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TJ Girl

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About TJ Girl

  • Birthday 12/15/1977

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  1. Or a $5 SmartTrip card + $57.50 7-day pass. If you're here more than 4 days, it's cheaper to get the 7 day pass. What about the "short trip pass"? http://www.wmata.com/fares/purchase/store/ I don't know how much the fares would be from places like our hotel (333 E STREET SW) to where we're going ot go (national mall, Capitol building, LoC, Zoo, Aquarium, etc) You can probably get away with that one. If you want to go somewhere at a higher fare you can always plan it around those hours if you don't want to pay the extra. But if you mainly stay near The Mall you probably won't go over the limit, or won't very often. You can always look up fares ahead of time on that site.
  2. There was actually a good article on the subject of navigating the metro in the Washington Post the other day. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2013/03/29/tips-for-tourists-navigating-the-metro-system/ Unfortunately, it's not going to reach most of the people who need to be reading it.
  3. Or a $5 SmartTrip card + $57.50 7-day pass. If you're here more than 4 days, it's cheaper to get the 7 day pass.
  4. I make $175,000 (increased from $125,000) a year purchased a home with a $1500 mortgage, drive an old BMW paid for....I sleep on an air mattress. If this is poor management then I like to know were I messed up... Besides defaulting on student loans 6.5 years ago while a surgical resident In that case, the best way to furnish your house is to save for a month and buy with cash. If your income is that high and your bills that low, you should be able to get quite a lot of nice furniture on just one month of savings.
  5. You might be able to negotiate a sign-on bonus. When I started at my current company I went to them and said something to the effect of "hey, I really like you guys and would love to come work there. But if I leave before <such and such date> I owe my company $X for tuition reimbursement, since their policies require me to repay it if I leave within a year of taking classes." They came back and said, "we'll give you $X + <a little bit extra> to come start with us now" If they want you, they might be willing to work with you. Of course, it all depends on their own policies. But you can ask as part of the salary negotiations.
  6. You can also get a lot of the FSI courses (which train the foreign service) free online at http://fsi-language-courses.org/Content.php Includes downloadable books as well as audio. They require more discipline than RS, but will definitely make you stronger in the language in the end.
  7. I've gone through level 4 French in Rosetta Stone. I'd say it's helpful but not sufficient. You learn a lot of the basics, but it also becomes predictable, so you aren't really responding in a true real-time fashion to some of the questions. I took a couple conversation-style classes which taught me a whole lot more (although the Rosetta Stone gave me a good background so that I wasn't as lost as most of the other students in the class). You will need to build your vocabulary elsewhere, as Rosetta Stone doesn't have enough to be very conversant. The newest version of Rosetta Stone does cover some basic grammar rules decently (the older versions do not), but you'll still probably have to do a little additional review to really understand exactly what they're demonstrating. As far as using Rosetta Stone, some people find it intuitive (I did) as is their goal, others do not. For example, they fade the edges of images to indicate something happened in the past. I got that right away, as they introduce the concept along with the calendar showing today and days in the past. But others never pick up on it until someone explains it to them in an online forum. There are other similar methods like that, and if you don't pick up on them easily it can be very frustrating. It is expensive for what you get. If you have conversation-style classes I'd recommend them above RS. They're usually similar in cost. These are NOT classes where you go drill vocabulary and grammar, but rather classes where, after a 10 minute intro, you never hear another word of English and the teacher uses drawings, pantomiming, and simpler words to explain more complex ones. But if you don't have those classes near you, or if you have the money to spare, RS is a decent start.
  8. Why not just ask them upfront if they could take their personal calls somewhere more private, rather than using the passive-aggressive approach?
  9. Work recently added a system where we can make calls without ever touching our phone. Outlook is now tied in directly to our phone system. We can click someone's name in email, hit "call," and it initiates a speakerphone dial on the regular phone. When we're done we can hang up with the click of a mouse. It's making the speakerphone calling a lot more prevalent (and annoying).
  10. I love flying, but I hate the airport. Security and all that stresses me out. I love the takeoff, that feeling of the plane getting lighter and lighter as the wings start to carry some of the weight, and then when we finally break ground it's like a type of freedom. Light chop on the plane puts me to sleep, it has a very comforting feel - like being rocked in a crib. For those of you who are afraid because airplanes "shouldn't" be able to fly, consider taking an introductory flight lesson - or at least a few ground school classes. There are some very good reasons why airplanes SHOULD be able to fly, and knowledge is power.
  11. I get a few inspections each year, which are annoying mostly because they don't give me the required (by my state's laws) 24 hour notice. I've come home from work about 5pm and not had any notice of inspection. Then when I get up the next morning there'll be a paper on my door saying they'll be entering my apartment "tomorrow" (which by then is "today") sometime between 9am and 5pm. I haven't put up a big stink, because as far as apartments go this place is pretty decent. But it annoys me, especially because I have a couple cats and hate having people come in when I'm not home to keep an eye on them.
  12. If you click on Scottrade's "Open an Account" button, on the first page it'll have you select the type of account. If you want an IRA, select IRA. If you want both IRA and regular, you'll need two accounts. I have 3 with TD Ameritrade. A regular account, a Traditional IRA, and a Roth IRA. Each is its own account, although I can link them all together so I can see my stocks all in one place. I'd imagine most offer something similar.
  13. I drove my cats from Colorado to DC when I moved here. It took about 4.5 days (my company was paying for my relocation, so I didn't rush it). I got a very large collapsible dog crate (largest I could find), a couple bowls for food and water, and a small litter box. They cried for the first 45 minutes or so the first day, and then didn't make a peep the rest of the trip. They weren't about to fight, play, or do anything else other than huddle in a corner, anyway. The crate was great for hotel rooms, too. I had two small carriers for transporting them between the car and room. I would disassemble the dog crate in the car, bring it in, and reassemble it. That way I didn't have to worry about them hiding under the bed, behind a dresser, or wherever when I needed to leave the next morning. They weren't that happy about the whole ordeal, but they didn't seem overly stressed, either. I talked to them often, and stuck my fingers in the crate when they were close enough to reach. The only downside was that I couldn't bring much with me, because the dog crate took up a large portion of my car (almost the entire back of a Jeep Wrangler with the back seat taken out).
  14. I always felt like I was playing human-Frogger when I was in Cairo. It's normal to dart through traffic on a busy road, wait between lanes while cars go by on each side, sidestep to get around cars. But there everyone expects pedestrians to be doing it, and for some reason, most of the time, it seems to work. It was still always a little disconcerting, though.
  15. <$100 Unless you count the Christmas gifts to myself

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