Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

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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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132 Comment

  • I saw this guy pictured last night in Gallery Place. I’m assuming it’s the same guy unless there’s multiple servicemen playing violin around town.

    • And meanwhile…on the opposite side of the Portrait Gallery, police were chasing after people down the sidewalks outside of Chipotle. It was a mess there last night. Ugh.

      • It’s almost always a mess around Gallery Place. Last weekend there was a group of kids on bikes doing wheelies and wildly weaving in and out traffic. The police were around but did nothing to stop them, as usual.

  • Rave: I drove to the metro this morning and managed to be later than I usually am when I walk or catch the bus. Not a great start to the work week.
    Rave: Baby Artie was a trooper through one baby shower and one bridal brunch this weekend.
    Rant: I think we are both more tired at the end of the weekend than we were at the beginning.
    Rave: I finally got an early intervention evaluation rescheduled for the little monster.
    Rave: I successfully hosted the first party in our house on Saturday. I really am lovely our tiny, little home.

    • *loving.

      I need more coffee.

    • Bear

      Your house is wonderful! And it was a great shower.

    • curious what the early intervention evaluation is? I had a baby around the same time as you….just wondering if I am missing something?

      • Baby Artie isn’t sitting up on his own yet and has a few other indicators that he may be slightly behind in the development of his fine and gross motor skills. His daycare teacher and I both noticed it. On the advice of my pediatrician, we’re getting an early intervention evaluation. Every state and the district are funded for them – they come to your house and do an assessment of your baby. If the little one measures 25% delayed in one of five categories (or is judged to be a kid that would benefit from services), you then set up the necessary intervention (ie., speech therapy or in Baby Artie’s case, most likely occupational or physical therapy) to help address the delay. You probably aren’t missing anything, especially if your baby is developing and hitting all the milestones.

        • Thanks for the response. I did not mean to pry on a private matter. Good luck with Baby Artie! It’s great you are doing an evaluation now.

          • Oh, no worries re: prying. It is something I have mentioned here before so it is open for discussion. And thanks for the best wishes. I’m feeling a lot less anxious now that I know we are “doing” something about my concerns rather than letting them run wild in my head.

  • skj84

    Rant: Didn’t get into a show I really wanted to do. To make matters worse, they took forever to get back to me on whether I was in it and I turned down opportunities because I didn’t want to have to cancel anything. As annoyed as I am that I didn’t get the show, I’m even more annoyed it took so long to get a confirmation.
    Rave: My next few months are pretty open now.

  • Rant: Four hours of sleep. And it was crazy nightmare-filled sleep that had me sitting up in bed almost every hour. I still feel like I can’t shake some of the nightmares. And the tiredness. I can’t shake that. But maybe I can put it off with enough caffeine.
    Rave: Ice coffee
    Rant: Who would think I’d be wanting ice coffee in mid-October?! This weather is so stupid!
    Rave: Had brunch yesterday with an old college acquaintance I hadn’t seen since 2007. We don’t have all that much in common, but it was nice catching up all the same.
    Rant: In speaking with her, I’m struggling with feeling aghast (and a little jealous) at the kinds of salaries people who work in the corporate world make. I have only ever worked in non-profits, and while I feel I make decent salary – and am counting on / hoping for at least partial loan forgiveness eventually – I feel taken aback. I watch physicians and researchers who have to work so hard and justify everything they do, I watch them write and re-write grant proposals in order to get funding to do much-needed research, I see people work hard to figure out what is the best and most economical way to see a patient who is undocumented and can’t get medicaid. And yet there are people making money hand over fist for what….finding more ways to squeeze as much as they can out of the little guy? developing new websites? This kind of stuff depresses me.

    • You’re not alone in your last rant. When I was in grad school, I was on the bus home one day when I heard some guys talking about how their friend – a woman in her early-20s with a Bachelor’s degree in the same thing I got mine in – was offered a starting salary of $70,000+ straight out of undergrad. I’m hoping to get that in maybe 5-10 years. (Not to mention some of my close friends who are earning that much in my same field as contractors, who have at least 2-3 years less experience than me but are essentially earning double.) I don’t hold it against people, I just can’t comprehend it.

      • Exactly, I don’t (or at least, I try not to) hold it against anyone, everyone needs to do what they think is best for themselves. I just know that I feel so much personal satisfaction and commitment to doing what I am doing, that I can’t imagine giving that up. That passion for what I do helps me get out of bed in the morning, but I realize other people have other things – families, mortgages, other interests, etc – that motivate them. I just still have a hard time with the disparity, though.

      • FridayGirl, is your current government job one that doesn’t have promotion potential beyond your current GS grade?
        I was just looking at the OPM pay tables and currently $70K is what a federal employee would make as a GS-11, Step 4 or as a GS-12. (The starting pay level for GS-12 is currently $77K.) And/or is your office one that doesn’t regularly promote people to the next GS level on a yearly basis?
        If you’re in a position that has promotion potential to GS-12 and if you’re getting promoted on a yearly basis, it should take three years to go from GS-7 to GS-12.

    • One thing I’ve noticed between myself (I contract for the gov) and my friends (who work in the non-profit world) is that their benefits tend to be MUCH better – for example, my friends who don’t pay anything into their health insurance and it’s covered by the employer as a benefit. Not having to pay $200-450/month for health insurance (depending on whether it’s just for you or you+spouse or you+spouse+children, which is how much mine is) is helpful and is something that is often overlooked when comparing your salary to others’ salaries. 401k/403b matching by your employer? I know many contracting companies that don’t offer that, or only offer a tiny amount. Things like that should be considered as part of the whole. It can be disheartening to hear the massive difference for sure, but loan forgiveness is seriously huge. I’m so jealous of that!

      • True, I know it’s often a case of “grass is always greener on the other side,” and I wouldn’t necessarily know the breakdown in terms of healthcare / other benefits, it’s just so startling to hear numbers thrown around and tales of “I’ll only stay in this hotel” or “I’ll only fly directly” – that’s not always an option for some of us. But again, I love what I do and I hope it pays off in the sense of student loan forgiveness!

        • Yeah I totally agree. My student loan payments are so incredibly high that I had to go into contracting just to scrape by. It’s soul sucking and I truly wish I could have gone another route. I’m certainly not making enough after paying all of them monthly to ever be picky about hotels or flights haha!

          • Yeah, I’m going into the private sector after law school. I’ve only ever worked in government and non-profits so the starting salary is kind of jarring. I hope to never been one of those “I’ll only stay in this hotel” people – especially since so much of it will go to loans for so long!

    • One thing that really frustrates me about our industry and that employer in particular, is that they have moved to an incredible focus on education versus experience and with it, lowered salaries. Not just that department, but others I know of. I found it very frustrating that by their standards, I did not meet the minimum requirements for Tina Turner in Drag’s position even though I had done it at the neighbor’s for several years for arguably more important people. I also would not have qualified for the position I currently do. The second thing that really gets me are the salaries. I know what they tried to pay me, and it was a joke. I was able to negotiate up buy a third, and I was still underpaid. I know others in the same situation. It just frustrates me to no end. For me, I had to do what was best for me and my family. As much as I loved working there, I had to take care of us first. The stress over finances just was not worth it to me. I used to really judge people who went for-profit in our world, and sometimes I still do, but it’s not all that bad.

    • @LittleBluePenguin and @FridayGirl. This is not personal, as I like both of you as posters and no doubt as people in real life:), but LBP your post really annoyed me. In particular, “and yet there are people making money hand over fist for what….finding more ways to squeeze as much as they can out of the little guy? developing new websites? This kind of stuff depresses me.”

      My experience is that people who can live and work in Washington, DC (or New York and SF) and do non-profit or “social justice” work fall in into two categories: those in their early to mid twenties who aren’t particularly concerned yet about saving money, or those with wealthy parents or a wealthy spouse who can help subsidize their work, or at the very least, provide reassurance that if really tough times come, there is an emergency backstop. I don’t come from money, and neither does my spouse. Our student loan payments, childcare costs (with another baby on the way), the insanely high cost of living in Washington, DC means that non-profit or socially minded work is off-the-table for me, at least for the next 5-7 years. My experience is that those of my undergrad and law school classmates who could go off and make a career out of grant writing, immigration law, public defense, legal aid clinics, and all the other feel good stuff had financial security from somewhere. Yeah, the loan repayment assistance helps, but that doesn’t really move the long-term needle.

      • anon – please understand that I’m not criticizing you in particular. I am feeling critical of how we as a society allocate resources, in the same way that some people complain about “overpaid athletes” while other will contend that they are paid as much as they are “worth” – in that, people are willing to fork over the money to see them, corporations are willing to sponsor them, etc. I didn’t mean it as a judgement on you, and I totally agree with you as to your assessment of the majority of folks who live and work in DC (and other similar locales). I am actually moving out of DC when my lease is up because it’s just too expensive, what with still making payments on my $120,000+ grad student loans. I totally understand that you need to do what is best for your family! I do struggle with feeling resentful towards some of the really-high-level-CEOs of banks, pharma companies, etc, because I really do believe it’s shameful that they are paid insane amounts of money for finding ways to screw people over. But that’s a topic for another day. I hope you are able to find ways to enjoy the blessings I can’t, like children, even as you may work for something/someone you’d prefer not to.

        • I worked in big NYC law firms for a long time after graduating from law school. It is soul crushing. Yes, I was making over a $100,000 right out of law school, but I had no life. Most law firm partners are not nice people, most law firm associates can be not nice people. The constant fear of not making your hours means most associates never take vacations, let alone sick days. I now work for the federal government and I am barely making what I made when I first got out of law school. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I would rather be poor and happy than “rich” and miserable. I am not diminishing your critique of people being overpaid (I think it’s ridiculous to pay new lawyers lots of money for not knowing anything and many private-sector people are overpaid) just saying that if I could have gotten a job at a non-profit or the government after law school, I wouldn’t have been so miserable for so long.

          • binntp

            I appreciate this perspective. I had one job at a for-profit and it was much like this. My other jobs (including the one I’m currently in) are all non-profits, and while the salary is modest, the work-life balance is tremendous. 5 weeks of paid vacation we actually encouraged to take, with the CEO modeling this by frequently taking 1-2 weeks abroad where he’s completely out of touch.

          • Oh, wow, binpetworth. That’s amazing!

      • This topic has come up before — I think last time, it was with regard to Hill interns/Hill staffers and maybe caphillnative brought it up? — but to the best of my recollection, LBP and FridayGirl don’t have family financial cushions.
        I’m surprised that it was the case with as many of your undergrad/law school classmates as it was. My experience in D.C. has been that a lot of people working for nonprofits were living in group houses; I didn’t get the feeling that they were being bankrolled by family.

        • “a lot of people working for nonprofits were living in group houses” . . . That’s the first category anon mentioned – “those in their early to mid twenties who aren’t particularly concerned yet about saving money.”

          • Textdoc is right on the financial cushion. I wanted to work for the government because of the long-term stability and loan forgiveness. And certainly not everyone in the private sector is show-off-y or appears entitled. But I do know exactly the type that LBP was referring to and it is just something I can’t wrap my head around. It doesn’t even make me jealous, I just can’t fathom having those options available to me because I have never in my life been around enough money for them to appear, nor would I even know where to start looking for a career in which I could reasonably obtain them.

          • I guess that depends what you/anon mean by “saving money” — “spending less money” vs. “putting money aside.”
            I can’t quite articulate it, but there’s something about both posts that rubs me the wrong way. There are lots of people in the private sector who aren’t selling their souls for the sake of money, and lots of people in the nonprofit world who aren’t being bankrolled by generous parents.
            I think what’s annoying is when people are blasé about their good fortune. We can all agree on that, right?

          • HaileUnlikely

            Not sure I completely agree. Living in a group house is not a bad way to save money. I lived in a group house from age 22 through age 31 before getting my own place. I estimated how much I saved on rent alone during that time by comparing my actual rent paid to a number I admittedly made up as a ballpark estimate of the least I could have paid to have had my own [reasonably safe] place for those same 9 years and it worked out to be $100K.

          • Thank you, textdoc. Your last sentence is what I was trying to get at, at least. You just did it far more elegantly!

          • HaileUnlikely

            Correction. Savings on rent for that 9-year period worked out to be about $76K. $100K was what I actually saved. I was pretty hardcore about saving and had other ways of saving besides stubborn refusal to pay up the nose for rent.

          • @Haile – of course there are many good reasons, financial and otherwise, to live in a group house. But the portion of the thread I was responding too was this: Anon: “My experience is that people who can live and work in Washington, DC (or New York and SF) and do non-profit or “social justice” work fall in into two categories: those in their early to mid twenties who aren’t particularly concerned yet about saving money, or those with wealthy parents or a wealthy spouse who can help subsidize their work, or at the very least, provide reassurance that if really tough times come, there is an emergency backstop.”
            textdoc: “My experience in D.C. has been that a lot of people working for nonprofits were living in group houses; I didn’t get the feeling that they were being bankrolled by family.”
            I was just pointing out that anon had accounted for the people who don’t have trust funds in his or her original post. S/he did not imply that everyone who work for a nonprofit came from money. Nor was I making any judgments about people who live in group houses. Hell, I’ve never lived by myself, and there are times, with a tween in the house, that I wistfully think about it . . . OK, not really. Mostly.

          • HaileUnlikely

            dcd: ok, I construed your post, whether correctly or incorrectly, as implying that young people living in group houses aren’t particularly concerned yet about saving money, and was objecting because my sole motivation for living in a group house was saving money.

          • I do not judge people who work for non-profits, regardless of their financial situation or age (heck, I worked for one ages ago). If these folks receive financial help from their parents, then I say great, that’s why parents work hard, to give their kids better choices.

            What I’m tired of is receiving judgment from wealthy people from Scarsdale or Potomac or Wellesley, who lecture others on the evils of the private sector while living off the fruits of it. I have a friend who pursued a doctoral degree in one socially conscious subject, and then, just because her heart desired it, decided to pursue another one at at age 30. I have union organizer friend from an insanely wealthy family who once chided me about the “golden handcuffs” of my profession. That is was ticks me off. Perhaps the OPs were not fair targets of that, but the theme of their posts was similar enough that I felt I needed to say something.

          • Holy cow, there are a lot of posts in this thread….I’m addressing this response to anon – wow! I can totally understand your frustration if those were the kind of people you were meeting! I really didn’t mean to come off as “lecturing” at all – I was simply startled by the amount of money some people make in similar industries that are not non-profit, and startled / somewhat dismayed by, as textdoc put it, by people being blase about their good fortune. And struggling with feeling frustrated by how we, as a general society, allocate resources. I’m sorry you’ve felt judged, by the Scarsdale-ites or by me, I didn’t intend it that way.

      • I’ve never viewed “doing well” versus “doing good” as a zero-sum game. I’ve spent my entire career in private law practice, and have made a good living, but I have also spent many hundreds of hours on pro bono cases involving immigration, housing discrimination, and employment discrimination. Some of my pro bono clients have become good friends. I didn’t come from money either, but I’ve never felt that “socially minded work” was “off the table for me.” In fact, it has provided some of the greatest satisfaction in my professional life.

        • Mr. Magoo, what a lovely perspective, I really like that! Thanks for sharing!

          • +1. I wish more people were like you, Mr. Magoo!

          • There are a lot of people like Mr magoo including those with pro bono interests that are funded by their overpaid jobs. I’d argue the volunteers are of the highest order amongst those doing social justice work.

        • This is great to hear. I plan to be at a firm long-term due to the nature of the work I’m interested in and I’m glad to hear that pro bono work has been such a rewarding part of your career. Thanks for sharing!

        • houseintherear

          I really wanted to name my dog Mr. Magoo but a friend talked me out of it.

        • Agreed. I know plenty of people who have similar perspectives.

          I also think it’s important to understand that nonprofits have wildly different pay scales. I work at a nonprofit and while entry level salaries are low, as you move up it improves. I’m in a mid-level position and while not rich, I’m certainly very comfortable and able to save a good amount. The point above about benefits is also very true. My benefits are much better now than they were in the corporate sector and quality of life is a a zillion times better.

      • I think that your perception is based on your industry, anon. The industry in which LBP and I work is very different, and probably 75% of people in the industry work for a non-profit. There are many of us who do work and live in the city and are able to do so by living in the less-desirable areas. I don’t think it’s a fair assessment at all of the industry we work in at all. Perhaps other industries, but definitely not ours.

    • I think when you’re financially struggling, it’s hard not to feel at least a tiny bit resentful of people who are in vastly different circumstances.
      When I was just out of grad school and making a GS-7-level salary in a public-sector job (but not the federal government), I briefly dated a guy who was nine years older and worked for a big consulting company in D.C. I remember being struck when he was talking about replacing his sofa — not because there was anything wrong with it, but because he didn’t like the look of it any more. I had a hard time getting my head around the idea of being able to spend hundreds (thousands?) of dollars on something just because you’d decided you wanted something different.

      • HaileUnlikely

        Agreed. When I first moved here in 2004 I was in grad school at GW (dropped out, no degree). I remember walking from my group house to the thrift store at Georgia & Quackenbos (where I scored what was likely once a $1000 suit for <$20) and seeing a large group of grown men in a big brawl on the sidewalk on the middle of a Saturday afternoon (welcome to the neighborhood!). Most of my classmates had apartments in Foggy Bottom. I was resentful as f*ck of all of them except the one badass who lived with his parents (large immigrant family in small apartment) in Olney MD and commuted to/from school on his motorcycle.

  • Rave: Made it through the weekend! Wedding was lovely as expected, and the kids did better than I expected with the babysitting and reduced ability to work around their sleep needs.
    Rant: I’m exhausted from the last week of travel plus mtpbaby not sleeping great.
    Rave: he slept fine last night, thank goodness. I would otherwise be a zombie today!
    Random: Can’t believe he is turning ONE on Saturday. Wow.

    • It goes too fast! The only upside of turning one is that I hope it means you can smash your pump soon.

      I hope last night starts a trend of the little guy sleeping better.

      • YES! I think I’ll keep up one-two pumps for a little while to reduce the need for soy milk while we try again to re-introduce dairy. But even dropping to two pumps/day would be life-changing.
        And yes, thank you! Me too! How are you and your little guy doing? Hopefully fully recovered from recent illness? And hopefully sleeping better too?

        • He’s sleep better than he was in the beginning of the week. We’re mostly back to one wakeup in the wee hours. Last weekend and the early part of last week, it was every 2-3 hours to nurse. I think he was going through a grow spurt? Who knows why they do these things sometimes?

          • There’s also a sleep regression (or two?) in the 6-8 month range, so that may be causing difficulty as well.

    • Forgotten rave: mtpbaby started initiating peek-a-boo in the car this weekend! So freaking adorable. And also helped entertain him in the car. Mtpkiddo also got a huge kick out of this. Love it!

  • Rave: Finally feeling less sick.
    Rant: In the past few weeks I’ve noticed that I’ve totally lost the motivation to arrange gatherings with friends or attempt to go on dates. I don’t feel particularly lazy (if anything, I’m restless), and it’s not that I’m depressed. It’s just that I feel like a void of nothing. Why. (It does not help that only one friend has asked me to do something during this period — which I happily said yes to. Thanks, one friend!)

    • Ha! We should meet up sometime, I always like branching out and often need the motivation of another person to help me break out of my routine!

    • I’ve been feeling the same way – rather blah, and a bit bored. I think for me its a consequence of too much work, and then general fatigue re: too much work. after work, I just feel like going to the gym and then doing nothing but watch murder she wrote on Netflix. I’ve also deleted all my dating apps, as I just don’t see how Im going to meet anyone through one of those….

      On the plus side, I checked out the National Gallery of Art’s new east wing, and found it really lovely. So grateful to have such wonderful free resources around to spark my creativity every once in awhile.

      • the east wing reconstruction is awesome as are their after hours events!!

        • Oh, thank you both for the recommendations! I haven’t been to the National Gallery of Art in years, so maybe that’s something I can do over the next few weekends.

    • I’ve been in a funk the last few weeks. All school, all the time and just feeling really uninspired because of it. I decided to spend a little extra money getting back into some activities I used to love (ballet and horseback riding, also baking a lot). I have felt much more centered. Might be helpful to revisit some things that you can do on your own that you love and try them out (even if it has been awhile… its been 9 years since I last danced!).

    • maybe your friends feel the same way and are waiting for you to spark something

      • That occurred to me, but the last two times my main group had gatherings I hosted them both at my place… :/ Plus I asked people to do something over the long weekend, but everyone was out of town or busy. So I think I’m off the hook on asking/hosting for a bit. At least I should be.

        • People make plans further in advance then you are use to, I wouldn’t get discouraged b/c they were busy one weekend. Especially long weekends…people leave town frequently.

  • Bear

    Potential Rant: I think there’s about to be a big shake-up at work. I hate the uncertainty, especially when I’m going on maternity leave in a few weeks.
    Rave: Had a great baby shower this weekend, hosted by lovely friends. Family drama was kept to a minimum and it was just great to have everyone I care about together and celebrating the little guy’s imminent arrival.
    Rave: I’m going to be a mom soon! How weird is that…

    • Good luck, MamaBear! I’m glad you’ll be snuggling with BearCub soon and hopefully not worrying about work!

    • It’s totally weird, but totally amazing all the same. Try to enjoy the remaining kid-free weeks with some extra relaxation if you can, and then be sure to treat yourself and your spouse with kindness and forgiveness in the first few weeks/months. It’s a hell of a ride, but worth it all the same 🙂

    • You are so loved and so is your little bear.

    • Your shower sounds lovely! What an exciting time!!

  • Rant: Last week was insane. Got hit in a car2go and the dude drove off. Still havent heard from Car2Go… THEN we woke up saturday morning early and took dog outside to discover a MURDER investigation across the street! Welcome to the neighborhood!
    Rave: My friend’s band is playing at the 9:30 club tonight! So excited to see them and him. I only see him when he’s in town touring, approx every 3 years! The first time they played in DC the whole group slept in sleeping bags on my living room floor in my group house. Now they are big time and sell out the 9:30 club 2 nights in a row and are killing it and I’m so happy for them!!

  • Rave: Letting the past stay in the past.
    Rant/Rave: About to see a psychiatrist for the first time. So much anxiety!
    Rave: Loving friends who put up with my anxieties, especially when it inconveniences them.

    • Sending good vibes your way!

    • I wish you luck with your appointment! I’m about to call to make my first appointment with a psychiatrist. SO.MUCH.ANXIETY. I’ve hardly been able to focus today with just working up the gumption to call.

  • Rave: Three more days at this job, and then I start the new one.
    Rave: I see the doctor tomorrow, and may even get the boot off then.
    Rave; Great weekend that I refuse to undermine by focusing on the difficult discussion the fella and I wandered into. Not worth stressing about something I can’t control.
    Revel: Wearing a leather skirt to work. Because why not.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rave: Three-hour nap on Saturday. That’s what I call good living.
    Rave: I think I have found light fixtures for the upstairs hall that aren’t completely hideous.
    Rant: STILL trying to track down the wayward SAS wire transfer. I hate banks.

  • Rant: In the five stops I was on the metro this morning, the person across from me ate almost an entire tin of Altoids. Seriously just one after the other. It was one of the stranger and grosser things I’ve seen in a while.
    Rave: Had a really great weekend with a lot of outside time for the kiddo. She had a blast, and even more fun things planned for next weekend.
    Random question for the PoPulace: I’ve been meaning to ask this question for a while because I am interested in what others think. If you are on the inside seat on the bus and have someone sitting next to you, and as the bus empties out as you get closer to the end of the line, is it correct bus etiquette for the person on the outside to move to an empty bench if one opens up nearby?

    • Re your question: I believe it is proper for whoever is sitting in the outside seat to move to a free row. Frankly, if another stop or two goes by and the person has not moved, I say excuse me and get up and move myself.

    • I am always torn between moving and not moving (if I’m the outside person). On the one hand, of course everyone would like a bench to themselves. But I always worry that the person will think I’m moving because I think they smell or something haha! Torn between not wanting to be rude in two different ways I guess – being rude by staying or being rude by moving.

    • skj84

      Hmm. I would move if it seems like the bus or train will stay on the empty side. No use getting up if someone else is going to sit next to you. I would assume the other person would understand its not them.

    • Sometimes I move, sometimes I don’t. If I have like 2 more stops until my stop, I’m not going to move. If I am farther away from my stop, I will generally move. I moved from the inside seat the other day. So, it depends. I don’t really think there is a right answer.

    • Depends how long until I get off the bus and if the bus is getting empty. If I have a ways to go, yes I’ll move. But if I’m getting off shortly I’ll stay put

    • The answer is very setting/time of day dependent.
      I probably wouldn’t move if it was a busy time and I knew the seats would be filled within the next stop or two. What’s the point of shlepping my stuff to another row?
      If it’s Sunday morning, the Metro is dead, and I’m riding for another 10 stops, I’d move.
      That said, I wouldn’t judge someone for NOT moving. They may be tired, have a disability, etc that prevents them from moving frequently.

    • Whoa, people still eat Altoids?

  • skj84

    Bonus Rant: I am really cranky this morning. I tore a hole in my tights, and the AC is on at the office. I know its supposed to be in the 80’s but really? We don’t need the AC on right now. I’m in overthink mode. I need a restart button for today.

  • Andie302

    Rave: Incredible weekend. I shopped in Lancaster and at an Amish sale in Delaware with my mom and her friends, got to have dinner with my best friend, got to spend a bunch of time with my niece and nephew (who rode a horse and bike for the first time respectively), got to see another friends new place for the first time, and my dad and I refinished a claw foot tub in an aqua color that I love. The only thing that would’ve made it better is if my boyfriend came with me – but with one car and him working on Friday, that wasn’t an option. I got a warm welcome yesterday from him (and the pooch!) when I got home. No rants today!

    • Andie302

      Well one rant: Nats. I was driving to Lancaster and listened to the first five innings or so on the radio. When I arrived the wheels were starting to fall off and I briefly considered getting back in the car!

  • Rave: DC United going to the playoffs! Great soccer, beautiful weather and a fantastic day.
    Rant: Other than normal Monday-ness, not a lot!

  • That One Guy

    Women, how do you deal with the raw skin caused by shoes rubbing against the back of your feet? I’ve seen the bandaid covers, but are there other remedies?
    Rant: Yesterday, I decided to put on a pair of rarely worn sneakers. After 15 minutes of walking around the back of my heels started to ache. In typical guy fashion, I figured that if ignored long enough the pain long would go away. Wrong. The back of my heels were raw. Taking a shower made it even worse…so much pain. How do women deal with that pain and not get violent? Anyway, I was a little grumpy and wasn’t thinking straight so I ended up on a sneaker shopping binge. Literally bought a pair for myself, sister, mom, and even brother-in-law (whose shoe size I can only guess at). Would have bought a pair of sneakers for the niece but she only wants things that are shiny, have polka dots or flowers on them. I couldn’t find anything like that.
    Rave: Seeing the photo I took posted above. I didn’t want to interrupt him so didn’t ask the backstory of why he there.

    • It is so painful. I think I have strangely shaped heels because this happens to me in almost all shoes, with or without socks, except for sneakers. Sometimes moleskin on the back of the shoe helps or rubbing an anti-friction gel on the heel helps (Glide or Blister Stick). The back of my feet are incredibly scarred now. I love that you went on a sneaker shopping binge! I’m so glad “athleisure” is in now, I live in New Balances and Adidas these days.

      • New Balances and Adidas don’t rub your heels? I have such problems with sneakers, even if I’m wearing socks. I think it’s nuts that people consider them the epitome of comfortable shoes! I’d wear knee high boots every day if I could.

    • Moleskin! And get a pair of shoe stretchers.

    • blister bandages plus waterproof bandages to further seal things off (only after you foot skin is totally dry, though). If possible, leave in place 2-3 days. Then moleksin on the shoes themselves. Or different shoes. That’s been the only way I can deal with those awful cuts!

    • Bear

      All of the above, but with a word of caution – if you already have raw skin, DO NOT put moleskin or blister bandages on top, it will just pull off more skin when you take the bandage off and you’ll be right back in a lot of pain. You have to wear comfy shoes until the existing blisters heal, then use moleskin or blister bandages as a preventative measure while you’re breaking in your shoes.

      • +1 true, I forgot to clarify! I’ve used blister bandages on scabbed-up cuts that always open up and bleed whenever I wear a particular pair of rainboots, but yeah, I’ve only used them on non-open blisters or scabbed-up cuts!

    • For flats and other shoes that aren’t worn with socks, either the shoes don’t rub against the back of my feet, or I wear band-aids pre-emptively, so that the shoe can’t cut into the back of my foot.
      I should probably note that I usually end up wearing shoes that are made to be worn with socks (oxford-style or loafer-style shoes), in part because my office is cold enough that if I’m not wearing socks, my feet get reeeeeeally cold.

    • This is why we have socks.

      • I can’t find a combination of pants and shoes and socks that doesn’t look odd. Ankle pants show too much sock, straight leg pants and bootcut bunch awkwardly unless you wear heels (ankle boots are the only sock-friendly option there).

        • Get your pants hemmed/tailored. It’s worth the extra $10 to have pants that fit you properly. No need to wear heels with every set of pants. A properly fitted pair of pants should drape onto your shoes with a single break.
          Frankly, it sounds like your obsessing over something no one else will notice.

          • “Frankly, it sounds like your obsessing over something no one else will notice.”
            Don’t we all though? I think the whole point of dressing well it to make ourselves feel happy and confident, not for others’ admiration.

    • I use a blister protection/friction stick on my feet every single day. Bandaid used to make an awesome one but for some reason they discontinued, so I am currently using one from Sole Goddess. It works almosttt as well, will likely try another brand when this one runs out to see if I can recreate the Bandaid Friction Stick glory. But also for sneakers, I recommend buying socks with a little lip on the heel. I swear by Nike DriFit socks.

    • Putting baby powder in my shoes before I wear them usually keeps them from chafing.

    • 1. If they’re heels, your feet are tilted forward so there’s not much/any heel rubbing (which is why I think heels are more comfortable than flats).
      2. My approach with shoes cutting into my skin is to endure the pain for a day, then wear different shoes until it’s healed, and then the area will be toughened and it’s not an issue anymore.

  • Rant: This weekend went by far too fast. Between four soccer games, a family get together, and laundry, I don’t feel like I had any rest at all.
    Rave: The kids have really come into their own on the pitch. Middle Anonachild is shining at middie and Eldest Anonachild is an awesome defender. Littlest Anonachild, meanwhile, would rather play in my shoes while at matches. He’s become quite adept at walking in heels on grass, I am very proud, and slightly jealous.

  • Rant: I got my flu shot yesterday and holy crap my arm hurts so bad. It was throbbing all day, I could hardly move it. Sleeping was really tough. It’s a little bit better today but whoa–I’m kind of upset I have to get TDAP this week and last time I had that my arm swelled and it was super painful. Thank goodness I didn’t do both at once.
    Rave?: Maybe my immune system is super responsive? Go, go immune system!
    Rave: Birth class we chose was really great and just the right amount of info DH and I wanted.
    Rave: Lunch with a friend today–really looking forward to catching up!!

    • Bear

      I got my flu shot and TDAP at the same time – one in each arm. It sucked, neither side was comfortable to sleep on for at least 3-4 nights, but at least it was done with. I feel for you – hopefully the pain doesn’t last much longer!

      • Right before I went to grad school I found out I was woefully behind on a few vaccinations so I did 3 in one day and had a job where I couldn’t take any time off of work. I worked in a law library and had to be up and down putting large legal books away–it was so bad. My arms were swollen, though as an added bonus it looked like I had some pretty awesome biceps/triceps! Luckily it went away about 48 hours and it’s a small price to pay considering I would hate to get any of the things I’m being vaccinated for!

    • houseintherear

      This year’s flu shot was especially painful for me. Weird!

  • maxwell smart

    RANT: Project at work is driving me crazy. Correction… client is driving me crazy. I really want to ask why he even hired us if he’s just going to second-guess every single decision and push his own agenda… after we’ve proposed a direction (that was approved). I think I need to start spiking my AM coffee.

  • Revel: building permits approved. Yesss! Took us 3 weeks with no expeditor, but we are not doing any major layout or structural changes.
    Rant: The stress of moving and gutting a place is killing my fiance and I. Any ideas for good, low-cost date nights?
    Request: We are cat-sitting for a friend this week. One of their (part-wild, if that makes any difference) cats refuses to come out from behind a cabinet when we’re there. Our friends told us to relax, that it’s fine so long as he eats and drinks while we’re away, but I can’t help but worry about the little guy. He’s there for hours! Anyone know how to calm down a cat while leaving it alone?

    • Congrats on the permits!! Here are some things I’ve done with my husband that are no/low cost:
      Low cost: Board games/cards at a local coffee shop and gotten cappucinos and shared a dessert. For a while we would have a date at home on our patio and buy a nice-ish bottle of wine (you can limit it to whatever price you can afford) that we would pick up together at a wine shop–if you live near Barrack’s Row, I love DCanter because most of their wine is really affordable and they are very knowledgeable.
      No cost: Museums of course! Given that most of them are free here. Picnic on the mall or in a park. If you have a car, there is wonderful hiking very close to DC. We enjoyed Catoctin/Cunningham Falls, Harper’s Ferry. I also heard Sugarloaf is great. Apple picking/pumpkin picking. We’ve also sat on the steps to the Lincoln Memorial and watch the sunset.

    • Andie302

      I would say any time you can allocate and agree not to discuss the renovation will be helpful. No cost: there are tons of youtube videos on things like foot massage, back massage, stretching, yoga, etc. that you could look up, choose together, and follow. If you have any gift certificates lying around that are unused, you could make a resolution to use them. You could just take a walk (maybe find somewhere that one or both of you have wanted to check out but never got around to).
      Low cost: A car trip out to Great Falls or Shenandoah wouldn’t be terribly expensive, and you could pack a picnic to either. You could always go to a movie (or stay home and order/download one, if you have that option). Bike share to a DC brewery, coffee shop, or bakery that you’ve been meaning to check out. Alternatively you could swing things in the absolute other direction and identify a few things that you need to choose right away and go about choosing them together. Warning: you could end up driving around to 5 home improvement stores, find literally zero materials that you agree on, and end up wanting to punch each other. Not that I have any personal experience with that.

      • LOL at your your “warning.” Remodeling/redecorating is hard! When my husband and I moved together we fought bitterly over area rugs. Area rugs!

    • Feliway plug in diffuser pheromone calms many cats. Also a laser pointer may entice it to play. Otherwise it’s okay!

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Not feeling myself.
    Rave: delish healthy casserole for lunch, it has lots of artichokes 🙂

  • I’ve worked all over the map – non-profit at very low pay in my twenties to law firm pay (briefly) later in life, and places in-between, depending on my needs, my educational loans, and my desire to do progressive work I cared about when I could afford to. In addition, my prioritizing education resulted in my not being able to afford to have children.

    Here’s what I don’t understand: Those who write posts like the first one in this thread, and some of the others about being resentful. I’ve always understood that I was choosing what *I* wanted to do in this world. I’ve never been resentful of others – I just don’t get going through life that way. Yes, people who don’t care about about doing good, or who enjoy work that happens to be well-compensated, or who can put up with soul-sucking jobs to have a family, or who have families with money, make different choices or have different lives. What’s the point of being resentful or complaining about it?

    Yes, the world in general doesn’t share my politics and priorities in how the money is handed out. That’s not new. I find it best to focus on me and my life rather than resenting others, and always have – why waste thought and emotion on resenting the way the world is? Work for change by all means, if you enjoy that and can afford to, but don’t waste energy making yourself unhappy in ways that are totally unnecessary.

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