Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user ekelly80

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. I’ll open this thread every morning at 10am.

89 Comment

  • I’m looking to find an inexpensive flight to Florida. I don’t have a specific date in mind, just sometime in the next few months. Is there a site that can find the cheapest flight without the user having to specify dates?

    • I just got a flight to Fla for mid-march, $97 each way, through JetBlue’s website. (They don’t typically show up on flight search engines.)

      I usually use Kayak.com.

    • claire

      I think Kayak lets you have “flexible” dates – that is, you still have to specify dates but they can search within a three day window around those dates. Hipmunk.com is another similar site (they have a good visual interface so I think I prefer them).

      There’s also Bing travel which has a “price predictor” so if you search for a flight through bing.com/travel, they predict if the price for a particular flight will go up, go down, or stay the same, so that can be useful (but again, can’t search for what date has the cheapest flight, just when a flight on a particular date will be cheapest to buy).

    • Spirit Airlines flies to Florida very cheaply. You specify a date when you search, but then it shows the entire month in the results, so you can see if/when there are cheaper flights. My last flight was $34 each way, but keep in mind that they do charge for carry-on baggage. When I travel with another person, we usually just check one bag between the two of us and don’t carry on anything since the carry-on fees and checked fees are the same/similar ($30/each way, I believe).

      • Kalorini

        Just an FYI: Spirit Airlines also charges the following fees:
        *Carry on baggage fee
        *Checked baggage fee
        *Drink-of-water fee
        *Air-breathing fee
        *Speaking-to-your-neighbor fee

        They might also be charging to use the bathroom since I last flew on Spirit in September. Ugh, I hate those guys…

        • Ha ha, yeah, the carry-on fee is why I usually just share one checked bag with the person I’m travelling with. I’ve found that, even with the fees, they come out cheaper in the end (sometimes by as much as $150 under the nearest competitor).

        • Every airline charges, and has always charged, baggage, water, and breathable-air fees. It’s just that they used to be built in to the base fare instead of itemized, so that everybody had to subsidize the passengers with the most cargo. (Actually, there’s still too much subsidy: obese passengers and small children should pay their fair share. And if military personnel get their checked baggage included, so should cops, firefighters, ASPCA employees, and teachers.)

    • Last week I used Kayak to book a direct flight to Miami for this coming weekend. Direct flight from DCA, round trip for $220 total.

    • i got one on american for $250 round trip mid march… i just did cheaptickets.

  • Rant: My tailbone!
    Rave: Tried snowboarding and skiiing for the first time with only one injury (re: rant).

  • Rant: Everything hurt when I woke up this morning. This day better get to getting good.

    Rave: Got so much done at home on the holiday.

  • rave: had a *fantastic* weekend.

    rant: despite being 3 days, it still felt too short.

    rave: i need to remember, that as much as i hate this job, i do have it good. it could be a lot worse.

    rave: over a full week since i’ve last had a cigarette. the weekend was HARD. i almost caved. but i didn’t. i’m just taking it one day at a time, and i won’t beat myself up if i slip.

    rave: the travel bug is creeping up on me again. time to start planning something soon for this year.

    rant: my dog and her separation anxiety continues. it hurts so much leaving in the morning hearing her cry and get upset. i’ve tried just about everything they tell you in the books and by trainers. i just don’t know if she will ever overcome.

    rave: i still love her to death though.

    • How long have you had her? My dog had separation anxiety for the first year.

      • I adopted her in ’08. She was about 3 when I got her. She’s got a ton of issues though, still. She is a *nervous* dog in general. I probably baby her too much too which might be part of the problem. I can’t help it though 🙁

        • Have you tired a thunder coat? We use one on our labradoodle when he gets overwhelmed by too many people and works like a charm. They have a guarantee so if it doesn’t work you can return it. We got ours at Metro Mutts.

          • Yep, i’ve tried the thundershirt. It seemed to make her be unable to settle down at all. So I returned it.

          • Instead of a thundershirt, you could also try one of your old, worn t-shirts. They work better sometimes because it smells more like you.

    • My dad would roll his eyes at this, but have you tried doggy Prozac? I’ve heard antidepressants can work with animals as well.

      • Yep she is on prozac already. I’ve even tried some of the “harder” stuff, ie xanax, made her even more “anxous” and just stoned like 🙁

      • actually, the only thing that DOES work is the citronella collar. she knows when she has it on, and won’t even try to bark, and therefore settles down easier. I hate putting it on her when i go to work though, because the dog walker comes and I don’t want him walking her with it on.

        • Hmm. The only other things I can think of that might be worth exploring are 1) trying low-volume classical music while you are away- it is supposed to be soothing to dogs and cats alike, 2) trying Bach herbal essences- works for some, but not others, 3) getting a companion animal, and 4) trying Pando music for dogs (another anxiety-reducing music technique)… Good luck!

    • My dog didn’t settle until we had a second dog in the house. Some dogs just don’t do well alone. Try fostering. Happy to chat with you more about it.

      • i have def thought of that. but the other problem my dog has is some dog aggression. she has gotten used to dogs in the past, and is only really aggressive until she gets to know them a little. she would need a really submissive dog. i have tried fostering cats becase she likes them! to keep her company… it didn’t really work though.

  • Bear

    Rant: Jetlag, winter, and 5:00 sunsets.

    Rave: Finally being home.

  • Rant: My office is freezing, in spite of the fact that it’s pretty mild outside.

    Rant: I’m at work.

    Rave: I had a great and restful 3-day weekend, so I really can’t complain. Plus the Giants won! Yay!

  • Both rant and rave – kitchen renovation started today. No sink or stove for the duration, demolition = mess. The end result will be great but not the process.

  • Rave: Adopted our first dog, Pigpen, this weekend.

    Rant: It’s still kind of weird picking up poop.

    • Congrats! we adopted our first dog this weekend as well and I agree, still a little weird to pick up poop.

      rave: for whatever reason, our dog will not go while he is on a leash so I only have to worry about picking up poop from our backyard.

      • congrats on both adoptions! we recently moved and one of our dogs (adopted this summer) went through a phase where he only went to the bathroom in our backyard, not on walks. He got over it in about a week. When he goes to the door to go to the yard, insist on taking him for a walk instead. he’ll get the picture and will finally “go” on his walks. he’s just nervous in a new place.

    • Rave: You named your dog pigpen!

    • Congratulations on the adoption and the great name!

  • claire

    Rave: Had a great four-day weekend! Was able to cross things off my to do list and had a chance to relax too.
    Rave: Keep getting better and better at food photography – there was a time when getting a single photo accepted to tastespotting seemed impossible and now I just had my fourth acceptance!

    Rant: Back to work. Four day weekends are almost too luxurious, makes it really hard to get back into the work mindset.

    Rave: Birthday dinner with my parents at Little Serow on Saturday! I’m kind of worried that the wait will be ridiculous (working earlier in the day so can’t make it there earlier than 6:30) – anyone on here who’s eaten there on a Saturday night? How bad was the wait?

  • rave: uber productive holiday weekend!

    rant: ego slightly bruised over a budding relationship fizzling out and not in the kindest or most respectful way.

    rave: the man wasn’t a very good fit for me, so it’s for the best and early enough so that not feeling awfully attached.

    rave/rant: being single. love the sense of freedom, miss all the awesome things about being in a relationship (a good one!)

  • Rant: Pepco scheduled an outage from 12:00 AM to 7:00 AM in my area this Wednesday.

    Revel: I wrote to Muriel Bowser’s office about it, and Pepco has changed the outage to 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM next week. I can sleep without freezing!

  • Rant: got sick for the third time since beginning of the year! And all my 3 day colds just happen to happen on a weekend.

    Rave: Discovered Battlestar Gallactica. Made playing dead on the couch so much more bearable.

  • Rant: Super cranky this morning. And I’m having a bad hair day, and my skin looks like garbage and the #32 bus drove right passed me and 8 other fellow soggy commuters this morning. And this was after the previous bus didn’t show up. The moment the bus flew by, the bus that was directly behind him, turned on his “Out of Service” sign and wasn’t picking anyone up. Grrrrr.

    Rave: Next week at this time I’ll be in the Florida Keys.

  • Rant: Hurt my back and am struggling with day to day activities.

    Rave: I will get through it and in general have good health.

  • Rave: The BBB. (Has anyone ever filed a complaint with them before? Did anything happen?) Even if I don’t get the resolution requested, it felt good to write the complaint.
    Rave: My new dog.
    Rant: My new dog flips out when other dogs are around. We are trying to distract with treats which is helping somewhat, but I’m afraid we’re becoming the dog/dog owners people intentionally avoid.
    Rave: Starting a 6 week obedience class on Saturday.

    • A filed a complaint with the BBB a few years ago when a collection agency had me confused with someone with my same first and last name and wouldn’t leave me alone. I don’t remember much about the process, but I remember being extremely happy with the level of service they provided (and it was resolved!)

    • Treats are good to distract, but don’t forget to let the pup know that the behavior is bad/unacceptable. Our dog was so horrible we had to get a trainer, but we’ve put our knowledge to good use with fosters. In my experience with fosters (and our own pup) the treats-only program doesn’t really work (maybe after a long period of time, but we never had a long time- pup needs a new home!). You really need to let the dog know it’s wrong and that if it is a “scary” situation you’ll take care of it alone, no help necessary from the pup. Plus, it helps that the other owners see you are trying to combat the aggressiveness. we always yelled our apologies from a distance. Once you fix the pup you’ll love all the positive attention and compliments fromt the other owners! Good luck, if you’re having too much trouble call in a professional before it escalates too much.

    • Good luck. My dog is dog reactive too. We cross the street whenever we see a dog coming. I don’t leave without the treats. I try to get her into a sit/watch me until the other dog passes. I also use the command “leave it”. if we are in an especially sitcky situation, i will just throw a handful of treats on the ground to distract her. it’s getting better… to the point where she hears or sees a dog on the other side of the street, she will instead of reacting, start looking to me or the ground like “where are my treats?!” it takes a LOT of work. but it’s best to get started as soon as you see the behavior occur. My dog was a rescue and I think something happened to her in her past life, and it’s been a really hard trial and error kind of thing for us.

    • GiantSquid

      Cheer up, Mr. Squid and I have a crazy Cairn and have just accepted that she’ll try to fight just about any other dog. We ARE those owners that avoid others. If our other dog wants to meet another dog, we just pick her up. Not ideal, I’m sure, but it works. Not so easy if your dog is bigger than 20lbs though.

  • Rave: Absolutely wonderful birthday weekend in NYC. I ate my way through SoHo, saw wonderful friends and meandered around the city until my legs felt rubbery. May I recommend: Hampton Inn SoHo, Keste Pizza, Blue Ribbon & Virage restaurants for brunch.

    Rant: I am now in my 40’s.

  • Rave: Finally ready to buy a house!

    Rant: I have no idea where to start with finding a realtor. Has anyone had a really good experience? I’m really hoping to find someone who is very knowledgeable about Shaw/Logan, with good “expectation management” skills.

    • YES – Dina Paxenos is amazing. I highly recommend her. Both me and two of my friends used her (we bought in Mt. Pleasant and Petworth). Look her up.

    • And of course, congrats and good luck to you!! What an exciting time. 🙂

    • Congrats, that’s super exciting! We worked with Scott Purcell at Long and Foster and he was excellent. We ended up buying in Pleasant Plains, but he is really knowledgeable of all of DC. We were pretty unfamiliar with DC before we bought this summer and were unsure about where in DC we wanted to buy but he was really patient and straight forward with us and found us an amazing home (got us in the first day it was on the market since he knew we would love it). Even continues to follow up with us to make sure everything is working out! Couldn’t have asked for a better Realtor, 100% recommend.

    • I realize I should probably actually say why she’s so great:

      I bought my first condo over three years ago. Dina was extremely good about communicating clearly, prepping me for what to expect, and dealing very well with my complicated situation (of having to deal with DC govt based on a type of loan I received).

      I knew she was good but when I really knew she was good was when I was meeting with my loan officer and I had some paperwork on me that Dina had given me. The loan officer looked at and responded with, ‘Wow. Your REALTOR did this for you?’ I told him yes and asked him why (because he sounded surprised) and he said, ‘no, nothing, it’s just that you must have a very good realtor because most realtors would never do this for their clients.’

      My point is that she goes the extra mile to make sure things are handled fairly, you get the best end of the deal, and she breaks things down for anyone who has the first-time home buyer nerves. She truly loves her job and she shows with how she follows through with her clients.

      Bonus: she gives a percentage of sales to charity. Now I’m done, good luck! 🙂

    • How about PoP advertiser Kevin Wood. Kevin is a good guy and is very knowledgeable.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rave: Feel so much better today! Still tired, but no longer feel the need to cut out parts of my brain because of the awful headache part of my illness.

    Rave: No Rants yes!

    The Challenge: No Rants Tuesdays!

  • Rant: Day 6 of stupid cold.
    Rant: Day 4 of stupid cold my beloved Packers fell, no, collapsed on live television. It was agonizing to watch. May we never speak of this again after this post.
    Rant: Packer shareholders value dropped.

    Rave: Bloopers footage from Sunday’s game? 😉
    Rave: This cold can’t last forever!
    Rave: Three day week!! Here’s to this stupid cold clearing up in time to do this three-day weekend up right.
    Rave: I still love my team.

  • Rant: Toothache. Why didn’t I get my wisdom teeth out when I was supposed to?

    Rave: Tons of Advil at work.

    Rant: Turned my weekday alarm off yesterday so I wouldn’t be disturbed on the holiday…forgot to turn it back on today…was an hour late.

    Rave: Catching up with a great friend tonight on Skype

  • I want to move.
    Rant: I’m on a student budget.
    Rant: Everything is so pricey.
    Rant: My standard of living is way, way too high.
    Still weighing in on the pros and cons of living in DC vs Northern Virginia.

    • Figure out what you like to do – cooking – do you need access to multiple grocery stores, bookstores, museums, bars, clubs, concerts, bike lanes, friends, etc, whatever it is – and live walking distance to it. Metro is only going to get more expensive, so you want to have things important to you near you.

  • Rave: Played volleyball with my girls on Saturday after a long hiatus and I played better than I thought I would.

    Rant: Still sore three days after said volleyball tournament.

  • happy news for the day: my 9-year-old beagle wiggled out of a gap in our backyard fence at 10th and randolph around 5 this morning – he usually goes out once there in the am before regular walk. it was about 10 minutes before i realized i didn’t hear him and that he’d escaped. after running/driving around for about 30 minutes in the pouring rain, i went back inside to find a voicemail from a lovely spanish-speaking man and his young son who had found my dog nearly getting hit by a car, brought him in and called me immediately – they lived nearly a mile away. it is such a horrible, helpless feeling when a dog gets out — what a wonderful reminder of the kindness of strangers. if you ever see a dog out roaming, PLEASE try to help it get home, and always tag and chip your pets! thank you to jose gonzales and his young son for saving my little boy today, you are wonderful!

  • rave: I too have a new puppy
    rant: Getting used to picking up poo is not half as bad as prying whatever trash folks discard on the sidewalk out of his mouth. Just. Ew.

  • i’m so glad it’s making other people happy too. i feel so lucky!

    (sorry on the ethnicity thing. i only mentioned he was spanish-speaking because i thought it would help identify him in case anyone knows him? and it was adorable how his son called me to leave another voicemail because he was like, “my dad’s english isn’t as good as mine, so i wanted to leave another message in case you were confused. WE HAVE YOUR DOG.” it was so cute. and i work for a labor rights organization and have worked with non-native english speakers on behalf of workers and immigrant rights for almost a decade now…settle down, mean commenter person. it’s just a nice story).

  • Rave: Had a pretty fun and eventful weekend! Went ice skating, bowling, saw Beauty & the Beast in 3D

    Rant: Spent most of Saturday night in the ER with a friend. Luckily he’s fine but didn’t get to bed until 5 a.m.

    Rave: It is BEAUTIFUL outside! Thankful that my job lets me escape every now and again.

    Rave: I have great co-workers. Even though my specific job isn’t the best, the people make it worth going to work.

    Rant: The above picture! I’m addicted to Words with Friends and HATE when that happens!

  • The G** D*** Washington Post raised their price. Yes I read the hard copy; that won’t change. But now I’ll have to go out of my way to hit 7-11 on my way to the bus, although it’s out of my way – I won’t be carrying $1 in change just to lose it in the paper box. There are bodegas which are closer, but none are open when I leave for work. Feh.

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