Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

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Photo by PoPville flickr user nevermindtheend

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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145 Comment

  • Rant: I have a case of the doldrums, I either need a long vacation or a new job or both.

    Rave: The 7 year old handler at the Westminster dog show

    Rave 3 day weekend

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: I’ve had “get it together” in my head since yesterday. Thanks, Prince.
    Rave: Just found out Monday is a holiday!

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rave: Watching Miss Fisher with Eldest Zelda.
    Rave: Emmaleigh gave me an idea for dad’s birthday present.

  • Tom

    Rant: Fell off the wagon again and I hate myself and my job more than usual today
    Rave: Just remembered Monday is a holiday, and friends are getting married on Sunday

    • I’m not entirely sure which wagon you might have fallen off, but I just want to say don’t waste your time hating yourself, just get back on as quick as you can and make sure you’re surrounding yourself with people who love you and support your goals. Avoid, to the best of your ability, the old people, places, and things that don’t serve your goals. Wishing you all the best!

      • Tom

        Thank you. That actually helped considerably 🙂

        • I agree. My wagon was hit, caught on fire, careened down the side of a cliff and exploded. It was not a very good wagon. I took some time to regroup and now I am on a better wagon. 🙂 Hang in there. It’s not easy.

    • Ditto. My wagon lost all four wheels, and I got lost in the woods forever ago. Yet it’s still there, so I’m out trying again to find some wagon wheels and to start to put it back together. We are not terrible people, just keep trying as they say, one day/one step at a time.

  • I was able to get two Lady Gaga tickets in the presale this morning after several panic attacks (the account wouldn’t let me choose my credit card to pay with and the tickets kept expiring). Momentary joy very quickly squashed by the realization that in my “hurry up and start over” phase I accidentally purchased two tickets way out of my price range and what I thought was “total” was actually each. I have to resell these fast so I can afford to eat :-/ sooo guess I’m not going after all. Anyone have tips for reselling? I wouldn’t mind using TicketMaster’s resell program since it seems the most reliable but I hate that they charge a fee.

    • I relisted on Ticketmaster. I feel like such a jackass…

    • Just list them for sale on stubhub. Admittedly, I don’t know anything about reselling on ticketmaster, but stubhub is easy and they have all sorts of tools to help you price and figure out your actual take-home (and they do take a commission). I’ve done this frequently for shows I have presale access to (may be legally questionable) but usually I end up with a profit, particularly for in-demand shows, which I would anticipate Lady Gaga would be. Usually the mid-priced tickets lead the best profit, but you could end up making money on this (but unfortunately, perhaps not attending the show). Or try to sell one for a profit and go solo.

    • I had tickets to Amy Schumer at the Verizon Center a few months ago and ended up having to go out of town for a funeral that weekend. I listed them on Craigslist and then transferred them through Ticketmaster’s service once the buyer paid me through Paypal. I can’t remember how much fees on either end were, but it was relatively easy.

  • Rant: Was ill with some sort of horrible cold thing yesterday. Low-grade fever, so much snot I don’t even know how my body can produce that much that fast! A sniffling disgusting ball of cells downing NyQuil and hot toddies all day.
    Rave: I’m feeling much better today. Still not 100%, but at least liquid isn’t leaking out of my eyes in a quest to get out of my head, and my face doesn’t feel like it’s going to explode.
    ???: Not sure if I’m going to be able to make it to the event tonight, I’m still feeling blah and I don’t want to spread any germs if I can avoid it. I may just go home and go to sleep. Not sure….

  • justinbc

    Random ?: Putting together an invite requirement list for an upcoming meeting where men are required to wear suit + tie…what’s the women’s equivalent? The client is very particular about this kind of thing and I’ve really never had to give it much thought. Is there even a tie equivalent? It just sounds weird telling the men to wear specific attire and then saying women “just dress professionally”.

    • Just say attire is business formal and don’t specify the suit and tie. That comes with “business formal.”

      • justinbc

        Can’t, unfortunately, it’s very clear-cut what they want for the men.

        • You just say business formal. People you are inviting to a formal business meeting will know what that means. If they don’t, that’s not on you. If makes sense to put a parenthetical you could say (business suits, including tie for the men) or something like that.

          • HaileUnlikely

            I disagree with that. I’m an engineer, not a fashion consultant. I’m familiar with “business” and “business casual,” but “business formal” would be a new term for me. I gather it means the same thing to you as just “business” means to me, but this would have me wondering if my suit is supposed to be a certain color, is it supposed to be a 3-piece suit, why didn’t they just say “business,” etc. (And I do not view it as a deficiency on my part that I am not familiar with a term that has absolutely nothing to do with the performance of my actual job responsibilities.)

        • I think Justin works in IT, so he can’t really assume that his presumed target audience will fully understand the meaning behind “business formal”.

          • @anon, @haileunlikely I too am an engineer and “business formal” is a pretty easy google search.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Figuring out how to dress for a meeting should not require a Google search. Using terms that you can’t reasonably count on your audience having a shared understanding of is a communications fail. You and I are responsible for figuring out how to clearly convey meaning to non-technical colleagues without using terms like “heteroskedasticity” or “Hessian matrix,” are we not?

          • Heteroskedasticity? C’mon, you made that up just to see if anyone is paying attention.

          • Actually that’s my favorite math term. Not made up, though I do try to avoid it outside of my egg-head circles because most people think I’m suffering stroke-induced word salad.

          • Haha — “heteroskedasticity” sounds like a newfangled term to describe some kind sexual orientation. Like, heterosexual, but with some elasticity thrown in. And maybe some scheduling.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Everything is just so much easier when the residuals are homoskedastic.

          • I love “heteroskedasticity”…the term, that is. It’s always my go-to when I want to see someone’s eyes glaze over or seem super smart

    • skj84

      That is weird. I would assume for the ladies business attire. Suits or power dress. It can get so iffy with women’s wear. Maybe post suit and tie for gentlemen, suits for ladies?

    • It really depends. There is cocktail attire where the men wear dark suits and the women generally wear cocktail dresses. Or there is business attire where the men wear suits and the women generally wear suits or suit-y dresses. this is a pretty good explanation of the various dress terms. But please expect people to violate the dress code, it just happens.

      http://lifehacker.com/what-all-of-those-confusing-dress-code-terms-really-mea-1724671659

      • justinbc

        Thanks, nice guide! If it weren’t for the cultural (international) divide between us and the client it wouldn’t be an issue.

        • Then maybe you can use the words in the guide in your announcement. Honestly, I’d just say suits for everyone. Sometimes you can get yourself in trouble if you specify different clothing requirements for different genders. And most women will know that suit-y dresses will likely be OK.

    • “Business formal.” Men and women who typically find themselves in such environments know what that means.
      .
      Reminder that women’s clothing is a minefield. I have to wear a suit every day, and it is so freaking hard to find quality women’s business formal wear. Brooks Brothers is basically the only company that sells that.

      • justinbc

        Oh yeah believe me I know, every time my wife goes business attire shopping she brings me along just to navigate the haphazard options companies seem to put together. It seems even worse if you’re a short woman, since almost everything looks to be designed for women 5’6″ and up.

      • I don’t wear suits regularly anymore, but used to, and my faves from the early-mid 2000’s are Anne Klein. I assume that house is still making good stuff. Full retail was spendy ($400-600/suit), but I could usually find them at higher-end discount places for a fraction of the price (that is, in fact, where my two very good Anne Klein and one very good Calvin Klein suits came from…RIP Filene’s Basement). Since I still own them and they’re in excellent condition 10+ years later, they’re probably worth full retail if you wear them daily and people will judge what you’re wearing. A brief google indicates that you can still get Anne Klein suiting separates in wool and wool blends for ~$200/piece ($400/suit) full retail.

    • In my field (law), you just say, “wear a suit,” which applies to both men and women. The men should know that this means to wear a tie, at least in my field. I don’t know about yours. (Also, one doesn’t really go tieless with a suit–sport coat is another matter.)

      • “One doesn’t go tie-less with a suit jacket” – I see this all the time in DC – people throw on a suit jacket thinking it will pass as a blazer. No, it does not. And yes, it’s very obvious you’re wearing an orphaned suit jacket as opposed to a proper blazer/sport coat. Get it together, DC men.

        • justinbc

          Yeah I see that pretty much daily as well.

        • HaileUnlikely

          I think you’re overinterpreting the hell out of the previous post and conflating a couple of different issues. I would agree that a man wouldn’t wear a full suit without a tie to a function in which it was understood that appropriate attire is a suit. A guy wearing a suit jacket as a substitute for a blazer (however you feel about doing that in the first place) is a fundamentally different scenario than wearing a full suit but no tie to a work function in which it was understood that a suit was required.

          • Heh, I seem to have struck a nerve – please don’t wear your suit jacket as a blazer, it’s not a good look. I see where I misinterpreted KD above – lack of spaces between the dash made me read “suit-sport coat” as one term.)

          • HaileUnlikely

            Fair enough. Thanks for the tip 😉

          • Anon, I meant suit and sport coat as two things. This font makes it hard to tell the difference between a dash and a hyphen. (And one doesn’t put spaces around dashes, at least according to Chicago Manual of Style, but I digress.)

          • I confess that I am fashion challenged, so please tell me if the following is correct:
            business/business formal = suit (including tie)
            business casual = nice pants and shirt, sport coat optional
            wearing a suit jacket as a sport coat = never OK.
            wearing a suit (pants and jacket) without a tie = not a fashion faux pas, but also not business or business formal attire

          • And if you’re going to do the last one, it looks better with a dark-colored shirt (blue, black, or even dark red).

          • dcd – you have the right understanding, with the slight caveat that “business casual” can have a lot of variability in meaning depending on the industry, though generally speaking you’re correct.
            .
            Also, “business formal” generally requires a charcoal/dark navy suit without too much ornamentation (crazy pin stripes, plaid, etc).

          • DO NOT wear a red shirt with a suit/blazer. The odds of you being able to pull it off are slim-to-none.

          • Not, like, cherry red, Anon. Burgandy, wine, deep crimson, black cherry. That’s why I said “dark red.”

          • My point still stands: someone seeking sartorial advice on Popville would be well-advised to stay away from (dark) red shirts (light pink/lavender is generally far easier to pair). Well-saturated reds are definitely far along the advanced spectrum.

          • Lighter colors are easier to pair, but look sloppy with a suit and without a tie. Perhaps those who question their ability to pair colors with others (though we are talking suits here – gray, charcoal, black, navy…) and their skin/hair should stick to blacks, grays, and deep blues. If you’re on PSN, there’s a photo that was posted today that illustrates my point about dark shirts looking better without a tie…two men, both suits, both no ties…one light blue shirt, one dark blue shirt. The dark blue looks a million times better.

    • Just say “business attire” and have some ties on hand for men who might not get it. Women will figure it out.

      • justinbc

        It’s actually much easier for the guys because the particular country we’re catering to cares a lot more about them (especially with respect to business) than women, unfortunately. The complication is that our work makeup is about 60% female / 40% male, so they can’t really avoid it like they do with some other less-inclusive firms.

    • maxwell smart

      This makes me very happy I work in a profession where I can wear jeans and converse on a daily basis, including to meetings.

  • Rant: It’s staff meeting day and ’rounding with the boss’ day. And I hate them both.
    Rave: Beautiful bracelet as a Valentine’s Day gift!
    Rave: Weather is not that cold!
    Rant: Coworker who told me that he couldn’t do what I do (Office Admin) b/c he doesn’t have the passion that it takes. Uh, I do NOT have a passion for this job. I just muster up enough strength to NOT yell at everyone who asks me for something. In other words, I’m strangely insulted that he thinks I have a passion for this crap job.

    • Andie302

      Sorry about the job thing, but it made me laugh. Take it as a compliment – it means you’re hiding it well!

    • Regarding your coworker’s comment: Look at it this way- you must come off as very professional and amicable despite not liking the actual job you have. I’d much rather someone think I was passionate and motivated about an unfavorable job then point at me as the cranky lady no one wants to be around or deal with. Anyway, the good attitude you apparently have with your coworkers should hopefully push you into something more suitable in the long run.

  • Rave (I really hope) – I’ve found a new place to live. There are a couple things in the HOA docs that I don’t love (how many DC dwellers get home before 7 to bring their trash in?), but otherwise, I think its going to be good. Not my favorite of the places I saw/bid on, but it’ll be good.

    Annoyance (not big enough to be a rant) – Looking at getting postcards to send to folks with my new address and pretty much all of them say “We’ve moved”. According to the Census, in 2014, unmarried people made up 45 percent of all U.S. residents 18 and older. So why no “I’ve moved” cards/templates/etc (and the templates are such that you can’t even change the “we’ve” to “I’ve”). Hrumph.

  • Rant: I don’t know if I have ever felt this exhausted before in my life (even after an amazingly good night of sleep). I thought I was supposed to be getting a burst of energy at this stage.
    Rave: While the Valentine’s cake wasn’t my greatest, the cream cheese frosting was. Even the Other Mrs. Rabbit (who is not a big fan of most frostings) loved it.
    Rave: Thank you notes are finished and in the mail.
    Rave: At least I don’t have anything major on my to-do list today so I can have a lazy day.

    • Recipe for that cream cheese frosting, please?

      • It was just 8 oz cream cheese, 1 stick of unsalted butter, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 2 cups of powdered sugar, and a dash of salt. I had everything at room temperature and let it whip for a few minutes in the mixer. While we both found it a touch sweet on it’s own, the cake it was going on wasn’t very sweet at all so it balanced quite nicely.

  • Rave: Eating a chocolate brownie cookie with breakfast because it’s my birthday and I can. And because I have awesome friends, one of whom gave me a package of vegan chocolate brownie cookies and a birthday card with a mask.
    Rave: Parents able to pinch hit since mtpbaby has some digestive symptoms keeping him out of day care.
    Rant: I don’t think it’s a stomach bug–more likely a mild cold and teething–so I’m not sure how long it will take to resolve. Lots of pasta & applesauce with probiotic powder in his future!
    Rave: Since my parents are at the house anyhow, perhaps we’ll do it up right & get Indian take-out for dinner.

  • Rant: I need the construction happening next to my office building to stop. It’s so hard to concentrate when there’s very loud pounding ALL DAY.
    Rave: Fun valentine’s day dinner with a girlfriend, and an unexpectedly sweet conversation with someone I’ve been dating.
    Rant: Russia. And the fact that people knew about this and still voted for Trump.

  • skj84

    Rave: spent yesterday in treat myself mode. I did laundry, changed my sheets, and made the best steak I’ve ever tasted for dinner. Seriously, i’ve been making steak wrong my entire life it seems. Finished the evening with a bubble bath and face mask. So relaxing!
    Rant: despite normally not carrying I did feel a ping of sadness at being single on Valentines day. Even though pretty much every couple I know didn’t do anything to celebrate.
    Rave: I’m getting a better handle on what I need to do to be healthier. I’ve been doing pretty well at the working out part, my focus is on the eating healthier side.
    Rave: Looking forward to Wine and Bitch tonight at Vinoteca!

    • curious — what did you do different with the steak?

      • skj84

        I grilled it using butter rather than olive oil. I sautéed garlic in butter, added fresh rosemary and more butter to the mix, then added the steak on top of it. I seasoned the steak with sea salt and pepper and let in marinate in the fridge for an hour before. The result was a flavor packed, tender case of deliciousness. Made a side of mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts.

    • Wait, you can’t just rave about an amazing steak and not give details. What’d you do so differently that made it great?

    • I’m looking forward to Wine and Bitch tonight, too! See you then!

  • Today is going to be a long-ass day. Excited for wine and bitching though…if I can force myself to stay awake for it.

  • Reminder: TONIGHT (Wed. 2/15) is the inaugural “Wine and Bitch” session (organized by SinSA) to discuss online dating, review/critique profiles (if desired), share success/horror stories, etc..

    It’s at 6 pm at Vinoteca (1940 11th St NW, by U Street Metro).

  • Andie302

    Rave: You guys, the phone fixing service I used (I think it’s called H&M, but when you google it it has a generic name) was amazing. They came to my office within 24 hours of my first call, charged me $63 with tax, gave me a screen protector with that, and were done in like 10 minutes. WOOHOO!
    Rave: I think we figured out what we’re doing for our wedding. It will be small (family only) and it incorporates a few significant places for us.
    Rave: Cambridge house is almost doneeeeee! I got to see paint and some tile last weekend, and have gotten a lot of photo updates from the contractor this week. I cannot wait to start putting furniture in there and figure out what else I need. (It can’t be much, it feels like I’ve been shopping for this place for an eternity.
    Rave: Feeling great today!

  • Rave: Tonight is Wine & Bitch at Vinoteca. I’ll be there hopefully just before 6 to attempt to secure some seating/an area where we can kind of hang out (they never got back to me as far as reserving bar space, so…winging it!) See you all there! If you have questions about particulars, you can email me at: [email protected]. Note: I’m wearing all black (to mimic my cold and dark heart!) but I have on wine colored suede boots.

    Rant: I can’t actually have any wine tonight. Nonetheless, it’ll be a great night.

    Rave: Another contractor gave me a great bid for my kitchen last night.

    Rave: Fun band is playing in my ‘hood tomorrow night, and even though it’s later, I’m going to force myself to go out for an hour to enjoy them.

  • Rant: wife brought up seeing a divorce attorney. In all our fights over anything, we’ve never gone there. Now I’m just feeling lost. I don’t even know where to start.

    • Oh I am so sorry. Have the two of you seen a couples therapist? Even if she’s resistant to the idea, a therapist may help *you* sort through all this.

      • +1. (And this is right in line with what Carolyn Hax tends to recommend.)

      • Yes, but it was only briefly and a while ago. Saying we’ve been “too busy” is as dumb as it sounds I guess.

        • Why does she want a divorce, and why do you want to stay married? I suggest thinking long and hard about the answers to those two questions. If you’ve both been “too busy” for therapy, you are basically saying that you are too busy to work on your marriage and make being together a priority. That says a lot.
          .
          Speaking as a divorcee, and as the friend of many divorced people, sometimes when you are done you are just done. Hearing the “D” word is always a shock, and always makes you feel lost. If you want to save your marriage, then work like hell to save it. If you don’t, then work on coming to an amicable end. What you can’t do is spend too much time worrying abut the past, or how you got here. Think about the present and where you go from here.

      • +1 – even if the therapist isn’t helpful in saving the marriage, they are going to be helpful with getting you to a good place with it. I’ve been told by friends who’ve gone this route that it was extremely helpful with figuring out what they wanted for themselves and for the person they’re with.

    • I’m sorry to hear this. I hope you can resolve your differences!

    • I am so sorry. Agreed on the therapist recommendation–even if just for yourself.

    • My suggestion: http://marriagemax.com/

      You can either do this with your spouse or just by yourself. Alternative to marriage counseling that focuses on re-establishing connection and creating love within your marriage (His Words).

  • Rant: Tired. Bloated. Not feeling good about my body right now.
    Rave: Hung out with a good friend, went to the barn, and treated her to dinner, drinks, and dessert.
    Rant: So far to go before I’m in my own bed tonight.
    Rant: Scrambling to sort out East Africa work travel.
    Rave: Three day weekend and then a weekend in Mexico City to look forward to.

  • Rant: I have been so on the verge of weepy over the last week. I think this may be delayed grief for my friend who committed suicide. Perhaps mixed in with some bittersweet feelings about the kid growing and depression about the news. I don’t know. I am trying to just take really good care of myself.
    Rave: Baby Artie had a really good therapy session. Not only is it good to get concrete ideas to help stimulate his motor development, but his therapist is so good at alleviating my anxiety.
    Rave: Personal coffee blend: kona coffee ground and mixed with cinnamon and cardamon. Delicious.

    • Yay! So glad to hear that on the therapy!
      .
      I’m sorry to hear about the weepiness. Delayed grief sounds totally plausible. Good for you for trying to take good care of yourself in the interim.

    • Also – February. You know you are actually doing well – accept the feelings as feelings – valid, legitimate, painful and weepy as they might be.

  • Andie302

    Query: has anyone blown up a high res digital image onto canvas, and if so what service did you use and did you like the result? A photographer friend from home sold me a digital image and I’d like to print it in a fairly large format, but don’t want it to be pixelated and don’t have any experience with this type of service. Thanks!

    • can you try costco?

    • I’ve done this for several of my travel photos. I believe I used Art.com and liked the results. They often have sales on this service, too, so watch out for coupons.

    • I used Shutterfly to get several photos blown up and printed on canvas. They have sales all the time, and I think I remember them having pointers throughout the process so it comes out well (resolution, etc).

  • Rave: Sweet Valentine’s Day. I loved walking through town and seeing so many people carrying flowers. I’m active most days of the week and am really hard on jewelry so my fiance got me a Qalo ring (he might have caught me looking at them online). Really love the idea.
    Rave/Rant: Definitely an interesting time to be taking Con Law.
    Rant: Exhausted and ready for spring break. Took on way too many extracurricular responsibilities this semester.

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