Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Miki J.

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.

222 Comment

  • Rave: Took bus home late last night instead of being at Penn Station when there was shooting this morning (at the same time I typically commute through there)
    Rant: Mental institutions/psych wards whatever you want to call them are not a place for rehabilitation. I have to remind myself she’s a ward of the state and that’s where she has to be to not be a danger to herself.
    Rave: She looked me in the eye, she was able to talk about something other than the past, she engaged in conversation and asked about friends and family, so many positive things.
    Rant: Got kicked out of the only three weekly visiting hours early because of a violent patient. The look in her face as we were escorted out was heartbreaking. This whole thing is heartbreaking.
    Rant: Now what? What next?
    Rave: Iggles.

    • Glad you had a good visit with her albeit with the early end. She’s in a safe place now and hopefully she is getting better day by day. Don’t be too hard on yourself, it sounds like you are doing your best by her. Continue being the good friend you are and take care of yourself too.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Your rave about the visit reminds me of when my mom was in the bin. We had some awkward, uncomfortable visits, but we also has some really great ones. One in particular where we laughed so much it got written in her chart, in fact I’m giggling just thinking of it. Mention of that one visit is sure to get us laughing every time.
      The metal hospitals aren’t all evil. They have their place in helping people treat mental illness. I’m sorry your friend has to be there, but hopefully it will help.

    • I am really glad to hear that the visit with your friend went well — I know you were scared of how you would be received. I’m glad she’s aware that you are not the enemy.
      Please just remember to be kind to yourself — you did the right thing.

    • I’m glad your visit went well — I know that you were very worried that you would be perceived as the enemy (and I’m glad that she realizes you are not).
      Please remember to be kind to yourself as well, here. You did the right thing.

  • Rave: Sweet Sunday checking out VA wineries with our big group of old friends and new friends.
    Rave: Aspen Dale winery was great, props to owners Larry and Kelly for accommodating on only an hour’s notice
    Rant: Little out of it this morning. Kept the party going after we got back

    • I went to high school with the daughter of the owners of Aspen Dale, she’s a good friend of mine…glad you enjoyed it!

  • Question for the PoPulace: Does anyone have experience with or recommendations for those weekly meals that get shipped to your door (ex: Blue Apron, Plated, etc.)? Opinions about price/quality compared to just going to the grocery store?
    I’m trying to find a better way to make real food for myself on a budget when I don’t have time to prep every night or the ability to take frozen meals to work for lunch (no freezer access), so large batch meals are difficult. Wondering if one of these subscriptions might get me a work-week of lunch and dinner that’s healthier than what I usually end up with when I try to shop at the store myself (mostly carbs, because easy & cheap).

    • I think they’re all on the pricer end if you’re trying to stay on a budget. It may be easier to either get a cooler to pack frozen meals or get a crockpot which takes minimal prep and will be done when you get home. I’ve found the latter very convenient.

    • BA can be hit or miss – I go on and check the schedule to see what’s offered. Sometimes the meal is a salad with a poached egg on top. Not worth the $$. I have free weeks if you’d like one – you just have to remember to cancel. I agree that crock pot can be better, but there’s minimal amount of recipes for good vegetarian crock pot meals. We like BA because it gives my husband solid directions for cooking since he doesn’t know how to cook anything. For me, it’s a pain because I know how to cook. BA sends you 3 dinners. You might have better luck with a system like “once a month meals”

      • I didn’t realize hungry was vegetarian. Much easier crockpot options with meat.

      • thanks for the offer on the free week! i’ll let you know a little later if i’m still interested. i agree about the vegetarian offerings — i was mostly looking at blue apron for things like shrimp or non-veggie ramen that i normally wouldn’t cook myself because of the cost of buying ingredients separately at the store but would feel more satisfied eating than my current rotation of overly carb-based meals.

    • My husband and I just started doing Blue Apron two weeks ago, and so far we like it. All the recipes have been really good, easy to follow, and had us cooking things we don’t usually cook. We’re on the 2 person plan and I find the portions to be really generous, so you could make the meal then save the leftovers for lunch next day. On one hand it’s nice not having to plan out meals and grocery lists for the week, but on the other hand I kind of enjoyed that chore, and BA can get expensive. Have you checked out the blog Budget Bytes? There’s a lot of easy, cheap but delicious meals on there with step by step photos. It’s my go-to source for large-batch cooking like soups, chili, casseroles, or slow cooker dishes.

      • thanks, pixie. this is good to know — my thought was to do dinner and leftovers for lunches and alternate that way for a few days. on average I spend about $60-$70 a week on groceries anyway, and feel like I get haphazard meals that don’t get me as far as I’d like. i have read budget bytes but i find she uses a lot of “pantry” items that i don’t have and don’t want to invest in if i can avoid it.

      • I second Budget Bytes. It’s a great food blog and all of the recipes are really straight-forward.

    • I use My Power Supply once in a while when I know I’m going to be too busy to cook. It’s not very economical at $10 per meal, but the food is good and I like that it’s local.
      I would second/third the crockpot, even if you’re vegetarian. There are a lot of variations on vegetable stew or chili, and I use lentils to replace meat in some recipes. That’s assuming you still have access to a fridge and microwave at work, just not a freezer.

    • Try HelloFresh! I’ve found the quality of food, packaging, and recipes to be much better than BlueApron. Very seasonal meals.

      • thanks for this recommendation! i’ve heard of this once or twice but couldn’t remember the name to investigate!

    • anonymouse_dianne

      I like Scratch DC. It’s a little pricier but they do all the work for you except cook! All the stuff is chopped and prepped and there is always a vegetarian option. And the two servings is more like four. Blue Apron is way too much food for one.

      • i’ll definitely look into this. as far as blue apron, i’m spending roughly the same on food now but feeling like i run out of food towards the end of the week. then i end up eating weird things like oatmeal twice in a day. so too much food would be welcome in my apartment. i could totally eat the 9 meals in a week if i cycle through them between lunch and dinner.

        • I’ve never done an exact comparison, but I think you’ll get less food from Blue Apron than if you spent the same amount of money at the grocery store. The benefit of Blue Apron is not cheaper food, but more variety and less planning and shopping for your meals. It sounds like your problem is planning and shopping, so BA might help but it’s not going to help your budget so much. One thing you can do is try Blue Apron just for a while, keep all the recipes you like and then use those for planning your meals in the future.

          • you can also just go on BA’s site and print recipes…

          • I did not know that. Even better if you don’t mind the shopping but need help with the planning.

          • I wasn’t looking so much to lower my budget below the $60 a week, but stretch it further because the planning and shopping IS a big part of the issue. my thought process went along the lines of “i spend a lot of money at the store for the amount of *real* meals i get because i am bad at planning because i don’t have time to plan.” i figured that i won’t necessarily be saving money, but hopefully wouldn’t bloat my current budget and would get me more well-rounded meals. Also, if I ended up not loving something, I wouldn’t have a whole bag/jar of it I’d be forced to use lying around.

      • I love Scratch but it’s pricey so I tend to only order as a special treat/if it’s a meal I had no idea how to cook for myself. That said, their pad thai is amazing.

    • Don’t forget about frozen veggies, and shop sales. I’ll make two or three meals worth of protein, then chop a few veggies the night before, toss with bagged spinach, and you’re done. You can also make a large batch of grains like quinoa to add into salad or make a grain bowl. Frozen veggies are also super easy for stir fries or one pan dinners. Just sautee with meat and a sauce, and they add a lot of bulk. I’ve also recently discovered the beauty of greek yogurt dip with veggies as a snack. So much less carby than my usual granola bars, and I get a full serving of veggies in. I usually mix some garlic powder, random herbs, salt and pepper into the yogurt and it tastes way fancier than the two minutes it took to make.

    • I tried Blue Apron for probably 8 weeks, and they were good, but FedEx’s delivery of the boxes was so unpredictable that we had to discontinue our subscription. We had the boxes delivered on Saturdays, and most of the time, they just weren’t delivered, or possibly delivered to the wrong address. Once, I was home all day Saturday, doing work at my desk looking out my window with a view of the front door, and our box was scanned as delivered. Two hours later, still no box, still no FedEx truck in the neighborhood at all. It was terrible.

      For the last few weeks of the service, we had the boxes delivered straight to the FedEx Office down the street, and deliveries were still just as unreliable. The last straw was when the FedEx driver scanned the box as delivered, but ended up delivering the box to the store hours later, after the FedEx Office had closed for the day, and was then closed the following day. I could see the box through the window inside the store, but I couldn’t get to it (and my rotting food). UGH. The worst.

      TLDR: Blue Apron is nice if you have reliable delivery service.

      • oof. that sucks. i’m sorry you had that experience. i’ll make a mental note of that. i’ve seen blue apron boxes at the front desk of my complex before so i’m hopeful….

    • I cook for just myself and find that a crockpot is easy to use, economical and able to leave me with freezable leftovers. Try the stuffed pepper recipe from stacymakesscents.com. I used colored peppers and partially cooked brown rice for the filling (Giant sells microwaveable brown rice). I also decreased some of the cheese, added more spices and added about half a pack of sautéed mushrooms, INSTEAD of meat. The recipe is very flexible so tweak it to your liking. If you don’t have a crockpot you can cook the peppers in the oven.

      • the problem is i can’t freeze leftovers unless i buy a cooler (per AnonSpock) because i don’t have a freezer at work. so while the crockpot might help me make more for less and would be good for dinners, it won’t get me lunches that i can take for more than a day or two. we only have a minifridge in my office.

  • Rave: I had a great time at my friend’s masquerade party and I had my makeup professionally done. I’ve never worn that much makeup in my life but wow, I looked like a very pretty version of me. I just won’t take over an hour to do makeup normally, but it was nice to feel fancy for an evening!

    Rant: Weirdly missing the ex. I have no reason to want him back. I don’t want him back, I don’t know where this is coming from, but I hate it. I just have this odd sadness. I’m sure it will fade, but just…ugh.

    Rave: this 21 day fix stuff actually works! I’ve lost almost 5 pounds since starting (I haven’t been doing the exercises because of the injuries from Halloween, so this is just by following the food stuff which is super easy).

    • Not sure what diet you’re following, but I read an article in GQ by a guy who spent three months under the care of the trainer who bulks up actors when they have to play a superhero in the movies. The writer was surprised to discover that it was kind of 2/3 diet, 1/3 exercise in terms the effect on his body (which, based on the before and after pictures, was impressive).

      • It’s called the 21 Day Fix. It’s surprisingly easy! Once I’m okay to work out again (for the first time, really since starting this) hopefully next week, I’ll see better/more changes.

      • I feel like most people assume hey if I just change my diet I’ll see these miraculous results without working out which isn’t realistic. To simply gain, you could eat tons, but if you want it to be muscle you have to gym.
        Look at the Rock, his diet is insane, but he’s in the gym twice a day or more.

        • I don’t expect to see miraculous results, I expect to see realistic results as I change the way that I am eating, and make better choices. This program is a great way to help me re-learn portion control — it’s getting easier to recognize. I didn’t put on this weight overnight, I won’t lose it overnight, either. Once I’m clear to start adding in the workouts, I hope to see a better toned me as well. Trust me, I have no delusions of becoming an instant supermodel or anything. Slow, steady and consistent will give me what I want.

          • My comment was directed at the guy in the article who was surprised it’s a much diet as exercise. I know you can’t even work out right now, so I thought it would be more obvious. My apologies.

      • Do you remember the name of this article, or its author?

        • http://www.gq.com/story/fitness-how-to-get-chris-pratt-fit

          The article was useless for me because while I don’t mind killing myself in the gym — or, on the water — the thought of modifying my diet horrifies me. 🙂

        • “How to get a Superhero Body in 90 Days or Less” by Chris Pratt on GQ.com (I would link but that seems to get my comment eaten somehow.

        • I read an article recently, I think on WaPo, that compared something like 30 different weight loss studies, and they all basically concluded the same thing: that you need to diet to lose weight and exercise to keep it off. A lot of people tend to overestimate how many calories they burn when they workout, so they overeat (think overweight marathon runners), but since staying on a diet forever isn’t sustainable for most people and you don’t need to cut as many calories to maintain your weight, exercise helps you keep the weight off.

          I’m following State of Slim right now and it’s kind of based on this principle. The first two weeks are strict, just kind of clearing all the crap out of your diet. Then the next six you start to add things back in, basically rebuilding to a balanced diet (including indulgences), while each week you increase the amount of daily physical activity. The end result ideally would be that you end up with a balanced, realistic diet and have made exercise a consistent habit. They also claim it “resets” your metabolism, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with mine, I just eat too much and don’t workout enough, but whatevs, I’ll take it.

    • I hear ya on the ex thing… For some reason, the new Adele song just hits me in the feels and every time I hear it I think about one of my exes. It’s weird, there’s nothing left there, and it’s not a longing kind of feeling, just like it bring up memories I guess. Anyway, it will fade, but when someone is important to you at some point in your life, I think to some extent that never goes away.

      • it will fade until Adele’s next sinlge is release…and then here comes more feelings. lol

      • You’re probably right. Every now and then, I still have weird dreams about the ex-husband.

        The first time I heard the new Adele song, I had just woken up. I wish there was some kind of warning along the lines of “This is going to punch you right in the heart and make you cry! So, good morning and stuff!”

  • Anonynon

    Rave: Job interview tomorrow
    Rant: A little scared of the implications this would have if I get the position..change is scary but needed.

    • Emmaleigh504

      good luck!

    • I had a similar fear when taking the position I started a week ago. After about 2 days, all those fears went adios and I’m much happier here (so far) than I was at my last job. I’m sure the feelings will still lurk and pop up for awhile, but I am just happy my anxiety quickly left.

      in other words, yes, change is scary, but needed.

  • Rave: Wonderful day Saturday. Boyfriend said dinner was one of the most delicious he’s ever eaten. Thanks for whoever it was on here that gave the idea for lemon rosemary chicken last week (anonomom?). Huzzah!
    Rant: Headache today. Felt really weirdly sad yesterday the entire day. Not sure if I was going stir crazy from too much time indoors this weekend or if it was maybe my headache coming on? But ugh!
    Rave: This week marks the beginning of the season where federal holidays happen every couple of weeks! My favorite time of the year!!

  • New baby kitty hates psychiatrists. He is quite cheerful and bouncy while eviscerating a stuffed bunny, but when faced with a plush Freud or Jung, he goes all angry feral predator: lashing tail, ears laid back, low snarling, hair standing up on his back. If Albert hadn’t gone into hiding, I’d try him out on plush Einstein, and see if he feels differently about physicists.

    • I want these cat toys for my cat!!! Where did you find them? My previous cat eviscerated a catnip George W. Bush years ago.

      • It’s the Little Thinkers line of dolls. They have all the seminal philosophers, scientists, artists, etc. They’re popular gifts for teachers, so we’ve accumulated quite a few.

  • Rant: I have something in my eye under my contact and I can’t get it out and I don’t have eyedrops or anything on me -gah!
    Rave: Looking forward to having a day off in the middle of the week – then maybe I can finish all the stuff I didn’t do this weekend and feel more sane
    Rant: Had really bizarre dreams last night and it took a while to sort out what was real and what wasn’t. I’m still a little blurry on some of it. Did not sleep well.
    Rant: Drama with my middle brother. Every. goddamn. year. around this time. So over it.
    Rave: Getting a chance to FaceTime with my nephew – he’s just the cutest!

    • YESSSSSSS on the Wednesday day off!! i was saying the other day how the occasional mid-week holidays are nice because they really force me to relax and focus on the little things that i often neglect (as opposed to a fri/mon holiday in which i use for an extended weekend getaway and then go back to work even more exhausted and more behind in life and the little things than when i left)

  • Rave – It was ridiculously beautiful day yesterday. and I spent all morning outside.
    Rant – The red line was awful this morning.
    Rave – Coworker bought in leftover Halloween candy to the office!! There is nothing better than coming into work on Monday morning to a pile of KitKats and Reeses.

  • jack5

    Rave: People in a trap house on my block moved out last wekend! Yeah!! Suddenly the neighborhood is quiet again! That’s DC for you, one minute your block is under siege and the next minute it’s a quaint walkable baby stroller block again. :/

    Rant: Noisy trash trucks… There probably is a law on the books, but some of these trucks are so damn noisy they should be put down… Someone should make them but a new muffler. Also, the thick clouds of diesel smoke they spew means they probably aren’t subject to proper emissions testing.

    Rant: Need a vacation, but work piles up so much that I’m the only one to do it. There’s gotta be a better way… I can’t keep this up another 15 years, I need more work/life balance.

  • Rave: almost to the 4 month mark of living with someone (s/o) for the first time in my life and i haven’t had a mental breakdown and ran back to TX yet
    Rave: my cold brew latte with homemade almond milk is a powerful drug to be handled with caution
    Rant: living with someone for the first time in my life is exhausting; wonderful (see s/o above), but exhausting. i like things the way i like them and of all the things in my life, this is an environment i can control and i want to control it. sure, i can compromise on some things, but having to repeatedly ask for something to be done makes me feel dismissed. i don’t like chaos. i like order.
    Rant: OCD is such a paralyzing thing
    Rant: job is meh; need a new assignment
    Rave: i love living in DC as much as i thought I would (woooo for affirmation!)

    • “but having to repeatedly ask for something to be done makes me feel dismissed”
      Probably also makes the other person feel badgered. Obviously it depends what the “something” is, but this is where you have to figure out whether you really need to ask repeatedly, just do it yourself, or even let it go altogether. What’s important to you is not necessarily important to the other; and vice versa. You can only win some of the battle so make sure you’re picking the important ones.

      • Allison

        Four months is still time to be settling into your respective chore roles. If you find one person is picking up more chores than the other, you could try instituting a chore chart/schedule. That way it’s not “you” telling them to do it, it’s the chore chart that you both agreed on.

    • An honest question – is it that things aren’t getting down or that they aren’t getting done the way you want them to be done?
      Also, some honest advice. “This is an environment I can control and I want to control it.” This is not just your space. You alone do not get to control it anymore. You have just as much right to control as he/she does.

    • I think Carolyn Hax’s usual advice when couples have different standards on tidying/cleanliness is to hire a cleaner, if finances permit. That way, it’s not left to one person to pick up the slack and feel resentful about it.

      • That’s what my parents did. Had a cleaner once every couple weeks (then once a month after they were retired). Worked for them.

    • It sounds like you guys have differing standards of cleanliness. If your standards are informed by your OCD, then it is difficult to expect a non-OCD partner to share them. This is something that you guys are going to have to discuss and come to a compromise about. Textdoc’s/Hax’s maid suggestion is a good one if it is within your means. Even just having them come once a month would get the house closer to where you want it to be without taking a toll on your relationship.

      • I was also wondering whether Womp has actual clinical OCD or is just using the term loosely to mean “I’m very particular about things.” (I was assuming the latter.)

        • Agreed with this…. there is a really big difference between someone who is actually OCD and someone who is just particular. I once lived with someone who claimed to be OCD, however, what they really were was someone who wanted the apartment to be clean but did little to nothing to make this happen. You know, the type who don’t lend a hand but will happily sit back and complain about the job everyone else is doing.

      • Years later this is still a topic of discussion between me and my husband. Ha! I didn’t realize anyone else used his line of ‘different standards of cleanliness’ I thought he was just BS-ing me. I will say that it does take some time to adjust, four months is still early. But the adjusting needs to happen on both sides and yes, if you can make it happen get someone in to help with cleaning, It is something that’s very important to me too.

        • The people I usually have to come and clean my house once every 3 months costs $125 but I just got this voucher from an email for a service called Handy — last month, they had a deal where they’d clean your house for $19, and then you could schedule cleaners after that at a regular rate. I liked the job she did, so they’re coming back this month at $57 (for 3 hours of cleaning).

        • Definitely not BS, but I think it’s harder to accept if you’re the one who requires the higher standard (i.e. more cleanliness).

      • I could be wrong, but based on this line: “Rant: OCD is such a paralyzing thing” I was assuming that OP had clinical OCD.

        And re: “differing standards of cleanliness,” I don’t mean that one person wants things reasonably clean and one person is slacking off. I meant more like people who must have every surface clean enough to eat off of vs. people who might leave dishes in the sink overnight or save the major cleaning for the weekends.

  • Rant: One of my friends already started posting “elf on the shelf” pictures on Facebook. Too. early. (The elf on the shelf kinda creeps me out anyway…)
    Rant: I have no idea what the fork I’m doing with this one assignment at work. My boss’ advice was to google examples.
    Rave: Made baked spaghetti last night, it turned out great and I have leftovers for lunch.

    • I think the whole “Elf on the Shelf” phenomenon is possibly one of the stupidest, most bourgeois and bizarrely egotistical things we’ve seen in the last 50 years, second only to selfie-sticks in vanity. In other words, I really hate it.

    • I really, really hate Elf on the Shelf. I think it is one of the most ridiculous things ever. What’s worse is the BF and I are combining Christmas traditions this year, and they have “always” (read – since it became a thing) done Elf on the Shelf.

    • Kind of tangential, but has anyone here heard of Dinovember? Look it up if you haven’t. It’s the anti-Elf on the Shelf.

    • Don’t have much of an opinion on Elf on the Shelf (aside from agreeing that it is far far too early), but when I was a kid my parents sort of did a similar thing for me with their Dickens Village. My mom told me that at night they come alive and have a party. After I went to bed she’d go and move the people around so I’d see it as “proof”. There wasn’t a punishment/reward/spying aspect though, just fun.
      That is, until one night the villagers got a little too rambunctious and an angel wound up on the train tracks (I think the cat must have jumped up on the table and knocked things over). I placed each villager in solitary confinement for a couple of days so they could think over what they did.

  • Rant: At this point, I’ve either got whooping cough, TB, COPD….or something. The coughing is so bad and now I have a cracked rib from the coughing.
    Rave: we get our dishwasher today!!! I am so sick of hand washing. I know, first world problem…but it’s so annoying!
    Rant: Trump on SNL. It was SO BAD
    Rave: The Aziz Ansari show on Netflix. SO GOOD.

  • Rave: Place is finally together.
    Rave: Awesome cable dude who worked tirelessly to get me service.
    Rave: Awesome weekend hoping for another one.
    Rant: I really need to figure out who’s above me. Stomping around at 11pm. Come on ppl.

  • Rave/Rant: Busy, busy weekend. It was fun but I am exhausted, was running behind this morning, and just feeling discombobulated.
    Rave: The Cartwheel App for Target is doing one toy per day 50% off and has the toy little Anonachild has been wanting since last Christmas on today. I love a good deal!

  • Rant-greenline metro, extra packed and slow this AM
    Bigger Rant-the sloths that work as station managers at Petworth. ONE gate was working today and that was the gate for disabled riders which has to close fully to work. And a gorup of 20 students was trying to get through. The manager finally gets off her ass to come out when she sees 40 people lining up to get in. Total nasty attitude and really put-out to get the other two gates to finally start working. What exactly is the station manager supposed to do? Im assuming they are union therefore have zero sense of working fast or mananging a situation. I think they all should be fired and forced to recompete for their jobs.

  • Rave: that apple cake recipe, even better with a couple of tweaks, got a request to bring it to an upcoming potluck.
    Rant: the reason I made it this weekend, marking a sad event.
    Rave 2: the community that comes together to offer support.

  • Rave: Made a ton of progress in life planning this weekend, almost entirely due to the husband’s efforts.
    Rave: Going to the new condo today to take photos and measurements! Let the nesting begin!
    Rave? Having a major craving for halvah and now am on a mission to find or make it.
    Rant? I’m trying to figure out when my parents should come visit us after the babies come and it’s not easy. As I’ve mentioned before, they’re a bit needy/complain-y and I really don’t want to have to attend to their needs when I’m trying to take care of brand new twins and possibly recover from a c-section. But I also want them to meet their grandchildren and am not sure delaying that will help matters. Any advice out there?

    • Oh, and for baked good aficionados out there, I’m completely flipping over the Ovenly chocolate chip cookie recipe on Food52. I made a batch this weekend and they were easy, fast (not counting “resting” time) and pretty much the ideal chocolate chip cookie.

    • c-section recovery is tough, I would really see if they can come in the 3rd week. However, if they’re not helpful, maybe earlier when your husband is home (right…?) would be better because he can wait on them? That said, do you have any info on a PP doula or help at home from someone with twins experience?
      I had no one visit/stay. My folks came right away for the day – not possible for you in SF – and my MIL came for like 2 days or something after the bris.
      3rd week seems to be when you feel like you’re almost human again

    • Yay for the life planning!!
      As far as the advice on visiting goes, that’s a hard one. I found with all the kids that I had the most energy in the two 10 or so days following birth, then about that two week mark I hit my exhaustion wall, needed a week or so to recover and find the new balance, and then I was cool. So based on this experience, I would suggest they either come right at the beginning, or when the babies are three weeks old. Given that it sounds like our moms are cut from the same cloth, I would do the three weeks post delivery so that you have a chance to get your groove down and the “do it this way, that’s how I did it” will be easier to deflect.

    • How long will your husband be home? I would try to get your folks out once he’s back at work. I really did not want to be alone with my newborn, and my mom surprised me by being awesome and helpful and nearly-selfless (for once in her life.)

    • I just googled halvah because I didn’t know what it was — NYT has recipe that looks really easy.

      • I was thinking about using that recipe, but working with tahini at home makes me nervous. There isn’t much consistency between brands and if you get an older batch it can taste sour/rancid. This is one of the rare situations where I’d rather buy it pre-made from a market! Even the Joyva brand halvah, which can be cloyingly sweet, is pretty tasty.

    • J, Anonamom and wdc, it sounds like you’re converging on the 3-week mark, which sounds good to me (let’s see if -they- can handle that wait 🙂 ) To answer your questions, we plan to have a postpartum doula and my husband has three weeks flexible paid leave, meaning that he can take it all at once or spread it out as he wants. I’m tempted to just have my first two weeks home with the doula and send my husband to work so that ladies can get into their groove. Then my husband can help with the parents’ visit….

      • I think having him delay is a great idea!

      • any chance he can telework at all? What helped me a lot was my husband going from off to telework to half days. So he wasn’t just off and then gone.

      • Emmaleigh504

        I read someplace some time that not including the spouse early on can cause tension. You get your groove on with the girls while dad is at work. Then later when you need help he hasn’t gotten his groove on and feels like he can’t do anything. Maybe your spouse will jump right in after work, you know him better. I just worry he won’t get his time to bond with the girls if he waits on the time off. Maybe he can take a week or 2 right when they are brand new, then take the last week when the rents are visiting.

  • Rave: Awesome weekend relaxing and getting things done around the house. Made a delicious (and easy) cauliflower leek soup.
    Rant: Work. Ugh. I don’t want to today.

  • emvee

    Rave: A great weekend was had with back-to-back pho!
    Rant: Monday with no pho.
    Question: I need to get to and from NYC on Wednesday. I realize this means my day off will be incredibly hectic, but alas, such is life. Any suggestions for the best way to get there? I’d prefer Amtrak because anything is better than the bus, but I’m also open to best bus suggestions!

    • If budget isn’t an issue, I’d definitely recommend Amtrak. In my experience, it’s far, far less stressful that than any of the buses, more predictable, nd you can usually shave time off the trip in both directions.

      • emvee

        Having gotten stuck on a Bolt Bus on 95N in the past, I’m trying to decide if budget is an issue or not.

        • +1. Amtrak all the way. The last time I took Bolt, it was a seven hour ride to New York (which, to be fair, involved major traffic snarls and torrential rain. But still, it made a mess of my weekend.). The ride home was about five hours. I’d rather just pay the money and know when I’m going to get there.

    • justinbc

      Another vote for Amtrak.

    • emvee

      I think that, this last minute, it may actually be cheaper to fly than to take Amtrak. Life’s little surprises could’ve given a better heads up this time.

      • If you have to go there and back in the same day, splurge for Acela. Second choice would be to fly, sometimes US Airways shuttle (or American Airlines now?) has good last minute deals from DCA to LGA.

      • From what I understand, flights can actually be more frustrating than the bus because of all the extra time you need to clear security, get to/from the airport, etc. You also should factor in the cost of airport transit, which can be $$ depending on the NYC airport you choose.

      • Flying sucks. If you need to take an Uber/cab from the NYC airport into the city, the NE regional Amtrak will probably end up cheaper despite the higher ticket price. Travel time, train will be very similar to the airport once you consider time wasted getting to the airport, security, and waiting on the tarmac to take off.
        Also, the shuttle flights are the first to get canceled when there’s inclement weather due to the fact that there’s another flight every hour. Cascading delays with the shuttle are a nightmare – you end up with 100 people with top-tier status clamoring for the 3 empty seats on the next shuttle flight.

  • justinbc

    Rant: House came back just $20K under where I wanted it to be for the appraisal. After the crazy amount of work I’ve done it sucks to not hit your target number.
    Rave: Credit union didn’t care, and is still giving us the refinance under the terms they proposed at a higher value, with a 2.75 rate, with no additional closing costs to bridge the gap. I love these guys (Credit Union Mortgage Association, for anyone curious). If you’re still using big banks for lending you’re doing it wrong.
    Rant: Somehow a mouse got in over the weekend.
    Rant: Lazy, giant African wild cats we have didn’t even see it, or find it later. Bastards making me do all the work.
    Rave: Lots of fun riding around with partner and Pablo taking pics yesterday, and some really accommodating businesses (thank you ChurchKey and Society Fair).
    Rave: Decent dinner for the first time at Menomale, although I still prefer Pupatella for Neapolitan style pizza.

    • I would have thought the cats would jump at the opp to play with something smaller than them that moves on its own

      • justinbc

        I took them to where she spotted it (and screamed all holy hell), but they were took freaked out by her screaming to notice it when it ran by them.

        • Emmaleigh504

          wtf is wrong with them?! Ashlee was a good mouser and found them before I even knew we had them. And she KILLED the mother fckers. You need to teach your kitties to do better 😉

    • anonymouse_dianne

      How big are your F3s? Janie was the runt and is still only about 9 lbs.

      • justinbc

        They’re about to hit the 9 month mark, Nall is getting close to 14-15 pounds and still growing steadily, Greebo has tapered off around 12 but has gotten a little bigger this week. Nall looks physically huge, by the time he’s done he’s going to be taller / longer than so many dogs haha.

  • Rave: Lovely weekend attending a friend’s wedding.
    Rant: I was so sore from sitting in the car. No one told me that pregnancy would cause sternum and rib aches. Oy.
    Rant: Major, stupid family drama over the holidays. I have no patience for it.

  • I Dont Get It

    Rave: The cheerful CVS clerk (YES!!!) on Saturday who told me that I must have had my ExtraCare card for a long time since it is linked to my Hotmail account.
    Rant: OMG I had a Hotmail account?????
    Rant: People who have nothing better to do with their lives than worry about Starbucks cups.

    • hahahaha at the cheerful CVS clerk. i hope it was the CVS on W St. I usually hate that one because there’s no self-check out (whyyyy) and CVS clerks are notoriously grumpy (understandable).

      • I Dont Get It

        Yep that’s the one!

      • Oh I actually really like the people that work at the W street one. I’ve been going there for years, and choose to still go there even though I have another CVS closer in CH because I think their staff is some of the nicer CVS peeps

        • anonymouse_dianne

          +1 on the CVS staff at 14th and W. I get cranky cause I come in on the 14th street side and have to go to the other end of the store to check out. Staff and security are helpful and polite.

    • justinbc

      I really just can’t enjoy my terrible coffee unless it’s in the appropriate cup.

    • I still have my Hotmail account, having opened it in May of 1998. It has served me so well for more than seventeen years.

    • IDGI, I don’t understand your final rant — what’s the deal with Starbucks cups?

      • justinbc

        They’re just red now, instead of Christmas-y.

        • justinbc

          (this of course is causing Christians to flip the F out)

        • So did the Starbucks cups use to be red with pictures of wreaths and ornaments and whatnot, and now they’re just red?
          Somehow I’m doubting that they used to have pictures of baby Jesus in a manger. But I guess people who are determined to perceive a “war on Christmas” will perceive it no matter what?

          • textdoc, my thought exactly. i’m religious but i can’t understand these people who are all upset about everything. like, if we had a picture of a santa on the cup instead of a plain red cup i feel like they’d complain that starbucks didn’t capture the true meaning of the holiday or something.

          • Allison

            I think the root of this is that many people have come to expect to receive emotional fulfillment of their holidays (Christmas in particular) from “external” things — lights, baked goods, and yes, even some corporate traditions (the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade comes to mind.) And when those expectations aren’t met, they throw a fit.

          • Yes, for sure. Some Christians believe it’s a religious liberty issue. While I’m all for everyone practicing their own religion, some Christians really think “religious liberty” only applies to them which completely defeats the purpose. Seriously, no one is attacking your right to practice your religion because of what they print on a silly coffee cup.

          • I Dont Get It

            Yeah I can’t imagine my dad getting worked up over this plus he needs his daily Starbucks fix,

          • I just feel like some people WANT to be persecuted. They want to have this mentality that they are “under fire” when in all reality, they aren’t.

          • For those suffering megalomania (or enjoying it, as the case may be), having the world’s attention diverted to someone less worthy is indeed an attack.
            Look at the White Lives Matter people, and the Men’s Rights Activists.
            And did you see George Will on the “coveted status” enjoyed by victims of sexual assault?
            It’s a pretty good test of character: how they react to the suffering of someone else. Is their first instinct to inquire what that victim might have done to deserve it? Or what the victim might gain from the situation? Or to loudly state how much worse their own victimization was/is?

    • People are boycotting the local mall in my hometown because their Santa display doesn’t have any Christmas trees, wreaths, reindeer, or other holiday decorations this year. Instead the background is a white, snowy glacier-thing. People are PISSED.

    • I called my doctor’s office last week to ask them to send the insurance co the medical necessity documentation for some lab work; the person on the phone asked me to send the info I got from the insurance company to the doctor via email AT HER HOTMAIL ACCOUNT! I told her I would never send any of my personal/medical info to a hotmail account, and that it really shocked me that the doctor’s “professional” email account was at hotmail. Seriously….I think I have to get a new doctor!

      • justinbc

        I got annoyed that Hotmail would wipe my archive after not logging in for X amount of time. I didn’t even realize they had transitioned to Live (no more new Hotmail addresses) years ago. I had to reactivate to retrieve a really old password a few weeks/months ago and after checking today the inbox is already totally filled with spam again. Their filters were the worst.

  • RAVE: Romanesco broccoli. So weird, so tasty.
    RAVE: Watched Home Alone 2 last night.
    RANT: Sister had to be rushed to hospital for emergency surgery over the weekend. Complications from her C-section only 10 days ago. Wtf. 🙁

    • I Dont Get It

      When I’ve posted pictures of Romanesco broccoli. (yes I’m THAT person) I always get some interesting comments! Agree that it is tasty!

      • I definitely posted a pic on Instagram (and it reposted to FB) yesterday. It’s the only vegetable that makes me want to drop a tab (I guess that’s a compliment to Romanesco?)

      • I’m intrigued because they look so interesting. Do they taste very different?

        • Tastes less pungent than broccoli, but more flavorful than cauliflower. And you don’t get the florets stuck in your teeth! I really hate broccoli, so this is a winner for me 🙂

      • I’m curious what you did with it! I always buy one when I see them because they’re such a special treat, but then feel like I’m failing to use them to their maximum potential when I, say, roast the florets and put them in pasta.

        • We roasted the florets with EVOO, salt, pepper, red pepper flake, and Parmesan. Then added to pasta. It was delicious!

          • I Dont Get It

            That’s what I do with it although I use it as a side with some manly meat entree.

          • Yum! Now that I raised the subject, I’m seriously thinking about what recipes could best show off how pretty romanesco is. Maybe I could make some kind of romanesco tart that displays the fractally florets in a pretty pattern?

    • Yikes! Hope your sister is ok! Hurray for watch Home Alone 2, tho! Gosh, I still remember the first time I watched that, sitting there with my brothers laughing hysterically – and then pretty much every year since it was released – I can especially picture all of us in my grandpa’s study, watching it after Thanksgiving dinner while the grown-ups cleaned up the mess! Good times!

  • RANT: I have not yet won a Powerball or Megamillions jackpot.

    RAVE #1: A friend and I saw an amazing show of psychedelic Turkish folk-rock last night at Bossa. It was practically hypnotic. We both (she a straight woman, I a straight man) found the people watching insanely enjoyable. It’s the sort of music that gives insight into the idea expressed by various Muslim theologians of centuries past, that music is an intoxicant, and is therefore generally forbidden.

    RAVE #2: Yoga’s strengthening of perineal, leg, and “core” muscles, coupled with greater flexibility in those areas, means that the noticeably improved orgasms I was touting many months ago are now *even stronger and deeper*!!! Viva yoga!

  • Rave: Made short ribs for dinner with some good friends on Saturday night, and piles of leftovers in the fridge.
    Rave: Got a free ticket to Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats last night. Excellent show
    Rant: Kind of groggy/hungover + a bad allergy situation going on. Hoping this doesn’t turn into a cold.
    Rant: Up in the air on seeing GWAR tonight…

  • A friend told me of a house that was sold and is now occupied without backyard/alley access. Is this legal? Two unit condo. Upstairs person must either get downstairs owner to provide access to rear or he/she must walk out of house to go around to get to alley.

  • Rave: The outdoor area at Colony Club yesterday. They even have outlets?!
    Rant: Cold outside this morning
    Rant: Don’t want to work today

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Just as all the work on my apartment is over, I feel like I need a bigger place.
    Rant: that would entail moving, and that’s no happening.
    Ran: In a foul humor.
    Rave: spelled foul correctly so no one has to make stupid bird jokes.

    • Allison

      Haha, that reminds me. Back in college I sent a stern e-mail about some mismanagement of the dumpsters near my dorm and pointing out violations of the state water code. I complained of “fowl smelling leachate.” I know the difference between the two, but homophone typos happen. Was still mortified.

  • Rave: perfect autumn weather! Recommendations for small cabins for a weekend trip? Stayed at the iris in last year and loved it but looking for something a bit more rustic but nice

  • Question: Did they do away with the capital gains tax exemption on RE? ie: before if you lived in your home for 2 of the the past 5 years you were exempt up to 250k on capital gains. is this not the case anymore?

  • Rave: Had a great honeymoon and all the traveling went really smooth, which was a relief since it involved ferries, taxis, and planes!
    Rant: Officially arrived in Toronto last night and it’s off to a rocky start. No issues at the border though and received my immigration doc no problems so that’s a good.

    • Glad to hear about the honeymoon and traveling going well! Sorry to hear about the rough start in Toronto — hope things smooth out soon!

  • Question for the PoPulace: I am thinking about maaaaybe planting daffodils and tulips in my treebox area, mainly because I’m running out of space in my front yard (and the landscaping fabric makes planting things a pain). Is this a foolish idea — are pretty flowers that are so easily accessible (as opposed to being up in my yard) just going to get cut/pulled up?
    I am in northern Park View. I was astonished this spring to see that someone about two blocks away had tulips in their treebox area… but their house is on a corner where it’s not really on the way to anything, and mine is in the middle of a street with a fair amount of foot traffic.
    Also, does daffodil/tulip blooming season coincide with Mother’s Day, or does the blooming season occur early enough that it’d be over by then?

    • justinbc

      I have roses that spill all out out of my fence and have never had them plucked off (at least not in a detrimental / obvious way), FWIW. Although maybe the thorns are a preventative for the casual absconder…

    • Pretty sure they’ll be done blooming before mother’s day. Daffodils are usually blooming in late March/ early April. Tulips a week or two later.

      I’d worry less about them getting picked (hey, at least someone’s going to enjoy them?) than about them getting trampled before they really get started. I’ve seen so many sad stunted daffodils. They keep trying, and it makes it sadder. Tulips, one good stomp and they give up.
      So unless you can put some kind of a barrier around/ over them, I probably wouldn’t bother.

      • Hmm, good point. I have a bunch of iris rhizomes that I could put in the treebox area… but I’m kind of tempted to try some daffodils/tulips too. Maybe I will try planting a few in locations where they’d be semi-shielded by iris foliage or by the base of the streetlight.
        Too many bulbs for pretty flowers, and not quite enough space! I guess I could also try growing bulbs in containers, as Caroline was saying last week…

    • Emmaleigh504

      Even if they do get cut, you can enjoy them for a few days. give it a shot!

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rave: I don’t hate every thing and every body anymore, just most thing and most poeple 🙂

  • topscallop

    Rant: the conference in Bali was cancelled (well, postponed, but there’s been no information yet about when it might be rescheduled) due to volcanic ash. So disappointing!
    Rant: I’m back in DC but boyfriend is traveling
    Rave: My promotion request has been signed by all relevant supervisors and is with HR. There might be a battle about the percent increase in salary, but at least things are moving.
    Rant: this weather. If I can’t be in Bali, could it at least not be rainy and cold here?
    Rave: now I get Wednesday as a holiday and am planning to use it as a me-day, to celebrate my birthday a little early
    Rant: back on a plane at the end of this week. Maybe I’ll buy myself new compression tights on my treat-yo-self Wednesday.

    • We must know some of the same people. Several of my friends got there and then turned around. What lousy timing.
      The same thing happened a few years ago with the Iceland volcano. Bunch of people were already en route to a conference in the UK when the ash shut down European routes, stranding people in some very strange places.

  • Late Day Rant: Misophonia and co-workers who eat cereal several times a day in a shared space just do not match.

  • That One Guy

    Rant: Feel like November creeped up on me when I wasn’t looking/ready for it. December will feel like a kick to the head. I’M NOT READY FOR ANY OF IT.

  • phl2dc

    Late to the RRRR party.
    Big rant: Big headache. Damn weather. All day. Argh.

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