Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user bajidc

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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124 Comment

  • Rave: Morini Monday with friends last night. The pastas were A+ as was the conversation.
    Rave: Down 8 lbs since early January, with routine workouts and eating better but not completely restricted (see rave above). I feel really good – stronger.

  • Rave: I got my girl scout cookies this morning too!!! Swoooooooon (bad for my diet, good for my soul)

  • Rave: got a new job! very, very excited.
    Rant: it’s significantly less pay than i make now… and the transition out of my current position is going to be a nightmare!!

  • Rant/Rave: That picture made my inner fat kid jump for joy
    Rave: Performance review went well, getting a lil sumpin ontop of a leave increase
    Frustration: International flights are not cooperating

  • Rave? Rant? That picture is making me think about the 1 box of Thin Mints I have waiting for me in the freezer at home. Now all I want to do is eat them. Eat them ALL!
    Rant: If something is Potatoes O’Brien, advertise them as such! Don’t call Potatoes O’Brien “breakfast potatoes” if they’re Potatoes O’Brien! It’s not the same! grumble grumble grumble.
    Rant: Got freaked out by a guy who followed me off the bus and semi-accosted me at the crosswalk – I’m not sure if he was mentally ill, just had a bad stutter and was socially awkward, or actually meant me harm but I did not feel safe and did that thing I suspect most women have done – put the biggest key I have in between my knuckles and ball my fist up tight, then plan an escape path. My escape path, however, involved me probably having to push this man into traffic, and I felt bad for even thinking it. Luckily, however, a biker came over and agreed to ride next to me for a couple blocks, thank the gods! Did I overreact? I mean, I didn’t actually do much besides walk away very fast when the light changed, but I’m second-guessing myself in the light of day and wondering if maybe I jumped to conclusions? There was most definitely something wrong with him, but maybe I just go from 0-60 in 2 seconds flat?…..

    • Oh, I so relate to both your rave/rants. Problem with GS thin mints is they are addictive – I seem to need to eat the whole box as fast as I can. I am not like this with other foods – thus my belief they contain something more addictive than sugar, chocolate and mint.
      Don’t sweat your reaction – your gut is there to keep you safe. Glad the biker assisted. I’ve been encountering plain crazy, ranting men a lot lately (common if you use the public library.) They may not mean to harm me, but they are unpredictable, so I trust my gut to avoid them.

      • WEIRD! That is exactly what he asked me – he stood right in front of me, blocking the crosswalk, and asked me (when he was able to get the words out, he had a really terrible stutter that made me feel sad) if I knew if the library was still open. I told him (truthfully) I had only moved here recently and that I had absolutely no idea where the library was (although I don’t think it is anywhere near where we got off!) or what its hours were. Ok, so probably harmless albeit also probably mentally ill.

        • Weird… I was walking home the other day and someone walking out of a rowhouse stopped me and asked me if the library was open. I also had no clue if it was and it caught me off guard.

    • I Dont Get It

      No need to second guess yourself–you did the right thing.

      • +1. Gavin de Becker’s “The Gift of Fear” is basically about trusting your gut in situations like this and not second-guessing your instincts out of a desire to be “nice.”

        • I’m usually very tuned in to my gut for exactly this reason – when my gut says something is wrong, I don’t care about being perceived as “nice” – and I very rarely second-guess myself, I think this guy just made me feel so confused and sad but worried all at the same time that I thought maybe I misread the situation…..

        • I’d love to hear others’ thoughts on this. I’m a woman, I have a daughter, I’ve read Gavin de Becker’s books and it makes sense, and is compelling; however….what if your gut is racist, or homophobic, or frightened by difference in the same way that kids can be frightened by old people or people with significantly different physical appearances? Does anyone else ever wonder whether that initial reaction is, at least sometimes, based on something other than subtle behavioral cues or internal logic that recognizes something’s amiss?

          • This is exactly what got my mom mugged 35+ years back – she was living and working in a very rough part of Philadelphia and one day, was walking down the street when she spotted a group of 3 black youth. Her gut told her to cross to the other side of the street, but she was worried her gut was being racists or age-ist, so she ignored it – and had a knife pulled on her and they stole her wallet and jewelry in broad daylight. I do wonder, sometimes, how much of our “gut” is influenced by our general and deep-seated views on race / gender etc, but I’m still of the stance that one should err on the side of caution. It’s a good question, though, and requires that we look really hard at ourselves.

          • PS – my mom and dad are happily among the least racist people I know, in case that story made it sound otherwise!

          • In a city like dc or inner city Philly, you may never get the chance to cross away from 3 white teens, so hard to say if it’s racist or cautious or a combo. I cross when I see a bunch of guys almost always…race, age indifferent. I’ll also cross for rowdy teen girls. I know who starts trouble, and I try to avoid them.
            Alternatively, I’ve gotten the clutched purse response from white people on occasion, and I have to wonder what about me gives off the criminal vibe. Maybe it’s because I look so young more than the race, but it makes you think.

          • Anon Spock – appreciate the feedback. Yeah, it’s possible she also wouldn’t have crossed if it had been three white teens, maybe she would have been concerned that it was more of an age or gender thing rather than worrying about being perceived as racist. We’ll never know, I suppose. I just know that it’s really hard sometimes to figure out what is a results of cultural conditioning and what is really your gut screaming “get out of this situation!”

    • #TeamSamoas
      More seriously, always trust your gut. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, there is probably a reason for it, and if someone else saw the situation and independently decided that you needed company for a little bit, chances are your gut was right.

    • I am also on team “good for you, trust your gut.” Glad you are safe.

  • jim_ed

    Rave: Last night’s Wizards / Cavs game was possibly the best NBA regular season game I’ve ever seen. I’m not sure I’m mentally prepared for the Wiz to be considered an elite team in the league, but there they were throwing haymakers in a heavyweight fight. Also shoutout to Kevin Harlan for giving the game the dramatic soundtrack it needed only a night after working the Super Bowl. That’s good hustle.
    Rant: Stupid LeBron had to ruin everything with his one-in-a-thousand prayer shot. He was unreal.
    Rave: 60+ degrees in February? I can deal with this.
    Rant: Just like if we made your racist grandpa president, Trump seems to be setting policy exclusively by what he sees on cable news. Call me a pessimist but this seems like a bad strategy.

    • The Wizards played great yesterday. The passing at times was beautiful to watch. I honestly believe they could make the Eastern Cnference finals. Some of the credit has to go to Brooks.

      The LeBron shot was unreal, The Cavs woul be silly to trade Love, Irving was clutch just like th Finals last year.

  • Rant: Incredibly unmotivated at work this morning.
    Rave: Partner and I ordered take out and had a chill night.
    Rant: One of my glands is swollen the size of a golf ball. I’m drinking all the fluids and overdosing on emergenC. I think tonight would be a good time to defrost some chicken stock.

  • I Dont Get It

    Rave: I filed my taxes 1/31 and got my Fed and DC refunds this morning. YAY TurboTax!

    • Nice, I hope mine is that quick! My friend also used TurboTax and got her’s back in a week. I used H&R Block :/

      • I’ve used H&R Block for the past 5 years or so, and my refunds were always fast, too. I’ve gotten my DC one in as little as 5 days in the past.

      • The service doesn’t matter….I know some claim to be faster than others, but it’s not true. I’ve used taxact and gotten the same turnaround.
        However, if you claimed eitc and/or actc, you’re going to be delayed. Irs won’t start processing those returns until next week. State would most likely come first.

        • I checked and I filed on Thursday of last week, so really should not be expecting anything back as of yet. I do not qualify for the EITC, so will not be affected by that delay.

          • Yea, it is only Tuesday, and they’re probably not doing much over the weekend. I feel your pain though. I took a week just to get accepted (up from a day or 2), and I started freaking out because I have a fraud possibility. Nerve wracking!

      • Emmaleigh504

        I used HR Block on the 27th and already got my refunds. Yay fast turn around!

    • Hey, that reminds me about a rant: I can’t file my taxes yet because I still haven’t received one of my two W-2 forms (or a 1099). I called the former employer who basically said, “the form’s in the mail”, but couldn’t even confirm they updated my address…

      • Do you have a last paycheck you could use if they’re being difficult?

      • Depending on how they do payroll, you may be able to pull the W-2 info with one of the online tax preps. They automatically import from many sources such as ADP. Not sure about the 1099 though.

        • I’m kind of weird in that I kind of like doing my taxes by hand; I like that it gives me a better understanding of how the various expenses, credits and deductions work. So far, my taxes haven’t been very complicated, although I suspect my 2017 ones will be a little more interesting, since I’m now a homeowner and I’ll be itemizing my deductions (not for the first time, but it will be the first time I begin the year knowing that will be the case).

          I also don’t have a last paycheck, so I’m kinda stuck waiting for the form. Company said they mailed it last Tuesday so it really should be here by now…

          • Importing the info doesn’t necessarily obligate you to file with that service (print or screenshot the info), and you can do them by hand using fillable forms and still file electronically via the irs site’s vendors, so you wouldn’t need the w2 in hand.

    • houseintherear

      Yes! I got my refund in 6 days (with a fairly complicated return). Amazing!

  • Rave: got drinks with my sister last night, I’m so happy we’re good friends
    Rant: shit’s going down at work this afternoon, it’s hard to concentrate when you know something’s coming, but you don’t know what
    Rant: I think Trump plays into so many people’s desire for greatness through mediocrity. Wouldn’t it be great if you could be successful without having to put any work into it? Or without being smart? Or without having that Ivy League law degree? If he can write a five paragraph essay in a tweet and not need sources, then why do you have to provide any evidence for your beliefs? It’s every slacker’s dream.
    Rave: oatmeal with sliced almonds, milk, and chocolate protein powder

  • Rant: mtpbaby fell off of my bed while I was putting clothes away last night. Ugh, mom fail. At least he seems OK.
    Rant: now I’m going to be obsessing on his walking to make sure it looks OK for awhile.
    Rant: the dmv fills up quickly! Looked like a short wait when I was on my way down but lots of people got here in the interim!
    Rave: 4 spots to go…
    Rave: budding creativity and imagination in mtpkiddo. So much fun to see what she comes up with, even if some of it is based on the random crap she watches in the bus.

    • I’m so sorry that happened! That happened to my daughter when she was a few months old, right onto the hard wood floor. I took her to the hospital as a precaution and they asked “Did she lose consciousness at any point? Did she cry right away? Is she responsive?” No, yes, yes – she’s fine. Still, the worst – I can still hear the noise.

  • Rave: Had a promising job interview that could give me a much-needed break from my routine and a relocation. I love DC, but I think I could stand a change of pace.
    Related Question: I have an almost-new 2 bed/2 bath condo in a 6-unit row house condo building on the western edge of Columbia Heights (near Mt. Pleasant and Adams Morgan, 3 blocks to Metro) with a decent-sized fenced in yard and a large storage unit. The unit is on the first floor but well above grade (i.e., good light, not a basement). Unit has all the bells and whistles – central AC, washer/dryer, and dishwasher. With just this information to go on, what would you pay to rent my place?

    • I think you could rent it for close to $3000 for that location and unit features. However, I recommend listing slightly below value so you get a lot of interest and find the best tenant. We did this and I love our tenant.

  • Anyone have recs for a good company for an HVAC service contract for a condo?

    • jim_ed

      I recommend CroppMetcalfe. Their techs are excellent, highly knowledgeable, and won’t try to rip you off with dubious repairs/replacements.

      • anonymouse_dianne

        I used them in August in an emergency and they were very good. However, I think they charged my $75 for the hour they spent looking for parking. Thanks for reminding me to call and set up my maintenance apt!

    • That One Guy

      I too had a good experience with CroppMetcalfe. George (his Americanized name, not his given name) was very professional, explained what he was doing, and didn’t try take advantage of the situation to oversell me anything. The only downside was that George was running later than the scheduled time, but it was a small inconvenience.

  • Rant: Three days of work left. Still not sure why I’m not just calling in sick and spending the day at matinee movies and happy hours. When I got RIFed from the private sector, they just gave me my severance and pushed me out the door within the hour.

  • Rave: I didn’t know it was Girl Scout cookies season.
    Rant: Inevitable Thin Mints binge.
    Rave: Remembered that Thin Mints tasted like cardboard last year so perhaps a binge is avoidable.
    Rant: When people on opposite sides of you need to exit a packed Metro car and one thinks you’re blocking them because you can’t get out of the way to let them both out at the same time.

    • Maybe it’s just me but I think Girl Scout Cookies taste pretty lousy. I used to love them but they just seem like they’re of very poor quality nowadays. I know it’s a tradition at this point but the hype seems too much. And they’re not cheap either – I feel like I’d much rather just donate a few bucks to the GS, that way they get all the $$ and I don’t have to deal with the crappy cookies.

    • Girl Scout cookies are also packed with palm oil, which is really really bad for the environment. I know you can’t avoid eating everything that’s bad for the environment without starving, but palm oil is *really* bad. Maybe that will be the extra nudge you need to not give in to the temptation.

      • +100 Non-sustainably grown palm oil is rapidly leading to extreme loss of habitat and eventually extinction for orangutans, elephants, tigers, and rhinos in Indonesia. The industry is also rapidly expanding into Latin America and Africa with the same potential devastation.

        Two girl scouts led a years long campaign to get the cookie bakers to eliminate the use of palm oil. I believe one of the two main bakers finally capitulated and is now using something else, but I can’t remember which one.

  • Rave: Ridiculously proud of myself for holding a medicine ball plank for over a minute last night. Couldn’t have done that a few months ago. May try for two minutes in the coming week.
    Rave: Planning to eat all the pizza tonight. I realize the contradiction to the first rave.
    Rave: People trusting their instincts. LittleBluePenguin, you did exactly the right thing. Women are told they should prioritize being ‘nice’ over their own sense of safety. No thank you, I’d rather be rude than feel unsafe.

  • Rave: Down almost 40lbs in 5 months. Down 4 sizes.
    Rave: Ordered a thred up bag to get rid of these old clothes that don’t fit.
    Rave: This beautiful weather. Going for a run after work.
    Rant?Not Really: Was late to work because I was trying on old dresses that don’t quite fit…yet…giving it about 10 more lbs.

    Let’s get through this Tuesday.

  • Rave: My girl scout cookies were just delivered to me today!
    Rant: Trying to avoid opening the Samoas when they’re RIGHT THERE
    Double rave: sister being induced today!

  • Rave: Accepted Teaching job in Indonesia
    Rant/Rave: Waiting so long but living my dreams at 43!
    Rant: Scaling down personal possessions
    Hey Popville Expats…should I approach scaling down with an “everything must go” store closing mentality? Sell sofa/bedroom set/tv and just put personal items in storage?

  • Rant: struggling to find in-network (BCBS) mental health care. I’ve reached out to a ton of people and places and they aren’t taking new patients or new insurance patients, or are located somewhere I can’t really get to without an hour commute each way ( no car). However, most of the places I’ve reached out to haven’t actually responded, which seems totally irresponsible. Feeling increasingly frustrated and hopeless.

    • I have Carefirst BCBS (the federal govt plan) and I went to the women’s center at Vermont and L for 2.5 years a few years ago. My copay was $25 at the time. I saw a licensed social worker – so no prescriptions – and she was actually a year or two younger than me. (I’m early 30s…ok almost mid 30s.) I had a great experience and would definitely recommend them.

      • Thank you! I’m trying to decide what kind of provider to see–I’ve had some mediocre experiences with LCSWs in the past, and while of course I know that’s more about the individual than any kind of clinical qualification, I think I’d like to see a psychologist given some of the things I’m struggling with. If anyone has any input on that, or what some differences might be beyond just training, I’d love to hear more.

        • I have seen a therapist and a psychiatrist and I found the difference to be that it felt like the therapist was trying to make me feel better (reminding me that everything was okay) whereas the psychiatrist was trying to get to the bottom of why I was feeling a certain way. I don’t think the therapist was bad at her job and I saw her for over a year, but it got to the point where I felt like “okay, I KNOW that on paper I have everything going for me – I have a great job, I’m married, I own a home, I have a nice social life, but why do I still feel like the world is crashing down on me?” The psychiatrist was able to identify the ways that my anxiety was making me feel and that was much more helpful. So maybe a more clinical perspective is what you need?

          • I’m struggling with many of the same things, so I really appreciate your insight, and your description of your experience with therapists is pretty similar to mine. Thank you.

  • That One Guy

    I feel like I’m in the minority when I say I don’t enjoy Girl Scout cookies. Also, why aren’t there Boy Scout cookies? Why aren’t they peddling things?
    Rave: feels like I’m on the mend from the cough.

    • Boy scouts sell popcorn.

      • That One Guy

        No one has ever approached me to buy Boy Scout popcorn, which helps explain some of my ignorance. I assume it’s not as popular as the cookies.

        • binntp

          Boy Scout popcorn tastes fine but is ridiculously overpriced and tastes exactly like store-bought popcorn…I think I paid about $15 for a bag of white cheese popcorn when I could’ve gotten a bag of SmartFood for $4.

  • Rant: Feeling almost permanently groggy. I probably ought to get a sleep study done… but unless a sleep study were to show that I had sleep apnea, would there be any kind of “fix”? Would it just confirm “Yep, you’re getting crappy restless sleep”??
    Rave: Warmer weather.

    • Check in with your pcp? Could be something that you can diagnose with bloodwork. I was reluctant to jump on the vitamin D bandwagon, but it does seem to help me feel better–and when I stopped taking it for a bit, I noticed a difference.

    • I’m sure you’ve already looked into it, but there are all sorts of things you can do that may improve the quality of your sleep whether or not sleep apnea is an issue. Personally, I’m a big fan of taking showers at night because it’s relaxing and takes me away from screens for some time before I lay down to sleep (it also makes mornings that much faster). The Mayo clinic has a handy list of sleep improvement habits here:


      • +1 to showering at night and avoiding screens and other typical suggestions for good sleep hygiene. to help with that I try to store my phone inside a drawer at night so I’m not tempted to look at it. I also try to read at least one chapter in an actual non-screen book before bed and that usually helps.
        what has actually worked the best for me, though, is eliminating alcohol. I do a month booze free every year (like Dry-nuary except I do it in February because February is the worst month anyway), and I always sleep sooooo much better during that time. Unfortunately – for me anyway – not drinking for 3-4 days isn’t enough. It’s the cumulative effect of a week or more that really helps me have regular, restful sleep.

    • Before you can get a study, you’ll need to see a sleep specialist. Their sites generally have a wealth of tips to improve sleep. Medicine, techniques, etc. I’m in the same boat, and I’m seeing someone at the end if the month, but I’ve been trying the techniques in the meantime to see how it goes.

    • There are actually several apps out there that might give you a lead on what’s going on. I use Sleep as Android (shockingly, that’s for Android phones). The free version of that one gives you a couple weeks of full info and then limited info after that, but the buy isn’t steep (a few bucks). You put it on your bed, and it monitors noise, tossing and turning, etc. It records the noise, so you can even play it back for yourself and your doctor, if sleep apnea is a concern. It can integrate with FitBit and other wearables, so if you have one, you don’t even need to put it on the bed (but will need to keep it close enough to record noise). I’m sure there are apps that do the same for iPhones.
      What has really helped me is that, in the paid version, you can set it to automatically notify you when to go to bed and set your alarm based on your sleep history and quality, so that it doesn’t wake you up in the middle of a sleep cycle (you can set a drop-dead wake-up time, so that you’re not late). It’s made a big difference in my sleep quality just by yelling at me to get to bed and waking me up at the right “moment.” I even had a little trouble drifting off last night, but the smart alarm knew that (tossing and turning a bit) and I woke up feeling pretty good (my alarm actually went off a bit earlier than normal, but because it was at the end of a sleep cycle, I didn’t feel like death even getting up ~10 minutes early and 1 sleep cycle short of “normal”).
      Possibly, even probably, not a panacea, but it can give you some insight and help start a conversation with your doctor.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: A person at work died. She was a really great person.

  • Question for the DC landlords of Popville: What insurance company do you use for your rented property’s homeowner’s insurance policy? Particularly, directed to those who rent co-ops, but any answer is appreciated!

    • Travelers or Erie

    • I’m not sure if the agent was right, but I took an agent in my neighborhood up on an offer to run quotes for me (never hurts) and he said I had to have my primary home insured with them for 6 months before they could insure my rental properties. He explicitly said that was DC law, not a company policy.
      I’ve been with Liberty Mutual forever. Haven’t investigated new quotes much, but don’t hear of friends getting much better quotes elsewhere. I pay under $500/year each for condos, all with $1M liability (I mentioned in another thread that I don’t have a car and so I can’t get umbrella liability without paying $$$$ for non-owner car insurance…umbrella liability is a good idea if you’re a landlord and can get it without spending hundreds on required add-on policies).

      • Thanks! I will look into these suggestions. I don’t own another property (my boyfriend owns it entirely in his name), so I wonder how that law would apply.

  • Rave: This weather!
    Rant: All Trump, all the time
    Rant: One of my arms apparently broke out in hives this morning, but I put benedryl cream on it. So strange.
    Rant: The construction that is happening on the floor I work on. So loud. And the building management doesn’t seem to care.
    Reminder: On February 15th, join me (and others from here) at Vinoteca for “Wine & Bitch” to discuss online dating/review profiles/success stories/horror stories, etc.

  • Revel: colleague gifted me a box of trefoils yesterday
    Revel: my unannounced observation was accidentally announced to me. I wonder if it will still happen then…
    Rant: drank way too much coffee this morning. Jittery as hell now..

  • Rave: District Vet! Took Genevieve last night to get checked out and get booster shots since she doesn’t have any vet records, and they were really great. She is healthy and was so good. Definitely not a fan of cars though, poor thing.
    Rave: So nice out!
    Rant: Absolutely no motivation to do work this week. Argh…

    • Atlas Vet has been getting so much of my money lately, but very happy to have such a great vet to take my cats to! They are awesome.

  • rant: Been feeling like shit lately. After feeling extremely weak in my legs and arms due to taking an increase in my anti depressant, I stopped taking it and now I’m afraid I am having withdrawal symptoms of dizziness and headaches.
    Rave: I made it to work today.
    Rant: Had to telework yesterday due to the
    Rant: I have an all day training tomorrow on how to do a travel authorization on my job. Really? It takes a whole day to explain this? So stupid. I’m only going because I have to go to Minneapolis in June for work.
    Rave: Went to therapist last night and found out that I am not as bad off as I think. She suggested affirmations for some of my issues and actually praised me for taking the risk of joining eharmony and attempting to put myself out there to find someone after years of being single.

    • You can’t just stop taking an SSRI antidepressant — you have to taper it off, or you WILL get withdrawal symptoms like the dizziness and headaches you mention.
      Contact your doctor.

    • Seconding this – please do NOT take yourself off an SSRI without consulting a doctor first – I stupidly have firsthand knowledge of what this does, and it’s bad!

  • Andie302

    Rant: Sick. My brain feels like it has mud in it, I can barely keep my eyes open, and I wish I knew I was going to feel this way before work so that I could’ve stayed home.
    Rave: Snored less (apparently) last night after using my neti pot. At least that’s something?
    Rave: Paint is going up at the Cambridge place. Getting so much closer!
    Rant: Having a hard time caring much about anything, including that, with the way I’m feeling.

  • maxwell smart

    RANT: DeVos. Not that I’m surprised… just another chapter in throwing away our collective future.

    • That One Guy

      Is it me or is this part of a systemic attack (on the part of an elite minority) to restrain the socio economic mobility of a large part of the population through the usurpation of a “public service/good,” education.

  • Betsy got in. Kill me now.

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