Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Chris Williams

You can talk about whatever is on your mind – quality of life issues, a beautiful tree you spotted, scuttlebutt, or any random questions/thoughts you may have. But please no personal attacks and no need to correct people’s grammar. This is a place to vent and/or celebrate things about daily life in DC.

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145 Comment

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rant: The agency where I work is one of several proposed for elimination in the skinny budget. We knew this was coming, but it’s still a kick in the gut.
    Rant: Don’t think we can count on those jerkfaces in Congress to save us.

    • I’m sorry to hear that. My high-up sources in the Senate are rather strongly suggesting that they won’t put on a full-on fight to save the arts agencies, as “there are bigger fish to fry”. 🙁

    • I’m in the same boat. What I’m afraid of now is that with everything else they’re trying to gut, we’ll just be an afterthought in the fight to save all these different programs. Don’t get me wrong, I completely support diplomacy/meals on wheels/public education etc etc, but I also love my job and think my agency does really great work. I’m betting we have a shutdown at the end of April, get a bit of $$ to finish out FY17, and then we’re done – but I really hope I’m wrong.

    • I am so sorry to hear that. Congress doesn’t realize that there are actual people actually do good work at these agencies that they want to cut.

    • 🙁 So sorry to hear this. Fingers crossed it doesn’t actually come to pass.

    • Sorry to hear that. I fortunately work for a department that is so low on everyone’s radar that we used to be annoyed nobody knew we existed. Now it’s probably going to work in our favor. This admin is a danger to the nation and i count the days until he’s impeached.

  • Rant: My department is facing pretty big cuts, and I’m hoping that Congress says Oh Hell No. But we’ll see. For now I’m going to assume it won’t be my head on the chopping block because my office is pretty shielded from political issues, but I still feel bad for other people….
    Rant: The internet is SO FREAKING SLOW today.
    Rave: It’s finally almost the weekend. Thank heavens. This week felt like it was a million years long.

  • skj84

    Rant:While I’m not federal, I’m still pretty freaked out about the proposed cuts. There is a trickle down effect, not to mention I have friends who’s jobs will be on the line. I’m back to rage at Trump voters/Non voters. I cannot believe we are in this situation.
    Rant: Its minor compared to everything else, but my lunch opened up and spilled all over my bag today. I was able to salvage it, but the bag smells like sushi now.
    Rave: Had fun shopping at H Street Whole Foods yesterday. I think they need to work some stuff out transition wise, but its a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Already a big fan of the pub on the second floor!

  • Rant: Just finally getting back into the swing of things following whirlwind work trip follow up + jet lag + major life changes.
    Rave: Will get to spend quality time with family this weekend.
    Rant: Mom going in for next step in a long history of surgeries on neck, back, etc.
    Rave: Flexible work so I can be with her on the day of the surgery at least.

  • Rave: both kids slept soundly and through the night. Thank goodness! I slept so soundly that I was completely and utterly confused by my alarm and couldn’t figure out what it was initially.
    Rant: Dragging so much. I really need to change things up. Perhaps get up a bit earlier and do 20 minutes of yoga. It doesn’t seem like much, but 20 minutes/day is better than 0, right?
    Random: Very bizarre dream last night, in which I attended a rugby game played on ice (in skates? unclear) at my alma mater. Eventually the ice melted and the game was being played in a few inches of water. Then the game got called off because the lights for the field went dark. A handful of Caps and Nats players were also in attendance. So very strange.

  • Like many of my fellow popville-ians (popvillains?), I’m depressed re Trump’s proposed budget. Its just nonsensical to me to cut funding to the diplomatic corps by such large margins. Other countries are going to be pissed, and, unfortunately, its going to come back to bite us in the ass.

  • Rant: Trump’s proposed budget
    Rave: The Dutch voted against a xenophobe!
    Rant: Baby Artie has been exceptionally fussy lately, crying every time I put him down. I think part of it is developmentally appropriate and part of it is that the poor little man is teething. It makes for some unpleasant mornings and evenings.

  • Rant: This budget. I just … Nope. Don’t even have the words.

    Rant: Can I just get a free pass on smacking anyone who utters the words “drain the swamp”?

    Rave: Tomorrow’s my birthday and I’m taking the day off, so today is my Friday.

    Rave: Omg someone just brought muffins in to the office.

  • Rant: Trump and his skinny budget. I used to work closely with the NEH. The amount of work they do for not a lot of money is really and truly amazing. Bring on the Philistines.
    Rant: Slept through 3 alarms and missed the gym. Now I have to go after work 🙁
    Rave: Almost got 8 hours of sleep, which sadly I think have been more necessary for me lately than the gym.
    Revel: leaving town for a little bit. Not really telling anyone. Just want to get away.

    • What’s up in the air with your Rant #2? Maybe the cold? I slept through 2 alarms yesterday…got to work 90 minutes later than planned; thank goodness no early morning meetings or calls.

      • Blithe

        Spring forward, fall back. It really does take some of us several days to adjust to the time change — even when we get the same amount of sleep that we usually get.

  • Rave: March madness starts today. Made my bracket picks and I’m ready for some basketball. First time in several years that I am actually keeping up with it. Looking at my brackets this morning actually put a smile on my face and good memories of watching games with my now deceased dad when I was a kid.
    Rant: Nearly slipped on some ice trying to cross the street on the way to work.
    Rave: Got a seat on the Red line this morning.
    Rave: telework tomorrow.
    Rave: After days of fighting ruminating thoughts, I had a victory last night. I went to sleep for a few hours and getting back up in time to watch Designated Survivor. Had a good time getting into the show. Got ready for bed and when those dark thoughts tried to take over, I got myself really relaxed and replaced those thoughts with better ones. I think I needed some sleep (which I hadn’t been getting recently) and something fun to relieve my high stress level.

    • I love my lightup alarm. I think I have the same Phillips one as Haile. I thought they were sorta BS, but got one for my ex because he always complained about being SAD. when he moved out, I missed the alarm clock more than him, so I bought one for myself. When I lived in Portland, it was almost impossible to get out of bed in the winter – cold and rainy, and we were so far north that the days were so short that it would sometimes be months between when I saw the light of day. I’d get up and commute to work in the dark, sit in an interior cubicle, and then commute home in the dark. That lamp probably saved my wrists.
      I put my all the way across the room and set it to turn on to NPR so that it lights up and I get to listen to the news for a bit. It does work better at forcing you to wake up if the light is smack up next to you, but there wasn’t anywhere near my bed except the floor to put it on.

  • maxwell smart

    RANT: Trump Budget.
    Looking to see if anyone uses one of those artificial sunlight alarm clocks and does it work. I already have a hard enough time getting up in the morning and post-DST it’s impossible.

    • following this….I was 20 minutes late to work today because I couldn’t get my ass out of bed in the pitch black.

    • I have the Phillips one and for me, it doesn’t really make getting up any easier. It’s nice that it lights the room, but I still snooze it 1-2 times and have trouble getting up nonetheless. That said, it’s still more pleasant than a normal blaring alarm sound.

    • skj84

      While its not a sunlight clock, I do use a Happy Light. I keep it on my nightstand and use it for about 15-20 minutes on mornings where I’m groggy. I think its helped me immensely, especially on dark winter mornings.

    • HaileUnlikely

      I do. I have Philips HF3520 Wake-Up Light. It retails for $169, but I was able to get it for about $120 a few years ago. For those who say it doesn’t work well, the instructions say to position it pretty close to your head (I don’t recall how close). It worked great for me while I used it. I have since ceded it to my wife (she gets up earlier than I do), so she uses it on her side of the bed. On the rare occasion that she doesn’t get up before her normal (audio) alarm and turn it off, the light often wakes me up, even though it is farther from me than the instructions recommend (because it’s on her side now). As far as the question of whether it is worth more than some $50 competing product, that’s your call, but this one is really bright, and the gradual increase in brightness and in color temperature really do mimic a sunrise quite well (to the extent that one could expect any electronic gadget to do, anyway). Given my experience, I’d buy it again without hesitation.

    • Emmaleigh504

      I have one and love it. It really helps me get up and helps with SAD.

    • I know this is a low-tech suggestion, but when I have a hard time getting up, my solution is to go to bed earlier and get more sleep.

      • HaileUnlikely

        Fair enough. I know from previous comments that you are a very early riser, and probably get up while it’s still dark out all year long. For those of us who get up a little later, the abrupt from having it be light out when we get up to having it be dark out when we get up can be a challenge.

        • That’s true. On the other end of the spectrum, I inadvertently stayed at work an extra hour yesterday because it was so light out.

        • maxwell smart

          Yeah, it’s really an issue of daylighting. I could go to bed at 8:30pm, and still want to sleep until 8am. It probably doesn’t help that, while getting more light than most and my bedroom windows – there are 2 – face east, I do live in a basement apartment.

      • That actually doesn’t work for me. If I go to bed earlier, I wake up at like 4am. And there’s no way I’m getting out of bed at 4am; I would be useless by 8pm, which is prime parenting time. So I lie there and mull things over and eventually fall asleep again. And then it’s very hard to wake up two hours later.
        My body clock wants me to sleep from 2am to 10am. Any deviation from that hard-wired schedule is difficult.

        • Emmaleigh504

          My body wants me to sleep 2am-10am too. Very annoying since my work schedule does not accommodate it.

          • Blithe

            Hey! A PoPville sub-group! 🙂 I once got to work a second shift job from about 3pm to 11pm. It was the first time that I got to experience living a shift that fit my body clock.

        • Is that really something that can’t be changed? I’m not suggesting it’s easy, or quick, but I was once on the 1:00 am-8:00 am sleep schedule, and couldn’t dream of altering it. And now I never ever sleep past 7, most often get up at 5, and prefer to be asleep by 10. Again, it’s certainly not an easy transition, but I imagine it’d be a lot easier if you’re not also fighting sleep deprivation.

          • There was a study out not long ago that discussed normal circadian rhythm and how it is different for some people. Sleep patterns that are in place from a very young age are the hardest to break. For example, my SO’s daughter and my daughter (less than a year apart) share a room and have very different sleeping patterns and habits. My daughter goes to sleep pretty easily, in the dark, without much intervention. His daughter needs the lights on, the tv, on, and won’t fall asleep until 10-11pm. She never had a real bedtime as a young child until school. Her mom was a night owl, and she would stay up with her. So now, she has really shitty habits that I am trying very, very hard to break. It’s been 9 months with my bedtime routine/rules, and I would say although progress has been made, it’s not a lot. I can imagine that she will be an adult who has the 2am-10am sleep schedule if it doesn’t work.

          • maxwell smart

            I don’t know – I’ve learned that I’m really more of a ‘when you’re up, you’re up’ person. I would much rather stay up late to get something finished, then get up early. I’m far too good at talking myself out of things when I am under the safety and warmth of several blankets. Which is all to say, that I would be fighting years of working until 4am (in school), before going home.

          • I don’t know, depends on the person and life stress. I’m currently going through a bad period of insomnia. I was sleeping pretty regularly from 12am-8am or so. Then I started having trouble sleeping maybe 2 months ago and couldn’t fall asleep until 1am, and now with DST that’s more like 2am, sometimes 3am. I’m working on my “sleep hygiene” but that’s hard with a partner who likes to watch TV before bed.

          • Blithe

            For over 16 years, my alarm clock was set at 6:30 am. Sometimes I even deliberately woke up early on weekends so I wouldn’t have the huge variation of getting up at 10 -ish for two days, then having to go back to 6:30. At least in my case, practice did not make it stick — even when I got over 8 hours of sleep. Could you really go to sleep at, say 6pm — and make it stick? I’m asking, because that’s what it feels like for me when I go to bed around 10.

        • That’s my SO. My sleep pattern is probably 9-10pm to 7am. I wake up at 7 even on weekends. 9am would be a stretch for me to sleep in til, while he would happily sleep in until 11.

  • That One Guy

    Rant: This morning’s walk to the office was tiring because my feet felt heavy like they were weighted down and glued to ground.

    • maxwell smart

      And if it’s anything like my neighborhood, is a solid sheet of ice because NO ONE CLEARS THEIR SIDEWALKS.

      • dcgator

        Ain’t it, doe! I fear we’re stuck with these narrow sidewalk walkable areas all over until at least next week because people (residents and businesses and DC, etc etc) didn’t clear them. This is making my need to racewalk everyone else that much more tenuous.

        • maxwell smart

          I know, and I really need to go for a run this weekend… preferably without braking several bones.

  • Rant – searched the budget and I find no mention of my agency. That makes me nervous.
    Rant – I just bought a new condo. I think I made a massive financial mistake – especially if I lose my job.
    FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK – just about pretty much everything

  • Rant: I’ve done pretty much NOTHING all week. This job is so boring. My eyes get exhausted from just staring at my monitor and phone all day long.
    Rant: Second to last day of ShopHouse, and a friend who works there told me that locations are already running out of the meatballs! Nooo, I love the meatballs! Hoping Union Station holds out through tonight.
    Rant: Trump’s ridiculous budget. Seriously, the Coast Guard? Who do you think is protecting your a** when you’re wasting my money in Mar a Lago?
    Rave: Quick trip to NYC this weekend! Super excited to get out of here, and get to meet up with the person who was *literally* my first DC friend 12 years ago.
    Rave: It’s still LIGHT when I leave the gym!

    • SUPER RANT: Coworkers who do NOT understand and/or REFUSE to recycle! Just watched someone put a papertowel roll in the trash. I’m always fishing paper and water bottles out of the can. Maybe it’s a generational thing?? ARGH.

      • While I know this is annoying, it only takes a few times of watching the cleaning staff at the end of the day dump the recycling and trash bins into the same pile to stop paying any attention at all to this.

      • I share your rant… although putting a cardboard roll in the trash seems fairly innocuous to me. (I recycle cardboard rolls at home, but I’m not clear whether my agency even recycles cardboard, and if so, where it would go.)
        I find it particularly galling when I see aluminum cans in the trash (and will often fish them out). With plastic bottles, there’s some debate as to whether it’s worse for the environment to recycle these items or to have them sit in landfills for thousands of years. (That’s not why the plastic non-recyclers in my office aren’t recycling, though — it’s more of a “can’t be bothered to take it down the hall” thing.) But recycling aluminum is easier/cheaper than mining bauxite!! Gahhh.

        • We have a recycling bin not five feet from our office door! And I know the organization recycles. I think it’s time to create a sign (yes, I’ll be THAT person). Also, as a younger person, I grew up recycling so it’s second nature…maybe that’s it? Or the fact that in Iowa we had the 5 cent recycling for cans.

          • If you can do a sign in a helpful informative way, that would actually help. A lot of people don’t actually know the rules of recycling. For example, people might think that the glue on the paper towel roll means it can’t be recycled. And I’ve learned that a lot of people don’t know to clean their food containers before putting them in the recycle. And for some reason, some programs have different rules than others. When someone created an informative sign (with pictures) saying what can/can’t be recycled at work, it really helped both get more stuff recycled and make sure stuff hat couldn’t be recycled wasn’t put in the recycle bin, ruining the entire batch (which actually irritates me more than a few recyclable things ending up in the trash)

          • Blithe

            I agree with It’s just me. Since different places have different recycling rules, when I’m not sure, I err on the side of tossing it in the trash. I would — and do — follow a sign with pictures. (I still don’t know if the aluminum foil box with the metal strip can be tossed in with the paper….)

      • Do you know how your building handles trash? Because most commercial buildings have services that separate the trash from the recycling at the waste facility. That’s definitely the case in both buildings I work in. So separating trash from recycling at the point of origin is wasted effort: the service puts in all in one truck.

      • Jeez. Seems like you’ve found a completely unnecessary way to make your day more stressful.

        • Just curious… are you a non-recycler? Or a recycler who isn’t bothered by seeing other people throw out recyclable items?

          • I am most definitely a recycler. I wish everyone was, but my job comes with enough inherent challenges that the contents of the trash can vs. recycling bin is not something I want to voluntarily add to the list.

          • Not all types of recycling is good. I believe paper recycling has been shown to be hazardous to the environment and utterly inefficient/wasteful. But people have been trained to do it without thinking or questioning, and so it goes…

      • Funny you went with a generational slur on this. As a boomer, I think of older folk as the recyclers and the younger folks as the careless who throw everything in the garbage for landfill, regardless of whether or not it is recyclable. Maybe its because the younger folk didn’t grow up with depression-era raised parents who recycled and reused everything.

        • HaileUnlikely

          I admittedly don’t have data on the following point, but I’ve always thought that Gen X was/is probably the most fastidious about recycling. It was being introduced as A BIG DEAL when we were kids or young adults.

          • Agree with this.
            I was spoiled in DC, where recycling is just one big bin. That’s great. But in Montgomery County, you have to separate paper from everything else. Now not only is there a weekly dilemma over where to put the cardboard packaging with the clear plastic window attached (seriously, does anyone know where that’s supposed to go?), but like most people, I only have room for one bin in the kitchen, which means I have to separate the recycling later on. That has fast become one of my most hated household tasks (completely irrational, I know).
            In another note, I have never understood why recycled items have to be washed. Also, if I have to wash out every single plastic or glass container, does the increased water usage net out the recycling benefits?

          • Dcd, I’ve definitely asked myself that same question about whether water use risks canceling out the benefit of recycling items that have to be rinsed.

        • I don’t think hiphopanonymous was making a “generational slur”… just speculating that perhaps the reason that older co-workers weren’t recycling was that it wasn’t a common phenomenon when they were in college/grade school — that it wasn’t a habit for them because they hadn’t grown up doing it.

          • Many of us DID grow up doing it. Metals were separated in the garbage and recycled where I was growing up – a leftover from WWII, I think, still happening in the 60s in my city. Paper was saved for scrap paper so you could write not the backs. Newspaper was saved to wrap wet kitchen scraps in the days before garbage disposals were common, and excess saved for “newspaper drives” which I guess was recycling for a non-profit cause (I was a little kid then.) Plastic anything was reused – from plastic bags to things like food containers – glass jars and coffee cans and cardboard boxes were reused around the house for a variety of purposes. Milk bottles and coke bottles were returned and reused. As a result, the recycle/reuse/don’t add to landfill mindset is much stronger in many of us, even though we didn’t have separate recycling bins for paper/glass etc. when growing up.

      • Have you seen Serial Mom?

    • maxwell smart

      I will add to this that I have a mini-aneurysm when I see someone throw away the plastic six pack rings WITHOUT cutting them first. Did they not grow up seeing photos of wildlife with their heads stuck in the rings?

  • Rant: new shades at new house are pretty, but the bedroom is still pretty bright. Hoping you wise people can recommend some white or gray light blocking curtains I can add?

    Related q: is it totally absurd to pay someone to hang artwork for me? I’m afraid of messing up our walls (it’s new construction) and one of the items will be a huge mirror (taking recommendations for that too if anyone has any!) I know there are services that will hang stuff, but it seems like one of those things I should suck it up and do myself.

    Help how do I homeowner?

    • re: hanging artwork. I have found it to be 100% worth it. It wasn’t terribly expensive and took the pros about 30mn-1hour to do something that would have taken me all day and LOTS of frustration (including leveling several pieces down a hall and centering a large painting over my couch). I used Georgetown Frame Shop.

      • Oh, and the people I hired to hang my art also helped me figure out the best place to put things. For example, I had about 5 items I wanted to hang down the hallway, but I didn’t know if there was a best way to do it. They helped me decide what would be most visually pleasing. Similarly, I had a few things I knew I wanted to hang in my bedroom and the pro helped me decide which piece should go where.

      • awesome. I was leaning that way but started to second guess myself. hadn’t even considered the efficiency factor but it would absolutely take me forever to do what the pros could do in an hour. thank you for the very helpful feedback.

      • It’s Just Me, how much did Georgetown Frame Shop’s services cost you? I am becoming intrigued/tempted by the idea.

        • It was a few years ago, but I think it was around $100-150/hour? And they were quick. Hung around 8-10 items in about an hour/hour and a half.

          • oh damn I am DEFINITELY doing this, then. I was envisioning something much costlier.

          • Just looked in Quicken – I used them 3 times and the max I paid was $200. But, again, this was several years ago, so their prices may have increased.

        • thank you for looking that up, it’s just me. i am grateful for your help!

    • To the extent that my budget allows (so on a small scale), I have decided with homeowning the value I get out of hiring someone who knows how to do something versus the cost to me screwing up, spending hours trying to get it right, and generally stressing is worth it. I’m not handy….at all. I have decided I have other qualities, and this one I am OK with outsourcing. [I have paid someone to hang art, and once roped my dad in to do it on a visit.]

      • My dad has hung many pieces of artwork for me, ha. I even thought about asking him to help this time around but it’s too big a project. Thank you for the insight! I think I’m fighting the fact that I’m not handy because I love the furnishing and decorating part (I feel like I can do that very competently) and somehow feel like that means I should tackle this, too, or I didn’t really do my part. But being honest about my weaknesses will mean it’s a better result in the end.

    • You can find plain white blackout curtains on Amazon for a reasonable price. If you’re crafty, Joanns sells blackout lining which you can either add to existing curtain panels or make your own. There are plenty of tutorials online. I’ve even seen no-sew versions if that’s not your thing. I just did this for our bedroom and it makes a huge difference. We basically spent 4 years getting extremely low quality sleep due to bright street lights outside our window!

      • Thank you! I am planning to go the Amazon route unless I get any “must-have” recommendations. They are cheap enough too that if they don’t work out it’s not a big deal.

      • I took apart my bamboo shades and added blackout fabric to the back so I could still have sheer curtain panels. There are also tutorials for this online. It’s a pain, but I’ve found it to be completely worth it.

    • If you can afford to pay someone (who knows what they’re doing) to do something you don’t want to do then definitely do it! People need work! For those who can’t afford it – a simple trick is to cut out paper templates the size of your art and stick them on the wall with tape to see how they look. Then go to any good hardware store (not Home Depot – a real store where people know things) and buy drywall hangers. They are labeled for weight – so your huge mirror is no problem.

  • Rant: feel fiscally and emotionally ready to buy a condo but with the budget cuts and the expensive DC market, it seems unwise

    Rave lite: not all my programs/clients are facing cuts???

  • Rant: I haven’t read the new budget but from what I’m seeing here, I guess it’s worse than I anticipated. UGH! I don’t have any words of wisdom or advice for those who are waiting to watch their agencies get slashed to ribbons, except I love you and am sending you internet hugs!
    Rave: I managed to stay upright on the insanely icy sidewalks from my house to the bus stop a couple blocks away! but boy did I have some close calls, and I think I pulled in muscle in my back from quickly readjusting so i wouldn’t fall at one point.
    Rant: I f#&%ing hate Trump and his cabinet of horrible people. I hate watching people I care about here and all over the country watching in horror as they prepare to lose their jobs and/or their health insurance. HATE that this is where we are as a country.

    • maxwell smart

      Without even reading it, you could probably easily guess: Cut funding for anything related to environment, arts, humanities, and slash federal workforce. Increase spending for military… and of course building the wall. Odd highlights include cutting funding to transportation, despite claims to invest in infrastructure (which also means cuts to Amtrak) and several cuts to programs to help low-incomes (not surprising, although I can’t help but imagine these cuts affect his prime voting base).

    • On the budget… can someone explain to me what the rationale is for increasing the size of the military at the same time as having an “America First” policy about (not) getting into foreign wars?

      • I’m not sure what you mean by “an “America First” policy about (not) getting into foreign wars”, but I can tell you this: the idea of a big, powerful military is that no one will want to mess with you and everyone will want to at least pretend to be your BFF. The point of increasing the military is to decrease the chance you will actually need to use. And to make Americans feel strong and powerful.

        • The US military budget is already larger than the next seven countries combined, 3x as much as China which has the 2nd highest budget.
          Americans feeling strong and powerful doesn’t put food on the table, or a roof overhead, or provide education for children

          • To be clear, I wasn’t making the case, I was just presenting the rationale. But for the sake of argument, a lot of Trump people have food on the table, a roof overhead, and education for children; but they feel like America is under threat somehow. The ones that are struggling seem to be content with Trump’s promises that food, shelter, and education are on the way, and in the meantime will also be happy to feel powerful again.

        • That is really insecure if what you are stating is accurate. Basically over spend on posturing. Is that what it comes down to?

        • The small handed one needs oversized weapons to feel big and powerful

        • But we already have the biggest military in the world and at least N Korea seems undeterred. Not sure making it even bigger will deter anyone.

          • N. Korea is not who we are competing with militarily. Think China.

          • Anonymous 12:51 — I agree with Anon 12:43. And it’s not necessarily the case that the adversaries we need to be most worried about are those with the largest arsenals. North Korea has nuclear warheads that apparently can be attached to missiles that can go as far as Washington, D.C., which I find pretty alarming.
            And that’s not even getting into the whole clustercuss with Russia, Trump’s coziness with Russia, and Russia being a state sponsor of corporate espionage.

          • North Korea isn’t building up conventional forces and extending their military influence throughout the Asia-Pacific region. That would be China.
            Nuclear is a different equation. North Korea can nuke us? Perhaps. We can nuke them too. That’s pretty much all there is to say about that relationship.

          • Also I’ll add, wouldn’t it be great if we could buddy up with someone else in the region to counterbalance China’s influence? Like a very large country with something of a military? OMG! RUSSIA!
            Anyway, I’m not saying we shouldn’t be worried about North Korea, I’m just trying to clarify some of the rationale behind boosting military spending.

  • Rave: I got a nape undercut a few weeks ago and love it
    Rant: but now it’s time to maintain it. I will probably end up doing it myself half the time, but I do want to find a (relatively) inexpensive place that can do it for me. Any suggestions? I would only need the nape cut freshened up and wouldn’t be getting a full hair cut.
    Rant: Trump’s budget. While my gut says there are going to be some tough cuts, I hope/don’t think Congress will follow his budget that closely.
    Rave: our judicial system

    • Depending on where you get your hair cut, you could see if they offer a trim/touch up the same way they do for bangs. If they can’t do it, see if a barbershop or a supercuts type place can do it for a good price.

    • Andie302

      My lady has been doing this for me as I grow my hair out and charges me $15. She doesn’t wet my hair or anything, and only addresses the back of my hair. I don’t know if she’s just doing me a favor because I’ve been with her for years, or would offer this – but I didn’t know it was a thing until I asked about it. I’d ask the person that gave you the haircut. The other bonus is that I am in and out in 10 minutes!

  • That One Guy

    Looks like Trump is taking a Lord of the Flies approach to governing. What is culture without the humanities?

    • binntp

      Culture? What’s that? Think of all the big parades we can have showcasing our improved defense…just like in Red Square or Pyongyang!

    • Blithe

      Culture? Bwahahahahahahahahah! Sorry. This is tragic. But Trump showed us exactly who he was and is. “Culture” was never on his list of priorities.

  • Rave: My sweet peas and snapdragons that grew all winter seem to have survived the last few days
    Rant: Not my camellia blooms – many beautiful pink blooms now brown
    Rant: Ready to call my experimentation in mushroom cultivation a learning experience (aka a bust)
    Rave: I can skip the many cultivation steps and simply buy mushroom spawn
    I’m not accepting the proposed budget as a reality. It’s an indication of trump’s priorities, congress won’t agree with many of the cuts. Or so I [want to] believe

  • Rave: Had a good visit with my houseguest.
    Rave?: … but I’m actually kind of relieved the visit is over. I’m not used to socializing every single evening, and while it’s fun, it’s kind of exhausting.
    Rant: Lower back pain — owwww.

    • I totally hear you. I like to unwind at night and having to socialize every evening can get old!

  • Rant: Metro this morning. 15 min delay at Dupont. This is third week commuting on metro after walking for 3.5 years. Ugh, I miss walking!
    Rant: Trump’s budget. All of it, but especially for my colleagues in development. Thankful my project is mostly not USG funded.
    Rave: Seattle work trip and getting to spend the weekend to see a good friend I haven’t seen in forever.
    Rant: It is SO cold! I hope it warms up soon.
    Rave: Found a company that rents moving boxes and they have ones with inserts for dishes and plates. They also rent wardrobe boxes. This will make moving so much easier!
    Rant: They charge $25 delivery/pickup fee. This makes it not cheap, but probably still worth it just for the ease. Besides there’s no way I’m going all the way to Chantilly even if I did have a car (which I don’t) for pickup/dropfoff.

    Does anyone have suggestions for a move-out cleaning service? I know I can google/yelp, but there are so many options. This would be for a small (525 sq ft) apt.

    • I used IQ cleaning. You can get a quote online. They were thorough. I had moved my stuff out, but was still staying at my place on an airbed and they even made my “bed”. Very quick service. I’ve used them for a move in clean, too.

    • I went through Thumbtack and basically put out a request for quotes, and then different services contacted me. I really liked the lady who came to do our move-out clean, but I can’t remember the name of her business off the top of my head. But try Thumbtack as a place to start.

  • Rant: Hours on the phone with doctors and every time having to reiterate why I’m calling and having them question me and tell me conflicting information. I don’t know, I’ve never been pregnant, aren’t you supposed to help me figure this all out!
    Rave: Still pregnant.
    Rant: Had a minor freak out on my partner. Had explicitly asked for help to carry this load of medical calls and information in addition to nausea and exhaustion and felt let down.
    Rave: He snapped to attention and took the morning to sit and call a bunch of doctors with me and advocate for me.
    Rant: Blood thinners. And my apparent inability to give them to myself properly so I end up with massive bruises 🙁

  • Blithe

    Rant: The Budget. Which is consistent with the way that Trump historically has done business: Low ball, which forces people to fight for scraps. It’s also consistent with Bannon’s desire for disorder. These people showed us who they are. And millions of “us” apparently wanted this, didn’t care, or were oblivious.
    Rave: I woke up grateful that so many of my problems are solvable.
    Rave: I’m on the mend. “It should heal in about 10 weeks” — and it is. Whew.
    Rant:/Query: I bought a beautiful bag on ebay! That smells musty inside. I’ve got it sitting outside with dryer sheets in it. I plan to buy Irish Spring soap (internet suggestion) and a solid room deodorizer, and hope for the best. If anyone has any other suggestions, I’d welcome them. This — quite literally — stinks.

    • I’m interested in any suggestions as well. I’m in a similar situation (bought my mom a bag on ebay, seller didn’t disclose that it was a smoky home, instead used the phrase “it smells like cash and my mother’s perfume” which I should’ve taken as a bad sign since I don’t even know what that means), and we’re trying the dryer sheets/airing out plan.

    • Try sprinkling the inside with baking soda, add crumpled up newspapers and then close the bag for a few days

    • That One Guy

      Put it in the freezer to see if that helps kill the odor?

      • I have the best luck with long exposure in bright direct sunlight. But my mistake in the past has been forgetting to check the weather forecast and leaving it out in the pouring rain (didn’t help the mildew needless to say).

        • Yes, sunlight is my go-to for bacterial stink (shoes mostly), when possible.
          I’ve heard the freezer suggestion, but not tried it. Do you have a dry, protected place outdoors? I’m thinking a shed, or a covered upper balcony. It’s going to get into the low 20s tonight.

          • Blithe

            I’ve got it out on the balcony. Not much direct sunlight — but lots of fresh, cold air. And Yay! I hadn’t thought about the temperature as a factor. I’d much rather leave it on the balcony than put it in the freezer! Win-Win!

      • Blithe

        Are you pretty sure about this? I’m not sure I’d want any of my food — even in the fridge, since ick travels — in close proximity to a smelly bag. Especially since I’ve no idea exactly why it’s smelly. So that would mean getting down to no food while I experiment with this, plus then bleach cleaning the whole fridge.
        I appreciate the suggestion! But I only want to try it once I’ve exhausted other options, and if there’s a pretty good chance that it will actually solve the problem.

        • Put the smelly bag in a zip lock bag? This is with the assumption that freezing the bag kills whatever is making the bag smell

          • Blithe

            Thanks! I do have some extra-large ziplocs. I actually asked myself: “How many ziploc bags would it take to assuage the ick factor?” I’m thinking maybe 3 — but only if there’s a really good chance that it will be successful. And I’ll still be clearing out and deep cleaning the fridge, so, at some point, it might not be worth it, although I guess I could think of it as motivation to clean out the fridge.
            – I appreciate all the suggestions! I realize that this is a bit of a champagne problem, but I need a bag that does what this one does, and it’s a pricey-by -my -standards,/ contaminated-by-who-knows-what shopping mistake, so I hope I can fix it.

          • The fridge isn’t going to do anything, you’d need to freeze it. But I don’t think freezing it will kill the odor unless the odor is coming from living organisms that will be killed by sub-freezing temperatures. I mean, freezing food doesn’t make it not smell anymore, right?

          • Blithe

            Anonymous 1:23 — I get that the bag should be in the freezer, but I’ve put things in the freezer and smelled them in the fridge. So If I put something contaminated with some kind of odor in either the fridge section or the freezer, I’d end up cleaning out the whole thing. So I’m glad that wdc pointed out that outdoor temperatures will be well below freezing tonight so I have a great alternative. – And now I have the image of “living organisms” in my bag. The ick factors are multiplying.
            – So: onto vinegar, charcoal, and Irish Spring.

          • Well, it’ll only work if the thing causing the stink is a microorganism that is sensitive to temperature. I think (won’t swear to it though) that molds and mildew survive freezing temps just fine. As would cat pee, cigarette stink, etc etc.

    • topscallop

      I typically turn to Jolie Kerr of “Ask a Clean Person” for suggestions on cleaning and removing smells, stains, etc. The second link has five suggestions to eliminate musty/vintage smells.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Had to get my crown glued back on and it cost a pretty penny.
    Rant: My office mate bugs the shit out of me.
    Rave: The agency I am a contractor for is not tax payer funded.

  • Rave: lovely beach vacation and visit with a good friend
    Rant: back from beach vacation
    Rave: came home to a happy dog
    Rant/rave: who was shooting me daggers last night because he is now used to an overwhelming, non-stop love fest, but I was lazing on the couch instead of petting him

    • welcome back! You picked a good time to take a beach vacay!

    • topscallop

      Haha the love fest mostly consists of telling him what a good boy he is, and I make him come over to me for couch petting too. He may have gotten a crunchy treat from the pet section of Safeway as well.

  • justinbc

    Rant: Office kitchen smells like someone microwaved cat food. It’s so bad it was legit giving me a headache. I can’t even imagine what they really heated up to smell so repugnant.

  • RAVE: being in an independently funded agency that actually turns over profits to the federal government.
    RANT: more money being wastefully shoveled into the black-hole that is the DoD with it’s 1 million-plus “support staff” headcount and decades of waste & fraud. The suppressed independent report on the DoD showed that they could cut DoD’s budget by 23% without actually reducing headcount, pay, or benefits. And yet we shovel more money into that agency’s greedy mouth (and their sweetheart contractors). It’s obscene.

  • Rant: We have a semi-major issue at our condo building that no one really stepped up to handle (and by handle, I mean call the management company), so when I got in late I had to do it. As I was getting ready for bed, my phone rang with what I knew was going to be a last update from the management company, so I went to run for the phone, ended up catching myself on the bathroom door, and injured myself pretty badly (banged into multiple things and twisted multiple joints). At least 3 major bruises, 2 moderate strains, and one minor strain.
    No raves. I’m sore, it’s busy at work, and I need an update on the condo issue, like, 4 hours ago…

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