Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Betsy Law

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.

154 Comment

  • phl2dc

    Rant: I’m already tired of this cold weather. It’s gonna be a long winter…
    Rave: Fingerless mittens to keep my hands somewhat warm in this frigid office!
    Rant: Why is it so hard for office buildings to figure out a nice, comfortable indoor temperature? It doesn’t make sense to have to wear a coat/scarf/gloves indoors.

    • I feel you on your last rant. I was considering purchasing some fingerless gloves for the same reason. I never took my scarf off this morning.

    • I also should purchase fingerless gloves. I stayed in my coat for 20 minutes after arriving in my office.

  • justinbc

    Posting again due to low responses yesterday… I’m leaning towards BGH because I anticipate it being much less crowded + longer HH.
    Quick poll for Jan 14th HH: Barcelona on 14th St (4-6PM, $5 wines, $20 pitchers of sangria, $4 bar bites) or Biergarten Haus on H Street (4-7PM, $6 half liters and $10 liters, sausage platters $8, other food specials vary). They both have heat lamps and big outdoor fireplaces for some bundled up boozing.

  • Rant: Dumped after a few great dates. Via text. Sigh. I liked this one.

    Rave: I have great friends who make me feel better.

    Rave: The coworker that has been a real problem in our office was let go. Now we have a temporary management person in from that company helping us out, fixing everything that went wrong (he is astonished at how bad it was – he thought we were exaggerating) while we search for a replacement.

    Rave: 2 pounds down!

    • Oh SinSA! boo on your rant, a big giant boo. But your raves are great! Hang in there!

    • I’m totally on-board with closing the gun show/ private sale loophole – it made no sense to have it if licensed dealers are required to conduct background checks.

      That said, i recognize that this exec. order will likely do little to stem the gun trade that leads to street crime. Additionally, I really can’t understand how it will be enforceable, especially in regards to private sales between individuals, no matter how many new ATF agents are hired and new bureaucracy created. And finally, it’s questionable whether the executive branch has the authority to take this action, no matter what anyone thinks of Congress. And finally, people who pull a gun to commit a robbery much less shoot and kill will not give a flip about following administrative gun laws. Heralding actions as a ‘difference makers’ when they will likely do nothing to help a solve problem  is not helpful.

      • Meant as a reply to Anonamom below – sorry.

      • I generally agree with your points…but ultimately fall back on at least making the grey area of regulation a little bit smaller can’t be a bad thing right? Enforcement will be the sticky subject.

        However I would think the executive order is well within the purview of their rights. The Executive controls the executive branch and can issue orders that change how it operates internally without legislative approval. If enforcement was done by anyone but the FBI and ATF then I could see it being an overreach but in my mind I think the executive order as it stands is acceptable. It is certainly not trampling all over the constitution as most GOP presidential hopefuls are crying about – especially since most of them made their statements without even knowing what the order encompassed.

  • Rant: Sinus issues/cold continues. Though running the humidifier seems to be helping.
    Rave: Ran into LittleBluePenguin last night at Safeway! It was good to see a a familiar, happy face 🙂
    Serious Question: Can someone please explain to me how increasing the ability to do background checks is somehow infringing on second amendment rights? The second amendment doesn’t say “Alright, y’all, ye get to have ALL the guns y’uns want, of any type, of any form, and ALL the armor penetrating ammo y’all can fit in yer barn, and if the gov’ment tries to keep you from ownin’ a gun when you have a criminal record, well goddamnit, that just ain’t “MURican!”

    • justinbc

      It’s one of those things that almost all common sense people agree on, until they think it might impair them in the slightest, then they suddenly get paranoid.

      • It just makes so little sense to me. It’s not like I, as a completely leftist, anti-gun liberal can see the need to come to some sort of middle ground yet those on the opposite end of the spectrum just want their own way. My four year-old does a better job of compromising.

        • justinbc

          I honestly can’t figure out why that one issue has the most impassioned followers of anything in this country, but I guess something had to be. Unfortunately it’s the one thing that can also kill so many unsuspecting people.

    • Good to see you, too, and the Anonachildren! Hope you had a nice Epiphany morning!

      • Thanks! It was a tad crazy, but everyone enjoyed it, except littlest anonachild who was somehow expecting a more Christmas-like morning and was disappointed, lol.

    • It doesn’t – most people are opposing it due to the political climate. Members of both parties will stick to their party’s dogma no matter how asinine it is. There is no more compromise with people these days.

      Also, what’s up with all the “y’all and y’uns” etc. Is that an attempt to mock a rural accent?

      • No actually, just how the people (family) who seem to take issue with this in my particular news feed speak. For the record “y’all” is a regular part of my vocabulary, being from Southern Maryland with family largely from the Midwest and Arkansas.

    • I have the solution. Whose lobbying power rivals the NRA’s? The insurance industry’s. Get a few insurance execs to realize how much more insurance they could sell if liability insurance was required on all guns, and watch the lawmakers fall all over themselves for the campaign donations and other perqs from companies who want to affect laws and regulations.
      How is this not already a thing?

  • Rave: I made it to the gym for the second morning this week. I think that may be a contributing factor to my really good mood this morning. I’ll take it.
    Rant: Making slow progress with decluttering and organizing. I have to tackle my desk which just horrifies me.
    Rave: I had a great conversation with my bestie last night. I miss her so much, and I am so happy I see her at the end of the month.
    Rant: Gestational diabetes test tomorrow morning. Really hoping those results come back ok.

    • I have my test tomorrow morning too and I am so nervous. I’ve been addicted to chocolate over the last month (holidays, boo). Good luck!

    • I was -really- worried about mine because my sweets cravings were off the charts, but passed the test with flying colors. Hope you both have good results, too! (Side note: I was pleased to find that the sweets cravings also haven’t resulted in serious post-pregnancy weight gain. Woohoo!)

  • albany

    RANT: Metro Mother$#@!’ing metro. should have rode my bike.
    RAVE: Powerball….
    RANT: Micromanager boss would have ‘edits’ for Bill Shakespeare.
    RAVE: Hump day,

  • Rant: I’ve been having difficulties buying doTerra essential oils on their website. Don’t want to buy them through Amazon but I don’t know any distributor reps in DC. Will try again later.

    • You only want that specific brand?
      & why avoid amazon?

      • My Rheumatologist recommended it last year but she is no longer at GW. I’ve ordered other essential oils from Amazon with no problems. Since I will need to take this one orally, I would like to make sure it is the real thing.

  • FtLincolnLove

    Rant: Exhausted and feeling like crap. All I want to do is sleep.
    Rave: LA next weekend for a mini-vacation
    Rave: Running the Star Wars themed half marathon at Disneyland during said mini-vaca!

  • Rave: Got an appt with the plumber today. Hopefully they’ll be able to find the issue first plumber didn’t see.
    Rave: Downtime at work.
    Rave: Plenty of time to figure out crockpot lunch for next week.
    Rant: Old man dog doesn’t like more than 8 hrs of sleep.

  • Accountering

    Rave: Loving the new job! Working near Farragut Square – loving my commute, which has varied from biking, walking, busing, and metro, and loving the new stuff I am working on. Life is good!
    Rave2: Wound up getting two offers, and took this one (downtown, more exciting work, widely recognized company) and couldn’t be happier with my decision.
    Rave3: Ridiciulously busy at work. Has hampered my internet surfing and POPville posting, but I would say that is a positive. The days go much quicker now, and again, working on stuff I am really interested in!
    Rant: Pulled a real bone headed move. Andie has a 1/1 birthday, and I did a terrible job recognizing it.

  • Rave: I start a new job Monday. My husband started a new job today

    Rant: I have to start paying my student loans next month and I can’t afford it!

    • Call your lender and see if they will work with you. There are several repayment options based on income level, and I think most people who initially freak out about their student loan payment are surprised when their lender ends up working with them.

      • Agreed – you’ll end up paying more than you want, but they really will work with you (unless it’s a private loan – then you’re screwed.) I’ve had very positive experiences working with my lender for my grad school loans, and again, the payments still put me perilously close to the edge, but with careful budgeting (which cramps my style hardcore but what are you going to do?), I can and do make the payments.

    • Look into income based repayment through dept of ed. Easy to do.

    • Have you looked into income based repayment?

      • Believe me, I’ve tried it all. Still can’t afford it. See you at the poor house

        • Married people can have it rough.

          • Not sure what you’re implying?

          • Dd- Anon Spock noted that the poster mentioned his/her husband – when you’re married and (theoretically) have a larger income pool, it’s very difficult to get lenders/loan servicers to look ONLY at your income, not at your spouses’, and build an income-based-repayment plan from there.

          • ^This. I know that when I was married, my spouse’s income was considered for income-based payments. I also received a wonderful letter from the comptroller of Maryland informing me that my tax return was fair game to them for his unpaid dept to UMBC that I knew nothing about. Marriage become less appealing the more I think about it!

          • HaileUnlikely

            Question for anybody here who knows: does this depend whether you file your federal income taxes jointly or separately?

          • Haile – I think that depends on the situation. I do know that in my personal circumstance, it did not matter at all whether we filed jointly or separately (I asked). I had all federal loans.

          • Yea, married people can get screwed on ibr because they consider the second income and not the second set of debts/obligations.
            Haile- as far as I know, if you say you’re married they’ll factor in the other income. You may want to check out the different plans and see how income is configured.

          • HaileUnlikely, my wife has lots of student loan debt and makes less money than me. We file our taxes Married filing Separately, and they don’t count my income for the IBR calculation. However, MFS create a whole bunch of other issues (limited IRA contributions, cancels several deductions, both people have to itemize or not itemize, etc), so you’d want to do plenty of research and run the calculations before choosing to do so.
            The only reason it makes sense for us to do it is because she will qualify for public servicer loan forgiveness after 120 payments, so in the meantime we’re keeping the payments as low as possible. Otherwise I think it would be cheaper for us to bite the bullet, file jointly and make the full payments.

    • Check out forgivemystudentdebt (dot) org. They have a lot of information about repayment plans, public service loan forgiveness and how to use the Consumer protection bureau’s student debt branch to help you with your debt issues. It is seriously worth it to investigate and can save you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.

    • Income based repayment is ONLY for federal loans. If you have federal loans, there are plenty of options for you, don’t panic. Call the servicer and explain your situation and ask what options are available for your situation. If you can, definitely go with income based! It will make it manageable.
      If you have private student loans (I have lots) first try calling the banks and see if they have any options. If you find yourself in my position (“LOL no, you either pay the full amount or you get sent to collections, we don’t have to offer different repayment plans and we won’t”) start looking into consolidating the private loans through a lender that DOES offer some kind of repayment option (graduated or income based are both good for starting off paying them back).

      • Thanks for the info on the private student loans, eggs – I’ve never had success with lowering mine but I may look into the option of consolidating them through a lender that does offer other options.

        • Yeah I have had exactly zero options other than pay the monthly amount that’s due from day 1, but I do know people who have had good success in consolidating through companies that offer lower payment amounts spread out over a longer period of time. Since I *can* make it work for myself (thankfully now without the second job I held for two years) I’m not considering it because it’ll all be over in 2022 for me. But if I couldn’t pay them I’d definitely be looking into it.

    • Just curious. Would anyone else – knowing what they know now – have made the decision to attend a different college over the one they did based on student loan debt?

      • That’s such a hard question – I’ve pondered it many times, but honestly I can’t imagine how different my whole life would be, not just my debt load, if I had gone somewhere else for college and/or grad school. Hind sight is 20/20 and all that, but I don’t know if knowing what I do now, I would make different choices in terms of my education.

      • I think about this some times when I’m paying off my huge monthly law school loan payments. But I still wouldn’t change that decision, mainly that all the good things in my adult life (moving to DC, meeting my best friend, meeting my husband) stemmed from that choice. And I wouldn’t change the life I had now. I’m lucky that I went to public university for undergrad so at least I don’t have even more compounded debt.

        • I was very fortunate to pay off my student loans through housing appreciation and well-paying jobs. And I can’t really say that I’d have done things differently, since I met my wife through a friend from school. But holy cow, I think back to six figures of debt 18 years ago, and just shudder at the potential for catastrophe. If the personal things could stay the same, I’d have chosen a different course in a heartbeat.

      • Haha, I wouldn’t have gone to graduate school at all! I would have had two bachelor’s degrees debt-free and would have been perfectly fine!

      • I think about this all the time. I think that I’d have chosen to attend the school I transferred to/graduated from at the start and skipped the two years of state school. Everyone said to go to the state school for a couple years to save money, but no one ever explained to me what went into transferring. I went from a quarter school system to a semester system, therefore losing the vast majority of my credits (with the exception of two classes that we could argue the credit hours could combine and subject matter would fit one class at the semester school). It was a horrible huge waste of money and caused me to do an additional 3 1/2 years at the semester school instead of 2. THAT is where most of my debt is from, is having to redo so much.

        • However, I am so glad that I had that time at the state school. I made so many wonderful friends, joined my sorority, and generally got to experience a “real, traditional” school versus the private school I transferred to for the better degree.

        • eggs, this is exactly what happened to my uncle, though, to his detriment, he did it more than once. He has a PhD and it took him something like 25 years and marrying into a rich family to pay his off.

      • My student loan debt is from my time in the UK… I chose to go there in large part because (at the time) it was cheaper than in-state tuition at the University of Maryland. However, I didn’t finish my degree program, which is a big regret. I wouldn’t change much if I had to do it over, but knowing what I know now has really put a speed bump in my plans. Twice now I’ve applied and been accepted to universities to finish my bachelor’s only to withdraw when the idea of even more student loan debt just became overwhelming. As much as I’d love to continue my education, I have three little people who will be needing that sooner rather than later.

        • Honestly this and the fact that I don’t really know what I would go to grad school FOR has kept me from furthering my education. I did want to go to law school in my younger years and I am SO glad I didn’t do that. I only have a bachelor’s degree, but not having any debt is such an amazing feeling that I cannot imagine going into debt to get a master’s degree.

      • I think about this a lot. I went back to grad school fairly soon after undergrad with no real idea of the long-term implications of the amount I borrowed. I would have looked into part-time options rather than borrow the absurd sum of money …and definitely budgeted much better. See first sentence–young and foolish…

      • Yes I would have skipped grad school, which included two different master’s programs – one I completed, the second which I completed only one of three years …. or at the very least would have not gone to state schools as an out of state student – I knew the schools I wanted to attend, so I could have (in theory) moved to their state, gotten residency and then applied.
        Ironically, my debt is mostly from my two state schools grad school years; my undergrad was at an expensive private school, but they had the resources to offer me a lot of grants. At the later schools, it was more and more loans.

        And – full disclosure here – I will say I haven’t managed my loans very well. Getting deferments (while back in school, or unemployed) is helpful but makes the earlier loans last longer, and ultimately more expensive, regardless of how big they were at first. And beyond that, the process of payments and falling behind and getting a forbearance to catch up also makes them bigger and more expensive. Although I appreciated the deferments and forbearances, in my case they might have been too easy to get, and therefore to rely on, which was not a smart choice of mine.

        At this point, I consider the loans to be eternal. I won’t say how old they are, or I am, but I will say that all of the loans are from the 20th century. And even now, I would not be surprised if they outlive me.

        (It doesn’t help to reflect that I am not working in any of the fields I got my education in. I even think that my master’s degree has sometimes been a hindrance in job hunting; I think it has ‘over qualified’ me for some jobs, and since it’s in a field that people don’t really recognize it doesn’t even win me ‘at least you’re well educated’ points. It has come off the resume more than once…)

        Live and learn.

        • I’m with you. How ironic is it that public schools end up costing MORE than private schools, since private schools have the resources to offer actual scholarships and grants rather than just loans? This is something that isn’t talked about enough – I always tell people to apply to private schools and see what financial aid they’ll give you before writing them off as too expensive.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Yes indeed. I was, in this specific context, fortunate to have parents with very low incomes (far under the limit for Pell grants; Pell grants are too small to pay for anything themselves but that’s not the point). I attended what at the time was the most expensive private university in the country, and because of need-based scholarships, the final cost to me ended up actually being less that I would have had to pay at the (New York) state schools that I also applied to, even after factoring in their need-based aid.

          • This is where I wish I had more guidance as a teen. I ended up being deemed an “independent student” because of my parents’ financial situation and probably would have been in the same boat. But, young, dumb and headstrong, I wanted to go to Europe!

          • HaileUnlikely — I was in exactly the same situation for my undergrad, and it was the only time I have ever been grateful to be low-income. I don’t know how middle class families with multiple kids manage.

          • Same here, my debt would be much less if I hadn’t been paying out of state rates. I know people who deferred their admittance to the next year in order to gain residency and that’s what I should have done. Ironically I ended up staying and working for that state’s government for 2 years after graduating as a “non-resident.”

          • @FridayGirl
            My parents’ income was juuuuuuust above that limit so I never qualified for need-based aid (so I got nothing at the state school) but could qualify for merit-based aid (which state schools offer less of than private schools). My parents didn’t help me at all with college costs, though, which is what drives me nuts about the way they determine who gets aid and who doesn’t. They don’t consider medical bills, credit card bills, cost of living, etc. when determining your need – only parents’ income, that’s it. According to the FAFSA, I should have been fine and my parents should have been paying for my college, but since that just wasn’t the reality, I’m now six figures in student loan debt since I had to take out loans for all of it. (I did work all throughout my 5.5 years of college but come on…a job calling alumni every weeknight or working retail at $7/hour is not going to pay enough to cover rent.)

          • LOL eggs, I did the same thing! Student Calling Center…woof don’t miss that. Although I did meet one of my best friends working there and we had some good times. I was middle class and my parents helped put three of us through college by taking out some parent plus loans themselves (which I didn’t know then and now feel bad about) and we had some loans ourselves. Very small amount and paid off through government service. I have to say I was very lucky that my dad went through college costs with me (explained that Northeastern would result in A LOT more in loans than a Virginia state school LOL) and he also filled out the FAFSA for me EVERY YEAR! I try to pay him back at Christmas, bday, and father’s day, but hopefully I can really give back to them one day.

      • Quotia Zelda

        I was very lucky that I had only modest loans for my private undergrad – I went to college in the dark ages when it cost less than half what it does now. I would absolutely do it again. I loved my undergrad experience so much. (oh, and I met Mr. Zelda). Doing it now at the current cost, though? Not so much.

        Grad school was “fully funded,” which meant tuition and a stipend that was not enough to live on, even in a loooooooow cost city. Thank God I had a gainfully employed spouse to support me.

        We’re currently thinking about this question from the parental end, with one child in college and one starting in 1.5 years. They will have to take on some debt, but I’m hoping we can limit it to a modest amount. This cuts a lot of super pricey schools out of the running, which does not please starry-eyed Middle Zelda.

        • I’m already concerned about this. Growing up, it was always made very clear that after 18 I was on my own (my older brother and I also had to start paying rent as soon as we turned 18, which for both of us was while we were still in HS). This was not intended to be mean in anyway, it’s just that both of my parents were on their own at 18 and they felt that the best way to learn to fly was just to toss the birds out the nest. However, I really don’t want to do this with my own kids. Since it is highly doubtful their father will contribute, that leaves it up to me. I have absolutely no clue how I will make that happen!

        • “Grad school was ‘fully funded,’ which meant tuition and a stipend that was not enough to live on, even in a loooooooow cost city.” Same here, except that I was in the D.C. area. I think 75% of my stipend went toward rent in what was supposedly “subsidized” graduate student housing.
          I am soooo glad I got out of grad school after a few years rather than going all the way through for the Ph.D.

      • I don’t regret it. It’s hard to imagine how different my life would be had I not left my home state to go away for school. I see my student debt as the priced I paid for those experiences. I’ve been lucky that I’ve been able to find work in my field and I’m able to make my payments. Things were hard at first, but I learned how to budget and I managed. Although sometimes I think about how I would have been able to save for a house by now if I didn’t have to pay so much towards my loans.

      • I also think about this a lot. I don’t regret the degree, or loans, but at the time my ex-husband and I were basically maxing at my loans and living off them. In hindsight, that was a really bad idea, among many many others during that time in my life. My loans are from my masters degree at a private university (phd was paid for), and are over 10 years old. I’ve taken advantage of consolidations and deferments and income based repayment, which has helped because I honestly couldn’t have really paid them at the time. But, now, I make too much money for IBR and so am shelling out >$600/month, which makes me ill whenever I think of it and how that money could be used to buy a house and many other things. But, I’m in public loan forgiveness and only have….6 more years left to pay :/ Fortunately, because of being on the IBR for 4ish years I will still have a significant balance forgiven

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rant: A series of stressful dreams has me feeling tired and out-of-sorts.
    Rant: Sinus headache.
    Rave: Getting a lot done at work today.
    Rant: That’s pretty much it for raves today.

    • Quotia Zelda

      Oh wait, I forgot a big Rave: King cake season starts today! My mother has already confirmed that there will be 2, even though Carnival season is short this year.

      • oh man! When I lived in Philly, my next-door neighbor was from Louisiana and shared her many, many King Cakes with me – now I want one so bad!

      • where can one get a king cake in DC?

        • Some people will tell you you can’t. They’ll say all kinds of unkind things about local offerings. The one genuine NOLA king cake I ever had was dry and flavorless, but obviously, for some people, the name/origin matters more than the quality.
          I like Le Caprice’s. But they’re in my neighborhood and I haven’t really tried others.

        • justinbc

          From the Bayou Bakery FB page (I have not tasted it to opine on quality):
          “Today is King’s Day and that means Christmas has ended and Mardi Gras celebrations begin! There is a reason we sell KING CAKES – ‪#‎New‬ Orleans native David Guas has been eating them for 40 years and he makes the real deal- The BB original – brioche filled with Creole Cream Cheese. Get yours NOW!”

  • Rant: Woke up at 3:30 am because the cat had another bout of diarrhea. Cleaned up shit in the middle of the night. Locked her in the bathroom and tried to go back to sleep. Other cat woke me up with her non-stop pestering for food. Got about a grand total of 4 hours of sleep. I hate everything. I love my cats, but holy moses I hate them today.
    Rave: Work event continues to shape up nicely except for…
    Rant: …kits we were going to give out have been delayed by midwest flooding and FedEx is now saying they won’t be delivered until after the event is done 🙁 super bummed about this.

    • Same morning as you. Cat barfed in the wee hours, then nuzzled and nibbled my ears and rubbed his face all over me and burrowed in the covers to find my hand to bite until I finally got up to feed him. Brat.

      • Ugh. My sympathies. But yeah, I’d still prefer barf than the other end of things! oh god so gross! Now I have to disinfect everything AGAIN! and do more wash! Seriously considering leaving half day and working from home so that I can do laundry while I work, and keep an eye on the little stinker.

    • Can you give cats small amounts of pepto like you can dogs?

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rave: Happy King Cake season!

    • So I had King Cake for the first time, that I know of, at a holiday party- and I don’t get the big rave. It tasted like a cinnabon.

      • Quotia Zelda

        How nice for you.

      • I’ve never had King Cake but I love Cinnabon…so that sounds amazing.

      • Emmaleigh504

        Part of the appeal is that you can only eat them Epiphany through Mardi Gras (the king cake police will lock you up). There are also a about a bazillion different flavors. My dad likes the plain ones, which sounds like what you had. They are good, but the filled ones are the oyster’s eyebrows!

    • Quotia Zelda

      Also, I learned that Tastee, which has Makenzie’s recipes, makes a king cake out of buttermilk drops. Am intrigued.

      • Emmaleigh504

        Oh man, I love Makenzie’s buttermilk drops…must that! I once had a Tastee donut king cake that was pretty amazing.

    • Please no! My pants are already a bit tight from the holidays. I lived and worked in New Orleans for a few years and king cake season was brutal. There was a fresh one in the office almost every day!

    • I Dont Get It

      Stop it Ms. Fried Bell Pepper Rings!

  • Rant – Red line was so jacked up this morning. Also the lady “singing” off-key church hymns at the top of her lungs on a packed train did not help. Then we were offloaded because people kept crowded the doors. Yay.
    Rave – Uber.
    Rant – Missed a few days of Couch to 5k because of my cough/sore throat thing and the cold weather. Hope it doesn’t affect my progress.
    Rave – On week 5 of Couch to 5K!!

  • Revel: my school is able to provide winter coats for kids who don’t have them
    Revel: with testing underway, I’m happy with the gains my babies are making!

  • Rave: Husband in town, roommate out of town. Feels like our own place again 🙂
    Rave: His excitement to be back in DC makes me happy. And also a little sad, since NYC is where we’re headed in the long term.
    Rant: Had a contentious, difficult meeting at the end of the work day yesterday.
    Rave: Was told by two senior colleagues that I handled myself well in the face of conflict and that I was very effective and professional.

  • Pablo Raw

    Rave: Staying positive and optimistic.
    Rantve: The tragic comedy of the Oregon standoff.
    Rant: Now it’s getting cold
    Rave: Finding new inspiration in some aspects of photography
    Rant: Finding zero inspiration in other aspects of photography

    • as far as the photos go i find that it happens…
      sometimes i have little to no drive to shoot & other times i cant get enough
      i suggest you just explore whatever it is you are enjoying now, that is unless you MUST do the shooting you have no new inspiration in

  • Rant: The motion sensor flood light went out on our house. It’s a newer light and we tried switching the bulb, checked all the switches, etc. Any other ideas?
    Rave: So sunny lately, but so cold. Why couldn’t it have been this sunny when it was warmer!

    • HaileUnlikely

      A few really dumb questions for you to consider: Is it connected to a switch inside of the house that somebody might not realize is for this light and switched it off? If not (not on switch or switch is definitely ON), is there a little switch on the motion detector itself to just have the thing always ON rather than motion-detecting? If so, turn it on and see if the light comes on. If not, is there a setting for the sensitivity of the detector? If so, turn it all the way up (more sensitive than you probably want) and see if it comes on.
      Is the light on the same electrical circuit as other stuff? Is that other stuff working? If not on circuit with other stuff, if you’re comfortable doing so, I’d open up the box (at the switch if applicable, or at the light if there is no switch) and check it with a voltmeter or a non-contact voltage tester. If no voltage is detected, you’ve found your problem. If you detect voltage, there is probably an electrical problem in the motion detector box itself. That blows, but they go bad sometimes. You probably need to replace it (you can just replace the motion detector, but honestly, it would be easier and not much more expensive to just replace the whole fixture).
      Finally, if you do verify that it is switched on and receiving power and just not working, is it in an area where it is directly exposed to rain? Although I believe these things are supposed to be weatherproof, I’ve had one in an area that is exposed to rain that has failed multiple times, and another of the same model under an overhang and thus not exposed to rain and it has been fine. I suspect that it is not as weatherproof as it claims to be and that moisture gets inside of it and damages some of the internal electronics.
      Finally, if you’re not comfortable messing around with wiring or just don’t want to, there is a brand called “Mr. Beams” that makes pretty legit battery operated motion detector LED lights. I do not have their ourdoor motion detector floodlight (available at HomeDepot and on Amazon), but I have lots of other products of theirs and they have all been great, with impressive battery life too.

      • Excellent troubleshooting tips. I had a motion-detector light replaced… and realized afterward that it was (probably) a case of the switch being switched off. (I am not usually that foolish, but this was a rather tricky case where accessing the indoor switch was difficult because of the way the basement had been finished.)

    • HaileUnlikely

      One final thing: I have one outdoor light that bugs love to fly into. They fly right into the socket and die there. When enough little gnat/little flying whateverbug carcasses build up in the socket, the light ceases to work. When that happens I take the bulb out, blast it with one of those air sprayer things that people use to blow gunk out of computer keyboards, put the bulb back in, and it works again.

      • Checked all the switches including the motion detector (which was already set to the highest level). Yeah, we were thinking we need to check the line. It’s not in a spot where rain could hit it all really unless the rain was completely horizontal and even then not much would hit it. Interesting–maybe we’ll look into Mr. Beams! We were thinking of just trying a new light and seeing if that works. Thanks for all the ideas!!

        • I need to replace an exterior motion-sensing light but got overwhelmed with the 60,000 choices on Amazon. Any exact recommendations that people are happy with? Cost is not a big issue since I expect it to work for ten years.

          • I don’t remember the model number I have, but it was one from a much smaller number of choices at Home Depot. IIRC, the main differences among the models were whether the lights were spotlights or regular-looking lights, and their range in terms of degrees (how wide of a “view”) and distance (from how many feet away the light gets triggered).
            I think mine was either $19.99 or $29.99.

  • Rant: Seem to have the gross cold/sore throat thing going around. Ugh.
    Rave: Sniffled and sneezed my way through assembling an Ikea dresser last night. I’m getting better at this.
    Rave: Got and accepted my top choice summer. Hopefully I’ll work directly with the office I interviewed with since they are doing some very exciting work.
    Rant: Now to find housing in NY for two months and I’m extremely picky about neighborhood.
    Rave: Will be house-sitting for a professor for five weeks this semester. Thrilled to be getting a break from the dorm.

    • Do you know anyone in NYC? One of my best friends lives there and he’s had the best deal on rent in Manhattan for the past 3 years. He would have never found it had it not been for the friend that was living in it!

      • Good idea. I have a lot of friends up there so I’ll start asking around about sublets. Another law school also sublets their student apartments during the summer to students from other law schools so that may be an easy option. I need something furnished which kind of freaks me out since I have an extreme fear of bed bugs.

  • topscallop

    Rave: Promotion and raise are officially approved!
    Rant: after three months of waiting, and the pay bump is not retroactive
    Rave: on the bright side, it’s a good raise
    Rant: it doesn’t kick in until the end of this month
    Rant: head cold is making me stuffy
    Rave: so happy with my SO. it will be tough to be apart on this upcoming and long work trip, although it will take me to much warmer climates, which doesn’t suck!

  • Rant: Headache. Third one in a week. Please go away, headache. I can’t.
    Rant: Work is incredibly busy today.
    Rave: Work is incredibly busy today.
    Rave: Two more days until the weekend. I can’t wait to go home and rest tonight.

  • Rant: I had to be the one to send the email to external stakeholders that a beloved colleague died. I can see the responses coming in and I can’t bear to go to my in box.
    Rave: binge watched Master of None on my sick day yesterday. It was really great, though I have some qualms with the last episode. I also started Making a Murder and that is addictive. Thanks for the Netflix password, Mom!
    Rave: Philip’s Shoe Repair. They are seriously the nicest people and do great work. Philip is having eye surgery next week though, so they’ll be closed for a few weeks. I hope all goes well!
    Rave: fleece onesie.

  • RAVE: There was some sort of quirk with Copa Airlines yesterday. Managed to snag $125 RT flights to Guatemala for the first weekend in March for us. Should be awesome!
    RANT: My scooter was towed away today. It’s a complete loss due to some jerks trying to steal it on Xmas night and making it totally un-driveable due to the damage. I’ll miss it.
    RAVE: The scooter was old and beat-up. I’m happy to get a payout from insurance and look for deals on a new Vespa. 😀

  • I Dont Get It

    Rave: This delicious quinoa, barley, kale and cranberry salad with Italian dressing that I made from offerings on the salad bar today.
    Rave: I know you pronounced it kwinoa when you first saw that word a few years ago.
    Rant: I’ve bitten my lower lip several times while eating. WTH?
    Rant: Tension at work and at home.
    Rant: Customers (internal) who throw things over the wall at the last minute with requests from their vendors. Sure let me press the E-Z Instant Interface button for you!

    • I Dont Get It

      Rant: That delicious salad didn’t satiate my hunger very long so
      Rave: I bought a slice of meatloaf that
      Rant: Was very rubbery and
      Rant: I bit my bottom lip several times again.

  • Rave: It’s going to warm up for the weekend!
    Rant: I am fostering an adult cat for the next few months, and while he and my pets got along swimmingly during their “initial meet and greet/interview,” now they are fighting like . . . cats and dogs. Who knew cats and dogs could be so deceptive???

  • Test post to see if everything is working properly…

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