Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

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Photo by PoPville flickr user John Sonderman

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.

101 Comment

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rave: As I get older, I find myself saying things I would never have said 10 or even 5 years ago. I’m turning into one of those IDGAF old ladies, and I regret nothing.
    Related Rave: This necklace: http://www.wendybrandes.com/store/products.php?product=Letter-Necklace-%252d-Small%2C-Gold%2C-IDGAF
    Rant: I can’t just drop $950

  • rant: cramps. lol.
    rave: co-worker brought me godiva chocolate!
    rave: it’s almost christmas! 🙂

  • Rave: Last day at work until next Monday – soooooooo excited to go home for Christmas I just can’t concentrate – luckily only doing a half day!
    Rant: I wish I could take my kittens, but sadly Megabus prohibts this (also, they would be miserable riding a bus!)
    Rave: At least I know they’ll be well looked after – or at least, looked after – by my roomie.
    Rant: Debating whether I should take my work computer home, to try to catch up on some stuff over my mini-vacation. There’s just so much to do!
    Rant: I wish I had a long-lost relative who would die and leave me independently wealthy.
    Rave: I am so happy, and feel very blessed, to have a wonderful relationship with my parents. Sure, they drive me nuts sometimes and we have some pretty big things we don’t see eye to eye on, but I love them so much and I’m really glad that I feel excited at the prospect of seeing them and spending time with them. I realize that that is not something everyone gets, and I feel profoundly humbled by and grateful for that good relationship.

  • Rave: Sister’s ID has been located! Thankfully the airport found it. It’s being shipped our way today.

    Rant: I think my secret santa gift from a coworker may have been stolen off my porch. I haven’t seen it yet and it’s been a week. Would it be awkward to ask her for the shipping number?

  • Oh! Bonus rave: Physical Therapy has really been working wonders. I’ve been at it for a week and I’m feeling a lot better. I’m trying to get into the routine of keeping up my exercises at home.

    Rant: My problems came from terrible posture. I’m trying to be better about sitting up straight, but I default to slouching.

    • Emmaleigh504

      I have terrible posture too. There’s a gadget the buzzes you when you start to slouch that I’m contemplating getting. That is if I can remember what it’s called.

    • I also have horrible posture (bad habits learned as an insecure teenager and scoliosis) that I have worked over the years to improve. I have found that wearing compression-type tank tops helps a little. My old PT recommended core strengthening exercises and they helped tremendously. I do not have the back pain now that I had in my 20s.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: boring and semi difficult task this morning.
    Rant: my suitcase weighs approximately a ton.
    Rave: leaving straight from work to the airport.

  • If you are brand new to DC, what is the list of city services and information you would need? The District has made improvements in this area, but it can still be better.

    • palisades

      Parking info, car registration info, services that the city provides (trash, leaves, 311, etc.), ANC info, bus and metro info

  • Rave: puppy kisses. puppy breath. puppy bellies. puppy snuggles. puppy playtime.
    Rant: puppy training. Sigh. I’m in it for the long haul, but it’s day 2 and I’m already exhausted.

    • I’m jealous! Puppies are the best. My dog died end of Sept, and I so miss her companionship. Not quite ready for a new addition.. Enjoy your new best friend!!!!

  • Rant: Holiday homework packets. The kids have SO much work to do. I get the concept of these things, and I get that they are just trying to keep the kids engaged in learning, but seriously, can’t they just have a vacation from school work? Once they leave school they can spend the rest of their lives working, let them be kids.
    Revel: Major, major props to the teacher who emailed us to let us know that the kids did not have to do her portion at all, that this time of year is for celebrating and enjoying time with your family, not doing homework. She is doing it right!
    Rave: Going to check out a house that looks absolutely perfect for us next week. It’s in the area we want, the district we want, close to family (his), farther from family (mine), and big enough for all of us.
    Query: It is listed as “rent to own preferred.” I am completely unfamiliar with what exactly this is aside from the rent-to-own scams before the housing bubble burst. From talking to people, it’s pretty common in that area as a way for people who have moved out of the area to secure long-term, invested tenants who won’t screw the place up. I have noticed it on several listings. We are not buying right now, but want to be long-term tenants (2-3 years), so is this something we should be thinking about?

    • The basics are that you rent, and then identify some additional amount (say $100-200/month) as an option to buy. The rental contract should lay out the details of when/how to exercise the option. This sounds like a perfect way to try out a place, live in it, and if you love you can buy it on your timeframe (and if it’s a money pit, you’ll know it and be able to walk away).

    • Can I ask if you’re staying in/near DC? (Sorry, I know you’re a frequent commenter so you’ve probably said elsewhere but I don’t read regularly enough to know!) This is a pretty common practice in London, where my husband and I used to live, but I didn’t realize it was a thing here – and I’d be thrilled if it is as it’s a perfect option for our 3-5 year plan. Thanks!

    • Last year, my principal was up my butt to make a giant deal about them and grade them even though the school district said it was mandatory. She even required us to bring them and the grades to this planning meeting. What a clusterfck.

  • Rave: Things are looking better after talking with an immigration lawyer yesterday. Still have lots to do but he definitely made us feel more comfortable with the current problem.
    Rant: Trying to get documents from a consulate and a foreign country during the week of Christmas. Seriously, no one is answering any number we call.
    Rave: Last day of iron supplements. So happy to be done with the post-surgery anemia.
    Rave: Awkward conversation with my mother that made her feel much better.

    • Grgghhh, forgot you have that going on too. We’ve started my process (opposite since I’m in Canada obviously) and it’s so frustrating. We’re waiting on my police clearance from FBI. We sent it in September and they still haven’t gotten to it, but the cc we gave them expires at the end of this month. So we had to send in an updated cc, which probably puts us back at the end of the line. Current wait is 13-15 weeks! Ahhh at this point I feel like my visitor record is going to expire before my residency app is even submitted! Patience…lots of patience. Good luck!

      • That’s part of the reason I was so down yesterday. We’ve been waiting for her naturalization ceremony to be scheduled for over 2 months and they suddenly threw a continuance at us over a known discrepancy in paperwork (that was discussed extensively during the interview). We had no idea that this was happening and now we only have a few weeks to get a bunch of paperwork together. It’s just a pretty crappy ending to a difficult year.

        • The end is in sight–just try to picture that! It sucks to have to jump through a bunch of hoops this time of year though. Dealing with the government is so frustrating. They take their sweet time, but you better be ready to hop to it as soon as they ask for something.

  • Rave: Two more days of work and then I get to enjoy a long weekend.
    Rave/Rant: The generosity of a friend who has recently experienced a terrible personal loss but still thinks to reach out to me and ask how I’m doing. One of the moments where I am blown away by how big hearts can be and humbled by the fact that there’s very little I can do to ease the pain.

  • Question for the Popsters: this is our first time in a building with a doorperson. What is the typical range for tipping them during the holidays? We have one main guy who is there during the weekdays who we interact with the most and then another guy takes over on some weekends. Apart from that do you guys tip anyone else? I don’t really see any of the other folks, but do know that they have a few staff that handles the cleaning and trash rooms and then the building maintenance people.

    • janie4

      At least $150 for the guy who you see all the time, and $50 to the guy that you see on the weekend sometimes. Building maintenance people – how often do you interact? I’d say about $100 each for the maintenance guys, and $50 for the cleaning people. Get the names from the super or the door person. There isn’t much of a tipping culture in DC, but it’s a big deal for them, and even if it’s nearly a grand for you, it’s really showing people whose job it is to look after you that you care. Plus, building up a good relationship with your maintenance staff is a really good idea.

    • binpetworth

      Janie4 seems very generous, but given that not everyone may be in the same financial situation, I would say make your tip more about the sentiment and appreciation of their service than the amount. If you can only afford $20, add a nice note thanking them for their attentiveness, or better yet, if you interact with them in some way and know about preferences (e.g., he always drinks Dunkin Donuts coffee), a gift card may be meaningful.

  • Rave: I really enjoy my therapist – she’s lovely and funny. and concerned about affordability.
    Rave: Great british bake off. I love it. But they need “great british dental off” as well….
    Rave: SO looking forward to my DC weekend. Got myself a room with a fiji soaking tub and orders to bring back compass coffee and baked and wired cupcakes.
    Rant: How is Amtrak SO expensive anymore?!?!
    Rave: I had my performance review at work and was basically told they love me and I’m better than they could have imagined. So NOT the Pentagon. I told my boss that coming to work is a pleasure and the balance my job provides makes me want to work even harder for the organization. I’m really lucky.

    • LOL, you used to work at the Pentagon? Me too, haha funny knowing how many people you can/do pass in that huge cave.

    • hammers

      I did too- but my experience was flipped. I havent had a performance review here- but I doubt it would be good. They loved me in the five-sided funhouse

      • i think they loved me plenty there, or I would think they did a little based on how much work they piled on me. I just think they have zero respect for home life (since almost everyone had a stay at home wife or was a woman who ‘never got a break, so why should I give one’). Poor leadership, especially of civilians. All of my leadership was military so the double standards plus poor leadership skills made it a toxic work environment IMO. Add in basically zero raises or bonuses for years, motivation is null. Opposite here, so I’m happy. Glad I had the opportunity there, but glad it’s behind me.

    • Unless you book months in advance, Amtrak is stupidly expensive. Especially for weekend trips.

    • Your first rave reminds me…my attempt at the Swedish Princess Cake for a friend’s birthday this weekend was a success! I looked around the internet for modifications to some elements of the recipe from Mary Berry, which is good because I ended up with a lemony almondy marzipan and a less complicated custard. Between shopping for ingredients and having to re-do the sponge and marzipan, I think I spent about 8 hours on it, but all in all – scrummy!

    • Argh…I’ve been looking for months for a decent therapist. Especially one that accepts insurance but it’s such a pain around here!

  • justinbc

    Rave: Awesome trip to NOLA. So much amazing food and music, and we found a house to put an offer on.

  • Rave: Scored some Christmas lights at 30% off last night at Target!
    Rave/rant: Got a little carried away at IKEA.

  • hammers

    Rave: nice boyfriend who wants me to share the holidays with him.
    Rant: Thinking maybe I shouldnt have started therapy during the holidays. It feels like poking bruises for an hour then just going on with my day. Hoping I can be cheery enough on Friday since I can’t just be alone curled up in a ball.

    • Hammers, if you continue to feel that therapy sessions feel really intense, I encourage you to talk to your therapist about it. I had one point in my life where walking out of each session, I was so emotionally spent and could have cried all day. My therapist didn’t really realize how tough it was on me until I mentioned it one day, and then we were able to strategize copying mechanisms and even give me space to say “I really can’t go there today.” Over time, it really helped me to be better at compartmentalizing some of the hard stuff and honoring my own feelings/process. And I hope you allow yourself to “be where you are” on Friday. Good luck.

      • hammers

        Thanks for saying this. I will try to consider that. I don’t really know what to expect, so I’m not sure if it will stay like this, or if it’s just because we just started. I’m usually like that frog that will stay in the boiling pot, so I’ll try to remember your advice.

      • I totally agree with this. I had to have that talk with my therapist as well, and she has been very open to that and respectful of my needs.

  • Rave: Ordered Christmas gifts for my mother sister and nephew on Amazon.
    Rant: I waited too late and now they won’t get their gifts until Christmas.
    Rave: Got a performance award at work!
    Rant: Loud ass coworkers. Just because you crack jokes with the director occasionally doesn’t mean that you get to talk as loud as you want. There are other who work here.
    Rave: Finally got my internet set up at home.

  • Rave – Whoever recommended that chocolate toffee recipe with Saltines yesterday: thank you/I hate you. I made it last night and could not stop eating it. I shoved the rest of it in the back of my fridge until I leave for Christmas vacation.
    .
    Rant – Lots of travel coming up. I’m grateful to have so many friends and family to visit for Christmas, but it’s also exhausting.

  • Rant: Feeling really down. I’m still living at the hospital and could be here as much as a month longer, but the real issue is that my health issues aren’t following the usual script for preeclampsia. Doctors how think I may not actually have preeclampsia but another underlying, chronic health issue that was just brought out by a twin pregnancy and that may require lifelong management. It’s too soon to tell, and I may not know anything for sure until after the babies are here, but I’m freaked out.
    Rave: The babies seem to be healthy as can be and despite everything, this will all be worth it once they arrive.
    Rave: I somehow find a way to never be bored in the hospital. In some ways, I’m busier here than I am in normal life.

    • Emmaleigh504

      I’m sorry you are stuck at the hospital, sending you all the hugs.

    • I was wondering how you were doing. Glad to know that the babies are doing OK, but sorry to hear about your more general health concerns.
      .
      I know that not worrying about something like this is a lot easier said than done… but please try not to worry too much, especially while the doctors aren’t sure. Fingers crossed for you, and I hope you feel better both physically and mood-wise!

    • Speedy recovery! I hope you get to go home soon with your twin potatoes and enjoy a bit of rest before the finale. 🙂
      What have you been doing to pass the time? Are you still working while in the hospital?

    • I’m sorry for the new information. Thinking of you!

  • Question: Do you guys tip your dog walkers and if so, how much? Mine started about 3 months ago.
    Rant: I had a rough day yesterday, including the death of a well-liked coworker. I almost cried when I couldn’t get in one of the building entrances this morning because apparently that was just too great an obstacle to overcome while still so upset.
    Rave: mid-year review went well, though apparently no one gave my boss feedback about me, even after two pointed requests.

    • That One Guy

      I tipped mine a week’s worth of walks. Don’t know if that’s the norm but I rolled with it.

    • I tipped the dog walker $100, which is a little over a week’s worth of walks. Our dog walker has been really great about accommodating our sick, somewhat difficult dog and cleans up when my dog has accidents in the house.

  • Rave: My mom really enjoyed “West Side Story” last night. (I liked it, too)

    Rave: Last day in the office before Christmas!

    Rant: I am so worried about my mom’s financial situation. She did/does it to herself, and I know it. My whole family tells me that I can’t support her or bail her out because it won’t make the situation better (and they are correct, historically she’ll get out of one financial mess and go back to her old spending ways) and I know I can’t really afford to help her, but I still wish there was something I could do. It’s a helpless feeling. I’m definitely not where I should be, financially, but I’m making strides to get to that place (my divorce got me about 15 years behind where I need to be, but I’ve made huge positive impacts and I’ll continue to do so).

    Rant: Sometimes, being single is very, very hard.

    Rave: I am opening up my home to lots of friends on Christmas Eve (even some I haven’t met yet, who were invited by one of my guests) and despite not making my usual amount of cookies, I’m taking everyone’s advice and just doing what I can, and enjoying my time with them.

    Rave: I was able to get in to see my colorist tomorrow morning for a glaze.

    Rave: My co-worker who had such issues at our holiday party last week is back in the office today and she’s doing great. I’m very relieved and happy about that.

    • “I know I can’t really afford to help her, but I still wish there was something I could do. It’s a helpless feeling.” Have you talked to your therapist about this? It’s frustrating when a family member keeps doing something to sabotage him/herself, but you have to remind yourself that 1) her actions are beyond your control and 2) trying to help her financially would probably just be a way of enabling her behavior.

      • I have talked to my therapist about it and she said that what I am doing for my Mom is enough and I have to keep reminding myself of that (I pay for her tickets to come to DC, she knows if she needed to go to see my sister in FL I would buy her a ticket for that as well). Both of your points are true and it’s very hard.

    • I’m sorry for the situation for your mom. It sounds like you really are doing everything you can. I know it’s hard to see someone you love hit that self-destruct button time and time again, but the fact is, bailing her out will only enable her further unless she starts to work out /resolve her issues, which really will make things worse.

  • Bear

    Rave: Making Christmas cookies, reminds me of my grandmother.
    Rant: She died 21 years ago last week. I wish she had survived to see my siblings and I into adulthood. There’s a big hole there at Christmas.
    Rant: Cookies are mostly gone already. I should make more, yes?

    • I fail to see how that is even a question. When it comes to cookies, the answer is always yes. Especially if they are connected with great family memories.

    • Make more cookies. I have a feeling it is what your gram would have done. 🙂

  • That One Guy

    Don’t know if it’s generally the season for apathy but my customer service experiences of late are pretty iffy.
    Yesterday picked up a jacket that was supposed to have the buttons resewn and one was still very loose. Today, called Ezpass and I could audibly hear the person on the other end eating something from what sounded like a bag of chips.
    Maybe I’m just still in my grinch mode.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: forgot to tip my apartment manager etc before I left.

  • Rave: Chatting up a lovely lady who’s moving here next week. Let’s see if meeting happens. Hmmm
    Rave: Randomly sleeping in turned into a very productive morning.
    Rant: Broken washer= trip to the laundromat.
    Rave: My job isn’t perfect, but this office/co-workers are pretty great.

  • Durpa. I don’t know this word. A young person (another organization’s PO) used it in an “oops” context, so I looked it up on Urban Dictionary (such a great resource for the olds) and it’s a bong or an ugly woman. So confused by the youth.

  • I Dont Get It

    Rant: It is creepy quiet here in the moteling space. Usually we at least have the background noise of the one guy giving Remedy training by phone but he’s on PTO.
    Rant: 70 at Christmas.
    Rant: I need to go to a grocery store but don’t want to deal with the mobs!
    Rant: I think I’m in a bad mood.

  • FYI for OP Anon — I sent you a message at the gmail address associated with a previous username of yours.

  • Rant: Mom inviting my first cousin and her ad-hoc family, which consists of her live in boyfriend who is still married to another woman, my cousin’s son visiting for the holiday from the army. But the real problem is my first cousin; a female who thinks it’s all about her on every level. Sucks the air out of any room twice over and is very, very sneaky and untrustworthy. Example: she has stolen family photo albums and not returned them from my grandmother’s house. I just do not want to be around her or eat at the same x-mas dinner table. Just want to send the gifts and be absent from this Christmas get together but don’t know how to get out of it. I’m the son of an all too forgiving kind hearted mom who thinks she can heal/save the world.
    Rave: Great deals on the gifts I got this year. Oh well, thankful anyways, could be a whole lot worse..

  • Now I’m wondering, is there anyone I should be tipping for the holidays? I grew up in a semi-rural area where everyone did everything themselves, so my tipping instincts aren’t as honed. I live in a rowhouse so I don’t have building staff. No dog walker either.

  • I am STRUGGLING with the logistics of the holiday tipping thing. USPS rules say their employees are not allowed to accept “cash or cash equivalents” such as gift cards, but from previous Popville discussions it sounds like lots of people still give that anyway. For those of you who have tipped your mail carrier in the past, do you have any indication they actually accepted the cash/giftcard? If you gave something else in lieu of cash/giftcard, what was it?

    • I’m surprised that anyone feels the need to tip someone who belongs to the black hole that is USPS, but good for you if you’ve got a good one. I don’t usually go with recommendations, I just give what I feel like the person deserves and what I’m comfortable with giving. Sometimes this ends up being way more than the average person, sometimes it’s a little less. Either way, I’m sure they’ll appreciate it.

  • Rant: loosing hope trying to find a place in DC. Either it’s in my budget but in a horrible neighborhood, or it’s the perfect place but costs twice as much as I want to spend. Don’t even get me started on how quickly things are listed and then get an offer, sometimes I’m afraid to even blink!
    Rave: this blog makes me feel like I’m already living in the city…

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