Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Joe Flood

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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122 Comment

  • Rant: Booking travel through the government is like pulling teeth. I don’t want to be antsy, but I want a yes or no whether I can take my selected route since it impacts whether I will take annual leave for a week after I travel (and I’d like the decision to be made before the flights are all sold out!).
    Rave: It will all work out eventually.
    Rant: I’m already hungry and it’s only 9am. Whoops….

  • Rant: burned out and miserable at my current job
    Rave?: have been busting my butt to increase my skills and conduct informational interviews to transition into a different area of my field, from direct service to the research/evaluation side. I am happy to have a network willing to connect me with their networks, but I’m totally exhausted and trying not to be intimidated
    Rave: getting married two months from yesterday
    Question: any PoPville recommendations for florists who would do a very small scale order? I need 3 boutonnieres and 3 corsages, all very simple–one stem of an in-season flower and maybe a green. Any recommendations? I don’t have a huge budget–how much should I expect to pay for something like this?

    • This lady does beautiful work and does small and large scale events.


      • Also I am sorry you’re burned at your job but you are doing everything you can so good luck! Congratulations on the soon to be wedding!

    • How about somewhere like Wegmans?

    • Holley with the Sill Life: http://silllife.com/weddings/

    • plantmasters! (Look them up on Facebook.) They go to a bunch a farmers’ markets, I think (I picked up my stuff at the 14th and U market), and they did great work, WAY less than anyone else was charging. We did 3 bouquets (one large, one medium, and one small), 6 corsages, and 11 boutonnieres and it was around $300 (if memory serves). I am pretty confident they would take on a smaller order. I was flexible on the flower (since I wanted something local and in season), I just told him the color I wanted and he recommended a flower, so that might be a way to save some money.

    • One of the hardest things is grinding at a job you are burned out at and having the energy to do a proper, strategic job search, and then being your best self at the interviews. Stay strong, the harder you burn now the closer you’ll be to that next job.

      • +100000000000000000000000

      • Thank you so much for the support. My work involves a lot of case management and is very emotional, so I’ve been trying not to beat myself up for feeling so exhausted and hopeless about getting out at times. I’ve been pushing myself in my interviews and on my resume to highlight the work experience I’ve cobbled together at my current role that’s relevant to the roles I’m applying to. I really want to get an entry-level position in my desired field before I commit to additional schooling, but it feels like I’m too qualified for the entry level roles and not qualified enough for the mid-level roles requiring a master’s degree (which I have but in a totally unrelated field)

    • Petworth Safeway. We didn’t want or need a lot of flowers for our wedding and were very happy with their flowers, service, and price. I think other people have recommended them on here too.

    • We went with Park Florist in Takoma Park for our small wedding. The flowers were really pretty, can’t recall the prices…but that was a few years ago anyway.

  • Question: We’re talking with a handyman about installing a ventilation fan in our DC basement bathroom. It’s going to require some basic electrical work (making sure the bathroom receives 20 amps instead of 15 amps to support the new fan). Does this mean I should turn to an electrician instead, and does anyone have any idea whether this requires some kind of DCRA approval? *shudders*.

    • I’m sure it requires it requires a permit, but this is the kind of thing that DCRA will never catch. Just have the handyman install the fan and then hire an electrician to take care of the new wiring & power hookup.

    • HaileUnlikely

      I don’t know if it will require a new circuit. Current electric code requires the bathroom to have a dedicated 20A outlet (for a hairdryer or similar), though you may have 15A and be grandfathered, or have something that was never up to code but that nobody ever cared about. Anyway, though, what I’d do would be to put the exhaust fan on an existing *lighting* circuit that serves the lights in the rest of your basement, provided that circuit does not also serve outlets. A modern exhaust fan uses less current than an old incandescent light bulb.

      • Very helpful, thanks. Since you seem knowledgeable, another question: all of this is the context of preparing our basement for an au pair. The main task is installing a temporary wall w/door in the basement to provide the au pair with privacy (there’s a direct exit to the backyard from the new “room.”) Do we need a permit to put up the temporary wall? This is very clearly in the wheelhouse of the handyman, but I have no idea whether this also needs DCRA approval.

        • HaileUnlikely

          I’m sorry to say I don’t have any idea. If by temporary you mean a regular wall with studs and drywall, but temporary in the sense that someday you’ll take it out, this certainly requires a permit. If by temporary you mean some sort of divider thing that is probably made to be used in an office and can be installed/removed in a grand total of 3 minutes, I can’t imagine it would require a permit, though (I do not know this, just a hunch) also would not meet code for for the purpose separating the room with the furnace and stuff from the living area, if that were a factor.
          Also, on the bath fan, the hardest part isn’t the electrical, it’s the ventilation. Although a handyman might be able to do this competently, if you want this done right (so that the moisture generated by showering and stuff goes out of the house like it’s supposed to rather than just into cavities between walls or floors causing mold to grow), my money would be on a plumber. A plumber will also certainly have the right tools to cut through a masonry wall. A handyman might…but I wouldn’t necessarily count on it.

      • HaileUnlikely

        Forgot to mention: obviously, if you add the fan to a different circuit than the existing lights in the bathroom, that means you’ll have to install another switch, which is yet more work. It would be nice to be able to install it on the same circuit as the existing bathroom lights. If the existing bathroom lights are on the same circuit as other lights in the basement, and not on the same circuit as the existing bathroom outlet (which is how it should be, but often isn’t), you’re in business, just connect the fan to that circuit and you’re done. If the bathroom lights are presently on the same circuit as the bathroom outlet, and that is a 15A circuit, that is already a code violation with or without the fan, and the fan really doesn’t really have anything to do with it (not a serious Oh My God This is Terrible! code violation, but technically a violation). In that case, if that circuit does not serve anything besides that one bathroom (outlet and lights), I *think* it would also meet code to upgrade it to 20A and add the fan, provided the circuit does not serve anything else outside of that bathroom. You should confirm that with a real electrician though. Note that the fan doesn’t have anything to do with the important part of the electric code question, though).

  • Rant: Bought a pair of pants on Saturday. Couldn’t really decide which size to get, so stupidly I opted for the larger. Now my new pants are stretched out and too big, which means I won’t want to wear them again. Waste of money.
    Rave: It’s Administrative Professionals Day (which I actually loathe) but my staff didn’t forget! They gave me a lovely card, a Starbucks gift card, even some cash (!), and it was done with a rousing chorus of Pomp & Circumstance (literally).
    Rave: A lovely weekend away planned for Chincoteague this weekend! Excited to get outside and explore. And the room with a view and a balcony doesn’t hurt, either!

  • skj84

    Rave: Finally got to see the Infinity Mirrors yesterday! A friend gave me tickets for the evening. I think evening groups are smaller, there were hardly any waits for the boxes. It was fun, though I don’t think my pictures came out well. Even then I mostly tried to take in the experiance of being in the boxes. It felt like I was standing in a VR console if that makes sense. A bit trippy.
    Rave/Rant: Walked home from The Hirshhorn last night which was nearly 2 miles. I have been slacking on working out so I needed the walk. Normally long walks help me clear my mind, but I spent this one hyper-focusing on everything thing that was bothering me.
    Rant/Rave: Finished the second season of Chewing Gum which cheered me up. I can’t wait until Season 3.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: One of my contacts is bothering me. I wish I had an extra set at work that I could change into.
    Rave: Love the gift I’m giving my niece for graduation. It’s a fleur de lis pendant on a necklace of pearls and mother of pearl. Plus a swiss army knife with her name on it. I hope she likes them as much as I do!

    • I hate it when my contacts bother me. Do you keep solution on hand? Taking them out for a sec and rinsing them usually helps me. In your case, Id even hit up the closest CVS and purchase the travel size solution (only about $2) in order to make it through the work day. Good luck. 🙂

  • Rave: My gut renovation is coming along – windows, water pressure, and wainscoting.
    Rant: Washington Gas – ~$6,000 to install a meter on a downtown DC rowhouse where there is an existing line? (In G.O.B.’s voice) Come on! Had I known this I would have gone all-electric.

  • Rave: Two of the teachers at Baby Artie’s center asked me to right recommendation letters in support of them for a class they are taking. It feels good to be able to help out in that way (and nice that they asked).
    Rant: The temperature in my office is so unpredictable. It requires layers every day, all year.
    Rave: Last night I made a cauliflower barley cheese bake inspired by Smitten Kitchen. It was delicious. I think I am finally getting my cooking mojo back.
    Rave: Partner is responsible for dinner tonight.

  • Rant: Overwhelmed by work. Can’t get good data due to wonky queries and possible billing issues, so I’m left trying to figure out why my numbers aren’t looking right and how to fix them. My eyes feel like they’re going to bleed, I can’t look at excel sheets anymore.
    Rave: Ultimately I love what I do. I just hate feeling like I can’t do it well
    Rant: I’m so unbelievably tired and that’s just not helping my mood.
    Rant: Even with having the highest-tiered dental insurance my company offers, Delta Dental still sucks. They’re telling me they won’t reimburse me any amount for the night guard, so now I have to see if my dentists’ office can help me fight them on that.
    Rave: At least I set money aside for health costs. And I guess I’ll try to be grateful that Delta Dental covers something.
    Rant-ish, problably: Going to the dentist today for night guard fitting (yay!) and something called “gingival irrigation” – gulp! so nervous!

    • Re: Delta Dental, if your dentist codes it that you have TMJ, it should be covered. My dentist has to change the coding in order for my guard to be covered.

      • yeah, I’m going to ask her about that. I mean, worst thing they can do is say no, right?

        • My dentist recommended a $700 night guard also not covered by my highest tier Delta Dental. Purchased one at CVS for $35.

          Mini Rant: My dog chewed up said guard yesterday, so I’ll be buying another.
          Mini Rave: At least he didn’t chew up a $700 one.

          • yeah, I tried doing the exact same thing 5 years ago – terrible decision, for me at least. I swear that night guard made things worse!

      • Somewhat tangential: The New York Times had a really interesting article recently on medical coding and how insurers and providers have their own respective armies of coders, with providers trying to code for the highest reimbursement and insurers aiming to pay the lowest reimbursement. Meanwhile the whole thing is murky and opaque to the patient.

        • So ridiculous. Insurance companies need to go away. It’s such a conflict of interest.

        • yeah, I read that article. It’s all sooooo infuriating!

        • Not to mention the piece I saw on the news this week about parents getting their diabetic children’s insulin by buying or swapping on the black market because insurance wouldn’t cover the cost, or if they do, it’s still too expensive for them. Infuriating that in this country we have a system that punishes people for being sick!

  • Rant: Waking up 5 minutes before my alarm. hey, i wanted those 5 minutes
    Rave: Made it to the gym this morning.
    Rant: Why are all these new people in the gym? Is this some sort of getting ready for summer bod season?
    Rave: Sun and happy hour after work.
    Rant: Down in the dumps lately. I know it will pass but it’s hard to get through it.
    Related Rave: I’m not letting my sadness get in the way of my health this time.

    • skj84

      in regards to your 2nd Rant, its 8 weeks to summer, go to get started on the beach bod! I actually need to step up gym time myself, I have a beach trip the 3rd week of June.

      • LOL! That explains it. I’ve been consistently going to the gym since August. New Years was surprisingly sparse…until the Trump20 crowd started showing up. Well, good for people getting back on the wagon…just…i need my treadmill…

  • Rant: Going on approximately one hour of sleep. My brain would NOT shut off last night.
    Rant: My UberPOOL driver this morning was an a-hole, and had more pickups/people in the pool than allowed and took us all out of our way and yelled at me for pointing it out.
    Rave: Uber credited my entire ride and said they were going to re-evaluate the driver’s access to Uber.
    Rave: Decided to go with quartz, now looking at the first quote that came back for two styles — this makes me a lot calmer about the kitchen remodel.

    • that’s why I would never uber pool in the morning, that sounds awful

      • I did it today because it was over 50% less than taking UberX in and I was trying to be economical. Turns out I got a free ride (after being both literally and figuratively taken for a ride!) but I am not convinced it was worth the aggravation.

  • maxwell smart

    Does anyone know if there is a website where I can listen to last nights Nationals/Dodgers game? The MLB app doesn’t keep an archive and the game was way past my bedtime.

  • Rant: cried so hard after a surprise parent conference after school yesterday. Teaching certainly isn’t for the weak.
    Revel: Florida is so soon and the weather will be lovely and I have a cute dress!

    • Revel perhaps: -you hang in there ever so unappreciated and much needed educator, God and Karma see and feel your spirit and just moves, don’t give in to the bullies at all the different levels where you are, I have friends in the Montgomery county school and DC School systems that tell me and show me with their lives the daily stuff that they go through, one day somewhere all your efforts will be seen for the invaluable priceless work that it is. Always wanted to be an educator never got it done but have friends who are and I look to them and you in all the awesomeness that they are…
      Rave: Summer vacays (as in fla.) is just around the corner…

  • Rave: I’m baaaaaaaaack!!!!!!
    Rant: camping out in a furnitureless apartment for two weeks with a toddler who is set on getting into everything.
    Rant: this Seattle weather. Seriously.

  • RANT: My cubicle neighbor is driving me crazy!!!!!!!! He is so loud. Takes personal calls all day long and does everything on speaker phone. I honestly cant stand how unprofessional he is. Because I am privy to every single conversation he has, I have had the pleasure of hearing him scold our contractors just because he “can”. I really cant take it any more. He grunts and chews with his mouth open. He hums and sings all day. There is no way he thinks this is ok. I cant believe someone could be so self absorbed that they wouldn’t know that listening to a teleconference with full volume in a cubicle environment is unacceptable. I have asked him once to quiet down because I couldn’t hear myself think but hes so rude, he didn’t bat an eye. I keep ear buds in my ear with WTOP on full blast to avoid hearing him. .Recently, he has started to hit his desk when he talks, (our freaking desks are attached sir!!!!) I feel sorry for his wife. I would love to ask HR to resolve the issue but he is besties with the HR supervisor and she is even more unprofessional than him. I LOVE my job but I may lose it soon.

    RAVE: I love my job.

    • it sounds like you don’t love your job….I feel like you should try to get moved somewhere different if possible. Sounds like a big giant D-bag sorry you have to deal with all of that on a daily basis

  • I Dont Get It

    Rave: That picture of a llama. Forget backyard chickens I want backyard llamas!
    Rave-ish question: My division is having an all-hands meeting in Durham next week and we are staying at the JB Duke Hotel on the Duke campus. Any restaurant recommendations for a Monday night? I’m looking for something within walking distance or an easy Uber/cab ride. We are a non-profit so we are on a non-profit per diem so it would have to be moderately priced! Thanks!

  • Rave: After 25 years of wearing glasses and contacts, I think I’m finally ready to go for Lasik.
    Rave: The video of Ludacris rapping Llama Llama Red Pajama totally made my morning.
    Rant: Accidentally left the remaining pork roast from dinner out last night. I hate when a good meal goes to waste… and when my meal planning schedule gets disrupted. Now I need to figure out something else for tonight.
    Rant: Baby Rabbit is on to formula type #4. I really hope she can tolerate this one.
    Rave: Summer vacation planning is underway.

    • I will put a plug in for lasik! Got it about 7 years ago and never regretted it for a second. It was worth it along to be able to see my legs as I shave in the shower. It is mildly unpleasant right after but totally worth it.

      • Can I ask where you fell within the range of “you’re a candidate for lasik?” I am within the acceptable tolerances, but not the ideal candidate, which makes me pretty reluctant to pull the trigger.

        • Well I was about 2 years without a prescription change, nearsighted with astigmatism, but in my mid twenties and female, which apparently are the best candidates for lasik (who knew).

          I say go to your eye doctor and go to Eye Doctors of Washington (who did my Lasik) and you can get a full eval and make your mind up after that. Hope that helps!

          • I second everything said here. Got Lasik last week at Eye Docs of Washington and would recommend this to anyone.

      • Re: Lasik
        Love it and recommend it.
        Caveat: Now that I need reading glasses, I wish I had only had one eye corrected. If I can, I’m going to go back for monovision surgery — it all depends on the thickness of my cornea that’s left.

      • Can I ask whether you felt as if Lasik made your dry? Asking as I have very dry eyes (can’t wear contacts) and the optometrician told me the risk with Lasik is that it can dry out eyes even more. I would love to have it done but this worries me a bit.

    • Ugh on your second rant. May I ask what the underlying issue is with the formula? If you were/are breastfeeding, did/do you have to follow certain dietary restrictions?

      • The ped thinks she has a milk allergy but doesn’t want to switch over to soy formula until we exhaust all the milk-based options. We’ve now graduated to alimentum. I really hope this works since the baby has a rash all over her face and chest from the last one (and I won’t go into the stomach issues… it’s been pretty gross). I have an issue with my mammary glands so I didn’t breastfeed long enough or provide a large enough portion of her diet through breastmilk for any reactions to occur at the time.

        • Oh, poor baby rabbit and poor you! I hope that the alimentum helps, though I’m not sure why the pediatrician is hell-bent on milk based options when soy options exist. (I’m not an expert here, though–so take that with a grain of salt) Milk protein allergies are a pain in the ass–mtpbaby finally seems to have outgrown his, though we are taking it slowly. I did breastfeed, but supplemented with soy formula as needed (at the recommendation of my pediatrician). It’s not uncommon for milk protein allergies to coincide with soy allergies, but it’s also not the majority of milk allergy cases–but maybe there’s another reason. Either way, you have my sympathies and support. It’s so hard to have an uncomfortable baby. Good luck and many many hugs!

    • omg you had your baby. when was this? how sweet. baby rabbit.

    • I had a baby last year and my prescription changed about 6 months after. I would hang on a few more months before doing Lasik!

  • Rave – new house is getting unpacked.

    Rant – I’d like smart switches for my dining room and living room. Each of them is on a plate with other switches that can be dumb. I’m having a hard time figuring out how to do this, since it looks like all smart switches are the large flat type (rather than the old school switch) and wont fit in the plates I have and I can’t seem to find plates that do both types of switch.

  • Rant: I asked for what I wanted and thought was fair and I ended up shooting myself in the foot.
    Rant: my company would rather hold back loyal, long time employees with considerable institutional knowledge and hire new, outside people for much higher positions.
    Rant: no raves today, yesterday, or the day before

  • Adulting Woes… I am really starting to hate owning my condo, but if I sell, I’d go back to renting because anything else I could afford is so much farther away, on the upside it would be money in my pocket and so much less work.

    Anyone sold and gone back to renting? Thoughts?

    • what do you not like about it? I thought about buying but got way too stressed out…so I’m renting

      • small community, I am on the board because I value my investment and I am starting to hate being the person who takes care of not only my investment but everyone elses. I feel like I am stuck

        Id sell and buy another stand alone place but id have to move much farther out where as if I rent, someone else does all the work

        • Might it work to sell your existing condo and move to a condo in a much larger building, where (at least in theory) the responsibility might be spread out among more people?
          What do you mean by “stand alone place” — is your current place not adjacent to other units? Or the current place _is_ adjacent to other units, but if you were going to move, you’d want a fully detached house with no adjacent houses?
          I sympathize with you — It’s annoying to feel like all the responsibility defaults to you and if you don’t get things done, they won’t get done at all.

          • Texdoc, that.last.statement. Standalone place, aka not a condo building, more autonomy over my full investment, not ruled by the majority

        • I’m in the same boat twice. Buying in a larger bldg in theory spreads the wealth, but I’ve found it to be a place for more apathy. I chose to stick it out because I know I do the best job; doesn’t suck Abu less. I don’t think renting is a bad idea at all. Everybody has their breaking point, and it sounds like you’ve reached yours. However, do you have a property manager? Is that an option to help alleviate the stress?

          • we have a property manager, and have changed it during my tenure. not a fix, just a mild pressure valve

    • Not quite the same, but we rent out our house in DC and rent in Toronto. And it was a relief in many ways. I had my weekends back, when things break it’s not my problem (but it still is my problem in DC haha). There are annoying things too though as we rent a condo from an owner and getting things fixed is a herculean task at times. But at least it’s not my money! I’ve also found we’re able to save much more money every month, much easier to predict expenses as a renter IMO.

    • I didn’t sell and go back to renting, because for me renting would be a lot more expensive. But what I did was to start saving as much as humanly possible to be able to move out as soon as possible. It took me about 1.5-2 years, but I saved enough to let me move to something that was still close-ish to metro (but farther than I was) and in a decent (but not as good) neighborhood. That said, I got a row house where I was able to control my own investment (I was also the one taking care of the entire community), but didn’t need to save up for a single family home. Good luck

    • I sold my condo about 4 years ago and have been renting ever since. I agree with another commenter in that bc I don’t have to pay to fix anything I save more money on a monthly basis. The peace of mind is glorious as well.

    • I also sold a condo and went back to renting. This was back in 2006, near the peak of the real estate bubble in the suburbs (where my condo was – it is now still worth 25% less than what I sold it for), and I have been renting ever since. I am averse to debt, and I have found that, at least on an un-leveraged basis, the stock market performs better than real estate over the long run (in other words, my dividend income has grown significantly faster than my rental expenses). I am also lucky in having a good landlord (in a large apartment building), so it is very hassle-free for me (and yes, I was also on my condo board, and am glad no longer to have to deal with that stress).

  • Major rant: I need to start therapy but a search on my insurance plan’s doctor locator yielded 0 results in a 25 mile radius. I am baffled. I searched for therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and nothing. I don’t think it is a mistake because when I searched for another kind of doctor I got over 700 results. I knew our insurance wasn’t great but that is pretty bad. I guess I will have to go out of network, but I am worried about cost.
    Related question: Does anyone have any suggestions for therapists? I searched through old Popville posts and found a few. Preferably near Dupont or downtown.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Washington Medical Group in Dupont has therapists that are pretty good. They are part of a regular medical practice so it makes it easy to get meds if you need them. They also take insurance which it seems a lot of therapists in the area don’t.

    • No suggestions for therapists, but I will say that when I was using the insurance plan’s on-line doctor locator (Blue) to determine whether a specialist I was referred to was in-network, it gave be negative results, but I called, and spoke with a person at the insurance company, and he was in-network, and I have had surgery and several visits, all covered as in-surgery. So I would suggest actually calling the customer service number and asking them for therapists that are in your plan. The on-line directory might not be accurate.

    • My therapist once recommended contacting my insurance company and asking for a list of in-network therapists. If they don’t respond or are unhelpful, threaten to contact your state’s Insurance Board and file a complaint. If this is a covered service they need to help you find someone in-network.

  • Rant: Struggling to get back into projects after a week off.
    Rant: paper rejected from a third journal. Ugh. Struggling with where to try next and a little bitter about timing.
    Rant: Now feeling like a bit of a poser at work, but probably just need to get back into the swing of things.
    Rave: Fun program at the MtP library last night with the author of some of the Pete the Cat books, even if it did make for a chaotic evening.
    Rant: Skipped morning yoga two days in a row. I’ve been too damn tired, but not moving also makes me feel like crap.

  • Question: Does anyone have a Pups in the Park Nats ticket for Saturday (1:05 pm against Mets) they’d be willing to part with (for a premium)? Former Animal Fix pup, Duncan, would to join his parents who have secured people tickets, but the pup tickets are sold out.

    Duncan: http://www.popville.com/?s=duncan&submit=Search

  • Rave: got tickets for the nats game on Friday night. I just love baseball games (not really into the sport, but love the social ambiance – is that weird?)

    • skj84

      haha, I agree(and I’m going to the same game). The last time I went to a Nats game my friends and I hung in the Red Porch for most of it. I do follow the game as much as I can, but I really just like the whole park ambience more.

      • @skj84 – I seem to remember that we also hit up the Christmas bar on the same night in December. I think we are social ‘twins’! I’m going to hit you up for social ideas more 🙂

    • Not weird at all! Baseball games are a great environment. I used to go just for the ambiance–sitting outside, chatting with friends, and drinking beer is an awesome thing. But I’ve now been bitten by the baseball bug, so now it’s sitting outside, less chatting, equivalent beer, and more paying attention. Still awesome.

  • Question regarding the DC franchise tax. We sent in the form and check on April 10, but they have not cashed it yet. Is that unusual or are they just slow with this like everything else?