Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

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Photo by PoPville flickr user kristenstake

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.

157 Comment

  • rave: 10 lbs down! 4 to go to my initial goal! WOOOOOO!

  • justinbc

    Rant: Growing increasingly agitated with my current property management company, about ready to switch. Anyone currently using Nest DC? Do you like them? Considering switching over to them.
    Reminder: PoPville reader HH tomorrow @ Barcelona.

    • I used Nest for a few things – tenant screening, which they were fantastic at, and briefly they managed the property and they were fine – I had no issues and ended up moving away and selling the condo (as has been hashed out here). I worked with Tyler on a few things and he’s great. They managed to get me a lot more rent than I thought we could get for our 11th St property and were helpful in my Dupont property when my tenants wanted to break their lease early. Hope that helps.

    • Have you looked into rent the district?

  • Rave: The President’s final State of the Union Address. Well done and inspiring. It’s really starting to hit me that his time in office is almost over. On a side note, it is my dream to attend The Correspondents Dinner and the KenCen honors. Got figure out how to get in this year!

    Rant: I’m supposed to attend a networking event out in McLean tonight. I’m semi tempted to bail. Long ride out to McLean during rush hour and in the cold? However the event could yield some good contacts so i’m going to try to suck it up.

    • I went to Kennedy Center Honors back in the 90’s…it was grand. A friend’s family was on the list for tickets every year, so I was a happy recipient one year. Makes it really fun to watch them every year. Oh, we also got momentos–at that point, it didn’t really classify as swag, but might be different now.

  • Anyone have any recommendations for things to do or places to eat in Austin, TX? I’ll be there for the first time in a few weeks. I hear how incredible the food is, but am a bit overwhelmed in planning my meals! I want to be sure I don’t miss out an any “must eats” 🙂

  • Rave: We’re having a baby! Soooo excited
    Rant: Yikes, the child care discussion yesterday scared me. Wish there was a way to have a better conversation about reasonably priced child care that didn’t boil down to “pay $30k/year” or “one parent has to quit work and stay at home”

    • Congrats! And don’t worry, there’s no way childcare for one infant is going to run you 30K a year.

    • Nanny share was our solution, and it was one of the better child-related decisions we made. Still not cheap, but a little less than daycare, and much more flexible.

    • Oh, and congratulations! Fun times ahead. More than could have anticipated, myself.

    • Congratulations!!

    • Congrats! And unfortunately, those really are the options. A nanny share an be great, but it’s not without its own drama. Our nanny share was more expensive than day care, but I wasn’t comfortable putting my child in day care. DC’s overtime laws are strong, so if you have a nanny share, do what you can to stick to 40 hours. Our nanny was amazing. I miss her every day. But she knew her worth and it was NOT cheap, but what she did with the kids was remarkable – they went everywhere and did everything. Also, a PT nanny share was perfect for us. Having my child with a younger baby a few days a week gave him a good balance of socialization and individual attention. Good luck!

      • also, I am happy to chat offline about childcare strategies – I had SERIOUS trouble finding solid care, had a fire a neglectful nanny ect. So I’ve been around the DC childcare block if you need any help or a good nanny contract template. But don’t worry about it yet – enjoy this time! And they are tiny for such a short period of time, it’s easy to wish it away or rush through it.

    • Congrats!!!

    • Congratulations!
      As for daycare prices–they often drop as the kids get older and the child-teacher ratio increases. (more kids/teacher in case I said the wrong direction) At my kids’ day care, the tuition difference between the infant room (through 12 months) and the preschool room (just shy of 3 & up) is nearly $500/month. I didn’t see the childcare discussion yesterday, but I hope that’s at least a little bit helpful.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rave: Thanks, Popville book group for tolerating my late arrival! I’m planning to send next month’s book selection out this week so y’all can start reading.
    Rant: Poor Eldest Zelda has had a rough week.
    Rave: KING CAKE waiting on our doorstep when I got home last night!

    • Can you tell me more about the book club? I’ve been interested in joining one as an escape from my grad school reading.

  • Rave: We ate at Eats Place last night, great cozy space with friendly vibe.

    Rant: I can’t believe we waited so long to go.

  • Rave: Popville book club last night! So many great reading suggestions came out of it, and it was wonderful to read and discuss something out of my normal realm of reading.
    Rant: Not enough sleep. Went home and watched the taped SOTU while literally pulling out white hairs (something I’m going to have to stop doing eventually…it’s like a nervous tick) and before I knew it it was midnight.
    Rant: Not adjusting well to accounterings new schedule, but this will be the worst of it.
    Rave: He seems to be loving it and really thriving!
    Rant/rave: Doctor today for the back. I’m becoming less and less impressed with the lack of advice from my primary care – and he’s the gateway to every other treatment.

  • Rave: Had a nice dinner with my mom’s old bff in Old Town, and took home lots of leftovers! Hooray for not having to cook for the rest of the work week between these leftovers and my huge batch of soup!
    Rant: Can I just stay in bed all day, please? How do you know when it’s time to take a mental health day? Don’t want to waste time off, but I could really use a day of nothingness and sleeping.
    Question – I think I missed justinbc’s last head-count, who all is going to the HH at Barcelona? It is inside, right? Debating how much cold I want to brave!

    • I should be going. And I think tomorrow is supposed to be a bit warmer than today at least…

    • justinbc

      They have inside and outside has turbo heat lamps + big fire pit. I was aiming for somewhere with outdoor heat, because some people like the bundled up feeling, but if it’s exceptionally cold I’m sure we’ll stick to the indoors. There have been about 10-15 different folks respond over the various days I’ve posted reminders / polls.

    • When you want to stay in bed all day, I think that’s usually a good indication that it is time to take a mental health day!

      • … I’ve thought that too, but then I realize that there’s at least a few of us (myself included) who would probably end up taking half the year off.

    • I’m going. I do hope we can sit outside. As long as the heaters are up at roasting level I actually love drinking al fresco in the winter.

    • That One Guy

      This morning I too wanted to just stay in my warm bed.
      .
      I’ve wanted to check out Barcelona for a while so I may stop by.

    • I hope to be there, depending on how my sickly dog is doing.

  • Rant: Upstairs neighbors playing piano at 11:30 at night again. Oh upstairs neighbors, were you raised in a barn?
    Rant: Tired and moving very slowly this morning.
    Rave: I had a long chat with my best friend last night, and she’s coming to visit in two weeks. Lot of fun time planned with friends in the next few weeks.

    • We finally got our upstairs neighbor to stop playing saxophone/drums/guitar at 11+ pm on weeknights. He was surprised we had issues with it. What the heck, people… He tried likening it to someone with a screaming baby as just something you have to put up with. Um, no.

      • Can I ask what you did that was finally successful in getting him to stop playing at late hours? We’ve tried the polite note under the door and the stopping by when it is very LOUD and very late at night — neither approach has been effective.

        • We kept calling the front desk on him (and other people did as well, the front desk said they got lots of complaints about them) and I think they threatened to kick them out. =/ When we talked to him, the guy did say he thought it was reasonable to stop late at night, he just sometimes “got carried away” and didn’t realize it would be a problem…

      • What… Ok, screaming babies can’t help themselves. Like, is he claiming to be caught by the playing spirit? He got into a thing and has to keep going? Ugh. Artists sometimes. I hate it when creative people try to defend shitty behavior with the artist temperament excuse.

      • My old neighbors had two toddlers. New neighbors play guitar and sing. Badly. I’d take the toddlers over the guitars any day.

  • Rave: Had a great time meeting everyone at Popville Bookclub last night and finally worked up the courage to come up with a user name and start posting.
    Rant: Forgot my lunch so will have to venture out in the cold later.
    Rave? Lunch was going to be fairly dreary leftovers, so hopefully the replacement will be tastier!

  • Rant: Having a hard time securing some DC-based necessities for our spring gala. Working with congressional offices can be super annoying, but also explaining how unimportant we are in their eyes to my boss…not easy!
    Rant: So sleep deprived. This will definitely make losing weight harder.
    Rave: Got my powerball tickets.
    Rant: Just gave $20 to the lottery authority and I’ll win nothing

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: I really need to go shopping for some new work pants.
    Rave: book club last night. It’s fun to see everyone!

  • I Dont Get It

    Rave: Talked to my father last night and he has had no adverse reactions to the drug he is taking for his bone cancer and said he feels great!!! He was also excited when I told him my sister and I are taking him and his wife to the Florida Aquarium next week. Didn’t tell him about the penguins yet!
    Rave: Later I got a call from my late mother’s cousin and his wife to wish me a Happy Birfday. He is the youngest and last surviving of her cousins that she grew up with in a very close extended family. It was a fun call and reminded me that I have so few relatives and that I need to keep in better touch with them.
    Rave: Ran into someone who works here, who yelled across the cafeteria “Happy Birfday” (damn you Facebook!!!). I had not chatted with her in a while and discovered that she is leaving to join the Presidential Innovation Fellows. Very impressive company based upon the current group and I’m so proud of her!!!!!
    Rave: Has anyone had problems using chipped debit cards in Metro machines? I’ve been declined every time I try ,four times in three stations and I definitely have the money and the card works before and after elsewhere. I’ve filed a complaint but…! This is probably a rant but this is an all rave day!!! Yes I am channeling my inner 12 year old girl and overusing exclamation points today!!!!!!!!

  • Rave: PoPville book club last night. Good discussion, and great to see familiar faces (MPinDC, Quotia Zelda, Emmaleigh504, Andie, Hammers, Allison) and meet new people (UDPie and Bookaholic Anonymous).
    .
    Rant: Like Bookaholic Anonymous, I forgot to bring lunch today and will have to venture out in the bitter cold as a result.
    .
    Rave: Unofficial PoPville happy hour tomorrow!

  • That photo reeeally makes me want a grapefruit…
    Rant: Really discouraged about dating.
    Related rant: Why do I just keep getting 21-year-old olds at random events I’m at interested in me?! I know I look really young, but still, I’m 27 and it’s a little weird. Argh.

    • Because you look really young? I think you answered your own question lol
      What about some different types of events which may steer toward an older crowd

      • It’s been at work related/networking events, they’ve usually been interns and it’s a mix of ages. I’ve just had a weird run of it happening this past year and a half or so heh.

        • The flip side of that coin is looking really young and having only MUCH older guys approaching you with that fact as a lead in. Trust me, it can always be worse. 🙂

          • Ugh that is true, shortly after I graduated college I had a couple instances of middle aged men trying to chat me up and then asking “So, you in high school?” The 21-year-olds are definitely preferable!

          • At 31 I still get random strangers saying “So, are you a college student?” Haha, I’ve just learned to embrace it.

        • It is because it is at work events. People your age generally keep the discussion to business, so even if they were interested, you likely wouldn’t know it. The younger folks haven’t decided what their tolerance for crossing work with life is yet.

    • Ugh I sympathize, people always assume I’m 5-10 years younger than I really am. It can be difficult for both dating and professional situations!

  • Rant: this fear of being fired at the end of the year is really doing a number on my mental health

    • If you think you’re going to be fired for cause, a better use of that energy is fixing your problems in the meantime. If you know you’re working to improve, you’ll have to less reason to worry about being fired.

    • Hang in there, SC!

    • A therapist once helped me by asking me “What’s the worst thing that will happen?” I would imagine for you, that would mean you would have to find another job, right? Thinking of it in those terms versus just focusing on being fired might help reduce your stress. You’re qualified and in a region that needs teachers. You will have options. Will they be exactly what you want? Maybe not. But to me, getting another job sounds a lot less scary than being unemployed. Fingers crossed for you that it doesn’t come to that!

      • The problem is that I’ll have to check the box that says I’ve been denied renewal. I don’t know how difficult it would be to overcome that. But I am doing my very best to stay afloat

    • I’ve had the feeling I was going to get fired before. It turned out I got laid off instead, but it sucked. The uncertainty sucked. But, I got through it. To be perfectly honest, I hated the company, really did not like the people I worked with, and it was probably the best thing in the long run. To the point where I almost emailed the person who laid me off to thank them when I got the position I’m in now.
      Look at it this way. If your contract is not renewed, you can go elsewhere. You have a skill that is in high demand, period. Funny thing, I just had a conversation with a teacher at my kids school about how freaking hard it is to teach in that certain County because his wife used to teach there (if I’m right about where I think you teach).
      Just hang in there a little longer. But start looking now. Get out of that district and in someplace better.

    • I have to tell you, I love your user name. Thank you for the smile 🙂

  • Rave: Got to talk about the fun (vacation) parts of my Ethiopia trip with coworkers yesterday, and it’s making me really excited!
    Rant: Still can’t run. It’s been almost 6 months and my stress fracture in my lower leg (right above my ankle) is still bothering me if I run more than a mile or so. This is seriously impeding both my ability to start training for my half marathon in May (and hopefully the Marine Corps Marathon in October, which is a long way off I know), but is also impeding my mental health as running is a form of stress relief for me.
    Rave: Wedding this weekend with college friends I haven’t seen in a while!
    Rant: The wedding could be awkward since the groom had a falling out with the friend who was supposed to be the best man. The no-longer-best-man is coming to the wedding, but I don’t think they’ve patched things up. Here’s hoping it turns out ok and that they remember they were best friends.

    • How did you diagnose your stress fracture? I’ve got very persistent shin splints and am worried about stress fractures.

  • Rave: Late telework breakfast of hot chocolate and cinnamon toast.
    Rave: Cooking creamy red lentils for lunch, maybe some corn bread, too.
    Rave: It’s all about the food today.

  • hammers

    Rant: My cat just will not let me sleep. I got him in May and he wakes me up every night. I’m so tired today, I think I might have to leave work early!
    Rave: Book Club was awesome. So much fun!!

    • Oh no! What’s he doing that he won’t let you sleep? I may have some suggestions….

      • hammers

        just meowing ouside of my bedroom door. He seems to always want attention, but he is very loud when in the room too. I’m in a 1br so there isn’t really anywhere else he can go.

        • Maybe try a white-noise app or a fan to (try to) drown out the meowing?

        • I have a white noise machine so I can sleep through my dog liking himself or rearranging his position in the middle of the night.
          It’s not the silver bullet, but it helps. Maybe combining that with a heated bed or something that’s more exciting than you petting him, might tip the scales and keep him from seeking attention at night.

        • I also use white noise– just a small fan– to smooth out the cat noises from the other side of the door. And the occasional hollering from the street, and the neighbors’ parties…

    • Ack, oh no. 🙁 My old, mostly deaf cat apparently keeps my parents up every night unless they lock him in our lounge (with a comfy bed, food and water) so they can’t hear him at night. I wish I had suggestions, but hopefully something works out/he stops soon…

    • How old is the cat? For young cats (kittens to under 2) it may be just a phase. Vigorous play sessions will help–definitely right before you go to bed but also before you leave for work in the morning and right when you get home as well. When my elderly cat started caterwauling every night, I took him in for a check-up and it turned out he had a thyroid problem. Once he had been on the medication for a while, he calmed back down.

      • This was pretty much what I was going to suggest. My kitties have grown out of the “wake me up for no reason” stage, for the most part (unless they’re really hungry for some reason), now they’re pretty content, especially if it’s cold out, to continue sleeping with me on / under the covers. But try tiring him out before bed with lots of active play, some available food and water, and see if that helps. Also, a specific “other” bed, if he’s not allowed in the bed with you, may help (though I haven’t been able to get either of my cats to use the nice cozy bed I got them! Only my bed will suffice! Or sleeping on top of a suitcase if one happens to be out!)

      • hammers

        that’s a good idea. I know he just wants a ton of attention. He is a young cat- he doesn’t always seem interested when I want to play; he just wants to run around and chase “ghosts.” I’ve been meaning to pick up some new exciting toys so I’ll prioritize that today.

    • A kitty friend might help (assuming he doesn’t dislike other cats), but I know that’s a big commitment to take on, especially in a small apartment.
      .
      Maybe you could call PetMAC’s D.C. location and ask them if you could bring him onsite to see how he does with the cats who live there (Homeward Trails rescues awaiting adoption)? If he likes other cats, then you could consider adopting another cat. If he doesn’t, maybe increase his playtime quotient?

      • hammers

        I have been thinking about another cat for sure- just not sure I’m ready for it yet.

        • Homeward Trails, and I think most rescue groups, can work with you to find the right kitty companion for your “wild thing.” And having 2 is definitely better as they keep each other entertained & tired out. And it really is not much more work. Most of the kittens & cats are in foster homes, so their temperament is well known. They will also do a trial adoption, so you have 2 weeks to see if they get along.

  • Bear

    Rant: This GD cold has put me on my ass, I’ve had the worst sinus headache all week, which makes it hard to look at a screen. I have so much to get done this week, it’s the worst timing possible!
    Rave: At least today I don’t feel like someone hit me across the face with a baseball bat? Baby steps…

  • Rant: Probably need a root canal. Should it really cost $2000.00? Has anyone had one lately? What did you pay?

    • Yep. Dental insurance sucks. Does the dentist have a payment plan?

      • Dental insurance doesn’t suck – it simply does not exist for the self-employed! I can tap the HELOC to pay, it’s just a huge unexpected $$$ hit. Also, if I wasn’t leaving in a month for a scuba/sailing/cycling trip, I could just wait and see. There’s nothing acute, just a high probability.

      • There’s a popular misconception that insurance exists to cover every penny of your expenses and make you whole. And dental insurance isn’t even so much insurance as it is a buyers club.

        • This. Dental Insurance may “suck” in relation to most health insurance, but that’s because it’s treated completely differently. Oh, and for the record, the worst I ever had was a Dental Reimbursement Plan. Pay out of pocket for everything, and cross your fingers and hope to get reimbursed for something.

    • Have you looked into having it done at a dental school?

      • This is often good advice with dental care, but maybe not for a root canal. The procedure can easily destroy the tooth if done incorrectly.

    • I had one recently, and it was about that much. Sorry.

    • This was a couple years back now, but I think even with good dental insurance I paid $900ish for a root canal. Dental work is expensive.

    • “Medical tourism” might be an option — not sure what flight costs are like right now, but you might be able to fly to Thailand, have a little vacation, AND get a root canal for what the root canal alone would cost here.

  • Rant: toddler has pink eye.
    Rave: at least it’s my last week of leave rather than first week back
    Rave: even though I couldn’t make it to book club, I really enjoyed the book! Hope you all enjoyed the discussion!

      • Allison

        “Shades of Milk and Honey” by Mary Robinette Kowal. (It’s like Jane Austen, but with art-magic.) Overall reviews were mixed.

        • There was definitely heavy borrowing from Austen. It didn’t feel like high-quality literature, but it ultimately managed to suck me in even if the end was somewhat predictable. I found it to be a fun read.

          • Definitely a pastiche of Austen, particularly “Sense and Sensibility” and “Pride and Prejudice.” And a disappointing one, IMO.
            .
            But I entertained myself a bit playing “Figure out which Austen characters this character is a composite of!”

  • anonymouse_dianne

    Sorry not to make it to book club. I started reading the book and just couldn’t get into it. Sounds like a great turnout and I missed that. I’ll try to make it next time!

  • Rave: Boston was fun, and I love how the conferences for my field feel like summer camp.
    Rant: Still have to work a full 5 day week after the conference. I’m running on empty and now feel like I’m coming down with that cold everyone has.

  • Rant – Dog woke me up at 3am and insisted on coming up on our bed. She’s usually not allowed on the bed, but we felt bad for her since she hasn’t been feeling well and has been extra clingy lately.
    Rave – I got my Couch to 5K run in last night just before the snow came through. Really enjoyed watching the snow fall from the comfort of my living room.

  • Rant/Rave: My class last night that I didn’t have much hope for really puts how nice work is in comparison into perspective. The semester needs to be over, and I need to really never see my university ever again. I wish I could somehow set my brain down on the Dean’s desk and tell him I want to return my “knowledge” and get my money back.

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