Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Jordan Barab

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.

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119 Comment

  • Rave- Spin Doctors Concert Saturday!
    Rant- Zika virus

  • rant: being an adult. LOL
    rant: upcoming metro safetrack. it’s going to be a mess
    rave: It’s friday! πŸ™‚

  • Rant/Rave: For the past year, I’ve half-jokingly accused the SO of accidentally throwing out my rain jacket/wind breaker when we were moving our stuff into the condo and he found it yesterday stuffed in the back of the closet. Oops!
    Rant: I’m turning 30 next week. Blegh.

    • Despair not. Thirty is the new twenty!

    • Don’t fear 30! I’m almost 2 years into my 30’s and I feel like I’m in a better place than I ever was in my 20’s.

    • Andie302

      Drinks on me πŸ™‚ WOOHOO! Embrace your 30’s, they are wonderful!

    • That One Guy

      The best thing I’ve hear or read about the transition is that when you’re in your 20s you do things because other people say that it’s cool or the thing to do, but in your 30s you do things because you want or you enjoy it. Essentially you come into your own.

    • Embrace your thirties!!! I am half-way through them, and they really have gotten better with every passing year!

    • I loved turning 30 (more than 2 decades ago) because I felt truly adult and yet still young. I was actually relieved to be out of my 20s, as fun as they were.

    • Thanks, y’all! I really didn’t think I would care at all about turning 30 but it’s been on my mind these past couple of weeks. Hopefully once my birthday rolls around I’ll go back to not caring!

  • Rave: First races of the season on Sunday.
    Funny: Apparently the hunky new oarsman from Michigan — 6’5″, lanky-strong; stubbly boy-next-door handsome — was hanging out at the boathouse and he told a one of our teammates “I normally don’t go for shorter, curly-haired girls, but that one’s kind of cute,” and the other guy says “that’s Irving’s daughter! Stay away!” Boy would that make for a weird 5AM carpool experience.

    • That’s funny! The real question is what your daughter thinks of the hunky new oarsman πŸ˜‰

      • I don’t think she’s noticed him particularly — we’re on different squads and don’t practice together. I have to admit that I’m not terribly keen on her current guy (her brother: “she’s got to get rid of him”) but he’s nice and smart and I was a slacker at 27, too, so I keep my own counsel. But if she dates someone on the team, she has to stay at his place, dammit. I’m not dealing with weird breakfast scenes.

    • hammers

      scoff- how dare he write off shorter curly haired girls

  • Rave: Friday!
    Rant: headache/drippiness/stuffy ears – I think it’s from the changing weather front but still, ugh.
    Rave: the Happy Hour post – giving me lots of great new suggestions and places to explore, someday.
    Rant: feeling very far away from people at the moment….I need a good hangout session with friends and/or family but I don’t know when that’s going to happen.
    Rave: making progress on stuff at work.

  • Rave: Vintage VA Wine Festival this weekend at Bull Run Park
    RANT: More rain in the dang forecast.

  • Rave: My sister has arrived!
    Rave/Question: I spent the spring under the mentorship of a coworker who has taught me so much about my job and the industry. I finished training yesterday and want to send her thank you gift? Any suggestions? She isn’t based in DC, so i’d have to mail it.

    • Andie302

      Flowers – I rarely buy them for myself but always appreciate receiving them!

    • I second the Flowers and if Urban Stems as the company to do it! Long lasting and reasonably priced!

    • Or, if you don’t want to do flowers, how about a gift card to a spa (a spa finder card would let her choose a place near her)? Tell her you appreciate her hard work with you and she deserves some relaxation!

  • RAVE: 7.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep for the first time in ages. Awesome. Tonight may be a sh!tshow, but I’ll take what I can get πŸ™‚
    Rave/Rant: mtpbaby so wants to crawl but keeps going backwards. He is getting so frustrated, but it’s fun to watch him try to figure it out nonetheless.
    Rant: mtpkiddo’s teacher sometimes takes away her naptime lovey when she isn’t listening in the morning. Apparently it happened again yesterday. I know we need to work on listening, but is that really an appropriate punishment? One day this week, her teacher took her new shirt that she was super excited about and changed her into another one. I think I conversation with the lead teacher might be in order. Ugh.

    • Forgotten rant: Paul Ryan endorsed Trump yesterday. Really? I was really hoping he’d refuse.

      • Accountering

        His endorsement was a joke, for anyone who can read. Basically that they know he will sign whatever garbage they send to him, and he knows that it is DOA with HRC as president.

        • Accountering

          Sorry – didn’t mean the “read” bit as a dig in the least, just that, as someone on the outside looking in, that is how I read it. His supporters will look at this as another positive indicator of his inevitable election – haha!
          I so cannot wait for election day in November, and for him and his supporters brand of hate to get smacked down.

          • No worries, no offense taken–wasn’t sure if it just meant I needed to read his endorsement rather than just take note of the headlines. I guess we shall see. It would have been nice for him to stand up to Trump on principle, though. Someone has to!

          • Accountering

            I agree – glad to see HRC do it yesterday. Taking the high road is not going to work here, she needs to make very clear that the smoke and mirrors is just that. Words like liar, fraud, bigot, racist, dangerous, and reckless need to be used regularly.
            My reading tells me more and more that Warren is going to be the VP. I think it is a strong move – family counters that it will lose white men who don’t want to vote for two women, but she is already doing quite poorly with white men, and this election can be won by just running up the margins with progressives, college educated, and minorities. The bitter racist people in the hinterlands weren’t going to vote for her anyways.
            This election will very much so be a situation where on November 10th, a TON of people are thinking “How did he/she win, I don’t know anyone who voted for him/her?”

        • Disappointing, but not unexpected.
          The second funniest part of all of it was to listen to commentators who previously said that anyone who endorses Trump is “disqualified” from running for President on the Republican ticket in the future contort themselves trying to explain why this is different” “He said he’s vote for Trump, not that he endorsed him” (although his spokesman said exactly that it was an endorsement); “He had to, ad the leader of the Republican Party (although that’s exactly the reason he shouldn’t have).
          The funniest thing, of course, if to hear the media continually refer to Ryan as the intellectual and policy leader of the Republican party. Really? He comes out with a budget 5 years ago that is positively Trumpian (or Sandersesque) in it’s disconnection with reality, ridiculous assumptions and lack of detail, mouths conservative platitudes for the next 4 years, and is somehow an intellectual giant? Please. The Emperor truly has no clothes.

      • +1 on that rant.

    • re: taking away naptime for not listening
      No, this is absolutely not a good punishment, and will most likely make things with “not listening” worse. Thinking of the reasons why children of that age stop listening, being over-tired or over-stimulated are at the top of that list (unless you take the route of some kids being born assholes, which some people really do believe). So taking away nap time really would not be a good idea. Also, taking away her clothing? For real? Who does that?
      I would have a conversation with the teacher. My youngest is also my least compliant child. He is very “spirited” as they say, and he must be reasoned with. If you say “Youngest Anonachild, clean up” he will automatically ask why and start the downhill spiral of him not cleaning, me/teacher getting upset, etc. But if you say “Youngest anonachild, we are transitioning centers and it’s time to clean up so that it will be clean for next time” he will say OK and do it. Sure, it takes an extra 30 seconds to spit out your sentence, but it saves everyone a lot of frustration. When he gets in a mood and doesn’t want to listen/cooperate, he goes in the “cool down center” which sometimes leads to a nap (if the reason for his behavior is being over-tired). In my opinion, kids of this age very rarely act out without a reason, and finding that reason makes everyone – child, parent, teacher – happier in the long run. It will be much better for the teacher to work with the child versus trying to force the child to act a certain way through punishments that really are not effective and have nothing to do with the issue at hand.

      • I thought the teacher was taking away a particular lovey/blankie/whatever that mtpkiddo uses at naptime — not taking away naptime itself.
        But taking away the lovey and/or a favorite new item of clothing seems odd as a punishment.

      • To clarify, they aren’t taking away naptime–they’re taking away her lovey for naptime. But I still think it’s bad to take away a comfort object, particularly because I think one of the reasons she’s a little more defiant (beyond being nearly 3) is that she’s anticipating the transition to her new preschool in the fall because they’ve been focusing on the kids’ graduation ceremony. She’s been a lot clingier & needing more attention & snuggles of late as well.

      • I read it as her naptime at first too, but naptime lovey I am assuming is a stuffed animal that she naps with. Taking away naptime would be a nightmare, but taking away something she naps with also seems like a recipe for disaster!

        • oops–sorry to cause confusion! indeed, her lovey is a stuffed animal-type thing (one of those tiny blanket things with a head from when she was a baby).

    • Wow – I think taking away the lovey is not good, but changing a child’s shirt for punishment? That is just wrong. Even a young child should have control over their own body. Why not just put a dunce cap on her?

      • Agreed. I don’t have children myself and usually end up finding myself on the side with the teacher in these situations, but I’m really appalled that taking away clothing as a punishment would ever happen. That seems so wrong on many levels, but your point of bodily autonomy is definitely one of them.

    • What school is that? Your kid’s teacher knows nothing about motivating small children and should find some other occupation.

      • It’s a daycare, and I do have concerns about a couple of the teachers in the preschool room, particularly now that one of the other teachers is on maternity leave. Planning on chatting with the lead teacher sometime next week to discuss.

  • Rave/rant: Screwed up my courage and had the conversation about the ‘future’ with the boyfriend. He told me that he loved me, but he hasn’t thought/doesn’t think about the future/hasn’t thought about whether he’d want me to go back with him after his US posting ends next year. And doesn’t know if he wants kids :/ So I said let’s build on what we have – a loving, committed relationship that’s growing and deepening, and see where it goes. So I’m feeling somewhat sad (and tired), but also thoughtful. I love him, but don’t want to ignore my own wants. I don’t want to end up heartbroken. So hard.

    Rave: Looking forward to a busy, nourishing weekend with people I love and enjoy. I feel the need for it.

    • He “hasn’t thought/doesn’t think about the future”? I don’t want to be a wet blanket, as I know you’ve been really happy with this guy… but that sounds like someone who’s been deliberately keeping his head in the sand.
      Do you definitely want kids? If he’s 40 and still doesn’t know one way or the other whether he wants kids, that also sounds like head-in-sand mode or postponing/ignoring difficult decisions.
      There was someone who posted fairly late in the day in response to your RRRR post the other day. The post was a bit blunt/harsh, but made some good points.

      • I assume you have been together for a decent amount of time. Of course he has thought about the future, and it is mostly likely not with you, he just doesn’t want to deal with heartbreak either and feels comfortable with you at the moment, but not comfortable what the future holds. I would recommend you put on the big girl pants and take your future seriously and cut this off if you truly want marriage, kids, etc… You will get over heartbreak sooner, the sooner you experience the heartbreak. If you like hanging out with him, I guess have fun while it lasts…

        • We’ve been together 9 months.

        • This is not necessarily true. Some people really do take life one day at a time and don’t think about the future. Especially since he is 40…he might be one of those guys who is just fine drifting along. However, it sounds like you know what you want and he is fine with the status quo so it’s probably worth taking some time to think about it all.

          • You are correct, some people do take life one day at a time. The conversation about kids has to have some thinking about the future. She asked and he answered and it leaves her worried. So he has thought about the future, and his decision is to not worry about the future now, even if his decision affects the relationship. Who knows, maybe you dump him and he wises up to come to a firm conclusion. Or maybe he continues to drift though life, while you find more solid footing with someone that doesn’t live the tumbleweed lifestyle. Nothing wrong with that lifestyle…but do you want that for yourself…

            Everyone progresses differently in a relationship. There are so many variables. At 40 years old, I would hope he doesn’t want to waste his time or yours. You know the other variables… Trust your gut…it is a better guide than your heart or head. I was in a “comfortable” relationship for a while…breaking it off was the best thing I could have ever done for that relationship…as it lead me to someone that had the same morals and goals in life. After 9 months together I knew it was going to progress into something more and it did. Life is short my friend! Sometimes the most uncomfortable feelings, or uncertainty, led us to the best moments, connections in life.

      • Not to completely disagree with textdoc here, but the BF and I had a similar conversation a year into our relationship. I basically agreed to the same thing you did and really committed to it, and it wasn’t even 6 months before we were really solidly planning our lives together. We still have issues of him not thinking about things/ me over-thinking things, but it has worked out and we are both very happy.
        I will say though, if your plan is to have kids, and it is something you definitely want, then this may change my advice a little. If he is saying he’s not sure about kids just to placate you, then you really need to evaluate things. Someone who doesn’t want children should never be forced or cajoled into it.

        • But your BF wasn’t going to be leaving for a foreign posting sometime next year, so there wasn’t quite the same time pressure/finite endpoint to being in D.C.

    • Accountering

      Definitely give him a few days/weeks to ponder… Andie and I had a similar conversation RE: Kids and marriage etc, and I truly hadn’t thought about some aspects of it. Once you have made clear it is on your mind, give him a chance to think about it, and see what he comes back with in a few days/weeks. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him broach this topic next.

    • Trust me, he has thought about it. He just hasn’t committed to what he wants to do regarding the situation and in a perfect secenario, he would probably like to get to his posting unscathed and think about then while he is gone. Let the time apart dictate whether its something he wants long term or can do with out.

      • “Trust me, he has thought about it. He just hasn’t committed to what he wants to do regarding the situation…”
        +1 to this.

    • That One Guy

      My suggestion is to not base all your expectations/decisions from the input of strangers on the Internet, regardless of how well intentioned we are trying to be. We don’t know all the details and nuances of what you’re relationship is. It’s up to you and your boyfriend to figure out what you futures holds whether together or individually.
      “I’ve seen people caught in love like whirlwinds
      Listening to they squads and listening to girlfriends
      That’s exactly the point where they whole world ends
      Lies come in, that’s where that drama begins”

      • Ha, good point! I’ll also harass my close friends over text.

      • This is true, That One Guy — but Bizzinger, conferring with your IRL friends sounds good too.
        The thing is, it’s often very difficult to clearly perceive a situation when you’re the one in it, whereas an outsider who doesn’t have any emotional stake in the outcome can often see things with more clarity. I’ve certainly been in situations where I knew what the rational thing to do was, but found it very difficult to actually do it.
        Bizzinger, I wish you the best of luck.

  • Rant – Sudden onset of a cold. Yesterday I felt 100% normal, today I am so stuffed up I can’t think straight. And my husband bought home treats from Milkbar but I can’t taste them due to stuffiness πŸ™
    Rave – It was a short, quiet week at work and now it’s Friday!

  • justinbc

    Rant: Finally had a chance to review the lineup for SAVOR tonight. Ugh. Someone really dropped the ball. This is the least tempting lineup I’ve ever seen for the event, and if tickets weren’t already going for way below what I paid I would just sell mine rather than go.

    • This is why I didn’t buy tickets this year. I’m sure it’ll still be a good time regardless but it didn’t justify the price for me.

  • That One Guy

    Rant: Yesterday it was a tour bus cutting me off at a cross walk and today it was a SUV cutting me off at a different cross walk (this one with a no turn on red sign no less). I had the right of way in both instances and not jaywalking. Don’t know if this is a new part of my commute into work, I hope not.
    Rave: I like how my idea of grocery shopping entails buying snacks and bacon. I swear I stopped by the produce section but didn’t see anything I needed. Also helps that said snacks and bacon were BOGO.

  • Rant: sleep deprivation, grogginess, and needy parents

  • Rant: Not fewer than 14 MPD cars (14!) and 2 MPD bicycles at Webster Gardens in Petworth last night. Anyone know what happened?

  • RANT: Job searching. I got referred to a Fed job that I want really bad and I think I am pretty qualified for but I am waiting on pins and needles to see if I get an interview.
    RAVE: I have an interview at another organization that I got referred to but it doesn’t seem as interesting. But one is better than none. Even if I don’t get hired it will be a good practice run.

    Transitioning to other sectors of the Federal Gov is a lot harder than I thought it would be!

  • Rant: Odd pain on one side of my back.
    Rant: My cat woke me up at 3 a.m. scratching at my bedroom door. (And scratching LOUDLY — enough that I could hear it over my white noise machine.)
    Rave: She was better behaved this morning, possibly as a result of spending several hours in timeout in the bathroom.
    Rave: Almost the weekend!
    Rant: Hot, sticky D.C. summer weather.

  • The eaglets are flapping, hovering and “flying” up to higher branches in their tree. Fledging any day now!

  • hammers

    Rave/Rant: Moving. Very excited to sign a lease tomorrow on a sweet new place. Organizing the move and dealing with the stress of moving and hoping for the best!
    Rant: Therapy. I have no idea if I just have a crappy therapist or if I just hate self reflection. But it’s been almost 8 months and she has yet to tell me something I didnt already know. We also never talk about solutions. idk what to expect.
    Rant: My colleague is a pompous airhead. Yet he is loud and male and in my office that is prioritized, so I, who quietly redoes his poor work, am fairly marginalized.
    Rave: won trivia at slash run last night woot- first timers there too

    • Oh my goodness! Are you moving far away?! Must catch up soon!!!

    • I saw a therapist a few years ago who was the.worst. She would ask broad questions and then let long silences go by after my response before saying something like, “that sounds hard” and offering no other feedback whatsoever. Yeah, that’s why I’m here, can you help me? I truly hated her and gave up after a few months. I’ve since switched to a cognitive behavioral therapist who I’ve found to be worlds better — I didn’t really realize the first time around that I needed specific tools and techniques to implement rather than a sympathetic ear. I’m sure the latter helps a lot of people, but not me. I’d recommend finding a CBT therapist!

      • Agreed – I’ve had several therapists over the years, and the ones who have helped are the ones who have offered some form CBT / actionable therapy, where they help you develop tools and techniques for dealing with whatever you’ve got going on. I had a therapist like Emi G.’s terrible therapist, when I was in grad school – I understand that there are times that you need to just sit in awful silences and learn to just let it be an awful silence, but mostly I think you need tools and strategies to help you move your life forward. You’ve given this quite the ol’ college try, sticking with it for 8 months, but it may well be that this person is just not a fit for you and what you need out of therapy.

  • Rant: My AC is not working so well, and I had trouble sleeping. weather.com claims that avg temps in DC are in the 90s in summer, so its not going to get too much hotter than it is now??????

    Rave: weekend. need to run a bunch of errands. Excited to sleep!!!!

    • “… its not going to get too much hotter than it is now??????”
      It’s really not the heat, it’s the humidity. But yes, it does get much hotter than it is now. I was actually commenting yesterday that it felt sort of chilly for June!

    • LOL. It’s just starting to warm up!

    • Definitely will be hotter than it is now. The Heat is just getting started. DC gets so hot that no one comes outside until sundown unless absolutely necessary.

      • And not even then, because mosquitoes. Not that they aren’t around all day now, stupid invasive species.
        Yep, 90 degrees + 90% humidity while waiting for your morning bus. Yay DC.

    • And it’s not just that it will be hotter, it’s that it will be hotter for day after day after day…. till even the trees are drooping and sad, and the sky is milky white even though there are no clouds.

      But then there will be a great big booming thunderstorm with a deluge of rain, and for a day or two after it will sparkly sunny clear blue skies and cool and not really humid and you’ll be able to breathe again.

  • I Dont Get It

    Rave: Dental surgery went well yesterday although already I’m tired of soft foods–brings back bad memories!
    Rave: Since it was just my gums I went to P/T for my shoulder today and
    Rant: There was a cute boy there who was clearly getting all the attention from the mostly female therapists. Hey, Baby Boomer over here with really great insurance!!!!
    Rave: Adjusting to new boss. He’s very cautious and sometimes in this job you can’t be too cautious.

  • smrtcar

    Rant: Terrible on-line web applications. I test them for a living and I still see them in real-life. It infuriates me. I tried calling the business to tell them and get no answer. How can you run a business and have no interest in making an extension of your business function, let along being successful. I guess I just saved myself $100 by not doing business with this company. This is not just a one-off transaction, this is part of building an economic relationship, repeat business. First World Problems I guess.

    Rave: Friday. Going to see the the Marine Corps Parade tonight with family from out of town.

  • Andie302

    Rave: Friends son had a successful surgery and doesn’t need a halo to recover after all – just a tiny neck brace that allows him to sleep and move MUCH more comfortably!
    Rave: The eagles are so big!
    Rave: It’s Friday πŸ™‚
    Rave: Alumni event this weekend that will be a lot of fun!

  • Rant: DATING. It’s not easy. Been with the same guy for a yearish who is obviously not putting me first (or second or third). It’s hard to break it off because the sex is so good, and even having some compaionship/hugs once a week is better than nothing. I SHOULD break it off, but I’m not sure there is something better out there. I desperately want to be happy and have it all, but I’m starting to think it’s a pipe dream.

    • One word: Batteries.
      For real. Take it from a stranger who doesn’t know you. You are worth so much more. Your happiness matters. Put yourself first. You can always get sex elsewhere. The D is never worth a dick.

    • Andie302

      There is something better out there. And if you’re okay with just sex, then why don’t you just ask him if it’s okay that you start dating other people? I feel like this could play out a few ways: you keep seeing each other in a friends plus benefits sort of way but date around, you meet someone else better, or he wakes up and realizes what he’s giving you isn’t enough to want you to not see other people – any of these sound like a better alternative than status quo after a YEAR. That’s a long time! Good luck out there!

      • +1 to this!

      • It’s kind of been a year on and off. But I’m the monogomous type. I think it might be time to have the come to Jesus meeting.

        Sex is one thing, but it’s just the hugs, the intimacy I miss the most when I’m not dating.

        And I HATE first dates, I tend to be a tad shy and introverted at first so first dates don’t always go so well.

    • Sounds more like a FWB situation than a relationship, sorry.

    • topscallop

      Could you keep him as a regular FWB while you get back out there and date other people, until you find someone you want to give your entire focus to (assuming you are into monogamy)? Or are you romantically invested in this guy – in which case it’s tough but I would recommend a clean break. You deserve to be happy and to have someone put you first.

      • I’m romantically invested πŸ™ I guess it’s just time to sit down and have a DTR and stick with it. I’ve mentioned my concerns MANY times before and asked for changes, it will change at first – but then work, school, etc will get too busy again and I fall to low priority.

        I just want to be someone’s first priortiy πŸ™‚

        • I’ve definitely been there and know how you’re feeling. I have always been an extremely busy person (extracurricular leadership positions, volunteer work, demanding job/school work load, etc.) and have always made the time for my partner. It hurts when that prioritization isn’t reciprocated, but understandable if their feelings/values don’t align with yours. Its incredibly doable if its something they actually want to make happen. Its hard to let go but there are absolutely people out there who do make their relationships a priority and its worth the time to find them.

        • Actions speak louder than words. Maybe this guy has good intentions, but he can’t/want follow through on them.

        • First priority over work, school, and family or high enough that they won’t pick up that extra shift every time it’s offered?
          Did you know he was so busy when you started dating or did that change during?
          Just a tad curious.

  • topscallop

    Does anyone have advice for finding extra income, part-time? My issue is that I travel a lot for work and so anything with a set schedule is difficult. But my bank account is really suffering from attending multiple weddings and related events. I need to review my spending habits and cut back in a few places, but if I could also supplement my income, it would help make me feel more secure.

    • There are many busy well-heeled people (parents, especially) who loathe laundry and pay money to have someone else deal with it. If you like laundry, as I do, you could float the offer on your local list serve and DC Urban Moms.
      Also, if you’re traveling a lot, can you put your place on Airbnb? A couple of my staff do that while they’re on mission.

      • topscallop

        I wish, but I don’t think my roommates would like it. I don’t hate laundry though, so I’ll look into that, thanks!

    • June is wedding month so catering companies are usually looking for extra labor. Kitchen prep & serving both. You don’t need the level of skill as a restaurant waiter.

    • Putting your place on AirBnB when you’re traveling would be an obvious income-generator. Or if you like dogs you can dogsit through Rover.com. There are lots of skills, like photography or website design, that can be done as gigs whenever you have time.

    • I typed a comment but it’s not showing up for some reason. But look for wedding-related gigs (do you have any skills like photography, decorating, food prep, music?) and services vacationers need like petsitting and housesitting.

      • +1, if you’re a good planner/detail-oriented person, people are always looking for day-of wedding coordinators to make sure things run smoothly.

    • That One Guy

      It feels like my bank accounts hit a whammy too. June is not a good month for me.
      Is there something you can bring back from your travels that you could sell for profit?

      • My wife brought back several suitcases full of wholesale stuff with that goal in mind, and she wasn’t very successful in selling it. It’s tough to find unique items overseas when everyone can get practically anything online.
        However- on a recent trip we recently met a couple from Miami who travel the world buying art, which they then sell on eBay for a huge profit. Not a bad way to make a living!

        • One idea I just had though: if you are traveling to a part of the world that a lot of people emigrate here from, someone would probably pay you to bring stuff to their friends/family that are still there. Finding those people would be the challenge– post a Craigslist ad I guess?

          • That One Guy

            Buying stuff and bringing back for people is probably safe and okay, but I would not recommend being a mule. You open yourself up to too much risk.
            You can also see if there are wholesale opportunities. When I went to Peru I really liked the Kuna alpaca scarfs and toyed with the idea of importing them for sale here. Sadly I didn’t have the capital to pull that off and they opened up an online store for the US. Keep your eyes open, you never know what opportunities you’ll stumble upon.

          • I wouldn’t even consider making cash on the side by carrying things across borders for people you don’t know. A) it might not be appropriate depending on your company and/or the kind of work you do, and B) that’s how smuggling and drug running are done. Could be a huuuuuuuge mistake if you’re carrying something you don’t know you’re carrying.

    • What types of things are you good at? Could you work at taskrabbit-type tasks? Lots of things on there – building IKEA furniture, doing errands, etc. And you make yourself available when you can.

      • Or serving as a personal organizer, packing people’s stuff in preparation for a move, etc.

    • binntp

      Sign up for focus groups at Shugoll Research. They send emails every week with current studies they’re recruiting for, and by participating in a one-off 1-2 hour session on various topics (I did one on ginger ale brands), you usually end up with about $100-200.

    • If you know your travel schedule well in advance, look into hosting or waiting tables. If you’re upfront about the situation, you may find a place willing to work with you especially if you’re willing to take on less desirable shifts like brunches and early weekday nights. My last restaurant gig let me look at the schedule before it was published to verify it didn’t conflict with my other job.

  • Rant: very bad week at work, significant upheaval and very low morale
    Rave: I have an idea for the MacArthur challenge and friends who may work on it with me
    Rant: unlikely to have it funded and get me on a different path
    Rave: maybe it’ll still be something I can do over the long term

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