Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user  Jamelle Bouie

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.

375 Comment

  • Rave: Student loans finally read and comprehended my amended tax return.
    Rave: Should be able to do my taxes tonight.
    Rant/rave: Going a little stir crazy after being off for a few days, but at least I’m not worried about money.
    Mini-rave: Applied for a job that would be an awesome fit but I’m a smidgen under-qualified. Fingers crossed!
    Rave?: Hopefully have a good roommate coming by tonight.

  • Rave: NYC this weekend
    Rave: Dominican Republic next weekend
    Rant: Crazy tax return filled, CPA coursework until May
    Query: Thoughts on La Boum? Mixed reviews online, seems as if word got out and it’s not as cool as it may have been previously. I also don’t know if 20 friends are willing to drop some serious cash for a boozy afternoon in April

    • La Boum was fun but is pricey if you drink a lot. I, along with three other friends, somehow amassed a $600 (tip included) tab. It was pretty wild a while back (2 years or so), but may have jumped the shark by now for all I know. It was fun to do once, but I doubt I’ll ever return for a second round.

      • This. It gets stupid expensive and good luck trying to wrangle the required money from 20 people at the end of the day while they’re drunk. I’ve stopped in twice toward the end of the brunch to visit friends and I’ve seen tables of people get into arguments about who owes what. Of course, there’s always at least one girl in every group who shirks her part of the tab by conveniently saying “I left my credit card at home.”
        I’m too old for this sh#t.

    • La Boum is a bit of a rip-off. Food is just OK and that price doesn’t include booze, which gets pricey. And you will go through a lot of crappy champagne, which gives you a TERRIBLE hangover. They do, however, give out free shots.
      If you’re into drinking bad booze, dancing to Euro-dance on the bar, and potentially making out with the stranger at the table next to your’s, it can be a fun time. The vibe is American spring break-meets-young professionals-meets-French food.

    • I went to La Boum Brunch last year, so I’m not sure if my experience reflects the current status (heard they did an overhaul of the event). That being said, it was a hilarious and crazy bucket-list event, worthy of the hefty price (about $150 pp)–and this is coming from an introvert who isn’t crazy about day drinking. They charge(d) by the bottle of champagne, and once they pull down the shades, the bottles never stop coming. Your overall experience depends entirely on your party, so make sure that to invite people who are completely committed to the idea and won’t grumble about the price.

      Also, cancel your plans for the rest of the day–you will be hungover before the sun sets.

    • Andie302

      My roommate went to La Boum two weekends ago and really liked it. She said the food was pretty good, and she was texting me during it that we needed to get a reservation for this again ASAP. That being said, the birthday girl had her parents pay for everyone’s food, and they still spent $134 on two bottles of champagne.

    • skj84

      La Boum is crazy good fun. It is super expensive, but worth it. People go nuts. I haven’t been since May, but I do see they changed their reservations system.

      • I went there for my birthday in May and I LOVED it! I even ended up paying because the bill was so hefty, but I felt like it was worth it. For a special celebration with a big group of friends, I definitely recommend it. Just note – you’ll be there so long (and be so drunk) that you might need to eat again right after you leave!

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rave: DC tax return in my account and ready for Sweden!

  • Rant: I just signed up for ClassPass because I go to RideDC and it made sense, but now I am getting a 404 error- even though they are still listed as participating studios. Urg.

    Rant: I need a man. And I hate online dating. We need to start a POPville dating service. Q.1- who is your favorite contributor, and why? Q.2- What are your views on that popup? Q.3- #TeamFG or #TeamFBB? etc. It just might be that we can make our own algorithm for successful couples.

    • I look forward to this starting the best thread of the day. Brilliant idea.

    • I’m lol-ing at the dating service idea.
      But really….

    • Popville personals?!?
      1. FBB because he’s so genuine. No biting tongue there.
      2. I hate most popups but maybe the last one was ok.
      3. #TeamFG…see #1.

    • Dan tried that once (last year, or maybe in 2013?) but nothing really happened with that.

      • That was more like a feature (like the Washington Post’s Date Lab) than an actual dating service/matchmaker-type thing.
        I have to say the guy who volunteered for it was very brave, especially considering that PoPville was a snarkier place back then.

        • emvee

          I have a friend who did Date Lab like three years ago and is still recovering from the mean comments left for him on WashPost. Applications should come with a disclaimer: THICK SKIN A MUST TO APPLY.

          • skj84

            One of my best friends did date lab a few years ago. The guy was less than complimentary about her and the commentators tore him up.

          • Ouch. I’ll never understand why people feel the need to be unnecessarily mean.

          • Yeah. I mean, the Date Lab participants are being interviewed afterward by a Washington Post writer, they KNOW what they say is going to end up in print, and they still can’t be diplomatic?

          • I did date lab a few years ago, it was interesting, but the date wasn’t great. I do feel a little better that the girl received more negative comments than me, but I didn’t think she deserved any of it.

    • PoPville dating service sounds fun, but I’d be hesitant to join TBH. I don’t wanna talk about y’all when I share my dating stories.

    • skj84

      TeamFG! I don’t mind pop ups. I’ve been championing for Popville singles night for a while! There are so many single people looking for a match on this board. Lets make this happen guys!

    • PoPOverWork, if you have the ClassPass app for your phone, that often works better than the site does.

    • Pablo Raw

      Emilie504 must be salivating at this idea now LOL

      • Emmaleigh504

        I want Popville weddings!

        • Same! I also want us to crowd source Accountering’s (future) Bach Party and make it a surprise (hint: it will be in the city of Brotherly Love)

          • jim_ed

            I did a bachelor party once in Philly. It wasn’t nearly as terrible as I would have expected. Although one of the gentleman’s clubs we visited was the singularly most depressing place I’ve ever been, anywhere on earth.

          • It took me a minute to realize Bach=Bachelor. I kept picturing a bunch of guys in powdered wigs listening to classical music.

          • Accountering

            This made me smile 🙂
            You will be happy to know I am going to the Caps/Penguins game tonight, and did not forget my “worst state ever” shirt for the game 🙂

    • 1. I think my favorite contributor is Blithe. Her posts are always thoughtful, and she excels at being diplomatic.
      2. I dislike almost all pop-ups.
      3. TeamFG.

      • Pablo Raw

        Team Blithe! She is very thoughtful and I had the honor to meet her and she is a wonderful person!!

      • Totally on Team Blithe 🙂 But I’m also on Team Textdoc. Can we pick more than one #1?

        • Awww! BTW, you were a runner-up to Blithe — you too have very sensible and thoughtfully phrased posts.

        • Pablo Raw

          The “PoPvillian of the Year Research And Information Compilation Award” definitely goes to Textdoc!!

        • Yes, pick as many as you want! I was just throwing some suggestions out there- I am sure there are more (What is your bra size at Coupe de Foudre for example). Maybe we can incorporate these questions into a speed dating round at Singles HH!

          • I’m totally in the wrong thread, then (happily married, etc.) but couldn’t resist an opportunity to send Blithe and Textdoc some love.
            Does anyone else want to find a way to incorporate a singles element of some kind into regular HH next month since people will already be gathered?

          • Blithe

            Awww…. textdoc, Pablo, Shawess….thanks for the love! Y’all have totally made day! And quite possibly my whole week! And beyond! 🙂
            – I have several favorite contributors, and I’m delighted to learn that the people that I enjoy the most enjoy my posts as well!!!!!
            – My views on pop-ups are close to The OP Anon’s, but a bit more anti. I’m afraid that the street-scapes that I appreciate — and that I grew up with — are going to be permanently marred even as middle income families are being priced out of huge swaths of the city.
            – I’m really looking forward to this on-going PoPville algorithm!

          • Pablo Raw

            (Hint to people, if you are friends with Blithe, you get free chocolates; nobody can beat that!)

        • I’m also on team textdoc! Another discussion topic: yoga pants and running tights.

      • Your answer for #2 was quite obvious 😀
        My views on pop-ups are nuanced. I dislike condo pop-ups done by developers, since the vast majority of them are done cheaply and in an ugly manner. Owner-occupied pop-up additions on SFHs tend to be much nicer; I have no issue with a family popping up to add a deck or an extra bedroom for a growing family, as they have an incentive to make it blend in with their surroundings and do a quality job.

  • Aglets

    Rant: fell asleep on my couch last night with the TV & lights on which made for some weird dreams and light sleep.
    half-rant: the weather this weekend looks not conducive to my part time job where I sell stuff at eastern market…might use this weekend as time to make a lot of work instead.

  • Rant: Best Buy. Was talked into the Geek Squad Tech Support bundle with my new laptop. Was told it covered everything with my new laptop. Went to Best Buy last night with the new PC and my old Mac for help with data transfer, and was told it only gave me a 15% discount. I just dropped $470 on this and you can’t help me move over data, which is part of new computer set up???? Really??? I know how I’m spending my lunch hour today. Definitely demanding my money back.
    Rant: Still can’t access my W-2 from my old part-time job. I’m going off of my old paystub, and the site isn’t recognizing my SSN or old paystub amount. Hoping to get a hard copy so I can send in my taxes soon.
    Rant: It’s frozen today. It’d be one thing if there was snow on the ground to make it worth it, but no such luck.
    Rave: Student Government appears to be taking off. Hopefully we can be effective this semester.
    Rave: Have spent the last few nights at the boys. He just makes everything better. Doesn’t matter that he’s often working until after I’ve crawled into bed, just talking to him turns my day around.
    Ugh: Still haven’t talked to drama friend. Maybe this weekend… And definitely going to let her know this is why most girls won’t put up with her, and the only reason I’m not walking away is Sarah and that I know she is generally a solid friend. But there’s no need for this drama.

  • Rave: 2/3 of my W-2s have come in! And the last one I know is coming before the end of the month.
    Rant: VA and DC income tax to file. There were about 2 weeks in January I paid VA taxes before I switched/moved to DC. I read in a couple previous threads this might get the DC OTR on my back since they have issues when people move between Jan-April? I’m hoping this isn’t the case, and at least I have my VA filing for 2013.
    Rave: one less w-2 to worry about.

    • I think the issue was more when people moved during the time to do last year’s taxes so they filed Federal taxes with a DC address but filed other state taxes. Since DC is getting the large bulk of your money (and should), I think you’ll be ok. Fingers crossed!

      • Thanks! That seems sound, and I hope so too.

      • Yep. That’s it basically. In 2009, I moved to DC in December. When I filed my fed taxes in Feb ’10, I put my DC address. DC OTR last summer asked me WTF, you owe us. I had to show my VA tax return as proof that I was a new DC resident.

        Thanks DC OTR for contacting me 4 years later! Glad I still had the records…

        IOW, you should be fine.

    • “I read in a couple previous threads this might get the DC OTR on my back since they have issues when people move between Jan-April?”
      Cross that bridge when you come to it. There are *many* different ways that DC OTR could screw up your tax return, but chances are they probably won’t. Nothing you can do about it beforehand apart from provide all information required and file all the required forms properly.

    • Ours got screwed up because they billed us for an amount we paid them. Sending them a copy of the canceled check was insufficient because they couldn’t tell who had signed it & therefore where the money went in their office. Sorry guys, once it’s obviously been cashed by someone in OTR, it’s not my problem. Except it was. Credit to Jim Graham’s staff, once we got constituent services involved, the matter was resolved in days.

    • This thread makes me really nervous. I moved to DC from VA at the beginning of the summer, but my ridiculous employer never switched the state tax (and somehow I just didn’t notice). I expect to get a huge return from VA, since I overpayed by 6 months, but I don’t know how bad the consequences will be when I submit everything and try to pay DC…

      • I was in a smiliar situation 2 years ago. However, my issue was that my employer could only take taxes from the state in which I worked (I’m a DOD contractor) and not where I lived. VA gives you all your taxes back and you have to send DC a check for the taxes you should’ve paid. In the end, in my case I had to come out of pocket a few hundred dollars since DC taxes are more than VA. Hope that helps!

  • Rave: I made it to the gym again this morning. Before leaving the apartment, I got to see the start of a beautiful sunrise behind the trees. I can sense the days starting to get longer. This is the long march to spring.
    Rant: I’m feeling very unmotivated to do a tedious project at work. It isn’t impossible, just one of those things that isn’t terribly interesting but requires attention to detail.
    Rave: I’m looking forward to a quiet night of cooking and relaxing at home this evening.

    • I’m finishing up one of those tedious projects today — so happy it will be done. You can do it!

    • Find something to motivate you with the project. Like, I can only check Popville after an hour of working on this project straight. Or I can have that candy bar… after I’ve done 3 hours of work on this project. I can refill coffee…. after 1.5 hours of work.

  • hispanicandproud

    Rave: Two running friends last night didn’t believe how old I am! They thought I was much younger which really boosted my modest ego. I took off running up and down our beloved hill with a big smile!
    Rave: Free food and drink at DD this morning. Another reason to smile!
    Rant: Cold wind for outdoor bootcamp this morning. Extra layers for sure. Let’s hope I can smile!

  • Ally

    Rant: Friend of mine is actively participating in pyramid scheme and hassles me at least weekly to “help him practice his sales pitch.” This is the same friend who, when I agreed to let him use me as a reference, I found that the pyramid scheme company who called asked me zero questions about him or his qualifications and instead tried to recruit me into said scheme.
    Rave: Finally had the balls last night to put my foot down about it. Decided on, “Man, I love you, but I hate the company you’re involved in and won’t be participating in anything related to them.” Seems to have worked. How do people get wrapped up in these stupid schemes in the first place?!
    Rave: Trivia night with the beau tonight. He’s smart and feeds me answers. That helps 🙂

    • Have someone in my life involved in a similar scheme. Those guys drop a good game. I went to a presentation, and if I didn’t know any better (as most people don’t), I would have believed them. For some reason, a LOT of people have dreams of running their own “business” even if they can barely manage keeping a day job. Once someone gets hooked, it will take hell and high water to maybe get them off the train. I’ve been trying to do so for years, and I still haven’t managed.

      • Ugh, the Landmark program? I had a few of my friends in NYC get sucked into that right around their 30th birthdays. Such a money and time suck. And, of course, they start trying to recruit you. So many awkward conversations.
        Landmark is really big among the disaffected in NYC. I have not encountered it much here in DC.

        • Ally

          In my case, the friend’s involved with Primerica, which sells legitimate insurance (I think), but operates as a pyramid scheme in terms of how employment works.

          • I went to a Primerica meeting once when I was young and naieve (mid 20s, I think.) I thought I was being recruited and had a job interview. After the meeting I gave up on that and ignored their phone calls.

          • My issue is also Primerica. Ugh! Yes, you can make peanuts selling insurance but the bulk only comes if you bring in people. Apparently, they have gone to court for being a pyramid scheme, and the only reason it’s not is because of the meager earnings from insurance. My fave line: There are people making 60k working part-time. Oh? Have you ever met even one of them. Well, no. Then how do you know they exist?

          • Ally

            Exactly! Glad you both were able to avoid this company or at least get out early! My friend’s been stuck in this situation for months now.

          • Still better than 5 yrs. I found out randomly my person lost something like 10% of their gross income to Primerica because they go on every trip offered. I finally had to get friends involved, and I got the loss down to a manageable level. Can’t believe I even said that one.

        • I encountered Landmark a few years back in DC – a guy I knew in college was suddenly hitting me up on gchat and asking me to join him for dinner. He got out, but I don’t know what that cost him.

        • Ha, several years ago I went on a few dates with a woman who worked for Landmark (and still does I believe). Went to one of their events. It was interesting, but yeah, the sales pitch was a bit much. All the participants (both employees and customers) were intense, type-a people. I’m far from type-a, so I wasn’t really drawn in at all.

          • Are you sure she was actually “working” for Landmark? The issue with my friends is that once you get sucked in, you’re required to do XX amount of “volunteer” hours for the organization each month. I guess that’s how you move up the ladder, in addition to recruiting other people. So they were spending a lot of time attending seminars as both paying clients and also as volunteers. It’s set up remarkably similar to Scientology.
            Ironically, one of my good friends met her current BF at a Landmark event (they’ve been living together for over 6 years) and they both “got out” together. Hehe!
            PS – Landmark is the major braintrust behind the cultish ways of Lululemon. The guy who started Lululemon is a big wig in the Landmark program and Lulu’s staff go through Landmark training. It’s crazy.

          • Yes, I’m sure she works for them. I met her at her office one time, and other times met her co-workers and other times Landmark participants. It was clear where everyone worked because they’d be sure to tell you how it helped their professional life.

    • Oh man that’s tough. I have a few cousins and friends involved in this so my facebook and such is inundated. You’re right to put down boundaries. Be aware you might have to reestablish them later again and again!

    • Is it Wake Up Now? That TAL episode was crazy and infuriating.

      • Ally

        This is a company called Primerica. After researching them, I found that they actually sell (somewhat) legitimate insurance. The issues comes about with how employment gets handled. Basically, they only sell through “word of mouth,” so they constantly try to sell insurance to friends and family of employees. Further, employees make zero salary and can only make enough money to live off of if they recruit people who recruit people who make sales. All the while (and I wish I were kidding), my friend has been in and out of a homeless shelter, waiting for this scheme to take off, instead of applying his time looking for real jobs (by real, I mean salaried).

        Bent over backwards since we’ve been friends for years. Have lent hundreds of dollars and never expected to get repaid. But, now that I’m pregnant, had to draw the line at creepy pyramid scheme favors. Seriously.

      • I think about that TAL episode all the time. Crazy and infuriating is right!

    • palisades

      A (now former) best friend of mine fell for a pyramid scheme. He is so tangled up in it and no longer talks to anyone from our group of friends. It also doubles as a Christian cult-like thing. Scary stuff.
      I’ve read one of the reasons why pyramid schemes still make such a killing is because people are too embarrassed to admit their failures. So once they’ve been shafted out of thousands of dollars, they slink back to their old lives and pretend it didn’t happen.

    • amazing how these multi-level marketing things keep popping up. Back in my day it was Amway, thankfully I’ve never heard of this Wake Up Now thing…

    • Smart beaus are the way to geau.

  • Rant: Still recovering from this weekend. So tired.
    Rave: It was worth it. Boozey fun and old school arcade games/tabletop nerd games all weekend with awesome people.
    Rant: The bf and the lying ex live a couple blocks away from each other. I saw the ex from afar yesterday and am now dreading the inevitable awkward run in. Blegh.

    • What was the story on the lying ex? Was this the lameass who said he wanted to be exclusive, and then wanted to back out of it because he was going to Vegas? Or is this a longer-term ex?

      • Correct! Wanted to be exclusive but secretly went on a double date “as a favor” to his friend and then when confronted, said he wanted to do stuff in Vegas without being tied down but also wanted to keep seeing me. lol

        • Accountering

          This guy drove me nuts! My strategy with my most recent ex was to help her move to Arlington, then try to go to Arlington as seldomly as possible. I only saw her once (she didn’t see me) at that stupid pumpkin patch thing in Centreville!

    • SKT: I always enjoy your updates. And I agree that this little city (district w/e) is so small it’s hard to avoid awkward encounters.

    • Ally

      Well, this may be petty, but at least you’ll be the satisfaction of your ex seeing you walking around with the new (and hopefully much cooler) BF. I kind of enjoyed running into my ex last (not a nice fellow) a few moths back when I was walking hand-in-hand with the fiance.

    • Hey, just be happy about your cute and crazy tall new guy, and show that he is missing out and you have moved on and are livin’ it up. 🙂

      • You’re right. Thanks! I’ll probably secretly take satisfaction in seeing the bf tower over him…. : P

        • Eeeexactly. 😉
          Haha I used to occasionally wish I would run into my terrible, horrible, no-good very bad ex while I was with my most recent ex, just so he could see me happy with a cute guy (also taller!) who was wonderful to me. I’ll live vicariously through you!

  • SFT

    Question: Looking for somewhere to grab dinner/fun cocktails with some girlfriends this weekend. It’s a celebration, so we want to go somewhere lively with good food and great cocktails. I’ve been out of the game for a couple of years (baby and all), so need some good recommendations. Go….

  • Rant: Need to have a talk with the guy I’ve been with for 5 months – could possibly be the end of the relationship, but I really don’t want it to be. Bumming hard about it and not sure when we’ll be able to talk – maybe tomorrow but more likely Friday. It’s hard to have it hanging over me.
    Rave: Sunny?

    • emvee

      This is the worst, I’m sorry. It could be the end, but it could also be the beginning! Either way, better to learn now than later. Have a bottle of wine at the ready, either way, and good luck.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Break ups always suck, not matter what side you are on. Good luck, I hope it goes as well as it can.

    • That’s a bummer. I’m sorry, too! I hope it goes well. If possible, you should try to plan out a time that won’t add to the anxiety/suckiness/worry, and maybe do something nice for yourself afterwards no matter how it works out. I can tell you from experience its probably best to not have these talks 1) after drinks, 2) after midnight, 3) when the person is trying to fall asleep. I assume you’re smart enough to know this but apparently some people aren’t….

      • Yup – that’s why I haven’t done it yet. Needs to be face-to-face when we really have time to talk, and certainly sober! Friday evening may be good.

  • emvee

    Rant: I’ve been feeling semi-under the weather for a month or so now and know I should get myself to a doctor. I just really dislike going to the doctor.
    Rant: The dog’s insulating layer of fat is perhaps not as warm as I’d hoped. He’s been shivering after coming in from walks recently. I am pretty anti-dog outfits, but it looks like the dude needs a sweater or coat. He’s a weird shape (basset-border collie), so I definitely want to take him to a store to try some on. Any suggestions on somewhere walkable from Shaw where a pooch can get some new duds?
    Rave: TJs return policy not questioning my accidentally buying turkey bacon and letting me get the real bacon I meant to purchase.

    • Unleashed Petco in Noma. 15-20 minutes walk maybe a tad longer.

    • Wagtime in Shaw. Unleashed for Petco is also coming to Shaw soon, date TBA.

    • There’s nothing wrong with getting the dog a proper dog jacket (similar to the ones horses wear during the winter while in their stables) to keep him warm on his walks. Get one that more functional than fashionable.
      North Face or Patagonia should make an “extreme weather” dog jacket line 😀

      • emvee

        He’s never seemed to mind the cold before, which is one of the main reasons I never got him one. But I suppose he is getting older and it’s time to cozy him up before we go out into the tundra of DC.

      • Check out dover saddlery or smartpak online – they sell “horse” blankets in dog sizes that are actually pretty easy to fit (as they have sizing charts and stuff) and usually are on clearance and really warm/tough.

    • If you’re looking for brand recommendations, RuffWear is fantastic. My dog has a barrel chest with narrow shoulders (and is missing a front leg), and everything else I tried just slid around. They make several jackets with a bit of stretch which work beautifully.

    • Pablo Raw

      The Neti Pot: Ancient Indian wisdom, magical cure to over a 1000 diseases. Prevents measles and others. But seriously, the Neti Pot.

    • Wylie Wagg in Woodley Park. I have a weird shaped dog and they sell coats for specific breeds. My dog finally has a nice coat that fits!

    • epric002

      google voyagers k9 apparel. all of their items are based on breed and if you follow their measuring instructions you get a really great fit. we have “tummy warmers” (fleece sweaters) for both of ours and plan on ordering them coats too.

  • Rave: Black tea, writing interview thank-you notes, and setting up a to-do list for the rest of the week
    Rant: Trying so hard not to think about the outcome of the interviews. Distractions are necessary!
    Rave: Saw the movie Paddington yesterday (as a treat for finishing up crazy interview schedule) – it was adorable! So much fun.

    • Good to know! I should get a babysitter for sometime soon & take my wife to see Paddington. She LOVES Paddington (her childhood Paddington bear has a passport, complete with stamps for everywhere she went through age 18–started because her two-year-old-self freaked out when they went to London because she was worried that the customs officers wouldn’t let Paddington in. It’s an awesome story.)

      • What a sweet story. Your wife (and you!) would love the show. They did a great job. Definitely go see it!

        • Oh no! It looks like it might not be showing in the area after tomorrow 🙁 I wonder when netflix or amazon streaming will have it….

  • Rave/Rant: Thanks to the folks who talked to me about surgery recovery (Emilie and Shawess, I think?) You were so right about it taking longer than expected. Even though I feel physically OK, I’m still pretty tired and not back to 100% mentally.
    Rave: Looking forward to getting back into the gym soon. Seeing how much even minimal amounts of exercise is helping in PT is motivating me to get back into it.
    Rant: I’m so over the cold.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Glad you are feeling better. Hopefully you’ll get your energy back soon.

    • I’m sorry recovery is taking a bit longer than you’d like, but I can tell you that at six-ish weeks out, I feel better than ever. My doctor cleared me for exercise two weeks after the procedure, two weeks ahead of schedule, and I barely felt like I missed a beat. I hope your outcome is similar, if not better!

  • Rant: 2014 TAXES. Owe a couple hundred to the Feds because my husband and I (both feds) make just enough to bump us into the 25% tax bracket combined. We paid double digits in Student Loan interest last year, and only get to claim the deduction if we file joint :-/ Totally confused how to handle DC taxes because we moved out of DC in March …. partyear/nonresident? I need help! argh…. the days of a refund are long gone
    Rave: I got Married in 2014 🙂 and had a job!

    • I realize saying double digits makes no sense, meant to say ten thousand dollars
      Additional rant: need moar coffee to prevent the typos, oops

    • Definitely part-year since you lived in DC. You’ll count the income you earned while living in DC and prorate the deductions and exemptions accordingly.

    • Ally

      Congrats on the marriage 🙂 I think you’ll just need to file a partial resident form for DC. Not too painful, from what I remember.

    • You don’t have to file a DC tax return since you lived there less than 183 days of the year. On the other hand, you might want to since you’ll probably get some of those taxes you already paid returned.

      • Incorrect. I pasted an excerpt from the DC tax form instructions below.

        You must file a 2014 DC Individual Income tax return if –
        • You were a District of Columbia (DC) resident in 2014 and were required to file a federal income tax return. (A resident is an individual whose permanent legal residence is within the District during the taxable year); or
        • You maintained a place of residence in DC for a total of 183 days or more during 2014 even if your permanent residence was outside DC; or
        • You were a member of the United States (US) armed forces and DC was your legal residence for tax purposes for all or part of 2014.

        • The 2nd bullet point would indicate I am correct.

          • I should add: unless the first bullet point is saying you were a resident at any point in 2014. I read that excerpt as the 2nd bullet point defing what qualified someone as a resident. If i read that wrong, fair enough.

          • But they qualify under the first bullet. They were legal residents during 2014, just not all of it. Bullet 2 refers to people here temporarily – interns, medical residents, college students, who have full time residences elsewhere.

          • This is the exact distinction I am confused over. Not to mention both DC and VA state taxes send me in an infinite loop of which state I claim the other state’s taxes paid. Thanks for the help everyone!

          • OP- Assuming everything was done correctly, and since you’re prorating the income by state, you shouldn’t have any taxes to deduct for the other state. I believe that applies most often when say DC taxes were taken out after you changed residence to Va. You were a resident here for 2 months, so you do need to file DC taxes as a part-year resident and likely VA as part-year too with income and deductions being allocated accordingly.
            msus- The first bullet pretty clearly defines what’s a DC resident: an individual (couple) whose permanent residence is within DC during the tax year….it’s in the ( ).

          • OP- if you’re itemizing there may be some addition/subtraction of taxes between the states.

  • Update on yesterday’s advice request: I talked to the new team member for about an hour and took much of your advice, but not all of it. To make a long story short, he is unhappy here and seemed glad that I reached out to him to talk about his concerns. But I left the conversation really frustrated. About 50% of his concerns were totally legitimate things that many of my colleagues find annoying and the other 50% of the things he said struck me as really unprofessional and careless. For example, he told me straight out that he was thinking about not following through on one of the terms of his employment and that he was already looking at other jobs. He also asked me what my favorite bars in Shaw are.
    My conclusion is that although I want him to stay on for the selfish reasons I mentioned yesterday — he lightens my load — I don’t want to go out on a limb to protect him. I’ll offer him advice if asked, and (as I did yesterday) try to help him channel his frustrations into products or services that can help the company. I may even take him out for coffee again. But I do think it was a mistake to hire him and I’m going to ask to be more involved in the process when we inevitably interview candidates to fill his position.
    P.S. For those of you who really wanted me to call him out on smelling of alcohol: I didn’t. The tone of the conversation wasn’t right for it.

    • Wow – that sucks, but it sounds like you handled it well and are being very professional about it. Good luck…

      • Agreed. I think you handled that really well. Hopefully he either shapes up or you find a better fit soon!

      • Andie302

        I think you handled this really well. It does seem like this guy is sort of oblivious…but that’s not uncommon, especially if this is his first professional job. He may look back at this in five years and realize it really wasn’t anything to complain about, but it sounds as if he doesn’t have a basis for comparison. It was nice of you to talk it through with him!

      • Thanks, everyone 🙂

    • Thanks for the update! That’s too bad about the outcome of the conversation, but at least now you know.

    • Good for you though for the coffee talk – I wish someone had taken me under their wing when I first started. Heck, I’d even take it now. Mentor-ship is awesome. So this guy is a bit of a dud, but maybe the next place he works he’ll clean up his act because he was able to talk through some things with you. For me, I’d really appreciate someone who’s “been there, done that” to tell me how it gets better, how they got where they are, and any wisdom they can pass on from professionalism to actual work product.

    • It sounds like he has some growing up to do, but he is in his early 20s, so that’s not surprising. But you gave him a chance to learn better behavior and you now have a better idea of what to look for in the future, so I’d chalk it up as a win. Best of luck, recruiting can be such a crapshoot.

    • Did you tell him what your favorite bars are?

      • Haha! I answered honestly by telling him that I really don’t go to bars very often and if I drink, it’s usually a glass of something with dinner. I do like Lost & Found, though.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Bless you for giving updates. Sorry this isn’t the best outcome for you.

    • Blithe

      Thanks much for the update! Initiating — and having — that chat was very kind of you, on multiple levels.

  • Rant: Needing to be up and out of bed by 5:30 am – usually the only time I see this time of day is when I’m jet lagged.
    Rant/Rave: I don’t tolerate the cold and I’m so drawn to hibernate until spring. And, spring is coming — tomorrow will have 1min 58sec more daylight than today
    Rave: Four hours of work already, and it’s almost time for a brief restorative yoga practice (which could also turn into a brief nap)

  • skj84

    Rave: Got a show that i really wanted! Yay!

    Rant: There is a mouse in my bedroom. I need a humane way to get rid it. He spent the entire night chewing a bag in my closet. I’m worried he may eat the hems of my formal dresses.

    • I had the same problem when I lived in NYC. There are humane mouse traps. They’re like mouse houses that trap the mouse in a container, and you can take them out of your home and set them free outside.

      • Ally

        +1! Yeah, if at all possible, see if you can catch the little guy and let him go elsewhere. Would make softies like me super happy, and very cool that you’re looking into doing things that way.

        • Just make sure to take the little guy pretty far from the house. I used humane traps and let him out at a park not too far away and the mouse made his way back!

    • Congrats on the show! That’s wonderful news – make sure to celebrate!

    • Emmaleigh504

      Great news on the show! Bad news on the closet.

    • If you’re not squeamish, you can often catch mice with your hands (gloved, of course). I get them in a corner and just pick them up. Once they’re truly cornered, they kind of give up, and usually don’t fight or try to run.
      The kids enjoy it when I let my catches live in our terrarium for a week or two, before releasing them outdoors.

      • skj84

        I could not do that. I literally just got the shudders thinking of it scampering around in my hands. Unless I catch him like a fly with a glass.

        • I’ve done that too! Maybe it’s something about being prey animals, but they really freeze when things look hopeless for them.

          • I would never ever do this. Mice do not give up when you are holding them. I used to do mouse work and even when the mouse is properly restrained it will try to bite you. They are not docile little buggers.
            I once had one that was so pissed about being under a heat lamp he squatted down and jumped an insane height out of his cage. It was like a Super Mario Brothers power squat jump; it was beyond the normal capacity of any mouse.

          • So your experience differs, is that what you’re saying? Perhaps something to do with lab mice, who are used to bright lights and commotion, as opposed to mice that live their whole lives inside walls and have no experience of lights/people/handling. They’re pretty hardwired, but maybe it’s that one bit of basic conditioning that makes the difference between your experience and mine.
            And yes, I agree that their vertical jumping abilities are insane.

          • Yes, my experience differs, but I still don’t recommend chancing getting bitten by a mouse. Especially one that hasn’t spent its entire life in a clean facility. Your risk tolerance obviously differs, but I’m pointing out that not all mice just give up.
            Just to dispel lab mice myths, they have pretty nice accommodations. They don’t have bright lights or a lot of commotion and they’re fed and their cages are cleaned on a regular schedule. Many times only females are used so there are no aggression problems. There are tons of rules, which of course means audits too, to protect their well being.

          • Blithe

            jeslett, your detailed description has me feeling — almost– jealous of a lab mouse. lol Soft lighting, quiet, minimal aggression, opportunities for exercise and social interaction, someone else to cook and clean…. The “almost” is because you didn’t mention music, books, and internet/phone access. Or shopping. 😉

  • Rave: Good first date last night. That was a surprise. Not sure if he was into me but we had a good convo for a few hours.
    Rave: Another first date tonight.
    Rave: Job interview for a job that is a much better fit than my current job despite the pay cut.
    Rant: Probably going to take a break from first dating after tonight. I AM EXHAUSTED. It’s not even February and I’ve been on a 4 dates. That’s a date a week.

    • This didn’t happen to be at Al Crostino with someone from OKC, did it? Long shot, but….

      • Nope. Were you on an OKC date at Al Crostino last night? Tell me more.

        • Nope, but I think the guy I’ve been seeing was, hence the need for a talk….

          • Ugh. He’s going on OKCupid dates while five months into a relationship with you? Unless you’d established that it was going to be an open relationship, that’s not cool.

          • Did you have the exclusive talk already? Or did you assume you were exclusive? How did you find out?

          • Woah! How did you find out he was on a date last night? Were you exclusive?

          • Exactly. We never had “the talk” about being exclusive, but he stays at my place 4-5 nights a week, has met my family, we’ve been away for weekends together… Kind of seems like a technicality if he pulls the “we never said…” excuse.

          • Textdoc- I hate assumptions on either side, but I would think absent a talk where exclusivity is discussed then the relationship is non-exclusive. Even after 5 months, those rules don’t change for me.

          • I know he’s still on OKC (I’ve disabled my account, but can still see that he is active), I’ve occasionally seen OKC messages pop up on his email/texts, and he told me he was at dinner at Al Crostino last night, but not who he was with. I’ve connected the dots…

          • Have you met his family?
            You also haven’t called him your bf here, so are you exclusively dating or in a relationship or what? Even with all that stuff: lots of nights together, trips, and visiting your family, I just don’t see this being a relationship or anything exclusive if you aren’t even labelling him as more than “the guy I’m seeing”.
            If the timeframe was much longer: double digit months or a year+, then maybe the assumption would be more warranted, imo, but at this stage, I don’t think so.

          • So you were ok with him being active on OKC even though you assumed it was exclusive?? I hope it all works out, but those things seem like opposing viewpoints.

          • “Textdoc- I hate assumptions on either side, but I would think absent a talk where exclusivity is discussed then the relationship is non-exclusive.”
            Yeah, I think it’s important to have an exclusivity talk for this very reason. I had a bad feeling that AnonForThisToo had assumed they were exclusive without having a talk, and it sounds like that’s what happened.

          • This is the stuff of nightmares. My bf got an email from CoffeeMeetsBagel that popped up on his phone when I was in NJ with him (meeting his family as his gf, going to a family friend’s wedding…), but it looked more like a newsletter than a match. I also relayed a HILARIOUS story about cheating or two in a, I’m a schadenfreude and find this hilarious and entertaining, but if it happened to me I’d do X…. way.
            But god, he better not be out in the dating world on me. I hope your guy straightens up if you really like him…

          • Oh wow, I am so sorry Anonforthistoo. That sucks. Honestly, I’ve never *not* had the talk until recently (when it was a huge red flag). But my thought process was along the same lines as yours until I realized that other people don’t assume exclusivity, even though that’s how I always behave.

          • Accountering

            I too disabled Coffee Meets Bagel, and they are now sending me sporadic e-mails (months later) more in a newsletter format, saying things like, since you have met your bagel, perhaps you can suggest a bagel for a friend!

    • Yeah, that’s why I said we need to have a talk. It’s not necessarily a deal breaker for me, but I want to know how he sees me/our relationship. If he feels I’m just a placeholder for him until something better comes along, that’s not ok with me. I’m 45 and he’s 50, which is why I didn’t use “boyfriend” – it just sounds weird to me at our age.

      • I was going to write this must be a generational thing, all these folks saying you need to have a talk to presume it exclusive. Under your fact scenario, I’d also assume exclusivity, but then, I’m up in the demographic of you guys. So yeah, I think given what you suspect, you need to have the talk now – but I’d also want to assume that under the facts you’ve stated, that if someone else was out dating, they would tell me so. I’d put the onus more on that person to be honest about what they were doing, than telling you not to have assumptions – there are two ways you can look at relating, and I think honesty is the better way.

        • Yes, exactly – I want us to be honest with each other. If his honest response is he wants an open relationship (and maybe that what he was assuming it was, while I was assuming exclusivity) then I will think about that, but it needs to be mutually agreed upon, for either scenario. Basically I’ve been putting it off until I had a better sense of how I feel about the relationship, but I can no longer pretend that this doesn’t bother me, and that I’d be bummed if it ended. It sucks because I really like what we have, and enjoy being with him – another reason I’ve been putting it off…

          • I hear ya – I also put off pain – but better to find out sooner than later … that place holding until the something better comes along can go on for years, and I’m speaking from experience here. My lesson is to try to be more out there about asking where the other person is – so I give you a lot of credit for having the talk. But I also have to learn the lesson that I shouldn’t necessarily stay just because I’m happy with the way things are, if I’m hoping that it will eventually turn into a long-term commitment with children thing, while the other person says they don’t see/want/anticipate that happening, but meanwhile, we live together for 4 years in a total 6 year relationship – waste of my twenties!

      • Yikes – 6 years…! Yeah, definitely better sooner than later, but it will still suck if this is over.

    • Glad you had a good first date! And I feel you on dating being exhausting! I have some friends who have 3 or 4 first dates a week. I really don’t know how they do it.

      • Thanks. Pretty sure he’s not that interested, but at least it wasn’t a total bust. I’m not head over heels either. A date a week is a lot to me but 4. I’d forget people’ s names.

      • Accountering

        Just go have fun! That is how they do it, keep the pressure low, and have fun!

        • I think I’d be exhausted just socializing 4 times a week, even if they weren’t dates. I need my alone time!

  • I am sad. My only real friend at work announced that she’s leaving, and there is no one who can replace her, friend-wise. Can’t be actual friends with my direct reports (although we are friendly) because it wouldn’t be professional to bitch to them about the big boss.
    I’m a pretty cheerful old gal, and I’m not used to being sad. It’s messing with every part of my day.

    • Sorry about that – I’ve been there and it sucks. My best friend at my former job got let go (one of five due to cut-backs) so not only did I miss seeing him every day, I was also really pissed at my employer. I don’t really have any friends at my current job (everyone is friendly, I’m just not close to anyone), and it really does make the work day less enjoyable than it could be.

    • Ugh, I’m sorry. That is the worst. I’m in the same boat right now-I had a group of coworkers who were like family, but most have taken off for greener pastures. There’s few people on the current staff that I am that close to, and it really does a number on my morale.

  • Andie302

    Rave: We picked up a bunch of tile from craigslist for a pretty decent discount.
    Rant: It was about 70lbs per box. My forearms hurt.
    Rave: Found the perfect shower head sprayer combination
    Rant: from Restoration Hardware on clearance for $2500+…that’s not happening. On to other options!
    Rave: Enjoying this process and not feeling too stressed about it (yet)

    • Shower head sprayer for $2500?!? That’s not an extra zero in there?

      • I just dropped a bathroom bundle at RH — though I did not get my shower heads there because I bought shower hardware four months before vanity hardware and forgot that maybe I should get them from the same place so they match — and $2500 seems typo-ish for RH, even though they are not cheap.
        On the other hand, having dropped a lot of money on swell bath stuff, I can say that no room in my house makes me feel quite like an affluent bachelor with elegant taste like the bathroom now, and do recommend spending a little extra there (you can yupscale the bath so much cheaper than other, bigger rooms. especially if you’ve already scored cheap tile.

      • Andie302

        It dropped slightly since last night, but not enough. It’s item number 23600042 SNCK.

  • Rant: Clusterf* on the Green Line this morning.
    Rant: Dude who thought it was appropriate to stand against the panel right next to the door, making it hard for other people to get on and off. The only time someone should be standing there is if they’re getting off at the VERY NEXT STOP, or if the train is so crowded that they can’t move in any further.
    Rant: I think I had some other rants and raves, but I can’t remember them.

    • regarding the Metro panel dude – depending on my mood, I do one of the following: explain that they’re making it much more difficult for access and egress – “excuse me, it’d be easier if you weren’t in the way”; step on their foot on my way out; or a quick “you gotta move, buddy.”

      • Yeah — I probably should have said something as I was on my way in. The train was so crowded that I was preoccupied with just getting on and making my way down the aisle so as to use the space efficiently.
        I did glare at him for a little while when the train started moving, but gave up after a few seconds.

      • Emmaleigh504

        I usually make sure my bag hits them in the lower-stomach/crotch area. I’ve also fallen on people on more than one occasion b/c I’m a klutz.

    • If it’s a man, I use some combination of shoulder/elbow to express my displeasure. If it’s a woman, I just stew over it.

    • Accountering

      I plowed through some lady who did this on the Red line on Tuesday. She made it difficult for people to get off, and not everyone was going to be able to get on. I moved myself onto the train and past her. I think she got the message.

  • Rant: My dad sent me a long e-mail out of the blue (I’ve just been complaining about dating) and part of it was saying how I should make sure I’m not coming across as a feminist or talking politics on dates, because “guys unless they are militant or shallow or immature are looking for a girlfriend who will become their wife, mother of their children confident and friend… A lot of guys get scared off long term relationships with women who outspoken feminists… There are not many out and out feminists in long term marriages with men, the view is irreconcilable with the reality of marriage.”

    Sigh. Just makes me shake my head. Why yes, hiding values that are important to me sounds like a great strategy. I love him, but oy. Probably just going to say “thanks for the advice” and leave it at that.

    • Sigh — that sounds like a good plan (thanking him and leaving it at that). He means well, but he’s from a different era.

    • OY exactly! Parents just don’t understand.

    • Oh dear. I agree that the thanking him and then ignoring strategy might be best here. Sigh.

    • My brother is deeply in love with his loudly feminist wife. Coming up on 20 years, and he’s still all moony and adoring. What’s funny is that our parents sometimes react (privately) to her militant feminism with a comment like “Your brother could have done so much better…”
      Way to miss the point, parents.

    • Emmaleigh504

      My parents could teach him a thing or two about feminists in long term marriages with men.

    • I mean, call me shallow I think feminist women have more money, are more likely to spend it on me, and are more fun in bed. You can’t build a relationship on JUST that, but it’s a pretty darn good start. And, there’s a 50-50 chance I’m your father’s age, FWIW.

      • “I mean, call me shallow I think feminist women have more money, are more likely to spend it on me, and are more fun in bed.”
        THIS x 1,000

        • And more likely to take the initiative to fix things around the house.

          • Sometimes my gf and I joke about our 50’s bizarro relationship. She’s the CEO with great connections, I’m the civil servant. She’s working late and I’m getting pissy because the chicken is drying out and she hasn’t called to tell me when she’s coming home. I like to dress up, she wants to lounge around in jeans. I’m way more at home in the kitchen, she’s much better with a tool box.

      • Hahaha yeah, all fair points! :p

    • Quotia Zelda

      “There are not many out and out feminists in long term marriages with men, the view is irreconcilable with the reality of marriage.”
      Now they tell me! I guess I need to go end my marriage, then….
      This definitely sounds like a “smile and nod” kind of situation. Sorry you have to deal with it.

    • Ally

      Yeah, just chalk it up to a generational thing. I’m sure he was trying to be helpful in his own (somewhat backwards) way. And FWIW, my fiance wishes I would talk politics with him more, had no issues whatsoever when I (as an admitted feminist) was reticent to give up my maiden name, etc. Based on how you plan to handle things with your pops (in a mature, classy, and loving way), it sounds like you’ll be all set when you meet someone with equally good character.

    • Andie302

      A co-worker told my friend recently that she needed to get a copy of “The Rules”. She was really down about it, so in an effort to make her feel better I looked up the publication date: 1995. Hopefully things have changed since your dad was dating AND that book was written. You’re being a great sport if you just acknowledge receipt and move on!

    • Ha. I had a friend tell me to be more “feminine” on my dating apps this summer. That men needed to see me as a woman – not as an accomplished person. I’m sorry if I need to hide my studies from you, or the fact that I wouldn’t mind weekend-long hikes, kayaking, etc. I think people have different opinions in what they want in a relationship and who you need to be in order to get there. I think you should be yourself, because who wants to be with those a**holes anyways?

      • I had a friend say the same thing to me about being more feminine! “Guys don’t want to date a girl who can hang with the guys… you need to make yourself sound more girly even if it’s not true.” Excuse me?! Grrrr.
        Agreed on being yourself!

      • “I had a friend tell me to be more “feminine” on my dating apps this summer.”
        Think about what they’re really saying, the subtext – pretend to be someone you’re not in order to “trick” a guy into liking you. That’s insane advice. Essentially, (1.) you’d start your relationship off with a lie and (2.) the guy doesn’t like you for who you really are.
        How could anyone be happy over the long term under those conditions?

    • “…the view is irreconcilable with the reality of marriage.”

      I grew up in a staunchly feminist home, so my reaction to your father would likely be less than a thank you note, and rather would be to send him the dictionary definition of feminism: “the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.”

      If he thinks the reality of marriage is that women and men aren’t equal on political, social, and economic grounds – count me out of marriage!

      • If I thought it would get me anywhere I would, but I learned long ago that he’s not at all interested in listening. I’ve argued with him in the past and it’s just draining.

    • Accountering

      Dummy of the day award goes to your dad! I think you follow Textdocs advice. The kind of dude you are going to find in DC (well, the kind who is worth his weight in salt) is looking for a girlfriend with opinions, who challenges him etc. I’ve met you, no need to change!

  • Rant / Rave – I just heard a friend is buying house in MD. We have not spoken yet but his wife is pregnant so I assume schools factored into decision. We need the good folk to stick it out if things are going to change. Timing of news was interesting for me since I just read article on Millennials in the Atlantic

    “It appears that what many Millennials want when picking out a place to raise a family isn’t a city per se, but rather the perks that are traditionally associated with living in a city: restaurants, shops, and grocery stores within walking distance, easy access to public transportation. In other words, they might want suburbs that are more city-like than the ones they grew up in. Some suburbs are like that—it’s just that young people can’t afford to move there and still advance professionally. Until the recovery reaches them, many of them will keep living in big metro areas, whether they truly prefer to or not”

    • I wonder what it is about the suburbs that make people want to live there, if they prefer city-like infrastructure. Is it the schools? The crime levels? I think both those things will keep improving in cities like ours, while getting worse in the suburbs.

      • Schools and crime seem to be the top 2. Did you see the post on people moving out the city after kids are school age? Nothing but crime and schools.

        • Accountering

          The crime thing is such a load of baloney. You are wildly more likely to be hit and injured driving on the beltway than you are to be the victim of violent crime living in DC.

          • jim_ed

            Reasonable or not, but the sound of close by gunshots becomes much more alarming when you have a child sleeping in your house. You don’t get that in Arlington or Bethesda.

          • Accountering

            I can understand how it could be alarming, and you are correct that I cannot put myself in your shoes. With that said, I tend to think in probabilities, and driving on 495 in MD is still much more dangerous than living in Brightwood or Shaw. 600 people a year killed in car crashes in the DC metro area. That means 100 in Montgomery county and another 100 in Fairfax. 100 murders in DC last year, of which almost all were drug or domestic violence related.

          • jim_ed

            FWIW, We’re not planning on leaving the city, and we’re generally cool with our school options through 5th grade or so. But in those moments it becomes easier to reconsider. That said, we’ve agreed that if we leave the city, we’re leaving the whole area. My personal hell would be commuting from Chantilly or Germantown to DC every day. But it basically boils down to what people personal tolerance for city living bullshit is, whether it be neighborhood crime, or lousy schools, or just the increased vigilance of letting your kid run free in the city rather than a suburban cul-de-sac, etc etc etc.

      • Schools, Safety, Privacy, and Space. Yet, they still want to walk less than 0.5 mile to a commercial area with a public transportation system that links them quickly to the urban core.
        It’s the real estate version of “having it all.”

        • Yep – schools and space for me. Privacy, meh….safety…it’s important, but I’ve rarely felt unsafe around here. Housing in DC for people with a kid or two is very limited if you aren’t a millionaire

          • gotryit

            I’m happy with my neighborhood school (other than HS) – and many of my neighbors in the broader Petworth area are getting involved in their schools.
            I get that DC schools aren’t for everyone, but I’m always happy to answer questions if people here are interested in learning more.

          • Some schools are good, some aren’t. I’m personally not ok relying on a lottery to ensure my kids get a good education. To each their own. High school eventually comes around. What then? Though, I’m used to paying private school tuition in the form of a nanny pay check since we never got in to day care!

      • Accountering

        This is so gross to me. I cannot fathom moving to the suburbs, and am quite certain that kids are not going to change that.

  • BIG rant: Just learned that Mothership is going to close. (A neighborhood Yahoogroup forwarded a link from a City Paper story.)

  • Rant: wife’s alarm went off at 6:30, kiddo started yelling, wife said she didn’t fall asleep until after 1am and didn’t want to go to morning pilates, so I got up with kiddo to let her sleep some.
    Rant: can’t figure out for the life of me why our radio alarms seem to be waking kiddo up. I’ve tested a few theories (can’t hear radio from her room, radio turning on isn’t somehow emitting a frequency that would turn on the crib soother) and am flummoxed. This will make early-morning workouts much more challenging!
    Rave: had a nice relaxed 45 minutes with kiddo before we got ready for the day.
    Rant: she had another rough drop off, this time with her other mom who usually does drop-off. overtired? transitions are becoming harder?
    Rave: doctor’s office moving less inefficiently than I remember from the first go-round. only had to wait 15 minutes for the procedure. results in two weeks.
    Happy hump day everyone!

    • I wonder if it is one of those “young people’s ears are better than ours are” things? Maybe you can’t hear the alarm, but the kiddo can hear some frequency of it?

      • Yeah, I’m starting to wonder the same thing. It didn’t used to wake her up, but for some reason seems to be doing so the last week or two.

        • 1. Could be you getting up/talking that wakes her
          2. Get a kid to come over and see if they can hear the alarm. There is definitely a hearing loss of sorts once you become a late teen-adult.

          • It’s before anyone is out of bed and before anyone has really spoken. Might need to experiment with a kid old enough to tell us. Argh.

          • Maybe increasing the volume on her white-noise machine will help. Things to ponder…

      • ours hears ours as well. I’m not sure if it’s the alarm or the general sounds of waking up. But it does suck!

        • It’s so weird–just started in the last week or two, and never did before. May need to find another way to wake up in the morning, particularly if I want to get up early and work out.

    • Young children have super-acute hearing compared to yours – you just don’t realize how much hearing you’ve lost It happens gradually and steadily over one’s lifetime, you can’t avoid it. I also didn’t realize I had lost so much, until some years back, someone at work brought up this online thing where there’s a steady tone that changes in frequency, and we each dropped off from being able to hear the tone in exact relation to our various ages. So, yeah, your kid hears all kinds of high frequency stuff you don’t. You can prove this more scientifically for yourself by googling up one of those frequency tones online.

      I’ve also noticed this watching TV with an older pre-schooler – in a NYC apartment with a lot of outside background noise – the point where she could hear the TV conversation and where I could hear it were totally different spots – she said I wanted it too loud for her – (I don’t have this problem when watching with other adults – because, barring unusual hearing loss, we all have hearing similar to most others of our age group).

      I’m convinced this is why kids know about a lot stuff going on that we don’t think they do – they hear you talking about stuff through walls when you think can’t hear you. I remember hearing my parents talking in bed through the wall about all kinds of family stuff, and I know they didn’t think anyone could hear them – this in an old house with thick plaster walls.

      • Makes sense.

      • Allison

        At my old work, one of the employees always kept the old CCTV turned off. When the marshals got mad at him, he said “it’s broken, it makes a horrible high pitched squealing noise!” He turned it on to show them, but the marshals swore they couldn’t hear anything and nothing was wrong with it. I came in to break the tie. Yes, the CCTV was making an unbearable dog-whistle type noise. I guess the marshals had blown out their hearing with all the gun training, or they were just to old to hear it.

  • Pablo Raw

    Rave: Started packing last night, if everything goes right, I’ll be visiting 2 countries.
    Rant: Cold bike ride to work
    Rave: Having my own place and living so close to work!
    Rant: Where are the hawks eating pigeons?

  • Rant: Apple had a quarterly profit of $18 billion. They are already sitting on $142 billion of cash that they can’t figure out what to do with. Their products are over priced, their workers are under payed, and the corporation is under-taxed.
    We hear nonstop from one side of the aisle that we can’t afford basic government services yet we let the ultra rich horde unbelievable amounts of wealth that they will never be able to do anything productive with.

  • Rave: Gradually remembering my other rants/raves now that the caffeine is kicking in.
    Rave: Finally took my Christmas tree down this past weekend.
    Rave: Put it in the attic this morning.
    Rant: While taking everything out of the hall closet that has access to the attic, I noticed that sometime between the last time I took everything out (I think early December) and now, there had been some kind of water leak — there was a nasty brown stain on the plastic bag that was covering some plastic drawers.
    Rave: Pretty much everything in that closet was in a plastic bag to begin with, because there’s always grit coming down from the hatch that leads to the attic.
    Rant: I have a bad, bad feeling that this means that there’s a leak in the roof… which was replaced four years ago. This should not be happening.
    Rant: Last week I was out on my rarely used second-floor back porch and saw that there were water marks on a windowsill. It looked like the roof for that porch (which was ALSO replaced four years ago) is leaking.

    • I’m so sorry about your roof. Do you need recommendations for roof repair people?

      • Shawess — Possibly. First I need to follow up with the roofing company who did the work four years ago and get them to fix things.
        The more I’ve dealt with them, the less I like them. Like, when they replaced the back porch roof — a flat roof with gravel on it — they dumped a lot of the gravel down the drainpipe (downspout? not sure my terminology is correct).
        Also I didn’t notice until maybe a year or two later that they had also used really long nails to nail whatever they were nailing, because there were about 20 nails poking through the porch ceiling! (This is a porch off a second-floor room I don’t use much, which was why I didn’t notice right away.) And not just poking through, but in several places they’d split or damaged the wood nearby.
        When I complained about it, the guy came over and said he was able to clip some of the protruding nails off, but recommended I get a handyman to do the rest and to paint them white. (At my own expense, of course.) I probably should have been more insistent — “you screwed it up, you fix it.”

      • Oops; that turned into quite a rant there.

        • It seems entirely rant-worthy to me! Dealing with contractors is the -worst- even when they do thinks mostly right and it sounds like these guys were big screw-ups. FWIW, we used S&K Roofing, skroofing.com, for a recent small issue we had and were very happy with them. I would recommend them, but did a quick Google search and saw that people either seem to love them or hate them. Who knew roofing companies could be so polarizing?

    • Glad you took your tree down. There’s an article in the Post today that a dried-out tree was at least partly responsible for that horrible fire in Annapolis that killed a couple and four of their grandkids.

      • Fear not — it was an artificial tree, and I plugged in the lights only when I was spending time downstairs.

  • Rant: Electrical issues in my apartment
    Rave: Landlords are very responsive and hopefully can have it resolved by today or tomorrow.
    Rave: Waiting for one repairman this morning meant I got to sleep in!!!

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rant: Why aren’t rest cures a thing anymore?
    Rant: And why don’t I have the $$$ for a fawncy tropical vacation?
    Rant: And while we’re at it, where the hell is my trust fund???
    Rant: I feel like I’m in a rut. Winter does that to me. My outlook should improve once spring arrives.
    Rant: No sooner has the college search process wrapped up for Eldest Zelda than it begins for Middle Zelda. We are drowning in college junk mail. Again.
    Rave: Don’t tell Eldest Zelda, but I think I know which way she’s leaning in her college selection. I think Emilie will be pleased.

  • Revel: Latest pair of foster kittens got adopted!
    Rant: Miss them!
    Revel: Waiting for some ferals to be trapped and vetted, then I get “re-stocked.”

    Cleaning out the leftovers after a 4 day visit from sister & 4 kids – I had no idea junk food was so expensive! A box of Krispy Kremes is $5.97! Or disgusting – Lunchables!

  • Rant: I need to make a big decision about my work future with imperfect information and imperfect outcomes no matter what I choose. And I’m not the best decision maker in the first place.

    Rant: I’m interested in a coworker, and I think the feeling is mutual. One of us works for the other (and will continue to no matter the outcome of Rant 1), so it is a no-go. Must focus on the other person’s flaws to get interest to subside.

  • This is an all-Park View Rant and Rave. So many emotions.

    Rave: Last night’s meet-and-greet of current parents and teachers with prospective parents of the Park View neighborhood’s DCPS school Bruce Monroe at Park View. It was amazing. I am very excited.
    Rant: Mothership closing in Park View. OMG WTF.
    Rave/Rant: OK, technically this is a block North of the Park View boundaries, but holy smokes, a rowhouse pop-up condo conversion selling each 3-bd unit for nearly $700k and $800k. 3-bedrooms is still enough to have kids, but wow, I just had separate conversations with 2 middle class dual-income families saying they were being priced out of Park View because they couldn’t afford a $700k renovated rowhouse.

  • RAVE: All trips have been approved. I’m gone for nearly all of February. So much snowboarding (Swiss alps, Chamonix) and friend visiting (London, Belgium) is in my future. Plus, it’s Carnival when I’m in Basel. Instead of doing a fancy dinner, my delegation is having a quick meal and then heading out to party in the streets 😀
    RAVE: Dan is dropping off my PoP’ville shirt at my house this week. Be on the lookout for my Alpine travel pics 😀
    RAVE: Subletter seems really cool and will get along with my roommates. Woo to no rent next month!
    RAVE/RANT: Made dinner rez at Iron Gate this Sunday without realizing that it’s Super Bowl Sunday. Excited for the dinner and don’t really care about the game, but worried that the place will be DEAD.
    RANT: So much work to do before I leave. Will be a stressed out mess.

  • Rave: big raise for 2015!
    Rave: optimistic about someone I’ve been seeing. not sure I see it going anywhere long term, but definitely having fun for now.
    Rant: people who take forever to respond when they initiated the conversation
    Rave: having the sun out and shining is such a game changer

  • Rant: Trying to find an affordable 7-10 day vacation to someplace warm for a solo traveler. Most travel packages I find (e.g.. all-inclusive trips to DR) are too expensive for a solo traveler.
    Related Rant: Any recommendations for websites that allow searching great travel deals by departure city (including last minute deals) for someone who’s really flexible in terms of both destination and dates? All my go-to sites require entering a destination and/or travel dates. I just want to explore whatever good deals are on offer; my dates and destination can be really flexible.
    Super Rave: I have the flexibility to travel pretty much wherever and whenever I find a deal!

    • Adioso is really good for that. My girlfriend and I recently wanted to do a trip to someplace warm and international, for 10-14 days, for anytime in the upcoming two months. Adioso let us put in all that criteria which made the decision easy (we went with Thailand; flights were only $850 and I’d recommend it if you can do at least 10 days).

      • Thanks! I will definitely check out Adioso. I’ve been to Thailand and had a great time, though that would involve longer flights than what I’d like for this trip.

        • anonymouse_dianne

          Depending on your age, you might try Road Scholar. They specialize in putting together eco-tourist type trips and will try to pair you with another traveler, or charge you a small additional fee to go single.

      • Check out theflightdeal.com and go to their DC sub-section. You need to check it multiple times per day and jump on the deal immediately. They find quirks in the booking systems that allow you to grab super cheap flights.
        As a solo traveler, AirBnB is a god send. You can rent a room in a person’s nice home and enjoy their hospitality and local knowledge while still having plenty of space to “do your own thing.” I’ve heard that package resorts are pretty miserable for solo travelers, as they are often filled with families and couples. I’d go with a great AirBnB room or even a hostel over a package resort or big hotel on the beach.

        • Thanks! Will definitely use try website.

        • For solos looking to rent a bedroom in someone’s home, Airbnb is great. But if you want a whole place to yourself check VRBO.com. Airbnb charges the guest an additional 12% fee. So if you find a place on airbnb check vrbo for the same place at a better rate. Most people who post on VRBO also post on airbnb (because it’s free.)

    • Nicaragua. Guatemala. Both affordable, both have plenty to see, and both are warmer than here in winter.

  • Rant: My 18 month old still doesn’t sleep through the night, still nurses, and sleeps in our bed every night.
    Rant: I feel like such a pushover. But, I love that baby so much!
    Rant: Decided it might be time to pull the plug and make her CIO.
    Rave: Sleeping in my own bed without worrying about a baby soon?

    • Chief Information Officer?

    • The earlier you get your child to sleep all night, the better. I have a friend whose daughter came into her room to sleep at some point every night until she was old enough (at age 8 or 9!) to have a pre-teen anger attack about something her mother did that made her want to NOT sleep on her futon on the floor of her mother’s room when she inevitably woke in the middle of the night for the first time.

      CIO can be easy and quick for some, and hard and impossible for others – so if you find it difficult, look up some of the other tricks that people use that don’t involve as much crying but still work, eventually.

    • Oh man, I’m so sorry to hear this. Sleep struggles are the worst, especially if it’s been a consistent issue for 18 months. I’m happy to troubleshoot advice, but might need a bit more context. Does she start the night in her own space? Are you hoping to end both the cosleeping & the night-waking? Are you hoping to stop nursing altogether? Or just during the night? We did CIO (graduated checks/Ferber method) at around 8.5 months and somehow learning how to put herself back to sleep resolved the nighttime feeding issue. I imagine your daughter might be a little tougher because of her age, but you never know–a lot is child specific. That said, I highly recommend coming up with a plan and parameters for when you’d pull the plug. It’s really hard to listen to the screaming and it helps if you have a solid plan & pre-designated limits if you’re struggling with it. If you have a spouse (it sounds like you do), it might be helpful to have said spouse do the nighttime checks since that parent isn’t associated with nursing. My wife did all of the “checks” and I think that made things work more smoothly.
      Another thing you can try that worked for friends of mine in the 15-month range was to just hold the baby & comfort back to sleep to break the nursing-sleep association & also stop them from expecting to eat during the night. Their son stopped waking up once he was used to not eating/nursing during the night. Some will say it can create other sleep associations, but it’s another route to try depending on your preferences. Good luck!!

      • “Another thing you can try that worked for friends of mine in the 15-month range was to just hold the baby & comfort back to sleep to break the nursing-sleep association & also stop them from expecting to eat during the night. Their son stopped waking up once he was used to not eating/nursing during the night.”

        I think 18 months is a perfectly fine time to night-wean and/or stop co-sleeping. Starting only now doesn’t make you a pushover. I don’t really see it as CIO either when they’re old enough to understand your words of reassurance to them, but maybe that’s just my view of CIO.

        Hang in there! Your baby and you are so fortunate to have co-slept for 18 months!

      • She starts out in her crib at 7:30. Wakes up around 10:30 and my husband can either hold her and get her back to sleep in her crib or he takes her into our bed and she sleeps. I rarely nurse her again at this time. If she goes back into her crib, she wakes up again after about an hour or so and since we’re usually asleep by then, my husband brings her into our bed. As soon as she’s in our bed, she sleeps fine, usually straight through until we wake up for work. The last few weeks, however, she’s been waking up again at 3:30 to nurse. It’s not as bad as she doesn’t sleep at all, but the real problem is that we don’t sleep all that well with her in our bed because she moves around so much.

        And, she has slept through the night in her crib, just not consistently. One night I ended up sleeping on the floor in her room next to the crib and she was fine. I just can’t do that every night, and she can’t sleep in our bed every night either.

        • What happens if your husband soothes her & then puts her back in her crib again at the second wake-up? Does she keep waking through the night? Also–if she’s waking more now, is it possible she’s teething? Have you tried ibuprofen before bed to see if that helps? I assume she has loveys, etc in her crib? My daughter loves her baby einstein crib soother–it’s an aquarium type thing that has a low light & music when you turn it on, and the music lowers in volume every 10 minutes until it stops at 25 minutes. The lights go off at 10 minutes in. That’s helped with some of the night wakings in terms of going back to sleep herself. And being able to look at books for a bit before going back to sleep since the light comes on initially & she has books in her crib.
          Since the nightnursing thing is recent, it sounds like a phase rather than a long-time sleep association thing. My guess is that the co-sleeping might be easier to stop since your daughter starts in the crib & is used to sleeping there. Does she nap there on the weekends as well? Since she’s old enough to understand a little bit, you might want to tell her in advance that she’s going to need to stay in her crib all night & not come into mommy & daddy’s bed anymore. You could even get her a new lovey/stuffed animal/something and make a big deal about that being in bed with her to keep her company. You may well have some rough nights, but it should work if you & your husband are committed to comforting her, but not bringing her into bed, when she wakes up.

  • Rant: boss’s inability to use MS Word. Starting a new document, writing the changes in that document, then printing it and the original and going through each edit in person is not useful. Just track changes! I know she knows how to do that. And the edits… oof – “mere” became “just.” I hate happy-to-glad edits.
    Rant: shopping music to labels. I am truly terrible at it.
    Rave: my workload is good today, though there is a hilarious “too many cooks” issue with a spreadsheet. Fortunately, I get to observe from far enough away on an email chain. How many people does it take to merge three spreadsheets of contact info and sort out the duplicates? How long will it take? How much micromanaging can such a simple task withstand? So far, the answers are 8, all of today, and a lot.

  • Blithe

    Rave: I am halfway through assembling my shelves. I feel like Rosie the Riveter! lol
    Rant: Having the benefit of an excellent liberal arts education doesn’t help so much with assembling shelves. 🙁
    Rave-ish: I tend to learn things the hard way, but at least, with a few scrapes and bruises, I DO learn. Eventually.
    Rave: A former beau used to refer to my telephone as my “life support”. He nailed it. I’ve had multiple, wonderful, phone chats in the last few days. Chattering makes me happy. 🙂
    Rave: Some very wonderful, and quite unexpected, people in my corner. Yay!

  • Becks

    Rave: Working from home this week and experimenting with dinner! Monday was Chipotle Chicken and Brussel Sprouts. Tuesday was Creole Dirty Rice. Today will be leftover Dirty Rice. And Tomorrow?
    Rant: Had a call in meeting today and just could not hear. Pointless! Just pointless!
    Rave: Outside feral kitty came within 5 feet of me and didn’t run away! I have been feeding her and made her a feral cat shelter.
    Rave: Lady Carlotta has been super fluffy due to the cool weather. I put her cat bed on the sofa next to my desk and she has been sitting with me this week at work! She is so cute!
    Rave: I love coffee!

  • Late day phone questions:
    1. I want to upgrade my POS and slow iPhone 4 to the iPhone 6. Should I get the 16GB or spring for the 32GB? I most just use the phone for email, texting, maps, music streaming, and the occasional photo. Is 16GB too small, given the fact that apps are now bigger?
    2. Anyone have experience with Sprint? Especially when overseas? They are doing a special $50/month unlimited talk, data, and text. I stream a lot of music, so this is good for me (use about 4GB of data per month). I’m currently on AT&T with a grandfathered unlimited data plan, which runs me about $100 month after all taxes and fees.

    • I thought Sprint didn’t use GSM, making it a no-go for most places abroad. No?

      • Yes, you are right.

        One reason I switched over to t-mobile 13 months ago was free texting and data outside the USA. The international data is too slow to really do much, but the free texting was useful. It’s worked in all of the 10 or so countries I’ve been to (all in Asia and M. East).

        T-mobile’s service in DC has also been great, no complaints. Not so great outside metro areas though…

        • Oh, this is awesome! I had no idea it has free international texting and data (only 128kbps….but that’s good enough to load a map or upload a pic to Facebook). I’m traveling a lot this year for work, so I’m going with this. Thanks!

        • Oh wow…..and Soundcloud and Spotify don’t count against your 4G data usage. That’s 90% of my data use right there. SOLD.

    • Emmaleigh504

      I finally sprang for the bigger size with the iPhone 6. I’m glad I did b/c I always forget to download pictures and free up space. It’ 16 then jumps to 64 GB, so suddenly I have all the room in the world.

    • Re: Question 1, I definitely recommend the 32. I had a 16GB iPhone 5 and constantly needed to delete things, even after pulling off all music and large apps. I was running the phone only with the minimum number of apps I needed at any given time. It was my biggest complaint about that phone, and a constant one. Now I have a 32GB 6+ and never have that problem anymore.

      Re: Question 2, I had the same plan on AT&T and now save a crazy amount of money being on the family plan. I think an additional line is $20 so the two of us pay about $130 together after taxes. And we got to keep our numbers. If you have this option in any way, I highly recommend it.

    • There is no 32GB iPhone 6 – they go 16/64/128. I would get the 64 as it’s 4x as much storage and you don’t know what amount of storage apps and uses will require in a few years.

      I never use U.S. carriers overseas – I always unlock the phone and use local sims. iPhones have dual band CDMA/GSM radios so they’ll work wherever. I’ve taken a Verizon iPhone (U.S. CDMA) and used it abroad with swapped sim. It’s generally much cheaper this way and I’ve never had problems with it.

    • Thanks all! There’s actually a T-Mobile shop in the ground floor of my building. I was in-and-out in 20 minutes with a new plan and a new phone. It was too easy! Super stoked to pay about the same total for a new phone, unlimited service both domestically and abroad 🙂

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