Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Andrew Pasko-Reader

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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  • Rant: Haven’t been sleeping well this week. Going to bed at like 8pm tonight.
    Rant: General loneliness, likely exacerbated by aforementioned lack of sleep. Feeling simultaneously like I really want to have someone to snuggle with and look forward to seeing but also like I really don’t want to spend the money/time/effort on dating after my last few attempts. And then knowing one doesn’t come without the other.
    Rave: Tomorrow is Friday and I have time scheduled with friends after work.

    • +1 – In the same boat…thankful for great friends but really wish I had someone that I wanted to spend the money/effort/time on. Hope you get some rest this weekend!

    • Seriously, FridayGirl, are lives are so similar! I haven’t been sleeping well, and I’ve been feeling the same way about loneliness and dating. I’m trying to fill in time with exercise and friends but still…just not the same

  • Rant: Between a late train and an accident on 16th st yesterday, not only was I not early to pick up mtpkiddo from the bus like I was trying for, I was late. Ugh.
    Rant: Both kids up last night, sequentially, and both kids had trouble going back to sleep. Mtpkiddo was super worked up & insisting there were monsters in her room.
    Rant: Transitions suck. Mornings after bad nights are hard.
    Rant: Knowing mtpkitto is struggling, but then having to rush through mornings because of running late. Ugh.
    Rave? Mtpkiddo got up this morning and said, “There are no monsters in my room!”
    Rave: work product that is older than mtpkiddo (I inherited it when I returned from maternity leave from her birth) is finally being released today.

    • I suck at change as an adult who has had a lot of therapy. I can’t imagine how it must feel for mtpkiddo. I hope she starts to settle into her new school soon.

      • Yeah, and she’s always had a hard time with transitions. We got lulled into thinking it was going to be easier because she was largely excited the first two weeks. But I think the novelty has worn off and she’s not used to it yet. The four-day weekend from being sick followed by the three-day holiday weekend probably didn’t help. At least she happily scampered onto the bus this morning (after having to be practically dragged there) without nary a backwards glance at mtpwife.

  • QUESTION: received a jury summons to my address of over 3 years but to a person who doesn’t live in my apartment. Should I respond to it? Side note, i haven’t received a jury summons from DC in nearly 4-5 years.

    Thanks Popville

    • Prince Of Petworth

      I would just return to sender if not addressed to you!

    • Jury summons are sent to individuals, not to addresses. It’s not for you, and you have no obligation to respond, but as PoP said, you could return to sender.

    • Bet you get summoned soon after saying that! It’s usually pretty frequent in DC.

      • I lived in DC for 13 years and I only got jury summons twice. I think I was lucky.

      • Every 2-3 years for most. I had Grand Jury service 3 years ago – 3 days a week for 3 months, it was hell. I am currently in petit service today. The jury pool in DC must be shallow.

        • I did grand jury 5 years ago, 5 days a week, 8 hours a day for 1 month. NEVER AGAIN. I feel your pain.

        • HaileUnlikely

          I suspect we as a jurisdiction that comprises one city have a high caseload in relation to jurisdiction size, and we DC residents get called for both the DC Superior Court and the Federal Circuit Court. I could be wrong but to my knowledge random citizens who live several hundred miles from the nearest Federal Circuit court don’t get called for jury duty for the Federal Circuit, that is a special luxury associated with living near a Federal Circuit court.

        • I had grand jury in 2009 (3x a week for 8 weeks), and then I was on a petit jury for like 4 days in 2013. Then I got called again in January 2016, but my date happened to be during the blizzard and the government was closed, and they said that that counted as my service so I should be good for another 2-3 years. A weird thing: I have twice received summons at my address for Rachel [different middle initial] [same last name] that turned out to not be for me. I called and the juror’s office just put “wrong address” or something in their system for that other Rachel.

    • they get me every two years!

    • Thanks everyone. I will return to sender.

    • Sorry in advance for what’s likely a very obvious question, but do (full-time, salaried) employees still get paid by their employer during jury duty? Or are folks expected to eat X-days of income while they’re serving? I know the jury gets a token sum to cover part of lunch, but I haven’t ever been summoned.

      • It varies by my employer. Mine covers up to 30 days which is extremely generous. If you get paid by your employer then you don’t get paid for jury service you just get a metro subsidy. But if your employer does not pay then you’ll get paid, but it’s a very small amount. I’ve heard some juries get lunch served, but when I was on a jury we did not get lunch provided. My trial was only 3 days so maybe it depends on length?

      • Most employers do pay (full-time/salaried) employees for jury duty days – we just mark it as “admin leave” and have to provide the summons or proof of service that you get from the court.

    • That happened to me once. I wrote on the form that the person doesn’t live at my address and sent it back.

  • Rant: Allergies attacking me this morning. I can’t smell a thing.
    Rant: As I was going to work, I saw that somebody’s dog left dog poop in the hallway of my floor in my apartment building. Gross! Glad I didn’t step in it.
    Rant: It’s still hot even though it’s after Labor Day. I’m ready for fall with the cool weather and leaves changing colors.
    Rave: Got a reprieve from a work project that required that I work offsite one day a week. Going almost an hour on Metro to another office was killing me.

  • Rant: Biker ran into a kid getting onto a school bus this morning. Proceeded to brush it off and not apologize. Classy!
    And no, it wasn’t a bikeshare.

  • Rave: Two days at Harry Potter World/Universal coming up. Any advice from those who have been?
    Rant: Any time on vacation apparently must involve chaos before leaving.

    • I went to Universal (mostly Harry Potter) in June. I recommend going in the evening if you have a chance, since it’s somewhat less crowded and you get to see things lit up. They also did a firework show at closing time when I was there. You need a park to park pass to ride the Hogwarts Express, and it’s worth doing in both directions. The rides are okay, but the scenery is the main attraction. I get dizzy easily, so I didn’t go on the ride in the castle, but you can still walk through the castle and wait for your friends off to the side. There is a lot of detail everywhere so definitely walk through the whole of both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley.

    • The Hogwarts ride is way scarier than they tell you. The attendant talked my timid kid into it and she nearly peed her pants, and cried for a half hour afterwards. That said, the lines for Hogwarts and Gringotts are super cool. Go through the line even if you aren’t going to ride the ride. They’re set up for that.
      If you buy a wand, go ahead and spring for the interactive one. My kids enjoyed making things happen with their wands.
      Breakfast at the Leaky Cauldron is pretty good, and way less mobbed than other times of day.
      Get the souvenir cup and take advantage of cheap refills throughout the park.
      Make sure to see the Universal parade in the Hollywood section. The performers are really top notch. When we were there it was at 5pm I think.
      Mess with the staff. Like, ask the attendant at King’s Cross station where platform 9 and 3/4 is. They won’t break character. It’s thrilling for the kids to be in on a secret.
      Get the two-park pass and ride the train both directions.

      • Ha – “mess with the staff” – my husband started explaining how the interactive wands actually worked to me while I was checking out (RFID technology, etc.) and the cashier got really huffy and insisted that there was none of that Muggle technology here!

    • Get frozen butter beer. My spouse and I recently went and bought the 2 park pass as others have mentioned and we had a total blast. Islands of Adventure has many really amazing thrilling rides and Universal has some great rides too (though a bit more low key in my opinion than its sister park). We enjoyed the Gringotts ride the best and did it twice, we went in May so the park wasn’t too crowded yet. I also enjoyed all the water rides at IoA, but you will get soaked, especially on the Popeye one! Plan accordingly 🙂


    • I did all of the Harry Potter stuff in one day easily almost two years ago. You do need the park to park pass to ride the Hogwarts Express (since Diagon Alley is in one park and Hogsmeade/Hogwarts is in the other).
      – Download the Universal app, it will show you line times and you can head for a ride that you want to be on when the line is a little lower. There’s also free wifi in the park.
      – There are lockers at each ride, you can’t take anything on with you (and I’d recommend not having anything in your pockets if they aren’t seriously secure).
      – The interactive wands are worth every penny.
      – You can drink while walking around – get a beer for the sightseeing times or for while you’re on the Hogwarts Express.
      – Hang out near Gringotts and watch the dragon on top.
      – If you have kids going with you, just a heads up, they’re prepping for Halloween Horror Nights right now so parts of the park will already be set up with props. They shouldn’t be actually scary but each kid is different, so just a heads up.
      – I enjoyed the food at the Hog’s Head for lunch, wish I had gotten to try the Leaky Cauldron.
      Rides: The Gringotts ride is 3D but on an actual track – there’s a drop at the very beginning that I found out about literally right before getting on and I nearly backed out (I hate roller coasters) but it’s totally doable if anyone in your party hates roller coasters. The Hogwarts ride (Forbidden Journey) has you strapped into a seat with a cage which tilts you around (you don’t go upside down) but can be scary for younger kids and can also make you motion sick if you’re prone to that sort of thing. The Hippogriff ride between Hogsmeade and Hogwarts is basically a kid’s coaster, anyone can ride it, it’s ok but not necessary. I didn’t ride the dragon coaster as I hate coasters but my friends who went loved it. You go upside down.
      I’m going again in a few weeks, but spending time at the rest of Universal for a change. I plan to ride the Gringotts ride for sure but I’m excited to check out other rides. Also, Halloween Horror Nights! I’ve never been to that before and am excited.

    • Thanks, all! We do have the 2 park pass, and also the flash-pass thing. We can get into the park an hour early – what’s the best thing to do first thing, before it gets packed? Get a wand?

      • If you can get into the park early definitely go on the Gringotts or Hogwarts ride (depending on which park you start in). These have the longest waits and if you can get through those quickly you can spend more time wandering.

        • Agree with the ride first! We went right when the park opened and did Gringott’s and basically walked right on! Also — don’t use your fastpass early in the morning — we actually made it to the front FASTER than some folks that were using their fastpass before 10am.

      • Yes, get the wand first, then do the virtual reality ride (Hogwarts or gringotts) like Rebecca says. Unfortunately the express passes don’t work on most HP stuff.

  • Rant: Baby Artie is still sick and no one in our house slept well last night.
    Rant: My throat feels like I swallowed glass. Drinking tea and hoping I manage to not get really sick.
    Rave: Today is Thursday. We have limited plans over the weekend so I can rest.

    • Have you tried putting a pillow under the head of Baby Artie’s crib? That could help him breathe overnight. I hope you’re both feeling better soon!

    • Oh no… I’m sorry to hear! I hope your throat feels better and everyone gets well soon. Just a little less than 2 days to get through and then hopefully you can get a good amount of rest.

  • Rant: Foot injury. Doesn’t hurt now but I have an ugly bandage and need to wear casual sandals at work for a while to fit over it.
    Rant: It’s so hard to find shoes for my messed up feet. They need to be wide enough in the toe, but narrow in the heel, and also short in overall length. Crocs and Toms are okay but they aren’t appropriate for all occasions, or winter.
    Rave: It could be worse, and tomorrow is Friday.

  • Rave: Feeling much better today – my appreciation goes out to the Popville community for letting me vent and helping me examine issues with some degree of distance and objectivity.
    Rant: Feeling nauseous. I was craving a doughnut and I got one and gobbled it down, and now I feel so sick! When will I ever learn?!
    Rave: Getting a few things crossed off my to-do list.
    Rant: But not enough. Sigh.

  • Rave: Flying home tomorrow morning to hammer out some wedding details! Cake tasting, here I come. (sidenote: this will be my last time staying with my mom as a single person…which is kind of bitter sweet. My dad died 11 years ago and it’s been us two ladies together)
    Rave: Found an AMAZING china cabinet at Salvation Army this weekend! It was missing shelves, but that’s easy enough to fix, and this thing is SOLID wood. Probably worth $3,000+ new. So excited for our first real piece of furniture!
    Rant: Lots of little things to do today but really don’t care to do any of them. Can’t wait to get out of here, at least for the weekend if not for good.

    • Congrats on your real piece of furniture, that’s an excellent rave!! I spent months scouring craigslist for solid wood bookcases. We eventually got two good-sized ones and each was only about $50. It was an amazing deal knowing how much solid wood bookcases would go for brand new!

      Enjoy the cake tasting 🙂

      • Finding wood bookcases on craigslist is hard – even finding good engineered wood ones covered with nice real wood veneer is hard. I once asked someone on craigslist if a bookcase was real wood, was told yes, and was pissed when I drove out to the VA burbs only to find a cheap bookcase of particle board covered with plastic fake wood. I think the woman selling it was quite stupid.

    • Congratulations! We had our cake decorated with real flowers, it came out very nicely. A word of advice, whatever you choose with the cake, be sure to have some form of chocolate at your reception, or there will be blood. We hosted an after-wedding party at a historic house where some guests were staying and with everything going on we did not think to pack forks. The baker had delivered a ‘death-by-chocolate’ flourless cake and the women were eating it with their bare hands.

  • Rants: I have them, but they’re all things I can manage and change (eventually).
    Rave: Heard from former boss about interesting opportunity at her new place, and we’ll do an interview next week. Excited about this and other moving pieces!
    Rave: Boyfriend asked me to be part of his parents’ visit when they come next month. Not just lunch, but going to the Bay for the weekend. I’m excited.

  • Rant: There’s a daycare across the street from us and Mr. F gave them a call to ask about getting on the waitlist. Unfortunately, we would not have any priority so he asked for a ball park estimate for the infant room. Was told they haven’t looked at their non-priority list in over 5 years. Sigh.
    Rave: At least she was honest. We didn’t dish out the wait list fee! She also told us it was only about 2 years for toddler room so we may sign up for that.
    Rant: I know it’ll work out and we’ll find something, at least a nanny share. But OMG so stressful especially with no car which limits options.
    Rave: Thanks work for 12 weeks paid maternity–this will be a huge help and I am so grateful. Also to Mr. F who will take a month unpaid after.

    • Oh man, that sounds like the daycare in my building. My jaw dropped when I heard a colleague talking about waitlist length a few months ago. I’m sorry about that!

    • FIVE YEARS?!?! WTH, that is insane, but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised with the state of daycare today. Damn living in Canada now, US mat leave seems even crazier than it did when I lived there. At least you husband can take a month off even if it is unpaid.

      • It is so true about parental leave here. It’s the dark ages. I am so fortunate to even have 12 weeks paid!! And we are in a good position financially (also very rare) that we can save and forego my husband’s salary for a month. And really, the reason we are doing that is so he gets time to bond 1:1 with the baby and be primary caregiver for a while. There’s no way we could afford for him to take his full FMLA unpaid.

    • so stressed about childcare! I cannot believe the waitlists around here. But you raise an amazing point, I should probably get on some toddler room waitlists now. That’s so insane to me. I keep telling myself we’ll go with a nannyshare all of which don’t seem to be set up until a month or so out so I have some time. But I really like to have my to do list all taken care of earlier than that. oy. I also still haven’t told my office, so no idea what kind of leave I’ll be seeing.

    • Re: daycare, I understand the stress. I didn’t know about daycare for Baby Artie until I was two months in maternity leave. But it worked out, and then about a month after I got back to work, we also got an offer at a facility that was at the very top of my list when we were looking (a place that had a very large waitlist binder). So put yourself on some lists (don’t spend the amount of money you would applying to college) and then try to breathe. I promise that it comes together. Do what you can and then let it go as much as you can.

  • Can anyone tell me about the lesser known downsides of medical marijuana? You’re basically going on record as a user of a federally prohibited drug, right? So… how many ways can that trickle down and screw you later? Or does HIPAA apply somehow?
    And, does anyone have a recommendation for a doctor who will prescribe it? I asked my regular doctor, and he said it would be a good solution to my problem, but he’s not registered to prescribe it.

    • One of my friends got a prescription by asking the dispensary which MD perscribes

    • I’d guess that HIPAA would apply, unless you’re trying to get a high level clearance, at which point you have to release your records, if I’m not mistaken. You can get a prescription by going to a dispensary and getting an appointment with one of their doctors. This is a straight-forward process at this point; I know several folks who’ve gone through it without any issues. I highly recommend the dispensary at Eastern Market (right by the metro), though it’s name escapes me right now. Should be easy enough to find with Google.

    • You may run into issues with any employer or prospective employer who requires drug testing. Some employers may accept that you have an RX, others may not; it is entirely with your employers rights to prohibit you from using a controlled substance while at work, even with an RX, and if it’s in your system, you are ‘using’. Most employers don’t care anymore, but some do. I had a friend whose husband worked for metro and was a RX similar to anphetamines. He tested positive on a random, gave them his RX, and was told he had to come off the RX immediately or lose his job. I know that in healthcare, those types of meds and similar (re opioids) don’t necessarily pro life you from employment as long as you have an RX, but in some positions, it would.

  • houseintherear

    Has anyone tried Barkly.us yet for dog walking services? Seems like such an awesome idea but I can’t find many reviews.

  • curious: did anyone expecting a baby seek counseling with their partner beforehand? I hear the first few months/a year can be really hard on a relationship. While we aren’t on the brink of divorce by any means I’m sure there are many ways we could improve our communication and I’d love to do that before we’re in the middle of a baby crisis/sleep deprivation.
    Anyone have any counseling recommendations in DC?

    • I don’t have any recommendations but want to give you some props for thinking about improving communication, etc. before issues arise! Good you guys!

    • We did not seek any counseling beforehand, but did pursue couples counseling when our first pregnancy ended in early loss. I found it to be helpful in getting us to address a lot of issues related to ourselves as a couple and becoming pregnant again and navigating pregnancy/parenting together. We saw Kate Marosek in Van Ness who specializes in couples counseling and pregnancy and a couple of sessions worked for us (she doesn’t take insurance but does offer sliding scale). But there are certainly many others you can go to. I am very pro counseling and think it’s a wonderful idea you’re thinking about this now,!

      • I never thought I would be someone who would have a kid (or be married for that matter), so everything feels a bit foreign to me. And maybe that’s why it’s making communication hard at the moment. But being this far into the process, even as someone who never pictured myself here, I can’t imagine that loss. I appreciate you sharing. Here’s to healthy pregnancies/relationships.

        • To be honest, neither did I. It’s funny how life works out sometimes. Even now (I’m pregnant again and so far so good almost in 3rd trimester) I’m like ack! Impending motherhood! I still go to counseling now, but just by myself. It certainly helps me focus my anxiety and deal with it better. Good luck to you!

          • It’s funny that I’ve been so consumed with things like worrying about a miscarriage, daycare, my relationship with my husband, how to minimize having so much stuff with having a kid and being environmentally friendly, etc etc that I’ve barely thought about how to raise a good kid. Ha! I suppose I’ll have hours on sleepless nights and a therapist to help figure that stuff out. Good luck to you, glad the third trimester is close, I’m still a few weeks away.

  • Rave: I lost more weight on vacation and I’m down about 8 pounds total!
    Rant: the vacation weight loss will not stick around. I wasn’t snacking because I wasn’t bored, I drank less (weird on vacay, I know), and some of it was likely muscle loss because hiking was my only exercise.
    Rave: whatever, I had been avoiding my favorite pencil skirt because I assumed it didn’t fit, but I am wearing it today!
    Rant: I was trying to carry the vacation mindset back into my normal life- get to sleep at a good time, take care of stuff, read more books and less internet (I read 3 in two weeks, which never happens), don’t buy a bunch of crap on the internet, etc, but I’m already exhausted and feeling like I can’t sustain a change a mindset. Maybe I need to become a park ranger.

    • I hear you. Park ranger for NPS is basically my dream job.

    • Glad you had a great mental and physical reset, even if you don’t see it lasting as long as you’d like. It sounds like it was a great time and a great break for you! And hey, explore the Park Ranger angle a bit, see if it might be doable! Can’t hurt to look!

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rave: Finally met Middle Zelda’s boyfriend’s family. They’re very nice.

  • Rant: being a supervisor to a lazy ass. Dude, you’re over 40. Why do I have to nag you to do your basic duties at work? I feel like a mom dealing with a teenager (even though I’m a male around the same age as this dude).
    Rant: He used to have my job, but got demoted instead of fired (years ago before I arrived). Yes, we do our best here to match a stereotype of government!
    Rave: the other 6 on my team work hard.

  • Rave: Football! Spray park season extension! Kids looking cute for picture day…
    Rant: Neighborhood shootings, community meetings on kickoff night

  • Rant: I think I got “friend dumped” by the guy I dated then agreed that we should just be friends after he just wasn’t ready to date. We hungout a few times and he was super into seeing me but in the past two weeks he has last minute said he wasn’t free to meetup and then just stopped responding to my follow up texts. It’s like getting dumped twice! I guess we’re just facebook friends now.
    Rave/Rant: mom was in town and it was so nice to see her. she left this week, and I miss her. my parents live across the country and I only see them during the holidays, so it was especially nice to see her again

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