Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Matt Calvert

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.

159 Comment

  • Rant: Niece just completely changed her soon to be 9 year old’s name. He doesn’t want us to call him his new name because he likes his former name.

    • Why would anyone do that? Is that not expensive for kids like it is for adults? I could understand changing a last name if there was a divorce, etc. but still.

      • In most places it’s about the same as a new (nice) pair of shoes. Maybe it’s a new way of accessorizing.

    • Emmaleigh504

      A lady at work had that happen to her at about the same age. How weird.

    • Just curious, but why?

    • This just seems so unfair to the kid. By that age, one has claimed “ownership” over one’s name. It seems like a cruel power play on behalf of a parent to change it without the kid’s consent/agreement.

      • agreed!

      • Quotia Zelda

        Yeah, this is really pretty disturbing to me. Eldest Zelda wants to change her name, and I’m not exactly happy about it, but it’s her name, so I have to give her that control. That poor kid.

        • Emmaleigh504

          What?! When did this happen?

          • Quotia Zelda

            Oh, it’s really NBD. She wants to flip her first and middle. There are reasons I (er, we) put her names in the order we did, but she doesn’t like it, so okay.

          • My mom, one of her siblings and my grandmother go/went by their middle names.

          • Quotia Zelda

            She goes by her middle name – she just wants it to be her first name.

          • Emmaleigh504

            Whew! I thought she was going to do what Terry did and change her name completely. How does one go about picking a new first name?

        • I have a friend who did this and had an awful time changing her last name when she got married. Apparently you can only do that once before needing a court order to change it again? She just hyphenated when she got married but it’s still officially her maiden name only because she didn’t want to go through the court process.

    • I went to school with a girl whose mother changed her name back and forth several times. I think she was 12 before they settled on one (which wasn’t the original one). She grew up with some issues, poor kid.

    • Comment Artist

      Yikes. If somebody’s doing that to their child, it’s probably minor compared to other things that are probably going on.

  • Rave: the weather!
    Rant: having to miss my book club tonight. But I didn’t have time to finish the book, so it’s probably for the best.
    Rave: It’s March! Time for me to stop being able to focus on anything except basketball.
    Rant: still can’t run much – this stress fracture in my leg is taking FOREVER to heal. I’m worried I won’t be able to train for my half marathon in May.

  • Rave: I love that mural.
    Rant/Rave: I wish it was possible to live in LA without a car. I want my friends back, I want the sun back, I want to find myself again. I think I lost myself somewhere along the way to DC. Maybe I’m ready for this even if it means I have to learn to drive.
    Rant: You’ll all be happy to hear that the boyfriend situation will be sorted out by this weekend. It’s been a slow decent even though I know you all saw it coming… and we can’t do the on-again-off-again thing anymore because that’s ridiculous.
    Rant: I don’t want to date again. I hate going on the first several dates. I don’t understand how some people enjoy it.
    Rave: Once you hit major life milestones like graduating with a new degree, it’s okay to want to run away and just start over, right?

    • Andie302

      Sorry to hear about the guy! That’s a hard place to be in. Don’t beat yourself up. Regarding some sort of transition/way to move forward, may I suggest that you read what you wrote as if someone else wrote it and see what kind of advice you might give them. It’s always easier to advise others, and I hope that this could be insightful for you (and that you don’t just discount your own advice because you’ve thought of it and ruled it out). This may be the week/weekend to treat yourself if at all possible!

    • maxwell smart

      former LA resident here: You can live in LA without a car. That’s not to say it’s not without some concessions and some planning, but it can be done. You’ll probably want to limit the work-live-social activity radius or live near a metro line (yes LA has them!) and otherwise get around by bike. The weather in LA is very bike friendly (sunshine! no rain!) and it’s becoming increasingly more bike friendly. I think they even have a bike share system coming. I had a friend who ran a blog documenting her experience in LA without a car (until she moved to Portland): http://livinginlawithoutacar.blogspot.com/

      • Thanks! This actually just lifted my spirits. I went to college in LA but was out in the ‘burbs so it was car-or-nothing. But my best friends (who have all remained in LA) have moved closer to downtown. So actually, its good to hear that perhaps all is not lost without a car and I could figure it out with some planning… and with public transportation, I assume it wouldn’t be too hard to find places to meet them if I were to move back and work there. I will take a look at your friend’s blog. Thanks πŸ™‚

        • And really, learning to drive wouldn’t be that big of a deal anyway. I always had the mindset that it’s a necessary skill for everyone to have – what happens in an emergency when the person you’re with needs you to drive them to the hospital? I can totally understand not wanting to drive in LA, though, that sounds awful. But maybe having the backup plan of knowing how to wouldn’t be the end of the world and would give you some extra confidence to move back out to LA if you want to – I think there are private driving programs/schools around here that you could look into!

          • I think if I did go that route, I’d just learn to drive in LA figuring then I wouldn’t have a problem driving anywhere else! But in all honesty, up until I’ve gotten settled with a job, etc, it’s been a matter of not being able to afford license + lessons + insurance + possibly a car.

      • maxwell smart

        Indeed it is. I used to live in Highland Park (which sadly is now THE place to live and has been overrun with hipsters… say la vie) and used to commute downtown via bike and metro. I will say this – I have another friend who just moved back to LA and rents have gotten way more expensive, especially downtown and areas adjacent. Granted, DC is no bargain but I think all of the NY transplants brought their NY rent with them.

        • Ugh at the rent. That’s been the one thing I lucked out on in DC for the past year.

          • I also had a friend who lived in LA for ten years and I am pretty sure he didn’t have a car at all during that time. He used the bus system a lot. In fact, we rode the bus when I visited and it wasn’t too bad! Re: rent, I feel like you can always find a decent/affordable place if you look hard enough and have the connections. I have a friend in Manhattan and his rent is a steal! Are you from LA? I think at the end of the day most people are happiest where they’re from. I’ve had a lot of friends move out of DC the past few years, not because they didn’t like it, but because they missed home!

          • I’m not from LA originally (I’m from a pretty small town in NY that has no jobs, so that’s not an option). But since my family-like-friends are there, I’d say LA is as close to home as I’ll get in the future. DC has been (mostly) kind to me but I’ve been here for three years now and have never really felt settled. Plus I’ll probably take a trip out to the Best Coast this summer so I suppose I can use that time to start thinking of possible job/living situations.

          • Yes, you can find cheap rent anywhere (though the friend in Manhattan with cheap rent probably has a rent controlled or rent stabilized unit) BUT rents near good public transit will tend to be higher than many places that are drive only. There’s usually a trade off there. There’s also the questions of easy access to things like laundromats if you need one, dry cleaners, grocery and other stores, and restaurants which become more important when you don’t have a car.

            One should know how to drive even if one doesn’t have a car, as noted above. Even if you just drive friends cars on trips or rental cars occasionally or when on vacation. Like it is also good to know how to drive a manual even if you never do, for when you vacation in places where that is more common.

            Kind of how I feel like I should learn how to shoot a gun, in case I ever need to, even though I never want to own one or even be around them, just a something useful to know in an emergency.

    • Anonynon

      From what it sounds like you should definitely considering moving out of DC, I mean what is keeping you here?

      • Aside from school until this summer, absolutely nothing.

        • maxwell smart

          If recent posts commiserating about WMATA are any indication, you are feeling the same level of disenfranchisement I am feeling about DC these days.

    • Yes, no reason not to move – new degree and so new job hunting is a fine time, and getting a new job elsewhere first can make moving go so much smoother (easier to rent a new place with a job.) It can also give you a burst of energy to work on establishing yourself in a new place, in a good way.

      As to dating, while the social culture can feel different in different places, I think that “wherever you go, there you are” applies – meaning you bring your own stuff with you wherever you go. Have long realized that dating issues, who I choose to go out with, who I stay with when I shouldn’t, comes from my own internal stuff. And that does follow me wherever I move. Not a reason not to move, though, just a reason to not expect much different. But moving to a new place and a new job can be a great impetus to try to make changes in yourself and what you do, or put up with.

    • That One Guy

      Sounds like you need to crank up California Dreamin’.

  • Rave: Super Tuesday, I think we know who the most likely nominees for each party will be but its still going to be a fun night. I reckon Carson drops out after tonight, Kasich will wait until Ohio. Sanders will drag things on a bit more.
    Rant: In the middle of wedding planning, honeymoon planning, putting my condo on the market AND finding a new home. Am trying to get my carpet cleaned. It’s berber carpeting, so if it weren’t of a different material I could just rent the rug doctor for a few bucks and clean it myself. But I’m not trying to screw it up, anyone know of any decent carpet cleaning services? Was going to go w/Stanley Steamer, but I figured I’d try for a local chain first and see if I could get a decent quote

  • The mural picture is right outside where my first DC job was. Man… you know you work at a messed up place when people are surprised you’re still there after 3 months.
    Rave: I’m at a much better job and I’ve been here for over a year!
    Rave: And, going to the movies tonight

    • Yeah, that is messed up. Been there with a slight twist, more than once – when everybody you meet at work lets you know they feel sorry for you because of who you work for. Similar because you realize that means no one, not even you, will last long in the position.

  • Rant: the brawl at the corner of Quincy & Georgia Ave that happened around 5:30 yesterday. Teenagers taking cell phone videos and egging on the violence. I called it in to 911 but didn’t wait around to see if the cops showed up as it was a nasty scene.

    • yikes! Glad I missed that!

    • I interrupted a girl fight in my neighborhood (Potomac Ave area) recently while on a run. Sad to see the cell phones were out… videotaping. I told them to cut it out, one of the girls was pissed and wanted to take me on until she saw me calling 911. I was pretty sure that if I didn’t call 911 they would just resume when I left. Hate to see this.

  • Bear

    Rave: getting started on my 5-year plan by going to an introductory workshop on starting your own business. Hoping it’s useful!
    Rave: taking the rest of the day off afterwards and I can’t decide what do do! I’ll be inWheaton without a car so my options are somewhat limited.

  • Rave: Sunshine! Beautiful bike ride into work this morning and looking forward to an evening at the barn.
    Rant: Tech issues at a presentation this morning meant a underwhelming, frustrating start to the day.
    Rave: Good colleagues who are positive and supportive.
    Rant: Time zones and electronic communication are rough. And disruptive. Husband is still on the other side of the world.
    Rave: He returns Friday. It feels so far away…

    • I’m totally with you on your last rant. Hang in there this week!

      • Thanks – you too! It’s a little bit easier with the sunshine and nice weather but still… one going to bed while the other starts their day is rough for communication and closeness.

  • Rant: Toddler has pneumonia. It sucks for all of us.
    Rave: She is recovering well (although a little slowly), and she is generally in a pretty good mood. I am admittedly acquiescing to her pint-sized tyrant demands a little more than I otherwise would because she is sick.
    Rave: The staff at Children’s Hospital. I am really grateful to have that resource just 10 minutes away. We have needed it a number of times in her short life, and I absolutely do not take it for granted.
    Rave: Incredibly thankful to have a job that is flexible and understanding about needing time off/working from home considering she can’t go back to daycare until Thursday.

    • So sorry to hear about the pneumonia! That sounds really scary. I can definitely understand being more flexible during sick periods. We do the same–though trying to avoid saying no in the first place rather than being more likely to give in to protests after saying no, in order to have the “no” response continue to stick. I hope she’s feeling better soon!

      • We do the same with the protests. Whatever I say no to, I stick to it and redirect. My acquiescing when she is this sick is more concerned with letting her eat more of what she wants just so she gets some food in her, and letting her watch a little more TV than normal. The TV thing can help with my sanity as well. Sometimes I just need a break, and it helps with her taking the nebulizer (a totally fun thing to try to give to a very active toddler).

        • Totally makes sense. Ugh on needing the nebulizer & TV is definitely helpful distraction for it. Also good for helping the active toddler (who may not realize how much rest she needs) get some extra rest. Our daughter is also super active & only slows down when really not feeling well, so I know where you’re coming from πŸ™‚

    • Spent a week in ICU at Children’s with a toddler with pneumonia +1000 of their staff. AMAZING!!
      FYI – in case no one told you, for the next year your child will be more prone to respiratory infections and they will last longer, be prepared. Here’s to a quick recovery!

      • Thanks for the tip! They actually didn’t mention that, but I think it is probably because she is already in that “more prone” category. She was a preemie and has pre-existing lung issues as a result, so this is unfortunately not our first rodeo. I hope your little one didn’t have any additional lasting effects from the pneumonia. It is definitely scary!

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: have to do work for a super creepy guy today. Not an auspicious start to the day or month.
    Rave: more travel books on Sweden arrived. Can not wait to go back!

  • Rave: Thanks to the person who recommended aloe before bed for the unending itching. That helped.
    Rave: It took many years, but I really have mastered pan fried pork chops. Delicious.
    Rant: Feeling terribly unmotivated to do work.

  • Rant: Idiot on my job refusing to use my name. Keeps calling me “dumb little country girl” instead of my name cause he found out I’m from a small town in the Alabama. There are a few names I’d like to call him…..but I don’t want to get fired.
    Rave: the weather yesterday and today.
    Rant: cold weather coming back at the end of the week.
    Rant: Sinus pressure last night.
    Rave: Finished big report at work. Took a lot of time and effort. Glad it’s finished.

    • So you can’t call him anything but he can call you dumb little country girl? The double standards man…

    • Calling a coworker “dumb [anything]” is totally inappropriate, and he should know this.
      .
      Does he report to the same boss as you do?

      • No. We are in different units but the office space we are in is small so I run into him and folks from his unit everyday.

    • I’m sorry, say what?? That is wrong and abusive on several levels, and you should not put up with it. Run, do not walk, to the most senior person you can find and file a complaint. Unacceptable. Do not let this abusive asshole continue to get away with it. It’s a pretty safe bet that you are not the first person he has belittled. But you can be the last.

      • +1000 go to your boss, HR, his boss, anyone!! Don’t put up with that, you do NOT deserve it.

        • As the daughter of a former HR director, I have to advice you that you’ve got to say something to him first. Even if it’s just a light “hey, not cool.” or “wow, that was mean” or “not appropriate.” The first thing HR will ask is if you’ve spoken to him and tell you to do that first.

          Yes, my mom was an oversharer. πŸ™‚ Oh, the things I knew about her coworkers.

          • oops, advise.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Reasonable if talking about shoes or hairdo or something, absurd if talking about calling somebody “dumb [fill in the blank].”

          • Accountering

            I think it is reasonable to say one quick thing to let him know you don’t appreciate, and then go to HR. Even just a “please don’t call me that again” would suffice. If he persists at that point, he deserves to be canned. This is so inappropriate!

          • Totally agree with this comment – going directly to higher levels without directly addressing it with him could end badly for both of you. And I mean directly, like, “I get that you may mean no ill will, but please do not call me by anything but my name, E.”. If he makes a problem about it, go higher.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Serious question: is there a line beyond you believe it would be legitimate to go straight to a supervisor or HR without checking the “talked to him first” box? Racial slurs? Comments about sexual orientation? Although I don’t know where that line is, I’m reasonably confident that it exists and that calling somebody “dumb country girl” is on the wrong side of it.

          • In my opinion, no need to say please; please has an asking quality.
            “I need you to stop calling me dumb country girl. My name is x”
            — and please (yes, asking) don’t smile when you say this

          • Agreed with MPinDC. I’d try something like, “That’s not appropriate. You need to call me [name].”
            .
            And if/when he tries to laugh it off and says he was “just joking,” say again: “It’s not appropriate.”

          • I actually enjoy saying things to people that say inappropriate things at work. Obviously YMMV, but it’s always been successful as well. First, they’ve been incredibly embarrassed in the moment (helps to call them in front of others) and secondly, I’ve always received a personal apology from the offender.

          • Haile: racial, orientation epithets, grossly sexual comments, or out of work harassment (co-worker got your address and showed up at your house uninvited)….things that couldn’t be misconstrued by the offending party.
            I don’t think this rises to that level, so telling him to stop first seems reasonable.

          • I also wear an HR hat sometimes, and I think that the level of hostility involved in calling a colleague “dumb”, even before you exacerbate it with the “little girl” (and you all know my feelings on that), excuses you from needing to address it with the offender before escalating. In 2016, there is no way to laugh off calling someone dumb. “Little girl” elevates it to harassment of a protected class, if you want to go that direction. (And you may not.)
            But do be aware: HR exists to protect the company. Where your interests and the company’s interests conflict, you’ll lose. Make sure that it’s the company against the asshole, not against you. Pay attention and see if he treats anyone else badly. Document.

          • HaileUnlikely

            I completely agree that telling them to stop is plenty reasonable, but I disagree that reporting somebody who calls you dumb [fill in the blank] without first speaking to them is unreasonable. How about if he were calling her something more unambiguously degrading but that is not related to membership in a protected class, e.g., “trailer trash.” Is it legitimate to report somebody for calling you “trailer trash” without having a conversation with the offender first?

          • Yes, in the vein of its not something you could misconstrue. Dumb little country girl could be there, but I’m putting that more in the country bumpkin camp than the trailer trash, whore, etc camp. Op should do what feels best, but sitting back and taking it wouldn’t be the best thing no matter the path she uses to get to hr.

          • Demeaning women by a statement like this is just as wrong, and just as illegal, as statements regarding race or sexual orientation. We’re just so used to putting up with it as women, and seeing women demeaned, that we don’t see it that way.

          • +1 to anon. And it won’t stop until someone makes it stop. Which makes things unfortunately hard on the victim, who might already be feeling vulnerable. All the more important for witnesses to this kind of treatment to step up.

      • +1. File a complaint! That is completely unacceptable behavior.

      • Agreed, that’s ridiculous. He calls you this on a regular basis? I mean, once in the heat of the moment is too often, but it’s astonishing to me that someone think’s it’s OK to consistently act this way. Unless you have the most dysfunctional workplace imaginable, a common supervisor will put a stop to this immediately.

        • Yep. On the regular. He says it in a teasing way and laughs afterward. I think he’s trying to intentionally make me angry.

          • Well, he succeeded in making me angry, and I don’t even know you. Unbelievable.
            [As an aside, I’m going to guess he’s a Trump supporter?]

      • Has anyone else heard him say it to you? I can’t imagine being okay with hearing one of my coworkers say that someone else.

        • +1000. I would have called them out immediately myself if I was a bystander to this. So unprofessional.

          • Some folks just don’t give a damn. A couple actually think it’s funny and tease me a little afterwards.

        • Do you go to work with middle schoolers? Wow, what a hostile workplace!

          • I used to work in a group where I was the youngest and most junior by far, but my coworkers would make fun of others who weren’t there. They even had demeaning names for some people. The VP was one of the worst offenders.
            I didn’t feel comfortable speaking up, which I very much regret to this day. I’d like to think that had they said those names to the people about which they were talking, I would have said something. I just got out of there when I got the chance and I still feel icky about it.

    • Do not put up with your coworkers shit. Run, don’t walk to HR

    • I would say, “is that supposed to be funny?”

      This has worked for me with assholes.

  • Rant: Keep forgetting my phone at home & having to run back for it.
    Rave: At least I’ve been remembering within a block of my house?
    Rant: Even when mornings go smoothly, they are still somewhat exhausting.
    Rave: Better sleep with fewer wake-ups last night.
    Rant: Baby’s congestion seems to be transitioning into a yucky-sounding cough. This was a long-lingering cold for his big sister, so I hope that it doesn’t linger as badly for him!
    Rave/Rant: Baby is much more aware of the outside world & loves to check it out. But it means that he doesn’t sleep as much. Which would be fine, except then he gets overtired and cranky. Oh well, like everything else, it should be a phase.

    • On your first rant & rave – I literally have to pat myself down just before I go out the door, checking one last time for phone/wallet/keys/ID/Smartrip… it sounds infantile, even to me, but every time I think “Eh, I don’t have to do this” I end up forgetting something. So I have to own my doofus side.

      • I usually do this–but the last two mornings have been a little extra chaotic with last-minute potty trips for the older kiddo, so I’m thrown off my game. I need to return to this practice, though!!

      • Accountering

        Who DOESN’T do the phone/wallet/keys pat down as they are going out the door?

        • Are you familiar with sensory bombardment interrogation techniques? Trying to get children out the door in the morning can be similar. (Yelling, whining, pulling on your clothes, and then you have to sing to keep the baby from crying while you’re trying to wrestle the toddler into her coat, and then someone needs a clean diaper, and your email keeps pinging…) If it’s enough to get you to give up the location of the rebel base, it’s enough to make you forget your phone.

          • HA! Yes, this is EXACTLY why I need to return to the key-item pat down practice before I leave the house. Unfortunately, it’s also why I’ve been forgetting to do it…. πŸ™‚

          • Accountering

            Not at all, and I fully admit that it is just me, trying to get myself out the door successfully in the morning. This was not meant as a dig in the least, simply that this is a requirement to even get myself out the door. Getting a kid clothed, fed, and out the door at the same time seems like difficultly level 10 as far as I am concerned.

    • maxwell smart

      I may or may not have a post-it note permanently affixed to the door reminding me if I have my phone.

  • Rave: First trip to RFK for the year!
    Rant: 2 goals down.

  • Andie302

    Rant: Best friend is really struggling. She’s on the verge of a nervous breakdown over some things that she has very little control over (that I don’t want to detail here).
    Rave: She thinks our NOLA trip at the end of next week will really help. I hope so!
    Rave: NOLA next week πŸ™‚
    Rant: I feel like our trip is all laid out for us because of all the wedding events.
    Rave: It’ll be a great wedding and I am so happy for the couple!
    Rave: The bridesmaid dress zips
    Rant: because I got a bigger size. Oh wella, at least it fits!

  • Anonynon

    Rave: I’m really happy just the way things are.

  • Rave: long-awaited family vacation coming up in a few days.
    Rant: Kid woke up with the beginnings of a cold this morning. I might try the power of prayer, because I can’t think what else to do to. Worst timing imaginable.

  • Rant: I have a huge, painful, red pimple on my chin near my lip so yeah, it keeps splitting. Nothing like having pimples while also starting to get wrinkles in your 30s. My skin has been really clear for months until now… ugh.
    Rave: Made some pretty delicious meatballs the other night and used our adorable 3.5 quart red Le Creuset my mom got us.
    Rave: Up to 6.5 miles running and still feel great. Except running up Capitol Hill around mile 5 did cause some cursing and about a minute of walking. But I almost made it. Small victories.
    Rant/Rave/Revel(??????): Don’t know what to think about Super Tuesday. Maybe it’s causing Rant #1.

    • I only very recently started having skin issues too after having clear skin for the longest time. My dermatologist has me on antibiotics for a few months and a prescription face lotion. It’s only been 3 weeks but I’m noticing a small improvement already. Go see a dermatologist!

      • Unfortunately, I’m a bit wary of taking anything since we are actively trying to get pregnant again (partially explains the cystic pimple–hormone related I believe). If it continues to stress me out, you are totally right, I’ll be seeking out the care of a dermatologist. I know no one thinks it’s anywhere near as bad as I think it is, but it makes me feel so gross for some reason. I hope you continue to see good results! I went on antibiotics & cream during grad school when I had a crazy cystic acne flare up and it took a few weeks but died down and I was lucky it went away for good. Haven’t experienced anything like that since.

        • Not sure if topical stuff is also off-limits during pregnancy, but PoPville reader Allison knows an impressive amount about methods of combating acne and might be able to suggest something. (Or skin-care stuff that doesn’t have any active drug ingredients but could be helpful nonetheless.)
          .
          Allison, you out there?

        • Allison

          Ah, if it’s cystic and persistent, you can visit a doctor for a local cortisone injection. It could cause an indentation, but if it really won’t go away, that is the nuclear option.

    • Allison

      Try keeping a dab of aquaphor on the pimple until it heals. By keeping the area moist you’ll promote faster healing and prevent it from splitting.

      • Allison

        Another good option is a 20% zinc oxide cream. You can find this in the scratch/itch/rash aisle at CVS.

        • Ooooh thanks! Haven’t tried aquaphor. Last pimple I had before this one I vowed not to touch it but it still left a dark spot on my fair skin πŸ™ Any ideas of how to get rid of these or prevent them from happening?

          I’ve never tried the nuclear option, but I always kept that one in mind before my wedding… haha. But I’m hoping this will slowly go down on its own.

          • Aquaphor is amazing. Vitamin E oil may also help prevent a long-term dark spot/scarring.

          • Allison

            Unfortunately if it’s hormonal, there’s no way to prevent them from happening unless you take medication, like spironolactone (off label use) or BC pills. You could find out if it’s hormonal by systematically eliminating topical products (moisturizers, etc.) and looking for improvement, similar to how one would do an elimination diet to detect allergies. If you don’t already use a gentle chemical exfoliant, you might try that to keep your cell turnover high. Stridex in the red box is cheap and works well, but many people prefer something like Paula’s Choice 2% BHA.
            .
            With respect to dark spots left over after a pimple is healed, that’s called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). You can treat it with any lotion that contains niacinimide. I prefer CeravePM, which is relatively cheap and readily available at most drugstores. Wearing sunscreen daily will also help the spots fade faster.

          • Question for Allison – is CeravePM the same as the Cerave cream in a tub?

          • Allison

            Hey Pixie — no, they are not the same! CeravePM is much “lighter” and thinner. It is semitranslucent. Cerave in the tub, by contrast, is a thick, heavy white cream.

        • Great, thanks! I will look into this. My first time off the BCP in grad school was an utter disaster. I had small pimples on top of cystic pimples and literally wanted to put a paper bag over my head. This time coming off the pill has been much better, other than the occasional cystic chin pimple which I still got, though less often, on the pill. I’m hoping it stays this way because I’m not going on BCP again anytime soon.

          • Allison

            Yeah I’m dreading going off BC when it’s time to have kids because I have no idea how my skin will react after being on them for so long.

      • Clueless

        Allison: do you recommend putting Neosporin on popped zits? It’s something I’ve done in the past but not sure if it’s a good/bad idea.

        • Allison

          I’m not sure it will hurt you (keeping the area moist is certainly a good thing) but I generally avoid it because I try not to overuse topical antibiotics. I reserve those for deeper cuts, or the occasional very bad pimple that won’t respond to anything else. Aquaphor or zinc oxide ointment should work fine. You can also look into hydrocolloid bandaids (sometimes marketed as “blister bandaids”) that work by keeping the area moist and sucking up excess fluids. You can use clean scissors to cut them down to size if they’re too big.

  • houseintherear

    Posted yesterday kinda late in the day, so trying one more time! …I’m planning a celebration of life journey with my old dog for this summer. Destination is Chicago to see friends and his bestie dog friend, but thinking of stopping in Niagra (apparently the trails and falls are dog-friendly), maybe Detroit… anyone done a trip through any towns/cities along that way? With or without a dog? Trying to gather advice before making any reservations. Would like to camp one night (somewhere along the way to Niagra, in the mountains of PA) and hotel one night (at the falls).

    • No recs on Detroit or Niagra, but definitely do the architecture cruise in Chicago if you haven’t done it before. Absolutely one of my favorite parts of visiting there!

      • houseintherear

        ahh very cool idea, thanks. I’ve been to Chicago a billion times but have never actually been on the water!

    • No advice to give, but just wanted to say that this is the sweetest thing and makes me so happy for your dog.

    • Maybe you can combine two PoPville photo themes and take pics in various locations of Pablo wearing a PoPville T-shirt? πŸ˜‰

      • houseintherear

        omggg cool idea! PoP, any chance I can get a small shirt somehow?

        So one last plea- if anyone has camped in western PA anywhere and liked their experience, I’d love the name of the campground/park!

  • Rant: This morning and yesterday I had a nasty headache — either a migraine or an allergy-related headache.
    Rave: Took a decongestant and migraine medicine simultaneously this morning, and they seem to have worked.
    Rave: It’s sunny out.

  • tonyr

    Rave: Applied for three tickets in the UEFA 2016 lottery.
    Rant: Got, not three, not two, not one, but the other.
    Rave: Friend lucked out with a couple of spares, so two out of three ain’t bad.
    Rant: Won’t get to see Perfidious Albion get what’s coming to them.
    Other: Did we decide whether the next HH is on Wednesday, or Thursday? I’m going to see Hinds on Thursday, so I’d prefer Wednesday (if anyone cares).

    • Oh man!! So jealous- we applied for two games for the EuroCup and didn’t get anything sadly. Enjoy UEFA!

  • Rant: Work is totally stressing me out…so much to do.
    Rave: Gorgeous weather!
    Rant: which will soon be gone.
    Not Sure: Had a really bizarre interaction with someone new at work. It could just be me being in a grumpy mood and not liking close talkers, though.

  • Comment Artist

    Rave: Just wakin up in the mornin gotta thank God. I don’t know but today seems kinda odd. No barkin from the dog, no smog. And momma cooked a breakfast with no hog.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rave: Just spent an hour listening to Ken Burns talk. He’s pretty much brilliant. Just another reason why I love my job.
    Rave: He’s giving this year’s Jefferson Lecture, and I think it’s going to be great. May 9th, y’all!
    Rant: I think I might have a sinus infection. So much pain.

  • Rave: my utterly bizarre project at work had a very good kick off meeting yesterday. Everyone seems to be way more motivated to do this work than any of their actual work. I got to show off some of my knowledge on the subject and we’re taking a field trip next week.
    Rave: Unexpected hang out with a good friend last night. We both needed it.
    Rant: the day I am supposed to fly with my nieces it’s going to snow. I’m now foreseeing me, trapped at BWI for hours, with two toddlers. I better pack more snacks and fill up the diaper bag.
    Rave-ish: I’m thinking about getting my super crooked ear fixed. I feel like I should at least find out what it will entail procedure and price-wise, then make a decision.

    • Wishing you happy no-snow thoughts for your trip with the nieces! Btw, I can honestly say I never, ever noticed you have a crooked ear!

      • I had my hair up one day and a coworker stopped me in the hall to tell me how simple it is to get it fixed and that I should look into it.
        Honestly, I had been thinking about it and while I don’t appreciate her informing me at length about it, it did kind of tip the scales. I don’t know where my line is, but if the cost is reasonable I might go ahead and do it.
        Sometimes this ear, not the other one, will turn bright red and get super hot for no apparent reason. Maybe it’s already reached menopause.

      • And thanks for the no snow thoughts! I’m going to need them.

    • Fingers crossed it’s not enough snow to cause a disruption. I don’t think it’s supposed to be a lot? Some airports have play areas–a quick online search suggests that BWI has an “observation area” that might be useful for entertaining the little ones in case of a delay: http://www.parenting.com/article/fun-things-to-do-at-the-major-airports.

      ditto, btw, on never noticing your crooked ear.

      • Oooh, thanks.
        Last time the nieces got delayed at BWI, I wasn’t there and they ended up playing with Rebecca Lobo and her kids. Jealous. Also somewhat surprised my sister recognized Rebecca Lobo.

  • Kukki Bakemono

    Rave: Eating a chocolate chunk cookie right now.
    Rant: I’m halfway through it.
    Rave: Get to leave work early to go to a meeting/class in Crystal City and have to walk through the underground which is a de facto no holds barred speed walking competition. Let’s see what challengers, if any, arise.

  • Allison

    Rave: Pablo, I saw your photography on a WMATA bus the other day! It was a picture of the DC Roller Girls and it had your name on it!

  • Mid-day Rant: People putting on heavily-scented lotions all over the place here today. My head is going to explode, ugh!

  • Rave: Talked to the fiance this morning for the first time since Friday afternoon. Arizona to Asia is not the most convenient time change.
    Rave: It’s March! Really looking forward to a trip home at the end of the month. Doing 1L far away from “my people” has been challenging and trips home keep me going.
    Rant: Kind of funny to really experience homesickness for the first time in your mid-twenties.
    Rave: Discovered the best Mexican food in Gallup, NM last night. Still thinking about it.

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