Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

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You can talk about whatever is on your mind โ€“ 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 peopleโ€™s grammar. This is a place to vent and/or celebrate things about daily life in DC.

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157 Comment

  • houseintherear

    Rave/story: I was talking to my dad about the new REI (posted about yesterday). 30-ish years ago, he ran Waste Mgmt for DC./Bmore, and could not believe what he was hearing about the development where REI will be… That area was the site of the old autoclave decades ago, and the guys working there were robbed almost daily. They had a bunch of guard dogs to meet the trucks out front and escort them in without allowing people (homeless, criminals looking to rob the works, etc) inside the building with the trucks. But most interesting to me was that they had a resident Westie who lived on site and killed vermin. He said that one little dog did 100% of the pest control!

    Rant: I have neck pain and it’s causing migraines. Anyone try Total Relaxation Store in Brookland for a massage before?

    • I love your story! thanks for sharing.
      re: your rant – i have terrible cervicogenic migraines and have been in physical therapy since June. my headaches have gotten better (i.e., less frequent, shorter duration) and i know how to manage them when i feel one coming on in my neck. Also, dry needling has been IMMENSELY helpful in releasing the originating tension that causes the deferred pain, which only a PT certified in the technique can perform. Massage only did/does so much for me, so I am hopeful that you get some relief with that. I am happy to pass along my PT / clinic info if you’d like. Best of luck!

  • Rave: I’ve been to the doc for a minor issues quite a few times and it always resulted in the wrong diagnosis in the US. I finally went again here last night and he diagnosed something else (which I had started to assume it was that over the past year).
    Rave: I didn’t think there was much you could do, but he prescribed medicine!
    Rant/Rave: It’s $130 here, thank god for good pharm insurance through my wife’s firm–only $20 for me.
    Super rant: It retails for $900 freaking dollars in the US!!!

    • Emmaleigh504

      The cost of Rx can be insane! My dad’s cancer drug is $500 per pill! How can anyone afford that?!

      • All health care pricing is a little nuts. But that’s because the people who pay for services are largely (though less so) different from those receiving the services and different from those making decisions on the services. It’s a wonky system.

        • That One Guy

          I believe in Japan the prices for medical relates services are set into a book so people know what they’ll have to pay. I’ve thought for a long time that if the US had something like this it would make medical care more transparent. What we have isn’t real insurance, more like a discount program.

          • +1. I tried to get a doctor’s office and insurance company to tell me how much something would cost before I agreed to it before. Needless to say, I couldn’t find one person who would tell me.

          • HaileUnlikely

            FridayGirl – I suspect that’s because they really truly do not know how much it will cost. For the same insurance company, it’ll cost a different amount for virtually every single provider, and for the same provider, it will cost a different amount for not only every single insurance company but every different plan from the same company. If they attempt to tell you how much it will cost, they will probably be wrong. I gained a new appreciation for this the first time I enrolled as a new patient at a major medical practice in the era of completing all of your enrollment “paperwork” on a touchscreen kiosk in the waiting room. When I got to the part where I had to pick my insurance plan from a pulldown menu, I had to scroll for seemingly hours [obviously not actually hours] to get to mine, despite their being in alphabetical order and mine starting with the letter “C.”

          • … but that in itself is ridiculous.

          • The NYT has done a great series of articles on how the price of various hospital medical services, etc. varies widely from one hospital to another.
            Canadian prices for prescriptions are much better than those in the U.S. because (IIRC0 the Canadian government negotiates with pharmaceutical producers to get a certain cost nationwide.

          • Agree with FridayGirl…it’s ridiculous. Just imagine if you could compare costs and go to Facility A where the appt costs $120 vs Facility B where it costs $200. There’s no transparency in medical costs and it’s a problem. My mom recently told me her family (5 kids) didn’t even have insurance growing up. She said it wasn’t necessary b/c a doctor’s visit was $20! I realize this was a long time ago, but healthcare in the US is still out of control. I think insurance companies drive up the cost.

          • HaileUnlikely

            A study published in one of the major medical journals a couple years ago found that some procedures varied in cost by nearly a multiple of 100 from Facility
            A to Facility B. They cited at least one example of something that was something like $40-$50 at one place and over $3000 at another.

      • It’s crazy. This isn’t even some amazing medication or complex medical issue. Also, a walk-in at this insanely nice doctor’s office is only $90! Apparently it used to be even cheaper, they raised their prices Sept 1.

  • Rant: Monday night I saw another mouse in my apartment. Didn’t sleep a wink, had a mess of a day Tuesday.
    Rave: Set traps last night, pretty sure I found the hole and covered that sucker with steel wool. Oh, and NyQuil is amazing. I don’t know if there was a mouse or not, but I sure slept well!

    • Emmaleigh504

      love your user name!

    • I love your username!

    • I’ve always found mice will push steel wool out of the way, or chew a hole next to it, or even chew through it if you try to hold it in using plastic wood filler. I’ve trapped many a mouse, and used the rat zapper when I tired of trapping them. The only thing that has really worked in when the building I live in calls in the good exterminator and they put those gel packs in every single unit. Good luck.

    • We had a small mouse problem when we moved in and they were smart enough to avoid the traps.
      What worked? Great Stuff Pestblock Insulating Foam sprayed into all holes and gaps between your floor surface and baseboard. The foams fills the gaps perfectly and hardens overnight. So worth it. If you have exposed brick, you’ll also have holes and cracks in that. Fill them with the foam and cut away the excess after the foam has hardened. I got pretty OCD about finding every crack and hole in the (rather large) apartment and filling it, including in my laundry/utility room and all our closets. I have yet to see a mouse dropping for the last year, even though I can sometime hear them inside the brick party walls.

      • I should also add that the Great Stuff Pestblock spray foam bottles are pretty much one-time use, as the foam will harden in the spout. Find and clear out all the gaps in your walls and baseboards that need to be filled. Also wear rubber gloves – the foam is really sticky.

  • Rant: Way too short haircut. I wanted shoulder length and got chin length. I got compliments on it, but that was what it looked like after 30 minutes of styling.
    Rave: Scored Stephen King National Book Fest tickets this morning!
    Rant: Only allowed to get 2 tickets and we have a group of 3.

  • Rave: Excellent 2 days at Universal Studios/Harry Potter World. Most of the advice here was spot on (thanks for that!), good weather (for Florida – 90 degrees but virtually no rain), daughter loved it – an all-around success. (If I had to give just one tip, it would be, if possible, stay at one of the properties that gives you early access to the parks, and the Unlimited Express Pass – both were fantastic.) However . . .
    Rant: Apparently, high-speed inverted rides greatly exacerbate GERD/reflux – who knew? Add to that eating poorly and a distinct lack of exercise in the last month, and . . . aargh. Sleep has been elusive, and my default now is discomfort, frequently spiking to pain. Need to make that doctor’s appointment I’ve been avoiding.

    • Andie302

      Have you tried Prilosec OTC? I was having a similar experience and after two weeks on it felt so much better.

      • I second the Prilosec OTC suggestion if you plan on waiting a bit to make a doctor’s appointment. I took it in high school, when it was still prescription and thought it was fine, but if you’re going to visit a doctor, I’d recommend Aciphex. Since this was years ago, I don’t know if that’s still on the market, but I found it to be the best at preventing acid reflux, and it really helped my ulcer.

      • I think I’m way beyond OTC remedies. I’m currently on the highest dose of a PPI that they’ll prescribe (which is itself problematic – data mining has revealed a greater likelihood of heart attacks associated with PPI use. It’s correlation, not causation, and probably can be explained by the physical characteristics associated with the typical patients who are prescribed PPIs, but still). More problematic is that the drugs appear to be losing effectiveness. I know I am going to be faced with recommendations that are either wildly impractical (reduce my stress – has that advice ever done anything other than the opposite of it’s intended purpose?), common-sense (get in better shape – I’m good with that one), and/or just miserable to implement (a change in diet – have you seen the list of foods that exacerbate heartburn? It’s basically a list of the food that makes eating enjoyable – beef, pork, coffee, alcohol, ice cream (or any dessert), tomatoes, garlic, onions, heavily spiced food, cheese, chocolate, citrus . . . the list goes on). So, basically get a new job, and learn to enjoy poorly seasoned boneless, skinless chicken breasts and fish (thank God there’s still fish). This is why I’ve been avoiding the appointment, but I think I’ve hit critical mass.

        • Have you tried any diet change? I thought I was facing the same bland future (my heartburn was so bad I had trouble swallowing), but I started with cutting out coke. I had a 3-can-a-day coke habit that I thought was a non-negotiable. I replaced it with flavored seltzer and don’t really miss it. And my heartburn is 90% better. Maybe you can find that one habitual thing that will make the difference, and not have to worry about the rest of the list.

          • I generally eat OK during the week, and give myself a little (or a lot) of latitude on the weekends/on vacation. I don’t drink soda, and although I do love beer and bourbon, I’m much more of a weekend drinker – maybe once a week I’ll have a bourbon when I get home from work. I think my two biggest culprits are: (i) Not eating enough during the day and too much at dinner, which, combined with my need to go to sleep early so I can get up and work out, means I’m lying down too soon after a large meal. That’s a logistical hassle to change, but it can be done. (ii) Coffee. I have a sneaking suspicion coffee is to me what Coke was to you. I LOVE coffee. I would rather give up sweets AND booze than coffee. It’s not even the caffeine – though that’s part of it – I just love the taste. I kicked myself off caffeine a few years ago (have since reacquainted myself), and still had a decaf every morning. I know I CAN quit drinking it, but I really, really don’t want to.

        • totally. I got that same list (although I discovered on my own that anything starchy, and specifically fruits like apples gave me problems) and have learned what really sets it off (either food combos or oddly enough waiting too long between meals), and what can be managed with a combination of OTC remedies. probably not the best idea, I’m sure I should see a doctor again, but as of right now it’s working. I find the idea of something like barrett’s esophagus/esophageal cancer terrifying, so I try and do what I can to keep the reflux under control. best of luck, and once again, aciphex was the best prescription I used.

        • dcd, you’re correct in your assessment of the problematic side(s) of PPIs – and don’t forget that the long-term use of PPIs has been shown to drastically reduce magnesium absorption, which can cause problems with arrhythmia. My dad has been dealing with a lot of these issues in his quest to deal with his heartburn/GERD, and now his near-constant PVCs. He’s consulted with multiple gastroenterologists and cardiologists, but I don’t know what his solution has been…he’s in great shape and eats very healthfully…but yeah,, I don’t know if he’s hit on anything. I can’t imagine trying to change basically everything you eat, but I’m thinking of you and wishing you the best as you try to figure out what to do!

          • Thank you! I’d forgotten about the magnesium portion of the side effects. Double aargh. You will know I am drastically altering my eating habits when I go silent for 2 weeks – my normally sunny disposition (hah!) is going to get awfully crispy when I’m living on water, chicken, and rice, and I won’t be fit to be out in public. (It’s the sick dog diet, for cryin’ out loud.) I’ll need to sequester myself.

        • I worked for a medical director once who called PPIs them adult candy due to them often being over-prescribed in order to keep patients happy. His argument was that instead of doctors really getting patients to try lifestyle changes first, that doctors would hand out RXs to placate patients, much like lolipops after shots. For a while, every single person we saw discharged from a stay of longer than 2-3 days in the hospital came back with and RX PPI (getting heart burn or acid reflux in the hospital is common because of being laid up in a bed). Things have changed since then, but what is really unfortunate is that people who were started on long term PPIs before the side issues were fully understood are now in a position of being basically dependent upon those meds or face major lifestyle changes.
          They think (because I’m a shitty patient and never got the endoscopy to prove it) that I have ‘Silent GERD’ which is causing my swallowing and choking issues. It has gotten much, much better now that I am eating far less meat and have completely cut pork products out of my diet. I also rarely drink soda any more. I tend to prefer a healthier diet, so it hasn’t been much of a struggle for me. I miss the hell out of some bacon and prosciutto, but honestly, I feel better for it and it’s worth it.

          • I am scheduling my endoscopy today. I’m at the point that I wake up every morning with a sore throat and crappy taste in my mouth because the acid has abraded my throat all night, and it happens during the day, too.

          • Oh, man. I’m sorry dcd.

          • Sounds like you need the endoscopy, dcd. But … I get horrible heartburn if I eat dinner late and lie down shortly afterwards – many people do – but I just don’t do it anymore. If you could change your eating hours (it is NOT that hard to do, eat you main meal for lunch, eat lighter stuff later, and not too late) and only drink coffee earlier in the day if that is a trigger for you (I tend not to drink it after mid-afternoon because it will keep me awake if I drink it after dinner), you might solve a great deal of your issue without having to change what you eat very much at all.

  • Rant: mtpbaby up THREE TIMES last night. Not sure what’s going on. Perhaps he just hates me and never wants me to sleep? Ugh.
    Rant: Need to get a better handle on the evening routine. Going to try starting off with a book or short activity with mtpkiddo and then find ways she can help me get dinner set up. Hoping that she’ll be a bit more on-board if she’s more engaged with it all.
    Rave: mtpwife is taking mtpkiddo to the Nats game tonight. I hope they have a great time!

  • Bear

    Rant: Fundamental disagreement with my husband on the direction our renovation needs to go. He wants an addition, which would give us about 200 square feet, but will bleed us dry (we are expecting a baby in 11 weeks, by the way) and won’t get us the second bathroom or more closet space upstairs that we really need. I would rather keep a good cushion in the bank and reconfigure/upgrade the space we have, which is totally doable and gets us a second full bath and more storage. I have done a ton of research on building codes, layouts, and have even made drawings of what we can do with the space. Contractors agree that it’s the better way to go from a money stand point. He just doesn’t see it. And it’s making me crazy.

    • Oh yikes. That’s frustrating and I agree with you FWIW. An addition is such a huge project too and 200 sq feet in the grand scheme isn’t a ton of space. What’s his reasoning for the addition/spending a ton more money?

      • +1. 200sq feet is not even half of my studio apartment. That really isn’t much space at all. I’m sorry that small space has caused such difficulties :[

        • I’d guess that it’s not primarily the square footage that’s the attraction, but that it’s a whole extra room. 200 sq feet added onto an existing room may not be a game changer; an extra bedroom could be. That said, only you two can decide what’s the best balance to strike. I don’t know if this is an option, but there are tremendous economies in doing things at the same time. Is it possible to defer all improvements until you can add the bedroom and reconfigure to add the bath and closets? Short term inconvenience for long-term savings (this is not my forte at all, but I’ve heard that it works well for more disciplined people) . . .

          • Bear

            We’d use it for his office, which is currently in one of the bedrooms upstairs – the bedroom that would become the nursery. Because of his work situation he needs a dedicated office space in the house. Our spare bedroom is where our laundry hookups are and it also functions as an extra closet, because the one in the master bedroom is tiny. So we either add on and leave the spare bedroom as is, or we reconfigure our existing space.

    • Andie302

      Maybe you should pitch it to him this way: let’s maximize what we have, have the baby, and if we feel like we need more space down the road then we can also do the addition. I’m with you – use what you have, save your money, and don’t open up the bigger can of worms 11 weeks before you have a baby!!!

      • Bear

        I tried that, he thinks there’s too much uncertainty for us being about to do both within the next couple of years, and he’s right – it would probably be more like 5 years before we could afford to add on. I am backing off for now until we get the last estimate in, and at that point I might just have to put my foot down.

      • HaileUnlikely

        FWIW I am thoroughly perplexed by the notion that it will be more like 5 years before you will be able to afford to do X therefore you should do X *now*. Does this somehow make more sense to your husband than it does to me?

        • Confused as well. But my sister and BIL did something similar before my nephew came. They were SMALL projects though (ie replace kitchen counter). Their thought was with the baby, daycare, med appts, etc money was only going to get tighter and they wouldn’t do the projects for 4-5 years. But they had the cash at the time and it wasn’t going to strap them

        • It’s more like we can do X or Y right now, and the other 5 years from now. Which one would increase our quality of life more (and therefore should do first)?

          I’m currently going through this process with my own house: remodel an ancient kitchen or add a 2nd bathroom. While adding a 2nd bathroom would be a smarter financial decision (increases the house value more than a new kitchen would), we’re going with remodeling the kitchen since the current one sucks and is driving my wife and I crazy.

          • HaileUnlikely

            My understanding from the preceding, which might have been incorrect, was that they were already uncomfortable with the expense of the addition itself, not just that they were uncomfortable with the cost of the addition in conjunction with the other stuff. If what they meant was that they won’t be able to do the addition for another 5 years *if they do the other renovations now instead*, then that would make more sense.

    • HaileUnlikely

      I can’t imagine blowing through my financial cushion with a baby on the way. If your current place is more than about 400 square feet, I cannot imagine preferring 200 more square feet (50% more space!) over having extra cash on hand right now. (We put off some significant renovations a while ago simply because we couldn’t get our act together and decide what we wanted. Then my wife lost her job. Now we are really glad we put them off, because we still have that money, and the money is more important to us than the renovations right now.)

    • Think of it this way, you can always get welfare to pay for (a part) of your kid, while good luck getting welfare to pay for the addition!
      In all seriousness, why not just take out a loan for that extra space if it’s so important?

      • Bear

        We’re already refinancing and I’m buying a car because we won’t be able to get by on one once the baby comes. I’m very hesitant to take out another loan on top of all that.

    • You don’t agree, so do neither now. You need to be in agreement to take on either renovation project. Just focus on getting the place as it is ready for the new baby and surviving the first year. Chances are you will think about moving to a larger space eventually, especially if you are planning more than one child. Do you really need a second full bathroom now? Probably not. Closet space can be made utilizing various furniture options like armoires, doored bookcases, dressers, and various other storage furniture. You don’t need a dedicated nursery right away. Often babies sleep in their parents’ rooms to begin with. Later, many parents with one-bedroom places make either a nursery area or a desk area in a room that is not a bedroom, or put the office area in the parents’ bedroom for use during the day when you are not sleeping. I wouldn’t want to take on a major renovation – an addition or the bath/closet – they won’t be done before you have the baby. Just rearrange to make the place work for now, and figure out what you agree on later.
      I agree with those below who are saying you should save your money for now with the baby coming – you really don’t know exactly what all the expenses of a baby will be until you have one. You might even want to consider buying a used car for the second car if it is basically needed to drive the baby around.

  • Rave: Thanks all for your recommendation for Helping Hands, I have an appointment set for dental surgery for my cat in about 6 weeks. I will be so relieved to be able to check that off my list and have my kitty feeling better.
    Rave: Talked to the billing office and was able to get a HUGE reduction in cost! The remainder is still a huge amount of money for me so I’ve broken it down into monthly payments, but at least this seems manageable now.
    Rant: Still have to sort out the Physician’s bill I received on Monday (separate from the hospital bill!) – seriously health care costs are astonishing. And it seems so wrong on so many levels.
    Rave: Got a few things for the baby shower. Now I just have to cross my fingers and hope they arrive before I need to leave this weekend!
    Question: Textdoc, did I see you flying past me hurry up and get on a train at the GA Ave / Petworth station this morning?

    • Adulting can be exhausting and expense. I’m glad you found an affordable solution for your kitty. And good luck dealing with the healthcare company. I find it is always worth a phone call. So many of our bills have been coded wrong and after being resubmitted we haven’t owed much. Always worth the call before paying when it sees really high.

      • Oh yeah, I’ve already called the insurance company, and they assured me that this was billed correctly and that what I now owed was going towards my out-of-pocket allowance, since I’ve already met my deductible. So then I called the actual healthcare organization to see if they could help me out, and thankfully I was able to get a 50% reduction in cost (since I am an employee of the organization). Huge help! Still $$$, but I feel less like I want to jump off a bridge.

    • Entirely possible! I didn’t see you. Where were you? What time was this?
      On a related note… I am in a different location and on a different schedule than usual at the moment, and yesterday I saw two possible UDPies. (Or maybe the same possible UDPie twice.)
      Great raves, BTW!

      • I was on the escalator going down rummaging through my bag and someone went whooshing by, around 7:55 am, and I could have sworn it was you but who ever it was looked like they were on a mission to get where they needed to go, and I didn’t want to hold anyone up!

        • Hahaha! That sounds about right. And I was indeed whooshing, because I was running almost 30 minutes late.

        • I vaaaguely remember seeing a woman standing on my right and feeling envious of someone who had her act sufficiently together that she didn’t have to walk/whoosh down the escalator to be on time. ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • Ha! I usually do whoosh down the escalator, because I don’t like standing still, but I was loaded down with computers and bags and what not, and struggling to get my metro card out into my hand!

      • Not I! Unless you were not in DC the past couple of days. I’m interested in the other UDPies that are out there though. I do have a brother that Facebook always tags me as but to my knowledge, he’s no where near DC ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Rant: Walking to the metro this morning, I got rained on. For a moment, I thought I was Charlie Brown with my own personal rain cloud, but then realized it was a neighbor’s sprinkler. Maybe think about placement of your sprinkler so it doesn’t soak the entire sidewalk, neighbor?
    Rave: Baby Artie thought it was funny and smiled and cooed. And we were dry by the end of our commute.
    Rant: Why can’t Baby Artie enjoy water when it is in his bathtub?
    Rave: I’m still fighting this cold, but my home remedy (hot lemon tea with honey followed by a whisky chaser) helped me sleep much better last night.

    • Are you sure Baby Artie isn’t a puppy? ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Very sweet rave #1!

      • Haha! He does have a lot of puppy tendencies, including chewing on things and giving the best snuggles.

        • Does he do that thing where he burrows his face into your neck/shoulder?? I miss that thing.

          • Yes! It is the very best thing. I’m still amazed at how physical and primal some parts of parenting are — like how my heart skips a beat when he does that and how he smelled like one of his teachers when I picked him up from his first day at daycare and my gut just said this is wrong, wrong, wrong. Parenting is weird and visceral.

          • And how you know they’re getting sick before they know it. They smell different when their immune system is amped up.

    • Maybe he’d enjoy a one of those shower-handle adaptors instead of a bath.

  • skj84

    Rave: quoted in an industry blog!
    Rave/Rant: My little brother is in town for CBC. I found out he’s coming yesterday. Why can’t my family communicate? Why is it so hard?

  • Revel: Broken foot less terrible than I thought – in a boot, off crutches, back to work. And my bike wasn’t stolen, despite leaving it overnight. And people have been amazing and sweet. (Can you tell I’m focusing on making lemonade).
    Rave: Seeing good friends this weekend. Although a bus ride with the boot should be interesting…
    Rave: Good phone interview this morning, and two more this week.
    Rant: Nada.

  • Rave: Just received my Tax Refund from DC!
    Rant: From 2012. Not joking.

  • Rave: Lao noodle pop-up at Thip Khao was delicious
    Rave: Mushroom cultivation workshop coming up this weekend
    Rave: None yet ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Rant: People who walk incredibly slowly down the left side of Metro escalators.
    Rant: Getting called in to work on a telework day. Was looking forward to not commuting in hot weather today.

    • maxwell smart

      Rant: People who walk incredibly slowly EVERYWHERE. Yesterday I almost had to shove someone out of the way – how 1 person can consume the entire sidewalk boggles my mind.

      • + a million. I absolutely do not expect everyone to walk as briskly as I do, but FFS, share the goddamn sidewalk. Just move to one side.

      • tangential rant: also people who walk into the elevator and instead of moving to the back they stand RIGHT NEXT TO THE BUTTONS, making it difficult for anyone else to press their floor, and then looking at them like they’re the ones in the way.

        • maxwell smart

          Probably the same people who step into the metro, and then immediately stop and survey the car, carefully assessing which seat they want to sit in, patiently weighing the pros and cons of going left or going right, savoring the aroma of moldy carpet, thinking what stop they are getting off at, where they are going, recalling that childhood memory growing up on the farm… meanwhile no one else can board the train, doors close, and you’re stuck waiting 20 minutes for the next Red Line during morning rush hour.

          • Those people are real jerks. I can usually get around them but I will nudge them out of the way if I have to. I never miss a train on their account. If you need to have a good think before you decide where to stand or sit, move to center of the car and do it there.

          • Haha. This reminds me of the Coffee Alchemists who block the entire milk/sugar island: “Oh I need another splash of soy milk….*sip*…still not right, needs two more splashes..*blows on hot coffee, sips slowly*…now, let me inspect every sugar packet to see which of the 6 different ones I want…*sip again*…”
            GTFO of my way!

        • I will admit I am that person, only because I am petrified of elevators and something about being so close to the emergency call button helps to rationalize my extreme fear.

          • Haha. This reminds me of the Coffee Alchemists who block the entire milk/sugar island: “Oh I need another splash of soy milk….*sip*…still not right, needs two more splashes..*blows on hot coffee, sips slowly*…now, let me inspect every sugar packet to see which of the 6 different ones I want…*sip again*…”
            GTFO of my way!

        • Related to your tangential rant: people who board elevators without letting people get off, just because they happened to be standing in front of the doors and it’s easier to step in than to step aside.
          And to the person who recommends that the agoraphobic take the stairs, have you been in a modern commercial building? The stairwell doors are all one-way. You can go down and out the ground-floor door, but you cannot go up and exit on any other floor.

          • YES, I agree with your tangential tangential rant. I’ve had more than one person say “sorry” as they push past me while I”m still trying to get out the elevator doors. That’s a #sorrynotsorry if there ever was one.

          • That was me. I’ve never seen that in a commercial building before but I guess it’s possible that none of the many I’ve been in is “modern”. Also what you’re saying sounds to me like it couldn’t possibly be true, but I don’t know jack about building standards. In that case, if stairs aren’t an option then the answer is “get over your irrational fear”. Standing 4 inches from the emergency button is no better than standing 3 feet from it.
            I agree with your elevator boarding rant.

          • Anonymous – I can testify that people can go up and down the stairs in my work building, but in my apartment building you must enter through the lobby and up the elevator, no stairs. (In that case I do feel a little bad for people who really hate elevators, but still make space for people to push the buttons gosh darn it.)

      • saf

        Rant – people who shove us slow folks out of the way rather than simply saying, “Excuse me,” and going around us.

        • maxwell smart

          Rebuttal: SCREAMING excuse me but person can’t hear because they have in headphones and are completely oblivious to anything and everyone around them.

  • Rant: Impulsive child saw me dip my finger into a saucepan to taste the sauce base (bechemel, not yet thickened). So she thought she could dip her finger into the same pan a few minutes later when my back was turned. Of course it was much hotter and thicker by then, so it stuck to her and burned her finger. Just a blister, but still lots of drama. Veteran parents, at what age do children stop trying to self-destruct??
    Rave: Impulsive child is kicking ass at karate. Sometimes literally, always figuratively. It’s so cool to watch this little bean sprout mini-me land a roundhouse kick on a black belt.

    • Do they ever stop?!?! Please, tell me they stop.

    • Quotia Zelda

      Well, Eldest Zelda is 19, and I’m still wondering when that’s going to happen. Maybe by the time they’re 40? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Ugh on your rant, but awesome on your rave! I can totally see mtpkiddo enjoying karate–she certainly enjoys kicking her little brother on occasion–perhaps we’ll have to try that out at some point.

    • That One Guy

      I took a pan off the stove and thought it was cool enough for me to wash it…it was still hot and my fingers while not burned ached from the pain.

    • You gotta model the behavior you want to see – using a spoon to taste – and you didn’t. Anyway, she learned from the pain and won’t likely be doing that again.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rant: STILL trying to track down our pilots’ strike reimbursement. Although my bank initially told me the wire transfer was rejected, they now say that it’s somewhere at Chase but never got forwarded to Ally. Despite the fact that Ally has a relationship with Chase, they can’t track it down. It seems this should all be much, much easier, given current computing capacities.
    Rave: The new Librarian of Congress is being sworn in later this morning!

  • Rant: Having one of those weeks where I am feeling completely defeated. Back to School night revealed some interesting difference in curriculum. I am really, really missing my kids’ DCPS school right now.
    Rave: Offered an interview that would put me back in the not-for-profit field of my industry. This will definitely mean less pay, but the organization has excellent benefits, and it would be closer to home. But, that money tho’… Decisions, decisions.

    • How does the money factor in when you compare it to the value of your time? And benefits have monetary value as well….

      • I’m trying to monetize it all now in anticipation of an offer that would be a paycut. The commute would be about half of what it is now, and depending on the hours, there is a very good chance it would mean dropping childcare in the afternoons. As far as benefits go, considering my current health insurance plan has put me into debt, I am beginning to think that the plan alone at this place would make any pay cut worth it.

    • Is there any way you can see what else they’re offering in addition to great benefits? (I assume you’ve already run the calculations on the value of the benefits vs the lost income.) The intangibles, like a relaxed work schedule, great people, opportunities for professional development, a manager who will challenge AND support you, etc.
      Being closer to home is HUGE when you’ve got five (six?) kids. And there might be more that will really improve your quality of life even if your income goes down a little.

    • Having done that….I definitely miss the money. It’s really hard where we’ve put ourselves now. I was told the benefits are amazing, but with my pay, I can’t afford a lot of the benefits (extra insurance, retirement accounts). If I stick it out, it CAN be, but I still miss the money!

    • I work for a nonprofit currently and our health insurance is so surprisingly good it is honestly worth a lot more, I’m looking at offers from other companies currently and it’s a real factor in my decision… as is my schedule flexibility and ability to work from home. That is all worth something.

    • gotryit

      Do you mind sharing what kind of curriculum differences? And is this a MoCo school now?

      • We are in Baltimore County, but I believe that at least some of the curriculum is state-wide versus county specific. The major difference thus far is in Kindergarten. In my kids’ DCPS school (which was one of those ‘it’ schools that got a ton of positive press – all well-deserved IMHO), pre-reading skills were all taught in pre-k, so phonics/syllables, letter recognition, fundamentals of reading; writing was encouraged from day one. Fundamentals of math were taught in pre-k as well. By Kindergarten, my middle child was reading and writing, and doing simple math no problem. Last night I was told that kindergarteners are not expected to learn, math concepts will only be introduced, but not things like learning time (direct quote – “their little brains can’t handle it!”). Better news is that the 2nd grader is ahead, but there are mechanisms in place to provide accelerated support for for math and language arts/reading. The 5th grader is also ahead, but again, they have accelerated math and language arts (though it’s still not as advanced as he was leaving 4th grade DCPS). It just all feels one year behind to me. I had higher expectations for a school and a district that is very highly rated, more highly rated than the school they came from.

        • Also, as of this year, homework is no longer required and it is not graded. Some teachers still assign, some do not. Two kids have had homework so far this year, and two have not.

          • gotryit

            Thanks. I’m dealing with 1st grade, but always find it interesting to hear real perspectives as opposed to hype / reputation.

          • I actually support this initiative. I think kids spend way too much time doing homework and the data on its effectiveness is spotty at best.

          • I am on the fence about homework. As long as it’s not too much, I think there are merits. When my daughter brought home homework in pre-K 4, I thought that was WAY too much though.

          • I think some parents (like mine) liked lots of homework because it gave them an excuse to keep us home to do it – as opposed to letting us run around with friends, and later, hang with kids of the opposite sex (little did they know this one would turn out to be gay). It also gave them an excuse to severely limit our participation in anything that would cost them money or require them to shuttle us around – like participation in organized sports.

      • Quotia Zelda

        I found MoCo (and Fairfax – I had 1 who went through each) kindergarten to be pretty academic. More than I would have preferred, actually.

        • I know that it varies from child to child, and I am trying to keep that in perspective. As happy as I was with kindergarten at my kids’ old school, I know that there were many parents who weren’t (too academic). This kid of mine really needs academics though, and it sucks knowing he would have gotten that had we stayed put.

  • palisades

    Rave: Blood Orange at Lincoln Theatre last night. Incredible show. So much fun.

  • Hive: I need a great restaurant in DC with a private room that can accommodate about 20 people at ONE large table if possible for a work event. Room needs to be private, not an area within a restaurant. I’ve considered Rasika on D Street but my boss will likely say no because it may be too “ethnic”

    Additionally, if anyone has similar recs for NYC, let me know (Manhattan only).

    • Carmine’s. We had our engagement party (20ish people) at one long table in a private room with a designated staff. They were great. And definitely not too ethnic. Also accommodates a wide variety of dietary restrictions.

      • Andie302

        I also had great luck with dinner for a bachelorette party (possibly in that same private room). They are really good at accommodating large parties.

      • yeah it’s on the list – I’ll have to consider it. I’ve thought about it but as a chain I wasn’t sure it would be “nice” enough. i can never tell what my boss actually wants. I’d do Rasika, but what do I know!

        • If your other option is Rasika, keep in mind that Carmine’s is more than a couple of rungs below it on the quality ladder. Perfectly edible Italian American, but not exactly gourmet-quality.

          • yeah that’s my concern. we want to give good food AND a private room.

          • I think it is a different sort of experience but more of an all around people pleaser. I’ve also had people (native NYers who are picky) recommend Carmine’s in Manhattan for group events. For Manhattan, check out L’Artusi to see if their private room could squeeze 20. Amazing food and ambiance.

        • Google “eater 25 stunning dining rooms.”

          • I have checked it out – some are too big, like for parties/weddings. This is a working dinner so that’s not good. But I’ve definitely been eyeing everything on there!

          • This has nothing to do with anything, but Rasika is the only restaurant I have ever been in where I felt like a giraffe. Is everything just slightly shorter? I go out with these three shorter women every other month, I have no idea why I felt like a towering behemoth walking through that dining room.

    • Catch 15 at 16th and K Streets. Very reasonable prix-fixe menus, too.

    • Kellari on K street has a good private room

    • Quotia Zelda

      We had an office lunch in a nice private room at Nopa recently, and I think it could hold 20.

    • HaileUnlikely

      If you are concerned that Carmine’s might not be “nice” enough, and are willing to spend as much as you likely would at Rasika but for something less “ethnic,” Fiola or Casa Luca would be solid options for Italian, or maybe Boss Shepherd’s for American food.

    • Russia House has a closed off room in the downstairs dining area – I did a dinner there once with at least 12 people, not sure it can accommodate 20 but maybe worth checking?

    • I can’t remember how large the rooms were exactly — but we’ve done dinners at Lincoln and they were able to accommodate us at one long table in a private room! Worth looking in to… I think they have a few rooms

    • I’ve arranged dinners for that size group at The Oval Room, 1789 Restaurant, NOPA, and Central (but that was for a slightly smaller group… I think about 16 people or so). Central was my favorite since the private dining room is off of the kitchen with a window looking in.

    • Many years ago, our rehearsal dinner was in a private room at the now-defunct DC Coast – that room would have set up well for a group of 20. Maybe some of the still-in-operation sister restaurants (Acadiana?) have a similar room? I say this without knowing if any are any good at all – in its last 5 years of operation, DC Coast was a shadow of its former self.

    • Nora has private rooms. I had a dinner for 15 there and I think it could hold 20.

  • Rave: POPville stepping up to take in that orange cat.
    Rant: work stress and how it impacts my outlook on life.
    Rave 2: volunteering at a new place tomorrow, it will give me that needed perspective.

    • saf

      Kitty has gone for a tryout! He goes to the vet tomorrow, and then gets to meet his potential kitty sibling. If they can get along, all is well. If not, well, I’ll be emailing some of the folks who emailed me yesterday.

      • anonymouse_dianne

        Also remember cats are not dogs. Dogs know immediately who they like, cats not so much. It took about 6 weeks for Savannah and Jeep to be friends. Now they co-nest every night.

      • Great news!
        Just curious… how long does it usually take for newly introduced cats to get used to each other? (Or to determine that it’s a no-go?) I assume it also varies depending on stuff like whether two cats are introduced on third-party territory vs. on one cat’s existing territory?

  • Rave: Big day today. Hope I can represent myself well. Feel like I’m on trial for the next couple of days but with hopefully good things to come out of it.
    Rant: Was so good with working out and sleeping well and eating well in preparation but then left myself too little time to get to the station. I made it but was sweaty, stressed and anxious. Need to chill.
    Rave: Tea, packed lunch, the train, and a translation task to keep me busy and help me feel like I’ve accomplished something.
    Double Rave: Barn and Puppy tonight!

  • Rehearsal went off without a hitch. Catering by Maggianos was clutch as we couldn’t find anything remotely close to the rehearsal site for 17 people. I got another “holy shit this is happening” moment when I was standing there and I saw my future wife walking down the aisle. I got soooo nervous and I felt like I was in a daze. The only thing that I keep telling myself is to not screw up on the vows. The pastor said “repeat after me” and I said “After me.” D’oh!

    • ha! this is wonderful, I’m sure everything will be beautiful and a great time will be had by all! Good luck!

    • Aww haha that’s a great story though! Good luck, I’m sure everything will go off perfectly!

    • I love those little foibles at weddings, they’re memorable and lighthearted. Weddings are serious, but they’re not *that* serious.
      My friends did one of the those two sand things of different colors get poured in one vase and they mix, but the opening of the vase was too small for them to both poor at once, so the bride picked it up and shook it with a little wiggle dance. It was hilarious and I love that memory.

      • Me too. I was at a wedding last week that took place in a forest in upstate NY. The animal-loving bride had her dad and her two dogs walk her down the aisle (off leash). The two dogs decided to sit on her train for the remainder of the wedding. SO cute and very her.

      • Quotia Zelda

        At my wedding, the priest was so concerned about getting Mr. Zelda’s very tricky last name right that he got my only slightly tricky last name wrong. I still laugh about that, 20+ years later.
        Also, Mr. I.P. Freely attended the wedding and signed the guest book. Still not certain which of the adolescent boy cousins brought him as a +1.

        • My favorite quirks from our wedding are the fire alarm going off because one of the guests was smoking a cigar (we’ll go with cigar) under the smoke alarm – rather than wait to shut it off, I just ripped the wire out of the old-fashioned alarm bell; the maudlin maid of honor who wanted to “sing” with the band (the lead singer shot me a look of helpless pleading, so I intervened); and the very pretty photo in the album of the placecard bearing the name of a friend and her long-term boyfriend who broke up literally 2 days after the album was delivered. Perfection is boring, it’s the hiccups that make things fun.

  • Rave: I have sinned. Today, Starbucks opened in Takoma and I couldn’t wait to hit it. You should have seen the looks I got from some of the Takoma Park, Md residents and mumbles about how it was going to ruin the little La Mano coffee shop down the street, blah, blah. Honey, I love small businesses but I love my white chocolate mocha too. Forgive me Lord.

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