Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user mixedeyes

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.

200 Comment

  • Rave: Got my bike repair stand assembled! I was ready to return it, but the manufacturer responded to my email and gave me some help. Also, the directions on their website are much better than the ones that came with the stand. Now I have to figure out how to properly clamp by bike to it and start learning more about repairs and maintenance.

    • Check out the Park Tools website. They have good videos that describe how to do everything from basic maintenance through complete overhaul. It’s really not rocket science. If you want to adjust your brakes or shifting, it’s all about the cable tension, and making sure the brake pads touch the rims correctly.

      • Thanks! I have a Parks stand, so it would make sense to learn from their videos. Also, I found out recently that there’s a bike coop in Mt. Rainier, and it’s pretty close to one of the trails I regularly ride. I might check it out this spring or summer.

  • Observation: So im on twitter minding my business when I read one of Alan Suderman’s tweets and Michael Brown’s campaign staff trying to keep the campaign alive sans candidate…How exactly does that work?

    • If you’re on twitter, aren’t you by definition not minding your own business?

      DC politics, anything is possible as long as it’s shady.

      • Depends on how you define “minding your own business”.
        And i agree with the second response anything is possible in DC….it will be interesting to see how this plays out. I thought dude had given up.

    • oddest thing i’ve read in a awhile. twitter is not “minding your own business” by definition

      • It is if you live in your DMs as I do. But I think you are focusing on a turn of phrase more so than the actual comment. But carry on…I dont feel like explaining it anymore. My real question was how does a campaign keep doing when the candidate basically said “I quit”

  • Rave: Third morning this week of getting up and going to the gym before work. Feels great knowing I did some good for myself before the day gets busy.

    Rave: Ruth Reichl’s tweets are astonishingly lovely and hunger-inducing.

    • How are you handling the inevitable 2pm crash after early gym routine? I try and I try. Just can’t do it.

  • Rant: I need to get either an iPad or Tablet but I can’t decide which one. I’m low tech and just use my computer to surf the internet, watch vids, send emails and listen to music. I prefer using Windows cause it’s what I’ve got at work, and I find it more intuitive. On the other hand, Apple products seem more stable and plug and play. I assume I can use iTunes on both. I may also want to have a keyboard to type. Any suggestions?

    Rave: I may soon have a fun new toy and can stop lugging around a 20lb laptop.

    • i’ve never heard anyone say that windows is more intuitive. if you really believe that, you should stick with the tablet.

    • I’m normally a Windows user (for work), but my iPad is insanely intuitive and easy-to-use. My grandma has one and she figured it out on her own, that’s how easy it is. For your uses, you definitely want something that is stable & plug-and-play. There’s not much configuration required.

      The iTunes is also filled with the most up-to-date apps. Many apps will come out on Apple before they hit the Android market.

      The biggest thing to consider, if you go iPad, is whether you want a wireless-only or 3g iPad (which is more expensive and you’ll have to get a $30-40/month contract with Verizon or AT&T). If you have your own business or can get work to foot the bill for the service, go with the 3G enable iPad. Otherwise the wireless-only iPad is good enough.

      I’d also recommend getting the model with the smallest hard drive. Between my Spotify subscription ($10/month) and Soundcloud, I never download music. It’s all streamed off the Cloud. I’ve had my iPad for a year and I’ve only used 3 out of 16GBs, and that’s mostly just goofy pictures I’ve taken with my iPad, some stuff from Spotify, and the actual size of the apps. The days of needing massive harddrives are over for consumer usage. Save yourself some money by getting the smaller harddrive.

      • My Verizon iPad 3G contract is $20

        Another consideration is whether you’ll ever want a smartphone. If so, you’ll want to think about app portability. If you get an iPad, many of the apps you buy will also work on the iPhone. But they won’t work on phones on other platforms, so you’d have to buy the same apps over again.

      • I agree. I’ve only used the ipad so I can’t comment on the alternatives, but it is extremely intuitive. Both my 70-year-old mother and my 6-year-old son took to it right away. I also agree on the small drive, and 3G is not worth it unless you really want to surf the web on the bus. You can get wifi just about anywhere else.

        • I completely disagree about getting the smallest harddrive if you end up getting the wifi-only version. But it all depends on how you’re going to use it. One of the big reasons for us buying the ipad was to be able to download movies to watch in places where we don’t have access to the internet/aren’t willing to pay for wifi (family’s cabin, on airplanes, etc.). We opted for the wifi-only version as we figured we can just download stuff at home before we leave. The smallest harddrive has been a major headache as you can only download a few movies before all your space is gone. Additionally, if you have access to a slower internet connection (hotel/airport wifi for example), it can sometimes take hours for a single movie to download. The smaller drive gets very old, very quickly. If you’re not going to get the built-in internet version and you like downloading movies, I’d probably recommend springing for a larger harddrive. If you’re getting the built-in internet version and/or you don’t see yourself downloading movies, then I agree the smaller capacity is probably fine.

    • Get a Nexus 7. Its relatively cheap and really awesome.

      • Or a nexus 10 which is a bit more expensive but also very awesome. I know people love their iStuff but I am not a fan. Three significant problems w/MacBook in three years – all at least $100 to fix, and reading in forums these are all common problems that haven’t been addressed by iTakeYourMoney.

    • Similar question– I’m due for a phone upgrade soon and wondering what I should go with. I never been an Apple fan but I’m envious of the iPhone users and all the good apps they have access to. My partner has the Samsung Galaxy S3 and it’s great except I hate how big the Galaxy phones are (my hands are small so they’re hard to hold).

    • Blithe

      With a Verizon ipad, you don’t have to get a contract. Each month you can decide how much data to get – or opt to get NO data at all. You can also add data if you run out during the month – but that’s a pretty expensive way to go. I decided that it was worth the extra money to have an option other than wifi – because when I’ve needed that option, I’ve REALLY needed it.

    • Get the Human Cent-i-Pad!

  • Rant: My dvr cut off the last couple of minutes of The Americans last night. I set it to record the rerun, and to end five minutes later and it cut off again! I know through recaps what happened, but now I have to wait until it airs again to see the last scene.

    Rave: Vacation in a week and I don’t have to drive to Baltimore tonight.

  • Rave: Today is my Friday!

    Rant: I was writing an email to note my disagreement with a position my new ANC rep has taken and then looked at his picture and realized he is someone I slept with once.

    Whoops–not sure I want to send this with my name and new address!

  • Rant: My mother has had symptoms of kidney stones for a week and a half. Turns out it’s not kidney stones, but her doctor has no idea what. She had to wait for the insurance company’s approval to get a CAT and CT scan, and then the doctor screwed up her appointment so she had to wait even longer. She had the scan this morning, but this whole thing has just been dragged out because of bureaucracy and mistakes.

    Rave: Beautiful weather to distract me from worrying. Can’t wait for the Bicycle Space-led bike tour of the cherry blossoms tonight!

    • Gotta love our health care system!

      Best of luck to your mom. There is little in life that is more stressful than trying to diagnose a health issue that is significantly affecting your quality of life.

  • Rave: getting ready to adopt a dog in the next year or so. I’ve been wanting to adopt one for ages, and we’re finally in a work and financial situation that will allow it.

    Rant: looking for a dog friendly apartment in DC that won’t break the bank with high rent and pet fees. Any suggestions?

    • Northbrook in Mt Pleasant is VERY pet friendly – but no idea what the apartments rent for.

    • anonymouse_dianne

      Union Row at 14th and V is very pet friendly. It is a condo, but there are some rentals available. No extra fees. I bought here with intentions of getting a dog to add to my cat menagerie.

      • But that means that the landlord would need to be OK with the tenant having pets. From the landlord’s point of view… unless you’re having trouble finding a tenant, isn’t it just easier (in terms of damage/wear and tear) to have a tenant without pets than one with?

        • I’m a landlord and I allow pets in my rental. With the appropriate backround check and pet deposit, I see no issue with it – pets need places to live, too. We have a dog (a big dog at that) and buying a place that was 100% pet friendly (no size or breed restriction) was essential for us. I don’t charge a monthly pet fee, just a deposit and an agreement that you must follow the condo bylaws regarding pets and any pet damage beyond the deposit is paid for by the renter.

          I am happy to rent to dog owners – probably more so than cat owners (personally). I know the building I own in and rent out from is pet friendly and some landlords are. My current tenant’s lease doesn’t expire until 2014, though…but there are dog friendly landlords out there that aren’t slum lords OR trying to earn a buck off your pet!

        • If you want to increase your chances of having a long-term tenant, a dog owner might be better because they have fewer options and would be more likely to stay put. Also owning a pet, just like having a job or having kids, indicates that the tenant is a responsible grown-up.

    • Archstone and Bernstein Management both own a few dog-friendly buildings in Glover Park.

    • If interested in adopting, I want to plug the Washington Animal Rescue League- it is an amazing shelter. And just to get you even more excited about adopting, check out their puppy/kitten cam….its addicting: http://animal.discovery.com/tv-shows/too-cute/games-more/puppy-cam.htm

    • Carrollsburg in SW is very pet friendly. It almost seems like you have to have a dog to live there, there are so many of them being walked. Good luck!

  • Rave: Super excited for spring and the ridiculously awesome weather coming this weekend and early next week!

    Rant: My allergies are so bad I can hardly be outside in the spring anymore and I’m currently down with a vicious sinus thing after spending Saturday on the Mall…

  • mtpgal

    Rant: I was that person on the metro this morning with a truly disgusting cough. To those who were standing around me: I swear, I’m not contagious anymore, it’s just lingering! Sorry!

    • It’s always tricky this time of year. Not sure if the dude next to me on the bus who is sneezing and coughing all over the place just has allergies or some awful contagious flu-like infection.

  • Rant: Virginia

    Rant: Hill East residents who believe they are entitled to on-street parking. If parking is such a high priority for you, why didn’t you buy a place with off-street parking?

  • Rave: I am moving to and starting my job in DC this summer, and I am so excited about it that I am now obsessively checking multiple DC blogs in preparation.

    For the record, I think this might be my favorite one.

    • mtpgal

      Congrats! I’m a townie, so I’m probably biased, but I love this town. Hope you do, too!

    • This is a good one. People are nice and generally knowledgable about what they speak and seem to care about their communities. Three points of advice 1. never express any cruelty towards dogs on this blog, 2. don’t try to play backgammon for free at a bar in this town, and 3. if you make over 250k and take a two week vacatation abroad every year, best to keep it to yourself.

      • haha- perfect!

      • Also if you buy a moldy cake from Heller’s bakery, they will not give you a refund.

      • bfinpetworth

        lol. I’m still recovering from my post two years ago about a dog tied up outside the diner. Who knew people would be so opinionated in both directions about tying your dog out in front of a restaurant!

      • These are all too funny! Perhaps a “you know you read POP obsessively when you recognize (and posted!) in all three of these threads!”

      • TG you crack me up! And I know I spend (too much?) time on PoPville when I know the posts/conversations you are referring to!

        Now I’m wondering what other famous/infamous posts/discussions have taken place on this forum.

      • Thanks for the advice. Luckily, I am a big fan of dogs, I don’t really know how to play backgammon, and I am nowhere near making 250k. So I should be fine.

    • Where are you coming from? Good luck with the housing search– that’s always the hardest part.

      • I am coming from the Triangle in NC. I have been keeping my eye on craigslist and real estate sites, so I think I know what to expect. I am looking around Capitol Hill area close to Union Station, but I am also intrigued by Dupont. That could all go out the window once I visit and look around a bit.

        • Awesome, I live in Capitol Hill (closer to Eastern Market) and absolutely love it. Dupont has always seemed overpriced and inconveniently located to me, but I’m guessing you need red line access since you’re also looking at Union Station.

          • Bingo. The job is going to be near Union Station, and the idea of being able to walk to work everyday is very appealing. Plus, Capitol Hill area seems really great, and there might still be a few deals left in the neighborhood. I have not bought a place before, so I am still looking into pros/cons and details. Lots to think about, but it is definitely more exciting than stressful, so that’s a good sign.

          • Being able to walk to work is priceless! And if you like walking, there are a lot of other things that are nice to walk to from the Union Station area.

          • Absolutely. And being able to walk to H st, Eastern market, or Union market would be great perks, too. I can’t wait to go visit and really check out the area.

          • In half an hour or less you can also walk to Metro Center, Chinatown, Penn Quarter, and the National Mall. Just outside of this radius are Logan Circle, the Yards Park, and the SW Waterfront. All great places to go.

        • I grew up in the Triangle! Welcome to the area.

        • i grew up in NC and spent 9 years in raleigh before moving up here. my experience was that apartment hunting remotely was ineffective. i stayed with DC friends one (unbearably hot) weekend and managed to find a place. it’s brutal. welcome!

  • Rave: that is a gorgeous picture

    Rant: that picture just makes me want to sneeze. I hate allergies. And I am allergic to every tree family out there, so I will now be miserable until late summer!

  • pablo .raw

    rave: things are going as planned
    rave: it’s raining work! Hallejulah!
    rave: very interesting photo gig on the way (crossing fingers)
    rave: personal projects going well
    Not rant/rave: I need to practice my portrait studio photo skills, may ask PoPville for volunteers

  • Rant: landlord told us he is going to sell the amazing condo we’ve been renting for four years. I was hoping we could live here forever.

    I hear on here all the time about how impossible it is to buy a place in DC because they sell too fast, over asking, etc. Is this really true or are these isolated incidents? With the low interest rates, I’d like to at least get approved and look a little before signing an exhorbitant lease (my, how prices have gone up in the last 4 years) but from what I read on PoP it seems like there’s no way I’ll find anything.

    • It is not impossible. I just did it in December. Some tips:

      * Get preapproved first so you know what your budget is. It’s ok to look at places a little higher if they’ve been on the market a while or otherwise seem overpriced. If a place is a good deal and is at the top of your price range, other people will probably offer over the asking price and you’ll lose out.

      * Don’t spend as much as the bank will approve you for. Save money for renovations, home improvements, closing costs, a moving van, etc.

      * Check redfin obsessively. If you hire an agent, do NOT count on him/her to care as much about finding you a house as you care. Tell your agent you want him/her to focus on places that have not yet been listed, were recently delisted, etc. and you focus on the MLS stuff and just figure out what you want to see.

      * Even if the agent represents you, he still has his own interests at heart. And that interest is have you buy the most expensive place possible as quickly as possible so he can go on to work with other people. Just be aware of that.

      • My advice EXACTLY!!

      • Ditto all of the advice above!

        We snagged a great house that we love for a reasonable price within our budget, but it meant pestering our agent about every single vaguely interesting listing basically as soon as it was posted, visiting ASAP, then deciding about an offer in what felt like a split second. It worked out, but it was like having another job for a couple months.

      • Agree with all of the above except the last point. Not all agents are out for their own interests only and want you to buy the priciest place. That’s unethical. Many care very much about their clients and want you to have a good experience and get into a home you love. Get a a couple referrals from friends and interview before committing to a buyer-broker agreement. We loved our agent and are happy he made some money by navigating the process when we bought our home.

    • epric002

      not impossible, we just bought last august. HIGHLY recommend redfin, and set yourself up for the instant alerts so you know immediately when a new property is listed. i’d even recommend my redfin agent, but he just moved to CA πŸ™ and absolutely get pre-approved, and absolutely don’t spend all you will be pre-approved for. also, going to open houses on your own is a great way to learn neighborhoods, prices, must-haves, etc. we did that for months before we started going on tours with redfin.

      • Thanks for the advice. I’ve gone to a number of open houses over the years, but usually I can’t afford these places. A few weeks ago a realtor at an open house told me the Average sold price for homes in Logan Circle was 1.1 million! I don’t have to live in Logan obviously, but that’s a ridiculous average.

    • The market today is VERY different from the market even six months ago. Yes, expect stuff to sell fast (within a week) and to go for over asking. Watch the listings, set aside your Sundays for open houses (and be prepared to make plans to see anything that isn’t holding an open house within a few days after it goes on market), be honest with yourself about how much you’re willing to pay, and good luck.

      The last house I put an offer in on? I offered 50k over asking, all cash. I was one of nine offers. I did not win.

    • Look in Brookland/Woodridge/Michigan Park areas… Still lots of single family homes available at reasonable prices! Plus, all the retail is coming to Rhode Island Ave and Catholic U within the next few years.

    • You have right of first refusal on the place you currently live in. The owner has to give you the first opportunity to buy at the market price. Don’t just move out before the place goes on the market if you’d be interested in buying the place. πŸ˜‰

      • We just bought our place in Bloomingdale this way. If it’s in your price range and you really love the place, OP, this might be the best way to go. We got our realtor and did a private sale with the owner, before it was ever listed in the market. It saved us a lot of money and stress. It was also nice to know all the various quirks of the place before buying!

        • Do you think you were able to get the place for cheaper than you would have if it was a regular sale? If so, by how much?

          • I think we saved some money (probably $5-10k), but I think it’s because of the circumstances of the sale. We also avoided a number of expenses related to moving/furnishing a new place, which can add up quickly. It’s a good idea to have a realtor look at the place first and give you an idea of what range the property would sell for before you put in an offer or discuss price with the seller.

    • Also, I recommend getting a referral for a realtor. Ask friends, coworkers, family etc. I love my agent and he was a referral, but I know others who used random agents and did not have good experiences at all…..

      • We have a realtor who we know who is a friend and has helped other friends find places. So we have that covered. Wish we could afford current place but I’m guessing it’s not really doable.

      • anonymouse_dianne

        I worked with Ed Downs of Weichart to both sell my tiny Dupont condo and buy at Union Row. He is well worth it! Drove me all around town looking for places. But do your own research as well and compare notes.

    • Why not buy the condo you’re in?

  • Rant: Late for my RROR post.

    Rave: Almost Friday!

    Rave: Gorgeous girl and I are now talking via Facebook rather than email. Scary seeing our similarities, but good to be communicating on the next level, next step: phone call! Hah….

    • is that how it works with you kids these days … email, facebook, phone?

      • I’m 37 years old! I was born long before cell phones! Pfft!! πŸ˜›

        • Can’t you just roll with “Excuse me, I seem to have lost my number. Can I have yours?” πŸ™‚

        • She is the cautious one here, she has my phone number already from my email signature. She didn’t have her number in hers. I guess she is just being cautious because she doesn’t know much about me yet. I perfectly with slow progress though, pretty sure we’ll have a date happen in a week or 2…

    • Great that you are in closer contact but you’re not really talking yet. You’re sending each other written messages over a social media platform. When you hear each other’s voice, you’re talking.

      • Hah, I detailed the whole situation in RROR 2 days ago, she started out by only giving me her email address. Getting her Facebook link is an important next step. We have already talked by email a few times about a date soon. Met in person several times before at the place she worked in DC, but never had the nerve/chance to ask her out back then, I was kind of with someone as well at that point. I can’t complain, things are going well, I don’t mind being patient, I’m pretty sure she’s scouring my facebook profile to form an opinion of me in the mean time… πŸ™‚

        • My initial reaction was to ask why communicating via Facebook should be considered the “next level” up from email.

          But then it occurred to me that being invited to become a “friend” on Facebook and gainng access to whatever that person chooses to share on Facebook could be considered a higher level of intimacy.

          But then it occurred to me that it is a mistake to confuse Facebook “friendships” with real intimacy.

          In any event, I recall the previous threads and am glad that things are progressing for you. It s a good sign that some form of contact is being maintained in the interim before your first real date.

  • Rave: Spring seems to have arrived! I’m so excited to take my new bike out this weekend for a good length ride!

    Rant: I got my first road bike, and I’m planning on doing some longer rides this summer, so I made the plunge and got clipless pedals. I’ve been practicing with on a trainer and in spin class, but I’m still terrified. The fiance tells me that it’s no big deal, and that I won’t crash my first time out, but he’s been using clips for a decade now, so I don’t think he even remembers what it was like to learn. Here’s hoping I don’t come back to work on Monday with road burn!

    • Don’t worry about road burn. The only thing that will happen if (when) you fall is you’ll have bruised ego. I fell a few times when I switched – and while embarrassing I was fine.

    • Some tips –
      Always clip out on the same side everytime – this helps muscle memory.
      Try and read the road ahead. If a car is coming, if a biker is weaving in front of you, if there’s a curb up ahead, etc., clip out one side and place your foot on the pedal without being clipped in. Find a mantra that you say to remind yourself of unclipping before or as you slow down.
      You will probably fall but most falls when you’re first learning are the “I’m going so slow and I forgot to clip out!” awkward side tumble.
      Also – don’t practice on your first ride – go to a parking lot and get really comfortable unclipping!
      Good luck!

      • Thanks, I like the tip about the mantra, I’ll have to try that.

        We’ve adjusted the tension in the clips a bit so they’re a little looser while I’m getting a feel for things, and might tighten them back up when I’m more confident. I just have to remember that I was this scared before I started riding in traffic, and I’ve been (mostly) fine since, so I’ll get the hang of it eventually!

    • gotryit

      My 2 cents – you’re probably going to fall about twice. But the falls only happen when you stop, so it’s the awkward tumble with maybe minor scrapes and more ego boosting. And it’s much better with the clipless pedals.

      What kind did you get?

      • Thanks!

        I ended up getting Shimano SPD pedals (not sure of the #). They’re fairly lightweight, but also have a platform on the non-clip side, because I do sometimes ride places like the farmer’s market, and don’t necessarily want to be clomping around in bike shoes. It also seemed better for a newbie like me to have a bigger target to clip in to, as opposed to those crazy egg beater pedals!

        • There are plenty of quality recessed spd shoes for you to use. No need to ever be clomping around with spd’s. I wear mine everywhere, and most people don’t even realize they’re bike shoes.

    • I just switched to cliipless pedals last year. my only piece of advice is that inevitably you will forget and fall over once, and just relax and go with it. i made it 1500 miles before i went down (i got totally cocky, thinking after that many miles, i had a hang of it). the worst thing you can do is put your arm out to try and break your fall — great way to break your wrist. If you just relax as you’re going over, it won’t be so bad, i swear.

      • Another newish clipless pedal user (thanks for the tips, other posters!) I just got clipless pedals on the road bike last month and am doing okay with them so far. No falls or low-speed fall over incidents (yet)! Trying not to get overconfident.

        Agree with the above stuff. Also, make sure you lean towards the side you clipped out on – my first almost fall was because I clipped out on the right but leaned left. I have Shimano A530s, which are the kind with the platform on one side and the SPD thing on the other, so you can ride without clipping in. Hains Point is a good place to practice, too – flat, not many cars.

        • I am a new clip-in user as well. Took my bike with new pedals out for the first time last week. I was the person in Adams Morgan who clipped out on the right and leaned left nearly falling to the ground. Have a nice bruise, but otherwise just a little embarrassed… Got the hang of it pretty quickly, so nothing to worry about. Best piece of advice is definitely clip out on the same side all the time. I also have the Shimano pedals and I do love them! Goodluck πŸ™‚ Maybe I’ll see you on the road soon

  • Rant: Discussed project I needed with colleagues in another office more than a month ago. Finally send draft of the product and its total crap.
    Rave: I don’t have to work with them on a daily basis.
    Rave: Its spring!

    • Hope all is well on your end – thinking good thoughts for you! Also hope you can find something to distract yourself from the worrying, at least for a little bit. Take care!

      • thanks – you’ve been there, I know that…nothing I can do about it, just have to wait. less than a week before the NT scan so I can see it all then. Sigh.

  • rave: job interview this afternoon. near old town. i love old town.

    rant: my nerves.

    rave: my mom turns 70 next week, and we are throwing her a little surprise. my brother will be coming up and she has no idea (at least i hope). really looking forward to it!

    rant: i still have no idea what to get my mom for her birthday!

    rant: resentments i can’t seem to shake.

    rave: nice weather encourages me to get out more and get out my own head.

    • re: your mom’s gift….have you guys taken a nice family portrait lately at all? some people do this regularly, but many do not. I know our family doesn’t. If yours doesn’t, maybe you could hire a photographer to take a family picture at the party and get it framed for her as the gift? Just a thought! I know my family loves stuff like that.

      • See pabloraw’s post above!!
        He may be getting more requests than he anticipated. πŸ™‚

        • lol. might not be a bad idea though. my mom does like stuff like that. i just hate to be in the pictures!

          • We did this a few years ago for my mom – and I actually had us recreate a portrait of us kids when we were younger (my little brother was crying so the photographer handed him a Pooh bear which he wouldn’t give back, so Pooh was in the photo with us – so we got a bigger Pooh bear for the photo with us as adults!). She LOVED it.

            Another idea I do periodically for birthdays is x# reasons why we love mom. So, for a 30th birthday I do 30, a 40th birthday 40, etc. I then reach out to friends and family and get them to submit their reasons and then get it printed with photos. It is the best gift and practically free, but a lot of work. Plus, it gives you insight into the person you are doing it for that maybe you didn’t have before.

          • saf

            My mother hates to be in photos.

            My mother gets annoyed that she has very few photos of her mother.

            My mother refuses to see the connection.

            Be in the photos. Even if you hate them, they mean something to the people who love you. THEY will not hate the photos.

      • binpetworth

        Last Xmas, I gave my mom a photo my sister and I had taken–the first one of us together in probably 20 years. A few weeks ago I was at my mom’s house and disappointed to not see it displayed anywhere. Apparently she prefers the circa 1984 feathered hair portraits of us than our contemporary mugs πŸ™

    • How about a copy of LIFE magazine from the week she was born? Sounds kinda cheesy, but I got my dad that for one of his big ones (65 or 70) and he really liked it.

      • interesting. where do you find that? just on thier website?

        • One of the antique shops at Savage Mill has a good collection of them. That’s where I bought the one for my father. There are probably online sources as well.

          Savage Mill is definitely worth the trip. If you have a car, it’s less than an hour from DC. Lots of cool shops there, and the Ram’s Head is a decent place for lunch and/or beers.

          • There’s also a guy who sells them in Eastern Market–he has a great collection that he knows really well. He helped me find an issue from the day my dad was born that was a big hit!

        • There is a website called oldlifemagazines (dot) com that I have used. (But i am not affiliated with).

      • Yeah, when my dad turned 65, a friend gave him a copy of the NYT from the day he was born. He thought it was great.

  • Rant: Packed day of meetings and no time to breath…think…write. I need to think and write to finalize something by the end of the day but don’t know when I’ll find the time!

    Rave: Leaving on a jet plane this evening. Miami here we come πŸ˜€

    Rave: Easter leftovers for lunch.

  • Rave (I forgot): new TMobile plans. For the two of us, our bill is now under $100 for talk/text/data (2.5G each until they throttle). On one bill, no “top up” required (auto-bill). Compared to the $85 each we were paying until out contracts expired, that’s AWESOME. Highly recomend.

    • How is the service coverage? If you haven’t had it for very long, maybe you could give an update in a week or two. I’m thinking about making the switch too.

      • i’ve had TMobile for so long – since they were Voicestream! I just recently switched because my contract with TMobile ended. But I still have the same number.

        The service is fine – works in metro stations (not while the train is moving though) and DC is part of TMobiles 4G LTE expansion. I’ve traveled with it, never had issues except in Glouster Mass (and only in the stupid house we were in, not the main part of “town”).

        And I have an old ass phone (2+ years), so I’d imagine with a better phone, my service would be even better. But I’ve had minimal to no issues.

      • I’ve had T-mobile for 3 years in the city and love it. When I’m in a busy area (like U Street or Adams Morgan on a weekend night), I get full bars, while my Verizon or AT&T friends complain that they’re getting no service or data. Love it, and recommend it whenever someone is looking for a new carrier!

  • Rant: it’s not Friday yet.
    Rave: the job I’ve been interviewing for for over a month is supposed to make a decision next week (yeah, I’ve heard that before!). I desperately want the job so I hope it’s good news, but if its not, I can move on. I hope I get it!!

  • RAVE: Netflix added all the seasons of The L Word to their streaming service in the last week. I’ve only seen a few random episodes throughout the years, so I watched the first two episodes last night. Holy hotness. #teamShane

    • I’ve been watching this, but I’ve been too embarrassed to ask if anyone else is watching! It’s kind of mediocre overall, but I love Shane!! I want her to be my friend in real life.

      • The acting is actually pretty bad. The writing (thus far) is pretty good, though it does have some cheesy moments. The sex scenes are actually really good, some of the best I’ve seen in film/TV, without being obnoxiously pornographic. Very artful and “real”.

        And damn, Jenny is so cute. Her scene with Marina in episode two left my jaw on the floor. lol.

        • I agree that the writing is better than the acting. The yoplait girl and her terrible haircut were really distracting to me. Also, the love scenes mostly feel like “lesbian” porn for straight guys to me. I guess that could just be the not so good acting though. Still, it’s a fairly entertaining show.

          • I also was kind of embarrassed about watching this, so that’s why I posted to Pop’ville instead of FB. Had to discuss somewhere! πŸ˜‰

          • The writing gets worse as the show goes on, though that didn’t stop me from watching the whole thing when it originally came out. πŸ™‚ I wish the lesbian community in DC were even half as cool as the one depicted in the L Word.

    • YES! I will be glued to my sofa too πŸ™‚ #teamshane

    • Years ago I used to watch clips of it on YouTube. Then I found out that there were other video sites that had much better, longer and, um, satisifying clips of a similar nature. I never went back and still haven’t seen an entire episode.

      • LOL.

        I see what you did there.

        I’m actually watching it for the story itself, but the eye candy doesn’t hurt. I’ll watch the first season and then figure out if I want to keep watching.

    • I watched the whole series a few years ago and was totally not prepared for Shane’s hitness. twenty something years of staunch hetersexuality down the drain πŸ˜‰

      also, a friend of mine had a small role in a different Jennifer Beale show and got her to call and leave me a “happy birthday” voicemail, she was the sweetest! I’m happy I was in the shower and missed her direct call or else I might have died ( not really, I will forever curse that ill-timed shower!)

      • I’m like the only person that isn’t attracted to Shane at all (even though her personality is the most like my own).

    • They’re back! They were all on Netflix when I was in college, and then they disappeared. Glad more people can enjoy the trashiness πŸ˜‰

      Also, super happy to see more (presumably) lesbians/queer women on PoPville! I have been in DC for about two years and it seems like gay men occupy a far more visible space in this city than women. WHERE CAN I FIND MORE QUEER WOMEN?? I miss the companionship!

  • epric002

    Rant: the (mostly) youngish people on Metro who play their music so loudly that despite their wearing headphones, I have to listen to it my whole flipping commute. Apparently I need to up my glares, as they are having no effect on the inconsiderati.
    Rant: when there are multiple people doing this in the same car. MADDENING!
    Rave: is spring really, truly, finally here??? πŸ˜€

    • The people with loud musical ringtones are just as bad. I just ignore them and read my book when they make their noises.

    • novadancer

      that’s my daily rant too! Wishing there was a “quiet” car like amtrak. The curse of having super sonic hearing is I can hear their music OVER my own headphones (which emit no sound as I’ve checked).

      • epric002

        oh, how i wish i could just ignore them. also, would love a quiet car a la amtrak, though i imagine the number of folks breaking the quiet car rules on metro would be even greater than those on amtrak. but at least then i could have a sign to point at while shushing them πŸ™‚

    • And then there are the oldish couple on my bus commute playing a game on their cellphones (simultaneously, with each other) with full volume. Drives me mad – and I’ve come close to asking if they know how to turn the volume off or if they need me to show them.

      But yes, the headphone thing bothers me as well.

    • My favorite is the combination of this + said offender singing/talking along to their music in a weird monotone voice. I’ve witnessed this at least 20 times. And I didn’t think anything could be worse than listening to someone’s too-loud cellphone conversation…

  • Second rant – my baby brother deploys on Monday.

    Rave – they were short one person for the Kosovo peace keeping group, so he got switched to that team rather than the one going to northern Afghanistan. Woohoo!!

    • Can’t believe we still have people in Kosovo.
      Though, I’m happy he doesn’t have to go to AFG. It’s a shit hole. I hate that people have to be there. My husband is a generally peace loving, calm guy and he lost a bit of faith in humanity after his afghan deployment because you can’t trust anyone there. It’s a helpless feeling having someone there. So I’m happy he gets a chance to be someplace else.

    • Hope he and his are/stay safe. Thank you for giving him (and his) loving support! I’m leaving in two weeks for my third deployment to Afg, so I know a bit of the pain.

  • bfinpetworth

    Rave: People discussing lesbian porn on PoP :-). For what it’s worth, I watched the L-word full series when it was originally on and also thought the acting was bad in the beginning. But for some reason, that impression disappeared as the seasons wore on. Except for Tina, she never got any better!

    I think Jennifer Beale has a new series starting on one of the networks soon. Looked like it might be good.

  • tonyr

    Rave: Just won two tickets for tonight’s Capitals game
    Rant: I’ve never, ever, seen them win

  • Rant: Saw an awesome (beat-up) wood dresser at Goodwill yesterday after work, but decided not to buy it on impulse. Then proceeded to not be able to fall asleep because I couldn’t stop thinking about all ways I could bring it back to it’s former glory.

    Rave: Went back to the store this morning and it was miraculously still there! $30 and a packed car later, and I have a project that I can’t wait to start. I’d rather be refinishing furniture than at my desk right now. I might need a vacation, or maybe I’ve just found my next career.

  • Anyone know where I can find the first half of season 5 of Breaking Bad–it’s not on Hulu…so far I only see it for sale on Itunes/Amazon streaming.

    • It’s coming out on DVD next week I think (read it on FB), so maybe that’s when it will be available instantly on Netflix too.

      You could also go the illegal route and get it via bit torrent…

      What’s the prob of itunes or amazon? what format are you looking for exactly?

  • Rave: Awesome date planned, Alice Smith at 9:30 Club.

  • Rant: Paperless Post. Why can’t people just use E-vite??

    I don’t need to waste my time looking at an animation of an envelope, watching it turn around, and then watching as the “invitation” is removed from the damn envelope. Just give me the information!

    • Allison

      Haha, I feel the same way about restaurants whose websites are so fancy they have a lengthy flash intro. I just want to know what your hours are… I don’t want to watch your swirly-doos fly around on my screen for five minutes and have jarring music blare forth from my speakers.

      • Yep or at least give me a “skip intro” option.

        What I hate about restaurant sites is when they have their menus as PDF on their website, especially if it’s a separate PDF for all the different menus (ie, breakfast, lunch, dinner). Seriously, just put the menu on the site!

  • Rant-the people at h & r block on Georgia ave can’t keep an appointment and can’t type with both hands taxes took three hours and did not have more than 1099 and w 2

    Rave-taxes are done

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