remaining time with him. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to interact with one’s grandparents as a full-fledged adult — one of mine died when I was in high school, and the other three died when I was in grad school.

  • hispanicandproud

    Rave: Ready for 2015! Odd numbered years are always the best for me. Can’t wait to kick 2014 in the butt.
    Rave/Rant: Had a great Christmas with friends and family in New Mexico but now suffering from major holiday burn-out! Can’t wait to take down my tree and decorations.
    Rave: Ready for the official start to spring marathon training which starts Saturday and leading Sunday bootcamps in the park!

    • Can you say what group are you training with? I’ve been thinking that going solo again might not be so great after hurting myself this year.

      • hispanicandproud

        sproc, I run with the Fleet Feet store in Adams Morgan. They have a great running program and will tailor your running schedule to meet your needs. We meet three times a week as a group- Tuesday is track, Thursday is tempo and Saturdays are our long runs. Look them up!

  • Rave: Great time in Vegas for the holidays with family. Did a Friday night staycation on the Strip and got a ridiculous baller room upgrade out of the blue–bigger and nicer suite than our condo!
    Rant: Returning to BWI yesterday was horrible. Slooooooooowest baggage claim and parking shuttles ever! Completely our fault for not booking direct flights early enough out of DCA.
    Rant: Body still on West Coast time. Caffeine central line is barely making a dent.

  • Rave: Completed a fed job application two days before Christmas. This job is kind of completely perfect for me! Hoping for a New Years miracle.

    Rant: still stuck with the current job.

    Rave: Older cat who came home for the holidays was able to hold her cat-pees until we got home yesterday! (The ride up to NJ for the holidays was not pee-free unfortunately)

    Question: What are people’s New Years resolutions? Hoping to draw some inspiration from others, as my one and only resolution for 2015 is to get the hell out of my current workplace.

    • binpetworth

      My resolution is to replace (pronto!) all the things in my household/wardrobe that desperately need replacing. Timeworn pillows, crappy old plastic food containers, hole-y socks, etc. I’m just terrible at breaking down and buying the necessities, but I’ve vowed to spend money to get good replacements this year–like Pyrex–rather than cheap ones.

    • Andie302

      I do a list of a mix of things that I’ve been putting off/meaning to do. It’s usually a mix of local events, some travel, and maybe some fitness/financial goals. It’s cool to check off the list. The only thing I didn’t get to this year (out of about 28 items) was riding horses with my mom and painting a picture. I have the supplies but there’s no way I’m going to get around to painting this week, so I’m going to save it for when my nephew is here. I’d love it if anyone has suggestions for cool DC experiences that are sort of off the beaten path. I’m already planning to check out Hillwood courtesy of people raving here.

    • topscallop

      I want to streamline my belongings and get rid of a lot of the excess in my home. I have a really hard time getting rid of things but I feel like I would breathe easier if I had less stuff. I’m also hoping to do some DIY and make things with my own hands this year instead of just pinning them on Pinterest! And then the usual eat better/get back into my exercise routine that was disrupted by back-to-back international work trips and a nasty cold last month.

    • Like others, less stuff is a priority! Two helpful resources for me are “Throw out 50 Things” and advice from Marie Kondo (NY Times article takeaway was asking “does this object bring me joy?” If not, thrift/gift/toss it).
      Health is also a priority – more cardio and weighlifting is on my fitness calendar.

      I’m also considering a career change and doing something very different. I love what I’m doing, and I’m ready for a change.

      (When I was young I’d make resolutions like “no more riding bicycles up trees” and “stop throwing rocks at the third moon of Saturn” – nothing like setting reasonable goals for the year)

      • The problem for me about the “does this bring me joy” test is that by that criterion, I would have zero items of clothing (except maybe a pair or two of fun socks, one pair of PJ bottoms, and a fleece).

        • Here’s her message in deciding what to keep:
          “You may wonder about the effectiveness of such a vague criteria, but the trick is to handle each item. Don’t just open up your closet and decide after a cursory glance that everything in it gives you a thrill. You must take each outfit in your hand. When you touch a piece of clothing, your body reacts. Its response to each item is different. Trust me and try it.”
          For me the default seems to be to keep things because I do have space. But then my space has things I don’t use, or wear, or read. So this approach is useful 🙂

          • Especially with this clarification, I would have nothing left in my closet. My response to each and every item would be pure boredom. I like the shopping for clothing part even less than the clothing itself (so thanks to some PoPvillagers who helped me out with some wardrobe ideas earlier this fall!).

          • Andie302

            I read somewhere that all the clothes in your closet should fit well and be in good condition – that way whatever you put on makes you feel good. I have tried to implement this in both editing my closet, and with new purchases (and stop buying stuff just because it’s okay but on sale). It’s helped! Not everything (work clothes, winter jackets) bring me joy, but hopefully they at least fit better and are more flattering than a couple years back.

        • Emmaleigh504

          I would have no cleaning supplies, but I guess you aren’t supposed to be asking that of cleaning supplies.

          • You must bring joyful cleaning products into your life!
            Meyer’s Clean Day and Seventh Generation are my cleaning joys, also vinegar, baking soda and salt

          • Emmaleigh504

            I have Meyer’s and I lovelovelove the smell! but not enough to actually use the products as often as I should. But I don’t mind, and Donna, my only roommate, doesn’t mind either 🙂

      • I recently took to my closet and told myself to purge 100 items. It sounds like a lot, but socks count and each shoe counts as 1. I purged old race t-shirts and loungewear that should have been gone a while ago. Highly recommend.

        • +1. I did something similar a few months ago and it was amazingly liberating. I honestly don’t miss a single thing and plan to do a deeper purge in the next few weeks. I’ve also made some spending money from consigning a bunch of clothes I had stopped wearing, so that was an extra bonus.

    • Emmaleigh504

      My life goal is to have a clean coffee table for a full week.

    • I’m right there with you on your resolution! New job has to happen in 2015. I think a part of me will actually die if I write this same post for 2016….

      I would love to get rid of “stuff” in my apartment too. I don’t understand why I have so much of it. I was able to tell my parents and a few close friends that for holidays / celebrations where gift exchanges are typical — I don’t want / need stuff. Consumables, gift cards, cash, outings are much better for me as the recipient!

  • For those who were helping me in my quest for Vernor’s the other week, I have some results:
    I struck out at the Rosebud liquor store on 17th, the one on P, and the Target (though all had several other varieties, including Schweppes). Finally found single cans at Dupont Market! Not a big supply, but enough to satisfy the craving. Didn’t try the places up Connecticut/Georgia just yet. Thanks for all the suggestions!

    • Did you go into any Giant stores? I’ve seen them in six-packs at both Van Ness and downtown Silver Spring. I haven’t checked the other locations since those are the only two I shop at..

    • I found them on Amazon.com too, fwiw. My husband loves diet caffeine free Mt. Dew which you can’t get anywhere near here – but someone on Amazon sells it. Love the interwebs.

  • Rant: Caffeine withdrawal. I am -very- caffeine addicted — probably drinking the espresso equivalent of five cups a day lately — and am trying to do something between going cold turkey and doing a slow taper. I could barely get out of bed yesterday and today is only moderately better. Caffeine dependency is serious stuff!
    Rave: glad so many people are here, ranting and raving today. Friday was sooo slow!

    • I can’t even imagine. I started with morning coffee–no joke–in 5th grade and the rest is caffeinated history. Good luck! I would be in agony.

    • Pablo Raw

      Caffeine dependence is beautiful 🙂 I have 2 or 3 cups a day on weekdays. On weekends I only have one, and I’m able to take naps and go to bed early.

    • Emmaleigh504

      I’m with Pablo, I love my caffeine addiction. I’m convinced caffeine makes me a better person, I know it makes me feel better! I gave up caffeine for about a year once. I thought it would help with my insomnia and RLS. No caffeine made no difference with insomnia and actually made my RLS worse. So I got back on the sauce, and I’m a better person for it 🙂

      • I have pretty much always embraced my caffeine addiction, but it really has gotten out of control. I probably won’t ever cut back entirely, but I also don’t like how grumpy I am without my morning caffeine, that it takes three espresso shots just to wake me up, and that I can’t easily sleep through the night on most days. If I could happily have the intake and results that Pablo does, it would be a non-issue!

        • Pablo Raw

          Your problem is that you are taking espresso. Espresso is usually dark roasted which means less caffeine. My morning coffee is 4 full teaspoons of coffee on a mug (not a cup) of water french pressed.

      • I loved my addiction too for a while – drank coffee all day and was able to have espresso at midnight and go right to sleep – until one day….. I was in a situation that prevented me from having any coffee at all, all day, and thought I was doing to die. Cold sweats, nausea, headache – all the classic cold turkey withdrawal symptoms. Awful. Brought it way down since then, to a couple of large cups every morning to get me going but to avoid being so hooked on that delicious b*st*rd.

        • Emmaleigh504

          Sometimes I see hostage movies and think, what would I be like in that situation… If I didn’t have a source of caffeine I’d be dead b/c I would have mouthed off to the hostage takers.
          I also try to keep acetaminophen pills with caffeine on hand in case of caffeine withdrawal headaches.

          • Pablo Raw

            That would be like one of those Die Hard movies with you instead of Bruce Willys! walking barefoot on glass, through fire, etc.!

          • Emmaleigh504

            lol funny you mention Die Hard since I just found out yesterday that there is Die Hard fanfic out in the world. Anyway, if I were in Die Hard I would be walking barefoot through glass and fire to get to a cup of coffee!

          • That’s funny! On the day in question, I would have been begging the kidnappers to kill me. The instant I got freed, I ran to the nearest soda machine for a Coke, and then drove myself to the nearest Starbucks, where I got a mocha – I figured the little extra caffeine in the chocolate would help. All was well within an hour or so, when it all kicked in, but I felt drained and exhausted, like I’d really been through the wringer.

    • I enjoy diet coke, but I stopped for a week a few months ago and now I am wide awake all night even if I only drink half a diet coke at 9 in the morning. It’s dumb to be so sensitive to that stuff.

  • Rave: Had a wonderful (but exhausting) holiday – was in my cousin’s wedding. Funny wedding story: the best man dropped the ring under the bride’s dress. I went to get the ring (didn’t want pictures of a man lifting up my cousin’s dress in a catholic church!) and when I found it, my bracelet got caught on the bride’s dress. Oh man it was hilarious and embarrassing!

    Rave/Rant: I’m going to be an Aunt (first time!) – however, my brother and his fiancee told everyone when she’s only 3-4 weeks pregnant. I’m excited but am trying to temper the excitement in case something happens… it’s so early!

    Rant: Back to job search….

    • Ally

      Hoping everything goes smoothly and you get to be a new Aunt 🙂 FWIW, even though the pregnancy is still pretty risky is the first trimester, I was relieved (I’m nearly 11 weeks now) to read that most miscarriages happen VERY early on…like in the first week or two… before some women even know they’re pregnant. If she gets a healthy heartbeat detected at 9 weeks, I think the risk drops to something very low like 5%. Best of luck and congrats either way!

      • Thanks for the input and stats – it is comforting to hear. They’re giddy excited (which is wonderful) but as my mom had 6 difficult pregnancies resulting in late miscarriages and one where my brother passed away at 2 weeks old, she’s having a tough time too balancing between hope and painful knowledge of the risks. Trying to support her and be there for my brother (who has gone whirlwind into this relationship – engaged at 3 months, house 4 weeks later, pregnant 2 weeks later…)…

        • Oh and CONGRATULATIONS!!! I completely missed your comment on your pregnancy. How wonderful – best of luck with everything 😀

          • Ally

            Thank you! And I hear you on how it can be stressful for the family upon hearing the news. We debating whether to tell my fiance’s Mom so early in since she’d had a couple of miscarriages herself. We figured that the happy news outweighed the (hopefully) minimal risk.

  • Rave: Had a great Christmas and really enjoyed the 5 days off.
    Rant: Estimates for renos, house work, etc. So far we have one estimate from Polar Bear A/C to install central air in our house. Frosty’s was SUPPOSED to come Friday, but they called to confirm and then said they only do high velocity a/c units in older homes. Grghhh, that should have been covered when I was making the appt! I am now trying to schedule 1-2 more estimates. Can anyone recommend companies for central air + duct work installation?

  • I Dont Get It

    Rave: It’s Monday, change your blades Dollar Shave Club folks!

    Rant: I was exposed to “Frozen”, roseola, rotavirus, pink eye and a bad cold over the holidays. Damn little kids!

    Rave: I *only* have a mild cold and a few lingering Elsa dreams.

    Rave: Wiccan housesitter made arepas for lunch.

    Raver: I finished “Serial” on the drive yesterday. I’m so confused!

  • Rave: I think 2015 will be a great year full of mostly positive changes.
    Rave: Registered for the Alexandria Running Festival half marathon. Has anyone run this in previous years? It seems fairly new but the timing (and price) was right.
    Rant: Back at work trying to catch up on things that I have put off for way too long. Trying to conquer my disaster of an inbox.

  • I Dont Get It, were you going to share a story about your father’s wife?

  • Bear

    Rave: Had some vacation time to use or lose, so I have another day at home before I have to go the the office. I’ll work tomorrow and a half day on NYE, then I’m off to Uganda for a month for research and project work.
    Rant: Will miss the BF. The last time I was gone for this long was two years ago and we were just getting serious then. Now that I’m used to living with him and seeing him every day, it’ll be weird to not get to hang out with him for a whole month.
    Rave: Despite the above rant, the timing of this trip is perfect, I am SO burnt out on proposals and dealing with people in the office, which is all I’ve done all year. It will be good to get to the field and be reminded of why I’m in this business! Plus, the 80-85 degree weather will be a welcome change from January in DC.
    Rant: Packing and laundry.

    • Enjoy the trip and the change in routine. Load up the books on the Fire – it’s a ton of work in the field but it’s also so good to get closer to the work you do.
      I’m waiting on govt approval for a work trip to Benin and I’m so looking forward to getting back at it.

    • palisades

      You must tell me where you work that you can do proposals and also go on business trips to Uganda.

      • palisades

        signed, lonely proposal worker who never leaves his office.

      • Bear

        Sorry, won’t share where I work. Only that it’s an international development company that takes a “cradle to grave” approach – we don’t separate business development staff from project implementation staff. Meaning that if I lead a proposal effort, I’ll most likely lead or be heavily involved in implementing the project if we win it. It’s a good system if you have people who are skilled on both sides of the coin…but it’s a mix that can be hard to find. It took three years of non-stop proposal work before my company let me lead a big one on my own, and that’s when I got to start traveling.

        • palisades

          Ah. Yes our marketing and BD have plenty of overlap. SMEs and PMs do all the traveling though. Sounds like you work for a fascinating company, although I have read some of your other posts complaining about being overworked. Have fun in Uganda, and let me know if there are any openings 🙂

  • I don’t know if this counts as a rant or a rave, but I heard about some surprising family gossip last week and — like Midas’s wife — I’m feeling the need to tell someone.
    On my mom’s side, I have several cousins, including some who are significantly older than I am. One cousin has two adult children. I think the older one is in his late twenties.
    Apparently the late-20s one had been seeing a girl who was (Is?) a college senior, and she got pregnant. But she didn’t know until she was FIVE MONTHS PREGNANT, by which time they weren’t even seeing each other anymore. (Apparently they’ve resumed seeing each other since then.)
    Further spicing things up, my aunt — who will become a great-grandmother — is a conservative religious-right kind of person. And that whole side of the family is conservative. So maybe this will make them adjust their outlook a little bit.

    • Pablo Raw

      I went from being a fundamentalist catholic when I was younger to the opposite end, but I think my case is rare. Most conservative religious people will not change, specially if they are older.

    • Similar situation here too! We just found out yesterday that my… second cousin (? my mom’s first cousin) is expecting a baby with her boyfriend. But she’s not married. She’s 29 and I think they’ve been together a year or two, but my very conservative grandma has been quite huffy over it and has been making a lot of remarks about how they aren’t married and it’s not proper…

      • Heh!
        In what I suspect might be an attempt to appease my conservative aunt, my cousin’s son and his on-again, off-again girlfriend are planning to name their baby — a boy — after my grandfather (my aunt’s father).
        (BTW… your mom’s first cousin is your first cousin once removed. And my cousin’s son — the late-twenties guy who was dating a college senior — is my first cousin once removed. 🙂 )

    • palisades

      Don’t doubt the power of denial. It is strong with those ones.

      • Eh, not sure it’s denial so much as unfamiliarity. Until I was about 5 months pregnant, I looked and felt mostly normal – with the exception of a couple weeks when I was really sick and run down, but if I didn’t know I might have put it down to a stomach flu or a couple of bad hangovers. Once you start getting the belly, though, it’s hard to ignore.

        • If you’re sexually active, wouldn’t a missed period be cause for concern?

          • Emmaleigh504

            not if you never know when your period is due to arrive, so you never really miss it.

          • As Emilie said. Or if you have any number of conditions like PCOS, which make it unpredictable. Or if you’re normally on a birth control which causes you to skip your period. If you make it to popping out a baby without having a clue (a la “I didn’t know I was Pregnant” on TLC or whatever it is) I would be skeptical. But 5 months isn’t out of the question.

          • A woman I interact with regularly was away for two weeks and when she came back I asked her where she had been and she told me she had twins. I said “I didn’t know you were pregnant!” and she said “neither did I!” Apparently she was getting her period the whole time and everything. HORRIFYING.

          • Surprise twins?? That IS horrifying!

          • One more example of why the U.S. needs better sex education and education on birth control, I guess. Apparently half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned, which is MUCH higher than the rate in other industrialized nations.

          • (The example being my cousin’s baby-mama-to-be, not SparklyKittyTacos’ coworker.)

          • There’s a whole tv show about people who didn’t know they were pregnant. It’s kind of crazy. Some people don’t really show until the last couple of months, have irregular periods in the first place, and don’t have much in the way of symptoms. It’s pretty scary. @____@

        • palisades

          I was more talking about the family

          • The immediate family seems to be embracing it. I need to find out what my aunt thinks of it.
            I wonder if this is (or will prove to be) one of those things where it’s bad when someone else does it, but when it’s the person in your own family, it’s OK.

  • Rave: Had the best holiday weekend with my mom, really good food, and no work. Kind of wishing I could just re-do the long weekend a few times … and then I’d get bored and actually want to go back to work.
    Rant: Missed the informal happy hour.

  • Ally

    Rave: Had a wonderful Christmas in St. Augustine with my Mom and Brother. We geeked out and saw The Hobbit. It’s a wonder we haven’t all gone to a Trekkie convention by now.
    Rant: Pregnancy is just starting to show, but it currently only looks like a pizza belly. Looking forward to getting a bit bigger so it doesn’t look like I just over-indulged during the Holidays.
    Rave: Federal holiday on Thursday and a lot to look forward to in 2015!

  • Rant: Tired of the crime, trash, and generally shitty people around our neighborhood. Anyone know what went down at the Columbia Heights Metro Saturday night? I’ve never seen so many DC police in one spot aside from the national mall or a motorcade. Must have been a lot of bored cops in the city because the situation appeared to be under control, but police kept showing up with their lights and sirens blaring.

    Rave: Hey, at least there was a police presence around the CH metro.

  • Question: I want to hire one or two people with a truck to help me move what is basically the contents of one large bedroom (one bedroom, not a one-bedroom apartment) from PG County to my new house in Woodley Park. I’m mainly concerned with the furniture as I can put the smaller boxes in my car. It seems like that might be too small of a job for a moving company. Any recommendations?

    • Andie302

      Try MyTruckBuddy. They have moved individual pieces of furniture for me on short notice. Love them! And they should get back to you quickly with a quote and scheduling opportunity.

    • I had a great experience with Anytime Movers. Our movers were timely, friendly, affordable, and got the job done quickly.

    • Emmaleigh504

      I had a nice move with Flat Rate movers. It was cheap and fast. I only had 1 room of stuff and they were fine with that.

    • My gf did two moves this month with Bookstore Movers and I used them for my last move. They are fantastic. Each move (one bedroom) was $390 plus tip (~$120).

      • I’ve used Bookstore Movers twice and agree they are fantastic. The prices were very competitive and both sets of movers we met were very nice and professional. The business also supports a good cause — a used bookstore across from Eastern Market.

      • Bah, they were completely booked.

  • epric002

    rave? back from christmas in san diego. had a marvelous time. except that,
    rant: caught a cold so i got to enjoy vacation sick, in addition to…
    rant: going through zyrtec withdrawal (google it) in prep for my allergist appt this morning. MISERY!
    rave? i am allergic to dogs, cats, and grasses. i already knew about the dogs & cats.
    rant: my year long battle with rashes/hives has apparently been idiopathic urticaria (hives for no reason). lucky me.
    rave: got to spend time with my adorable, snuggly, lovey, happy 9 month old nephew. poor guy was miserable with his 2 front teeth coming in on christmas, but it made him extra snuggly. he also said his first word while sitting in my lap 🙂
    rave: nephew loved crazy puppy and crazy puppy loved him. only downside was that puppy kept pulling the socks off his feet to nibble on them (the socks). nephew thought it was hilarious when puppy licked his fingers. they both loved tearing tissue paper to shreds. i am clearly easily amused by babies and dogs.
    rave: brother, his GF, and parents wanted grouchy corgi to stay with them, so she’s there until the end of january. time for some serious, focused training for crazy puppy, who is doing FABULOUSLY walking on his healing foot. he’s using it about 70% of the time which is a massive improvement from pre-surgery. 😀

    • Awww, nice one on the puppy/baby mutual admiration society!

      • epric002

        thanks! i wish we could have just plopped them both down in a pile of discarded christmas wrappings, but crazy puppy is a bit too exuberant for unrestricted access to darling nephew.

    • Red Panda

      Sorry about the chronic hives. But fwiw, I’ve had it for 20 years now and you’ll get used to it pretty quickly. It never causes a problem as long as I remember to take my pill every night (which, after 20 years, is pretty much impossible to forget).

      • Emmaleigh504

        I’m sorry both of you have chronic hives!

      • epric002

        yowza! i was optimistic when the allergist said most people clear up after about 2 years, especially since i’m already a year in. if you don’t mind sharing- what are you taking? pre-appointment i was taking up to 4 zyrtec/day and still getting hives multiple times a week. now he has me on 1 zyrtec, 1 allegra, and 1 singulair/day, and if that doesn’t work i guess we’ll try shots.

  • RANT: Tired of being verbally accosted as I walk my two dogs because other dog owners don’t pick up after their dogs. Why by association am I guilty? Why can’t they wait to see if I do pick up after my dog? (I always do!) And why do they all freak out over my dog peeing on the grass strip on the other side of the sidewalk (NOT their yards)? It’s public property right? I’m legally in the right… I’m tired of being told “you shouldn’t walk your dogs in front of people’s houses!”

    • epric002

      this sounds like the block of shepherd in between 13th & kansas. i feel ya. i’ve stopped responding to the chronic complainers- it’s just not worth the blood pressure increase. good luck.

      • Riggs Park. But same issue. I’ve even been told I shouldn’t walk my dogs at all, and that I shouldn’t walk my dogs in front of houses, but find abandoned property to take my dogs to. Mind you, I’m always on the sidewalks and strips and if necessary in the curb area of the street. Never on lawns.

    • It _is_ public property, but if someone has taken steps to “beautify” it (plant flowers or whatever), I can see why he/she might be upset. If not, then the upset-ness doesn’t seem to be warranted.
      Maybe these neighbors are just flat-out cranky, period, and it might be a good idea to avoid them by walking on the other side of the street?

      • Yea, I try to be careful of special plantings in the strips, although technically city property. I know people take time to beautify and try (and am mostly successful) to keep my dogs away from them. But I’ve been literally chased because my dog squatted to pee (they don’t always lift a leg people) and told to pick up (but there wasn’t any poop – my dogs or any others). I wanted to ask if I’m supposed to carry a sponge… sigh. And I can’t get away from them. They are on every street I walk in my neighborhood. To be fair, there are a ton of owners who don’t pick up, and its getting worse, but I don’t care for the harassment by association. You didn’t see me do ANYTHING wrong, but you are going to yell at me and my dogs? At times it is overly aggressive and makes me uncomfortable.

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