Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user brunofish

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.

140 Comment

  • Rave: FANTASTIC annual holiday dinner at Le Diplomate last night! It had great energy, but the service was just spectacular. Its not a cheap meal, but for a special occasion, I cant think of another place (besides Rose’s) that gives you such a wonderful overall experience. Plus, we walked in without a rez and were seated in about 25 minutes, not bad at all.
    Rave: Heading home for Christmas today.
    Rant: First christmas without dad. We lost him so suddenly I still dont think I have processed it. Man I miss him.
    Anticipatory Rant: Dulles, the night before xmas eve.

    • I heard that United will have therapy dogs at Dulles to help ease the stress – hopefully you can get some puppy snuggles in while you combat the crowd!

  • Revel: freedom! A week and a half off!
    Rant: 24 antsy kids who couldn’t do anything but ask questions about our holiday party that wasn’t to begin until the last hour of the school day. Guess how much learning happened yesterday.
    Revel: meet with a new therapist yesterday… I have a good feeling about her
    Rant: she’s out of network. I think it’s worth it still?
    Revel: no plans for holiday break… I’m looking forward to every second of it.

    • Rant/revel: all the roommates will be gone for at least a week starting tomorrow. The privacy will be nice but I’ll be bored out of my damn mind.

    • I dunno what your financial situation is like, but in my experience a therapist who you have rapport with can DEFINITELY be worth it if they’re out of network. It may be that you need fewer sessions with someone you get along with than someone you don’t, so you can save a bit that way. In either case, good luck finding someone who works for your situation!

  • What authority do Metrobus drivers have regarding who gets on? I ask because Urine Person was once again on my bus this morning. Anyone who rides the #30-something buses up and down Wisconsin probably knows who I’m talking about. As always, most of the passengers had a very sudden negative reaction: moving away, opening windows, covering their mouths and noses, etc. It’s an extremely unpleasant (and possibly bio-hazardous, as urine is only part of the equation) experience, it’s happening again and again, and I wonder what can be done.

    It’s dreadful to see someone fall to such a state of decay.

    • phl2dc

      That sounds awful for everyone involved.

    • First, I don’t think “biohazard” means what you think it means. It’s not a synonym for “gross”.
      Second, older guy in a dark red corduroy blazer? There’s a man who rides the 16th street buses who smells powerfully of urine. I once rode with him both morning and evening on the same day. 🙁

      • Indeed, “biohazard” is not a synonym for “gross.” I think it’s reasonable to assume that the clear lack of sanitation here could be hazardous. And no, I think Urine Person is female.

    • god, how awful. I would think the bus drivers cant refuse anyone incase of a potential complaint/lawsuit.

      • SouthwestDC

        Yeah, I think it’s on the riders to get off the bus if they don’t like it (which is annoying with the 30 buses that don’t run frequently). I get migraines from strong smells and would be off in an instant.

  • rant: nose is so stuffy. this would have been a great day to stay home. go me.
    rave: get out early tomorrow

  • At Union Station, you know how there are seats right by the platform entrances, and a line forms in front of those seats? Are the people in seats considered to be in line, or are they expected to go to the back of the line when boarding begins?
    Horrible people on the train this morning. I asked three people sitting single if they could move so I could sit with my young child. One ignored me, one said “I have bad knees,” and one said “I like my space. Can’t you ask someone else?” At this point I’m almost in tears, and a nice young man gets up and moves for us.
    Karma got the last selfish person though: at the very next stop, an unkempt woman with many canvas bags got on, sat next to “i like my space” and proceeded to spread out and start rummaging through her bags, all with running commentary. Bet the selfish one wished she’d picked her own seatmate when she had the chance!

    • phl2dc

      I often see seated people get up as soon as the line forms so they don’t lose their space, but I’m ok with them keeping their seats until the last minute and boarding people the people who came later and stood in line. They were there first, and I don’t know if they have a condition that makes them unable to stand for longer than a few minutes.
      I’m sorry about your experience on the train. I’m glad that last “I like my space” person got what she deserved!

    • I love karma!!

    • I’m so so sorry – that really sucks. Hopefully you ended up comfortably seated without any train delays! The Union Station line up for trains is ludicrous. Philly does it much better, I’d say. The mad dash in Penn Station or the ridiculously long lines in DC are just awful, no matter what.

    • Blithe

      – The people who were able to get the seats near the gates are the ones who got to the station early — before the people standing in line. Although some of them do get in line when it starts to form, I’ve always viewed them as having priority to join in the line at the front, or as it moves by them, since they’ve actually been waiting the longest.
      – While I think it would have been very kind of the people you asked to give up their seats, I don’t think it’s “horrible” or “selfish” that they chose not to do so. For future trips, if paying more to upgrade to business class isn’t an option for you, you might want to consider either doing priority boarding — if this is available, for “senior citizens, families with small children, and anyone else who needs it”. Most, if not all, of the Northeast Corridor trains have this, although I don’t know if this is routinely done for other routes. Another option could be to tip a red cap a few dollars to help you with your bags. When I’ve done this in DC and at Penn Station NYC, the red caps have usually taken me to the train before the general boarding starts. I’m sure that they would make every effort to find a seat where you and your young child could sit together.
      – Reading this made me aware that people, particularly stressed out travelers, often overlook the invisible-to-them or inconsequential-to-them concerns of others. While I well understand at least some of the difficulties that come with traveling with small children, I hope it’s generally appreciated that someone — perhaps someone with “bad knees” who got to the station early and took advantage of priority boarding isn’t “horrible” person because they didn’t respond to your request in the way that you wanted them to.

      • People who want two seats to themselves need to buy two tickets. I had two tickets, and two people who needed to sit together. The single people who refused to move were trying to get two seats for the price of one and at the expense of other people. That’s selfish.

        • Ooh, this is fun – can I play?
          People who want to sit together need to get in line sooner. The doubles who don’t get in line early and then expect others to move around after they’re already settled to accommodate them are prioritizing their own convenience over others. That’s selfish.
          And, they weren’t taking up two seats – that’s a ridiculous mischaracterization. They were taking up one seat, and there was nothing stopping you, or anyone else, from taking the seat next to them. They got on the train early and snagged their preferred seat – when you got on, the train was already at least half full, and you wanted them to uproot themselves and switch seats as others are getting on. I agree with others – it’d have been nice if they had don’t that, but you’ve just got no ground to get indignant about the people who didn’t, much less refer to them as horrible people.

        • Blithe

          Um, no. Instead of walking through the train to find two open seats together, you decided to ask someone who got on the train before you did to move so that you could have the seat next to them as well as the seat that they were already sitting in. As you, yourself, pointed out, someone else did indeed sit in a vacant seat next to one of the people you asked — so none of these people, at least as you’ve described the situation, was trying to get two seats. They were simply trying to remain in the seats that they already had — instead of accommodating you. Expecting someone to move because you want what they have is actually quite selfish, at least in my view. Fortunately, most people who can do so, will often be kind enough to inconvenience themselves for parents of small children, the elderly, couples, and other people with obvious needs.

      • Re: “I have bad knees” — this is also a reminder that not all physical disabilities are visably obvious. Give someone the benefit of the doubt before giving them the side eye.

      • Agreed. It’s lovely that young man got up and gave his seat for you. And I understand your frustration about the situation. But there is nothing selfish about not wanting to give up your seat, especially if you got there early to get preferred seating or have an ailment.

        • Again, this is people who are taking two seats, but did not pay for them. There’s no rule that people who have bad knees get two seats for the price of one.
          Sure, there’s no obligation to move to an equal seat to make someone’s life easier. But there is also no excuse NOT to.

          • Please correct me if I’m wrong, but the issue was you were expecting the other person to change seats completely so you and your child could sit together? Of course if they only purchased one seat, then they have no control over who sits next to them. But I understand why your fellow travelers would not want to get up, move all thier stuff and find another seat on the train, especially if they had been waiting for a while, or had difficulty moving. I understand your frustration. But, I understand thier side as well.

          • Blithe

            There are many reasons not to. Please note that I’m using the word “reason” not “excuse”. Let’s say that I, with my bad knee, plantar faciitis, bag of Christmas presents, and irreplaceable guitar that I want to keep within eyesight on a crowded chaotic train trip, get to the station an hour early, arrange with a red cap to get me and my luggage on the train, and get settled near the door — so I can keep an eye on my vulnerable guitar near the vestibule, and have a good chance of getting off the train smoothly at a stop that, unlike many, only lasts a few minutes. Someone, who apparently didn’t get there early enough to utilize priority boarding — which exists, in part, for the convenience of parents with small children — asks for my seat. Because they want to make their own life easier at my expense. I will have several reasons not to move, particularly if finding an “equal seat” is difficult, if not impossible given my particular needs of the moment. Note that if you can’t find two seats together, that means that all the window seats have been taken — and by many standards, there is no “equal seat”. Note further that yet another choice is asking a conductor for help. Or sitting in the seats reserved for families and parties of 3 or more people. It’s interesting that when you have a variety of options, you persist in flinging shade at strangers — whose needs you really don’t know, or seem to care about.

          • Those are all reasonable reasons (say that 3 times fast), but none address people ignoring the asker which is just rude. And for trains that originate before DC, even if one gets there early during peak travel days/times, there are simply not two seats together.

          • Blithe

            None — I would bet that each and every one of us has ignored “askers” at some point, either because of the asker’s requests or tone, or because of our own preoccupations and issues. Obviously I don’t know what happened in this situation beyond Amtraking’s descriptions, but I have had more than one person say nicely to me something like: “I’m not ignoring you dear, I’m a little deaf”. Again, many challenges are not easily visible — and many people who have them don’t want them to be.
            I hope that everyone traveling for the holidays has a safe, pleasant, and blissfully uneventful trip.

    • Amtrak is awful for traveling as a pair. While I don’t think it’s right to assume they’re selfish, when the train is busy there are so many travelers who think it’s OK to not open up the other seat to share. It’s not a private form of transport. I’d picked up people’s bags and put them up top when they’ve done the “look away/ignore and then I’ll be invisible!” thing on a busy train. People who want “more space” or to sit alone should be the ones to pay for business class, which on the train gives you no more space but it does get you a free soda!

      • Blithe

        I’m curious — do you pick up other people’s bags before asking politely if the seat is taken? In my experience , at least on Amtrak, simply asking works extremely well.

  • Rave: Spent a chill evening watching movies with my sister last night. I wish she still lived on the East Coast so we can see each other more often. Minneapolis isn’t a bad flight distance or price wise. ANd she loves it there. But I miss seeing her more often.

    Rant: Still not packed, not finished shopping, nowhere near being organized. So much to do and no time to do it. I’m working a half day tomorrow then traveling so I have to finish my shopping and packing tonight.

    Update: Unofficial PopVille Happy Hour will be Wednesday December 30th at Colony Club! They run a sweet happy hour deal from 5-7 on draft beer and wine. Plus there are coffee drinks for those who would rather not imbibe!

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rant: Emily is on vacation in New Orleans and I am not.
    Rave: I will be tomorrow!

  • I Dont Get It

    Rant: I got towed yesterday and it was completely my fault. I scrupulously check signs when parking but missed something. I guess after 20+ years here with no off street parking and no tows I shouldn’t complain.
    Rave: I talked to my father last night and he seemed to be in a very positive, cheerful mood. He starts getting test results back tomorrow.
    Rant: 74 on Christmas Eve. Boo!

    • Bummer on the towing. I’m impressed at your having a 20-year run with no tows! I am pretty careful about checking signs (or so I thought), but still managed to get courtesy-towed once or twice in my first year in Adams Morgan. (Once it was for parking in what turned out to be a morning-rush-hour zone; I can’t remember what the other one was for.)
      Glad to hear IDGI Sr. is in good spirits!

    • Aw man – that sucks. I once was so cocky about my parking rights and that the Philly parking authority is terrible that I took pictures of the sign to show I was right. Turns out I read it all wrong and came out of a concert to no car (it had been towed).

    • Blithe

      I’m glad to hear that your father’s mood is cheerful! Waiting for medical test results is hugely stressful! I hope the results are good ones.

    • I Dont Get It

      Just got back from picking up my car from the tow lot. Wow, I thought I knew DC but I would have never found this place in NE on my own. This tiny, narrow street surround by sketchy auto repair shops, cab rental places and more than a few abandoned buildings.

  • Rave: Christmas day to myself. My wife will be visiting her family, I’m going fly fishing and then having Chinese takeout, binge watching Coen Brothers movies and drinking bourbon. Anyone know if Hollywood East is open Xmas day? Sooo, looking forward to it.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Rant: In hindsight I probably shouldn’t have done a software update in the middle of the morning rendering my computer useless until it’s finished… Sorry about that – will be posting again in “12 minutes” which is really like 52 minutes. Lesson learned!!

    Rave: at least I got the rant/revel posted first!

  • Rant: So sick of being sick. Every time I get a little better, I get another hit. It’s definitely because my kid brings germs home, but it’s been nonstop for like 2.5 months.
    Rave: last day of work for almost 2 weeks. Whaaaat?
    Rave: More Great British Baking Show – makes me SO hungry
    Rant: Haven’t watched the Luther specials yet – I have no idea how to stream it and I really don’t want to watch on my ipad
    Rave: Going to the movies with mom on christmas day
    Rave: My son asked to help cook last night. I was over the moon.

  • Rave: The ski resort where we’re spending a week will top at around 58 inches of snowfall from Monday through the end of today. Awesome.
    Minor rant: Conditions on the East Coast mean that it’ll be more crowded than usual. That’s OK, though, because NEARLY 5 FEET OF SNOW IN 3 DAYS.
    Rant: Typical days-before-vacation frenzy at work, coupled with days-before-end-of-construction frenzy and days-before-moving frenzy, plus days-before-Christmas frenzy. Sleep is optional.

    • You’re going to Utah, right? I’ll be at Snowbird for the first week of January – been watching the wonderful snowy forecasts!

  • Rave: Last day of work for the week
    Rant: So very tired, I really could sleep for several days
    Rave: V. low key holidays plans with the family on Thursday and Friday and then unscheduled time to myself this weekend.

  • Rave: On vacation, so I haven’t been online much. But I wanted to say Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all have a good holiday weekend and for those of you about to go on long vacations, a happy new year.

  • Rave: Last day of work until the New Year. Maybe that means I should take off more time during the year so I don’t have to “use it or lose it”, but I am really excited for some time off at home.
    Rave: Watching the first Star Wars films in the Machete order before we go see the new one (I’ve never seen Episodes I, II, or III, only the originals). Husband is geeking out over getting to watch this order.
    Rant: Emergency rooms. Had a 4 hour ER stay over Thanksgiving due to food poisoning, and just got the bill. Examples of the charges: $30 for medication via IVF, $200 to insert the medication into said IV (that much to push a freaking syringe). Even my insurance agreed that the charges are exorbitant for a short and minor ER visit. Now contesting some of the charges with the hospital, and hopefully get the bill lessened even a little.

    • Hospital pricing in the U.S. is insane. The New York Times has done some good studies on the topic.

      • I agree, and this one is especially frustrating and high. My kid was actually admitted to Children’s (ER + one night stay), and it only cost slightly more than what I am being billed for this short ER visit. Ridiculous.

        • I completely sympathize. My ER visit in October cost something like $2800 to the insurance. My portion was $900 something (my entire deductible plus co-pay). The positive? All my healthcare is free for the rest of the year. The negative? An over $900 bill right before Christmas :/

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Well it looks like like I may have killed my computer. Stupid el capitan…

  • justinbc

    Rave: It was great experiencing a city where Uber has virtually no surge pricing (no ride was ever more than $8 anywhere in NOLA) and there’s actually a genuineness to the concept of happy hour.
    Rant: At least the weather here in DC was surprisingly nice to come home to.
    Rant: My cherry tree buds are swollen already, which means the spring ones will likely be pretty dull after these die. Hopefully they’re displaying similar behavior on the Tidal Basin trees.

  • Rave: going home tomorrow for a week, and I don’t have to take any vacation days!
    Rave: Seeing Star Wars (again), this time at the Air and Space Museum. One of the reasons I love DC.
    Rant: Still sick. It’s been a week now and each day there’s something else. But at least I can feel it’s starting to get better – I don’t feel like I’m in a perpetual fog, I just can’t quite breathe well enough to exercise yet.
    Rave: My therapist has been wonderful. After getting back from Peace Corps a little over a year ago and dealing with readjustment and a major breakup and a new job that it turns out I really hate, he’s been incredibly helpful in helping me deal with all of that and figure out where I go from here.

  • Rave: Unseasonably warm weather.
    Rant: Global warming.
    Rave: Took advantage of the warm weather to get a TON of outdoor things (including some long-postponed tasks) done yesterday after work:
    – took down the disappointing battery-powered LED Christmas lights from my porch
    – put up incandescent Christmas lights in their place (using the light socket for the porch light as a power source)
    – emptied the soil out of a bunch of small planters that had been residing outdoors (so now I can clean and store them)
    – took a bunch of BIG planters and for each one, emptied out its soil, put good-sized rocks/pebbles at the bottom, and put the soil back in while putting bulbs (tulips, daffodil, hyacinth) in the soil partway through
    Rave: In a good mood, maybe because I accomplished so much yesterday.

    • YES the weather is ridiculous – 75 degrees here expected tomorrow. Not a rave to me, but more I just wish it would pick a season!

    • palisades

      I was under the assumption that this weather is due to El Nino – and that global warming is not an overnight occurrence (such as the weather so far this winter).

      • I am not at all a Global Warming denier. But yes, we have had warm Christmases before in this area (actually, quite a few in my memory), and yes, this is due to El Nino and other weather vs. climate phenomena.

      • Wikipedia says there’s a school of thought that global warming is actually responsible for more extreme El Ninos, but that there’s no consensus on the idea.
        And yes, I am well aware that global warming is not an overnight occurrence.
        This is certainly the warmest Christmas I can recall in 17 years of living in the D.C. area.

        • palisades

          Ah I wasn’t aware global warming had an effect on el nino. That’s interesting. And makes sense haha.
          I just try to stray from blurting “global warming” when we have an oddly warm christmas because it’s basically the same thing as when we have a cool or mild summer and all the doubters blurt out “where’s your global warming now?!”. Obviously that doesn’t mean global warming isn’t affecting the winter weather (I think it is), but it seems like a similar shortsighted argument in my mind.

          • My understanding was that global warming was thought to be a possible contributor in all kinds of weather craziness — everything from huge snowstorms to warm Christmases.
            Agree that it’s annoying when people think a cooler summer is somehow evidence that there’s no global warming.

          • Just to follow up on my comment, not trusting my memory, I checked the records, and textdoc’s memory is better than mine. There were some warm Christmases (ie in the 50s) in my 20+ years in the area, however, this will actually be the warmest in some time. The last time we hit the 70s on Christmas was a little fine year known as 1982 when a certain mom was celebrating her first Christmas.

  • Additional rant: Peter Taub went to HS with my husband, I didn’t realize – the whole event is absolutely awful, and reading comments like “this brings it closer to home” is frustrating when you know just how few people have been touched by the last 15 years of war – and how it’s so much easier to send more folks to war when so few fight for all of us. I feel awful for his family, his wife is pregnant and they have a 3 year old. Please consider donating to the Go Fund Me or to TAPS in his memory if you are able.

    • Pile-on Rant: Very sad to learn this morning that the leader of that patrol who was also killed was Major Adrianna Vorderbruggen, believed to be the first openly gay lesbian to die in combat for the U.S. In addition to serving proudly, she had worked for years in support of same-sex couple rights in the military. It’s some small consolation that through the efforts of pioneers like her, her wife and son will be afforded the full honors and benefits they so rightfully deserve.

  • SouthwestDC

    Rant: I did some last minute Christmas shopping on Amazon Prime on Monday, and now they’re saying my order won’t arrive until Sunday. Is there anything I can do to make it ship faster? I wouldn’t have ordered from there if I’d known the two-day shipping wasn’t going to happen.

    • Blithe

      I’m not speaking from experience but could you either cancel the order, if that’s what you want to do, or pay extra for overnight shipping?

    • If it hasn’t shipped already, you could cancel the order and then re-order with faster shipping.
      Or do what was traditional in my family – cut out a photo of the gift, put it in a card, put card on tree (or wrap card and put under tree)

      • SouthwestDC

        They’re saying they will credit my account, and once the credit goes through I can call again and reorder it and ask for expedited shipping. Then when the original order arrives on Sunday I’ll have to send it back. I’m thinking your idea is a lot easier. Or I’ll just cancel the whole thing and stop by the mall on the way home.

  • Rant: Walking in the rain to my dentist appointment with all my Christmas gifts in various bags.
    Rave: Remembered to put plastic over said gifts so they didn’t get soggy. Dentist was late and I couldn’t stay so reschedule that filling!
    Rant: Three things that make me so incredibly angry and frustrated and upset: Friend’s mother deciding 400 bucks is to much to spend on medications to HELP HER DAUGHTER GET BETTER, Friend not taking her other meds, and her mother is leaving for four weeks to visit her other child (who is perfectly fine). Cannot do anything about it, am at the end of my rope, love my friend so damn much but it’s been a year and I feel like I’ve done nothing using in the face of two suicide attempts, one involuntary commitment, two times kicked out of IOP for noncompliance and countless hours of stress, anxiety, panic.
    Rave: She’s alive. She’s here. And I can squeeze her come Christmas day and tell her how much I love her.
    Rave: Family will be all in one place. And I got them some hella good gifts.

  • Bear

    Rave: First day at the new(ish) job that I don’t have any meetings scheduled. It’s been super hectic so far – I appreciate the down time.
    Rant: Need some financial advice on refinancing/renovation options, feasibility of buying an investment property, etc. We need someone to help us with more structured goals – we’re doing fairly well salary wise but we’d like to be smarter about what we’re doing with our money. Does anyone have recommendations?

  • justinbc

    Neither rant nor rave for me since this is not my team, but FYI for those who care and might have missed it yesterday evening…
    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said the Lanham Act, which gives the power to reject “disparaging” trademarks that offend specific groups or national symbols, is malleable. The federal court in D.C. now says it’s unconstitutional for the government to refuse to register trademarks because it disapproves of the messages or thinks they may be disparaging.

  • Rant: more information coming out about colleague who died and it is heartbreaking. It’s so sad to lose one of the good ones.
    Rave: I’m almost done wrapping gifts.
    Rave: my college roommate is going to come over and hang out while I finish. I hope she doesn’t mind watching me pack too.

  • Rant: Realizing that even though I’m older, I’m still terrible at dealing with emotions. And for the first time in my life, I can’t use my usual tactic for dealing with serious life upheavals (pack up and move).
    Rave: The other Mrs. Rabbit has only a half day left and then we have a very long weekend together.
    Rant: Attempted to get our friends’ kids a gift to bring to Christmas Eve dinner. That was a bad idea. I’m not quite ready to deal with the kids section of a store or website yet.
    Rave: Decided to attempt to end the longstanding feud with my brother. We’ll see how that goes.

    • Ally

      +1 On ending the feud with your brother. My mom has been in ongoing, years-long feuds with her sisters, to the point that I’m not sure any of them remember the cause anymore. Good for you to not hold grudges.

    • I’m a runner too, and it’s a very hard instinct to overcome. Hopefully your partner understands and can help you resist that urge. Hugs to you both.

  • Ally

    Rant: I am an incubus of viral plague
    Rave: My son gets to experience his first Christmas! There will be dancing robots involved.
    Rave: Took a hookie day with the husband yesterday to go bowling. Sometimes work can just wait.

  • Rave: Just a few more hours of work left!
    Rave: Our Christmas is tomorrow morning! In an interesting turn of events, Middle Anonachild interrupted my momsplaining of why Santa was coming a day early (#blendedfamilyissues) to tell me that she knows I’m Santa. Phew. Two kids down, one to go before no longer having to do the night before mad dash to wrap presents! I’m sort of hoping that in his uber-logical thinking, littlest Anonachild will figure it out after this year; he has apparently devised a way to once and for all to know if Santa is really real and really comes to the house – Santa-sized sticky traps.
    Wishing you all a wonderful holiday!!

    • Blithe

      Please tell me that you’re planning to put a bit of cottony white hair and the tread of a winter boot, and maybe an errant reindeer bell on one of the glue traps!!!!! I LOVE your Anonachild stories! Thank you for sharing them here!

      • Actually, we are currently searching for an old black boot to get left behind, and plan a note along the lines of “Nice try, littlest Anonachild! This time I won’t add you to the naughty list for trying to kidnap Santa, but please keep in mind I have lots of deliveries to make!” Plan B is just leaving a boots print. BF is out buying sticky traps as I write this 🙂

        • That’s the one thing I’d never do: tell the kid Santa isn’t real. Figuring that out on your own is a right of passage.

          • Meh. I know some people are all “magic of Christmas” and that, but Santa creeps me out. Here’s this guy who hangs out in malls and we tell our kids to sit on his lap (and in some cases force kids kicking, screaming and crying to sit on that lap), he’s this random, omniscient elf who can get into your house despite locked doors and windows… I have plenty of friends who never told their kids about Santa, and they all are just as happy to celebrate the commercialism of the season without the Man in Red.
            I didn’t tell any of my kids, but I won’t perpetuate it either. If he asks me, I’ll tell him.

          • Oh no, if someone asks me, I’ll be honest, but I’m not going out of my way to tell kids he’s not real. I never did the mall thing though.

        • Blithe

          That sounds Awesome!!!!!

    • Love your littlest anonachild story!
      Not sure if these are readily available but sticky snake traps are good sized

    • SouthwestDC

      I never believed in Santa but didn’t say anything because I enjoyed the fanfare. So if he’s really smart that’s what he’ll do and you’ll never get a break. 😉

      • Although my mom had said “if you believe, you’ll receive” we still received gifts from Santa well after the believing stage 🙂

      • I really don’t ever remember believing in Santa either, and I also didn’t tell anyone! However, littlest Anonachild loves to share the facts he learns. So if he figures it out, he will most likely tell everyone who will listen (sorry to the parents of his future classmates!)

  • Rant: Flight to KC cancelled. So instead of flying direct tonight and driving tomorrow, we have two flights, a layover, and the drive all at once. That wouldn’t bother me if we weren’t toting a very active 18-month-old with us.
    Rant: That’s two consecutive bad experiences with American Airlines.
    Rave: We will eventually make it home for the holidays.
    Rave: I have a great support system that reminds me that there are many things I can’t control, that I shouldn’t allow these things to live rent-free in my head, and that I am grateful for my blessings.

  • Blithe

    Rave:- Wonderful staff at Johnson’s Florist. Late last night, I got an idea for some gifts. I went to Johnson’s, made some purchases, and straggled home. I then checked my list and realized that I needed at least two more gifts, and that these two needed to be similar to — but different from — one of the others. The staff at the store actually let me into the store a few minutes early, saving me much angst since the stock of the items that I wanted to buy was almost zero.
    Rant: I hate it when friends insist on planning things WAY in advance — by my standards, then cancel, albeit for good reasons, at the last minute. I’d much, much rather leave things until the last minute, then if we can, we can. Pre-planning saves them anxiety, but stresses me out. Sigh.
    Rave/Rant: I got the gifts that needed to be mailed to the Post Office yesterday morning — Which wasn’t enough time to guarantee a Thursday delivery, even for the one to another Mid-Atlantic town. Oh well, boxing day presents will also be appreciated!
    Rave:/Rant I’m loving the warm weather. Even as I worry that we’ve irreparably damaged the planet, I’m loving the warm weather.

  • Rant: Attempted package theft at my bldg. As in the guys got in and were confronted. No emails or warnings went out.
    Rave: Fast printer, so I’m making my own flyers.
    Rave: Christmas brunch.

  • Rant: There has been a string of package thefts and minor vandalism in Columbia Heights along the 1400 and 1500 blocks on Harvard Street NW and environs. At least four packages have been recently stolen from different homes, and some minor property damage to windows.

    Rave: I actually made Christmas cookies this year, and really actually focused on making them tasty and pretty, and they are SO GOOD! Anyone want some cookies?

  • Rant: Heard skittering sounds in my kitchen sink cabinet/stove area – hello mousies and you’re not welcome here.
    Rant: Prescription drug coverage gap – medication that is usually $30 or so jumped to $499 !! Need to call insurance and in the meantime wait to refill until Jan. Minor rave is that I have enough to last until then
    Rave: Rants that are manageable
    Rave: Tea, and gift of 3 of my favorites from lovely SF tea shop – fancy Earl Gray, Bharat chai and rooibos from SA…multicultural tea 🙂

  • Rant: Having to ask my roommate to open a jar for me.

    • Sneaky trick that works: buy standard rubber gloves and you’ll be able to open any jar. I don’t know why it works, but it does.

      • Hmm. I was trying to detach my garden hose from the hose bib last night while wearing disposable gloves (as I usually do when digging/planting), and I couldn’t get it to budge. Maybe they’re too thin in comparison to regular yellow dishwashing gloves?

        • There’s a small flat round rubber mat for things like jar opening – and it’s called, wait for it, a husband. Mortifying? YES Handy? also yes

          • I thought a “husband” was one of those triangular-ish pillows one uses for reading in bed!
            Part of the problem with this hose is that the bib is installed in such a way that it’s difficult to get much leverage. And I think I tightened it extra-tight after I had masons using it, because they were briefly using my hose and it seemed to be leaking at the hose bib after that.

          • SouthwestDC

            I had the same problem with my hose this year and had to use an adjustable wrench to remove it. Too bad you can’t do that with jars…

          • Caroline — Yeah, my next step was going to be trying an adjustable wrench. I feel encouraged knowing that it did the trick for your hose!

      • It works because of physics, and it doesn’t work all the time. Rubber gloves just increase the friction between your hand and the lid (or hose connector), so that you can use your strength and leverage just to turn the lid, rather than both to grip it and to turn it. If the lid is on extremely tightly then it may not give you enough extra advantage; or if the glove is wet, or if it is ill-fitting, it may not be giving you as much extra friction as you need. (Note that if you also wear a rubber glove on the hand holding the jar, this may provide you additional strength and leverage to apply in the opposite direction of the lid hand, increasing your chance of turning the lid.)

    • Blithe

      I have a jar opener — a triangular thing with metal teeth and a handle that works well. I also the traditional: bang the side of the lid of the jar on the edge of the sink. Run hot water around the edge of the jar lid. Bang it again. Almost all stuck lids open with this technique. I think the hot water makes the metal lid expand and the banging does something with the pressure? In any case: nice roommate!

    • Confession: it’s not actually a jar I needed opened. I can usually manage jars. It was actually a food processor attachment to an immersion blender that got stuck so it was trickier to work with. Roommate bailed me out though!

  • Rant: I could’ve sworn that I read/saw something about “Luther” coming to PBS (or at least to WETA) in January. But I’ve been looking at the WETA website and can’t find anything.
    I also looked at the “Masterpiece” website, but it’s not showing “Luther” either.

  • Rave; Want to say I hate this soupy Christmas, but in truth it is alluring and welcomed. And, wasn’t last Christmas cold enough? It’s foghorns and short-sleeves this year. Strings of lights seen through murk across the way.

    Rant: You remember I groused about Christmas parallel double-parkers. They’re back, blocking the ways. generally, one picks up or drops off and elderly person. The other is checking an iPhone or dropping off a package. I find alternate routes, and I say mantras to myself. I adjust.

  • I Dont Get It

    Bonus Rave: Just got back from TJs and it wasn’t crowded at all!
    Bonus Rant: Tjs sometimes is just weird about what they stock. I want to make chili and they didn’t have red kidney beans or chili powder.

  • Late Day Rave: I swear, I love my BF’s mom… I posted on FB about Trump’s “schlonging” conversation and she summed it up in one, perfect word “ASSHOLE”

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