Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Lorie Shaull

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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89 Comment

  • Rave: Three nights in a row of no snacking after kids go to bed, and even skipped the beer two of those nights!
    Rave: Hamentashen as a pre-breakfast snack. This recipe was so good and so easy that I might need to make them again.
    Rant: Mtpbaby was too cranky this morning for me to be able to take a picture of him in is “lucky charmer” t-shirt. Fingers crossed for tonight.
    Rave: Mtpkiddo can be convinced to hustle when you incorporate a schtick. Mtpwife was successful this morning by reminding “Percy” to stay on the track and go directly to the bus to be a very useful engine. Percy (aka mtpkiddo) went zooming down the street, chugging and blowing her train whistle, and they got there on time! Well done, mtpwife!

    • Woukd you share the easy hamentaschen recipe? I always realize it’s Purim too late to bake, need to plan better for next year.

      • Absolutely! And I won’t judge if you make them before next Purim. I might have to make another batch because I’ve been enjoying them so much. And this dough doesn’t require a rolling pin!
        1 cup sugar
        1 1/3 cup shortening (I used the bar form of crisco. I also misread this as 1 1/2 cups and it worked out fine, though perhaps that’s why I needed extra flour later on)
        2 eggs
        6 tbsp water
        1/2 tsp vanilla
        4 cups sifted flour (I didn’t bother sifting)

        Cream together shortening & sugar. Add eggs & continue creaming until smooth. Stir in water & vanilla, then add the flour and mix until it forms a ball. (Mine never turned into a ball, per se–perhaps because of the extra shortening) Wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate overnight. (I just covered the mixing bowl)
        Pinch of pieces of dough to form small balls, about the size of a small apple. (I needed extra flour at this stage–I put flour on my hands and let the excess fall into the dough. This may not be necessary if you use the right amount of shortening!) Roll or pat into a circle on wax paper until the circle is about 1/4 inch thick. Put a bit of filling in, then bring three sides together to form a triangle and pinch or fold the ends. Bake on a greased baking tin at 375 until golden brown–about 15 minutes (I just had the wax paper on the baking sheet, and baked on that instead).

        • Looks tasty – I may try this weekend. (As I gentile, I likely will refer to them by the generic “cookies.”) What do you use for filling? I’m thinking peach, strawberry or raspberry jam. How many does this make? . . .

          • Oh right–this makes about 24 cookies. We used a variety of preserves: red raspberry, black raspberry, apricot, and strawberry. Poppy seed filling (in the baking aisle in cans) is also popular, but not in our house. You can also get creative with chocolate chips/nutella, but we tried that one year and far preferred the fruit. One pro-tip: don’t over-fill with filling. You only need 1-2tsp or so. If you have too much, then the filling will ooze out or the cookie won’t stay closed.

          • Good tip – I am a notorious over-filler (crepes, tacos, burritos, fajitas, Korean BBQ, you name it).

          • So hard to use restraint and not over-fill!

  • Rant: It feels as though there is something in my right eye-and I can’t find anything-which makes uncomfortable to leave open. Just purchased eye drops but they have yet to do anything.
    Rave: NYC tomorrow! It’s supposed to be pretty cold but that’s okay by me!
    Rant: My last bowl of ShopHouse last night. They were out of both meatballs and noodles. 🙁 Oh well, it was still tasty. ::salutes::
    Random: Still a serious hematoma on my toe from when I dropped the table on it. How long do I wait for it to improve before getting checked out again?

    • You might have popped a blood vessel on your eye lid. Annoying but harmless. I managed to do this sitting in class randomly one day.

    • Further amateur diagnosis – may be the beginning of a stye. I get them periodically, for unexplained reasons. I find hot compresses and steam showers help, especially in the early stages, when it’s still developing, along with those cleansing wipes sole in drugstores.

    • Sometimes I get that and it’s exacerbated by looking for things/rubbing at my eye. If I can just keep my eye closed for a little while and will myself to leave it alone, the feeling goes away. Hope you’re feeling better soon!

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rave: There is a Dunkin Donuts across the street from my building. And I’ve been craving donuts.
    Rant: There is a Dunkin Donuts across the street from my building. And I’ve been craving donuts.
    Review: Tried the Earl Grey latte. It’s almost perfect, but the tea tastes over brewed.

  • Rant: I’ve been relatively dumbfounded by people’s rudeness the past few days in a variety of situations.
    Rant: Thinking of changing my username for awhile.
    Rant: Feeling tired and cranky today. So excited for the weekend.

  • Rant: Just having a rough morning. Baby Artie’s daycare director met with me this morning to discuss his developmental delay and wants coordinate care more so his teachers know exercises to do with him. This is a good thing, but I still managed to cry through the meeting. It is hard not to worry (even though rationally I know he’s making progress). I think my emotional state is compounded by a crappy few weeks at work, very fragmented sleep last night, and hormones being all over the place.
    Rave: It is Friday. This awful week is almost over.
    Rave: Supportive friends who don’t freak out when they see you crying before morning coffee.

    • I think smart start can do therapy at day care or home–if you’re currently having Baby Artie do his therapy at home, would it help to relocate to day care? Other than that, I hear you. Hormonal changes with weaning from the pump are brutal, and stress about childhood development is so hard. I’m glad your daycare teachers are trying to work with you and your therapists to help Baby Artie’s development (and I know you are too). Hang in there and treat yourself kindly. You’ll get there.

      • We’re doing PT at home. We live in Maryland but Baby Artie goes to daycare in DC. Because of the jurisdictional issues, his therapist can’t come to daycare. But I think the plan is that on mornings when he has PT, I will “brief” his teachers on what exercises we learned that session (which will also help to reinforce it for me). And I will also talk to his therapist after his next session to see what suggestions he has.

        Thanks for your kind words and for the reminder that hormone shifts with wearning from the pump are real. Reminding myself of that helps me put the tears in perspective. These little monsters wreak havoc on our bodies long after they leave them, huh?

        • Oh, gotcha. That’s tough, then, even though it totally makes sense. But I’m glad you can see the bright sides of the additional briefings. I wonder if there are also hand-outs that your therapist can provide that you can share with teachers?
          And you a very welcome. They really do continue to wreak havoc one way or another for quite awhile. But they are also so very sweet. My 3.5 year old, for example, can be so trying, but will also jump or throw herself into me when I ask for a hug.

          • She is a little over two now and has been in therapy since the fall (private- she didn’t qualify For strong start). She was never a babbler which was my first clue, but had strong receptive speech and has always been able to communicate what she wants through gestures. At about 20 months she had no real words except maybe mamama and dadada (which she used for me and my husband and other things), and maybe the word bye. By 2, she had about 25 words but had two word phrases. Now she’s a little over two and is using a few three-four word phrases but still only has about fifty words, although she is starting to mimic a lot which she never did before. Overall, I think the therapy was very helpful in that it helped her, but also made me feel like I was being proactive and provided me ways to improve her speech day to day. We use capitol kids therapy in DC if you decide to go that route!

          • That’s interesting, thank you. May I ask what made you decide to pursue private therapy when she didn’t qualify for strong start?

          • We started private bc at her strong start evaluation, which was at 18 months, they suggested giving her a few more months to see if she had that language explosion people refer to (we never had that big explosion you read online about…it’s been more of a marathon for us). we started when she was about 21 months. We could have waited until 24 months, but I was pretty anxious about it and I knew she would be starting day care (we were in a nanny share) and I didn’t want her to get frustrated at the day care. We really could have started then or waited- there wasn’t a right or wrong answer, but I’m glad we started when we did. One piece of advice a speech therapist gave me was, before 24 months, to start if I or her was getting frustrated. Maybe that can help you decide what to do!

          • This discussion is actually helpful to me as well. Baby Artie qualified for speech therapy at six months. We elected to delay it (his gross motor skill development was much more of a concern for me and part of me wondered how accurate they could assess speech at six months). But all of this information is something to think about if he doesn’t appear to be acquiring words over the next 12 months. Thanks to both of you.

    • My daughter has an expressive speech delay, so in many ways I feel your frustration. She will make progress which is amazing, but then make no progress for several weeks. And when that happens, or I see her around other children her age who are much further ahead, it can be very difficult. Best of luck and know you’re not alone in this!

      • Thanks, Anon, for the support and solidarity. I know at least five other babies born within four days of my little one. I have made a concerted effort not to compare thier milestones to his progress. As his therapist always says, what matters is that he’s making progress. Some kids just follow their own timelines. I am trying to tell myself that being patient and encouraging but accepting Baby Artie’s development on his own terms is good training for allowing him to be the person he evolves into. Easier said than done, but reframing it helps on most days.

      • Anon, if you don’t mind my asking, how old is your daughter and what does her current speech development look like? My son is being evaluated next week for a speech delay, so I’m curious about your experience.
        And, Artemis (and Anon)–I can absolutely relate. I have to try not to cringe when other toddlers in his classroom that are his age or younger tell me hi/bye/whatever when they see me, but mtpbaby says very little. I suspect his delay won’t be enough to warrant intervention through smart start, but we’ll know soon enough.

  • Pablo Raw

    Rave: Taking a roll of film to CVS today.
    Rave: Starting to enjoy playing guitar again

  • That One Guy

    Rant: Feels like no one is motivated to do anything today, myself included. Can I blame Trump’s budget for knocking the wind out of people and demoralizing them?
    Wish I had a glass of orange juice, a record player spinning some Sam Cooke or Nate King Cole and something to read.

  • Rave: Can’t wait to head out tomorrow to see my family – almost all my immediate family members are converging in Philadelphia this Saturday/Sunday for random reasons and it’s going to be great to see everyone, especially my little nephews!
    Rave: Going to get my split ends cut off!
    Rave-ish? Tomorrow would have been my grandmother’s 92nd birthday. I know it’s been three years, but I miss her so much, there are so many conversations I wish I would have had with her, but I’m so grateful, thinking back on all the wonderful stuff we did get to do together.
    Not sure: First time trying the Jamberry nail wraps my sister-in-law gave me. I read the directions and watched a few youtube tutorials, but I still can’t get a bunch of them right. Some nails look cute, but others are terribly wrinkled, and of course all I want to do is pick/peel them off. Anyone have any experience / tips?

    • I too am heading to Philly – so looking forward to it. Enjoy your trip! I’m also heading out to visit my grandfather – who is 97. Thank you for the reminder to cherish him – he’s been having a tough time recently. I’m sorry about the loss of your grandmother – it is so tough!

    • I’ve only had that kind of experience with the Jamberry wraps. I don’t like them.

      • I don’t understand how people sell this stuff. Whether it be Jamberry, Lularoe, Rodan+Fields, etc. I got a pair of Lularoe leggings for Xmas and I don’t get the hype. They have the low crotch thing going on, which is one of my biggest pet peeves, and they don’t stay up on me. I constantly have to pull them up. Yet I have like 10 different friends selling them on FB!

  • Rant: had the worst observation of my teaching career so far. All the “on stage” stuff, I bombed. I get so flustered with unannounced observations
    Rant: to add insult to injury, she tells me at the end she can see through my top. It’s new and looked fine in the low lights in the morning. I figured my kids or someone would have said something. Ugh.

  • binntp

    Rant: Steps from my back door, I slipped and fell on black ice which, in the dark, looked just like regular asphalt. Now my shoulder and hand are sore from cushioned part of the fall.
    Rave: Eagle cam, and kitten cam. Anytime I need a boost I watch these guys.

  • Rave – Going to ShamRock and Roll today.
    Rant – Must get my daughter a snack beforehand because she may not have an one given to her anymore. Well it was ” proven” by Trump’s budget chief that it does not matter if kids are given fresh fruit, milk, yogurt, and nuts to enhance learning skills. I know one thing that enhances crankiness in children -HUNGER! Just as long as the White House is stocked with Lays potato chips all will be well in the world.

  • Rant: 70F outside seems nice, but 70F in my apartment feels like I’m going to get hypothermia at any moment. How am I cold in here? I have a down vest and sheep skin slippers on with my outfit.
    Rant: need to go to the DMV to get my license renewed this afternoon. They sent me to different letters about this on the same day with different information. Who knows, I’m just gonna go.
    Rave: maybe I’ll get a new picture, that would be nice

    • HaileUnlikely

      It’s funny how long they let you go without getting a new picture. I was 25 in the picture on my current license (renewed by mail several years ago; picture was from my first DC license). I will expire on my 41st birthday. I mean, my eyes are still the same color, but my hair is a different color, I have much less of it, and I am about 35 pounds heavier. I’m surprised my license successfully gets me through airport security…

      • I have just the opposite experiences: Each time I’ve been at the DMV for even just an address change, I’ve been required to get a picture taken and to update my personal stats. I wasn’t expecting a picture, so I had just went in some home clothes expecting to fill out forms and pay a fee.

        • HaileUnlikely

          Hmm. I’ve only changed my address once in 13 years in DC, and it was pre-REAL-ID and could be done by mail.

    • Re: relative warmth – When you’re outside @ 70 degrees, you’re likely moving around, so your blood is moving around as well. Now when it’s 70 degrees and you’re indoors, you’re not likely to be very mobile (say, sitting at a desk), so your blood isn’t moving around as much.

  • Rave: had a great time at the pink tie party last night. It was a crazy day and I really didn’t feel like going. Glad I pushed myself to go.
    Rant: not used to staying up so late, so today I’m dragging.
    Rave: weekend is almost here!

  • Rave: Started the morning with a good book and some yoga.
    Rant: That nice morning turned into busting my shin trying to lock up my bike in the snow and a taxi trying to run my off the road on my bike.
    Rave: Reported that damn taxi to the commission + 311 + you better bet I’ll fight him.
    Rave: Family weekend ahead. Husband’s away and I miss him terribly but going to spend time in the hometown which feels good. Plus that means lots of good foods

  • Rant: Having a puppy is exactly like having a baby. Will I ever get a good night’s sleep again?!
    Rave: But she’s just so darn cute, and the little dog is finally warming up to her… well, besides a skirmish over a busy bone this morning.
    Question: I’m heading to NYC in April to visit with old friends. I am planning on just going up for the day. I have always driven to NYC, but since I will be solo, I was thinking of trying the train or the bus. Thoughts on this from the more experienced travelers? I plan on going on a Saturday if it makes a difference.

    • both are super easy, and relatively cheap. Message me if you want LOTS of details on how to get where using various means of transport!

      • “both are super easy, and relatively cheap.”
        When I first read this, I though you were referring to the puppy and baby. My reaction: “Are you effin’ kiddin . . . oh. Never mind.”

        • hahaha! No no, I meant the train and/or bus! kids and puppies = expensive and hard, hence my decision for cat and no kids!

    • Love the train. It’s totally worth it. It’s fairly stress free and quicker than driving. Try to book early to get a better price and sign up for the Amtrak emails. They often send out 25% off sales.

    • Another vote for the train here. I prefer it to the bus, and it is totally worth the additional expense in my opinion.

    • Treat yourself to the train. If you book at least two weeks in advance and have AAA, you can get a ten percent discount on the fare.

    • I vote for the bus — it’s SO much cheaper than the train and (IMO) not that much stress/hassle.

    • Train! Tickets are expensive for weekend trips but since you’re leaving on Saturday it may be cheaper. Book your tickets ASAP for the best price. When Amtrak is on time, it’s a really nice way to travel. I love getting a seat on the quiet car, a glass of wine from the cafe car, and settling into a good book or just watching the scenery go by from the window.

    • Don’t you leave out in MD? If so, consider taking the train from New Carrolton (so you don’t have to get into downtown DC). Or if not, take one of the buses from Bethesda. Depending on the weekend you visit, leaving on Saturday morning shouldn’t kill you for traffic BUT the return trip on a Sunday evening will be pretty bad on traffic. Might be worth taking the bus up and a return train. The train is much more comfortable – Penn Station is on many metro stations. As for the buses, consider Greyhound – they have express DC-NYC buses and while Port Authority is rough, it’s much better than standing outside on 12th Avenue with the wind from the river waiting for Megabus or Bolt Bus. Also Port Authority and/or Penn Station are much better located in terms of metro options once you arrive. I use the train when I know I need to be somewhere on time or when I want to work. The bus is fine if time is not a huge factor and I’m just planning on settling in to read or something. Amtrak has great rewards programs as well – I haven’t paid for a train in quite some time. Something to consider signing up for if you see more trips up and down the NE corridor in your future.

      • Argh – live, sorry. Not leave!

      • Yes, I do live in Maryland. If I take the train, it will be from Baltimore’s Penn Station, and if I took the bus I would try to get it from White Marsh. White Marsh would be much easier for me to get to, and I am far more familiar with the area. However, buses skeeve me out lol. And, yes, probably enough to pay extra and go through the extra effort! Thank you for the advice regarding the inside NYC depots, this is very helpful!

        • HaileUnlikely

          FYI if you take the bus from White Marsh, you’ll just be standing in the middle of a big parking lot waiting for it; there is not an actual bus terminal of any sort like there is at Union Station. Same in NYC – you’ll just be waiting along the side of the road somewhere. I like taking Megabus between DC and Philly (no real bus terminal but 30th Street Station is right across the street), but I think the experience would be somewhat less pleasant waiting in the White Marsh parking lot and along the side of the road in NYC, especially if weather is bad, bus is late, etc. (I still take the bus anyway – the cost savings is definitely worth it for me – but if you’re already anti-bus and considering taking the train, then yeah, take the train.

    • For so many years, I would drive up from DC to visit friends in NYC. The last time I drove, I sat in a bunch of traffic and paid some obnoxious amount of money in tolls ($60 or so?). Last year, I tried taking the train instead and the whole experience was *so* much better (got there faster, could lounge around reading/relaxing, etc.) that it’s the obvious plan A now, especially when a little advance planning and strategic ticket buying make the cost of taking the train equal to (or less than) the cost of driving. Train++

      • The last time I drove, it was in a snow storm, and I hit absolutely horrendous road conditions on the NJ Parkway. However, I got luck with on-street parking right outside the hotel because of the same snow, so I call it a wash!

    • No thought on transport (I far prefer to drive it, myself, but then, I live driving alone; bus makes my knees hurt after not being able to move them for hours; train is expensive, but far more comfortable) but I would suggest staying overnight, even if you leave after breakfast the next day. Going up and back in one day is exhausting. You can sometimes find relatively cheap hotels online last minute if you can’t crash with your friends.

    • I mostly always go up to nyc by weekend bus – super easy from union station, with various stops in nyc (I usually get dropped off right outside of times square). Only about 3 hours or so (leave super early! if you do a later afternoon one, you’ll get caught up in all the jammed weekend traffic) Then lyft or cab to hotel.

  • The Canada Goose coats have exploded again this week. Given our winter, I think those people paid about $20/day to wear one.

    • Really?! Those are popular in DC? I mean they’re insanely popular up here, but Toronto is pretty cold from Dec-March. Even so I couldn’t justify the price and got a really warm coat for about half the price.

      • I’ve seen them all over DC, NYC, and Michigan the last two years – even on days when it is about 45 degrees.

        • I mean, Michigan/NYC have real winters. DC? No. You can obviously make the argument you can get a very warm coat for much less, but it’s even more absurd when you throw in living in DC…

    • I have seen so many of these in dc recently it is unreal…. It’s dc people, not alaska… you can get by with a regular jacket. And you caught onto the fad about 3 years late anyway.

  • Rant: A little groggy.
    Rave: Social plans for Saturday and Sunday!

  • Rant – 3rd day off of work sick. Every night I feel like I feel better, only to feel MUCH worse in the morning. Ugh. I just need to get well.

  • rant: I had to threaten to report my old company to the IRS in order to get my 2016 W-2 form
    rave: they were much more accommodating and promptly provided the form when they had incentive to do so!

  • Rave: Finally landed on “When You Need Me” by Bruce Springsteen for the father daughter dance. So many songs were too sappy and this seems perfect for our relationship.
    Rant: Some guy tried to mansplain how to lift weights yesterday. Shot that down real quick.
    Rave: Waiting on friends in med school to be matched, so excited of them..

  • Rant: I know we tentatively said Wine & Bitch was next Wednesday evening but I will not be able to make that date now.
    I’m really sorry and would like to offer alternatively Thursday, March 23rd, or, Wednesday March 29th.

    Rant: Work. So stressful.

    Rave: Going to have Vietnamese food and watch Beauty & The Beast with a great group of friends tonight!

    Rant: Apparently still sick, but way better than I was.

    Rave: My doctor is awesome.

    • My vote should only count as half b/c I’m new and missed the first one, but I suggest the 23rd b/c it’s sooner and b/c I’ll be in Austin the following week.

      Rave: I’ll be in Austin the following week.

    • For Wine and Bitch… I can’t do Thurs. 3/23, so I’d prefer Wed. 3/29.
      Not sure how many people will be looking at RRRR on a Friday afternoon… SinSA, maybe you can ask in RRRR again on Monday?

    • I’ll probably crash this… as a rule, Thursdays are better for me than Wednesdays…

    • I can do either day, but Thursday may work a bit better for me….

    • Emmaleigh504

      Wednesday is better for me.

    • I’ll repost the Wine & Bitch question on Monday!

  • Late question – we have 4 SmarTrip cards we keep for guests. They haven’t been used in over a year, I’d guess. My inlaws are in town this weekend, and are using them to get down to the mall. A quick check online shows that all 4 have $0 balance on them. That wasn’t the case last time they were used – although I have no idea what the balances were when they last were used. Anyone ever dealt with this? (FWIW, my card, which I keep in my wallet and have used more frequently, still has a balance.)

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