Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user John Sonderman

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.

224 Comment

  • There’s work happening at Social/ The Getaway! Who has the scoop?
    Saw a cop asking a bystander to take his picture with the Eat Mor Chikn cow in front of Chick Fil A this morning. That was weird.
    New baby kitty has responded to the sealed-up mail slot by defying the laws of physics and moving faster than the speed of light to get out the door each time we come and go. What is your DEAL, NBK? Don’t you love us? Why do you want to leave??

    • I know you said you’re getting NBK a microchip and collar, sounds like you might need to speed up that timetable! I’m sure he doesn’t want to leave you, he just doesn’t want to get left out of all the fun and wants to come with you!

    • I saw that too!!! Walking past that Chick Fil A over the past few days has just been an experience in my own education… I have no understanding of what makes people line up in front or want a pic with that mascot.

    • phl2dc

      HAHAHA, your updates about NBK make me smile. My kitty likes to go threw doors with me as well. He’ll often stop right outside the door, scratch the carpet in the hallway, and plop down.

    • I’ve been criticized for my criticized for my free range kitty approach but, with some cats, it’s almost impossible to keep the little critters inside. You may succeed 9 time out of 10, but if they’re determined….Get the collar quick! And, look forward to the day when they kitty sees you — or hears you or smells or whatever — walking down the street and accompanies you home. Of course, he’s probably just hungry, but it’s still very cute.

      • Yeah, the much-lamented late fat cat came and went as he pleased. And yes, LOTS of flak for it, but it was truly best for him; his anxiety skyrocketed if he was kept indoors. And then he peed on things.
        But NBK should be trainable. We got him very young. And I worried about the old cat, even though he never went very far, and all the neighbors knew him. We’ll see.

  • Anyone go to the Chik-Fil-A opening?

  • Rant: I have a slight concussion and small nose fracture — happened Saturday night as I was bending down to get my shoes, got caught in the hem of my too-long dress and gravity took over. I didn’t go to work Monday and yesterday morning, was here yesterday afternoon and I am considering going home this afternoon but we’ll see how I am doing by then — I know I can’t push it, but I’m also annoyed that I’m not feeling all the way better yet.

    Rave: At least there is not any bruising.

    Rant: I bought Diotomaceous Earth for my kitchen roach issue and it’s not super helpful. I bought some boric acid tablets that i can put behind and under my appliances, in the hopes that it will help, and I can clean the powder up in the kitchen so it doesn’t look like flour has exploded literally everywhere. I just want those roaches gone, and living in a condo, I know it isn’t my place that’s causing the issues, but I can’t force other people to have their units sprayed/clean their kitchens.

    • Can you talk to the board? That’s a nuisance at least, and if they have an infestation in the walls they could come in and spray between units. I don’t see why the board can’t force ppl to keep their homes sanitary when it’s going btwn units.

      • I have talked to them. they suggested the boric acid tablets. We have a pest control company that comes in and sprays units, but if the specific unit-owner says that the company can’t enter their home, there is nothing that we can do about it.

        • Propose to your board an amendment to your HOAs. In my building, we have the right to enter any owner’s unit if required to treat a pest infestation. Pests are not specific to one unit and the building needs to be able to treat the entire building, not just one unit at a time.

    • Ouch!! I hope you take it easy. I know they probably told you, but brain rest is the best way to treat concussions (mild or not).

    • Oh my goodness! I hope you’re feeling lots better soon – definitely rest up. And sorry about your roaches, that’s utterly disgusting and discouraging that other people aren’t willing to help ensure the problem goes away…

    • phl2dc

      I hope you feel better soon!
      Re: pests in the building – there was a unit on my floor that was so infested (roaches, bed bugs – yes, I got some of those) that the building had mandatory spraying every year. UGH. Good luck.

    • Boric acid is pretty effective. One thing that was also suggested to me that I wouldn’t have thought of on my own is caulking. Not just in the bathroom, but on baseboards, where pipes meet the wall, anywhere in your apartment that has cracks or gaps that they could get through. Good luck!

    • Spend a little bit on an exterminator to seal up any cracks/gaps in cabinets, plumbing, etc. in your condo. I did this in my condo once and it worked well. Problem solved forever

  • Hey Justin – the ginkgo trees on Corcoran Street are starting to turn! Should be great in a few days.

  • Rant: left my wallet at home
    Rave: can buy starbucks with my phone
    Conclusion: the future is now
    Query: Anyone have tips for buying a used bike in the distrct? Looking for something easily rideable, not for regular commuting mostly just errands/grocery runs. Reputable sellers / places to avoid? Budget is ideally 200 or less, but I have no idea if that’s realistic really.

    • If you make it out to va, some places sell reasonable priced used bikes. One shop fixes them up with kids teaching them how to bike mechanic. Geez I can’t think of the name, but I’m sure waba folks would know.

    • I’m about to list my Momentum iNeed street on CL if you’re interested. Bought it in June at a LBS and can provide the receipt. I also think that phoenix bikes is great (I donated my childhood bike to them).

    • FtLincolnLove

      Try the Georgetown flea market- one of my best friends got a really nice used bike (Giant, I believe) from a vendor there. The bikes are all a couple years old but from what I understand, the guy refurbishes them. You can get a really nice bike for a fraction of the cost!

  • Rant: Election Day letdown. I feel so bad for some friends out in Houston who lost their fight to keep the HERO bill in place.
    Rave: Two lovely friends just announced their engagement. So excited for them.
    Rave: Wife keeps laughing at our grocery list as it grows increasingly strange. But sometimes you just need a snack of sunflower seeds and coconut water.

  • Rave: Free coffee this morning.

    Rant: Super anxious lately. Too much going on. Plus the body at Metro Center yesterday really rattled me. I didn’t see much, but it was enough. I realized if I had taken an earlier bus I probably would’ve seen the whole event happen.

    Query: Good non therapy anxiety busters? I don’t have the time to find a therapist. What do you all do to calm your nerves?

    • Anonynon

      Lay down and close your eyes for 15 minutes. Helps me every time. Go for a walk through the park. Delete social media apps off your phone for a few days.

      • +1 to all of this. If you’re like many people in this city, probably much of what you regularly do is driving up your anxiety. Stop checking your phone/email/social media/favorite websites all the time. Slow down. Sit and do nothing in a quiet place for 15 minutes. Listen to music instead of watch TV when you get home (or don’t watch TV at all for a few days). If you have “too much going on”, then put some of it off or don’t do it at all.

        • Allison

          I turned off most push notifications on my phone. I don’t have social media apps, but for the apps I do have, I found Words with Friends reminding me every few hours that someone was waiting for me to play, for example, was just irritating. That way, you can still keep certain fun things on your phone, but you engage with them when you choose to do so.

          • Yeah stuff like this makes a huge difference but it never occurs to many people. Like it would never occur to some people to just turn their ringer off (or the phone itself) for a few hours at a time.

          • emvee

            Turning off push notifications was one of the best anxiety-reducing things I’ve ever done. After that, the usual of exercise, books, time for me, etc. Allowing yourself to focus on YOU instead of others makes all the difference.

    • Honestly, that’s why I bake as much as I do. I’ve found that it’s the most calming activity for me when my anxiety is getting to be too much.

    • There are some good meditation apps — the counseling center at my work recommends Stop, Breath, and Think, which I use periodically. They have many free meditations of varying lengths (3 minutes – 20 minutes). I’d recommend finding a quiet place outside or in some kind of lounge and just taking a few minutes to sit and be present.

    • Going anon because this is a family show. But in seriousness, um… I would suggest… ahem… self-love. Endorphins and whatnot. Helps you sleep, too. (Or with a friend, that’s good too, but often brings its own anxiety.)

    • Yoga / exercise really helps me. I think there are things that definitely calls for the expertise of a therapist, but sometimes in conjunction with / before you can find a therapist, being more active and doing yoga/meditation can help you pinpoint what those things are that you can work out and what you can’t without help. Hope you’re able to make some progress!

    • phl2dc

      Breathing exercises, workout, jigsaw puzzles, or coloring. Coloring books are obviously the best, but there are some coloring apps for adults, too.

    • Allison

      I find listening to a podcast on the couch with my eyes closed is relaxing. I prefer funny ones like Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, or How to Do Everything with Mike and Ian. “Mystery Show” is another good, calming one.

    • Blithe

      Hot bath with one of the relaxing Kneipp potions — like spruce and pine; yoga and deep breathing; time in the sauna or in the gym; taking a break from the Internet/ news; talking things out and/ or chattering with a friend.
      I appreciate the suggestions here — and plan to try a few new strategies when the need arises. skj84 – I think that acknowledging that you’ve experienced trauma is an important step in healing from it. I hope yo’re feeling better soon!

    • binpetworth

      One of my favorite anxiety busters is to do a really small, in-depth cleaning task. Like snaking the drains with the plastic Zip-It tool, cleaning vent cover slats with a Q-tip, cleaning out my hairbrush, etc. I get so committed to getting every last bit of gunk/dust out of there that it takes me completely away from everyday worries.

    • I think caffeine can ramp up anxiety. I try to do decaf coffee/tea on the weekdays and just treat myself to the full force on the occasionally. I noticed a difference. Lack of sleep also makes me anxious which is horrible because anxiety doesn’t help me get said sleep. Anyone have thoughts on helping with plane anxiety? I never used to be bothered but recently it has become a thing, ick, and I fly often!

  • justinbc

    Rave: Great, lengthy piece in WaPo about all the upcoming changes in Ivy City. Gonna be talking to a contractor soon about converting our 4 unit place into 16 units (going up 2 floors and building a second building since it’s on a double lot).

  • Rave: I am pregnant!!! Four weeks and three days! So hard keeping it a secret. Any good book recommendations?

    Also, what’s the best hospital in DC to deliver a baby? Thanks PoP!!

    • Congrats!!!

    • Congratulations!!!

    • Congrats! That’s so exciting! As far as the hospital is concerned, we decided to go with GWU since I was already a patient at GWU Faculty and Associates. I love my OB through the practice and GWU Hospital has been fantastic for us given all the complications we’ve had with this pregnancy (I’ve gotten to know the ER dept far too well). It was also the best location for us.

      • GWU also has the advantage of private rooms for everyone. At least when I was having babies, Sibley charged extra if you wanted privacy. And of course, GT and Holy cross were out because I didn’t want any catholics involved in my reproductive business.
        I’ve never heard of anyone having a baby at WHC… do they even have an OB dept? They must, right?

        • They do, and they have an excellent NICU, plus the docs from Children’s go over to actually perform extra tests for murmurs and things versus doing telemedicine. However, if you are looking for a cushy birthing place, this is not it.

        • I have a friend who just had a baby at WHC — not a good experience, though they ended up needing the NICU and had a great experience there.

      • Allison

        Sorry to hijack thread, but does anyone here have any experience being pregnant and covered by Kaiser Permanente FEHB? Thinking about whether I want to remain with them during open season. Thanks!

        • ha! I almost asked the same thing. I have Kaiser and was JUST wondering how they handle that. Sorry not to be more aware…not pertinent to my current needs πŸ™‚

        • anonymouse_dianne

          Not with pregnancy but for breast cancer. They were nothing short of fantastic. My surgery and radiation were done at Washington Hospital / Cancer center. And this was before the new treatment center at Union Station which is your one stop shopping center for all your health needs. Highly recommend.

          • Allison

            Thanks. I’ve been really happy with their services in the past few years, but that could just be because I’m an extremely healthy person who has only needed to go to the doctor like, two or three times since I signed up. So I guess I just don’t know what I’m in for on the OB front.

        • I had a baby with Kaiser insurance four months ago. The OBs at the Capital Hill location are great. I delivered at Holy Cross because it’s near our house and had a great experience there as well. With Kaiser you can deliver at Holy Cross, Sibley, or WHC (in DC or close in MD). I was a little nervous about delivering at a Catholic hospital but I had a low risk pregnancy so decided it was okay for me. Plus, it was still Kaiser doctors with privileges. (And I saw a couple days ago you were thinking of buying in Silver Spring. We bought .75 mile from the metro earlier this year and love it. A great sense of community.)

      • Thanks!! GWU is my top choice right now, so great to hear you had a good experience. Hope you and your baby are well now!

    • phl2dc


    • Congrats! My advice: pick the 3-5 sanest, most grounded parent friends you have and email them for their recommendations on baby essentials, 1-2 good books to read, and a list of things that are an absolute waste of time and money. I built my entire baby registry off of those email responses from friends.

      After that, follow your instincts and learn to tune out every one’s opinion and commentary on your reproductive and parenting choices. πŸ™‚

      • Great idea, I will do that! Thanks!!

      • Congratulations, Abraxas! And +1 to every single bit of Artemis’s advice. I’d add that more reading is not necessarily going to be your friend here. I’ve found the books I’ve read to largely be contradictory, with many suggesting their method as the “only” way. So if you can whittle down your reading list to a few books that your friends like, you might be better served.

      • I’m going to second Artemis’s advice! Also, don’t be hesitant to align your existing beliefs with those sane friends. For example, if you already know you want a hospital birth with an OB with pain meds, then I would not suggest including a mom who had a home birth and is rabidly anti-drugs. Not that there is anything wrong with anyone’s approach, it’s just that I have found that people become *so* intent on being right that opinion often trumps facts.

    • tour WHC and GW. GW only advantage is private rooms. You really need an advocate to stop the interns/residents from taking over. Plus side, Burger Tap and Shake after delivery. No books to recommend – take Susan Messina’s class (amazing) and familiarize yourself with the Breastfeeding Center. There are sometimes good classes at the JCC for expecting parents. Lucie’s List is a great resource. Pregnant Chicken and Alpha Mom sites are great. Congrats!

      • In my experience, the interns only watched and asked explicit permission to do anything at all. I had a resident mostly in charge of my care, which was fine by me since they are, well, actually doctors. Also I found the resident to have a much better bedside manner than the attending. Any particular reason why you didn’t want the residents working with you?

        I had bad experiences at the Breastfeeding Center. They never had nursing bras in my size, the lactation consultant I saw there was terrible (she told me I had an “angry, high-strung” baby and recommended a chiropractic adjustment; fast forward 3 months and everyone tells me how happy and content the baby is). I know some people love it, but I was not impressed.

        • Residents are fine, but the parade of them if you’re there for a while is awful and unnerving if it’s your first time IME. I would have preferred one person in charge, introducing me to others that care was delegated to, and so forth. But no, they just kept coming in every 20 minutes. Middle of the night. I didn’t get pain relief until day 2.5 so I wasn’t in the mood for any of them.

      • Not my experience regarding interns/residents–but perhaps because I was with the midwives? Or perhaps because of fetal distress both times around (apparently I grow drama queens–but both were great when they were born)? Either way, I didn’t have any issue with interns/residents in either time. DITTO on Susan Messina’s class–she’s really awesome. Also ditto on Alpha Mom, though never saw Pregnant Chicken.

      • Just a tip for anyone in any hospital at any time: You can always reject to be seen by a student. FWIW though, Interns are actual doctors too, they are just in their first year post-Med School. If you go to a teaching hospital (which pretty much every hospital in this area is), you may come into contact with medical students, student nurses, and any number of other students, however, they must always identify themselves as such, may never refer to themselves as “doctor” or “nurse” and you can opt out of having them physically touch you, and often times you can ask them to leave your room. Also, if you ever grow uncomfortable with someone providing care, please voice this. There is nothing gained from being the “good patient” who just deals with being uncomfortable.

        • Absolutely. And taking that little bit of control can be empowering in an often uncertain/scary/helpless-feeling situation. You DO have some say over how it all goes.

        • +1000000!

        • at a certain point in day 3 of my labor, the resident in charge (a wife of a good friend so I was fine with it) just told them all to leave and never return LOL

        • it’s hard to be a “good patient” under many circumstances – if I had to do it again, I would have had a Doula because it was just too much for me. Something to consider even if you aren’t with a midwife is a doula or other advocate for your care. The pain, nerves, ect are hard on everyone and a doula is a good interlocutor in those situations……DC has tons of amazing ones, I’ve heard.

          • yes, 10000x this! I have so many friends who have used doula services, including my sister-in-law, and they had wonderful experiences having an extra advocate. Not that everything always went smoothly 100% of the time, but that things went as smoothly as they could possibly go in each situation and each friend would absolutely use a doula again.

          • What I meant by the “good patient” comment is that I know a lot of people who really don’t like to complain for whatever reason, and because of that they may deal with an uncomfortable situation rather than just say “hey, I don’t like x” and have the discomfort dealt with. For example, I myself wanted to be a “good patient” with my first L&D to the point where I actually got up and changed my own bed linens. By my third, I was telling the nurse off for having on too many rings and having nails too long and the phrase “those acrylics are going no where near my vagina” may have come out of my mouth.
            Each person is so very different that it’s hard to say what will work and what won’t work. I think doulas are great, I actually have a few friends who are doulas. However, I would never use one. But then again, I know that not everyone would chose to have the L&Ds I had (all scheduled inductions, all with epidural, all as controlled medically as possible). To each their own; just know yourself, know what you want, and also educate to what can happen. Understand that plans sometimes go out the window. At the end of the day, we all want the same end result – a happy, healthy baby – we just go about it differently.

    • Congratulations, Abraxas!
      Although it’s not exactly the same as your question about recommended D.C. hospitals for having a baby, there was a thread last week about OB/GYN recommendations:

    • Congrats! I delivered at GW (not the midwives, just the regular hospital program) and was thrilled with the experience – I thought they were great and my follow-up care was wonderful, too. Private rooms are tiny, but they’re private (and you have your own bathroom), plus nursing staff are good and they have lactation consultants on staff.

      My favorite book was “Expecting Better” by Emily Oster. She basically goes through all the things you’re not supposed to do (sushi, deli meat, etc..) and talks about why that is and what the actual risk is.

    • Yay! Congrats! I love the midwives & OBs with MFA/GW. I’ve had the pleasure of somewhat exciting labors & deliveries, so while all of my prenatal care was with the midwives, I’ve had OB assistance with deliveries. I’ve really liked all three of the OBs that I’ve worked with in addition to all of the midwives. And the nurses at GW are great. I’d also recommend working with a doula, ours was fabulous.
      As for books, check out Baby Bargains.It’s useful for giving a sense for what’s useful and what’s not and what’s worth the money and what isn’t. I also like the pregnancy week by week book, though ignore the scary info on unlikely things that can go wrong, It’s a little over the top, but not as bad as what to expect when you’re expecting.

      • Mtpresident, my favorite PoP economist πŸ˜€ Thank you, I am SO thrilled!! Thanks for the tips, it is much appreciated. Have a great day!

        • Aw thanks! I’m touched πŸ™‚ I’m happy to offer further thoughts/suggestions/advice if you have additional questions. Feel free to email me at mtpresident.popville at gmail.

    • I like the Mayo Clinic pregnancy book. Very straight forward and for someone like me prone to all kinds of anxiety it was the right tone. The “What to expect” book can be a bit too much and not as easily organized. I delivered at Sibley because thats were my OB delivered. I had some reservations because on the tour they could not “promise” a single room if they happened to be packed on the day you deliver. I do think they may have the most maternity rooms in the city though so not sure if it ever really becomes a proble. But yes, you have to pay an extra 250/night for a private room. And believe me, you MUST have a private room. Overall, sibley was good but the rooms are tiny. Congrats!

      • Seconded on the private rooms at Sibley. I had a private room for two nights and a shared room for one (which turned out to be single because no one showed up) but in the shared room I ended up getting out of bed to find a nurse for my scheduled medications and check-in/check-out was a nightmare. They definitely treat you better in a private room.

  • Rant: Last night as I was biking at a good clip north up 14th street, some male person said “catch!” and threw some light object (something plastic — it hit my arm but didn’t hurt me) at me at the corner of 14th and Irving. In the moment, as a pissed off person, I just yelled back “f*ck you!” I feel like going back to confront them = bad, ignoring = maybe also bad. What is the best thing to do in this kind of situation? Is there a perspective informed by um, I dunno, anything rational for how to deter future shitty behavior in other people, or does the response not really matter?

    • +1 at your response, even though I may not have done it depending on the situation.
      (Then again, I had a homeless guy cat call me in Glover Park one day last year with many people around, so I yelled back “Oh, shut up.” And everyone looked kind of shocked and walked away, including the guy. So not always a bad decision, I guess.)

  • Anyone have good experience with a gutter cleaning/repair company?
    Rave: Feeling better than yesterday
    Rave: in large part because I woke up with much less pain.
    Rant: I’m pretty sure I still didn’t get enough sleep that I won’t be bobbing my head at around 2pm,
    Rant: which probably won’t look good to the person that I’m meeting with.

  • anonymouse_dianne

    Drove by the long-closed restaurant at Conn and R – maybe was a COSI – early evening (7-ish) and the lights were on and people were working. Anyone know what’s going in there?

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rant: I’ve been going at pretty much a dead sprint at work since August.
    Rave: After today, things will get much more manageable. Still busy, but not crushingly so.
    Rave: Quick business trip to Phoenix starts tomorrow. I know it’s nuts, but I actually like downtown Phoenix.

  • Rant: Downstairs neighbors making me the middleman with my subletters. They’re nice just go talk to them.
    Rant: Forgot several things today. Went back and still forgot my lunch.
    Rave: Crockpot was a success.
    Rant: Now what to do with the extra chicken. I should have just shoved it all in there. Drat!
    Rave: Mostly unpacked.

    • I really like rosemary chicken. Just marinate your chicken in salt, pepper, 2-3TBS of olive oil, TBS honey, TBS brown mustard, 1-2 garlic cloves, and TBS or so of fresh chopped rosemary. (I’ve stopped measuring these things at this point, and just sort of play it by ear.) You can bake or grill it. I haven’t tried this in a crockpot, but would add some broth or water if you try it. I have some fresh rosemary that’s overgrown if you need it!

      • Yes, I’ll take free rosemary.
        How long to marinate? Everything was thawed yesterday, so I don’t want to wait too long to cook it.
        It’s too little for my huge crockpot. The internet tells me too little= overcooked chicken.

        • Shortest I’ve done was 30 minutes, or you could do it in the morning before work and then cook it afterwards. Either tasted good, you just get more flavor with the longer marinating time.

    • My two favorite chicken marinades are lemon/oregano and yogurt/mint. Add garlic to either if you like it. And of course salt, pepper, olive oil. Both are excellent grilled or baked.

  • Rant: Panicking about how to continue care when my friend gets out as we have no faith in her parents’ ability. Also thinking about her constantly and terrified about what being in a psych ward is like, how she feels betrayed and hates us.
    Rave: I can breathe easier knowing she is with professionals now.
    Going to concentrate on some raves though:
    Meet my friend’s new puppy! And went for a long walk with a good friend and pup this morning. In love with the Laurie King Mary Russel books. And loving this weather.

    • I know that it is really difficult to do, but try to see her her present reaction as separate from what her long term reaction might be. Yes, she is pissed off now, but it sounds like she is also not seeing things very clearly. So the odds that the rage is her condition talking and not her are pretty high. And her doctors should be able to recommend longer term resources if you think that her parents are not up to managing her care.

      • The separation I’m ok with but I’m trying to also manage short term. Do I visit her? Am I allowed to call her? Can I even talk to her doctors since I’m not family? How horrible must she feel to be sitting in an unknown place with the feeling that we’re all horrible people who betrayed her. It’s heartbreaking – this is someone I grew up with, who has been with me every step of my childhood, adolescence, teenage years, college, adulthood and here’s an experience, a situation, where I feel I have nothing to offer and no way to know what she is going through…

        • I definitely think you should make the attempt to visit and call. She might refuse to see you (if she’s still angry) but at least she’ll know that you care and are still trying to be in her life. And if she does see you, I think openly acknowledging her anger is the way to go: “I get that you are angry,/feel betrayed/insert whatever emotion here, but what we did was out of love and concern. I love you and want to see you taken care of and feeling well. And that’s not going to change no matter what.”

    • Blithe

      Would it be possible for you — or someone in her support circle — to attend your friend’s discharge planning meetings? Your friend would have to agree to this, of course, but hospital staff would likely welcome your presence.

      • This is a great idea -thank you. I will ask. Unfortunately, we (her friends) don’t even really know what to do in terms of visiting hours or calls or what to send or anything! It’s uncharted territory for us and we haven’t found anyone to guide us. Hopefully will find someway to be involved in the discharge planning meetings.

        • Blithe

          Can you call the hospital to get general information? It’s possible that visitors may be restricted to a specific list, but you may be able to speak with someone in customer service or even a charge nurse who can answer some of your questions. There may be restrictions on what you can send, but someone should be able to give you general ideas about that as well. I keep saying ‘general’ because rules re: patient confidentiality might prohibit staff from talking about a specific patient without consent.

  • Rant: Commuting 20 minutes later in the morning and at night adds a lot of wasted time spent waiting for buses/standing on buses/etc. Office seems slightly weirded out by me wanting to start at 8. I don’t know why this is so novel, it’s the start of core hours in my building.
    Rave: Midterms are over! HOOPLA!
    Rave: Can’t wait for the weekend and all the fun things. It’s starting to feel a little festive now that it’s November! My favorite time of the year πŸ™‚

    • 8am is the perfect time. Is it an issue with management not being around yet?

      • They usually come in around 8, so I have not a clue why they asked that I come in later. And there are days when I am the only one here (period) so … ::shrug::

    • Additional late rant(ish): Miscommunications about work schedules with the boyfriend. Not a big deal but sort of throws me off when I feel like I don’t know his schedule unless I ask explicitly (it changes periodically). Maybe I’m just used to my more-predictable schedule.

  • Rave: Heartburn is becoming more manageable.
    Rave: I slept so well last night! It is amazing to wake up and feel somewhat refreshed.
    Rant: Very loud people in the office kitchen this morning.
    Rave: i have a door, so I can always shut out the noise.

    • Additional Rave: My dad is just so sweet and attentive re: my pregnancy. I get weekly FB messages asking how I’m feeling. He’s the best.

  • Pablo Raw

    Rave: Amazing people who open the doors of their homes on Thanksgiving for orphan me.
    Rant: That means I may not be able to join the Unofficial Popville Orphans Thanksgiving Dinner.

  • Popquiry: Need suggestions for personal growth books, are there any that you’ve found particularly insightful?
    Rant: Dealing with people who cannot stomach having to do actual work. I know I have an aggressive work ethic, but I cannot understand how people can remain employed when they are constantly looking for a way out of doing anything.
    Rave: The weather!!!!!

    • What kind of personal growth are you thinking about?

    • Blithe

      My absolute, life-changing, startlingly enjoyable favorite is The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Someone recently suggested a book called Transitions to me. I also really like a lot of David Richo’s books – so you might want to skim a few or check out the reviews and see if they seem like your cup of tea. When Love Meets Fear and How to Be An Adult in Relationships are two of my favorites.

  • Question: Is there a limit to a workplace family friendliness? I LOVE my job and my boss/team (it’s just 3 of us), but if someone can’t make a board meeting because it’s their work from home day with their then 6-month old, and their babysitter isn’t available….it isn’t OK to bring your kid with you, right?
    Rave: a job that’s family friendly
    Rant: ordering a dishwasher from Lowes. I should have known better. SUCH awful customer service. Bought it last Saturday (as in the 24th) and it still couldn’t be installed.
    Rave: Called local place, they’ll have it to me in a day or two, and canxed Lowes. F them.
    Rant: I want some Milkbar goodies!!! Guess I’ll have to wait until January when I’m in town next. Booo!

    • “it’s their work from home day with their then 6-month old” — I thought most places with telework policies specify that telework is NOT to be used as a substitute for child care.

      • yeah….I have no problem with the flexibility, but not being home during the day to take a kid to an appointment and stuff? I guess because we are often working at odd hours, it doesn’t matter and it’s probably my old school gov employee fuddy duddy-ness creeping in

    • Regarding working from home for appointments, in my work place, I have been offered this. The idea being, yes it’s ok to work from home and be unavailable for part of the time as long as it’s made up during that same day. As far as bringing kids to work? This varies so much from place to place. Over the summer, my old work allowed me to bring the youngest with me every day for about an hour or so before leaving to take him to camp. I felt SUPER uncomfortable with this, and was always worried about how much noise he made, until one of the not-quite-bosses but upper-ups reminded me that given where I worked, they were used to it. But I would not normally take a kid with me all day even if allowed. It’s just too distracting for me.

      • My wife and I were always lucky to work places that were ridiculously flexible — she used to put the kids up in the conference room of her law firm sedate them with videos, and I actually took my 3-9-month old to work every day at the Democratic National Committee (used to get some funny looks on the Metro, in a suit and tie pushing a stroller at 8:30 AM). But neither of us would have tried to bring a baby in on a day with a major meeting. That’s kind of a non-starter.

        • +1. My mom used to take me to work periodically over the summer when I was older and could occupy myself better. It was fun, and not an issue for her. But babies?!

        • I think my issue is not knowing – like, if your kid has a medical appointment fine (again, I’m thrilled to work here), but let us know so your email of “I’ll respond when I’m back from my son’s medical appointment” makes it seem like you work around your appointments, if that makes sense. Anyway, it doesn’t bother me that much, probably just not used to it!!

    • IThe major problem with babies at work, often parents end up asking Admin assistants or lower level staff (almost always women) to help with child care. That’s very disrespectful to them and usually because of your position in the office, you can’t say no. Parenting is a full time job when you are with your child, that’s why you hire a full time child care provider. Working is also a full time job. I’m not sure how someone could do both at the same time.

  • Query: My usual “undo cat” command for my laptop is Ctrl + 0, which restores the text size. However, today when my cat walked across my laptop, she somehow turned the whole display sideways — from landscape mode into portrait mode. How do I undo this?

    • Never mind; I found the answer (on a different computer where I didn’t have to turn my head sideways to read the display). It’s Ctrl + Alt + the up-arrow key.

      • Glad you found the answer! And I think it’s funny that I often have the same computer issues as your cat does πŸ™‚

        • Hahaha! And Gary isn’t the cause?

          • I could pretend he is, but really it’s just me πŸ™‚ I think it’s because I switch frequently between Mac and PC laptops and the keyboards of the two are arranged -just- differently enough to completely screw me up.

      • binpetworth

        I was going to recommend you just have the cat walk backwards across your keyboard to undo her actions, but I guess finding a real solution helps πŸ™‚

  • I Dont Get It

    Rave: I took a well deserved mental health day yesterday but wasted it going
    Rant: Down the “Who Murdered Robert Wone?” rabbit hole. Ugh. This case is still so disturbing.

    • Was it the article about the houses with terrible pasts for sale that did it? I saw that yesterday, the picture had the house where Wone died in it, and just got deflated. It’s appalling and just so damn depressing that those guys got away with everything.

      • I was reading that same WP article yesterday (about houses where murders had taken place).

      • I Dont Get It

        That article started it but then I went to the Who Mudered Robert Wone website and poof…my day and good mood were both gone.

        • Emmaleigh504

          Reading that site during the trial was very interesting. Then the verdict, somebody did it, but they can’t prove who. Victor, tell what you know!

    • I went down this rabbit hole a few months ago… very disconcerting.

    • anonymouse_dianne

      That’s an easy rabbit hole to get sucked into. Whole web sites devoted to it. My sister is hooked on “Serial” and its successor. I started listening to it but it was too long for my then short attention span. It’s hard for me to believe that house is for sale already.

      • Do you mean the Savopoulos house? I can’t believe that one is on the market already. So sad.

        • Why can’t you believe it? The house is a tear-down and I’m sure the neighbors want it gone ASAP. The survivors want the deal done and out of their minds. Can’t blame anyone for selling and demo’ing it quickly.

  • Rave: another beautiful morning, I felt like singing the song from “Oklahoma!”
    Rant: My brother and sister-in-law and nephew are coming down to visit my parents in Philly this weekend, for some reason they thought I would be there too – why are we always missing each by a week or two?! I feel like this happens all the time!
    Rave: At least I’ll see them at Thanksgiving!
    Rave: Getting funny pictures from my s-i-l of my nephew having “tubby time” – that kid LOVES baths!

  • Rant: 12 hour days nearly every day is getting to me. Why did I agree to babysit three times this weekend too?
    Revel: therapy appointment this evening
    Revel: excited for trivia tomorrow.
    Neither: still contemplating whether or not a move would be a good idea. I know it’s not a magic band aid, but DC is just kicking my butt.
    Revel: this woman just came into my classroom to give me more supplies. I love this school!

  • Rant: I’ve been soooo hungry lately and I’m just gaining and gaining weight :-/
    Rave: I’m making lots of progress on my big national park trip plans for next summer. It’s going to be awesome.
    Rant: my neck hurts even though the rear ending incident was pretty mild. I’m really hoping it just goes away.
    Pop-quiry: Where are good stores to go kitchen tile shopping around here? Do any of them let you take samples home? Also, I’m looking to put in hard wired under cabinet lighting in my kitchen, does anyone have a recommendation for a brand/type. Hopefully this will be my Christmas vacation project.

    • Jealous about your trip, sounds fantastic. Don’t forget to pick up an America the Beautiful Pass. Great deal if you’re visiting several parks.

    • Barring medical issues, when I’ve had this kind of hungry-all-the-time-without-explanation experience, changing what I was eating seemed to help — especially extra protein.

      • +1. I need to do this. I eat way too many carbs (because they’re cheap) and then I always feel hungry.

        • My stomach is a bottomless pit when it comes to carbs. I could probably eat an entire loaf of bread or an entire cake in one sitting, and I’m not exaggerating.

          • I believe I read somewhere once that carbs actually make you hungry for more carbs. Which is so true. But sometimes I can’t stop myself. Case in point: last night at Costco I bought a 20 pack of pocketless pitas.
            I have some regrets over this, but they are so fluffy.

        • and now cheese (and sugar) are addictive. The world is out to make it difficult to stay full, be healthy, and not gain a lot of weight. There was also a recent interesting article on how it is actually harder to lose weight than it was decades ago (no matter what) due to pollution and other outside factors. Thanks Obama.

        • I have a weight gain question. In the past calorie counting worked really well for me: I’d set a goal of around 1400 calories/day to maintain my current weight, 1200/day to lose (I’d lose about a pound a month if I was good about sticking to it).
          I stopped calorie counting for a few months and gained 7 pounds, so in April I went back on a 1200 calorie diet. But this time it’s doing nothing for me. Almost all my meals are home cooked, and I’m pretty precise with measuring quantities (I have a scale), so I don’t think I’m underestimating calories consumed. Lifestyle-wise nothing’s changed except I went from a 25-minute walking commute to a 15-minute metro ride + 20-minute walk from the metro to my office.
          Everyone says I’m just getting older and my metabolism is slowing down (I just turned 33). But then what do I do to keep the weight off? Drop down to 1000 calories a day? I think I’d be hungry if I did that.

          • Do not drop to 1000 calories a day! That will only make you tired, really hungry and cranky, and less likely to stick to your guns! It is entirely possible it’s your metabolism slowing down (I hit 30 a few years ago and it was like “K, bye!” Sooo much harder to lose weight now!). However, you may just want to make sure your thyroid and all your hormone levels are in the right range, so maybe talk to your doctor the next time you see her/him. They should be willing to run some standard blood panels, which could potentially be informative….

          • I don’t have much to add, but you do okay on 1200 calories? I want to poke my eyes out when I restrict to 1750 cal/day, which is what I need to lose about .5lb/week.

          • In actuality I average more like 1300 a day (not counting 2-4 times a month when I go out to eat and/or have more than one drink). My BMR is 1214 calories a day and I’m very sedentary on weekdays, so 1200-1300 should be plenty.

          • Could it be that you have been dieting for so long that your body accepts it’s new calorie load and adjusts? I’ve been doing Weight Watchers for a few months and I have just completely plateaued. For a while I felt like perhaps I was just at my body’s “normal” weight and I wouldn’t lose anymore. But now that I’ve started eating much less meat and stopped replacing that with carbs, I’m back to losing again.

          • Huh, I never thought of it as dieting. More like making sure I don’t overeat. πŸ™‚

          • Exercise! Simply trying to starve yourself thin (I say 1k/day feels like starving for the average person) is inefficient. You’ll be able to eat more and still lose weight once you’re on a regular, consistent, at least moderately strenuous exercise plan.

          • If you’re restricting calories to lose weight, it’s a diet. πŸ™‚ also measuring so precisely.

          • Agreed with Anon Spock – totally dieting. Also agreed with the exercise advice (I myself should also follow this advice! πŸ™‚ )

          • I exercised almost every day in the summer (I was in a small Midwest town where there was nothing better to do) and it didn’t have an impact on my weight. It never does.
            I still exercise regularly these days, but it’s mostly yoga and multi-hour walks. Not a lot of cardio since my Zumba teacher left.

          • I guess if I’m on a “diet” for life then. Ever since I was a kid calorie counting has been the only way for me to avoid being overweight. I’m short so I can’t eat as much as everyone else.

      • I eat a pretty good amount of protein. I always start the day with two eggs and half an avocado, cooked with olive oil. I snack on nuts, fruit, and one mini wheel of cheese throughout the day. I change up my lunch after a few weeks of one thing, but usually it’s salad with lots of protein (meat, cheese, and nuts), yogurt with berries and some granola, or right now is my least protein-y thing- hummus with veggies and one pita.
        I even made chili with protein coming from turkey, beans, and quinoa this week. Hmmm.

        • sometimes I think it’s just this time of year – my pets get antsier for their food, and I start to feel a bit like a squirrel, building up a little hoard of food – maybe it’s just “hibernation mode” turning on?

        • Ah, I’m jealous. This is how I WANT to eat but I have such a hard time sticking to it because of prep time (I’m thinking of getting some of those pre-cooked chicken strip things for salads) and money. I’m surprised you’re gaining weight like this. Could it be stress?

          • I make the scrambled eggs in the microwave in a coffee mug. Spray mug, crack eggs, drizzle oil, scramble, nuke 30 s, shake, nuke 30 s, stir, dump on plate, salt, pepper, avocado, eat.

            Adjust to your microwave and/or mug (diff mugs conduct differently). I hate rubbery eggs and I thought these would be like that, but they’re great.

          • oh my gosh! Why haven’t I heard of this egg-cooking method before?! That sounds pretty amazing! Although I sort of loathe scrambled eggs – I love sunny-side up, but for some reason, scrambled eggs are hard to choke down sometimes.

  • Anyone know what is going on with the Heller’s space? Have not seen any progress/build out from the Room 11 people. I hope it’s not in trouble….

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: work stress and anxiety are making me super tense
    Rave: stress busting tips in RRR.
    Rant: The Toys R Us commercial where Ken is driving Barbie’s car. Drives me nuts.
    Rave: Distressing work a bit with some Chili Peppers. Semi working.

  • Rant: Having general anxiety about all things related to work, babies’ arrival, moving, finances. Basically everything really. Constantly working hard to hold it all together and not ugly cry.
    Rave: New York Times Cooking’s Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake with about four times the amount of poppy seeds called for in the recipe. YUM.

    • Don’t eat too many poppy seeds or you’ll pop a positive on your admission blood work for opiates when you have the babies πŸ˜‰ (I kid, I kid, you’d have to eat A LOT to achieve this)
      In all seriousness, if there is anyway to get on top of the anxiety now, do it. You sound a lot like me in a lot of respects, and I know for me, when I get super anxious, what works is either to control things or to completely realize, understand and absorb that I cannot control them. So, perhaps make a list of what can be fixed/controlled and a list of what can’t. This way you can work on the things that are workable, and work on coming to peace with the things that are not. I hope this makes sense!

      • My husband said the same thing about the poppy seeds! I actually wanted to use even more but he talked me down from it.
        Your advice about dividing my list is a really good one. Right now I just have one long list that induces panic every time I look at it. No bueno.

  • Hey, dcd. Were you the sci-fi afficianado? Might’ve been someone else. But anyway, a review of the Ancillary trilogy. Just got my hands on the final book, and looking forward to jumping in.
    http://www. slate.com/articles/arts/books/2015/11/ancillary_mercy_reviewed_the_final_novel_in_ann_leckie_s_imperial_radch.html

  • Rave: Big gig for me tonight.
    Rant: Nervous about said gig.

  • justinbc

    Rave: Free AbP coffee from 2-5. And there are 3 around my building…

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