Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user  Ryan Chiachiere

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.

258 Comment

  • Rave: With my job having moved to New York, I have the chance to decide if I want to get a new full-time job or start my own meeting planning business.
    Rant: A little terrifying to go out on your own!
    Any PoPers made the jump who have words of wisdom to share?

    • I always want to, but never have the guts. Good luck!

    • skj84

      I say go for it! You have the time now and you may never get the opportunity again.

    • I was in a time limited job (5 yrs) and when it ended I planned to take some time off and look for another full time job. But started doing consulting with former organization which lead to other opportunities and 10+ years later I’m still consulting.
      * At least in my line of work, it’s all about networking and personal connections. Building and maintaining that network has been a priority
      * Use resources like the Small Business Association and LinkedIn to help get things started
      * Have a plan, launch the plan, trust yourself!

  • Rant: Dear friends who live on the other side of the Atlantic lost their baby at 38 weeks pregnancy – no explanation, no real illness.
    Rave: Sad times like these I can reach out to my mom and talk about her past (she lost multiple babies – still births and miscarriages and my brother at age 2 weeks) and how she was comforted and what helped her get through this.
    Rant: Wish I could be there with them and offer support. Any ideas for transatlantic support?

    • Oh, how terribly sad. Not sure what you can do for transatlantic support beyond e-mailing or phoning to say how sorry you were to hear this news.

    • oh no – I’m so, so sorry for their loss. My mom had a late stillbirth 40 years ago, so I consider it a mixed blessing that in all my childbirth classes and whatnot, I was always very aware of the fragility of everything. Are you able to fly out there? I’ve always heard the following advice: don’t only try to comfort the mother; try to physically be there. If you can’t, call and text regularly. If they don’t answer or respond, keep trying. They might not want to talk. Have food delivered/cook for them. They will forget to take care of themselves. And also don’t act like the baby never existed. To them, this was their child. If they have a funeral, and you can go, do so. As a Jewish woman, I would establish charitable giving in honor of a stillborn child, so maybe they will eventually want similar. I’m so sorry for your friends loss. And for your mothers experiences.

      • (not to say non-Jews wouldn’t also identify a charity, but it’s a super Jewish thing, at least where I’m from, to direct a specific charity, so that’s what I would do to honor the life)

      • +1 to each and every part of this. What terribly sad news.

      • “don’t act like the baby never existed. ” +1000. So important. My best friend had twins and one died the day after birth. Pretty much everyone pretended she’d only ever had the one child. Four years later she still tells me that I’m the only person in her life that acknowledges that she had another child. She says it made it all so much worse because everyone pretended like she didn’t just have this traumatic thing happen to her and acted like her precious son never existed.

    • Oh my goodness. I can’t even imagine. And your mom’s experiences blow me away too. But I agree with what others have said: have food sent to them, send them care packages regularly (especially if you can’t visit), see about the donation for honoring their child (but maybe give them some time on this one), and keep reaching out.

      • oh, and if they were able to get some pictures taken (some people do this) with their child, maybe you can buy them a nice frame in a little while (not right away). I’ve also heard of people making memorials with a lock of hair if the baby had any and a poem. But that’s specific to the person.

    • I lost my son last year at 39 weeks (problem-free pregnancy, no root cause ever found). It helped the most when people would just acknowledge our loss — you wouldn’t believe the number of people that just never mentioned it. They will most likely be in a fog for months, living day-to-day. I loved when I got care packages with tea, comfort food, bubble bath. Send flowers or a note just saying you are thinking of them now and months from now. Remember anniversaries — the due date, the day you heard they were expecting, the birthday, etc. Send her a happy memory from her pregnancy. Those things have all meant the world to me. Here is something my husband wrote recently: http://stillstandingmag.com/2015/02/6-tips-talking-parents-lost-child/

    • houseintherear

      Happened to my bro/wife at full term, and a couple times to my parents back in the 70s. It happens much more than anyone cares to discuss, for obv reasons. Why anyone would have a baby shower is beyond me, but of course I’m jaded at this point.
      My parents’ advice to my brother was to hold each other up. A couple can make it through strong as all hell, or fall apart, and it’s going to be one or the other. They live in Germany and that country has mandatory counseling for both parents after *any* miscarriage, so that was immensely helpful. Counseling counseling counseling. Not being around children for a while was helpful for them, though hard to do because other new parents had very little empathy for them, sadly. My brother said Christmas was a surprisingly hard time- much talk about new baby/birth/etc. And he said his hardest time was Saturdays when the neighborhood dads took the babies out shopping, so he pinpointed that as his “trigger” and tried not to be out and about during Saturday mornings.
      Best of luck to them. As docs will say to them a lot now, the important part was that they got pregnant, so they can be grateful that it’s possible if they want to try again. My brother and I are both adopted, and my parents now say it was all very much meant to be, so your friends will find their way to what they want. <3

      • Miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, and fertility issues go undiscussed because they are depressing and random. people don’t want to believe it can happen to them. However, there is a LOT of great internet support for all of those things now. But yes, it happens more often than anyone would believe and more than anyone discusses.

      • houseintherear–I’m so sorry for your family’s multiple losses. After losing my daughter last year, a lot of people said the last part to me, that I should be grateful that I can get pregnant because I can do so again. I would respectfully say that’s one thing not to tell bereaved parents is how to feel or that it’s possible to have other children. First, having a child or adopting a child will never replace my daughter. Second, in my case, I may not be able to sustain a healthy, living pregnancy to term (and after several early losses and a stillbirth, I have plenty of evidence I can get pregnant). I would also steer clear of any “meant to be.” My daughter was meant to be with me, not dead. I know there are multiple ways to build a family but there will, always, always be someone missing. I’m sorry if this is coming out in a less than respectful manner but it, obviously, has hit close to home.

        UPDie, there is lots of good advice here for your friend. One of the things that has helped me most is seeing a specialized grief therapist (someone who specializes in perinatal loss) and meeting other loss parents and talking about our babies and our grief.

        • AB, I am so sorry for your loss and really appreciate your words here. Is your specialized grief therapist for perinatal loss located in DC and is he or she someone you would recommend? I am still actively grieving a miscarriage from last year and could use a specialist like this. I didn’t realize these specialized resources were out there.

          • Anon, thanks for the condolences. I’m sorry to hear about your loss too. Yes, the person I see here is in DC. Her name is Kate Marosek and she is great. She works with individuals and couples. http://katemarosek.com/.

    • Thank you all. I just reached out via e-mail and also sent flowers for delivery today (it’ll be super tough as Mother’s Day in England is this Sunday). I want to ask questions such as did she have a name (they were calling her Bebe), will there be a memorial service, etc. but don’t know when to ask. I so wish I could make it out there to just shower them with love, quiet time, and distraction (if wanted…) but I can’t swing it now – we are going in May. Until then, virtual love and support will have to do…

      • do they have a family member you can ask? Your visit in May will be a huge comfort for them. You’re a good friend.

      • I’d encourage you to call or write again in a week or two and ask questions about the baby’s name, ask to see pictures, etc. with the disclaimer that if she is not up for talking that is ok. I love when people ask questions even though it isn’t always easy to speak about things without crying. Friends that listen, are interested in our child, and don’t change the subject if I get weepy are amazing. Again, anyone that recognized him as a person was great. Don’t be afraid to ask; in my experience it is so helpful. I love talking about it and even now I think about him all the time.
        I might wait to ask about the memorial. Making decisions while you are in shock and grieving is very hard.

    • Do you know any of their friends there that you can reach out to? I’d imagine their close friends (geographically and personally) may be in the best position to let you know any updates (for example on services) or what might be welcome. I think sometimes people share more information verbally with those that are close than they can bring themselves to email even to close friends who are far away.

    • for any women who have faced loss, difficulty, or whatnot…I have found following the 4th Trimester Bodies Project on FB has helped me, personally, come to terms with some pregnancy-related issues. Just reading about other women’s stories (some positive, some negative, most in between) is very healing

  • rave: husband’s been really stepping it up at home, made dinner for a few nights, because I won’t go near the mouse traps (they freak me out).
    rant: husband’s been cooking….
    Question: anyone know or recommend a private chef that will come to our house and do a pretty good cooking lesson for my husband? He REALLY wants to learn, but just lacks to overall food instinct to do it without instruction (he used spaghetti squash, with the skin on, instead of pre-cut up butternut squash last night…blech). I checked out Hills Kitchen and Culinaire but Hills doesn’t have classes like “basics”, and Culinaire’s basics are all at night. Need someone just to show him some basic knife skills and a few basic vegetarian dishes so he can feel more confident….

    • Do you have recipes for him to follow? Or could you direct from another room? He’s in good company as I’ve never cooked squash, so I wouldn’t know the difference.

      • You would think, but I’m always upstairs getting our son to sleep. So it just isn’t working with me texting back and forth (son wants phone all the time now). I also get very frustrated that he doesn’t know a lot of basics that I learned when I was like 12. If I said, “use the cut up butternut squash” that is clearly in the fridge in a container that says “butternut squash”, I’d hope you’d know that from an uncut spaghetti squash on the counter lol. But I could easily be wrong

        • How can a military man be so bad at following directions? He sounds like a loveable oaf 🙂

          • I truly have no idea. Seriously. He’s incredibly smart (I mean, scary smart), yet some of these basic life skills are totally missing

        • In his defense… I certainly wouldn’t know the difference between a spaghetti squash and a butternut squash. (Although you’d think that the “cut up” part would make him think, “Heyyyy… maybe this isn’t the thing I’m supposed to be using?”)

          • I AM pleased he at least knew to seed the squash! But spaghetti squash is very hard to cut without softening the skin up first, so I’m worried about my knives now!!

          • jindc, is there an easy way to soften the skin first? Cutting spaghetti squash and acorn squash and the like is always super scary for me, even though I have decently sharp knives.

          • If you have to worry about your knives after cutting a spaghetti squash, you may be due for an upgrade anyway. 😉

          • 1) I have excellent knives – they’re cheaper at the PX. And 2) to soften the skin, I poke it a couple times and put in the microwave for like 3-4 minutes

    • Andie302

      I would think there has to be some youtube series for stuff like this. SimplyRecipes has some basic instructional posts, but I would guess that videos may be preferable over photos.

    • That’s great to hear that your husband is contributing more at home! I remember this being a source of much frustration for you.
      Maybe the mouse infestation is a blessing in disguise? 😉

      • It’s still frustrating when he does stuff wrong (inedible spaghetti squash skin in my curry), but it’s the thought that counts. Now if only I could each him to clean up after himself in the kitchen…but, that’s why we have housekeepers.

    • What did the pest control company do for you? Ours surveyed the house and pointed out some problem areas. Then he sealed up any holes and set bait stations in the attic, kitchen, bathroom, and a few other places. Then of course last night we heard this weird chirping noise in our living room ceiling! He showed us a hole on the exterior of the house where animals can likely get in. So we need to have someone seal that up. Gross, I am so creeped out by this. Apparently it’s a big problem though b/c he had a busy schedule and one house found droppings ON THE COUCH!?!? Ughhh disgusting.

      • I’m equally creeped out. Yesterday they set bait stations and cleaned up evidence they saw (so if there’s more evidence, they’ll know). They didn’t seal up holes yet – they are going to do that in 7-10 days when they return to allow for any loose critters to stop by. and then a 60 day guarantee. And we still have traps. We’re going to move the traps so our housekeepers can clean real well tomorrow and then reset them just to be sure. I’m pretty easily able to identify mouse poop. I look ALL the time now.

    • Here’s a few options:

      My friend in the suburbs was taking similar classes, but I don’t remember exactly where. I believe it was at one of the rec centers around Arlington.

    • I took two knife skills classes at Hills Kitchen, so maybe they’ll have them again soon? They seem to rotate their class offerings.
      Would watching food network/cooking shows help?
      This may be a little obnoxious, but would it be possible to set things up for him in advance? Take out the relevant ingredients, and maybe group them together by order of operations?

      • I did that the other night, still a little f’d up! I don’t want to have to micromanage the cooking because at a certain point. I might as well just do it ya know? So I’d like him to have more independence with it. I think it’ll make him feel better about it

        • I totally understand not wanting to micromanage, but maybe it’s baby steps towards independence? I’m sorry this is such a pain, but at least his heart seems to be in the right place.

        • saf

          Watching Jacques Pepin got my (engineer) husband into learning to cook. Pepin’s shows are good, and his books are excellent.

      • I keep wanting to think that a “knife skills class” is about how to throw them expertly. 🙂

    • This isn’t an in-home lesson but we use a delivery service (like Scratch or Blue Apron) which sends all the ingredients and *very clear* directions on how to prep and then cook the meal. The recipe cards are big and easy to understand and I think they might even have videos online too if there is any confusion. There are usually online promotions to give these services a test run- we’ve also found it to be pretty fairly priced ($10/person/meal) and saves us time and money from not having to meal plan or run to the grocery store. (Added bonus is that each week you can pick between a combination of meat, fish, and vegetarian dishes).

      • I’ve thought about it…it’s only 3 days worth though, right? And we like to cook for leftovers for next day’s lunch. But I have thought about it.

        • epric002

          with plated and home chef you pick how many meals you want each week. blue apron and hello fresh are only 3 meals, but you could order for 4 people so that you have leftovers for each meal.

      • epric002

        +1 for meal delivery. in my experience, hello fresh has the simplest recipes while blue apron’s can get pretty challenging and time consuming.

      • I think a meal service is a great way to get someone comfortable in the kitchen. I think that with different services, you can choose how many meals/days you want to receive. Even if you only do it one week a month, the step by step instructions may help your husband’s skills 🙂

    • America’s Test Kitchen has a pretty robust online cooking school. Costs money, but way less than in-person cooking lessons, I would imagine. http://www.onlinecookingschool .com/

    • I really like the videos on the NYT cooking website (cooking.nytimes.com). Pretty good for basic stuff like how to mince garlic!

  • Pablo Raw

    Rave: Successful and incredibly fun unofficial PoPville Karaoke last night. We got 99 problems but karaoke ain’t one! Thanks to Zaogao, Littlen, Sparkly, Izzy, Alyson, Tammy, Andie and iinsay for bringing the house down!
    Rant: No interpretive dance.

  • RANT: In an attempt to get into shape I signed up for my first 7am spin class this morning. I left my house with an extra 15 minutes to spare. Some dipweed in Columbia Heights decides that his time is more important than anyone else and jumps through the closing door, getting his bag caught. It jammed the doors and everyone had to off load, making me late for class and looking like a dipweed myself. You sir, are lucky no one hit you in the face, people were pissed.

  • Rave: Metromaniancs was AMAZING! Loved it. Rarely do I see a play that I wish I could watch over and over to catch every last line.
    Rant: kiddo woke up when the babysitter left and it took over an hour to get her back to sleep–>late night for us.
    Rave: No middle of the night coughing fits!
    Rant/Rave: stayed in bed until nearly 8. So hard to get up! Late start today but oh well.
    Rave: Kiddo was especially chipper when she woke up this morning, which made for a delightful morning.

  • Rant: Dst is affecting the dog. He’s getting me up early for no reason.
    Rave: Considering the above I feel pretty well rested.
    Rave/rant: Roomie and me have a good schedule for keeping up with chores, but she doesn’t speak when we pass in the hall (like that from day 1). She’ll strike up random convos and we text. That’s just her quirk, and I’ll get over it soon enough.
    Rave: Busy week is moving pretty quickly.

  • Rant: The section of Florida Ave between 9th St and Georgia Ave (right in front of the new Shay building) is absolutely atrocious. Potholes everywhere in both directions. When is it going to get fixed?!

    • Be sure to report the location of the potholes to the city. They generally do a big effort to fix potholes once winter is over, but they can only fix the ones they know about.

      • The entire intersection is completely torn up. I have complained more than once, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

  • RANT: Last night on my way home on the Silver Line I was riding in the middle/back of the second car when I smelled smoke. Cigarette smoke. I looked up to see a guy in the front of the car smoking a cigarette. Not a vape cigarette but an old school, on fire, tobacco cigarette. What the actual f-ck? I don’t even know what the appropriate way to deal with that might be. At the next station me and another person changed cars. I’m not sure if I would’ve confronted the guy if he’d been smaller but he was bout twice my size (and I’m a pretty big guy) so I definitely wasn’t gonna do that. Seriously, people. If you didn’t get any hometraining when you were young you should try learning it now.

    • Accountering

      It takes a special kind of person to openly smoke a ciggarette on metro. In the past, I have seen people like this who are doing things like this with the intent on creating reactions in others. Some serious issues on his end, so you were definitely in the right to ignore it. Quite sad that this person is so screwed up that they are to the point that this is an okay thing to do in their head.

    • skj84

      I saw a metro employee openly smoking a cigarette on a train once. I should’ve taken a picture and emailed WMATA, but I just ended up changing cars. I regret not turning him in, but I was afraid he would see me and confront me.

  • Rant: The absurdity of a city where the service industry people and laborers who make sure all our needs are met and keep things running smoothly are increasingly unable to afford living where they work. The bottom 40% of DC workers have seen no wage increases in the last decade but are forced to deal with a significant rise in rent. Is pushing the working poor into the outer suburbs, making them car dependent and isolated from the social services that could assist them, really the best course for DC?

    • Accountering

      I see what you are doing here. If you are truly looking to change things, perhaps get into politics. With that said, I think DC has made greater strides than most cities. Things like increasing the minimum wage, the summer jobs program, mandatory housing during hypothermia events, and a very healthy public assistance program put DC on the leading edge for cities nationwide.
      Based on our conversation yesterday, it appears you think we should do much, much more. There are plenty of people who feel quite strongly that we are at an appropriate level of assistance for the bottom 40%, and aren’t interested in our city becoming a socialist city, which it appears you favor. I am certainly a democrat, but I also think DC does quite enough for the poor in our area (disproportionately so.) Perhaps you should take up the issue of regional poverty with MD and VA, who are very much so shirking their responsibilities?

      • I used to be involved politically, but then I realized I was projecting my ideals onto the Democratic party and they are actually very far right of where I stand. My political thoughts are well outside the American mainstream and I understand that our society will never function the way I want it to.

      • As someone who works in politics, and who can just barely afford to live in a small windowless basement in this city, I can assure you that getting into politics is not the way to change things.

      • If only those bottom 40% could have had better jobs and saved up more money, then they wouldn’t as much trouble dealing with the increased housing costs, right?

        • Accountering

          Cute. Nice job trying to read between the lines and paint me as some sort of demon right-wing fool. Essentially trolling. Way to attempt to advance the argument!

      • And just so we are being clear here, more than half the rental units in DC are unaffordable to people make less than $60,000 per year. Barely a third of units cost less than $1,000 per month, down from 59% a decade ago and there has been no wage growth for the bottom 40% of the income distribution. That’s not a drop due to the huge increase in the number of apartments in DC, there are actually 32,000 fewer apartments that cost less than $1,000. This isn’t a problem with the assistance we offer to the poor, this is a problem with income distribution and the apparent belief that if a project is profitable for the developer it is good for the city. The fact that you can make money selling luxury condos/apartments doesn’t mean that building nothing but luxury residential units is a smart policy.

      • “I am certainly a democrat, but I also think DC does quite enough for the poor in our area (disproportionately so.) Perhaps you should take up the issue of regional poverty with MD and VA, who are very much so shirking their responsibilities?”

        This is an important point. Is it good for society as a whole when the working poor feel as though they have to move out of the city? I don’t believe so, no. Is it good for DC, a political entity that is significantly handicapped with respect to its revenue streams, that the suburbs start bearing closer to their fair share of the responsibility of assisting the working poor and addressing regional poverty? You bet it is.
        By the way, what’d I miss yesterday?

        • We had a nice discussion about whether or not vacation homes and investment properties for the ultra-rich were a worthwhile use of space in a city that cannot adequately provide housing for the people who do/would actually live there year round.

  • Rave: A re-org at work is working out really well for me. It’s making a lot more excited about my job — and busier than ever.
    Rant: When I left my house this morning, I discovered that DC Water had dug up our entire front lawn and made a huge pit to install new pipe. What are the chances that they’ll leave it in anything other than terrible condition when they’re done?

    • Accountering

      That was nice of DC Water (/sarcasm)… I would say the chances of them doing restoration work without being pestered lie somewhere between slim and none, but closer to none. Awesome news on the re-org!

      • They dug up in front of my neighbor’s yard. Though it was a nightmare at first because it was an emergency so they were literally out there at midnight drilling and making all kinds of noise, they did put the yard back together the way it was (except for her fence). They also fixed the sidewalk. Now if they could only come remove their emergency parking signs and construction barrels, which I have asked them to remove.

        • Fingers crossed this happens for us too. When you say the put the yard together the way it was, should I assume the didn’t re-plant grass or plants, but just replaced the soil?

          • The grass is somewhat in tact and they don’t really have any plants so that wasn’t an issue.

          • I went through this in January – and still am. They will fix it, but you have to call DC water a few times. They hire out companies to do the actual work, and the guy said they are supposed to get it all back the way it was, including providing new plants when needed.

            They did make some dumb mistakes – dropping a ton of gravel on top of the ground after they back-filled, but the guy came back and scraped it off and sprinkled around a little topsoil.

            The main problem is that the re-planted a small tree and an established shrub way way too deep. They couldn’t do anything about it in Frozen Feb. but I’ve just put a call in now – stay tuned.

  • Rant: Didn’t finish my homework last night, forgot to take out my contacts, and accidentally set my alarm for an hour after I had planned to wake up.
    Rave: Boy woke me up only about 20 minutes late and we both made it to work on time.
    Rave: Heading home to see my puppy tomorrow night!
    Rave: Boy and my dad are meeting on Sunday, and they’re both looking forward to it.
    Rant: I’m really over my job, but they’re helping me pay for school. I feel like I’m in a catch-22 where I’d like to leave, but financially need to stay (and I would feel bad/it would look poor on my resume – I was a tempt to hire and was only brought on the pay roll at the end of last year…).

    • Have job duties or co-workers changed in the last 3 months? Did you hate the job initially but accepted for tuition? I’m trying to figure out how things went so wrong in only a few months. Leaving early on a tuition assisted job would look very bad, and you’d have to pay it back, but if it’s that bad, maybe you should.

      • I have gossipy coworkers who cause paranoia – both of them are my superiors, and before I thought I was creating enough of a relationship that I’d get to avoid feeling like I’m being targeted to be gossiped about, but it hasn’t happened. We work in an open office plan, and my supervisor sits in the cube attached to mine. I can hear her whispering with coworkers/other superiors all the time. I have her old job, and have taken the tasks on easily, but I think she handed some of her “new” tasks off to me since I’m studying things in our field. We both are working admin. I get in trouble for things beyond my control – i.e. things that happened before I arrived, things that weren’t clearly communicated to me, and for juggling 2-3 different tasks in a day (although I always meet or beat my timelines). While I am friendly with a small handful of people, I have yet to make work friends so all of my lunches are spent alone, and I’m not in a position where I can meet other people and suggest grabbing lunch/coffee with others. I oscillate between being overworked and completely bored, and when I’m overworked, my supervisor is often not doing anything/leaves early/takes long lunches. I knew this job would be tedious when I took it, I just didn’t realize how toxic it was until this month.

        • Try to ignore the gossipy folks on your job. Focus on your tasks. And try to change departments if you can.

        • Ugh. Gossipy/backbiting coworkers — especially when they’re superiors — make for a toxic environment, and that sounds like something that isn’t going to improve.
          How much would you have to pay back if you left now? How long would you have to stay for you not to owe them anything?
          Sounds like it would be a good idea to start looking for a new job now. I’m not clear that leaving early from a job that provides tuition assistance would look any worse on your resume than leaving early from a job that doesn’t — your resume isn’t going to specify who’s paying for your schooling, right?
          And leaving early from multiple jobs definitely looks bad on a resume, but doing it just from one job usually isn’t that big of a deal. (This may depend somewhat on how much other job experience you have — if you’re youngish, you might not have that much to list.)

          • This is my second “real” job – my last job I was at for just a month shy of 2 years. That job wasn’t pleasant, either. I have several internships on the Hill on my resume, a well-known school for my Masters, and a small college for my BA. I’m concerned about not having school paid for, even though my current job hasn’t given me any money for it. I’m also concerned that my resume wouldn’t properly reflect how dedicated an employee I can be, or that I’ll end up at an even worse position. Other than that, it’d be finding a job that allows me to grow the skills I need for my degree and is in the field I want (probably community/economic development in the US).
            But I think you’re right. I should start looking and saving, and see what opportunities open up. If i have to pay back money (so less than 2 years at my job I have to pay back a certain percentage), hopefully I can have enough of a rainy day fund saved that I”ll be okay.

        • I’ve generally made work associates by just talking to ppl. I can be shy, but I may jump into a conversation in a funny way or something then we start talking and such. I’m relatively new to the office, so I’m not sure if more regular office tend to eat together and stuff. You might have to put yourself out there or meet up with friends who work nearby.
          Is she speaking about you or just gossiping? Even if she is, don’t worry about it. Ppl gossip in even the nicest offices, and there isn’t anything you can do short of leaving.
          Do you have hobbies/interests to take your mind off work? I’m sure doing fun stuff would help you forget about it the office politics.

        • BTW, the lunching-alone issue might not be an issue to worry about, depending on the dynamics are like at your job.
          In my current office, almost nobody eats lunch with anyone else… but I actually find that preferable to the situation I had a couple of jobs ago, where there was rampant cliquishness. I hadn’t given so much thought to who was having lunch with whom since junior high! It was ridiculous.

    • I was in a pretty similar spot a few years ago. I had the date I could leave without owing anything circled on my calendar and I was was counting down the days. I basically suffered through it to make it financially viable, which I know isn’t very comforting, though having less than half the student loans I would have had otherwise was definitely worth it.
      Are you able to move to another department? Find a mentor in another group or get a detail to some part of the company that’s less crappy? I’m actually still at the same company almost four years after that circled date on my calendar, in a different division with a significant promotion, and I’m happier than I thought possible.
      Good luck!

    • I’m going to be brutally honest here (as someone who has student loans AND an employer who will pay for any further education) – suck it up and finish the degree at this employer.
      In two years – after you have a paid-for masters and a new job – you won’t think twice about those lame, gossipy co-workers. However, if you leave and need to borrow a bunch of money to finish school, you’ll be paying it off for another 10 years. This is a very short-term hardship, it’s not worth giving up a free graduate degree because of this inconvenience. If you are debt-free, stay that way. That monthly student loan payment impacts the amount you can borrow for buying a house, it cuts into the amount you can save for retirement (thus affecting your net worth decades from now by hundreds of thousands of dollars – the magic of compounding interest!), and a bevy of other financial issues.

  • epric002

    rave: delicious pierogie dinner at domku last night with neighbors. had a great time.
    rant: still cannot seem to drag my butt out of bed in the mornings. uuuuuggggggghhhhhhh.
    rant: it really feels like it should be friday.
    rave: spring!!!

  • rave: my produce share bag came in yesterday! Excited to try new stuff out. Not sure what to do with red onions, never really used them before. I’m thinking red onion jam/remoulade for steak? Also I received a cabbage in my bag and I’m similarly at a loss what to do with that. Also a container of sauerkraut. Any suggestions are welcome.

    • epric002

      quick pickled red onions are great on top of sandwiches, burgers, salads, etc. what kind of cabbage?

    • Red onions are nice because they’re mild enough to use uncooked (unless you really don’t like uncooked onions). They’re great in things like salsa and guacamole, where they also add a pop of color. Cabbage can be great in salads. Like this one: food52.com/recipes/33153-mission-chinese-food-s-cabbage-salad . I’ll be curious to hear what people say about the sauerkraut — I’d like to try using it too!

    • roasted cabbage is really delicious – slice it in to “steaks” and season with EVOO/salt/pepper and roast. it’s delicious

    • Andie302

      You can roast the red onions with apples and potatoes as a side dish. Chop everything into about 1-inch pieces and toss with salt, pepper, olive oil, and garlic. I usually roast them around 425, tossing every 15 minutes until they are tender.

    • I recommend her for everything, but Smitten Kitchen has some great cabbage coleslaw (esp non mayo) recipes. Her cabbage, apple and walnut salad is awesome. Also, Martha Stewart’s roasted cabbage wedges are simple and pretty good.

    • I like to mince cabbage, sautee it until it’s soft, make a well in the middle and drop an egg in it. Put a lid on it and steam it and then eat it with whatever sauce you want (I usually do Tonkatsu sauce and Kewpie mayo but you can use whatever). Super easy breakfast or quick snack. 🙂
      Or if you have a little more time you can always make cabbage rolls. Nom.

    • I made a pizza not too long ago (store bought pre-made crust) that I topped with some roasted onions and other veggies. SO good. I just quartered the onion, sprinkled some olive oil, salt and pepper and let it cook for about 30 minutes.

    • Braised cabbage is amazing (with carrots, onion) — Washington Post recipe
      Smitten kitchen pickled onions are easy and great to add to sandwiches, salads, etc
      Chickpea soup with fried sauerkraut (also Washington Post) is delicious

    • emvee

      I’ve been away from Popville for a couple weeks, so maybe I missed this, but who are you doing your produce share through? I’m itching to get a CSA but haven’t found a set up that works for me.

      • It’s a group called 4P foods that delivers directly to my apartment. I like them because they have a nice site and you can skip any week you don’t want a bag (up to 4 weeks in a row iirc), they have different bag sized depending on your situation, and they have a new meat share too. They are really friendly folks and I’m impressed by the variety of stuff I’ve gotten.

    • Emmaleigh504

      I love cabbage! I like it roasted, or sauteed and dumped into soup, or raw on a sandwich (like lettuce), or Sukiyaki. Cabbage is awesome!
      Onions on the other hand, DIAF.

      • I am with you on onions.

        • Emmaleigh504

          I let 1 onion into my apartment about once every 3 years to make “Chinese pot-roast”. I always feel like I need to have a full apartment cleansing afterwards with smudge stick and everything. Maybe I can borrow IDGI’s smudger the next time.

  • Rave: My mom is coming to visit tomorrow!
    Rant: It seems like every time she’s coming to visit, there is an upswing in crime in N. Petworth (where I live). She visited while the Petworth basher was on the loose and when there was the random stabbing spree in the neighborhood. Now two people shot on Jefferson st? Wtf?

  • Rave: Salmon curing, rillettes cooking slowly, absinthe glasses have arrived, five quarts of lamb stock in the fridge a bottle of 21-year-old single malt Irish Whisky miraculously yet untouched — the first annual Irish-French St. Paddy’s Day Feast coming together.
    Rant: Silver to polish, linens to iron, bathrooms to clean, Irish cheese to find….
    Rave: Have always been able to find a certain zen in domestic chores undertaken voluntarily, as long as there are wine and music involved.

  • Rave: just bought pre-sale tickets for Tame Impala at Echostage… really looking forward to the show.

  • Anonynon

    Rave: 1st Date tonight
    Rants: None

  • Accountering

    Rant: Capitals. Lost to the Rangers.
    Rave: We played well. Rangers are quite healthy, and we were missing two starting defensemen. Their goalie was unbelievable too. With all that said, shots were even, and we had a great chance to win. Overall impressed with the game, even though it means our chance of winning the division is over.

    • I only saw the second half of the game, but your take is more optimistic than mine. When I turned it on we were being out shot 2-1 and couldn’t maintain possession in the offensive zone, let alone get a shot off. In true Capitals style they waited until the last 10 minutes of the game to try to come back and had weak scoring opportunities. They did manage to catch back up in shots, but not with a lot of real cycling in the zone, mostly going for garbage goals.
      I didn’t think it was terrible and Talbot really did step up. I’m hoping they look better and get Green and Orpik back for Friday’s game.

      • Accountering

        Your assessment is fair as well. I am trying to go at this with a glass half full mindset 🙂 Agree completely with your couple sentences.

  • Rave: Got to see my grandma while she was pretty alert last night. She is not doing well at all but her sassy side is still intact.
    Rave: Found a debt calculator that is making law school loans seem slightly less terrifying.
    Rant: Now if only the last two schools would tell me if I’m in or out.
    Rave: Looking forward to hanging out with tiny dog tonight. I haven’t seen him much this week.

  • Rave: Happily planning my birthday activities even though my birthday isn’t until May. I’m doing anything I can to keep this depression at bay.
    Rave: I am getting a good amount of work done this morning.
    Rant: I have to decide whether or not to get a new therapist. Tuesday is D-Day. I have an appointment that day but if he dismisses my concerns again and keeps using depressing comments from my childhood and turns them into jokes, he’s out. I need help not someone to laugh at me.
    Rant: I hate talking about my depression and wish it would just go away.
    Rave: Slept like baby last night

    • “[I]f he dismisses my concerns again and keeps using depressing comments from my childhood and turns them into jokes, he’s out.” — Good plan. It sounds like you’ve already given him more benefit of the doubt than he probably deserves — what kind of therapist dismisses a patient’s concerns and jokes inappropriately??

      • Personally, I wouldn’t wait until Tuesday to drop this fool. Unless his jokes are somehow affecting you positively without your knowledge (seems rather unlikely given what you said), this does not seem to be remotely acceptable behavior. Good luck!

    • I too have bouts with the “D word” I recently got a new therapist in Midtown near Farragut North Metro. Shes great. If it makes you feel any better I had a session on Monday and by Tuesday afternoon I was already in need of another. I am also a big birthday person and love to plan because it takes away my sad thoughts. Unfortunately, my birthday was 2 weeks ago. lol “Depression hurts, I hope something can help” *In my cymbalta commercial voice*

      • Start planning for next year’s birthday today.
        I thought I was the only person who had the Cymbalta quote memorized!

        • We are true “D-word” people I put a new phrase in the quote all the time: “Depression hurts, exercise can help” or gummy bears, or wine, or; you get the picture! lol (and i just might start planning something 🙂

    • What the hell Chinatown!!?? That therapist needs to be fired, now! before Tuesday. That’s really not ok.

  • northeazy

    Rant: Sick of all these articles about how expensive rent is in DC. With research, time, and some luck, MANY apartments can be had for under $1,000. The issue is that many people want a lobby, a dishwasher, granite everything, stainless everything, and in-unit washer dryer next to a metro in a walkable community with amenities. Well, that costs money so stop complaining. A simple apartment with bus access or a 20 min walk to a metro station can be had for under $1,000. And no, not just East of the river.

    Rant: Related to the above, as a free-market guy, I think the rents do accurately reflect the market. However, I can’t help but think the market is skewed by people who get financial help from family, or are unreasonably spending large portions of their salary (more than 30% according to the U.S. government) to live in the “it” spot, or frankly because they are scared of any address not ending in NW.

    Rave: My 2 bedroom apartment in Near Northeast for $900/month.

    • I don’t think this is true. I’ve been looking for a place and haven’t found a single apartment in a reasonable area that costs even close to what you say.
      As someone whose parents don’t/can’t help him with rent and barely makes enough to get by every month as it is, it makes me want to explode.

      • Hey, where are you looking? I pay $1000/month to live 10 minutes from Union Station/10 minutes from Eastern Market and I live in a one bedroom by myself. And my parents don’t help me with rent (I think you’ll find that’s a very small percentage of people in this city). I know it can get frustrating, but maybe expand your search? NW is not budget friendly for a lot of people, but luckily there are 3 other quadrants.

      • What’s a reasonable area?

        • I guess my definition of a reasonable area would be under 20 mins walk to a metro and not across the river.

          • northeazy

            You’re def not looking in the right placers because you definition of reasonable is basically the entire DC area. Where do you look for apartments?

      • northeazy

        Thomas–so long as you do not have limiting circumstances like must allow large dogs, or cost-increasing demands like must be close to a Whole Foods, Cross Fit, etc., I suggest checking out the many real estate management companies websites here in DC. Craig’s List is one of the worst places to look as it is usually private home owners looking to have some young professional pay 2/3 of their mortgage to live in their crappy English basement. Real estate management company’s are paid by building owners to manage the property and decrease vacancies, not pay off their mortgage in their over-priced flipped studio basement in Petworth. Also, many many building here in DC are rent controlled. I have seen numerous apartment in Cleveland Park for under $1300 for example, and if you go to a transitional neighborhood, you can get real steals. You just have to look and be a little patient. Give it a few months and be flexible.

        • +1 even with my large dog I ended up finding my place in a management site below anything else in my neighborhood. It’s not updated but 10 mins from metro, grocery, and 15 from nightlife
          I like padmapper since it captures lots of different sites.

          • Emmaleigh504

            I agree about the management companies. My apt is run by Bernstein and they are best! I pay a little more for my place b/c of location, but it’s rent controlled and the company takes good care of everything. I’ve always had better luck with companies than individuals renting places out.

    • there are also other factors. Even if you can get to a bus, sometimes your unpredictable schedule at Starbucks or Giant makes it hard to get home from work when the buses don’t run. Or to pick up your kid from day care (which doesn’t exist to a large extent here anyway). It’s not always cut and dry and as easy as that.

      • northeazy

        As far as I know, the vast majority of Starbucks and Giant close before the last buses stop running. Also, bicycling to the nearest metro is an underutilized option. It can turn a 20-25 minute walk into 5 minutes. (I am assuming if you can work in retail/customer service, you are healthy enough to bike). No one said it was easy; if you want easy, there are tons of option sin luxury condos on 14th St. But if you want affordable, it certainly exists.

        • More ppl than you think don’t know how to ride bikes.
          Giant closes at midnight, and it’s not the first bus but the transfers which could delay someone making the bus to get them home. Some buses stop at 1am or earlier.
          I still agree with you for millennial who I find to be the majority who wants it all on a shoestring budget, but for people with families, etc things may be a bit different.

          • Agreed!! Some of us can’t live in a one bedroom. Some of us have schedules outside of work and play – ie, kids and school. I think this whole post is great for the population of millenials and people with no kids, but for the rest of us? Pffffffft

    • I hear you on all that; although I went with the in unit w/d as a cost and time saver. I had that+ big dog friendly+ centrally located and near the hwy with decent sized rooms. I could pay less further out, but it’s not feasible with my dog and a gym in va (martial arts not regular).
      I do know an awful lot of ppl putting a lot more than 30% in housing which is stupid. 1600+ laundry+ electric& cable to live in a DuPont studio…hell no. DC ppl tend to be lazy so being even 10 mins from metro let alone 20 is unfathomable. I never use metro. Some ppl are told only live between this stop and that stop or you’ll be killed…of course not true, but ppl take no time to investigate on their own.

    • Agree with most of the comments above, particularly Thomas and jindc. I live in an area with no metro and rely on the bus, and the apartments are NOT less than $1000. But moving anywhere with a longer commute than I already have is literally impossible as I’d either be late to work or late to school, which would both have repercussions. And I already get up at 5:30am and get home at 8:30pm, so no — changing my schedule isn’t an option. It’s not nearly as easy as you’re making it out to be, northeazy.

      • northeazy

        Any area without metro access should not be more than $1000, unless you live in a cool place like Bloomingdale. I suggest you move then because you are paying for the cache of living near Red Hen and Boundary Stone.

        Again, I never said finding a place would be easy, otherwise, we’d all have one. All I am saying is that places for under $1,000 definitely exist, and they exist in DC proper (I am not even talking about eat of the River–although that is a definite viable option with metro proximity I might add). Just give up on living in the trendy neighborhoods. Try Soldier’s Home, Stronghold, Takoma Park or Woodridge, for example. I recently helped my girlfriend find a place in Cleveland Park for $1299 and I found places all for under $1,000 in those hoods.

        • The problem with all those places is that they’re very inconveniently located for most commuting.

          • northeazy

            uh, convenience costs money. If you have $2,000 to live in a studio above a metro, than go for it. All I am saying is that places exist if you are willing to not live on top of a metro. And Woodbridge, as one example, has multiple buses that take 10 minutes to get you to RI Ave Metro. That is not inconvenient at all.

          • But FridayGirl’s top concern is that her commute not get any longer.
            It may take 10 minutes to get to the metro, but it’s a station that’s still far from centers of employment. It would take me 1 hour 15 minutes to commute from Woodridge, versus 40 from where I currently live. That’s an extra 350 minutes a week spent commuting.

          • northeazy

            Again, I never said you can get a spacious one-bedroom with Northern exposure in Chinatown for under $1,000. All I am saying is, you can still live in the district, in your own apartment, for less than $1,000 and it doesnt need to be East of the River or dependent on a car. If you want a 20 minute commute, then pay up. Ironically, I live right by Union Station but work in Falls Church, so my commute is over an hour every day. Sometimes jobs change and you don’t want to move.

        • Wait, are you talking about $1000 apartments or room rentals? Because you certainly won’t find a $1000 apartment in Stronghold.

          • northeazy

            ^While I cannot verify if there are NO apartments in Stronghold under $1,000, I did misspeak including Stronghold in my list of neighborhoods. I meant to put Soldier’s Home. Sorry.

          • What neighborhood are you counting as Soldier’s Home? The grounds of the actual Soldier’s Home, or neighborhoods to the north/west/east?

          • Textdoc, I think northeazy is referring to the apartment complex on the NE corner of Michigan/N Cap. They do indeed have some relatively affordable units (I have friends who live there).

        • Please find a one bedroom in Takoma. Really, please try. I don’t think you know this city as well as you think you do.

        • Northeazy, I have to say that it seems like you are only here to argue with people and not actually have a debate or conversation where you LISTEN to what other people’s situations are. Otherwise you would know I am not living on top of a metro (which you seem to be obsessed with saying). Try being both money poor and time poor — I doubt you are or you wouldn’t be arguing so vigorously. Have a little respect for others’ opportunity-costs, would you?

    • These articles also often don’t mention the other factors that can make living in the city in fact more affordable for many people, namely transportation. Owning a car and paying for gas, parking, maintenance, insurance, or even the odd $20+ in cab fare on the weekends to get back home to suburbs all add up.

      • northeazy

        While you are correct about increased costs of needing a car, the debate isn’t weather city living is affordable compared to suburban living, but they seem to state there is no affordable city living at all. I disagree with that assertion. The sky high rents are only for the top of the line buildings or trendy neighborhoods.

        • They meant there is little affordable housing in the most central and trendy neighborhoods which isn’t fully true but mostly. Just like your said, you gotta pay to play.

    • That Zumper map shows that there are ZERO neighborhoods west of the river (sadly they do not show EOTR which has slightly more affordable options) with a median one-bedroom rental price of less than $1000/month. Yes, you can find that rare gem that’s cheaper, but the AVERAGE apartment is starting at over $1000.
      Of course, it’s possible that an average apartment in DC is a tricked-out luxury apartment, and that’s the problem. If you’re on a potato budget and there’s nothing but caviar to eat, you have no choice but to blow your budget eating caviar. I think you’ll find that very few renters are willing to pay a lot more for silly amenities, but they’re forced to when the supply of basic cheaper apartments is so low.

    • justinbc

      There are just as many articles written about how the salaries in this area exceed those in the rest of the country. The rent is high because there’s plenty of money here to burn. People like to whine about “mommy and daddy” because it’s a more convenient excuse than “get a better job”.

      • “Get a better job” Soooo then what would we do without our police officers, firemen, social workers, nonprofit employees, and the list goes on and on!

        • Starting MPD salary: 52K a year.
          Starting DC public school salary: 52K a year.
          If those two got married, they’d be making 160% of the DC median household income.

  • Rave: Weather! Ready for a nice long bike ride.
    Rant: I live on a block where one extended family (in two different houses) has seven vehicles. They’ve taken to parking each car 4ft apart on the same side of the block so that no one else can park between them. When I’ve been looking for a spot at the same time, I’ve asked the son-in-law if he could park a little closer and he has, but all other times I come home to an unnecessary parking nightmare.

  • Rant: fellow cyclists that don’t obey the rules of the road.
    Rave: change comes from within so I’ve started calling them out as they run red lights and stop signs. My new gopro will provide much entertainment as the replies are predictably vulgar and nonsensical.

  • Rave: popville karaoke was a blast! I guess I’m the first to ever rap at a popville karaoke event.
    Rant: ignorance really is bliss when it comes to the home lives of my students…. Poverty, immigration issues, and alcoholism. I was up all night worrying about one of my (9 year old) babies.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rave: Getting lots done at work today.
    Rave: My son is such a goof.
    Rant: It seems the cat got himself locked in the linen closet overnight. I really hope he didn’t pee on anything.

  • Rave: Daffodils are starting to come up around D.C.! My next-door neighbor has daffodils, as does as building I pass on the way to work, and I’m looking forward to seeing them bloom.
    Rave: I planted a bunch of daffodil bulbs in the fall, so with luck I’ll have daffodils soon too.
    Rant: I can’t tell for sure which green sprouts belong to which flowers, but I have a bad feeling that the crocus bulbs I planted in the fall might have all been eaten by squirrels. MPinDC, aren’t crocuses supposed to come up/bloom before daffodils do? If mine haven’t already done so, does that mean the window is over?

    • Textdoc squirrels do find crocus bulbs a tasty treat. I sometimes felt like putting the bulbs out on a silver tray to save the squirrels the trouble of digging them up. But, most bulbs survived (planting them deep helps)
      There are early & late crocuses, early and late daffodils. My yellow crocuses are starting to bloom, other colors not yet. The window is still open 🙂

    • Emmaleigh504

      I was excited to see the snow drops blooming in my neighborhood yesterday. I wish I could have bulbs in my window garden, but too much sun for the ones I want (lily of the valley & snow drops).

  • HUGE RANT: Found out yesterday that our house is collapsing. Housemate (owner) bought it as a flip nearly three years ago. It is a typical post-war duplex and the flippers removed an interior wall on the first floor in order to make it open plan. Problem being that they did not install the correct beam in the front part of the house and there is now a 3/8 inch sag on the second floor. A structural engineer came out and did a survey, and immediately came back with the bad news that the situation is critical, needing immediate shoring up of the second floor with a new beam (or new wall) installed within the next six months. This is super scary for us as we have small children living in the house. So, if anyone can recommend a Licensed, Bonded GC that would be incredibly helpful! Also, any recommendations for a bull dog of a Real Estate lawyer with experience going after bad contractors, bad home inspectors, and a potentially bad RE agent, we would appreciate it!

    • Whatever kind of lawyer you get (I’m not sure you necessarily need a real estate lawyer; a good trial lawyer could handle this case), the first thing he or she will do is look at the applicable contracts – with the seller of the house, with the real estate agent, with the inspector. I suggest you look at those documents too. There may be disclaimers of or time limits for liability, even for a latent defect – something that would not be obvious. I would also get a second opinion just to be sure.

      • it’s still very early stages yet, but so far what we do know is that the work was unpermitted and when the home inspector did the inspection, he asked for the permits and did not get them from the contractor/seller. Having lived there for 2 years, this is not the only issue, it is just the most glaring/dangerous.

        • So did the inspector signed off on his findings? Did the buyers not follow up on the permits that were requested? If it’s not documented the sellers can say this work was always like that and wasn’t part of the scope of work they did.

          • I’m honestly not sure what happened, and to be perfectly honest neither is my housemate. Without going into it, the sale was handled completely by someone else, something she definitely now regrets. We are currently trying to get access to the home inspection report, which apparently was made available only online. Once we have this, we’ll know more of what exactly happened at the time or purchase.

    • Ugh. So sorry. If you liked your structural engineer, could you post his or her contact info? I have been meaning to post here asking for recommendations.

      Also, as a trial lawyer (and not a real estate specialist), I would respectfully disagree with the comment below that you do not need an attorney who specializes in real estate. A good generalist litigator (i.e. trial attorney) could probably handle something like this, but someone with real estate experience will be able to do a better job in much less time (and for much less money). The chance that you will actually end up going to trial is very small, and a real estate specialist will be much better positioned to give you a good evaluation of the strength or your claim and drive a fair settlement. I wish I had someone to recommend.

      • Thank you for the info! I’m not even sure if this will rise to the occasion of a lawsuit (which will depend largely on whether she has a leg to stand on legally), and really just getting the repairs at least in part paid for would be great. But I agree with you, my gut is to go with a specialist.

        The engineer firm we used is from RESolutions – http://www.RESolutionsDC.com – the PE we have been working with has been very helpful in dealing with our multiple questions and emails. The firm will also assist with drawing up plans for the fix that can be submitted to DCRA for the permits, oversee the project (which he has told us isn’t necessary in our case), and then do a final inspection after the repairs.

    • yikes. im very worried we might have a similar issue in our flip we purchased. our floors are sagging on each level where a support beam runs across and the floors are squeaking like crazy. The place was flipped in 2013 and we purchased in 2014. we have an engineer coming out soon but right now we are trying to get a copy of the plans/permits. please keep us updated!

      • Good luck!! We do not have a squeak, and it appears to only be a problem with the second floor. But there is a truly noticeable slope in the floor coupled with a very visibly sagging bulkhead, and numerous cracks in the ceiling, as well as other issues. The engineer told us that what we have is two sistered 2x10s, which is not enough to hold the weight of the second floor. From what I understand, this is a very common issue in flips where structural, load bearing walls are taken out. It is interesting to me that another house on our block was flipped recently and the developer left a large part of the same missing wall intact, something that peaked our concerns even more (why wouldn’t he open it up unless there is a reason not to?). Good luck with your issues – I hope they aren’t severe!!

    • saf

      I used these folks to fix an issue with a slipped beam and was pleased: http://www.spectrumdesignbuild.com

  • UDPie’s post reminded me… I was catching up earlier this week on Carolyn Hax’s live chat from Friday, and there was this posting from a woman who’d had a miscarriage:
    “[. . .] While we hadn’t announced publicly, we had told family and close friends. We now are in the unfortunate process of ‘un-announcing’ and I have found that many of our family and friends are trying to figure out why this happened. My family and my in-laws have been blessed with many easy pregnancies and never a pregnancy loss. When we explain that it was most likely chromosome abnormalities and things we had no control over (what our doctors said), people find it hard to believe and start suggesting things we (or specifically I) did — my weight, my exercise, my autoimmune diseases. [. . .]”
    Sometimes I think that the secrecy around early pregnancy is overkill, because if someone’s family/co-workers/friends/etc. were aware of a miscarriage, wouldn’t they just offer the appropriate sympathy? And then I read something like this. What is wrong with people??

    • This is why I never said anything, especially about IVF. We needed IVF because of male factor, but there were people I KNEW would insist if I just lost more weight, or if we tried longer, ect. I think there’s a lot to be said for keeping it quiet, no babyshowers, ect. I mean, I have friends that don’t give their children names until Bris or Naming, and that’s overkill to me, but I can still see why

    • “Sometimes I think that the secrecy around early pregnancy is overkill…. And then I read something like this.” Yes. I’ve had to keep my own pregnancy issues mostly secret over the last few years — not because I’m afraid to speak out about them, but because I’m trying to protect myself from other people’s insensitive comments or from workplace discrimination.

      • Totally understandable. And I hadn’t even thought about the workplace-discrimination aspect; that’s a very valid concern as well.

    • Emmaleigh504

      I’ve always thought the secrecy around pregnancies would be a bad idea for me just b/c I would want to talk about it if something went wrong or right. Also my family doesn’t keep secrets well. I’m on board with no baby showers & gifts until the baby is born. Since I will never be pregnant I’ll just let people do what’s right for them and not interfere (except baby names, I have ideas!).

    • I kept my third pregnancy secret from everyone except a few very close friends until I was about 13 or 14 weeks. I just wasn’t interested in hearing people tell me that 2 was enough, or the snide “don’t you know how that happens/don’t you have tv?” type remarks. The funniest thing was when one of my kids spilled the beans to my mom (who also happens to be one of my biggest critics).

    • It goes the other way too though – my soon to be SIL and my brother announced their pregnancy at week 2 (yes TWO) – and I had to try so hard not to say – really? You’re announcing (publicly!) now? With what our mom has gone through and others. I said nothing but others outside the family did. All in all, I think you’ll get comments no matter what and they’ll be judgmental. And that makes me said.

      • Emmaleigh504

        lol My coworker sent me a picture of her positive test as soon as she got it.
        It sucks that everyone is so judgmental about preganacies. It’s like they think it’s their’s too. I try to only give opinions about silly things, like naming the kid Kangaroo Paw (she didn’t take my advice and named the kid Denise).

  • justinbc

    Rant/R.I.P. Terry Pratchett died today after a 7+ year battle with Alzheimer’s. He was without question my favorite author, and someone I modeled much of my own personal writing style after. I wish I had something clever to say to remember him by, but I’m just kind of in shock at the moment and all I can think of is “Ook”.

  • RANT: Terry Pratchett just died. 🙁 🙁 🙁 He was my absolute favorite author… So sad to hear this.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: annual physical today, with a surprise visit from Dr hottie in training. not cool. No body wants to meet new people while wearing paper clothes.
    Rave: healthy
    Rant: forgot to talk to the Doc about some issues (insomnia) b/c I was thrown off by Dr hottie in training.
    Rave: Warmer weather!

  • SouthwestDC

    Rave: I’m an aunt!!! My sister gave birth to a beautiful girl yesterday afternoon. Also: Exposed DC opening night (2 of my photos made it in this year).
    Rant: Tried bike commuting this morning with mixed results. It took a very long time, and my skirt kept riding up, and at one point my shoe flew off and I had go back for it. Probably not something I’ll be doing every day.

  • Rave: Applied to become a part of the RiverSmart Homes program last week. They said it could take months to get back to me, but they already got back to me today!
    Rant: Rodents/Pests/Unwanted Guests. About 1.5 weeks ago we started hearing something in our living room ceiling…like a scratching sound. It only lasted a few days, but we’ve had a few other issues so had pest control out yesterday. He said it was probably a squirrel or a rat (ewwwwwwwwwww!!!). He showed us the possible entry point by the gutter/roof line and said we need to seal it. Fine, but then we heard this weird chirping noise last night, almost like a bird!? It just gives me the heebie-jeebies that animals could be in my ceiling. Anyhow, we’re sealing the hole this weekend. Does anyone else have any other advice?

    • That’s odd. I applied to RiverSmart Homes last July and still haven’t heard back! Maybe they have certain “priority” neighborhoods?

      • Really? That’s a long time. Have you followed up with them?

        • No, but now I will! I just assumed the wait list was super long and that they didn’t work over the winter.

      • It could also have to do with scheduling — might have been a number of other folks in Park View who applied last year/this year.
        I had my front yard bayscaped (native shrubs and flowers) and a tree planted a few years back. They did a great job. And if you end up w/bayscaping, don’t hesitate to ask them to change the plants/design for something you’d prefer. I also was told that I could request plants/shrubs listed in the NPS Chesapeake Bay Native Plant guide and they would try to procure.

        • Oh cool! My front yard could definitely use some nice flowers and a shrub. So they just give you recommendations of what to plant?

          • I think they actually give you the plants (well, sell them to you at a significant discount). MPinDC can give you better information, though.

          • The river smart folks will do a site assessment and give you options. The work itself is contracted out – Casey Trees planted my tree and a landscaping company proposed plantings. Once I agreed with plan they scheduled a time to do the work including digging up lawn. I paid something like $100 for the bayscaping. Totally worth it!

  • Rant: My ridiculous ex decided it would be a good idea to write a letter to the “leaders” of Iran, and now I have to see his name and face everywhere I turn.

    Rave: Yay for R&R, where you can complain about such things anonymously!

  • Question for the group: I’m going to start biking again now that everything’s thawed out. For those who have been biking recently, have you noticed major issues with pot-holes in bike lanes? I really want to get back into my daily biking routine, but the thought of potential pot-holes terrifies me. Driving has been bad enough. I use bike share if that makes a difference. Thanks!

    • gotryit

      Bike share bikes are sturdy and cushy, so you shouldn’t have a problem going over potholes. The only time I could see it being a problem is if you run parallel with an edge (like the side of a pothole). It can prevent your front wheel from turning and make you crash. Similar to riding parallel to streetcar tracks. Just aim for the center if you can’t avoid it.

    • Don’t bike between 13th and 14th St NW on the R Street bike lane, parts of P St (between 8th and 9th in particular) are bad too.

  • Revel: Two foster kittens are going to their new home today – where one 5 year old boy is waiting excitedly.

    One kitten – Mallory – is still looking! She is a silver-haired sweetheart, playful, sociable and affectionate.


  • Rant: It’s beautiful outside and I’m stuck in this office for another 2 hours…
    Revel: New house starting to come together. Had our coffee table delivered today, which is our first piece of furniture that did not come from Ikea and require assembly 🙂

    Question: Anyone with any advice/experience regarding homeowners insurance and restricted dog breeds? We’d like to adopt or at least foster, and so many of the shelter dogs are pits or pit mixes, which are on restricted list for a majority of insurance companies.

    • epric002

      USAA didn’t care at all what breed of dogs we had. i know that’s not an option for all…but according to a quick google search: state farm, farmers, traveler’s, liberty mutual, nationwide (if the dog is a CGC) are just a few of the big name companies that will allow them. there were a lot of other companies that i’d never heard of too.

    • anonymouse_dianne

      State farm for sure. Look at
      for ideas on doing a pet resume. My condo has no breed restrictions. 😉

  • That One Guy

    Rant: Don’t know why I received a little postcard advertising Ben & Jerry Ice cream catering.
    Rant: I’m kind of hungry, and possible craving ice cream.
    Rave: Mom sent a cryptic text message and it was kind of funny to understand what she meant by it. Lost in translation.

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