Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Phil

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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103 Comment

  • Rave: Such a relaxing and fun weekend. Had friends over, played soccer, binged watched all the shows, cooked dinner. The next month is going to be crazy so it was nice to have a weekend in the house.
    Rant: SNL cold open. I mean it’s a rave in the sense that it was so beautiful and emotional (LOVE Leonard Cohen–and Kate McKinnon), but still so sad what happened last week.
    Rave: So much fun travel coming up! Paris, Milwaukee (the paris of the midwest lol), LA, Santa Fe, Vegas!
    Rant: First winter with the pup. Oh man those morning walks are cold. She’s oddly ok with them so far, but my body is not ready!

    • Re your second rant: my little pup was definitely not feeling the cold this am! She did not want to walk at all. Guess it’s time to break out her winter weather gear!

  • Rant: My dear friend who had been battling cancer died last Friday. A huge loss, but at least she is no longer in pain.
    Rant: My great-aunt also died last Friday. She drove through a closing (?closed?) gate and got hit by a commuter train. No idea what happened that caused her to drive through the gate.
    Rave: Otherwise quiet weekend. Took the kids to the zoo Friday morning and we had a really lovely time. We need to do that again soon.
    Rant: Finally succumbed to the cold that has been circling around. And the rest of my family is sick, too. Clearly we should purchase stock in kleenex for the amount of running our noses are doing!

  • rave: john oliver
    rave: stephen colbert
    rant: dammit America. sigh. I really am trying to accept this all.

  • Rave: Had this wonderful older gentleman on the bus this morning that was talking to the bus driver, and he said he was going to get his cataracts out. The bus driver asked him why, and he said “I want to see this beautiful city better! There’s so much beauty in this world.” It was really nice.
    .
    Rant: People who spew churchspeak to degrade people. I’m not super religious but I will spew right back and suggest that you have some compassion, FFS.
    .
    Unsure: Monday. Just going to go along today with all the energy I can muster.

  • Rave: snagged NY Hamilton tickets for next August. Finally! Also, something concrete to live for, in spite of everything.
    Rant: almost everything else.

    • Rave: Thanks to the efforts of a good friend, we just got tickets for April. Seats are more than adequate, and don’t put us into the poorhouse.
      Rave: Trying to make it a surprise for my daughter, but keeping a secret for 5 months is hard!
      Rave: What will be even more difficult is convincing her that all the people around us didn’t pay to hear HER sing ever single song.
      Rave: Friend went yesterday, for what turned out to be Chris Jackson’s last performance.
      Rant: So jealous I’m having a hard time concentrating.
      Rave: In addition to being a tremendous show, Hamilton has all sorts of side benefits. For instance, I have not heard Taylor Swift or her ilk in my house for 4 months. Not once. For anyone familiar with 9 yo girls, you know that’s just short this side of miracle. Plus, the #1 thing my daughter wants to do on our spring break trip to NY is visit Hamilton Grange. Finally, we now have not one but two score books, and said 9 yo spent an hour yesterday teaching herself various songs on the piano.

    • I also got Hamilton tickets for August in orchestra for a not totally outrageous price and not from scalpers. YAY!

  • maxwell smart

    RAVE: Perfect and much needed weekend. Friday night potluck dinner with friends where we could all vent, grieve, and then find something (not political related) to laugh at. It was good being with “family”. Road-trip on Saturday and taking a no-social media day Sunday helped to clear my mind. There’s a lot of work to do now, but we have to accept what happened and focus on what we can do to make positive changes.

  • Rave: Anniversary party was tons of fun, live music was great, just what I needed. It was great meeting up with new and old commenters!
    Rave: Three-day weekend last week
    Rant: Feeling like I’m fighting off a sinus infection since Saturday
    Rave: Finally able to upgrade my phone! Soooo happy!
    Rant: Been sleeping very poorly since election night. I know that there’s not a lot I can do about things like healthcare and Public Service Loan Forgiveness etc potentially vanishing, but it’s still keeping me up at night / waking me with nightmares all throughout.
    Rave: Talked with a bunch of relatives and felt a bit better. Not because things are better, but because they can express the same sense of frustration and sorrow and determination that I’m feeling.
    Not Sure: Meeting with real estate agent lady tonight to review needs/concerns, which may have changed due to youngest cousin having a bit of a melt-down and feeling unable to move in with us right now….I don’t want to add to her stress or financial burdens, but I’m also not sure how this is going to move forward…

    • Wait, Public Service Loan Forgiveness vanishing? Is this actually a thing? I haven’t heard that one yet. I’m trying not to panic, since I have well… 10 years… for them to sort that one out. But still. I did not intend for my already-too-expensive-piece-of-paper to become a twice-as-expensive piece of paper. Good grief.

      • Not sure if it’s really happening or just something being bandied about. But there is talk of getting rid of the PSLF and the Income-Based Repayment plan going away. Which would mean more than half of my monthly income would have to be spent on loan payments. I want to throw up whenever I think about that prospect. But I can only make plans with the information I have now….Argggghh!

      • The only thing I’ve seen is that Trump floated an idea for student loan reform a while back that would apply to public and private loans alike, capping the max payment at 12.5% of your income and offering blanket forgiveness across the board at 15 years. I didn’t see it saying anything about eliminating existing payment plans, but to be honest, I just don’t see this Congress caring about student loan reform enough to begin touching any of it.

        • Also that plan is way too liberal for this Congress to pass as it is (in my opinion).

        • god I hope you’re right! I know that’s so selfish of me to feel this way while other people are losing their jobs and potentially families, or being attacked on the basis of their gender/religion/ethnicity, etc. But yeah, I am still scared spitless about this.

          • Personally, on a selfish note for myself, I’d love for this to pass (as long as it doesn’t affect other payment plans, I have plenty of friends who are also on the public service forgiveness track) because the majority of my loans are private. I currently pay 41% of my income to student loans, because private loans typically don’t offer alternative repayment plans (none of mine do).

          • That’s fair – I could make peace with a plan like that, and damn, good for you keeping going with that type of loan payment hanging over your head. I have a private loan as well, which doesn’t offer any sort of alternative, and I know how much of a pain in the ass it is, but it’s for much less than my federal loans so I’ve been slightly less worried about it.

          • maxwell smart

            @eggs Have you looked at SoFi? They offer consolidation of Federal & Private loans. If I am not mistaken, I think your interest rate varies depending on how much you decide your monthly payments are, but it’s capped at 7.74%

          • @maxwell – I have. My payments would (somehow) increase monthly total if I kept the same number of years until they’re paid off.

        • Ok, that’s what I saw too. If that’s the worst case scenario I could deal with that. But I also agree with your last sentence — I hope you’re right.

    • To my knowledge, there hasn’t been any concrete plan articulated re abolishing public service loan forgiveness. It’s just more of the Chicken Little, anticipation of Armageddon parade of horribles that seems to have infected much of the country. Look, Donald Trump likely will be a terrible President. Just terrible. But all of the predictions that the sky is falling aren’t helping anything.

    • I work in higher ed policy and would not be surprised if PSLF went away eventually or was reformed somehow–it’s getting increasingly unpopular among Rs. However, I do think there’d be a grandfathering in process so make sure you fill out your employer certifications just to be on the safe side and it’s good to do this every year in general: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/es/sites/default/files/public-service-employment-certification-form.pdf. As for 12.5% over 15 years–this would be an outrageously heavy lift to get private lenders to participate and would probably fall to federal loans. Since the details are really unclear on this, if it’s like traditional IBR plans it would be incredibly generous and expensive so I can’t see it moving given all the other existing IBR plans. I really doubt IBR in general will go away. I think it will be a while before they touch the Higher Ed Act even though it’s up for reauthorization and imagine trying to move it would be in the Rs interest before midterms. However, the focus will likely be on ACA and immigration. But there is a lot that can be done with loans through budget reconciliation–so keep an eye on that.

      • I’m almost 5 years into my 10 years on PLSF, but because of how large my debt is I can’t afford to pay the interest every month – meaning my debt has increased by about $20K since I finished law school. I don’t know what I would do if PLSF went away before 2022 (when my loans are supposed to be forgiven).

        • I’m sure you have researched it but make absolutely sure you are on the correct repayment plan. I thought I was because it was what my Dept of Ed repayment plan defaulted me to when I consolidated my fed direct loans. Turns out I have not been on the correct repayment plan this whole time. So my plans to do PLSF are not going to happen.

  • Rant: Metro this morning. What a nightmare.
    Rant: Baby Artie decided to take a major poop while we were on the train. Crap everywhere when I changed him at daycare. I can’t help but feel like this is symbolic of the state of our nation right now.
    Rave: Great gathering with friends this weekend.
    Rave: The house is cleaner than I think it has been since we moved in.
    Rant: The stomach plague that is making the rounds.

  • Bear

    Rant: This weekend – Murphy’s law was in full effect. Friday I dropped my phone in the toilet, and it appears to be toast. Saturday I went to two banks to try to send a wire transfer, stood in line, neither one would do it on the weekend. Then I went to the grocery store, got everything I needed, got in line and realized I left my wallet at home. Mind you, I’m 9 months pregnant with a broken toe and tarsal tunnel in the same foot, so walking/standing in line aren’t super comfortable right now. Saturday and Sunday my husband attempted to put together two different dressers for the baby’s room – both had broken pieces in the drawers so now we have two partially assembled dressers and a bunch of rando Ikea parts strewn around our upstairs.I decided to do one nice thing for myself and get a massage yesterday morning and was using an old watch to tell time since my phone is dead. Except I set it wrong and was half an hour late to my appointment. And now my husband has the stomach flu.
    Rave: I got my old phone up and running so I at least have a backup until I can replace the broken one, I got the wire transfer done, and as far as I can tell the baby isn’t in immediate danger of coming. I just need him to hold out until my husband gets better!
    Rave: Last week in the office until I start working from home full time. I can’t believe I’ll have a baby in the next couple weeks!

    • I am so sorry you are having such a Murphy’s law week. Hang in there!

    • That’s an awful lot of sucky things. Your note from last week is still echoing in my head. I hope something nice happens to you very soon.

    • Oh my goodness. Ugh. Hang in there! Hope the next couple of weeks go more smoothly. And yay for impending parenthood! : )

    • Bear

      Forgot a question: Anyone know of places where you can order Thanksgiving dinner from? I know Whole Foods does it, but we’re in PG county so the closest one to us is Silver Spring. We want to have a little Thanksgiving at home (if the baby hasn’t already shown up by then) but not so much into the cooking this year.

      • I think a lot of grocery stores do it–I know someone mentioned Harris Teeter to us when we were thinking of ordering in for Thanksgiving. Instead I’m putting DH to work making short ribs this year assuming we are still baby free. We’re definitely not having a traditional Thanksgiving which I’ll sort of miss but I do love short ribs with carrot parsnip puree.

      • Is there a Fresh Market near you? We have ordered from them in the past and it is wonderful! And not overly expensive!

  • Rave – Had a great three day weekend and took a break from social media for a bit. Hiked the Billy Goat trail for the first time, had brunch at Blue Duck Tavern with great company, spent the afternoon in the Arboretum with the dog, wandered around a new to me trail in Rock Creek Park, cooked some delicious food, and even managed to do some cleaning around the apartment.
    Rant – I avoided packing.
    Rave – I just realized this is last full week of safe track on the red line.

  • I’m so sorry – sending hugs and kleenex your way.

  • Rave: Oldest Anonachild scored his first goal of the season Saturday with a slide tackle to a defender that just happened to go the right way. His team now advances to the championship game! Middle Anonachild has her second play off game this evening too. Soccer has apparently become my life.
    Revel: But no matter what, it is over this weekend. Hello Saturday morning sleep-ins, I’ve missed you.
    Rant: The lock on our basement door broke last night. It is a multi-point locking system and is now stuck in the lock mode. The major downside to this is that it means the old lady lab now has to go up and down steps to go outside. She and I found out at about 11pm last night that going down the steps is no longer possible for her.
    Rave: I’m apparently stronger than I give myself credit for.
    Observation: The weird way life moves on while these major events are going on.

  • Ally

    Rave: Husband and I had some much-needed fun yesterday.
    Rant: It involved tequila and I am feeling it today.
    Rant: I think I retained a glass from the Queen Vic. Probably should see about returning that. Oops.
    Rant: Still not over the election. Not even a little. Hoping to just hide from Voldetrump for the next four years.

  • That One Guy

    Rave: Watching Jacque Pepin make soups on TV was really soothing. I’m going to attempt to make some soup this week if I can muster enough courage. It feels like soup weather, no?
    Rave: Talked it over with my sister and we’re uninviting ourselves from spending Thanksgiving with my mom’s friends (church folks who are Trump supporters). I feel like I dodged a double whammy.

    • Good job on your last rave! I think it’s too soon to try to make peace – even fake peace – with folks you don’t want to be with right now.

  • Rave: Good weekend with friends and self-care. Weird online dating experience Friday, but balanced that out by heckling Gilmore Girls with a friend.
    Rant: Politics and everything else. Seriously considering taking a break for this week and monitoring only for birthday updates.
    Rave: Lots of things to look forward to, including fun travel over the next month. Just keep swimming.

  • Rave: Stood my ground with my current boss on my last day at work and he conceded.
    Rave: My mom put things in perspective last night by counting how many actual days I have left at work. 15 she exclaimed. Haha. My parents are just as excited as I am that this new opportunity has come along.
    Rave: 15 days left at my job!!!!
    Rave: New job involves international travel. SOOOOOOOOO EXCITED.
    Rant: Possibly being home alone on Christmas day since SO is traveling and I won’t have leave accrued at new job/family isn’t local. I don’t believe I’ve ever been alone on Christmas. I dropped some hints with friends that are local – i.e. I’ve always gone out of my way to invite folks over for Thanksgiving/Christmas when I know they’ll be alone and yet no offers to help me out yet. I don’t want to outright invite myself over, but I don’t want to be alone either. I was alone for Thanksgiving one year and I vowed never to let that happen again. So I need to figure something out asap. I’m volunteering Thanksgiving morning this year – perhaps I’ll do that Christmas too. *sigh*

  • Revel: co presented to a bunch of teachers at a technology conference and it went well
    Rant: principal gave a shout out to my friend I presented with but not me. It’s bumming me out more than it should because I’m trying hard to impress admin and obviously I’m not making much of an impression.
    Revel: had a really nice date yesterday
    Revel: holy cow thanksgiving is next week! I’m looking forward to a five day weekend.
    Question: is anybody interested in a repeat of 2014’s orphans thanksgiving?

  • Rave: Snoop & Martha
    Rave: the service at my church yesterday was cathartic and helpful as I continue to process how I feel.
    Rant: at one point during the service I really wanted to hug the person next me but I chickened out.
    Question: has anyone used any of the apps to sell their used stuff successfully? I’m doing my annual goodwill purge, and I have two pairs of boots that I’m considering trying to sell but also not sure if it’s worth the effort.

    • I haven’t used any apps to sell things, but go to Cross Roads Trading Co on 14th between U and V ST NW. They buy things for cash or store credit. Buffalo Exchange on 14th St does the same, but takes a larger percentage for your cash offers.

  • skj84

    Rave: Hosted friends for brunch yesterday. It was epic and cathartic.
    Rant: Between hosting brunch and Thanksgiving my poor wallet is battered.
    Rave: Found out my Costco card is still valid. Got most of my stuff for brunch there, will do the same for Thanksgiving.
    Rant: BoA decided to place a fraud alert on my card while I was checking out. It took about 20 minutes to talk to them and get the card activated again, I appreciate them looking out, but man that was embarrassing. At least Costco was cool about it, they held my order and let me skip the line once everything was all set.
    Rave: Fry Brothers. I feel like everything good comes out of Star and Shamrock.

  • Rant: It feels like every muscle in my body is rebelling and no amount of stretching/yoga/relaxing seems to help.
    Rave: Super busy weekend that had us traveling several hours to visit with friends we hadn’t seen in ages. But we got baby cuddles from their newborn twins which made everything worthwhile.
    Rave: We actually started to get a baby registry together. That was exhausting but I’m glad it’s started.
    Question: Baby travel systems: Britax B-Agile or Graco Click Connect?

    • We opted to not use a baby travel system–you can get adapters for most car seat/stroller combos rather than locking into a single brand all around. We really liked the chicco keyfit (and then nextfit for the convertible later on), and have gotten good use out of our citi mini stroller. Have you checked out the Baby Bargains book? We found it to be quite useful in terms of distilling information on quality reviews/price/etc.
      .
      Good luck and have fun!

      • Someone got me the Baby Bargains book and I loved it–very useful for registering and choosing stuff. Like MtP we are looking at using a separate stroller with adapter–I liked the Citi Mini GT but wasn’t as keen on their carseat mostly because it seemed a bit heavy and came with a somewhat high price tag (but only $50 more than what we chose). We don’t have a car, so we want a light, easy to maneuver slim-profile stroller plus a light, easy to install car seat (that’s still gets good reviews for safety of course), so we ended up with the Graco Click Connect LX 35 after reading lots of reviews and the Citi Mini GT with adapters. Of course, haven’t used it yet so can’t speak to that but hope it works for us!

    • I have the Britax B-Agile, and I like it.

    • We didn’t use a travel system. We use the Britax B-Agile bucket seat, and got an adapter to fit the City Mini GT. The adapter was perfect because the seat just clicked in, exactly like a travel system.

    • we have a totally different car seat and stroller than you mentioned but I agree with everyones comments below. Don’t pick a travel system, get a stroller and car seat (with adapter) that you love. Good luck!

    • We have the Britax b agile travel system and we love it. We don’t have a car either. The one issue with the b agile is that the handle for the stroller is not adjustable. I’m short and husband is average height so it’s fine for us but if you’re tall, I’d get something with a stroller handle that does adjust. Also got mine on cyber Monday on Amazon for less than $300…

  • Accountering

    Rave: Have rented all four of my spaces (our house, basement, apartment, and Petworth home) on AirBNB for inauguration.
    Rave2: Even at higher rates, we managed to rent all four to anti-trump groups. One group is elderly women from LA who were going to come either way, and the other three groups are women who are coming in for the anti-Trump march. Rock on!
    Rant: Steve Bannon, Sarah Palin, Ben Carson…. So much for bringing in the best people!
    Rant/Rave: He has already hedged on every single one of his campaign promises, and is going bigly establishment with most of his staff. Trump Voters, you got bamboozled.

    • Establishment staff except for the white supremacist sympathizer he’s put in as his chief policy adviser – to serve equally with the chief of staff.
      .
      But I totally agree that his voters got bamboozled.

    • houseintherear

      I’m so excited to be renting my Airbnb space to some women coming in for the march from CA. Not so happy because I didn’t feel comfortable charging them anything more than my usual rate… so I won’t make the bank I was hoping to make for that week. Something tells me there won’t ever be an Obama-like inauguration situation again.

  • Accountering

    Rave: Belated thanks to everyone for the kind wishes on Andie and my engagement. We are so very excited, and I think we have a plan. Hoping to tie the knot at the DC War Memorial on Saturday April 8th, followed by a trip to Austin for another wedding later in April and going straight from Austin to South Africa for our honeymoon. Nice to think positive thoughts after last week!

  • Andie302

    Rave/rant: Such a weird dichotomy of love and support for our engagement and fear/angst over the election.
    Rave: I’m focusing on the love and trying not to let fear take over.
    Question: Would it be dumb to get married on 4/1…aka April Fools? The date works really well otherwise, but it’s giving me pause. I do not get worked up about things like this, and this will be a very low key event, but I still wonder!
    Rant: Sorry to have missed all of you a the party last week – sounds like it was fun!

    • My grandparents eloped on April Fool’s Day and I always wanted to do the same. My current SO is as excited about that as he is the prospect of another marriage, so I doubt that will happen! But I think it’s really cool and fun, so I say go for it!

    • My parents got married on April Fools. For them, it was a bit of a statement. My father’s work would not allow them to live together unmarried, but my mother’s rebellion against her Catholic upbringing would not allow her to take the institution too seriously. 20 years and 3 kids later, they got divorced on Valentine’s Day.

    • I’m getting married on April 1 next year!! But we are doing it on purpose, because we are weird like that. (It’s also right after my birthday, which coincides with when we started dating. And we are doing it in Vegas, and there is March Madness then.)

  • topscallop

    Rave: spent most of the weekend eating, drinking, napping, or watching TV
    Rant: my clothes feel a little tight this morning
    Rave: got back on the horse with a morning workout today
    Rave: dogsitting this week
    Rave: turning 30 this week
    Rave: quiet office with lots of people out for a conference

  • Rant: I struggle with anxiety and am not in good shape right now. The election has left me ashamed of my country, embarrassed about these values, and struggling with hopelessness that this is what we have come to. I feel like every day is a fight — fight to get up, fight to deal with metro, fight with the loud neighbors in my condo building, fight to get home when metro breaks down, fight with the traffic and tour buses and tourists. Just the day to day gets me down. This morning I tried to stop a speeding driver going past a school bus that had its stop sign out and was picking up children and the driver went nuts screaming at me. I try to be a good person — I give to charities, I pick up litter throughout my neighborhood, I vote, I have a public service job — but I can’t get out of this funk and the feeling that nothing I do really matters.

    • I’m sorry you are struggling, so I just want to reach out and give you a virtual hug. I can identify with what you feel about this election, and I’ve also dealt with a lot of the other feelings you describe. Please lean on your supports during this time, and don’t be afraid to reach out for more/different support and help if you need it.

    • Andie302

      Sending you hugs as well. Please consider getting screened for depression. It may be situational, but there are still definitely things you could do to help with your anxiety and how hard it is just to get through the day. This city can be very tough on good days, let alone with all of the recent news and anticipation of just how bad things could get. Things that you do matter! Thank you for doing your best to be a good person – it is much appreciated by your fellow humans!

    • Just wanted to share that I recently reached out to my job’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for the first time to find a grief counselor (unrelated to election). Not at all sure of your situation, but if you are employed and your job has this perk, consider utilizing the program. I knew that EAP could, among other things, help find a counselor or doctor. What I did not know was that everyone who picks up the phone is a trained counselor and can help you navigate some of your feelings right on the spot. They can’t / won’t go as in depth as a counselor would during therapy, but maybe it would help.

  • Rant: too many angry people. Late and lost in heavy traffic in NYC last weekend I think we didn’t see two men trying to jaywalk through gridlock. They started banging on the car and yelling “you stupid b****.
    Rave: the moon.

  • Rant: For me it keeps getting worse every day – it’s like when someone you are close to you dies – I wake up and there’s that few seconds of thinking it is a normal day, and then I remember the election. Instead of getting used to it (because, really, how can you), the fear and dread I feel just grows each day. Take your pick – there’s the prospect of an idiot causing nuclear annihilation, the prospect the military refusing to, and getting us where, to a military coup or pence? Not to mention the basic civil rights of everybody, which have been so eviscerated already over the last 15 years, but now onto round two on gay people, women, immigrants and refugees, those of minority races and faiths, etc. I really fear this one may not be something we live though – as a country, or a world.

  • Rant?: Alert from the job near the office; Armed/ Car Jacking at 1206 hours at 1st & Pierce St NE . Lookout for B/M, 5’7″, medium build wearing black shirt, jeans, black back-pack, armed with a gun. Last seen driving a White Work Van E-20 DC tag EY-0189, DO NOT TAKE ACTION CALL 911 W/ EVENT #I20160695767
    Sent to 1st District (PSA 101-108) Alert DC
    Sent by MPD Cad #2136

  • rant: I just found out Gwen Ifill died, and I think this may finally be the news that makes me want to curl up into the fetal position and cry – I’ve been trying to keep a level head about everything that’s happened over the past week, but she was a personal hero of mine. Deep breath. Deep breath.