Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Mark Andre

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.

223 Comment

  • I miss the beautiful fall weather.

  • RANT: cannot find kumquats anywhere yet this year. Anybody seen them?

    • I’ve bought them at Trader Joe’s in past years, have you looked there?

      • TJs at 14th and U says it’s way too early for them. Aware that many places will have them eventually but I’m really curious if anyone has them this week!

    • Whole Foods in Friendship Heights has had them, not sure if they still do or if they replaced the huge display with the mini Christmas trees yet.

  • Rant: I have been at my current job for a year and a half. This is a place I’ve wanted to be at for years, and I was so excited to come here. There’s been a lot of transition in that time. The newest partner that joined our team has been very unresponsive, has horrible communication skills, responds to emails weeks after they are sent, does not answer questions in a timely manner and is very stressed out and overwhelmed. I understand that, starting new jobs can be incredibly overwhelming. But if he can’t help me (by answering questions that only he has the answers to, or giving me information that I asked for in order to move a process along) then I sit and wait and remind, remind, remind. He gets agitated, and is sometimes incredibly rude to me and to others staff. How long do I wait before bailing? I do NOT want to leave where I work, I love it most of the time but if this is going to be a thing that happens on a daily basis with him, I don’t know what to do. Higher ups are aware of his behaviour, as they’ve seen it as well. Do I cut bait and look for something else even though I like everything else about my job, and for the most part, like my coworkers?

    • Any possibility of some kind of internal transfer whereby you wouldn’t have to work with this guy?

      • That might have to happen. The manager assigned to this team also has pretty much had it with this guy and it took the other partner telling her to give New Partner one more shot and that we’ll all have a meeting about it this week when everyone’s back from being out of town in order to get her not to just walk out. But then I’d work for everyone on this team minus one guy. That’s weird, right?

        • No – it’s a sign to him that he’s not managing his workload, and a sign to you that they value you enough to make adjustments to keep you. I’d call that a win/win! Sorry you’re going through this, and hopefully some things change for the better.

    • I hope you won’t let one person chase you from a job you otherwise like. I know that this is much easier said than done, but sometimes, with difficult people, I’m able to calibrate my own expectations so that their behavior bothers me a lot less. Some people just yell, some are just jerks, some never get back to you on time (some do all three) but if you can kind of go all zen on it all and not let it under your skin, it doesn’t poison the other parts of the job that you like.
      And, you know, maybe you can out sugar in his gas tank or a dead flounder in a little used file drawer or something. Zen only gets you so far with jerks.

      • I think the hard part for me is, I want to do a good job for him (and for everyone I work with) but I need complete information in order to make that happen.
        He’s angry/upset/frustrated at all of the procedures that have to be followed, and I’m being lumped in with Procedures (although I am just following them, I do not create them and I am not doing this to make his life hell). His behaviour is startling, considering that he came here from another firm who, presumably also has procedures to follow as well. Also, I’ve had to walk out of his office so he doesn’t see me laugh when he proclaims gems like “This is going to ruin my career!” (when he didn’t save a Word document and then lost it and blamed IT for it) and when he was told he needed to sign a vendor invoice in order for it to be processed that “This is going to be the downfall of the firm, useless paperwork like this” and that he had to review the conflict check to make sure we were good to represent one of his clients that he brought with him by saying that this was “horribly inefficient and a ridiculous waste of his time and highly abnormal.” (Um, no. Pretty normal, actually.)

        • When I have to deal with someone like that (someone who hates procedures for the sake of hating something) I sympathize and blame the auditor. I don’t know if law firms do annual audits, but in my world, the auditor is god. Saying the auditor wants something to be a certain way will shut up the most dedicated complainer.

          • Accountering

            As someone else who deals with an auditor, this is a good strategy. The auditor is just this faceless being, and blaming them works for situations like this.

        • He just seems like a sloppy attorney. I’m against meaningless red tape as much as the next person, but the procedures you’re talking about just seem like wise safeguards to make sure an office runs efficiently and effectively.

        • I’m not sure what client relationship manager views looking at conflicts checks as unusual – that’s really bizzare. That aside, the amount of red tape a large law firm can generate is truly startling. I recently moved from a smallish (50+) firm to a much larger one (though not one of the true behemoths), and it’s astonishing the number of things that are required that actively impede the practice of law. So I can sympathize a bit – bit there’s no reason to be a jerk to people who are trying to help you.

  • Rave/Rant: I decided to treat myself with a massage yesterday for my sore shoulder. Massage was not great, and they tried to overcharge me after the fact. However my shoulder doesn’t hurt as much anymore so there is that.

    Rant: The only seats left on my flight Friday were the “preferred seats” which required an upcharge. I should’ve picked my seat earlier.

    Rave: Apparently “preferred seats” offer more leg room.

    Rave: My sister turned me on to the NYX cosmetics Cyber Monday sale. 40% off the whole site! Hooray new makeup!

  • Rant: Really, the title company was total crap
    Rant: They didn’t wire us our money yesterday, soooooo the additional delays are really hurting us.
    Rant: I really just wish my child would reliably sleep. He’s older than 2, I’ve basically had it. My husband joked this morning about another child and I almost threw a fork at his face. It’s so awful. And now, since he’s older and wiser, he genuinely screams. You can’t ignore it. I look at his video monitor’s storage and most nights, he’s up at least 3 times, sometimes 5. He doesn’t wake me up every time, but he does at least twice a night. It’s so awful. At this rate, I’ll decide to maybe consider another child when he’s 15 and sleeps all the time. Alls I know is my kid better pick out the NICEST old folks home for us.
    rave: sleep. Those who can, enjoy it. The sweet, sweet slumber. I’m jealous of you all. Nap for me?

    • So sorry that you’re going through this with the sleep. It’s been a rough month for my 5 month old, getting up between 2-5+ times per night, but can’t imagine 2 years of it. I find myself whispering things to her at 3 am like “I love you so much but you are really annoying in the middle of the night.” Hopefully I’m not setting her up for years of therapy.

      • I long for the annoying “just nurse him back to sleep” phase because I’d just fall asleep too. Now he just screams and kicks my knee caps until he gets what he wants, which who knows what that is because he’s too interested in screaming. I know SOME of them are bad dreams, as once he’s calmed down and being held tightly, he goes back to sleep quickly….but it still keeps me up for about 45 minutes a night, which after 2 years makes it impossible to sleep any good stretch because I keep expecting him to wake me up.
        “I love you, but I don’t like you right now” was what someone once told me about children.

        • Is the kid out of a crib? If so, could you try just sleeping with him in his bed? I’ve done that a couple of times with my 3 year old and it seems to calm him down faster/I at least get to lie down…

    • In a genuine spirit of helpfulness: Have you talked to anyone? Tried medication? You are so consistently negative, and I can’t imagine that’s a nice way to live. You should address this, for your own sake, if not for your family’s.

      • special_k

        Just a thought: we’re really only seeing little snippets of folks’ personality here and in a very particular context. Maybe we can extrapolate beyond that, maybe not. Perhaps this is just J’s rant zone.
        Good luck, J! Sounds so frustrating.

      • or you just choose not to see any of my positive posts.

        • I, too, have noticed a seeming imbalance between the positive and negative. This might just be a part of your personality, but I would tend to agree that it doesn’t seem to be that healthy from where I’m sitting. I hope you have a great day.

          • Prince Of Petworth

            In a place to vent (and rave of course) it is not uncommon to see people vent. I think the sentiments hoping folks are OK are nice but I wouldn’t extrapolate too much on those who rant in a space provided for such…

          • I wasn’t aware there was a required “balance” of positivity and negativity. Most regulars here have days they rant and rave. I’ll definitely keep in mind that I shouldn’t share what’s actually on my mind without thinking someone I’ve never met finds me imbalanced. Nevermind 2/3 of my annoyances today are very short term, out of my control problems caused by others. Must be cray cray. I appreciate it.

          • She has a lot of stress between moving, child, starting a new job, house renos, selling condos, etc. Also, pretty sure I’d be SUPER cranky if I was up half the night with a screaming child. I don’t think there’s any therapy that can help with that. The only thing that can help would be that the child sleeps.

    • Am I remembering correctly that you were having him evaluated for something along the lines of apnea or some other issue that would interfere with him sleeping? Has that happened yet? Ugh, though. We had 8 months of sleep disturbances with my daughter before we pulled off the Ferber sleep training and that was bad enough. Two years is beyond brutal. Can you get a night or weekend off sometime to catch up on sleep? Especially now that you have family close by?

      • we get babysitting, but that’s not a huge help in the sleep world, unfortunately, because we end up at the movies (where I sometimes sleep) or dinner. I was contemplating two nights in NYC, but after my MIL forgot to give him water or even bring a diaper to the park, I am reconsidering it, as it’s not the first time she’s done that. But we’ll see.
        The doctor’s don’t take it seriously because he’s smart and growing on track. And my family thinks I’m making it up, but my husband usually sleeps through it. I don’t think Ferber works on a 2 year old. It didn’t really work for him the first time and it was the hardest thing I ever had to do. I truly believe some children are just bad sleepers. The worst part is that I know it effects his day. Good thing, though, is that he’s a very good napper. So there’s that!

        • I’m sorry, didn’t mean to imply that what worked for me at 8mo would fix things. I agree that some kids are bad sleepers and was trying to empathize. It’s really crappy and I’m so sorry doctors aren’t helpful. Any way your husband can relieve you some if you wake him up to deal with it sometimes? Sending hugs.

        • I’m not a parent or expert by any means, but I agree some kids are just bad sleepers. I slept through the night at four months, whereas my little brother…well, I don’t think he slept a full night well into high school. He wouldn’t kick and scream but as a baby, he’d wake up and cry, and as he got older and mobile, he would wake up at 3 or 4 in the morning turn on all the lights in the house and my mom would find him passed out on the couch or watching TV at 6am. At 2 he can’t really vocalize what he’s feeling, but I’d think addressing the kicking the knee caps and screaming would get you further than trying to get him to sleep. Maybe there are other ways he can cope, either letting him into your bed, getting into bed with him, some other strategy a professional could suggest. Sorry this blows, and please vent away. If we can’t vent on the interwebs, where can we???

    • Sleep issues suck, I’m sorry J. I wish I could give you some magic formula to make him sleep through the night, but the truth is, there isn’t one. What worked for us – and I am fully aware would not work for most other people – was co-sleeping. Full disclosure though, by the time the youngest was two, I was separated, so it’s not like I had to contend with a partner’s choice in the matter. In my case, it solved our issues. Good luck!

      • Unfortunately, I know….I always feel bad for women asking for the magic pill. Some kids sleep, some don’t. I hired a sleep coach, nothing. Ferberized, nothing. It’s like he just can’t relax enough to sleep. He’s very active and smart, but the exhaustion compounds in kids, and it gets harder for them to sleep. I don’t think many people understand or respect that reality, unfortunately.

        • Blithe

          Your magic pill comment made me wonder: do pediatricians suggest medications like benedryl for younger kids with sleeping problems? Or might that either make things worse or support other problems?

          • Yes, I have heard this as a suggestion from some pediatricians. Personally, it’s not something I would do, but I also have the experience of having kids who are not affected at all by Benadryl (my daughter is on a prescription that knocks grown men on their asses and is completely unaffected by it). Personally, I think it masks the issue. But the crappy thing is, some kids are just crappy sleepers.

          • I have a friend whose toddler never slept. Her pediatrician recommended liquid melatonin, which seemed to work beautifully.

        • I don’t know if this is an appropriate solution, but when I was younger and my sister couldn’t sleep, my parents would give her a walkman with books on tape (kids stories) that would allow her to be quiet and still, but still have something to do. I know there’s a concern with headphones while sleeping, but maybe something like this would work?

          • Just to piggy back on this idea, there’s a podcast called “Storynory” that somehow seems to put my kids straight to sleep, even the oldest. I recommend it to anyone.

      • ….and sorry you were facing it alone at that point, but I can somehow see it’s easier when others aren’t giving their possibly unwanted perspective, especially if they aren’t helpful. I’m sure it’ll get better when he’s a teen. It’s just SO FAR AWAY, and it’s never wise to wish away the day when they go so quickly with kiddos

        • lol, being separated definitely did not take away the unwanted perspectives, just one 😉
          I completely understand where you are at. All I can offer is my empathy, and the hope that it will be better in a few months. FWIW, youngest anonachild still gets up in the middle of the night, only now he is quiet enough not to wake me. This, of course, brings it’s own challenges (he raids the fridge) and concerns (what if he falls?!), but it does get better.

    • I’m sure this has been considered, but . . . reflux/indigestion? Any stomach issues? Although since he’s old enough to communicate, that may not be it.
      It stinks – some people and kids are just crappy sleepers. He’s not there yet, but soon you can get one of those little clocks that lights up, and tell him he has to stay in his bed/in his room until it turns blue (at 6:00 am). Cold comfort now, I know.

  • Rant: My Thanksgiving weekend consisted of a hospital trip due to food poisoning. Fun.
    Rave: The food poisoning didn’t happen until Saturday, so I still got to enjoy Thanksgiving and I’m not permanently turned off from eating the food associated with the holiday. A certain Mexican restaurant in Fredericksburg though? Off the list.
    Rant: Still recovering from said food poisoning. It really threw me for a loop.
    Rave: The holiday season with a little one. It brings a new joy to the holiday. It was absolutely adorable when she asked to read a book about Santa last night.

    • jim_ed

      Hypothetically speaking, what if that Mexican restaurant was really good and in a convenient location to your in-laws house?

    • Ugh, I’m sorry! My husband also got food poisoning on Saturday. I kind of think it was the culmination of the few days together. We were with his family and they don’t have the healthiest of diets. As a vegetarian for ‘the’ meal all I could eat was a huge salad and 3 pieces of pumpkin pie. It’s why I don’t think I got sick. Feel better!

  • Rant: I miss the sun! This constant dark to almost-dark stuff is getting to me.
    Rant: Have a terrible migraine right now. Took my medicine with breakfast and feel a smidge better, but if this doesn’t improve I’m seriously thinking about going home early – I’m afraid I’m going to start puking everywhere if I can’t get it under control.
    Rant: Got some notice from the township I lived in prior to moving here, claiming that I didn’t file my taxes on time and thus owe them $25 or some bullshit. No freaking way. I filed my taxes on time, with State and Federal governments, and now they’re threatening me with “collections”? BULLSHITE! I f#%*king hate everyone right now.
    Rant: My new cube mate is….nice, but realllly talkative under her breath. I have to listen to her narrate life. I’m not sure the best way to approach, especially because I will occasionally grumble to myself and I feel like I’m being a tiny bit of a hypocrite.
    Rave: Uh….Thanksgiving leftovers tonight that I plan on making into a pot pie. That’s all I’ve got today.

  • Rant/rave: Went back to my car last night to find someone nearly blocked me into the space (our cars were touching), but the person got a ticket & it only took 5 minutes to get out.
    Rant: Cheap, inattentive landlords.
    Rave: Walking dead.
    Rave: Pot roast next week.

  • Rave: Finished the first month of self-prescribed off-season training without missing a single workout. Only four more months of boring, repetitive, painful exercise to go!
    Rant: Wondering if this rowing thing has morphed from hobby to obsession. Shouldn’t I be reading The Great Books and putting gourmet meals?
    Rant: Spontaneously blew a large chunk of a freelance windfall on tickets to Broadway play that hasn’t even opened or been reviewed yet (I noticed an article about the design of its poster in the Times this Sunday and said “hey, when we’re in New York next weekend…”) in an attempt to play Big Man and impress the girlfriend, her best (and very rich) friend and her friend’s (jerk) husband.
    Rave: Orchestra seats for a new Mamet play staring Al Pacino. How bad can it be?

  • Rant: Allergies…still
    Rave: Great holiday weekend. Lots of miles covered, but lots of great times too.
    Rant: Angel tree still has 356 children to adopt. I want to take another one, but I also want to make sure the one that I have has a good Christmas!
    Rant: Drop off times for gifts are only during business hours. So I have to take leave to drop off gifts? There couldn’t be ONE evening until maybe 6:30?
    Rave: I’m in a position to help someone, and will jump through these hoops to do so.
    Rant: This season is taking it’s toll on me. I’m going to try a give it 100 project for managing this better – because I am failing miserably right now.

    • Last year I did Angle tree at my office and we ended up spending $450 for ONE child. If I had known it was going to just ONE child- NO way would I have agreed to that. To me that is excessive. I would have preferred to buy give for 5-10 kids(which $450 could have easily done). My team all felt the same way after we realized it was for one kid. The one guy who took lead of it- was told(by the HR department- they set it up) to treat it as if you’re buying gifts for your own child.

    • There aren’t any weekend times for drop off? That’s weird. I feel like last year I was able to drop off my gifts on a Saturday.

    • We emailed them about drop off times (tues-fri during work hours?!??!!) and they replied saying we could go between 10-2 on Saturday – recommend trying the same!

    • special_k

      At least for the Angel Tree I signed up for (MoCo), you can request an after-hours delivery of gifts. Might be worth emailing the coordinator to see if you can do that. I wonder if they ever redistribute some gifts so they cover everyone. I tend to go overboard so I definitely bought enough gifts for my two Angel Tree kids to spread around a bit.

    • After seeing your comments about the Angel program, I signed up for one and have purchased presents and a coat. Then I saw that email today that says that 356 still need people to buy them presents and I am torn. I spent more on my SA girl than I will likely spend on nieces (my nieces get lots of nice things and live in a nice house, I don’t feel bad about it at all) and I would love to sponsor another but I fear I might short-change the second kid both in time and money. Ugh.

      • I feel the same way. I’m just working on the assumption that this is the kid’s whole Christmas. I’d rather really treat one then shortchange two, but honestly I have the means to do another one, and I’m planning to finish shopping tonight.

    • I decided over the weekend to request a second angel, and I’m doing it in lieu of buying gifts for my niece and nephew. They literally have everything they need/want, so I told them I got the angels in their honor. I’ve asked them to help me pick out gifts, which my 6 yr old niece is super into but not my 12 yr old nephew 🙂 We are facetiming later today to go over the amazon wish list.
      I’m spending ~$100/kid, isn’t that the target range? Trying to balance toys and clothes and because I’m me, some books too.

  • Rave: The lovely man who gave me his seat on the over-crowded, over-heated bus this morning.
    Rant: Waiting on other people before I can move on work projects. Sometimes I get sick of managing my peers and/or boss.
    Rave: December! Holidays and time away from the office ahead.

    • Query: Shawess, how are you and the twins doing? I’ve been thinking about you.

      • Ditto–me too–thinking of you Shawess!

      • Oh, you’re so sweet! We’re all doing okay here. I’m home from the hospital and am now just going in a few times a week for monitoring and tests. When I went in yesterday, everything looked really good and I’m feeling a lot more human. I think the name of the game now is for me to try to stay super relaxed to keep the pre-e at bay as long as possible. Stress is not my friend!
        How are you two doing? Artemis, how far along are you now and and mtpresident, how is maternity leave going?

        • So glad you are feeling ok and able to be at home. I heartily support all the relaxation. Meditation podcasts and yoga have always helped me (and seem especially useful now). I’m sending you best thoughts that the preeclampsia stays at bay and the little ones keep on growing.

          I’m at 23 weeks tomorrow. Very happy to be past the half way mark. Four months to go!

          • 23 weeks is such an exciting time, I think! It feels so much more real once you pass the halfway point and keep getting told that the baby is now “viable” 🙂 Plus it’s when you start to feel little body parts and kicks!

        • You all need a new mom/almost new mom google hangout 😉

      • Me three! Glad you are feeling better!

  • Rave: Kitten. When I’m gone for even a few hours, he climbs all over me, purring and rubbing his cheeks everywhere like he wants to erase any trace of other scents. And although he sleeps much less now, he still sleeps with the kids. And he makes conversation, which I didn’t realize was something I wanted in a cat.
    Rave2: The baby carrier charity. I gave them $50 a couple months ago, and have been following on facebook. It’s so bittersweet.

    • I love your kitten stories, WDC! And I saw the pic of him in an Afternoon Animal Fix I’d missed while I was out of town — very cute!

  • Rant – I get that many people don’t share my politics (in DC, I’m well left of center; in much of the rest of the country, I’m a screaming liberal socialist pig, though a pragmatic one). And I understand that there are different, well-founded points of vie, and that reasonable people can disagree about all manner of public policy.
    The article in the Post today about the Carson supporters really threw me for a loop. Never mind my discomfort with requiring the President be Christian, and have a Christian attitude – that’s their right. But these quotes are really disturbing on a fundamental level:
    ““I believe he’s a Muslim and wanting Muslims to take over our nation. One nation under Allah instead of one nation under God!”
    [With respect to refugees, and Muslims in general] “And they want their laws,” Toni says. “They want their own little community and their own laws, and they want to live like they did in their country, establishing their little colonies for their faith.”
    [With respect to the President and refugees] “Again, that’s where I go back to my belief that he’s bringing them in for a purpose,” she says. “He’s positioning this country, like playing chess. I think we will have another major tragedy like 9/11. He’s positioning certain people in this country to make that happen. . . . “In the last few years, he’s made comments about how he supports the Islamic faith,” she says. “I think he’s not 100 percent American.”
    It addition to the fact that they are completely bereft of facts, these quotes and beliefs are just so corrosive. People (and while I think this woman is in the minority, she is by no means alone) think the President of the United States is actively trying to undermine/destroy the country. A real life Manchurian Candidate, or deep cover mole for . . . someone. Given this foundation, how is a rational debate even possible?
    Uugh – feeling pessimistic today.

    • I don’t get why this makes you pessimistic today…that’s life man. There are crazy crazy people out there who say dumb dumb stuff. I highly doubt anyone has ever called you a left wing socialist pig…come on now.

    • I tried to get my mom (she was a birther when that was trendy) to tell me why Ted Cruz was eligible to be president but Obama was not. I tried to get her to say where the essential difference in their legal status was. She backtracked, saying that because Obama was educated in a “madrassa” (which just means “school”) that he didn’t have American values, and THAT’s what disqualified him.
      So, yeah, they’ll twist it any stupid way they can. *sigh*

    • Sometimes I feel like I live in a bubble in DC. In the sense that people here are not only passionate about politics, but well versed. Mostly able to see the nuance off the political process and willing to consider other ideas. I forget the most of the rest of the country? Not nearly well versed. And it’s not that I think the rest of the country is stupid. But it’s frightening how much ignorance is celebrated in some places. And they are the ones that shout the loudest.

      • “And it’s not that I think the rest of the country is stupid.”
        I would like to believe that. And most of the time, I do. But it’s increasingly difficult.

      • Accountering

        I will go out on a limb and say I do think the rest of the country, in large part, is incredibly stupid when it comes to politics. Huge swaths of the country vote against their interests EVERY time. Poor retirees living check to check voting for republicans makes absolutely no sense to me, but millions of them do it. Unemployed construction workers, factory workers voting to eviscerate unions, and people who rail against welfare voting for politicians that are “pro-life” and anti-birth control. People in floodplains in the south and drought areas in Texas and OK voting for anti-science politicians.

        • +1
          Never underestimate the stupidity of the average American voter. 60% of them can’t even articulate why they are voting for someone.

        • justinbc

          While it’s totally fair to say that the average voter is likely not very educated on all of the complex issues a candidate may represent, it’s also somewhat inconsiderate to assume they vote “against their interests” as if one issue can encapsulate someone’s beliefs. To many people the social issues that are used to drive wedges between the populace actually do hold significance, even if you or I think they should come secondary, or not at all. Additionally, it’s not as if the politicians are telling them what they’re doing is bad for them. You’ll have to forgive some people if they expect that people aren’t going on TV and flat out lying, or at the very least being conveniently deceptive with the truth. If you’re a farmer who works 14 hours a day you don’t have the time to do an economics primer to determine which potential tax plan is best for you.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Agreed 100%

          • Accountering

            I agree with some of the above, but still think there are plenty of people plainly voting against what is objectively best for them. Certainly there are many examples of this, and a ton of nuance, and reasons for this, much more than could be argued in this bit. Suffice it to say, plenty of the districts that continuously send a tea party congressmen to DC (or their state capital) would be better off financially if they did the opposite. Texas billionaires are still paying the 3.8% medicare surcharge, but instead of the money going to doctors/hospitals, and to give medical care to lower-middle class Texans, it is going to the same but in MD and IL etc.

      • I think DC is a “bubble” for a number of reasons, not only that it is filled with incredibly smart people. But also that SO many have worked directly in policy, that they realize much more about the process and realities than voters who are idealistic (even if those opinions are pessimistic, if that makes sense). Which can be frustrating.

    • That article is terrifying. I know it’s just of a few people, but I don’t understand at. all. who could be supporting that guy. Or Trump. I mean, there’s conservative and then there’s absurd; I think Carson and Trump clearly fall into the latter.

  • Rant: I made a bad choice to wear pumps today, about 5 days after stubbing the hell out of two toes on a lava rock at the bottom of a hot spring. I know, I could really use some sympathy.
    Rave: Lovely time at a friend’s birthday dinner last night.
    Rant: but it kept me from catching up on sleep and I am a jet lagged zombie yet again.
    Question: I would never wear white to a wedding, but if a bride is wearing a non-traditional color and I am aware of that, but already rented a dress that is apparently closer to the non-traditional color than I was originally told, am I obligated to change dresses?

    • I wouldn’t worry about it. Wearing all white is generally the only no-no.

    • Are you close enough to ask the bride if she cares? If I were her, I wouldn’t…but it might be best to just go straight to the source to find out.

      • I’m closer to the groom and he gave me a wishy-washy answer. She doesn’t strike me as the type to care and I agree that white is generally the only off limits color, but the dress color is mentioned on the wedding website, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to attendees.
        I’m usually really good at wedding etiquette, but this one is challenging.

        • At the end of the day, though, I really do not see the issue with wearing the same color as the bride (even if it’s *gasp* white) because for real no one is upstaging the bride. No one is going to accidentally think you’re the bride because you’re in a non-bridal gown that happens to be a similar shade. People aren’t going to be confused as to why you’re sitting in the audience and she’s standing next to the groom.
          Sorry, had to rant about that for a second. It’s extremely generous of you to be so considerate, but it’s just another thing that comes off as silly to me when brides expect these things of their guests.
          However, with all that said, if it would make you even in the slightest bit uncomfortable or self-conscious, I’d go with a different dress just to make your evening more enjoyable 🙂

    • Personally, I think white is the only color that’s off limits as a guest. You can’t control if she throws everyone for a loop and pulls out a random dress off the color wheel. No biggie.

    • Blithe

      I’d err on the side of caution. My understanding re: the rule against wearing white is that the goal is to allow the bride to stand out from the crowd. I don’t think that you’re obligated to change dresses, but if the non-traditional color of the bride’s dress has been made public, I think it would be a nice gesture to wear some other color, or at least some other shade. If your dress is only close to but not matching the color, I’d go for it, especially since you’ve already rented it, and your sense is that the bride won’t mind.

    • Is the bride wearing a non-traditional color in an otherwise traditional Western ceremony?
      I ask because when I was reading up on etiquette for Hindu weddings, one online guide said not to wear red, so as not to upstage the bride.
      As it turned out, red is the traditional color for brides in _northern_ India, but not in southern India, and the bride in question wore a white-and-gold sari for the Hindu ceremony.
      If this is a regular Western wedding and the bride has chosen to wear, say, pink, I don’t think it’s a huge big deal if you’re wearing pink too… but if it’s not too late to cancel the rental and pick something else out, that’s probably what I’d lean toward.

  • Anyone have experience with Peace Corps? Any recommendations for the application process? Does it help to have friends/acquaintances who have already done it? Looking for any/all advice…

    • I am an RPCV 2011-2013. PC redid the application process a year ago and from what I’ve heard it’s a lot simpler and quicker to apply. I didn’t know anyone personally when I applied, but I do think it helps because it shows the recruiter that you know and understand what the average volunteer goes through than someone who hasn’t met a volunteer.

      Best advice for the application process. Be patient and be persistent. Mine took well over a year, but I checked in monthly with my recruiter which was good because they had accidentally misplaced files that I sent them. A lot of people drop during the process since it takes so long and plans change, but if you are interested it will happen.

      Good luck!

    • RPCV 2012-2014. Like SWmh, I did the application process before they changed it. Now that you can “choose” your country (sort of), my advice would be to talk to recruiters before applying and while applying, and then once you have a better idea of what you want (i.e. super rural no running water? place to use your tech skills? place where you don’t have to learn 2 new languates?) then talk to RPCVs from those countries. DC has a huge RPCV community, it should be pretty easy to find people who were in the countries you’re looking at. And we tend to be super excited when anyone wants us to talk about our PC experience. Also: take a look at what the requirements are for the program you’re looking at (teaching, environmental education, etc.) – for teaching English, you had to have a certain number of hours of experience in tutoring or teaching, so before applying I did some extra ESL tutoring hours to make sure I fit the requirements. These are the kinds of things that a recruiter can help you with.

      I think having friends/family who are RPCVs only helps in that you’ll have a better idea of what to expect. If they are close enough to you to write your recommendation letters/character reference letters, that might help a tiny bit, but it’s not like getting a job where you need the networking connections to get in the door.

      Good luck!

  • Rave: Follow up from tongue-tie clipping went great, and we just need to continue exercises for a couple of more weeks and everything otherwise looks great. Woot woot!
    Rave: Little man is largely easygoing thus far. What a little love.
    Rave/Rant: Actually enjoying maternity leave this time around, can’t believe it’s nearly halfway done. How did that happen???
    Rave: Best buddy from my childhood coming to visit this weekend.
    Rant: weather is less than ideal
    Rave: That’s my only rant? Happy Tuesday all 🙂

    • Ooh I just read this after posting above. I’m so glad the tongue-tie clip worked! It totally improved life for a good friend of mine, too, and I’m glad they caught it relatively early for you. It seems like such a simple fix, all considered, that can make life so much easy for mom and baby if it’s needed.

    • Glad it went well! I hope it’s helpful (missed if there were nursing issues)

      • Mostly just nursing pain with potential concern for supply in the long run. But much more comfortable now!

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rave: Holiday baking season! This weekend, I will be testing recipes for my office bake-off.
    Rant: Out of brandy! I need to pick some up so I can make fruitcake. And milk punch.

  • Rant: My girlfriend thinks she’s figured out the exact amount of drinks she can have and still legally drive home. I personally think that 1 is 1 too many to drive due to so many pedestrians in DC and you don’t want to ever impair your ability to react to them or bikers. For me this is almost a breaking point issue. Am I overreacting?

    • Hmm this is a hard one. The impact on your relationship has nothing to do with the amount of drinks – it has everything to do with the attitude towards drinking and driving. She thinks that the legal limit is fine for her and that she’s perfectly safe having only that much. You think that it’s irresponsible to even try when we live somewhere with so many other transportation options. Someone is going to have to compromise here.
      Without trying to pry, I wonder if this is a bigger issue that just this though. Are your attitudes towards drinking in general very different? Do you tend to not get drunk or overindulge, while she routinely does?

      • No we typically take turns as the DDS except when I do it I don’t drink at all but when she does it’s 1 or 2 drinks depending on how long we are out. The other night at a long holiday party it was 3 drinks and I said no I’ll just metro which started the fight.

        • 1 or 2 drinks seems perfectly fine to me (assuming we’re talking standard pours of wine, 4-6% beers, standard pours of liquor in mixed drinks, etc.) but ultimately this is something that bothers you about the other person’s views on life (her perspective: Help is too controlling, too tight-laced, too worried about silly things; your perspective: she’s irresponsible, has no concern for others if it means she can have another drink, too dependent on alcohol to have fun) and that’s what needs addressed.

        • 3 drinks in how long a time period? All things being equal the average person metabolizes 1 drink/hr +/-, so if you were out for at least a few hours, most of that should be out of her system and longer it may all have been gone.
          I think you should be upfront and say when you dds I’m not comfortable if you drink at all. If she’s not ok with it, then move on. I don’t think that is necessarily a reasonable expectation, but you get to set your own bar.

          • As a DUI attorney, I would take this advice with a grain of salt. The one drink per hour is kind of like the ideal gas law you learned in high school chemistry: it does not exist except in perfect laboratory conditions. If you girlfriend drank three mixed drinks in a three hour period meaning that under the one an hour formula the first drink would be out of her system, and she is an average size woman (women have more fatty tissue than men, and they metabolize the alcohol less efficiently as well), the odds of her being under the legal limit are low. I can also tell you, that no matter what, if the cop wants to charge you with operating under the influence, you will fail the roadsides, doesn’t matter how well you do them.

          • Accountering

            My understanding is, the moment you are pulled out of the car to do roadside sobriety checkpoints, you are already screwed. Decline the tests, as it is just going to be creating evidence against you. At that point, you are already going to jail, so best to wait until you get to the station and do the breathalyzer there.
            I say this as someone who never drives after I drink, and instead let my friendly UberX driver take me home.

          • justinbc

            I’ve taken roadside tests twice and had no issues (I hadn’t been drinking at all). I will say though that “holiday party drinks” can often be significantly stronger in alcohol content than what those 1 per hour calculations are based on.

          • Accountering

            My thinking more related to if you had been drinking. If I had not had anything to drink, I would agree to the test. Thinking is, if you have been drinking, and the officer smells it on your breath, he is going to do the tests to give him additional evidence for when he inevitably arrests you.

        • It also depends on the drink and her tolerance… I was drinking moscato (please don’t judge) on Thanksgiving, and I had about 4 normal white-sized glasses, which may seem like a lot, but the moscato was like, 5% proof, so it was more like drinking 1.5-2 glasses of real wine (which is normally 13-15%).

    • Well, you’re certainly not overreacting in my book. While I’m comfortable with the person who’s had a glass of wine with dinner and leaves a 2-3 hour period wherein they can digest, metabolize stuff, people who seem too keen to know exactly how much is too much and then dial it back just enough to make it legal make me really, really nervous.

    • The # of drinks is only one factor. If a person is drinking on an empty stomach- that number declines. Also- I just had a coworkers who’s daughter just got a dui. One thing I find strange is that her lawyers argument is that she wasn’t drunk at the time of being pulled over(thought she weren’t able to pass the field tests), and that during the 45 minutes of processing her, that her level of intoxication increased. He says that if she was NOT pulled over- that she would’ve made it home before the levels increased.

      • HaileUnlikely

        It will take both a top-notch defense attorney and a completely incompetent prosecutor for that to fly.

      • So, she did three shots, immediately got in the car to drive home and would have made it before the alcohol entered her system in sufficient amounts to blow the legal limit? That is . . . creative, I guess, if I want to be charitable.

        • What’s funny is that she did take a shot as she was leaving.

          • Ehhhh ok. I guess I can sort of see it. Take a shot as you walk out the door, drive 10 minutes, you’re fine for the drive. However: WHO IN THE WORLD decides to take a shot right as they’re getting behind the wheel? Come on. Throw the book at her.

          • justinbc

            Many bartenders give you a shot just as you’re about to leave, especially if you’re friends with them. They don’t typically ask whether you’re driving or not, but of course it’s always a possibility that you can decline (although I rarely ever see anyone do this).

    • Get her a keychain Breathalyzer for Christmas. Let science win this debate for you!
      If she blows below the legal limit, she can drive.

      • Good compromise, but op believes 1 drink is too many, so they won’t be happy even if she’s legal.

        • HaileUnlikely

          It won’t and can’t say that somebody is legal, only that they’re below the limit at which one is per se illegal. One can be convicted of DUI at BAC levels below the per se limit. (I realize that you probably know this). Also, keychain breathalyzers sold in novelty stores are not calibrated to the same standard as breathalyzers used by police for evidentiary purposes. If you blow anywhere close to .08 on your keychain, I would not take that as indicator that I’m good to go.

          • They now have legit Breathalyzer’s you can buy that are $100+. It’s a worthwhile investment for some people.
            thewirecutter. com/reviews/best-personal-breathalyzer/

    • HaileUnlikely

      I personally agree with you. I’m not advocating for strict zero-tolerance laws or Sweden’s limit of 0.02, but trying to actually calculate how much one can drink and still be under the legal limit is risky business in lots of ways, including but not limited to 1.) day-to-day variation in how drinking the same quantity of alcohol will impact a person due to things like nutrition, hydration, and sleep, and 2.) one can still be arrested for DUI even if one’s BAC is below the limit if a police officer finds you to be demonstrating signs of impairment.

      • “one can still be arrested for DUI even if one’s BAC is below the limit if a police officer finds you to be demonstrating signs of impairment.”
        I never knew this! That’s bananas.
        I have a friend who was arrested for a DUI in Northern Virginia while she was parked. She left her car at the parking lot, went drinking at some bars, and was waiting inside the car for her boyfriend to arrive to drive her home. She fell asleep inside the car. The cops saw her asleep and went to investigate. Because she was in possession of the keys and was intoxicated, they arrested her. It totally screwed up her life – she was fired from her job, condo was foreclosed upon, etc.
        Moral of the story: F#ck Virginia.

        • HaileUnlikely

          It sounds to me like your friend got totally f*cked. But back to the point, the per se legal limit means that it is illegal to drive with a BAC higher than that limit regardless of one’s level of actual impairment. It does not mean that it is per se legal to drive as long as one’s BAC is not higher than the limit.

        • Yeah I have a friend who got a DUI in VA after drinking two Coronas in two hours. She blew around a .06 and got arrested and charged because the officer decided she was too impaired to drive after he pulled her over for avoiding a pothole – she was “swerving”.
          Moral of the story: F#ck Virginia and just take an Uber.

          • Hah, same thing happened to me with the Corona– I’d had a large draft which must have been equivalent to two normal-sized ones. The officer pulled me over for “swerving” and made me go through all tests. The sole purpose of those tests must be to embarrass people, because I passed them all but he still went ahead with the breathalyzer which was enough to arrest me. Absolutely the worst night of my life.
            I still have PTSD and fly into a panic attack whenever I’m driving and see a cop, even though I never get behind the wheel after drinking anymore. I don’t drive much anymore because there are cops everywhere and it’s dangerous to be getting panic attacks while driving.

    • OMG, that’s VERY bad. I agree, it would be a breaking point issue for me as well. It depends on a lot of factors, what she’s drinking, the timeframe, etc. Why risk it though? I think you’re playing with fire if you have more than 1-2 drinks and then drive home.

    • If it’s a deal breaker, it’s a deal breaker. Only you get to decide what is a deal breaker and what’s not.

    • Is your girlfriend huge or something? I got a DUI in VA after drinking a single large draft beer. In the class I was forced to take they showed us the BAC chart, and I determined that even one drink is pushing it based on my age, gender, and weight. They also said if you’re on your period it metabolizes even slower. This was in the dark ages when there was no Uber, so driving was the only option if you lived in the sticks. These days there’s no excuse.

  • Rant: I need to decide if I want to put an offer in on a condo. It isn’t perfect, but I think I can make it work. And I’m not sure I can find something that is better. And I really need to get out of my living situation. But I don’t want to move out of frustration and get myself into a different bad situation. God, I hate making big decisions.

    • do you have a link of the unit you are looking at? What are the pro’s and con’s?

      • Pros – great location, great bedrooms, top floor of a quiet building with concrete between the floors, good kitchen, lots of closet space, good light with lots of windows. Walk to work and two metros. Could save a bit of money each month.

        Con – I wish the living room had about 50 ft2 more. I’m not quite sure where I’d put a dining table, even a small one, and I like to eat at a table. I think a decorator could help me with this, but a bit nervous about banking on this.

        • If a dining table is as much a sticking point as it seems, don’t do it. Temporary or option to renew sublets abound in DC if you’re worried about being locked in for another year. I’d explore those and wait for more inventory as it gets warmer.

        • janie4

          If it’s too small, it’s too small, but I feel like the amenities you mention are hard to find. Light and closet space and cement pour? Nice. You’ve mentioned one con. No apartment will be perfect. It’s up to you if you can’t make it work without a table, but I would seriously consider going for it.

    • Please don’t buy a place based soley on your current frustrated situation. You have to take into consideration the next 3-5years of your life- I think, when thinking about purchasing. Unless you have serious bankroll…

      • I supported this until you mentioned all the pros/cons. I’ve now changed my mind — renting until you get what you want.

    • justinbc

      There are many ways to move from one living situation to another without purchasing a condo… Especially for a place you don’t even sound all that fond of.

  • Rave – Wanted to get take out for dinner last night but instead made minestrone soup using up random leftover veggies and frozen chicken stock. Yay dinner victories!
    Rant – My dog is on meds that makes her pee more often, and she’s had so many pee accidents in the house recently. It was hard to housebreak her to begin with, and I’m afraid once she’s off the meds she’ll just continue going inside.
    PSA – Dog owners: please give your dogs heartguard every month! Because heartworm treatment sucks. It sucks big time.

    • SouthwestDC

      I can top your rant– my dog has a bladder stone which makes her pee constantly, and it’s very bloody pee.

  • Rave: Husband has a final interview today from 12:30 – 3:30. Coming up on almost a full year of unemployment with a lot of near miss jobs – keeping my fingers crossed for this one.
    Rant: Nearly a full year of unemployment. It’s been a challenge.
    Rave: Sales yesterday netted the kid’s winter coat and snow pants for next winter at 50% off, which is a steal for where I bought them.

    • Fingers crossed for your husband. And plenty of thanks for you hanging in there with him and being a support system.

    • He has been unable to find any job in a year or unable to find a job in his field? I’ve seen a few ppl here mention long term unemployment and the struggles that come with it, and it seems strange to me ppl wouldn’t get a holdover job like waiting tables while they continue to look for the real deal. Easy enough to not mention it on the resume & money helps.

      • Yeah- but sometimes it’s cheaper to NOT get temp job- if kids are involved- they can provide free childcare vs working a job making enough just to cover childcare etc.

        • Fair point.

          • And if you lose the temp job, it counts as your last job so you get less unemployment.
            Also– when I was job-hunting I was averaging three interviews a week, and sometimes they didn’t give me much notice. I wanted to do some volunteer work but it was too hard too coordinate it with my interview schedule. I guess if your holdover job is during the evening it wouldn’t be a problem.

  • justinbc

    Rave: Interview for something I really want on Thursday. Not a fan of the location, but everything else is a massive bonus.

    • Accountering

      Virginia eh?

      • Come to the dark side!

      • justinbc

        Haha, bingo. At least it’s on the close side.

        • That’s where all the jobs are these days. Once you give up your DC job it’s very hard to go back, so consider it carefully. 😉

          • justinbc

            There’s no shortage in DC still. Almost everything I’ve interviewed for in the last 2-3 years has been within the District’s territory. I really don’t want to become part of the car owning populace again, but the pros outweigh the cons in this circumstance.

          • That hasn’t been my experience at all, but I’m guessing you’re not an engineer like I am.

          • Accountering

            Agree, that was not my experience in my job search at all. I was presented with probably 20 total jobs, of which I applied to maybe 8. 3 of them were in DC (one I was over qualified for, and one under qualified) so in a span of an almost 4 month job search, working with a half dozen different recruiters, I found one role in DC that fit my skillset and experience.

          • justinbc

            If you just took a controller position I’m guessing you were also looking at supervisory accountant / financial management analyst / etc type jobs? I see probably a dozen of those come through my inbox in any given month, almost all located in DC, along with similar CFO, DCFO, and related jobs. At least if you’re wanting to work for an agency it’s still heavily DC based, although YMMV if you’re going private sector.

          • Accountering

            100% private sector at the moment, so MM DEFINITELY V 🙂
            Not looking public sector in the least, but I suppose I could be open at some point.

          • Accountering

            My knowledge of agency positions is so limited that I had to google DCFO to figure out what that even meant. 🙂 That is not a position I have ever seen in any private sector role.

  • Further Rave: I totally forgot — I made the cranberry cake for Thanksgiving and everyone LOVED it! Thanks, POPville!!

    Question: Burgundy suede knee high boots from aerosoles. Do I want them? http://www.aerosoles.com/store/jump/product/Risky-Pizness-Knee-High-Boot/RISKY-PIZ?color=534

  • Rave: My husband has decided that he’s fascinated by the Max Martin music production machine and has started playing Britney, Backstreet Boys, Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson around the house a lot. The heavy dose of sugar pop music is actually SUPER fun. I know all the lyrics!
    Rave: Good doctor visit yesterday. Feeling like I may not delivery super early after all. Fingers and toes crossed.
    Rant: Navigating work leave, FMLA and the like, especially as someone working remotely. It’s not good for my stress levels, which simply need to stay low or else. When I think about it too much I literally feel my blood pressure rising and my belly tightening. I think I need to just trust that the process will work out even thought that is not my usual way At All.

    • Heh, so he just read that Re/code article as well? Fairly interesting read for those who are bored!

      • I’m not sure if he read that specific article, but will ask! It came up in our household because he made an offhand comment that suggested Taylor Swift’s popularity had more to do with Max Martin than than with Swift’s own talent, hard work, etc. That prompted a much longer discussion about pop music, authorship, and branding and ultimately just lead to us both listening to a lot of the Max Martin back catalogue.

      • To bring together two RRRR thread from today, I’d say it’s more likely he read this Atlantic article than the Re/Code article. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/10/hit-charade/403192/

  • Blithe

    Rave: Re-discovering The Atlantic magazine. It has well-written, well-researched, interesting articles, AND Ta-Nehisi Coates.
    Rave: Reading “Between the World and Me”. I’m reading it slowly instead of dashing through it. When I’m done, I might dig out “Price of the Ticket” and see if my sense that Coates is this generation’s Baldwin is on point.
    Rave/Rant: I got to see Santa/after standing in line for over four hours. When the kids that I went with are older, I’m SURE that we will laugh about this.
    Rant/Rave: The weather — I’m planning to make a pot of greens. I don’t usually do my annual pot-of-something-on-the-stove until way later into winter.
    Rave: Civilized discussions.

    • justinbc

      The Atlantic will often be responsible for both my favorite and least favorite article of any given week.

      • Blithe

        That sounds like my idea of a perfect magazine — if what you mean is well-written, well-reasoned articles on challenging topics that you/I may or may not agree with. I’ve been stalling on renewing my subscription to the New Yorker, and Harper’s doesn’t usually grab my attention.

        • justinbc

          Yeah pretty much, although they are particularly guilty sometimes of fanning the not-actual-controversy flames, but I haven’t found any publishers immune to that in the click-bait era lately.

  • Rant: Just realized I forgot to send in my last 2 quarterly estimated tax payments.
    Rave: HELOC to tap into.

  • Rave: Surprised my parents for Thanksgiving and it was great! The weather was also beautiful. I went out in DC with my college friend Wednesday night and it made me miss DC. We went to Slash Run too which was really cool.
    Rant: Washington Hospital Center. I will never go back there. We had the worst experience there 4 months ago and they were not able to diagnose my wife’s sickness despite TONS of tests. We left not knowing what it was. Last week the issue resurfaced so we went to the doctor here and it seems the doctor diagnosed it in one visit!!! WTH, it’s not a complex health issue at all either. Very common. So frustrating.

  • I Dont Get It

    Rave/Rantish?: Facebook. I used to overshare often on Facebook (anyone surprised by that?) but got out of the habit of it last summer and never looked back. However, yesterday some Facebook friends started having a group meltdown due to not hearing from me in months. Finally someone contacted a former manager of mine who shares my sister’s slightly usual first name thinking she could provide an update. I guess it’s nice to be missed but apparently one can never leave social media!

    Rave: Watched the stupidest over-the-top Tori Spelling Christmas movie last night the “Mistle-Tones.” It was fun but I missed the subtlety of her performance in her Oscar winning role in “Shakespeare in Love.”*

    *Oh wait that was Dame Judi Dench—I always confuse the two of them.

    • I am about to friend you on Facebook, partially if not entirely ignoring the spirit of your rantish rave/ravish rant. I dare you to accept the request!

    • “stupidest over-the-top Tori Spelling Christmas movie”
      Is this a contest to see who can pack the most redundancies into a single sentence? That’s a nice effort, but you can do better! How about, “close-minded, myopic, reactionary, hypocritical Trump supporter?”

    • If only you had done the Big Dramatic Facebook Exit, as social media etiquette dictates, then it would have been fine.

  • Rave: We had decided to make the leap! Starting the process of selling our house.
    Rant: Major anxiety over said sale. Is Redfin a decent way to sell a house these days?

    • Congratulations!
      “Is Redfin a decent way to sell a house these days?” I say NO but am curious to hear counter-arguments. Although Redfin is definitely cheaper, I think you get what you pay for. From what I have seen (at open houses), Redfin realtors are not usually experienced RE professionals who have deep experience in the market. More experienced realtors will do a better job with preparing and marketing your house and will have a solid network of professionals on call to help with the sale (painters, stagers, photographers, etc) that a Redfin agent may not have. They also will have a far better sense of how to price your house for the best offers. I think they pay for themselves, essentially, and then some.
      I may be extrapolating about Redfin from a few bad examples, but the people I’ve seen out there from Redfin seem like they don’t even know DC that well, let alone with real estate business. I would proceed with caution. (And would gladly recommend my own realtor, if you’re interested).

      • Thank you! And, yes, would love your recommendation. We’re in the consultation phase at present – more options are always useful!

        • We loved the team of Heather Davenport and Matt McHugh, who are now at Washington Fine Properties. We bought and sold with them and were very satisfied with how they managed both transactions.
          Looking at others’ responses below, I have a few more questions. Like, are you experienced with buying and selling? If you’re new to the process, as we were, you might benefit from the kind of hand-holding you get with a more experienced agent. But if you understand comps well and have your own network of contractors, photographers, etc., Redfin could save you money on the parts of the transaction that aren’t as essential.
          Also, I totally believe that people (like wowtdc) can have great experiences with Redfin. I guess I’d just say that your mileage may vary. I once overheard a Redfin buyers agent (loudly) counseling a client at an open house and literally every single piece of advice I overheard was off the mark. By a lot. It also sounded like that agent didn’t live in DC and that this was his first potential client in the District. This could be an anomaly, of course, but it left a very strong impression.

        • As far as recommendations go, I can’t speak highly enough of the Mandy and David Team at Compass. They were spot on as far as minor improvements to make before listing, as well as the timing of the listing. The asking price we settled on, at their urging, was higher than I thought we’d get – and we got 10% over that.

      • justinbc

        Not all the agents on Redfin are employees of Redfin, they outsource quite a bit to more experienced professionals, or “partner agents” as they call them. Our real estate agent from our last deal we got through there and she’s been doing it for over 30 years and was outstanding. Annette Wagner of Centurion Properties if you’re interested.

    • We used redfin to buy and sell a few months ago and had a great experience. I think they use different levels of agents for different things. So we had an agent who worked with us on setting the price and creating the listing and going over the offers with us, but they also had assistant agents (not sure of their titles) who ran the open house, set up the lock box, etc. Same thing with buying – we had an agent for the negotiation and closing, and then she had assistant agents who brought us to the showing, accompanied us to the home inspection, etc.

    • Accountering

      My gut says that if your place is not unique (standard 2/1.5 on 14th st or something similar) than Redfin would be a good option. There are a TON of comps, and you can price the place yourself. If you price it appropriately, you will get multiple offers, and you just pick the best one. If your place is unique, than I would say a realtor could add a lot of value.
      I say this as someone who is dating a realtor 🙂

      • You mean “someone who was dating a realtor”? 😉 (I personally agree with your advise – most desirable spots in DC sell themselves if they are well-priced.)

        • Hmm?? I am either sorry, or wish to be the first to offer congratulations.

          • Conjecture on their part regarding me dumping him after this post. I’m going to remain intentionally silent on this issue – but all is, in actuality, well

          • Wow, I totally missed that – read the last line, and not the context. Sorry about that!

          • Sorry – I felt the joke was clear.

          • It was. I just didn’t read enough to get it. I thought there was outside knowledge that the status had changed (in which direction was unclear) and reacted to that. The lesson, as always, is that I’m an idiot.

        • Accountering

          Hahaha! She does it part time, so I am guessing our relationship is still solid 🙂
          I think with the fee structure as it is, the value add with an agent on a 600k condo in Logan just isn’t there, if you can get the same service (open houses/list on MLS/submit or review offers) and a LARGE commission refund. Especially when the place next door sold two months ago for $620k and the only difference is 40 more square feet or something similar, it makes things pretty easy.

          • Accountering

            She does a wonderful job, of course not knocking her, or realtors in general, who I think all work hard and do great jobs. I just think in some limited circumstances, if you are willing to put in a bit of extra work, you can avoid the need for the great service, settle with slightly lesser service, and wind up at the same endpoint, but with 8K more in your pocket.

  • Random: Any suggestions on fun thing to do in Detroit during the day? My flight lands at 11 am and I have til about 6PM to kill before I need to drive to meet my friend who I am visiting in Ann Arbor.
    Random: Things like a nice place to grab a coffee and do some work, or a lunch spot that puts me into a massive food coma. Or a nice neighborhood to walk around and explore.

    • I haven’t been to Detroit in a while, but Belle Isle is a nice place to kill some time if the weather is decent. Motor City Brewing Works is a cool spot for drinks and food, and it’s near Jolly Pumpkin, another local MI brewery. You could check out Slow’s BBQ, I haven’t been but it’s always on Food Network for having some of the best BBQ. Or you could drive to Ann Arbor and kill time there. Plenty of shops, restaurants, parks, cafes, and Zingermans.

      • +1 for killing the time in Ann Arbor. Lots of great coffee shops (Literati is my favorite) and shops on Main St to check out. There’s also a Jolly Pumpkin in Ann Arbor, which also has pretty good food, and Isalita is probably my favorite restaurant.

        • Accountering

          I personally would pass on Ann Arbor, but I have heard it is a nice town.

        • I’d also pass on Ann Arbor, but only because it’s your typical bourgeois Midwestern college town. It’s cute, but I think anyone who is interested in art, culture/music, and American history would find Detroit to be fascinating. There’s lot of great walking tours with knowledgeable guides and really good audio driving tours.

          • This is one extreme – pass on Ann Arbor because it’s a “typical bourgeois Midwestern college town.” (Comment withheld.) On the other end of the spectrum, I’d probably drive to Canada and hit the $5 craps table at Caesars for a few hours.

    • I agree with Pixie. Drive to Ann Arbor and kill time there. However, if you are really interested in seeing a bit of Detroit, I would recommend the Detroit Institute of Arts. I think it’s a wonderful museum and you could easily spend a few hours there. The last time I was there (last summer) they had some lovely exhibits and it was completely uncrowded (which is not great for other reasons).

  • Rant: The misophonia is real today. Co-worker just ate a bag of chips one by one, and even with both earbuds in, I could hear each and every single crunch.
    Rave/Rant: Re-discovering old albums thanks to the Apple Music subscription-thingy (does it have a name?). The bad news is, now I want to buy them, but I bought them on CD years ago, and buying twice seems dumb.
    Related Rant: I am now to the point where I would rather listen to old music than new music because it just sounds better. Hopefully my version of good music holds up better than my parents’ (which is mostly 80’s hairband shit).
    Rant/Rave: DC PARCC results for 3rd-8th grades were released yesterday. I was shocked with not only how poorly DC did as a whole, but with my kids’ school. I *know* test scores aren’t everything, I *know* just how hard his teachers work and how hard the kids work, and how some of them just have so many challenges that it’s hard to reflect well in a test, but only 15% of kids proficient in English Language Arts is hard to ignore or explain away, and having seen the reading levels at our last APTT, reflective. But, only the brightside, the results in the school district we are moving to were better as a whole. Also a plus, because it’s the same test, and not Maryland’s test vs DC’s test, I know I am comparing apples to apples and not apples to oranges.

    • Additional Rant: When did I become the parent who gives a shit about standardized test scores?!?!

    • Noise cancelling ear buds or headphones.
      I have a cheap pair of buds maybe $10 & I can’t hear anything even on only the second lowest volume.
      I don’t have misophonia, but my office has a lot of distracting noise.

  • Who do you use for motorcycle/scooter insurance? My policy is up for renewal in January and Geico is such a rip-off. I drive a beat up old Vespa scooter (value: maybe $1.2K?) so no special coverage needed.

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