Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Beau Finley

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.

325 Comment

  • Rave: First day telecommuting from NYC. Amtrak was just fine as was bikesharing to my new home.
    Rant: Have to list our master bedroom/bathroom and get a roommate.
    Popville query:
    Any thoughts on price for renting out large master BR/master bathroom (with lots of storage) in a 2BR/2Bath fully furnished first-floor apartment in medium-sized condo building in dupont circle, bike-parking but no car parking – 7 minute walk to metro, right around corner from two bikeshare, the roommate/owner only there two nights/week?

    • Check craigslist for similar places (do you have w/d in unit, green space?). I’d make sure to put no airbnb in your lease unless you’re cool with it. Your situation is ripe for it.

      • New W/D in-unit, nice kitchen, no green space. Thanks for the thought on no airbnb – i’ll definitely put that in the lease.
        Looking around at craigslist but it’s hard to decipher. Two years ago we had it at 1800 and had a tenant for a year (and then I moved back…) so wondering if it’s changed much.

        • Go onto the Craigslist wanted postings for housing and see if anyone posted anything similar to what you have available. I’ve found tenants that way several times without ever having to open up the posting on craigslist. Someone just transitioning here should be thrilled! You might be able to stretch to $1850, but I wouldn’t think that much more…at that price people start looking for their own private space. Good luck and glad the telecommuting is going well!

        • I think average annual increase is 3-5%. Not sure if it was furnished then. I’d say 1850-2000, maybe lower end because this isn’t prime rental time.
          Oh yea, your room could easily become beer money for someone scrupulous.

        • Also – our building allows animals (no restrictions on size) and I personally love dogs and cats – so would that as an option make it a better sell for people?

          • Definitely. Housing – especially shared and furnished housing – for a pet is hard to come by.
            Though I agree with Andie above, anything really above $1700 and people will just strike out on their own and get a nice studio in Dupont. If you’re going to stretch for $1800, you’d need to include all utilities. Also, you might want to agree to a 6 month, fixed-term lease initially. I’d want that flexibility in case you don’t like the person or the pet, since you will be living there.

    • Hmm, have you checked out Craigslist? Would it include utilities? Including utilities maybe $1500, but if not then $1400?

      • Not sure – what do people think about including utilities? We only pay electricity and internet. Since I won’t be there, it would be good to keep the person accountable with electricity usage but internet is internet so I don’t feel like passing that on to someone else.

        • Honestly, I would include utilities. If you’ll be there a few days a month, it makes it easier AND you can just include it in your write off. The more you include, the easier it is for someone to make the decision to rent it over another place. If you notice a spike in usage you can always talk to them about it. But it’s just overall easier since it’s not a solo rental. And you’ll appreciate the write off.

          • Agree with JinDC. Since you’ll be there I’d include utilities. And wow did you rent it to one person for $1800 couple years ago? If you did then I could imagine you would get that now! For me I just think…1800 I could live alone, but then again this is a bigger space with a roomie who won’t be there much.

          • Accountering

            I agree on the 1800 seeming way high, but it is an EXCELLENT location, furnished, with a W/D – based on prices we saw at the Shay, and that it will often be empty, this does seem like a great alternative for someone who can afford it.

          • Yes – this makes a lot of sense. Thanks for deciding for me πŸ™‚

        • Accountering

          I don’t think you really need to “hold accountable” someone paying $1500/month. I mean, worst case they leave a few lights on constantly and your bill is $10 higher. Ask them nicely to turn off the lights when they leave, and problem solved πŸ™‚

          • Well you know I do work in sustainability so… ;-). But yes – good call on just keeping an eye on the electric bill.

          • I’d be more worried about someone cranking the heat and A/C at my expense than about leaving on some lights.
            UDPie, does your building include heat and A/C in the condo fees?

          • Nope – the AC and heat is linked to our electricity (it’s separate for each apartment), our stove/oven is also electric. But we also have an awesome home that retains heat and cools off really well so it shouldn’t be too crazy. Our electricity for a 900 square foot home is only about 25-70 bucks (70 when it’s negative degrees outside) per month.

        • oh, i’m also personally in favor of slightly lower rent if it means a longer tenancy since empty time costs money. So maybe post it at $1500 with a $1400 for 2 years or something? If that interests you? We ran our tenants through a management company for background checks, credit checks, and to have a professional, legal DC lease. It was more than worth it for us. Happy to chat off line about that if you’d like. But Good luck!

          • Accountering

            I agree, if you can get a 2 year tenant, that is preferable. Keep in mind, the 2 year lease isn’t worth the paper it is written on though. A 2 year lease goes month to month after 12 months, DC law supersedes this clause.

          • Where have you seen that? I can find nothing that mentions the maximum lease term as 1 year. It is my understanding that it goes month to month at the end of whatever term you decide.

    • Nice that your transition went so smoothly/quickly and you family remains intact. Curious- if you will start the process of looking for a job in nyc?

      • Thanks for the kind words. The whole transition process will take a while (still living in a big room without any furniture ;-)). Sticking with my job – they’re maybe looking towards a having people move full-time to telecommuting so that would be one option…although I do like working in an office.

    • Good luck with the changes! Sounds like you’re doing well – enjoy NYC!

    • Please report back as to how this goes! I am thinking of doing something similar – I may be getting a job a few hours drive away, which may or may not turn permanent, so not moving there yet, but will stay there during the week, and am thinking about renting out 1 bedroom in my much larger 2 bdrm (no second full bath, unfortunately), as I’ll also only be here two nights a week (weekends). Different neighborhood, but very popular and near metro, shops, etc.
      Yes, at this price (I’d be looking for something similar for rent) it won’t appeal to those who could for that price just rent a one-bedroom. I’m thinking our places would appeal to those who don’t want to sign a year’s lease on a one-bedroom and/or aren’t into acquiring furnishings or even stuff like kitchen stuff, as they either definitely will not be, or may not be, around here long term (which is fine with me, as I’m not necessarily looking for long-term a long-term roommate, as I don’t what to get stuck living with someone I don’t want around) – who would appreciate a nicely furnished place (their bedroom could come furnished or not). I would think that there would be much demand for such in this area, though I wonder at that price point. Also, the fact that I don’t really want to share with anyone under 35 may help with the price point, or may hurt in general with a share.

  • janie4

    Rant/Rave: Three days into the new exercise routine (skipped Tuesday because of a headache), and did my first before work workout. I did 25 minutes on the elliptical, burned 210 calories, and collapsed for 45 minutes. My body is still arguing that I got back up and went to work way too soon.

    Rant – 20 more days before a workout before work or early on the weekend becomes a habit (I read somewhere it takes 21 days to form a habit).

    • Accountering

      I read something yesterday talking about how it is okay to skip, but just don’t skip two workouts in a row πŸ™‚
      Congrats on the lifestyle change! Your clothes will start fitting better soon, and it is an amazing feeling!

  • Rant: When people have a meltdown on here against other posters for commenting on their posts, yet they themselves offer their unsolicited opinions and comments
    Rant/Rave: Social media is a big eye opener in how people react to when they are seen in an unfavorable manor, but then When it’s all positive- its a big rave!
    Rave: Project funded
    Rave: dinner with friends tonight

    • Accountering

      That one left a sour taste in my mouth too. I like the OP a lot, and think she is a super cool woman based on my limited reading of her comments in general, but based on the facts presented, I and others gave our opinions on the topic. That is SOP on this website, and I think it is useful, and why many of us enjoy it.

      • Agreed. The meltdown was unwarranted and she even hinted that she was having a bad day for unrelated reasons to that thread.
        If you don’t want people to comment, don’t air your dirty laundry on a public thread. If you’re doing something illegal, don’t be SHOCKED when people call you out. This is civics 101.

        • HaileUnlikely

          Given what I know about the subject matter in general (quite a bit) and the OP in question (less, but generally level-headed and thoughtful on here), I think there is a good chance that the individual in question innocently misunderstood the relevant requirements and was doing something illegal but was doing so entirely unknowingly, in which case the situation was fundamentally different from “airing one’s dirty laundry”

          • The thing is…she said her employer IS taking out DC taxes. So I don’t think she was ever really doing anything illegal?

          • HaileUnlikely

            I don’t know all of the specifics of the situation, and whether the OP was right or wrong is not the point here – I was just pointing out that a normal person might respond differently to being “called out” for breaking the law when to the best of their knowledge they weren’t breaking the law than when they knew that they were.

          • I went back to see what I missed. She says dc taxes were taken out automatically, but that there was reciprocity which means she’d only pay her home state. Then she said she paid dc taxes. Unless she’s choosing to give dc free money, those 2 scenarios don’t match up.
            In either case, good luck to her.

          • HaileUnlikely

            The way it worked back when this was relevant to me (was not in DC, was permanent resident of NY but lived in, earned money in, and owed and paid taxes to two other states at different times in the same year) was to fill out returns as a nonresident for each of the two states where I had worked and then fill out a special form in NY for a credit for taxes paid to other jurisdictions, and attach copies of my returns for other states to my NY return.

          • Same thing here Haile except no special form for the credit comes to mind. Which is why the I pay dc taxes at the end didn’t make any sense. Reciprocity by definition says otherwise.

          • she probably meant “DC income tax” (per her employer’s rules)? when a state has a reciprocal agreement, you file in the home state and the states sort out what money goes where. but it was unclear. however, this seems to match with what HaileUnlikely says he did.

        • HaileUnlikely

          Given what I know about the relevant subject matter (quite a bit) and about the OP (less, but generally seems level-headed and thoughtful), I think there’s a good chance that the person in question innocently misunderstood the relevant requirements, and was doing something illegal, but honestly did not realize that it was illegal, and given later posts, may quite possibly have been misinformed by a professional who should have known better. If that was the case, although it is plenty unfortunate, it is fundamentally different from “airing one’s dirty laundry” and then “getting upset about being called out.”

          • HaileUnlikely

            sorry for duplicate post, previous post was apparently caught up in moderation

          • In my experience, some who have professionals do their taxes incorrectly state what they actually file and pay where, because the professional does it for them and they don’t really themselves know or correctly understand what they file and pay where. That’s also a possibility.

          • No matter what I say, you’re all going to continue to say I’m doing it wrong. Particularly these anonymous people.
            If I know I’m doing it right, I know I’m doing it right. Leave it alone.

    • Rant: Anonymous, vague, passive aggressive attacks on others. You don’t identify yourself or your target or the issue. You think you’re calling out bad internet behavior, but what you’ve done here is worse manners.

      • Accountering

        I do agree with this one big time though. Put a name on your account. Anon aboves behavior is likely worse.

      • Prince Of Petworth

        I have no idea what y’all are talking about – but let’s move on if possible. Thanks. Don’t make me get out the eraser!!!

        • It was a late-day rant–easily missed by most!

          Just move on, everyone.. There are more current rants to worry about today. And if she really needs tax advice, there are people who will charge a pretty penny to give it to her. This is a rant forum, she had a rant and ranted.

      • I think it’s pretty obvious to anyone who read yesterday’s RRRR what Anonymous 9:46 a.m. is referring to.

        • I Dont Get It

          Yeah I was very disappointed to read that yesterday. I hope someone was just overreacting due to having a bad day.

          • +1. And I hope she’ll actually come back. I can see why anonymous, unnecessarily aggressive trolling could set someone off if they’re already having an awful day. But today is a new day.

          • Shamelessly tracked back to yesterday’s rant/revel to see what this was about. All I have to add is this: no comment.

    • Very much agree. I thought that one was pretty bizarre given that the comments from other users were IMO not exactly inflammatory. When you immerse yourself so deeply in an online community (any community, really) you just can’t expect everything everyone says to be unambiguously positive and validating. In fairness though, these RRnR threads are generally filled with so much frivolous, and even unfounded, validation and positive reinforcement that it might surprise some people when that’s not what they get.

    • hammers

      really, that’s your rant today? who cares?

    • palisades


  • Rant/Rave: $600 to add the mesh to the basement security doors. But thanks for the recommendation textdoc!! I told him I wanted the most cost effective option and he recommended the mesh.
    Rave: Soon we’ll have all these little things fixed.

    • Glad it worked out!

    • That’s too high. I recently had a quote for $350.

      • From which company?

        • Yes, would like to know which company? And is that for two doors and for welding it to the doors?

          • That’s for one door. We have a security gate, but you need the key to get out. The quote was to weld on steel mesh and to replace the lock with a quick release.

          • Oh, well this is for two doors! And yeah same thing…we have the security doors, but you need a key to get out. Can’t have that if we want a legal rental.

        • I’m pretty sure it was Miguel Siciliano in Rockville. Phone number is 301-370-9881. We didn’t have the work done because we had higher priority projects to deal with. So, I can’t comment on the quality. I found him on Consumer’s Checkbook, where his customer ratings are very high. We also had a quote from J and L Ornamental Iron Works for $650. I have used J&L before, and they do very good work. $650 just didn’t seem reasonable to weld on mesh and replace the lock mechanism.

          • I agree $600 is a lot for some mesh on security doors. Normally I’d get a bunch of quotes and then decide, but we’re on a tight timeline so I kind of have to throw money at it. Just sent another company an email so we’ll see what he quotes. It makes me a little suspect when someone is WAY under everyone else, which looks like the case here.

          • Nevermind, ignore my last sentence since I then saw your comment about it being for one door.

          • For what it’s worth, I think when I got a quote from J&L, it was slightly higher than Federal City Ironworks’ quote.
            It sounds like KenyonDweller’s quote for $350 was to put mesh and a quick-release lock on one door and ParkViewRes’s quote for $600 was to do the same thing for two doors.

          • ParkViewRes–Which company gave you the quote?

          • For $600? Federal City Iron, which did work on textdoc’s doors. The guy also gave me free advice on what we needed to do for another security door and how we could do it ourselves!

    • HaileUnlikely

      $600 is goofy expensive. You could get a nice new security door with the mesh built in for about $200 at Home Depot or Lowes. They’re pretty easy to install if you have a helper and a power drill, unless your door is waaay out of plumb and you need a bunch of shims to make it fit and close properly. If you don’t want to install it yourself, I bet you could get a handyman to do it for $200 and you still come out ahead. (Just don’t use the screws that come with the door; buy 3-inch one way security screws, or at least screws that require some sort of weird bit that most people don’t just carry around)

      • “You could get a nice new security door with the mesh built in for about $200 at Home Depot or Lowes.” I haven’t gone through their selection in depth, but none of the display models I’ve seen at Home Depot have built-in mesh, and most were $200 and up without the mesh.
        (I’ve spent a lot of time at the Millwork [doors and windows] desk at Home Depot while ordering non-security doors.)

      • I appreciate the advice, and I have thought of this myself but…my wife and I are small–we’re capable of a lot, but not removing and adding heavy doors. Then add in the fact that we have to finish stripping paint on the front and back porch, then repaint it, add a hand railing to the stairs, sell my car, find a house in Toronto, coordinate with the moving company, go on our honeymoon (yay!), immigrate to Canada…I’m just choosing to throw money at it. In other scenarios I’d prob do it myself or hire it out for less, but we have three weeks to do a lot!

  • Rant: Jinxed it. Got my first no show last night.
    Rave: 3 showings scheduled this week so far.
    Rave: Decided new woman wasn’t a good fit before we even had a second date. Time/money saved.
    Rave/rant: I think new job starts next week, but I’m still not sure. I’d prefer to give notice but such is life.

    • Can I ask what it was that made you think that in one date? I can only remember one CRAZY that I only went on one date with and knew halfway between the date it’d never work.

      • First date was good. She asked me to chauffeur her i.e. Picking her up even though she lives out of the way for me getting to the venue (she is aware of my location) which is pretty much a dealbreaker for me.

        Maybe it shouldn’t kill it, but saying the only way you can make it from your home to the venue in 1.5 hrs is to get a ride from me when you’ve had full control over planning is ridiculous to me.

        • hammers

          Maybe she thought riding together on the first date would be old school/romantic? Sorry you got stood up. Like you said, time/money saved.

          • This was the second date. I didn’t get that vibe based on how it was presented. She actually said if you don’t come get me I’m going to be late. It was offputting. How are you planning to be late that far before the start of the event when you planned it? Nope!

          • hammers

            haha yeah in that case….. sounds a little inconsiderate

          • Just a thought on this: What if she wanted that time to get fancy (fancier!?!) for the impending date? I ask this because I’m pretty low key during the day (no makeup, air-dried hair) and sometimes after work I like to put a little more effort in – certainly possible for a second date. Did you cancel already?

          • Wait… she chose the venue, but chose one that was difficult (?) for her to get to on her own?

          • Andie: possible, but based on seeing her on the first date and at the party where we met, I don’t think she gets fancy. The only way it made sense was if she didn’t start to get ready until the minute she picked the alternate venue a full 3 hrs after she got off work.
            Textdoc: Difficult…No, but a train change or short uber ride, yes. It would have doubled my travel time though.

  • Accountering

    Rave: First tenant checks into the basement today! Very exciting to finally be at the end of the line after 9+ months of renovations!
    Rave2: Ran 6.2 miles yesterday at a 10 minute mile pace. Finally feeling like I am getting back on the wagon.
    Rant: DC is paying Safeway 3.6 million dollars because of some arcane covenant Safeway was awarded long ago, preventing other grocery stores from locating within a perimeter. The Skyland Walmart was intentionally located outside that perimeter, but Walmarts huge parking lot is within the perimeter, so DC is paying 3.6 million for Walmarts parking lot.
    The corporate giveaways by this administration get really old. Every tax payer in the city just kicked in $10 for a Walmart parking lot.

    • 100% agree. The giveaways – between the stadium deals, selling off of public housing for a song in the middle of an affordable housing crisis, and now this – are ridiculous.

        • Accountering

          It’s just frustrating because there is absolutely no transparency. The practice facility was basically a done deal overnight at a cost of 50 million. This 3.6 million is essentially buried in the details. The 27 million on the U St/Shaw property is off budget, and SHOULD be counted in the 200 million.

    • Waaah? That’s crazy about walmart and safeway. What a load of horsecrap handing over money like that!
      Also – way to go on the 10k – that’s seriously impressive!

    • Blithe

      What?!!!! That sucks big time. Especially since maintaining a decent store is apparently not part of the covenant. (I’m assuming that this is about the Piney Branch Safeway. Scratch that if I’m wrong.)
      Accountering, is it fair to blame this administration for the corporate giveaway? I’m not arguing your overall point, but if other mayors approved the original covenant with Safeway, and the original plans for the Walmart location, would the current administration have any choice about paying the $3.6 million? Would chopping off a chunk of the parking lot be an option?

      • Accountering

        This is about a Safeway down on Alabama Avenue EOTR. They had a covenant for no competition, and the future Walmart at Skyland’s parking lot apparently infringes on this thing.
        The city could have fought the covenant, and Safeway indicated they really weren’t going to fight it too hard, but instead Bowser just elects to pay them 3.6 million.
        I think this is one reason people were excited to see the tax cuts. I am all for spending money appropriately, but I think the DC govt currently has an issue where they just have such an excess amount of money, and they feel the need to spend it on nonsense like this. IMO, that is the point that it is time to return money to citizens.

        • Blithe

          Thanks Accountering!

        • I’m a dyed in the wool liberal, but I seriously don’t want to give Bowser another red cent. She’s going to send the city back into the red. I really hope Anthony Williams decides to run in the primary against her.

        • I Dont Get It

          “…ut I think the DC govt currently has an issue where they just have such an excess amount of money, and they feel the need to spend it on nonsense like this. IMO, that is the point that it is time to return money to citizens.”

          EXACTLY!!!!!! (and yes I am yelling!_

    • palisades

      This Subway nonsense happened in the Palisades too. Their lease ends in a couple years (and they aren’t renewing) but another grocery store isn’t allowed to replace them.

    • While I agree it’s infuriating, I don’t know that it’s a giveaway in the sense that I think of them. Safeway has a apparently valid, enforceable covenant, that someone (or more accurately, a whole raft of people) failed properly understand when placing the Skyland development. It’s an issue that should have been addressed, years ago, and I can’t blame Safeway for sticking to their guns wrt a store that likely will have a significant impact on its business, especially if they have a good case (and they probably do – some of those old covenants are set in stone – Google the Spirits of St Louis ABA tv rights deal). This is an epic fail on the part of a lot of people, and heads should roll, but it isn’t some gift to corporate interests.

      • As someone that works with government real estate – THIS! Not that it isn’t infuriating, but it shouldn’t have been done in the first place.

  • Rant: Slept like shit last night. Feeling tired and cranky today. Don’t want to adult. Don’t want to deal with people. Just want to go back to bed.
    Rant: Ran out of milk for my coffee this morning and had to have cream in my first cup. Then I used up all the cream, so only one cup of coffee on this of all days.
    Rave: Half day tomorrow, off Monday, kids are at their father’s house this weekend. I should be able to sleep and drink all the cafe au lait I want.

    • If you have ice cream in the freezer, just pop a bit into your coffee. Divine.

      • I’m at work, so no ice cream :/ but that sounds lovely! I wonder if chocolate ice cream would create a mocha-like drink…

    • hammers

      coffee sans cream is sublime but if you can’t stand it, maybe treat yourself to a coffee break outside. a little walk and a good cup could cure some of the crank. it’s pretty out.

      • Emmaleigh504

        +1 It’s nice and sunny, and as I learned from Bring It On 2 (Keep Bringing It), “The Sun is Nature’s Prozac.” I plan to treat myself to a sunny walk to the coffee shop later.

      • Thank you for the suggestion, this is exactly what I did, and my mocha coupled with only three hours left in the work day has made me decidedly less grumpy!

  • Rave: my sister did a really cool thing at work this morning…at 5 am…so I got to do 4 am baby sitting duty. The niece nuggets were great and I’m happy I could help out so my sister could achieve a career milestone (my BIL is out of town on business).
    Rant: 3 am wake up means it’s going to be a long day.
    Rave: DC Reynolds patio was dog central last night and DOG had a great time. The weather was amazing.
    Rave: I hear some people have to drag their dogs out of bed, that is not the case for me. DOG was more than happy to go on his 3:30 am walk. It was so weird and empty though. And my dog walker can come earlier.
    Rant: all of this happiness and optimism is going to die a slow, painful death when exhaustion sets in at about 2pm.

    • Mocha wakes me up each morning. She sits directly on my chest. Sometimes she paws at my face. This morning I was laying on my side, so she balanced there πŸ™‚ Honestly it’s probably the only reason I get out of bed so easily…I feel way worse that she has to pee than the fact that I do! When she was gone to have her last litter of puppies, I neverrrr wanted to get up!

    • How’s DOG’s elbow coming along? Also, it’s great that you were able to help out your sister and support her career while spending time with the nieces! This is why I wish my brother, S-i-L and nephew lived closer πŸ™

      • It’s doing great! He’s ready to move up to 10 minute walks tomorrow.
        I forgot, the little niece nugget asked if Otis was in the backyard not 2 minutes after waking up this morning. I love that they love him so much. I’m very lucky we ended up so close to each other.

    • Oh man, getting my dog out of bed is a challenge. Luckily, he’s relatively small and I can pick him up (but heavy as a bowling ball) but he is as lazy as they come.

  • Rave: Yesterday was my first full payday in the new job. First regular paycheck since February. Relieved! Grateful!

    Rant: I screwed up the medical savings plan deduction – I was thinking 12-month year (starting now) but should have been thinking Calendar Year (through 12/31/15), so my 12-month deduction is getting spread out over Oct/Nov/Dec… luckily it’s not a huge amount and my plan allows for some carryover into 2016, so it’s OK. Just more than I expected.

  • Rant: So’ have been staying at my parent’s house while ours is renovated. They’re away and have a MUCH nicer bed than the guest room. So I’ve been making my way in to that bed, leaving my husband in the uncomfortable one because I just can’t anymore. He’s fine with it. But last night, our f’ing dog got in to the big girl bed. Which itself it’s fine if she wouldn’t have used every opportunity to take up more and more of the bed. My son woke up and I returned to here on my spot. I moved her over (she’s 105lbs!) and she proceeded to morph more and more to my spot. And when my hand wasn’t directly on her, she’d nudge me.
    Rave: Dogs that make you laugh even when they’re acting ridiculous
    Rant: Then she exhales and her breath is just SO BAD
    Rave: I’m really, truly fortunate to have an office overlooking a beautiful campus, a flexible, friendly boss, and a job that brings me back to DC. Coming next week and hoping to stay for dinner, but husband got a rare ticket from a friend to see Ta-Nehisi Coates at the free library, so I might be SOL and have to return right after my briefing. πŸ™ Seems mean to make him forego that.

    • LOL – Dogs taking over the bed! I have kittens trying to take over my desk right now. We’re working on establishing territories, i.e. you can have anyplace except the keyboard and mouse. I’m losing.

      • yes I had a cat that lived in the house I lived in in grad school and he’d do that – but cats are much easier to pick up and move! I mean, they have claws and can use ’em….but 105lbs of immovable mastiff is NOT FUN at 1:30AM. And then the pillows smell!

    • Accountering

      Glad to hear things are going so well, seems like everything is falling into place nicely!

  • Crowdsourcing question: GF and I are going to Chicago this weekend for first time. Any good bar/restaurant recommendations? We are staying right near millennium park area, but happy to go anywhere for good food and drink

    • I had an AMAZING meal at Girl and the Goat in West Loop last month. It’s phenomenal.

      • binpetworth

        Little Goat is the less fancy, diner version of this same place and is also amazing.

      • Good luck getting into Girl and the Goat at such late notice. Unless there is a random 10pm dinner slot open. I still haven’t made it there but loved Little Goat Diner. I also adore Purple Pig right on Michigan Avenue. You can’t argue with a theme like “beer, wine and swine.”

    • I’m also going to Chicago this weekend (bookending a wedding in the midwest). Would love suggestions, too!

    • Girl and her Goat – so good. If you cannot get a reservation then go and sit at the bar – they will put you on a wait list to be seated (sometimes takes awhile, so have a couple of their awesome cocktails). I freaking love that place.

      • laurelo

        I second both Goat restaurants. Ate at both this past weekend. You can eat at the bar at Girl and the Goat (and the bar staff is very attentive to diners) and I ate at the bar at Little Goat too (brunch, fantastic, again with the attentive bar staff).

    • People were offering some Chicago recommendations to Hammers recently:

      • hammers

        and great suggestions they were! given that kanon is requesting bar/restaurant recs I don’t have too much to offer. We are hot dog and pizza kind of people. We did have Lou Manottis deep dish pizza which was superb (as someone who doesn’t even like deep dish). Our one “fancy” dinner was Asian Fusian at Sunda. It was good but with so many great restaurants in DC, I didn’t feel it stood out. As far as bars go, we went to two blues bars (B.L.U.E.S. in Lincoln Park and Blue Chicago in River North- near ish to where you are staying) and both were fantastic.

    • meals we loved: Sable, Purple Pig (even as vegetarians!!!!); Spiaggia; Ann Sather; Wildberry Pancakes (NOM NOM); Garrett’s Chicago mix popcorn. Have fun – it’s my favorite city in the US for a weekend away!

    • Just a heads up – It’s the Chicago Marathon (which you could be in town for), but prepare for a LOT of people and for the actual race on Sunday to cause road closures/etc.

      Deep dish pizza: Pequod’s, Gino’s East, Lou’s, Giordano’s, in that order.
      Eataly if you’ve never been.
      Drinks at the Signature Room (in the John Hancock) – save the fee to go up and get great views, have a fancy drink instead.
      If you like art, the Art Institute is well worth the cost.

      • Yes, if you’re by the Millennium Park, you’re kind of stuck inside the “loop” of the race if you will. It will be hard to go outside the course in a car, if you have to go (i.e. need to get to the airport) take the train which will go under (Blue/O’Hare) or over (Orange/Midway) the race. If you don’t, maybe go check out the finish line! Have fun, it’s a beautiful city!

  • Rant: Crappy day yesterday. You remember the book “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day”? Yeah, it was like that. Got almost nothing accomplished that I wanted/needed to do because I was constantly interrupted with other things, somehow got LOCKED OUT of my building, the leasing agent who tried to help made it clear she needed to go home soon and was totally inept, and when I finally got into my home one of my stupid cats had done a “scarf-n-barf” all over my bedroom floor. Oh, and cherry on top was the new $280 medical bill from my doctor’s appointment last month. Eff that. Guess I know what I’ll be spending my lunch hour doing.
    Rave: The company that erroneously sent me to collections worked with me to pull me out and pay the bill. I just paid it all off to get it over with.
    Rant: Still in such a bad mood! Missing faraway friends and family today.
    Rave: Almost Friday?

  • That One Guy

    Rave: Driving home last night with the moon roof open and John Coltrane playing on the radio. Was very relaxing and enjoyable.
    Rave: Catching up with a cousin who is in town for a conference. We ate at Donburi. Their breaded shrimp is super tasty. Now my jacket has an lingering smell of fried food and other things that makes me sort of hungry.
    Rant: Even the cousin thinks I should start online dating.

  • Blithe

    Surprising Rave: I called Verizon to cancel my insurance plan, and ended up getting moved to a less expensive monthly plan as well. Every little bit helps!
    Perplexing Rave: I’m going to a party! Sooo, what does an elderly person wear to a party for a teenager? I’ll be hanging out in the grown-ups corner, trying not to be too much of an embarrassment. Hmmm.

  • RAVE: suprise cash bonus yesterday. It’s not a ton, but I do like money.
    RANT: really want a “real” promotion. My year end review is this month and I need to have a serious conversation. I think I’m easily 30% below market right now, compared to what some of my colleagues both in my agency and other similar agencies are making (yay for public records!)

  • Rave: Lucinda Williams last night. For a woman who looked for at least the first half like she was awakened from a bourbon slumber, stuffed into a pair spandex jeans and shoved onto the stage, she gave a great two-hour show, after her excellent band, Buik 6, did an opening set. But boy, if anyone ever looked like they were living out their own songs, she did.
    Rave: On a great pop culture run over the last two weeks: Hamilton, The Tonight Show, Lucinda, Cecile McLorin-Salvant. Feeling like this is what city living is supposed to be.

  • Two more raves: whenever I see a deal for the Bouqs on Gilt, I stock up. They’re fabulous and friends/family love receiving their flowers. Great customer service. Two thumbs up.
    Rave 2: Mickey from Green Apple DC who did an excellent job helping me out with some painting in our condo where a TV mount had been. He went above and beyond and was so helpful and friendly – he saw we were in a bind, and did what he could do to help. Highly recommend him!

  • Question for the PoPulace: for anyone that uses/has used Sprint for wireless service, how is/was your experience with reception in DC? We just switched to Sprint, and we are trying to figure out whether an issue we are experiencing is widespread or fixable.

    • Have had it for 5+ years. No issues anywhere in the city, in home, etc. Even get service in my interior offices.

    • I switched last year. It was a bit spotty at first, but I don’t really have any issues now. I believe Sprint put up a new tower in the past year.

      • The main issue we are experiencing is that whenever we are at home, we can send/receive texts and make calls, but a good amount of the time we can’t receive calls. For example, if my husband tried to call me, it would ring on his end for the normal amount of time (meaning it wasn’t going straight to voicemail), but my phone would never ring. No indication that anyone called me at all. I wouldn’t be as concerned about it as I am, but with a kiddo in daycare, I need to make sure that I am reachable. Did you experience anything like this?

        • anonymouse_dianne

          I’ve had Sprint since 1996 and never had an issue like this. Sounds more like an issue with your physical phone to me. I put mine in airplane mode all the time and forget about it til I need to check my mail.

          • Nope, not an issue with the phone itself unfortunately. It happens to both of us, and my sister had this problem when she had Sprint. She lives in the middle of nowhere though, so we figured we shouldn’t have that problem being in the city.

        • This sounds like what happens when you are in a place with poor or varying reception. This happens to me in my house too (I’m not on Sprint) – sometimes I miss calls though I don’t ever seem to have trouble texting and rarely have trouble making calls. I also notice that the number of “bars” on my phone can vary anywhere from zero to maximum in any given part of the house. It may be a problem that is neither widespread nor fixable, unless you can convince them to put a new tower closer to your home.
          Maybe your workaround is to text first if you need to speak to each other immediately.

          • Thanks. That has been our workaround for the time we have had Sprint, but I’m concerned about it for daycare reasons. Daycare uses a landline, so texting isn’t an option, and I work from home on a semi-regular basis. We may be forced to switch to another carrier just because of that. We are just having trouble making that decision.

          • Oh right – you’re worried about missing calls from daycare. So yeah they probably wouldn’t be able to text you. Got it. Like I said though, I have this problem and I don’t have Sprint, so it’s possible you could have the same problem with other carriers. I don’t know if there’s any way to know in advance how good of a signal you get in a specific location from specific carriers. Good luck – wireless technology is amazing but not without its problems.

        • I kept my Sprint contract when I moved here 5 years ago, and service is not always terrific, but not terrible. I had exactly the same issue you’re describing in both places I’ve lived, but in my current apartment, I find that it gets better and stays that way for a while when I update my phone. The last few months, I’ve been able to call out and receive calls, which is a nice change of pace. There are still some spots in the city which are pretty much dead zones for me though: Petworth (especially the Upshur corridor) and Navy Yard.

        • HaileUnlikely

          I have Consumer Cellular (uses AT&T’s network) and previously had AT&T and I have very poor service in the general vicinity of where you live (I have a rough idea of where from some of jim_ed’s posts). What carrier did you have previously?

          • We actually did have AT&T, and while we had issues with their service other places in the DMV, we never had problems at our house. The thing is, overall I like Sprint’s service better, but if we can’t be reached where we spend the majority of our time outside of work, that is a problem.

    • I had Sprint when I moved here. I had spotty service in Metro and issues in my basement (which was an issue. My room is in the basement). Otherwise, it was fine.

  • Rave: I finally got my very complicated travel arrangements for big month long trip finalized (NZ biking/hiking, then Thailand for sailing/diving)
    Double Rave: Found, with amazing ease, what looks like an excellent couple to house/pet sit while I’m gone, plus rent my vacation rental apt. for the 2 months before.
    Slight rant: I probably could have asked for a little more rent, but peace of mind with good people is worth it.

    Recommendation? I need shorts that will work for biking, hiking etc. easy wash & dry, but I find most technical fabrics unbearable to touch. REI was a bust, any other suggestions for specific brands or stores?

    • Try Athleta – they have something that might be what you need towards the back of the store away from the gym/yoga section

    • Blithe

      Title 9 sports.

    • Sounds like an amazing trip. Just for fun, or researching?

    • Not my usual style of contribution, but there’s a new company called Haven – you can find them online – that has gotten good reviews.

      • Haven looks like all men’s clothing. Patagonia had nothing. LLBean so far has some possibilities. The trip is for fun – bunch of family & friends on the bike trip organized by one friend’s company http://www.greatbiketours.com/index.php. Then I’m meeting up with other old friends for the sailing part. Darn, just realized I need a new wetsuit too.

    • if you can spend money patagonia has some great stuff, I went on a 3 month backpacking trip. although it seems like a lot up front the easy wash/easy dry/small folding/multi purpose use clothing is so worth it. so jealous, have the best time!!

    • I like Eddie Bauer’s Horizon shorts. Which I’d picked up a pair with a shorter inseem when they had them, but the 8″ is nice for biking. Also: pockets.

  • Rave: Yay for date night! Rasika was amazing as always, play was intense but fascinating, lovely to connect with my wife before the whirlwind of a newborn hits us.
    Rant: Terrible night’s sleep. I think kiddo (the two-year-old) was up a lot because I heard her banging on the walls throughout the night–and then had to wake up a very sleepy toddler at 8am.
    Rant: person with concealed weapon permit shooting at an escaping shoplifter. No one injured, but could have been. WTF lady????
    Rave: Three day weekend ahead–looking forward to baking plans & catching up with a visiting grad school buddy & skyping with my best friend in Australia.
    Happy Thursday everyone! πŸ™‚

    • “person with concealed weapon permit shooting at an escaping shoplifter” — Whoa! Did you witness this, or was it in the news?

      • palisades

        News. It was in Detroit

        • Accountering

          The only thing that stops a bad person with a gun, is a good person with a gun…!!!!
          Wait, that doesn’t apply here. Carry on, nothing to see here!

      • This is the article I saw in the Post: www. washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/10/08/woman-with-concealed-gun-permit-shoots-at-fleeing-shoplifter-could-face-charges/

  • Rant: Period cramps and tiredness. Nearly falling asleep at my desk.
    Rave: TV tonight. some of my faves are coming on.
    Rave/rant: Love Empire last night but too many guest stars. Hope they don’t rely on this to keep the show going.
    Rave: Got a new purse to replace my old one which had a nasty stain in it and a hole.
    Rave: got 2 compliments on my black pantsuit at work.

  • I Dont Get It

    Rave: Everyone comments on my new hat! Not sure if that means they love it but they comment on it. It’s a Goorin which I didn’t realize at first and it’s a trucker hat so I look so hipster I want to punch myself in my throat.
    Rant: Had to admonish WDS for speaking to the dogs in Spanish. They have enough issues without learning a new language on top of it!
    Rant: Today is the last day of squatting in the fishbowl in our old location. HR moves in next week and HR being HR, noticed that we were squatting (which is okay per the rules published by HR) and put up signs Monday on each cubicle stating “Welcome to the HR Neighborhood” which I retaliated with by making a sign for *my* cubicle that says “Welcome to the Passive Aggressive Neighborhood.”
    Rave: A fun game of “Metro-Mony?” on the way home last night. There were so many interesting characters on the train last night…

  • Rant: Found a HUGE dead rat last night
    Rave: at my rental house. At least we aren’t the only ones. Until now I kept saying “this isn’t something I had to deal with at the old location.” So much for that!
    Rave: I didn’t have to dispose of it. Thank you accountering!
    Unsure: My primary care doctor recommended acupuncture for my back. My first appointment is Monday. I’m a little nervous, but I’ve also heard good things…so we’ll see!
    Rave: Also meeting with a nutritionist because I need a 3rd party to tell me that (some of) the crap I’m eating isn’t so great. Helloooo diet coke…I’m looking at you (and all things sugar).

    • I hope you’re not -too- worried about the acupuncture. The sensations are unusual at first but rarely painful, and if there’s anything resembling pain, it fades pretty quickly..

      • +1. I haven’t done it for any pain-related treatment reason, but I did do acupuncture in conjunction with my fertility treatments. Virtually no pain at all, and it was SOOOOOO relaxing.

    • Better a huge dead rat than a huge live one, no? πŸ˜‰

    • hammers

      I cut added/refined sugar cold turkey a few weeks ago. I feel so much better. Working really hard to limit processed foods and breads, but since I get sick of salads, wraps or bread are a vessel to get food in my body! If you don’t feel like booking a nutritionist, just check out a documentary on Netflix, there are several that cover nutrition and are all trying to scare you silly so that might help!

    • Andie: I know you aren’t looking for advice at all, but my mom is in her late 60s and is a diet coke addict. The doctor told her that it’s the worst thing for her and she needs to stop, but it’s bad. She’s tried to cut back, but really all she’s done is add water. If you can kick it now, do! I’m sure it’s hard, but it’s probably more difficult in your 60s!

      • Thank you for this! I know it’s terrible – I gave it up for lent last year along with sugar and dropped like 8 lbs doing NOTHING different. I’m just not QUITE there yet. But this helps!

        • can you start to swap out a flavored seltzer for the DC? I could drink a ton of flavored seltzer (I don’t like diet coke really – I think watching how much my mom consumed of it was a total turn off for me)

          • Actually, I find drinking seltzer (though I prefer the Italian sparking spring water from Whole Food – comes in glass bottles and has more minerals) with just some fresh lemon juice squeezed in works better – because it isn’t sweet at all (which I think many of the flavored seltzers are, or at least they taste so to me) because it trains your palate away from expecting sweet, while still tasting good and refreshing.
            But then, I never was a soda drinker, diet or otherwise. I suggested the seltzer with lemon to someone who was talking about their soda addiction recently, and they laughed at me, as it would no way work for them. Should have mentioned seltzer or sparkling spring water with an inch or so of fruit juice in it – which I also do sometimes when I want a little sweetness. This can train you away from wanting to drink a lot of fruit juice, while still feeling like you are drinking it.

  • Rant: I really want to try dating again. it’s been years, but honestly….i don’t know where to start. people tell me i should try online, but I get so many different suggestions. should i try maybe 3 websites at once to just take a dip and see what i get? makes me so anxious and i feel so pathetic

    rave: tomorrow is friday! yay!

    • Accountering

      Just jump in with two feet! Start maybe one or two profiles, and then go from there. If you are female, you will get a ton of unsolicited messages, and as a dude, you can just scroll around a bit, and send a message to anyone you find interesting. It’s pretty low-risk IMO.
      Also, you aren’t pathetic in the least. Dating can be stressful, but to me, creating a profile is an easy one.

    • topscallop

      Different sites offer different things. I like to read a full profile of someone and see how they answer questions that I have also answered, so I liked OK Cupid, but if you aren’t into sifting through a lot of information, Tinder might be better for you. Those are the only ones I’ve heard of people using successfully, but there are many other options as well. Coffee meets bagel, How about we, Hinge…

      Good luck! It can be overwhelming and frustrating, and in my experience it comes in waves, where sometimes I’d have lots of dates with people who seemed cool, and sometimes there was no one I wanted to share oxygen with, let alone a meal or a conversation. But isn’t it worth it to give it a try?

    • Personally, I would first go for free online dating options. I’ve only used OKC, and I liked it. Reading profiles and seeing how people answer questions helps you get a feel for people’s personality and interests. Helps weed out people beyond looks. Good luck out there! FWIW though I’m still single, the last two people I’ve dated online are actually my good friends now. In fact, I’m grabbing dinner with one tonight, the one everybody here on PoP bet would turn into some romcom but didn’t. Friends are good too. New friends have other friends you can date.

  • Rant: Bizarre argument with my mother yesterday over cloth diapers still has me feeling frustrated today.
    Rave: Picked up a prescription yesterday that had no co-pay instead of the usual $35. Maybe I’ve hit my deductible?
    Rant: Need to get tile work done on our house in VA. I hate random expenses like that.

    • Accountering

      Andie and I had a cloth diapers discussion. It was a hard veto on my part. I’m curious how this conversation went that it is still frustrating you today?

      • Something else you want to share?

        • Accountering

          Hahaha! No. The topic just came up, purely in a theoretical context, and I relayed that I wasn’t interested in re-using diapers πŸ™‚

          • I’m with you. I wonder if there is a gender split on this issue. I’m pretty environmentally conscious, but this was just too far for me. I applaud people who do it, but not me.

      • “Andie and I had a cloth diapers discussion.” Is there something you haven’t told us, hmm? πŸ˜‰

      • She thinks the new designs are excessively expensive because we are planning on spending around $500 – $750 for diapers that should last us until the kid is potty trained. Since she did cloth diapers the old fashion way (quilted cloth and pins), she thinks that’s the best method. The only way I could get my wife onboard was to agree to use the newer designs with snaps. The thing that is irritating me is that she never said anything to my siblings about the excessive cost of the disposable diapers that they chose to use. And it’s not like she will be paying for it either. We will be paying for it ourselves.

        • Well that’s just silly, then. (Her insistence on arguing, not your choices) Oy. Sorry!

        • Ugh. I can totally see what that would be frustrating. It sounds like you and your wife have made a decision that works for you and I think you should stick with it. Maybe in time your mom will realize it’s really not her business to tell you what to do?
          I’m also curious if you wouldn’t mind sharing which diapers these are because they sound great — I’m just starting to research on this myself.

          • We’ve been looking at Rumparooz, Bum Genius, and the Flip Hybrid. Currently leaning towards the Flip Hybrid.

          • Have you guys checked out gDiapers? They are a hybrid, but can also be used with inserts. I LOVED them and used them off and on with the younger two.

          • I haven’t but I’ll check them out. Thanks!

          • These are very interesting, Anonamom — seems like they could be a good compromise for a twin mom.

          • Accountering

            This whole cleaning poopy diapers is a no-go for me. I think the pampers from Costco will work out perfectly when that time comes. I wore disposables, and I turned out just fine.

          • Accountering – Costco doesn’t sell pampers. cloth diapers are great if you have the time to invest in the laundry and the money to spend on the onset. They aren’t cheap. But if you – like I said – plan on more than one kid, they can be an economical choice, and even sold when you’re finished with them. the combo made sense to me but it just wasn’t the right fit for our possible only child. Also, most day cares will not accept kids with cloth diapers (YMMV in San Fran for Shawess).

        • This has to be one of the most annoying things as a parent…other peoples opinions on your choices/child. Is she paying for it? Will she be using them? No so who cares! I can’t believe she is wasting time and energy on this. FWIW the people I know that have used cloth diapers used snaps! BTW, is that $500-$750 the whole investment? Seems like a good deal to me! (A lot at first, but over 2-3 years not bad)

        • Having had many the “…in my day of parenting” discussions/debates with my dear mother, I can definitely feel you on this. My best advice is to go with something along the lines of “Mom, I appreciate your concern, but please know that wifey and I are perfectly happy with the decision we have made. Thanks.” and leave it at that. The fact is, technology has come a long way. There is nothing wrong with taking advantage of that. Does she expect you to use a regular land line instead of a smartphone because it’s cheaper and “does the same job?” No. It’s the same with diapers. The new generations of cloth are far different from the muslin-and-safteypins of old. For one thing, it was pretty much understood that those diapers absolutely would leak all over the damn place, where as that simply isn’t the case with the new style ones. Anyway, good luck! I’m sure this won’t be your last issue, unfortunately.

    • My SIL and MIL had a huge argument over cloth diapers. To this day MIL gets upset if you bring up the subject. So glad I wasn’t the first to have a baby in the family!

    • My wife really wanted to use cloth diapers initially for our first. But I had an easier time with disposable ones (and I was the one at home), so while I gave it a go, we ultimately switched to disposable ones before my maternity leave ended. That said, it’s one of those personal decisions & unless your mother is going to be providing regular childcare, it’s not really her opinion that counts.

      • She lives about 6 hours away so it’s not like she will be caring for the child on a frequent basis. Her opinion really shouldn’t matter in this but she’s not very good at keeping her thoughts to herself. I’m in the process of completing out the few contracts that I have left and then I’ll be taking the next year to two years off to raise our kid (since this will likely be our only one and I’m definitely not the primary breadwinner in the household). I think she’s just really good at pushing my buttons sometimes.

        • Lol–and frankly, even if she were providing regular childcare, the point of disagreement isn’t something that would affect things. Can understand childcare provider balking at cloth diapers if they’re unfamiliar–many daycares will only use disposable, for example. But the type of cloth diaper? When you’re going for an easier type to use? Ugh–ridiculous. Moms can be far too talented at button-pushing. Part of their charm πŸ˜‰

    • It’s funny how certain parenting issues can be so divisive, especially between mother and daughter. It seems logical that the person actually doing the parenting should make the decisions. (Unless, of course, it’s a serious matter of the child’s well being, for example). But that’s not always how the grandparents see it….

      • I think mothers see their daughters doing something differently is an incitement on their own mothering. “it was good enough for me!” “I managed!” “I had no trouble!” It’s really difficult especially when you’re a vulnerable new mom and it’s seen as unsupportive.

        • Agreed that this is the reason, but isn’t that kind of silly? Parenting trends (and product availability) change a lot over a generation and it seems unreasonable to expect that daughters will do everything the same way their mothers did. I hope that if I’m ever a grandmother that I’ll support my daughters decisions as new parents rather than second guess things that really aren’t that important.

          • it’s completely silly, but it DOES help it be less annoying when you know they think it’s a judgement on their parenting. It’s still super, super annoying. I had an awful time nursing – AWFUL – and my mom took me to the LC when the week I had my son, because I couldn’t drive, and she said in the appointment “this is crazy, I had no issues nursing ever! And I had all c-sections so that’s not related!” I thought the LC was gonna smack her. Kinda wish she had πŸ˜‰

        • +100. When people fall into this mode, I just want to say to them, “My decisions are not a referendum on your life choices.”

      • I actually had to pull out the line of “Please remember that this is our child and we will be raising it as we see fit”.

      • My mom had a major issue with me breastfeeding. She just thinks it’s gross, and this has everything to do with her own issues regarding the oversexualization of bodies (particularly female bodies) and nothing to do with actual hygiene or nutrition. This caused MANY arguments, and by the time my third child was nursing, she decided that she had big enough balls to tell me that I was not allowed to nurse him in front of people at her house, no matter how discretely.
        lol…. and she wonders why we don’t get along.

        • WOW! That’s amazing on not “allowing” you to nurse your child around other people in her house. Unbelievable.

          • Yep. The best time was at I believe his Christening Party at my house when she asked me to go upstairs to his room to nurse him. She’s a gem, my mother!

          • My family has issues, but I do appreciate hearing about all the things I don’t have to worry about. When I was frustrated in the early days of nursing, my mom went to get me a glass of water (she was right, I had forgotten to drink anything and was dehydrated) and my dad told her to bring me a beer instead. (He was right, it’s a reliable old midwife trick to get the milk flowing.)

          • yeah she wouldn’t be a guest in my house. awful.

    • what are the issues for/against cloth diapering? I went over it in my head (my husband didn’t care), but ultimate decided that since I would only possibly have 1 kid, and the energy used to do the laundry vs. the waste from diapers, it was not that different. If you have more than 1 kid, cloth diapers can definitely be worth it. I considered a hybrid with a liner (like G Diapers) but they are just so expensive, I couldn’t do it. With more than 1, sure. Since we aren’t sure, it wasn’t worth the initial output. just my internal debate!

      • For some reason she thinks it’s excessively expensive. From our analysis, it would ultimately be a money saver for us. Plus we’re the type of people who try really hard to minimalize our trash output (through reusing, composting, and recycling) so it makes sense given our lifestyle.

        • Yeah, the savings on cloth versus disposables seem pretty clear if you are talking about a 2-3 year timeline. Our of curiosity, can you even get the quilted cloth and pin type diapers anymore? I haven’t even seen them. The snap kind seem to be the only game in town, unless you go the DIY route. (Which I’m not suggesting.)

          • You can definitely get the cloth pre-folds, and then get plastic covers to go over them. That’s what we did in the beginning–and continue to use the plastic covers over the disposable diapers at night to prevent the occasional leaking issue. There are other options besides pins for keeping them together now, but I had a hard time using them when my daughter was a newborn.

          • there are diaper services, prefolds, ect. It’s a big business. There’s a lot of info here that’s helpful: http://alphamom.com/tag/cloth-diapers/ I also know people who did disposables at the beginning (miconium + cloth? ugh….and the amount of diapers in the first few weeks – it does slow down after about 6 weeks). Which is something to consider in terms of time/resources (buying fewer, doing less laundry).

    • hammers

      I was potty trained at 14 mos. my brother more like 5 years. I’m hoping if I had any offspring, they’d take after me.

      • It all has to do with how you train them. People in many far eastern countries train them early like that, starting from a few months old, and there are people doing it here under the term “elimination communication.”
        It is one of those things that makes sense mostly, likely using cloth diapers, if you are a stay-at-home parent for a year or more, and I would suspect that those using cloth diapers would also be more motivated to check it out this method, in oder to get done with washing diapers sooner.

    • I didn’t know anyone used cloth and pins anymore, since the new cloth options and wraps are easier to use (no accidental pin sticking of diaper-changer or babe, more absorbent materials and less leakage) and way cuter.
      But even if they are still available, I would act in your head (and thus in conversation) as if what she was suggesting is so out-of-date as to be not even worth getting upset over or responding to – sort of like on the order of her suggesting you heat the water the stove to do the wash, use a hand-wringer to squeeze out the water, and dry them outside on the line on “laundry day” – that is, the day the factories shut down and thus didn’t put soot in the air and thus the day the housewives did the laundry. As in, so ludicrous as to not even get upset over – treat it like harmless dementia on her part. (Ditto with comments about not needing lactation consultants mentioned by another poster above – standard these days, often necessary, and usually very helpful – not used enough by women who could really benefit from their services, rather than not needed.)

  • Rave: In order to complete a a relatively routine task that is, however, of interest to The Higher Ups, somebody has to leave the office on a brilliant fall day and wander around looking for two dozen black sharpies. Oh, well, guess that’s going to have to be me.
    Question: Need Asian themed fish recipe for tonight, something besides steaming it aromatics and serving it with a fish/soy/tamari sauce thing. Any suggestions? Any Asian culture applies.

    • Coconut milk & fresh ginger for a base, then add, as you like, basil, chilies, lemongrass, shallots and bake. (I know you are accomplished enough to not need a specific recipe.)

      • Great idea.
        I am flattered but you may give me too much credit. Do you just pour the coconut milk et al into a baking dish about half-way up the sides of the fish?
        On a related note, I still remember a time when if someone said: “coconut milk, Thai basil and chilis and lemongrass” you’d say “where the heck am I supposed to find exotic stuff like that?” Although lemongrass can still be a pain.

        • You can get pre-chopped lemongrass at the Harris Teeter in a very convenient squeeze tub.

          I would mix all the ingredient together then pour over the fish and bake in the oven. Or you could mix the sauce together and use it to slow poach the first over a low to medium flame on the stove top.

    • Miso cod is another delicious option, although you would probably be trading in the challenge of finding lemongrass for the challenge of finding black cod. Here’s one good recipe, but it’s pretty flexible. http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-nobu-miso-marinated-black-cod-117238

    • That One Guy

      Victoria’s recommendation is far better than my suggestion: watch old episodes of Iron Chef for ideas.
      Maybe along the same lines you could make a fish curry.

  • Rant: Internal functions at my organization are so broken (IT, HR, Finance). I’ve tried so hard with work-arounds, and polite, cautious suggestions for process improvement but I’m so tired of spending so much time not getting my job done because of the brokenness. I mean, two weeks to reply to several emails of a broken monitor (using my own laptop now)? Four months between budget reports? 2 years of a job open in my department? It’s insane.
    Rave: Just venting feels better and it’s a beautiful day.

  • Rave: I got a job interview at last, after months of radio silence!! Hallelujah! I feel less useless!
    Rant: Rusty on interviewing! Haven’t landed an interview since early last fall. Also, they took down the job description (I applied over a month ago) so now I’m trying to remember what it said…
    Rave: The Ask a Manager website is fantastic for helping prep for interviews, etc.
    ?: The person e-mailed me asking for an interview at 10 pm last night. I hope this isn’t an indication of their work/life balance. Glassdoor reviews say it can be an issue depending on which department you’re in. Meep.

  • houseintherear

    Need some advice, if anyone has any. I have a new car, 3000 miles on it and bought it over the summer. Got rear ended on Monday, luckily by a very polite gentleman who immediately admitted fault to me and to his insurance company on the phone (I also talked to them at the scene). I was stopped at a red light, and he was stopped behind me, on a downward hill. His foot slipped off the break. It was seriously a 2 mph hit, but there’s a very very tiny bump and crack in the paint (perhaps crack in the bumper, hard to tell because it’s less than in inch long). I am supposed to take it to the shop tomorrow and get a rental, all on his insurance’s dime, but the guilt is kicking my butt today. I live in DC and will undoubtedly have lots of marks and dents on my bumper within the first year of having this car. I kinda want to let it go and just move on. Having his insurance company pay probably a ton of money for a stupid little tiny scratch seems absurd. I wonder if I should take it in, and if there’s no underlying damage just tell them not to fix anything…?

    • palisades

      If there’s no underlying damage it’s probably not worth the hassle. But modern bumpers are designed to take a lot of damage that you don’t even see. Definitely take it to the shop and have them look at it. If it’s nothing more than cosmetic damage and you think it doesn’t look too different, then yeah I’d say just walk away.

    • That One Guy

      See if they can just do a repair to the bumper’s dent and touch up the paint. The repair shop may try to replace the bumper with an aftermarket part that will be painting to match your car’s color. My experience has been that a repainted aftermarket bumper will chip paint when dinged.

    • Get you on that. People have hit the bumper of my new (when I purchased it) car at few times when they were clearly at fault – not always graciously (one huge SUV owner backed into me when I was waiting behind him at a light and then claimed he couldn’t see my car – as if that was my fault! – in, wait for it, VA – but since I’m used to NYC street parking with its attendant inevitable scrapes, I just let everybody who hit me when it was their fault go without contacting insurance and without fixing my bumper. Like you, I figured I’d get more scrapes and get used to it, which I have. I do think that’s better than stressing every scrape (which I might do if I lived in the burbs and didn’t park on the street a lot, but I live in DC and do street park frequently.)
      That said, do have your mechanic check your car’s engine mounts(?) I think they are called – one of mine needed to be replaced on one regular maintenance visit, and I highly suspect it was from a tiny, slow-moivng collision that caused no visible damage to my bumper at all. It was covered by warranty, anyway, if I remember correctly.

  • special_k

    Heartbreak: unexpectedly had to put my beautiful tabby to sleep on Tuesday night. I am so sad without him I don’t know what to do with myself and all this pain. Hard days ahead.
    Rave: I still have his beautiful, feisty brother to love and snuggle (when he lets me).

  • Rant: Sat in an awkward position for a couple of hours yesterday and now I can’t seem to get comfortable to matter what I do. I’m pretty sure one of the babies is wedged into my belly in an awkward sideways position with her foot sticking into my side. They’re each the size of a papaya now, so this is really not easy to ignore. But I’m not sure I can do anything about it either.
    Rave: I can work in a pillow mountain in my own bed, so it could be worse.

  • Random additional rave: baby hiccups. I rarely, if ever, felt my daughter having hiccups when I was pregnant with her, but this kiddo has them with some regularity. What a funny thing to feel, it makes me grin πŸ™‚

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: I smell popeye’s biscuits. There is no popeye’s nearby.
    Rant: Macy’s, work, my headache, so many things…
    Rave: up coming trips in the winter and summer.

  • Late Rave: Insurance company dropped the ball on this one -I got the $280 bill because they rejected the claim thinking they’d already paid it because I saw two doctors (different specialties) from the same hospital system on the same day. Uh, hey guys, read a little better. But whatever, they’re re-processing and it should all be taken care of in a few weeks! Load off my shoulders!

    • Excellent news!

    • HaileUnlikely

      I am sorry to say that I would not realistically expect them to “read a little better.” Processing claims for an insurance company can be a really sh!tty job. I have a relative who did that for most of her career. It used to be good job for the first 20 years or so – she attempted to do her best to review each claim and determine how much to pay for each one and took pride in doing it well – until the owner of the small insurer sold the business to one of the big national insurers. The had productivity quotas (claims processed per hour) that employees could be disciplined or even fired for repeatedly failing to meet, and said quotas were so absurdly high that many (possibly most? possibly all?) claims processors for that company had basically resorted to not reading the claims at all and doing things like blindly rejecting every 5th or 10th or 20th or whatevereth one.

      • Yikes! God our healthcare / insurance system is so massively f*#ked up! I’m not trying to rag on the individual claims processor who rejected my claim, whoever he or she is. So I guess the fault more lies with the overarching clusterf#* that is health insurance in this country. But thanks for providing that perspective, Haile, helps me think of other people and not be so “me me me” focused πŸ™‚

        • HaileUnlikely

          Agreed. My overarching point was that this will undoubtedly happen again, precisely because the whole system is so f*cked up. I’m glad you were able to get your stuff straightened out.
          The last time I had a dispute regarding billing, the scenario was even more f*cked up. My doctor, located here, was using a medical billing vendor located on the west coast for all of their billing services. They kept billing my insurance company incorrectly, and my insurance company was appropriately denying the claims. My doctor’s office confirmed that their billing vendor had f*cked up, but nobody at the office here was able to fix the problem, only ask the billing vendor to fix it, and they kept failing to fix it, and kept resubmitting incorrect bills to my insurer, which they kept rejecting them. They then sent me a notice that if I didn’t pay in 30 days, they’d be sending it to collections. I called my doctor’s office and told them that if my account was sent to collections, I would file a complaint with the attorney general’s office, and they somehow managed to get it straightened out.

    • that’s awesome! I know that had been stressing you out, great news.

      • Oh, the first bill (the dummies who sent me to collections because I never received the bills!) I had to pay that one. That one the insurance company said I had to pay as part of my deductible. Literally, I paid it yesterday afternoon – $232 and some change – just to get it over and done with. And then I came home to a totally different medical bill for $280. But that one at least was the insurance companies fault. I wouldn’t be surprised if they try to stick me with some portion of it, but we’ll see, at least I’m not on the hook for the whole thing.

  • Late Day Rant: I am pretty sure I just caught my boyfriend in a lie. This, coupled with a few statements he has made recently, have me questioning. I don’t know if I should confront him – because if he is actually telling the truth, then I look crazy – or if I should let it slide – and perhaps be the idiot who had the truth in front of her the whole time but chose to ignore it. For what it’s worth, the possible lie really isn’t a big deal, but it sets a bad precedence.

    • It’s hard to give advice without knowing more detail. So here are some questions to think through: How did you come by this information? If it was accidental, fine – if not, why were you snooping? Do you have any proof besides his word? If not, then what’s to stop him from denying it (especially if you already think he lied once)? How much else are you questioning because of this?

      I ask this as someone that was married to someone who I always had a sense that he could be dishonest, but never any proof. To this day, I still don’t have any proof – but he’s getting married this weekend to someone that he met while we were happily married, so my gut tells me something was off, even when things were at their “happiest.” I’d advise you to listen to your gut and don’t let people tell you that you’re crazy. Even if you are, don’t you want a partner that can embrace the crazy and roll with it, not make you even crazier?

      • The information was freely given, he made a contradictory statement about an event that occurred, but there is no proof other than his word.
        As far as the other stuff goes…. I think he downplays or omits things so as not to cause doubt, knowing that it would, but in downplaying/omitting, it increases that.
        I just don’t know if I should confront him. I already half-confronted him about the recent possible lie, but then also gave him an out by asked if I just misunderstood him. But we both know I’m not an idiot.

        • It really depends on your tolerance for stuff like these contradictory statements. Mine is zero. As in truly zero. I’d need to talk it out. And I wouldn’t’ give an out that maybe I misunderstood. I’m truly just not capable of acting otherwise. This one may be moot since you already had the conversation and gave the out. If I were you, I’d be cautious of catching such a thing in the future, confronting then, and not providing the out.
          But again, it depends on your tolerance. People give the out, or don’t confront, because at that point they would rather keep the relationship, even with nagging suspicions, than know for sure they were being lied to – because that knowledge would make them feel like they needed to take action, as in break up or some such thing. There’s nothing wrong with being in an ambivalent place, where you aren’t yet ready to do that, and thus not ready to confront, and thus satisfying your curiosity by asking, but also satisfying your need to not act on such information yet by giving him the out.

        • It sounds like there’s something bothering you, and you’re hesitant to bring it up. Instead of “confrontation” why not couch it as a discussion. Nothing you’re saying here seems really unreasonable. But I’m willing to bet that if the two of you start talking that things will go one of two ways: either you’re closer for it in the end, or he’s immediately defensive. Not to say that defensive=guilty, but if you’re not in a place where you can have a calm rational discussion about things, that could tell you something. I also agree with the other commenter that it’s okay to give him the out this time, not be sure, and just continue to see how things go. It’s your call. Good luck! And please do let us know how it turns out!

    • That One Guy

      Is this an instance where he claims he went for a walk and instead comes back with alcohol on his breadth and pizza crumbs on his shirt?

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