Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user brunofish

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.

148 Comment

  • Revel: She’s the one.
    Rant/Revel: Never done the ring shopping thing before and have no idea where to start. Any suggestions for looking in DC area that are bike/metro accessible from Dupont?

    • Not sure of your price range but I had great service at Boone and Sons on Connecticut around L (cavet, this was almost 10 years ago). Know that there is lots of room to negotiate on these things. Good luck.

      • You could ask one of her good friends to help pick out the ring! That way you can preserve the surprise, but be pretty certain she’ll love the ring. I’ve heard Tiny Jewelry Box on Connecticut is good. If the jewelry stores suggested are out of your price range, they may be able to suggest good places in the area that are within your range. Good luck!

        • For the future of their marriage, I like to think her future husband will know her tastes at least as well as a girlfriend would.

        • To anon above. You can know someone and really have no clue what type of diamond ring they will like. It is really kind of a nerve wracking process. Having some input I think is totally justified and the safe bet.

          • None of my best friends could (or would dare) pick out exactly what I want – I’m far too fussy. My now-husband picked out the stone himself (he knew the stone type I wanted), and gave it to me set in a “cheapo temporary” setting. So I had the surprise, and got to have the rings designed exactly the way I wanted. Twenty years later, they are still gorgeous, and I wouldn’t change a thing about them. Just another way to go about it. Congratulations!

          • You’d also want to be sure they want a diamond. A number of my friends chose other stones not necessarily to be PC (no conflict diamonds) but because they wanted something different/unique.

          • If you aren’t sure what to pick, I think the suggestion others have made to take her along are much better than bringing a friend.

          • Yeah, I had to drop about one hundred hints to my bf that I didn’t want a diamond. I think guys can get fixated on what’s expected, but most of my friends either didn’t want a ring at all, or didn’t want a traditional diamond solitaire.

    • If you’re open to online options, Blue Nile has very high quality stuff for great prices. My fiance order my ring there and he was able to afford a larger and higher quality stone because of the prices. Great customer service too. Definitely recommend checking out their website. we just ordered our bands from them, too.

      • I second Blue Nile, my engagement ring came from there and the product and the service are top notch.

      • Most jewelry stores will match Blue Nile’s pricing – a few years ago, Blue Nile was the way to go. However, with an investment such as an engagement ring, I think it’s important to have a relationship with a jeweler.

        Boone & Sons has gorgeous stuff, but the Friendship Heights one is nicer. Plus, my dad was in Basic Training with the owner. So bonus there. Tiny Jewel Box has interesting pieces. Any good jeweler can also design something for you. That’s what my husband did.

        For wedding rings, Brent and Jess (formerly Fabuluster on Etsy) are amazing.

        • bfinpetworth

          Well, local jewelry stores may match the price but they have to collect sales tax! I saved about $600 in sales tax on a diamond ring purchase last summer.

          I love Blue Nile. I spent about a month looking at various configurations and diamonds before finally settling on a three-diamond ring. My partner just loves that ring, it is really stunning, and the whole process was so non-pressured. No sales person trying to upsell you.

      • I would caution against Blue Nile if you are thinking about getting a less traditional diamond cut, like an emerald or an oval. These are better seen in person, as the color/clarity ratings don’t apply as consistently to these cuts as they do to more common cuts.

    • I bought my wife’s ring at the antique guild in old town.
      If you prefer antique stones and settings, I’d recommend it.

      Also, fuck the diamond industry.

    • I got my wedding band at Shah & Shah at Farragut North. They are not a storefront jewelry store like Tiny Jewel Box or Boone & Sons. By appointment only in an office building, all work done by hand and their prices are reasonable. I have a few friends who have gone there and are really happy with the work. http://shah-shah.com/. And congratulations!

    • We picked out a setting together at Charleston Alexander in Bethesda (walking from metro) It was a good experience – we had a patient saleswoman who didn’t try to push us into anything quickly, which I really appreciated.

      Also met with someone nice at Boone in Dupont, but didn’t find anything we loved.

      Congrats! So exciting!

      • I second Charleston Alexander… My boyfriend and I knew nothing about rings and the sales woman spent over an hour walking us through cut, color, clarity, settings, etc. with no pressure to buy. I have a feeling he may be making a return trip there soon πŸ™‚

    • I can’t help with a recommendation, but wanted to wish you many congratulations! I look forward to hearing the proposal story when it happens πŸ™‚

    • Tiny Jewel Box is a little on the spendy side, but they do have a nice consignment selection. I like Boone & Sons personally, they have great customer service and decent prices on quality work (not cheap, decent). Blue Nile is an OK option only if you know exactly what you want. If you have access to a car I wold suggest a trip up to Smyth in Baltimore for a huge selection of new and consignment and an awesome staff to work with you. You’ll pay a lot less than you would for comparable in DC (enough to more than enough cover the cost of a ZipCar trip or two)

    • You should get Ron Swanson to make one for you.

    • saf

      Propose with something other than a ring. Then go ring shopping together.

      Seriously, she’ll be wearing this the rest of her life. Let her pick it out!

      • some do – I rarely wear my engagement ring. The idea of wearing something that expensive every day freaks me out (and I don’t have the money to get it resized right now…thanks furlough!). Wedding band only for me 90% of the time.

      • I like this idea — I remember hearing a cute story about someone who proposed to his girlfriend using the kind of plastic ring you’d buy from a gumball-type machine in a grocery store. (The two of them went to pick out the real ring later.)

      • mtpgal

        Second this! My husband and I got an antique ring at Pampillonia Jewelers (old rings are MUCH cheaper and good if you have qualms with diamonds/metal mining). I picked what I wanted and he chose when to propose. He said no to a Fuddrucker’s proposal right after we picked out the rings b/c he’s all posh like that. Good luck and congrats!

    • I’ve had a number of friends have wonderful luck with adiamor.com. They let you pick your own diamond by cost, cut, color, clarity and carat and then you can choose the setting you want to put it in. Super easy (and sometimes just fun to play on for those of us who are nowhere near a ring) and the rings have always appraised for more than spent.

    • Emmaleigh504


      Cartier in Friendship Heights in metro accessible and they have lovely sparkly things.

    • Primestyle.com

      They are based in Manhattan, and do a terrific job. They will have WAY more options, as well as much cheaper prices. They basically eliminate all of the overhead, and the sales commission and such that you would be paying, and just get you quality stuff.

      My wife’s ring got appraised at almost 4 times what I paid for it. This is a no-brainer.

    • I Gorman has really nice, modern stuff. Expensive, though. Congrats!

      • I was going to recommend I Gorman as well. I don’t know much about the pricing, but I’ve been the friend helping pick out rings there before and the service and selection are amazing.

    • I actually had a really good experience with Mervis on K Street. We had diamonds from my Grandmother’s engagement ring, and wanted them made into a new setting for my fiance. After going to 2 or 3 smaller mom-and-pop type jewelers for quotes on a custom setting, and they all quoted high prices and long lead times, we stopped by Mervis. While we had wanted a custom setting, the manager there found us, in stock no less, the exact setting we were looking for. One week and a small amount of modification later, we had the ring. For half the price of other shops.

    • iGorman on 20th near M is the best jeweler in the city. And, it’s bike accessible from Dupont.

      Seriously, don’t waste your time elsewhere. iGorman is a little pricey, but provides awesome service both before and after the sale.

    • Tiny Jewel Box, in Dupont, has amazing rings and great customer service. Mervis and I. Gorman are also great places to go.

    • We went the “fake” but real diamond way (ie one of the companies that makes diamonds in a lab (and other stones), initially for industrial purposes. http://www.diamondnexus.com/product-education-compare-us-to-a-diamond.html

      My ring is gorgeous and since I know too much about conflict minerals, I don’t have to worry about it. and the prices are good too.

      • Ooh, we’re thinking of this route too! I’m glad to hear from someone who has experience with them; I’ve had my eye on that damn Angelix (horrible name, beautiful ring) for far too long to have my hopes dashed by poor quality.

        • I really can’t recommend them enough. I get loads of compliments on it ALL the time, it’s a great fit etc.

    • Bluenile.com!
      My ring is from Tiffanys but for the price paid I could have received the same exact ring but twice the size from bluenile.

    • For new rings, I’ve heard from multiple brides that the only shop in town that can show documentation (i.e. proof that the gem isn’t a conflict diamond) is Tiffany’s.

      • The only thing I would add is that, despite the certificate process, there really is no way to know if your diamond is actually conflict free. I applaud people that are looking for that but the only way to guarantee a conflict free diamond is to have one from a lab, like the person above (I think that would be awesome by the way!).

    • Tiny Jewel Box (on Connecticut between Dupont and K) is lovely but not exactly inexpensive…

      • My ring (that I LOVE) is from Grennan and Sons in Downtown Silver Spring—they are REALLY nice, local business. Congrats!

    • Not readily metro or bike accessible (but I bet you could do it), but I’d recommend Protea in Arlington. We bought our bands from there and I wish we had gotten my engagement ring there. Beautiful stuff and the prices are reasonable.

  • Rave: My “30 classes in 30 days” challenge at Biker Barre is off to a good start; I got a spin class in before work and plan to do barre later.

    Rant: Remembered to bring work clothes to spinning but forgot a change of shoes, so I had to go all the way back home.

    Rant/Rave: Getting up at 5am tomorrow to set up and photograph a 5k that my volunteer organization is hosting in RCP.

  • Rave: Got in a nice, long walk with my wife this morning – and even had less trouble walking up the hills today!
    Rant: Tired afterwards – amazing what a difference carrying a baby around makes – even if the peanut is only about 1.5lbs (plus everything else that comes with, I suppose)
    Rave: 25 weeks along – almost into the third trimester, which seems absolutely crazy to me! How is it March already???

  • Rant: Shit hit the fan at the office and it’s dismal.
    Rant: Fell twice today – once in the shower and once down the stairs. Ok but pretty beaten up. Totally not normal for me – perhaps I’m just jetlagged/tired?
    Rave: Weekend with nice, relaxing plans to catch up from vacation and chaos at the office.

  • Rave: Finally tried Atlas Room last night. Very tasty.

    Rant: The table of six next to mine that pretty much ruined the dining experience for the entire restaurant. Please people, be aware of your surroundings – especially in a tiny restaurant. This table was awful: loud, shrieking, obnoxious. Not to mention the loud sex life stories we all had to endure. It was awful. How they did not get the hint from the other diner’s glares is beyond me. Some people are so selfish and self-centered it really boggles the mind. And no, I did not say anything because I should not have to risk an altercation by telling adults how to behave in public.

    • Sorry about your experience with this loud, inconsiderate group. Unfortunately glares from diners aren’t usually effective. I’ve been in a similar situation and asked the manager to intervene and/or to be re-seated.

    • saf

      I always wonder why the staff does nothing in those cases. I’ve sworn off a place I like the food because the last time I was there a large, loud party with a screaming (and I mean screaming, not just normal noises) child were allowed to disrupt the entire dining room for more than an hour and a half.

      We eat out a lot (and the staff there knows it, as we go there regularly). We behave, and we tip well. Why keep the offensive party happy at the cost of one or more parties of good customers?

      • Revel: had a rather pleasant experience at the Arlington DMV yesterday. Was in line at 8:00. Got a number at 8:20. got called up at 8:35ish. Got my new license and registered my vehicle AND got my plates and was outta there my 9:15.
        All those hours of worrying about not having the right documentation was all for naught.

        • That is truly incredible. I’ve had experiences like that at the DC DMV, which is surprisingly well-run, but every trip I’ve made to the VA DMV (and there have been dozens, because they managed to screw things up so badly) has been a painful multi-hour ordeal that usually resulted in nothing getting accomplished.

  • Raaaave: Kashi Island Vanilla cereal….Lawd Jesus I love it.
    Rant: Forgot that I set up automatic payments on a couple of bills…double paid them (which is good…maybe) but now I have limited spending money until next paycheck πŸ™

  • Good luck to all that are impacted by the sequester. We need to address spending in this country in my view but having our federal work force take it on the chin is neither sensible nor warranted. Our politicians are the biggest bunch of asshats in this country. All of them. Both sides. Can we get a do-over?

    Rant: Third time trying to post this do to “posting too fast” message.

  • Spent too much time yesterday watching videos of Lulu and the Lampshades aka the cup song. And learning the cup beat. Yup, now I have something in common with middle school girls (Wed front page WPost article)

  • Huge rave: UVA beats Duke and Coach K looks like a whiny child!

  • Rant: DCRA sucks a##. Spent 3 hrs there this morning and NO where.

    Question: if i have renters in my home will they evict them if I dont have a CofO? Can i have renters while going through the process of obtaining CofO, business license etc?

    • I looked into this a bit a few years back and never saw eviction mentioned, but did see some pretty hefty fines (levied for each day of non-compliance). Good luck though. I didn’t go ahead with renting, but a neighbor did and was happy with the choice in the end.

    • I think you can go through the process of getting a C of O while you have renters without penalty – it at least used to be that way because they wanted to encourage people to comply voluntarily. However, the person who used to run DCRA (and was very open about such policies) is no longer there, so it’s no longer clear. I’m sorry.

  • The crocuses are blooming. I can smell that sweet dirt smell of spring coming on…


    Rant: (warning: pet related) I have a sinking feeling that it’s time for me to make “a decision” about my very old cat. He’s gone from 12 lbs to 8 in a year, eats a huge amount of food every day, but all tests are coming back normal. He sleeps at least 23 hours a day, only gets up to eat or go to the bathroom, and sometimes stops to visit me on his way. And he just decided that jumping up onto the couch or going up stairs isn’t happening anymore. But he still comes to me for petting and licks the dog, so I’m having trouble believing that it’s his time quite yet. Though every time he comes over to me, he has a look of desperation that I know isn’t just in my mind. He has another vet appt for next week, but they’re probably going to tell me the same thing: tests are normal, he’s just old. How on earth do people make this decision!!? I know I know, it’s just a cat, but it’s still a tough one.

    • Aw, I’m sorry to hear about your kitty. My family had a cat that was much the same way in her last years (yes plural). We figured so long as she was eating and could still make it to her littler box, her quality of life wasn’t suffering. She made it to a total of 22 years before she died peacefully in the cat bed she’d been occupying for 23 hours a day.

    • Emmaleigh504

      I’m sorry you have to think about this. I don’t know how one makes the decision, I’m dreading it myself. I hope my dear kitty gets sick or something so I know there is no question.

      I guess if he’s not happy and in pain, then it’s time.

    • I’m sorry. We had an elderly kitty in a similar situation. We decided it was time when she stopped eating. Up until that point, she had slowed down but still seemed to be enjoying life. It’s a hard decision to make. Up until the end, I was second-guessing myself, even though it was clear that she was not comfortable and the vet had assured me that it was the right decision.

    • Just wanted to add in my sympathies- this is such a tough decision to make, and it’s never “just a cat”. They’re family, especially when they’ve been with you for years and years!

      We just put our family cat down at 16 years, because he was losing weight and getting lethargic and had breathing problems, but the point at which we knew it was time was when our attention-hog of a kitty turned away from affection and pets. Your kitty may let you know that it is time, and while it is so hard, making sure your beloved pet doesn’t suffer is really a wonderful gift to give them.

    • My old guy was in the same situation a year ago. Finally did a thyroid test and now he’s on meds that have stabilized his weight. Wishing you similar good luck with yours!

    • Agreed with Anonymous: your cat is part of your family! I am curious about your kitty’s thyroid though… Did the vet check that? Eating tons but losing weight and being lethargic sounds like hyperthyroidism. Very common in cats and easily treatable with some medication (that isn’t crazy expensive).

      • Yep, they did the thyroid test, and kidney function and diabetes… nada. He’s about 18 years old, so it’s likely just old age. He does have a growth on his side, but I decided not to go through the testing, etc- that could be the problem. Anyway, time shall tell. Thanks for the advice, everyone!

    • anonymouse_dianne

      As long as he is eating and drinking and peeing he’s probably okay. Losing weight like that happened with my Aby – he had become diabetic. I put him down 2/4 (after 3 years of insulin) because he had stopped eating and his kidneys were failing. He was 15 and 1/2. I miss him terribly!

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Congress

    Rave: Brought some joy to a coworker by giving her a wee street car figurine.

    Weird: There is a man that looks like Hitler waiting to get in my building.

  • For those recommending Blue Nile, I also suggest jamesallen.com. My fiancee got my ring there and I love it. She found them through truthaboutdiamonds.com

  • Rant: Got cussed out by an older woman in the Dupont metro this morning. On the North exit (heading towards Glenmont) one of the escalators is closed, so the other is stopped for people to walk up/down. She was walking down the side that is meant to walk UP on (2 way street, people!), which I was heading to walk up on. We did the whole duck/dip/dodge thing where you try to go around the other person but you end up moving the same way, essentially blocking each other. I apologized and she started yelling something that sounded very similar to “f***” but in what sounded like Russian. No need for profanity, lady!

    Rave: The situation didn’t really bother me–if anything, it’s another metro story.

    Rant: Fell in the tub yesterday but not really feeling it until TODAY. Ouch!

    Rave: Plans for shopping and dinner with a good friend on Saturday!

  • homerule

    Rant: Just spent over two hours at the DMV. I got there right when it opened, and needed to finally convert an out of state license, but it took a long time.

    Rave: Just registered for Car2Go, with the promo code from CaBi. Excited to try it out. (Anyone have advice?)

    • At least you got it done. Nothing’s worse that being at the DMV for two or three hours only to find out there’s some problem and you have to come back and do it all again the next day (and the next, and the next, and the next).

  • just saw this on twitter
    BREAKING: at 11:35am E.T. today, with Pelosi and Boehner at White House, President Obama will make a surprise statement about the #sequester

  • Rant: Stood up by friend for dinner last night. Apparently her grandmother is in hospital. Fine, but you can’t take 10 secs to text me? And her grandmother isn’t in the area so it’s not like she was spending time with her.
    Rave: Friday!!!

    • This is why I don’t have friends.

    • I agree she should have sent a text. But having been in a similar situation recently sometimes you get caught up in a flurry of overlapping calls and messages from a bunch of people and then — whoosh — it’s already 2 hours past the time you were supposed to meet for dinner. If this isn’t a pattern with her, I’d cut her some slack. If it’s a pattern, well, then that’s another story.

    • Did u try 2 call or txt hr?

    • Glad I’m not your friend, you’re way too high maintenance.

  • Rant: New Maryland gun laws.

    Rave: I think the most drastic ones only apply to first time handgun buyers, so I should be okay when I start shopping for my new S&W .38.

  • Rant: I’ve got a huge (HUGE!) cold, but I’m pregnant so all the good drugs are off limits. Bleh.

  • Rant: had to go to Beltsville on day off.
    Rave: lunch at Swahili Village!

    • I haven’t eaten there, but my favorite pho place is close by. Plus, Gyromania, Sardi’s Chicken, Old Line Bistro and Wawa.

  • Rant / Rave – depending on your perspective, Rave for me since I support the current plan Movement on McMillan.


    I also saw some cool renderings for the area around Nats Stadium. Has another city ever developed so much so fast? (Other than after a war, natural disaster or for the Olympics)

  • RANT!: This stupid woman brought fish for lunch now our entire office smells like the saloon from Deadwood. >:( <—-This is how my face looks as I type this.
    P.S. I dont know WHAT kind of fish it is but im willing to bet it is probably not fresh.

    • Do you work in my office? That happened today and Tuesday here!

      • ( -__-) hmmmmmm maybe…..lol

      • That happened in my office, on Wednesday I think.The smell was mostly contained to the kitchen, but it was so bad that I couldn’t stand going in there to heat up my soup. I bring fish sometimes, but eat it at room temperature. Unless it’s bouillabaisse or something there’s no reason why it needs to be heated.

        • Exactly! I bring salmon sometimes but I eat it on a salad so room temp is fine…but this was something else. I plugged in my scentsy and closed my office door. It is getting better. I just hope I dont smell like whatever it is that she heated up. The ventilation in here sucks.

    • I used to work with a woman who ate tuna fish in the office four days out of five, but bitched so mightily about the smell of others’ microwave popcorn that the boss finally banned it. When we brought up the fish smell, she (the offender) said we weren’t allowed to complain, because tuna is healthy. Just remembering that makes me do the >:(

  • Rave: Great soccer this weekend!! Vamos United.
    Rant: Too many nasty rants today

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