Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user yostinator

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.

126 Comment

  • Rant: neighbors play loud ass piano music every night starting at like 10pm. I didn’t think pianos could be so loud. Makes me wonder if they’re trying to mask the sounds of what goes on in the bedroom.

  • RAVE: PoP, that is such a cute picture! Definitely brought a smile to my face.

  • Rave: I’m so thankful for the wonderful benefits at my company. I have more vacation than I can use, and I do take vacation! I’m going to sell some back for my holiday shopping and I’ll still carry over 7 days. The tuition reimbursement benefit covered half of my grad school tuition and the retirement contributions are unheard of.
    Rant: some days the benefits are the only good thing, though lately it’s been better. The new CEO will hopefully turn the whole place around.
    Rave: getting woken up my 2.5 year old niece is better than my alarm clock, even though she has no snooze button.

    • What’s your company?? I am so sick of not having sick leave and only 15 days of leave a year.

      • I work here- http://www.usp.org/
        It is a non profit standard setting organization focused on pharmaceuticals, foods, and dietary supplements, but we have everything from IT to publications, customer service, lab scientists, non lab scientists, public health professionals, lawyers, designers, PR people, translators, meeting planners, QA, etc. Let me know if you find anything, we do have a referral bonus program. The downside is it’s in Rockville, but it’s right across from Twinbrook.
        We have separate sick and vacation leave, which is fantastic.

      • Not to pound on my chest…but I get 7 weeks of vacation a year. Whatever I don’t use I get back in $$$.

        • Okay, now where do YOU work?

          • I hope you’re just joking, I really want to know where you can get 7 weeks of vacation. I know Pew/Brookings/etc places offer lots of vacation time, but the pay is pretty low.

          • Me too. I can’t go on vacation at all because I’m doing a trip to Africa with my volunteer org and need to save my leave for it.

          • Teachers get about 7 weeks of leave, though they also are not paid much and do not have control over when they will take those weeks.
            Feds with 15 years of service get 5 weeks of annual leave, which does not count holidays, flexible schedule, or sick leave.

          • With 3 weeks of leave and 11+ paid holidays, I’ve vowed to never work a 10-days-of-leave job, ever again. We’ll see how that works out. But it’s borderline inhumane.

          • NO I am for real. My company has a Fringe benefit that equals 30% of salary, where all my benefits are withdrawn from. After all my deductions I’m left with 7 weeks of vacation. If I don’t use it I get the $$$ back. That 30% is on top of salary. Until recently they also contributed 20% of salary into 401K plan without employees having to contribute 0$. So say if you make base 100K, your total salary package is 150K including all benefits.

          • ^That’s my post.

          • Seriously, where do you work then? And do they hire statisticians/data types??

          • I work for what was considered a small company(under 500 employess) as an IT contractor. We were bought out by one of the bigger Contracting companies in the area, but we remained our own subsidiary company.

            Rant: They are slowly roping us into their lesser attractive benefits package. now we have to contribute 6%(out of salary) into 401K in order to receive the full 20% that they contribute.

        • Jealous of that! Never worked anywhere I could sell back leave. And this year my org instituted a zero carryover policy. Jerks. Not one single day. Kinda ruins that whole “save up leave to take once-in-a-lifetime trip to the other side of the world” plan.

          • Oh that sucks! Ugh, I don’t know why employers feel like gutting morale is worth the small cost savings.

            Our VP of HR did announce the mean salary (not including execs) earlier this week. That was a bad move. I felt really good about my position and pay and now I’m feeling not as good. Why did she thing that was a good idea?

  • I have another reason to be more and more vigilant of the DC Youth as more and more people report incidents of this Knockout Game.

  • gotryit

    Rant: I have to testify in court soon – not excited about that.

  • Rant: Family drama is all but guaranteed for Thanksgiving. Bleh.
    Rave: For once, I am completely removed from it. There is going to be a ton of great food, my two nieces will be there, and I am now forewarned that we will need a ton of wine. The drama-causers can do whatever they want. I’m still going to have a great holiday, and will help the people less immune to the fireworks do the same.
    Rant: I love my friends and am always happy to host them. But if you’re staying with me (especially on a weeknight) a little warning is required. I need some time to get my place from its everyday state to “company ready.”

    • This is why I only go home at Thanksgiving. My sister in law is such a moocher with horribly behaved children and my mom’s a martyr and it never ends well. My other sis in law and I hide in the kitchen mainlining wine, and swearing to never have children, and I remember why I live on the other side of the country.

  • Rant: With PoP Happy hour coming up I can’t be snarky in R&R lest I be shunned 9or worse!) at Meridian Pint.
    Rave: In an odd sort of generational role reversal, and really looking forward to my son heading off to Turkey do I can have the house to myself and let my girlfriend sleep over!

    • Rant: With my glasses frames broken and my “progressive” (ie, unlined bifocals) lenses slightly misaligned, my always-execrable two-fingered typing is even less accurate than usual.
      Rave: Somewhere there’s an “aging liberal moves from rose-colored glasses to progressive lenses” joke in all this.

    • justinbc

      Pshhht, don’t let that stop you! I certainly won’t 🙂

  • Rave – someone from high school in town for work and we’re visiting. Interesting to see someone you haven’t seen for 20 years. Also fun to look back and see how differently you remember things.

    Rave: Because I likely won’t see this person again, I get to just be myself. Most of the people in my daily life are work people in some capacity, so I have to be on good behavior a lot. I realize I’ve forgotten what it is like just to be me and goof around and have fun. (which I guess is part rant)

    Rant: Work is punishingly busy right now.

  • Anyone know what was going on last night on the 200 block of Q Street NW? There was a lot of police activity and a couple ambulances came by around 10pm, but didn’t see anything on the twitter account.

  • Rant: Fare gates at the Columbia Heights metro station. Myself and a bunch of other people missed a train because they weren’t working. There aren’t enough of them to handle the volume as it is, and I can’t remember the last time that all the gates on both sides were working.

    Rave: Love the picture!

    • Ugggghh…They haven’t been working right for ages! For a while a few weeks ago they at least opened an entrance gate on the left in the mornings, but I haven’t seen that lately.

      • Yeah, the station manager finally opened one on the left side as the train was pulling in, which was not quick enough for any of us to make the train. He is not the most helpful person.

    • justinbc

      Of all the things Metro tries to fix and modernize, this seems as if it would be the easiest. I don’t get why so many are repeatedly malfunctioning throughout the system.

    • The one at the U st station also sucks and routinely has problems. Very frustrating. At least it isn’t as busy as Columbia Heights and (usually) has a pro active station manager.

    • Yet another reason to go to a German-style “honors” ticket system with no fare gates.

      You make sure you have your tickets straight and just get on the trains. On a not infrequent basis, plainclothes officers will check the tickets of everyone on a car while it’s between stations. If you get caught riding without a proper ticket, you pay 50 Euros on the spot (they may have raised it in the past few years)

      • lol at doing that in the DC area

        • Maybe not so lol…they do that in Baltimore with the light rail, and the fine is pretty steep, which I’m sure is meant to be a deterrent to fare-beaters. It would certainly be more challenging in DC given that the Metrorail system is larger and more crowded, and we have a distance-based fare (so I’m not sure how the logistics with that would work), but the point is, it’s not like the honor-system ticketing is some kind of quaint European notion that would never work in an American city.

          • Having said that, it seemed to be enough of an ordeal just to sell SmarTrip cards in Metro stations, so I’m not too optimistic about WMATA’s ability to innovate with fare collection methods.

      • austindc

        Fare gates also help WMATA with valuable ridership data that can help with long term planning and short term resource allocation. That in itself might be a good reason not to go the honor system route (though I do like the honor system cities I go to).

        • This is how VRE tickets – you buy a certain type of ticket (monthly, 10 ride, 5 day..etc). You are responsible for validating your tickets if it’s not monthly. Conductors come through the car and you must show you ticket. If it isn’t correct, it’s $180 fine. VRE still gets all the ridership data based on purchases of tickets and validations.
          Would be much harder for conductors to walk through the metro car at rush hour. VRE is often “standing room only” but its only 3-4 people standing/car, not a ton.

    • I don’t know if it’s a problem with my farecards or the gates, but I’ve noticed that when I have trouble with a gate, it’s frequently one of the handicapped gates with the side swipe, rather than the regular gates where you swipe on top. Of course it could be that I’m misperceiving/noticing this because when I use the wider handicap access gates, it’s often when I’m carrying a ton of stuff — and more apt to notice when my farecard won’t work.

  • Rant – Stressed about splitting up holiday time between my family and SO’s family. Makes me want to to spend my Christmas and New Years alone on a tropical beach somewhere so I don’t have to deal with it.
    Rave – Excited to see my friend perform at the storytelling tournament tonight at U St Musical Hall!

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rave: I think I’m going to move into a bigger unit in my building.
    Rant: I hate moving.
    Rave: My silly friends.

  • Rant: back and leg pain getting worse, then better, then worse. It’s like my body is punishing me for putting off surgery til after the holidays.
    Rave: Thanksgiving is next week and my dad is coming to visit! And we’re going to see the baby tigers.

  • RANT: I just got a notice that my apartment management company has announced its intent to sell the company form something called the Housing Couseling Services (or something like that), and that it may fight the tenant right of first refusal to buy because its’ not applicable. It states that they’re not lawyers, so they can’t advise on this. But they can help tentants organize. Why bother sending all this when all you can offer to do is facilitate tenant meetings? I can do that. I don’t want to move because I really do love my apartment and I’m not in any place to buy it as a condo (not sure I could afford to buy in my current neighborhood). Of course, all that could change is who I made out my rent check to. I hate not knowing and not being able to plan. Anyone been through this and have any advice?

    • I wasn’t living there at the time, but my current apartment building has a strong tenants’ association. They apparently established it when the building was being sold and by doing so were able to help decide who purchased the building. In addition, it seems to have some sway with the current management company. Unfortunately, I don’t know much more about it than that, but maybe someone else here will be able to provide additional information on setting one up.

    • You have confusing details in your post, so you should have HCS organize a meeting. Is the property for-sale? Or, just a change in proprerty manager? Is there already a tenant association? They are a very sharp nonprofit organization, and can help the residents think through the options.

  • Rant: Kind of want to buy a place to live instead of renting, but I’m terrified of having to sell it someday. Never used to worry about that until I started reading PoPville “Good Deal Or Not” threads where houses that look perfectly nice to me are savaged in the comments for not having all the latest appliances and fixtures or being staged with expensive furniture. Makes me think that if I ever had to sell a place I will have to somehow come up with tens of thousands of dollars to gut rehab the entire interior and pay who knows how much more for a “stager” (I have no idea how much they cost, but PoPville commenters are always posting contemptuously about anyone who doesn’t hire a stager). I have no idea how people afford to redo their entire house constantly and buy super expensive furniture while also paying the cost of a place in DC.

    • gotryit

      PoPville comments are pretty harsh, but that’s just the internet speaking. Look at how those places sell for real feedback on how good / crappy they are.

      • People are pretty harsh in the comments on GDoN. Sometimes those comments are on point to an extent — like if the realtor took poor photos, the house is overly cluttered, etc. — but sometimes they’re more an accounting of “Ways In Which This Property Differs From My Ideal.”
        I wouldn’t disregard the comments completely — there’s some actual substance there — but I wouldn’t take them too seriously either.

        • gotryit

          I completely agree. People in the process of actually buying a house are faced with the pressures of a seller’s market (for now). So they might take the same criticism and say “This light fixture is butt ugly – who would ever do that?… but I can replace that for $150 with something awesome. Deal!”

          In a buyer’s market, those details may make a difference. So just don’t sell in a buyer’s market. I know, you’re welcome for the amazing advice (sarcasm).

    • Prince Of Petworth

      You’re worried about buying a house because one day it may be hard to sell it? You honestly shouldn’t worry about that. You should probably love the house and neighborhood and enjoy living there before worrying about having to sell it.

    • That should be the least worry. All you need to do is go to the DC Real property database and see for yourself that no matter what negative comments are made here, that the house probably sold for at or more the sale price. If your home is priced right at selling, it will sell.

    • In this day and age, don’t buy a house with intent to sell. You buy a home because you love it. I know the DC market is tough, but why have all that stress?

      • And by “tough” I mean “hot.” Wednesday…blergh.

      • Yep, sadly the days of buying a house for cheap and selling it in five years for $150k more than you paid for it are long gone. If anything, I guess you don’t have to worry about its value decreasing anytime soon, but don’t go looking for a payday.

      • Sorry, have to disagree with you here. Regardless of how long you plan to stay, always consider the resale in the purchase phase and with any improvements during ownership.

        But yes, overall, take the comments with a grain and remember the internet is a little nastier than real life. Good to glean generalities, but find a property you love (or that can be made to love) in the best location you can afford.

    • Is this like, your first time on the Internet or something?

    • I would ask yourself if you are getting any useful information from reading GDON – if the answer is no then stop reading it. When I was househunting I stopped reading it because reading a random bunch of opinions was not helping me figure out what I wanted or how to get it.

    • True fixer uppers are hard to find in DC and there’s definitely a market for them. But you generally get way more money back in the sale price than you put in for staging, renovations, professional photography, etc, so most sellers do these things.

    • I once looked up my condo on GDON after I bought it (a then-new conversion). It had been trashed. The thing is, I love it and all of my neighbors love their units several years later. All of us had great inspections and so far so good on things not going wrong. I happen to like what it looks like, even if others don’t – to each his own. People said we were crazy to pay those prices, but none of us paid listing, and the neighborhood has gone up in value. Plus, we all plan to stay for a while, so it only matters what it is worth when we sell anyway. This is all to say basically what the others have said – it is the internet. The only person that you have to satisfy is yourself when you buy. Make sure you’ve done your homework and looked at actual comps in the neighborhood (rather than emotional “I can’t believe people pay that” reactions), get a good inspection – even for a condo, and buy what YOU want to live in when you think you’ll be there for a while.

      And, it is scary. The whole thing is scary. It is a lot of money and a lot of committment. And both times I was scared at the prospect of letting go of that much money and making that much of a committment. Oh, and losing the ability to call building management when my toilet clogged. And you’ll bid on stuff you love and lose it and feel heartbroken and frustrated. But it is fun. I loved my first home – more than I think I would have liked anything that I lost out on. I loved painting and hanging pictures and knowing it would be there for years to come. If I could have transported it next to a metro I would have lived in it forever. But I also love my second home (maybe more than the first one) and am really glad that I’ve been insulated from rising rents. Either way you go – staying a renter, buying a home, whatever – be happy with your choice!

      And when you eventually do have to sell, just declutter and keep it clean. I listed my first house at the absolutely worst time of year – right after Thanksgiving. It sold right after New Years for full asking price. Again, it really all depends on the market. You don’t need fancy stagers, it just needs to look clean and tidy.

      • Didn’t read your whole post but your first paragraph resonates with me. The house I bought wasn’t on GDON (as far as I know) but I’m quite sure it would have been savaged. But I love it, I love the “Home Depot” furnishings, I love my neighbors, and I love the neighborhood. I bought something that I could afford and that I felt comfortable with.

    • however a house gets ripped int he comments section of a blog has no bearing at all on what sells. it’s not indicative of the market.

    • When it comes time to sell, don’t submit it for GDoN. Problem solved!

      Seriously though, I’m trying to sell my apt now and to get it ready I paid $1900 to have most surfaces repainted and some trim and minor plaster cracks repaired, and another $125 to have the place cleaned. It’s always a shame to have the place looking better when you leave than when you lived there, but as long as you take care of it while you are there it shouldn’t be a dramatic remodel at the end.

      And who knows how tastes change? I just read that dark granite counters are out, and white counters are in. So wouldn’t you be bummed if you paid a mint for granite now!

    • Give some thought to why you want to buy. Is it mostly for financial reasons — i.e. building up equity? Is it because all of your friends are buying — and you feel like that “must” be the way to go? Being a renter gives you convenience and flexibility — at a price, and there’s nothing wrong with that if that suits your needs and your lifestyle. That being said, if your major concerns are about staging your house in the event that you might want to sell it at some point down the line, hmmm, I wouldn’t worry about it, unless your own standards are low and your taste is extremely idiosyncratic. The worse that would happen is that you drop the price a bit so that the buyers feel like they have cash in hand to renovate in a way that pleases them. Even if you did redo the house, while you’re attracting some buyers, you’re turning off others. So, my guess is that if you renovate to your own standards and tastes that will be good enough to satisfy buyers with reasonable standards — who will have their own furniture and decorating ideas anyway.

  • Rant: My boss is dumb. He’s not a bad boss but he just says stupid things and clearly is not very intelligent. It’s generally not a problem since my work is pretty independent of him and he’s far from a micro manager, but it is just embarrassing to hear him talk in meetings sometimes and he’s been taking on more projects (unfortunately). That will mean more work for me and my teammates to fix his mistakes.
    Rave: Like I said, he doesn’t micro manage and doesn’t get in my way. Certainly could be worse!

  • Rant: robberies/burglaries in my neighborhood. Saw an MPD twitter post last night about a robbery with violence at the corner of Ontario and Lanier Pl NW at around 8 p.m. and got a notice from my apartment that our bike room was broken into and several bikes were stolen, and also packages were opened and left in the elevator. I’m new to this area — is the “Lanier Heights” neighborhood (where I usually see a lot of families out and about) known for crime?

    Rave: The leaves are looking quite majestic this time of year. Thankful for not having to rake, though.

    • “Is the “Lanier Heights” neighborhood (where I usually see a lot of families out and about) known for crime?”
      Despite the high real estate prices, Lanier Heights is an odd little pocket of criminality for some reason. I think it’s because the street are quiet and dark, lots of alleys to surprise people & make a getaway, and drunk folks from Adams Morgan park on the back streets (easy targets).
      Two of my friends were SAVAGELY mugged and beaten on Lanier Place in the last two years (one was drunk, the other was sober). Don’t be out late at night alone in the area. It’s mostly punk kids from public housing in Columbia Heights and Petworth who are wreaking havoc and then escape back to their ‘hood.
      The irony is that there’s a firehouse on Lanier..

      • I generally never go out by myself late, but I was surprised that the violent force robbery from the MPD tweet was as early as 8 p.m. When I don’t get back from work until late and then want to run to the Safeway for groceries, I guess the best thing is to stick to Columbia rather than the Lanier back way. That firehouse is what, less than a block from where several muggings have happened? (I also recently heard about one at 18th/Ontario) — I’ve never seen anything happen myself in this area, but I’ll be more aware. Appreciate your reply.

    • You live in one of the Bernstein buildings too? I just had two separate packages stolen from my door. Not thrilled. I’ve never felt unsafe here though.

      • Yep. I haven’t had a package stolen (that I know of) but luckily I was home at the time I got a big box delivered yesterday. Though I have seen packages sit in front of my neighbor’s door for up to a week at a time untouched.

        I keep my bike in our storage room and lock it with both a cable and a U-lock..haven’t checked to see if it was stolen but here’s hoping.

    • I was witness to an attempted mugging directly outside of the fire station last night at 7:45. I had a bad feeling about the people walking in front of me so waited outside of the firehouse. Not 30 seconds later the group grabbed a guy and attempted to steal his bag but he fought them off. I ran into the firehouse and got help, came out and they were gone. Nothing was taken from him, the fireman seemed surprised it happened right outside the station. I live on that block and have always felt safe, definitely an eye opener.

      • Dang. Wonder if they came back. The tweet said it was a group of four. Might be the same people that hit 18th/Ontario a couple months ago. I for sure won’t be walking Lanier Pl by myself after dark — that was a close call.

        • Yeah, I’m not sure. The guy who they tried to rob decided not to call the police at the time, but he very well could have afterwards. It was four people as well. Yes, I will not be walking alone at night anymore either!

    • Or at least I’m assuming that’s your building, because I got a similar notice from the management. I’ve lived there just over two years, and from loosely following the MPD twitter feed, it seems as though muggings do occasionally happen around Lanier Place and some of those back streets, but I wouldn’t say it’s rampant. During the day those are lovely blocks, but I think there tends to be less lighting and foot traffic at night, and a number of alleyways where it’s easy for perps to make their getaway. Other than the general urban awareness stuff, I wouldn’t be overly worried. If it’s dark and I have to go to Safeway, I go Columbia Rd. where there’s more foot traffic. The package and bike room situations do suck, though. My two cents, if you have a really nice bike that you can’t afford to easily replace, you may want to keep it in your apartment. My bike was stolen from the bike room about 9 months ago (same situation, locked to the rack with a U lock and a cable), although admittedly I had not used it in a while–at a minimum, it might help you to move it around the bike room frequently, so that if anyone’s casing the bike room, they can tell that your bike’s owner is keeping closer tabs on it. (Stinks because the bike storage room was one of the features that enticed me to move into the building, but I now keep my–less expensive–replacement bike in my apartment at all times.) I also had two packages stolen last holiday season, and one Amazon.com box that had been cut open, but I guess the theives decided my books were too boring because they didn’t take them. Fortunately, I’m allowed to receive packages at work, so I just do that now. But you’re right that sometimes there’ll be packages untouched for days outside tenants’ doors–it’s really a crapshoot with package security.

      • Same situation with the bike — I haven’t used mine since probably August — it’s not an expensive bike (cheap folding one I bought on the internet) so I didn’t think someone would bother trying to take it from the room if it was double-locked. I would keep it in the apartment, but with two people and a cat sharing 700 sq ft., storage space is a bit tight. I will try to move it around more in the storage room since it’s not super critical to my day-to-day life, but still, you just don’t want someone to come stealing your belongings your building is supposed to keep protected for you. People let people in all the time, which sometimes I appreciate, but does cause me to hesitate thinking that just about anybody could walk in. I’m going to start getting my packages delivered to work too. I’m not too paranoid or anything — just want to be extra vigilant now that it’s getting dark earlier.

    • I used to live in Lanier Heights. I’m a girl and I never felt unsafe walking around, but at night I would walk on Columbia Road, not Lanier Place. Columbia is well lit and there’s always people around. Those back streets around Lanier are awfully quiet at night.

      If you’re in the Chalfonte, crime happens there sometimes, but it’s not common. We had a package stolen once when I lived there, but that was it. They used to keep packages behind the front desk in the lobby, but I guess they got overwhelmed with the amount of packages residents were getting, so they started leaving them unattended outside apartment doors. Maybe management will go back to keeping packages behind the desk if thefts continue.

    • At the risk of appearing too flippant, if being “known for crime” means that crime occasionally happens there, then yes, Lanier Heights is known for crime. Adams Morgan is known for crime. Most neighborhoods in DC are known for crime.
      If you are worried about the volume of crime, go to the MPD website and check out the crime tracking app at dc.crimemap.gov. Plug in your intersection and ask it for a report of crimes within however many feet of that point within however many days or years you want to investigate. You can look at year to date; last year; two years ago; etc. That will give you a much more accurate answer than relying on anecdotal evidence from people.
      If you still want anecdotal evidence – I lived in Lanier Heights between 2000 and 2005. During that period of time there were reports of muggings; a couple of bikes got stolen from the basement of our building; packages were not left in the common area for fear they might be stolen. Sounds like things haven’t really changed.

  • Rave: made a delicious risotto for work potluck.
    Rant: no one touched the risotto. The woman running the potluck had apparently never heard of risotto and labeled it “rice dish”. I should learn by now to not make good food for work people!

    • But risotto actually is “rice dish!”

      • Yeah, but “rice dish” sounds sketchy and doesn’t really tell anyone what it is. I was trying to make something not too exotic but I guess even risotto is foreign to a lot of people. On the plus side I have an excuse to make arancini now!

        • Problem with risotto is that on the scale of amazingness, it just isn’t all that far from any old creamy rice dish. The difference between a great home-made chocolate cake and Duncan Hines is enormous, but the difference between risotto and rice with canned cream of mushroom soup just isn’t.

          • no. no. no.

            just because you’ve not had spectacular risotto doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

          • Aside from them both containing rice I don’t see how risotto and the concoction you described are similar. At least the Duncan Hines and homemade cake both contain flour, sugar, chocolate, etc.

          • That’s kind of like saying linguine with marinara sauce isn’t very different from macaroni and cheese. Sure, the base is some sort of pasta, but all the other ingredients and technique are different.

          • You don’t actually know what I’ve had do you? And as it happens I’ve had the best risotto in the world – several times – several places. It was delicious. Still not transcendent. Risotto is simply one of those braggy faux-gourmet dishes that people feel comfortable gushing about. It is simple delicious – easy to make – peasant food.

          • Victoria, I agree with you about it being simple peasant food (which happens to be my favorite kind of food). But that’s why I’m appalled that you’re lumping it In the same category as a scary 1950’s casserole.

          • It’s easy but it takes a lot of careful watching and stirring. It’s not something you can just pop in the oven and walk away from.

        • i can no longer trust your judgement victoria.

    • I’m sorry but this made me laugh so hard and it makes me thing of how I am at work potlucks. I stay away from the dishes brought in by people who’ve mentioned their cats climb on their kitchen counters, that don’t wash hands after using bathrooms, etc….

      • Yeah, I’m kind of skeeved out by potlucks and don’t really like them even though I love to cook and share food with others. I should probably just hide in my cube next time. 🙂

      • Given what I see my colleagues do in the public staff kitchen/break room, I would never eat anything they prepared in the privacy of their own homes!

    • It’s always an ego blow when a fine effort goes unappreciated. A certain satisfaction can be taken in dismissing your co-workers as low-brow cretins who don’t appreciate genius when it’s sitting on the office conference table ready to be lapped up. Even more satisfying, however, is having leftover risotto all to yourself, preferably during a House of Cards catch-up mini-marathon (or impressing a hot date: “yeah, I had this risotto just sitting around. I think there’s a bottle of Verdicchio in the fridge — want a snack?”). Their loss is your gain. 🙂

  • Rave: Sewing project with 9 year old. She expressed interest after a school sewing project (those horrible pillow case dresses for Africa) so I took her to buy a real pattern and make something simple.

    Rant: She goes all “Project Runway” on me – choosing a pleated skirt pattern (NOT “fast & easy” as listed!) and picks fabric for co-ordinated blouse and vest – the patterns for which I have to draw because there aren’t any that she likes.

    Seriously – this f#%ing “fast and easy” is a pleated, yoked skirt with a gathered lining and a gathered tulle ruffle. Have you ever tried to gather tulle? It’s like sewing a dress of butterfly wings. And the directions are so bad I have no idea how the ruffle is supposed to be sewn to the lining and the skirt. And Butterick has NO help line.

    • Sounds like what I used to put my grandmother through when she taught me how to sew!

    • Try patternreview.com, there are forums where you can get help, usually pretty quickly.

      • Thanks – I did find that site through Google, but there were only 3 comments on this pattern and I didn’t want to bother registering to read them.

        • Yeah, the reviews probably won’t help with your problem with the instructions. The message boards would be more useful, but I think you’d have to register first. If it is 4593, I’m going to guess (having not seen the actual pattern) that you could baste the gathered tulle to the top of the outer skirt section, then attach the yoke to the combined skirt. If the skirt is lined as well as having the ‘petticoat’, I’d baste the tulle to the outer, then baste the lining to the outer/tulle, and then attach the yoke.

          • Thanks – yes – I’m going with pure intuition and how it logically ought to be constructed. But still seething at Butterick. It just isn’t that hard to make good directions. I got out my 1972 Singer complete Guide to sewing and was just amazed at how perfectly clear and engineered and beautifully drawn everything was.

  • Question: The PoPville happy hour is tomorrow (Thursday) at Meridian Pint, right? What time does it start?
    (I imagine there was a thread on this, but I must’ve missed it.)

  • Not a rant or a rave, just a question: If you register a username for popville, are you able to track your comments and the responses to them?

    • I don’t think so (though it’s been years since I had a username that worked, so I don’t know for sure).

    • Hmmm. Good question. I think you used to be able to do it before the recent-ish changes to the site. I once — quite by accident — saw a long list of someone’s posts, and then clicked on my own. It made me cringe though, so I haven’t tried to do this again.

  • LUPO VERDE If this is their “forth” venture they better hire a new PR person

  • PoP – why is the site bouncing me out? I keep signing back in and then getting jettisoned.

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