Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user nevermindtheend

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.

115 Comment

  • Rave: Working from home today!
    Rant: My house is messy and I don’t have time to clean it yet!
    Rave: Learned how to use my small weedwacker to cut the grass in my place – new level of DIY-ism achieved. Next I will learn how to garden and will really feel like a friggin champion.

    • LedroitTigah, I’m not sure if you made it to the March meeting of Gin & Gardening (unofficial PoPville spinoff group that’s gardening-related) — I wasn’t there — but if not, come to the next one!

      • Hi textdoc! I definitely want to join the next one! Thanks!
        (PS Being a new popviller, Ive never understood how I can get notifications – via email? – when someone responds to one of my comments. Is there a kink in the system I haven’t figured out yet?)

      • The Gin & Gardening gatherings are announced a few times here on R&R, I also send out an email with details – contact me (sharonwdc at yahoo) and I’ll make sure you’re added to the list 🙂

  • Bear

    Rave: Friday! Thinking about heading to Baltimore tomorrow to see Light City, but…
    Rant: The forecast is calling for a chance of rain/snow. WTF?
    Rant: Insurance at the new job is nowhere near as good as the old job. Why am I paying close to $200 for a routine physical between the copay and bloodwork? Not to mention the two specialist visits I’ve had…yikes. It’s April and I’ve almost met my deductible for the year…that’s a lot of out of pocket expenses.
    Rave: I’ve almost met my deductible for the year?

    • Ugh I feel you on the insurance thing! We are both on my husband’s insurance and they change from BCBS to Aetna about half a year ago, outside of my company’s open season time, so we had no choice but to just take it. Our deductible is something like $7k and there are no copayments at all, we just pay some arbitrary % of each visit for every single thing until we somehow hit that $7k. Also, no prescription coverage at all until we hit that $7k too. It’s insane, I just got an ultrasound that cost me $300 that previously cost me $50.

      • Bear

        Damn, that does suck. You would have to have so much done before you meet that deductible!

      • Do you have access to an HSA, though? That sounds like a high-deductible health plan, which (I think) should come with access to an account that you put money into pre-tax for covering health spending. And it rolls over from year to year, unlike the federal FSA. (Incidentally, it is also used for another retirement tax shelter by some folks)

        • I was just going to write this. Plans vary, but I have found that a HDHP/HSA combination nets out as more advantageous than a traditional plan, even in the worst case scenario.

        • Honestly I love my high-deductible plan, with the HSA. I save money actually because the premiums are so much lower. Of course, my annual deductible is only $1350.

        • Nope it’s not an HSA eligible option.

          • Wow, that’s really high for not having an HSA.

          • It’s for the two of us, and to be fair, we *do* only pay like $100/month total in premiums. But we’re switching as soon as we possibly can, it’s terrible.

        • I had the option of a HDHP or PPO with a pretty high deductible, but either way I’m screwed. However, I really wish I had done the HDHP with the HSA instead of the PPO with FSA.

      • My old company switched to high deductible too and my deductible was like $4000. It was basically just a catastrophic plan because I was never going to hit that unless something terrible happened.

    • That One Guy

      If you’re near you deductive you may as well just go meet it, and then go for some exploratory exams/testing that you would ordinarily never otherwise do. The whole body scan exam thing comes to mind.

    • Wow this sucks! Our healthcare costs went up a lot this year. Luckily I have HSA so my increase wasn’t bad, but the cost for other plans have doubled and what you get is now less (ie: deductible higher etc)

    • $200 for a routine physical is ridiculous. Oy.

  • Rant: My procrastination skills came back to bite me in the ass in a big way yesterday. I tried to switch my MD ID over to DC. However none of the paper work I presented was acceptable, including my sub lease. If I had switched my address on my phone bill and bank statement I could’ve used those, but I never did. I had to renew in MD. I have the tendency to bury my head in the sand like an ostrich when it comes to stressful tasks and I can’t do this anymore. I really screwed myself over. Time to behave like a big girl and get things done.
    Rant: The employees at the DC DMV who made me feel like a total incompetent criminal. I know my bar should be low for DMV customer service, but man, I was wish fire and brimstone on them after I left. Especially over the sublease issue. Apparently subleasing is illegal in DC? Even through the accepted document form specifically lists sublease accompanied by the lease as acceptable they refused to take mine. And told me multiple times subleaseing is illegal. And interrogated me on “who I was leasing from”? I got a lecture on how it was not their problem that I didn’t switch my address over on my phone and bank statements. Which may be true, but you don’t say that to an customers face.
    Rave: The compassionate agent at the MD who did not judge me or my situation. Who offered sincere condolences when I mentioned I was leaving town for a funeral. He processed me quickly and was the light at the end of the very dark tunnel that was yesterday morning.

    • I had the same issue with a sublease! I made it all the way through the process, including getting my picture taken, when all of a sudden the DMV woman looked at my paperwork again and was like, oh wait, this is a sublease? You can’t use this! When I went (years ago) it definitely did not say you could not use a sublease.

    • I can sympathize, both with the DMV issue and the head in the sand issue. I have the tendency to stick my head in the sand too, and it always, always makes things worse for me. I’m glad MD was easier for you, I’m very surprised they allowed you to renew if you admitted to being a DC resident. My experience with the MVA has been very, very different!

      • Me too. But My ID is from MD and I still had official mail with my MD address. Which is where my new ID will be sent. I’m just glad he let me, I literally would’ve been left without any form of government identification if he hadn’t!

    • Maybe this will make you feel a little better about the head-in-the-sand issue:

      I person I know waited too long when he moved back to the District from NYC to switch over his drivers license.
      yes, it was ME. I didn’t have a car at the time so it didn’t seem too critical. And before I knew it, my NY DL had expired. Ooops.

      Oops, indeed. That means I can’t just transfer my license to DC, by taking the written test only.. .no, I have to take the driving test too! And not having a car just makes that all sorts of more complicated. So I haven’t bothered to do it, and it’s been years and years – far more than I care to admit.

      I got the non-driver’s ID that the District issues, which has been fine for all this time, but I feel stupid not being able to drive… it’s a low-level goal to get this all figured out this summer.
      Or sometime soon-ish, anyhow.
      (My current ID doesn’t expire until early 2018 so there’s some wiggle room.)

      • Emmaleigh504

        This will be me if I don’t remember to switch my MD license to DC this year. Y’all may have motivated me to get my act together and switch before it’s too late!

        • for what it’s worth, if you DO have all of the right documents, it should be pretty easy/painless. I had to update my address, and since I had the old DC driver’s license (not the “real ID”) I had to go through basically the same thing. I brought my lease, passport, Pepco bill, & W-2 and was in and out within 20 minutes. They gave me a paper license and my new ID came in the mail like a week later.

      • Hey, I never bothered to get my drivers license in the first place. I figure one of these… years… after I am done with work + school and only have work and some extra time and money…. Meh.
        Head in Sand #3

  • Rant: Dislike the Crumbs & Whiskers April Fools email this morning. I like dog cafes infinitely more than cat cafes. Booooo.
    Rant: Rain.
    Rave: Almost the weekend.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: My conditioner doesn’t seem to want to rinse out so my hair looks gross.
    Rave: I made it in to work today. It was a struggle, but I’m here.

  • Rants – In a real funk today. Husband’s snoring kept me up all night. I got caught in the downpour this morning and now I have wet shoes. Ordered a latte with extra espresso shots to make up for lack sleep, but it was terrible and made me miss my morning routine at Swings even more.
    Rave – Sweet, sweet Friday.

  • Rant: So many regrets about not preordering the Model 3 yesterday. I like the design even more than the Model S! One day…you will be mine. When I can reasonably afford it better, so maybe that’s a good thing.
    Rave: FRIDAY. Friday Friday Friday.
    Rave: Brewery tour tomorrow!
    Rant: Dear god I hurt from starting that fundamentals yoga class. It was Wednesday night and I thought I was sore yesterday…ha! I can barely lift my arms. I am so out of shape, time to get this fixed.
    Rave: Loved the yoga class and can’t wait to continue!

    • It might just be me but I really don’t like the fact that the Model 3 is billed as “everyman” affordable. While I certainly applaud Tesla for what they are doing (and love the look of their cars) making a car that could be reasonably within reach but I certainly don’t consider 35k to be everyman affordable. I think I do pretty well and there is no way I would be able to afford that car any time soon.

      • Totally fair assessment! They likely won’t be shipped to the east coast until 2018 or 2019 though, and by then we will have moved to Florida, will have our other car paid off, and will need a second. We will also have a house where we could install the charger. Overall it would make sense for our situation but I definitely feel you.

      • Honestly, I think $35K is “reasonably affordable” in the idea that a lot of people will get financed or that much (granted, probably a 5-7 year note). The fact is, we poor folks often spend our money on our cars, and $35k is considered to be a reasonable amount to most. However, most would rather spend that money on a new SUV, sedan or truck than spend it on a Tesla. The fact is, your average, American “everyman” doesn’t give a shit about electric cars.

        • This is so true. Also, 35k could be affordable if you’re a one car household.

          • i just bought my first new car for $30K (after taxes). I make just over 6 figures and was wondering if I had lost my mind after buying the car. No regrets since I bought it a few months ago, but I can’t imagine paying an extra few thousand for a car, especiallly when there are cheaper, high quality options out there.

            That being said, you can get a big tax rebate if you buy an electric car, at least in some states. A friend’s dad just bought a chevy volt, and got a $9K tax rebate. There are a lot more electric cars in the SF Bay Area than I’ve seen elsewhere, and I’m pretty sure the tax rebate is one reason why…

        • But in order to own a Tesla you would need off street parking, right? And if you live in DC and have off street parking you’re already very well off.

          • saf

            Not necessarily. I have off street parking, in a house we have owned for 26 years. Doing well, but not rich. Just had good timing.

          • I have off street parking in DC and I am not “very well off.” Also, their “everyman car” marketing is not unique to DC, and in a fair amount of the country, off street parking is a standard thing.
            All I’m saying is that middle-American/ “everyman” types do indeed spend $35k on cars, I just don’t think they would spend it on this car. My dad, for example, has quite happily spent that amount on a motorcycle, a truck, and a muscle-type car, but wouldn’t be caught dead in a Tesla.

          • I went into the Tesla store a few months ago and asked this question. You don’t need it, though obviously it would be ideal. You can get an 80% charge form a super charger in 30 minutes, so a lot of owners go to the store on the weekend for that. I would be able to plug in at my office for 8 hours a day (120v), which would make my commute a wash. Also, there are a number of prime parking spots around town that are for electric cars only, the really sweet spot right at 14th and U comes to mind.
            I think it really depends on your driving patterns and how close you live/work/shop/whatever to super chargers.
            I do not have off street parking, but considering my light driving habits and availability of outlets at my office garage, this would work for me. And if I need to run to Montgomery Mall at lunch for a super charge, I could do that.

          • Yeah, I thought about that. I’ve seen chargers about a mile from my house, and I’m guessing there are some in at least one of the garages near my work.
            But it seems risky to count on those. You’d probably own the car for 15-20 years (and not even get the car for a couple years), but what are the odds that you’ll be working and/or living in the same place that whole time?

          • Yeah, I’ve thought about that too. By the time the 3’s start shipping Tesla is planning to double the number of super chargers and quadruple the number of destination chargers. So, hopefully no matter how my life changes, the density of charging options will support my Tesla ownership.
            (Assuming I actually do buy it)

    • So glad you’re enjoying the yoga!

  • Rant: DC school lottery process
    Rave (TBD): DC school lottery results. F%$^in’ wait lists!! If they don’t move just the little bit that I need them to move it’s going to be a stressful year next year at our “safety” choice.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rave: Working at home again means I get to hang out with the silly puppy all day.
    Rave: Middle Zelda comes home from her spring break trip tomorrow.

  • Rave: I pulled the trigger and got on the waiting list for the Model 3. Depending on how many more Model S and X’s they sell before delivery I might be within the 200,000 federal credits Tesla gets.
    Rant: I am opposed to single occupancy surcharges, like I need to be penalized because I’m not part of a couple. I want to book a tour in Yellowstone that includes guided hikes, ecology talks, etc but I don’t really feel like paying 30% more. Ugh. I get that I’m one person in a room instead of two, but I’m only one person on the bus and the hikes and such.
    Rave: bandage off…
    Rant: headband, or thing that most lifestyle bloggers would call a turban, on. This is so not my look, but at least I don’t have to explain it.
    Rave: I can’t wait to witness the sh!tshow (in a fun way) that will be my niece’s fifth birthday party this weekend.

    • Oooh so jealous of the Tesla preorder!
      And I cannot understand single occupancy surcharges either!! Wtf.

      • I’m still not sure I’m going to actually buy the thing, but the credit quota nudged me over the edge. I think your approach is likely more prudent. I have a 10 year old Corolla that doesn’t even have 85,000 miles on it yet and I swore I would drive it til it died and have been treating it as such. In my responsible moments I remind myself that I should keep it and wait on the 3.
        We’ll see.

        • Did you have to pay a deposit? Or just wait in line to sign up?

          • You pay $1000 to get on the wait list to order. It is fully refundable if you decide not to buy or if Tesla decides not to sell you, which apparently they did to someone on the list for the X who was being a jerk.
            If you do decide to order you can apply the $1000 to the purchase.

        • You’ve got plenty of time to decide. I doubt they’ll ship to the east coast til 2018/2019.

    • +1 to your first rant. I was looking at solo trips yesterday, but the “single tax” was a little too high for my liking. I would think solo travelers provide the opportunity for a much higher profit margin, and they would want to attract that, instead of deter it.

      • Kukki Bakemono

        Exactly. I’ve seen the decent deals on Groupon for international travel, but balked at the “solo travel” fee. I usually budget travel and stay in hostels anyway so my trips end up cheaper than what I see on websites.

        • I got an email yesterday letting me know it was available for my requested date and that I have 14 days to respond to actually book it.
          I responded that now that I realize there’s a 36% penalty for traveling alone I will have think about it, but will reply withing the 14 days. I doubt this is a negotiable thing, but I might as well make my annoyance known.

    • Sounds exciting. What does it mean to be within the 200,000 federal credits?

      • This is news to me as of yesterday, but apparently each electric car manufacturer is allotted 200k federal credits. So, the first 200,000 Tesla purchasers in the US (right? I mean it can’t possible count the international buyers) get the credit, the poor guy who is #200,001 doesn’t get it.
        The credit is $7,500 and for me is putting this purchase into a realistic realm. Maybe.

    • That One Guy

      The front of the car looks a little funny to me like it’s puckering it’s lips. Am I just seeing things?

  • Rave: Kiddo got into our top choice/neighborhood school in the lottery!
    Rant: Scared for what that means for our somewhat knife-edge logistics.
    Rave: Perhaps we can hire a neighborhood teenager for 30 minutes-an hour each afternoon to help with pick-up issues? Gotta be cheaper than another year in day care, even factoring in after care & camp costs.
    Rant: Public school also means being beholden to school year calendars & vacations. Oy, it’s all a little overwhelming.
    Rant: Sad to potentially have our daughter leave her day care which we LOVE. But at least we’ll still have our son there… for another 3 years since he was born 3 weeks after the cut-off date. 😛

    • Congrats on the lottery!

    • Congrats! For what it’s worth, I don’t feel like you really need to stress about school calendars until at least K; the teachers don’t really care and it seems like other families feel the same way. Also, our old daycare lets us drop in when DCPS is closed; you might ask about that.

    • Congrats!!! Seeing all the lottery results people are posting about on listservs and FB makes me SO happy to not be doing it. Also, heads up for anyone on the Powell K wait list, you are at least guaranteed to move up one spot.
      Regarding the schedule, does neighborhood school have aftercare?

      • Thanks! It does. But at the alternate location (Sharpe health center), rather than at Bancroft, which is getting renovated over the course of the next two years. If they provide busing back to MtP after aftercare, it’s largely doable, but still a difficult shift schedule-wise. Right now, I’m used to picking up downtown at 5:45ish (though I have until 6:15) and don’t usually get to my neighborhood until 6:30 at the earliest. That will change somewhat if there’s only one kid to pick up and also once the baby is in the older classrooms and there’s less to grab on the way out (bottles and the like). Having a drop-dead pick-up time at home of 6pm will require shifting everything earlier.

  • I Dont Get It

    Rant: Reply All of “Thanks.” Two people on the same email string did this when all the person did was simply forward a document, not the freaking Meaning of the Universe.
    Rant: I may be an a bad mood.

  • Rave: Finished up my March Ironman. Don’t feel any more fit but definitely glad to be more active. Now to look for a tri or two this season.
    Rant: Haven’t been to the barn in weeks. I need pony time!
    Rant/Rave: Committed to significant time spent in NYC (and it has made life so much more pleasant!) and not traveling to family in Jersey but having a tough time justifying not going to Easter, and then not going for one or two events next week. But last year, we spent one third of our weekends in Jersey with family. And while I love them, I cannot give up forming a community in our new city to trek there and back so many weekends.
    Rave: A husband who loves me and loves my family and supports me in the boundaries we set.

    • ONE THIRD? Holy crap lady you have way more patience than me. Good for you for setting boundaries.

      • I just realized that this may come off somewhat negatively written after re reading – I refer to many of my woman friends as “lady” and really just meant to applaud you for setting boundaries. Because I could not handle that, and I’m in awe that you could last year!

        • Ha – no worries. It’s nice to hear outside perspective because from my family, it isn’t ever enough! I’m from a family that’s big on showing up (to events, to parties, to dinners, etc.) but not big on communication outside of that (like phone call catch-ups or e-mails) so I have to reorient how I connect with them. While it’s a challenge, I think it’ll be worthwhile in the long term!

          • Your family seems unreasonably demanding. Hang in there — keep gently downsizing on the in-person appearances and sticking to the new boundaries you set. I hope you will get some of your time/life back to yourself! (And back to the family unit of you and your husband.)

  • Rave: Dinner at Little Serow last night. Still my favorite restaurant in town.
    Rave: Working from home today.
    Rant: Rainy, muggy weather dampening my ardor for a bike ride today.
    Rave: Family comes back from spring break tomorrow!
    Rant: Very disappointed in John Beilein. Boo.

  • Rant: Have no capacity for decision-making today. I’ve slept well all week, but I’m so tired. Just blech.
    Rant: I love serving on my church’s board, but I’m so ready to finish my three year term. Trying to find any form of enthusiasm for our 7 hour strategic retreat tomorrow.
    Rave: Still like the guy, even though he’s still under the weather and not very kissable at the moment.

  • Rant: The wait for the first OB appointment is torture! Another week and a half to go. Trying to stay positive in light of age & medical conditions but every day it gets a little harder to stay calm.

  • Rave: Finally got our new roommate (mostly) moved in! He’s delightful and I’m happy we only had a few days where we had to cover rent for the empty room.
    Rant: Property management company was very unhelpful during the process. We told them upfront what we were going to do: roommate A and B were on the lease, with C as an “authorized occupant.” Roommate A was moving, and we were switching C to add to the lease, and new roommate D coming in as an “authorized occupant.” Shouldn’t be super complicated, but it took several weeks, in part because we would ask “is there anything else we need to know, or any other forms, or anything else you need from us” and they would say “no,” but there was always another form to fill out, which they wouldn’t let us send in electronically, which meant taking time off work. Grr.
    Rave: friend is starting her assignment in the US Embassy in Havana and she’s doing a karaoke going away party! Should be fun.
    Rave: Got in to the Marine Corps Marathon registration lottery! First full, here I come!

  • ? Substitute teaching because I don’t even know why? Went for the easiest job though. It might beat sitting on my couch? Maybe not.
    Revel: getting better at this working out thing
    Rant: everything hurts
    Revel: finding a bag of unflattering clothes and the accompanying receipt so I could get a little bit of money back.

    Neutral: Mom is coming to visit this weekend.
    rant: planned run into work this morning was derailed by heavier than expected (by me) rain & I had to jump on the metro 1.5 mi in. Hoping the weather is nicer this afternoon and I can run home instead.

  • Rave: My dad bought a new car and offered to sell us his old one since the value is so low at this point. Hello, 2000 Mercedes with 60,000 miles on it.
    Rant: Dreading Hash Bash tomorrow (taking place right where I live).
    Rave: Tried Halo Top last night – pretty good!

    • That sounds great re the car, but one warning – when you take a luxury car in for service, it costs a fortune. It’s be well worth finding a local mechanic to do any needed work.

      • Oh definitely. I actually drove this car in college and learned quickly not to take it to the dealer! We have a great mechanic near my parents and will be looking for one in Michigan. Hopefully there should be a good amount of options close to Motor City.

  • hammers

    Dunno: I think my “stomach bug” all week may have been from drinking spoiled almond milk?
    Rant: Why am I at work today?

  • Rave: Friday!!!
    Rave (and a PSA): There was a discussion a few days ago re: someone considering Weight Watchers. I saw it too late to join in, but I’ve been doing WW for the past 8 weeks (and I’ve not been eating scary, processed lo-cal/”lite” foods; mostly unprocessed whole foods with room for reasonable amounts of booze, baked goods, and restaurant meals). The size smaller pants I’m wearing today (and how cute my bum looks in them), says that WW really does work, if the commenter is still considering it!
    Rant: None–I just described my tushie as “cute” for the first time in years!

    • That was me. I was on it for a bit and lost 5 pounds in the first week but never kept up with it and ultimately cancelled my account. Maybe I’ll try again, although I’ve heard complaints about the new points system.

      • I actually lost over 75 pounds on WW about 6 years ago–and kept the weight off for 2+ years. Over the last 4 years, I gradually let some stuff go (my fault, not WW) and some of the weight crept back on and so I re-joined. My first go round, I quickly learned that baked chips and fat free “cheese” (that is really a collection of chemicals) would not keep me full/give me enough fuel to exercise and that if I was going to have dessert I’d rather have the real thing–either a smaller amount and/or less often–than a bunch of Snackwells. So I ate the way I’m eating now. WW did redo their formula to put the focus on healthy eating. Points for lean protein mostly went down. Points for whole grains went down or stayed the same. There are no points assigned to any fruits or veggies–except corn, peas, white and sweet potatoes, avocados, and olives, and even those points went down. But all the baked chips, “lite” desserts, etc (basically lo-cal versions of junk food) went up. The old members who are that sort of stuff are the upset ones. The new members and the old members who were already eating whole foods/clean or have made an effort to change seem happier with the new program.

  • I Dont Get It

    Bonus Rant: I was part of a “Good Cop/Bad Cop” beatdown of a vendor this morning.
    Bonus Rant: I played the Bad Cop.
    Bonus Rave: Yeah, I’m laughing too.
    Bonus Rant: I suspect I came off as passive-aggressive menopausal Cop.

  • Rave: Anniversary weekend
    Rant: The concept of anniversaries. On the one hand, I hate getting sucked into the concept and buying into the need to celebrate the passage of time. On the other hand, I really want to! But, how does a couple determine their actual anniversary (if not married) these days? The day we swiped right? First date? Going exclusive?

    • In my case, first kiss.

    • Lol, my wife and I celebrated our first kiss for our anniversary. But we kind of morphed from friends to girlfriends (sort of) by accident.

    • topscallop

      First date for current relationship, previously I’ve counted from the time we decided to be exclusive.

    • my partner refuses to acknowledge any “anniversary” that’s not a wedding anniversary. luckily our first “date”/kiss also coincides with my birthday so I get to celebrate anyway.

  • Rant: So very tired. The sleep deprivation of parenting a newborn is starting to catch up with me.
    Rave: Thank the gods for a partner who is home and took the morning shift so I could have a break

    • Yay for your rave. It will get better, but trying to preserve your rest as much as possible in the interim is important.

  • Rave: The eaglets! They are all staggery and goofy now with adorable yawns.

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