Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Gwynne K

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.

190 Comment

  • Seriously…what the hell, Google? I use Google Reader and Feedly just ain’t the same. YOU’RE RUINING MY LIFE!

  • Rave: It’s almost Friday!!!!
    Rant: Nosy admin people at work. No I wont share my personal business with you. No I wont tell you my birthday. No I wont be going to happy hour with you all.
    Revel: This blackened tilapia I made last night that is waiting for me when I get home. I might even sit at my dining room table and eat it instead of standing in the kitchen and devouring it.
    Revel Part Two: The surety that the tilapia wont be devoured by a hungry roommate or boyfriend (aaah the perks of living alone).

    • What’s wrong with celebrating your birthday and going to happy hour?

      • I dont do personal stuff like that with people I work with.

        • How do you hate the people you work with so badly you can’t bear the thought of going to lunch to celebrate a birthday? (Assuming that’s the scale of celebration you’re talking about)

        • I had a coworker like that once; it would have been fine if she didn’t judge everyone else on their desire to spend time together outside work…

        • Seems to me that you’re very friendly, funny, chatty, and social, based on your commenting. That’s probably how your colleagues see you, so they invite you out, recognize your birthday, etc. The fact that you don’t want to join in the office games and outings is not consistent with how you’re perceived. I think it’s fine if you want to draw your lines and avoid any and all socializing, but the fact that it happens is based on confusing signals.

          • An old coworker of mine told me that once. I am chatty and what not but I still dont like participating in social group stuff at or outside of work.
            If needs must I can be very sociable but if given a choice I prefer to hang with ma peeps or myself.
            If you are cool with that more power to you. I encourage it. The more people to participate the less pressure on me to participate :) (is that bad?)

      • Maybe she wants to keep her personal life totally seperate from her professional one. I certainly have had a couple jobs that I had no interest in socializing with my colleagues outside work…

        • That is exactly it.
          I spend 8-10 hours a day with these people. The little time I have for personal time I want to spend with friends and family.

          • But wouldn’t it be ruder for them to not invite you at all? What’s so hard about just telling them that you are not interested?

          • I can understand not wanting to hang out with your coworkers after hours. However, I’m happy and lucky to consider a number of my coworkers as friends and we do happy hour weekly.

          • But you said you’d be alone.

          • Even when I have not been friends with my co-workers I would occasionally go to happy hour with them, sometimes I would invite a friend out. As a general rule I would go to the happy hours where the management types would show up especially if I was trying to ‘move up’ in the office.

            Rant – Ripped the raincoat that I got for a steal at Filenes.

          • Not really.
            I have made it clear that I am in school and I have other stuff going on so I wont feel bad about not receiving invites. They still send them to me and I kindly refuse. What I dont like is sitting in my office doing work and someone coming in here demanding a reason for me not going or being mad that I didnt tell them it was my birthday last weekend. This is a conversation we have had at least twice.

            Funny enough I have made some great friends at other places I have worked. These new people I work with I dont get a good vibe from them. They gossip about each other alot and I have seen one person use information they learned at a happy hour against someone.

            Re: Anon’s comment yes I live alone that doesnt mean I dont spend time with my loved ones. That’s two totally different things. lol

          • Gorilla glue (the clear kind0 wont fix it? The raincoat that is.

          • You mean you don’t celebrate every birthday, wedding, holiday etc. with your coworkers, like they do on The Office? :)

          • @PG I think I would have to request a teleworking schedule if that were the case. I just couldnt deal!

        • Having this very discussion around my wedding. Parents think I should invite the boss to avoid awkwardness. I don’t feel like I should have to, especially if I don’t want them to show up. I despise forced socialization.

          • On the same token, just because you invite someone doesn’t imply that you are required to spend every moment with that guest.

          • I don’t think people normally invite their bosses to their weddings, unless they happen to also be friends with them.

          • I invited my boss, but only because she threw me an engagement party in her home. And my work likes to hang out together, so I actually ended up inviting a bunch of my coworkers and ex-coworkers. Most of my DC friends are from work though. I guess I’m very lucky! And we do all celebrate birthdays, marriages and babies together, but outside of work mostly.

          • Did you know your boss when you were a child or during your teenage years? That is strange.

          • We only invited people who lived near by and with whom we hang out/see often. Plus I’m a transplant to the country, so no one from my childhood or teenage years could come anyway. As someone said above – you don’t have to spend much time with them at the wedding.

          • Allison

            Heh, I have been told the military term for enforced socialization is “MandoFun!” “YOU WILL HAVE FUN WITH US, DAMNIT.”

        • I barely want to spend the 9+ hours a day with my coworkers. So I understand where she’s coming from.
          And with birthdays, I have always felt like birthdays are for everyone else in the office eat cake, not about celebrating the birthday boy/girl.

          My birthday is during passover this year – and there are ZERO odds anyone in my office will know this. Sort of looking forward to the, “thanks for the cake, I can’t eat it” if they have it that week. I’ve been asked what I like brought in, and I always say fruit. But no, it’s always cake. Way to use my birthday as an excuse to eat cake. It doesn’t make me angry, it’s just disengenuous.

          • I’m reminded of that Seinfeld episode…

            Despite being the one that complained below about having co-workers that don’t celebrate anything, I’m somewhat relieved I don’t have to be in situations very often where I’m required to eat bad cake. I choose my calories wisely and that’s not where I want to spend them.

          • You dont like Wholefoods cake? Their strawberry and cream one is good.

          • Nina: Now Milton, don’t be greedy, let’s pass it along and make sure everyone gets a piece.

            Milton Waddams: Yeah, but last time I didn’t receive a piece. And I was told…

            Nina: Just pass.
            [while the cake passes Milton mutters - eventually everybody but Milton gets a piece]

            Milton Waddams: [muttering] I could set the building on fire.

          • Emilie504

            I used to work at a very birthday friendly place and they always brought in what the birthday person wanted. The very health conscience chick wanted veggies so we go elaborate veggie trays, the guy allergic to eggs wanted fruit, so someone made fruit salad. One person preferred cookies and another pie. They were a great bunch of people to work with. The non cake birthdays were fun too because cake can get boring.

      • Emilie504

        Sometimes birthdays are not something to celebrate. My birthday comes at a very difficult time of year for me, completely unrelated to my birthday, so I don’t like to celebrate it b/c I might burst into tears over the very difficult thing. And I don’t want to have to explain it all.

        • There is that as well. I dont LIKE celebrating my birthday (for personal reasons). So if I tell you one time that I dont celebrate it or I dont want a cake respect my wished and keep it moving.

          • Totally agree!!! I find that the people who keep pushing it have no respect for or understanding of other ways of being. I’ve had these kinds of co-workers actually get devious, find out my birthdate and plan (totally unwanted) surprise celebrations, which were then painfully awkward/uncomfortable for everybody. As in other situations: NO means NO!

      • I’m kind of envious. Most of my colleagues are in their 60′s (or close to it) and they have to be on the roads heading home by 3pm before the traffic gets bad. So no happy hours, ever. If someone’s retiring or leaving they get a sheet cake in a conference room, but that’s it.

        • Send me your email I will forward all the invites to you lol

        • Same here. I’m the youngest in the office by a good 10 years and I WISH I had people to go to happy hour with! I LOVE my coworkers but wish I had people to actually befriend.

          As for birthdays…I WANT people to celebrate my birthday, damnit! And I honestly find it hard to understand why people DON’T want to celebrate but IF they don’t, I will respect it. To each their own.

          But agreed on the cake thing–our office has a tendency to buy $30 cakes from Whole Foods and they are NOT THAT GOOD! Ugh I can bake you something better and cheaper.

          • Pssst! Give me a recipe for pound or lemon cake.
            Please and thanks :)

          • Same here! I work out in the ‘burbs and sometimes at my office I feel like an alternate life form. I metro to work, live in an apartment, am not married, have no kids, and like to be social with friends. This makes me the complete opposite from most of my coworkers.

            I am soooooo jealous of my friends who work in offices that have good friend relationships and fun happy hours. We have 2 happy hours a year and one of them is always at Hooters. There is no food or drink at Hooters worth spending money on, so I don’t even bother with that one.

          • Same here. I work in DC, but my coworkers live far outside the Beltway and are all much older with kids and/or grandkids. I can’t imagine doing a happy hour or birthday party with them. Fortunately the people I volunteer with are closer to my age (most are even younger!) so I can get my happy hour fix with them.

          • Ha! Add to the list of people who work with much older coworkers. I’m the only person in my downtown DC office who lives in DC! I’m also the youngest, the only girl, and the only one not married. My coworkers are cool, smart people but sometimes I wish I had some younger coworkers for happy hour once and a while.

    • I feel you. I just don’t like my birthday. I hate being the center of attention, so I hate anything that makes me the center of attention. Birthdays tend to do that, so I don’t celebrate mine. I just find it awkward.

    • It’s even worse when you have to celebrate your birthday at the office and someone brings in a moldy cake.

  • Rave: Getting my first tattoo tomorrow and excited about it. (Gonna be some lettering down my bicep).
    Rant: Nervous that it’s gonna hurt like hell, won’t look good, and I’ll be stuck with it.

    • what? no celtic knot on the lower back?

      • Faux Chinese characters?

        • No, sanskrit or a ying yang!!!

        • DC flag!

          I got my first and only tattoo at the advance age of 51, on my daughter’s 18th birthday — matching DC flags — and given the subject and the occasion, it’s one I’ll never regret. On the other hand, the sick ink I’ll get if I get that New York job and hope to impress those 40-something Brooklyn hotties..I’ll probably end up regretting those. (Unless I land a hottie). ;)

    • I regret the one I got 10 years ago. The first six years were nice…

    • squish

      That’s exciting – Congrats!

    • Emilie504

      It won’t hurt! Have fun!

    • If this is your first tattoo, and you are having such reservations, I recommend waiting a bit before going for it. If you’re already worried about being stuck with it, maybe you should seriously consider not getting it done.

    • Where are you getting it done? I’m thinking about getting a new tattoo and/or fixing up an old one, and was going to start asking around for shop recommendations. Good luck, and have fun! Let us know how it went/turned out!

    • First one? Very exciting.

      Some thoughts: It will hurt, but not as much as you think. Some of the pain reflects the design – one of mine has big blocks of color so the artist had to kept going over it to fill it in… that got to me after a while. But where he was doing the lines, and kept moving it wasn’t too bad.

      It’s sensitive right afterwards so be careful who you show it to – they will want to touch it and you do not want them to. (Also it looks amazingly great right afterwards… then it scabs up and you might think – ugh not so great… but all will be well.)

      As for being stuck with it – yeah but… I assume you’re getting something you really want so it’s kinda like getting stuck with blue eyes – it’s just part of you. In fact I sometimes forget I have my tattoos, until someone comments on them.

      Final thought – they can be addictive, and this post has got me thinking about my next one…..

  • Rant: took me 3 hours to realize it was my ponytail that was giving me a splitting headache. It’s so clearly Thursday.

  • yup, im not the only one ranting about Google Reader’s demise.

  • MsNesbitt

    Rant: To the person who mentioned heel spurs yesterday, I think I have caught it. My plantar fasciitis has turned quite evil over the last two days.

    Rave: My BFF comes to town tomorrow night!

    • I use power step inserts and my pain went away in about 3 days.

      They’re about 35 per pair.

      • MsNesbitt

        Thanks for the tip! I actually have custom inserts, but I’m just a terrible patient. I know I should wear good, supportive shoes. But I keep wearing my bad (yet cute!) shoes and traipsing through the city in them. I’m wearing my sneakers today, and will do so again tomorrow. Hopefully by the weekend I’ll feel better.

    • Ugh, sorry. I wear heel cushions, and comfortable flats/low heels, do little ankle exercises, and try to stretch my oh-so-tight calves regularly. It started in the summer and has felt mostly better since mid-Jan. But it still flares up every now and again. Sucks.

      • MsNesbitt

        What flats/low heels do you wear? I’m having a terrible time finding ones I like!

        • From someone with custom orthotics, these are my tips for shoes I can wear comfortably WITHOUT ORTHOTICS:

          Highly, highly recommend Naot. Most of their shoes are pretty ugly but they have a few styles that are pretty cute (coming from someone who can’t wear 99% of dress shoes so my standards for style have lowered somewhat). They are pricy but I’ve found them on ebay for less than full price.

          Also Dansko and Sanita are pretty good, if you like any of their styles. I still can’t wear their high heels but I love their clogs (and personally think they go with just about anything).

  • Revel(?): I happen to read a bread baking blog/forum and recently noticed a post from someone searching for a person with bread baking experience for Le Diplomate. It was posted 6 days before the PoP article that mentioned the bread. I wonder if it’s someone who reads that blog…

  • RANT: No more google reader!! It makes me feel a little better that I’m not the only one who’s upset.

  • RANT: I just can not understand why some people think it is okay for federal workers to “take it on the chin” with furloughs and pay freezes while companies that were bailed out and still owe the government money (banks specifically) are giving their employees raises. This makes my blood boil!!!

    • Because outside the beltway, people think that “the government” made the mistakes, so the fed workers should pay the price.

      The Feds have shitty pr.

    • Didn’t you get the memo? Private companies help boost the economy and produce wealth and all that good stuff. Feds are just a drain and waste of resources. Fewer of them the better!

      Seriously though, I don’t think you’ll find too many supporters of bankers and the financial sector beyond Wall St and DC (ironically enough). It’s more due to ignorance or short attention spans of the public than anything else.

      • “It’s more due to ignorance or short attention spans of the public than anything else.”

        Pretty much.

        Also, furloughs and budget cuts will make the government operate less effectively. Which will further piss off the public and increase calls to reduce the size of government because “they’re wasting our taxes!”

        It’s a downward spiral. The GOP fiscal jihadists might finally get what they’ve been dreaming about for the last 40 years.

        • I think you pretty much hit it on the head. I believe that the goals are 1) reduce spending; 2) in a way that harms services and diminishes public support for government; and 3) in a way that chases the best and brightest from government to the private sector, thus further eroding the quality of services and public support for those services.

        • The GOP downward spiral is a riot. They’re trying to find a candidate that can unite evangelicals and libertarians and all they can come up with is Bush. I’m watching CPAC with a bowl of popcorn, a bottle of champers and a bucket of schadenfreude.

    • Sorry. I’m a fed, too, and don’t know if I’ll be furloughed or not. I do know that the economy has been a wreck for a long time, people have lost trillions of dollars in personal wealth and the budget deficit is unsustainable over the long term. Compared to a lot of people in this country, we’ve had it pretty good in DC and in the government, and teeth-gnashing about what is a fraction of the pain millions of people have suffered over the last four years in unseemly. Suck it up.

      • saf

        I dunno – I spent most of 2012 unemployed after a layoff. Finding a job was not easy.

        Both of my sisters (not in DC) have also been laid off in the last 3 years. They both got new jobs faster than I did. (I understand that in the case of the lawyer, but the other one is about the same level of marketability as I am.)

        And plenty of my friends have been hit by this recession, locally. I don’t think we have been totally insulated.

    • If federal workers are required to take a 10% cut in pay for the rest of the year ( 1 day per pay period furloughed), then those in the private sector should have to pay a 10% higher federal income tax during the same period. This puts everyone on even ground….we are all in this together.

    • The economics behind furloughing federal employees doing more harm than good doesn’t register to the idiots who believe feds are the problem.

      Also, PP is right, we do have terrible PR. And a large portion of this country believes everyone else gets hands outs but them.

  • anyone know of any places to get pie near metro center? Want to celebrate pie day on lunch break!

  • Emilie504

    Rant: My makeup came out looking weird today. I must have still been asleep when I put it on.

    Rave: I saw a real life luck dragon!

  • Revel: S&P 500 making gains hand over fist. My retirement account is performing very well.

    Rant: I can’t enjoy those gains because I am suspicious of the markets. They’re back at pre-recession levels without a matching recovery for the rest of the economy, and Europe’s austerity obsession has them sliding backwards. Not to mention the damage that will be done to our economy if the Congress can’t get its act together on this sequester. We are making tentative gains on unemployment but this certainly doesn’t feel like a self sustaining recovery yet, so furloughs and spending cuts would be very damaging.

    • Hedge your portfolio, my friend. There are tons of alternatives out there and many are dirt cheap right now, since the stock market is booming. If you have a good amount of profits right now, lock them in by selling and holding a bit of cash.

      There are plenty of ETFs you can buy into that will increase in value if the market plummets. If you want a direct inverse to the market, buy into VIX-linked products. Also look at commodity and precious metal ETFs. There are also ETFs that short the indices (like the S&P 500, DJI, etc.)

      And that’s not even getting into options contracts, which are for more slightly more sophisticated personal investors and are very cheap.

      • I should correct myself by saying that VIX products do NOT move directly opposite the market. They trade in relation to market volatility. If there’s a big sell-off, the price of your VIX-linked holdings will spike and you’ll need to sell quickly (within a day or two) to lock in your profits (or you set-up an automated trading schedule). It’s not a great product, if you’re a primarily “hands off” investor.

        • zero_sum, you just said a lot of things that I can’t even start to comprehend. Any advice on a financial planner to take advantage of these options?

          • I can’t really recommend a personal financial planner, as 95% of my retirement money is sitting in my work account retirement plan. I can choose a mix of 15 different funds (bonds, emerging markets, housing, bluechips, etc) and allocate my money between those, adjusting whenever I want.

            You can generally get a decent adviser from Charles Schwab or Ameriprise. Go there with whatever you can afford (maybe a few thousand bucks?) and tell them you want an investment that will hedge the long position you have in your retirement portfolio. If you’re nearing retirement age, then you should probably consider shifting your portfolio out of stocks and moving them into long term corporate bonds. Again, an adviser at one of those firms can help you with that.

      • Perfect name, zero-sum. A lot of people who get into the relatively exotic instruments you suggest end up with much closer to zero in their retirement than they started out with. No one who is not a professional should be playing with anything like that stuff. If they’re nervous, a corporate bond fun or high-grade munis will do fine.

        • An ETF that shorts the market isn’t risky at all and is a very simple play for an individual investor. It’s the same as buying a share in a company, except instead of investing in a company’s future profits you’re buying a share in a fund that will go up in value if the market tanks.

          Spending $500-1000 on shares of an ETF that shorts the market in general is a great and cheap insurance policy for investors that have the vast majority of their retirement savings locked up in mutual funds (like myself and nearly every other middle class person in the US who has retirement savings).

          • It maybe easy to purchase an ETF but the market knowledge required to short an investment is not easy to attain.
            Even anecdotally, you may be able to judge when a certain stock is going to go up, right before Apple launches a new iPhone or if some lawsuit rules in a company’s favor. But to short something you really need to understand the nuances of the market or, at least, the industry. And if you want to short the indices, you’d have to have a good grasp on the time horizon of the current bubble (if it is a bubble). Stuff that normal human beings don’t spend their time worrying aobut.

          • I totally agree with you, actual shorting is difficult and should be left to the professionals.

            However, the beauty of buying a “short” ETF is that the actual shorting is done by the investment company that sells the shares of the ETF. So I can “go short” on the S&P 500 and get some downside protection for my large long holdings in my retirement account without ever having to do the shorting myself. I don’t need to deal with options contracts, market timing, or losing my shirt in case the shorts blow up.

            If the market collapses, I’m still going to lose a lot of value in my retirement account but that will be partially mitigated by the fact that I owed some ETF shares that have an objective of “shorting the S&P 500″ that went up in value. That’s not a complicated investment decision at all.

        • “No one who is not a professional should be playing with anything like that stuff.” I agree!
          And, I would do significant research on munis. They aren’t as safe as they use to be.

    • I feel the same way. I sold a couple stocks last week that hit highs they haven’t seen in years. Holding onto some others simply because they’re still clearly undervalued (but unfortunately if the market crashes again, they certainly will go along with it).

  • MsNesbitt

    Also – this was a while back, but I remember someone was looking for people to help out with a new beer venture? I don’t recall the details, but does anyone remember? I have a friend who would love more information, if people are still needed.

  • squish

    Rant: Still getting punched in the face by daylight savings time. I can’t seem to fall asleep before midnight.

    Rant: Stayed up until 1 am last night washing cat urine out of bedding.

    Rave: Payday! And my fiance got a 6% raise! Makin’ it rain on our mortgage payment!

  • Rant: My PEPCO bill. This has been a discussion point on the Cap Hill listserve, but are other people in DC seeing an unexplained increase in their electric bills? I’m unplugging everything and my bill STILL goes up every month.

    • I live in Capitol Hill and haven’t seen an increase. December and January were pretty much the same, and February’s bill was $13 less.

    • Are you directly metered or do they do estimates on your consumption?

      My old group house was NOT directly metered and they would give us estimates for our monthly payment. Then they would send a guy around once every four months to read the meter. Sometimes we were overpaying for 3 months and would then get a sizable credit to our account on the fourth month, based on our actual usage.

      If you’re not directly metered with the new “Smart Meter”, it could be that PEPCO has tweaked the usage estimate formula and that you’ll receive a credit the next time they come out to read your meter.

      Also, look at your bills for the last few months and see if the per kilowatt hour cost has increase month-to-month. The price of electricity might be going up due to warmer temperatures as we come out of winter.

  • Rant: Need to find a space to host my son’s birthday in less than 2 weeks! Had planned to do it at home but now need to have some emergency repair work done that has upset those plans. Any suggestions on a nice space around the city that can host about 10 small kids and parents?

  • Rant: it’s 2013. The Kennedy Center web site can’t handle the traffic of people wanting to buy tickets and has a phone system that doesn’t have a hold/wait system.

    • Who’s coming to town? I haven’t seen a good performance in a while

    • Stub Hub works and it’s not going to work….$120 + per ticket. Oh well.

      • Still cheaper than what it costs to see it on Broadway (that starts at around $175/ticket).

        • Frozen pay + furlough = no $350 theater outing. I’m sure it’s great, but I think theater should be more accessable to encourage more families to bring their children.

          so count us out, sadly – was really looking forward to it but thanks, Congress, for ruining my year!

          • There is a lot of theatre that is affordable, even free. Just not the most popular show in the country that’s only here for a limited engagement.

          • saf

            Big shows cost big money to put on. And not all shows are meant for children.

            There’s plenty of affordable theater out there, even free theater.

          • It’s hard to imagine a town that is more accessible theatre wise, especially in you include everything inside the beltway. Most theaters have a pay-what-you-can night. Ticket Place offers great deals. Get a group together and you can get deals. Go to the preview nights ( before the opening night) and its cheaper.
            Then there are a huge number of small theatre groups that are heap to see without any deals. Check out the fringe festival too.

    • nevermind – work-related ability to get cheaper tickets.
      So, just put the reminder in my outlook to go pick them up when we have them. It’ll still be expensive, but cheaper than through Stub Hub!

  • So my girlfriend just got a new dog and I’d love to plan an outing for us. I’ve looked up some hikes and walks (including this awesome website: http://www.bringfido.com/attraction/city/washington_dc_us/), but I was hoping folks had some intentional “dog” activities we could do. Like a dog obstacle course we could sign up for or something else dog focused. any tips?

    • Try talking the puppy (leashed of course) on the billy goat trail by Great Falls (Md side). It is a great dog and human obstacle course.

      • Do not bring your dog on Billy Goat Section “A” — it is illegal and I’ve seen more than one person get ticketed for doing so. Plus it can endanger others who are having difficulty hiking the trail.

        Billy Goat Section “B”, on the other hand, is great fun for a dog.

    • There are some GREAT footpaths off Rock Creek Park to take the dog (not the paved ones). A couple of “beaches” along those paths where the dogs can revel in the creek as well. Look at the northern end (DC) of the park…

  • Yes!!!!!

    This Picture is from my street. This poor sign, was a speed bump sign, is one of the casualties of a police chase that involved wrecking three cars and one police car. Came in from PG County. This sign was hit so hard it broke flew I estimate about 60 to 70 feet and stuck right in the tree. Then the Speed bump sign fell off. It’s not resting in the tree, but impaled!

    An officer during the scene told everybody to step back its dangerous. Been in the tree going on two weeks now. I kinda like it

  • Looking for a restaurant for my girlfriend and I to celebrate a small milestone in our lives. Unfortunately she was recently put on a very restrictive diet: no tomatoes, no potatoes, no eggplant, no gluten, no refined sugar, no citrus fruit or their juices, no chili peppers or anything hot, no raw vegetables, no alcohol, no vinegar, no soy sauce or tamari, no cashews or peanuts, no yogurt, no milk, no cheeses except soft ones like ricotta. She also doesn’t eat meat. Any ideas?

    • Make a nice meal at home. It’s not worth having a medical incident in a restaurant.

      What can she actually eat? Only soft cheese?

      Does she eat fish? Maybe she can do sashimi.

      • I’ve been making things like frittatas, rice and beans, roasted vegetables, soups, raw date brownies, vegan mac and cheese with rice noodles. I haven’t figured out what I can do with ricotta yet (I’m so used to pairing it with tomato!).

        • Yeah I second the making the nice meal at home. Check out foodwishes blog. he has some cool stuff on there

          • I guess, but I do nice meals at home every night so it wouldn’t be special. We didn’t go out to eat/drink THAT often, but now that we can’t I really miss it.

        • Good luck. That has to be the most restrictive diet I’ve ever heard of.

          I hope this is only temporary, as it would drive me insane (if I were in your shoes). It must be torture for her.

          She should really try to drop the meat thing, even if only temporarily for fish. It would give her a lot more options and provide for more satisfying meals.

          • It’s for 6 months. Fortunately she’s the type of person that can eat the same thing every day and not get bored. She does eat fish and eggs, but hasn’t had meat in over 20 years, so I don’t think she’ll be making the switch to omnivorism.

        • I would probably stay at home under those circumstances. Shrimp and grits, fish with french lentils, or a risotto might be nice options for a special meal. Or you could call a few higher end places (Black Salt, perhaps?) and see if they can accommodate her needs.

          Re. ricotta: It makes a very nice dessert with some honey and crushed toasted hazelnuts/almonds, or with berries. For savory applications, try pairing it with roasted butternut/acorn squash, shaved red onion, pumpkin seeds, and a drizzle of olive oil. It’s also really pleasant with favas and mint or seared radicchio.

          • You know, I’ve been wanting to try Black Salt. :) The hard part’s going to be convincing her it’s worth the trip out there.

    • Try Nora near Dupont. They have a great organic menu, that may be able to accomodate her.

      • Thanks for the suggestion! She’s supposed to be eating all organic too (though we haven’t totally been sticking to that rule).

        • WHO came up with this diet? Were there crystals involved?

          • Almost– it was a well-known ayuvedic doctor. I don’t agree with the diet (and I’m even more concerned about all the herbal pills he has her taking) but I’m trying my best to be supportive. The diet is supposedly excluding foods that are hard to digest, but I feel that we weren’t given good guidance on it.

    • Sounds like my diet. Not trying to eliminate migraines by any chance?

      Anyway, I don’t have any specfic resturants (I’ll try to think of some, I rarely eat out). But when I do go out, I stick to places that serve freshly cooked, local food. It is more likely to be cooked on the spot where they can make accomodations. For a special meal it might be worth calling ahead with the dietary restrictions too.

      Also, the Post just did a story on a resturnat in MD for people with allergies. I think it is pretty far away, but it may be worth calling and seeing if they can accomodate. I think they’re already gluten free. It was in the Rosenwald MD column.

      I don’t eat meat much, but I do eat fish and I’ve found I eat fish a lot when I’m out. If I can think of other places for veg food I will.

      On the ricotta, you can just spread it thinly on toast – it is delicious and provides some protein.

      • Haha, no, but I’m familiar with the migraine triggers list and it’s very similar. Thanks for the suggestions! I’m guessing she could get grilled fish and vegetables somewhere and hope they don’t sneak in lemon juice or soy sauce. Even if they do, I doubt a small amount will hurt her.

        • Just tell them she can’t eat that stuff. Even a little soy sauce will give me a monster migraine, so I just tell them what I can’t eat. I’ve never had a problem at the better resturants. At some of the middle resturants I have, but not at the better ones.

          Oh, and leave a good tip :)

      • OK, I just read that you’re girlfriend will eat fish. That does make it easier. Take her to a good seafood resturant that does fresh fish caught that day cooked to taste. think Oceanaire-type places. They make their food to please. that makes everything easier. Any place where teh food is pre-prepared is a no-go for me because I can’t have things like onions and seasoned salt, which is in every pre-prepared food.

        At a cook to order place like a fresh-catch fish resturant, they’ll cook the fish and veggies to order so she can avoid any thing else she can’t eat. And the food will be good. Call ahead when you make your reservation and let them know your GF has food allergies.

        Good luck and have fun!

        • Go down to the SW Waterfront marina and order some fried fish, steamed shirimp and fries. Mmmm.

          • Fries are out (no potatoes) and the fish fry batter is probably not gluten free. But yeah, steamed shrimp should be ok…

    • Maybe try Dino in Cleveland Park? Dean, the owner, is very helpful when it comes to food issues – call ahead, tell them the issues. He could probably do a fish/polenta/veggie dish for you that would be excellent. Their veggie menu is great.

    • Founding Farmers would probably be accommodating – all local, fresh, organic stuff. You might also consider doing brunch instead of dinner. Sticky Fingers in Columbia Heights has gluten-free/dairy-free pancakes and other brunch options. Not as fancy, but something to consider about when you just want to go out somewhere.

      • Yeah, but do the gluten & dairy free pancakes also not have refined sugar in them?

        • You’d have to call and ask. Their website says most things are sweetened with evaporated cane juice.

      • Sticky fingers is hard because it is hard to know what is in some of their stuff – it would be hard to police for citruis juice and nuts, for example. I’m the anon from above with the really restrictive migraine diet. I used to eat there a lot, but had to stop because I couldn’t always tell what I was eating.

      • Sushi rice has vinegar in it. We could do sashimi, but it’s also not much fun without the wasabi and soy sauce. I just don’t see her getting too excited about eating blocks of raw fish and nothing else.

    • What about shellfish? Could you go get a bucket of crabs in Maryland? That’s kind of a fun, “special” experience.

    • i know it’s not what you’re asking, but man, it’s a milestone, save yourself the heartache, make her something nice at home.
      take her out to a play, or an art exhibit, or the symphony, or something like that.
      things can go horribly astray with very restrictive diets and restaurants. mess with that on a day that isn’t a milestone.

  • Additional Rave: Chef John from foodwishes.com. He has saved my pocket A LOT of money with his easy recipes. His recipe for bumble bee soup is soo good. I add chorizo and small diced potato but it is soo yummy.

  • any advice on how to find a running partner?

    • I’d say check with friends, colleagues etc. to see if anyone you already know is someone you could run with.

      I think many of not most of the running stores in/near DC have informal running groups – you can just show up and run along. Even if running with a group isn’t ideal you might find others who are also interested in smaller groups or pairs.

      • thanks for the tips! i think i will have to try out a running group (though that is pretty intimidating) because none of my friends or colleagues are interested in running.

        • I also meant to add about the running groups: it does sound intimidating but they are usually open to all types of runners. They’re very much open to all levels of runner. If you’re hesitant I would stop into a store and just ask a salesperson for some info – or just email them first.

          Another idea – get on your neighborhood email listserv and put out a feeler. I know there were a few people on the Petworth listserv not too long ago looking to start a low-key running group.

          • This varies a lot depending on the group. I’ve gone on runs with informal groups that almost made me cry, they were so competitive and mean about people running slower. And other groups are very supportive, someone will always stay back and run with the slowest, etc.

            Recognize that you may go on a few really crappy runs with these meetup type groups before you find one that matches your pace and perspective. And it is them, not you.

    • Get a puppy. Best running partner I’ve ever had.

      But really, what’s your pace? Perhaps we could set up a Popville running partner match service, like everyone is trying to do with dating on this site.

  • Rant: Google, first you take away Google Reader with the option to share with friends and give me a sub par version. Then you take it away completely? Screw you!

    Rant: Dealing with shitty “friends.” A whole group of people I used to spend the majority of my time with have decided to completely stop talking to me with no warning and no explanation. They just decided to stop taking my calls, answering my texts, and then defriended and blocked me on facebook. I like to think that I’m a rational, mature person that can take someone telling me that I’ve been a dick or something, so I can apologize. Or defend myself. But this hurts a lot and it made me feel like shit all day.

    Rave: Fuck those assholes. I’m going to celebrate my 28th with my boyfriend in Charleston this weekend and have a wonderful, carefree time!

    • Speaking of crappy friends… is Kaylee still out there? If so, whatever happened with those friends of yours who were acting like Mean Girls to you?

      • That’s right! We never got our update!

      • I thought I was the only one still wondering! I’ve assumed it didn’t go well.

      • i wrote about this last week! Kaylee, we need answers!

      • I just jogged everyone’s memory of something I missed in the PoP best of stories?! Care to elaborate? I know nothing of this!

        • Long story short, she had an uncomfortable weekend trip with friends who excluded her from activities and weren’t acting normally, then continued to act strangely towards her after she got back to town. They were avoiding her, then there was a planned meeting a week or so ago.

          She was going to come back with an update at the end of that week. It’s been a couple of weeks though, no word.

      • +1

        I need to hear the resolution to her story. This is better than an episode of Dynasty.

        Though, I feel like she hasn’t posted on here since the friend meeting. I hope she’s ok!

    • :( Sorry to hear that.
      Everything for a reason. Keep it moving and enjoy your birthday.

  • Rant?: Boss just saw me doing the Express crossword and asked if I had enough to do. I was honest and said ‘not really’, to which he replied, ‘would you like me to think up some things for you to do?’ and I stupidly said ‘sure’. Oh, well, better than being bored…….

    Rave: Pope Francis! And he’s a Jesuit!

    Rave: Went to a show at the Howard Theater last night – what a great venue!

    Rant: Is it *seriously* ONLY Thursday???

    • Re: Only Thursday

      I went through most of Thursday completely convinced it ws Friday – it wasn’t until about 2pm that I said some thing to a co-worker who set me right (though now he thinks I am insane.)

      So, all in all, you can imagine how long today (actual Friday) has been.

      But only 28 minutes left!

  • Rave: This is very entertaining on a slow day for me – thanks all!

    Rant?: Hey, Popville, would it be possible to include a little button at the end of people’s posts to collapse a particular thread? I’m finding it somewhat difficult to follow these posts with so many replies on a given thread. I doubt it’s trivial to implement, but just a thought.

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