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.

106 Comment

  • Rant: Relationships ending when two people still like each other and it’s just not *working*. My eyes feel heavy today.
    Rant: It’s been a rough few weeks…
    Rave: At least it will feel like summer next week?

    • Ug, that’s literally the worst. I was in a similar boat once, and I remember a friend saying to me, “sometimes it’s just not supposed to be so hard.” That really resonated with me. I hope you surround yourself with good friends, things that make you laugh and smile, and the peace of mind of knowing this feeling won’t last forever. *hugs*

    • Isn’t it better to be by yourself than be in a relationship that’s not working? Don’t waste so much time with the wrong person that you miss the right one.

      • That was my thought, thus the break up. I realize I’m in charge of my own happiness and I needed more than what he could offer. At the same time I still really respect the guy and care for him deeply– he was a nice person and my friends liked him, and I met some of his family and thought they were great, and we enjoyed most of the time we spent together (minus the Valentine’s Disaster). But I could give a laundry list of things lately where we were not on the same wave-length.

        • I know it sucks, but speaking as someone who spent too many YEARS with someone who made me cry and let me down again and again…good for you. You will be happy!

      • That One Guy

        I have an honest question, what constitutes the “right one”? .
        (I alway see things in shades of gray rather than black and white so interested to know.)

        • That might vary for different people, but in general I’d say someone who shares similar values, enjoy spending time with them, a best friend, and obviously someone you have feelings for. A person who you want to be with in the good times, and in the bad, and also work through the bad times

        • I agree with That One Guy here. It’s been difficult for me mostly because I know things aren’t supposed to be so hard (as BethPopville mentioned above) but I also realize that they aren’t always easy.

    • I am so sorry.

    • I’m sorry FridayGirl. Even though you’re making the right choice it’s still hard and it still takes time. Be nice to yourself as you go through the sad parts.

    • Thanks, everyone. Your reassurances helped today.

  • Does anyone have any advice or experience with working with a resume/cover letter reviewing agency or something to that effect? Doesn’t have to be local, but figured people might have some advice. Essentially my SO is a year past graduating in GIS from a good state school, but hasn’t been able to land an entry level job or internship even in his field or any related type field. He’s currently working as a waiter. He did not get any relevant work experience or internships while he was in undergrad (which obviously he regrets) so that’s another hurdle. He’s been applying consistently for the past year for local/state/federal govt and private sector positions, but he’s not hearing back for 90% of his applications. I’m just trying to figure out what he’s missing.

    • I haven’t used a service, but has he reached out to he school’s career services office? Often they’ll help out recent grads by looking at resumes and cover letters.

    • I’m not with an agency, but if you’d like ask if POP would link us

    • Another idea is to find out if/how relevant organizations hire temps. If they do this in house, how to apply? If they use a staffing agency, then he can apply through the staffing agency. I did this for two temp gigs at the agency I wanted, then was well-positioned when applying for permanent. I am now permanent at the agency.

      • binntp

        +1. Not in the same field, but my organization has hired a ton of temps in the past few years…it seems to work especially well with new grads who aren’t easily distinguished because of their resumes, but can quickly prove themselves in the office setting.

    • Probably connections. That’s what gets you the job. Of course, it helps to have a decent resume and to be able to write a cover letter, but most cover letters have to be specific to the job you are applying for, so an canned cover letter won’t work. But, the greatest resume and personalized-to-the-job cover letter won’t even get you an interview – you have to make connections. Temping as noted above may be one way to do so at his level. But there are other ways – he needs to get out and meet people, join organizations, professional ones, and relentlessly network. Take it from one who has great resume(s), writes great cover letters, and is networking my a** off, though admittedly my problem is too much experience, not too little. But getting jobs tends to be by personal connection, whichever end of the spectrum you are at.

  • Rant: Have to check a huge report for numerical errors at work.
    Rave: I-phone full of my favorite 90s tunes to keep me company while I work.
    Rant: Every time I decide to continue writing fiction, I get nervous. Is this a good hobby for me? I wrote a bunch a few years ago and took online fiction classes but personal issues lead me away from it. Not sure where my interest lies with it.
    Rant: tonight’s snow. Where is spring?
    Rave: Picked out the perfect gift for mom’s birthday: 2 Perry Mason novels by Earl Stanley Gardner.

    • Spring is waiting until next Wednesday to make it’s appearance, apparently. Then we’ll get summer in a few weeks and all complain that it’s too hot. Hah. :/

    • You could have a lot worse hobbies than writing fiction. It’s better than watching TV! If you like it, keep doing it.

      • I’m afraid I’m not any good though. My last fiction class, I got a not so great critique on my work from the teacher. It kind of put me off of writing. Deep deep down I really want to be a writer of dramas and mysteries. My secret wish is to walk into a bookstore and see a book I wrote on the shelf to be sold.

        • hammers

          The only way to get better is to keep writing. And reading of course. You can keep your work private until you are ready. I’d like to sell a painting someday, but right now my work is pretty….banal. But I enjoy it and will keep working on my craft. Maybe both of our secret wishes will come true!

        • I agree with Hammers – if you enjoy writing, keep writing.
          And the criticism of one teacher is the opinion of that one teacher, not the world!

        • One of my best friends from high school always wanted to be a writer. She got the same sort of negative feedback over and over again, rejections from publishers, etc. She kept at it though and had her first book published last year. It started out as just an ebook, but did well and got picked up as a print book. She got a three book dea with her publisher. She’s not exactly making bank, but she’s doing what she always dreamed and has had that bookstore moment.
          Everyone who creates has to deal with critics, but it’s worth it in the end.

        • Sorry that your teacher put you off. Like MPinDC said, the teacher’s opinion was just one person, not the objective judgment of the entire world. Have you ever read “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott? It might be good encouragement for you. Her lessons have even helped me get through the non-creative technical writing I need to do for work. Good luck!

    • Semi-related query: I’d like to hone my writing skills for writing reports/working papers (akin to academic journal articles)–any suggestions for good training in this area?

      • You might want to check out the USDA classes. They have some pretty good classes and might have something specific to this type of writing.

    • mtpresident, take a look at courses offered by American Management Association
      and Chinatown, I’ve heard really good things about the Writer’s Center in Bethesda

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rave: Hotels are booked and renewed passport has arrived. So excited for my Sweden trip with Emmaleigh.
    Rant: One of my childhood friends, who has stage 4 colon cancer, lost her father last night.
    Rant: Bazile decided to be a big jerkface in the middle of the night and woke me up repeatedly.
    Rant: Winston was also a huge jerkface yesterday. That puppy is lucky he’s cute.
    Rave: I’m feeling a lot of love for the people in my life right now.

  • Rave: I applied for Global Entry a week ago and already have an interview in 2 weeks. This is wonderful, seeing as I realized I need to get a new passport before my trip, and I can’t get one before I get my Global Entry fully approved on the current passport.

    Rave: 4 month trip approved. Now I just need to actually start planning it. SO EXCITED!

    • Wait. You’re taking 4 months off work and going on a trip?! Where will you be going?

      • Working on the itinerary. So far, a few weeks in Europe (not sure where – eastern Europe or Scandinavia, likely), a month or so in southern Africa (South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, etc), a month or so in India/Nepal (still working on this – I typically travel alone and with no plan and I’m not sure this works in India, so I’m thinking about how to do things here), a few weeks in Australia. I still have a few weeks to play with, likely before Australia given my friend’s vacation times in OZ.

        • To go Tazmania. It’s amazing.

          • Taz is definitely on my list. It depends on when I get to Australia. If it is still really cold, I’ll likely skip it this trip. But I’m hoping it is warm enough when I get there.

          • Second Tasmania and also highly recommend Perth and Western Australia.

        • traveling in india with a flexible plan is the way to go (since oftentimes well laid plans go to sh*t). signed, a person who lived in Rajasthan for two years

        • If it helps, I found making arrangements while in India a lot easier/cheaper than doing it from the U.S. beforehand (and I’m a planner-type). Maybe just work on figuring out a first place to stay? I found India a little overwhelming at first, so it might be nice to have a set place to go to and get your bearings.

        • Whoa, I’m jealous. My wife and I took a trip to Botswana and South Africa just about a year ago. (Short version – it was awesome.) If you’re interested, I’m happy to have the Prince put us in touch to pass along information.

  • Rant: If it’s not one cat, it’s the other. Older kitty had a bout of diarrhea this morning, so I’m going to have to cook her up a bland diet and see what happens over the next few days. Ugh. This is driving me nuts, making it so hard to concentrate at work. I’m distracted thinking how I’m going to keep two cats on two totally different diets.
    Rant: Wishing I would wake up one day on top of a pile of money like Scrooge McDuck.
    Rave: At least I’m making a dent in my huge pile of work.
    Rave: looking forward to a quiet weekend, though likely full of work.

    • Oh I feel your pain on the cats. I have one fat cat who needs to lose weight (or, as the vet phrased it, “I’d like to see him stop gaining”); the other one has inflammatory bowel disease and possible early-stage kidney issues and currently can’t keep any weight on. I’ve been fiddling with his food because the diet recommendations for his conditions are pretty much opposite, AND he’s a picky eater. Good thing they’re both so cute!

      • What do you feed the one with IBD? When I took my younger one to to vet a couple weeks ago, she said it was fairly likely she had IBS and/or a food intolerance, so now that I’m done with the Rx food, I’m trying to find a novel protein/novel carb food to use for an elimination diet trial, but a) not many proteins are novel for her, and the ones that are are suuuuper expensive, and 2) I was going to try to just use the same food for both, but I’m worried that either the venison or kangaroo they ate yesterday has upset the older kitty’s tummy….

        • I started out feeding him prescription food from Hill’s, but he decided he didn’t like that so after a lot of trial and error, I just settled on mixing pumpkin into trashy canned food (like Friskies). The vet also recommended giving him a quarter of a Pepcid (the 10 mg size) before each meal, so he gets that twice a day. Now, with the possible kidney issues, the vet suggested I try phasing in some canned food that’s made for senior/mature pets. I went to Petco and picked up a can of every brand I could find for old kitties – Royal Canin and Hills have been acceptable but he flat out refused to eat Nutro. So right now, he gets a scoop of old kitty food, a scoop of Fancy Feast, and a scoop of pumpkin, all mixed together – he eats it but still isn’t gaining any weight so I’m kind of stumped at the moment.

          • Hmm..yeah, from what I’ve read it sounds like IBD is really tricky to manage. Have you tried a raw diet, by any chance?

          • I have not. IBD cat is almost 12 and was diagnosed about 8 years ago, so his condition was really well managed for a long time. He’s always been a picky eater but this sustained skinniness/lack of weight gain is relatively new (just since late December) so I’m still kind of floundering around trying to figure out what to do! Have you had any luck with certain diets?

  • Rave: Bought a door stopper for my deck door that kept opening with the wind. Hoping this does the trick.
    Rant: It was cold AF this morning on the walk to work.
    Rave: Spring is around the corner! Am trying out a class at solidcore and am excited for spring/summer runs.

  • Rant: On hold, waiting to fix a billing issue.
    Rave: I slept rather well last night and actually feel semi-rested.
    Rave: It is almost Friday!
    Rant: It is really hard not to be grumpy/short with people who make stupid observations at work. I need a long vacation from the office.

  • topscallop

    Rave: talked about moving in together with the BF and it’s a go! In like a year, but we are both excited and so happy.
    Rave: Vacation starts tomorrow! Warmer climates, here I come. And by the time I get back it should be more spring-like in DC.
    Rave: my favorite food truck is by my office today
    Rant: none!

  • Rant: Learned the hard way why I should’ve switched my credit card over to the new chip’d card when immediately. I didn’t want to deal with changing all my auto pay accounts and kept putting it off. Until yesterday when I went to pay for lunch and found out my old card had been deactivated. Thankfully Bank of America reactivated it temporarily. I almost had to go home to get the new card. Lesson learned. New card is activated and I guess I need to get to stepping on figuring what accounts are linked to the old one.

    Rave: Spring is around the corner! I can’t wait for 73 degree weather next week! And Cherry Blossoms at the end of the month! And to be able to wear these adorable wedges I bought last week.

    Rant: My ex might come to my best friends birthday tomorrow. I don’t know if I can deal with him being there. Especially if he brings his current girlfriend. I guess I need to suck it up and show up looking killer.

    • Allison

      You *always* look killer skj!

    • My ATM and credit cards were replaced automatically and the card numbers did not change. The cards just appeared in my mail box over the last few months.
      They won’t change the card number, if it’s not stolen or lost.

      • +1 to this. I just got new cards in the nail, same number.

      • The 16 digit number might not change, but if you have any sort of auto pay established (utilities, Amazon Prime, EZ Pass, etc.) you’ll probably have to log back on to those companies’ sites and update the CVV and expiration date with the new card.

        • For me, it seems that some companies (like my web-hosting service) subscribe to a service and have a way of automatically updating the expiration date and CVV if you have been using automatic bill-paying for while, but others do not. Of those that do not, some require you to reenter all the information, while others let you simply change the expiration date. IIRC, there was one payee that was even able to automatically handle a new 16 digit number.

      • It’s a different number, expiration AND code. What bank do you use?

  • Rave: Made it out for drinks last night.
    Rave: Didn’t end up staying up too much later than usual
    Rant: Roommate moving to Seattle this weekend. We’ve lived together for nearly 10 years, so she’s practically family at this point. We will all miss her dearly.

  • Rant/Rave: Trying to eat fewer carbs so we had some chicken and veggies for dinner last night. And then promptly snacked on some popcorn and mochi ice cream afterwards… it was delicious so maybe it was worth it?
    Rant: I’m really bad at being nice to people I dislike in social situations. And I really dislike one of my SO’s friends.
    Rave: It’s Girl’s Day in Japan! 😀
    Mega rave: Booked tickets to Hawaii for a friend’s wedding!

    • I think is all about balance. Tasty treats in moderation!

    • hammers

      I’m bad at that in social situations too. It’s something I really am taking a hard look at improving. I think I’m going to consider it a step of “adulting.” It got me into HUGE trouble recently.

  • Rant: Really don’t think the new hire is going to work out.
    Rave: Job security
    Rant: BF had a really tough day yesterday, and there was really nothing I could do to help. He has had a rough few weeks with work and his ex, and there’s really nothing I can do. I’m a fixer and I want to fix things for him, so it’s killing me that I can’t.

    • I am a fixer too. Once, my favorite Episcopal priest talked about the “ministry of presence.” Sometimes, there is absolutely NOTHING you can do to fix a situation or alleviate a person’s pain, but you can show up, stick around, and be there. And being present really is significant and matters. Reminding myself of that helps me check my “I can’t fix this” anxiety. Maybe it might help you too?

      • I was really practicing this yesterday. Jut listening, letting him know I’m here. It’s hard not actually physically being there though.

    • This could be a general guy thing or it could just be me erroneously extrapolating from my own particular moods and habits, but I’d suggest that artemis is onto something. Guys (ok, per earlier caveat, maybe just me) tend not to be talky/touchy-feely/”therapy-” oriented — arguably why we have tend to have more damaging behaviors and die younger. But we do like be in an affectionate force field when we’re feeling shitty. Could be just be one of those bars where the smell of stale beer and chatter of the regulars weaves together into a psychic security blanket you can wrap around yourself while you suck your beer and you don;t have to talk about anything but spring training and Trump. But even better is coming home to your music and your kitchen (me, again) and someone who truly cares but won’t (and this is important) ask you about it or try to do anything, until you decide you want to.
      This is probably sexist as hell, but my experience is that, in a tough situation, women like to call all their friends up one by one and hash it out over and over again. Guys like to do that by themselves in their mind and don’t really like to talk to much until they think they have a handle on it — whether it’s an explanation, a solution or resignation. Our heroes are strong and silent. In Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart, Humphrey rarely strings together two consecutive sentences for the first hour and twenty minutes — while the Nazis chase him out of France, he loses the girl, the girl comes back with her husband and desire, and he loses his bar — until he finally sends Ingrid Bergman back to her husband with the immortal “if that plane leaves the ground and you’re not with him, you’ll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life” speech-let. I think that’s we like to deal with stress. especially if we get to wear a cool trench coat and smoke while doing it.

      • Irving Streete, from my (fairly minimal) experiences, I think you hit the nail on the head. Even though it drives me insane. And that is something I need to work on, so I’m glad this was brought up today.

      • Another guy chiming in. For better or for worse, I think Irving Streete is spot on with his characterization of most/many/some guys.

      • HaileUnlikely

        I am not introspective enough to realize and articulate this myself, but I completely agree with this characterization of the guys’ approach to handling tough situations.

      • This is true in my experience with heterosexual male partners. My SO had a terrible, no good, very bad day at work earlier this week. I knew he didn’t really want to talk about it, but I did give him a huge hug and stayed up late just sitting with him and watching stupid tv. It seemed to help, and later in the week he was definitely more able and willing to discuss the situation.

      • This sounds exactly spot on! Thank you for the insight, Irving Street!

  • Rant: Woke up three hours earlier than usual and couldn’t get back to sleep.
    Rant: … which was not helped by my cat coming into the room multiple times and demanding attention.
    Rave: Almost the weekend.
    Rant: Cold weather.
    Possible rant: I hope I get to see my daffodils bloom before I go out of town. They’ve got a week to get their act together.

    • Sorry to hear about your first rant. I can partially relate, I woke up about an hour before my alarm today feeling pretty lousy and I feel like a zombie now.

    • My cat was also uncharacteristically needy at 5am. Ear nuzzling that turns into ear nipping is very hard to sleep through.

    • Drives me crazy when my cats demand attention at ridiculously early hours! Argh.

  • houseintherear

    PSA- I just started fostering a senior cat from WHS… he is spectacular. Easiest foster friend I’ve had so far. No adjustment period needed, just started loving and playing with me and my dog and cats right away. Uses the litter box perfectly, has an adorable quiet meow when he wants petting… and slept through the whole night quietly! His name is Benjamin, he’s 15 years old but in great health, and he’s on the website. He’s 17.3 lbs of tiger-like adorableness. My email address is on his description if you have any questions!

    • He’s very, very cute. He gets along with your other cat(s)?

      • houseintherear

        Yes! He has befriended my adult cat already and this morning they sat together for a long time looking out the window. My 1 year old teenager cat is slightly grumpy about the new addition, but whenever he hisses, Benjamin just looks away or lays down nearby calmly… he’s totally not into drama. It’s pretty remarkable for an adult who never lived with other animals! Must just be a naturally chill guy, I’d guess.

    • Thank you for fostering him! The story about his owner being forced to give him up was so sad 🙁 Hope he finds a great home soon.

  • Rant: Feeling really defeated. Two job rejections and I’m pretty sure the latest one was due to the visa issue even though it’s not even that big of a deal. I just wish my open work permit would come already.
    Rave: At least I have a small freelance writing gig and I actually enjoy it.
    Rave: I’m not struggling and my wife can support us both.
    Rant: Still sucks to feel like I am not “contributing” to our finances.

    • I 100% feel you on your last rant. I’ve been contributing more with housework, errands, etc. but it still feels like I’m not pulling my weight (even though the SO assures me it’s ok). It’s rough. I hope you find something soon!

      • Thanks. Yeah, I do all the laundry, cleaning, dishes, some cooking, and handle the finances, but that certainly doesn’t keep me busy every day!

  • Rant: being asked to do an analysis of a Supreme Court decision and its impact on my company when I”m not a lawyer. We’ve even got someone in Legal who specializes in this issue….
    Rave: Phone interviews today and tomorrow for new jobs…

  • Rave: My new job is everything. Substantial work, praise from the higher ups for my writing and continuously checking in to make sure I’m “happy and being challenged.” Total 180 from my last job. I didn’t know how starved I was for acknowledgement and something as simple as a thank you in order to feel happy at a job.
    Rave: Bumped into an old colleague this morning to smiles and hugs. I love how small this town is sometimes
    Rave: Drinks and dinner with a friend in town last night who I don’t get to see often. Good catching up.
    Rant: Slowest bus trip ever this morning.
    Rave: Almost Friday and House of Cards weekend!!!

  • Rant: Spring. I’m going to have to start shaving my legs again.
    Nah, just kidding! totally worth it. Tired of dry skin and pilly sweaters and knee socks.

  • Rave: I may or may not be in love, I am feeling all sorts of things I haven’t in a really long time. Its exciting and terrifying.

  • Rant: Numb face/feeling odd because of root canal

    Rave: But it’s over.

    Rave: And I found a dentist that I actually really like, so I’ll be going to her for follow up.

  • Rave: Early spring bulbs starting to bloom – crocus and miniature Dutch iris are so cheery this time of year!
    Rant: Hard to focus on the tasks at hand
    Reminder: The first Gin & Gardening gathering of 2016 will be on March 20th at 6:00 pm, venue still tbd but somewhere in Columbia Heights (Acre 121? The Heights? somewhere else?)

  • Rant: Still cranky about communicating across time zones.
    Rave: He returns tomorrow night!
    Rant: We have to spend the weekend with family :-(. I just want alone time with us.
    Rant/Rave: Normalcy and a consistent schedule. I feel like we’ll never have it. We haven’t for the 8 years we’ve been together and partly that’s awesome cause it means we’ve traveled, we’ve followed our dreams, and we’ve been open to exciting opportunities. But I’d also like to just have some sort normalcy (regular dinner time, regular bed time, habitual gym routines, etc.) but across two cities and with family in another city, it’s been nearly impossible.

  • Rant: I firmly believe your carbohydrate product is not toasted unless it has changed colors. Apparently my coffee shop does not operate on the same, obviously superior, belief system.
    Rave: operation niece nugget chaperon is tomorrow morning. This will be fun! My sister tells me I will be a magical, aura lit fairy if I buy them a bagel with cream cheese. Bring in on airport and snow! I shall defeat you with carbs and tangy fat spread.

    • love this! Good luck tomorrow!

    • I bet if you ask them to make it brown or toast it well, it’ll come out that way.

      • +1. Or if you can see that they put them through that little toaster machine that spits the bread out the bottom, try asking them to put it through twice? Sometimes specificity does the trick, although they may think you’re a little nutty.

      • I didn’t see it until I left. It took a while to get to where it was, so I didn’t really have time for a second go-round.
        I think there are people who fundamentally believe toasting is just to warm something. I can’t get behind that way of thinking. Toast should get darker!

    • Good luck with your nieces! And YES on properly toasted carbohydrate products. Warmed does not equal toasted.

    • It’s a wonderful world when bagels and cream cheese give you elevated status with your nieces — happy travels 🙂
      And I agree re what it means to toast something!

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: People who don’t read emails. “Thank you” is not an answer to my question.
    Rant: decided I may not get better than mediocre at my job and trying to be ok with it.
    Rave: so pink buds on some trees along my commute. Hurray flowers!

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