Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user brunofish

You can talk about whatever is on your mind โ€“ 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 peopleโ€™s grammar. This is a place to vent and/or celebrate things about daily life in DC.

134 Comment

  • justinbc

    Rant: I’m curious what other people out there have paid to have their whole roof replaced? After the pretty major storm we had about a month ago we noticed quite a bit of leaking in multiple rooms, in a roof that really should not have passed inspection when we bought the place in May, but somehow did. So now we’ve got to replace the whole thing. The total roof sqft is about 1000, and we plan to add in a 2×4 skylight, along with a new hatch access point. So far we’ve received quotes of 39K, 17K, and one quote with options of 10K, 17K, and 19K.

    • houseintherear

      About $8k is what I will be paying for my 600 sq ft roof with no sky lights or any fancy stuff, if that helps.

    • In 2008 for 750 sq/ft, ours was $14K for completely new roof.

    • You likely already thought of this, but if the leaks are storm-related, it might pay to check in with your home insurance company. We had similar issues and were pleasantly surprised that we could use our coverage for repairs.

    • justinbc

      Thanks for the replies thus far, all very helpful numbers! @caitb, someone else mentioned that to us just yesterday and after seeing your note we’ll definitely be checking in with them. Our agent at Liberty Mutual has been great so far, I’m quite pleased with them.

    • One piece of advice: those quotes on the lower end may involve laying down new roofing material on top of the old. DON’T do this. Pay to have them take the old one off to the plywood, replace any rotten sections (you probably have some with that amount of leakage) and put on a new membrane. I’m assuming this is a typical flat to low slope townhouse roof. If you are talking slate shingles or otherwise, ignore!

      For our ~1200 sqft, flat roof we paid about $10K in 2009. Complete tear off and rebuild as above. Shop around, those high quotes sound WAY high, but read carefully what they include.

      • justinbc

        Yep, flat sloping roof. The guy at 40K was just out of his mind. He was also the first one to respond and came out right away, so I’m guessing he gets his business through people who need immediate replacement and can’t wait for other quotes. He quoted 3,500 just to install the skylight, which others have quoted around 700.
        We’re looking to do a solid membrane roof, EPDM, TPO, PVC, etc, because we want to eventually do a green roof on top. Probably the most frustrating thing thus far has been that none of the roofing companies have in-house carpenters, so they can add in the skylight / hatch / etc, but can’t do any of the woodwork inside to actually make them functional.

        • I replaced mine (townhouse) a few years ago for $2,840. They pulled all the old off and did a full replace. No skylight though. Just the roof. I think they gave me a small discount because I gave them a ton of other business. They did a wonderful job. Beyond Exteriors out of Centreville – I live in Centreville but I believe they work in DC as well.

      • I outsourced the contractor-interviewing on this one to my dad (who, in fairness, co-owns my house until I can buy him out). Based on what the home inspector had said, I thought the existing roof needed to be completely removed, and I thought that was what my dad was getting bids for. Instead he chose the option of putting a new roof over the existing one, and I was none the wiser until AFTER the work was completed and it was too late to do anything about it. ๐Ÿ™

        • Oh, and I was the one paying for the job.

        • justinbc

          Our current roof was built on top of the previous roof, which is always a terrible thing to do. So now we’ve got two to rip off before building the new one.

          • Actually… I was shocked and horrified how cold my house got when we replaced decades worth of roofs with just one new one. All that material was VERY insulating!
            Job was $8k, last fall. For the roof anyway. They also had to rebuild the crumbling chimney for another $2k. I hate paying to fix problems I didn’t know I had.

    • epric002

      haven’t replaced an entire roof, but used corley roofing to re-seal (?), replace our bathroom vent tower with a skylight bubble, and replace the roof access hatch. i can’t find our invoice from last year, but i was pleased with the price and their work.

    • Those seem high. I paid $13K for tearing everything off and completely reinsulating in 2009. It may be that they are a bit higher since they are ripping off and disposing of the two layers.

    • I paid $1500 for a similar size roof a few years ago. But, I know roofers and they had extra material laying around.

  • Rant: Terrible insomnia last night. Meeting with the boss at 11. No idea how I will get through.
    Rave: Trick-or-treaters tonight! What time do they start in DC again?

  • Not sure if this is a rant/rave, but Halloween candy just doesn’t taste good to me anymore. Most of it tastes stale and if it’s relatively fresh (for packaged junk) it just isn’t good. Have recipes changed since I was a kid or am I now just a fancy chocolate person? I recognize it’s total garbage with crazy chemicals in it so it’s a good thing I don’t want to eat it all, but it also makes me sad that I can’t enjoy a snickers or twix anymore.

    • Most of the chocolate in the highly-processed candy bars isn’t actually real chocolate, so that could be part of it.

    • Yeah, I feel like they’re pumping way more sugar into the chocolate than they used to. Even my beloved Reese’s aren’t that good anymore.

    • Yeah, it’s totally garbage nowadays. They’ve lowered the amount of cocoa and dairy content and replaced them with chemical substitutes or oils in order to reduce costs and increase profit margins. The junk food today truly is junk.

    • I was noticing that too. I wish some of those free-trade-organic-bean-to-bar candy cos. would make snack/fun sizes. It would cost a fortune, but well worth it.

      • Yes it will cost a fortune, but this company does offer smaller sizes of their chocolate, and it is really good, not overly sweet. I bought some last year for Christmas to give as gifts; for Halloween though, this would be WAY too expensive to give out at the door. Comes in a few varieties:

        Bonus is that this company was started by Peace Corps volunteers in Madagascar upon their return home. They partner with local Malagasy farmers and chocolate producers to be one of the only chocolate makers whose chocolate is actually made in Africa (not cocoa taken from local growers and then shipped elsewhere to be made), so a lot of the benefits stay in the community.

    • I’ve noticed that too. To me, the only chocolate- type candy that tastes the same is York’s peppermint patty. The rest of them taste like old, too sweet cardboard. I think sweettarts and that type of candy might be the same — but it’s been a long time since I’ve had that sort of stuff. My vice of choice is dark chocolate. But I don’t think that would go over well with trick-or-treaters. Maybe Dove milk chocolate might work? For those of us/you who might want to take advantage of the candy sales tomorrow…..

  • Rant: It’s been a year since the funeral, rowing season is over and there’s a girl around who finds the house a little battered and seems not to want to spend as much time in another woman’s home as I’d like her to, so I have the psychic bandwidth and selfish motivation to get the decade-delayed home renovation underway. And I can’t even get the contractors I made initial contact with last summer to call me back.

    • Hang in there with the contractor interviews. We looked for a contractor for 6 months. It always started off great, and then the contractor would disappear. Worse than dating! We finally got connected with a great company through an investor who flipped a couple houses in our neighborhood. Halfway through the renovation, and so far it’s been great.

    • The first year of going through a cycle of holidays, special occasions, birthdays (your, hers, kids) is hard. Not to say the second year will be easy, but hopefully it will be easier. Last week was the one year anniversary of my mother’s death – it was hard, and I got through it.
      On another note, I’ve worked with Harmony Remodeling & would recommend them. They did a great job on my kitchen and are about to begin on my bathroom. Glen, the owner, lives in Petworth and knows how to work with old homes that often have surprises

      • Thanks for the tip(s).

        We’ve been through the cycle once now, and there’s a feeling — not forced — that it’s time to move forward. The other “trauma” is that I think I have empty nest syndrome as bad as any cliched suburban housewife. But, it’s time to scatter the ashes, turn the basement into a rental unit, outlive the cat and replace the sofa. I know it will be a slow and sometimes painful process, but I really want to get as much done as possible before next April, when I start getting up at 4:30 AM again. I do not make decisions well or quickly when I’m chronically fatigued (ask my would-be contractors or that one girl I was seeing for a while). ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • Emmaleigh504

          Why do you want the cat to die? ๐Ÿ™

          • Don’t worry, I keep her fed and happy. She’s not very affectionate unless she’s hungry and she’s a bit of a pain when you’re trying to be irresponsible. She could win me over if she ever once crawled into the bed or onto my lap, but no. Plus, I’m channeling the old joke:
            When does life begin?
            Priest: At conception.
            Minister: At birth.
            Rabbi: When the kids leave home and the dog dies.

          • Emmaleigh504

            Whew! I did not know that joke.
            She’s a cat, they aren’t known for be affectionate, or knowing the proper way to be affectionate. My cat thinks she’s showing love by yelling in my face just as a fall asleep. Such love. ๐Ÿ™‚
            But if you ever get tired of her, my sister’s kids would be happy to take her off your hands! (I would take her, but my grumpy cat would kill you and me both.)

          • I think she only likes girls. She sleeps with my daughter when she visits and she used to curl up next to my wife as she worked from home.

          • Emmaleigh504

            I’ve had cats that only like women. Hell, my cat now is scared of men at first, but she warms up to them eventually.

          • I never post and am not a cat person but Irving Streete just made me tear up. Seems like the cat may still be grieving a little, too.

          • i’m firmly convinced you get the cat you expect to get (if you raise it from a kitten). I have had several cats over 39 years and all of them have been super, super affectionate. But then, I give them a ton of attention. One of my two current cats literally follows us around the house every moment that we are home, grooms our heads when we are lying in bed, jumps up on our laps and purrs while we are trying to work, etc. but if you treat a cat like it’s going to be a loner, it will be a loner.

      • I second the recommendation for Harmony and Glen.

  • I haven’t had to replace the roof yet, but I’m interested in the responses. Follow up with us and let us know which quote/contractor you eventually choose.

  • Rant: Trick-or-treaters tonight. It’s mayhem in Capitol Hill (the southeastern end), with hordes of rowdy teenagers and drunk adults rudely demanding candy and generally causing trouble. I hate having to feel like either a prisoner in my own home (with the lights off and blinds shut) or an exile (waiting for the madness to end before going back home).

    • Really? I live near Eastern Market and have never seen rowdy teenagers or rude adults. Mostly it’s adorable little kids with parents who make sure they say thank you. I always buy a ton of candy and sit out front and it’s so much fun!

      • The little folks are super cute, but on G Street we seem to get a lot more kids who are way too old and and rude.

        • I’m on G too and I’ve noticed the crowd gets like that as the evening wears on. After handing out candy for years I have embraced my inner mean old man and stopped doing it, it’s just too expensive and takes up too much time on a weeknight. But, I don’t have to hide, I’ve found that unless you are outside on the stoop the kids pass up your house.

    • We had some trick or treaters in upper NW on Sunday. I gave them a what-are-you-doing look, and told them to come back on Halloween. Weird.

  • Rave: Sox!
    Rave: Watched game with lots of Boston people
    Rave: Met a cute and funny Boston guy
    Rave: Kissed (same) cute and funny Boston guy
    Rave: Made plans to hang out with cute and funny Boston guy this weekend
    Rant: hungover.

  • RANT/RAVE: I need a Halloween costume , what are the good stores in the district?

  • Rant: dealing with the shutdown. F’ing DOT can’t get its act together and so I’m going to have to deal with reimbursing employees for their transit costs for god knows how long. Funny how the Tea Party, that supposedly cares so much about government spending, caused a shutdown that is making goverment more costly and inefficient.
    Rave: I’m being thanked by people throughout my agency for my work to try to get this fixed.

    • Huh, that’s weird. My DOT-provided transit costs never lapsed.

    • I also work for DOT. How/why did your transit benefits lapse? Mine did not lapse. Additionally, on the DOT website a notice was posted saying that furloughed employees should refrain from using transit benefits which would indicate that the benefits did not lapse.

      • Yeah, DC area people are fine. It is those who use TranServ debit cards in other locales that are having problems (for November, they were ok for October). DOT told us this morning their cards won’t be loaded until tomorrow (they normally would be loaded October 10th). Not a problem for some people, but many have to buy their monthly pass before the month starts.

  • epric002

    rave: excited to dress up and hand out candy tonight ๐Ÿ™‚
    rave: my awesome brother and his gf are going to be volunteering at an animal sanctuary in bolivia for 2 weeks! senda verde animal refuge cares for animals rescued from the black market trade. they are seriously in need of volunteers and donations.
    rant: i can’t get the paypal donation link to work- think it might be a firewall issue. going to try from home tonight.

  • Rant – Having to wait 15 minutes for the bus this morning, then 3 of them arrived at that same time. I know that bus bunching is unavoidable during rush traffic but it is still frustrating. I usually take the bus when I”m running late don’t have enough time to walk to work… but I think I’m still better off walking.

    Rave – So excited to see Neko Case tonight at the Lincoln Theater!

    • Yeah, if your walk is 30 minutes or less, might as well walk. More dependable and usually not much different time wise than the bus. When I worked in Federal Triangle, I quickly ditched the 14th st buses and just walked there from southern Columbia Heights. If you’re running late and need to get their more quickly, a taxi might be the only option..

      • I almost always find walking to be faster than buses (sometimes even Metro).

        • Yup, I think I’m gonna walk to work even if I’m running a bit late. And I’ve learned that no matter what NextBus says, my wait for the 30s buses will always be 10-15 minutes during rush hour.

      • austindc

        Yeah, walking from Columbia Heights to Georgetown takes me one hour. Bus takes one hour ten minutes at rush hour. It’s not the buses’ fault though, there’s just so many cars! So I walk, get the exercise, and listen to music. Not too shabby!

    • See you at Neko! Do you know anything about the opener, Lucy Wainright Roche? I’m pretty sure that she’s the daughter of one of the Roches my friends used to play around the dorm room incessantly (but pleasantly).

      And, while I should never assume that anyone is as clueless as I am, I wouldn’t have known that Neko doesn’t go on until 9:15 (LWR at 8:00) if I hadn’t been hunting around the website for something else, so I’m passing that along just in case. (I would have showed up when the doors opened at 7)

        • Ha, I would have totally shown up at 7 as well! I’m lame like that. I do not know anything about Lucy Wainwright Roche, but if she is related to Rufus than I’m sure I”ll like her. Off to Google her now. Enjoy the show tonight!

      • She’s the daughter of one of the Suzzy Roche (f those Roches your friend played) and Loudon Wainwright, which makes her the half sister of Rufus Wainwright. Enjoy!!

    • agreed up at 16th/euclid….walked like 7 minutes to bus stop then waiting for 15 minutes all in all i could have walked avoided the frustration and got exercise and arrived at the same time…i need to start walking to work again. I enjoyed biking but there is a lot of prep getting ready and locking up the bike ect so i think walking and having it take the same amount of time as the bus is good.

      • And in the winter, I prefer walking to waiting at the bus stop when it’s feasible. Standing around gets cooooold!

  • Rave: Red Sox!
    Rant: I chose my profession in large part because it was inherently collaborative and provided opportunities to to learn new things all the time. How did I find myself in a job where I work in total isolation and do the same things over and over and over?
    Rave?: Time to reinvent myself work-wise.

  • Rave: My pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting were a big hit with my coworkers!
    Rant(?): I find out whether I passed the bar tomorrow. >_< Queasy.

  • Rant: Co-workers not understanding your Halloween costume. I’m done explaining what Sriracha is.

  • Rave: A beautiful new friend in my neighborhood.

    Rant: This city, made by players to benefit players. I paid 20K for a private parking spot behind my condo building. There has been a black “lettuce” with NY tags parked in MY clearly private spot all week. Monday I called 311 and they sent it over to parking enforcement………. nothing happened nobody came. Tuesday I called again and complained that nobody came out yesterday so they said for sure they were coming. Two hours later and nothing, three hours later the phone rings and with an attitude I hear “Dis parkinforcement you still need owha survurces?” to which I replied um YES that is why I called. so he said he would call me when they got there (although I am not sure why) an hour later I have to get ready for meeting friends out so I hit the shower and of course the phone rings twice while I am in the shower. I get out of the shower fully expecting to see a pink ticket on the jerk’s car in MY spot but nothing. So I drive over to Logan Circle to meet my friends, park on the street thinking I am good as it is well after 6:30 but I COME BACK TO a parking ticket for not having a zone 2 sticker on PUBLIC parking before 8:30pm. Oh the irony of it all

    And yes the car was still in my spot as of Wed morning. I bet if it is there today some neighborhood kids will write “NO PARKING” on the hood with a key or something, those darn neighborhood kids : )

    • What’s a “lettuce”?

      • I guess the OP is using “lettuce” as a derogatory term for a “Lexus”. I’ve never heard that one before!

    • If its a private spot, why don’t you call a private tow company?

      • Here is where the whole “player” thing comes in. If “I” as the owner have it towed, i will be fined by the city because the law say I have to have it ticked FIRST as a “warning” that I really don’t like people parking in my private owned and annually taxed parking spot. Can’t seem to get a ticket on it. I wonder if I can use the ticket I got and just write over the information???

        A Lettuce is a Lexus

      • That’s not legal. The District has very specific instructions for removing a car from a private parking space and the legal owner can be hit with very stiff penalties if they are not followed.

        “The Districtโ€™s towing law applies to all private properties. The police must be called and โ€” if applicable โ€” issue a parking ticket. Once that is done, either the police or the private property owner can arrange for a private towing company.
        However, before the vehicle is removed, the towing company must provide a lot of information to the District Department of Public Works (DPW), including the name of the tow truck operator; details about the vehicle to be towed; the name and address of the person requesting the tow; the reason for the tow and the parking ticket number; as well as the address where the vehicle can be reclaimed. DPW will then issue a towing control number for each individual tow.”
        You’re basically at the mercy of DC traffic cops to actually show up. My suggestion to the OP is to cruise around your neighborhood, find a DC traffic cop, and escort them to your property. It’s pointless to wait for them to show up.

        • You see the lunacy! I actually DID try to flag down THREE parking enforcement vehicles giving tickets on the street on three separate days, they just looked at me like I was crazy as heck and kept on rollin.

          DC is the District of Corruption.

          • I think DPW writes tickets only for violations of parking restrictions on _public_ property.
            What you need is MPD. Call 911 (which is now for non-emergency inquiries as well as emergency ones.)

          • Honestly, you seem a bit hysterical about the whole thing, so maybe calm down a bit? I know that some of them are lazy, but I’ve gotten them to help me in similar circumstances. You just need to keep your cool and not be a source of stress for them.
            Don’t start ranting about the parked car and the city’s ineptitude; they’ll never assist you with that attitude. Calmly walk up to them and say that you really need their help with an illegally parked car that’s been blocking your driveway for multiple days. Make them feel important, make a few lighthearted jokes about the situation, and don’t blame them. Thank them – incessantly. In general, just be pleasant and you’ll get what you want.

          • Maybe report the car stolen and abandoned? Which it actually might be. I’ve 3 times found stolen cars because they were parked in odd spots. One had been stolen 3 months earlier, parked on Irving St. and the person’s insurance had already paid them. It had 6 parking tickets but had never been towed. I finally opened the door, found a dry cleaning ticket and tracked down the owner.

            Good luck

          • I don’t understand the charge of corruption, unless the car belongs to a council member or something.
            I do find it surprising that the tow truck operators don’t lean on the city to be faster about writing tickets. This is easy money for them!

    • Try calling police non-emergency to write the ticket. When I found a car parked in the space behind my house, I called the police (although that was also because I was freaked out and worried that the owner of the car might be casing the place in preparation for robbing it).

    • gotryit

      You call 911 for someone parking in your spot. Yes, I know it’s not an emergency. MPD writes a ticket, then you call a tow company that removes the vehicle.

      What do you mean by “lettuce”?

      • That’s good to know. Thanks for sharing!

      • You would think that is the way it works wouldn’t you? Clearly not.

        • That _is_ actually how it works.
          I think the OP’s misstep was calling 311 (city services) rather than 911 (police emergency and non-emergency, as well as (emergency) fire and ambulance. Not sure why 311 routed it to Parking Enforcement (DPW) instead of to MPD.

    • Look, unless you want to live on a farm somewhere you’re going to occasionally have issues with people parking in your spot. It’s not fair, but it’s normal city/suburban life.

    • call 911 and have the car ticketed. It’s a $250 fine.. Call any tow truck that operates in the city and they’ll tow the car for you. I have done the same 3 times.

    • gotryit

      If your online remarks are at all a reflection of how you treat people in person, then I am not surprised that you had a hard time with city workers. If you can’t muster some genuine respect for other people, then at least fake it when you’re dealing with them. The whole “lettuce” thing and mocking people’s accents comes off as major jerk.

  • Anyone know why Georgia Ave was closed that New Hampshire last night around 9:00PM? I was driving northbound and it looked closed farther north than Quincy…

  • Question: my parents are talking about coming to DC for thanksgiving, instead of me going home.
    My mother said she didn’t want to cook in my kitchen, and my roommates are already planning to host a thanksgiving meal. Does anyone have any suggestions for somewhere to eat out for thanksgiving? I’ve never gone out for thanksgiving, so this is weird and new. We’re southern and traditional, so would be looking for fried turkey and all the normal fixings.

    • Bucca Du Beppo is doing one I think, and Dupont is a cool place to walk around and see things even on a holiday. Beautiful buildings etc to see from the outside, embassies and such and even better if your parents stay at a hotel in that area.

    • I think Georgia Brown’s does a Thanksgiving dinner. That should satisfy the southern cravings.

    • I hope you’re not stressing about this when you should be thinking about the Boston Boy and an effective hangover cure!
      This may not be helpful, but as someone who’s led or been part of major Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner operations for many years, but let me throw this out: If you’ve always done the traditional thing at home, don’t try to recreate it at some restaurant (especially Buco de Beppo!), it won’t feel right. Instead, drive out to the burbs and get Vietnamese…have Chinese food in Chinatown (my family still fondly remembers our “Jewish Christmas”)….Get a steak and cheese at The Fox and Hounds (OK, maybe not).
      Sure, you don’t want to do this every year. And talking your parents into it might be impossible, even if you don’t hate the idea yourself. But it’s fun, the “shared adventure” aspect of it draws folks together, and it makes a great story. Plus, leftover bun xao is better than leftover turkey. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Emmaleigh504

        +1 My family does sandwiches and sundaes for Christmas b/c the aunt that hosts Christmas cannot cook, and every time my parents have tried to do the cooking at her house something has gone drastically wrong. It’s fun and we have very decadent fixins for the sandwiches and sundaes.

    • binpetworth

      Most of the hotels in the area with restaurants will have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner–try Tabard Inn.

    • People have mentioned Clydes for other holiday dinners in the past. But I think Irving Streete is on to something.

    • I think visiting the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian and then eating at their Mitisam Cafe is an interesting and different way to spend Thanksgiving. Also, I think that’s usually the first day of the holiday exhibit at the nearby Botanic Garden, and the line to get in isn’t as long as on some other days.

  • Rave: being able to talk trash to my laker fan co-workers this morning thanks to the Dubs’ rout last night. Nice role reversal!

  • Rant:

    I recieved my open season health insurance information from my former employer yesterday. My Kaiser Medicare Plus is going up by $60.00 and I’m on retired disability. I though Obamacare was suppose to decrease healthcare cost? I’m robbing Peter to pay Paul.

    • thought, not though

    • The fact that you as an individual are paying more does not necessarily imply that health care costs are going up or down. Plus, we need context. $60 on a payment of how much? Does your former employer pick up part of the tab so your payment is going up proportionately more than the total payment? Are you aging, has your disability become worse, how long since the last increase?
      Inquiring wonks want to know.

      • Well, I’ve been totally on individual pay with Carefirst – supposedly non-profit – for 8-9 years, premiums increasing every year – (though I have no conditions etc.) This month my premium went up $80.00 – from $450.0 to $530.00.

      • Irving, my original Kaiser and my portion for 2012 went up to $494. monthly. Being on disability, my company and Kaiser allowed me to switch July 2013 to Kaiser Medicare Part B and my cost went down to $82.00 monthly and Social Security takes $251.00 monthly for Medicare Part B because I was penalized for late enrollment. My disability is depression and my Kaiser insurance doesn’t cover much for mental health, therefore, I haven’t used my health insurance except for yearly physicals and having high blood pressure. My former employer is paying half of my insurance and I pay $140. monthly. Now I’m paying $371.00 monthly for health and dental insurance. I don’t get a cost of living raise on my disability check. It’s remained the same and Social Security is only giving a 1.5 increase in 2014. Many seniors and people on disability getting Social Security, a pension check, or a disability check are living on a fixed income. Only people over 65 and people on disability can get Medicare Part B. This truly have put me into a deeper depression and most insurance plans don’t cover mental health. However, I’m trying to stay positive by smiling because I’m not alone. And ot answer your question, my HMO has been going up yearly a lot as Victoria has stated. My former employer no longer offer Kaiser and other HMO’s. I still have Kaiser because I was grandfather in.

  • Rant: houseguests for this weekend are refusing to make decisions about what to do, which makes planning/making reservations impossible. “I’m fine to do whatever” is not an adequate answer when someone is trying to make plans with you. Yes, I’m being sort of Type A, but if you want to go to a popular attraction or a good restaurant in DC (much less a bunch of them) you need to plan ahead.
    Rave: I got tired of asking and getting no answer, so I just made a bunch of reservations and plans using the few ideas they expressed interested in. So far they’re “fine” with that, so hopefully that works. If not, at least we’ll be going to places where I know the food is good and we won’t have to wait to be seated.
    Rave: Indian food for lunch!

    • Truly – that is the worst – guests who are “fine” with anything! It is so much easier when they know at least a few things – this or that museum etc. they want to see.

      • No, the worst are the guests that come every year in the middle of summer, complain that it’s too hot to go anywhere, and when you suggest a nice air-conditioned museum they reply brusquely that they’ve been to them all already. Then they sit around making snide comments about how small your 3-bedroom rowhouse is. #indianrelatives

        • sounds like my inlaws. all of them. like they are doing you a favor by “visiting”. They complain the entire time they are here even though we bend over backwards to clean, make all their meals, drive them anywhere they want to avoid walking in the heat, ask in advance what they would like to eat, etc., etc., etc. I always remind myself though that someday they will not be around and my life would be a little emptier. Seems to put my complaining into perspective.

          • I hate to say it, but my life will be fuller without said Indian in-laws. And we can finally travel to India and get to see the country instead of being held hostage in their house!

      • My only guidance is that they want to hit the cupcake places. Other than that, I’ve been on my own to plan it.

        • You can exact your revenge by taking them to good cupcake shops (Baked and Wired) and avoiding the bad but famous cupcake shops (Gtown cupcakes).

    • if they are your guest, just plan everything for them. they don’t know whats good, you’re the local!

      • Of course they don’t know what’s good. I can handle that. But my point is that they need to at least provide an idea of what they want to do. Monuments? Theater? Concert? Shopping? Movies? Bar/Club/Lounge? Specific kinds of restaurant to try? From there, I’m fine with deciding specifics. But it’s shitty to keep making me twist their arms for the barest idea of how to keep them entertained for three days.

        • Yeah, it’s really helpful to have a basic idea of what kind of visitor they want to be. I have some friends and relatives who really want to see the monuments, museums, historical sites, the whole DC tourist nine yards; and then others who don’t really care about that stuff (or have seen it after a million school field trips) and are perfectly happy to kick around exploring some interesting little neighborhoods and just generally eating, drinking, and chatting.

    • I totally know what you mean. It’s the worst when they act like you’re being uppity for wanting to ‘plan in advance’ in the first place.

      • Emmaleigh504

        Oh lord! Y’all sound like my dad who likes spontaneity, but only on Tuesdays between 2:59-3pm, and only if it’s planned in advance. I kid (though my dad really does say that in a joking tone, but he’s totally serious).

  • gotryit

    rave: Enders Game is one of my favorite books and is coming out as a movie
    rant: I disagree with just about everything he’s said outside of the novels, and am conflicted about paying to see a movie that may / may not go directly toward something I don’t like.

    • I haven’t read Enders Game, but my last novel, The Devil’s Paintbox, was grouped with it as offensive (Also an Agatha Christie novel!?) that got a teacher in South Carolina suspended! I’m totally curious now. . .

  • anonymouse_dianne

    Balderdash. I’m teleworking and both of my cats are showering me with attention, albeit in their own way. The Aby won’t sit in a lap, but she was playing with my feet, and the Savannah just gave me a kiss. Now she is all over my keyboard.

    • Emmaleigh504

      lol my family used to have a cat that showed my dad affection by clawing his legs as he walked by ๐Ÿ™‚

  • To light a Pumpkin – A gripping tale of having only ONE MATCH in my entire house to light the Jack O Lantern with tonight! My fire-lighters are out of juice, I know no smokers – stay tuned. . . .

  • Yesterday was the 4th anniversary of my dad’s passing and I still feel like crap. Even pics of babies in Halloween costumes havent succeeded in cheering me up. sigh.

    • I’m sorry, I know how that feels. Spend time thinking about the all of the wonderful things about him and spend time with good friends. It helps.

    • My Mom died almost a year ago — you have my sympathy! As I’m sure you know, the first year of holidays and anniversaries and just regular life events can be very hard because you’re often hyper-aware of the absence of someone who may have been the center of those traditions. The second year can be hard too, because you’re often conscious of creating new traditions BECAUSE of the absence of someone you love, so even positive experiences are often mixed with a sense of loss. Even Halloween may remind you of past Halloweens — and this one is different, because you can’t share the memories or the jokes or fight over the candy, or whatever your traditions were with your Dad.
      If you’re feeling “like crap” all day, every day, you might want to address that in some focused way — be it counseling, a bereavement group or self-help program, or developing rituals and habits that can help you fell happy — even as you may continue to grieve. If the true “crap” feelings are more connected to anniversaries, then, fwiw, know that your life has changed significantly and permanently because of loss. Grief is a way of acknowledging the impact of a loss that really is a huge life change.
      For me, it’s been helpful to schedule in regular things that I enjoy — weekly, as well as daily exercise. I also acknowledge my need to cry, be angry, and to feel whatever I need to feel. One of the kindest things someone said to me after my Mom died was: “Be good to yourself”. Maybe feeling “cheerful” is asking too much of yourself today. But maybe you can take a warm bath, or pop some popcorn, or walk around the block and see some actual kids in costume — usually much more cheery than mere pics! — and do whatever you can think of to help yourself feel at least a little bit “better”.

  • Does it help to remember good things about your dad? Especially Halloween-type stuff from childhood? Any sort of small fond – and especially shared – remembrance of the good times can really change a rotten feeling to one of simply warm sweet sadness.

  • To the people in the car on 12th St that I yelled at on my bike: I’m sorry. I should’ve tapped on your window, waited till you rolled it down and then yelled at you. Also, parking in a bike lane in rush hour is not okay. Unless I didn’t get the memo and you own that stretch of the road. Ta.

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