Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Chabelamarie

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.

95 Comment

  • me

    Rant: Cramps. Sorry, but fact of life, people. And it sucks.

    Rave: My sorority big sis is coming to town tomorrow, and I’m having lunch with her. I haven’t seen her in about 10 years! I’m so excited.

  • Rave: 24-hour CVS complete with Pharmacist! Saved our bacon twice this past week!

    Rave: It’s Friday! Ready for the weekend!

  • Rave: Fridayyyyyyyyy

    Rant: I missed my bio exam last night because I had to take the pup to Friendship Animal Hospital. $315 later, I learned that she has a bacterial imbalance and has to take meds for the next few weeks, including giant pills that will be no fun to give her

    Rave: It could have been much worse. She almost died a few years ago when someone fed her rat poison, so this seems manageable

    • You should buy Greenie’s Pill pockets for your pooch. All you do is wrap the pill inside those treats and they dog scarfs it down. Works like a charm.

      • slickhop

        I’ve used those as well, they work pretty decently. I also encourage you to slather the pills with peanut butter or sort of mush into cheese.

        • Thanks for the suggestions! These are huge tablets meant for her to chew up, but she is missing quite a few teeth and doesn’t like to eat anything hard (I always feel bad when people offer her biscuits because she spits them out immediately). They’re pretty crumbly, so this morning I smashed them up and mixed them with a bit of peanut butter. Seemed to go alright. Considering she has to take 6 a day, I’ll have lots of opportunities to try new techniques!

          • You might want to try mixing it with canned pumpkin. Pumpkin is great for dogs and isn’t fatty. Plus it’s mushy and easy for them to eat. Hope she feels better soon!

  • Rant: DC Council blinked and now there is a 90 day moratorium on requiring all to pay at parking meters. Already all the MD and VA commuters with grandma’s handicap placard are back and parking all day for free around Federal buildings.

    Rant: Continuous scandals in DC government

    Rave: I plan to make an entrance like Madonna at the Super Bowl at the Tidal Basin after work to see the cherry blossoms.

    • The mental picture from your rave made me laugh out loud at my desk.
      Better get to the tidal basin quick! Trees are loosing blossoms left and right and some are partially leafed out.

    • Rant: Totally agree. This one is pretty pathetic. Need to get this loophole that is ripe for abuse fixed immediately. To get these spaces back to productive use, either bringing in money, or actually letter the handicapped people who need them, park where they need to be.

      Rave: Ohio State! Love watching the alma matter in the Elite Eight!

  • Rant: Went to H&R Block last night to file my taxes. After 1 hour, they charged $511.
    Rant: I do not have $511 to my name.
    Rant: I still owe taxes on top of that.

    • Yeah, I will never understand why people go to places like H&R block. They are ungodly expensive and frankly not as good as even the free e-file tax services.

      Turbo Tax online people!! I own multiple residential and commerical properties in a variety of states, have half a dozen tenants, relatively complicated capital gains and investment income issues, employees etc and I use Turbo Tax to file. It cost me $180 dollars total this year to file both my state and federal taxes.

      • Yes, I had started out using Turbo Tax but all of my K-1s were super confusing and when it told me I was getting a federal fine I figured I had better seek help from someone who knew what they were doing. I’m a full-time student and my total income last year was only $9,000…I have no idea what I’m going to do!

      • I go to HR& block every year, it costs me around 200$ to get taxes done, I usually get a refund of around 5,000$ I choose “no exemptions” on my W2 statements, its the only way i manage to save money. When Tax time comes, its usually a good time to start a project, buy expensive things I’ve needed for a long time (like a flat screen TV which I don’t have), or to switch jobs (because I’ve got a little money to shield my transition…

        I’m the type of person that goes to H&R Block, I’ve always used the same rep, I don’t trust new guys working there because of ID theft potential, and I make my tax returns as easy/simple as possible. The more deductions/supplemental forms/ and time you add in the process of doing taxes adds to your preparer’s bill…

        • Okay but you DO realize that you get a $5000 refund because you have 0 withholdings not due to anything H&R Bock is charigng you $200 for.

          • And that the IRS is just holding your money for you (interest free) until you file to get it back? If you can claim exemptions, why wouldn’t you? Do you not like getting a little extra in your paycheck every month?

        • Lol @ this whole comment.

    • The only *good* thing about my taxes this year is that I get to file for free because I’m an AmeriCorps alum!

  • Waking up every morning feeling like crap due to (I suspect) allergies. I’m well into my 4th decade, and have never had seasonal allergies before. I have to take claritin and advil as soon as I wake up, and then I start feeling human after about an hour. Any tips from the experienced? I’ve heard that sleeping with the AC on helps, but it’s just not warm enough. My house would be like a meat locker.

    • Make sure your air filters are clean if you’re gonna crank up the A/C. Sometimes, that makes my allergies worse. Also, Allegra has worked better for me than Claritin. I’m trying to finish a pack of Claritin now (CVS was out of Allegra), and can’t wait to get back to the good stuff. Claritin keeps me barely functional, but still stuffy and sniffly. And it might seem gross, but try a neti pot. It’s great for congestion, but it’ll also rinse out allergens that are stuck in your nose. Even though the squeeze bottle seems more intense, I found the plain old pot works better at clearing stuff out.

    • Ditto on the Allegra– I’ve been taking the generic version and it’s been great. I do find it’s less effective if I skip a day.

      I lived here for 13 years before developing seasonal allergies, but the pollen loads have been at historic levels for the past few years. Lots of previously allergy-free people have started sniffling and sneezing.

    • GiantSquid

      I use Zyrtec. Claritin made me feel like crap. Allegra tripped me out. Sometime just a benedryl works. You gotta find what works best for you, just don’t operate a car until you’re sure and watch your alcoholic beverage intake.

    • Blithe

      I first started having “seasonal allergies” four years ago, during a “high pollen” season, and I’ve had them ever since. Benadryl turned me into a zombie, and Zyrtec made me sleepy. I haven’t tried Allegra yet, but I’ve been Very Happy with Claritin. What has worked best for me is taking it early in the season, as soon as I start having symptoms, and taking it every day at about the same time. I’m guessing that as with pain meds, it’s easier to prevent symptoms from starting than it is to stop them once they’re full-blown. Do NOT sleep with the windows open — I learned this the hard way. 🙁 I’m still hoping that at some point, the pollen levels will return to their pre- “historic” levels so that I can truly enjoy Spring again…. As others have said, try different medications — and see what works best for you. I haven’t needed to go the Doctor/prescription route — but I know others who have, so you don’t need to limit yourself to over-the-counter options.

      • To piggy back on the idea of not sleeping with your windows open: I use an air purifier. The good ones are expensive, but my Whirlpool one has been worth it to me. Another advantage is that mine acts like a white noise machine when I turn it to its maximum speed, allowing me to get uninterrupted sleep.

  • Rave: Going to Harpers Ferry with my boyfriend for the weekend!

    Rant: It’s going to rain/thunderstorm most of the day tomorrow and Sunday, so no hiking/biking/kayaking.

    Rave: I’m sure we’ll find plenty of other things to do 😉

  • pablo .raw

    Rant: Just one more day of this mad week and
    Rave: I’ll have a nice and relaxed weekend

  • Rave: ‘cuse!
    Rave: One-eyed cat is now healed and feeling great.
    Rant: I have leg aches like I can’t believe… feels like growing pains again, but how on earth is that possible at 31 yrs old??

  • Rave: booked a wedding dress appointment for when mom will be here to hopefully get her out of her “I don’t give a crap about your upcoming wedding” funk. Hoping it will show her I want her to be involved/value her opinions.

    Rant: Looked at designs of wedding designers featured at wedding shop…good god…is every potential bride also a drag queen?!?!? Anyone have any good recommendations on wedding dress shops that feature elegant and classy dresses and not avant garde/couture crap that my 4’11” self would look ridiculous in???

    Rave: checking out the cherry blossoms and then drinks with my fiance after work, and still love using the word fiance…

    • Actually, this might sound odd but my friend bought her dress at J Crew and it was gorgeous on her. Incredibly simple, just like her, and it was the most inexpensive dress she tried on (she wasn’t limited by budget)!

      • Thank you for the tip! Im actually looking at J.Crew for my bridesmaid dresses, they are amazing. But I really am taken by the idea of a lace dress, I love the wedding dresses from J.Crew but none of them are lace 🙁

        • Anon,

          Anonymous beat me to the answer but if you are okay with not going the traditional wedding dress route, then definitely consider places such as J Crew and Anthropologie, which sell “wedding dresses” that aren’t the poofy or over-the-top fairytale dresses and for a wedding dress, more reasonably priced. If you are not particularly sentimental, you might be able to re-wear or re-fashion the dress for another purpose in the future. I think this could be a great route if you like things that are simple (not plain, though) and more timeless. I’m sure there are other places you could look for wedding-style dresses but I know the two listed above sell dresses specifically for weddings/brides.

          Good luck!

          • Go to “Hitched” in Gtown. They have a great variety of dresses and they are not all an “arm and a leg” in terms of price!

      • novadancer

        +1 for Hitched. I am a few inches taller and ended up with a sample sale dress.

    • I couldn’t deal with the whole bridal shop thing so I had my dress made by Diana- she has a gown making/sewing shop in Georgetown on Wisconsin and she was awesome!! She drew up a custom dress for me, let me pick out the fabric I’d feel most comfortable and beautiful in, and executed it so well (and for much less than all but the bargain dresses at bridal shops!). I’d highly recommend her!

    • Blithe

      I also like the dresses at J. Crew. If you’re up for a serious trip –Kleinfeld in New York is worth it. They have more dresses in one place than any other store that I’m aware of. Even if you use the trip just to get ideas and to see what’s out there, it could be worth it unless you’re really pressed for time.

    • Are you the same Anon who was bummed out last week (?) because of her mom not being all that excited about her engagement?

      Just try to keep your expectations low… it’s thoughtful of you to try to involve her in the process, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily going to make her as enthusiastic as you wish she would be.

      • That would be me. I’m not expecting a complete 180 but after thinking about it quite a bit, I’m inclined to think that one of the reasons she is responding the way she is, is because she isn’t here (she is currently living unhappily in California)…so she just feels disconnected and not a part of things. I’m hoping that if I’m right in that, then maybe this will ease some of that.

    • Depending on your budget….
      Hitched in Gtown has beautiful, classy dresses. No drag queen numbers there. But their dresses start at about $2k.
      Hannelore’s in alexandria has a TON of inventory. some cooky, some gorgeous. they will definitely have many lace options and wide price range.
      Katherine’s/kathryn’s (sp?) in alexandria also has a ton of inventory, but it is very hard to persue – the dresses are crammed in there. So look on the website to see the brands she carries, look on the brand sites to find the dresses you like, and then go to kathryn’s with a list of those dresses. that’s my recommendation. Also a wide price range here.
      Bella Bridesmaid in bethesda also usually carries some no-fuss bridal gowns, but not sure if any are lace.
      If you’re still coming up empty, Betsy Robinson bridal in baltimore might be worth the trip. again, many brands/designers carried there.
      good luck – and try to have fun with the shopping!

      • hannelore’s also pretty much starts at $2k. if you don’t want to spend an obscene amount of money on a dress you’ll wear for 6 hours, I recommend buying a dress that isn’t a “wedding” dress. that way, you won’t look like you’re in some cliche costume (if I see one more white strapless gown I’m not going to be able to stop laughing hysterically) and you can get a gorgeous gown for much less than $1k. a lot of online shops that sell designer dresses have huge markdowns on beautiful gowns.

        • me

          I got a gorgeous Ramona Keveza dress at Hannelore’s for about $1500. And it definitely was not the cheapest dress I tried on there.

    • My sister and I had a lot of luck at Macy’s and other department stores. They have a big selection, and great salespeople who really know their stock.

      • Thank you for all the advice everyone!

      • Allison

        +1 to mall department stores. I bought mine off the rack at a mall; you would be surprised at the number of stores that have back rooms full of wedding dresses that no one knows about because you can’t go back there without an employee.

    • GiantSquid

      Ann Taylor also has really nice, simple, not crazy expensive dresses.

    • I’ve also seen some nice thrift store numbers.

    • After trying on what seemed like a million dresses the one that made me look the best was, yup, from David’s Bridal and only cost 450 bucks.
      There are some very nice stores up in Friendship Heights and Bethesda if you want silk/designer.

    • I would definitely say to check out Katherine’s Bridal Boutique in Alexandria. After looking a number of places for bridesmaids dresses for my wedding last August (which ended up being in the hurricane!), they were incredibly helpful, attentive, and just plain pleasant to work with. I had already gotten my dress at the now-defunct Priscilla of Boston (wonderful experience), but I would have gone through Katherine’s as well if that weren’t the case. I would suggest going during the week if you can since it gets slightly crowded on the weekend.

    • Also, Ann Taylor, Lord & Taylor, & Nordstroms have pretty good bridal selections, that may have a lace number to your liking.

  • Rave: The Prince is one of the bloggers featured in the Wash Post today.

    Rave: Long live the Prince!

  • REVEL to POTUS: President Obama on shooting of Florida teen Trayvon Martin: “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon.”

    More people should speak out on this tragedy.

  • Rant: First thing I did at the office this morning – spill coffee all over my off-white linen skirt.

    Extra exciting rave: Paperwork to refinance our mortgage arrived last night! Assuming appraisal goes well – and I’m 98% sure it will, since the only comps under the price we need to hit were gutted shells or smaller basement condos – our mortgage for our two bedroom house will cost just $16 more than our last apartment in 2009 (a basement!) and – the best part – the process has been so easy!

    • That is great! Who did you use to refinance? We have been putting it off forever– I guess I’m not really sure where to start.

      • We stayed with Wells Fargo (and used the same rep that worked with us when we bought the house) and I really, really wish that we hadn’t put it off as long as we did!

        There are still decent rates to be had (in the 4% range) and savings ($300 a month is a big help!), but I get the sense that rates are in the midst of a sort of upswing.

        Good luck is you decide to do it!

        • Thanks! We have an ARM that we need to get out of (as first time homebuyers with limited credit history it was our only option). I’m hoping a year of making mortgage payments is enough credit history for these people. We’re at 5.45% so we stand to save a little too.

          • Do it now. If you wait another 6 months or a year, you could easily be paying an extra .5 or .75, which costs a ridiculous amount of money over the course of the loan, or even over the next 5 years.

            Bite the bullet, get it done. Assemble your paperwork, (you have this weekend!) and get it done.

  • Rave: Spring dating! I’ve been going on some really fun first dates lately. Went to DCist Exposed exhibit last night and had dinner with a lovely woman. I was bummed about my ex for way too long and psyched to be meeting people.

  • Rant: Nice weather during the week when I’m stuck inside at the office, and then crappy storms all weekend? Damn you Mother Nature.

    Rave: Weather should make for a muddy, wet, and awesomely fun trail running race Sunday morning.

  • Rant/Rave: Bored at work (of course) but b/c boss is gone and it’s a low-key day, I dont’ care if people see me doing the Express crossword/reading PoP.

    Rave: Going to the cherry blossoms tonight with a friend! I’ve already been twice this spring but by myself.

    Rant: *Supposed* to see blossoms w/boyfriend last night. That did not happen. That turned into a huge mess/fight. I think I’m a drama-addict.

    Rave: Going to see Hunger Games tomorrow!!!!

  • RANT: My wallet was stolen from my purse while I was at work yesterday. Ruined my afternoon, and I have ZERO cash. There were people in my office who stopped this guy, and talked to him, but he still got away. WHAT. THE. HELL. Why couldn’t he just take my $15 cash and stamps and leave the rest?!

    Silver lining rave: This guy didn’t take my iPhone, keys, SmarTrip, or my grad school ID. I’m also hoping the building management will help reimburse some of the replacement costs because they failed to make the building secure ($20 DC drivers license, etc).

    No real raves. I’m really f-ing bitter today.

    • So sorry to hear this. I’ve been there (basically exactly – wallet taken out of my purse at work) and it really stinks. Be sure to deal with credit cards if you haven’t already. In the course of a few hours whoever stole my wallet charged almost a thousand dollars worth of random stuff and my (then) bank was absurdly difficult to deal with. Good luck!

      • Thanks caitb. I knew within 20 minutes that my wallet had been stolen, so I was able to cancel all my cards without having any fun charges show up. I’m just irked that I’m (a) without a driver’s license for 10 days, (b) lost some things I can’t replace (momentos, gift cards, punch cards) and (c) someone was able to come into my place of work and walk out of here SCOTT FREE.

  • Rave: Saw Annie Lamott at Politics and Prose last night. I love her.
    Rave: nice dinner afterwards with a great friend.

  • Rant: Hunger Games, I get it… It’s the new Harry Potter… But geez, do I have to hear about it everywhere I go? This movie is about as interesting to me as a black man as “do rags” to white people… No offense, but please tone down the rhetoric.

    Rant: People hanging out in my neighborhood. Where are the cops in Petworth… seriously? Its like they put speed and crime cameras up so cops could hang out at 7-11 more.

    Rant: Speed cameras. Why don’t you just put them on stop lights everywhere and make us follow the speed limit everywhere, instead of putting where we least expect them. If a road has killer potholes in it, all tickets should be cancelled, because you need to fix the roads BEFORE spending money on cameras… idiots.

    Rant: DC Council — Representation with taxation for their own personal needs, and unable to sign a simple ethics pledge…

    Rave: I am beginning to enjoy living in DC a bit more lately, people (residents) seem to be in good moods and Georgia Avenue is showing signs of promise for stores and nightlife.

    Rant: I’ve been through many summers in DC, and this one worries me if heatwaves settle in, because that usually encourages crime and tempers flare. Hopefully its a mild summer.

  • talula

    Rave: Boyfriend officially moving to DC! I’ve never lived with an SO before and I like living on my own and being Miss Independent, so I’m feeling a little nervous about it. But I’m ready for the next step and for the “long distance” part of our relationship to be over 🙂

    Rant: Rain for the weekend spoiling my plans to see the cherry blossoms

    • Wow, I am right there with you on the first rant. My boyfriend is temporarily moving in with me for the summer..should be interesting.

  • Rave: After completing one of the long line of my mindless tasks at work, a coworker in California sent me an email with a rose in it as a thank you. Absolutely melting my heart.

    Rave: A good friend directed me to a site she blogs for and thinks I would be a great addition. I have been looking for a freelance (unpaid, but byline) gig like this to actually apply knowledge about things I am passionate about.

    Rant: Still feeling a little bit groggy from my 24 hour bug earlier in the week.

    Huge Rave: My boyfriend is temporarily relocating to DC for 6 months tomorrow!

  • Rant: All the people who post Anonymous(ly) on this blog. Couldn’t we please come up with something a little more original.

  • Rave: Looking forward to hubby’s return from China, hope he can help them clean up their air quality. Everybody deserves a clean environment.
    Car A/C is fixed and car is washed. Ready for spring!

  • RAVE: If you get bored and want to be entertained, check out my CRAZY sometimes SALACIOUS YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/dmyst9?feature=mhee
    RANT: I love that spring is here but this pollen has got to go. All this congestion and burning eyes aint the business.

  • Rave: New YouTube channel! I am crazy! Bored? watch me! http://www.youtube.com/user/dmyst9?feature=mhee
    Rant: Allergies

  • Rant: it is so unbearably hot in my apartment. I wish the building management would turn the AC on considering it has been in the 70s and 80s for 2+ weeks ughhh. Have not slept in days.

    Rave: cherry blossoms!

    Rave: I don’t have allergies!

  • RAVE: This website is totally making my afternoon: the most enjoyable cantankerous notes left in the workplace. Has me laughing out loud and wanted to share!


  • This is the most beautiful picture ever!

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