Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Claire

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.

184 Comment

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Just a quick thanks to all who came out to celebrate 9 years last night. It was great fun and great to see so many folks. And a big thanks to Solly’s as well for being such gracious hosts.

  • rant – why are people SO keen to jaywalk at 17th and I? Every day I watch people almost get hit because they dont want to wait the 20 seconds of the left turn signal to finish. We seriously need to start issuing tickets there.

    • Same issue with the 19th & M Street crosswalk.

      • Pedestrians have the right of way in DC, no?

        • Not if they’re crossing against the light or signal. (I’m not all that familiar with these particular intersections, though.)

          • I used to work on 19&M and now on 17&I and both have lights. My issue there was that cars did not yield to pedestrians when turning or would block the crosswalks. There is some mid-block jaywalking mostly during rush hour.

            A different issue is with intersections that have no signaling. I usually expect the car to yield. At least that is my understanding regarding the law.

          • These particular intersections have right-turn arrows for cars. Cars are explicitly not allowed to turn unless they have the green arrow, even if the green light is on for cars going straight.
            While they have the arrow, pedestrians are not allowed to walk. However, pedestrians often walk right out into the intersection and nearly get run over. Same thing happens at 18th and L, as well.

          • “These particular intersections have right-turn arrows for cars. Cars are explicitly not allowed to turn unless they have the green arrow, even if the green light is on for cars going straight.”
            Is that right? I thought cars are precluded from making the turn only if there is a red arrow. Turns are permitted at both a green arrow and a green light, but cars have the right of way only when there is a green arrow, and have to yield when there is a green light.

          • justinbc

            The specific intersection at 17th and I has a green left turn arrow for about 10-15 seconds for northbound traffic. I know exactly what the OP is bitching about, as I see people cheat on it every day and the cars are just like “wtf man…” I think many of them just don’t realize that it’s going to be there, because they’re used to the flow of traffic ending in one direction and then being able to walk, but I know that many of them are regular people who work in the area who really have no excuse.

          • Yes, Justin has explained it more thoroughly that I did. The cars at these particular intersections must wait until they have the green arrow to turn – it’s red at all other times (even when the light is green to go straight). Many of the pedestrians know they need to wait 20 seconds before walking, but most DGAF or are too absorbed in their smart phones.

    • Yup, I walk by this intersection every day. I love when people are in a huge rush and shove past me to start crossing against the walk signal, only to stop in the middle of street to avoid being hit by cars who have the green light to turn left.

      • +1. This also happens a LOT at U St. & 16th St. I saw a woman almost throw a tantrum in the middle of the street the other day because a car almost hit her until I politely informed her that, while it would not be nice to run someone over, the car did have the right of way (she hadn’t even LOOKED up at the crosswalk sign!)

        • Yep – that one catches a lot of pedestrians, since the timing was changed to let the cars turn left first, and hold the peds for a moment. (Walking west on U, or driving west, turning south on 16th).
          It’s an interesting contrast with the 14th & U lights, (or is it 13th?) where the pedestrian crossing comes first, before the cars’ green light. I wonder if people assume the two lights are the same. (I can’t be the only person walking west from the Metro who uses both crosswalks…)

          • It might be 13th. Cars also get the green light (turning west onto U st.) on 14th before pedestrians, too. That one also catches people. (I’m starting to think it’s more the concept of “cars turning” that confuses people rather that any kind of light or signal or lack thereof.)

  • Pop culture edition:
    Rave: That video where they set 30s Hollywood dance scenes to Uptown Funk. The advantage of listening mostly to Outlaw Country and Jam On on my satellite radio is that I’m the only person in America who didn’t get sick of the song that one summer when everybody else did, so just hearing it puts me in a good mood. With the dance clips, it is better than gin and “Skins blowout win for lifting the spirits.
    Rave: I confess I have an unhealthy aging perv relationship with the increasingly naked Miley Cyrus, so her latest scandalous photo spread (Hey — they were pimping it in Slate. It’s not like I go looking for these things!) made me very happy. I have confessed, now I will do my penance.
    Rave: Having finally finished off Mad Men, did my first line of Empire last night. Sure, I can’t identify with the fashion so much, but it more than compensates with its OTT cast of characters. I do want so much more. Am considering blowing off playing arm candy for the girlfriend at a Significant Event just to watch the next couple of episodes. That’s the first sign of an addiction, right? When your habit starts interfering with real life obligations?
    Rant: Too cranky last night to go to the anniversary bash. But I’ll be there for the next one!

    • That One Guy

      By penance do you mean hitting on…err…complimenting older women? Or will you just force yourself to look at other depressing news related photos?

      • I’m not sure that, um, “complimenting” older woman wouldn’t be both redundant and problematic — I’d have to ask my 50-something girlfriend about that. I was thinking more along the lines of reading a series of third-wave (fourth wave? fifth wave? what wave are we on?) essays. maybe going to see a Meryl Streep movie.

    • palisades

      You went from Mad Men to Empire? Woof

    • That Uptown Funk video made my morning.

    • I agree about the video. Very well done, and it’s nice to see some truly great performers getting seen in a new light, and maybe even by people who don’t know them.

  • Rave: Heard my baby’s heartbeat this morning!
    Rant: Need to get a will and trust set up. Anyone have any estate lawyer recommendations? And, how much did it cost? Would prefer an actual lawyer vs. LegalZoom, etc.

  • Rave: Had a nice, impromptu Happy hour with my cousins at Room 11 – even though I felt pretty blah, my lovely cousins and some nice warm Glogg can cheer me up quite effectively.
    Rant – missed the Anniversary HH because I didn’t have the energy to trek too far from home – hope everyone had a blast and thanks, PoP, for crafting this site and mini-community!
    Rave: Benadryl – took two of them before bed and didn’t wake up feeling nearly as awful as I have most mornings this week.
    Rave: Giant bottle of non-name-brand Zyrtec coming to me soon via Amazon prime. $20 for 365 tablets, yes please! That ought to get me through half the year!
    Rant: Waking up to cat puke. I had a feeling I was going to wake up to that last night as I desperately tried to grab the chunks of fur she pulled out of herself before she swallowed them, but she’s too quick. bitch.
    Rave: Resolve carpet cleaner.

  • Rant: Missed PoPville HH because…
    Rant: Almost two hours to drive home from Sterling last night.
    Rave: Only in Sterling for two days.

  • Rant: Feeling very old amongst my not-really-younger-than- me colleagues. I get that having had my kids and my divorce basically by 30 sort of aged me a little bit, and perhaps having basically taken care of myself since 18 too… but really. Is maturity really in that short of supply these days? I’ve only got a few years on them.
    Rave: So glad to be passed that stage. So glad to be well into the “I’m too old to GAF” stage that yes, I will show up at work without makeup on, and no, I did not see that whoever is sexiest man of the year.
    Rave: On the old front, middle child turns 7 today! Also, it dawned on me that the oldest will be in double digits when his birthday rolls around in a few months… how did this happen?!?

  • Accountering

    Read that Arlington is planning on accepting Syrian Refugees – the plan is:
    Once in Arlington, the county’s Dept. of Human Service would offer a number of free services to refugees through its Community Outreach Program, including:
    Citizenship classes and workshops
    English language classes
    Computer classes
    Job readiness training
    Food and nutrition classes
    Health screenings and presentations
    Such a stark contrast to much of the rest of the country (including MD!) that are ostracizing immigrants. Arlington has a plan to help these people integrate into society. People with jobs and homes do not become radicals, the become valued members of the community. I don’t often say it, but good job Arlington.

    • If I recall correctly, the Catholic Charities has a refugee services program based out of Arlington. They provide a great deal of services for resettled refugees. Are they assisting with this?

      • I should add – asking because I know that they take direct assistance in the form of donations (money, items, cars, legal services) for their refugee program, a. Someone yesterday was asking how to help refugees.

    • +1!

  • Rave: All went well with Baby Rabbit’s anatomy scan. Baby once again did not want to cooperate but we eventually got all the required images. We even know the sex!
    Rant: Wife and I have decided to keep it a secret until we see my folks on Thanksgiving Day. I’m the worst at keeping these kinds of secrets.
    Rant: Slept well but I’m still exhausted. Guess I’ll just have to get used to this.

    • Glad to hear all went well. I was thinking about you yesterday.

    • So glad you got good news yesterday! And excited that you got to learn the sex!

    • Did you see the heart? With the first, we got a perfect cross section of the heart, all four chambers doing their thing. I hadn’t had a “moment” when we first heard the heartbeat on doppler. But I had my moment then. I thought “this is something that no one has ever seen before, and (fingers crossed) no one will ever see again.”

    • Congrats! I had my anatomy scan on monday, it’s a good milestone to cross!

  • Rant: when I spend forever crafting an email that is clear and direct and includes specific instructions WITH HYPERLINKS to prevent any confusion and the night shift still scans the wrong site.
    Rant: back spasms
    Rave: Lady Womp is on work travel so I brought out my 15 y/o alarm clock that Lady Womp HATES and is loud and annoying enough to wake the dead. and *poof* i magically made it to work EARLY.
    Rant/Rave: Thanksgiving is next week? When did that happen?????

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: feel so blah, vacation is so far away.
    Rant: Someone has too much perfume on and it’s giving me a headache.
    Rave: Advil

  • Rave: Made it to last night’s official PoPville happy hour. Good to chat with familiar faces Accountering, skj84, and the Prince himself, and good to meet Jenster8dc, VanNessie, and Bmouse.
    Rant: Was bummed that many of the usual happy hour attendees weren’t there.
    Rant: Saw a couple of people I thought I recognized from when they were pointed out to me at previous happy hours (Palisades, Emvee), but was too chicken to go up to them and say anything.

  • That One Guy

    Small rant: Today feels like Monday.

  • Anyone need cat company for Thanksgiving? A rescue group (Four Paws) just took in a pair of elderly cats when their elderly owner had to go into a nursing home. Now the cats need a place to go for 5 days, (starting tomorrow, or ideally today) because the room they are in is needed to isolate a suddenly sick cat. Holidays are a tough time with so many people away! If you can help, please email me at vicmck at gmail.

  • Rave/Rant: University is closed the week between Christmas and Thanksgiving. We will have some money because of closing on the condo, so thinking of a trip but don’t want to fly and it’ll likely be cold. We’re considering taking the kid to Brooklyn to visit my sister, but my sister tends to be incredibly selfish and not helpful. So I have no idea if this is an awful idea – Brooklyn in winter with a toddler.
    Rave/Rant: Our other consideration is to see if Nana wants to babysit overnight and just go, the two of us, to NYC saturday and sunday. But I can’t help but think it’s an awful thing, to leave your kid like that. I don’t know how to get over my guilt. And NYC isn’t that great that it’s worth a special trip.
    That being said…should we go somewhere? Should we consider flying the kid to Florida or something like that? It’s non-charged vacation time, so it’s not like I have a choice to work. His school is closed. Are there any other places we should consider?

    • If I were you I would fly somewhere warmer – with our without your kid. I don’t think you should feel guilty about leaving your kid for a few days to take some time away, if you have the support in place to do that. If you really feel like you can’t leave him, then plan something that includes him – but flying will definitely open up your options a TON more. If not, I’d skip visiting a sister that tends to be selfish and not helpful – you could just stay home instead of that! OR you could do a staycation – plan family things that you wouldn’t normally have a chance to do together. I’m jealous of your forced time off!

      • I agree with Andie — there is ZERO need to feel guilty about leaving your kid at home for a quick trip, especially if you have a loving Nana to dote on him while you’re away. And maybe you can plan a family vacation for sometime soonish that would be more child-focused so he’ll be included in that?
        I’d always vote for a quick New York trip because it’s just so easy to do it, especially from Philly. It’s totally possible to, say, leave early in the day, stay one night, then go back the next evening, and that gives you two full days for the cost of transit and a hotel. Somehow that feels much longer than a two-day trip, too. (I sort of max out on New York after two days, though.)
        As for your sister, maybe you can tell her you’ll be in town and would like to see her, but not plan your time around her?

        • Accountering

          Meh, if you don’t want to see the sister, don’t see her. You are a grown adult, don’t do it if you don’t want too.
          As far as guilt for leaving your kid, you should have none. A loving grandmother to watch her kid while you get to take a Florida vacation in December? Not only should you not feel guilty, this seems like BEST CASE SCENARIO! BOOK YOUR FLIGHTS NOW!

          • I would never go to Florida on my own. Vomit. Sorry, Floridians. If we go to FL, we’ll take him so he can enjoy it.

          • You SHOULD leave your kid with someone else at that age, it’s good practice. My sister and I went to my grandmothers’ houses for a night at least once a month and man that made it easier for us to be flexible, adaptable kids.
            We baby sat my cousins when they were about 4 and 6 and it was their first overnight away from home and they lost their shizznits for the whole weekend.

        • I enjoy seeing my sister, but it’s always on her terms. But, to be fair, she’s seen my son a lot more than my SIL so there’s that! I could do that. Or not say anything. thanks for the support, team.

      • The only other time off I’ve had like this was when I worked on the Hill and my office was closed for the last week of August and the week between Christmas and New Years (but I only had that once, during which I had my tonsils out…so yeah, THAT was fun). It’s crazy and perfectly convenient since preschool is closed and my husband is on winter break. It’s so weird to have time off like that.

    • If your mother is ok watching your kid, go for it. Having a child doesn’t mean he has to be with you every moment he’s not in school. You deserve a bit of 1-1 time with the hubs. Coming from the kid’s perspective, I loved the time I spent with my grandmother, and I learned lots of info I couldn’t get anywhere else. Grandparents watching kid happens all day, everyday.

    • Absolutely do not feel guilty about taking a day or two off from the kid (and giving Nana* a chance to spend quality time with the grandchild). There will be a moment of angst, perhaps. But you, he and Nana — and thus the kid — will be hppier in the long run.
      Go someplace where you won’t feel guilty if all you do is lie around half-naked calling in room service (or waiving the poolside waiter over) and reacquainting yourself with your mate. This place may not be New York, where you have a selfish and unhelpful relative with whom you will feel an obligation to interact. I suggest one of the lesser-know Keys (No Name Key, Cudjoe Key) where you can bank shot off Key West or Miami if you want to all rowdy one night.

      *This assumes that you are not one of the people here with a fraught relationship with Nana. It’s hard for me to keep things straight sometimes.

      • Ha! I am one of the one’s with a fraught relationship with Nana. FWIW, I still encourage the kids to see her and spend time with her.
        J – there’s nothing to feel guilty about. If your mom will keep him for the night, then by all means, enjoy an impromptu holiday with your husband. Even if it’s for a staycation!

      • my MIL is a pain in the ass, but since we’ve moved home, the relationship has gotten a lot better, as there are more ways for her to be helpful and less of her just sitting around and waiting for us to entertain her. It’s been good.

    • “But I can’t help but think it’s an awful thing, to leave your kid like that.”
      Dear God, no. We do that for 4 days every single year, and also have left kid with grandparents for 8, 9, and 14 days. The first time can be nervewracking, but it gets progressively easier. Unfortunately, there’s no way to get over the guilt other than deciding you’re going to go and not feel guilty. If it were me, I’d take the train to NYC, eat my way around for a couple of days (a friend recently spent her 40th birthday in NYC at some great restaurants, so it’s on my mind), and return to Philly 10 lbs. heavier and a whole lot more relaxed.

    • Well, do you judge others who leave their kids with Nana?

      • Of course not. But they aren’t me. I have a serious amount of mothering guilt that, if you don’t have it, is difficult to explain or understand.

        • I get it. I would, however, encourage you to give yourself a break and to learn to let go of the guilt. I have mothering guilt (seriously, it kept me in an unhappy marriage two years longer than I should have been), but I have really learned to let go of it as much as I can. I did not want to be a Smother or a Helicopter mom. I’m sure you are probably already working on this with your MHP, but if not, perhaps it would be a good focus. And I’m saying this from a non-judgmental, BTDT place. It’s one thing to have the guilt when they are young, but if you still have it when they are older it will start to destroy you and your relationship with them.

  • Rant: roof is leaking. Additional Rant: Roof waited to leak until after signing $$$ bathroom renovation contract. Anyone know a good DC roofer?

  • Additional rants/raves:
    Rant: Unprepared for this weekend’s important family event. Haven’t decided what to wear, haven’t packed, haven’t gotten an oil change for my car, haven’t gotten a pedicure (will need to be barefoot for part of the event), haven’t picked out CDs for the drive.
    Rave: I think I can get most of those things done in time.

  • Rant: Aching back. Nothing seems to offer more than temporary relief. I think I need to order a heating pad.
    Rave: Being productive and feeling motivated at work. I’ll ride this wave as long as it lasts.
    Rave: Making slow progress on the seeming never-ending preparing for child to do list. At least it gives me something to *do* rather than just wait out the next months. Helps keep my anxiety in check.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rave: Yesterday’s work event was amazing.
    Rave: Big, fawncy work party tonight.
    Rave: And I have coerced Mr. Zelda into going with me.

  • Rant: Trolling on refugees. I’m about to start hitchslapping the morons on my fB feed that are buying into fear. We have much more to fear from a teenager texting while driving than from 10,000 refugees.

    • Honestly this is the behavior that let events like the Holocaust happen. It’s appalling.

    • Accountering

      It’s crazy – but I defriended all my FB “friends” in the 2012 election season who said things like “O is a commie, O is from Kenya” and as a result I have missed all of the racism that people complain about from each of the big news stories over the last several years. Not surprising that the same fools thinking the president is a muslim, are the same people who think Trayvon Martin deserved it, and that we should allow ZERO 3 year old orphan refugees into the country. These are also the same people who protest abortion because ALL lives are precious! So happy at the slow demographic change in this country, if only because it ensures these people will never get the presidency back.

      • My big FB purge came after Sandy Hook. Anyone who used that as an excuse to bleat about their second amendment rights went away. And, as a result, I’m only seeing anti-Muslim stuff in comments on friends’ posts, and even then, not much. We’re so segregated these days. Is this new?

        • Well, I don’t know if it fits your definition of new, but in your case, it happened December 2012. (Translation – how can you bemoan segregation from other political viewpoints immediately after describing how you self-segregated yourself?)

          • When I say “we” are segregated, I mean societally and ideologically.

            It’s more obvious now, because facebook shows me just how one-sided my circle is, all neat and tidy in one screen. But pre-internet, were the political/ social divides as deep as I perceive them to be now? Or did folks generally agree on more things, or agree to disagree?

          • I think it’s sort of always been that way. Although, when we were kids, it certainly was much easier to be a closet racist/bigot. I mean, people tend to flock to their “own.” It seems natural to be around like-minded individuals. I actually found myself (after seeing my mom’s post support Ben Carson’s views on the Syrian refugee crisis) wishing that I was in better contact with my uncle in the PNW who works for SEIU and is only a hair less liberal than me so that I could have at least one ally in the family.

          • The disagreements in years past were just as vehement. But now technology allows you (global you, not you in particular) to self-segregate. How may people have defriended others in their circle on FB because of political disagreements? That wasn’t a concern a decade ago.
            I admit it may be easier for me, because I’m the last remaining person under 50 not on Facebook. But I’ve got friends all over the political spectrum, and I haven’t felt inclined to cut anyone loose because of political affiliation or affinity.

          • justinbc

            I considered deleting people, but it would honestly be just too much. There are as many liberals with idiot positions on this topic as conservatives, and all of them think their one minute video links or irrelevant analogies are the most creative, argument ending thing ever.

      • I did the same. I have some very conservative ppl on my page, but I’ve gotten it down to the we can discuss without words like “you people” coming out.
        I’ve had to dump more ultra liberals than anything; the irony of it all! My plan to legalize gay marriage was exactly the plan that worked. Boom!

      • The only right-wingers I have left are family who I have hidden. There’s been a few waves of defriending, with the last being the Marriage Equality decision over the summer. I was surprised I had so many left at that point!

      • …or Chris Christie talking about poor, innocent drug addicts but F the refugees who did nothing wrong? That guy? He’s seriously like the worst.

      • I have a few conservative friends and family who are otherwise darling that I’m not getting rid of. But otherwise, my feed has become very liberal during the Obama years. I just do not have the patience to deal with the trolling, race-baiting nastiness and misinformation every day.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: the glacial speed of Twitter.

  • Rant: Feeling really overwhelmed by moving prep, baby prep, financial planning. I knew I’d feel this way after we decided to get our condo and move in so close to my due date, but that doesn’t really make it a lot easier. Plus, there keep being surprises like the cat allergy issue that require immediate attention and I feel like I’m not giving enough attention to the things that matter most in the longer term. (Thanks for the helpful responses on the cat allergy issue yesterday, by the way).
    Rave: The girls are kicking up a storm in there, which is reassuring.
    Weird: One of the girls is sitting really, really high up in my belly and I’m pretty sure her arm is wedged between my ribcage and my skin. My doctor’s office said it’s nothing to worry about, but, yeah…. Weird.

    • Also, I’m going to piggyback on Irving Streete’s “pop culture edition” to say that I’m surprised by how many new (or new to me) TV shows I’ve liked recently: Casual, Scream Queens, Difficult People, Master of None. I could go on. I’ve also really liked the new Minority Report show but I think (?) it was canceled after this season.
      Oh, and does anyone know how I can watch season 2 of Catastrophe? I keep hearing spoilers about it but can’t seem to find any way to watch it.

  • Rant: I am in a terrible mood. I feel like I’m over-committed on social obligations, don’t want to let anyone down of flake out on anything, and have no one but myself to blame – since I took all this on voluntarily.
    Rant: Winter, upcoming holidays, work, everything.
    Rant: It’s probably time to adjust the anti-depressant because it doesn’t seem to be working at this very moment.

    • Hang in there!
      Any possibility you can cancel some of the events, depending on how far away they are? I commend your desire not to bail/flake, but if you have enough lead time, maybe there are some social obligations you could bow out of in a non-flaky way? (Especially if you suggest rescheduling and offer some specific timeframes?)

    • Hi Anon, I do the same thing all the time. Just realize that people generally will be understanding as long as you are honest. Figure out which events are priority and which you can pass on. I agree with Textdoc, try to give options on the ones you have to drop.

    • Do you recommend your doctor? I need to find a new one and I think for a similar reason as you…but I don’t know where to look and I’m embarrassed to ask people.

      • Emmaleigh504

        You can start with your general practitioner/internist. They can help you find meds or therapy or a combo to help with depression/anxiety/etc. I really like my internist, Dr Paunovic, and she helped me with my depression until she couldn’t anymore. Then she referred me to people who could help.

  • I’m actively hurting from the news. The mass grave of women too old to be sex slaves. The civilian suffering sure to result from France’s revenge. And the deafening American tantrum that is playing right into Daesh’s plan by alienating muslims. It’s all sliding downhill so far, so fast. It won’t be a surprise when WWIII is declared. But will America fight against Russia/ Iran/ Assad? Or by their sides against ISIS?

  • Rave: Two days to Oyster Riot! Best day of the year.
    Rant: Love the foster kitties, but 7 of them make a whole lot of poop.

  • Rave: Happy 9 year anniversary. Even though I’m mostly a lurker, PoPVille saves me from going insane from boredom at work, and I appreciate it.
    Rant: I couldn’t go to the celebration last night, but I probably would have been too shy to attend anyway!
    Rave: FINALLY making some progress on a big thing at work, so it’s been less boring so far this week.
    Rant: Even so, this week needs to be over so I can get to Thanksgiving break.

  • Rave: Booked a flight to a warm climate in Feb. I needed to have something booked to feel like I can get through the next couple of months.
    Rant: Insomnia and making the mistake of putting on NPR at 3 am so I then listed to the sounds of explosions and gunfire in Paris. I hope they made some progress in capturing leaders in the cell.

    Congrats on 9 years POP!

  • justinbc

    Rant: Missed the HH last night because I was sitting at home for hours waiting on my partner to get there so we could leave together. She’s been working more and more extended hours because her agency keeps letting people go and not backfilling their positions and she’s too nice to not do the work for other people. Up until now I’ve tried really hard to be understanding but last night I really let it piss me off.
    Rant: Anyone on either side of a Facebook argument who thinks memes can actually capture the complexities of political decisions. This past week has been an exhausting display of stupidity from seemingly everyone I know.

    • Being helpful is great, but she can’t just pick up everyone’s slack even if you had nothing planned last night. People will do to you what you let them do, and she’s being used. I think a conversation is warranted, and hopefully she’ll realize it’s not sustainable. Is she going to work 15+ hrs because they won’t hire ppl?
      Sit her down and talk it out. Hopefully she’ll be able to say no one she knows how much it’s impacting your lives.

      • justinbc

        Oh yeah, we’ve been discussing it for months, but I’m so laid back that I typically don’t let it get to me. She’s at the point now where she’s working 12+ hours most days, and some weekends.

        • That’s insane. There is almost nothing in the world that warrants that much work from someone. Unless she and the company she’s working for are literally saving lives, and I mean literally, I can’t think of anything that could possibly be so important as to demand that much time from employees, besides the company being run by greedy, cheapskate jerks.

          • “[H]er agency keeps letting people go and not backfilling their positions” makes me think it’s a government agency.

          • “Greedy, cheapskate jerks” would still apply 😉

          • justinbc

            Yes, it’s a government agency (which means she’s at least getting paid for all the OT), that does save lives, although people don’t really know that they do.

          • hmmm…That’s kind of a tough one, then. But still, I feel like the toll those kind of hours would take on her mental health – and potentially on her relationships – may not be worth it…. I don’t know, that’s just me.

          • My ex was a big law attorney, so the blackberry all the time was the norm at every outing. At our first fancy dinner, I said no more. I took the thing for an hour, and we had a great time. I’m laid back too esp. about work obligations, but there is a tipping pt where it’s just too much. That much work can’t be healthy.

    • TBH, she should have told you “Justin, I need to work late and I’m not sure when I’ll get done with this crap. Go without me and I’ll try to meet you there.”
      I personally have a huge problem estimating the amount of time it takes to finish work. It’s not my forte and I’ve been told as much by my senior managers. I now manage expectations and I’m conservative with my time assessments. At the same time, I’m more than happy to tell my GF “go without me and I’ll catch up with you later.” That’s the right thing to do.

      • I agree completely. It sounds like the workload itself may be an issue, but the.more important point for the issue last night sounds like a lack of communication. I would be frustrated by this too, especially since it’s remedied pretty easily by a quick call or text.

      • justinbc

        Agreed with your first statement. She got so tied up trying to finish work that she completely forgot we had planned to go which is why I got radio silence. That’s the first time that’s ever happened, which is partly why I let it bother me. It somewhat signaled a tipping point where it’s just too much.

    • This is one of the reasons we decided to move to Canada. My wife’s job was so demanding and was only going to get worse. They were told not to put up OOO messages on holidays/days off because they basically needed to be available to clients 24/7. Ughhh no. It’s good you don’t let it get to you, but you should try to come to some agreement.

  • special_k

    Rave: Whoever mentioned the Angel Tree program yesterday. It’s been a crummy few months for me and I always (okay, almost always) feel better doing something for someone else. The Angel Tree program was off my radar and I just signed up to sponsor two kids.
    Another good program is the Playtime Project: http://www.playtimeproject.org/. They have an Amazon wish list that facilitates donating.

  • Advice Needed: My BF has pretty bad social anxiety. His sister is throwing a Christmas party and really wants us to attend, despite his anxiety. I approached the topic with her last week, and directly told her we would not be attending because of his anxiety. Her response was that he should suck it up and go for her, that it makes her sad that he won’t attend. I sort of see this as emotional blackmail-ish type behavior (or perhaps I’m projecting too much of my mommy issues on this?), and there is no way that I will force him to go (though she has definitely angled that I should do exactly that). So far, when she has contacted me, I have just reiterated that we won’t attend, that I’m sorry that she is upset, but that social anxiety is a real thing. Should I just keep up the broken record approach?

    • Is BF’s sister not talking to BF directly? Is BF not “out” to his family (so to speak) about having social anxiety?

      • He is, somewhat – they all have anxiety issues to varying degrees though he is really uncomfortable talking about it/admitting it. He knew she would go to me to try and get me to convince him (based on old behavior with the ex), and gave me permission to talk about the anxiety. He has also tried to talk to her directly about it. This is where the slight/possible emotional blackmail comes in.

    • My gut instinct on this, for whatever that’s worth, is that your response should depend somewhat on his level of social anxiety. If going to this party is going to ruin his week (or more), I think it’s totally fair to stand your ground and take a “no is no” approach. But if there is a compromise that is just a minor pain — maybe making an appearance just to say hello, then going someplace that makes him feel safe and happy just afterward — then it might be worth trying to make that compromise, if only to keep the issue from escalating into a bigger deal.

      • I’m wondering about that too — whether a brief appearance might work.
        Alternatively, maybe you, your kids, and BF could do quality time with BF’s sister and her family at some other time — would a (much?) smaller number of people make it doable for your BF?

        • The latter is what he wants to do, and in fact, there are already firm plans being laid for the day after Thanksgiving. We see them very frequently, so that’s not the issue. I think it’s just the issue of her accepting he doesn’t want to go for whatever reason.

  • I Dont Get It

    Question: I have 3 toddler nephews between the ages of 2-4. I’m thinking of getting them each a personalized Anywhere chair (gray with white piping) from Pottery Barn Kids and BOOM I’m done Christmas shopping for them. Parents: Is this a good idea or will this be known as the year Uncle IDGI gave us a freakin’ chair? Note these will be in large Midwestern houses (for $150K) so space is not an issue.

    • Looks like a -lovely- gift to me! Super cute and thoughtful. My only concern is that they’re not returnable if they’re personalized. Would it be out of your comfort zone to ask the parents about the gift before ordering it, just to make sure that, say, they don’t already have four mini-chairs for each kid?

      • Good point!
        Maybe also a good idea to check with the parents to see if they’re on board with the idea generally? It’s unlikely that they’re coldly practical like my mom is, but I can totally hear her scoffing and saying, “They’ll just outgrow that in a few years.”
        I imagine kids would enjoy having a kid-sized chair. The only time I remember being unhappy about a present from family as a kid was the Christmas when my grandparents gave my brother a harmonica and gave me underwear. 🙁

      • I Dont Get It

        Good idea. I’ll check with my sister but I doubt if they have this.

    • Hmm. I think they are too young to think that. I think my kids would have enjoyed this at this age. I was actually saying this weekend we needed to get littlest anonachild a chair of his own so that he can do his 4 going on 44 thing.

      • disagree….2 year old loves it. He got it as a gift last hanukkah and sat in it almost right away and would “read”. he also plays with it (drags it, pushes it) and jumps into it.

        • I believe that by “I think they are too young to think that,” Anonamom meant that the kids were too young to be thinking disappointedly, “Pfft, Uncle IDGI got us a freakin’ chair!”

          • That’s exactly what I meant. In my experience, the magical gift giving age is under 5. Every gift, gift bag, box, and piece of tissue paper is fun. As I said, I think my children would have enjoyed it at that age and I was already considering getting a chair for the youngest.

    • I got this for my 2 year old nephew at the request of his dad last year. It was a huge hit!

    • these are GREAT – my son likes his a lot. I would get different colors. But do check because they take up a good bit of room.
      My 2 year old loves spelling his name that’s on it. And my husband sometimes sits in it…

    • My aunt gave me a personalized tiny rocking chair when I was around that age and I’ve moved that thing all over the place. I love it.

  • Dear Thunderpants,
    Please stop farting on the Metro. It must be the bounding down the escalator or the excitement of jumping aboard, but every day! I’m getting closer to figuring out who you are and I plan to stare a little sideways while crinkling my nose and squinting with one eye just a bit. The universal expression for “who ripped one?”

  • special_k

    Rave? I submitted an adoption application for a cat. So nervous about finding a good fit for my current boy and being ready so soon after my tabby’s death last month. Fingers crossed!

  • Late Rant: Woke up with horrible anxiety about how I am going to get both school and work things done in a reasonable manner over the next few weeks without having to barricade myself at home all weekend or take a few unpaid days from work.
    Rave: Looks like everyone is having a anxiety-ridden, lousy Wednesday so I’m actually feeling a little better now. Thanks guys! Maybe it’s the weather. And also the start of the holidays coming up. But I hope we can all feel a little more at ease as the week goes on.

    • You’re definitely not alone! I think this is just the time of the year for anxiety of all kinds. +1 on hoping that the anxiety eases! There are some nice things about this time of the year — good food, days off of work for the holidays, gatherings of all kinds. It’s stressful for sure, but not all bad.

    • Sorry you aren’t feeling good today…I have been having the same problems recently (for the first time) its scary and I don’t know how to deal with it. Even on days that are really good, I will just wake up feeling pretty low the next morning. Its hard to break negativity once it start creeping in. How are things going with the boy?

    • If you have a few weeks, maybe a schedule to keep you on track. Or giving up 1 weekend to knock it out then knowing it’s done and you’re worry free.
      I’ve been there in both college and grad school. Hang in there. If I remember correctly you’re in the home stretch.

  • Rave: Got approved for the new apartment in Ivy City
    Rant: After all is said and done, its a little more expensive than I was hoping, but I think well worth the increased cost to have my own place. Ill need to tighten my belt a bit, and by that I mean avoid getting $50 rounds at the bar…I think I can manage.
    Rant: Change is scary…goodbye northwest.

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