Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

dc_neighborhood_news_popville
Photo by PoPville flickr user Victoria Pickering

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.

I’m very happy to share that My wife, daughter and I welcomed a new native Washingtonian to our family on December 31st. So if you notice a bit more incoherence than usual – I’m a bit sleep deprived but very very very happy.

136 Comment

  • Congratulations on the new native Washingtonian! Hope to see you walking the wee one around the neighborhood!

  • phl2dc

    Rant: Resolution to eat clean sabotaged by free doughnuts at the office.
    Rave: Free doughnuts!
    Rant: I made myself stick to my resolution.
    Rave: Yay determination!

    Welcome to Wee Baby PoP!

  • Congratulations on the new little one!

  • Congratulations on your new addition! What a great start to the new year. We wish you and yours all the best in 2016!

  • My niece’s birthday! Congratulations on the addition to your family.
    ———–

    Rant: Disparities in how people are treated based on rank/title at work. Usually I can let it roll off my back but was hugely annoyed this morning.
    Rave: Made it to the gym this morning.
    Rant: Did not sleep last night.
    Rave: Massage on Sunday has left me feeling oh so much better.

    • Ugh, yes to your first rant. I try to be acutely aware of my treatment of others because I’ve been struggling with this problem for three years now. My current position is contingent on my enrollment in a higher degree program, but I’m not technically an “intern.” My old office called me exactly what everyone else was called in the office (“officer”) but my new office keeps calling me an intern along with all the other *unpaid* interns and so no one ever asks me questions or seems to take me seriously even though I’ve been around for 3 years! It drives me nuts.

  • Congrats! What a great birthday.
    Rant: Ate disgusting crap all week/weekend/December and didn’t work out. Feeling extra bad about my already big belly.
    Rave: Classpass
    Rant: Motivation and being a little depressed. Hoping for something good to happen!

    • So classpass is worth it? I’ve been thinking of signing up. (Partly because of my own December guilt.)

      • I’ve been doing classpass for a few months and have generally liked it a lot – but I just noticed today that they raised their price to $109 a month (from $99) – I know it’s only $10, but now I’m re-thinking it. Especially since I was unaware of the price increase until I saw the charge on my cc (they said they sent an email, but I never saw it and it probably went to my junk email). I’ll also be curious to see how “busy” it becomes with the new year – i’m skeptical that I’ll be able to get into any of the classes I like.

        • New year resolution folks generally die off around 6 weeks, so if things get crowded, I doubt it’ll last long.

  • Congrats on the new addition! As someone with a NYE birthday, please don’t lump in his/her’s birthday in with other holiday celebrations. It sucks.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      I was wondering about that – good to know. And happy bday to you!

      • Farragut

        I knew a pair of twins born December 23. He hated it because A) he got half the presents he should’ve because of his twin (“this gift is for you AND your brother”) and B) he got half the presents again he should’ve because of his birthday’s proximity to Christmas (“this gift is for your birthday AND Christmas”).
        .
        Some don’t mind, though–one of Allison’s good friends is a Christmas baby and she loves it (I guess it made her feel like everyone was celebrating her birthday or something).

    • I agree! My birthday frequently falls on Mother’s Day. It absolutely SUCKS getting everything lumped together.

  • Rave: it is finally, FINALLY 2016. This is going to be a better year than 2015.

    Rave: Great date this weekend.

    Rant: I overthink everything.

    Rave: It’s finally cold enough to make another giant pot of homemade soup.

    Congratulations on LilPoP!

  • Rave: congrats on the new baby!
    Rant: the new year has not started out super great to far. i think there’s nothing that gets me feeling lonelier than a succession of bad dates and boring socialization.
    Rant: i am doing all the things I am “supposed” to do — volunteering, focusing on my job, putting myself out there dating-wise, seeing friends, and yet I feel like I am going through the motions. i keep waiting for real happiness to creep back in and it hasn’t.
    Rave: so thrilled for my friends who also just had a baby… got to visit and hold him this weekend which was lovely.

  • Congratulations on the baby!! What a great start to the New Year πŸ™‚

    Rave: My body is getting back to normal… well, new normal anyways. Here’s to hoping for a healthy 2016.
    Rant: Sleep deprivation brought on by a restless mind. Haven’t slept more than a few hours a night for about 4 nights in a row.
    Rant: Jerky stops on the metro. Seriously felt like our driver had to microcorrect about ten times pulling into McPherson slamming on the brakes each time.
    Rave: Back in the office, work trip tomorrow, ready to take on the start of the New Year!

    • I’ve been dealing with stress-induced sleeplessness lately. Each time I find myself tossing and turning, I get out of bed and do 40 seconds of plank position. I don’t know if it helps, but if I’m going to be awake, I might as well be doing something I wouldn’t otherwise do.
      So… what is planking good for? Just abs? I just do it because it’s tiring and quiet and I can do it next to my bed…

      • Ha. That’s interesting and healthy–I’m imagining trying this tonight and my husband waking up and wondering what on earth I’m doing. Uhh, working on my six pack, obviously! One of my other go to habits is listening to the West Wing since I’ve seen it a billion times it doesn’t keep me up and can lull me to sleep.

        I was having a lot of sleeping problems at the beginning of December and melatonin was recommended which definitely helps me fall asleep but not necessarily stay asleep. I know melatonin is safe but my husband who is a scientist is a bit wary of taking such a large dose of a hormone, and I usually don’t like taking too many things anyways so I only do it occasionally.

    • Geez, I was going to say I must have been on the same train this morning with the jerking, but I was on the green line! It was awful

    • Oh hey, we were on the same train pulling into McPherson (around 8:50?)! I didn’t have my balance and thought, this is it, this is the morning that I fall over on the train. Hoping for a good night of sleep for you!

      • YES!! I had already gotten up to go to the door and was commuting with my husband who stays on for a few more stops and literally we almost burst out laughing at how many times I almost bit it. Just when I thought the driver was done, nope. One more inch. One more. Okay…one more.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rave: Christmas was fantastic.
    Rant: Now it’s time to stop spending money like a drunken sailor.

  • Rave: Had a wonderful time at my neighbors’ NYE party. Lots of fun, and no worrying about getting home – just stumbled down the hall!
    Rant: The rest of the weekend was….pretty much downhill. Starting with my brother being discharged from the hospital after one night and my parents having to drive a hour to meet him to give him his wallet (which he had given them for safekeeping) and also to buy his antibiotics. He is in denial that he needs help or needs to change, although he at least told his gf that he is going to get his life together – how exactly I’m not sure, but on the plus side, she didn’t relent and has refused to let him back in the house or give him back his key. So many times I thought he’d hit rock bottom and surely was going to make a change, and yet here he is again, digging through the rockbed to find layers of sh*t to wade into.
    Rant: Spent Saturday and Sunday caring for – and cleaning up after – a sick cat. I’ll tell ya, trying to catch and bathe a cat that has diarrhea’ed all over herself and also ended up coated in litter, and to try to avoid being scratched to ribbons, is a special level of hell.
    Rave: Didn’t have to take kitty to the emergency vet, and knock wood, she seems to be doing much better on a strict bland food diet. Note to self – never turn your back on a cat with a bag of treats nearby.
    Rant: Guy I’d kind of been seeing has totally ghosted on me. Why is it so hard to just tell someone “Hey, I met someone else,” or “Hey, I don’t think we’re really clicking” or even “I find you very (fill in the blank)”? Seriously, just be decent and let me know you’re not interested anymore, don’t just fade away, you coward.
    Rave: Big work project is coming together splendidly! I’m really excited and a little bit proud, because this has been a long long road just to get it to this point!

    • re: the ghosting — that is terrible. the more i am trying this dating thing again, the more very avoidable bad behavior i keep finding myself getting exposed to. take comfort, i guess, that he wasn’t the right guy for you — and if this is how he communicates, well, he’s done you a favor. still hurts though, of course. i’m sorry.

    • Re: the guy ghosting on you, sorry to hear. I totally agree with you! It is NOT that hard to be up front with someone, but apparently it is for many people!

    • What’s the underlying issue with your brother? I know he was in the hospital for his leg, but what does he need help with?
      Ghosting sucks.Confession of a Fomer Ghoseter: I did sort of ghost on a guy when I started seeing the BF. Honestly, I dated them both casually at first (I “met” them both the same weekend), and when I started liking my BF a lot, I stopped making such an effort. Hopefully it was a mutual thing, but I kinda feel bad now that I wasn’t more honest. Then again, I’m not sure I necessarily owed an explanation either…. idk, I guess what I mean is, I see why people do it, but I also see that it sucks.

      • Brother is an addict with mental health issues. (or a person with mental health issues who has turned to substance abuse, whichever you prefer). This has been ongoing for 15 years. In the hospital (this time) with cellulitis of the feet – most frequently, this is the result of IV drug use. Possibly he’s been shooting up between his toes. Since he’s legally an adult, my parents are out of the loop in terms of details.

        As far as ghosting, you’re right, I’m not owed an explanation, but I still feel like it’s kind of a cowardly option. It seems like the option you take to try to keep someone on the back burner *just in case* it doesn’t work out with whoever your first choice is.

        • Ahh. I’m sorry, that really is a tough, heart breaking situation to be in, and such a helpless situation for you (and everyone else). Dealing with addicts is just so rough. I wish I could offer some sort of advice, but the only thing I can say is to make sure you take care of yourself.
          Also, yes, I agree, it is cowardly and it is “back burnering”. Modern dating sucks.

      • Re: ghosting – I had kind of the same situation was casually dating and met my partner and was putting a lot more effort into getting to know him. However I did not ghost and said something to the other person I was casually involved with (extremely casual at his request no less) and he got really irate and got really drunk one night and screamed and yelled and threw beer bottles at my front stoop.
        I am not trying to imply that any of you guys that have been ghosted are angry unstable people in any way…just sayin I wish I had ghosted in that situation.

        • Ha! oh god, BRKLND, I’m sorry about that! Thanks for another perspective, though I can assure you I’m not going to throw beer bottles at anyone!

    • Maybe he wants to keep you around as a potential short-term mate, so he’s reluctant to cut you off completely. This is pretty much the only rational reason I could imagine to explain such behavior (short of emergencies).

      • I’ve always thought it’s because the person doing the ghosting is too chicken sh!t to “hurt” the other person’s feelings. They think if they don’t say anything it’ll be easier on the ghostee than admitting that they’re not interested. I’ve never gotten the feeling it was to keep the door open. When I’ve been ghosted on I always assume that means they’re done.

        • That’s usually my assumption, as well. But honestly, it’s not going to hurt my feelings if you tell me there’s someone else, you’re not interested, whatever – it really is just a chicken sh*t move and it’s confusing to think “hey, this person seemed like a really nice, upfront honest person, and then they ghosted on me and showed that they’re not upfront and honest – gee, I wonder what that says about my ability to read people correctly?!”

    • Yikes on the cat! I’ve found the best way to wash a cat is in a mesh laundry bag. Pop the cat in (quickly, tail first while holding a good scruff.)

      • That’s brilliant. Do you zip the cat’s head inside, or leave it poking out?

        • I think I’d get torn up worse trying to get this particular cat into the mesh bag than I would getting her in the tub! But certainly an idea, and maybe an option for other cat people out there!

          • You could trick her. Put the mesh bag around an open brown paper bag with the bottom cut out. No cat can resist the brown paper bag. When she goes in, you scoop up the mesh bag, whip out the paper bag, and seal. Muahaha.

    • Rave/Rant: Just got a text…..the plot thickens….?

  • Quotia Zelda

    PS – Congratulations PoP!

  • oh, and Congrats on the little one, PoP!

  • Congrats on your new addition Dan!!
    .
    Rave – Had a fun time visiting New Orleans. The food, omg, the food! Everything I ate was amazing.
    .
    Rant – Boss is out and left me a pile of work to get through.

  • Congrats on the new addition!
    Rave: Had a great long holiday break
    Rant: Thought some time away would renew my enthusiasm for work, but it didn’t do much.
    Rave: Jetting off again in a couple days for a conference in Boston, so I can be away from the office even more. And it looks like the weather in Boston will actually be decent!

  • Emmaleigh504

    Congratulations to your family, Pop! (Do your daughter call you Pop?)
    Rant: back to work
    Rave: After a wonderful trip back home.

  • Welcome to the world, little PoP!
    Rave: NYE event was a blast, and I’m so glad we went.
    Rave: Great quality time with the BF, had some really good, deep conversations about a few things that have always sort of bugged me. Our respective first marriages were very different in a lot of ways and I’ve always had difficulty reconciling that. At least having talked about it, I have a little more peace.
    Rave/Rant: Back in DC! On the one hand, I feel like I’m home. On the other hand, being with him feels even more “home.”
    Major Rave/Parent Brag: I got Oldest Anonachild’s PARCC individual scores. He did really, really well, a level 4 for the reading language arts portion and a level 5 for the math section, in the 98th% for DCPS for math. I am super, super proud of him and especially his teachers. He has come so far since we moved to DC and they have been amazing. Oldest Anonachild, on the other hand, could not give a shit less about his test scores (I will count this as a parenting win too).

    • Glad you had a great time on NYE! Look forward to seeing (more) pics! And way to go, Oldest Anonachild!

      • Thanks!! The ones are posted are all I got lol…. BF took one full body shot in my dress, but he has to post that one… and he won’t because he never posts anything on FB!

  • Rave: Great break over the holiday weekend.
    Rave: Looking forward to this new year.
    Question: Wondering if the poster decided to ask his friend crush out for NYE.
    Congrats on the new addition to your family.

  • Rave: I got a new winter jacket this past weekend.
    Rant: I am going to need it as it’s 10 degrees out right now! At least it hasn’t been this cold until now!
    Rave: Job interview Friday!

  • Congrats to PoP and family!
    Rant: Think I have shingles…
    Rave: Spent a continuous 14 days with the husband.
    Rant: Those 14 days included 6 cancelled flights, dealing with suicide threats from my good friend, and an abusive husband of my sister-in-law. Hence the potential shingles.
    Rave: Finished 70 books in 2015 and starting this year out excited for my next reading challenge – 12 behemoth books. (And psyched for PoPville book club!)

    • Sorry about the possible shingles. The antiviral really helped me when I had them.

    • whoa! very impressive book # for 2015! do you mind sharing your faves (always looking for additions to my list)?

      • Absolutely!
        The top 10 (not in particular order) were: anything by Laurie King, The Things They Carried (Tim O’Brien), Ministry of Special Cases (Nathan Englander), anything by Jeannette Walls, Zeitoun (Dave Eggers), The Boys in the Boat (Daniel James Brown), After Birth (Erica Albert), The Light Between Oceans (M.L. Stedman), The Year of Magical Thinking (Joan Didion), and Dancing with the Devil in the City of God (Juliana Barbosa). Enjoy!

    • Shingles is a nightmare (got them at 22…). If you get the blisters that don’t cross your midline its a straightforward diagnosis and taking the antivirals will really help. I had a blister-less case, not to mention being the wrong age for shingles, that I wasn’t diagnosed until it was too late (and even then, they couldn’t even test to confirm) so I spent a lot of time on painkillers.

    • Oooh tell me more about this PoPville book club!

  • Congrats on the little one!

    Rave: FULL HEALTH BENEFITS!!!!!! I actually had decent insurance through ACA, but no dental or HSA. Now I have dental, HSA AND EAP. And just in time, I haven’t been to the dentist in almost 2 years. I really need to get my crown checked out.

    Rant: Post holiday glumps. My family is back home, i’ve spent a lot of money in the past few weeks, and I’m feeling a little blue. TIme for hibernation mode. At least for this week.

    Rant: I was really mean to my sister NYE and feel guilty about it. She was taking forever to get ready, despite knowing we had to be on the road by a certain time. I snapped on her and said some not so nice things. ANd threatened to leave her behind. When she realized I was serious she got very upset. Granted that put a fire under her butt, she finished getting ready in record time. But I still feel bad. I love my sister dearly, but she her flakiness grates on my nerves.

    • Hooray for health insurance! Let me know if you find a good dentist, I really need to get on that too (I’m just terrified of them! and even with insurance they’re so expensive!)

      • I’m searching for one. I liked my dentist in Bethesda, but don’t really want to to trek out there. Granted it would only be once or twice a year. But it’s not super convenient.

        • I highly recommend Dr. Pierre Palian DDS. He’s up near the cathedral on Wisconsin. I’ve been going to him for years. Very clean office and great friendly staff!

        • highly recommend Dr. Robinson at Watergate Dental in Foggy Bottom. She’s been my dentist since 2008. She’s friendly, will answer all your questions, and honest about treatment plans needed vs. optional.

        • Do you mind sharing the dentist you liked in Bethesda? I’m looking for a new one and the location might be ok for me. Thank you!

        • Thank you for all the suggestions!

      • s/o goes to Dupont Dental and has had good experiences with the service, staff, insurance, and payment plans. I’m planning on calling today to schedule an appt too.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Hurray full health benefits!

  • Congratulations on the new little one! πŸ™‚
    Rant: So COLD. Ugh ugh ugh.
    Rant: Back to normal work.
    Rave?: People I need to talk to before I can do any work aren’t in yet, so at least it’s a slow morning and I can have some tea and wake up.
    Rave: Had a really fun, low key NYE. Friend cooked delicious Japanese food and we just hung out in a small group at her apartment.

  • Rave: a mostly stress free and very fun Christmas. The dog still looses his shizznits over getting in the car, so I guess he had a decent time on the two 7 hour rides.
    Rave: Whoever recommended Kiehl’s midnight recovery oil. They were having a sale and I picked it up, I love it.
    Rant: now I want to buy all the Kiehl’s things and they are not cheap.
    Rave: spent a good amount of time with the boy and had a really fun, low stress NYE.
    Congrats PoP!

    • Where did you find the midnight recover oil on sale? I love that stuff – but it’s so spendy…

      • Kiehl’s was having a $20 off $65 or more, so I got the medium size for basically the price of the small size. I don’t know if the sale is still going on in stores, it doesn’t look like it on the website.

    • That was me… Glad to hear you love it, too! I’m a big fan of all things Kiehl’s.

      • Thank you! My budget doesn’t thank you, but better looking and feeling skin is a worthwhile investment.
        I should really be blaming the woman who gave me a bajillion samples. Shakes fist.

  • Rant: Have been out of work since last February and I.Am.Losing.My.Mind. The two dead weeks around Christmas almost killed me. I am at least doing some contract work but I desperately need to get back to a routine and some structure.
    Rave: I mostly kept to my healthy living goals over the holidays and managed to lose half a pound. Much better than gaining three!

  • Rant: Monday
    Rave: Birthday!
    Rant: Home maintenance is taking over my life. Why did I want to buy a place again?
    Rave: Someone sent me Georgetown Cupcake for my birthday, which means I got cupcakes and didn’t have to wait in line! (I happen to like many, many types of cupcakes sold in this town, but GC is great as long as they get delivered!)
    Extra Rave: Baby Pop! Congratulations!
    Extra Extra Rave: Finally found a dog groomer for my rare breed rescues that can get the cut just right!

  • Rave: Congrats PoP!
    Rant: Killer migraine yesterday/today.
    Rave: Have a ton of sick leave, and held down the fort alone at work last week, so I don’t think anyone can be upset at me staying home today.
    Rant: Back to school next week. I got really depressed before the beginning of last semester because I Just Don’t Want To Do It Anymore. This semester is pretty much the end — if I can get through it. I need to focus on the positive and not feel like I want to cry for having to go back for another 15 weeks…..

  • Rant/revel: I’m having a hard time being back at work, but after days of being alone in my house by myself, it’s great to have things to do and not have to spend money
    Rant: testing already, grarrr

  • rant: OREGON.

    I am really struggling to understand the sense of entitlement required (yes, I know there are many other entitlement issues present in today’s world that may be more pressing) to form a MILITIA with intent to overthrow government (at any level) just so a group of people can use (and potentially (read: probably) abuse) the land in question. Protected land is protected for a reason. One reason among many – if it weren’t protected, the nature we hold near and dear to our hearts wouldn’t exist.

    And going beyond the tree-hugger in me, I truly cannot follow their logic re: the government and how law actually works in this country.

    • THIS +10000. Clearly these guys missed out on Ken Burns’ wonderful documentary series on the National Park system!

    • Rave: TCU!!
      .
      Wait, that wasn’t what you meant? Carry on.

    • Oregon has a long history of secession movements, militias, and white power groups. It all stems from the initial founding of Oregon as a whites-only state (minorities were legally barred from living, working, or owning property in Oregon). The state has a long history of localized racism and distrust of the Federal government.
      Great article today on Gizmodo that gives more context: gizmodo. com/oregon-was-founded-as-a-racist-utopia-1539567040

    • Pablo Raw

      The trolling on those guys is epic!

  • janie4

    Rave: rented the apartment in my basement for $1600.
    Rant – now have one week to get it fully ready for occupancy – clean the papers out (the construction workers put all the install instructions and manuals in one drawer), move the huge container of paint still in the closet, etc.

    • Might want to leave the manuals for troubleshooting purposes.

      • janie4

        Good point. I will do so. I just hate to take up drawer space when they don’t have a ton of storage in the kitchen anyway. Ah well, they will figure out where they want to put them.

        • I like to store all those things in a large gallon ziploc bag. That way they’re visible vs. in a folder and can easily be stashed in a closet (utility, linen, clothes, etc.) or moved around.

        • I Dont Get It

          The manuals are nice to have around but most of these can now be downloaded from the vendor website.

  • Rant: My building.
    Rave: Set up for successes at this new year’s gym time.
    Great deal on my globo gym and hot yoga.
    Rave: Bar folks checking my app to make sure I’m good to go. Now to wait for my date.
    Rave: Didn’t forget about lunch for the week.

  • That One Guy

    Congratulations on the addition to your family.
    .
    A NYE birthday is a gift and curse. For what it’s worth may I suggest these thing to keep in the back of your mind for down the road:
    -If you can get the kid into school early with others born in 2015 do so and don’t hold them back. It’ll be an advantage later on in life. Always felt weird being the oldest kid in my class rather than being the youngest.
    -Birthday parties will be difficult to plan so give yourselves extra lead time. You can always try and have the party early to maximize the invitees. It’s a little disconcerting when no one can come to your party because they’re away or have plans already.

    • +1 on the school thing – I loved being on the early side of driving and turning 21 – it would be the WORST to have to wait that much longer than my peers.
      -I’m a 1/1 baby, and it stinks. It causes issues, even this year. My mom is already telling me I have to spend my 40th birthday with her (another issue…but still).

      Congrats on the new addition!

    • In DC, the cut off date is September 1st (there is a stretch date of I believe September 25? but few actually get in), so a Dec 31 baby would not be even close to getting in the year ahead. This is an incredibly child-specific decision for parents to make, and studies have shown that there are long-term effects on children who are the youngest in their class vs being the oldest, particularly when that difference is 9 months to one year, largely due to social and emotional development.

      • This. I myself have a December birthday and got in earlier. There were plenty of people in the grade below me who were older than me, which was a little weird. Everyone drove before me, everyone was a teenager before me, etc. However, that was a number of years ago and they don’t allow people in past the cut-off date anymore (there may be a few exceptions, but that is an extremely small number). Based on the birthday, it is WAY past the cut-off date and PoP likely won’t have the option to choose which year to put the new little one in.

    • topscallop

      I was always the youngest in my class (skipped a grade) and that also felt weird. Mainly I was frustrated that all my friends got to drive before I did. Also doesn’t Malcolm Gladwell have some stats about how kids are more likely to succeed in school/sports/etc if they’re older than their peers?

      • There’s been a lot of studies done since the 80s, which were largely the reason behind most school districts pushing the date back to September/October (thought some even do August now). It’s interesting that everyone is mentioning the older grades as when it affected them the more (like driving); the biggest negative difference is in the lower grades, and down to social/emotional development. Studies have shown that “younger” kids are more likely to have issues with self-control, concentration, following directions, etc, and are more likely to be diagnosed at some point with ADD/ADHD or learning disabilities, where as the “older” kids are more likely to perform better academically and in sports and things like that.

    • The cutoff date is September 1 in Virginia too. As with everything in life I would say this is very dependent on the child. I was “older” for my grade and I loved it–turned 13 earlier than most (haha so funny looking back at that being excited), got my permit and drove first thus there was someone to drive myself and friends around. One of my good friends was slightly older than me and was actually a grade ahead of me. It wasn’t weird to me.

    • janie4

      I’m December 11th, and I have the following suggestions for December birthdays, especially New Years.

      1. Definitely do the early birthday. Shoot for two weekends before Christmas (so not the weekend before Christmas, whenever that may be, but the weekend prior to that). Alternatively, the quarter birthday is an option – have the family celebration in December, but the party in March or September (kids will be in school, and not away on holiday).

      2. Do not do combo gifts until they’re older to appreciate a big gift and ask for it – i.e., new gaming system, etc.

      3. If you do an early party, don’t decorate for Christmas until afterwards – it makes it more special to the kid.

  • Congrats and way to get the 2015 write off just in time. Try not think about the not sleeping, just go with it, when they do sleep and don’t need you anymore, you’ll be sad.

  • Rave! Congrats to newest babyPoP!
    And that’s my only rave because it’s Monday after the holidays and it’s cold as sh*t outside

  • I Dont Get It

    Congrats Prince, on the new addition to the family!

    Rave: The 50% off tin of nuts I bought over the weekend that
    Rant: I ate 100% of last night. I feel slightly nauseous today. Blech!

  • Rave: Congrats PoP on the new little one!!
    Rave: Good NYE out at the Saint Paul and the Broken Bones show
    Rant: The cold I feared having came with a vengeance this weekend. SO went out and bought me a rotisserie chicken so I could make chicken noodle soup, though, so not all was lost.
    Rave: It also allowed me to finish watching season one of Jane the Virgin on Netflix which was hilarious.

  • Adding to the congratulations on the birth of your baby!

  • tonyr

    Just checked my employee benefits site and found out that for 2016:
    Rave: Extra week of vacation (expected)
    Rave: Bigger employee pension contribution than expected (actually for 2015, but you get the idea)

  • Congratulations PoP, so happy for you. Truly a happy new year.

  • Can anyone recommend a SUPER basic cookbook or website? My uncle was recently widowed, and like many men of his generation he never lived on his own or cooked for himself. But he’s interested in trying, so I’d like to get him a really easy cookbook – nothing fancy or elaborate, even opening a bunch of cans would be fine, and basic instructions about what it means to “simmer” etc. would be a plus. And no Smitten Kitchen/Pioneer Woman droning about their own lives with each recipe, it needs to be focused so he can find the info he needs. Thanks!

    • I like Mark Bittman and this book has good reviews: How to Cook Everything The Basics: All You Need to Make Great Food–With 1,000 Photos. I haven’t read that book but do own his How to Cook Everything cookbooks (regular and vegetarian). Those might be nice for him after he’s comfortable with the basics.

      • I love Bittman, but he’s great if you want to become a cook, not if you just want to be able to cook 4 or 5 things. I’m looking for something more basic and less intimidating. Like maybe Rachel Ray, do her recipes have instructions about how to do the cooking part?

    • Maybe a crock pot recipe? I also like Betty Crocker cook books.

      • I’ll have to check my Betty Crocker. I like how stripped down the recipes are, but am afraid for a beginner they don’t give enough info about technique. I’m looking for something aimed at a 12-year-old who never watched anyone cook and has to figure it out on his own.

    • Allison

      In addition to the Mark Bittman book mentioned above, I like “Budget Bytes” (both the website, and the cookbook by the same name) by Beth Moncel

      • Budget Bytes is great for easy recipes using every day ingredients, especially those you can prepare in advance and freeze. She even has step by step photos!

      • Seconding on Budget Bytes, and if your uncle isn’t easily offended, Thug Kitchen is hilarious and delicious.

      • Budget Bytes looks great! It’s good that they give a sense of how long each step takes (“until cooked” is not a useful instruction to a beginner!!). I’ll send him a couple links and see if he can figure them out and go from there.
        This site might provide some inspiration for me, too!
        And he would totally get a kick out of Thug Kitchen.

    • special_k

      Maybe this would be up his alley? Videos for each recipe.
      .
      http://foodwishes.blogspot.com/

    • No More Ramen is a good super basic food blog. No book but you could print off some recipes for him. I like Budget Bytes too.

    • Look up “A man, a can, a plan” on Amazon. Simple meals aimed at guys. Nothing fancy, but it would build confidence in getting tasty food onto the table without much fuss.

  • Congratulations PoP!

  • Congratulations, Dan!!!

  • Mazal tov on the new arrival POP!

    Rave: road trip to Charleston was fun, so nice to get away this time of year since I usually stay in town. Friend’s pup did great in the car.
    Rant: ate way too much fried food. Have to seriously keep to healthy eating for a while.

  • topscallop

    Rant: waiting for my raise/promotion info to come through. It’s been approved but I don’t know yet how much of a pay bump I’ll be getting, and this has been in the works for three months now.
    Rant: upset stomach the past few days. I would try cutting things out and reintroducing them but I don’t really know how to start and I don’t have time to do it right before going on a month long work trip
    Rant: it’s cold out!
    Rave: but soon I will be in southeast asia, where it will be not cold out πŸ™‚

    • topscallop

      Additional rant: there’s a dress I saw on the Anthropologie site today that I kind of love. It’s not on sale and it’s sold out all around DC, but the tax + shipping puts it a little outside the range I’m willing to spend. I think every store should have free shipping if you spend over $100. But maybe this is a good thing, at least for my wallet…

  • Rant: A big thank you to the individual tearing around Shaw on a motorcycle in the small hours of this morning. I hope you enjoyed laying-down all that rubber – I sure enjoyed listening.

  • Congratulations Dan!! Welcome to the crazy world of two little people. I hope your daughter is adjusting to the new addition, but don’t be surprised if she’s a little fragile for awhile. My daughter started melting down at the drop of a hat when her little brother arrived, but got better after 3-4 weeks.

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