Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Erinn Shirley

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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136 Comment

  • Rant: I’m “shoulding” myself a good. A relationship – which is good, honest, and loving – shouldn’t have to be one way or any one path. But the two people in that relationship need (not just should) to know they’re on the same path, right?

    • Andie302

      There should be some sort of agreement on the path forward, or at least an agreement on when one will be established

    • Are you happy with the status quo? There are a lot of “shoulds” in terms of what relationships should look like and how they should progress. But if you and your partner are happy with how things are, I say screw the “shoulds” and embrace what works for you. If you two aren’t on the same page, that’s another story.

      I spent many years talking myself into being ok with relationships where I wasn’t fully content or getting what I wanted. The only wisdow that I have in retrospect is that I should have left those relationships so much sooner than I did. Easier to see that in retrospect, though.

    • Here’s the thing; paths change. A relationship that is good, loving, and honest, that is fulfilling in it’s own way, can make it worth re-evaluating one’s path, as long as both parties are willing to do so openly and honestly. Now, having said that, there may be some non-negotiables, and only you can decide what those things are.
      .
      If I may add anecdotally, I have experienced being in a relationship where one party compromised a ‘non-negotiable’ issue, and it really did not end well for either of us. In my case, that issue was children. My ex did not want children. The first one was unplanned, but the subsequent two were fully planned. It wasn’t until we tried marital counseling that I even found out that he never wanted kids in the first place. I guess maybe he thought once they were here it would be ok, but it never was, and it not only ruined our relationship, but it pushed it so far beyond the breaking point that it’s hard to this day to deal with him – but I have to. So, if the issue is that one of you wants kids and the other doesn’t, just don’t do it.

      • Thanks all, really helpful. I want to act from a place of love and hope, not fear. I think fear’s been driving some of my sense of urgency here, and it’s not helpful. But you’re right, some things you just can’t compromise on.

        • Yeah, but along the lines of what people are saying here, hope can be a real trap. Some people won’t be honest with you and say “I’ll never think of our relationship the way you want it,” to “I’ll never have children with you” or “I’ll never be committed to you” – whatever it is that you are looking for, but will instead string you along until THEY are ready to leave you, which can be years, and is usually only when they find someone else they want to play this game with more, and meanwhile, you aren’t exactly compromising, but think you are happy and just hoping the relationship will get better and turn out the way you want. Been there, done that, not realizing the trap I was in. These people (narcissists, mainly, though not always obviously so) are experts at fooling you. You need to look at how things are now, right now, and right now only – and not hope they will change or get better. Otherwise you waste your youth learning that lesson.

          • Yes. Yes yes yes. I hate to be a pessimist but this does happen — I have been-there-done-that, as well. And honestly I don’t even think those people necessarily realize what they’re doing, because they also lie to themselves. It’s a lose-lose situation.

      • That’s so sad that your ex thought he’d be ok with kids and then never really was. I guess good for him for trying to get on board, but ugh on not communicating on that front earlier on. Really goes to show one shouldn’t pressure a partner about kids (and other big issues)–not saying that you did at all, but it’s not an uncommon point of disagreement/contention.

        • I agree… I mean, honestly, had he been upfront, it would have significantly shortened our relationship, but would have avoided a lot of issues. I don’t like to look back and question because really, if I had known, I would not have the younger two kids and life would have been very different, and at the end of the day, what-if’s don’t help anyone. But yes, it is a very good example of what happens when people are pressured (by either themselves or external forces) to go against what they truly want in their heart.

  • maxwell smart

    RANT: NEED (1) NIGHT OF THE LIVING ZOO TICKET. I waited longer than I should have to get tickets, despite making group costume plans with friends and went to get a ticket Sunday and was dismayed to see it had sold out. I’ve never been, so I guess I underestimated the popularity. If someone has a spare ticket, please let me know – can meet you anywhere with cash, etc. THANKS!

    RAVE: Fall!

    • maxwell smart

      Just going to add that it’s my friend’s birthday that night and we have a really awesome group costume that needs all 5 of us!

  • Rave: Had a fabulous anniversary weekend – both in the same city, spending time together eating, drinking, biking, play going, wandering, etc. Had perfect weather – rainy and chilly on one day, and then sunny and divine the next.
    Rant/Rave: Got a massage – holy shit that was painful and so necessary. My glutes/hamstrings were so tight due to crutches and that damn boot.
    Rant: Reactiveness and resilience- with a two-day/week NYC-DC-NYC commute any change in plans or addition of logistics makes me reactive. I need to be more resilient and open but I’m already missing out on things I want to do in my home life (like find a barn to ride at in NYC! or make new friends/invest in the community) with the commute that adding any more logistics on top (like a weekend trip to Baltimore, for example) throws me into a tizzy.
    Rave: Great and supportive work environment at the new job making life a bit brighter.

    • Totally understand what you mean re second rant — I am such a creature of my schedule that I hate when anything throws a wrench in my plans. for instance, tonight I have a work call at 9pm (which is usually the time I get home from the gym). Im feeling grumpy that my typical routine will be different as a result — but I also think this might be good for me to force myself to leave work earlier.

  • Rave: FALL! I got a beautiful bouquet of purple beauties from 14th st flowers on sunday, and some cinnamon scented pine cones from whole paycheck. Fall is in the house, y’all!
    Rant: Once the cold sets in, Im assuming my gym going will decline as it did last winter. Must.not.let.winter.win.

  • Rant: Crappy start to a Monday- I have a cold, baby was up at 5:15, lines at CVS and for coffee were super long, and partner and I have been bickering about stupid things for a few weeks. Not sure how to get out of the cycle on that last one.
    Rave: great weekend with lots of outdoor time!

    • How old is the baby? (somehow I think I missed that event? Congratulations if so!) Early infancy is hard on relationships because everyone is overwhelmed and exhausted. I think trying to take a few deep breaths and not reacting to the little annoyances can help get you out of the bickering cycle–easier said than done, though. If need be, pick one or two larger things that need fixing in your eyes, and try to have a discussion about those but let the other things go.

      • Thanks! The baby is 16 months, so not an infant. But, your point holds, I think we are both overwhelmed and exhausted from having two little kids and working full time.

        • Two kids is totally hard even if you’re past the early infant stages. Mine are 3 and just-turned-one (so perhaps similar ages as yours?), and it feels like non-stop a lot of the time. Even though we can often pull off both kids napping at the same time on the weekends, there’s just so much to get done during that time. And invariably, I just start to maybe feel like I’m caught up on sleep, and then one or the other has some kind of sleep disturbance or is up super early. So yeah–I think you’re still in the realm of needing to be gentle and understanding with yourselves and each other. I know my wife and I are!

  • Skins loss and Walking Dead premiere = not a good start to my Monday.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rave: New haircut! It looked good when the stylist worked her magic, but she said it would look even better when it was a little messy and unstyled (which is just about my speed). I was skeptical, but she was right.
    Rant: Work is stressing me out right now, and it’s nothing that’s in my control.

  • Rave: Reunion weekend went well (good to catch up with people I haven’t seen in years).
    Rant: Three glasses of wine and I had a headache the next day. This is what happens when you are pregnant and then breastfeeding and no longer have any tolerance for alcohol.
    Rave: Fall! I am loving this cooler weather and all the inspiration for comfort food cooking.
    Rave: I signed up for an eight week session of yoga on Monday nights. It is nice to do something just for myself and to be getting out of the house on a week night. I’m slowly finding new equilibrium with the baby.

    • Good for you on the yoga! I need to get back into the exercise habit but just haven’t been able to find the time. I keep telling myself I’ll start getting up early before work once I’m caught up on sleep…

    • Don’t feel bad. Wine gives me a headache no matter how much I drink. I just chalk it up to being a wine thing.

  • Rant: My condo building has a big cement front “yard.” There are two official parking spots (ie, individually owned, property taxes, etc.) and a sort of empty swath in the middle. One of my neighbors, who owns one of the official spaces, has started using as a “guest spot.” Basically, he lets his visitors use that empty realm for their cars, sometimes for up to a week. This irritates me to an irrational degree. It makes it difficult, though not impossible, for a car to pull out of the other spot, which I own and rent out. It also blocks the trash cans, making it difficult for residents to get to them, and impossible for the trash guys, though they usually take the car out and about during the day so that’s probably not an issue. Also, it’s just unsightly to have three cars crammed into a small space. We used to use it if, for instance, a friend stopped by for a few minutes to drop something off, to unload groceries, for taxi pickups, whathaveyou, but now it’s just been co-opted by one guy to use whenever he wants. Parking in our neighborhood is REALLY easy, and I’ve offered up my VPP (“No, but thanks! We’re good!”). I’m working up the nerve to bring it up, and as neighborly as possible (“Hey, if I’m the only one bothered by this, I’ll back off but…”). So here’s a question, one that I’m honestly curious about, even if I weren’t trying to make a case: Is this legal? Can a building just decide to start parking cars on an empty swath in their (albeit paved) front yard? Since I own my physical spot and pay taxes on it, it seems weird that we could just conjure another space because it’s convenient. And I can’t imagine being allowed to do it if it were a grass yard. Sorry for the long rant–I really needed to get that off my chest, if nothing else. So I will try to balance it with…
    Rave: I had an absolutely wonderful weekend.

    • I think you just need to be direct with your neighbor. Tell them that your renter is having troubles accessing their car because of the “guest” vehicle. Your “nice approach” with the VPP did not work. Tell them to knock it off.

    • Is this a small condo building? If it were a larger one I’d take the issue up with the management company and/or condo association board… but if it’s a small one, I don’t see any solution other than having to talk to the offending neighbor directly.
      .
      And/or… before approaching the offending neighbor, maybe you could ask the other neighbors if it’s bothering them? (It seems like it must be bothering them too, if the car is blocking the trash can.) It sounds like this person is being selfish and ought to know better, but perhaps it would have more weight if you say, “A, B, and C and I are having trouble getting to the trash cans, and I’m also having some difficulty getting my car out of my parking spot.”

      • It’s a small building, and I’d love to get a pulse from other neighbors, but I just don’t see them very much. We also all get along really well and have been incredibly lucky to not have any tensions, so I hesitate to rock the boat–which is the main reason, I guess, that I have to “get up the nerve” to do this. The renter hasn’t complained to me, and it’s not impossible for them to get out of their spot, but I can see from my window that it’s a little more difficult.
        But I’d feel much more at ease doing this if I found out that it was not legal. Anyone know where I can find the law on this? I actually enjoy looking this stuff up–and will be fine if I find that this is perfectly okay!–but, not being a lawyer or terribly familiar with DC property regulations, I have no idea where to start.

        • Any possibility it’s a fire lane?

        • What does the plat for the parking spots show?
          Is just un-conveyed space (i.e., is not part of either plat)? Or is it a separate plat owned by the building? If the latter, it seems like something should be addressed by the HOA. Who is responsible for getting the garbage cans out to the truck in the alley?

          • The plans demarcate the official spots, but just show this as an empty common area. And we don’t have an alley, so we don’t have to do anything with the trash cans–the garbage guys pick them up from where they are, and cars apparently have not impeded them (so far) because they’re sometimes gone during the day. I really just need to suck this up, don’t I?

          • You could negotiate with your neighbor. Tell them that the occasional overnight car is fine, but not one sitting there for a week. You have every right to utilize the space too – you also own it! It’s property in common.
            .
            Alternatively, you can come to an agreement to share the space – one week they use it, the next week you use it (or not). And you could broach the topic by saying “I had a friend coming over and wanted to use the parking space, but you’ve been monopolizing it for the last few months. Can we please talk about an arrangement to share it?”
            Are you sure your neighbor is not renting out the space to others? I’d want to determine that before confronting them.

  • Rave: mtpbaby had a great time at his first birthday and greatly enjoyed his pumpkin cupcakes.
    Rant: up for ages Saturday night with mtpbaby.
    Rant: mom-fail–turned out he was cold. Ugh.
    Rave: mostly slept fine last night.
    Rave: having a working dishwasher again!
    Rave: enjoying the cooler weather.
    Rave: sibling relationships–mtpkiddo still simply adores her little brother. she was so excited that they both had on skeleton pajamas last night–might need to reconsider mtpbaby’s Halloween attire from tigger to skeleton. They were awfully cute.

  • skj84

    Rave: Homemade Butternut Squash Soup! So rich and creamy. Perfect for fall. Simmering the squash in chicken stock is the key here. I didn’t use all the stock, need to figure out what to do with it.

    Rave: My Hello Fresh box comes today! I didn’t have the best luck with Blue Apron, hoping this works better.

    Rant: I can’t find a key part of my Halloween costume. Why is it next to impossible to find cheap bellbottom pants? Nothing on Amazon, nothing at Target. A local costume shop had some, but they were way more than I wanted to pay for a throw away costume.

    • Old Navy might have bell-bottom pants.

    • Regarding the costume, thrift shops (not consignment) are the best places to shop for costumes. Usually have luck finding something cheap that I don’t mind DIY altering myself. Maybe Georgia Ave Thrift store if you can make it up there

    • maxwell smart

      If you have a pants you are willing to sacrifice and have some sewing skills (which I lack, so I am assuming this would work) – could you cut the along the seam lines from the hem about 12″-14″ to create a flair, and then sew in a triangle wedge of fabric to fill in the cut?

      • I have done this before and it definitely works. I have short legs and I wanted a big flare so I cut all the way up to the knee. Another thing that I did that I thought looked cool was I did the wedge fabric in a different shade than the pants. You would need to have a sewing machine though, I feel like it would be really annoying to sew by hand.

      • I am having flashbacks to all my Deadhead friends in high school and college.

      • skj84

        I do have some sewing skills, but not a lot of time. Good idea though!

        • maxwell smart

          You could also employ the hot glue gun! It’s Halloween… it only needs to hold up couple of hours.

    • Meeps or some other vintage store?

  • Rave: Huge shout-out to That One Guy for helping me schlepp my kitty down to Richmond for dental surgery and for keeping me company / distracted while she was in getting a bunch of teeth extracted.
    Rave: She doesn’t seem to hold it against me and is eating her food with amazing gusto – I guess I underestimated how much her teeth were bothering her, because now she downs a whole meal in one sitting! That hasn’t happened for years!
    Rant: Giving a cat antibiotics is soooo not fun and makes you feel like the most horrible human being ever!
    Rant: Construction across the street from me starting at 6:30 a.m. on a freakin’ Saturday morning. and then 7:30 on Sunday. And then 6:30 again. RAGE!!!
    Rant: crepe-y skin…wtf?! I’m not that old!
    Rant: So much work to do I want to cry.

    • Call 911 on early construction. I don’t think construction is even allowed on Sunday without a special variance (usually only given to huge projects). MPD will come out and shut them down.

      • good to know, thanks! I feel weird calling 911 on what seems like a non-911 issue, but they might have a murder on their hands if those construction goons pull a 6:30 am start time on a weekend again!

        • 911 is for all police calls in D.C.
          .
          It does feel weird to call 911 for non-emergencies, but just state up front “Police, non-emergency.”

        • The problem I’ve noticed is that even if construction doesn’t start until 7am, they will start staging stuff at 545-6am – big trucks idling, unloading equipment, etc. And there’s nothing you can really do about that and it’s just as noisy as construction itself.
          The Sunday construction is a major violation. You can check their permits online and see if they have a variance (unlikely if it’s just normal residential construction). Sunday construction violators REALLY suck.

          • YES! I think this is the biggest part of the problem, because we had big trucks roaring up and down “staging” things at about 6, then SLAMMING / dropping things at 6:30 – I mean, it shook the building it was so loud! I have rarely felt so much rage as I did this weekend. GRRRR!

          • saf

            When they were building the building behind my house, I managed to get the project manager’s phone number. Every time they started early, including staging in the alley DIRECTLY behind my house, he got a call.
            .
            Problem solved fairly quickly.

      • They’re allowed to start at 7 a.m. Monday through Saturday, but not at 6:30. (For whatever reason, the city doesn’t consider Saturday differently than weekdays with regard to construction.) And as Anonymous said, not on Sundays at all unless they have special permission.

        • ARGGGHGHGH! That is just too early! I was laying there at 6:30 on Saturday thinking of how good it was that I don’t have a grenade launcher….

    • Allison

      Aw, That One Guy is the best guy!

  • topscallop

    Rave: fantastic weather this weekend
    Rave: playing house with BF while we dog-sit this week
    Rant: back to work today and it’s going to be a long week
    Rant: BF working late so much lately. I know he is slammed at work and likes the overtime $ as we plan for our future, but I’d rather spend the time with him and I worry he will burn out
    Rant: my good friend from home was here this weekend and we were supposed to meet up, but she got overbooked with other people and I didn’t get to see her. We’ll have to make up for it at Thanksgiving.

  • Revel: the nice thing about being 30 is the ability to say no to things that seem like gun just because you don’t feel like it.
    Rant: I did not do that this weekend. 12 hours of driving for a day and a half of “fun”. Also social awkwardness/anxiety because it was2 good friends (who typically gang up on me, do I guess how good can they really be) plus 4 strangers. I’m glad to be home.
    Rant: but I’m sick now… Came into school because not doing so is even more work but I feel like crap.
    Rant: extended day/extended pay

  • Rant: In this week’s edition of tales from suburbia: The high school that is virtually across the street from us had it’s Homecoming this weekend, complete with a parade up the street at 9am. I used to love walking past Roosevelt and hearing their drum line practice, but this marching band/drum line (if you can call it that) at 9am on a Saturday? Nope, nope, nope. Add to that the complete and total chaos of parking in the neighborhood the entire day, and I was not a happy camper. Eldest Anonachild commented that the one thing he hates about the suburbs is that no one walks and everyone has to drive everywhere, even if it’s five minutes down the road. Agreed son.
    Rave: It was a gorgeous weekend, I decided to forego the mountains of laundry and just enjoy my family. We had an ice cream night Saturday and spent Sunday at a farm. Sunday night I made shrimp scampi for the first time and it was amazing.
    Rant: The mountains of laundry remain unmoved and await my attention.

    • Lol on the suburbs comment. My parents live in the vicinity of Springfield, and my mom likes to comment how it must be inconvenient that we don’t have many stores nearby like they do. Really? We live less than a half mile from a couple of different grocery stores, plus Target and everything else in that complex and we can walk to a wide variety of shops and restaurants. Even more places are easily accessible with buses (and even driving). It really is just a totally different frame of reference. I can’t imagine spending my time driving around to various big box stores for whatever, even if we were in the suburbs. I’ll happily order online and save myself the effort, thank you 🙂

      • lol, I order a lot from Amazon still. I never felt I was too terribly far from things when I lived in DC. I did drive to Target, but was perfectly happy with the bus or walking for everything else. The kids became very adept at helping to carry groceries at least!

      • I used to live near Springfield and went shopping a lot (even though I hate driving and parking and wandering around big-box stores) because it was literally the only thing to do. It always amazed me that everyone else seems to actually enjoy that kind of activity and not feel drained by it.

  • Bear

    Rant: Car shopping is way less fun when you have to consider things like whether the car seat and stroller will fit.
    Rave: Decided on something, now I just have to go and buy it. This will be a big item to cross off the baby prep to do list.
    Rant: I’m over work. I’m so tired all the time, so preoccupied with everything we need to do over the next month to get ready, I just don’t have the head space for work. Just a few more weeks…trying to hang in there.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      Which car did you decide on?!?

      • Bear

        A 2015 or 2016 used Nissan Rogue – it was a combo of safety ratings, MPG, space, and needing to keep the price under a certain point. I really want the new Chevy Volt, and once you factor in the tax credits it’s a wash on the price, but it’s just too small for us to be practical. Maybe one day…

        • Prince Of Petworth

          I hear ya! I’ve been thinking Prius when I graduate from the stroller scene.

        • Andie302

          Curious – did you consider a Honda HR-V? If so, what sold you on the Rogue over that?

          • Bear

            Car seat reviews – you can’t fit an adult in the passenger seat if you have a rear-facing infant seat in the back. I really liked the HR-V and the Buick Encore, but had to nix them for that reason.

          • Andie302

            Thank you for this – you may have saved me some serious trouble down the road (and now that you say that, I could see it since we test drove one a year ago or so…there wasn’t much extra space).

          • Bear

            Cars.com does car seat reviews, and there’s a guy who posts youtube videos that demonstrate all the different car seat configurations in a bunch of different models – google Alex on Autos.
            .
            In other news, I have officially crossed over into suburban mom territory.

        • maxwell smart

          I haven’t driven the Rogue, but my Xterra is now 15 years old and still drives like the day I purchased it… which is all to say I have been VERY happy with Nissan.

        • That One Guy

          Something to consider too is how easy the car is to work on. My sister’s old car required a crazy amount of parts removal to access the cabin air filter. I hope Nissan actually got its engineers to do some good engineering.

  • Rave – Wearing my new boots! I love them and they were on sale.
    Rant – Still thinking about the job offer and staying vs. leaving DC and I don’t have a strong gut feeling either way. New job would be in a very small town and would be a huge change for me. And I’d take a big salary cut. I wish someone would just tell me what to do.

    • How hard would it be for you to get another “big city job” were you to decide that the small town life isn’t quite doing it for you? Have you considered the ramifications on the dating life/pool in said small town? (Assuming you’re single – there may be far fewer fish in the sea in Podunk, PA.)

    • Andie302

      What’s your husband’s take on this?

    • You do have a gut feeling – you are just afraid to tell yourself what it is. At least that’s true in my experience. Usually because what my gut wants is something that my brain is saying is less practical – usually with regard to finances.
      .
      Another way to look at it would be to say – if I haven’t got a strong gut feeling telling me to move, then why move? Moving is hard enough – I can’t imagine doing it without a strong feeling that I wanted to do it. Stay put!

    • Is there a cost-of-living calculator you can use to figure out the “real” difference that the salary cut would make?
      .
      For me, I could maybe see taking a new job in a small town for the same salary, or for what would work out to be an increased salary. But it sounds like it might work out to be about the same as your current job, or perhaps lower, and without the city aspect as a plus. (Assuming you do indeed perceive it as a plus — my own biases are coming into play here. 😉 )
      .
      IIRC, you’ve been pretty frustrated with your job… but you seem ambivalent enough about this particular job offer that I don’t think it’s the right one for you. Maybe keep on looking and hope for something that seems more definitively to be an improvement over your current job?
      .
      Would relocating mean that your husband would have to find a new job, or does he have a job where he could work remotely?

      • Thanks all. My husband is equally excited/nervous about the idea of moving and can telecommunute until he finds another job. The potential job sounds really great, with the exception of the salary, which is why I’m ambivalent. We’ve crunched the numbers and we could make it work, but it would be tough. I always thought it would be nice to move away from the city and live somewhere quieter and less crowded, but I didn’t really take into account the economic realities of living/working in a small town.

        • anonymouse_dianne

          Women are notoriously bad at negotiating salary. I’d talk to HR and tell them just what you’ve said here. See if they can come up on salary

        • Andie302

          This was my thought as well – have you asked for more money? If not, at least ask them to bridge some of that gap between your current salary and what they’ve offered. It can’t hurt (and might make your decision easier if they up their offer). You could explain that you understand that the cost of living is much lower, but the salary decrease means that your discretionary income stays about the same and you’d have to go through the trouble of relocating. Good luck with the decision!

  • Rave: It’s so nice to see friends that I don’t get to see very often. That made my weekend.
    .
    Rant: Is there ever a day when I don’t want to rant about dating or lack thereof? Nope.
    .
    Unknown: I realized now that I’m done with school that my identity kind of went away with it. Even though I really hated graduate school, when people asked what I did to fill my time I could say that I was getting my Master’s. Now I’m realizing I really need some new hobbies that will make me feel productive (that aren’t expensive or difficult to get to). My self-esteem needs a boost. This would probably help significantly with above rant.

    • volunteering might be a good way to fill your time, make you feel productive, give your self-esteem a boost & it’s free! and — you can also meet people this way! I’m not sure where you live, but I live in Columbia Heights and I know f several volunteer opportunities within walking distance (and there are probably plenty more that I don’t know about).

      • +1! Volunteering helped me fill up my spare time when I finished grad school. I also got into running and rock climbing.

        • I’m going to have to look into volunteer options more seriously. I really had my heart set on the humane society or one of the rescue organizations but now that the Georgia Ave. location is no longer on Georgia Ave, WHS isn’t feasible for me. I’ve heard of a few tutoring/college prep options but they require commitments for the entire academic year which is a little overwhelming for me. Are there other types of volunteer opportunities I’m not thinking of?

          • I volunteer with Community Tax Aid, which administers DC’s VITA program (volunteer income tax assistance). It does require annual training and certification – basically two 4-hour long courses (can be done in one 8 hour day on a weekend), followed by an exam. But the commitment is seasonal – just during tax season, so 3 hours per week for about 10 weeks from early February to mid-April. And there are tax preparation sites all around the city. I have volunteered at Jubilee Jobs in Adams Morgan and Wardman Court Apartments on 14th St.

          • The Georgia Ave shelter relocated to 71 Oglethorpe St NW… bit of a walk (over one mile) from the Takoma Metro or Fort Totten. I also used to volunteer as an after school tutor with For the Love of Children and it was a once week commitment throughout the school year, which honestly wasn’t bad. They allowed you to miss days if you had travel plans or something. I enjoyed it but when I moved the location did not work out for me anymore.

          • I also have a friend who volunteers with N St. Village (a community for homeless and low income women), and she is really enthusiastic about the work they do.

          • Thanks for the input, you guys! I actually might look into N St. Village first. I’d really like to tutor or do a mentoring type thing but I just don’t know if I’m quite ready yet!

          • one other thing I did after I finished grad school, besides volunteering, was actually get a second job. If you can find something part time that you will enjoy and that works with your full time job schedule (e.g. early hours at the desk at a gym or yoga studio, nights/weekends as a hostess or server, etc), and you are really looking for something to keep you busy, it’s not a bad option. Also has the added benefit of meeting people AND making money (which is a huge help once you start paying back those grad school loans!).

    • i went through the same feelings post grad school – i suddenly had all this time and i didn’t know what to do with myself. its definitely normal and i suggest you spend a few months trying out different things to figure out what you like to do again (it might have changed!) enjoy!

      • Could that be because getting a graduate degree is supposed to change your career? If you stayed in the same job after you finished your degree, I’d suggest going on the job market and seeing what that shiny new degree can get you in terms of a change in your job/career/work life – that seems to be the excitement you are missing. Then, do the hobbies and volunteer stuff.

        • Nah, that’s not it. It allowed me to get my current job. The issue is who am I outside of work — and now, outside of school, as that has consumed 95% of my time for the past 3 years and before that I was living abroad where I could travel around the country a lot more and do a lot of activities that aren’t really available here. So it really is a hobbies and volunteer stuff issue — just finding the right “fit,” I guess.

    • I think volunteering would be good, but also pursuing your existing interests more intensively. Maybe a language Meetup? Going to more concerts/movies/etc.? Taking up a new hobby or activity, like knitting or tango or t’ai chi or something?

  • We went to a restaurant Saturday and the waitress used the word perfect so many times.

    Me: Water, no ice
    Her: Perfect

    Her: Fresh pepper on your salad?
    Me: Yes, please
    Her: Perfect

    Seriously? Between our table and the next table over she had to use the word 20 times or more in 45 minutes.

  • Rant: Even after a relatively good night of sleep, I’m feeling tired and grumpy today.
    Rave: Plans have been made to meet up with one of my cousins who will be in town for MCM next weekend. It’s strange that we haven’t actually seen each other in almost 7 years.
    Rant: Pregnancy really brings out the body dysmorphia issues I thought I had resolved years ago.
    Rave: A long walk by the Potomac with the Other Mrs. Rabbit yesterday really made things feel better.

  • Rant: One of the more rotten colds ever and it doesn’t seem to getting any better, despite the fact that I broke type and went to urgent care Saturday evening and came away with antibiotics (for an ear infection) and Vicodin (for sinus pain). I felt great all day yesterday and then about 7 o’clock the roof caved in and today I feel as bad as ever.

    • Ugh. The cold that’s going around is awful and lasts forever. My wife has been sick for a couple of weeks, and it’s still lingering in my kids to some extent. It also seems to start to get better, and then get worse again. Yuck. I hope you feel better soon!

      • That’s the one!I was feeling so good yesterday evening that the girlfriend and I decided to walk/redbike from Adams-Morgan down to Chinatown to get noodles (what could be better for a cold than that noodle broth, right?) and about the time we hit Bantam King the thing came back at me with a vengeance. Inside an hour, it went from “I must be cured” to “kill me now.”
        .
        (since I sometimes use this forum to rant and/or fret about the girlfriend, I should point it that she’s been super this whole time which is actually her usual MO)

    • Vicodin? That must be some serious sinus pain.

  • Clueless

    Rave: L’Occitane’s “Amande” hand lotion. It’s super luxurious and smells amazing.
    Rave: Explored a different type of workout over the weekend, which proved to be challenging but equally fun.

  • Rant: Hangnail.
    Rant: Nail clipper that I usually keep in my purse (for emergencies such as these) is NOT THERE. God help me.
    Rave: Had a reasonably productive weekend.

  • Rave: Back after a very long time away! Now that I’m working again it feels more natural to be on this again (weird block I know)
    Rant: I’ve been told so many times that I need to date older guys to get the communication level I’m looking for. Went on a few fun dates with a guy 9 years older than me and I still had no idea what was happening at any given moment and it went to shit. There is no magic number. Related – I think no matter how few dates you’ve been on, if you have sex more than once you are not allowed to “ghost” someone. I feel like that’s just common courtesy.
    Rave: Had a really wonderful weekend! The weather was gorgeous, I got to spend time around really wonderful people and I found a good balance between productive and relaxing! Came after a week of shirking responsibility so here’s hoping I can keep it up.
    Rant: Missed the REI buzz and definitely wishing I had sucked it up and woken up early to get one of those snazzy waterbottles

    • dcgator

      What do you mean “no idea what was happening?”

    • How old are you?

    • @anon – I’m 25

      @dcgator – Ehhh, some disconnect in communication? In person this guy was super engaged, acted very interested, moved around his schedule to see me, would extend dates while we were on them, etc. But we’re both pretty busy people and between dates he was difficult to get a hold of, never made a scheduling move and didn’t really try to converse. Just kind of confusing on whether or not he was interested I guess? Assumed for a bit he was just a bad texter but I stopped making the first move to schedule dates and haven’t heard from him.

      • So, since we’re roughly the same age and I’ve had not-so-great luck with dating in DC, I want to reassure you that timing is literally 85% of the battle. Sometimes things aren’t just timed to work out no matter how much you’re interested in someone or they’re interested in you (assuming they are). This seems to hold especially true in such a highly-educated and travel-oriented city like DC. Also, as someone who has been-there-done-that, please be aware that they may be single because they don’t want to commit to anything. Some of my friends think you should wait a few months to define the relationship — I disagree — being on the same page from the beginning can save a lot of headache and heartache.

  • Rant: The Bus apps and WMATA bus ETA have been super inaccurate recently, with some buses not showing up at all in the apps/website. Don’t know what the deal is! Anyone having more issues than normal?

    • I would submit a complaint to WMATA. In particular, I have been complaining about the S1 that is supposed to leave Potomac Park around 4:15 for going on two months now, because it almost never shows up. It seemed to start when they rotated drivers (which they do twice a year I think?), but I haven’t been able to get an answer about whether they cut that bus or whether the driver isn’t doing his job.
      .
      I’m glad to hear this is not just me.

    • maxwell smart

      Yep. I submitted 2 complaints this morning about the E bus. There is never a tracked bus between 7:30 – 8:30.

  • That One Guy

    Rant: Was supposed to have the day off but here I am on the office. Feels like there are multiple fires that need to be put out or at least contained.
    Rave: Mom seemed to enjoy the trip to NYC until…
    Rant: I took her to drink some kava kava late Saturday night and she proceeded to get sick when we came back to the hotel. Didn’t think you could get hung over from drinking kava but live and learn.

    • oh no! That sucks! I hope your mom is feeling better soon, and that you’re able to put out all the fires today!

      • That One Guy

        She’s doing better. I think that seeing a guy applying make up on another guy and the general art work inside the kava place made her stomach uneasy and that wasn’t helped at all by the kava itself.

  • Rant: Trains. Seriously having the worst train karma ever. Train to NYC Friday – brakes broke and we sat on track for 2 hours and then had to get on another train. Tried to ride NYC subway Saturday – 30 min delay. And here I thought NYC subway was better than metro… Train back to DC Sunday – delayed 2 hours.
    Rave: I don’t ride metro to work. No trains for awhile.
    Rant: Due to delayed train didn’t get home till 1am last night so tired today.
    Rave: Caffeinne

  • Rave: Woke up with one of my favorite people today. I had thought he was trying to fade out of my life, but he got in touch yesterday. Very pleasant start to the week.

  • Rave: Got to visit our fair city this weekend! Yes, dragged the little baby with me on a redeye and back, but it was for a good cause – my dear friend’s wedding.
    Rave 2: Two TSA agents in Dulles airport who helped me put my stroller back together, renewed my trust in humanity.
    Rant: none, still basking in quick vacation after glow.

    • I am a firm believer of dragging little babies on planes. I so very much want him to be a good traveler that I think he needs early exposure. 🙂

  • Rave: Pleasant and productive weekend! Got the minons kitted out for winter shoes and hubby brought the TV outside so we could watch football in the autumn light. There was also a big hawk and some ravens in our neighbor’s tree.

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