Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user molly

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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129 Comment

  • Rave: Crazy Train was playing at Baked ‘N Wired this morning, which made me inordinately happy.
    Rant: Not one of the people working there was alive when it came out.
    Rave: All the advice I got about trip to NYC. Thank you, everyone! We unfortunately won’t be able to do everything, but definitely going to hit some of them. The Tenement Museum, which I hadn’t heard about, looks fantastic, and the one-bite walking food tour is definitely happening (with some modifications). A great mix of things to do and ways to chill.
    ?????: The discussion yesterday of whether “Maryland Drivers!” has racist undertones made me think. I never considered it racist, but my disdain for Maryland drivers has been generated by the emaciated, Lululemon-clad, fake blond suburbanite soccer moms and dads careening around Bethesda and the surrounding areas in Suburbans and Escalades. But there were definitely some interesting points in the discussion. So, thanks again.

    • I missed that discussion about MD drivers yesterday. Will have to go back and look. It never occurred to me that the taunts against MD drivers could have racist undertones – I guess because I’m not black (I’m a middle class Jewish woman from MoCo with parents who both worked downtown) and our inclination is to make everything about us and people like us? Hm. Thanks for the heads up.

      • “and our inclination is to make everything about us and people like us”
        I’m not sure I’d go that far. For me, it was more, “People are denigrating Maryland drivers? Wait, I agree with that! I have generally noticed that many Maryland drivers stink, and they all (or the vast majority of them) are affluent white people who (i) don’t seem to realize that the vehicles they are operating are oversized, (ii) don’t have sufficient control over them, and (iii) believe that DC streets are their own personal freeways to get to work. That must be what the saying refers to.” Perhaps more confirmation bias than self-centeredness.

        • I never took it as more than a reference to suburban drivers who don’t know how to drive in the city. And seeing that most of the readers of this blog are from the Petworth area, by geography alone, most of the out of state tags you see zipping through through the neighborhood are from MD. I’m sure AU/Spring Valley and other neighborhoods have the same complaints of VA drivers cutting through their neighborhoods.

          • “seeing that most of the readers of this blog are from the Petworth area” — Maybe that used to be the case, but I don’t think it is any more.

      • MD drivers are fun to pick on, but it’s basically people who do not regularly drive in DC…tend to be horrible drivers in DC. Which you might as well lump many of them as Uber/Lyft drivers now.

    • Don’t know if it was mentioned, but make sure to reserve your tour of the tenement museum.

      • Yes, it’s very powerful. I’m taking my son there in April.

      • Thanks for the heads up. It looks like there are a ton of different tours/options available – any recommendations? Or am I misreading that, and it’s just one tour with a bunch of things in it?

        • The Tenement museum does have several different tours and is definitely worth a visit. I went on the “Hard Times” tour. The tours are pegged to a 4th grade level – which I found a bit frustrating, but do understand, because there is such a variety of people – (You try to explain the Great Depression in 20 seconds to an 11 year old Danish boy who has never heard of it!) – but still very interesting.

          After lunch (The “Congee Village” Chinese restaurant, is next door, really good and inexpensive.) I walked back past and listened a bit as the Irish tour was going on in the outside privy yard. The guide was giving a good background on the potato famine.

        • I can;t remember — the first time I just took a regular tour, the second time I found out that you needed a reservation by not being able to get in.

          BTW, if you’re a classic (how odd, to me, to use that word in this context) punk rock fan, or XM radio Underground Garage fan, the bar owned by Handsome Dick Manitoba of The Dictators is nearby and a god whistle-wetting spot, with a few old posters and a great vibe.

        • We did the 1 hour Hard Times tour which seemed to be one of the broader offerings. Good tip to reserve in advance. The museum space is really an old apartment building that was formerly tenement housing. You basically get a guided tour of the floors pertaining the the tour’s themes. The guide asked the group about our families’ immigrant experiences. To set it up for your 10 yo and give her some personal context, it might be nice to share with her what you know about your family’s immigrant experience.

          • The other thing to read/research/understand a bit before visiting, is that tenements, when first constructed, were actually very good, spacious and comfortable housing options.

          • Well worth reading through “How the Other Half Lives” to get a real feel how progressive the tenement movement was, compared to previous housing (among other things). Also, some good old ethnic stereotyping.

            PS (if anyone is still reading this) In honor of the Tenement Museum and the LES, I’f like to have my name pronounced “Oyvin” today.

    • This came across my feed today: https://qz.com/666924/bad-drivers-are-a-good-indicator-of-a-corrupt-government/
      I only glanced at the article, so I’m not vouching for the study. But it affirms something I already unconsciously believed so it MUST be true!

    • for the tenement museum, definitely look into buying tickets ahead. When we were home for the holidays, we wandered over there thinking we’d be fine since it was a Friday. The only time available was 230 (it was 9 at the time) and there were certain caveats to that ticket. I can’t remember exactly, but I think it only included certain portions of the museum.

    • My anti-Maryland drivers thing is rooted in the fact that they seem to be *almost* the only ones I have a problem with as a biker on the neighborhood streets of DC (well, them and Ubers/taxis). This includes aggressively coming close to me or speeding past me. Also, didn’t I hear their traffic laws/enforcement is weaker and that they have higher insurance rates due to awful driving up there? I think my anecdotal experience probably is backed up with accident rates among the various drivers here.

      • Me too. Virginia drivers are cluelessly rude– like stopping IN the crosswalk. Maryland drivers are aggressive and appear to not GAF about anyone else on the road. Most times I see someone double-parked when there’s ample parking available, it’s a MD plate.
        Does my observation make me racist? Or can I be accused of simple confirmation bias without the label?

      • “Also, didn’t I hear their traffic laws/enforcement is weaker and that they have higher insurance rates due to awful driving up there?”
        I’m sure you hear a lot of things. Do you believe all of them, or just the ones that you like the sound of?

        • Actually, Anonymous, I read the news too much. Just looked it up again: Allstate, Bankrate, and others have come to the same conclusion about Maryland drivers, as documented in the Baltimore Sun, CBS, WTOP, etc. I don’t have to read studies to come to the same conclusion, though! 🙂

        • I don’t think traffic laws in MD are weaker, and anyone who has ever had the privilege of seeing those red and blue lights in your rear view will attest that the MTA Police and State Police do basically nothing except traffic enforcement. I think that’s a rich comment considering MPD don’t enforce traffic laws at all.
          Insurance is more expensive here, but coverage requirements are also higher from my understanding.

    • I’ve been driving around this city for over 6 years now. I think the vitriol towards Maryland drivers stems from the fact that probably MOST people on this blog live in an area of DC that borders or close-to-borders with MD, therefore most of the drivers they see are MD drivers. Are they bad? Sure. But I’ve seen my fair share of DC drivers running red lights and Virginia drivers dangerously cutting people off. You’re all bad drivers.

      • HaileUnlikely

        I agree with this. Commuters driving through neighborhoods that they don’t live in are the bane of communities everywhere. It’s just that here, for bizarre jurisdictional reasons, a lot of the commuters are readily identifiable by their license plates (as opposed to, say, people commuting from the suburbs into downtown Albany NY – they all have the same license plates in that scenario and in most others except ours).

      • Yeah, this. I’ve lived in a couple of different countries with varying levels of road insanity, but the drivers in D.C (regardless of plate) are the worst. By far.

      • agree with that as well — and for some reason the way to commute into DC from MD is mostly through neighborhoods…. from VA it’s by highway… Makes a difference in perception.

        • HaileUnlikely

          The “for some reason” is in part because DC was one of the only cities in which residents successfully block a plan to have an Interstate highway carve their neighborhood in half. The original plan was to have I-95 extend from where I-395 presently ends at New York Avenue all the way up into Prince George’s County where you now get onto I-95 from the beltway.

      • yeah… not only do virginians do silly stuff on the roads quite often, but there’s also a fair amount of road rage in the old dominion; I think all three of the drivers who have stopped their cars and gotten out to fight me have been Virginia drivers… they don’t get the demonizing that their driving merits…

  • Rave: Had three rounds of Skype interviews while on vacation in Mexico plus started in on a freelance client’s (ok, my *only* freelance client’s) proposed Ted Talk. Spent the weekend and from 5-9 am Monday morning writing a sample speech for the Skypers and then caught the 7AM Acela to NYC for two face-to-face interviews. Got an e-mail while on the way back to Penn Station asking me to stay over and interview with The Big Guy at 9:15 Wednesday in a wrinkled shirt and yesterday’s underwear. While prepping for the interview got a request from Teddy to turn around a speech and a set of talking points for this morning, which I got up at 4:30 this morning to finish after sending additional rounds of writing samples to the Skypers. Tomorrow I have a call about Ted, and may have to spend the weekend on it.
    Rant: This unemployment stuff is not as relaxing as I thought it would be.
    Rant/Rave: Same old girlfriend discussion about what happens if I move to New York. Told her this morning she should quit her job, marry me for my government retiree health care (if not for love) and move with me to a garret on the Lower East Side. She seemed to consider it.

    • Where in Mexico? We’re thinking about spring break options…

      • We got a house near Puerto Escondido, on the Pacific Coast down towards Guatemala. Depending how many you are/how much you want to spend, it’s pretty idyllic, if arguably a little boring. The town itself is a slightly grungy fishing village colonized by surfers and then by regular tourists, with a lot of beach front and a great market. I can get you details on the house.
        We then spent a couple of days in Oaxaca, which is great for nightlife, excellent food — street food and the gourmet stuff — and a lot of well-priced art and textiles, if you have some decorating designs. I am keen to go back.

    • I don’t think there are many garrets left on the Lower East Side – but congratulations on all the rest!

    • oh! What promising – if not relaxing – events, sounds wonderful! Good luck on everything!

    • Hope one – or more – of the interviews turn into job offers!

    • tonyr

      Hmmmm …. “Got an e-mail while on the way back to Penn Station asking me to stay over and interview with The Big Guy at 9:15 Wednesday in a wrinkled shirt and yesterday’s underwear.”
      I’ve never had an interview where they specify what shirt/underwear combo is required, or was that what the Big Guy was wearing?

  • rave: this weather
    rant: we’re all going to die, but first our most vulnerable will be further marginalized, oppressed, and assaulted
    rave: those town halls in Republican districts gave me LIFE last night

  • Tom

    Rant: Next-senior editor above me at work is leaving. Boss won’t consider me to fill that spot.
    Rave: Departing editor and I locked horns over everything. I will not miss her in the slightest.
    Rant: Been here for ~5 years with zero potential for growth or upward mobility. It’s time to go.
    Rave: Kinda goes without saying but… weather! Thank God climate change isn’t real, amirite?

  • Rant/question: If your hotel’s conference center is so cold that you lend out shalls, why not make it a little warmer (i.e. not warm but not freezing)?
    Rave: Not there anymore.

    • Is there a conference center in America that ISN’T freezing?

    • fyi because unfortunately because raising the temperature will always cause someone to complain it is too warm. People will always have an issue with the temp, therefore it needs to remain at a temperature to keep people focused.

      • Men tend to be more vocal in making their preferences known, and men tend to prefer lower temperatures.
        I used to work with someone (a man) who, before making a presentation, deliberately turned the temperature in a conference center down to the 60s on the grounds that it would make the audience “more receptive.” Meanwhile, people were shivering and going back to their hotel rooms to get extra layers.

  • Rave: I got the most incredible customer service from WMATA’s ‘Customer Relations’ department over the last week. Long story short, someone “accidentally” registered my (previously unregistered) metro card in their name. Shame on me for not having registered earlier, I know. Anyways, call metro, Wendy, the rep that first took my call was incredible. Connected me directly to smart trip, said to let her know if I got push back, followed up with me on multiple occasions to check in on the progress of the resolution (yes, she called me, when she said she would!) and I ultimately got my money back. She basically did everything she could to help, when I was really expecting them to tell me take the $45 hit and pound sand.

    I never expected a pleasant, let alone incredibly productive, interaction with WMATA Customer Service. Hats off to you Wendy. You renewed my faith in WMATA.

    • That’s great! I hope you sent a message or tweeted WMATA about her – we need Metro to recognize and keep the good folks!

  • Any advice on getting Smithsonian African American Museum tickets? Have some friends coming and would love to go, but obviously there’s quite a demand. They offer a release of tickets daily at 6:30 am and also say they do a release for walkups – has anyone ever had luck getting them through those routes? I feel sketchy doing it on Craigslist, but guess that’s an option.

    • I got a walk up ticket at 1:00p. There is an employee standing outside the security door handing out tickets – I recommend getting there a little before one for tickets. They usually have a good number, but better safe than sorry. The wait for the historic exhibits can be anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half.

    • I’ve had friends be successful with the early morning ticket release. Good luck!

    • I’m 2 for 2 with getting AA museum tickets same-day (both times with groups of 6 people). Set an alarm for 6:25, snag the tickets as soon as they’re up, and then feel free to roll over and snooze for a bit longer!

    • I heard they were sold out until summer??..

    • skj84

      I was successful with same day online tickets, as was my brother who tried at the same time. Just have the site up a few minutes early so you will be good to go right at 6:30. This was a on a Saturday.

    • Thanks everyone

  • Rave: The WEATHER!!!!!
    Rant: Global Warming is Real
    Rant: My office will have the AC on full blast, causing me to wear a coat and run a space heater. You have no idea how often I exclaim “I can’t live like this!” or “I can’t work in these conditions!” The struggle is REAL.

    • Quotia Zelda

      This is the story of my life. I keep a coat in the office year-round.

    • Just a PSA….referring to it as global warming gives the deniers a bone. Because it is more about extreme weather than just straight up warming (i.e. when there’s a blizzard the deniers shout “but I thought it was supposed to be warming!?”).

      • I believe “climate change” more accurately represents what scientists think is happening, right?

        • Yes, climate change is the better term to use – but either way, global warming and climate change are not “alternative facts” 😉
          and yes, when there is a blizzard and the deniers shout “but I thought it was supposed t be warming!?” makes me CRAZY. SMH.

        • climate change is more correct and i think what we’re seeing across the country right now is a great example — we’re experiencing really extreme weather conditions in most areas of the states right now. I’m enjoying the warm weather, but I know the rain in CA is wrecking havoc on crops.. and even our crop cycles may be off later this year… ugh.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rant: I’m under a lot of stress right now, and you can really see it in my face, esp around the eyes. I fear I’m starting to look my age.
    Rave: The NOLA-area folks who gave Cassidy hell at his town hall yesterday. I love that city and its people.

  • Rave: I had a really great first date last night!
    Rave: We’re going out again!
    Rave: I have another first date tonight!
    Rave: My friend is visiting from Boston this weekend and I’m looking forward to seeing her!
    Rave: I am going to re-do my kitchen!
    Rave: Spring is early but I’ll take it!

  • That famous quote about “They came first for the communists and I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t a communist…”
    That’s happening now. For real, happening here. They have come for the immigrants. And I don’t want to say nothing, but I don’t know what I can do or say or how I can stop this from happening again.

  • skj84

    Rave: Planning the first family vacation in 5 years! We usually rent a beach house for a week in VA or Bethany. It
    Rant: Between having additional people(my cousin and my sisters boyfriend), and varying budgets its been like herding cats. Finding a house that has enough bedrooms, fits everyone needs and won’t break the budget has been the struggle. My bottom line is bed(must be bigger than a twin), and lots of outdoor space.
    Rant: I have a nightmare situation with my taxes brewing. Despite living in DC proper for more than a year, my job didn’t change my residency, so I’ve been paying MD taxes, rather than DC. I don’t know what got mixed up there. It may be an adulting fail on my end, I lived in MD for 10 years, so I’ve never had to deal with changing residency on tax forms. Anyway I didn’t realize this was an issue until I started my taxes and found I owe $1500 to DC. Not sure if I have any options here, but to pay it? I may need to talk to an accountant.

    • you will owe money to DC but you should get all back of the money that was withheld and sent to Maryland. hopefully whatever you get back from Maryland is enough to cover what you owe in DC. good luck!

    • Pay it and file for a refund with Maryland. You needed to do a new w4-to change it. Even if you did, it’s still in you to verify it’s correct which you can do on pay stubs and online if thru use adp or similar. An accountant is not going to be able to help you. Just make sure it’s correct for this year.

    • I can’t help you with the details of figuring it out, but from a philosophical point of view, you owe what you owe, regardless of whether the money was properly deducted from your payroll; in that sense, yes, you have to pay it.
      But if they took out MD taxes but they shouldn’t have, you will get that money back. And if they didn’t deduct DC taxes and they should have, you’ll have to pay those now. Hopefully it will just be a matter of getting the $$ from MD and giving it to DC. It’ll likely require filing more forms than you really need to and possibly paying the DC bill before you get the $$ back from MD, but it should work out. (I seem to recall that you might have to pay some to both depending on when you moved; but the *total* should still be in the same ballpark.)
      If there is a huge difference between what you get back from MD and what you owe to DC, then there may be some other problem to deal with. If you have a problem paying the DC bill before you get the money back from MD, I get that, but it’s a good reminder to get some emergency savings together.

    • Where are you looking – and how many people? My bunch of friends rent a fantastic place on the Shenandoah river just outside of Front Royal every year, and the owners now have 3 houses on the property, each one sleeping 6-8 people – all about a 10 min. walk from each other. Vast outdoor space, gorgeous river views & river fun. Go to VRBO.com and look at listing #321691.

    • Andie302

      This happened to me when I moved from Virginia back into DC. You have time to file and get your money back from MD before you have to pay your DC taxes – you just need to do it in that order. Hopefully what was withheld in MD covers your liability in DC. Virginia had a specific form for this, MD may as well. I’d focus on getting this fixed now – if you wait until closer to 4/15 then getting any assistance become very difficult. (I actually managed to speak with someone in Virginia that helped, but did it as soon as I realized the mistake was made.)

      • skj84

        I’m trying not to go into shut down mode about it. I realized it was an issue about a week ago, but haven’t been able to force myself to deal. You are right, I need to get my butt in gear and work on it this weekend.

        • Andie302

          Break it down into steps – focus on getting your money back from MD first. The DC filing can wait, and getting the money back will be helpful on your wallet for sure!

          • Great advice! I did partial year returns for DC and MD in H&R Block’s online software. My situation was slightly reveresed, but I got back all of my DC taxes paid and had a small return from MD. You will owe DC, but hopefully your MD taxes will cover that. It was very easy. Just take a deep breath, realize shit happens, and get down to work. It’ll be fine 🙂

  • Rant: Daffodils blooming in my yard. They’re early daffodils, but this is way early
    Rave: On my evening dog walk I pass at least three well-stocked Little Free Libraries – thanks neighbors!
    Rave: Experimentation in making wontons – trying different fillings with excellent results. Bonus – they freeze well

  • Going to New Orleans in March for a long weekend. Any suggestions for activities/food/areas to explore. Thanks!

    • Quotia Zelda

      Taking the streetcar up to Claiborne and back (or even up to Riverbend) is the best $2.50 you’ll spend. I also really like the aquarium, though it’s starting to show its age a bit. Some favorites of the Zelda family: shopping on Magazine St, watching shipping traffic on the river at the Moon Walk, the sculpture garden at the NOMA, cafe au lait and beignets at Cafe Du Monde.
      If you’ll have a car, Jean Lafitte NHP is worth the 30 minutes or so it will take you to get there – boardwalks through the swamp. If you want to do a plantation tour, I recommend Whitney or Laura.
      Places I like to eat: High Hat Cafe, Milk Bar, Galatoires, Parkway Bakery, R&Os, Frankie & Johnny’s, Rue de la Course (coffee). If you want to go to Camellia Grill (it’s fun and cheap), go at an off time. It’s tiny, and the line out the door at lunch and dinner gets very long.
      When I’m there, we tend toward cheaper neighborhood places rather than the hot, more upscale places, but people I know have really loved Cochon, Herbsait, Upperline, Bayona, Brigsten’s, and Toup’s. I haven’t been to any of John Besh’s New Orleans restaurants (have heard good things about them), but I ate at Luke in San Antonio, and it was excellent.

    • I always suggest the Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleone for at least one cocktail. The bar itself is a circle with bartenders on the inside, and bar stools on the outside that looks like a carousel. The bar makes a rotation every 15 minutes, while the bartenders stay in place. Tennessee Williams used to imbibe there, and the Viuex Carre cocktail was created there.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Fried bell pepper rings at Frankie and Johnny’s (corner of Arabella and Tchoupitoulas)! In the French Quarter the Verti Marte has excellent poboys. They have a grilled shrimp poboy that is to die for. Last time I went it was not on the menu, but you could still order it. If you are into dancing, 80s night at One Eyed Jack’s is fun. It’s on Thursdays.

    • If you like wine and live music (and cheese, though they have other food), go to Bacchanal in the Bywater neighborhood. It was my favorite meal of the trip.

  • Rave: Glorious sunshine. I am so ready for spring. I get to plant a garden in my own yard this year. Let the planning begin!
    Rant: Baby Artie is having major jetlag. He woke up three times last night. I’m hoping he resets by next week.
    Rave: My first iced coffee of the season. Coffee makes multiple baby wakings bearable.

  • Rave: Sometimes I just love my job and the amazing people I get to work with. I mean, I usually like my job, but today’s conversation with someone just makes me love it even more.
    Rant: Too exhausted from my 12,000 steps and yoga class yesterday to do it again today. I guess I’ll look and see if there’s a class I can take tomorrow or Saturday instead. Just too sore, and going to bed at 11:45 just doesn’t help.
    Rave/Rant: the weather today is a rave, even though I’m already dreading what summer will be like and feeling so angry about the continued denial of climate change and the absolute pillaging of the earth that Trump cronies feel entitled to.

  • Rant: dragged my ass to the gym in the first time in I-don’t-know-when but only lasted 10 minutes on the treadmill. Spent the rest of the night feeling defeated and crappy.
    Revel: went for a 3 mile walk around the cathedral area and that helped clear my head a bit
    Revel: catching up with a good friend tonight!

    • topscallop

      Could you ease back into a workout routine by going to a fun class or something? Also don’t discount your walk, maybe see if a friend will join you and make it a routine thing now that the weather’s getting nicer.

      • I’m a distance runner and, to me, the treadmill is the most daunting piece of exercise equipment. Could you maybe ease back into working out on the elliptical or a low-impact cardio workout on YouTube? Jessica Smith has some good ones.

  • Rave: Almost half way done with this training.
    Rant: Feeling particularly tired, lots of worry about family this week. How is it that one ends up with a bunch of people related to them that act like total strangers? Or that are flat out mean? Sometimes I wonder how this will play out when I get married someday and only have my friends and my mom there….

    • FridayGirl, we might be related! We are inviting 130 people to our wedding and barely any family. Sometimes I get down about it but then I remind myself that I’m lucky to have really great friends who are so supportive, they are my *real* cousins, aunts, and uncles.

  • Shout-out: Happy birthday mtpwife!
    Rave: Mtpkiddo slept through the night last night. Woot! Had a much easier time getting out of bed this morning, too. Yay all around. And fingers crossed for a repeat tonight.
    Rave: A super smiley, giggly, enthusiastic mtpbaby on the bus ride this morning. So stinkin’ cute.
    Rant: Said little man was a cranky MESS last night. Refused dinner until we gave him a banana muffin, and largely cried through the rest of the evening’s routine until he was dressed for bed and we were reading books. Hopefully he was just tired, but wow.
    Rave: mtpkiddo running downstairs and singing happy birthday to her Mum while giving her the biggest hug. It was so super sweet 🙂
    Rave: Planning some long-weekend trips for May (Williamsburg) and June (Baltimore)–both with friends. So exciting!

    • I’m planning an August Williamsburg trip (it will be a SO humid)! I haven’t been in a couple years so would love to hear about any new spots that you find. 🙂

      • The Cheese Shop is always one of our go-to spots, as is Mongolian BBQ. Mtpwife & I went to college in Williamsburg, so we often tend to visit old haunts and walk around campus rather than explore new things. But I’ll try to remember to report back if we find anything new.
        One thing to note for lodging is that the timeshare places often run groupon deals for their apartments/condos that are super cheap–like $75/night for 2 bedrooms, plus kitchenette and laundry. I’d recommend avoiding signing up for their spiels if you do that (and you may need to unplug your landline while you’re there if their tactics remain the same–we got woken up at 8am on a Saturday once when we’d arrived at midnight the night before and were not happy).

        • I went to W&M too! I’ve heard there are a few new restaurants and they are always changing up campus. I look forward to hearing about your trip down.

          I’ve never done the timeshare thing but might be a good option for this trip with friends. Thanks for the tips!

          • How funny! Very cool. And no kidding about changing up campus. Parts of it are hardly recognizable from when I graduated 15 years ago.

  • Rave: I found out this morning that my step-dad has been quietly pursuing bariatric surgery. He has been on the program for almost 6 months, and shoul dget his surgery date in April if all goes well. He’s had two heart attacks in the last five years or so, and was told frankly by two former bosses of mine (surgeons) that he would not live to see his grandbabies graduate 5th grade, let alone high school, at the rate he was going. I am so glad he is taking steps for his future.
    Rant: My mom on the other hand, is not. She actually blamed it on my step-dad this morning when I was talking to her. Personal responsibility – is it really that hard?

    • Hooray for you step-dad taking such big and important steps! I remember this being a big worry a while back, so it’s excellent to hear he really wants to change things! Sorry about your mom, though, ugh.

    • My mom had bariatric surgery last year, and it’s changed her life. She’s no longer on any of her medications (high blood pressure, cholesterol, etc), near-debilitating pain in her feet is gone, and some other pains that were likely caused by the medications are also gone. She’s also started going to a gym for the first time in her life and loves it (Planet Fitness, cheap and friendly). She started down the road because of my uncle, who also had it and has had wonderful success. So, a long way of saying good for him and good luck!
      Something for him to keep in mind, though, is that it really is a life change. You can easily gain all the weight back if you don’t eat properly, and with the smaller (or no) stomach you have to be vary careful to make sure you get all the proper nutrients in what you do eat. The program my mom did had months of psychological and nutrition counseling prior to the surgery, which she thought really helped prepare her.

      • Oh, also forgot to mention, before the surgery my dad also got really emotional about it and was not very supportive. It is a big change, plus the scariness of a loved one having surgery, so even the most sane/balanced of people sometimes freak out. Not sure if that helps at all…

      • This is awesome news! I really hope he has the same experience. Good for your mom!

  • Andie302

    Rave: Feeling much better today than the last couple of days.
    Rave: I think the lovely double date last night at Kyirisan helped. It was our first time there and everything was spot on. We had a fire on our friends patio afterwards and I am still getting whiffs of the smoke, which I love. I’ve been very busy with real estate, the Cambridge house finishing up, and helping my fiancé with his next real estate endeavor – I don’t like to admit that I’m a little overwhelmed!

  • Rant: Left my earbuds at home this morning, which means that I ::gasp!:: cannot be plugged in during my commute!
    Rave: Got to work super early so was able to enjoy a nice breakfast outdoors (sans earbuds).
    Rave: Finished our wedding album via Shutterfly last night…despite the lack of good photos, I think we put together a good album.
    Rave: Stretch break! We have someone stop by the office twice a week to lead a real stretch break, and it’s nice to get the blood flowing!

  • Popquery: For those who travel DC->NY often, if you were leaving on a Friday morning and needed to get to New Rochelle, would you bus to downtown and take a train or just drive and pay the tolls? I have a bus ticket, but feeling like even if the traffic and tolls are annoying I’d rather have a car to run errands for a sick friend all weekend. Admittedly, I am not savvy about New York.
    Rave: The ability to check in on a friend in need

    • Drive. And you can go up the Palisades parkway and over the Tappan Zee Bridge if the traffic is bad around the George Washington Bridge

    • Driving isn’t so bad. You take the GW bridge and just stay on 95 until you reach New Rochelle. Traffic can be bad around the bridge, but it will probably be faster than taking the bus to the Port Authority, going to Grand Central, and waiting for your train to New Rochelle. If you leave early on Friday morning you’ll get to the city before rush hour.

      If you ever have to make the trip again I recommend Amtrak! The DC to Boston trains stop at New Rochelle.

    • In an ideal world, I’d take Amtrak to Newro. You could take the bus, then grab a train at Grand Central, but if you’re in a time crunch, that might not work, since off peak trains out of the city don’t run as frequently.

      If you’re not in a time crunch, and want to drive, you could take the longer way through Pennsylvania–adds time, but if I remember correctly, there are zero tolls and there’s little to no traffic.

      • I’ve taken Amtrak to New Rochelle a bunch of times and it works out fine. That does not help your car situation once you’re there, though, unless you rent one or can borrow your friend’s.

    • Thanks all for the advice!

  • just interesting – has anyone seen the tag line under the WaPo heading on its website: “Democracy Dies in Darkness”. Its sad to me that they feel the need to say this, but I’m working through what I think about the fact that they’ve put it on their website. They have also started to label anything that isn’t straight-up news – so far I’ve seen: “opinion”, ‘perspective”, “analysis”, and “review”,

    • If nothing else, it’s a fascinating time for news media. While I don’t in any way endorse Trump’s constant whining about “fake news”, I do think that many major sources have gotten real loose about mixing clickbaity garbage in with real news journalism, presumably in the face of declining revenues. Trump’s attack on the news media is downright frightening from some angles, but it may at least force the news media to become more serious about real news journalism and more up front about which pieces are not.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rave: Even though I fell off the healthy eating wagon, I still managed to lose 4 lbs from my last weigh in.

    • Andie302

      Damn! Are you doing anything different? And congrats!

      • Emmaleigh504

        I’m tracking what I eat religiously with My Fitness Pal. Which is how I know I’m not eating as healthily or in quantities that I should. My last weigh in was in late December, so it was a slow 4lbs. But hey, I’ll take it!

  • Rave: Last night’s megareformer class at Balance Burn – totally kicked my butt, but was the first time in five months that I could do the class with nearly no breaks – save for two 1 second leg shakes.
    Rant: three classes, and seven workouts in four days killed me!
    Rave: The weather!
    Rant: Climate Change.

  • RANT – the cafe put chicken in what is normally tuna noodle salad without putting a sign out that it was chicken noodle salad. I haven’t eaten chicken in years, and the last time I accidentally did, it made me really sick. UGH. Who changes something like that without notice?

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