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Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

by Prince Of Petworth January 31, 2017 at 9:09 am 136 Comments

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Tim Brown

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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  • mona

    Rant: Let stop all the talking and actually do something about what is going on in this country.
    Rant: If President Obama has tried to do something like this, the republicans will have never let it happen, why are we democrats so weak? this is a serious question!
    Unknown: The only thing these people care about is Money, we have to hit them where it hurts:
    – Boycott any business and anything associated with Trump (yeah even taking a picture with him and your business is out for me. Uber and Walmart are on my list, I am happy to get some more names, but I always do my research before boycotting)
    – We should all file for a tax extension and we give the government 6 months to get their shits together. This will only work if many people are doing it.
    – We should all not shop for a selected day or a weekend as a part of protest.
    – Donate to the ACLU
    – Let people know what you are doing.
    Rant: Just hoping things will go away won’t work, it will get worse. At the rate things are going he might even suspend the mid-term election or change the constitution to run for a third term. Many dictators have done that in the past. So don’t foul yourself we are not too far from that, America is not America anymore.

    • JohnH

      Could you imagine if Obama/Hillary fake tanned? Why someone hasn’t asked Trump over the past 2 years if he does is one of my life’s greatest mysteries.

    • Something Like Anonanon

      Tell me more about filing for a tax extension? What is the theory, and is this something that people are mobilizing to do?

      • dcd

        It’s an utterly ineffective means of “protest” for the vast majority of Americans. Most people are paid on a W-2, and have tax withheld. If you’re self-employed, you pay estimated taxes quarterly, and if you don’t you are hit with a penalty. And if you file for an extension, you typically make a payment by April 15 to get close to your tax liability for the previous year. In short, if the intent is to starve the government of funds, it won’t work, and I don’t know of any other adverse impact it might possible have.

      • It’s just me

        Following up on DCD – many Americans get a tax refund. So filing an extension gives the government use of that money tax free for longer.

    • mona

      Yes people are throwing some ideas about how to protest and not paying tax is an option. One other option is putting your taxes in an escrow account. The safest way is to file an extension, so you get an extra 6 months to file your taxes. This is safe because you won’t get in trouble for paying taxes. Let get more people to talk about this option…

      • Anons

        You’re expected to pay your estimated taxes when you file for an extension. You’ll owe interest on any amount paid after April 15th.

      • mona

        Meant as a reply to Something Like Anonanon

      • rss

        this is not true. even if you get a six month extension, if you owe taxes, they are still due on April 15. if you don’t pay by April 15 interest and penalties will begin to accrue on that date, regardless of whether you have an extension to file your tax return on October 15.

      • Commentator

        Yes, people will just be creating hardship for themselves with this action and not accomplishing whatever this goal is (starving the government of funds even though we all benefit and rely on government spending in some fashion?). Either you’re owed a refund and are depriving yourself of claiming those funds, or you owe taxes and will end up having to pay interest and penalties on any amount that wasn’t paid by April 15th. I am wondering if people who dreamed this one up have ever filed taxes.

        • FridayGirl

          + a million. it’s a bad idea.

      • anonymous

        Just a bad idea. People, please do your homework.

    • Anonynonnom

      Protesting gov’t by not paying your taxes so gov’t can’t provide the very subsidies and support the programs you’re fighting for?

      Right.

      • bruno

        We love democracy until we lose? Then all bets are off?

        • mona

          Democracy also means respecting the law which the current president is NOT doing. We are totally in a dictatorship right now and if you don’t see that you are in denial!

          I agree with others the tax thing might not be a good idea but we have to start somewhere.

          • dcd

            ” We are totally in a dictatorship right now and if you don’t see that you are in denial!”
            .
            Well, as long as you’re keeping things in perspective . . .

  • Wendy Lee

    rant: is there a country that i can flee to for 4 years? GOD
    rant: A lot want the democratic leadership to do something, but I have been told they really can’t do anything.
    rave: cofee.

  • FridayGirl

    Rant: I’m exhausted. I’m angry. I’m disappointed. I’m upset that myself and my colleagues have to worry that whistle-blower laws won’t protect us if we dissent. I’m regretful that I feel like I’ve been silenced because I need to eat and pay my rent. I never thought any of us would be in this position. It’s alarming and awful and I spent a decent portion of the evening teary-eyed last night partially because I am scared and partially because I feel like I have failed my duty.
    .
    Rant: My mom has to move in the next two weeks and no one will help her. The one friend who said they would help her asked her how I was feeling in my job last night and when she said she was worried, he completely dismissed her concerns and hung up on her. He is a Trump supporter. So much for human decency across party lines. We both agreed we need to find another way to get her packed up professionally and that friend isn’t a friend at all.
    .
    Rant: I hate people today. I just want ONE good thing to happen. Just ONE.

    • Hookdntx

      Hey GirlFriday, The Boy scouts have changed their position on letting transgendered kids become scouts…. That is a positive change!

    • Something Like Anonanon

      I can’ t promise one good thing happening today, but I can promise you that you are not alone. In fact, you are in very good company. I’m so thankful for this forum, to remind myself that this is something we can all struggle and fight through together.

    • maxwell smart

      I’m 100% with you and it’s only been 1 week.

    • Formerly ParkViewRes

      Does your mom need money to hire professional movers? I know it’s not enough to cover it all, but I’d be happy to paypal some money to contribute to the move.

      • FridayGirl

        Wow, thank you ParkViewRes. I really appreciate your kindness. I’m trying to convince her to let me help her and crowd source some funding, so if it comes to that I’ll post something here.

        • Formerly ParkViewRes

          No problem–just trying to do some positive things among all this chaos and uncertainty. Tell her there’s nothing wrong with crowd sourcing some funding in tough times.

  • DCbyDay

    Rant: Trial Balloon for a Coup…. it’s happening.

    • Anonymous

      +1

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rant: My rants, both personal and political, are all so big.

  • Anonamom

    Rant: Still have people saying that we should give him a chance. Still have people saying “enough political posts, can we go back to LuLaRoe?”
    Rant: Can we even be surprised that he fired Yates an hour after her statement? He is a sad, angry, pathetic little man, and he is our fucking president
    Rave: President Obama’s clap back yesterday. I see some community organization from 44 coming in the very near future.
    .
    Non-political Revel: Littlest Anonachild’s birthday! He has asked for a spaghetti dinner and fox cupcakes. He is a boy of simple tastes.
    Mega Rant: Except my goddamn stove crapped out last night, and unless Mr Fix-It (aka SO) can manage to have a new one installed tonight, he will have to settle for take out and a Whole Foods cake (which the adults will not complain about).

    • dcd

      I mean – of course he fired her. She is an executive branch employee who refused to do her job. I understand that she didn’t agree with it, but her job is to represent the US government in litigation against it, and she refused to do it. If she felt like she couldn’t in good conscience to that, she could have resigned, but she chose defiance instead.
      .
      In a way, her actions attacked the separation of powers critical to the proper functioning of the government. In most instances, it is the job of the judicial branch to be the final arbiter of the constitutionality of the actions of the executive or legislative branches. We do not let the executive branch be the sole arbiter of the constitutionality of its own actions. But that, in effect, was what she was doing – a high ranking member of the executive branch decided, on her own, what was constitutional or not, depriving the judiciary of a fully fleshed out opportunity to make that determination. Yes, it’s a weird situation, but this also isn’t a whistleblower situation. She wasn’t being asked to do anything illegal – she was asked to defend an action of questionable constitutionality in court. That’s her job.
      .
      I think this is one of those situations someone referenced yesterday – the fact that Trump takes an action doesn’t automatically mean it merits outrage.

      • Irving Streete

        Just follow those orders — regardless of how prima facie illegal, immoral and unconstitutional they are. Like John Woo.
        .

        • dcd

          Not to split hairs, but the order she refused to follow was to defend the executive action in court. You are suggesting that was an illegal order? Immoral? Unconstitutional? Sorry, no. The underlying executive action may be all of those things (and I believe it is, but that’s the province of the judiciary), but the order to defend it is not. Out entire judicial system is predicated on two zealous advocates arguing points before an impartial judiciary. I think now, more than ever, it’s important to respect and uphold our Constitutional norms.

        • Anon

          I’m with dcd here – John Woo is one of the greatest legal minds of our generation. That Bush picked him is no accident.

          • Irving Streete

            Amazing the way he rationalized torture. Took a genius to do that.
            .
            I’m trying to avoid the Nuremberg analogies here, but once you get into someone coming up with a legalistic rationalization for actual torture, it’s gets harder to do.
            .
            So, at what point are you obligated to to follow an order that you believe legally wrong and morally reprehensible. The powerful figure who allows it to be carried out by defending it in court is not culpable, while the grunt that carried it out is?

          • dcd

            @Irving Streete: (Not to evade the question, but I was coming here to post something and don’t want to get sidetracked.)
            .
            A question for you – let’s say that in late 2012, Eric Holder was hit by a car and seriously injured. While he would eventually make a full recovery, he had a long road ahead of him, and he felt it best to resign. Unfortunately, the government’s briefing in Shelby County v. Holder was due the next week, and the career prosecutor who temporarily took over leadership of the Department of Justice didn’t believe it was constitutionally viable anymore (an opinion ultimately shared by the Supreme Court). As a result, s/he issued a statement that as long as s/he was in charge, the Justice Department would not undertake any efforts to defend the Act from the constitutional challenge. Would President Obama have been justified in removing him or her, and installing someone who would defend the Act?

          • dcd

            And to answer the question, I have no idea – that’s a much-debated ethical question. And I am not saying that Yates acted wrongly. I am saying that it is neither surprising nor a travesty that she was fired for refusing to defend an Executive Order of the President.

      • The irony is that Sessions asked her in her confirmation hearing whether she would act independently if the president did something that she saw as illegal. She did and she did. I applaud her. And understand why he then fired her (and I’m sure she expected it).

        • dcd

          I agree with this. I may have chosen to resign in her place, but the well-chosen act of defiance certainly generated a lot of buzz. I just have a problem with people acting like Trump committed some unforgiveable sin by firing her, when it was completely predictable, undoubtedly expected, appropriate in the circumstances. In effect, she’d be fired as soon as Sessions was confirmed anyway, for exactly the same reasons – disagreement with administration policies.
          .
          tl;dr – poorly conceived outrage detracts from those instances when outrage is really warranted. There will be plenty of instances for justifiable outrage – better to keep our powder dry.

          • DCbyDay

            Honestly wasn’t so surprised or outraged by the firing — but with the tone of the memo… not that that was surprising… but just read like a ranting tweet. ugh.

          • dcd

            Yes, the tone was . . . well, I was going to say surprising, but that isn’t true. Discomfiting, and certainly unpresidential.

  • JohnH

    I have a rental property and was talking to my tenant last night – they were doing taxes and it prompted them for the DC Renter Property Tax Credit. This used to be only for people whose AGI is $20k or less. Recently, it’s been capped at $40k. In 2016, it is for anyone who made under $50k and rented for a full year in DC. It allows up to a $1,000 credit that basically reflects the property tax break that the owners have.
    .
    So there are 2 of them living there and renting. Their question was whether if they make under $50k individually, can they both claim it? From what I’ve read, it sounds like it as long as they are filing separately (they are just roommates).
    .
    This is what I could find online: http://www.dcfpi.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/Schedule-H-Brief-2014-08-14c-Final.pdf

    • FridayGirl

      I don’t have an answer since I’ve never heard of this before but I’m going to keep an eye out for it now since it looks like I qualify for 2016. Thanks for the heads up!

      • Anon Spock

        Any good tax software should prompt for the form once you say you’ve rented and make below 50k. If it doesn’t, I’d be leery using it.

        • JohnH

          My tenant was using TurboTax. When it prompted them, it calculated the additional refund – but then the next page said it was only for $40k and under. So it didn’t let them complete the form, but showed up as a bunch of errors of not completing the form when they were done. So it looks like Turbo Tax has some kinks to work out in their system. This is what prompted their questions to me – it was showing up as a valid credit in some regards, but also not in others.

          • Anon Spock

            Sounds like they didn’t update their software fully, but it did trigger which is good.
            On another note, if they’re paying for tax software, they shouldn’t. You can file for free through the irs website under 63k income.

          • FridayGirl

            I thought the free filing using TurboTax was under $30-something thousand? I usually use HRBlock because I don’t qualify for free filing under TurboTax. Do we know if this has changed?

          • Anon Spock

            I can’t speak to turbo tax specifically, but I looked into free filing directly on the irs site, and it offered it below 64k. There is also credit karma tax which I ended up using. It’s free, and relatively simple and accurate albeit for me a bit overzealous. I think it’s perfectly fine for simple returns though.

          • JohnH

            TurboTax is free now (even for state). I think it’s like $30 if you want to have it automatically fill in your W-2 and carry over info year to year, etc.

          • thismoi

            Anon Spock, can you confirm whether you found that the IRS site offered it for an AGI below 64K (as in up to 64K)? I’m golden if it’s 64, but SOL if it’s 63. Thanks!

          • FridayGirl

            thismoi – if you go here it breaks down the software by income. You can click “start” and it will tell you the details of each tax software. But it does appear to be $64k or less. irs.gov/uac/free-file-do-your-federal-taxes-for-free

          • Anon Spock

            Friday girl is correct. Agi 64k or less

        • FridayGirl

          I think it never prompted me before because until 2016 I was above the limit, but then DC changed the limit. So not the tax software… yet.

          • Anon Spock

            No, you’re right. My statement was more future tense, something to look out for as you do your taxes this year. If they’re missing that credit, they may miss others, for example.

          • FridayGirl

            Ah, I see. Good point.

    • rss

      I think as long as they are in separate “tax households” (that is – not married or otherwise related) they should both be able to take it. If they make less than $35,000 they should go get their taxes done for free by Community Tax Aid (the DC Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program). They will definitely know whether they are both eligible for the credit. (I am a volunteer, but embarrassingly need to re-educate myself on how the credit works so this shouldn’t be considered tax advice.)

    • Anon Spock

      Yes, they can based on their prorata share of the rent.

      The answer used to be no, but they’ve changed it from household income to tax filing unit income.

      • JohnH

        Thanks!

      • JohnH

        Also, do you know how they verify the rent? Do they contact landlords?

        • Anon Spock

          You have to provide landlord contact info on schedule h. If they actually verify, I don’t know.

          • JohnH

            I guess like anything else with taxes, you can fudge a lot of things. It’s just a matter of getting audited.

  • hiphopanonymous

    Rave: Attended the rally/protest at the Supreme Court last night. Aside from not being able to hear a WORD that was said, it was a great spirit of…camaraderie, I guess, is the best descriptor. And singing the National Anthem at the steps of the Supreme Court almost brought me to tears. My favorite chant, however, was “You’re orange, you’re gross, you lost the popular vote!”
    Rant: Trump. Now and always. I can’t believe what is happening in this country.
    Rant: My job. I need to get out of here before I lose it on my boss (or anyone, for that matter). Hubby and I have started watching The Office on Netflix, and the more I watch, the more I realize my boss is like Michael Scott. Yesterday he walked into the room, saw two people laughing, and tried to jump in even though he had no clue what was going on.
    Rave: Four day week for me, which means only three days left!

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: every day Trump gets worse. When will it end?
    Rant: my forehead has turned into an oil slick and I don’t know how to deal with it. Any suggestions for cleanser or lotions for oily skin?
    Rave: oily skin is my biggest problem

    • H

      I’ve used a couple of toners which I highly recommend – Origins’ Zero Oil Pure Purifying Toner and Ole Henriksen’s Grease Relief Face Tonic. In addition, I also use the Philosophy moisturizer for oily skin. I know the products are $$$ but worth it for me.

    • I really like my Khiel’s Daily Concentrate, I use that then their daily moisturizer.
      I feel gross at the end of the day in our new open office environment, not sure why, but I keep two types of blotting papers in my purse, NYX blotting papers in the lilac package and another type that has powder on it. I feel so much better after just dabbing away the oil and it doesn’t removes so much that you just over produce afterwards, because it is a negative feedback loop.

    • For most people with oily skin, CeraVe foaming facial cleanser and CeraVe moisturizing facial lotion PM work well. (CeraVe also makes an AM lotion with SPF, but I think it stings a bit because I’m sensitive to chemical sunscreens.) Also, your forehead may be creating excess oil to compensate if it is already dried out due to the winter air. A thicker nighttime lotion, like CeraVe moisturizing cream (in the tub) can help fix that issue. Those are some affordable drugstore options.
      .
      Right now I’m using La Roche Posay Toleraine Fluide during the day (but I’ve been told it’s been discontinued) and Eucerin original at night (very thick, not for daytime use!)
      .
      I know lots about skincare products…. it’s my weird hobby.

    • eggs

      Ugh god mine is SO bad right now too. Thanks to everyone above for the suggestions, I forgot about needing a more serious moisturizer at night in winter so I need to do that.
      .
      FYI, fun fact: toilet seat liners are the same material (essentially) as blotting wipes. If you ever find yourself in a bathroom with them and need to get some oil off, there you go (just make sure you throw away the first one and use the one behind it…so you’re not putting anything on your face you don’t want there haha!)

      • Emmaleigh504

        Thanks y’all! I’ve never had oily skin before, so I didn’t know where to start.

    • Anon

      Try Paula’s Choice products– I think her 2% BHA exfoliant (works like a toner) might be good for you!

      • Yes, Paula’s Choice is another good product line!

  • farmersmarketfan

    Rant: oy vey, the world right now. we have to turn this thing around… and I need to take some news breaks today.
    Rave: seconding Wendy Lee’s coffee

  • Rant: F’ing everything.
    Rave: lots of local folks near Philly are readying to work hard for GOP house member’s opposition. A good candidate is running against Rep Costello, and was 50k votes short this time in beating him so he’s running again.
    Rant: It just boggles my mind that people can be so ignorant to how totalitarianism and fascism take root. Perhaps we need to focus on history more than STEM now?

    • YES. History, civic education, international affairs…and, you know, critical thinking.

  • skj84

    Political Rant: I keep cycling between angry, sad, anxious and numb. I’m ok with numb.
    Rant: Annoyance at my fellow progressives for falling into holier than thou shame cycles. Blasting people who they don’t think are involved enough, scared enough, or are not involved in the right issues. This is how we got into this mess, purity politics.
    Rave/Rant: My self care routine has started to involve lots of shopping. Good for my soul, bad for my wallet. I’m hyper focusing on bedroom decorations. Just bought a king bed curtain and fairly lights to put over the bed.

    • HaileUnlikely

      Agreed with your second rant. Thank you for voicing this.

    • anonymous

      yes to your second rant! Spot on.

  • artemis

    Rave: My friends – going to protests at the Supreme Court and bringing snacks to lawyers at Dulles on their days off, offering babysitting so other people can show up at protests, organizing trainings to teach people how to engage their members of Congress, donating money to progressive causes, engaging Trump supporting family members in fact-based discussions and somehow avoiding namecalling. I know so many good people. I just have to keep focusing on that.
    Rant: I’m not sleeping well these days. I am so very tired. It is going to take coffee and adrenalin to get me through this work day.
    Rant: Baby Artie seems to be getting another cold. And he’s teething. Poor little dude.

    • wdc

      Re: sick baby: It gets better after age 3. But those first three years, with the constant bugs and the teething and the inability to express themselves… It’s gotta be tough for them. I think we don’t appreciate how much it matters to be able to tell someone what’s wrong. If you haven’t done any sign language yet, maybe try that. Our kids were much happier when they could communicate their needs.

      • artemis

        We are working on sign language. I am trying to be more consistent about it. And I completely agree with you re: the inability to express themselves. It makes sense why he was “core meltdown” sometimes. His latest form of protest is kicking me in the chest when I try to use the Nose Frida. I’m just trying to help you feel better, little man. He doesn’t see it that way.

        And honestly I think the sickness is worse for kids who aren’t in daycare early on. My niece just started daycare at age two, and she has been so so sick. Much worse than I have ever seen Baby Artie. At least he’s have a strong immune system by the time he starts school (I hope and pray).

        • mtpresident

          My two cents on the sign language–start with just one or two, and then add them in as he seems to start to get it. I think some kids pick it up quicker, but mine didn’t really start to pick it up until a year or later. It can be very helpful, for sure!
          .
          Another thing that helps as kids get bigger is that they learn to blow their nose–which helps reduce the effects of a cold, and also limits the likelihood of it turning into pink eye and/or ear infections. Hope Baby Artie is feeling better soon!

          • artemis

            Thanks for this advice, mtpresident. I think Baby Artie is probably going to be on the slower end of picking up signs. Right now, we’re working on “more” and “all done.” Those seem like the “easiest” to teach because they are directly related to dinner. And my little man is very good motivated.

  • UDPie

    Rant: how to pay attention to everything we should act on. Federal money for FTA, Amtrak, WMATA is on the potential chopping block to reallocate to highways. ARGH. This means further prioritization of the suburbs and the higher income classes with private vehicles and reducing accessibility and mobility for those who need it most.
    Rave: Working in a snowglobe right now.
    Rave: Went home last night and instead of turning on the TV or living on Twitter, I put on some classical tunes, lit candles, and read the Sunday Times (a day late, I know) and did the crossword puzzle (or attempted to do it). I needed that time to step away.

    • artemis

      I have picked about 3-4 issues that are my “top” priorities, and I am focusing on them. You can’t react to everything. For me, narrowing it down has helped my sanity.

    • skj84

      I’m trying to get back in the habit of reading a book before bed. I was doing it for the first part of the year, but fell behind. I’ve also been playing classical music or cheery podcasts as well. Looking into getting an aromatherapy machine too.

  • Anon

    Rant: Reflecting everyone else’s rants, politics. I’m starting to feel like if I had an easy way to move to another country, I would; but I know its better to stay and fight.
    Rant: My job right now. Depending on the day I’m either unmotivated and not doing anything, or working too quickly and making mistakes. Winter is always hard at work because of seasonal depression, and the state of the world is making it worse.

    • Formerly ParkViewRes

      It’s not like you can ignore it in another country. I live in Canada, but I am American and I am so sad and frustrated. Part of me wants to get on a plane and join the protests. Also, Canadians are protesting up here too. The US consulate was shut down yesterday because of protests. Yep, that’s right he sucks so bad even Canadians are protesting.

  • MPinDC

    Rave: Happy seven year adopt-aversary to my pup!
    Rant: Everything else, and trying to find the balance between being informed and disengaging
    .
    Rave: Four weeks until (meteorological) spring, crocuses and snowdrops will be blooming soon

    • Emmaleigh504

      Happy Adopt-aversary!

  • It’s just me

    Rant: lost my 2nd condo to an all cash offer. Who are these people with their all cash offers. I have a hefty down payment and am still getting out bid. Grrr. I REALLY need a place to live soon.

    • dcd

      Sadly, if someone’s selling a house they are more likely to take an all-cash offer. When we sold our place, we had an all-cash offer and then a financing offer for $15,000 more. After looking at their financials, we took the higher offer – we were confident the place would appraise, they waived the inspection (after doing a pre-inspection) and that’s real money. Hate to say it, but in this situation you have to make it worth the seller’s while to take your offer.

      • It’s just me

        I completely understand their taking the all cash offer, I just am amazed at how many folks seem to be able to make them. It’s not like I’m looking at fixer-upper properties that can be flipped for income so I’m competing with developers.

        • Anon Spock

          Dcd’s point seemed to be that you can get sellers to overlook cash offers but it has to be worth their while. Can you traded bidding higher and removing contingencies?

          • It’s just me

            I have tried that. So far, hasn’t seemed to work. Just need to keep looking I suppose. Not much out there right now, though.

          • Anon Spock

            Winter time blues. Hopefully you’ll catch something as it starts to warm up.

    • Formerly ParkViewRes

      I know a few people in DC who purchased property using an all cash offer. Usually (always?) the money came from parents or grandparents. It’s HUGE up here in Toronto too–apparently a lot of parents have, or find a way to give their kids money to purchase property. Either the down payment or the whole damn thing.

      • JoDa

        What I’ve been hearing about is the cash-then-mortgage strategy. Essentially, you scrounge up every penny in cash you can – Roth contributions if you have one, parents, savings accounts, as much as you can borrow from other retirement accounts – and make an all-cash offer. Once settled, you do a cash-out loan (not really a *refinance* in the textbook, but same concept) and “refund” all those places you got the money from that weren’t “really” free cash. Basically, some of those people who are “capable” of making all-cash offers probably aren’t *really* capable of making all-cash offers.
        .
        I’ve also been seeing a lot of activity in *my* neighborhood that leads me to believe some inexperienced “real estate entrepreneurs” are trying to play the market. For example, there have been a couple situations lately where someone buys a run-down property for a reasonable price (given condition and potential), and then just re-lists it a few days, weeks, months later for a much higher price. Someone convinced them the homes were worth a lot more than they were listed for originally, and they’re getting/going to be hosed. One such property has been on the market off and on since last spring…but by golly that seller seems to believe that it really is worth as much as a 3-year-old home (not 3-year-old renovation…new as of 3 years ago) in pristine condition closer to the Metro. I wouldn’t be surprised if these “savvy investors” paid cash up front.

        • Formerly ParkViewRes

          Holy crap, that cash then-mortgage strategy sounds scary AF and so risky! And buying and then re-listing a few days later?! What in the world. Not good, not good at all.

          • JoDa

            If you have 150-200% of the $$ needed to buy a home in assets, you can spend less on a home by making a cash offer, the housing market where you are is stable or appreciating, and the rest of your situation (employment, general health, etc.) is stable, cash-then-mortgage can work. But there’s definitely risk involved, and if you don’t want to cash things out until the offer is accepted, you have to work with a lender anyway, who can value your assets appropriately for the purposes of the offer.
            .
            As for the people buying properties and thinking they are made of gold, the links are below. The first is a property sold only in April that (while now withdrawn, though visible in the property history on this listing) was listed over the weekend for $780K with no apparent work done on the property (the listing said “total rehab needed”). The second is the home that’s been on and off the market since *October, 2015*…a few more blocks away but “needs your vision” for the same price as “pristine luxury”. The third is the “comp” listing for Chancellors Row, only, like, 2 blocks away. I can think of 2 other properties that have gone the same way in the last 2 years. Yeah…some idiots are getting bad advice.
            .
            https://www.redfin.com/DC/Washington/2829-5th-St-NE-20017/home/10076234
            https://www.redfin.com/DC/Washington/411-Franklin-St-NE-20017/home/10076062
            https://www.redfin.com/DC/Washington/585-Regent-Pl-NE-20017/home/39900399

  • Irving Streete

    Rave: Friends in low places. Actually, medium places. My passport seems to have gone missing between the State Department and Mt. Pleasant, so I pinged an old crew buddy who works in the Passport Office. This morning at 8AM got a call from the office, form a lady who mentioned said that her supervisor — my bud — had asked her to look into it. Don’t even have to go into the office….
    .
    Rant: Eight days and counting until I get kicked to the curb.
    .
    Rave: Eight days in Mexico to plan the next move, plus several irons currently in the proverbial fire.
    .
    Potential rave: Maybe found an answer to the question of “what to do?” Contribute/raise money for/write agitprop for a government whistleblowers protection organization. That’s going to be unbelievably important over the next four years and thanks to Friday Girl for bringing it into the conversation.

  • Rave: went skiing this weekend with friends. We had great food, good conditions, and a hot tub!
    Rave: came home to a happy dog, clean sheets, and a clean house!
    Rant: pretty much everything else going on. I think I need to focus on a few things and let others focus on their priorities. I can’t try to pay attention to every little thing and get burnt out.
    Rant: I really wish I was a faster reader.

  • pago

    Revel: Lots of people arranging donations to the ACLU
    Rant: It doesn’t matter because the ACLU is obsolete now

    • FridayGirl

      ?

      • pago

        You know, like the restaurants and bars and stuff organizing things to donate some of a day’s proceeds to the ACLU, that kind of thing

        • mtpresident

          I suspect the question was related to your rant–how is the ACLU obsolete?

          • pago

            Oh, I thought it was obvious. In my experience, the ACLU operates through the court system, and now that the judiciary is no longer a co-equal branch of government (they have always depended on the custom of the Justice Department providing Marshals to enforce their decisions, and Trump will fire any AG who allows that), the ACLU no longer has any abilities to affect anything.

            In fact, given that Jeff Sessions was reported by the Post to be the architect of the executive order “shock and awe”, this was most likely his plan all along. As an added bonus for him, he’ll get revenge on the civil rights era AGs who had the Marshals enforce desegregation.

          • FridayGirl

            Yes, it was. And they are certainly not obsolete. I tend to be overly concerned but your assumption is pretty hysterical.

          • pago

            Feel free to point out where I’m going wrong, FridayGirl. Seriously, I wouldn’t mind any evidence that the Constitution still applies.

          • pago

            Update: The thing I was warning about is happening at LAX right now.

  • Anon with Pizza

    Rave: I dreamed last night I was dating the president. Yes the current one! Why is this a rave when I loathe the man? He was a lot of fun in the dream not to mention much younger. We were having a hilarious lunch with the DC mayor, Meg Ryan, and she asked for my cell since because she wanted to hang out with me more. My laughing woke myself up so this potential nightmare gets rated as a Rave!

    • skaballet

      LOL

  • mtpresident

    Rave: Dentist says my teeth look so good despite being a few (ahem) months late for my cleaning that I can probably go a year between visits!
    Rant: Mtpkiddo was up until 10:45 last night. Ugh.
    Rave: Getting her up and out the door for her 7:30 pediatrician appointment went far more smoothly than I expected given the above rant.
    Rant/Rave: Poor kiddo has some discomfort that is not unusual among little girls who are “taking care of things themselves” in the bathroom. At least she already had the appointment this morning to follow up on the ear infection so we could piggyback on that to check on the discomfort. The doctor had a chat with her, and we’ll continue to follow up at home.

    • wdc

      Keep some cartoony wipes in the bathroom. She’s more likely to take care of things if there’s a special fun way that’s just for her.

      • textdoc
      • mtpresident

        Interesting idea. It’s not a lack of wiping, but a directional issue and perhaps sometimes wiping too vigorously and causing issues to the skin. So the NP suggested we rephrase from “wiping” to “dabbing” or some such when it’s just #1–and to continue to reinforce the directional issue.
        .
        And yup–totally agreed, textdoc, about not flushing wipes (perhaps another reason to either not keep wipes in there or to make sure we’re paying sufficient attention when she’s in the bathroom, since I’m not sure I trust her to not throw them in the toilet.)

        • dcd

          Not to stray too deep into this, but one of the (many) “Really? Huh.” moments I had when I became the father to a daughter was the directional wiping issue.

          • mtpresident

            Lol. Being female, that wasn’t a surprise to me. I’m sure there will be surprises with our son and lack of personal experience, though–especially since he’s got two moms. Hopefully day care teachers and/or pediatricians will give us a heads up so we don’t screw anything up too badly.

    • artemis

      Such good news about the dentist. I’m still on the quarterly cleaning cycle because I’m still nursing and tend to have a lot of inflammation.

      • mtpresident

        Interesting–I had a bit of inflammation while pregnant, but not while nursing (and I’m still nursing–but only 2-3 times/day). One thing the dentist suggested was to brush once midday–even just with water–to help prevent plaque buildup (and thus preventing tartar from forming), since otherwise I’m going 16ish hours between brushings.

  • Formerly ParkViewRes

    Rant/Rave? My shitty work situation has been resolved, but it wasn’t resolved in a good way (on their end). Oh well, at least I don’t have to wake up with paralyzing anxiety every morning knowing I have to go there.
    Rant: Trump. I just want to scream. And some of his supporters/voters are very happy with what he is doing.
    Rave: About to book a trip to Bermuda.

    • BermudaOverWork

      Bermuda is my favorite place on earth. Let me know if you need any tips!

      • Formerly ParkViewRes

        Open to any and all! We’re staying at the Fairmont Southampton–anything you recommend that’s semi-close?

        • BermudaOverWork

          It is right on the south shore beaches, which is great- they have their own little beach there too. Walk along the water until you get to Horseshoe Bay, the most famous beach. Right up the hill from your hotel is Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, and Swizzle Inn South Shore is nearby. If you are going in June it will be the America’s Cup, so definitely check that out. Otherwise I would take a public bus across the island and see the East End. The aquarium is awesome if it rains one day. It is very expensive, buy booze at duty free once you land and go through immigration (1 bottle of alcohol and 1 bottle of wine per person). Have fun!!

          • Formerly ParkViewRes

            Awesome! Thanks for all the recommendations. We’ll definitely buy some booze when we get there!

  • MaryMay

    Rant: this team lead just set me up for failure and potentially ruined my relationship with the program I work with. I’ve been here under a year but sadly, I’m dusting off my resume. Learned my lesson from my last job- trust your gut.
    Rave: listening to John Legend + Roots Wake Up!
    Rave: all of the WOC in the Miss Universe pageant- Brazil is a stunner, Colombia has a great sense of humor, USA is a bad ass. Just awesome to see.

    • skj84

      I only caught a few moments of Miss Universe, but Miss Brazil was hair goals. Loved her rocking her curls!

  • That One Guy

    Rave: Keith Olbermann’s sentiment in his latest video: https://youtu.be/OLgAB6NX3lw

  • topscallop

    Rant: this work trip is interminable! I know DC is crazy right now but I want to be home with my people, protesting. International travel is so much less exciting than I used to think it was.
    Rave: discovered a book on my Kindle I’d forgotten about downloading so it’s new to me – the Silkworm that JK Rowling wrote under an alias. I’m liking it a lot so far, I’ll have to get the other one too.
    Rant: job apathy or general burnout is causing me to make some stupid mistakes that I then feel guilty and ashamed about. Not a good feeling. Starting the search again for something new that hopefully will give me a fresh start. I got a negative response from the job I applied for a while back, but at least my resume is updated. It’s tough in this political climate to know which way to turn in the job market in my field, and on top of that I’m not sure I want to be in this field anymore. Sigh.
    Rant: it’s almost midnight for me! time for bed.

    • rss

      there are actually three Robert galbraith books now!!! Loved them all!

  • textdoc

    Rant: Minor disaster with takeout salad last night. One of the containers of dressing wasn’t closed properly, so the dressing leaked out of the container, into the salad, through the takeout box (it was a Panera salad), and through the paper bag. And the leaked dressing (as well as the containers that didn’t leak) wasn’t even the right kind of dressing — it was some kind of tangy Asian sesame dressing, not the vinaigrette it was supposed to be.
    .
    Rave: I had extra vinaigrette dressing at home. And by some miracle, little or no salad dressing leaked into my backpack. (I’d put the entire takeout bag in my backpack.) Going to run it through the machine on the hand-wash setting just in case, though.
    .
    Rant: Trump. It’s just one thing after another.

    • FridayGirl

      I would email them through their website. One time they gave me the wrong sandwich at a time when I couldn’t possibly go back to have them fix it and I emailed them and got a refund.

      • textdoc

        Thanks for the tip, FridayGirl! I’ve only ever complained to their local branches (and many times not complained at all), but complaining via the website sounds like a good idea.

  • Sully

    Just found out Trump plans on cutting PBS funding. I can not take it anymore. May need to go on blood pressure medication.

    • Emmaleigh504

      man, that sucks. it’s just one shitty thing after another.

  • skaballet

    Rant: Was biking today in bike lane and there was a girl ahead of me standing in lane. She looked directly at me and then proceeded to not move and just continue standing there. Seriously?!?
    Rave: Restaurant week lunch at Filomena. So much food, but man that lasagna was AMAZING!!!! I’m going to have several dinners out of that.

    • wdc

      I was waiting to cross at a busy intersection downtown and overhead a woman say to her friend “Get out of the bike lane, you look like a tourist.”
      Everyone around chuckled, and a few others who were also in the bike lane took a step back. So PSA to all you locals: Standing in the bike lane while waiting to cross makes you look like a tourist! And I know none of us want THAT. :)

      • DCbyDay

        hahaaha i love that

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