Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Hugh Clarke

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.

Ed. Note: I got called for jury duty today so I’ll reply to emails and such as soon as possible!

193 Comment

  • rave: watched broadchurch yesterday. great show! hope there is a season 3.
    rant: heard a co-worker talking a little too loudly about her sex toys on the phone. I didn’t say anything, but really now. at work. yikes
    rave: It’s friday

    • I’m making my way through season 2 now!

      • I love david tennant. he was great in Jessica Jones too. have you watched that?

        I’m a new fan of his 🙂

        • Between Broadchurch, Jessica Jones and Doctor Who it’s like all Tennant all the time on Netflix.

          • i am not a dr. who person. I tried watching it, but I couldn’t get into it. oh well. 😛

          • Fans of DT might try The Politician’s Husband. It’s pretty good. But fair warning, you won’t like him anymore after watching.

          • You have to give Doctor Who at least a full season to really grip you (if you’re willing to give it that chance). Once it’s got you, though, you’ll love it. I’ve never experienced a tv show before that’s made me cry for any reason, let alone at the drop of a hat without realizing I was getting emotional at all. Also, the new reboot (starting in 2005), not the old ones…that’s key.

          • I agree with Eggs. Definitely NewWho over Classic. Not that classic is without its merits. But I connect with the reboot more.

        • Paula, have you seen David Tennant in “The Escape Artist”?

    • IMDb lists a Season 3 of “Broadchurch” as being slated for 2016.
      I’m looking forward to it — I thought Season One was excellent, and Season Two was pretty good as well. And I was able to get them on DVD from the D.C. public library!

    • Emmaleigh504

      I plan to binge-watch series 2 this weekend.

    • I’m so excited to finish season 2. I tried watching in real time this spring, but was too busy. I’m halfway finished.

  • Rant: at 4am someone drove up to the back alley behind our apartment and abandoned a cat (or at least I think it was a cat, based on the cage size and blanket they left behind). I woke up to the car speeding off and my cat going crazy because the (probable) cat was abandoned right by our living room window. I didn’t see the cage (now empty) or put the pieces together until later this morning. Besides the sleep disruption, I’m so upset that someone would abandon an animal at all, but especially in such cold weather. Ugh.

    • That’s awful. I hope you can let the guilt go–there’s nothing you could have done–the cat probably bolted the second the cage was dropped if the latch was open. Did you get a description of the car? WHS might be interested in tracking the animal abuser down.

      • Thanks, I am just so bummed out. Had I realized what was going on I would’ve gladly taken the cat in and to a shelter in the morning. That’s a good idea about WHS – I sort of remember the car in my sleepy haze.

      • Agreed with squish — please don’t feel guilty.
        I am kind of kicking myself because last night I met a super-friendly unneutered orange cat — apparently a stray (no collar/tags) — but it didn’t occur to me that if I could get him in a carrier, I could take him to WHS right then and there. By the time I checked WHS’s website, saw that they take strays/found animals 24 hours a day, and realized that I could take him there without having to bring him inside first, he was gone.
        (This was after he’d finished eating the food I’d set out for him — not on my porch, but at the bottom of my steps — and he’d finished upsetting my cat by hanging out directly in front of my front door and looking through the glass.)

        • Trying-to-be-positive rave: I now have a carrier (with dry food sprinkled toward the back) at the ready in case I see this cat again.

  • Rant: sign of mice for past week. Ate half loaf of bread.
    Rant: the bastards were elusive to my traps. They even ate the peanut butter off the sanp trap.
    Rave: i finally got the courage to pull out my stove and refrigerator and see if there were any holes that mice were coming in. Sure enough there were holes. I plugged with steel wool and foam and are all seal up.
    Rant/Rave: hopefully that is the only entry way or else i have NO idea where else to look.

    • check out your radiators, and under your sink for the plumbing connections. Those might be additional entry points.

    • The mice ate half a loaf of bread? You’ll need to put things like bread, boxes of cereal, bags of beans, etc. either in the fridge or in rigid plastic containers, at least temporarily.

    • Do you live near Prego liquor store? You might have something bigger than mice.

    • Try using D-Con Ultra traps – they’ve worked well when I’ve had mice.

    • We also just had a mice infestation in our house, with similar bread-eating habits. After trying for about two weeks to mitigate the problems ourselves, we finally had to call in the professionals. I would highly advise doing that sooner than later. We found a good deal on Angie’s list and it was very affordable and we haven’t had an issue since.

    • You could also get a cat. I think rodent control is probably 90% of why we domesticated these adorable stone cold killers to begin with.

    • The worse – we had a problem so bad in the place we rented, we moved out for a week. At some point, calling the pros is worth it – there are also entry points from outside. My landlord didn’t believe me that it was the vents that they were using to get in/out the rest of the house. Yet there was poop in the vents. Glue traps are good, we got one in glue and 4 in snap and the rest eventually couldn’t get back in. Also, professional cleaning helps because they will scrub everything. We required our landlord to pay for a top to bottom cleaning and a vent cleaning before we would move back in. Good luck!

  • Rant: Why do I read the news? Almost cried at more shooting coverage and then went on to read a few horrifying local crime stories. I’m the worst about clicking on intriguing headlines that I know will disturb me.
    Rave: It’s Friday and I have a pretty chill, fun weekend ahead of me.

    • I’ve been actively avoiding news and social media for the past few days. It’s just too much coverage. Instead, I’m processing and coming to terms with what’s happened on my own. It’s really sad what is going on in this country.

    • I feel that. There’s a truly awful story that’s been occupying my news feed the last few days out of Ohio involving a toddler that was beaten to death by her mom/mom’s boyfriend. It’s been all over my Facebook feed because I have a lot of friends who know the dad and have been raising money for her hospital bills/funeral costs to help him out while he tries to pull it together after this happened. It’s been tearing me apart.

  • Rave: I really enjoyed the Tree Lighting despite the cold. My favorite performances were Aloe Black singigng “This Christmas” and Trombone Shorty.

    Rave: Loved, Loved, LOVED The Wiz last night! Finally NBC got it right with thier live musicals. Shanice Williams singing was amazing, the costume and choreography were fun. The Emerald City Vogue sequence gave me life. Uzo Aduba brought me to tears. Such a good night of TV. I can’t wait for NBC’s musical next year. I’m hoping for Little Shop of Horrors or Pirates of Penzance. West Side Story would be cool too.

    Rant: Flying today. As excited as I am to see my Grandma, I’m not thrilled about flying out to Indy. While my flight is short and non stop, I can’t take anything for my nerves. Xanex puts me to sleep.

  • Rant: Holy hell I have so much to get done today, trying not to freak out. I will be MIA for a while.
    Rave: Friday! Sunshine! My roomie made some breakfast casserole!
    Rant: Forgot my lunch in the freezer at home. boo.
    Rave: Hoping for a nice weekend of cleaning, decorating, yoga, and a date!

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Screaming fight woke me up 15 minutes before my alarm went off. I lost the best 15 minutes of sleep.
    Rant: really cold office today
    Rave: Quiet day at work, so far. Hope it stays quiet.

  • Rant: I failed to stop a blind man from stepping into a deep puddle. I was too far away.
    Rant: People who pronounce non-English words with aggressively correct accents while speaking English.
    Rant: Stinky cat food. Even though I rinse the dish and the spoon and the can immediately, the house always smells like it. Is there a healthy, non-stinky canned cat food? Bonus points if it leads to less stinky poop.

    • I really like Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance – Ultra Premium for my kitties, though I usually do a mix with another canned food – Fancy Feast chicken pate, Fromm is another good one, and I’m trying a couple other brands – my kitties like variety!

    • My cats eat the Best Feline Friend wet food packets. Doesn’t smell too much (and we leave the wet food out for a few hours before cleaning up–we have grazers). Comes in cans, too .

    • Your second rant is one of my biggest pet peeves. Drives me crazy.

    • Your second rant made me laugh. I am guilt of pronouncing “croissant” very aggressively.

      • I am probably guilty of this too with certain words. 😉

        • But when you’re talking about the best kwah-sohn you’ve ever had, do you say that you had it in PAR-ee, with a perfect p’tee crem? No you do not.

          • I remember thinking that a professor of mine in grad school was pretentious for saying “par-EE.” Unless you grew up as a native speaker of French (and maybe even then), it’s “PAIR-iss” when you’re speaking English.
            On the flip side… I was really surprised when I heard someone on NPR (I think?) pronouncing the name of the French city Reims as “reams,” like reams of paper.

          • French speaker here: I thought Reims was pronounced “reams”? I’m trying to remember any other way I heard it pronounced and am drawing a blank….

          • Hmm… Wikipedia says “reams” is an acceptable English pronunciation. I guess I’ve just never heard it in English before.
            IIRC, in French it rhymes with “hein” or “main.”

          • I lived in France for a bit and I never heard it pronounced that way….but maybe it was the “southern” accent in Provence affecting things…?

          • Google has all the info you need. Short version is that the French pronunciation of “Reims” is not obvious or natural for English (esp. American English) speakers, and not really worth trying to explain in words when there are audio recordings of it on youtube and elsewhere. When you hear it it’s understandable why “reams” would be considered acceptable as an English pronunciation.

          • The s in Reims is pronounced. So it’s more like mince (French for thin.)

          • Right. I couldn’t think of an appropriate word that had the vowel sound _and_ the “s” pronounced at the end — “hein” was the first thing that came to mind.

    • I’m with you on the second rant too.

    • Ha! My daughter does this with Spanish words. She is incredibly particular about the rolling of r’s.

    • Re second rant: Good god, yes. Do you call it a yeh-roe-scope? No you do not. Then call it a damn gyro.

    • There was some cat food that Victoria was recommending recently, but I couldn’t find the recent post. Victoria, are you out there?

    • houseintherear

      re: cat stuff- I’m liking Science Diet canned chicken (the cubed kind, not minced). It has no real smell yet the cats love it. A bit pricey.

    • Trader Joe’s canned cat food is the least expensive of the good food and doesn’t smell too bad. Primal Nuggets is a freeze-dried raw food that comes in little blocks that you re-hydrate and actually smells kind of good. And the smell of cat food (and poop) is the one real downside of fostering for me!

  • Rant: lost keys! Most likely fell off my husband’s bike bag, somewhere in SE through Crystal City. Very distinctive keys with cartoon characters on them. If you find them, please get in touch with me or POP. Thanks!!!

  • Rave: Father-daughter time this weekend . . .
    Rant: . . . because my wife has to go to an out of state funeral for a high school friend who committed suicide.
    Rave: House coming along, and it looks like we’ll be able to close on the loan on time, and move in shortly thereafter.
    Rant: Still some frustrations with contractor. I imagine those will multiply in the next few weeks.

  • RAVE #1: I received and accepted a job offer from the federal government today! I am beyond excited to be a part of this agency and its work.
    RAVE #2: This process was quite amazingly, efficient and lovely.
    NEITHER #1: I knew the grade I was applying for, but not the exact salary, and I didn’t negotiate to get to the top of the range. Was that a mistake?
    RANT #1: I will soon have a challenging commute with which to contend.
    RAVE #3: It’s MFing Friday!!!

    • Congratulations!

    • You didn’t make a mistake on the negotiating – HR is usually pretty rigid and any counter on your part would’ve likely created a delay. Congrats!!!

    • Congratulations! So you got hired as a Fed from the outside? That is a remarkable achievement these days!!
      As far as I’ve been aware, you don’t really get to negotiate within the salary range — if they offer you the job as a GS-___, you start as a GS-___, Step 1 (the bottom of the pay range) and get yearly step increases up until Step 5 (I think?), at which point the intervals become less frequent.
      The maximum for the pay range listed in the job announcement is at the highest step level — I think Step 10. It’s slightly misleading for them to list it that way, but I guess if you were coming from another agency as a GS-____, Step 7, your salary would be near the high end of the range.

      • Depends on the agency. Some of them have a huge need for employees and low retention rate (*cough* USPTO *cough*) and will take anyone with a pulse.

        • Maybe USPTO is different, but for most federal agencies I hear about, it is MUCH harder to break in as a non-fed than it used to be (unless you’re a veteran). Veterans tend to get most or all of the spots on the “cert” (list of candidates who can be interviewed) for the announcements that are open to the public (rather than limited to current federal employees).

          • SouthwestDC

            I got in straight out of college with a 2.9 GPA.
            The problem with USPTO is that you need a STEM degree to do the job, but it’s not work that most STEM majors want to do. Most people get bored and leave within a year. But there’s a huge patent backlog so they always need patent examiners.

      • Yep, I’m an outsider! Probably a combo of my experience and had an existing relationship in the agency. Thanks for this info (and [email protected]) — now that makes sense. Sounds like I stumbled onto the right decision!

      • My agency will sometimes negotiate. we usually don’t move on grade level, but we’ll sometimes move a step or two. And we usually give the hiring person authority to move, so we’d say “Offer to Bob at GSX, stepY, but you can move to GSX, stepZ if they counter.” That way they don’t have to come back to higher management to negotiate.

    • “RAVE #2: This process was quite amazingly, efficient and lovely.”
      Now I don’t believe your rave #1…(just kidding, congrats!)

    • Congrats! I wrote this earlier this week when someone was asking about gov’t jobs. I recently also became a fed from the outside. Not sure if you got the final offer yet, but this is what I negotiated and was approved.

      “This is a discretionary flexibility agencies can use to meet their strategic human capital needs – an employee has no entitlement to this credit.”

  • Rant: Trying not to get annoyed at how little my one other colleague does. I love my job and boss, but feel like the other employee doesn’t do much (works at home 3 days a week, the two she’s here it’s like 10-3). I just started, so don’t want to make a fuss. But I end up with a pile of work due immediately and when our boss says, “ask ______ to get these for you” and her response is always google or it’s on the shared drive. Frustrating.
    Rave: WEEKEND
    Rave: Going to Costco! (It’s the little things).
    Rant: Blacklist. I love the show, but the lack of accuracy when they’re in “DC” or the ignoring of the time space continuum is ridiculous!

    • How do you know your colleague isn’t actually doing much work? Working from home and/or working fewer hours (as long as it’s with management’s approval) does not mean “not working.”

      • ^ This.
        Also, it’s super frustrating when new people treat you like a search engine past the first week on the job. The tools are there for everyone. If you failed to learn to use them, it’s not fair to interrupt my work every 5 minutes with requests for things that are on the shared drive.

      • ….because the work isn’t getting done when that person is asked to assist me. I’m sure she’s doing the other part of her job, or we’d be in big trouble. But there’s another part of her job that I am supposed to be assisting with (per job description, interviews, and salary) that I’ve just ended up taking over completely because I’m told everything is “on the shared drive” (which it isn’t). The person was supposed to be keeping track of media coverage of something for months between the student intern leaving and hiring me, but it wasn’t done and instead of working on a short deadline WITH me, I was told just to google. And leaving important conference calls with board members after 5 minutes when the topic is a program you run because you’ve got an issue at home. It compounds as I work for two people but only one person’s work overwhelmingly falls on me. Makes it difficult to assist two people – would rather my actual boss not have their work undone because I have to cover the undone work of the other person. I don’t doubt she does her other work, which can be done anywhere and on any time frame.
        I don’t treat her like a search engine, just as a colleague who has duties that I have started to get tired of covering.
        but I have a great boss, so I’ll continue to do it

  • Rave: I forgot today was Friday. For some reason, I thought it was going to be Thursday and when I woke up and realized it was actually Friday, I was giddy with delight.

    Rant: Stupid office politics.

    Rave: Problem Partner has been spoken to from the Head Honcho. He’s quasi-apologized in that way where you say you’re sorry but aren’t really sorry. Still. He’s signing things now, so I’ll take it.

    Rant: Power struggles at work with other people who are bullies. Not cool. Not sure how to handle. (I am not the one being bullied)

    Rave: Fun weekend plans. I have an ugly Christmas Sweater party to attend tomorrow night.

    Rant: I do not have an Ugly Christmas Sweater.

  • Rant: Having a Conversation with boss this morning. Wish me luck.

  • Rant: Another child was hit by a car in front of my kids’ school yesterday morning. It’s a very frustrating situation – people double park all the time, kids dart across the street, commuters use the street as a pass through to 16th and Rock Creek – it’s just a perfect storm. We have been lobbying DDOT to put a cross walk in front of the school only to be told that they are actually phasing out cross walks in front of all schools in the District (wtf?!), and also asked for some sort of traffic calming measure, whether it be a flashing light or those bump outs that some streets have, but nope! Apparently the street is designed to be a commuter route so we can’t have these either unless the designation of the road is changed. So frustrating!!!
    Rave: At least the school is doing everything they can to help the situation. Very happy with the handling of the situation on their end. Also, after many, many emails yesterday, MPD has finally agreed to actually enforce traffic laws at pick-up and drop-off times and is stationing a officer at the school during these times. I think this also helps with community policing efforts and helps make MPD more visible to the kids and community, which is a win/win all around.

    • HaileUnlikely

      What school is this? Where is it located? (From description guessing it’s the one on Upshur between 13th & 14th?)

      • You’ve got it Haile

        • I thought so too.
          I commute past there on the way home and it is insane. When I’m not driving to/from work I’m almost always a pedestrian and I usually look at these issues through that lens, but I will note that people aren’t using Upshur St as a “cut through” they are using it as a street that they drive on to get from one place to the next, like any other street. I’ve started to avoid it when I remember/feel like it, but I think that the double parking is one of the biggest problems. Also, the volume of people and kids running out into the street.
          It’s an urban school, so I don’t expect it to have a half circle driveway out front, but that would help. So would parents being willing to park somewhere other than directly in front in the only option there is to double park. Non able-bodied parents excepted.

          • We’re not allowed to have the half circle or something similar for a kiss and ride because of the designation the road currently has. To be perfectly honest, I have only seen kiss and rides successfully implemented at schools with this sort of thing. I feel like they are trying to make kiss and ride happen but it’s just too hard to do on this street the way it currently is.
            A lot of the issue is the double parking, which is totally a parent thing. The school has requested SO many times that parents not do this, but there has been no way to enforce it. The double parking leads to the darting across the street, and also decreases visibility for people attempting to cross. Also, it frustrates the commuters and frequently causes them to go around double parked vehicles in a manner that one does when one is pissed off (ie, staring at the other driver as you pass, hitting that gas a little harder, etc), which adds to the danger. The crazy thing is, I have watched as parents double park for several minutes for no good reason in the evenings when there is plentiful parking a few car lengths up – some people just do it to do it. I’ve even seen it done when there’s a parking enforcement officer on the block, the drivers don’t care and neither does parking enforcement, apparently.

    • HaileUnlikely

      Not sure who you contacted at DDOT, but I’d recommend contacting Jennifer Hefferan (202-671-2227; firstname dot lastname at dc dot gov). I don’t know her, but she is listed as DDOT’s “Safe Routes to School” coordinator, and might have a different perspective than others who you may have corresponded with before.
      Also, having worked with lots of civil engineers, I’d recommend not telling them “we need you to put X here,” because they will probably respond with “We can’t put X here, because we have a policy of not putting X’s on roads like that one.” Instead tell them that you need them what needs to be accomplished (i.e., get cars to slow down and yield to children, NOT “put a speed bump here or a bulbout there,” which they’ll tell you, infuriatingly but correctly that they can’t do) and leave it to them to come up with the specific tools to use to accomplish it.

      • Thank you for the info. We are a Safe Routes to School site, however, Ms. Hefferan no longer works at DDOT and as far as we are aware, there has been no replacement yet (we met with them in October), and there’s been nothing done about the program as a result.
        Also, thank you for the advice regarding the civil engineering. I’ll pass this along!

    • Honest question: is it really necessary for people to double-park and physically escort their kids to the front door? I would imagine that people could just drive up and drop their kids off – even the youngest. There’s usually a bunch of teachers and administrators outside to make sure they don’t wander off. A lot of the issues could be alleviated if people were not double-parking and causing a mess in the roads.

      • Um, well, that’s a hard one. Personally, I do not see this need. I am happy to watch my kids to make sure they go in (which, yes, I do think is necessary), but don’t see the need to take them to the school door. However, every parent will differ on this. Usually there are a handful of administrators, but the teachers do not stand outside at our school. I do understand that parents may not feel comfortable just dropping and going, but this still does not make double parking acceptable IMO. A lot of parents actually take their kids to the classrooms and are double parking to do this, and in this case I think if you want to do that, park around the block!

        • Every child differs on this. I have one who’s always been happily independent, and another who needed to be walked to the classroom until 2nd grade. But yes, I always parked in a legal spot!

      • Anonymous, I wonder the same thing, and this topic makes me feel like a Grumpy Old Person. When I lived within walking distance of my elementary school, I was expected to walk there — no parental dropoff unless I was running really late or something.
        And I think when I had to take the bus (at a previous school), I was walked to the bus stop only on the first day of kindergarten… not on a regular basis.
        Now get off my lawn!

        • I can see this point, I really can. I also walked to school alone (when I went to schools that did not have buses). Even in Kindergarten. However, I also got hit by a car in 4th grade while walking home alone. I also walked in military bases communities that were mostly closed. I also know parents who let their kids walk on their own. However, I can honestly say that I would NOT allow my 1st grader or PreKer to go to school on their own. The 4th grader I’m on the fence about, and I am letting him go farther and farther without me. This really is such a parent/child specific issue though, I really can’t judge others for feeling the need to do more than I do. You have to realize, some of these families come from countries where people are snatched off the street. You never know what a family has been through before they come here.
          Having said that, I will also add that a lot of people consider allowing elementary age kids to go to school on their own neglectful. It’s hard for parents. Doing what some people will consider you a helicopter parent for makes others consider you neglectful.

    • I avoided that stretch of road like the plague when I was getting from Petworth to Georgetown – “commuter route” (hah!) + school drop-off = intense frustration, gradually escalation to blind rage.

  • Rant: Can whoever has been scheduling White House events be fired? The amount of them unnecessarily scheduled on weekdays during rush hour (looking at you, National Christmas Tree lighting, which could easily have been done on Saturday) has been making commuting more and more irritating and is completely inconsiderate of the residents of DC and the surrounding area…and I say this as someone who commutes by bus.

    Rave: No Christmas Tree lighting to block up all of Downtown.

    • Not saying that things have to be done the way they’ve always been done, but hasn’t the National Christmas Tree lighting always been done on a Thursday? (At least in my recent memory.)

      I also commute by bus. It took me awhile to get home, but I walked it. It was a good walk even though I literally didn’t sit down for about 7 hours at work yesterday. If I got home in one piece I’m pretty sure you managed. There was also the metro. And bikes, if you felt really ambitious….

      • HaileUnlikely

        Mostly agreed. I think it is generally understood that when working within blocks and living within miles of the home of the President of the United States, there may be some inconveniences from time to time.
        That said, I do feel bad for those who have really long commutes from low-paying jobs cleaning offices or washing dishes downtown and take the bus up to Silver Spring and then transfer to another bus to go considerably further because it is the most affordable transportation to get to the places they can afford to live. Some of the things that are minor inconveniences for us can really really suck for them.

        • +1. This is true. Those buses that go to Silver Spring were just not coming yesterday. It would be nice if there was some kind of discount on the metro during the time period in the middle of the tree lighting… at least then it would be feasible for some more people to take the metro to a bus outside the craziness.

        • SouthwestDC

          I’ve tried a bus commute from the suburbs and you can’t afford to have a single thing throwing you off schedule. Most suburban buses run only once an hour, so a delay earlier in the commute can have a devastating domino effect on the rest of it.

      • I’m torn, on the one hand traffic was a mess yesterday, but on the other, its been the same day every years for years. So people have warnings. It’s not like this event came out of the blue. But I can see where the frustration comes from. I don’t drive and had the option to bus, metro or even walk home. But people from far flung places don’t have that luxury. But it is only one day of the year. It would make sense to plan for the disruption. My office sent out a memo and I’m sure most of the buildings in the area did the same.

        • Yeah, we got about 3 different memos. (Then again, I guess no one altered their schedule because I heard it took a LONG time to get out of our parking garage at rush hour yesterday.)

        • I heard nothing from my Federal agency about the street closures. Were they announced ahead of time? It seems like they just randomly happened (due to Wednesday’s terror attack?).

          • Oh really?! That’s so weird! They were announced several days in advance. My bureau sent out a few emails, and I saw it on the news for about 2-3 days ahead of time, as well as in WaPo, I believe. And on WMATA’s website….

    • I Dont Get It

      What doesn’t make sense to me is that isn’t this ceremony mostly for children? Wouldn’t it be better for everyone involved to hold this on a Saturday instead of having parents having to drag their kids downtown on a Thursday to be there by 5???

    • +100
      I honestly heard NOTHING about the street closures related to the Tree Lighting. My usual 12 minute bus ride at 7:15pm took nearly 50 minutes. I should have just walked but didn’t realize the gravity of the situation. Traffic last night was 100x worse than anything I experienced during the Pope visit.

  • Rave: It appears that the dog isn’t that sick. She didn’t need fluid. She got some anti-nausea meds and is on a chicken and rice diet, which she loves.
    Rant: Yesterday after we got home from the vet I let her out and left the back door cracked for her to come back in while I went and changed clothes. I come back downstairs and she has killed a (blessedly very small) rat and left it for me on the couch. OMG – I hate rats, I’m trying to minimize her exposure to them since the risk of transmitting some sort of bug, and I DEFINITELY don’t need a dead rat not only in the house, but ON THE COUCH!?!? Ugh Just yuck
    Rave: Hip Hop Nutcracker at Strathmore last night was really good! There were a ton of kids dancing to the hip hop music playing during intermission. So many cute little dance enthusiasts!
    Rave: Not a TON planned this weekend. Dropping off the gifts for Angel tree, low key baby shower, and how knows what else?

    • Hey, at least she killed it! My cat used to bring me live mice.

      • +1 – I just told a friend about this and realized that it would’ve been MUCH worse if the thing was still alive.

        • HaileUnlikely

          Yes. Our good little kitty seems to think that rodents are the greatest toys. Last time she encountered a mouse, she chased it around vigorously, pawed at it gently a bunch of times, let it escape, continued to chase it, cornered it, and after some more playful pawing appeared to be disappointed that her toy had stopped working when she accidentally finished it off.

          • Emmaleigh504

            My old cat that, and she loved to drop them in my shoes so she could bat at them as they tried to get out. Thank heavens the mouse problem was fixed, so I don’t know what new kitty do.

    • Emmaleigh504

      aagghhh! That is awful!

    • I’m glad she’s not that sick!
      But this makes me so happy that my dog is large and not nimble. I don’t think he’ll ever catch anything, thank goodness.

      • Emmaleigh504

        My dog growing up loved to chase squirrels, but only ever caught one, the dead one he found. He brought that one to my dad, he was so happy with himself. My dad was no so happy.

    • Glad to hear Mocha is on the mend!
      Eek on the rat!! For me, the freakout quotient for “dead rat on sofa” would be significantly higher than “dead rat on floor.” Did the rat leave any, er, traces on the sofa? (Me, I would probably be compulsively wiping the cushion — or washing it if possible — even if it looked perfectly clean.)

      • Luckily zero! In fact, the area where Mocha was cowering on the other end of the couch was substantially dirtier (just some leaf debris) than where I picked up the rat. I think he lost the fight outside, and just came in as a matter of her not being ready to put it down yet.

  • Rave: My back hurt less when I woke up this morning than when I went to bed.
    Rant: I feel very pregnant, and I still have a long way to go. I feel like I’m growing a very large baby.
    Rave: Weekend plans with dear friends that I haven’t seen in ages.
    Rave: Lovely dinner last night with my “adopted” parents. It is great to have such good community and family surrounding me.

    • how far along?
      I felt there were weeks of major growth but also position can make you feel bigger. It gets easier to handle it!

      • Only 23 weeks — four months to go. And I completely agree with you re: weeks of major growth. Those are usually the weeks where I can’t stop eating and I wake up swearing that my belly enlarged overnight.

        Gentle lunchtime yoga in my office seems to be helping too.

  • Rant: still sick but at work today. Had such a craptastic sub yesterday.
    Rant: gray juice for lunch today.

  • Rant: Need to make a career move. My creative self is bothering me, but with no specifics, so I don’t know where to channel my energy. I love fashion/styling/writing, but these seem impressively hard to get into. Looked for meetups to see if I could find like-minded souls, nothing stood out. Open to all ideas and suggestions.
    Rave: At least it’s a quiet Friday and I’m the only one in my office, so I can torture myself about this in relative peace

    • Re: your rant, I’m not the best person to respond to this, but think it deserves a response and hope this will act like a “bump.” People here seem to love the book The Artist’s Way as a way to help channel creative energy. I have also seen that a group called “A Creative DC” has meetups that look really good and welcoming. Their Instagram hashtag #acreativedc may be a good place to try to find some like-minded people working on projects that interest you.

    • Also keep in mind that you might have options to channel your creative energy into something extracurricular — it wouldn’t have to be a full-time job. (And it might be less fun if you’re doing it as a full-time job.)
      You mention fashion and writing — maybe fashion blogging? (Aren’t there some very influential fashion bloggers?)

    • I was in a super career rut myself earlier this year. It was dragging the rest of my life down. With some introspection, a Strong Interest Inventory and a few conversations with a counselor, I learned that I had a creative dimension to myself that was not being nurtured. I signed up for improv classes at Washington Improv Theater. It really was transformative. It gave me a space to have a good time, be creative and even developed skills I could use in the workplace. I’m still in the same job that really isn’t terrific but I approach it differently now and my general outlook and mood has changed overall. I’m still working on the next career move but I’m in such a better place now to make a big life change. I definitely second the suggestion to find something extracurricular for your creative side while you work on a bigger move.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rant: While Mr. Zelda was in the shower, that stubby-legged little puppy hopped up on the sofa and ransacked Middle Zelda’s backpack. He killed an inkpen, but I was able to rescue the umbrella and folder full of schoolwork before he did too much damage.
    Rant: I’m pretty sure the boycat is plotting the destruction of the Christmas tree and ornaments.
    Rave: It’s a good thing they’re cute.
    Rave: FRIDAY. What a week this has been.

  • I Dont Get It

    Rave: “The Wiz Live” or as we called it in my living room “IDGI’s Ease on Down the Road Dance Party”.
    Rave: The only one in the room who knew that Aunt Em was played by the original Dorothy in “The Wiz” actress/singer
    Rant: Haley Mills. I knew that sounded wrong the moment I said it.
    Double, Triple rant and I feel that our nation is doomed: Those who went on Twitter to accuse NBC of being racist for broadcasting an all-black version of “The Wiz.” “What would people say if someone made an all-white version of “The Wizard of Oz'”? Uhm…

    • Rant: I didn’t realize when you and SKJ84 were talking about “The Wiz” yesterday that it was going to be a live TV broadcast on Thursday night — I would’ve made an effort to watch it if I’d known.

    • anonymouse_dianne

      I clicked into the Wiz from time to time — I never saw the original Wiz but read about the cast. Loved Queen Latifah as the Wiz. My question is – why no Toto? The best line in the original Wiz of Oz was: “and Toto too?” And why are the Ruby Slippers now Silver?

      • In the book, the slippers are silver.

      • Toto was in the very first scene.
        I’ve never seen the original Wiz so I don’t know if his appearance was less than in that, but I imagine that having a dog doing anything choreographed live must be very difficult. I was impressed with Toto’s brief appearance in which he appeared to do what he was supposed to, but I didn’t really expect him to stick around.

        • I Dont Get It

          Toto was also in the last scene.

          • I didn’t see him, but at that point I was struggling to stay awake.

          • anonymouse_dianne

            From Slate:

            “By the end of the show, when Toto, too dangerous for live TV, finally reappeared, bounding into Dorothy’s arms, maybe you were beaming.”

            I’ll have to dvd it so I can watch the beginning and the end. 3hrs is way past my attention span.

            Thanks everyone for the interesting comments.

      • It was pretty much the stage version, rather the movie. I don’t think Toto is really featured in the play. Honestly I didn’t realize he wasn’t there until it was pointed out.

      • tonyr

        Well they were Silver in the book; I assume that they were changed to Ruby due to the Technicolor movie format. The original Silver was a reference to some financial kerfuffle back when the book was written. Can’t remember the details, but if anyone’s interested then I’m sure Google would throw up more information than anyone could need.

    • Yeah on your last rant. I hate people so much sometimes. Can’t we have this one thing. Can we?

    • Blithe

      LOL IDGI, I Love your first rant: Haley! HALEY MILLS!!!!!! :-0 And I share and applaud your second, Double, Triple rant. There really are enough ruby AND silver slippers to go around. 🙁

  • topscallop

    Rave: I’m hosting a big (for me) party tomorrow and I’m excited about it
    Rant: I still have a lot to do to prepare. Maybe I’m being overly ambitious in what I’m planning. We’ll see! Enough booze and I don’t think anyone will notice or care if there’s only one kind of cupcake.
    Rave: quiet office today
    Rave: boyfriend is adorable

  • Rave: It’s Friday. The week is over. Finals are almost over. I have time to study today. I have time and money to grocery shop after work. For this I am thankful.
    Question for the PoPulace: I have never made mulled wine and am considering doing so this weekend because I am curious and feeling festive. Any suggestions on the cheapest way to do this? (Anywhere that sells pre-packed bags of spices for this purpose, or are there simple recipes with fewer spices, or is mulled wine not that good and should I not bother?)

    • I did this one mostly on a whim at my parents with a few adaptations because it was Thanksgiving and I didn’t want to go to the grocery store: http://www.ayearofslowcooking.com/2008/11/crockpot-mulled-wine-recipe.html
      -used OJ that was in the fridge
      -used almost a whole blackbox, so closer to 3.5 bottles of wine
      -doubled spices accordingly but still only used 2 oranges (they were large) and “only” 1 cup of sugar
      -excluded cinnamon sticks and cloves because I didn’t have them

      It was a solid mulled wine. Not the best I ever tasted, but still good and it disappeared pretty quickly considering there weren’t many wine drinkers among us.

    • Just warm the wine with an orange studded with cloves. Simple and good.

    • IKEA sells non-alcoholic fruit-juice-based glogg that’s mighty tasty (IMO) and to which vodka or other spirits can be added. Not sure if it’s still in stock, though — my recollection is that last year it was all gone well before Christmas.

      • Trader Joe’s has a version of this too. I was wondering if it’d be worth doing it that way, but I’m intrigued by Tall E’s suggestion above.

    • Prepackaged stuff is fine – I recommend doing it in a slow cooker with a ladle– I’ve tried heating wine up on the stove and I always manage to get it all over the range/not in my glass

    • Thanks, all! I might go for some variation of orange-studded-with-cloves and orange or apple juice added for sweetness. Sounds easy enough!

    • I loved mulled wine. I either buy the cheapest big bottle of red, or make it when I get a bottle that isn’t very good on its own. Add some water, some sugar, some orange peel, whole cloves, and a cinnamon stick. Right before serving, throw in an optional splash of brandy.

    • I purchase the cheapest merlot I can find. Whole foods cheepy brand is pretty good. The last time I made mulled wine I used a pre made spice mix. I let it all simmer in a stock pot, then strained the spices out.

  • Linc Park SE

    Revel: Found a cool lil organic soap shop in my neighborhood : Hunny Bunny on 8th NE

    Rant: No update/progress on the Reservation 13 Project in HillEast

  • Rant: The barista at Starbucks totally judged me this morning for not getting decaf. Didn’t even try to hide his disdain, which I guess is better than silent judging. Never mind that I’ve had caffeinated coffee exactly five times in the last 7-8 months. I’m not worried about it, so he really shouldn’t be, either.
    Rave: The Holiday Spice Flat White I got was really, really tasty. Highly recommended.
    Rave (yes, rave): The “social media personality” who criticized the Starbucks red cups earlier this year. I’m convinced he’s singlehandedly boosted holiday sales for the company — and am half wondering if Starbucks actually encouraged his screeds to go viral to drum up their business.
    Rave: Thanks to my little caffeine boost, I have some energy this morning! Going to try to build a crib now. Wish me luck!

    • Oh, on the second rave, the actual rave is that the “social media personality” actually got -me- to think about, and therefore drink, a Starbucks holiday drink. Most SF coffee shops are super purist and only serve about six different drink options, so I really need to go to Starbucks to get something other than a plain latte or cappuccino.

    • I just got the holiday spice flat white too! It’s been a long week so I figured I’d treat myself and I’m happy that I did. I like it a lot more than the other super sweet (imo) holiday drink offerings.

      • Oh well if it’s not actually that sweet, maybe I’ll try it soon too! I usually avoid any of the Starbucks sugared up stuff.

        • It’s really not too sweet and that’s part of the appeal for me. I’d say it’s about as sweet as a chai latte and not all that different from a “dirty chai.” It’s nothing like, say, a pumpkin spice latte.

          • Agreed. And I heard they make it with the holiday espresso rather than whatever they normally use, which is a nice touch.

    • I want to punch that barista in the nose.

  • Rave; parking enforcement. Yes, really. I was walking down the street and took my phone out of my pocket. Then I hear honking and look up and the parking enforcement guy is pointing at me and down at the ground. Turns out I’d dropped my SmartTrip card. So, thank you Mr. Parking Enforcement guy, without you I wouldn;t have been able to pay for the bus this morning.

    Rant: my bus was two minutes early. I was about 4 feet away when it pulled away and left me. The next bus said it was coming on Next Bus, then ghosted, so i was really late to my meeting.

    • I had a bus pull away on me this morning, too, and I was literally a foot from the door that they closed not 5 seconds before they flew away…. there are few things more irritating. Sorry the next bus ghosted 🙁

  • I Dont Get It

    Bonus rave: I wasn’t sure I was going to put up my Christmas tree since there was so much clutter by the front window*. However, I cleared enough stuff out and now it is standing there ready to be decorated tomorrow. So definitely we need a PoPville Christmas Tree of the day since mine will be the Donna Martin or the Candy Spelling** of Christmas trees.
    *Nobody puts my tree in the corner
    **Third Candy Spelling reference of the week

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