Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

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You can talk about whatever is on your mind – quality of life issues, a beautiful tree you spotted, scuttlebutt, or any random questions/thoughts you may have. But please no personal attacks and no need to correct people’s grammar. This is a place to vent and/or celebrate things about daily life in DC.

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107 Comment

  • Rant: Came across the TED-ED (the TED talks education videos) on how Hitler came to power, and there are parallels that give me the chills

    Middling?Neither Rant/rave: In looking into the Hiring freeze, its there but there are a huge swath of exceptions and its only in place for 90 days…. seems to have less teeth than originally thought.

    • I think the big concern about the hiring freeze is not the 90 days itself but the longer-term policy after that. That policy is still unclear.

    • Re Your Rant: I’d been saying that everyone who came to town to “celebrate” Trump’s Inauguration should have also had to go to the Holocaust museum. It is truly frightening.

    • maybe the silver lining of the hiring freeze is that gung-ho trump supporters hoping to get in the federal workforce can’t now?

    • I’m trying to see the hiring freeze as an opportunity to really shine. Now that I’m on the civilian side, I see a lot of people that have one responsibility while others have three and four. Maybe it’s my agency, but there is a lot of this going on and a lot of people being the stereotypical image of a gov employee. I think the ones that do their job and even go slightly above and beyond, will definitely stand out more during the 90 days and have nothing to worry about. Now if you’re a slacker and unwilling to be a team player in order to accomplish the mission, I can see how you would be concerned.

      • Why would any current slackers care about the hiring freeze? They’re already in the government, and have a sweet gig. This won’t change anything for any current employees except increase their workload if anyone else leaves. Or is that what you mean? If anyone leaves, it is an opportunity to step up and stand out even more? LOL, such an idealist you are, I give you that. My experience in both the federal gov’t and private sector says otherwise: those working hard will be given most of the extra work because their supervisors know it will get done, and that’s that.

        • Wow., maybe I’m just lucky that the two agencies I’ve worked for have been really good with recognition and promotions. During the last freeze, at least where I was, the slackers on my team refused to take on the additional workload and those of who did received recognition from not just the supervisor, but also at SES level. When a promotion opportunity opened up, we were the ones chosen for interviews and ultimately were selected. Again, this is just my experience and I’m trying to put an optimistic spin on the effect of a hiring freeze.

  • Rant: The part of my agency that is bipartisan and wasn’t supposed to fall apart suddenly feels like the sky is crashing down on us.
    Rant: The sky is also falling on women, the poor, immigrants and my mother. And I feel absolutely helpless. I don’t even have words left to comfort and support, I’m speechless.

  • Rant: Executive Orders

  • Rave: I got 3 boxes unpacked last night and have a bookshelf that looks lovely!
    Rant: Soo many more boxes / organizing to do.
    Rant: It’s been what, 5 days, into he-who-shall-not-be-named’s presidency, and I don’t want to stay in the U.S. My lease is only for a year. Seriously considering looking into how hard it would be to emigrate to New Zealand. I think I could possibly get a job in Auckland….

  • Rant: The New Years resolution crowd was going strong at my gym this morning. Usually they start to slide off around now but I guess they put everything off until inauguration
    Rave: Found a new treadmill and had an amazing run. Almost down 35lbs.
    Rave: New dress in a smaller size.
    Rave; Dinner with an old friend at Le Diplomate tonight.
    Rant: Trump. Always.

    • skj84

      I think everyone is either in self care mode or trying to work off the Trump Ten.

    • HERO! And, to skj84, some of us (umm, me) are working to lose the Trump twenty! (grrrrrrr)

    • The Trump 10! Haha, I had not heard this before, but it’s making me feel much better about the Trump tire around my waist.

    • Congrats on the weight loss, that’s incredible!

    • Thanks guys and THANKS skj84, I hadn’t even thought of that. Though the 6am gym people are the skinny ones, except for me of course. LOL. Getting there.

      For those trying, you can do it. I am not a runner by any means but it builds up over time, and I get a lot of energy out of it. Now just to get out of this plateau.
      Almost Friday!

  • skj84

    Rant: The struggle for normalcy. I’m stuck between wanting to just live my life as usual, and stuck with what is the decorum going forward? I know I can’t live in fear 24/7, that’s what they want us to do. But it feels distasteful to go about like things are normal. I’m getting fatigued with all the awful news that is coming in, and honestly just want to tune it all out for my mental healths sake. But I also want to stay informed, I feel complacency got us in the mess. How do you find the balance?
    Rave: Trying to focus on the good that has come out of the past week. And the good things I have in my life. I have a wonderful weekend planned with my friends, and I won tickets to Sips and Suppers on Saturday.

  • Rant: I’m having a hard time deciding what compromises to make in my next home. I didn’t need to make any in my last home (except the one I didn’t know I was making – neighbors who were impossible to live near). I’m comparing such apples and oranges properties that I’m having a hard time.

    • I found it useful in my search to look at my habits, IE I HATE doing laundry so having it in Unit was def required. I use public transit to get to and from work so parking wasn’t a big deal.

      Are you home during the day? would traffic noise interfere with your ability to sleep?

      — I bought near a school and rec center, everything is generally done by 9 pm, but it attracts lots of kids which is a boon (yay KIDS) and a bust (boooooo trash)

      • Totally agree with this whether you are renting or purchasing. However, if you’re purchasing, I would put more thought on the location than anything else since once your there, it’s more permanent than renting an apartment. You can always modify a home to fit your needs.

  • I keep telling myself this week is the worst week – Trump wants to come out swinging, and I get that. But it just feels like its going to get worse and worse, bc he just doesn’t give AF and has no shame and no moral center.

  • Clueless

    Rant: Yesterday I walked into a presumably empty bathroom stall at work – nope, a lady was in there peeing. She didn’t lock the door. So. Awkward.
    Rave: Haven’t seen this person again, since the incident.

    • Oh my goodness. I did that a few weeks ago and thankfully have not run into the lady. How does one forget to lock the door? Lol.

  • Rant: Have the name/number of a good knee doctor. Just don’t want to make the call.
    Rave: The range of emotions yesterday with the greenpeace protestors (I work near the crane) and the conversations it generated – ultimately ending with – damn that’s pretty awesome.
    Rant/Rave: Woke up this morning with a list of politicians I need to call in my head.
    Rant: The lie conversation on NPR. Call a lie a lie. This man has intent to deceive or misdirect. He is a liar.
    Rave: Kenya and Tanzania on the horizon for work, then Tbilisi. Onto the planning!

    • Emmaleigh504

      make the call. you don’t want to possibly hurt your knee more by not treating it. If it’s not badly hurt then you will have the peace of mind knowing that.

  • Rave: Today’s unit meeting is cancelled.
    Rant: Feeling drained and stressed like I did before Christmas. When visiting the therapist right after my Christmas vacation revealed that I was probably headed towards some type of breakdown. I was scared to death. And now my feelings are coming up again. I know it’s my work that I am swamped with. I have a lot to do and I can’t seem to focus. Yesterday, my therapist stated that I needed to do more self care and need to stay in the moment and realize that I can control everything with my job and the rest of my life.
    Rave: Bought a new pantsuit from Macy’s.

  • Andie302

    Anyone have a good recipe for doctoring popcorn that they’ve tried and liked? I’m heading to movie night tonight and this is what I was going to bring, but I have to stop and pick everything up after work, so I’m open to suggestions.

    • Blithe

      You mean there are other choices besides buttered popcorn with a shake of Old Bay? One of my favorite grad school means was popcorn topped with shredded mozzarella, a bit of garlic salt, and a bit of chili powder. So good!

    • My go-to is paprika, garlic salt, pepper, and chili powder. Yum.

    • Emmaleigh504

      mix in some M & Ms to get the salty and sweet

    • I saw one over the weekend that I want to try:

      Two 3.5-ounce bags microwave popcorn, popped and hot
      4 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced
      1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
      2 seasoning packets from chicken-flavored ramen (feel free to substitute another flavor)
      2 cloves garlic, grated
      Add the popcorn and scallions to large bowl. Combine the butter, ramen seasoning and garlic in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook until the butter is melted and the garlic is golden but not brown. Pour over the popcorn and toss well.

      Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/trisha-yearwood/garlic-ramen-popcorn.html?oc=linkback

    • I love a little oil and truffle salt. Or if you like sweet, salt and some melted chocolate. I have also done salt and parmesan cheese.

    • Finely grated Parmesan, olive oil, and lots of black pepper. Cacio e pepe popcorn! Rosemary pairs well with popcorn too.

  • That One Guy

    Rant: Need to sleep at a reasonable hour. No good comes of laying in bed

  • Rave: I have a PCP finally, and I’ve been diagnosed (finally) and am feeling slightly better! I’m so happy (even though I still feel lousy, it’s helping.) And he’s an awesome doctor so this will be the year I get all my $hit together in all aspects of my life.

    Rant: Credit card debt sometimes seems insurmountable, and I have a lot right now. I also want to look into getting my kitchen remodeled and I wonder how that will affect financing? Has anyone dealt with this? (I’m making huge payments on my cc’s, it’s just going to take a while to pay them off.) Wouldn’t change the debt in all the world because it helped me be with my father as much as possible over the last two years, but still sometimes it’s daunting. The picture will be so much better by this time next year, and I know that. I keep remembering my old therapist telling me to be kind to myself about this and that I can do it.

    ??: Speaking of financing, would it make sense to refinance or take out a home equity loan to do the remodel? My kitchen is pretty small. I just have no idea how this stuff works and I need people who’ve had experience with this to offer any wisdom…

    Rant: I don’t understand why I can’t change my family member(s) minds about this new president when I give them actual facts from senate.gov and they still tell me I’m whining and complaining. Any tips, or do I just keep fighting the good fight?

    • Accountering

      If you have the ability to refinance or take a home equity line (and you feel comfortable about your financial situation/income moving forward) I like the idea of taking a small amount to do the kitchen and pay off your CC debt. Especially if you are paying interest on the CCs, better to get it all lumped together, pay a smaller rate, and be able to deduct on taxes.

      • I would not convert unsecured credit card debt to secured debt. There are other ways to lower the interest rate than that, as referenced below. Also, I recognize that I an very financially conservative/debt averse, but I wouldn’t even think about a kitchen renovation while you carry consumer debt, including credit card debt.

        • I don’t really understand the point of kitchen renovations. Unless things are broken or horribly outdated, why bother? I have a lot of savings and no debt but it’s never occurred to me to renovate my mid-90s-era kitchen. Just strikes me as pointless and wasteful, and likely to cause problems since things are made more cheaply now.

          • Then you’re probably not the person who needs to renovate your kitchen. If it was needed, you wouldn’t need to ask.
            I, for example, have tile countertops. I loathe them. They piss me off every day, with their bacteria-hoarding grout. Everything else is fine. Not new, not top of the line, but fully functional. I am researching countertops.
            I assume SinSA really hates something about her kitchen. Simple.

          • Huh. My kitchen has a dark tile floor which shows every speck of grime and it drives me crazy, and maybe someday I’ll replace it (then again I’ve lived with it for 6 years already) but I wouldn’t call that a renovation. I thought renovations we where you basically replaced everything all at once to give it a whole new look.

          • Wtat WDC said. Also, I’m guessing you don’t really like to cook. And a lot of this depends on your house. In an open floor plan, how your kitchen looks becomes a bit more important. Finally, new things are cheaply made only if you buy new cheap things. Plenty of newer items are of better quality than anything produced in the 90s.

          • I rarely eat out, and cook cuisines from all over the world from scratch, and a few times a month I’ll tackle an ambitious baking project. So yeah, not much of a cook 🙂 In my experience it’s the people that don’t cook that are most into kitchen renovations.

        • Accountering

          I did include the caveat that if she is comfortable with her financial situation/income moving forward. If you are currently paying 15% on 20K in CC debt, and can easily afford your mortgage, it would make sense to convert unsecured to secured, and lower that rate. I also agree with the comment below about interest rates, we saw in late December that rates were going up quickly, they have actually come back down a bit, but most think they will proceed back up as 2017 wears on.

    • If you are paying interest on your credit card, I would suggest applying for the Chase Slate Visa card. 0% interest on introductory balance transfers and 0% interest for 15 months.

    • Andie302

      I think your therapist right – if you’re doing all the right things and you know in time you’ll be good to go, then that’s all you can do. Especially if it was for something that you really couldn’t control.

      I don’t know if I’d pile on with a kitchen renovation right now. It sounds like you don’t have cash for it, and you’re not sure how to finance it. What if you spend the next year doing all the stuff to plan (that doesn’t cost anything) and then you reward yourself in a year when you’re in a much better spot.

      You COULD pull money out of your home, but I would limit it to investing in the kitchen if 1) the refinance makes financial sense (you don’t get a much higher rate, the costs aren’t exorbitant, etc.) and the investment raises the value of your home equal to the investment (or even better, beyond the investment).

      I’d be happy to talk more with you about this. I love this stuff, and it’s very nuanced depending on your situation.

      • Andie, that’ d be awesome. I need to learn more about this stuff, for sure.

        • Andie302

          Sure! Dan has my email – if you want to email him I’m sure he’ll put is in touch!

        • I would actually argue that waiting another year might be a bad idea, in terms of remodeling, if you have to pull the money out of equity. It’s all but guaranteed that interest rates will be higher then. While it may, ultimately, not add up to much (if you do a home equity loan (not line of credit!)), more interest is more interest.
          How’s your current interest rate? If it’s on the high side (don’t know when you bought or if you refinanced during the rock-bottom rates period recently), and you could bring it down a little by refinancing (cash-out refinance), you might be able to get the money out and not pay much more than you are currently. This goes double if you’re paying for PMI and your home has appreciated.
          Just my 2 cents on timing. If I needed to take money out in the form of a mortgage, I’d do it now, no matter what my other obligations were (assuming I was not going to make it impossible to pay everything by borrowing more than I could actually service).

          • One caveat to this – virtually every HELOC I’ve ever seen carries a variable rate. This strategy, which is a good one if you have equity and a high rate now, depends on a full-on refinance.

          • A HELOC is obviously a loser right now. That’s why I specified home equity *loan.* Some banks still make fixed-rate loans (US Bank, for example). The rates are higher than mortgage rates, but not bad if you can pay off in 5 years. And they, along with HELOC, mortgage, and credit card rates, will all be higher a year from now. If you have to borrow and can get a fixed rate, there’s no time like the present, IMO.

  • Rant: Apparently Ivanka was spotted at Flywheel last night which is annoying since Flywheel is the one 45 minute section of my day where I don’t think about Trump.
    Rant: This week feels exceptionally long.
    Rave: Almost to Friday and I have big plans to sleep in & do nothing on Saturday!

    • And Kellyanne Conway was spotted at the safeway near mt Vernon. I’m not looking forward to running into these people…
      Question for the POPulace: would you say something to Kellyanne, ivanka, jared, steve bannon, reince, if you ran into them in DC? I wouldn’t if they were with their kids, but might be tempted to calmly let them know I disagree with them on certain issues if they on a Flywheel bike next to me. Not sure, though.

      • Nothing you say will make a difference. It may make you feel better but that is about it.

      • Accountering

        I would – regardless of if they are with their family/whatever. None of these fools care what you/I think, but I certainly would voice my opinion.

      • I really don’t know. It’s hard to imagine what I would say to any of them (other than Ivanka) that wasn’t full of expletives & coming off as just a ranting liberal. With Ivanka I’d likely have the ability to speak calmly & rationally, but who knows. I would absolutely be determined to beat her on the torq board though.

      • dcgator

        I think the main question I’d want to get out is: How does it feel to sell your soul? Truly?

        Because I think they are all people who understand what they’re supporting and engendering. They see it…so I’d just like to know how it really feels to actively know they are ruining lives for just a bit more power and/or money than they had previously.

      • It really depends on the situation and the person, but I would be cordial. I wouldnt want to come across as making a scene, especially if children are present. Most likely, even if I disagree with their view on something, I don’t even know if I would bring it up. I might just say hello and keep the conversation non-political.

      • I really want to take Kellyanne aside and just say, “Honey. Stop. You’re making yourself a laughingstock and losing any credibility you may have ever had. Just stop it, girl.”
        To Ivanka, I’d go with, “Hey, you seem like the smart one. Please talk some sense into your dad before he kills the planet.”

    • I would love if all of us changed our names on the torqboard to things like StandwithPP, or I’mWithHer. As with you, FlyWheel is my only Trump-free zone right now, and man do I need that!

  • Blithe

    Rave: Pat Metheny
    Rave: All things Pat Metheny
    Rave: Perhaps having a one-track mind could be a key to happiness?

  • Rant: Trump. I’ve developed a twitch in my right eye. This man is so delusional that I JUST. CAN’T.
    Rave: The weather yesterday! Went for a run after work in my t-shirt!
    Double Rave: Friends in the neighborhood who keep me accountable by being running partners.
    Rave: Stumbled across the podcast ‘Criminal’. Really interesting stories and not horribly gorey, as other crime ones tend to be. Current one is interveiwing death penalty
    Rave: My office has a stretch break two times a week! Hurray for self care!

    • Sorry, one more RAVE: When I was about 12, my parents decided to help settle Bosnian refugees who were brought over by our church. I was there when they got off the plane and onto American soil. When my parents taught English classes, I helped teach the kids. We went to visit every week and they came to our house for holidays. What a BLESSING that I was able to experience this as a child. (PS: My parents are awesome)

      • Your last rave is awesome! I would love to do something like that for some of the orphans/lost children coming out of Syria. But it seems unlikely in this political climate

  • Rave – after the discussion yesterday, I couldn’t help but look at the “you may be interested in” suggections. One of them was promoting an old Popville thread about how numerous schools were closed and the Feds had a 2 hour delay, I think from February 2015. Taboola analytics fail.

  • Andie302

    Rave: My dad went to the doctor (for weight loss/nutrition/etc.) today and he’s down 47lbs since November. I am so happy for him. He’s nearly back into the 200’s!
    Rant: Almost simultaneously my contractor in Cambridge texted a photo of the blown down fence in my yard. I guess I’m getting a couple new fence panels. At least there’s someone there to install them.
    Disclaimer: I’m actively avoiding current events because I just can’t – I’m not oblivious, but this is me coping.

  • I’m helping to find a new home for a lovely cat who’s owner suddenly passed away. Georgette is a 6 year old medium haired orange and white “creamsicle” beauty, fully vetted and current with all vaccinations. She lived all her life with a woman (and dog) in an apartment, and a similar home would probably be best for her. Friends of mine have been fostering her, and she does not seem comfortable with men. Here is a link to her CL post. And a reminder to everyone – please have a plan for your pets in case of sudden need. This was a healthy 40ish woman who came down with pneumonia, spent 2 weeks in ICU and sadly, did not recover.

  • I Dont Get It

    Rave: My offshore team is off today for Republic Day. Enjoy your holiday!
    Rant: Assuming the new paint and writing sprayed on Compass Rose is vandalism. It’s really horrible. It’s been there since at least Monday morning so I was hoping someone would have the story by now.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: feel off my diet in a big way. I’ve gained 2 pounds instead of losing 2 pounds. Where did my motivation go? I just can’t keep motivation to save my life.
    Rant: Donna doing her best to wake me up early. She doesn’t do this on the weekend, why must she do it on weekdays, especially today when I could sleep later.
    Rave: thought of a perfect birthday present for Quotia Zelda. Her birthday is in August, I hope I can remember.

  • anonymouse_dianne

    I know there are some animal rescue folks on here and wanted to share what Donna Reynolds wrote on the badrap blog – why we joined the womens march. Surprised that there were some mixed reactions.


  • Late-afternoon garden-related rant that probably no one will see, so I might repost it tomorrow:
    I noticed today that some of my daffodils were apparently confused by the unseasonable weather and have started sprouting out of the ground. I also have a confused hyacinth that started sprouting a week or two ago, but seems to have held tight since then.
    I hope my confused flowers can survive until their regular sprouting time and then pick up where they left off. (If they leave off.)

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