Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user ambyrglow

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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158 Comment

  • Rant: This weather is disgusting and it is making my head hurt
    Rant: My cat is sneezy and I’m concerned, but besides that, she’s totally fine.
    Rave: 10 years ago today, I moved to DC!
    Rave: Playing in a trivia tournament with friends tonight downtown
    Rave: Then going to watch another friend perform at IOTA later tonight
    Rave: Friend from Richmond is visiting
    Rave: I got a pretty big check yesterday from my old mortgage company (I refinanced) for escrow. Going right into my vacation fund (and then I have to figure out where I want to go on vacation, which is a little overwhelming)
    Rave: Found something sort of formal/edgy to wear to a “red carpet” thing in Boston next weekend already in my closet.

    • RE: Vacation: Do you have an idea of what you want to do? beach, hiking, cold, hot? Southwest is having a sale on flights to central and south American from BWI right now if that helps

      —living vicariously through you, my wanderlust is set on high right now….

      • I like the beach, I like warm weather, I’m thinking somewhere all-inclusive. I haven’t been to Europe since college, the Caribbean since my honeymoon (divorced longer than I was married) and I keep getting mixed answers from friends who travel frequently.

        Not looking to travel this year, planning underway for 2018.

        • I did Iceland for pretty cheap in October using WoW air and I did Greece for 10 days for less than 2K in may of last year (flights, hotels, transportation) using EuropeanDestinations.com (sounds sketchy but its not)

          • I really wanted to go to Greece — that was number one on my list but friends who live in Europe cautioned me against it because of the refugee situation. Did you have any issues? That sounds like exactly my budget.

          • I’ve also wanted to go to Iceland, friends raved about it. Was it awesome?

          • We did Iceland in October as well and LOVED it. I think we spent just over $3k, but that was for my wife and me. Food is EXPENSIVE! However, we loved it so much we’re going back in August, but this time doing a camper van so we can see more places along the southern coast and just have more adventure. Then it’s off to Norway and Ireland!

          • I’ve never been but I haven’t met a single person who went to Iceland and didn’t say it was amazing.

        • Totally depends when you want to go. You get a lot more bang for your buck in the Caribbean outside of December/January, and to an extent February. You get a lot more bang for your buck in Europe outside of summer.

        • This doesn’t sound like what you’re looking for at this time, but I absolutely love Buenos Aires. It isn’t as cheap as it was in 2008, when I was there, but it’s still affordable.

        • My friends and I who travel had 0 issues with the refugees. It all depends on what Islands you go too I think, we hit Athens, Santorini and Mykonos (which we LOVED)

          • I was looking into Santorini…

          • Santorini is stunning. No place like it in the world, really – but stay in Ola, not the more touristy area in the other side, where the cruise ships dock.
            Of course, Santorini is not exactly a hidden gem. It’s packed to the gills with tourists – especially “cruisers” which I try to avoid at all costs. My best times in Greece were on smaller, lesser traveled islands at the end of the season. There were times we had the beach to ourselves – amazing. And the locals tend to be nicer in the less crowded areas. We hitch hiked all over one of the islands – it was amazing.

        • I highly recommend Greece. The Greek islands are one of two places that I’ve been on vacation that I plan to revisit. And it’s possible to do cheap. I have a cousin who went on vacation there, married some Greek guy, and just never came back. Runs a B&B on Ios now. She taught me that, believe it or not, the folks who show up at the ferry stop offering rooms are legit – we got a super cheap room at a place listed in our guidebook (we missed our flight and ended up with no planned accommodations and an extra week – which ended up being the best part of the trip).

          • I love this advice, because I really DID choose Greece as my first choice, but then was being talked out of it. You’re convincing me!!! 🙂

        • wolfpackwx

          We were in Greece for 2 weeks last year (Athens, Northern and western islands) did not see any refugees at all. Athens was particularly nice for 2-3 days (use Air B&B) and then you will want to bounce to some of the islands in the Mediterranean.
          Doing Italy this summer with a large group of fiends (same ones we traveled with to Greece). Emirates does direct flights to Milan from JFK for < $500 RT. Great starting point for training around Italy.
          Iceland is on my bucket list for all the photography!

    • Kitty might have seasonal allergies. Mine does, so I give her (vet recommended) 1/4 of a zyrtek each day. My kitty sneezes, coughs and has runny eyes.

  • Rant: The lottery turned up snake eyes for our three year old…didn’t even get into his EOTP in-bounds elementary school for pre-K3. There’s now a high likelihood we leave the district.

    Rave: Life is still good. Maybe this is the kick in the butt we need to make a major life change.

    • I’m sorry, that stinks. It’s such a shame that families are put in this position. Just a brief story that may make you feel better – in 2009, we were looking at houses in the suburbs, with every intention of moving. We entered the lottery for one school on a lark, because we had friends and acquaintances we respected who sent their kids there. We got in, so we abandoned our house search and stayed in DC. (This isn’t the part of the story intended to make you feel better.) Five years later, we decided to move to the suburbs anyway – partly because of schools, but also for a host of other reasons. We’d have been much better off, financially, making the move earlier. Part of that has to do with the resurgence of the housing market from 2009 to 2015, but part of it is that starting a mortgage 5 years later (5 years closer to retirement) is much less advantageous, and integrating with a school community earlier would have been better off (for us, and out daughter). There’s no guarantee this will happen for everyone, and I’m not advocating moving out of the city over staying – in the right circumstances, we’d have stayed, and what’s right for us might not be right for you. But I am a believer that if you are going to make the move at some point, doing it as early as is feasible is helpful. Good luck!

      • I think we may implement life changes more drastic than just moving to Bethesda or Takoma Park or whatever….suburbs with a humane commute and solid schools are insanely expensive, every bit as expensive as the district. We have two small kids, and were counting on getting free childcare (or quasi-free childcare) for the older one. But alas, no. My wife has increasingly been contemplating being staying-at-home or working very limited hours…..maybe this is what pushes us over the line. who knows.

        • May I ask what area you live in now? You might have some options you aren’t aware of for either daycare or schools. Also, please see my comments which were all for you.

        • Not sure what your total situation is but you might look into daycare in MD. It is a lot cheaper and there are some quality spots one might not otherwise think of. Our daughter used to go to Heritage Learning Center and it was pretty solid. That is just one example but I am sure others are out there. Again, you might have to make a commute but it might be worth it depending…

    • Help me understand….the thing that sucks about not getting into a preK3 or 4 is that you have to pay for day care or private pre-school. But VA and MD don’t offer free Pre-K, so if you left the District, wouldn’t you still be paying? Doesn’t it make more sense to see if you get off the waitlist and then see how the lottery goes next year? (I am really sorry you’re in this situation, totally sucks, but I don’t think you need to move away just yet!)

      • (1) Our waitlist numbers are terrible. (2) your odds of getting a spot at a decent charter or non-inbounds DCPS school go way down after pre-K3, because the only spots available are through attrition. If we’re going to have to cough up childcare for two, even for two years, we simply cannot afford to stay in the District. There’s more to it, involving whether my wife wants to quit her job and change careers, etc…..but it’s highly unlikely we stay in DC in the long term.

        • Really sorry for the horrible lottery experience. 🙁

        • I just wanted to remind you, even if you don’t get into your in-bounds school in the lottery (which is happening more and more from what I understand), your children will be able to attend by-right when they are in kindergarten. That’s when the mandatory stuff kicks in. My suggestion is to hang in there and see what happens over the next few weeks. Some wait lists will move very quickly, others more slowly, but they do move.

        • Been there done that. First, take a deep breath. Last year our daughter had terrible numbers getting into PK3, I mean in well into the 100s and some far worse. That said, all is not lost because what most/some people don’t know/understand is that this is very fluid and the lottery results are just the beginning if you want to continue to work. Continue to research and visit schools because you can still make moves after the lottery. You can add and change schools so if you find one that works for you (maybe it is just for this year). You may find a decent maybe not perfect (our current situation) school to get you through the year. And then next year hopefully you will have learned the lottery process a bit better and get a bit luckier which is our story. We didn’t get our picks but we are well placed on the waitlist and are confident our daughter will get in one of our top picks. Again, I get where you are coming from and the other variables but all is not lost, continue to work, research and network and you will be amazed at what can happen. Good luck!

    • Your rant makes me so sad. I am terrified of the same thing happening to my family in a few years. If DC really wants to keep the families that moved/started here during the Obama years, it needs to look at better in-bounds coverage. Otherwise, Arlington and Montgomery counties can expect a big influx of similar families.

    • jim_ed

      I’m sorry to hear that. We got into our last selection – our inbound EOTP school, and aren’t even remotely close on any of the other lottery waitlists. We’ve got a punchers chance at LAMB thanks to their independent lottery, and we’re cautiously optimistic about at least the first few years at the local school she did get into, but yeah its a bummer striking out on so many schools you like.

      • What number are you at LAMB? We tried (even “donated”) but we are in the 200s.

        • jim_ed

          High 50s for PK3. According to what we’ve read on DCUM(I know, I know) we have a decent shot. Fingers crossed, because not only do we really want dual language for our kid, but we also live fairly close to LAMB, so the convenience would be nice too.

          • I totally understand. We live in Woodridge and would have totally loved to get into LAMB (hence our donation) which is walking distance but no dice. If able to get into there, we would be all set for many, many years. The good news is that we are like 27th for Yu Ying and 21 for EWS, in fact we are generally in the 20s for all of our choices but I know nothing is guaranteed. I am just so happy because last year we were in the 100+ for everything and this is for PK4. Not sure what happened but I will take it.

          • Kam – I hope it all works out, but I think pk4 wait lists move very differently than pk3 wait lists. I hope I’m wrong, though!

          • DCD, let’s hope so because PK3 was the worst! We were basically shut out.

    • This is awful – I’m so sorry, and also very unsettling. We are going for the lottery next year and are planning on construction on our house. I didn’t realize the odds drop so much after the 3 year, and I also thought pk3 was guaranteed. Ugh…

      • I think it is, but you’re not guaranteed to get your IB pk3 (though you are guaranteed your IB Kindergarten. If you list all over-enrolled pk3 programs, there’s a chance you’ll be completely shut out, but you are guaranteed a spot somewhere (I think). You may not want it, though, because it’s too logistically difficult.

      • In-boundary kindergarten is guaranteed. PK3 and PK4 are only offered on limited basis. If your kindergarten feeds in to solid schools you are cool (wait it out, make other arrangements for PK3 and 4) but the issue is that most don’t so that is why everyone is so crazy over the lottery.

      • Pre-K is universal in DC, but the places are not guaranteed. What that means is that every child has a right to a seat. Sibling preference counts for more than in-bounds for Pre-K spots.

    • Anon/OP, my original comment was for you.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rant: Middle Zelda lost her wallet. Because she’s under 18, I have to accompany her to the MVA early tomorrow morning to replace her license. Maybe I’ll make Mr. Zelda do it.
    Rave: Working at home means I don’t have to go out in the weather today.

    • Quotia Zelda

      Bonus Rave: Middle Zelda’s prom dress arrived, and it is beautiful.
      Related Rant: It’s too long, even with heels, so we need to find a seamstress.

      • DCLadyinWaiting

        French’s Dry Cleaners on 14th St in northern Columbia Heights is the best! They have repaired silk dresses and Irish wool sweaters of mine beautifully.

  • skj84

    Rave/Query: As much as I’ve been enjoying ClassPass, I’ll be better at getting results if I had a set gym, rather than migrating to different ones. I think I need consistency to really reach my goals. I could use my free office gym, but it lacks the equipment I want to use. What are peoples suggestions? I used Crunch this morning and was pleased. Its convenient from office and home, works equipment wise and offers classes. And has nice showers. I’m also considering Golds by my office, though its not the nicest gym in the world.
    Rant: Allergy headaches. They are the worst.

    • Where do you live/work at what is your budget? I am totally with you re: class pass – I need a routine. I go to the Mint in Adams Morgan, which I like a lot. It’s close to home, and then I get ready there and head straight to work.

      • skj84

        Work Farragut Square, live Hill East. Anywhere that is accessible by the D6 bus preferable. Looking to spend between $30-$70 a month on membership, preference in the $50-$60 range.

        • Gold’s is the answer. They have one in Farragut and near federal center metro. Cheap too, around $35 a month.

          • I’m not super opposed to Gold’s. I do agree its a bit groddy, especially the locker rooms. But they do offer the classes I’m looking for,and are near my office. I’ll look into WSC, its a bit closer.

        • Golds on 19th is small and gross, and the customer service sucks. I like wsc on lower Connecticut ave. 45/month. Smaller but not crowded.

      • Ha – I’m the total opposite. I do ClassPass because the monotony of a gym makes me SO bored.

    • Question: Do you guys like having different instructors all the time? I know someone who does one of those programs (it’s not spin – it’s using weights/workouts) and they go at the same time, but they have different instructors every time basically. They don’t like it because the class is not that big and the trainers just basically do a cookie-cutter workout that vary differently between trainers.

      • skj84

        With the package I have now I can visit each gym/studio 2 in one cycle. So I take a particular class with the same instructor twice a cycle, then mix the rest of it up. I would actually join that gym, but it is way out of my price range without the ClassPass.

        • everything is negotiable! have you tried asking the gym what discounts they might offer… just a thought. the advertised price is generally not the final.

        • You can also pay $3-4 extra per class to visit the same gym more than twice on class pass. That’s what I’ve been doing lately, it’s still cheaper than paying for the classes through the gym.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: It was a perfect morning to sleep late, but I had to get up and come into work.
    Rave: Nice cup of hot tea.

  • Rant: People who overdress for everything.
    If you get an email saying wear jeans/casual for our all-day team ‘retreat’, then don’t show up wearing a tie and dress and pants.
    Ugh, try-hards.

  • Rant: My office is freezing.
    Rave: I made a really excellent cup of coffee to fuel me and keep me warm.

  • Rant: The weather today is making me miserable
    Rant: A bunch of us co-workers were going to do a HH, but because of other things that came up for many folks, and this awful weather, we’ve canceled. Now I have to drink alone.
    Rave: Going to a Yoga and Beer event tomorrow! And I think the weather is supposed to be a bit better!
    Neither: I was Facetiming with my parents last night and the conversation just made me realize, a bit clearer, how much of my anxiety stuff I get from my mom. I adore her. But man, watching her spin out about something that should be exciting and fun was like, well, what I imagine watching me spin out would be like. Clearly I got my ability to turn good things into overwhelming and terrible things, at least partly, from her.

  • Rave: not needing to worry about the lottery this year. Fingers crossed that as many of you as possible got good news last night/this morning!
    Rant: This weather is gross.
    Rant: mtpkiddo decided that the circus is terrifying and was melting down at the prospect of attending with her little brother, grandparents, and old day care friends.
    Rave: I think ( hope!) she’ll be fine once she’s there.
    Rave: Everyone got a pretty good night’s sleep last night.
    Rave: The yoga class I selected this morning was harder than I expected. This was a rant while I was doing it, but is a rave now that I’ve completed it : )
    Rant/Rave: preparing for a 6-8 hour car trip. Hopefully some of the things in our $200 amazon order will help….
    Rant: Just realized that the trip to NY will be during Passover. I think we’re just going to have to relax food rules for the car ride. Snacks are integral to the plan to keep the kids happy–especially the 18 month old–and finding snacks that are dairy-free and kosher for passover and safe for him to eat in the car (both from a mess and choking standpoint) seems like a fool’s errand. Ugh.
    Happy Friday all!

    • Mtpkiddo is correct re: the circus! All those clowns?! *shudder*! Good luck in your travels, though!

      • Lol, fair point. I think she’s just at a stage where anything unfamiliar may be scary. And the last time she went to the verizon center for disney on ice, the beginning of the second act freaked her out and so she might be thinking of that as well. Poor kid is kind of sensitive–especially these days.

      • I was thinking of bringing more yoga into my life but am not ready to commit to a studio – are you using online yoga classes, mtpresident? Can you give a recommendation?

        • I am using online classes. A friend gave me a recommendation for Lesley Fightmaster, and I’ve really been enjoying her classes. There’s a wide variety of focuses and of duration.

        • To piggyback, I subscribe to Yogaglo dot com and love it. It is something like $20 a month and you can stream unlimited classes which are sortable by time, teacher, style, body part, etc. Since I am lately insanely unmotivated, it works for me to be able to do short 10 minute ones on days that applies, and the 45-60 minute sessions on other days, all from my beloved Roku.

  • Another rant: just learned that DC is going to require all lead teachers in childcare centers to have an associate’s degree by 2020 and all other teachers to have a CDA. I haven’t found information on grandfathering for current teachers with a set amount of experience. I’m pretty sure our lead teachers don’t have associate’s degrees, but they do have AMS montessori certification and 20-30 years of experience. I worry that we’ll lose them if they have to get another degree. I also worry that this policy will increase daycare rates even further in the long run, as well as having a detrimental effect on the diversity of childcare teachers. Ugh.

    • I saw this too, and had the same thoughts. In a perfect world, all daycare teachers should have child development degrees/training/certification/whatever. And I’m sure some daycares do provide that, and charge commensurate prices. But requiring advanced degrees (as opposed to safety training and certification, which is both appropriate and necessary) seems like it will unnecessarily increase the cost of daycare and eliminate quite a few excellent caregivers form the potential employment pool. I’m no free-market fetishist, but this is one situation where the market seems like it will provide the best solution.

      • HaileUnlikely

        I completely agree with your second to last sentence about requiring advanced degrees unnecessarily increasing costs and eliminating excellent caregivers. If between now and then somebody develops some evidence-based training program that is shown to make a difference, fine, require that (I’ll defer to the professionals regarding how to operationalize “make a difference,” as a professional researcher I’m less willing to defer on “shown to”). I could be mistaken but I don’t think we really have that right now, and I’m generally not a fan of creating barriers to entry to professions by requiring credentials that haven’t been shown to be meaningfully related to actual job performance.

        • I also worry about the effect on families who already struggle to afford daycare. It’s not like their salaries will magically increase with daycare tuition. Ugh.

  • Rant: Credit card fraud and the credit report people. Um, why do they want me to send a copy of my social security card through the mail?
    Rave: Dad’s surgery went well.
    Rave: Fun weekend plans include dates, bike ride, and lots of art. And maybe new hiking boots.
    Rant(?): Need to find a formal dress between now and the end of April (evening wedding, black tie. etc)? What’s your go-to place?

    • Could you try “Rent the Runway” for the dress?

    • Nordstrom or Macy’s – Macy’s actually has a really great selection of gowns right now. Lord & Taylor is also excellent.

    • What? That’s not normal in my experience re: rant 1. I had this happen recently (well more identity theft than credit card) and did not need to do that. I had to fill out some paperwork, but never sent my social security card.

      • I called the bureaus to report and ask for the extended alert, and was told I needed to send in a copy of my card. I did the 90 day alert while I try to figure it out (and try to speak to an actual person).

    • skj84

      I’m in the same boat for your last rant, but for May. And my dress needs to be able to travel in a carry-on bag. Has anyone had experiance with shipping a Rent the Runway dress directly to the hotel?

      • I have and I got charged by the UPS or FEDEX office int he hotel for picking it up. Ugh. Even though I called first to tell the hotel it was coming.

      • I did this once and my dress simply didn’t show up (the hotel was great about it; this was entirely RTR’s fault). However, I’ve had friends who’ve done it that way and it worked out really well.

      • The RTR dresses come in a garment bag so I just picked up here and put garment bag in my carryon which worked fine.

  • Query: Need balloons for my wife’s surprise bday party tomorrow evening on H Street. Where can I can them for easy pickup with only 30 hours notice?

    • Like a bunch of helium-filled mylar balloons? Or just a bag of balloons that you can blow up yourself? For the former I’m guessing any supermarket with a flowers section could help you out. For the latter, Target, CVS, Walmart, etc. would be where I’d look.

    • I think Ace hardware also has a helium machine and balloons.

    • You can get balloons at Fragers Hardware store on Capitol Hill. Call ahead.

    • The Dollar Store sells balloons and fills them up with helium. You can pick a variety of colors or themed or patterned balloons and get as many as you like, also party favors and other party chotkes right there at the store, we’re talking cheap, one dollar each! There’s a Dollar Store right on H Street..just sayin..

    • Wal-Mart has balloons, and you can even buy a mini helium tank with 30 or so latex balloons (plus string) for something like $29.99

    • gertie_wickler

      I got balloons same day at Groovy DC Cards & Gifts by Eastern Market. Easy-peasy.

  • Rant: This weather! I have lived here for 15 years and until now (temporary unemployment) have never noticed that the weather this time of year here is crap.
    Rav: Temporary unemployment! All this time to do what I want! Our finances can withstand these couple of months, and I’m pregnant so I can just relax and grow a human.
    Rant: Temporary unemployment! I do a lot better with structure, and all my friends and family are at work, so I’m bored out of my mind. Plus I’m pregnant, which means I’m tired, moody, and – worst of all – sober.

    • I’m going through the same thing (minus the pregnant part). And yeah it gets boring, but I’ve been busy with landlord duties so that helps. I’ve been organizing a lot! I bought a shoe organizer from IKEA and my wife mounted it on the wall. I moved some things around and now our entryway is so tidy. I also go to the gym like six days a week.

      • I totally have dreams of organizing and gyming! That’s how I envisioned this going. But instead I’m in a Netflix black hole.

    • Question: (almost forgot)
      I have to go out of town for a week, and I have my choice of Frederick, MD or Winchester, VA. I’ll have a lot of time on my hands, and a dog. I’ve been to Frederick once – cute town. Never been to Winchester. Any thoughts? I’m looking for pretty walks, cheap things to do, and at least decent food.

    • Those who are underemployed and knit or crochet (or want to learn) should join my Tuesday lunch group. We’d love to have you.

  • Bear

    Rant: Boss asked me to lead a very large proposal (as in, up to $100m). On my 4th day back from maternity leave. Spent the rest of the day trying not to freak out and/or cry in the office.
    Rant: Just found out over a month into our renovation that the tub faucet we bought and have installed is not up to code. Why did our contractor not know/tell us this? Our inspection is supposed to be Monday and has already been delayed – I shit you not – four times. I am so over it.
    Rave: Friday? And my baby is still the cutest thing ever.

    • Maybe with DCRA’s incompetence they won’t notice? Crossing my fingers for you.

    • HaileUnlikely

      I’m genuinely curious as to what about a faucet that I presume you bought at a store is not up to code? I’m guessing it has too high of a flow rate and is not “WaterSense” certified? I could be wrong but I’d be willing to gamble that the inspector will not be attentive to this level of detail. Regarding DCRA incompetence, generally agreed, but I wouldn’t regard an inspector who failed to notice a non-compliant faucet as incompetent, provided it appeared to be newish looking, properly installed, and didn’t provide firehose-caliber flow – this would take an unusual attentiveness to detail for a normal inspector to notice.

      • Bear

        We wanted a three-handle faucet for the shower so that we could control temp/pressure separately.. Apparently it’s international building code that you HAVE to install a single handle, pressure-balanced faucet. And our contractor didn’t know this.
        We’re in PG county, and it was their own master plumber who came out to do the pre-inspection review before WSSC sends the inspector on Monday. So unfortunately we can’t count on DCRA’s incompetence this time around.

        • HaileUnlikely

          Bummer. That one didn’t even occur to me, and number of handles is easier for inspector to eyeball than a few tenths of a gallons per minute. I wonder if that is a recent change to the code (as non-compliant faucets are demonstrably readily available for purchase).
          If you want to control pressure and temperature separately despite being forced to have a code-compliant handle, another straightforward option is to install an in-line flow regulator on the showerhead. I’m not sure whether that complies with code either, but it’s a 2-minute self-install job.

  • Rant/Rave – DCPS Lottery (PK4)

    Rant: We didn’t get into any of our selections
    Rave: We are pretty high up on the waiting list for all of our choices
    Do any of you have any strategy on how to deal with the waitlist? I feel like we will eventually get one of our top choices but nothing is ever guaranteed. Also, is it true or false that it is up to the principal after the lottery closes. I hadn’t heard that before but someone just told me that.

  • Rave: Caught a showcase of Japanese short films last night with occasional PoPville poster Allison!
    Rant: Rain, rain, go away.
    Rave: The rain will be good for my outdoor plants.

  • Rant: that stinging, sinking feeling of not being included. It’s in friend groups, dating, and now even work. My boss has an interview on his calendar, which I assume is for the position I applied for and I haven’t even been contacted yet about interviews. I’m starting to think his desire to get me in that position was not entirely true.
    Rant: I’m not looking forward to this weekend. My parents like to get up EARLY and have us all meet for breakfast and I am too tired for that right now. I am too tired for my nieces to have birthday related melt downs this weekend.
    Rave?: I’m handling my funk by shopping online. More lipstick, six Boden dresses, and new shoes.

    • Any chance you can meet up with them after breakfast? And why is your sister on board with waking the kids up early (assuming that’s the case)? Ugh. I can’t imagine waking up my kids early unless absolutely necessary.

      • They’re awake.
        Usually breakfast is at 8 or 8:30, which isn’t super early, but it means I need to get up, walk the dog, shower, etc first. So we’re getting close to normal weekday wake up time at that point. Mercifully we often go to the Coupe, which is five minutes away, but sometimes we go to Silver Spring, so then I have to add a 20 minute drive.
        And sometimes they call the morning of with like 30 minutes lead time. Like I can even walk the dog, get dressed, and get there in 30 minutes.

        • I have a little human at home, and I still think meeting people for breakfast at 8:30 on the weekend is too early.

          • Agreed–getting up and dressed and out the door before then on the weekend? No thank you! Maybe it’s easier with older kids as jeslett’s sister’s are, but either mtpwife is definitely not a morning person, and I’m not big on moving early on the weekends either. You have my sympathies!

        • Lol. My parents know better than to think I’ll show up at breakfast at 8:30. My wife knows better than to even schedule brunch plans before 12. Weekends are for lazy mornings! I’m up at 6, but no way I’m leaving the house early.

    • That One Guy

      At least there’s DOG, unless he’s back to his non-cuddling ways.

    • Oh! Boden dresses! They’re just the cutest! Hang in there, jeslett, I’m sorry things are crummy right now – hugs!

      • I’ve never ordered from them before, but I tried on one of my friend’s and I really liked it. I don’t think I’ll keep all six, but I’d like to try them and see how they fit.

    • Tell them you won’t be able to make an early breakfast. They’re not the boss of you anymore. (I say that lightheartedly but very seriously.)

      • Yeah, absolutely. “Mom, Dad, I’m sorry, but I’ve had a crappy, exhausting week, and I’m not up for an early breakfast. I’ll see you [later in the day/next weekend/whenever].”
        Then don’t feel the need to defend yourself. You get to choose these things about your life.

        • Yeah, I just feel bad because I told them I won’t see them tonight.
          Last time they came I was out of town, which I told them, if you declare you’re coming three days before you can’t count on my availability, so, not sorry.
          I try to enforce nailing plans down the night before, but it doesn’t always work out. I may just put the kibosh on breakfasts this weekend. I like that idea.

    • On the job, is it possible your boss is interviewing for a different job? Even if it’s for the job you applied for, that might not mean anything. When I’m hiring and have both internal and external candidates, I usually try to interview the internal candidates last. That way they don’t have a long wait between their interview and finding out if they got the job. We’re required to interview multiple candidates for positions, so if I interview the internal candidate first and then it takes several weeks to find/interview qualified external candidates, the internal candidate just has to wait. That might not be what’s happening here, but just another perspective.

      • It’s slightly possible, but I’m not sure if he’s interviewing that position.
        We didn’t post this externally. I applied over a week ago, I got an autoreply confirmation, but it would be nice to get an actual email from a human to get the ball rolling. All internal candidates who meet the basic qualifications get interviewed, so I know I will be interviewed at some point.
        If I don’t get this I’ll be pretty much stuck with no level to go up to, so I’ll probably start the process of looking elsewhere. That just puts a lot more stress on the whole situation.

  • Query: We flew to Iceland on WOWair in October and had no issues, but I’ve heard a few bad stories lately. We’re going back in August and we were thinking about flying IcelandAir b/c it wasn’t THAT much more expensive than WOW. But now WOW has dropped even more and it’s $200 cheaper than IcelandAir. Is IcelandAir worth the $200 extra?
    Rant: Seeing all these lottery school strike outs. It’s these things that have me contemplating whether it will ever make sense to move back to DC. The schools in the city of Toronto are all actually very good.

    • Wow is super bare bones. And their luggage policy is super strict. ONE carry on (yes your purse/backpack/day bag counts) with a weight limit. They weigh it at check in and don’t fool around. Even though it’s international, you still pay to check a bag. No free entertainment but you can “rent” an Ipad on board. The crews are incredibly nice though .

      Iceland Air is free checked bag (up to 90 lbs!) and the standard, one carry on, one personal item policy. Free movies, drinks (except for booze) and snacks. I felt like it was just nicer all around.

    • IcelandAir is much better airline all around. Very impressed with their operations.

      Also, IcelandAir is flying a 767 during the summer as opposed to WOW who uses narrow body A320s.

  • The eagles caught a big fat duck! Little eaglets look vigorous. dceaglecam.org.

    • Spoiler alert: the duck is dead and dismembered. Anyone upset by the hawk post yesterday should definitely not look at this.

    • Whoa. I’ve never seen them eat anything but fish! That’s neat. Although there are duck guts everywhere. Agree with Anonymous that the easily-queasy need to avoid the eaglecam for a while.

    • Yeah, it’s awesome! I got an excited call from my wife at work: “what on earth did Mr. P bring?! TFL is currently staring at paddle feet!!!”
      Two things that may interest only me:
      1. I’m thinking the duck was dead before the eagle found it. It didn’t look…good…right from drop off. Eagles eat a lot of already dead animals.
      2. I read that last year a MINK was brought into the nest! Crazy. I told my wife (who is obsessed and watching like 24/7) that she is reaponsible for warning me if someone’s pet ends up on the dinner table. I would be scarred for life.

      • binntp

        I think your wife & I could be friends. I’m a big fan of weird stuff animals eat. And also that show Monsters Inside Me, but I digress…

      • Is anyone’s pet shows up on the dinner plate of this or any other wild animal, it is 100% due to the stupidity and negligence of the owner, not the natural instinct of the animal.

    • I’ve been lunching with the eagles today…anyone else still watching? The parent bird is just kinda sitting beak-down now in a way that looks odd.

  • Rant: This weather.
    Rant: Started my new job this week and my commute is way worse than I prepared. It’s about an hour and a half from Navy Yard to Braddack Road because of safe track (oh god, please let it be because of safe track!) and is taking a toll on me.
    Rant: Slept awful and all I want is a quiet, restful weekend but I have a conference so that won’t be happening.
    Rave: Despite the commute, I am still so thankful for this new job. It is definitely a step up and will challenge me a lot and I am excited for that after being bored at my previous workplace. Now if anyone wants to carpool, that would make it all the more sweet….
    Rave: Even though I won’t have a quiet and restful weekend, I will be staying in a hotel (staycation!) and hotel sleep is always the best for me. I will be at a conference that is indirectly related to my new job (was awarded the opportunity from my last job) so I’ll still be able to network and be in the know for a field that interests me and I am trying to see how I can merge with my new position.
    Rave: it’s Friday and I won’t have to ride the metro again until Tuesday once I’m home!

  • Question: Frederick, MD or Winchester, VA., if you had to go out of town for a week? I have to pick one. I’ll have a lot of time on my hands, and a dog. I’ve been to Frederick once – cute town. Never been to Winchester. Any thoughts? I’m looking for pretty walks, cheap things to do, and at least decent food.

    • Frederick is nice, but I don’t think you’ll find enough to do for a whole week. Definitely a good weekend trip though.

    • Frederick has some good restaurants and shops, but I’m not sure that area can sustain you for a whole week…I’ve only been through Winchester, but it has Patsy Cline’s house, some museums, and you could probably hit the Shenandoahs, Civil War battlefields, and some parks from there.

      Why those two choices, if you don’t mind sharing?

    • Frederick has very tasty food, a couple breweries and a distillery and lots of antique stores. It’s small, though. Winchester has an awesome flea market on the weekends, outside of town. It also has the apple blossom festival, which is fun — of course depending on when you are going.

  • Rant: Boss asked me to find him a conference room. For 1:00 p.m. TODAY. It was 11:30.
    Rant: So I did, feeling like an idiot for calling everyone so last minute. Found a room, e-mailed him on BOTH of his accounts. He comes out of his office and asks me to find him a room, so I tell him, you already asked me. Him: Well, did you do it? Me: Yes, I found a room. Him: Well, you didn’t tell me. Me: I e-mailed you. On both accounts. Also, I have not SEEN you to tell you until right now. Him: Well, I didn’t check my e-mail. ARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH.
    Rant: No sleeping in this weekend. Cohosting bridal shower tomorrow (which I’m not really excited about, but that’s for another day) and have to come to work on Sunday.
    Rave: My first mini-harvest from Hungry Harvest arrives tomorrow! (So what do I do with collard greens?)

    • Re: collard greens, you could make green gumbo!

      Sorry your boss sucks.

    • Collard greens – saute some onions, garlic if you like it, Chop up the greens and toss them in. Add some Chicken/veggie stock or just water and salt. But really, just cook them lightly. If you have a lot – blanch them in minimum water – smash up with a stick blender – freeze in lumps then keep in a freezer bag and throw into everything.

  • topscallop

    Rant: confusing insurance policies may mean we keep looking for a premarital counselor, even though we both like the guy we’ve made an initial appointment with so far
    Rave: the idea of preparing for marriage this way and thinking together about how we’ll handle different situations that are bound to come up. I am so happy to be going into this with eyes open and a full partner next to me.
    Rant: rain
    Rave: dog sitting this weekend
    Rant: work, as usual

    • Family law lawyer here. I really want to commend you & partner for thinking about things like this as part of marital planning. If more people did this, I would be less busy!

    • It is actually liberating and oddly peaceful to make out a will, especially with durable power of attorney for health care. I did it last year before a big international trip – used a simple online template. The real key is to talk with those who would be your executors to make sure they know what you want done.

  • justinbc

    Rave: Just found out our wedding story and photos (from last cherry blossom season) got picked up on Washingtonian today, very cool!