Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Hugh Clarke

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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108 Comment

  • Rant: Headache, bus 25 minutes late this morning, still kind of grumpy about my old team having a “farewell breakfast” for me this week and not offering to pay my way when other people got farewell parties they didn’t need to pay $17 to attend this week. need to let it gooooo let it gooooo.
    .
    Rant/Potential Rave: Really hope the Abunai truck is near me today. I was going to bring lunch but then I realized my frozen trader joe’s tikka marsala wasn’t sealed all the way and i don’t feel comfortable eating something not sealed.
    .
    Rave: T-minus 7 hours until the weekend.

  • Ant Rant: Like a million Dread Pirate Robertses, the ants seem to have built up a tolerance to the usual poisons. Or else gotten smart enough not to eat them, which is kind of frightening. Terro, powdered borax mixed with sugar, and Raid baits haven’t made a dent. What should I try next? Keeping in mind kids and pets.

    • windex. no joke. i used windex because I had a wall where ants kept congregating on. used windex on that wall and have never seen an ant since. unless they are tolerant of that too. LOL

      • Windex or anything else that just smells strong and is a cleaning agent causes the ants to leave the area, but they end up moving the nest somewhere else; in your house or not but it just scares them away for a time.

        We have a pest company that comes in quarterly and they put this sugar borax mix in straws tapped along the lines the ants move on and they take it back to the nest and they die. Had a massive infestation last week, they put down the stuff and a few days later no more ants.
        American Pest Control ( there are 2 this is the one with good reviews).

    • HaileUnlikely

      Diatomaceous earth or silica gel. Both will work, but silica gel will work a little faster. Silica gel is not a gel but rather a powder and slightly more expensive to obtain in an immediately usable form. They are not toxic. Diatomaceous earth basically cuts up bugs (think razor wire) and causes them to slowly lose their fluids; silica gel basically sucks them dry. Bugs can’t become resistant to them the way that they can become resistant to poisons – it would be sort of like a person becoming resistant to bullets.

    • We’ve had good success with the Taro bait stations. Though now we have a contract with American Pest because we were unable to get rid of roaches with DIY approaches sufficiently–and they’ve taken care of the ants for us as well. Good luck–those buggers are GROSS.

    • Thanks all. Having failed with borax and terro, I’ve ordered some silica gel. This might work because they don’t have to eat it; it just sticks to them and dehydrates from the outside in, according to the product description. Fingers crossed.

      • HaileUnlikely

        Good luck. What did you get, Cimexa? I wish it came in sizes between the 4-ounce bottle and the 5-pound pail. Back when I needed it, I wanted a bit more than 4 ounces but much less than 5 pounds…
        .
        I’m intrigued with getting a pail of pellets at a craft store (likely labeled for things like dehydrating flowers or similar) and trying to grind it into a fine powder with a coffee grinder or something. It would be much much cheaper that way, but I don’t know if it could be ground finely enough with ordinary household tools.

        • Yeah, I thought about salvaging the little packets from beef jerkey and shoe boxes, and seeing what I could do with a mortar and pestle, but I think the selling point of the commercial product is that it is ultra-fine, and thus sticks to the bugs.
          I didn’t take note of the brand, but I definitely got 4 oz of something near the top of the amazon results!

  • Andie302

    Rave: Friday
    Rant: Never-ending real estate negotiations – I feel for my clients, but I’m also ready to establish a course forward, stick to it, and stop talking about it, emailing about it, thinking about it. Luckily we should have something by end of day today.
    Rave: A weekend in DC – they feel few and far between in the summer, and this will be a combination of productive and fun
    Rave: Fancy solid wood dining chairs from CL that were even nicer than I was expecting, for $20 each

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rave: Friday! This has been a long, stupid week.
    Rave: Berry picking tomorrow! Raspberries, here I come!
    Rave: And a family birthday celebration. Middle Zelda is turning 17, plus I get to give Emmaleigh her birthday presents, which she is going to loooooooove.
    (I hope)
    Rave: New season of DCC started last night, so I know what I’m watching tonight!

  • Rant: Judgmental family members who seem to think their opinion on how I conduct my life and finances should be openly expressed. Especially when that opinion is about how old I am to be having a child right now (I’m 32, I’ll be 33 when the baby is born). Sorry that I opted to have fun in my youth, get settled in a career, get married when I was ready, and decide as a couple with my spouse when to have children. Ugh.
    Rave: The Other Mrs. Rabbit has made it abundantly clear that she thinks I need a new computer. There’s a shiny new Microsoft Surface 3 waiting for me to set up.
    Rave: Butternut squash soup for breakfast

    • WTF. 32/33 is not too old in my opinion for children. even if it were, it’s not my life.

      at the end of the day, you and your wife will be raising the child – not the other family members.

    • I am so sorry re: your annoying family members. It unfortunately is so so common – I spent 15 minutes on the phone this morning reassuring my little sister because she felt awful after a conversation with my mom who was critical that my sister is just night weaning, not fully stopping nursing her toddler. As I told my sister, everyone is always going to have so many opinions about your parenting choices (or decisions NOT to parent). Do what works for you and your family. Mt. Prez had great advice to me a few weeks ago when she stated that things are only an issue when they are a problem for your family. Do whatever works for you. I have learned to cultivate the art of giving zero f*#ks since Baby Artie was born. It had been so liberating.

      • Ugh, why does it even matter to your mom? Unless she’s angling for more time with her grandchild? (That’s why mom would be excited for me to be done nursing–easier grandchild access!) I’ll admit I can’t imagine still getting up to nurse a toddler overnight (though watch me end up there) but that’s just for my own sanity & sleep needs. I have a feeling mtpbaby is going to be nursing in general a lot longer than his sister did based on his continued interest now, but we’ll take it as it comes. I’m pretty sure he’s my last baby, so I don’t mind continuing for awhile longer. (Then again, I would have happily continued more with his sister, but she was done not long after she turned 1)

        • My sister cosleeps as well, and I am guessing it is part of a more generalized feeling on my mom’s part that my sister coddles her toddler. Also, my mom is from a generation that just didn’t breastfeed so there’s part of her that just doesn’t get what nursing is all about. And I agree with your approach. My goal is to make it to at least one year, then smash the pump (I hate pumping!), and take it as it comes regarding morning/night nursing. Baby Artie is my first and last baby, so I’m trying to inhabit the moments and just enjoy each stage while we’re in it.

          • Got it. But meh, different parenting approaches. I also cannot fathom co-sleeping, but that’s just for me. I don’t care what others do so long as it’s done safely! No kidding on the pumping, though. If I weren’t nervous about the cow’s milk thing and not ready for him to be turning one, I’d be counting down the weeks (should be less than two months!).

          • Completely agree with you on the cosleeping. It wouldn’t work for us for a variety of reasons. But not my circus, not my monkeys.

          • I’m with you guys on cosleeping too. Mostly because cosleeping with my toddler is like sharing a bed with a drunk octopus looking for its car keys.

          • HAHAHAHA! “ostly because cosleeping with my toddler is like sharing a bed with a drunk octopus looking for its car keys” — truth and hilarious!

    • Oh family can be such a joy!! Like you said, you lived your life and found someone and decided to have children when you were both ready. What better way to welcome a child into a home? Also–I’ll be 32 when I have this baby so I’m right there with you being an old mom ;).

    • 32 is really not old at all to be having a baby!! In this town, it’s actually on the young side! If it makes you feel any better, I had my first child at 24 and was judged. It just seems like people are going to pass judgment no matter what you do.

    • Yuck on the judgement. I’m so sorry. What a ridiculous thing to say now that you’re pregnant and the situation is reality. I was 33 when mtpkiddo was born, and 35 when mtpbaby was born, which is pretty mid-range around here, if not on the younger edge of it. I was shocked to realize recently that I am the youngest member of my mom’s group. Think of it as preparation for judgement on parenting decisions when you get there. Because as artemis noted, that will happen as well. It’s all about boundaries.

    • I’m sorry about the judgmental family members – that really sucks! You did what is right for you and your family. That’s all that should matter!
      We had to wait for five years before being allowed to try for a child. Now I’m 30, and we were so excited to start only to have the brakes put on (due to necessary work travel to Zika areas and other potential medical complications we need to sort out) again. I’ve felt judgement and pressure about waiting to have kids, about talking about wanting to adopt, etc. And it comes from family who know my situation – and from my mom who had multiple complicated pregnancies ending in heart break. Why can’t people be supportive? Or just keep their mouths shut – it shouldn’t be that hard!

    • It’s been proven that children born to older (you’re not old by any means) parents fair far better in life. Why rush it?

    • 35 here and just found out I may be pregnant (positive home test, waiting for official doctor test)… super excited and glad I waited as long as I did.

  • Rave: Making rugelach tonight–love new baking challenges.
    Rave: Date night was awesome. We did one of those sipping and painting things. It’s clear Mr. F and I have no artistic talent, but we sure had fun trying. And I’m pretty sure our masterpieces will go up in our guest bathroom as a good conversation piece.
    Rant: Back is still sore, probably from working out. I’m not ready to cut back though :(. Bought a full body “pregnancy” pillow and am hoping it helps.
    Rave/Rant(?): Closet clear out and organization begins this weekend!!

    • Cat/cow before bed and the pregnancy pillow helped my lower back. I also recommend prenatal yoga and swimming. OMG, I felt like 30 pounds lighter in the pool when I was in my third trimester. I think it was one of the things that got me through those last few weeks.

      • The 2nd trimester seems to be lasting forever!! I can’t believe I have 4 more weeks. I think I’ll look into prenatal yoga to add to my exercise routine and explore some swimming options. I’m still running (albeit more slowly with more walking intervals) and weight lifting (less weight of course) which is just making for a sore back. Yoga might help stretch it out.

      • cat-cow especially in the shower under hot water! That was MAGIC for my sciatic pain when I was pregnant with mtpkiddo.

      • Prenatal yoga and a pregnancy pillow are so helpful for the backaches. And rugelach sounds so amazing right now – my grandmother used to make the most delicious ones I’ve ever eaten. I think that may turn into one of my weekend projects.

    • OH! One more Rant: Paid $100 nonrefundable for the pleasure of being #151 on waitlist for our top choice child care. By the way, we even had some level of priority and aren’t looking until May. Given how opaque waiting lists are I have no idea if it’s a snowball’s chance in hell odds or what, but it feels defeating.

      • Finding childcare around here is insane. The only reason we had options was because I had a miscarriage the first time around and was able to keep my spot on the various lists we were on. I felt a little like I was cheating, but I obviously never would have chosen that outcome. That said, the place we got in first and went with has a monthly list rather than the extensive rolling list most places had, so contacting them early and being organized about our preferences helped out substantially.

  • Rant: Why is the 14th street bus (53/53/54 series) so damned slow and infrequent? On bad days during rush hour it takes nearly an hour to get from 16th Street Heights to Pennsylvania avenue. I don’t understand why there are express buses on 16th and on Georgia, but not on 14th. If we’re never getting a metro or a streetcar, at least throw us a bone.

    • Yes. I agree completely. Then again I usually take the S buses and some of those have been kind of messed up the past week so ugh all around.

      • The stretch of 14th in Columbia Heights from Euclid to Spring Street is horrendous and is the chief culprit in the travel time. Just bumper to bumper traffic, combined with stops every block. Hate it.

    • HaileUnlikely

      Very slow traffic, but also, unlike on 16th Street, there are a lot of places on 14th where the bus pulls all the way out of traffic to access the stops on 14th, and thus gets stuck and has to wait a good long while to be able to merge back in, whereas 16th has no bike lane and no parking lane and the bus does not have to exit and re-enter the travel lane when servicing stops.

  • Rant: Canning failure – three jars of ginger/lime/melon preserves spewed their contents (sugar syrup) over the cabinet. Related rant – ant party in my cabinet
    Rant: Woke up with lower back pain a few days ago, still painful. Advil and icy-hot patches help, but still painful. Tincture of time says my MD.
    Rave: Staying put this weekend, first time in a long time I’m not going out of town.

    • Why did that happen? Insufficiently sterilized? I’m about to try preserving some fruit for the first time, and I want to learn from your experience!

      • I’d guess that’s the case – most things shouldn’t ferment on their own in a complete vacuum of bacteria, etc.

    • Bad seal is my guess – thinking I didn’t clean the rims sufficiently after ladling the preserves in the jar and/or didn’t tighten the ring down enough before processing.
      One of the canning guides recommends taking off the ring (after the jar has cooled) and trying to lift the jar by the lid to see if the seal is tight. Carefully lift, in case the seal isn’t tight. I’ve started doing this, and so far so good

      • I’d add that the lids weren’t sealed when I discovered the overflowing syrup, thus my conclusion that I did a poor job of sealing before canning

    • Ever seen the old Bing Crosby movie, Holiday Inn? Your rant eminds me of a scene in it where canned peaches explode! Must be a not fun experience!

  • Rant: Woke up feeling awful this morning–stomach all out of whack and could barely eat.
    Rave: A few crackers, part of a banana, some water & some coffee got me rolling well enough to get the kids up and going.
    Rave: Was already planning on working from home today and my to-do list isn’t that long yet.
    Rave: mtpkiddo did a lot better than I expected at drop off. Wanted me to sit and read books with her, but readily accepted that the third one was the last one and said goodbye without any fuss. She seemed really excited about her class yesterday, so I hope that continues!
    Rant: Oh my goodness this weather. YUCK! Thank goodness for AC and being able to drive to pick up mtpbaby from daycare later. I’m not sure I’m up for another sweaty walk with a baby in the ergo & hanging on to a preschooler at the same time.

  • Rave: Big gig last night went well!

  • Rant: My commute has sucked this week, and I am told this is the norm once school is back in session. which has made me really question my job. I really love where I work and (most) of the people I work with, but the commute coupled with a few other things has me questioning if it’s time to move on.
    Rant: After having no issues for several months, I’ve had two bouts of disphagia this week. I avoided getting the tests I needed last year with the hope that avoiding my allergen would cure the problem, but sadly I think now I need to take it more seriously and just go. I’m such a bad patient though!
    Rave: Friday!

    • Can you research other options while you try to see if the commute can work longer-term?

      • I did a quick search yesterday and came up with three very tempting alternatives… Two with excellent organizations, one of which I have worked for before, and one with a company ten minutes (!!!) from my house.
        Sadly, I do not have much in the way of options for the commute, and my boss has already made it pretty clear that there’s no AWS option available long term. I have balanced the commute up til now, and I will continue to work with it. It could just be that it’s been a stressful week and I’m feeling it more because of that, but only time will tell.

        • Your outside alternatives sound pretty awesome. It doesn’t hurt to investigate…. and when faced with the possibility of losing you, your boss may changes tunes.

  • Rant: I had half a beer last night and I feel hungover today. Not a good feeling when my job is anything but quiet and I’m on my feet all day. I guess this means I’m old.

    • Clueless

      I feel you… these days one glass of wine will knock me out then give me a headache the next day. A decade ago I would have been chugging bottles like a champ.

      • Yeah, I hit that point a long time ago. Even one glass of wine or beer will mean I get dehydrated, have to pee several times at night, and generally get bad sleep. I wake up cotton mouthed and fatigued. Weird since I also weight (sigh) a lot more than I did in college.

      • +1 to the wine. Beer is not quite as bad for me (although more than 2 is usually too much).

    • It just means you don’t drink enough. The more you drink, the more tolerance you build up – known fact.

  • rave: happy friday!
    researching hikes in the shenandoah for labor day weekend!

    • Fun! White Oak Canyon and Rose River trails are my favorite.

      • Thanks! I have white oak canyon on the list. I’ve never done Old Rag but I’m worried it will be too crowded. Looking at hawksbill also.

        • Old Rag is challenging, a lot of rock scrambles. I’m terrified of heights, so that particular hike is always really hard for me.

        • I haven’t done Old Rag either. I”m always in Shenandoah on weekends when it gets really crowded. One weekday I want to call out of work and hike Old Rag.

          Hawksbill is a nice, short steep trail with great views at the end.

        • You can do both Rose River and Hawksbill in the same day. They’re two of my favorite trails in the park. I agree with others that Old Rag and probably White Oak will be too crowded on the holiday weekend (although if you start at the bottom of White Oak and do the entire loop, it’s a lot less crowded after you pass the first falls). Others you might want to consider are Mary’s Rock (there’s a nice 6 mile out and back loop if you park at the Pinnacles picnic area), Buck Hollow, and Little Devil Stairs

          • For Pinnacles, it’s an out and back, not a loop. Sorry I added the word loop there. Very nice views on that hike.

      • White Oak can be crowded, too. All the locals use it as their swimming pool.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rave: the end of a long week.
    Rave: berry picking tomorrow and a birthday present!

  • Rant: Sinuses acting up. So much pain and can’t breathe…also, have been told that “you look like crap!”
    Rant: Four members of my dept. were here on a year-long program, and today is their last day. I love them dearly and hate to see them go…and they will be replaced straight away on Monday. This transition time is always hard.
    Rant: I work on a college campus (though not at the college itself) and students are moving in today. No more quiet, lazy lunches in the shady courtyard, no more not waiting in line for coffee…ugh, I love the summers here.
    Rave: Friday!

    • One thing: saline nasal sinus irrigation. Buy the little blue plastic bottle. And you can actually rid yourself of chronic sinus infections forever if you use it at the first sign of any congestion. Has truly changed my life, and stopped me having to take antibiotics for massive sinus infections a few times a year.

  • Rant: Lavender dresses that aren’t lavender – more pink! Back to the drawing board on dresses – looks like I’m have to go shopping in stores to get that bridesmaid dress before next weekend!
    Rave: Found a great co-working space in NYC that’s just awesome. Now if only I could figure out how to socialize/meet people in the space.
    Rant: My job over the past months has made it hard to remember that I am somebody to know something and can contribute something.
    Rave: Had a good interview yesterday, reminded I am worthwhile. Also, went to a library discussion group on A Little Life – LOVED the group and loved getting to geek out over books together.

    • Not sure exactly how formal/bridesmaid-y the dress is that you’re looking for but I was able to find a dress off the rack at a David’s Bridal recently. It needed some alterations but that could be an option. Also, Nordstrom’s personal shopping people!

  • Rave: In a good mood this morning!
    Rant: Eventually this good mood (probably a combination of caffeine high and things going well at the moment) is going to wear off.
    Rave: Lalalalalalala! I can’t hear you, Rant #1!
    Rave: Almost the weekend!
    Rant: The return of super-hot weather. I was rather liking all the highs-in-the-80s days this past week.

  • Rave: Four days at the beach with an old friend and a couple of acquaintances.
    .
    Rant: I don’t love group house vacations. I kind of like to sit around in my underwear and drink beer and listen to the Grateful dead starting about 10AM, and it seems to annoy people. OK, that may be an exaggeration, but the last couple of group outings, the more mature, anti rock ‘n’ roll factions have taken over. I spent five days in Provence listening to piano jazz and couldn’t get ANY of my music — even jazz-jazz — on without getting mean looks.
    .
    Weird: Old friend is also old lover from before the marriage and one of my girlfriend’s besties, so their’s always a little weird karma in the air.
    .
    Rave: But she’s a deadhead, so an ally in the music wars!

    • Best solution is to get your own house nearby, and then get together with others only when you want to, like later in the day for dinner. Vacation together and apart at the same time.

      • Alas, don’t have that sort of cash. This should be OK, actually — very short; it’s just the beach so expectations are modest; the host has a well-earned reputation for musical knowledge from the era my generational niche finds most evocative. I don’t have to worry about, as happened in another group vacation house, someone telling me “I can’t stand electric guitar,” while I’m listening to the Rolling Stones.
        .
        I’m just a little trepidatious.

        • That One Guy

          Invest in a good pair of in-ear isolating headphones and rock out to your own soundtrack. The only problem arises when people try to talk to you and you’re oblivious that they are or you start singing out loud.

          • But that’s the point: on vacation I don’t want to have to put the headphones on, I want my environment to be suffused with the extraordinary artistry of the musical geniuses that I, Irving Streete, have deemed worthy of Spotifying. “let there be songs,” as Jerry puts it, “to fill the air.” (Lest I be perceived as more obnoxious than I really am, I am perfectly willing to trade off with others, btw. Fair is fair and I like hearing other peoples’ music — even the piano jazz).

    • Anti rock n’ roll factions?
      Sounds like more of a “group” problem than a “group vacation” problem.
      And five days of piano jazz en Provence?
      As a pianist, even I think that’s just too on the nose.

      • In my high school, there weren’t divisions between groups such as jocks, nerds, etc. It was all about whether you listened to rock or disco. Rock knows disco blows!

  • skj84

    Rave: smooth travels to Minneapolis. Flight was easy and the view of the sunset from the sky breathtaking. My sister’s neighborhood is so cute! Lots of quirky shops and restaurants. I’ve always been semi-tempted to move out here. The weather doesn’t scare me, the idea of pulling up roots and starting over in a new city does.

    Rant: My roommate had to put her dog down last night. He had advance cancer. He was only diagnosed two weeks ago. I only knew the dog for the two months we’ve been living together, yet I’m still devastated. He was the sweetest doggie, very chill and full of snuggles. I’m glad I got to see him yesterday before I left. He sat with me as I got ready to leave and a snapped a few pics. RIP sweet doggie.

    • If you are tempted to move almost anywhere else (other than the few cities with more expensive housing than DC), you wills save a lot of money over the years. Almost wish I hadn’t been so drawn to expensive cities all my adult life.
      If the weather doesn’t scare you now, know that it will scare you when you get to the age where a fall is likely to mean a broken bone. Go earlier than later, if you are going to move, and plan on moving again to warmer temperatures when older, at least for the winter.

    • sad to hear about your roommate’s dog — can’t imagine having to make a decision like that.

      interestingly enough, my partner, who is from minneapolis, and i are uprooting to chicago sort of on a whim. it’s scary to leave the comfort of the lives we’ve built, but i’m so excited to build a new one together in a great (and affordable!) city.

      • You’ll like Chicago – it is not only cheaper, but the midwestern folk are friendlier. I sort of expect that still, though I’ve been in large east coast cities since post-college, having grown up a midwesterner. It took me a long time to realize that although I now drink soda not pop (on the rare occasions I drink one), and wait on line like a NY-er and no longer in line, that I still expect more friendliness. Chicago, where I did spend a few years, is a great mix of big city and midwestern.

  • Bear

    Rant: WHY is swamp weather back?!?!? My train came early today so I had to hustle to the station once I heard the gates come down. Was overheated and kind of light headed all the way to the office as a result, and I look like crap now.
    Rave: At least I’m not in the third trimester, it could be so much worse!
    Rant: This week is kicking my ass. Really busy at work, not enough sleep…I need a week off to do nothing but bond with my couch.

  • Late-breaking alert: to the several of you with upcoming weddings to host or attend (and, really, everyone else too)–the Hax wedding hootenany is today. Hilarious. Most recent question reminded me of the wedding toast suggestion in the “what not to do” category….

    • Sh*t I keep forgetting I need to write a speech for next weekend. Will go check it out to make sure I don’t do any of those things!

  • I noticed on social media that the National Gallery of Art AND the Hirshhorn have chosen to post that it is National Dog Day instead of the fact that it is Women’s Equality Day. I would think that a gallery for our nation would be politically correct enough to make sure at the very least to treat women and dogs equally (yikes) and post about both, but I guess not.

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