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.

276 Comment

  • Rave: Interview this afternoon – working on prep now.
    Rant: have the end of a massive pimple on my chin and I haven’t figured out that whole make-up thing PoPville kindly taught me about…
    Double Rant: Still haven’t heard back – going on 12 days from last contact (and I know they’ve reached out to all of my references).
    Triple rant: 50 bucks to hem a stupid bridesmaid dress. 50 bucks! Plus the dress is ugly.
    Rave: Concert tonight with the husband.

    • skj84

      Omg on your last rant! What type of hemming is going on? Are the cutting the bottom off? Tacking it up? Or is the dress multiple layers? $50 for hemming is insane.

      • Oh man – glad I’m not crazy – I’d say 25 bucks at most, right? It’s a super simple dress (liner and an fabric shift over top – nothing fancy). Assuming they haven’t done the work, I think I’m going back there to question the cost.

      • msmaryedith

        The last dress I got hemmed was $85 (multiple layers, sort of uneven since it was a-line). My dress for the inaugural ball was about $250 to hem (intricate beading–had to take up each layer of beads). $50 is normal if not cheap 🙁

        • Ally

          Yeah, just went to the tailor for a wedding dress to be altered. Needed the bust taken in and the hem raised an inch. Came out to be $100. I felt like I got off easy (I’ve had dresses altered before that were double or triple that).

    • your first rant: Can you put some windex on it? 🙂 Good luck!!!

    • Emmaleigh504

      Good luck with the interview!

    • emvee

      I have a few questions related to this. I have a bridesmaid dress that’s pretty bad – ordered online to my “measurements” and shipped to me from China. There’s a LOT of ruffles and it’s both too wide and long for me. If I’m looking at $25-$50 for hemming + the cost of taking it in, then we’re starting to get near the cost of the sad dress itself. What’s the etiquette on my trying to hem it myself and just paying to get it take in?

      • Is there sheer fabric, like a chiffon overlay or something? Also, are you planning to sew it yourself or use a fusible hem tape? Is the zipper center back or on the side?

        • emvee

          Yep, there’s a ruffly chiffon overlay, and I was going to go the hem tape route, followed by some loose stitches for the overlay. Its a barefoot-beach wedding (so why the floor-length gown, I’m not sure), so I don’t think the bottom needs to be perfect. Zipper on the side.

          • Not the answer I was hoping for. I was going to suggest taking it in yourself if the zipper was center back, it’s not that hard to do a decent, symmetrical job of it, but the side zipper complicates things the more you have to take in.
            I’m not sure how I feel about your plan to hem the overlay. Generally a sheer layer would have a French rolled hem, which tucks up the unfinished edge in the hem, but it sounds like your hem is going to be sandy and the wedding is casual anyway, so it might not bother you. Is there enough excess that you can experiment a little before you go that route?
            Take my advice with a grain of salt, I’m more than capable of hemming my own stuff, but I hate hemming and I’m way to lazy to do it.

    • This sounds almost as ridiculous as the Windex option. But toothpaste (just a little dab before bed) is really effective in drying out the massive pimples. Just be sure to moisturize a LOT because it can also dry out your skin.

      • Allison

        I have to counter-recommend against this. The old toothpaste myth was born of old fashioned toothpastes; modern toothpastes (particularly the popular gel kind) do not have any ingredients beneficial to skin.
        A few better options are: 1) applying a benzoil peroxide product at concentrations between 2.5 to 5% (avoid the 10% persagel, it is no more effective than a 5% product and can cause irritation and burns.) I use a tiny tube of the CVS generic brand benzoil peroxide for spot treatment, but Neutrogena makes one that is generally available as well. Note that it can cause fabric to bleach on contact, so don’t use a nice pillowcase. Also, do not apply benzoil peroxide anywhere except the spot (no general treatment) and do not mix with products containing glycerin. 2) if the pimple has come to a head, you can gently lance and then use a hydrocolloid bandage (the type specifically marketed for “blister protection”) which should suck out all the gunk overnight. 3) zinc oxide cream (CVS makes a 40% version that is sold on the shelves near their eczema products) applied thickly will drastically reduce the swelling. You can hold the cream on with a normal (non hydrocolloid) bandaid overnight. This one is my favorite.

        • epric002

          that is all really great advice allison- i think you recommended the hydrocolloid bandage to me previously and it really helped. but when i haven’t had any of that stuff available, a little dab of traditional (NOT gel) toothpaste really does help dry things out.

  • Rave: Finally got a chance to watch the Better Call Saul pilot (but not last night’s episode).

    Rant: I think there’s something wrong with my tv or dvr. The first few minutes of the show was in black and white, then it switched to color.

    • emvee

      I have yet to watch the pilot, but I did read that they were going B&W at first before switching to color, sort of reverse-Wizard-of-Oz style. Your dvr’s okay!

    • Do I need to have watched more partly through season 2 of Breaking Bad to watch this show without spoilers?

      • Doubtful. It’s a prequel, so while there will be overlap its more toward how Saul became Saul not about Walter. There is definitely some character overlap, but so far I know nothing about them relative to breaking bad.

    • The color thing was done on purpose.

    • It was intentional, I think it was to show future vs. current/past. Future Saul works at a Cinnabon in Omaha, and he’s watching tapes of his old self.

    • Yeah, the beginning is monochrome because it’s post-Breaking Bad

      • “Better Call Saul” is just terrific. I’m just hoping that it continues to connect the characters from “Breaking Bad” who were in Saul’s life before Walter White. Because Mike Ehrmantraut has already shown up,. I’ll be patiently awiting the return of Gustavo Fring.

  • rant: dropped my headphones somewhere
    rave: dropped them in the office elevator and I got it back from housekeeping today. This is like the 3rd time I’ve recovered these headphones from somewhere, and at this point they have a lot of sentimental value. I should figure out a better way of keeping them, altogether.
    rant: is the nearest sephora really in georgetown? (relative to downtown)

    • Re: Sephora. Yes, Georgetown. But you could pretty much take any bus from downtown and be there in 10-15 mins.

      • +1, and depending on what you’re looking for, you may be able to find it at Blue Mercury, which has several locations in and near downtown. I’ve also found Sephora-ish products at random salons in the city after looking online for the closest retailer.

        • +1 for this rec, BlueMercury’s stock can vary a lot from store to store. So if there is something specific that you need, I would call ahead to make sure they have it at the one you want to go to.

    • Andie302

      It may be easier just to take metro to the Pentagon City one.

    • There’s a Sephora at Friendship Heights. Right at the Metro exit if that’s easier. It’s smaller, b.ut A LOT less crazy

  • Rave: Able to sleep in a bit longer because I can come to work whenever I want.
    Rave: Roomie has most of her own kitchen stuff, so no need to run the dishwasher 3 times a week.
    Rant: Feeling less than well.
    Rave: Have tbd interview for a long term assignment that has temp to perm possibilities.

  • Rave: i think i will be able to start running again in a week or so… i can not wait
    Rave: a possible opportubity to get into private equity in south africa. love love love the idea

    • Doing PE in South Africa would be quite interesting! Such an amazing country with a pretty sad economic outlook and intense bureaucratic red tape. Lots of awesome people doing awesome things though.

  • SFT

    Ranty Question: I’ve been fighting with my student loan company for 5 years re: a payment that was submitted, but was never credited my account. It’s not a small amount, it’s $6,840 and my rough calculations add an additional $2,800 in interest that’s been accrued over 5 years. They have found the check and noted it on my account (I had to do a trace which took weeks), but Navient can’t seem to get around to actually putting the credit back to my account. I’ve spent more hours of my life on the phone with the company than I care to admit. My question here is: it’s been 5 years and my loans are pretty close to being paid off, if they ever credit my account for the payment that was made. Do I have any legal recourse? I told the ‘manager’ that I’m working with that if this matter is not settled by February 20th, then I am consulting an attorney and will send Navient an invoice for the payment+accrued interest along with the 50+ hours of my time that they have wasted over the years. I have a rough log of my calls. I know a couple of you are lawyers…any advice would be most appreciated! I’m at my wits end…

  • Rant: Fell up the (nonworking) metro escalator not once but twice trying to catch a train. The entire contents of bag including some things I’d rather not random people see fell everywhere. Plus I hurt my shins. 🙁
    Rave: Several people stopped to ask if I was ok and help me while I held up the line trying to gather my things 🙂

    All in all not the best start to the day but thankful there are still good people out there.

  • epric002

    rant: express scripts has done it again. 3 weeks after a refill was submitted and i still haven’t received it; and they will want to charge me a 2nd time to ship me a replacement. WTF?!
    rant: still soooo sore from rocket yoga on sunday.
    rave: tico dc.
    rave: new buffet-ish cafeteria at work has a ton more healthy & vegetarian options! 😀

    • Do you have to use express scripts? I’ve never heard of them, so I’m curious why you haven’t switched. Plenty of late night pharmacies in dc.

      • Agreed. Also, is there any (even tiny) chance that they actually are shipping it and someone is just stealing it? If it’s through the mail, that seems like it might be a pretty high-value target.

        • epric002

          they did ship this one, but there is no activity on the tracking other than it “departed shipping facility”. no “in transit”, no “out for delivery”, nothing. i don’t know if that part is express scripts or USPS’ fault, but i can’t believe they want to charge me again for a replacement.

          • I’m pretty sure that’s USPS’ fault. You should definitely call their customer service and complain. Who knows — not pointing fingers but its not impossible that someone who works at USPS is stealing them, or losing them consistently.

          • epric002

            i’m not at all sure this is USPS’ fault. EVERY prescription that express scripts has filled has been screwed up in some way. i’ve not had an issue with them being shipped and not delivered before, my issues are primarily with them not filling them appropriately, efficiently, notifying me of issues, changing requirements, etc.

          • Ah, I see. Well, it sounds like this time if it departed shipping facility and it’s been more than a few days, it’s probably USPS. [I worked at my college mailroom so I’d like to think I know a little bit about mail. Heh :)] Sorry you’re having this problem!

      • epric002

        oh believe me, if i had any choice in the matter i wouldn’t use them. my insurance requires that for any prescription filled more than 3 times (so anything used for a chronic condition) be filled through them.

        • Awww that makes sense (not really but I’m sure they have some reason for requiring it).

          • It’s a lot cheaper.

          • You get what you pay for…

          • epric002

            cheaper for them maybe. my premiums have gone up and the service/coverage has declined. not to mention the many hours i have spent over the past month trying to unfuck 4 different RXs b/c they have screwed up every.single.one.

          • Yes, cheaper for the insurance company. Silver lining to this whole mess is that I had set aside an Express Scripts brochure to look at – it’s offered under my plan – but now I won’t waste the time. I don’t suppose that makes you feel better – but thanks!

          • Is this mandatory work insurance? Maybe hit the exchange. Even if it cost slightly more you could likely get rid of headaches and be able to just pick up refills. I’m so lucky with my insurance!

          • The employer subsidy is pretty significant. It’s hard to imagine that epric002 would be able to find something better overall on the exchange — a different plan might be less of a headache for prescriptions, sure, but it would probably have less generous coverage, higher copays/deductibles, etc.

          • Fair enough. I’ve never had employer subsidized coverage, but I also don’t have pre-existing. I’m sure it’s much harder/more expensive if you do.

          • epric002

            i just checked the exchange- it would be more than double what i’m paying now each month through my employer. 🙁 the health care/health insurance system in this country is so broken.

    • Is it getting transferred to local post office for delivery? For some reason mine does this and it has some how taken 10 days to get from Sterling to Arlington to “out for delivery”. I could have gone and picked it up if it were such an issue. Stupid health insurance for not letting use the pharmacy across the street from my office!

  • Rant: Valentine yarn bombing on 17th and Q NW. But I guess I adjust…
    Rant: Noted correlation: Cyclists with helmets go the fastest, and often too fast. If you don’t wear a helmet, you go slowly. There is doctoral thesis in here somewhere.
    Rave: Found sixty bucks blowing down the sidewalk in the form of three bill-folded twenties, slightly coming apart just as I found them. Cha-ching!

  • Rant: Literally so tired I could fall asleep on my keyboard. I’m pretty dumb for thinking that having class two days in a row at the beginning of the week was a good idea.
    Rave: Three day weekend.
    Rant: … sort of. Still have class next Monday.

  • MEGA RANT: Walked out this morning to find a $50 ticket on my car. 100% legally parked, mid-block. DC plates in place, registration sticker (with proper RPP!) and valid DC inspection. Everything good until July 2015. The ticket? For failure to display an inspection sticker. Like half the friggin’ cars in the district, mine has a vestigial inspection sticker from another state (in my case RI, but how many old VA stickers do you see???) Yes, I’ve been too lazy to scrape it, but it’s not interfering with or blocking the VALID DC INSPECTION in any way. It looked like at least a couple other cars on the block got tagged for this same reason. Reading the DC code, there’s absolutely nothing I can find that prohibits an old sticker, as long as the valid inspection is displayed. I can’t believe some parking enforcement officer was this lazy/obnoxious/quota desperate to pull this. So annoyed that I have to contest this. Has this happened to anyone else, and did you get it dismissed?

    • There’s a budget shortfall this year. Look for more to come. (P.S. I’m now paranoid that our new-ish car doesn’t have a sticker on it. Yeah, pretty sure it doesn’t. Rut Roh.)

    • this +1. It’s such a stupid way for the city to get money. There’s no crime, no violation….and they intentionally make their own registration stickers IMPOSSIBLE to remove

      • Yup. I got one once because I got my new zone parking sticker, slapped it on without removing the old one. Then got a ticker for displaying an invalid zone parking sticker – even though there was a valid one right below it. *headdesk*

    • I got a ticket like that once, too. I took a few pictures of the sticker, where the car was parked, etc. and uploaded them to the online ticket contesting website. I got a notice in the mail maybe 2 months later saying that the ticket was dismissed. It’s annoying, but the contesting procedure could be a lot worse.

    • Don’t be afraid to write an exceptionally condescending letter chastising their mistake and wasting your time and resources. I’ve gotten every unfounded ticket I’ve received dismissed with a condescending letter, plenty of pictures, and any additional documents I could think of.

    • Don’t get sassy on the online appeal. I did and they denied my appeal. And there’s no second appeal. I went down to the DMV and conducted myself better and some very nice supervisor took pity and dismissed it.

      • The last time I tried to appeal an unjustified ticket, I did so online, non-sassily, and with photo evidence. It was rejected. I think the DMV has become stricter and more arbitrary in granting appeals; I didn’t have this problem when I appealed some tickets circa 2002-2005.

    • Accountering

      Yup, I got this ticket as well. My Virginia inspection was expired. I agree, this is bogus. With that said, everyone scrape your old inspections!

      • And your registrations! I know the previous ones are annoying, but WD40 and a razor blade will get them off easily. I get annoyed seeing people driving around with a line of 5 of them on their windshield.

        • PDleftMtP

          “Goo Gone” works very well in place of WD40 too.

        • Accountering

          I feel like it is their way of saying, look at me, I have lived here forever! I prefer showing off my length of time in the city with my DR license plate 🙂 They will pry that one out of my cold dead hands!

  • Andie302

    Rant: Day 6 of this cold
    Rant: At work to at least catch up on things, but I don’t know if I’ll make it the whole day.
    Rave: Accountering has been a trooper
    Rant: even when I was a told crankster this morning.
    Rave: I didn’t miss as much at work as I was worried about. I feel a bit better now that I know and can start cranking through some of this stuff.

  • Rave: Got a puppy last month. She’s super sweet and snuggly and playful and fun.
    Rant: Puppy bites.
    Rave: Long weekend ahead and heading back home to see friends and family.
    Rant: It’s incredibly cold “back home.” When’s spring?

  • Rave: The Invisibilia podcast. It’s relatively new, with only 7 full episodes and one bonus segment out at this point, but it’s already a favorite. It’s sort of tough to explain what it’s about — the blurb says its about “the invisible forces that control human behavior” and that only sort of covers it — but I think it would appeal to a lot of people here, too.
    Rave, maybe: I already found a job to apply to in possible new city and sent my resume off this morning. A very hardest part of a potential move for me is that I like my job and company and really don’t want to leave. But an opportunity like this one, if it panned out, could be compelling. And if I found an opportunities like this one on day one of my half-hearted job search, maybe I shouldn’t be so concerned about it?
    Rave: fun evening plans tonight.

    • Re: Invisibilia, it’s worth starting at the beginning. The first episode, “The Secret History of Thoughts,” is one of the most thought-provoking things I’ve heard in a while.

    • I love Invisibilia! It’s successfully filled the Serial void during my walk to work in the morning (for now).

      • Same here, along with my array of Slate podcasts. The first Invisibilia episode has been on my mind pretty much constantly since I heard it. Especially the parts when they talk to the two next-wave therapists about how to interpret negative thoughts. It’s potentially life-changing stuff, I think.

    • Unrelated, for Emilie504: two different people called Gary “sassy” this weekend on our walks. Do you think they know your nickname for him? 😉

    • As someone looking for a job, I’ve got to say – seeing a job that’s right for you doesn’t correlate with getting a job, or even mean that the advertised job actually exists. Still, sounds like you are getting into the move!

  • I want to replace my window bars with quick release bars. Can anyone recommend a good firm for this type of work?

    • I used Federal City Iron for this, after also getting an estimate from (I think) J&G.
      The only disadvantage of retrofitting your window bars or security door this way is that they have to put up a mesh-like layer so that people can’t stick their hands in and turn the lock, and the mesh-like layer is less attractive than the plain window bars/security door.

    • If you don’t want to install the mesh – which does cut down on light and looks like crap – there is a way to put a sort of lever inside the window. It meets the regs for a C of O, but is only secure if you put a lock on the inside. Otherwise someone can just break the window and lift up the lever. I used Federal City iron.

    • Thank you both! I will call Federal City.

  • Questions for the group:

    I have a neighbor that burns random stuff in his fireplace (abandoned furniture, old fences, and what ever else he finds on the street). While I’m concerned about his family being exposed to toxic fumes from the treated lumber and varnish, I’m more concerned with the fact that he hasn’t had his chimney cleaned in the last decade. (and yes, I’ve tried talking to him about it but he doesn’t seem to understand the importance of doing so).

    I’m concerned about the whole block of row houses going up in flames. Am I being too paranoid? Can anything be done (inspection, etc)? Should I be concerned about being exposed to toxic fumes? Or should I just find a hobby and let it go?

    • I’m not sure about DC, but where I grew up, the people down the street from me did this and it was 100% illegal and the cops would come when called about illegal burning, which we could smell — and so could the police. I’d report him, or even call the non-emergency number to see if there’s any action you can take? I’d be very concerned as well. Someone here is probably more well versed on DC illegal burning laws than me, though…

      • I’ve tried 311 in the past. They come out and he assures them that he only uses it in his outside fire pit so they let it go. Not sure why that would even be legal…but it is DC….sigh.

        • And I’m assuming he owns the place and doesn’t rent? Because then you could contact the landlord. But…

        • Maybe try calling 911 next time he’s actually burning something in his fireplace?
          Reminder: For several years, 911 has been for ALL police calls, not just emergency ones.

          • Might be a good solution. Or at least calling the fire department. I haven’t tried them yet. I wonder if they would inspect the chimney as well as deal with the burning random things.

          • I’ve gotten very, um, enthusiastic responses from the fire department for non-urgent matters.
            So perhaps the next time he’s burning something, and you call 911, ask for fire instead of police. Or if you live near a firehouse, just chat with the guys. The firehouse in my neighborhood is very open and friendly, at least when the weather is nice.

          • I agree with the 911 vs 311 approach. I called 311 once when I realized neighbors packages had been stolen…I didn’t see it happen, couldn’t say who did it or at what time it happened, but empty packages and contents were strewn about the block….and I was told by the operator that if you are calling to have the police involved in any way, call 911.

  • palisades

    Rave: Currently in my research stage for travelling to Montana. It’s been my goal for years to spend a week camping around and driving to all the beautiful state parks. I finally have a girlfriend who is willing to go with me so I think it’s gonna happen!
    Rant: RV prices. Even the dinky little RVs cost over $100 a day. I just want something to sleep in at night!

    • That’s awesome! Glacier National Park is so high on my list.
      If you’re not following @usinterior on instagram you’re missing out on some serious national park beauty.

    • So jealous! This is my dream US trip as well!! And +1 to jeslett for the @usinterior instagram, so gorgeous.

      • emvee

        Seriously, +1 indeed. I shamelessly follow North Face because they have gorgeous photos like those on @usinterior, but internationally as well.

    • Could you rent a truck and tent camp? I’d get an SUV or a minivan (I know) but if it rans or is miserable, you can sleep in the car.

      • palisades

        What I’m looking at is a mini-RV basically. It’s a van with a bed that can be set up in the back. It’s the most basic of basic, so I think it would cover most needs. I’ve thought about bringing a tent, but since we’d be flying I honestly don’t want to deal with the hassle. If anything, we’d just rent a tent if we wanted it for a night.

        • Andie302

          Maybe look into renting a pop-up camper?

          • My single dad took me and my younger brothers on a 3-week road trip throughout the western united states when I was 12 in a pop-up camper. It was the kitschiest thing ever and I have such wonderful memories of being an embarrassed junior high schooler and watching my dad crank it up every night. DO IT!

        • hammers

          Regarding your tent concern, those little buggers fold up very very small. I could fit a small 2 person tent in a backpack, and even the bigger ones don’t take up much space.

        • It might not be as much hassle as you think to bring a tent and basic supplies. I camped last summer in WY, two of us were able to bring everything we needed for (not exactly roughing it) tent camping in one bag + one carry-on each.
          Another option is to rent gear, there are usually outdoors store near airports in the western states that will rent you the stuff you need.

          • Yeah, tents and sleeping bags and everything else you need to camp is very small, and so should travel easily on airlines – backpackers do it all the time, fitting everything they need in and on their packs.

    • Don’t forget to factor in park fees. I don’t know what they are for RVs, but I was shocked that it cost $60 a night for space at a state park campground in MD. (Not complaining… I believe it’s important to support our national parks… just that when I was a kid, camping was the cheap way to go. Now, with equipment and park fees, it’s on par with other accommodations.)

      • palisades

        Yeah I saw on one of the rental sites that you can buy a pass that covers all the parks fees. The small costs like that really add up. Quite annoying.

        • The pass will then be good for a year to any national park (e.g. Great Falls), so it’s worth it.

          • I know you can get a national park entry pass, but does it work for campground fees, too? It was the pricetag on the actual little numbered camping space that surprised me. Although it was a very nice facility, so again, not complaining.

    • Oh keep us updated on your plans! This is my dream vacation too. I spent almost two weeks traveling to different parks in Arizona and Utah last year and had the best time. Next time I want to go to Wyoming or Montana.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Don’t forget your popville shirts!

    • Palisades, I am just now hearing about the JMU Battleship competition! I feel so cheated that this didn’t exist when I was there. Have you been or participated? Is it as amazing as it sounds?
      When I was there we still thought UREC human chess would eventually catch on. Shows how old I am.

      • palisades

        haha yes I did battleship! It was so much fun. 3 of my friends and I did it. We bought plastic buckets from Wal-Mart. Within a couple minutes they had all ripped, it was complete failure on our part. Still fun either way.

        • Color me jealous, it sounds like it was a blast. I saw the Breeze article about it on the alumni page and there are some pretty intricate defense mechanisms and such.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: crappy night’s sleep to go with the night time and morning insomnia I’ve had for the past week. Four hours of sleep and woke up twice in that time. grrr
    Rave: Already have a doctor’s appointment to get some refills, so I can get some more sleep meds, too.
    Rave: Donna Martin likes to play parachute in the morning when I make my bed.

  • Rave: new dance venue is pretty awesome, though I suspect a lot of the turnout and good vibes were because it was opening night and the live band has a lot of street cred in the scene. Regardless, it was a ton of fun and felt a bit like a ten year swing dancer reunion, in a good way. I’m thrilled enough of us are now old and employed enough to maybe support a dance at a bar long term, it used to be that broke, college age swing dancers only order water. I had so much fun I stayed out way past my bedtime.
    Rave: it was soooo nice to see my friend.
    Rant: she informs me that my dishwasher is leaking. Womp womp.
    Rave: hopefully G Street will have the buttons I need to repair two vintage coats. Must not buy anything else there.

    • skj84

      I wanted to go last night! What was the music like? Was it more blues or swing? I’m hoping to make the next event at the end of the month.

      • It was more blues, but the beginner lesson was blues this time. Apparently they’re going to alternate the beginner lessons between blues and swing.
        It was also totally packed, so I think that had a good amount to do with their decision to play more blues music (for any non dancers still bothering to read this, blues is generally a slower, closer dance and takes up a lot less space than swing, aka lindy hop). When it started to clear out towards the end they bumped the tempo up a bit. Gotta love how many bands are populated by dancers these days, it really helps them understand the situation from the dancer perspective.

    • There used to be someone who sells vintage buttons at Eastern Market on weekends. I haven’t been in a while. Miss Pixies also often has buttons.

  • Rant: Pretty upset about those stolen kittens. I hope they are safe.
    Rave: Grateful for all of the PoPville law school advice yesterday. I really appreciate the support and words of wisdom.
    Rant: How is it only Tuesday?
    Rave: Upcoming travel to New York (City and central), Michigan, southwest VA, Pittsburgh, and Seattle. Any good restaurant recs for Pittsburgh? Need to plan a dinner for 50 close to the convention center.

    • Meat and Potatoes in Pittsburgh is great! It’s downtown so I assume pretty close to the convention center but I don’t remember if it would be big enough for a dinner for 50. Definitely check it out though!

    • hammers

      Church Brew Works in Pittsburgh is large and does banquets, they could probably accomodate 50. It’s 2 miles from the convention center though–a 10 minute drive. You didn’t specify if close is something within walking distance. If it cannot accomodate your large group, you may want to check it out on your own, it’s pretty neat.

      • Thanks, I’ll check it out! We can arrange transportation but I would like to try to avoid the added cost if possible. I will have a good amount of free time to explore/eat on my own luckily.

    • TONS of good places in Pittsburgh, but the convention venter generally sucks. Some good options are Eleven and Nine on Nine. where are you staying?

    • I Dont Get It

      Of course there’s always Primanti Brothers 😉

    • So the problem is that around the convention center isn’t home to the best places. If your group is willing to travel a little, there’s places like Casbah (they might be able to accomodate in the front), Avenue B, Butcher and the Rye, Cafe Zinho (love this place), Joseph Tambellini (VERY good – seriously….), sausalido (I think this is a BYOB). And if you need places for yourself, the areas around Pitt and CMU have excellent Indian food. Nom nom.

      • Thanks so much, jindc. I’ve never been to Pittsburgh so this is very helpful. We can arrange transportation but I would like to avoid the added cost of a charter bus if possible. This dinner falls in the middle of my organization’s major annual conference so we are a bit tied to the area for major events. I haven’t gotten my hotel assignment yet but will likely one of the hotels right near the convention center. I have a great quote from Eleven and will call Nine on Nine.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rant: I really hate being such a light sleeper. Yes, Eldest Zelda, when you take a shower in the middle of the night, it wakes me up.
    Rave: Despite the sleep deprivation and a hovering cloud of anxiety, I’m feeling pretty okay today.

  • Rant: Found out by accident that I had booked a return flight for March 19th instead of February 19th. If Creepy Google (really, they are as bad as the NSA) hadn’t read my e-mail and posted the flight on my calendar, where I noticed it while looking at something else, I might not have noticed until I got to the airport next Thursday.
    Rave: Delta changed the ticket, waived the change fee and — because fares had dropped — is giving me a $20 voucher towards my next flight.
    Mega-rave: Now all set to fly off for five days in Jackson Hole, Saturday morning.

    • I did that once – booked a 1 day vacation instead of an 8 day vacation. Three tickets. US Airways was not nearly as accommodating as Delta was (though I only discovered in 3 days before we left). Change fees (and enhanced ticket price would have more than doubled the cost of the initial tickets, so we just ended up driving back. Luckily it was doable in one (very long, unpleasant) day.

    • emvee

      This happened to my boyfriend and me last year. We booked our tickets separately (bad idea) to go to Germany and he ended up booking his for a month later than we were supposed to return. We realized this en route to Dulles where the desk clerk told us not to change anything until Munich, also a bad idea since we don’t speak German. That was an expensive and time-consuming fix. He now asks me to double check his flight dates whenever he’s booking something.

  • Rant: something fishy is happening here. Rumor is long term, tenured teachers with lots of experience are getting these in-house reprimands to prevent them from leaving for another school in the county. I got the reprimand too but I’m planning on leaving the county period.
    Rave: we got an unexpected 2hr delay!
    Rave: leftover woodland’s Mac n cheeze for lunch!

  • Rant: why can’t metro operators slow down and enunciate what they are saying? When did the pronouncing of Van Ness become Vanna? Why aren’t the annoucements automated like on the tube in London or the metro in Paris?

    • I have the same rant. I feel sorry for visitors who don’t actually know the names of the stations.

    • Because Judicuary Square….drives me crazy. That and the “this is [completely inaudible name of metro stop]. Thank [static] ….. metro [static].” The lighted signs inside new cars that say the name of the approaching stop, rather than the lighted signs inside cars that just tell you the line and end destination, are a huge help. Ya know…when you get on a new car with the fancy, accurate signs…

  • Oh one more super rave: found tickets from JFK to Tel Aviv for $572. This will be my first vacation since 2012. Now I have a super bright light at the end of the tunnel to look forward to!

  • gertie_wickler

    Anyone have a recommendation for a short notice (this Sunday!) birthday celebration brunch venue? I’m still unsure how many people will be attending so making any sort of firm reservations isn’t viable. Any thoughts?

    • Andie302

      Ambar was able to get a reservation for 7 in on 24 hour notice (when I called, open table didn’t have any reservations available). I would highly recommend it for the great small plates and good service. Drinks were okay, but flowed freely!

    • special_k

      I always have good luck with Ella’s.

  • Pablo Raw

    Rave: Paradisiac island, last point with internet.
    Rave: Thousands of years ago, my ancestors were looking for an island in the middle of a lake made of 2 volcanoes. That’s where I am.

  • Anonynon

    Rave: Finding new music to listen to on repeat all day – Jon Bellion ‘Luxury’
    Rave: Might go to the discussion thingy tonight at MLK Library
    Rant: I don’t feel whiney today

  • Rave: My sister gave me tickets to the Metropolitan Opera Live in HD screening on Saturday, and I’m really looking forward to the show (Iolanta / Bluebeard’s Castle double feature).
    Rant: My one opera friend moved away and I can’t find a new one. Saturday being Valentine’s Day is only making it more awkward for me to ask acquaintances and friends-of-friends if they want to go. Just because it’s V-Day doesn’t mean every activity for two people needs to be a capital D date! Perhaps something about the way I’m asking is giving people the wrong impression.

  • emvee

    Rave: Chicken Rico is opening on H St this week! How I’ve missed it!
    Rant: Vendors who never answer calls or respond to emails, and just ship their folks out to your site without any notice whatsoever. And then don’t return calls or emails when you try to figure why on earth someone from their company is at your office.

  • Intern hiring season is nigh! I considered live-tweeting my application review process, because there are some highly entertaining entries, but a) that would be unprofessional and b) I don’t do twitter.
    Every term, though, I struggle with the temptation to write back and tell applicants what’s wrong with their materials that knocked them out of the running. Apart from just not having the right background, I mean. Stuff like “Your cover letter contained six typos, and was addressed to another organization,” and “your thesis title is totally racist.” I’ve never done it, but there are always a few candidates that tempt me.

    • binpetworth

      Oh, do share some juicy tidbits from the process! My favorite thing about screening interns is when they try to sell themselves as “seasoned professionals” at the ripe old age of 21.

      • I’m stunned at how many intern cover letters are line after line about what this internship will do for them. That’s nice dear, but I want to know what you can do for ME! Even if it’s just “my passion for learning more about this work will motivate me to learn quickly and take on tasks at any level.” instead of “This internship will help me learn more about this work.” Entitled whippersnappers *grumble grumble* off my lawn *mutter*…
        (I kid. I am continually impressed and humbled by the caliber of young’uns who want to do what I do, and will often end up doing it better than me. :))

      • YES! I’ve reviewed (literally) hundreds of resumes for open entry-level positions at my organization, and get so annoyed by the three-page resume of someone who has never had a full-time job.

    • hammers

      I would love if this kind of feedback was the norm, especially for interns who don’t know any better. Aside from being highly time consuming and potentially unprofessional, are there other reasons hiring managers and the like don’t send back feedback? Even if solicited?

      • I have a vague feeling of legal unease about it. If I were to say “Sure, your grades are good (everyone’s grades are good), but your “personal interests” section is longer than your skills section and includes lacrosse, xbox, hanging out with friends, and home brewing, so you come across as a total dude-bro who would come in hungover and wouldn’t have anything in common with the rest of the team,”… Yes, that might educate a young person to dispense with the “personal interests” section entirely (I *really* don’t care) and focus on tailoring their resume to the org they’re applying to. But what if some spoiled brat came after me for unfair hiring practices or something? Dude-bro discrimination.

        • Is this person even 21+, or is he listing “homebrewing” as an activity despite being underage?

          • Emmaleigh504

            Maybe he lives somewhere with a nice loop hole about being illegal to buy booze, but not illegal to make it. Louisiana had a loop hole: illegal for underage to buy booze, but legal for bars to sell it when I was under 21. Then the f@%&*~# feds threatened to take highway money away if they didn’t close it. 🙁

          • Most of our interns are graduate students, or just out of grad/ law school. So probably legal, but it’s still a dumb thing to include on your resume!

          • Ahh, yeah — in that case, legal but dumb. (And including “Xbox” and “hanging out with friends”? Seriously??)
            I thought the “personal interests” section was only to be included if the candidate needed to pad an otherwise very short resume, or if he/she had any bona-fide interesting extracurricular activities.

        • tonyr

          Sometimes you just get lucky. A friend of mine listed “fly-fishing” on his post-college resume and he and the interviewer spent the whole hour talking about tying flies. He got the job, but turned it down for a better one though.

          • yep, I’ve had friends had that happen with other sports they put on their resume, and they say it can get you the offer – she got one. home brewing could work that way as well. but not xbox and hanging out. sadly, I can’t bring myself to put anything but the strictly professional on my resume, as most things can count against you as well as for you, depending on the interviewer…

      • Oh, and I would (and have), if solicited. But the kind of applicant who would ask for feedback is not the kind who would submit a cover letter full of typos!

        • hammers

          gotcha! my BF is job hunting and I’ve offered him tons of unsolicited feedback on his written materials (mostly he just has word vomit and is so passionate he ends up giving his whole life story…Which I have gently reproached him for) but he has never had any feedback from places he applies to. It just goes into the void.

          • Does he listen – and act on – your feedback?
            I’ve had to review stacks of resumes and someone who doesn’t present well on paper didn’t get a chance to present in person.

          • hammers

            He seems to listen and value my suggestions, but I don’t think he acts on them. I think he just gets so excited when he finds a job posting he likes he falls back on what comes naturally.

          • Do you think he might respond differently to a job/career coach – specifically someone to help him get his written materials in tip-top shape? He might be the most exceptional candidate but if his resume is too wordy/not focused/not tailored to the position then he’s not going to get past the screening process.

          • sometimes that passion and life story gets you the interview, for non-profit jobs anyway…

    • hammers

      also post them here! we could use some entertainment

    • I was an assistant in HR once. There was a candidate we really liked, but she had a really glaring typo on her resume. My boss had me call her in for an interview, but made me tell her about the typo for her future information. It was a really weird conversation. We scheduled the interview, but she never showed up.

    • I Dont Get It

      These are the people you SHOULD hire so you can entertain us here for he next few months!

      • Emmaleigh504

        + a billion and 1!!

      • Sadly, my interns are all over PoPville. I think one of them got me blocked from the site a while back. If I could be reasonably sure that no one would make the connection, it would be My Holiday Village (My Intern Village) updates every day all summer!

    • I usually send rejections with something like “let me know if you have any questions.” A few have asked me for feedback, at which point I tell them. But I think most people just don’t care. I’ve had lots of resumes and cover letters addressed to “hiring manager” when my name and email are listed on the posting. I’ve had people reply to postings within 20 minutes, which indicates to me that you didn’t read the posting or personalize the response. And most recently I had a guy send a message to the company facebook page looking for an internship and claiming there isn’t any way to contact the company on its website. I checked on that (just in case) and found that our phone number and all our emails are there. He also referenced his experience in health care, when that’s not our industry. I ignored his message.

    • Ally

      Godspeed. I call our intern-hiring season “How long this time before the kiddo manages to destroy my web site?” Have not had the best record with interns.

  • Rant: immediate supervisor claims I missed a deadline yesterday that we agreed to on Friday. I did not speak to my boss yesterday, Friday, or Thursday. She has been confusing lots of things lately, so I think she is mistaking a Wednesday noon deadline last week for one that did not exist yesterday.
    Rant: after having a very uncomfortable email exchange with said supervisor, I am really stressed out/pissed off.
    Rave: I applied for a job last night.

    • Ally

      That stinks. If it happens a lot, you may want to do all your deadline setting conversations with her via email so you have a documented record. I do that with some of my coworkers. Even if we have an in-person conversation, I send a follow-up email confirming the details so there’s at least a record.

      • Part of the issue is that there was no deadline for this particular assignment. She made one up that I had already missed. It’s odd she didn’t talk to me yesterday about it, since I was at my desk for 6 hours after the magical secret and unknown deadline passed.
        Apologies if I wasn’t clear – there was another assignment that had a noon deadline last Wednesday. I met that.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rave: semi-difficult customer sent me a good job email and CCed the bossman 🙂

  • Rant – just not a good week – lots of hard/stressful things happening for my family and I’m trying to be there for them but also, I have my own (lesser) problems I’m also stressed about.
    Rave – boy has been amazingly supportive/kind about letting me vent/complain to him and said all the right things. So as much as I feel bad subjecting him to this, it’s kind of nice to know he has my back.
    Rave – other friends have been amazing as well – really, really appreciate that.

  • Rave: Dinner and concert date night when one of my good friends!
    Rave: Steady busy at work. The very best kind — busy enough to keep my brain engaged but not overswhelmed.
    Rave: A dear friend is visiting DC this week. Excited to see her and reunite the gang.
    Rave: No rants on a Tuesday. That’s a win.

  • Rant: Still pretty steamed about recent developments at work. I had a good talk yesterday with my previous boss, and that was helpful, but overall I’m feeling really disillusioned. Not sure if things are bad enough yet for me to actually change jobs, but I’ve started looking.

    • I’m really sorry to hear this, but am glad you could talk to your old boss and even more glad that you’re considering some other options. My sense, FWIW, is that hiring is about to start picking up a bit across the board. I hope this is an opportunity for you to find an even better fit 🙂

      • Well, I don’t really have any other options just yet, but I’ve reactivated my USAJOBS searches/e-mail notifications. (Why do they expire in the first place??)

        • Do you ever look on the LinkedIn suggested jobs? I found that with a few minor tweaks, those recommendations were surprisingly spot-on.

          • I tend to log on to LinkedIn only a few times a year, and I think this time I might have gone quite a while without even doing that. Will check it out — thanks for the tip!

          • It may not be as effective for Fed jobs (??), but could open ideas for other places to explore. The more you put into your profile, the better it works, I think. It seems to use keywords from your profile to produce matches.

          • Emmaleigh504

            LinkedIn keeps suggesting a place that turned me down. The fun part is after I interviewed with the company and we both decided I was not a good fit for the position, for months the HR people kept emailing and calling me to interview for it. I just can’t get rid of these people!

          • Allison

            The only federal agency that is super active on LinkedIn is the Postal Service. Thems be crazy on the LinkedIn.

        • I get daily Glassdoor notifications–sometimes they are the utter highlight of my work day.

    • Taking a look at other job possibilities is a healthy step – things may turn around in your job however it’s smart to be proactive in exploring what else is out there.

      • Yeah — especially because if I want to move to another federal job, the hiring process takes FOREVER, so I’d want to start getting things in the pipeline now.

  • Ally

    Rant: Today’s our office’s “open house” at work, which means we have to make chit-chat for 2 hours straight with a bunch of people. Not a good event for an introvert.
    Rave: We found a last-minute wedding photographer who seems excellent. Now if I can only figure out how to smile without looking like a weirdo in my photos!

    • Emmaleigh504

      That’s not really great for this extrovert either. I hate work open houses. Luckily, my introverted boss keeps “forgetting” to schedule any. 🙂

      • Ally

        Oh, you’re lucky. I wish ours would forget. Though, this time our developers all made yummy Indian food, so I may have to rethink my prior opposition to these events!

    • skj84

      The last work open house I hid in a corner pretending to be on an important call. I’m relatively extroverted, but that day I was just not in the mood to socialize with potential new hires. I snuck out to grab pizza once, then ran back to my desk.

    • What is an office open house? Is it for clients? Other employees?

  • MAJOR RANT: GMAIL!!! I was trying to sublet my room for a few months via craigslist, and I thought I had zero responses and was pretty bummed. Turns out the replies were being filtered into one of their Categories and completely skipping my inbox!! Might have been my fault, but I am still VERY frustrated.
    Rave: Some people are interested in subletting!

  • I Dont Get It

    Rant: My boss asked me to update my accomplishments against my FY 2015 goals in our online system prior to tomorrow’s six month review. Much to my surprise, I had no goals (It’s my boss’s job to enter them). Regardless we are going through with my six month review tomorrow. Good times!

    Rant: MY RRs have been very later this week. I think it’s because I really don’t have much to say. I need to get out more!
    Rave: Introversion.

  • Late Rant: I bought tickets to a show at 9:30 club, then the show sold out and they added a later show. To add a later show, they moved the original show up. I called ticketfly and I can’t change to the later show even though it didn’t exist when I ordered my tickets and now I have to go earlier than I was told when I bought the tickets. I feel like a really disempowered consumer right now.

    • Have you contacted 930 club directly? Ticketfly may not have the authority to switch, but you may get lucky st the box office.

      • tonyr

        Assuming it’s not too far away you should always buy from the box office directly. They only charge a $1 fee. Black Cat is even better – no fee at all.

        • I knew I wasn’t going to make it before the show sold out, so I bought online. I should have waited, because then I wouldn’t be paying fees or going to a crazy early show.

  • help: I need a romantic, “cute, cabin-y thing with a fireplace” in two weekends within 3-4 hours driving distance. Any advice, PoPville?

    • I really enjoyed Prince Gallitzin State Park. The Pennsylvania State Parks are great, cheap, and usually near enough!

    • Check out Hot Tub Heaven (hthva dot com). No joke, that’s the real name, haha. A few friends and I have been the last few years and have always had a great time. It is pretty inexpensive and comes with a hot tub!! There are also a few vineyards nearby that are quite nice.

  • Anyone up for grabbing some drinks around 7/730 and watching basketball?

  • Rant: at work after dismissal, I blurted out “what the f*ck!?” When it was just a bunch of teachers in the classroom. I didn’t realize there were a bunch of kids across the hallway. I think one of my third graders heard me. I’m mortified.

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