Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user washingtonydc

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.

147 Comment

  • Rant: People shooting and beating up strangers.

  • Rant: political drama at work with senior-ups. I now have like 5 bosses.
    Rave: Europe next week!
    Rant: really have to stop eating breads. Im pre-diabetic, and my doctor told me to moderate intake, so its not like Im saying this because Im trying an en vogue diet. I just really like bread 🙁

    • Regarding your second rant, a friend of mine came back as pre-diabetic (high fasting A1C levels) and made a commitment to change her diet. She really didn’t restrict too much, just committed to smaller portions, and increased her activity level. She ended up losing over 50 lbs in about a year, and said yesterday that her A1C levels were now well within norm. What’s great about knowing you are pre-diabetic or even diagnosed with Type II, is that you have the control to change that. It sucks, and for some people, it will be harder than others, particularly when genetics and other pre-existing conditions are involved, but you really do have the opportunity to take control. Good luck 🙂

      • Awesome – thanks for the encouragement! I feel fortunate that I don’t have too much weight to lose (15-20 lbs). Now I need to introduce some dietary changes and ramp up my exercise, and will feel better. It just seems daunting at the outset 🙂

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Horrible dream where I had a newborn baby and kept losing it.
    Rave: I do not have a newborn to lose.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Bonus rant: I’ve had the J G Wentworth jingle stuck in my head for days. 877 Cash Now ugh

    • Classic anxiety dream, along with losing your teeth, or the diamond falling out of your engagement ring.
      I once dreamed that I had a pet chicken, and at some point, I put it in a cage in the basement and forgot about it. When I found it again, it was still alive, just sitting there in the dark looking at me. Fucked me up for WEEKS.

      • Emmaleigh504

        I’m hoping to never have this dream again and stick with the brakes giving out on my car anxiety dream.

      • I had at least one dream involving forgotten cats in a basement. (This was years before I actually had a cat.) It was really, really disturbing.
        Nowadays my cat-related dreams typically involve my cat having somehow gotten loose and I’m trying to find her.

        • Sometimes I wake up and my one cat is so incredibly still in a deep sleep that I start poking her to wake her up. When she continues sleeping, I start freaking out thinking she’s dead. I’ve had to literally shake her awake before! It scares the beejesus out of me when I’m half-asleep like that and I’m convinced the cat is dead.

          • I had one of those moments this weekend, and I swear I lost a year off my life in panic. She’s old, and I worry. Cat not moving doesn’t help my anxiety.

          • Emmaleigh504

            I’m always poking my cat in my sleep to make sure she’s not dead, and she’s relatively young. I just worry.

          • My cat is both elderly and deaf–he always looks incredibly startled and then incredibly peeved when I interrupt his naps to make sure he’s still alive!

          • Emmaleigh504

            I’m glad I’m not the only one who does a cat death check.

          • haha! me too, Emmaleigh! Always nice to know I’m not the only one with particular quirks!

          • When my cat was still new to me, there was one time where she was lying on my bed and when I touched her, she felt cool to the touch.
            I had a moment of panic before she twitched an ear or something and I had confirmation that she was alive. 🙂

  • Rant: Random “security checks” at the Petworth metro this morning. What does this charade actually accomplish besides making it look like MPD is actually doing something? Theatre of the absurd.
    Rave: I love my family. They always know how to encourage me and help me keep going.
    Rant: Bizarre dreams and a crappy night sleep.
    Rave: Work is (*knock wood*) quiet today. No loud phone conversations or anything, it’s lovely!

  • Rant: Up every hour of the night. I am so tired.
    Rant: Dealing with challenging personalities.
    Rave: My lovely partner has more than picked up his fair share of work on the homefront. He’s awesome.
    Rave: Yoga last night. It kicked my butt, in a good way.

  • Rave: Only one wake-up last night! Fingers crossed that dropping dairy will help lead to more easy nights.
    Rave: Father in law’s PET scan looked really good. Still going to do a total of 6 treatments, but that’s only one more after the one he’s finishing up today. He’s doing well enough to be talking about plans for visiting this spring!
    Rave: While he can kind of drive me bonkers, I’m really really thrilled for him to spend time with my kids, especially since he hasn’t met the baby yet.
    Rave: Lots of good advice on the dairy substitutes from facebook and random friends yesterday. Now I’m a little overwhelmed but it’s good to have as a resource if we determine that dairy is, indeed, the issue.
    Happy Wednesday all 🙂

    • Last night my freezer reminded me that coconut milk ice cream is really good. Excellent way to ease into dairy-free 🙂

    • And on the plus side as well, the dairy-alternative products have gotten comparatively much more palatable in recent years, especially the cheese products. Still can’t eat them plain, but very good for putting a cheesy-flavor where you might put melted cheddar or parmesan.

      • Interesting. I’m very very suspicious of fake cheese, but willing to explore.

      • +1. I’m not a big fan of the processed cheeses that claim to be good for melting — I’m looking at you, Daiya — but there are some newer brands like Kite Hill that make nut milk “cheeses” that are pretty great for eating plain (not melted). Homemade cashew “cheese” can also be a great stand-in for ricotta or goat cheese and I actually like nutritional yeast on popcorn more than I like parmesan. I think if you experiment a bit, you’ll find some cheese-y options you really like.

        • Nutritional yeast? I’ve never heard of that. I’ll check it out.

          • The Braggs brand is really good! And I almost forgot to mention the non-dairy yogurts. I find the almond milk-based ones to be the tastiest and Kite Hill makes a good version, There was an amazing brand called Amande that always sold out quickly, then stopped production temporarily, but I think they’re back up and running now on the east coast. If you can find Amande, definitely try it if you want a good non-dairy yogurt!

          • Good tips, thanks!

  • Rave: Birthday Broadway viewing of Noises Off and dinner out with my husband. So ready to relax and laugh hysterically at such an awesome production.
    Rant: Trying hard to not focus on my return to DC tomorrow and the husband leaving on another overseas work trip in a terrible time zone.
    Rave: Really sweet thoughtful birthday gift from my best buddy (the one who has been going through hell with anxiety, panic, and other mental health issues) – made me sob because it’s the most she’s been outside of herself in a looooong time.
    Rave: Prepping a writing and reading weekend. Have lots of writing and reading to do and I’m thinking I’m going to find the best places for writing and reading this weekend and get down to it.

    • So intrigued by “prepping a writing and reading weekend.” I have so many things I want to write, but since they’re not for work and hence have no deadline, I never get to them. Any tips for a productive writing weekend? And what does the prepping entail?

  • Rant: I start mandatory training today at work. 2 hours out of my day for the next 5 weeks, plus having to study at home. I am already crapping myself trying to figure out how I will be able to keep up with my work load, and knowing that my colleague is planning on putting in her two week’s soon and that I will be absorbing her workload soon enough is giving me major anxiety.
    Rave: Actually looking forward to the class, and the studying, and even the mandatory exam. I’m hoping that this will be a good test of if I can handle these types of courses again.
    Rant: I called a realtor yesterday regarding viewing a rental property this weekend; he seemed to be actively trying to steer me away from the property (“oh, you’re moving from DC? Are you SURE you want to live in x place? I mean, we are talking COUNTRY…. Are you sure you like old houses? I know how you all from DC like your granite counter tops.”), then he was asking a lot of what I considered to be prying questions. I just want to look at the effing property. How will I know if it will work for me if I haven’t seen it other than in on-line pictures?
    Rave: Going to view the property on Saturday. We think it’s the one.
    ??: Me? A country girl!?!?

    • can i ask where you’re looking? is it outside baltimore? signed, potential country girl who works in baltimore

      • We’re looking in northern Harford County, and are even considering the Hereford Zone in Baltimore County… i.e. my neighbors will be cows. lol.

  • Pablo Raw

    Rant: A pain in the neck. Literally.
    Rave: Portraits. After years of doing photography I’m not just finding that portraits is what I enjoy the most doing, but I’m also finding a style that I like.

  • Rave: puppy cam. It’s so cute to see my puppy curled up and sleeping.
    Rant: puppy cam. It’s so sad and frustrating to see my puppy be sad and lonely. She’s just under 4 months, and housebreaking has come along pretty well, but she still gets a little whiny every now and again when she wakes up and realizes she’s alone. It doesn’t usually last long, like maybe 1-2 minutes of whining and trying to get out, then she settles down for a while, and the pattern may repeat itself once or twice in the morning and again in the afternoon (she’s taken care of at lunch). I’ve tried calming treats, and busy treats, and they delay it but again, once she realizes she’s alone she gets upset. I’m hoping a few more weeks and she will get it. Fortunately, none of my neighbors have mentioned it bothering them.
    Rave: My puppy is awesome.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rant: Feeling so worn down today.
    Rant: Keeping track of the kids’ schedules is going to be the death of me. Trying to figure out how I’m going to fit Youngest Zelda’s swimming lessons into the mix.

  • Rant: I joined Class Pass, but it just isn’t lighting a fire under me the way RideDC used to.
    Rave: I think it’s the nostalgia at this point, but I love watching the dog show. The announcers have been doing it since I was a kid and it has a sort of home-y feel to it. I was rooting for the Samoyed or the GSD, but I’m still happy with the German Short Haired Pointer’s win. Anything but the Shih tzu.
    Rave? Rant? Potential Adventure?: just booked flights to transport my nieces to visit my parents on my own. This may have been a terrible mistake. Should I buy those backpacks with leashes on them? It’s two girls, one is practically five the other is two and a half and she’ll spend the whole time asking where my dog is and then chastising me for not bringing him.

    • Emmaleigh504

      “she’ll spend the whole time asking where my dog is and then chastising me for not bringing him.” adorable

    • I just joined ClassPass as well – can I ask your thoughts on it? I like it so far but it seems like a lot of the choices are in the far burbs and for living in DC that doesn’t work. Also, so many barre classes. I like barre, but I was hoping for more classes to try.

    • Try Coach G Fitness’ Sweat DC class. It’s on Saturday’s at the Wonder Bread Factory building and was a great workout with a live DJ. I almost puked. Damn burpees mixed with booze.

      • Thanks for the tip!
        So far I’ve just tried spin classes, though i definitely want to try out some other strength training classes. I do have a gym at my office that I frequent, but I like varied and teacher lead sessions to get my butt in gear.

    • LOL – no leashes, please for the love of god, no leashes. I did this once with the oldest when he was around 2… he would run and then get to the end of the leash and fall…. funny, but not my best parenting moment! You’ll be fine. Pro-tip: Empower the older one by telling her you need her to be a great big sister and help you keep an eye on the little one. Tell her she has to hold her hand at all times while you are in the airport (with you holding the other so the little one is occupied and in the middle). It’s amazing how kids respond to a little bit of responsibility.

      • Thanks for the tips! The older one has really been excited about ways to help mommy lately, so ways to help Aunt Jeslett might be good too.
        Also, my sister is couching this trip as a very special privilege, one which requires excellent behavior.
        Question though: how do I go to the bathroom?

      • I think the leash thing depends on the kid. I doubt the 5yo needs one, especially if she’s not a runner. The 2yo only needs it if she’s a runner, but having the 5yo help by always holding her hand will help immensely. Will you have a stroller with you? That can also help with the 2yo. I’m not wholly anti-leash (have used one in the past), but have found that for my daughter it’s only been necessary in crowded areas at ages when she was less likely to follow instructions. So–yes for 15 months old at the state fair or 18 months at the car show, but a year later we don’t really need it.

        • +1 to all this. I think a lot of non-parents don’t realize that leashes are unnecessary on the majority of kids, and that for the few kids who need them, they REALLY NEED THEM. But even the impulse-impaired kids who will dash into traffic if you take your eyes off them rarely need to be leashed for more than a few months. Like mtpresident said, 15 months can be a scary time if you have a runner.
          People like to bash parents who leash their toddlers, but I see it as an acceptance of the reality, a necessary precaution, and a sign of a good parent. It’s not like the parent enjoys getting the stinkeye from the childless, or from parents who got a different kind of kid.

          • I agree.
            I was mostly joking about the leash thing. I am a little worried about them going in two different directions, but hopefully we can keep it together.
            I am going to get them special toys for the plane and maybe even special shirts to make it an even bigger deal.

          • I think you’re in good shape if the 5yo is looking to be helpful. And Anonamom’s suggestion of all holding hands with the 2yo in the middle sounds excellent. Or a stroller could be useful as well (also to help manage carry-on luggage). I imagine your sister will have a good sense for what you’ll need to keep everyone nearby & accounted for. It’s not a long flight, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble entertaining them. I hope it’s direct? Depending on what the girls enjoy, we’ve had success with Melissa & Doug reusable sticker books, magnetic white boards with dry erase markers & magnets, pipe cleaners (bonus if the package gives you ideas for how to make various animals, etc with them)–basically activities that are flat and/or small and easily fit into a back pack. In the airport, watching the planes can even be an activity. Worse comes to worse, you can pay the absurd fee for wifi on the flight to entertain with youtube videos with various kids songs on your phone. But I think the other types of activities will be enough for such a short flight.
            Another tip: have dum dum lollipops on hand in case the change in pressure hurts their ears. It’s a nice treat & also encourages sucking to relieve the pressure. I WAY overbought for our last cross-country flight, so let me know if you’d like me to just give you some. We have hundreds of them in our pantry.

          • I use lollipops as cough drops for kids, because hard candy terrifies me. I’m so sure they’re going to suck one down their windpipe. So I also have the big bag of dumdums hidden away, to be brought out for plane trips and sore throats. 🙂

          • Oh–good call on the sore throat idea! I also use hard candy (for myself) in lieu of cough drops sometimes, so that’s a great idea for kids.

    • I can’t even imagine traveling with my nieces and nephews on a plane! But then again, I hate flying and don’t even like traveling on a plane by myself. You are such a great auntie. A few years ago I babysat my then 3-year old goddaughter for 5 days while her parents were away, and it was one of the most exhausting things I’ve ever done. I love her, but I told her parents wouldn’t watch her for that long again until she’s at least 8 years old.

      • Five days?!?! I could never do that. Points to you for taking that on.
        I think the flight itself will be the easiest part, it’s the ride to the airport, the shuttle, and security that are going to be tricky.

    • I love watching the dog show. I always watched it with my mom growing up. The Golden Retriever yesterday morning (Barbee) is actually my parents’ dogs’ puppy! So that made it extra fun to watch.

    • That One Guy

      It’s always helpful to have a handful of DOG videos on you phone to keep the little ones entertained. Give it a shot when the chastising starts.

  • Rant: I managed to put on navy tights with today’s black dress.
    Rave: My coworkers aren’t the most fashion-aware folks, so it is unlikely anyone will notice.
    Rave: It’s finally a bearable temperature outside so my morning walk to the Metro was a downright pleasant start to my day!

    • I feel you on that rant. I was horrified to realize on my first day of work at a previous job that when choosing my outfit, I had mistaken something black for something brown, and as a result I was wearing some color combination like black, brown, and red.
      It was not an auspicious start to the job.

    • I have been told that this is much less faux pas than it once was! Ann Taylor was even selling some shirts last year that were blue with black collars and cuffs.

      • I have a dress that’s dark blue with black trim. Somehow it works.
        But if BookaholicAnonymous landed that color combination by accident rather than design, I can see how it could cause some consternation.

        • Textdoc hit the nail on the head. I have a dress that I really love that is a black ground with a multi-color pattern that includes some navy. But today I’m wearing a black dress with a cream and black patterned jacket and navy tights. Not good, but I’m pretty sure no one’s noticed!

  • Rave: Bachelorette party this past weekend, and then another friends engagement last night both went off without a hitch!
    Rave: So awesome to be there for it
    Rant: The two broads that were in my photo
    Rave: Everyone loves love – they just wanted in on the action
    Rave: I THINK I can crop it

  • Rave – we are thinking about getting a kitten or young cat. Our beloved feline passed away at the end of last year, but it feels like time to rejoin the pet ownership ranks.
    Question: Where’s the best place to get a cat in DC these days? Our last cat was a stray from the alley. Before that we went to the DC Shelter on NY Avenue, but that was back in 1998. Are they still ok? I don’t want a purebreed – just a rescue cat that needs a home.

    • anonymouse_dianne

      Well Wash humane (NY ave) and Washington Animal Rescue League are in the process of merging so one and the same. Cats are the hardest to adopt out, because of how you got your last cat. Homeward trails is good, too, they only foster (no shelter). Just find a cat you love!

    • binntp

      Yay for another kitty! The shelters on NY Ave and Georgia Ave are still good options. There’s also Homeward Trails; they often host adoption events at the PetMAC on Wisconsin Ave in Friendship Heights, and usually have a few kitties already wandering around the store who are up for adoption.

    • Rescue groups have healthier kittens than shelters, generally, (because they foster them in homes rather than keeping them in cages, but they require you to jump through many hoops and to sign legally-questionable documents, and I know a lot of people are put off by that. The way you’re treated in your attempt to give a home to a homeless animal all depends on the volunteer who gets your file. Some of them are nice and assume that you’re nice. Some of them assume that you’re going to make kitten pies.
      If you’re on social media, let the internet know that you’re looking. I bet it’s not more than a few weeks before someone who knows someone contacts you about a found kitten.

    • For what it’s worth… many rescue groups will adopt out kittens only in pairs. For adult cats, it depends on the cat’s temperament.
      I adopted a single cat from Homeward Trails and didn’t find the process difficult.

      • saf

        Several friends have adopted cats from Homeward Trails that have been more feral than the rescue was willing to admit. If you go that route, talk to the foster person a lot to make sure the cat is a good match for your family.

  • Rave? Rant? We’re recruiting interns and I answered a few descriptive questions for HR and shot them to my supervisor for a double check and resubmitted to HR for their screening process. Should have re-read my proposed answers before resubmitting in that — along with English, Polic Sci and Business (it’s a communications internship) as majors we’d look for, I added “herpetology” and “medieval languages” to give my team lead a chuckle. HR was quite apologetic that they were not looking for herp med languages majors, but promised to do so in the next cycle. I keep forgetting that I work for the government.

  • topscallop

    Rant: frustrated at work, drank my feelings last night, not feeling so hot this morning
    Rant: not sure how to get out of this rut
    Rave: I’m healthy, have great friends and a great boyfriend, have some vacation coming up, and am generally better off than so many others
    Rant: now I feel ungrateful

  • Rave: Got together with two wonderful friends last night. It was great to catch up with them.

    Rant: I have a friend who is chronically ill. My friends and I try very hard to understand this, and we know that she is unreliable (for better or worse) because of it. I’ll be in her city on Saturday to judge a music competition and suggested that we get together beforehand – she wrongly assumed I meant I’d be hanging out all day (I have other stuff to do here, so: no) I invited her and a few other mutual friends to have dinner with me pre-show (everyone’s attending). She’s now upset that there is limited time to hang out, only a couple of hours, that no one is taking her up on her offer of “Come to my house, I’ll cook for you” and that we’d prefer to eat near the actual venue (because she is known for bailing at the very last second due to “low energy” and we don’t want to count on her because of that. And also because we don’t want to put her out by making her cook for us, when I offered to buy her dinner.) So after a lot of back and forth yesterday she closed with “Well, I’ll have to see how I’m doing, I might have low energy that day” (and so I might be a bitch because she DOES THIS and I find it infuriating). Extremely stressed by this situation, and she’s *very* sensitive about things, so not sure what to do.

    Rave: More dates with this gentleman that I’ve been seeing.

    Rant: Unsure of a future right now. He’s SO nice, and kind and I like that. But not certain if there’s chemistry? Or if it’s my inability to recognize what a healthy relationship actually is?

    • Re: the friend, I think the best response is something like this: “I hope you are feeling well enough that day to make it to dinner even if the concert is too much. It would be lovely to see you and catch up.” Don’t let her emotionally blackmail you into feeling guilty. She may not even be aware she’s doing it, but it certainly appears that way to this outsider.

      • No, that’s exactly what it feels like she’s doing — it feels very manipulative and it’s why most of the people she knows here do not travel to her .

      • As someone who has a chronic illness, I guess I read this differently. I’d be willing to bet that the friend gets the vibe that her friends really don’t believe that she’s not well. The friend likely really wants to see OP, and was trying to figure out the best way to give it a higher likelihood of happening. The scenario laid out here makes a lot of sense as to why OP needs to do the day the way she needs to do the day, but then there seems to be a lot of hard feelings on both sides that the day won’t go as each wishes. This should really be just an example of, OP: I’m sorry I’m so busy this trip and hope to see you, but no hard feelings; Friend: I understand, but I may not be able to make it, can we take it by ear and hopefully meet up, but no hard feelings if not. But it seems like the two friends are feeding off of each other’s hard feelings, and it is likely hard to figure out where it all started.

    • Re. “He’s SO nice, and kind and I like that. But not certain if there’s chemistry? Or if it’s my inability to recognize what a healthy relationship actually is?” — How many dates have you been on?

      • Tomorrow will be the 5th date.

        • Hmm. Carolyn Hax always advises people in this situation to try being friends and seeing if the chemistry develops later… but if this is someone you’ve met on an online dating site, one or both of you might not feel like actively developing a friendship just for the heck of it.
          It’s true that chemistry with someone might not happen immediately. But if you’ve been out together four times, in a situation where you’re _hoping_ for chemistry, and you still don’t “fancy” him (as my British friends would say)… I don’t think it’s going to happen. You can’t will yourself to fancy someone.

    • That One Guy

      Oxytocin is a hellava hormone. No chemistry you say, then get all touchy feely. Instant bonding.

  • Rave – I am reading and loving Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels. It’s been so long since I’ve connected with a book or series like this one. They are making me reflect on my own somewhat complicated relationship with my childhood best friend. There needs to be a book club dedicated to these books because all I want to do is talk about them.
    Rant – I’m not liking my outfit choice today. Also I have a networking happy hour thing to go to later that I’m nervous about, and my poor outfit choice is not helping.

    • Everyone else is probably too worried about what they’re wearing to care what you are… as long as it’s not totally outlandish (think ripped tights or a see-through shirt), then they’re the wrong kind of people anyway. If you’re not dressed up enough, you could also consider briefly stopping at a store on your way home like Forever 21 and trying to find the most sedate-looking piece of jewelry there, or a scarf, or whatever would make you feel more confident/fit in more.

      The books sounds amazing — thanks for the rec!

    • topscallop

      I just read My Beautiful Friend and put a hold on the second in the series. I’m looking forward to continuing the story!

    • I was in an all female book club last year (when I lived in Asia) and we read the series and became OBSESSED with it. I loooooooveeeee all 4, so read em and then lets connect to discuss 😉 [NB: is there a way to get notifications when someone responds to a comment on here?]

      Remembering how fantastic that book club was makes me realize that my current book club is not so hot. It feels more like a high school AP lit class.

  • Rave: So happy with the new place. I think good things will happen here. I’ve already written three poems, which I haven’t done in many years.
    Rant: Work is not doing it for me right now… I’m happy with my job, but am having trouble focusing. What I would really like is a week off to stay at home and decompress. I’ll resolve to figure out how to make that happen.
    Rave: Relations with my ex have drastically improved.
    Rant: Still feeling a desire to be in a relationship, and online dating isn’t clicking, or maybe I just haven’t figured out how to do it in a way that is sustainable and/or works for me. I keep interacting with new people in other ways, but it’s hard to be OK with the more sedate pace of meeting people in real life.

  • This is Awkward

    Rant: Still struggling with the buttoned-up nature of DC versus NYC (recent transplant) and unsure of exactly how to build a social circle here.

    Rave: Seeing the Oh Hello Show tonight with my coworker, another recent transplant. Love me some Nick Kroll.

    Rave: Thank goodness for my awesome coworker, who has happily embraced our defacto best friendship.

    • hammers

      can you describe what you mean by buttoned up?

      • This is Awkward

        Hmmm well I’ve found DC to be more conservative than NYC in several ways, but I’m also very new here so part of that can be that I haven’t explored enough yet or met enough people. At a glance the feeling comes from:
        1) The careerist nature of the city where even 17 year old interns are giving the “what do you do?” eye. 2) The sterility to some of the neighborhoods (I miss street art) and the fact that I’ve really had to seek out particular spots that trend toward more alternative culture folks instead of there being (or me finding) entire neighborhood swaths of said culture/people. 3) A seemingly widespread adoption of what I’d classify under suburbanism- overreactions to minor crime/incidents, high rates of NIMBYism, strict adherence to established rules and mores regardless of effectiveness, high interest in minor “quality of life” issues (neighbors don’t cut their grass enough, neighborhood kids are too loud, not enough parking)

        • Saying (or implying) that NYC is better than DC is not the best way to endear yourself to people in DC.

          • This is Awkward

            I don’t think any normal person-off the internet- would be offended if someone missed their hometown and/or preferred it. The real world is fairly different from the internet, thankfully.

          • I don’t think that’s what she’s trying to do. The two places are different and being new presents the issue of rebuilding the networks that you had.
            TIA- The “what do you do” is ingrained and much maligned. It sucks, but I will say that there are a lot of people here who do diverse and interesting stuff. I’m not sure where you’re living, but just being off the Hill can help interject some different attitudes.
            It’s February and if you haven’t been here long then you haven’t been here in good weather. Spring is probably a better time to really see the culture of neighborhoods because people will actually be outside, lingering more.
            And I totally agree with you on point 3. DC is not as dense as NYC. There are numerous pockets of DC that feel like the ‘burbs and many people want to keep them that way. NIMBYism kills me, so I dabble in Greater Greater Washington (NIMBY haters) or just don’t reading a lot of things that will devolve into “if you don’t like it move to the suburbs!!!” nonsense.

        • I think the “careerist nature” of DC is hard to avoid. There’s lots of street art in DC though and some very cute/cool streets too. Where do you live and where do you venture when you go exploring?

        • palisades

          Yeah those are all unavoidable facets of DC life. Sorry. Not exactly my favorite either. I love DC because I feel like I’m not getting sucked into it. NYC seems like it’s the center of the universe and there’s nowhere else to go. I love travelling to breweries and wineries out in Virginia. My family has a beach house in Chincoteague. Baltimore is a quick train ride away. And so on. You’ll find stuff you love about living here.

        • Don’t pay attention to anon; you’ll also find that there are a portion of people (usually not even from DC – but whatev) who will think poorly of you if you are ALL ABOUT DC ALL THE TIME. These people also frequently live outside of DC proper… like, say Brotonia (Ballston). But of course, I’m sure anon will come back at me with the usual “I do SO live in DC!”…
          I’d say that your issues with DC are pretty spot on. DC is very career-minded. It is rare to meet anyone and not have “so, what do you do?” come up within the first minute of conversation. Also, I agree with your assessment of the neighborhoods… I guess our neighborhoods are far more homogeneous, but that comes from the fact that one, we are a largely planned city, and our neighborhoods are less “villages” – where people lived, worked, did business, ect – and more actual neighborhoods – where people just live. As far as NIMBYism goes, I also agree whole-heartedly with you.
          DC is a great town. There are a lot of great things about it. These three irritants will just never go away, but hopefully you will grow to love all the good things about DC and they will become less important.

        • Agree that the NYC vs DC argument is tired. DC is not NYC and not going to be. However there is much culture to be found in DC. We are an intelligent thriving city. I don’t know what neighborhoods you have been looking because there is street art to be found. Visit U Street. Visit Shaw. You want alternate culture? Check out the Pink Line Project. Keep reading this blog. Join a Meetup. You want art? Longview Gallery, Chaos on F, Transformer are just a few of the many art galleries in this city. DC has an amazing theatre scene. Not just the big theatres like Studio and Shakespeare, but small companies that produce heartfelt work. Look at DC Theater Scene for upcoming shows.

          Pick a neighborhood you haven’t been to and take a walk. Take in what makes that hood unique. Look for people who aren’t like you. I assure you they are there.

        • hammers

          fair. I don’t like DC. I’ve lived here 6 years, and keep trying to figure out why, or how to make that better, so I like to ask people how they view DC. But I will say I found a great group of friends at my local watering hole, and we never talk about careers.

          • +1 I don’t really like DC either. This blog and the associated meet ups made my time in DC much more enjoyable. Volunteering at a couple of DC-based organizations with missions I truly cared about also really helped to instill a sense of city pride.

        • The overreactions to common crime and high interest in minor quality of life issues are typically are new found phenomenons imo.

        • I’m curious where you’re living and hanging out? NYC and DC both have their awesome and terrible aspects, and it can be hard to find a niche in a new place. “What do you do” is a classic DC icebreaker and can be annoying. My wife has a non-“DC power” type job, as do a number of our friends. If anyone is snobbish about it, we know that we would not want to spend time with them anyway.
          I think that (very generally!) there are different crowds in different neighborhoods in the city. We spend a lot of time in Petworth and Brookland and people are generally quite friendly and laid back. I won’t repeat what other folks said, but I encourage you to check out the different neighborhoods and the arts and events info online. Atlas Obscura also has some interesting off-the-beaten path info. There was a post here a while back highlighting what people love about living in DC. I’ll see if I can track it down and hopefully it will give you some inspiration!

    • That One Guy

      Always felt DC was a 9 to 5 town compared to NYC. There’s a different vibe each block and neighborhood you don’t really get in DC.
      That said, once you sort of settle in it’s not all bad.

  • Rant: Kid running around in gangs robbing and beating people up.
    Rant: politics…I’m so sick of it.
    Rant: The irritable side of my depression has reared its ugly head.
    Rave: Get to see my therapist on Friday.
    Rant: Eat too much yesterday.

  • Query: I am debating between two scenarios. Flying in to JFK in early May coming back from Scandinavia. Late-ish arrival on a Sunday night leaves me deciding between catching a midnight Megabus back to DC, or booking the 3:25am Amtrak, and posting up at a bar near Penn Station for a couple hours while waiting for said train. What would you do?

    • This is Awkward

      I’m not sure this is a rant/rave, but happy to give my perspective as a DC’er from NYC.

      I’d go with the amtrak all the way if pricing isn’t an issue. The train will be far more comfortable at an hour when you’re likely to want to relax and sleep, and probably less crowded. You’re also guaranteed to have wifi and an electrical outlet, which you may not on the bus (I always take Peter Pan, which has both-not always in working order though-so I’m not sure about MB). DC’s metro isn’t 24 hours, so if you arrive here in the wee hours after getting off the bus it may not be running or if running you may experience a long wait. Cabs also do not seem to be round the clock at Union Station, so it might be hard to get one at said time. If you take the Amtrak, you’ll arrive at more proper morning time and metro/cabs should be flowing.

      Important note: Busses are at Port Authority, trains are at Penn Station. They are both fairly horrible places to navigate and/or post up. Neither is surrounded by any bars I’d suggest are terribly enjoyable, and I’m not sure how many are open past 2am. I would suggest looking for a well-reviewed all night diner where you could ostensibly hold up for a bit, or even catching an hour or so of Z’s at the airport (those nice loungey chairs are probably going to be available at a late hour!). Good luck!

      • +1 to all of this. If it were me, I’d definitely take Amtrak and look for a place to hang out that isn’t right near the train station. The airport may be your best option, especially if you have a lot of luggage. if you are traveling light, the Ace Hotel is walkable but not terribly closeby, and the lobby could be a nice place to pass a few hours. The Amtrak waiting lounge is also somewhat decent, but I wouldn’t want to spend much time there unless I really had to.

      • All good points…I think the final decision comes down to what will be easiest in terms of transport when arriving in DC, and I’m now leaning towards the Amtrak at 3:30 or just getting a hotel and taking the train in the morning on Monday. Was hoping to be able to make the 11pm train, but with my flight getting in at 9:30, that seems like a stretch that even I’m not willing to gamble.

        Thanks for the input!

        • This is Awkward

          If transit once in DC is one of your major points, you are probably best with Amtrak or waiting until the next morning to leave. Big + to @fka Shawess for recommending the Ace. That, or another “hip” hotel would be a great option. However, they may be more likely to shoo you out in the deserted morning hours (versus a majority of the day/night when the lobbies are full and its impossible to tell randoms from guests from hotel restaurant diners), so if you do opt for that it may be in your interest to just politely ask the front desk person if you can sit down and relax for awhile before your train.

    • Waiting in some crappy diner around Penn Station until 3:25 in the morning is like the last thing I’d want to do after coming home from international travel. I’d take the midnight bus. At least you’ll be on your way home.

      • This is Awkward

        I didn’t suggest that it should be crappy, rather the opposite, and it would probably be more pleasant than OP’s original suggestion of a bar near Penn/Port Authority, which is going to be extra ripe around 1-3am. There are plenty of really nice all night diners in NYC.

        It really depends on how much of a time difference there is and what kind of bus OP is going to take. There are plenty of shitty bus options that I’d say are only going to be all the more awful with the midnight hour crowds. If we’re talking a 1 hour wait, I go with Amtrak. However, if its an extra long wait, then taking a nicer caliber of cross town bus could be a better option.

    • hammers

      I’d 100% get a hotel room and leave on Monday.

    • That One Guy

      You’ll need to take into account the transit time from JFK to downtown NYC.
      Also, you’ll have sat in an airplane for a good number of hours so think about how soon you will want to go to cramped quarters for an extra 3 or 4 hours.

  • Bear

    Major rant: My husband’s ex has really outdone herself. Don’t want to get into the details here, but she never ceases to amaze how shortsighted and petty she can be. Does she not realize that at the end of the day, her son is the one who suffers?
    Related rant: Was so livid last night I could barely sleep, then bungled my way through a senior management meeting this morning.
    Rave: Learned the happy news that a friend is pregnant – she’d had a difficult time conceiving so it’s really exciting!

    • I am just going to say that your rant could be my rant any day of the damn week. My BF’s ex never ceases to amaze me with her selfishness. Sympathies.

      • Bear

        I just don’t understand it. Luckily my stepson is an awesome, well-adjusted kid. I just feel bad for him, because even though he’s young he’s very perceptive – he can tell when crap is going down and gets very worried/anxious. It’s so not fair to him.

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