Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Claire Uziel

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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119 Comment

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rave: Wonderful work event at the White House yesterday.
    Rant: Last time at the Obama White House.
    Rave: Eldest Zelda has matured so much over the last couple of years.
    Rave?: Buskers playing “Careless Whisper” on drums, sax, and tuba this morning. It was the tuba that made it really something.

    • I walk past the White House on the way to work and it’s just not going to be the same anymore 🙁
      I’m not really emotional but I legitimately hope I don’t tear up at my last work event at the Obama White House.

  • Clueless

    Rave: Started new job this week and enjoying it so far.
    .
    Rant: Currently in the “I have no idea what I’m doing” phase. I know this is normal during the first few days/weeks/months at a new gig, but it can also be frustrating (for me, at least). Need to remember I’m a human and things take time.
    .
    Rave: Reminded that I have positive support from friends and family. Also my 2 best girlfriends sent a gorgeous flower arrangement to my new office yesterday. I truly appreciate the people in my circle.

  • Rant: Can’t seem to kick this cold – been over a week and it’s still going strong.
    Rave: Working from home today.
    Rant/Rave: Got off Facebook – eliminating excess negativity and anger has been beneficial, but FOMO is real.
    Rave: Making pumpkin-beer cheesecake and traditional cassoulet this weekend – bring on the cold weather!

  • Safeway Just for U
    My 20011 address keeps getting $5 off $90 basket
    My boss’ address (20016) keeps getting $5 off $25 and $2 off $20 basket allowing me to save $7 when I spend over $30.
    Rant: It happens every week. Sometimes I get $6 off of $60 but never as good as a deal as the Spring Valley address.

  • Blithe

    Rant: Still devastatingly gobsmacked by the prospect of a Trump presidency. The idea that someone who could have paid enough taxes to significantly improve the infrastructure of this country, or the states and cities that he’s lived in chose not to — and regards himself as “smart” because of it is just one more element of a rotten to the core ideology. The selfishness of such an outlook is exactly the opposite of making America Great, although it fits in well with the ideology of making America “great again”.

    Rant: People who say things like “maybe it won’t be so bad….” — when what they really mean, even if they don’t consciously realize it is that maybe things won’t be so bad for them. Having a white supremacist formulating policies might even have some upsides when you, your family, and most of the people you care about won’t be directly or personally impacted.

    Rant: Waking up with a general sense of dread. So much for being “blithe”. No, it doesn’t help to mutter that “if it doesn’t kill us, it makes us stronger”. Sometimes what doesn’t kill us leaves us permanently and irreparably damaged.

    Rave-ish: Still curious enough and still nerdy enough to wonder: Why “irreparably” and not “irrepairably”?
    Sigh.

    • Trump is an odious human being for a lot of reasons, but I am loathe to conclude that one of those reasons is that he didn’t pay more taxes than he’s legally required to. Absent evidence of tax fraud (and I’m not aware of any at this point), that he didn’t have to pay more (or any) in taxes speaks of a failure in the tax code, not a personal moral failure (and again, he’s got too many actual personal moral failures to list). I know that I personally take every legal measure I can to minimize my tax burden – just this morning, I increased my pre-tax parking withholding by $10 because my rates went up, I religiously keep receipts for charitable donations, I use tax-advantaged savings plans to the extent possible, etc. There’s obviously a difference in degree, and many would argue that the difference in degree translates to a difference in kind – but in this situation I don’t agree. just my opinion.

      • HaileUnlikely

        I agree with all aspects of this (odious human being for lots of reasons, and I’d add that he registered the losses that he did because of his incompetence not his brilliance, but taking advantage of tax deductions and credits that are available to you is itself a completely normal and normative thing for any citizen to do).

      • Blithe

        dcd, I can definitely appreciate your point of view, and I, too, try to minimize my tax burden. I think what enrages me the most is not so much the scale of it, but the combination of an attitude that only stupid people pay taxes, with either not realizing, not caring, or both, that taxes pay for everything from the president’s salary (new cringe) to infrastructure. Trump wants to run the country — sort of — but thinks he’s smart because he doesn’t have to pay a dime to actually support it. If he were still just a businessman, I’d be angry at the tax code. That he’s president elect and benefiting from my tiny tax dollars while actively avoiding paying his own sucks royally. I’m sure it’s clear that I agree with you that he’s an odious human being for lots of reasons. This particular rant of mine isn’t even near the top of the list.

        • I’d argue not that he was “smart” enough to take advantage of the system, but that he was privileged enough to hire smart people to take advantage of the system for him.

          • You’re talking about two different things – (i) the decision to take advantage of the tax code to the fullest extent, and (ii) once that decisions is made, the resources to implement it. Both are important, but speak to different phenomena in society today.

          • Okay, if you’d like to split hairs about it. But I’d also argue that he wasn’t smart enough himself to know to make the decision to take advantage of the tax code but was privileged enough to be able to hire smart people to make that decision for him, and then implement it for him as well.

        • Blithe, I feel you but would personally focus less on taxes and more on the sad fact of how LITTLE money he gives to charity. The lack of generosity! The lack of feeling any moral or civic call to improve conditions for those less fortunate when you have SO much and don’t pay taxes on top of that? Reprehensible and damning of his character.

          • Emmaleigh504

            +1 lack of charitable giving and the abuse of his foundation and that his foundation doesn’t even use it’s own money. greedy greedy greedy

    • I’m also waking up with a general feeling of dread and have honestly not been able to think about much else over the last week (which has seemed like one of the longest weeks of my life). I’m thoroughly disgusted at our political leadership and filled with worry.

    • Every day I read something else that makes my heart sink. Just read a paper about Trump’s plans for student debt. We could potentially lose many of the debt forgiveness plans that exist now and possibly some of the plans based on income. I keep trying to accept it but if he does what he said he would do, this presidency will be devastating for so many people that I care about.

  • question: anyone have suggestions for Thanksgiving Day volunteer opportunities? I am looking into Food and Friends food prep but I might have missed the boat on getting the criminal background check done & going to an orientation ahead of time. Are there things I can sign up for now (i.e. with only a week of lead time)? This is my first Thanksgiving by myself so it didn’t occur to me until now to look into volunteering. I don’t have a car, and with Metro on a holiday schedule I’d prefer something that is close-ish to Columbia Heights so that I can either bike or possibly walk one way/uber home.

  • That One Guy

    Rant: Are there more people asking for money on street corners? It’s not just me noticing this, right?
    .
    Before we were derailed last week, I asked if people were interested in a Secret Santa. Someone else had a great idea of asking about interst in doing Toys for Tots too so I’m putting it back out there. Anyone interested in Secret Santa or Toys for Tots?

  • Rant: We’ve waited 2 years for our block to get repaved. They finally did it a couple of weeks ago and did a nice job. Yesterday one of the utility companies comes along and digs a great big hole in the newly paved street!
    Rant: US soccer team’s 4-0 loss to Costa Rica in the World Cup last night! So much for winning bigly! Might be time for Klinsmann to go.

    • Totally agree with you on Klinsmann. The choice of line up was terrible. There’s a time to experiment with a team line up and that’s not during a World Cup qualifying match.

  • Rant: Can’t seem to kick this cold – been over a week and it’s still going strong.
    Rave: Working from home today.
    Rant/Rave: Got off Facebook – eliminating excess negativity and anger has been beneficial, but FOMO (fear of missing out) is real.
    Rave: Making pumpkin-beer cheesecake and traditional cassoulet this weekend – bring on the cold weather!

  • skj84

    Rave: Remembered to bring both breakfast and lunch to work today.
    Rave: Went to bed early and feel better rested this morning. I still woke up in the middle of the night as usual, but managed to fall back asleep quicker than usual.
    Rave: Cousin who caused trouble at Thanksgiving last year isn’t coming this year. Maybe I can get Aunt to relent on the “no booze’ stance.
    Rant: SNAFU at the dentist yesterday. Was told the procedure I came in for was not covered by insurance after I got numbed up. Didn’t go through with it and had to deal with numb mouth for the rest of the evening. Apparently it is covered 50% so now I have to find out why they said it wasn’t.

  • Rant: Beard dandruff.
    .
    Rant: Pretty much every fucking else thing in the world, too, from unfilled federal judgeships to the Great Barrier Reef.
    ,
    Rave: Except fam.

  • Revel: Bought a new pair of pants last night and found that I am down another size! I am also, for the first time in my life at a “healthy” BMI. I am proud of myself and feeling awesome.

  • Rant: One friend still sick from the plague that swept through my house this weekend. Why are children so freaking germy?
    Rave: Somehow Baby Artie managed to avoid it.
    Rant: I got up early, made the ride on bus, and dropped Baby Artie off early at daycare, but I was still late to work because of the green line. I hate WMATA so much.
    Rave: I get to see my best friend this weekend. I haven’t seen her since the spring which is the longest spand of time we have been apart since she moved west. I am excited to see her with her godson.

  • hammers

    Request: If anyone knows of anyone hiring a good ol liberal arts career gal; I’d love if you give me a shout. Even just to get a chance to see what jobs are out there with a more personal connection than LinkedIn and the like. I’ve given my dysfunctional office 2 years, but it is having a serious toll on my mental health. Gmail: andhammers
    Rant: Holy hell I had a bad day at work yesterday.

    • I’ll keep my ear to the ground, shoot me an email and let me know if you have any specific area in which you might be interested or for which you might have the right skill set! Hugs!

    • skj84

      I’ll keep an eye out! Is there anything in particular you are looking for?

    • hammers

      Thanks for keeping your ears open! I’m getting to the point where I might quit without something lined up…. but I am skilled in writing and researching, presenting and communicating information to large(ish) and small audiences, picking up new subjects (i.e. skills highly transferable). I’m usually excellent with interpersonal skills (this team notwithstanding). I’m extremely interested in human rights/trafficking but would be willing to sink my teeth into anything interesting. While I currently essentially write white papers on any given topic, I’m interesting in programs and actually implementing them too. The only thing I’m not very interested in is business.

      • Please don’t quit without something lined up – I’ve done it in the past but it is not serving me well in this economy. Up your efforts to network and search while keeping on – unless you are independently wealthy, of course. Because so many are unemployed now, many refuse to interview those without jobs – that is something new these past few years.

    • anonymouse_dianne

      When I was looking for a SAS job, I found a lot of the NGO type orgs advertised on Craig’s List.

    • Also try indeed . com
      I’ll email you with other suggestions 🙂

    • I’m sorry to hear this. I was at the point of quitting without else something lined up for the sake of my mental health, my job was that bad. Even though I couldn’t really afford it because of my student loan payments. Luckily I found a new job that I’m starting in January, but it took almost two years of searching. It’s a sucky situation to be in, and I really hope you find something better soon! In the meantime, is there anything fulfilling you can do outside of work? Volunteering, sports, hobbies, crafting, etc.?

  • topscallop

    Rant: metro delays this morning due to something something at L’Enfant Plaza made me late for work and I didn’t have time to get coffee before my morning meeting
    Rave: but I can go get some now! yay coffee!
    Rant: morning meeting included a sobering look at what may be at stake for my organization’s funding going forward with the new administration
    Rave: but the person giving us the update did so with the perfect amount of irony and shade in her tone, which I greatly appreciated. At least we’re not sugar-coating things or glossing over what’s happening out of a sense of respect for the office.
    Rave: it’s my birthday and I’m only focusing on good things today!
    Rave: like coffee!

  • Does anyone have a rec for a reputable debt management company? Need help creating a workable strategy for 2017

    • What are you looking for help with? I think that most companies billing themselves as debt management companies are scams. Maybe a financial adviser to help organize and prioritize?

  • I have a vegan coming for Thanksgiving (and about a dozen others who won’t require special food but hey, it’s about inclusivity). I’d love some recommendations for vegan Thanksgiving recipes that you’ve tried and liked. Bonus if you yourself are not vegan. Specially need gravy and mashed potato ideas. My Thanksgiving menu is super traditional, so I’m hoping to find ways to work the vegan stuff in, rather than replacing the traditional meal with beans and quinoa and the like.

    • You could make chana masala and rice as side dishes. That can be prepared ahead and just reheated. After that most of the sides (stuffing, vegetables, cranberry sauce) are vegan anyway (if you use vegetable broth in the stuffing). I would not make vegan mashed potatoes. As long as you have some options of side dishes and a protein dish, not everything but the turkey needs to be vegan. And honestly, faux-meat and faux-dairy options are usually gross, so I would just avoid them.

      • Yep, I always make the stuffing vegan. And there are two dishes of sprouts– one with bacon, one without. I guess I could do yams in addition to mashed potatoes (which are about one-third butter and cream by weight the way I make ’em). It’s just that I hate yams, and I love MP so…

      • Depends on what you’re using–there are plenty of dairy-free margarine options that are just fine. So, mashed potatoes with dairy-free margarine would work.

    • For gravy, the key is to make your own vegetable stock. I use a roasted vegetable stock I got from Epicurious years ago – I’ll see if I can find a the link – and it makes a fantastic gravy. I wouldn’t admit this to anyone, but it’s even better than my turkey gravy. No advice on a fat, though, since I make this for my merely vegetarian sister. Plus, you can make a triple batch of the stock and freeze it.

    • I usually make mashed potatoes w/ non-dairy milk and they turn out ok. Vegan butter works fine as well. Gravy can make anything better 🙂 I’m not vegan so I use regular gravy, but this recipe has gotten good reviews: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/vegan-mushroom-gravy You can buy nutritional yeast in bulk at Whole Foods and probably other similar stores.

    • I had to make vegan alternatives for a dinner party last year which actually included vegan mashed potatoes and gravy. Lessons we learned:
      -Do not add a milk alternative to the mashed potatoes. It tastes really gross since it seemed to overpower the flavor of the potatoes.
      – Do add lots of butter alternative like Earth Balance.
      – Roasted garlic and chives were also a very welcome addition. It really turned them into something magical.
      – Mushroom gravy is surprisingly delicious. Most of the non-vegan folks at the party actually preferred the mushroom gravy to the meat gravy.

      For an entrée, we made the lentil and nut roast recipe from Epicurious. It was okay but I personally found it to be a bit bland. It might be better if the spices were upped significantly from what the recipe called for.

    • Roasted root veggies – brussle sprouts, sweet potatoes or squash (or both), parsnips, red onion, drizzle olive oil, salt/pepper. rosemary, thyme. The key is to spread in a single layer and not just pile up in a casserole dish. you can put them in the oven at whatever temp the turkey cooks until brown.

      • This has been a recent addition to our Thanksgiving menu (swapping carrots for the brussel sprouts). Nice with a splash of balsalmic vinegar at the end.
        .
        Roasted carrots with harissa is also very nice!

    • I’ve made several vegan entrees for Thanksgiving. I like to make something substantial and festive-feeling — meaning not a stew. Two of my most successful (with both vegans and non-vegans) were:
      http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1013877-harvest-tart-with-pumpkin-and-peppers
      and
      http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2008/11/dreenas-festive-chickpea-tart-recipes.html

  • Rave: I got almost 9 hours of sleep last night – knocked myself out with a stiff drink and sleep is wonderful – it really does help!
    Rant: No-flu-shot relative is not coming to Thanksgiving because despite a conversation with my mom (who is one of the nicest people in the world), they cannot find common ground and so relative won’t come. I hope this doesn’t bum my roommate out too much.
    Rant: Looks like my almost-sis is going to get induced. Baby doesn’t want to leave his little nest (and I can’t blame him!). Hoping her labor goes smoothly and safely.
    Rant? Rave? Decided I’m going to try to fake my way through my misery. Maybe if I can pretend that everything is fine, things will get better. This way I won’t annoy my family members by seeming to “mope” or getting “stressed out.” Fake it til you feel it, right?

    • Anonynon

      I think you have to fake it always, its tough for those that like to wear their heart on their sleeve 🙁

    • Fun fact, before I realized how horrible it was, I actually watched the apprentice for a season or two. Our president-elect once “fired” someone for using the fake-til-you-make-it mantra, which apparently he had never heard before and thought was somehow a horrible philosophy. That is just one of the many things I disagree with him on.

    • Perhaps instead of “faking it til you make it” you could consider it a practice in mindfulness and living in the present. Focus on the positive, what is good in your life, what makes you happy, and hone in on that instead of dwelling on the future and all the worries that come with it. Dwelling in the past and worrying about the future only serves to rob us of our present.
      Also, pot, kettle, meet black, I know 😉 Good luck, you aren’t the only one with these issues

    • LittleBluePenguin, I’m in the same boat re your last rant (along with much of the country). I’m trying to channel my energy into doing good things in the world – ramping up volunteering, using my skills to help those who will be hurt the most by the new administration. I also second the recommendation for mindfulness.

  • Query: Looking for a lawyer to prepare a simple will (unmarried, no kids) but with a few clauses. Any recommendations? I remember someone asking this in RRR before but I can’t seem to find the post. I found one on trusts but I’m not sure I need to go that route. Thanks!
    Rave: I like cool weather.
    Rant: I worry about getting reassigned out of my job under a Trump administration.

    • I think there are website that can help you do this, but I’m drawing a blank on the names.

    • I also wanted to do a relatively simple will with a lawyer, but couldn’t find any with costs I thought were justifiable. I finally did quite a bit of research on my own, then went with legal zoom. You can put whatever you want in and then you talk one-on-one with a local lawyer about what you have written and what to do to make it better. IIRC, you can have as many of these one-on-one phone consults as you need within a certain time-frame.

    • Blithe

      Don’t know if this is an option for you but I once had access to limited legal services for very reasonable prices through my job as an employee benefit, so it could be worth checking to see if your job offers something similar.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: stupid metro made me late for work.
    Rant: loud eating noises
    Rant: can’t think of a rave

  • Andie302

    Rave: DC DMV reminded me that I need to renew my license in the next few months
    Rave: I can do it online
    Rant: The link to the online renewal they sent in the email is a bad link
    Rant: I can’t do it now because my wallet is at home
    Rant/rave: My wallet has been lost since the weekend (and it turns out that when I have limited cash I spend a lot less!) My wallet was found this morning under a pile of clothes that should’ve been washed on Monday. At least I don’t have to replace everything in it and I haven’t run out of cash yet!
    Rant/rave: It was recovered by accountering while he was looking for his keys this morning, which were located under a different pile of clothing. I think we have a laundry problem. No, I know we do.
    Rave: Doing the damn laundry tonight, while I renew my license and buy a couple things online that I put off this week while not having my cards.

    • I love doing laundry. Love the chaos -> order feeling of it. Love the warmth and the smell of clothes straight from the dryer. Love having everything neatly folded and put away.
      Scrubbing a kitchen, now… well, that’s why I have cleaners.

      • Andie302

        Do you use a certain scent of dryer sheet? I normally don’t, but this might make laundry more appealing for me! The schnauzer is already obsessed with any pile of warm laundry – me, not so much.

        • Yes, I use Gain, I think? It’s pleasant and mild and not too perfumy.

          • I don’t like perfume-y clothes but I really enjoy how my clothes smell after I use those Downy Scent Boosters in the wash, since I have lots of clothes I hang-dry rather than putting in the dryer.

        • Most people don’t care, but dryer sheets actually put a film on the clothing to make them smell nice/feel soft. I stopped using them some time back because I thought they were contributing to my acne. I use wool balls (you can get them on Amazon) and I put some lavender oil on the balls, which then makes the clothes smell nice. Something to look into if you have any interest.

          • Yep, and the film can coat the lint screen, decreasing air flow, increasing drying time, and potentially causing a fire hazard. So anyone using fabric softener should pay special attention to the screen.

          • Re: wdc I bought dryer vent cleaning tools after discovering the dyer was acting up because of how clogged the vent was and reading horror stories about fires starting from clogged vents. PSA: Check and clean your vents, not just the lint trap, everyone!

          • Andie302

            Do you use a bunch of balls at once? (I see sets of six available on amazon). Thanks for this suggestion! Maybe fluffy lightly scented clothes will enhanced my willingness to do laundry before it’s covering all the necessary crap we need day to day in our house.

        • Highly recommend the lavender dryer sachets from Trader Joe’s – love ’em!

  • Rave: Menu planning for Thanksgiving is done, grocery list has been made, and a task list for cleaning has been created. Just need to figure out the schedule for the actual cooking part and I’ll be totally ready for our first Thanksgiving dinner party at home.
    Rave: My family arrives one week from today. They haven’t been up here to visit in almost 4 years.
    Rant: The next three weekends are completely booked. While I enjoy having a somewhat full schedule, I’m really in need of some downtime right now.
    Rave: Making my morning coffee into a faux latte seems to be helping with the heartburn.

  • This is really random, BUT is anyone out there from Nevada? My SIL is moving to Las Vegas for a job, but she’s a Canadian citizen. First, she thinks she can keep her Ontario license and get a car PLUS insurance. She’ll need to get a Nevada license within 30 days of arriving right? And what about car insurance? Will they insure a foreign national? She doesn’t have best driving record in Ontario. Will she be able to find an apt rental with no credit history? (And really not much of one in Canada). I am trying to provide helpful information for her, but I really don’t think she knows this is a huge undertaking.

  • Rave: Today is the first day I feel human again after having double jaw surgery last Thursday. I can sit upright and have an appetite. I look like a female version of Wallace from “Wallace and Gromit”
    Rant: I was grossly unprepared for the suck recovery would be. I broke my jaw in a fall in 2015, it never healed correctly and I apparently forgot how horrid that entire ordeal was. This is much, much worse.
    Rant: Liquid painkillers do nothing for me.
    Rant: These Thanksgiving commercials are killing my soul. I never liked t-day before and now I want all the.things.
    Rant: Soup does not fill the void.
    Rave: I have the best fiancé ever who has been by my side since the day of my accident. I get teary-eyed thinking how lucky I am for him.

    • Yikes, that sounds awful. There must be better liquid painkillers, though. I mean, morphine comes in liquid form.
      Also, you should talk to I Don’t Get it. He made his broken-jaw diet sound almost palatable!

      • I believe he turned pretty much all food into liquid with a blender. Add a little oil or water depending on what it is to help the consistency. Good luck!

  • Question: A very dear friend has finally made the move to leave her very unhappy marriage. She is starting (basically) over in a new place of her own. I want to get her something, a sort of housewarming/happy transition present. Thoughts on this? I was considering a gift basket with household items, but then wonder if a gift card might be better so that she can chose her own things?

  • I Dont Get It

    Rant/Rave: More weird dreams. This time Bryant Gumbel had pranked me by leaving one dead Christmas tree and one tastefully decorated Christmas tree outside my door.

    Rant/Rave: My alt-Right Facebook friend posted an article about how drunken Hillary physically attacked her staff when she learned she had lost the election. It’s always amazing that not one responds to these although she replies to herself several times. OK maybe not amazing but sad. I think she’s having issues.

    • My annoying facebook friend (is there such a thing as alt-left?) has really stepped it up lately.
      Can anyone recommend a kind way to suggest she install that new Chrome extension to detect fake news?

  • Rave: Yesterday was my birthday and it was such a nice day. My fiance and friends really made it special. Being presented with a cake in class at 8:45 a.m. really makes tax law more exciting!
    Rave: So ready for Thanksgiving break.
    Rant: Need to make a blanket rule that no one is allowed to talk about politics at Thanksgiving.

    • skj84

      Agree on your final rant. Normally i’m not into censoring conversations, but there is an exception to every rule. Remind family Thanksgiving should be the time that we put our differences to the side and come together. Everyone knows there is no way a political conversation is going to end well at the dinner table. My family is pretty much all on the same side so I don’t think we should have any spats, I’m just tired of talking about the election at this point. Just fatigued. I need a break.

      • I’m considering a group craft project, so I can direct people to craft and not talk, like I do when my kids get snippy with each other.

        • I like this idea! I’m generally not into censoring conversation but we have debated this to death over the phone the last week and we just need to stop. We’re all on different sides and there are a lot of attorneys in the mix – the debating never ends!

    • Emmaleigh504

      Happy belated birthday!

  • anonymouse_dianne

    I’m interested in putting together a T-giving dinner for orphans in my neighborhood. Considering Provision #14, Lupo Verde, Le Diplomat. Anyone interested?