Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user kristenstake

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.

232 Comment

  • Rave: Happy New Year, fellow Jews! I hope it is sweet for you
    Rant: Train was late so I missed the first part of orientation.
    Rave: No one cares!
    Rave: Our house is gonna be so awesome
    Rant: Worried we’re doing too much work for the neighborhood and won’t recoup any expenses but…
    Rave: We’ll still have to live there so might as well make it how we want

  • Rant/Rave: Hate seeing the Cowboys win, but love it when the Giants can’t get out of the way of their own stupidity.
    Rave: My MLB, NCAAF, and NFL teams all had good weekends.
    Rave: Loved the temperature on the morning commute. Was able to bike in without any worry of getting sweaty.

  • Revel: happy to have an employer that closes for Rosh Hashana
    Revel: aligning my new years resolutions with the Jewish new year
    Rant: joined weight watchers this weekend. I’m always hungry!
    Rant: was told by a colleague my goals are to get my sh*t together and not f*ck up. I’m trying my best but I’m having a hard time with both. I’m especially anxious as I wasn’t hired by my principal, but rather placed there by the county, so I feel like the stakes are higher for me. I don’t know..

    • Shanah Tovah! And wow, what a jerk colleague! If s/he is not your supervisor, just ignore this person. You figure out what your goals are, get input from superiors, and then just do your thing. Wishing you all the best for a happy new year, a happy new work situation, and a happy new you!

      • +1. That sounds like someone who doesn’t have their sh*t together so they’re hoping you get called out first.

      • Nah, she’s not a jerk. That’s just how we talk to each other (we’re pals) but I’m just now realizing how bad it sounds to outsiders..

        • oh. Yeah, that does sound bad as an outsider! I guess if she’s your pal, you can take it to mean that basically, all that’s really asked or expected of you is to not set off WWIII, and otherwise everything will work out ok…?

    • 1) Jerk coworker
      2) glad you’re closed – I’m sort of not pleased my son’s preschool is closed TWO DAYS A WEEK for the next month. It’s like WTF! Jewish problems!

    • First off, screw your colleague. Your colleague is not the one evaluating you, and there are far, far more important opinions out there than theirs.
      Secondly, I had the SAME issues with joining WW. It will get easier, I promise! The first we is the hardest. Remember, fruits and veggies are zero points!

    • Teaching is hard! And you’re a new teacher, right? Give yourself a break and ignore your colleague. Pick one or two tangible goals for improving your teaching and no that this is so normal for the profession. There are good reasons why attrition is so high in the first few years. Good luck!!

  • I’ve had issues with depression in the last few years, and despite good insurance, I’m having trouble finding a good therapist to see, due to many not taking new clients. If anyone can help, I’d appreciate it.

    • Anon, I’m so sorry to hear you’re having trouble. I had a similar experience in the spring — I called over a dozen therapists and I never found one who would both take my insurance and take new patients. Needless to say, I gave up and never went, but I’m thinking of trying again.
      Even if it’s hard, be persistent! If your office has an employee counseling service you can always ask them if they have outside therapists they would suggest! Same if you are affiliated with a university in the area.

    • I’m sorry to hear that. Can I ask what insurance you have and what part of town you would prefer for your new provider to be in? And are you looking for just talk therapy, or potentially someone who can prescribe as well?

    • I recently started seeing Heather Williams, who has an office in Dupont. Pretty sure she’s taking new clients and she takes Aetna (I think she takes some other insurance as well). I saw two others who weren’t too great for me before her, but she’s been much more helpful. Another friend of mine goes to her as well and also really likes her.

    • Emmaleigh504

      I started seeing Christine Tosi recently. She’s new to the area so lot of available appointments and she takes insurance. It’s only been 3 appointments, but I think I like her and hope she will help me with my depression (b/c the damn meds aren’t at this point).

    • Anon! Ugh. I get it 110%. Since I moved into the greater DC area in 2003 I’ve been trying to find a therapist. Every year or so, I’d get all gung-ho and call a bunch to see if I could get in. Either they didn’t take my insurance, were not taking new patients OR (the worst) I saw them a couple of times only to find out they were Out-of-Network. This latest time I’ve REALLY had to find one. My Employee Assistance Plan (EAP)provided one for 5 appointments (which was super helpful), but of course that guy didn’t take my insurance. Now I’m back on the rollercoaster trying to find someone. Fingers crossed!

      But… even worse.. trying to find a psychiatrist! All I can say is that finding help shouldn’t be this damn hard!!!

    • I see Christina Moynihan. She’s near Farragut Square, and she is a genius.

  • Rave: Wonderful weekend full of meetings (planned and accidental) with the PoPulace! Hanging out with Pablo Raw and cooking up exciting plans, watching/listening to textdoc spin records in Adams Morgan, and bumping into jeslett and D.O.G. on my way back from yoga. Feeling surrounded by nice, interesting people helps restore my faith in humanity and pulls me back from the chasm I sometimes gaze into.
    Rant: Monday. But at least the weather is gorgeous!
    Rave: The weather! oh if only it could stay like this for a solid month or two!
    Rave: I make a good matzoh ball soup, if I do say so myself!
    Rant: Missed getting to be with my family all assembled in PA this weekend, but at least there’s FaceTime.

  • Rant: It’s Monday again! Always happens too soon.
    Rave: One in person class, one online class this week. Less commuting, more sleep. Huzzah.
    Rant: Have been debating using some of my multitude of sick leave to try to get a few counseling sessions at my university, but then I say to myself “What will I say?” Every therapist I’ve ever seen has always just said “You’re self-aware so you’re fine.” So I never go more than once. And half the time I do feel totally fine, but half the time I don’t. It’s a weird place to be.
    Unknown: Date went fine this weekend. Whether or not we’ll bore each other to death is yet to be determined. [Note to self: Stop comparing all dates to Mr. Perfect-Guy-to-Date that was too perfect because he was a serial dater. It’s not realistic, and it’s bad.]

    • I had a similar experience, so one day in a fit of frustration I just said to my therapist (also in a university center), “Look, you know and I know what my issues are. Talking about them isn’t helpful in getting beyond them, what I need from you is concrete instructions (“homework”) about what I can do to get past this point.” It really transformed my experience, she became much more proactive about suggesting strategies. So I guess my suggestion is to take control and ask for what you need rather than letting the therapist set the agenda.

      • Thank you for this suggestion, anonymous! Yes, I have people who let me talk their ears off already but it’s hard to get guidance from others who have been in the mix already.

  • Rant: No date this week because some people’s idea of mature includes living at home because they can’t afford their lifestyle and never having a LTR. Smh!
    Rave: Reallocated the time to fun.
    Rave: I think I sent my last piece of paperwork for a while.
    Rave: Hung out with a random friend and got all sorts of great info.

    • Honey, your Rant sounds like a potential date I dodged last week. Before we even made it to coffee he revealed he was broke, without a job, or a car, and that I should pay for our date (none of these things were on his OKC profile). Crisis averted, but he should definitely bury the lede in the future.

      • I was very close to telling her to just lie going forward because I couldn’t imagine anyone with her life in order would want to put up with all the issues she presented. It was like a magician pulling out the never-ending string of flags…all bright red.
        And folks this is why I ask questions (from Friday’s conversation).

      • I so feel you on this. I met a nice guy who asked me out for coffee. I got a hot chocolate and his card got declined trying to pay for it. I told him not to worry that it happens no big deal and I paid. As we talked it came out that in fact he lived with his parents, barely has a job, etc etc…

        He was definitely a nice guy and had a good personality (from what I could tell)…but I just don’t think you are ready to date if you don’t have your life even a little bit together.

        • That’s the kicker she has a job…a pretty good one at that.

          • I think that makes it worse, when you have a decent job and haven’t left the nest…. of course there are always extenuating circumstances, but it’s just odd to me. I mean, if you can’t quite afford a place on your own, get a roommate or three. Much preferable to trying to bring someone back to your parents’ house.

  • Rant: dentist appointment this morning. Went in for a filling for a small cavity. So he does the numbing injection, I wait for ~7 minutes, and he starts drilling, but I CAN FEEL ALL THE PAIN. So he has to do another injection mid-procedure. I’ve about had it with this guy’s cold/awkward demeanor, but dentists in the DC-Maryland area are pretty lackluster.
    Question for PoPville: Is this pretty normal? Am I making a big deal over nothing? Or was this a bad move on his part? Also, my husband thinks its pretty weird to have numbing injections for a small filling. Is this guy just a conservative filler, or is it overkill?

    • What’s normal depends on you. Have you had filling sans numbing before? For perspective, my mother takes 4 shots to get 1 filling.

      • I’ve had fillings before (with the same dentist)–they had to take old ones out and put new ones in, so that took about 2 shots on each side–that was a better experience than this one.

    • I would freak out if that happened to me! Unacceptable! When I first moved to DC I was recommended Dr. Doctor (no really) at Washington Center for Dentistry specifically because I was a dentist-phob. He was great and when he became ill I used others in the practice and was always happy. For the last 2 years I have been seeing Dr Fordjour and think he’s great! They aren’t cheap but for me – it’s worth it!

    • I’ve never had a filling without a numbing injection. If the dentist is drilling and you can feel pain, then you need another injection. (IMO, at any rate.)

    • Well, I think you need as many injections as it takes to numb the pain. That’s different depending on the person and the location/size of the filling; and, I suppose, on whether the dentist is doing it right or not, but that’s pretty hard for you to know. I’ve definitely been to the dentist and needed an additional injection after he started the drilling – that isn’t particularly unusual as far as I know.

      • That’s helpful–helps me off the ledge!

        • also, for what it’s worth, a friend of mine is a dental hygienist and says that nerve blocks on the bottom teeth often have to be done twice, and that they don’t take about 15% of the time, simply because of differences in anatomy between patients.

    • For any kind of drilling I get an injection. Sometimes it takes a second injection, my dentist said it depends on where your nerves run. Your situation doesn’t sound unusual

    • Fillings always require drilling, which always requires numbing. (I’ve had many.) I have an ongoing problem with numbing injections. The Novocaine goes into my gums, cheek, nose, and everywhere other than my teeth. So, I frequently have to stop the drilling because I can feel what’s going on. This has happened with many dentists, so I think it’s more my physiology than a failing by any particular dentist.

      • That One Guy

        To add to this, if it’s a redo, sometime a dentist doesn’t know how deep they’ll have to drill until they’re inside the tooth.

    • Emmaleigh504

      First, if you can feel the pain, of course you need Novocaine!! Your husband is bonkers on that. Second, I have a problem with Novocaine not working my my tooth nerves on the left side are in weird places or something. All I know is during one procedure the dentist quit giving me novacaine, but still hadn’t found the nerve. There was a reason he had to quit, but I forget why. It turns out that he gave me so many shots my gums got infected. fun times.
      And yes every dentist I’ve had here or some place else has been weird. Same with eye doctors who are weird and creepy. Must be the profession.

    • Bear

      This has happened to me multiple times (with different dentists, who I otherwise have loved) – it’s just a weird thing sometimes that you need more novocaine than usual, or it doesn’t take. The first time it happened, in college, I ended up with 8 shots in one side of my face and it never went completely numb. My face, however, blew up like a balloon. Body chemistry is a strange thing. Also, are you a redhead? Apparently redheads can be more immune to pain killers/numbing drugs.

  • skj84

    Rave: moved into my new place! A group of friends and family helped me get everything over despite the nasty weather on Saturday. I am so gratful for thier assistance.

    Rant: I’m not unpacked. I didn’t have time on Sat. And I decided to go to Adams Morgan Day yesterday instead. It was too nice to spend the day indoors!

    Rave: AdMo day was loads of fun. Hung out with friend and sampled lots of tasty goodness.

    Rant: I lost my keys in my purse and had to dump the whole thing out. Then forgot to put my wallet back. Which I didn’t realize until I got to Metro. I had to run back home, now I’m late for work.

    Rave: the walk home is only 10 minutes. And my new commute is shorter.

  • Rave: Football season! J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets!
    Rant: Contractor having communication problems. Need to have a discussion, but need to calm down before I do so. In my current frame of mind, productive conversation is unlikely.
    Rant: Daughter having a rough time adjusting to new school. By any objective measure, she’s doing great – met lots of people, invited to play with lots of kids on weekends, everyone seems to like her, etc. But 8 yos aren’t known for their ability to take an objective view, and she awfulizes minor hiccups into tragedies – I hate it, I have no friends, no one likes me, and so on. Not sure how to help her.

    • Just be glad she’s talking to you. I went to a new school at 9, and really did have no friends for quite some time (it wasn’t a welcoming town.) But I don’t remember ever once complaining to my parents. They were so horrible to me that I knew complaining would get me blame, derogatory names, and ridicule. So, you are doing something right, being a sounding board. Sounds like with invitations, she will be in the social scene soon.

      • Thank you both (anon and Anonamom) for the encouraging words. She’s not offering up a lot, but I (or my wife, more likely) can pry it out of her sometimes – often after she gets upset about something else, and the buildup comes pouring out. Part of the problem is that she’s made friends with several individuals in a group who have been together since PK – they’re all very nice individually, but apparently tough to break in when they’re together in a group. I don’t think there’s anything malicious behind it (my wife is less sure), but we’ll see. There are 40+ girls in this third grade class, so it’s not like there aren’t plenty of kids to get to know. (A welcome change from her prior school, where only about 16 of 48 kids were girls.)

    • Agreed with anon that at least she is vocalizing it to you. FWIW, my oldest had a difficult time transitioning when we moved (he was 7). It took him a good few months to really acclimate and get a good group of friends. Also, speaking from personal experience as an Army Brat, changing schools sucks. Those first few weeks are hard. But it will get better. Just keep reassuring her, remind her the kids don’t hate her at all, they just need to get to know her more. Play dates might help, but also might force things too much. You could also talk to her teacher to see how she’s doing.

  • Anonynon

    Rave: Awesome date this weekend
    Rant: None

  • Rant: Forget anything I have ever said about dating. It was all wrong and it’s become apparent that I have little to no grasp on reality and not a lot of self awareness. I’m so fucking over it. I don’t even care about the fun, exciting parts any more because I just can’t handle the uncertainty and the BS.
    Rant: I love my dog, but he’s not a snuggler, so he’s not really the best guest at my pity party.
    Rave: there’s a lot of pumpkin beer at my pity party. I’d love to find Saucony Creek’s Maple Mistress though, please let me know if you’ve seen it.
    Rant: I forgot how to dress for fall. Navy gingham and leopard is happening. I don’t really care if it works, but apparently I’m…..
    Rant: fancy. I was told I’m fancy and I don’t think it was in a good way. Wtf does that mean? I don’t think I’m comfortable with that.

    • So sorry to hear Rant #1. Did you run into BS/uncertainty over the weekend?

      • Just the same old, same old. Except it’s worn me down.
        Guy seems nice and interesting, tries to impress me, is really complimentary and responsive, his brand of mature and reasonable look a lot like my brand of mature and reasonable, says he’d work on getting over his fear of thing I like if that’s what it takes to date me, comes over to my house, calls me fancy in a way that sounds like he’s intimidated, then stops replying to communications.
        If he’s intimidated by my being “fancy” or if he thinks that I’m borderline high maintenance I’m not going to try to invalidate his opinion or feelings, but I’m pretty sure I’m neither of those things and he could bother to find out for sure before throwing in the towel if that’s his issue.
        tl;dr- yeah, more BS/uncertainty

        • Maybe he thinks your standard of living is higher than his and that bothers him?
          Agreed that it’s lame for him to throw in the towel this early. And it’s REALLY lame for him to stop replying to communications — he could at least do you the courtesy of saying, “I don’t think we’re as compatible as I thought” (or whatever his deal is).

          • Maybe it does bother him. I don’t know a lot about what people in his industry make but my friends seems to think it’s a lot.
            Decorating my house and dressing well are some of my creative outlets. I’m not about to feel embarrassed about that stuff, it’s just frustrating that some men are apparently going to be intimidated by it.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Subtly different from the above: perhaps he perceives whatever it is that he perceives as “fancy” as indicative of irreconcilable differences in what you value (be it in terms of what you choose to spend your money on, or your time, or whatever). Still lame as sh!t that he just cut you off and disappeared rather than talking about it, but I could see that being a different and possibly bigger deal than being intimidated by your *ability* to decorate and dress nicely.

          • Perhaps it’s not a $$ thing per se, but differences in lifestyle — like, maybe your place looks like Houzz and his looks like “Animal House”?
            (That still seems like a silly thing for someone to be intimidated by, though.)

          • You make a good point HaileUnlikely. And I know that I’m guilty about making assumptions about people early on. But if I do truly have a grasp on reality, he went from being pretty into me to deciding that we have really different values real fast.
            Can anyone please just use their words and have a conversation? Is it just too easy to move onto the next person?

          • Thank you all for indulging my rather indulgent pity party.
            You guys and this listicle are making my feel a lot better: http://www.buzzfeed.com/daves4/just-text-back#.hxPPprX4K

          • Years ago, I was seeing a guy who seemed to be really into me and it was fun at the time although I was only mildly interested in him. One night he came over to my house and after that I never heard from him again. Since I had only been mildly interested, I didn’t really care, but still found it strange. Months later, a friend of his I’m also friends with told me the reason: He told him that I was “out of his league.” Apparently the fact that I had a house and was somewhat successful freaked him out. I was glad that the mystery was solved since it was so strange and most of the time you never find out what happened. Anyway, don’t know if your situation is similar, but sharing anyway on the off-chance it’s something like that.

        • Emmaleigh504

          FFS really?! Sounds like an insecure wimp.

        • I’m so sorry to hear you’re feeling this way, but you were so helpful to me last week and I just have to believe that all is not lost. That there are good guys out there who are legitimately reasonable and mature and looking for the same things we are. Giving up just doesn’t seem like a happy alternative to trying, even with all the uncertainty and disappointment that comes with it. But take some time and see how you feel when the pain is less raw. Plus count me in for any pity party that takes place!

        • Andie302

          Really sorry to hear this! Ghosting is the worst – but I think that the best reason to be ghosted on is being too fancy! If he’s insecure about that, odds are that you would be dealing with a bunch of other insecurities, which to me would get old fast. Sorry again! Beeeeeeeppppp….on to the next one (after a break if you need it!)

        • Anon, I have a tiny feeling that’s what’s happening here. At least my ego would like to tell me that. Though, shouldn’t I be the one that gets to make that decision?

          • Yes, of course you should be the one to make that decision, but unfortunately it doesn’t always work that way and for a lot of people, it’s easier to disappear than to talk things out. I know it’s hard, but try not to let it get to you. He doesn’t know you well enough to decide anything based on who you really are so it’s got to be his issues in one way or another. And you get some valuable information about him. While at the moment I’m sure you’re bummed and hurt, you probably did dodge a bullet in the long run.

    • I completely sympathize with your first rant.
      It was good seeing you at Snallygaster though! I hope you had fun working it. πŸ™‚

    • Let me know if you ever want company at your pity party! I’m not really a snuggler either πŸ˜‰ but I can make good drown-your-sorrows food! But seriously, I’m nearby, apparently, and would be happy to meet up for coffee (or tea) and sympathy!

    • Accountering

      Damnit. I had high hopes for this one.

    • FWIW, I sincerely doubt you’re doing anything wrong or lack self awareness. Sometimes people are just disappointing.

      • “Sometimes people are just disappointing.”
        I had to learn this the long, hard, way. Sometimes, it really isn’t you, it’s THEM. Doesn’t make it any less frustrating. I totally feel you. I’m done with dating.

    • jeslett, I’m so sorry to hear about your first rant! For the rest of the day, turn that negative self-talk around (“I have little to no grasp on reality…”). I hear myself saying those same things until I come to my senses and realize that we’re all working with imperfect information, and that some people just suck (whether it’s intentional or not). There’s always room for improvement but don’t be TOO hard on yourself.

    • Otis may still be adjusting to his new home and will become more snuggly in the future. My pup is a champion snuggler but she wasn’t when I first got her (she’d be happy to come over and show Otis how it’s done).
      Sorry about your rants πŸ™

      • emvee

        This is true. My pooch wasn’t super snuggly at first, but has improved over time. Even now he doesn’t love it, but seems to know when I’m down and turns up the snuggling for those occasions. Every dog is different and will show their appreciation for you in different ways. No one was is better than the other.

    • Rant: it’s 11 am and all of my eye shadow is already in my creases. If I were truly “fancy” I would be one of those women who has figured this sh!t out by now. No amount of primer keeps it where it belongs.

      • I’m sorry but this made me laugh! Those women with expertly applied eye shadow that lasts all day, they have their sh*t figured out. What is their secret??

      • Emmaleigh504

        Dior eye-shadow never creases for me, maybe it will work for you. I also use poweder blush and bronzer for eyed shadow and don’t get creases. I never use primer. And I really love to talk about makeup so ignore if you need to. I could talk about it for days.

      • This happens to me all the time. Urban Decay’s primer ONLY works for me with Urban Decay eyeshadow. NYX has a decent primer that works somewhat ok with everything else (the best out of everything I’ve tried, plus it’s cheap).

        • Well, I do have one of the Naked palettes, so I guess I should try that.
          Do you use the general NYX primer or is there an eye shadow primer? I use their regular primer and it’s not doing anything for me.

        • That seems like a very good (albeit sneaky) strategy on Urban Decay’s part — make products that are compatible only with other products from the same company!

    • Pablo Raw

      A guy I know once said “I don’t date smart women”, and it was hard not to judge everytime I saw him with someone. Eventhough I understand your feelings, if I was you, I would take “fancy” as a compliment; the little I know you, you are smart, fun and a wonderful woman (plus a beer creator). If someone can’t handle that, he may not be the right person for you.

      • +1,000. My take from what I’ve read here is that he finds it intimidating that you have your sh-t together so well. You do have your sh-t together and I hope you end up with someone who appreciates that rather than considers it some kind of an affront.

        • Thank guys.
          I’m just so down because I dated a guy who had his shit together like I have my shit together before this and he ghosted too.
          Maybe I’ll just try to be less awesome from here on out. j/k

          • Emmaleigh504

            Don’t say that even in jest! I love awesome Jeslett!!!

          • I’m very tempted to go into a rant here about men who are intimidated by women but will just cut to the chase and agree with other posters that you dodged a bullet (or several).
            I know it doesn’t feel like it in the moment, but I Promise you: when you’re with the right person, you’ll look back on these people and feel a bit superior for having ended up with someone so much more self-assured and solid. He is out there and you’re doing all of the right things to find him.

    • Emmaleigh504

      If you need a snuggler, Donna would love to snuggle, but you may prefer her after she quits wanting to bang everything, including the sofa.
      Fancy is ALWAYS compliment, even if the bestower of the news does not mean it as such.

  • Rant/Rave: Came down to the kitchen Saturday morning as rodentaphobic girlfriend was gliding charmingly about in one of my shirts, making the coffee, to discover previously-mentioned mouse casually hanging out at the base of the cabinets. I dropped one of the sometimes-bloodthirsty cats right next to the mouse and the cat looked bored and the mouse looked wary but unafraid, so I finally grabbed it with a towel and — not in the mood to wring it’s neck before coffee, flung it out the back door before girlfriend noticed. I think that mouse was on drugs.

  • janie4

    Rant: Always anxious about money, and part of the reason is my lifestyle is just outside my income. It would be inside my income if I would just suck it up and reduce my retirement contributions by 2 percent (I’m contributing 16% to my Roth TSP and my regular TSP, and not counting my pension as part of my long term retirement goals, so I’m probably over contributing), but doing that makes me feel like a failure.

    Rave – refinancing my mortgage, and putting in a basement apartment, so once those are done, money should be a little less tight.

    • …can you get a part time job for “fun money”? be it babysitting, task rabbit, tutoring, ect? I had a second job as a shampoo assistant at a hair salon when I first lived in DC and it was $$$$$, so I was able to save up a lot of money. Just an idea, I know it isn’t fun to feel broke πŸ™

    • Care to talk more about basement apartment? Have you started the process yet? Going to go fully legal or more like an in-law suite type unit? It’s seems like a trend these days- but every recent home that has been flipped that I’ve checked out- all have in-law suite basement apartments. It’s seems like they put in the stove after all of the inspections have been completed. Some only have rear entrances as well, but they all have an interior staircase to the main house.

      • What’s your point? Are you trying to tell Janie4 that she shouldn’t rent her basement out?

        • What the hell are you talking about? I’m asking her about the process and which way she’s going to do it. As in going through with a full conversion to a legal separate unit or an in-law suite. There’s a ton more work to do- if doing a full conversion; ie ceiling height minimums for starters.

          • Probably none of my beeswax, but I think anon 10:42 was suggesting that Janie4 didn’t come here to discuss the basement conversion, but rather the bigger financial issue it addresses. So your question seems like a bit of a diversion/thread hijack unless you’re actually trying to tie the two things together.

    • Accountering

      You should reduce your contribution. 16% in your roth is incredibly aggressive, and a great move if you can swing it, but you know you can’t quite swing it ATM. Change it to 10% very temporarily, and then bump it back up after your refinance and you have a tenant in the basement.
      There is no reason to drive yourself anxious in the present, over a retirement that is (presumably) at least some time off.

    • Why would reducing your retirement contributions by 2 percent make you feel like a failure? It seems like the sensible thing to do (assuming you’ve already reduced your discretionary spending and there’s no room for economizing in that area).

      • +1 to this. In the big scheme of things, plenty of Americans (like myself) can’t afford to make retirement contributions, period. You’re doing great, imo, and if you need to temporarily reduce them you should do so.

      • Accountering

        I agree with the above. At 16% of your income into your TSP and oth TSP, you are likely well into the 99th percentile, depending on your age. If this is a temporary thing (until you get a basement tenant) and you have a way to eliminate a stresser (by a relatively small reduction in contribution) I think this seems like a no-brainer.

        • HaileUnlikely

          especially noting that she also has a pension – relatively rare these days. (I’m in my mid/late 30’s, have been with my employer for 12 years, and was among the first hired after their transition from defined-benefit to defined-contribution retirement plan)

      • janie4

        Thanks for the advice. I guess it makes me feel like a failure because I was proud of bumping it that high in the first place, and the advice is always to put raises into it, because then you don’t see the money. But for a temporary situation (three or four months), I should be fine.

    • Andie302

      Maybe you could split the difference and reduce the contributions by 1%? I’m no financial advisor, but you seem to be killing it in the savings department, but if it’s making you uncomfortable now, is it worth it? There’s no way to know if that extra 1-2% is going to become necessary at some point, or just something you leave behind. I used to spend a lot of time being anxious about money and then someone said something to me that stuck out: Are you ever not going to have a roof over your head, miss your next meal, or go without something you actually need because of money? I’d like to think the decisions I’ve already made mean that the answer is “no”…so then is the stress worth it? Does it help anything? Good for you on all the savings and the refinance!

      • I have long thought the decisions I’ve made would make that highly unlikely, too. But recent years have made me realize that keeping a roof, eating, etc. as one ages may be harder than one thinks.

  • Rave: I had a fantastic weekend in my home state. It was so lovely to see my bestie from middle school and finally meet her son. She was so excited when I told her that I’m pregnant, and it was just so nice to catch up with her. And yes, I cried when she headed to the airport on Sunday.
    Rave: I saw my dad this weekend, and he looks and sounds better than he did in July. He seems to finally be more like himself after the first round of chemo and radiation, although he looks very strange with any hair or eyebrows. We should know in early October what the next steps are. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for good news, but trying to remain realistic about his prognosis.
    Rant: Very tired from the weekend and pretty sure I picked up some toddler germs.
    Query: My lil sister is coming to DC on Saturday to visit me. Any ideas for the POPulance of things to do with her and my 8-month old niece?

  • emvee

    Rave: Great weekend seeing Meru, having perfect weather for a hike in SNP yesterday and some mother/daughter pho at Pho 75.
    Rant: Upstairs neighbor party leaked down onto the patio and drunk/high party guests loudly hanging out by my bedroom window. At 2:30am when I’m getting up early for a hike, I no longer cared about being polite and knocking on their door to quiet down. I opened up the door to the patio and was that Crazy Neighbor Lady Who Yells in Her Pajamas.

  • Rant: Current basement tenant is high-maintenance in comparison to previous tenant — increasingly frequent complaints. Some are bona fide complaints, but some are on the iffy side.

  • Rave: Snallygaster.
    Rave: Got new glasses this weekend.
    Rant: It took 3 weeks for them to come in instead of 1 like they told me, and when I picked them up they were in the wrong color (bright red/pink instead of brown). They swapped the lenses out with the test pair in the color I wanted, but a bit irritated by that…
    Rave: Parents are back from England. Communication is now much easier!
    Rant: Trying to figure out whether I should go to England… It’s a long way to go when her memory isn’t good (when mom and dad were talking to her she kept thinking we were babies or pre-college) and she is only lucid for a few minutes at a time. Parents said it might be better to remember her as she was when I saw her last summer. But I also feel guilty… Having family overseas is tough. πŸ™

    • I say go. She may or may not know you anymore (and I’m so sorry – it’s just really horrible) but you’ll get some time with her which may help you deal with all of this. I just got a really cheap flight to London through Wow Air (it’s a subsidary of IcelandAir) if that helps make the decision.

    • Re your glasses: I was once given the test pair of glasses, felt iffy, and they started falling apart within the year. Are they re-ordering a new pair for you? If not, I would strongly recommend going back and exchanging (or at least confirming the warranty period) even if it takes another 3 weeks.

      • They aren’t, no – they didn’t suggest that. Or tell me anything about the warranty period, actually. I should double check that. It’s been so long since I got glasses that I didn’t really think about that.

  • Pablo Raw

    Rave: fun weekend, picked up my little prize for winning the photo contest of the DC State Fair; having drinks with LBP and seeing DJ textdoc at work. Adams Morgan day was “different”, saw Emmaleigh504 and later “that one guy” from the distance.
    Rave: I must be doing something right because no hangover
    Rave: went to the drum circle to test the new lens and it is outstanding!
    Rave: this weather and having to work outside the office for a while today

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: that damn cat is so not fun in her amorous state
    Rave: the pretty dog who said hi to me on my way to work. He was very soft.
    Rant: Pectic experiment did not work
    Rave? I have 36ish jars of butters and jams and it’s not even marmalade season!

  • Rave – This weather!! Ahhhh!
    Rave – Had a great weekend of getting sh*t done for the wedding.
    Rant – My dog had an unsuccessful visit to the dog park. She did great last weekend, but this weekend it was not good. Apparently she is very picky about her dog friends and she did not like the dogs at the park on Sunday. Apologies to the people at the Langdon dog park for my crazy dog πŸ™ We’re going to stop the dog park visits.
    Rave – We ended up taking her for a long walk in Anacostia Park, which was beautiful and not crowded.

  • Rant: cold sore.
    Rave: Abreva.
    Rave: this weather!
    Rant: my upstairs neighbor, Captain Stompy. Her apartment is the exact size and shape of mine, so I have no idea how someone can walk that much in <500 square feet….unless she's running laps around it or something. And she is either wearing wooden clogs or ski boots while she does it.

    • emvee

      Re: I 100% feel you on your neighbor rant. Check out the youtube video “Everyone’s Upstairs Neighbor” for some hilarious solidarity.

    • Oh my god – that’s exactly what I say about my upstairs neighbor!! I just don’t understand how one gets up enough momentum in that amount of space to walk like that!

    • Emmaleigh504

      I feel sorry for my downstairs neighbors b/c I walk a lot. It’s related, I think, to my Restless Legs Syndrome. Also a lot of the walking is in the wee hours. I put down lots of rugs, don’t wear shoes indoors, and have never been accused of being a heavy walker, but I still feel sorry for them.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rave: The awesome Mr. Zelda fixed the dripping bathroom faucet.
    Rant: Horrible sleep last night.
    Rave: The Kung Fu Tea near my house. I love you, ginger milk!

  • Rant: Really missing my dad
    Rant: Getting unreasonably angry when I see cyclists riding like a**holes on my commute and wondering why they are still out riding around and my dad (who did not ride like an a**hole) is not.
    Rant: His burial wont be until January…that’s a long time to wait for the closure that will bring
    Rave: The weather…

  • Rave: taking another break from online dating! when dating becomes more a chore and not fun, you know you need to take a step back.
    Rave: stopped seeing person I was “hanging out with.” we’re just friends now since we have a few friends in common. Rave because I made the decision and stuck through with ending it when I wasn’t attracted to him.
    Not sure: sexual orientation probs! identify as queer because though i primarily date and am attracted to men i am open to relations with women. i don’t feel like this is something i have to tell people and have told some friends. sexual identity is up to the individual to decide. i just can’t stand it when people try to box me in as straight or lesbian. you don’t know my life!

    • Didn’t the previous “break” last only a weekend?

      • Hi Anon, you’re back! Who cares how long it lasts? And Anon Spock, the label others put don’t matter but it’s an annoyance when people are like “oh, you’re gonna date a girl? i had no idea you were lesbian.” happened this weekend and i ended up explaining myself to someone who didn’t get it. i ended up just saying, i like and date people to whom I attracted; gender and sexual identity are not huge factors in that. majority of the people i’ve dated have been queer/bi, the last three in fact.

    • Why does the label matter so much if you’re truly comfortable in your own skin? Based on what I know, I would have unintentionally “boxed you in” as straight just like someone is going to assume I’m a lesbian (I am, but I could be queer too).
      As long as someone isn’t misrepresenting themselves, the labels don’t really matter. If someone told me they were a lesbian, but they were really straight looking to experiment, I’d be very unhappy.

  • Rave: After seven month, I started a new job last week. Relieved. And, so far, so good. (Though I was comically tired on Friday afternoon, after four whole days of work. Oh fer Pete’s sake…)
    Rant (Potential): I am now working for a federal contractor, so the talk of a gov’t shut-down is worrisome… I was out of work too long to want to face any time w/o salary so soon….

  • Rant: Coming down with something – scratchy throat and my chest hurts
    Rave: Quinoa is about ready for harvesting, beautiful red/orange seedheads
    Rave: Picking lots of holy basil leaves and making tulsai tea, hoping it will be good for whatever is ailing me
    Rave: Gin & Gardening gathering yesterday was fun πŸ™‚

  • Revel: Great weekend, lots of quality time with the kids and the BF, plus some one-on-one time with the oldest too. I feel refreshed and renewed.
    Rant: Disappointed in myself for not training at all for upcoming 5k. I know a 5k is nothing to a lot of people, but I really should have been training. I have less than a month to prepare myself in order to not die half way through. At least the weather is better, right?

  • Rave: Good first date last night
    Rave: He asked me for a second date on Tuesday
    Rave: enjoyed spending time and dancing with old and new friends this weekend
    Rant: Recovering from the ex includes dreaming about him. I know this is just my mind working through all of my feelings, but my sleep schedule will be glad when we pass this stage.

  • palisades

    Rave: Back from Montana. One of the best vacations I’ve ever been on. Weather was perfect. Sights were amazing. The people are so cool. Loved every second. If anyone wants any recommendations or anything I would love to talk more about it.

    • I want to plan that trip for next year, so I would LOVE to talk about it.

      • palisades

        Write this down: Phasmid Rentals. Local folks out of Bozeman that got us an awesome Subaru rental for the week.
        We landed in Bozeman, picked up our car, and drove to Yellowstone, then Butte, then Missoula, Flathead Lake, Lake McDonald, Helena, then back to Bozeman.
        It was a whirlwind, but we loved every second. You can email me if you want our exact itinerary.

        adamssc90 at gmail dot com

    • Emmaleigh504

      Glad you had a great trip. I want to see pix!

  • Rant: Still more sick and exhausted than I’ve ever been in my life. I have a big day of doctor appointments later this week and am trying to hold on until then to call my doctor because I really can’t take more time away from work to deal with this.
    Rant: Still super behind in my to do list and feeling extra hermit-y because I’m so unheathy.
    Rave: I still manage to be in a solidly good mood. Normally something like this would knock me on my emotional ass, but pregnancy hormones seem to be making me bulletproof to depression or wallowing. I’m actually sort of enjoying the opportunity to catch up on bad movies and TV.

  • That One Guy

    Rave: Chicago was nice. It felt like a nice middle ground between DC and NYC.
    Rave: Mom was taking lots of photos and she was cute about it.
    Rant: Didn’t realize I was at my sweater weight already. Maybe it was the lack of sleep/flight that made my face look all kinds of extra round.
    Rant: Walking by the adoption dogs yesterday and seeing how anxious they were. Poor dogs.

    • What’s “sweater weight”?
      Are you thinking about getting another dog, or are you not ready yet?

      • That One Guy

        Sweater weight is the euphemism I use to describe the extra weight you put on over the course of fall/winter that you cover up with sweater.
        Don’t think I’m ready yet.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Glad you had a good trip. I forgot to remind you to take your popville shirt πŸ™

  • Rant: A coworker who just gives no fucks and yet, still has his job. When coworker was confronted by my boss about not giving specifically *me* good service (he’s like, the Office Boy), he agreed with her that he was not. There was no mention as to whether he was planning on improving this situation. I had a new partner begin this morning, and due to CoWorker’s lack of…working, we were not ready to begin new attys training at the appropriate time. This isn’t the first time CoWorker has not done his job, and it won’t be the last. I just wonder what the straw will be that sends him out the door.

    Rave: Fall weather

    Rant: This morning’s nonsense has just made me down, and I’m trying to perk up and it’s not very easy.

    • Accountering

      Its a real pain to fire someone. Sounds like they had a performance review with him of some sort, and these types of meetings are just one of the steps in the process. The confronted meeting sounds like they are moving along the process at least.

    • Not to hijack your rant, but people’s work ethic (or lack thereof) and how it’s handled differently in different offices astounds me. I’ve worked in offices where an employee literally does 1/50th of what they’re supposed to do in a day (like Office Boy seems to), and no one will even attempt to fire them or seek some kind of disciplinary action. Yet I’ve been told by my current office that I seem to lack enthusiasm, even though I do all the work I’m given almost immediately as it appears (ex: independently arranged meetings and provided readouts for a project early last week, my supervisor didn’t bother to acknowledge until 7:30pm on Friday evening).
      Anyway, I’m with Accountering. Confronting is the first step! Hang in there!

    • Unless his actual title is “Office Boy,” is there any possibility that part of his not specifically giving YOU good service has to do with how you view/treat him and/or his job? Just saying…seems a lack of respect for what his job is, so maybe that affects how you treat him, which, in turn affects how he treats you. Whew, that was long-winded AND disjointed on my part.

      • No, Office Boy just seemed like the best way to describe him — he’s supposed to get everyone their files, order supplies for the office, help set up web conferences, do a bit of IT stuff, re-shelve files when we’re done with them, sends files off-site, help set up/clean up meetings, etc.

        Last week, I emailed him to ask him to set up a laptop for a conference call my attorneys were having. I asked him at 10am. He responded that he’d be right there to do it. Nothing at 1, 3, or 4pm. (No one was using that room all day, and this is a meeting that happens every third Wednesday and has never not happened — it’s in our office calendar and it says “laptop needed”).

        On Friday, the attorney that is leaving our firm needed 5 boxes so he could pack up some things. I emailed him to ask for 5 banker’s boxes and he responded he’d do it immediately (at 12:20). 4:30, Attorney calls me and asks where his boxes are, and my coworker apparently “forgot” (even though he did not forget to set up the impromptu happy hour in the conference room a half hour later).

        My office administrator asked him on Friday afternoon to set up very specific things for a new attorney who started with us this morning. Nothing was set up, he came into work late (as he often does) and then the new attorney was late entering training.

        Also, not pertaining to me or my attorneys, last week, he “forgot” that a weekly Partners meeting was happening and was not here to set it up (not the first time he’s forgotten to be here to set up meetings, and not the first time with that specific meeting), he forgot to order supplies for another attorney (not the first time), and told another coworker who asked him for more toner, because she was running really low that she “no, she didn’t need it yet”. He is often late to work, takes breaks and loves to socialize (and is hard to find because he’s rarely at his desk, but almost always when he is at his desk, he’s watching a YouTube video — told yet another coworker who came to ask him a question to wait until his YouTube video was done).

        Does this help? I try to be kind and respectful and thank everyone when they help me out.

        • Actually that job doesn’t sound terrible, and I believe that you are all probably very respectful. He sounds incredibly unprofessional. I wouldn’t dare open YouTube at work.

        • Andie302

          This sounds like someone that either a) doesn’t care; b) thinks no one is paying attention; or c) realized early on that he doesn’t have to do his job in order to be compensated for it.

          If I were you I would send an email in reply to his “I’ll do it immediately” every time he said he would do something and didn’t…at least that way if someone higher up does get motivated to terminate him, they’ll have easy access to evidence. Maybe once he starts realizing there is a trail, he’ll get motivated?

          • My office Administrator is aware of these things — I bcc’d her on my reminder to him last week, other coworkers/attorneys speak up.
            Maybe it is just a matter of procedure? He’s been spoken to about it, but I think at this point, he’s clueless.

        • Emmaleigh504

          good grief! How has he not been fired?!

  • Andie302

    Rant: Back pain during sleep
    Rant: Not enough sleep
    Rant: Being afraid to move during sleep
    Rant: 5 chiropractor appointments and no end in sight
    Rave: Doctor this afternoon, and hopefully the first of a series of PT sessions that gets this out of the way
    Potential future rave: Laying the ground work for a breast reduction later
    Rave: Trying to see the silver lining, even in this
    Rave: all the popville (and non-popville) babies on the way!

    • Yikes, sorry to hear about the back pain and the resulting lack of sleep!

    • Sorry about the back pain, I can definitely sympathize. From personal experience, I can tell you that PT does work for chronic back pain. I have scoliosis and a generous bosom, and PT really did help keep me off the surgeon’s table (both for a breast reduction and spine surgery ). Good luck – I hope you are feeling better soon!

      • My sympathies, as I’ve been in the back pain club for the last few days — probably the result of secretly being the oldest Popviller. Anonamom, were any of your physical therapy exercises things that could be done on one’s own at home?

        • Actually yes, all of them were. I had my treatment in the UK under the NHS and the approach was more of getting guidance from the PT and doing it on your own. I will say that my back pain was largely do to horrendous posture and from the way I used my back, so PT involved a lot of teaching me how to use it correctly as well as doing exercises to strengthen my “spinal corset”.

      • I also had physical therapy to help with my back pain (slight scoliosis, awful posture, uneven legs, resulting in periodic spasms in my lower back that got almost debilitating). I went to the Center for Neuromuscular and Massage Rehabilitation (accept insurance, and incorporate massage therapy!), which was really great.
        For me, my therapist decided that the best thing was to work my core and back muscles, which would strengthen them and also loosen things up so my stretches were more effective. As far as equipment goes, it was mostly a stability ball and resistance bands (sometimes a foam roller), which were inexpensive enough to invest in for home use. I’m happy to share some of the exercises I learned, they really helped me a lot.

        • Thanks, AnonAgain. I’d love to hear more about the specific exercises you used. I’m getting way too attached to my ice pack.

  • Late Day Rant: Any experiences/opinions/suggestions regarding the Presidential Management Fellows program? Y’all are pretty smart people. I know the people around me who support me will want me to apply (thought I would before I was in graduate school) but now I just don’t know that my heart is in it.

    • Andie302

      Class of 2007 here – I would encourage you to apply. If you get it, your mileage may vary by agency and office, but I had a wonderful experience – both at my home agent/office/position, on my rotation, and with training opportunities. I got the fellowship coming out of law school and was immediately exposed to high level projects at my agency. I always encourage anyone I know coming out of grad school to at least apply.

    • I’d recommend trying to find people at your school who have recently gotten the award or who oversee applications (like the career services office) for advice. When I was in grad school, our career services office had a presentation on the PMF program that they gave students, and it was pretty helpful for understanding how the process worked and who was likely to be selected. Competitiveness seems to vary a lot from year to year, so it’s worth bearing that in mind.
      Agree with Andie that YMMV when it comes to the award itself. I know five or six people who got PMFs. Some got amazing jobs fairly quickly and others had a very frustrating experience of trying desperately to get a job out of the program for ~a year.
      As a non-fed, it seemed to me that the main draw of the program was to get entry into the fed system, but aren’t you a fed already? If so, it could be a feather in your cap, so to speak, but I’m not sure how much that matters.

      • Yes, you hit on one of my fundamental issues — I’m already a fed who will have non-competitive conversion when I graduate if I can find a space. In this situation, the draw for PMF for me would be 1) potentially switching agencies, and 2) what on the surface seems to be a fairly guaranteed position in the federal government if I can’t find a position to non-competitively convert to. But it sounds like positions are not-so guaranteed…

        • My knowledge of these things was never great and is now rusty, so I’d still recommend reaching out to people with up-to-date knowledge. But I would think that if your goal is to get a different and better fed job, the PMF probably wouldn’t help very much on its own. Good networking could be just as helpful, if not more so — and you’d need to do that if you got a PMF, anyway.

        • Andie302

          When I was more heavily involved a few years back, our agency got a slap on the wrist because one organization was taking on fellows without permanent spots available and were told they could no longer do that. Things may have changed more recently with the budget climate, but my experience is that if it’s a good fit for both the office and employee, the leadership finds a way to make it happen. I was checking back to say that it’s one of the only vehicles left to get your foot into federal service, but you’re already there. If I were you, I’d still apply…there are just so many opportunities. It’s also great networking because they do several events a year when you’re a fellow to put you in touch with fellows from other agencies. I’ve met a lot of wonderful people!

    • I’d apply, and if accepted take a look at the openings and see if there’s anything that you find more interesting than where you are now. The biggest benefit is getting into the federal system, but from what I’ve seen the program and related trainings are also really valuable. I’m a normal hire, but envious of the PMFs because of the orientation, rotation, contacts, and training they get to to do (that the rest of us either don’t have access to or have to fight tooth and nail for). Granted, I had a terrible boss for the first several years at my agency which added to the problem, but the PMFs here also seem to advance a lot quicker and get first dibs on interesting projects because of the internal PMF network.
      For what it’s worth, the majority of the hires we’ve done in recent years have been through the PMF program, and we’re always looking to get PMFs on their rotation. It’s just a lot easier than going through USA Jobs, and most of the people we’ve gotten have been really great.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Work has beaten me down today a MM and AO aren’t even in the office. I want to crawl under my desk with a blankie.

  • Revel: My trial box from graze.com arrived today. I’ve only tried one snack and it’s pretty tasty. I’m excited to try the others!
    Rant: I’ve already gone over my WW points allotment for today.

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