Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Matt Goupil-Proietta

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.

314 Comment

  • justinbc

    Rant/Rave: Kittens, taking up so much time. Luckily I’m able to work from home all week to monitor their adaptation to the house. Lots of photos up on my Flickr for anyone bored at work / curious. So far the allergies haven’t been too bad, but I’ve upped my dosage of Zyrtec to twice a day as a preventative measure. Hopefully it doesn’t have some negative side effect that gives me cancer at 50.
    HH Update: Very likely going to do it at City Tap House in June, then Provision 14 for July.

    • Justin, some unsolicited advice re: being allergic and living with cats. I recommend keeping the door to your bedroom closed (keeping the cat dander off your bedsheets really does make a difference). For some people, hepa filters really do help along with regular vacuuming. Brushing (and occassionally giving my cat a bath) seems to really help me. The neti pot is your friend; it makes such a difference for me. And if all else fails, allergy shots (in my opinion) are worth the time and effort. I have significantly reduced the amount of allergy meds I take since I started getting shots two years ago. Such a lifesaver.

      Good luck and enjoy your kittens.

      • justinbc

        Oh yeah, the bedroom is a cat-free zone. That door stays shut all the time, and there’s a second screen door I installed in front of it just for extra security to keep them out (and it’s nice for sleeping with the main door open to help air circulate but keep cats out). I plan to get on the shots soon, just haven’t had time yet this spring with all of the house projects I’ve had going on, but good to hear that they’re effective.

      • justinbc

        By the way, any advice is appreciated, unsolicited or not! I haven’t had a cat since I was probably 20 or so (he lived to be 15+ years old), and I’ve always been a dog person. She’s much more the cat lover, but these 2 are so adorable it’s hard not to love them. I think getting brothers from the same litter really helped them feel much more comfortable at home. They sleep together quite a lot!

      • I’ve never dared to try bathing my cat (whom I adopted as an adult) — but I’ve heard it’s one of those things where if you get them used to it as kittens, they’ll accept it willingly. Same with clipping their claws.
        My cat hated slicker brushes and didn’t like being brushed with them. If your kittens don’t like slicker brushes, try the ZoomGroom (from Kong) and/or the Love Glove (from Four Paws). My cat loves both of them.

        • Agreed, it’s good to get them used to having their claws clipped early. And just to having their paws handled in general. Give ’em little foot massages.
          We had good luck with SoftPaws claw covers. One of 10 will fall off the day you put them on. One will stay on too long and need to be pried off. But the other 8 will last the appropriate amount of time and save you (and your furniture) lots of scratches.

        • justinbc

          This particular breed is somewhat obsessed with water, whenever I wash my hands they come rushing over. So luckily baths won’t be too much of an issue. Apparently they love it so much they’ll even try to get in the shower (if you let them).

        • My kitty was abandoned before she was weaned, so we gave her baths (and bottle fed her from an early age). She doesn’t love it, but I have gotten the process down to about 5 minutes in the tub.

        • For a cat that doesn’t like a bath – stick it in a mesh bag – like a laundry or snorkeling gear bag. May not be the easiest thing in itself, but you can kind of sneak it over them, at least the first time. Then just wash them through the bag.

    • Yay for kittens! The adaptation can be tough, but they’re so sweet. What’s your flickr account for the uninitiated?

        • …PoPville kitten happy hour at Justin’s? haha

        • Oh my, so cute!

        • Nall’s ears are the BEST

          • justinbc

            Yeah, he can blame his mom for that. She apparently had a habit of nibbling all their ears when they’re first born. Most of them don’t alter shape as a result, but his got twisted. We’re working on Band-Aid’ing it back to normal, but it’s a slow process (and he of course always wants to claw it off).

          • Nooooo don’t change them! I love them!

          • justinbc

            LOL she loves it all crooked like that too, but we’re worried it might make him more susceptible to ear infections down the road.

        • justinbc

          Apologies if there are a lot of duplicates and whatnot, I honestly haven’t had any time to go through and do any sort of editing yet.

        • the cuteness!! oh my eyes!!! Oh man. Ok sorry moving on. My husband and I got cats a few years ago having only had them when we were younger. They’re great. We adopted both, one was older and one was younger. They’re both great with finger nail clippings because –> treats follow. It’s the only time they get treats, so they’re good for those treats. My husband is mildly allergic but it also seems to have gotten better over time. Clean a lot. Get a space heater in the winter, our house is a bit cold in the winter they like sleeping under covers and the space heater. Also for this type of cat I hear you want lots of high things for them to jump on. Our cats love tops of shelves, cough cough kitchen cabinets, and windows obviously. I’m sure you know all of this, just trying to drop some wisdom.

    • Curious: if they’re not hypoallergenic, what is the advantage of $3000 kittens over $50 kittens?

      • justinbc

        Because that’s the specific kind my partner wanted, and I make compromises to make her happy.

        • What does your partner say the advantage is? As in why those specific cats? I don’t know anything about them. High IQ? Sheds less? Reincarnations of virtuous souls? I mean, we all want to come back as pampered housecats, right??

          • justinbc

            It’s mostly the size and coloration. They get up to around 15-20 pounds and very lean, so they have a very wild look. Their personality is also very different due to the wild Serval mixed in. It’s mainly just a preference thing, she saw this kind and really loved it, so that’s what we got (the money is really just an inconsequential detail).

          • Savannahs are crossbreeds between servals and domestic cats, so they look pretty different and are supposed to have pretty different personalities than domestic cats – they often chirp instead of meow, often like water, are very intelligent and can be more like dogs (follow people around, play fetch) and that kind of thing.
            My family has always adopted cats and I do think it’s best, but I do think they’re gorgeous and would be pretty tempted if I had the money/could have a cat at this time.

        • As someone who always adopts, and always adopts special needs, I have no issue with you purchasing kittens from a reputable breeder. You and your partner have the right to get the cats YOU want.

          To follow some people’s logic to the ultimate end, we should all be adopting pit bulls from shelters – because they’re generally the hardest to find homes for. And with all the unwanted and orphaned children in the world, why would anyone do fertility treatments?

          That logic doesn’t hold. It’s nice to adopt, and I praise those who do. But loving and taking care of your kitties is the important thing.

          They are adorable, BTW. I didn’t realize Savannah cats came in white. Neat!

          • justinbc

            Thanks, I couldn’t agree more with your statements, and you said them much better than I could express.

          • anonymouse_dianne

            Nicely put. I also own an F3 Savannah that I got from a breeder in North Carolina. She was a “reject” in that she did not gain weight. When I got her she was 5 months old and only weighed 5 lbs. I believe Justin’s kitties are already at that weight. I also own a purebred Abyssinian, also from a breeder in NC. She had been “adopted” and then returned due to a death in the family. She was also 5 months old. Just enough past kitten cute to be hard to sell. Responsible breeders are a key component to the No Kill Equation. I’ve been involved in rescue for years, and started as a foster for the Bengal Rescue Network. The folks who go around collecting rejected Bengals also breed and show their cats. I can’t get to the fliker account here at work but will check it out from home. BTW, the “white” kitten is called a “snow” and his markings will start to show up as he gets older. Yay for kitties.

          • justinbc

            Yeah when they went for their 12 week vaccines Nall was 4.5 lbs (apparently the size of an F2 at that age) and Greebo was 3.5 lbs. Greebo is definitely the instigator in the playfights, and also by far the most mischievous. Nall is much more loving, and if any of the two will turn out to be a lap-cat it’s him.

      • WHAAA???? There’s so much wrong with this that I can’t even begin to elaborate.

        • So much wrong as in, so much wrong based on your personal preferences?

          • Oh, believe me, it’s not just my personal preference. A strong enough adjective does not exist to describe spending huge sums of money on kittens, when so many perfectly good cats are put down every day as a result of overpopulation.

          • justinbc

            Right, but we don’t want those cats. We wanted these cats. Why would anyone spend money on something they don’t want when they can afford something they do want? Besides, it not like we chose to breed them ourselves. These cats existed in the potential pool of adoptable cats just like any other, so we took them out of that pool and into our home. Two cats now have a loving home, that’s all that matters.

          • This stuff is priceless. Please don’t ever stop posting comments here.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Anon – I adopted my one and only kitty, but I spend about as much money on alcohol as Justin does on cats. I could instead be spending that money on more cats. I hope you are equally appalled with my alcohol spending as with Justin’s kitty spending – I know I am. Heck, I just had my driveway redone. Do you know how many cat-adoption-equivalents I spent on my f*cking driveway?!

      • Come on, y’all — leave it. It’s not the decision I would have made, or the decision that many PoPville people would’ve made… but it’s the decision that Justin and his partner made. They’ve adopted the cats; it’s a done deal. I don’t see that arguing about the merits of that decision after the fact is going to be productive.

        • Well, no, they bought the cats. “Adopted” means something different.
          But truly, I was just asking what’s cool about F3 savannah cats. Like, I’m not going to pay $70,000 for a Ford Focus, but I’d totally shell that out for a Tesla. What makes F3 savannah cats the Teslas of cats? What are the features?

          • (I thought the pricetag was because they’re easier for people with allergies. But it seems I was wrong, so I asked for clarification.)

          • “Bought”; I misspoke.
            I don’t agree with buying $3,000 cats vs. adopting from a shelter/rescue either, but I don’t think that there’s much danger of anyone else in PoPville deciding to purchase a savannah cat in the near future. So I don’t see what good it does to excoriate Justin for his decision. (I see that your posts are more curiosity-based, but Anon’s seem more excoriation-oriented.)

          • justinbc

            It’s still adopting. You have to pay fees to “adopt” any cat, the price is just a detail. It’s primarily driven by the fact that to buy a Serval (the parent animal) the price is tens of thousands of dollars. To use your analogy above, the Tesla is loaded with lots of technology the Focus does not have, and looks a hell of a lot cooler. (now apply that over to whatever random cat breed you want to insert)

          • Are these the cat poop coffee cats? ‘Cause that would be awesome . . .

          • justinbc

            Haha no, those (Civet, specifically Sumatran for the coffee bean pooping variety) are Asian, and I’m not entirely sure is a cat, the Serval is an African cat.

          • Nope, adopting is when the money goes to the administrative costs of finding a home for an animal that was born without any human agency. Buying is when the money goes to the person or organization who caused that animal to exist, for the purpose of selling it, to make a profit.

          • justinbc

            @wdc, sorry, that might be your definition of what adopting an animal is, but I, and others, disagree with you. To adopt, in the basic sense, is to legally take a child / animal / whatever that was raised by someone else and bring it into your home as your own. You’re getting caught up on the financial aspect, that’s just a detail. The actual act of adopting is the same regardless.

          • wdc, at the risk of being a hair-splitting pedant, I’ll just say that I think my own breeder falls into a grey area if we’re using your terminology. Yes, she does help cause animals to exist, but out a very heartfelt love of the breed and the relationships she creates by breeding. I’m also certain she makes an extremely small profit since my dog cost a heck of a lot less than the cats we’re discussing here and vet fees, feeding, etc can add up over the pregnancy birth, and 9 weeks of care. I’m not sure the distinctions are always so sharp (although there are definitely ends of the spectrum).

          • justinbc

            @Shawess, exactly. When you work with someone reputable they work hard to ensure that the animals are cared for properly before being released. Ours happens to be a biology professor in VA, who works extensively learning about cat behavior and advancing the field of care for them. She cares for them for 3 months before you can even take them home. That type of care (raw meat diet), combined with the parents animal’s expense, is not cheap. So consider that “administrative fees”, if you must adhere to some strict imaginary definition of what adopting an animal consists of.

          • The fees one pays to actually adopt a cat from a shelter – as opposed to buying one from a breeder – don’t even cover the cost of the vaccinations & spay/neuter.

            If you get a “free” kitten you will spend at least $250.00 for basic shots & vet care. WARL offers the lowest cost spay/neuter – which still runs you $65.00 – $100.00. (Plus the time spent taking the cat there and picking it up.)

            So when you pay an adoption fee of $50-$125.00 for a healthy vetted kitten or cat, you are paying less than half what it would otherwise cost you. To belabor the car analogy, it’s like getting a car from Carmax – all checked and ready to go – versus buying from some guy on CL then having to replace the carburetor, fuel pump & get new tires.

          • Dcd — If they were the cat poop coffee cats, then they could generate coffee beans for the espresso machine, thus tying the people-criticizing-Justin threads together. 😉

          • justinbc

            That’s too much meta, comments would probably have to be disabled.

          • I Dont Get It

            OMG if I had a dollar for every cat post today 😉

          • Can’t we just talk about bras?

          • justinbc

            Zero comments on proposed happy hour venues. Kittens / puppies = ultimate distraction.

        • skj84

          Exactly. It’s his prerogative to adopt whatever breed of cat he wants.

        • It is possible, and easier on your own spirit, to embrace and support the decision to adopt an “ordinary” cat without condemning another person’s decision to shell out for a designer cat.

          And for everyone who has even considered fostering and/or adopting cats or kittens – the shelters are overflowing right now and there is an urgent need for fosters! Especially needed now is a place for “Joe” who loves dogs but not other cats.

          My own current foster kittens – Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Tyme (and their lovely young mom Maxine.) will be ready for adoption in a couple of weeks. You’re welcome to come meet them anytime!

        • What Textdoc said. And I don’t object to the use of the word “adopted.” It’s not the same as adopting from a shelter, but it is adding to the family.

      • Oh, good! It’s the bi-monthly “Let’s criticize justinbc for the money he spends on things, even though he can afford it” episode of Random Reader Rant and/or Revel! I was afraid I’d missed it! /sarcasm end

        • I think it’s actually semiannual. (Surely the espresso machine brouhaha was at least 6 months ago?)

          • You’re probably right.
            BTW, is bi-monthly twice a month, or once every two months?

          • dcd, I’m pretty sure it can be -both-. Confusing.

          • DCD, I always have to look that up. I think it’s once every two months.

          • dcd – I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets confused with that phrase. Looking up the definition isn’t helpful: literally says “occurring or produced twice a month or every two months.”
            ….. But that’s two different things. English, why are you so weird.

          • Littlen — That sounds like a good argument for not using the word in one’s own writing. (Though it’s not much help as to how to interpret it in other people’s!)

        • lol

        • +1 Ugh, I am ashamed for how everyone is reacting. It’s Justin’s private life, let him do what he wants. You don’t have to spend money to buy cats but that doesn’t mean you can criticize him for it.

          • justinbc

            Thanks. The people who I actually know regularly through here are much more reasonable, but of course there are always going to be several anonymous voices in the crowd who want to burn the witch. Everyone has their own crusade, and I don’t take it personal. Honestly, unless you really know me, and what I spend all my time / money / etc on, getting upset about a few details of that is just silly. When I finish working on fixing bank regulation implementation I promise I’ll switch over to cat overpopulation.

          • I basically agree with you except that if it’s his private life, why do we all know about it? If he’s making it known to a bunch of strangers on the internet then he knows he’s opening himself up to criticism (reasonable or not) – and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t need anyone to defend him. As for me, I’m not going to criticize him for spending $3000 on cats, but I’m also not going to tell you all that I spent $3000 on cats.

          • To be fair, I don’t think he straight-out said “I’m spending $3000 on cats.” Somebody had a question about savannah cats, and he linked to the breeder’s website, and that’s where people learned about the price.
            In any event… the kittens are awfully cute, and I look forward to hearing more stories about them and seeing more photos.

          • justinbc

            FWIW, we didn’t spend $3,000 per cat. As textdoc said, I linked to the breeders site because someone asked (same thing happened with the espresso machine…I don’t offer up the info unless someone asks), and then someone saw a range of prices and ran with. I’m not going to disclose the actual costs, because frankly it’s not relevant to the discussion of kitten cuteness (nor did I bring it up today).

    • GiantSquid

      On a TOTALLY unrelated note: I biked past your house the other day and it looks mighty nice! I was skeptical of the color scheme but in real life it looks quite snazzy. Nicely done!

      • justinbc

        Glad to hear, thanks! 🙂 I’ve definitely grown more fond of it as we do more work to the outside to accent it, even if I still get A-Team comments from all my friends LOL.

        • If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you are willing to overpay, maybe you can hire justinbc.
          Sorry, I had to. 🙂

    • Happy hours sound great! Is there a potential date for June yet?

      And I love the cats.

  • Rant: I woke up at 5:00 am.
    Rave: I managed to get two more hours of sleep on the couch.
    Rant: The heat — it is going to be a very long, hot summer full of twice daily showers. Oy.
    Rave: Cold brew coffee. It is the very best.

  • rave: Boulder climbing coming to Ivy City
    rave: I’ve been enjoying talking to someone- haven’t had this feeling in a while.
    rant: long distance

  • Rave: Started the renovations at our house. So far so good, they have been early everyday and worked throughout the weekend.
    Rant: Staying at my sister in laws house during the 6 week renovation. However, I only plan on staying there until they get the bathroom done and will move back into my house. Let’s just say, life for me will be easier that way if you know what I mean. Love my sis n law and all but yeah, I’m out as soon as possible.
    Rave: Bought a couple pair of new shoes over the weekend. I almost forgot what it felt like to by something nice for myself.
    Rave: Work is going pretty well, just trying to hit this number.
    Rant: The goals they gave us this year are insane, wayyy too high 34% increase high.
    Rave: I am already doing better than last year and might possibly make my number.

    • RANT: My poor daughter is suffering with allergies. She is a trooper and not trying to let it show but the itchy eyes and constant watery eyes and runny nose so otherwise. She normally is all over the place but lately she just wants to cuddle (which is fine by me, just wish she wasn’t suffering).

      • Oh, poor kid. I don’t remember how old she is (somewhere in the 18-month range?), but she might be able to take a children’s version of claritin/allegra/zyrtec/benadryl. Check in with your pediatrician if you haven’t already. Steamy showers (or steamy bathroom from the water running) might help the congestion a little bit. And I haven’t tried them before, but maybe an air filter/purifier would help if you don’t already have one? I hope she’s feeling better soon!

        • Thanks. She turned two on May 1. We currently have her on medication for allergies but I can tell she is still not herself. I just hope she does not get it as bad as her dad gets it. It is just that time of year…

          • My two kids have severe allergies. My oldest was like a zombie on claritin to the point that it was affecting his school work, and his pediatrician switched him to Nasonex – not only did it work better, but no more zombie boy. My daughter takes hydroxizne for her allergies (basically prescription strength benadryl) and it has zero affect on her as far as drowsiness goes. It’s funny how different meds affect different people. Just a friendly suggestion from a btdt mom, if the sluggishness lasts for more than a week, you may want to switch up meds.

          • Oops–for some reason I thought she was a few months younger than my daughter rather than a few weeks older. At any rate, ugh. I’m sorry to hear that the meds aren’t helping quite enough. It really is a tough time of year for some people. I hope that it might actually be as simple as switching medications like in Anon’s experience. Good luck!

          • Thank you both!

  • Rave: As of yesterday, I own a condo!!! When did I become a grown up?!
    Rave: Had a fantastic time in SF for a wedding with some amazing friends. We probably hadn’t seen the bride’s mom since HS graduation and the first thing she said to us was “why aren’t you drinking yet? go get a drink!!” Love her.
    Rant: I miss them already.
    Rant: I’ve done exactly 0% of my packing for the upcoming move.

  • I Dont Get It

    Rant:  I’ve been drinking too much lately.  I drank a lot less last night but it was still a lot for a school night.  I have to re-earn how to fall asleep without Dr. Vodka’s assistance.

    Rave:  Got unexpected refund from MedStar Washington Hospital Center of $300.  Not sure why but very much appreciated!

    Rant:  Washington Hospitals scheduling.  I understand plastic surgeons have emergencies (I was there once!) but moving an appointment a week in advance due to an emergency????

    Rant:  Got notified by CareFirst that they had been hacked June 19, 2014 but didn’t discover it until April 21, 2015.  This sh*t is getting scary

  • Rant: We can’t get a mortgage in PA because I don’t yet have a job. My husband has the GI Bill, which has been called “unreliable income”. Nevermind HOW MUCH MONEY we actually have. I could have zero savings but a job and get a mortgage, just not the other way around.
    Rave: found a brand new “luxury” building blocks from my folks where a two bedroom costs as much as we rented our junior one bedroom for. Life is funny.

    • That really sucks on your rant.

    • Unreliable= Not a salary & not received for at least 2 yrs, so it makes sense.
      The criteria for mortgages absolutely put stable employment over savings unless you have enough liquid to cover the mortgage amount in which case they may be more lenient. You could get a salaried job anywhere to qualify and quit once you get the mortgage.

      • well, GI bill is received for over two years. And we are both currently employed, which is what you apply for a mortgage under – your current economic situation. And we do have enough assets but don’t want to buy a place with all cash because of the tax benefits of having a mortgage. so it doesn’t make sense. We could buy it as a “vacation home” and be approved. We have access to VA loans which are better, which whatever.

        • “tax benefits of having a mortgage” Do you mean deducting interest? It’s better to not pay interest at all. You’re spending a dollar to save 30 cents.

          • well, our interest rates are really low and investing the money is a better return – if our interest rate is 3% and our return on investment another way is 6-10% depending on the investment, we’re better investing.

          • Given the low interest rates available, it’s almost certainly more advantageous, in the long run, to take out the mortgage and invest. Gotta look at the big picture.

          • Sorry, got tied up in the semantics. While there’s no “tax advantage” there is a financial advantage.

        • I’m not familiar with PA income taxes, but there’s a good chance you might not even qualify for the mortgage interest deduction if your income is low (as it would be when husband is in law school and you’re not working). It’s really only helpful in high tax situations (i.e. you’re paying a lot in taxes due to high income or high taxation by your state). For instance, many folks don’t get the deduction in Virginia. As CHGal says, it’s better to pay no interest.
          Run the numbers.

          • I have never understood the tax deduction over a paid off mortgage. I would much rather not have to worry about paying a mortgage every month. My coworker said there are different schools of thoughts…i.e. taking that mortgage deduction over not having a mortgage payment. For me, I’ll take that paid off mortgage every day!

          • yes, we will run them – we also still have a mortgage in DC until our tenant agrees to move out or buy the property (we’re not going to deal with TOPA, we’ll just raise his rent until he decides to move out), so that counts as income…and I’ll also be working once we move there. There might be a lapse in employment, but I won’t be unemployed.

          • @ParkViewRes
            I think it all depends on where people want to “put their money to work.” If you think the market is going to rise faster than housing prices, then you’ll want to borrow for your house and keep your liquidity in the market.
            Frankly, most people are bad investors and over-estimate their ability to be a “savvy” investor. Rates are going to go up and the market is going to take a hit first, before housing prices (which tend to be sticky and react more slowly than the market). If I had excess cash, I’d put it into a house now and lock in a low interest rate for the remainder I couldn’t pay off. Or better yet pay it completely off, if you can afford to without compromising retirement/emergency/college funds.

          • I mean I am not going to pay my house off tomorrow or any time soon, but I definitely hope to pay it off in 10-15 years rather than 30. I actually know quite a few people who paid off their houses in 4-5 years and if I could do the same I’d do it rather than claiming the interest.

          • But investing for 30-40 years from now will always have a larger return than interest rates are locked in to. Our rate at our place here is less than 3%. Our rate of return on our investments is about 12%. So even if that goes down….over time, it’ll still be worth more. so I think it just depends on your short and long term goals. We tend to put a lot down on our properties so our loans are on the small side.

        • I meant it hadn’t yet (I don’t think so) been received for 2 yrs. They also consider if you’ll be continually employed for the next 3 yrs. I guess they didn’t believe you’d still work the same job while living in pa, so you’ll have to look again which makes your current income irrelevant, and your employment wouldn’t meet the 3yr mark. Offers disappear, but they get stubs at the beginning and end, so if you were then unemployed the mortgage wouldn’t go through. It is unfortunate, but it makes perfect sense to me; although with a va loan I’d think the Gi bill would get more traction.

          • yes, but all of those are irrelevant financial benchmarks – I’ve been here for a while, but could lose my job tomorrow….or get a better one. Which is why it doesn’t make perfect sense – all of the benchmarks are irrelevant and just them crossing off marks on their sheet because of all the crappy mortgages they gave out to risky buyers. I’ll be employed here through the end of the fiscal year – we’ll have already moved. My husband will be on “terminal leave” for at least 2 months once we move. So I actually will be living in Pa with this job. Plus I am getting severance in the form of biweekly checks for a number of months.

            My current income isn’t irrelevant when looking for a second home. Which is what we are doing for now since it seems to be working. So we’ll see how that pans out as an option.

            It’s not a huge deal for us, we’ll just find a place to rent if we need to. I just HATE moving.

          • Mortgages are strange creatures. If you have a salary, you’re treated like you can never lose your job no matter how long you’ve been there which is silly. Absolutely related to the crisis, and I think it could be better situated to truly capture good vs bad borrowers. When I said irrelevant, I meant it wouldn’t fit the 3 yrs mark, so they (at least from what you posted) aren’t counting it. I’m just not sure how it came up. It’s been a while since I did the form, but I don’t recall that coming up other than them asking if I was temp/perm/etc.

    • Ugh, I’m so sorry about the mortgage. That tends to be the rule, but it sucks in its current application. Would renting for a short bit work in transition? We were able to work out getting a mortgage with my job offer in hand so long as my start date was within a few weeks of our closing date. So maybe that would work out if you have luck in the job searching department? I know that’s not a given, though, since job hunting from afar has it’s own challenges. One way or another, though, things will work out. This I have confidence in.

      • if we rent, it’ll be for the duration of law school. Every time we move, it’s a lot of money – part of wanting to buy a house is to avoid moving a good amount of time. We are applying for mortgages now….we’re employed. So that’s the weird thing. I could have a job offer, and it might disappear. So they’re taking a risk either way.

        • Given transaction costs, unless you’re permanently relocating renting might be the better overall move, anyway (and it is oddly freeing, at least for a while, after being a homeowner).

    • justinbc

      Aren’t you selling your place here in DC? If I recall, housing in Philly was pretty cheap by comparison. It seems like you could almost pay full cash for a place up there compared to what you would get for your place here.

  • Rave: Yesterday my new rescue dog made it through a whole day at home without an accident!
    Rant: He still thinks walks are for suckers.
    Rave: Dogs are great.
    Rant: And exhausting.

  • Rant: Just returned from a week in London. I now have serious transit envy.
    Rave: Prices for condos in London’s desirable, leafy, Victorian neighborhoods are around $1,200-$1,500 per square foot. twice what they are here. So I guess DC could be even more obscenely unaffordable if we actually had great transit.

  • Rant: Terrible news last night, my mom is going to have to have a seriously major surgery tomorrow morning that will put her in the hospital for around a week. It’s a military hospital in the Midwest, where my parents live, so I can’t visit due to not having a military ID and the base being under heightened alert at the moment. Trying to put together a care package of some kind for her tonight…if anyone’s ever had an abdominal surgery, was there anything that you just couldn’t live without? I’m thinking a big plush robe, comfy socks and a slippers, long nightgowns so no waistbands, sudoku books, books in general…things to make her more comfortable and keep her busy when she’s in the hospital and then home doing nothing for a while.

    • I’m so sorry to hear about your mom’s surgery! I think that the care package sounds lovely. And I think that anything that she enjoys is perfect–puzzle books and reading books and comfy clothes sound absolutely lovely. The only other thing I can think of (and I don’t know the particulars of the abdominal surgery, so this may not work), but if you bake and there’s a baked good she enjoys–cookies/banana bread/whatever, it might be nice to receive that as well. But that can also come at a later point.
      Since you can’t visit, perhaps skyping–or at least calling–will make up for it a bit? Sending healing thoughts and prayers your way.

      • I’m not totally sure if she’ll be on a restricted diet (mostly because they’re not sure what exactly the surgery will entail until they’re doing it) but I do plan to send her some chocolate and other things she likes!

    • sorry to hear this – you can get on base. Contact the base hospital. You can get a visitors badge. If you have a problem, you can go to the base commander. Keeping loved ones off base to help a recovering patient isn’t their goal – I hope she’s ok!

      • I pushed them REALLY hard, but I think it’s a convenient excuse for my mom to not have us visit her yet. She always feels like it’s putting us out or something to have us visit for anything other than fun. I said that I was sure my dad could get me a visitors pass and she said that their current rule is that it takes 3 days to get one – if he started the process tomorrow when he takes her for surgery, 3 business days will be possibly after she’s released so it doesn’t seem worth it. I think we’ll do more good visiting after she’s home and can help her with stuff versus just visiting in the hospital anyway. I’m upset that I can’t be there to visit, but I’m trying to also be smart with my leave and use it where it’ll help them most.

        • There is absolutely no reason you can’t get on base to visit your mom. The visitor’s center will be located at the main gate. Go to the main gate, show ID, tell them you’re there to visit your mother in the hospital, and they will direct you into the lane which will take you to the visitor’s center where you’ll be able to secure a visitor’s pass.

          • All I can say is that my dad asked and was told it was a 3 day waiting period due to heightened security at that base at the moment. My parents are pretty good at accepting anything they’re told and I don’t want to stress them out any more right now. Just going to go visit once she’s home and I can help her.

          • There is heightened security at all bases throughout the US at the current time. I understand not wanting to add stress and just following her wishes. But, if something should happen to cause you (or them) to change your mind, please know that you can indeed get on base by going through the main gate and heading to the visitor’s center. Just bring proper US Gov’t ID (two forms of ID is a general rule of thumb). And it also won’t hurt to make sure you have your car registration on hand as well.

          • Thanks brightwoodess 🙂 much appreciated!

    • Maybe earplugs/a sleep mask or something as well? My grandfather has spent a lot of time in the hospital recently and he says it’s incredibly difficult to sleep.
      Very sorry to hear about your mom, I hope the surgery goes well and she has a quick recovery.

      • Maybe a neck pillow too, if they keep her sitting up it’s really hard to get your neck comfortable.
        Best wishes for a speedy recovery to your mom!

        • She has a neck pillow, I’ll tell my dad to take it! Great idea 🙂 and the sleep mask is a good one too! Thanks!

    • Not sure if she’s computer-inclined but what about a list of shows/movies and a log-in for netflix/amazon prime, etc. Or you can curate the netflix queue for her and show her how to use it? Also, when I had a long recovery from surgery ,my mom wrapped up small presents (like a nail polish, or a bracelet, or some funny stress ball, etc.) and I was told to open one a day. It was something to look forward to.
      Best of luck to your mom!

      • Oh – I love the daily present idea! Very fun 🙂 Though would also work as a next care package for when she’s recovering so you don’t have to get it all together tonight.

      • She’s really, REALLY not tech savvy, however my dad did say that they’ll take us up on our offer of getting them a Netflix account and putting some stuff in the queue for her to watch on their tablet that they never use! I was happy to hear I could at least do that.

    • Depending on how fast the package gets there: maybe throat lozenges. These came in handy big time after my surgery last year since the intubation tube really scratched my throat up. Also, lip gloss or something for the lips because your mouth might be dry.
      Magazines. For about a week, I really didn’t feel like pouring through a novel. I just wanted little things I could read here and there. My mom sent me magazines, which helped.
      Will she have access to an online iPad or something like that in the hospital or back at home? Maybe a temporary Netflix account? My iPad and Netflix got me through some tough times after the surgery.
      Forward thinking, post surgery (after things heal a bit): cocoa butter lotion for healing skin.

      Hope your mom feels better soon. It is a scary time to have a loved one go through any kind of surgery.

      • I’ll probably look and see if there are any magazines she would like…they’re not something she usually reads though so I’ll see if anything looks good! My dad is checking as to whether she can get any internet access at all in the hospital (not likely) but we’re getting her a Netflix account for when she’s home at least. I’ll def do the cocoa butter lotion!

        • I like Vanity Fair for hospital reading. The articles are just the right length, usually something I wouldn’t devote time to reading otherwise, and often well-written.

    • Hospitals tend to be really dry environments, even during the summer. I would definitely pick up some nice lip balm/chapstick and lotion as well. And shower shoes! Those $3 old navy flip flops would probably be perfect for this.

      • I don’t think she’s going to be able to shower at all, so I’m thinking dry shampoo and nice brush. I already told my dad to make sure she had chapstick and lotion ready for when she woke up!

        • Get her a SanDisk Sansa clip MP3 player – very simple to use and around $30.00 on Amazon – and load it up with some good audiobooks that you can download for free from the library.

    • When I had surgery, I really appreciated movies, TV and books. If the hospital has wi-fi, netflix will work. If not, rent some on Amazon or somewhere for her to download before she goes. I see you mention parents – you might also want to get some food delivered to your other parent if s/he is going to be at the hospital a lot. They aren’t going to have the time or inclination to cook, and hospital food isn’t great.

      • My dad’s checking on the internet in the hospital, and I made sure that she has some books she’ll be taking with her. She loves sudoku puzzles so I’m going to look for some books of those to send!
        They live in an area that is so rural that there is literally one place that delivers haha! So, I asked my in-laws to drop off some meals since they live nearby, they’re calling my dad to talk on Friday and see when they can do that.

  • Rave: A good friend just sent out bachelorette party details! Was shocked and happily surprised that I was invited!
    Rant: I think I have to miss it – I really wasn’t expecting to be invited so I booked tickets out west for a good chunk of the summer. I could come back for it but it would seriously mess up my plans…
    Rant: Catcalled 4 times in my 20 minute walk to work. Sigh.
    Rant:I’m starting to think I prefer to be much more straightforward in dating scenarios than the vast majority of people

  • RAVE: Love that photo. So emblematic of how things are going in our fair city with our lovely new mayor.

  • Rave: Not dead yet! After quite the prolonged process — 7 separate doctors appointments — it appears that I am going live, possibly for a long time. I always feel as though I’ve cheated death when I get a clean-ish bill of health, as though it’s the act of seeing a doctor that causes lingering fatal diseases and six visits — including three (relatively minor) procedures is the equivalent of summiting K2.
    Rant: Plans to sell the house, cash in the 401(k), quit the job and engage in a global Race Against Death (with Girlfriend) on hold until I get a worse prognosis or, I guess, retirement/lottery win.
    Rave: Based on liver, blood pressure and cholesterol results, will be living in pizza and that gin that comes in the coffin-shaped bottle for the forseeable future.

    • +1, so glad to hear you’re alive and well! Congrats!

    • What was wrong that you had so many appointments?

      • It’s one of those things where you go to the GP; he orders blood tests, spots a suspicious mole and traces of blood in your poop. Then you go to the dermatologist who slices a bit off your mole, finds it non-malignant but… so you schedule a third appointment to get the remaining traces hacked out. Meanwhile, you get a one-on-one with the gastroenterologist, who has a mortgage and a kid at St. Albans and so he then recommends a an endoscopy/colonoscopy which discovers nothing they didn’t know before except maybe some minor stomach thing that they’ll get back to me on. And, there’s the follow-up with the original GP once the results of the blood test come in and — still to come — a follow-follow up about a prescription I’m taking that’s unrelated to anything that seems likely to kill me.
        The whole process is particularly disconcerting in that I have a very vivid imagination (the things I imagined when the kids were late getting home!), so every time I go into a doctor’s office, I expect them to get real solemn and say something to the effect of: “it’s still early, we still have a chance, but you should probably get your affairs in order.” Except for the oscopies, which involve general anesthesia, so I assume that I’ll just do a Michael Jackson and not come out of it.
        I am totally the poster child for why our health care system is so expensive. Although, I did go several decades only seeing a doctor if I was actually bleeding, so maybe it all evens out.

  • RAVE: Found out that my old classmate lives down the street and around the corner NOT next door! total win!
    RANT/RAVE/RANT: Boyfriend decided to call me at 6am to tell me he loves me. umm i appreciate the gesture but I was sleeping sir. So of course I fell back to sleep without setting my alarm. Had a crazy dream where I was physically fighting my sister (have no clue why) and woke up screaming at 7:38. smh
    RANT: The concierge failed to put out the coffee this morning. No problem. The problem was that i was super late and the housekeeping staff was using the coffee machine and refused to allow me to use it. The rent is too damn high ppl. seriously. Walked away with no coffee
    RAVE: Cant think of one but don’t want my post to be so negative. So ummm…… nope, cant think of one. Wait, I’m alive and healthy, a definite plus.

  • Rave: Getting into some good work at the office. And enjoying the office roof garden.
    Rant: Uncertainty. Need to embrace it and be calm about it but then that takes all the excitement out of the
    Rave: potential 3-6 month work stint in Beijing! Nervous and excited. Anyone lived there before?
    Rave: A husband who is game for change but also so calm and consistent in the face of it.

    • Office roof garden?! I want to work where you work. and WOW Beijing! Congrats! That’s an amazing opportunity.

    • Beijing is awesome. I’d recommend avoiding the winter, if possible (pollution is waaaaaaaaaay worse due to coal factories fired up to provide heat). Nicest times of year are spring (April – May, they have a very short spring window) and autumn (September – November).
      Eat everything. And insist on a good ex-pat package – they should arrange housing, provide hardship allowance, arrange for movement and storage of your stuff, etc.

      • +1 million on the expat package. I never learned how to pack/move because the movers did EVERYTHING for us growing up. It’s pretty awesome (but I wish I was better at packing now :-/).

    • I had 4 years in Beijing. While I could write a dissertation, I’ll mention two things. 1) The metro system is really good and getting better all the time. I would highly recommend trying to live near your job and a metro stop. Barring that, I would try to live near the Hutongs. I lived in Andingmen and it was great. 2) All of the regional cuisines from China are here (the Japanese food and Korean food is extra solid too). While the food options are spread around the city, the areas around Andingmen and Gulou had a lot of good options, as did places over by Minzu University (by the Weigongcun Metro). I would recommend learning characters related to food. Regional Cuisines you will want to try: Yunnan – Pineapple rice, lighter flavors. Dai Minority Food – A minority tribe from Yunnan, has a lot of Thai/Lao influences. Xinjiang/Uighur – Central Asian flavors, lot of cumin, flat breads and lamb. Guizhou – Characterized by sour flavors. Sichuan – Spicy flavors as well as some sour. Dongbei – Noodles, Dumplings and deliciousness. I could seriously go on and on. Look at a website called Dianping (you’ll have to use Translate if you can’t read characters). On language. Learn pronunciation, some phrases and characters related to food. Buy the Pleco app with character recognition software.

  • Rave: Excellent family reunion out west, which included seeing three generations and what felt like about 500 people
    Rant: That’s about 495 people too many for one weekend for this introvert
    Rant: Jet lag. While tossing around at 1:30 last night, turned to a book on time management. The author mentioned that online games like Scramble can derail even a time management expert like him. Have now spent the last 45 minutes playing Scramble instead of working toward fast-impending deadlines. Pretty sure that wasn’t the message I was supposed to take away.

  • skj84

    Rant: The morning went from 0-Stressful in no time. The phone interview I thought I scheduled for this morning is actually tomorrow morning. I’m supposed meet with my dad and a leasing agent around that time. Dad wants me to ask the interviewer if I can reschedule for today, but I think that comes off as unprofessional. I mean I can’t get an apartment if I don’t have a job. I’m also kicking myself for not double checking the time.

    Rave: Got tickets to Chefs Behind Bars tomorrow. Has anyone gone before?

  • Rant: Cat has decided not to use the litterbox since we put a new HVAC system in the litterbox room. Wondering if this one is louder than the old one or smells different? Has anyone had this experience? Any advice?
    Rant p2: Spending many thousands of dollars on something that makes your cat go to the bathroom all over the house. Argh.
    Rave: We have lots of closet space so there are other options – need to switch up all the closets now to find a litter box closet alternate.

    • I haven’t had this experience, but I’ve read that a change in the litterbox environment or being startled by loud noise can make a cat stop using its litterbox. If the cat was using the litterbox and the HVAC system suddenly started making noise, that could do it. Or if the new system is louder on a regular basis, that could do it too.
      Try placing other litterboxes around the house, ideally in quiet/private environments.

    • There are so many factors that make cats act out.
      1) medical — urinalysis could be on the plate, especially if you aren’t 100% sure it’s the HVAC that’s causing it.
      2) new people in the home — visitors can make cats weirder than they already are
      3) environment change — if it’s just the noise or smell of the HVAC, you could try moving the box to a different area, then slowly shifting it back to it’s original position. Does it turn on unexpectedly? Then it might be better just to find a new spot.
      Wouldn’t it be great if cats just told us what they wanted? Less urine please, gato, more anthropomorphic communication.

    • If you notice that the cat is peeing on your clothes or blankets or other fabric, put a few cheap washcloths in an empty litterbox. When they’re stressed, they often prefer to pee on something soft. This might be a way to coax him back into the HVAC room.
      Also, like textdoc said, pay attention to the way the AC fires up. Does it clank or whoosh or making another sudden startling noise? A cat who has been disturbed while doing his business will look for other places to go. He might get used to the sound, or you might have to do that closet-reshuffle you mentioned.

      • Yeah, he was peeing on a cloth purse for days until I figured out where the smell was coming from, since then another canvas bag and a blanket! I’ll try the washcloth in another litter box solution until I can figure out what other closet he prefers. The new HVAC is more powerful than our old one so it’s possible it is noisier to a cat who has better hearing than I do.
        It would be nice if they just spoke english.

  • Seeing “The Blood Quilt” at Arena Stage tonight. Was so excited about this show when I first heard about it, I talked 12 of my friends into joining me. I love good theater.

  • Rave: great trip this past weekend to Pittsburgh. I’m looking forward to going back to catch all the things I missed this time around.
    Rave: going on a mini tour this weekend via Amtrak.
    Rave: sharing a bill with Drew McDowell (of Coil) in Brooklyn on Saturday
    Rant: too much to do due to back to back weekend trips.
    Rave: going to debut a new drone box design tomorrow night, assuming it works.

    • glad you had fun in Pittsburgh – it’s such a great city!

      • It really is great. Though I was surprised at how much closes early on Sundays. We made it to the Mattress Factory, Church Brew Works, CMOA/Natural History (twice), Point State Park, Mt. Washington, Phipps Conservatory, National Aviary, Randyland, the Cathedral of Learning and maybe more.
        We missed: catching a Pirates game (the Mets were in town and there are apparently a ton of Mets fans in Pittsburgh), the Warhol Museum, having fun in a funicular, the Strip, dinner at Butcher & the Rye, the zoo, and a lot more. But we still had a great time!

        • My grandma bought a brick for the Cathedral when they were building it during their capital campaign – she always used to say she wanted it back. It’s such a great building, but not great for class (uncomfortable rooms)

    • justinbc

      Pittsburgh might be the cheapest “big city” in America to drink in, really cool place to have some weekend fun.

  • Rant: One of my top 3 worst dates last night. Seriously, how are people THAT incapable of holding conversation?
    REAL RANT: He invited me to this expensive restaurant that was delicious, but I wouldn’t have picked. I had to carry the entire conversation, he didn’t ask me anything about myself, then insisted we split the check. I’m out $70 because of a terrible date. I would rather have gotten a nice mani pedi and bottle of wine by myself.
    No idea: I don’t think that he wanted to split the check bc he didn’t like me — he tried to kiss me and set up a second date. That is not happening.
    Hope: This incessant dislike of humans will pass soon, right?
    Rave/rant: Justinbc can do whatever he wants, but if anyone else wants kittens, we have SO MANY at Washington Humane Society. Bunnies too! Dogs too! Come on down! They’ll make the perfect “practice baby” for you and your partner to decide if you hate each other prior to procreating!

    • Bonus rant: I was really angry last night and yelled at my best friend for something that was not even remotely her fault. Then I hung up because I couldn’t fix it. Sometimes I honestly believe I’m just the worst. Writing her a long apology letter.

      • GiantSquid

        Best friends will understand.

      • Unsolicited advice: a short apology letter might be better. Long letters tend to devolve into being all about the writer and the writer’s troubles, which is not a good way to apologize. Of course, you might be better at it than I am. I tend to want to explain myself, which is all about… myself.
        Also: bunnies!! I’m so tempted to get a bunny. I was never allowed to have one as a kid. But… where would it live? Can they be reliably litterbox trained? How would it get along with the cat? Would it leap suddenly from the lap of a child and tear deep furrows into her thigh with its hind claws? What are the end-of-bunny-life issues, because I’m a planner?

        • Unluckily, this bestie lives in CA. Luckily, when we’re lonely we write really long letters to each other.
          She already sent me a long email this morning because she’s perfect, and I continue to be the worst.
          Re: bunnies: never had one, but I have several friends who have. They typically have a hutch, but yes they can be reliably litter trained. And they smell better than ferrets. They always live longer than I think they will. I’ve seen them with cats and dogs and iguanas, no major problems, but it depends on each temperament.
          Most bunnies do NOT tear deep into the flesh of children, but there’s always that one…

        • Bunnies are one of the more challenging pets. They can be litter box trained. They are territorial and will need their own space. Ours was given free reign of the house and coexisted with cats and could more than handle herself when a cat got too close for comfort. Ours did not like being handled for more than 20 seconds. You will have to rabbit proof where they are able to roam. Cords, books, and soft woods are all in danger to helping wear down those perpetually growing teeth.

    • I think I might be the only person on earth who never wants to own a pet. And I love dogs, had the best one growing up. But I guess I have heard too many horror stories from friends and others who end up spending tens of thousands of dollars on their pets! Plus all the responsibility and finding them a place when you travel.

    • Your date rant happened to me a few years ago. Exactly the same amount, too with attempted kisses and follow up date requests afterward! I’m totally fine with splitting the check on dates but if you’re going to pick an expensive place you should be paying! The dude insisted on ordering too! Grrr.

      • Seriously, if you pick an expensive place AND insist on ordering, you are paying. That is so rude. “We’ll have 2 lobsters, 2 filet mignons, and a bottle of champagne please! Hope you brought a lot of cash because we’re splitting this b….!”

      • Wait, he insisted on ordering? As in, choosing the food that YOU would eat?? I think that might be the second-biggest first-date red flag I can think of.
        Is that really a thing that young men do now?

        • I can say that has only happened to me once, and he asked permission first. This guy didn’t order for me, but he did order the most expensive plate on the menu for himself. Ugh.

        • That was the first and only time that’s happened to me and I’ve never really heard of friends going on dates where the guy did it so I think it might have just been this dude. He probably thought he was being old-school-gentlemanly but I did not appreciate it.

          • justinbc

            I don’t even get to order for my lady now, I can’t imagine presuming to do so on a first date!

          • “Get to?” As in, this is something you would like to do? I’m so fascinated by this. Can you explain the appeal of choosing someone else’s food for them?

          • emvee

            I used to date a guy who loved the, “The lady will have…” line. Dealbreaker.

          • I remember going on a first date with a guy when I was in college and we looked at the menu and discussed what we were going to have. When the server arrived, my date proceeded to order on my behalf… as though I were a kid. I was taken aback.

        • And wait, what’s your first biggest first date red flag?

          • Yeah wdc, that is an excellent question. What *is* number one?

          • What do I know? I haven’t dated in literally decades. That was a lure to get you to tell me yours!
            (Although a date who is rude to the staff not only wouldn’t get a second chance, he might find himself finishing the meal alone.)

          • wdc, I like your standards.

          • justinbc

            I can’t decide what would be a bigger no flag for me: smoker or adamant Christian (or insert other strict religious follower).

          • As a former server, I second wdc’s red flag. I would also add that stingy tippers never got second dates.

          • #1 for me its someone constantly on her phone
            Hopefully, I would have avoided justinbc’s issues before the date could ever happen.

          • For me, someone who is not culturally sensitive or makes potentially racist comments. Thankfully it hasn’t happened on a date yet (although I have yelled at some white dudes making comments about Chinese people in an elevator before), but I will chew people out and/or just get up and leave.

          • Agree with Justin’s – though I think I would rather date a smoker than a vegan. (ducking)

          • I couldn’t date a smoker or a vegan. And I say this as a gluten-free person.

          • @FridayGirl – oops, forgot about that (It’s been a while since I dated). I once went out with a woman I was introduced to by my best friend’s father (who was also my, and her, dentist). Leaving aside the obvious HIPAA violations involved with giving me her number, things were going swimmingly until, a month or so in, she proclaimed at dinner, “Where I’m from, they put gay people in jail, and I think that’s good!”
            Umm – first of all, you’re from McLean (though her parents were from Russia). No they don’t. Second – WTF? Check please. The strangest thing is that there was not a hint of this in the preceding six weeks.
            Then there was the (crazy) girl who would only eat food that was one color during exam period at law school. Unfortunately, I was set up with her (by someone who apparently doesn’t like me) during a white food phase. Rice cakes, rice, marshmallows, crappy pasta with nothing on it, tic tacs – that’s about it.
            I’m going to go home and kiss my wife.

          • @FridayGirl – I once went on a (fourth) date with a guy. The date was fun and we went to meet up with his friends and in front of all of them he told me I’m not his type because he likes white girls and I’m “only” half white. Fun stuff.

          • Anon spock, agreed: someone looking at their phone during a date is another thing that would cause me to walk out. And not even “constantly”. Unless he warned me that he was on call at the trauma center and I said “I’ll risk it”, more than one quick glance at the thing, and I’m out. He’s clearly not interested/ interesting.
            Smoking and dietary choices don’t tell you anything about someone’s character. The way someone treats other people does, and some religions fall into this realm.

      • Carmie, your date situation sounds impossible. Given the apparent self-absorption/obliviousness that lead to the one-sided conversation, however, I’d chalk up the “halfsies” to a bad case of social cluelessness. Be glad your second date will never happen!
        Sparkly, if I went out with a guy who asked if he could order for me, I would be tempted to say no, excuse myself to use the bathroom, and walk out the door. Who does that?!?

    • Dude, your date, I am SO sorry. That really sucks. A similar thing happened to me once — I was only out $40 though (he even ordered some food I didn’t eat — seafood that I don’t like — and still asked that we split it. Ugh.). Still, it makes me angry thinking about it. I hope you can sort things out with your best friend and that you have a better date soon.

    • This reminds me of a date I had that wasn’t terrible, but where I was irritated because the guy — a wine enthusiast — ordered a bottle of wine. I’m not particularly into wine, but I thought he was paying, so I didn’t say anything. He consumed most of the wine… and then when the check came, he didn’t offer to pay.
      I don’t generally _expect_ guys to pay on a date, though it’s always a nice gesture if they do (especially on a first date). If I’d realized I was going to be subsidizing this guy’s wine connoisseurship, though, I would’ve said something.

      • It just seems selfish, right?

      • justinbc

        While I think that most dates, in theory, should be split 50 / 50, that is reliant on the date actually making sense. (also, in practice, I always paid on 1st dates unless she was insistent, so I’m mixed in arguing that point) Since most dates rarely make sense in planning or execution, the guys’ massive failures in the scenarios described here and above should clearly result in them covering the full tab. Especially so if you actually think (as the guy) you have any chance of getting additional post-date action.

        • dcgator

          What does “making sense” mean? Like, hitting it off?

          • justinbc

            Well, in a way, perhaps. But more like “equally sensible in formulation for both parties”…meaning, both parties like the venue, like the dating partner, like the date agreement (time, type, etc), and so on. A date that doesn’t make sense (for most people) would be someone inviting you to dinner, ordering a bottle of wine, then asking you to pay for half of it when you barely consumed any, and then thinking you’re into them and pursuing further.

          • We made plans to go on a second date — to see a band on a Friday night. He e-mailed me on the Tuesday, saying needed to cancel because he was sick… which sounded rather dubious to me that far in advance.

    • been out of the dating scene for a long time, so what is considered etiquette these days? Are guys still expected to pick up the check on a first date? Or should guys ask at the end of dinner if they want to split it? Or is the person doing the “asking out” expected to pay?

      • topscallop

        I always offer (sincerely!) to split the check, but I do appreciate it if the guy pays, especially if he asked and it’s a first date. Then again, I’m a fairly cheap date.

      • dcgator

        This could become a really good side-discussion (its own post? a friday question?). I’m sure a bunch of us are still in the dating scene, and we would have a multitude of various opinions….just a thought.

      • Many ladies still expect the guy or more masculine lady to pay and usually to do the asking out, so it’s all entangled. In the scenarios where someone is doing all the ordering or picking an expensive place for a first date, I think clueless guy should definitely pay; otherwise, I think it should be split unless either person went way out of there way to get there.
        For gay guys (I asked), they seem to follow asker pays.

        • I always assume it will be split, and am prepared to pay my share, but I certainly appreciate it when the guy picks up the tab. If we start at a bar and go to dinner, I do expect him to pay for my drink at least.
          It’s pretty natural to assume the asker will pay, but even when I ask the guy out, they often insist on paying, which my bank account heartily agrees with. When I feel weird about it, I remind myself that they’re probably making more money than me, and that I don’t owe them anything.
          That being said, when someone is extremely late or otherwise rude I may be a bit slower to reach for my wallet, hoping they catch the hint that they need to make up for their behavior.

          • If you’re moving from the bar to dinner, it would appear you like him, then why does he have to buy you something? I’ve heard a few people mention it as a requirement, so I’m just curious where the idea comes from.
            It is natural to expect the asker to pay but many women expect that, and they never ask anyone out. I don’t like the one-sidedness. Splitting feels much more fair to me given that dynamic of one person may always do the asking.

        • I am always prepared to pay my share. I may be progressive and all, but I do expect a guy to pay for the first date (esp if they asked me out and picked the place). I am a cheap date, so you won’t be in the red going on a first date with me. Guys who pay get bonus points when I do the pros and cons list in my head.

          • As I mentioned above, I’m perfectly fine with the asker paying if the person who expects it asks people out just as much as they’re asked out. Otherwise, it’s just not fair. Given my preference for pretty feminine ladies, I do 99.9% of the asking. Should I always pay? I don’t think so. I plan reasonable dates in a location that will most likely be closer to her, and I’m not ordering bottles of wine or your food.
            I do not like the idea of compensation factoring into dating. If a guy said, well, if I pay for the first date, I expect sex, no one would be ok with it. I just don’t see why the 2 sides are so different.
            More importantly, there are more single women than men in the DC metro, so I don’t understand how anyone can realistically expect men to pay for every first date nor how you can place expectations on the party that has the odds in their favor at the onset.

      • I’m a guy and I pay 99.9% of the time. Solely for the reason that that’s the way I was raised. It has nothing to do with how much money she makes, who asked out who, who picked out the restaurant, etc. But it’s interesting to hear so many women say they’re not used to that type of situation.

        • dcgator

          Btw, a simple way to avoid these issues is to have low-cost dates. Ice cream, one or two drinks at a dive, a free outdoor movie…you can call me cheap (I am a straight male), but in fact, to me, it’s a low-pressure first date for both sides. If it doesn’t work out, all you can really be upset about is the amount of time spent, not $$$.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rant: Nervous about some things I’m doing at work that are a little outside my comfort zone.
    Rave: That’s not actually a bad thing.

  • GiantSquid

    Revel: Mr. Squid is finally seeing doc, therapist, and getting a handle on things. Drugs have been giving him vivid dreams. Last night’s was that I adopted a baby and brought it home without telling him.
    Revel?: Period is late…Could Mr. Squid be prescient?
    Rant: Job search is slow-going and it’s really frustrating to hear nothing back from an organization after applying. Even the US Government eventually sends a Dear John, geez.
    Rant: Saw two rental places last week, neither was a good fit. Seeing another this week. Would rather find a new place and move before having to sign for another year and break the lease.

    • That’s excellent on your first rave! I remember this has been an issue (and a big one) for a while.

    • I thought landlords had to offer you the option of going month-to-month after the initial annual lease expires. Or does that only apply to rent-controlled apartments (like the one I’m in)?

      • Nope. They don’t. My landlord only does a year at a time.
        Also, GiantSquid, as someone who failed to look hard enough for a place last year figuring I could break the lease this year, I strongly suggest NOT doing that. It’s way more difficult than anyone expects it to be. I don’t know what your preferences are, but I wish I had relaxed mine a little sooner instead of being stuck.

        • I’m pretty sure that D.C. and MD law state that after the initial 12-month lease, your lease automatically becomes month-to-month.
          The landlord could try to entice you into a new 12-month lease — e.g., offering a lower rent if you’re willing to sign a new lease — but you have the right to remain month-to-month.

        • Accountering

          Textdoc is correct. Your lease automatically goes month-to-month, regardless of what your landlord (or your lease) says. DC law supersedes your lease, and essentially makes null and void any provision that breaks DC law (which anything besides month-to-month does)

      • That’s a good point, logandude. GiantSquid, is your landlord trying to force you into a new lease?

        • GiantSquid

          Yes, my landlord is trying to have someone sign a full year lease. We were 12 mos when we first moved in, and for the past five years we’ve been month-to-month. He just upped the rent, nothing crazy, we can afford it, but is using the reason that it’s going to pay for window replacement. That’s what we don’t want to be around for because it will be a hot mess. So we’ve been looking elsewhere in DC, specifically the Hill area, but what we’re coming up with is less room for more cost (surprise). We don’t mind paying more but what folks are expecting for 2BR is much higher than what we have been paying. However, we’re not getting kicked out. So if push comes to shove, while not ideal, we could sign a year lease in August and then if we need to move for work stuff, break the lease or sublet.

          • He can’t force you into a new lease. He _can_ (with 30 days’ notice) raise the rent, and could offer a more attractive rent if you sign a new lease… but if you want to stay month-to-month, he can’t force you to do otherwise.

  • Rant: My therapist, who I generally like a lot and have been seeing for over a year, told me yesterday that I’m depressed and that she doesn’t believe most of the negative things I’m saying about myself or my situations are true. She thinks antidepressants would solve the problem and that I could feel a lot better if I challenged my assumptions and “wrote a more positive narrative.” She’s right that I feel like sh-t, but I am having a really hard time imagining how positive thinking is going to make me feel better right now. I’m generally a happy person and incredibly grateful for the good things in my life. There are a -lot- of those good things and I appreciate them every day. But I also think I am legitimately grieving over some major losses all hitting me around the same time. I think I’d be better served by someone who is okay with me processing that grief by grieving rather than trying to call BS on it. But is this just depression talking and lying lying lying?

    • Something I read once about depression that stuck with me is that things that hit anyone hard — death, breakups, etc. — will hit a depressed person even harder. For most people, it’s like being in a bike accident while wearing a helmet — you get hurt, but not quite as badly. But for a depressed person, it’s like being in a bike accident without that protective layer. So I don’t think your therapist is calling BS on your grief. Probably she thinks the grief would be more manageable for you if your baseline mood was higher, and that antidepressants could move that baseline level up.

      • I’ve never been on antidepressants, but hyperbole and a half has told me every thing I ever needed to know about them. We don’t have an effective way to treat depression, and I think it really hampers life experience and society.
        TL;DR: It wouldn’t be wrong for you to consider changing therapists or trying meds. It has to be what you’re comfortable with, and if you think it’s just part of the grieving process, let it be that. Once started, SSRIs are really hard to leave behind.

        • I disagree with your statement that we don’t have an effective way to treat depression. Some people’s depression is resistant to treatment, but the pairing of cognitive behavioral therapy and antidepressants is effective for many people.

          • I think a more refined phrasing would be that we aren’t 100% sure exactly why these medications are able to treat some people with depression yet not be effective in treating others. It’s been awhile since I’ve taken a neuroscience class (I was almost a scientist. Hah!) but I remember a professor of mine saying that we’ve developed these drugs… and they work for some people… but no one has figured out exactly why, and thus it has been difficult to make more widely effective treatements.

          • FridayGirl explained my thoughts better than I could. 🙂 Thanks lady!

        • It might have been worth mentioning that I actually can’t take antidepressants right now because of a health condition I’m facing — one of the things I’m grieving — so it’s sort of odd the therapist even mentioned it. She knew very well that I can’t take them right now, so the comment was along the lines of “if you could take antidepressants, you’d feel better, but since you can’t, let’s try to make you think more positively about your situation.”

          • Oh wow, that is lame. I wonder if she meant it to come out like that. You should definitely ask her about it and tell her that it really made you upset/frustrated/self-conscious/etc. (whatever applies).

    • I think that if your therapist has been seeing you for over a year, then she probably has a fairly good understanding of the issues that you are going through, particularly if you were seeing her before and after the events that are causing your grief occurred. I think that it is worth getting a second opinion, which is exactly what you will get if you go to a psychiatrist for evaluation for medication. If you choose not to go on meds, have that conversation with your therapist. Work through this. If she has been good up to this point and you just disagree on this point, then work through it. Good luck!

  • Rant: I can’t decide if I should use my SAVOR tickets or sell them. I checked the beer list, thinking it would all be trendy sours, which I dislike, but there really aren’t that many. I’ve had a good time in the past, but my interest is waning.
    Rave?: I have a date tonight and the guy is vouched for by a friend I trust, but I’m not excited at all. Have I reached some kind of dating zen? Or am I totally apathetic? It’s unclear.
    Rave: my course of antibiotics is over, I can drink, and I’m going back to the gym.

    • I’ve had a few dates like this lately. Sometimes it’s a nice surprise!

      • He seems pretty funny and I don’t think it’s going to be bad, I’m just strangely lacking any type of anticipation.
        It’s good to hear I’m not the only one. And you’re right, it might be a nice surprise.

    • If you end up deciding to sell them, look on Facebook for the “NOVA-Beer Elite” group, a few people are wanting to buy. I’ve never been (would really love to go but it’s a bit too pricey for me) but I agree on “trendy sours” – yuck.

    • justinbc

      Have you ever been to SAVOR? If not, definitely go. It’s by far my favorite food / beer / etc type big event in DC, and last year was the best year they’ve had so far with respect to the food (although I agree with you on the sours, it seemed like that was half the make-up of the beer offerings).

      • I’ve been three times. Or twice. I can’t remember.
        I had a blast at the previous ones, especially the first one where I actually got tickets to a salon. I’m not sure why I’m not as enthused this year, but I have a little bit more time to decide.

  • Rant: I think it’s been a while since I’ve seen Andie and Accountering around here. Hope they’ll be back soon with news of their new home! And I miss Emilie too even though she’s been around more recently.
    Rave? The dog breeder we worked with to get Gary is expecting a lot of puppies this summer and I’m seriously considering getting a second mini dachshund. This could be a terrible idea, considering the cross-country move, or it could be a great idea, considering the cross-country move.
    Rave (again): The HBO show Silicon Valley. I feel like it’s preparing me well for the move.

  • Rant1: last week someone destroyed the iron tree box that was installed 2 years ago in front of my house on belmont street NW. No clue what and how it happened. It looks like a car must have jumped curb and drugged it out dismantling and bending it. No note was left. Perhaps one of you saw this happen?.
    Rave 1: I was able to have the original installer to come back to re install it the next day, of course costing me an arm and a leg.
    Rant2: I spent more than three weekends beautifying the two tree boxes near me, planting flowers, mulching, but some dog owners are so oblivious or plain careless that they let their dogs get in the box, letting their dog scater the mulch and the plants, and let the dog do its business, AND not clean up the poop. Why must you let your dog in the box where someone works so hard to creat a green space and flowers? Please respect other people’s time and money.
    Rave2 : hopefully after this post YOU, the dog owner, will realise you are hurting someone and will stop letting your dog in the tree boxes and will always clean after your dog..

    • On the two treeboxes near that you mentioned in Rant 2… I’m assuming they don’t have the iron guard thing described in Rant 1? Perhaps you could put up a cheap substitute (like the things you can get in Home Depot that can be stuck into the ground) to discourage dogs from going in?

      • Unfortunately these are the same two boxes. The dog owners just let their dogs jump in or walk it around the street side to get access to the box.

  • Andie302

    Rave: A fantastic trip to Greece! I can’t say enough wonderful things – the food, the weather, the company, the sights…all the things.
    Rave: Moving Friday.
    Rant: Moving Friday?!?!?!
    Rave: Things are coming together at the house, but no way they will be all the way done by the time we move in.
    Rant/rave: My computer is really limited with Popville lately, so I doubt I’ll be able to comment. So: Congrats SKT and Justin. WDC you should totally get a rabbit! A roommate of mine had one and if I didn’t have a dog I would totally have a rabbit like a cat. They are wonderful 🙂 I’m sure I’ve forgotten something. I missed you guys 🙂

    • Welcome back! I was just saying that I missed you guys and am glad you were on an awesome vacation, not taking a Popville break 🙂

    • Haha funny, I have been wondering how the house was going too, Shawess posted wondering where you have been and then you appear! What will still need to be done after you move in? At least the finish line is close! Also jealous you went to Greece!

  • Rant: I miss my ex. I’m constantly thinking about her and it makes me sad. I think the root of it is because I’m lonely.

    Rave: I’m slowly making progress on my keezer project for my homebrew.

  • Where is the sign at the top of the page located?

  • Late Rant: The Starbucks near my work is totally defunct. I try not to go often, but I have some money left on my card that I’d like to use before I leave for the summer. Got really excited about a mini frappuchino this afternoon, and I walk all the way over and they say they’re out of mini cups. Instead of offering to put it in a tall cup, they tried to convince me to pay even more (almost $6 which is more than I have on my card!) to get a larger size. Uh, no.
    Rave: I got a subletter!!!! FINALLY! Signed papers in hand, just waiting on the rent check… fingers crossed. Hooray!

  • hispanicandproud

    Rave: Stair workout.
    Rant: Stair workout.

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