Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Clif Burns

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.

151 Comment

  • Rave: Monumental Paris agreement.
    Rant: People thinking climate change and carbon emissions don’t matter.
    Rant: Back to work after a wonderful weekend.
    Rant: Ruined a perfectly wonderful Sunday evening due to stress, anxiety, and general grumpiness about having to head back on the train, away from my husband…
    Rave: Modern Family helped clear away some of the grumpiness.

  • Rave: the condo holiday parties I co-ran/organized were very successful! Over 40 kids at the children’s party, and we had no leftovers at the adult’s party later that night. Everyone had a great time! Yay! Relieved that is over.

    Rave: Taking this Friday off to begin Christmas shopping/baking.

    Rave: Beautiful weekend weather.

    Rave: Saw a gorgeous renovation of one of the units in my condo that is for sale and now I want to do something similar in my unit. I am probably going to get a HELOC in 2017 and just go for it! I’ll use 2016 to research all of the things I will want, figure out pricing and review contractors so when the calendar flips to 2017 I will be ready to go!

  • FtLincolnLove

    Rave: Wearing my ugly cat vest to work today. Can’t stop smiling and laughing because it is SO ridiculous. Tis the season!
    Revel: 3 DAYS UNTIL STAR WARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 10:15 pm Thursday, get here faster.
    Rave: No rants because it’s Star Wars week!!!!!!

  • rave: Watching ‘the leftovers.’
    very interesting show. Justin thereoux (or however you spell it) is sure a cutie. Lol
    rant: donald trump all over the media. I think the reason he is leading is because the media constantly focuses on him. ::PULLS HAIR OUT::
    rave: got a few philosophy bottles yesterday. 🙂

  • Query: Does anyone know if Starbucks in NoVa sell the Virginia state mug? My dad collects the mugs and I got him a DC one, want to see if I can get a Virginia one too.
    Rave: I know this is probably global warming, but I love the warm weather. I’ve already had enough white Christmases to last me a lifetime.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: not much work to do today
    Rave: Mailed my holiday cards

  • Blithe

    Revel: It’s warm, it’s sunny: I’m happy! Yesterday was a total treat. I saw blooming roses almost everywhere.
    Rant: I got another creepy robocall from Ben Carson. The creepiness was upped exponentially when I realized that I was unable to disconnect the call. If I — or anyone — can’t access 911 because of a robocall, that says something really appalling about the values behind both politics and technology.
    Rant: Yes, I’m grumpy. The wonderful weather that I’m extolling has brought with it “spring” allergies.
    Rant-ish: Christmas shopping. Somehow I’ve forgotten to do Christmas shopping.
    Rave-ish: Maybe I’ll skip Christmas and do New Year’s cards/gifts/celebrations instead?

    • So how were you not able to disconnect from the call? Was this on a landline or Cell phone?

      • Blithe

        This was on a landline phone. I hung up the phone, picked up the receiver to make a call, and the voice still droned. I held down the switch thing for several seconds, lifted my finger, and his voice still droned. I disconnected the cord and clicked it back in, and his voice still droned. After multiple efforts, I began to wonder what would happen if someone needed to dial out in an emergency? Or Had the phone connected to one of those alert systems? Or Used the line for their security system? I hope I”m overreacting here….

    • I support your last rave-ish! My friends here planned to do a secret santa gift exchange and then finals took over our lives. So we just decided we will be doing secret santa in January.

  • Rave: Successful local holiday shopping on Saturday, although dad might just get a nice bottle of Scotch as there’s absolutely nothing to else to buy him anymore.
    Rave: Pietasters and some great 3rd wave ska at the 9:30 Club on Saturday made me feel about 20 years younger. Upon leaving, seeing lines to get into bars at 1:30AM made me feel my age again.
    Rave: Cookie baked-off my hangover Sunday. Pecan bars and raspberry strippers came out perfect!

  • Rave: Opportunity to go on a (nearly) free trip to Thailand with one of my oldest friends.
    Rave: Old friends with LOTS of miles to burn.
    Super Rave: My wife, whose FIRST reaction was, “Of COURSE you have to go!” She’s the absolute best.
    Question: Anyone been to Bangkok, Chang Mai or Phuket, and have advice/recommendations you’d like to share? Particularly interested in food – specific dishes, street food, fine dining, you name it.
    Rant: Daughter got her ears pierced as a birthday present this weekend. I do not approve of her growing up, but she insists on it anyway.
    Rave: Two weeks until skiing in Utah.
    Rave: Four weeks until move.
    Rant: No idea how contractor will make it, but he assures me he will.
    Rant: Construction in office. I get in at 7:00 am for some uninterrupted work time, not to listen to contractors complain about their ex wives. FFS.

    • A word of caution on the move (especially since you have a family to coordinate and it’s near the holidays) – delay your plans if there’s any way possible. Our contractor told us things would be good to go two days beforehand, and what we went through was a hot mess. Not to say that your guy is as bad, but there’s next to no consequences for them to tell you to go ahead and move in without them being finished. We had no water the first couple days, no hot water for weeks, appliances weren’t installed, no AC. It just made what was supposed to be a celebratory time really stressful and crappy. If you have the flexibility, give yourself a cushion. Sorry to be a downer…and congrats that you’re this close!

    • Phuket to me is all about the seafood. I had some of the best fish, prawn and lobster dishes I’ve ever tried there. Wonderful people and beaches. Easy to avoid the seediness unless you’re specifically looking for it.

    • How old is your daughter? My almost-8-year-old talks about getting her ears pierced, but always backs down when I describe the process in detail. Excruciating detail. >:-)

      • How much detail can you get out of an ear pierce?

        I got mine done in my teens, but lots of ppl do it to babies. My experience was so bad (lopsided & infected) that I wish I had just waited until I was an adult to go to a piercing shop rather than a kiosk in the mall.

        • It’s unfortunate, but it happens. Mine were done when I was a baby, I had my daughter’s done when she was a baby, and no problems. I know two girls who had them done at 7, one in the mall, one at a piercing studio. The piercing studio girl ended up with an infection and having lopsided holes. The mall girl got a nasty ear infection (not related to the piercing) and let them close up. Because of her skin issues, my daughter doesn’t wear earrings. Now I feel like we all wasted our money and should have waited lol.

        • Blithe

          I almost got mine done twice. The first “almost” was when I sat, alone, in my underwear, while my pediatrician slowly swabbed an enormous hypodermic needle as he asked me if I was “SURE” I wanted to do this. The second time, the kid ahead of me in line at the store left screaming, with only one earring. I finally got mine done a couple of years ago. I found out the hard way that I’m allergic to most metals, which limits things. All of which is to say that there are lots of excruciating details — including things like keloids and split lobes — if one really wants to put them out there.

      • Do you give her the “gun” or the actual piercing description? Funnily enough, neither has ever scared off any of the girls I know from wanting to get it done!

        • My dad did mine with a hypodermic… but he’s a doctor, and has done thousands, and is very, very particular about placement and track direction.
          I tell my jewelry-craving daughter how I could hear the needle passing through each layer of my earlobe, how it sort of crunched at one point, how it bled, and how after all that I had to let him do it AGAIN on the other side. And then I tell her about other people’s experiences with infections and bad placement (mine never got infected, but I think I’m an exception.)

          • lol, this is exactly how I would describe when I pierced my own ear at 14 (but with a safety pin instead)

          • I tried to give myself a third piercing on one ear with one of those at-home plastic piercing mini-guns when I was 13. It only went halfway through so I had a half pierced ear with a plastic thing stuck to. My brother had to force it all the way through and then break the plastic off with pliers. Worst pain ever!

          • As someone who got their ears pierced as an infant, this is terrifying to me.

          • I think *most* people don’t get infections. If most did, then there’d be a pretty serious health/liability issue. I got mine done by a doctor when I was a baby, so obviously don’t remember, and I got a second hole at a Claire’s or similar type mall store with a gun. I remember it being a little creepy that you could feel it going through your ear, but I didn’t think it was particularly painful. No tears, didn’t mind the second ear, only had a bit of discomfort the rest of that day. I just followed the cleaning and care directions for the first month and I was fine. I even played soccer with them (taped up during games) and didn’t have a problem. My mom got a second hole around the same time and also had no problem…until she ignored their directions and took it out early and couldn’t put it back in.

          • Really? You don’t think most people’s piercings get infected at some point? My second one did (the one I got at the mall, rebelling against my dad who actually did a very nice job with the first set.) Show of hands?
            Anyway, I’d hardly call it a serious health issue. It gets a little red, a little sore, a little weepy, you swab with alcohol for a couple days, and it gets better. No one freaks out about it.

          • The risk of infection depends on many factors, and a lot of times what people think is an infection may actually be something else (sensitivity to the metal, for example). However, pretty much everyone I know who got their ears pierced oustide of infancy has experienced some sort of infection from ear piercing. For me, I have three holes in each ear plus the fourth hole I did myself and my tragus on one side. I have never had anything but trouble with my second and third holes (mall piercings). The first holes (done in infancy and a store), the one I did myself, and the tragus have never given me any sort of problem. Funny enough, I’ve never personally seen an infant get an infection from ear piercing, though I’m sure it occurs. Maybe this gives some credence to doing it young “because they won’t play with them”?

      • My mom pierced my ears when I was in jr high – numbed the earlobe with ice cube, sterile needle, potato behind the earlobe so she didn’t stick my head. Same with my sisters, perhaps not all at the same time.
        I had more problems with a set of second holes done at the mall…

      • She’ll be 9 on Friday – this was a much-requested birthday present. Her best friend did it with her – they both were scared, but I don’t think there was any serious thought given to backing out. And, my (mostly feigned) discomfort with my little girl growing up is supplanted by the fact that she is over. the. moon. about it.

      • I had to have my ears pierced twice (both times with a piercing gun at the jewelry store) because the initial holes kind of sank.
        On one ear, the original hole is still visible below the replacement hole if I’m not wearing earrings. 🙁

    • A lot of the below is dependent upon how much time you will have. I recommend taking a trip up to Chiang Rai (3 hours from Chiang Mai). From there, take a trip up to the White Temple (very interesting) and out to the excellent Opium Museum near the Golden Triangle. My wife and I rented a motor bike for the day and just drove out ourselves.
      In Chiang Mai, check out the wet market. There are a couple of stands that cut up giant bowls of delicious fresh fruit and serve with yogurt. Great for breakfast. Chiang Mai is a good place to take a cooking class as well. Other food from the North recommended (found in both Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai):
      –Khao Soi Gai – Curried Noodle Soup with Chicken.
      –Sai Ua – Thai style pork sausages. Similar to Chinese sausages (fatty, a little sweet and delicious)
      –Larb – Ground pork or chicken served mixed with mint and roasted rice grains. Usually served with sticky rice.
      In Bangkok, try to catch a Thai Kickboxing fight. If you’re not staying near Khaosan Rd, I recommend hanging out for one night. It is the perennial backpacker ghetto and is fantastic for people watching (this is not everyone’s cup of tea). Really, there’s a lot to do in Bangkok. Food:
      Aside from standard Thai dishes, I highly recommend beef noodle soup for breakfast (seek out storefronts that serve soups; usually identified by a giant pot). Barbecue with sticky rice is good (streetfood). Roti are also excellent street food.

    • The best thing that I’ve EVER eaten was in Chang Mai. It was from a khao soi tent on Lampung Road. I suggest that you eat as much khao soi as possible because I’ve yet to find a good version here.

    • There is a fantastic shop in Bangkok named Mango Tango that serves FIFTY-TWO KINDS of mango desserts.

    • Thanks to everyone with suggestions! If we had to choose between Phuket or Chang Mai, which would you recommend? (Both from a food perspective and from an other perspective.)

      • I’ve only been to Chang Mai and Krabi, and I would recommend Chang Mai and the area around there from cultural perspective. The temples, the laid back atmosphere, good food. We also spent a few days at Cave Lodge near Burmese border. It was FANTASTIC.

        • Oh, and the Elephant Nature Park was pretty great near Chiang Mai. They rescue elephants from street beggars and such, so the price is high, but so worth it. If you decide to go pet the tigers at Tiger Kingdom – do your research first. We went and I regretted going there the second we arrived. I still feel icky about the whole thing 2 years later. I won’t even look at photos we took.

    • Chiang Mai – I originally signed up for a 1 day bike tour with this company and enjoyed myself that I signed up for another 1 day tour. First tour was to see the Doi Suthep Temple and the area attractions, next day excursion was to hike and swim under waterfalls. Link to their reviews below:

      Also in Chiang Mai – a day at Patara Elephant Farm was my favorite, very educational/fun day. Plus they take professional photos of you throughout the day and give you a copy on DVDs included in the admission price http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g293917-d808754-Reviews-Patara_Elephant_Farm_Private_Tours-Chiang_Mai.html

      Phuket – only flew out of Phuket, but would suggest scuba diving – even if you don’t have 3 days for a class, many offer 1 day beginner discovery dives. I went diving in Koh Tao and it was amazing.

      Hope you get tons of powder in Utah, I’ll be skiing in Park City in January.

    • I’ll check my itinerary and see if anything calls out to me, but if you’re in Chang Mai and you like to cook, they have amazing cooking classes. I’d bet you could find current reviews (my trip was about 15 years ago), but I had the best time and the food was wonderful.

      We were in Thailand for a month, so took a 3-day trip to Siem Riep in Cambodia to see the temples at Angkor. They were the highlight of my trip. We hired a private driver (in one of those motorized tuk tuk things) and we drove the opposite way from all the buses and we were never overrun by tourists except at sunrise at Angkor Wat. If you have time, I’d take a quick flight over there.

  • Rave: Decided to recharge this weekend. Spent a whole 30 hours with no kids, no boyfriend. It was the first night I’ve spent completely alone in at least 18 months, but it was good.
    Rant: Except for binge watching shitty reality tv. Why is it so addicting?!? Damn you Kardashian sisters!

    • hehe. I see the Kardashian’s as a living soap opera. They are my non guilty pleasure.

    • Last weekend I spent my Sunday evening watching a marathon of 90 Day Fiance on TLC. I couldn’t turn it off until I saw the season finale and the “couples tell it all” interviews.

      • Ugh, I cannot stand Mark!! I feel so bad for Nikki. That prenup was terrible and they were painful to watch as a couple.

        • Mark is awful and their entire relationship was cringeworthy. Ugh. He gives me the creeps. But his daughter was so normal and funny!

      • I have to admit, if I’m surfing between cooking shows and HGTV on the weekends and I see “Arranged” on, I will watch it. The young Roma couple fascinates me for some strange reason.

      • I love that show. I haven’t had cable in years but my mom records them so we binge watch them together whenever I’m home. Mark makes my skin crawl.

  • Rant: This weather. I can’t get into the holiday spirit while wearing shorts and a t-shirt.

  • Rant – I didn’t get the new job I wanted and now I’m afraid of being stuck in this awful, pointless, dead-end job for the rest of my career.
    Rant – Holidays are stressing me out. I just want to camp out on my sofa for the next two weeks then emerge back into the world in 2016.
    Rave – I finished Week 2 of Couch To 5k, so that’s something. Also my dog didn’t need surgery to remove the boot she ate, saving us thousands of dollars.

    • Rant 1 – Noooooooo! You always have the power to change things. This opportunity maybe wasn’t meant to be but something else will come around, and if it doesn’t then you save up your pennies so you can blow this poposicle stand and do something you love.

      On the rave – AMAZING! Running can be super sucky until it’s awesome. Just stick with it. I’m just getting back into running right now, and it’s finally at the point where I’m excited to get out and run (mornings like today, not as excited, but it still felt good to get out there).

    • Sorry to hear about your not getting the job. 🙁

  • MVT

    Rave: Go Birds!!!!!
    Rant: Still have little faith in the team 🙁
    Rave: I find out in 2 days whether my sister is moving to DC!

  • Rave: wonderful weekend with my family!
    Rave: I get to take home my new adopted puppy this coming weekend!
    Rant: someone broke in and stole a bunch of the angel tree kid gifts. That’s just so….sad and disgusting.

    • What? That’s so awful!

    • Congratulations on the puppy!! Tell us all about him/her, and please submit photos for Afternoon Animal Fix!
      Sorry to hear about the burglary. Was this at the place where the gifts were being collected for distribution?

  • Rave: First for four Christmas celebrations (early family get together) was actually fun. I think this is the first holiday celebration where I have left in a good mood and not hurt or stressed in years. I will take it as a win.
    Rave; Except for one more gift and stocking stuffers, i am done with holiday shopping. The last of the holiday cards went in the mail on Friday. I’m kinda amazed that I am on top of things this year.
    Rant: The air conditioning is on in my office. Really?

  • Rave: Had a really fun, albeit totally non-productive, weekend.
    Rant: As a result of the fun/non-productivity, my apartment looks like a tornado hit. I have sooooo much cleaning up after myself to do it’s shameful.
    Rant: Taking a break from alcohol. I am a little afraid of the damage I may have done to my liver this weekend. Me and alcohol aren’t speaking to each other.
    Rave: Friend’s concert was so great, and it really helped put me in a better mood for a while. It was just what I needed.
    Rave? I actually skipped my work party because I did not want to spend 2 hours commuting to and from the suburbs and I was still nursing a hangover. It was definitely the right call, since I got into my bed a little before 10 and had the best night’s sleep I’ve had in weeks, possibly months. Feeling so much better today.
    Rant: I’m trying to just be in the moment, but it’s really hard. Dating and relationships are really really weird, if you think about it.
    Rant: I’m also just trying to go with the flow and not hate this weather, but I kind of hate it.

  • Rant: New baby kitty has the most godawful stinky litterbox. He’s got a clean bill of health, but oh dear god, it’s eye watering. The vet just shrugged about the stink.
    So. Can someone pretty please recommend a kitty litter? It’s both the litter and the actual stinky stuff that stink. It’s like the pee reacts with the litter or something and becomes 10 times as stinky. Not the usual ammonia pee stink, but something even more. I need a better one. And yes, he’ll be getting neutered before long, but he’s not really into puberty yet (not quite 4 months old), I don’t think. So it’s not tomcat pee.
    (And I realize I just wrote a lot about litterboxes and their contents, for which I apologize.)

    • what litter have you been using? What are you feeding NBK? (I’m still on a quest for the perfect litter, but I can recommend some, assuming they’re not what you’re already using!)

      • Have tried arm & hammer, both the regular and the light weight.
        He eats a mix of Iams kitten dry food and canned stuff, also Iams if I can find it, but often Sheba, which seems to be the best of the supermarket-available brands. (If a food existed that specifically made the litterbox less smelly, the makers would be billionaires.) He also eats every scrap of people food he can find. This weekend, it was the dregs of a bowl of tomato soup, and a few bites of a piece of french bread before I got it away from him. He’s like a raccoon.

        • Hmmm…..See, the new Arm&Hammer Clump & Seal has actually been one of the best performers I’ve used for my cats, especially because I’ve found it’s pretty much the only one that is truly low-dust, and I have bad dust allergies. Odor control is pretty great – not perfect, but probably the best of the ones I’ve used (I don’t use scented ones cause I feel like it’s not good for me or the cats). Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Litter Ultra Clumping is very good, but it’s quite heavy and isn’t good in terms of dust. Odor control is so-so. But may other people really like it. One of the main issues is likely the food. It’s possible he has a food allergy or sensitivity that may be aggravating things and/or upsetting his tummy, so I might suggest trying him on a limited-ingredient diet – Natural Balance, Nature’s Variety, etc. make some good ones that he might enjoy, and you can get those brands at PetCo. That’s my two cents at the moment!

          • Second the recommendation for Arm & Hammer clump & seal. If you don’t have it already, also try a covered litterbox with a charcoal filter. Those two things have been the winning combination for our 2 cat household.

    • Dr. Elsy is the best kitty litter I’ve ever used. Bonus – 40 lb bag for $15 on Amazon prime. 🙂

      • agree completely. its by far the best litter i’ve ever used. i have two very stinky cats! i’ve used world’s greatest, s’wheat scoop, arm and hammer clump and seal (it made my kitties sneeze constantly bc of the dust) and i always always always come back to dr elseys! i also buy mine on prime.
        for what its worth- WARL recommends this litter for cats who have trouble with going outside the box.

    • Speaking of litterboxes… user “BUTWHY,” were you able to resolve the issue with your kitten going outside the box, as discussed in this RRRR subthread?

    • I really like S’Wheat Scoop litter because it’s flushable. However, I think my cat has unusually non-stinky pee, so I can’t comment as to its odor-reducing properties.

    • Has new kitty been neutered yet? Our vet said cat pee, at least for boys, is way worse before surgery. We had a similar problem and it totally resolved afterwards.

    • I use the Tidy Cats Breeze litter box/system and I have had zero issues with it.

    • WDC — You don’t need to wait until New Baby Kitty is 6 months old to have him neutered. That used to be the conventional wisdom, but now kittens can be neutered as young as (IIRC) 8 weeks. Victoria, when does HT usually get your foster kittens neutered?

      • The vet recommended six months, but I’ve always had my cats fixed younger than that. So yes, I’m going to take him in first thing in January. Everything is well descended, and it’s time!

    • janie4

      Try unscented. I use a newspaper based one, but if you like sand or clay clumping ones, look for ones that say “unscented”.

    • We use Naturally Fresh, which is made from walnuts–it does fine for smell and is FAR less dusty than many other litters, which is really nice.

  • Rant: I feel like I’m going through a mid-life crisis at the age of 32. I’m seriously contemplating going back to school for a different bachelor’s degree even though the other Mrs. Rabbit is opposed to the idea (she survived me going through grad school and doesn’t want to go through that again).
    Rant: Really not feeling the Christmas spirit yet.
    Rave: We still got a Christmas tree anyway.
    Rave: Finally celebrated my birthday this weekend… only a week late.

    • Sports car would probably be cheaper than a degree, and, you can sell the car when you’re feeling better. 😉

      • One slight problem: I haven’t actually driven a car in over 6 years. I haven’t owned one for about 8 years.

        • HaileUnlikely

          I was in the same boat a few years aqo regarding having not driven in many years. If you used to drive regularly, it’ll come back quickly with a little bit of practice. I took a couple of driving lessons just to practice driving with an instructor present; it was really helpful.

        • HaileUnlikely

          That said, I do not seriously recommend buying a sports car just for the hell of it, either.

    • What is your motivation for changing careers? Is there any way you could be in that field or similar without going back? What about the financial side? Are you planning to go part-time or full time?

      • I had been working freelance jobs in health policy analysis/research for the last few years. But after taking a few months off recently, I realized that I have no desire to go back to working in that field (somewhat sad since that’s what my graduate degree is in). We’ve been living off of one salary during this time and we can quite easily make do with it, so I could go full-time. I’m seriously thinking of going back to school for a nursing degree. I could start a program for a AAS and transfer to a BSN program later.

        • RRR – you and I sound like we are in similar situations. Honestly, if you can go back to school, do it! If that is what you really want to do, you will be a million times happier.

        • I figured it was nursing. It seems like everyone is making that the second career. Why do you want to be a nurse? What happened in grad school to make other mrs. Rrr unhappy? Can those issues be fixed in this case?
          I vote for making yourself happy generally, but I’d really do my research. Could changing firms or directions within that field curtail what I assume is boredom? I’m not one for impulsive when a wife/hubby is involved.

          • I actually come from a family of nurses and I’m the odd one who chose not to go into it (I was really good at analytical work so I focused on that). After my recent misadventures in the healthcare field, I was reminded how amazing the field can be. The other Mrs. RRR knows how intense I can be in academic settings and I don’t think she can deal with the stress of me being stressed out in school again. Plus we want to attempt to expand our family in the spring with me being a stay at home mom for at least the first year. I think I may schedule an appointment with an academic advisor to figure out if this might be feasible.

          • I think the reasons you lined out sound good. The other benefit of nursing is that it would allow you to have more flexible schedule with little ones. This is one of my reasons for considering going back to school for nursing. It sounds like you have done a lot of thinking about it and given it consideration. Good luck with making your final decision!

          • That makes sense. I asked just to pick your brain. A know a lot of ppl jumping into a new career/getting another degree for dubious reasons then regretting it.
            Depending on what classes you need (I’d look up some school to see the requirements), you could do some stuff online which would make staying at home easier.
            Intensity: relax, ease back into school, make time for fun & date nights

  • Rave: Mild weather makes seasonal outdoor stuff much easier than normal. Philly was great this weekend, and the weather really helped!
    Rave: So much fun, no drama, great time had by all and I feel like we really packed it in this weekend!
    Question: Someone recently mentioned they had a good exterminator for mice that they felt was reasonably priced. Any suggestions? The rental tenants still have mice (I just assumed because I hadn’t heard from them that they were gone, but they’re not, and I need to get someone over there ASAP!) Thank you

    • We used Biotech. It wasn’t cheap, I think about $500, but they were really thorough.

    • Speaking of mice. I’ve caught 3 since closing up the holes I found. Im hoping they were already inside and not new entries. Haven’t caught any in a week. Ended uo having to spend $400 on vet bill as my dog chewed uo 2 bait stations and ate the poison. Note: if you dog eats anything that gives you concerns- mix some peroxide in water. It forces them to vomit. Vet did that to my dog and she vomited both chunks of poison.

      • This is why we have a ratzapper. Our puppies can’t be trusted around something that has poison in it. I hesitate to use poison anyway because I am afraid they will crawl away and die inside the wall which makes the house smell terribly.

        Ratzapper is the best trap we have ever used and its pretty humane as far as traps go. Unfortunately our house is like swiss cheese (filled with holes) until we can renovate there is no use.

  • Rant: Late to work because I had an outside meeting this morning…
    Rant: Plus my phone stopped working last night so I had to go get it fixed.
    Rave: Everything’s taken care of and it’s not even lunchtime.
    Rant: I feel like I’ve lived a whole day already and it’s not even lunchtime.
    Rant: I don’t like this weather and I still feel cranky! Boooooo…..

  • Rave: The store where I had the incident last week seems to have handled it really well. They said they spoke to the employee and offered me a $20 gift card as an apology for the bad experience.
    Happy rant: We’re taking possession of our condo this week and have so much to do to get it ready. Because of my preeclampsia, we decided to lease it for six months and stay in our current apartment, but we still want to deep clean, paint, and do some basic updates.
    Rave: Wonderful aunt coming to help us manage both places. She’s the rare kind of person who we can ask to do odd jobs who seems to actually enjoy helping us with these things. And she’s fun!
    Rave: These ginger molasses cookies. May be the best cookies I’ve made in years epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/chewy-ginger-cookies-368954 .

  • Rave: Wonderful weekend spent with my great group of friends! Parties, and a holiday concert with my Aunt.
    Rant: Still got SAD this weekend despite the good times I was having. Stupid anxiety. I spent most of Saturday sulking on my couch until I left for my friends party.
    Rave: Caught up on my DVR’d shows. Black-ish, Empire and Doctor Who. My schedule is cleared to finish Jessica Jones and Master of None!
    Rant: I can’t figure out how to use my Amazon Fire stick. I don’t like watching my shows on my phone. At my old place we had a Smart TV. I tried setting the Fire Stick up yesterday and it was like the TV wouldn’t read it.

  • question for the PoPulace:
    My coworkers and i are able to take morale leave on Friday after our holiday luncheon to go drinking! we’re all very excited. We were thinking about going to board room to play games cause we’re nerds but sadly it doesn’t open til 4 on weekdays.
    Any other places you can think of that have games or would be fun for a work group? Metro accessible is a plus but doesn’t have to be, so H Street is doable too.

  • Rant: Groped by three different men in the span of an hour while I was out on Saturday. Still annoyed with myself for being too stunned/upset to react.
    Rave: Upgrade to business class came through! Particularly awesome since it’s a 14 hour flight. Less than a week until I get to spend two weeks eating amazing food, catching up with old friends and showing the bf where I grew up.

    • Ugh – sorry to hear about the groping! I know what you mean – sometimes you’re just stunned and don’t react, or kick yourself for not speaking up…but it can happen so quickly.

    • That sucks regarding the groping. I live off the one time I was actually able to do something in the moment and freaked out the guy (and his embarrassed, more-sober friend), it’s always so frustrating when you’re just paralyzed.

  • Rant: Hometown friend who I was expecting to show up at my house Monday night — and who hadn’t responded to my e-mails from Friday or Sunday morning asking if his trip was still on — sent me a text message on Sunday afternoon saying he was en route and would be arriving at 8 p.m. I didn’t see the text until 6:30, when I was out running an errand.
    I had spent most of the weekend gardening and had procrastinated on most of the house-tidying, which I was planning to finish that night. I was NOT happy to realize that I had 90 minutes get home (after cutting my errands short) and do whatever tidying I could before he showed up.
    Could-have-been-worse rave: I don’t look at my phone all that much, and if I hadn’t happened to look at it at 6:30, I might have returned home from errand-running to find him sitting on the porch.
    Rave: Friend took me to dinner at Crane & Turtle.

    • Oops… “90 minutes TO get home.”

      • Once, i made plans with my Canadian friend and her husband to come visit me in DC during Thanksgiving. Neither one of us realized that American and Canadian ones were on different days. I was at a bar in DC around 2 am when I got a text message from her saying she was almost there (they drove). The adrenaline instantly sobered me up and I deep cleaned my whole apartment in one hour flat.

  • topscallop

    Rant: not feeling well this morning
    Rave: illness seems to be sorting itself out and I feel somewhat better, even though I was late to work
    Rant: it feels like BF is trying to put us on a fast track and I’m not ready for it. I need to find a nice way to tell him to slow things down.
    Rave: I’m actually okay with this weather. As much as I love a white Christmas, I dislike being cold more!
    Rant: Dacha’s food service seems to have zero communication with their bartenders, from whom you order food as well as drinks. It should be a simple process but they have not figured it out apparently, and seemed not to even care that people were waiting half an hour for a pretzel.

  • Rave: My kindergartner said that she wants to do her best because that is what her principal wants from her. That is EXACTLY what I want to hear when it comes to the person in charge of administering my kids education! Great job Ms. Burgy!

  • Rave: Office is super quiet. Stocking up on board games to play with friends in the dead of winter (if it ever shows up!) Have already grabbed Power Grid (looong game but good to play over lazy drinks). Any other favorites folks might recommend?

  • Rave: We survived MIL’s visit this weekend! Only killed one box of wine and only had an involuntary eye twitch for 30min.
    Rave: My new work from home half time schedule seems to be working out. PPD is a beast and I am so glad my supervisors have been understanding. Everyone’s stress level has plummeted since I’ve been home more. The baby is even sleeping more!
    Rant: I’m still waiting on a reimbursement check from my health insurance. IT’s been 30 days, but no check yet. I called and they said they can stop payment and send another, but I really need the money and don’t want to wait another month.
    Rant: The husband hasn’t been paid for his last three months of work. I get that he’s a consultant, but come ON. Invoices have been submitted, lost, resubmitted, supposedly expedited, and still nothing. Xmas is in 10 days and we are broke.
    Rant: No movement on the husband’s potential new job. Another hurry up and wait situation. We need to know so we can plan one way or the other, since it involves an overseas move and a major career change for me!

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rave: Great weekend. The #fawncyparty was indeed fawncy. Also, got lots of compliments on my dress.
    Rave: Xmas cards ready to go in mail at lunchtime.
    Rave: The weather. Having grown up in the South, I don’t need cold weather to feel seasonal. I’ll take the warm, thanks!

  • Rave: I had such a good visit with a friend in Columbus!
    Rant: This weather. Yes, it’s lovely, but it also should not be this warm. Poor planet. 🙁
    Question: I like to get my folks tickets to things for Christmas so as to encourage them to go on dates and discourage the accumulation of things they don’t use. They are pretty old-fashioned (they were slightly offended by Kiss Me Kate), so does anyone have any suggestions of events or shows happening early next year that would fit the bill?

  • Rave: Lucky that I’m not getting groped while out.
    Rant: Still have old dudes hitting on me…hard! Makes it so much worse because it always comes after a comment about how young I look. No creepy old dude I won’t fulfill your schoolgirl fantasies. Blech!
    Rant: Dog might need surgery.
    Rave: New year will be here before you know it.
    Rave: Crockpot. Pot roast is pretty good.

  • Question: I’m getting ready to move next Saturday and have my no-parking signs printed and picked up and ready to go. There is only one sign at the end of the area I need to block off (plus a tree but I think technically you’re not supposed to post on them). Any ideas of how else I can get the signs up? I’ve seen them on cones before but don’t want to have to buy them for this. There’s an iron fence on the other side of the sidewalk in front of my new house–do you think that would be close enough?

    • You just can’t damage the tree. Not sure if tape would be prohibited (I’ve definitely seen it though), but you can probably use string to tie it around (two holes at the top and the bottom of the sign, string strung through them and tied around the tree).

    • I’ve seen string used. I recommend gluing or taping each sign to a piece of cardboard so they’re rigid and they’ll be more visible.

    • Even if you do it in a way that does not damage the tree, you are not supposed to do it. It says right on the back of the sign – “do not affix to tree.” I bought some cheap wooden stakes at ACE, drove them into the ground in front of the tree and stapled the sign to them. The higher up the better.

      • You need lots of string, or bright tape, plus dangling fluttering bright things, all-out assault. Don’t worry about trees. (unless you’re thinking of hammering in 6 inch stakes.) Also print out flyers to put on cars for 2 days before. Seriously, if you really want to save a space for moving, you need a carnival blitz of attention. MPD will not ticket and tow.

  • Rant: Went to Edfest on Saturday, but it was SO OVERWHELMING. Trying to sort out logistics of the lottery, not to mention two drop-offs & two pick-ups if we do get into PK3 and decide to enroll my toddler in it rather than keeping her in her fabulous daycare.
    Rave: Had a babysitter for both kids and it went swimmingly. That was the least stressful part of the experience.
    Rave: weekly coffee with a handful of neighborhood moms with similarly aged babies. Two of them also have older kids. Yay for camaraderie!

    • The whole lottery thing is completely overwhelming. Fairs are the worst; we had a MS one recently and I was overwhelmed even though it was only maybe 10 schools.
      My suggestion is to split the decisions. You can play the lottery and make the choice to keep kiddo in daycare in August if you want. Also, you have until March. It makes no difference if you submit your app today or February 29th, so there is plenty of time to make choices.
      Now, as far as PreK goes, it’s not far off daycare, tbh, especially depending on the school. If you guys are not married to the idea of PreK for financial reasons, my honest suggestion is to look at the schools closest to daycare and your home and see if any of them would work for you. This will minimize the multiple drop off sites. Or, perhaps consider each of you taking a kid for respective drop off (if that can work for your schedule). Otherwise, if you are super intent on an out of boundary school, or a school that has a language component, I would also recommend lottery now in order to secure your spot going forward in the school.
      Now, all of this is coming from a mom who was fairly laid back about the whole process, especially compared to her spreadsheet loving peers, so admittedly my advice will definitely vary from your average DCUM commenter, but I’m just trying to take the stress out of it.

      • Thanks! I think this is roughly the approach we’re planning on taking, but it still feels overwhelming. I’m not a fan of uncertainty, I’ll feel better once we can make concrete decisions, but we won’t be there for awhile 🙂 Unfortunately, according to the principal, we only have about a 20% chance of making it into our neighborhood school (which we’d prefer), so we’re trying to decide whether it’s worth it to try for someplace else. But we’ll throw our hat into the ring, see what our options are (if any), and then decide how the logistical challenges weigh against the financial considerations. Fun times!
        Side note: I can’t believe my little girl is almost big enough for preschool!!!!

        • lol, I hear ya on the growing up thing. I’m playing the lottery for the oldest just in case the move to Baltimore doesn’t work out… I can’t believe he could potentially be in a middle school next year!

  • Rave: Done with the exam I was dreading for weeks. I think it went really well.
    Rant: Walked to get celebratory ice cream with friends after and got stuck in pouring rain. Not pleasant to walk a mile in soaked skinny jeans and with an inch of water in my boots.
    Rave: Fantasizing about going home SO soon!

  • Rave: starting to get cautiously excited about this baby-to-be. Using my registry to virtually shop for cute baby clothes as it’s too early IMHO to shop for real yet.

    Rave 2: since we don’t know the sex or the name yet, husband took it upon himself to alternate between Bobby Joe and Bobby Sue when referring to the baby. Cracks me up every single time.

    Rant: having the hardest time coming up with names – the baby will be half Ukrainian, quarter hispanic, quarter american.

  • Rant: The yoga guy on the Google logo today is creeping me out.
    Revel: Pickled Diakon radish & fennel. Fennel is so cheap at Trader Joe’s – 2 big bulbs for $2.50.

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