Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user jacquesofalltrades

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.

161 Comment

  • RANT: Subway at 16th and U Street has closed. Lets just hope Local 16 does not take over the space. Local 16’s customers are waaaay too drunk on weekends. The last thing needed is more of them.

  • gotryit

    rave: I finally rode my bike to work yesterday. It felt good to stretch my legs and not have to deal with metro / bus messes.
    rant: I had to defrost my big toe at both ends despite thick smartwool socks and shoe covers. I need to get those foot warming packs for days like these.
    rant: There is a ridiculous amount of salt collected in the bike lanes on pennsylvania ave. A street sweeper could collect that up – maybe reuse it next time it gets icy.

    • justinbc

      I love the Feetures brand of socks, warmest socks I’ve ever owned. I mainly use them for running in cold weather, but I’m sure biking would be no different.

    • GiantSquid

      Check out Woolie Boolie socks by DeFeet. Mr. Squid got me a pair for Christmas and they are amazing in the cold.

  • justinbc

    Rant: Was supposed to settle on our next investment property this Friday, which has now been postponed indefinitely. Aside from last minute renegotiating nonsense with the seller, they’ve now told us about a TOPA issue and one of the four tenants refusing to sign her paperwork. Our agent told us the last time she had this happen it took them seven months to resolve. Luckily we won’t actually be living in the place, so there’s no rush, but I am worried that interest rates will continue to rise during however long it takes to get things worked out with this lady. She was a massive PITA when we did the home inspection as well, so it’s really not all that surprising.

    • Short of offering her an exorbitant payout to vacate, you may very well get stuck with her.

      • justinbc

        The odd thing we had actually planned to let her, and the other tenants, stay in place as long as they wanted, assuming they stayed current on their rents. Maybe she thought we would buy it and gut it, but that was never our intention (until each tenant moved out, then we would upgrade the unit accordingly).

        • Best of luck to you. It’s not easy being a landlord in this town. The rent we get away with charging in no way makes up for the tenants’ rights headaches, which anywhere else would be extremely unreasonable.

  • Rant: Trash wasn’t picked up yesterday (normal day)
    Rave: Recycling came by today (not the normal day) and finally collected recyclables. Hoping the garbage truck similarly decides to make a surprise appearance.

  • Rant: once again most of my neighbors didn’t bother to clean the snow off their sidewalks. Given that there is still snow from last week, it is still really gross and is just going to get worse. And, yes, I know they have 24 hours. But since they haven’t done it from last week, I doubt they’ll do it from today.

    Rave: thanks to the one other neighbor who did.

    Rave: I didn’t actually snipe at my neighbor who was clearly headed to the gym that shovelling show was a really good workout and she should try it – even though I really, really wanted to.

  • Rant: Businesses & buildings around me didn’t salt this morning, and I had to take an Uber (with surge pricing) to work.

    Rave: I had a lovely morning reading the news, drinking coffee and in general, hanging out with my husband and puppy.

  • rant: OMG! the Washington Gas web site is quite possibly the worst customer service site I have ever experienced. I wonder if they understand that people need to use that to manage their accounts and pay their bills. sites like that make me want to punch the internet right in the face….

    • Agree. It doesn’t like Safari. Maybe likes Mozilla. Sometimes likes Internet Explorer.

    • Is anyone else having problems with their account? Somehow my autopay has stopped working (no email notifications, no autopay), despite the fact that I still appear to be enrolled in autopay on the Washington Gas website. Can you actually pay online if you’re enrolled in autopay? I couldn’t figure it out.

      • The website is awful, but I got my email notification and was able to log in and pay online. You should be able to select the “Pay bill” option when you log in. I really do wish they would upgrade their website though.

    • Yes, the Washington Gas website is terrible. Even if you can ignore the horrible design, it simply doesn’t work properly a lot of the time. For me the best strategy is to try again tomorrow if it’s not working correctly right now.

  • Rant: I physically CANNOT take this cold weather anymore. I just feel constantly tired and achy. I don’t even need spring- just make it up to 35 degrees please?

  • Rant: work
    Rave: 5:00 work is over

  • WDC

    Advice? We have a section of wall where the plaster has begun to separate and crack. I suspect it’s to do with the new roof we got 18 months ago, and the gutter work they did at the same time. (There’s no visible wetness, but I can’t think of anything else that would make plaster look like this. I’m thinking veerrrry slow water seepage through the brick somehow.) Should I call the roofing company and invoke my lifetime guarantee? Or is there someone else who should come and verify the source of the problem first?

    • gotryit

      You may want to have a professional check it out. Sometimes plaster cracks are just the result of a little settling and should be repaired / forgotten about. Others are indicative of a structural problem (potentially with how the roof was installed).

      • Right, I should have been more clear. What kind of professional? A mason? (This isn’t settling. I know settling when I see it.)

        • gotryit

          Good question – I’m not sure, since it depends a lot on the problem. If you know that it’s a brick problem, then a masonry company would work. But if you think it’s the roofing / gutter work, then a mason won’t be too helpful.
          Perhaps a home inspection company? They should be used to giving a detailed inspection and opinion of repair / next steps without trying to sell you their repair services.

    • Could be seepage from outside through the mortar especially if the exterior brick is painted, or the mortar is just old. I had an issue with water dripping down the outside wall from one small dent/dip on the roof flashing. Now is actually a good time to see that if you are getting any daytime melt of snow on the roof – you can see if it is running down the wall.

      The masonry guys had a moisture meter they could stick into the interior wall, I would imagine a roofing company should have this as well, so definitely call them.

    • justinbc

      I’m curious what roofing company you used. We’ve currently got guys working on ours as well, and it has a lifetime guarantee, the only company we had offer one.

  • Rave: I was able to get a contract on a home that is currently being renovated. I won’t have to get into a bidding war since it won’t be listed on market. (have a 60 day settlement date. hopefully everything works out.)

  • I can’t take the news out of Central African Republic. First I cry, then I want to nuke the whole country from orbit to stop the spread of that kind of mentality. And yes, I recognize the irony.

  • Rave: Got to spend last night with the cutest six month old on the planet
    Rant: Drool in the ear, slimy hands in the hair. I can convinced that there’s no dignity in parenting. And yet, it holds a lot of appeal.
    Rave: Having dear friends over for dinner tonight.
    Rant: Heater in our bedroom wasn’t working properly last night, so I slept really fitfully on the couch in the warmer living room.

  • Rant: Technology is winning! And I”m fuming. Despite multiple google searches (yay) I can’t find a way to get the “events” set of photographs either rearranged or completely deleted from my ipad. I DON’T WANT my photos arranged by date. And I don’t want some of the photos that are visible on top of the folders to be so visible. I hate it when “improvements” are not optional. (fume)
    Rant: The cold. It’s hanging on — and I’m really miserable. Part of it is that I don’t have the proper clothes for this. My boots aren’t lined, I’ve no silk underwear, and don’t know where to even look for fleece tights. DC isn’t supposed to DO this!!!!! 🙁
    Rave: I finished a major project with a deadline. It’s an important personal accomplishment.
    Rave: My Rave’s are First World Problems — and I SO appreciate that.

    • I despise iphoto (why can’t they just save the files in a folder where I can find them?), and in general don’t appreciate apple’s or google’s attempts to prevent me from customizing commands, features, etc.

      • grrrrr! Ranting loves company! 🙂 What I’m hating is that the “event” are organized by date — which is not at all how I would choose to organize them. And while I can rearrange the “events” on my laptop, I haven’t yet found a way to do this on the ipad. And I’m still fuming from the Yahoo mail mess. Maybe I should just find a quill pen!

    • I found fleece tights at Marshalls, though not the one in Columbia Heights and I’m not sure if they have them. If you’re an Amazon Prime member you can get some in a day or 2. Target does have some inexpensive long underwear. I have a pair of Smartwool leggings that I bought for Inauguration and now I wear them over my tights on the way in and the way home.
      Lots of loose layering of things you likely have is also good. I’ve been doing the camisole, blouse/button down, sweater, blazer thing a lot lately. Or the camisole, button down, dress, blazer thing. Get creative, embrace some masculine-esque layered looks.

      • Thanks for the suggestions! I looked on zappos — but didn’t think of trying Amazon for tights. I like your idea of “creative”! That will be my new mantra as I try to coordinate my mis-matched layers!

      • Silk underwear from LL Bean! I’m realizing how much layering I need to do when taking my dog out. Leggings, silk underwear and then wind pants. Turtleneck, overshirt, very warm jacket, hat that gives full head coverage, one or two scarves, warm gloves, wool socks, fleece lined boots. Come on SPRING!

    • “DC isn’t supposed to DO this!!”

      Actually, it is. You live in the mid Atlantic/east coast. It gets cold here this time of year.

      • Yeah, but well below freezing, even during the day, for an extended period of time is pretty rare. It does get cold, but “seasonable” around here tends toward the low-to mid 30’s to low 40’s range.

      • I’ve really been wondering how Indians in this region got through winters like this. Pre-contact they didn’t have axes to chop wood, so had to depend on gathered downed wood for fires, or huddled up together under skins. I wonder how they passed the days.

        I’ve also read stories from people in Maine who routinely moved the entire family into the kitchen – beds and all – each winter to keep warm.

        • I recently listened to an excellent audiobook of the Shackleton expedition. Not only were they in Antarctic temperatures without good shelter for many months, but they were wet most of that time. Everyone made it out in one piece, aside from one guy who had to have his feet amputated from frostbite. I suppose the human body is better than we think it is at handling cold.

          • Well – I actually wrote a book about the Shackleton Endurance expedition – “Shackleton’s Stowaway” published by Knopf. And the real guy – Perce Blackborow – actually only had his toes amputated – not his feet. But knowing the story certainly does put you off complaining about the cold!

          • Aww snap!

          • Not meant as a “snap” at all – just a small correction of facts – toes vs. feet. It is still one of the greatest survival story of all time.

        • I’m thinking fur and cuddling……

        • And my other mantra has been: “shivering burns calories….”

      • I’ve lived in the mid-Atlantic/east coast my entire life, and I think it’s fair to say this winter has been usually cold thus far, in terms of daytime temperatures, overnight lows, extremely low windchills, and frequency and duration of the cold spells (as opposed to the typical winter where we may get an extremely cold day here and there, but temps below 20 degrees or so are really an anomaly).

        • Capital weather gang ran a post about this a couple of days ago. This winter, while cold in some respects, is not historic. It would not be unusual of our winters were not trending milder is a whole.

          • Depends on what your frame of reference for history is. For the past 27 years, there has not been a single month that is colder than average. So if your own history only goes back 25-30 years, then this month IS pretty cold. If you think in times scales of 100 years, then not so much.

    • On the silk long underwear, highly recommend land’s end…worth the investment.

  • epric002

    rave: lovely friend who helped me do my first at home hair coloring last night- thanks!
    rave: getting to hang out with friend’s adorable 2 month old who liked to smile at me 🙂
    rant: adorable 2 month old does not like getting raspberries- i made her cry 🙁 sorry baby, we’ll try again when you’re older!
    rave: countdown to vacation 😀

  • Rave: Feeling OK, mentally/emotionally—something which I am often not.
    Rave: My dog. He’s the best! And if he is representative of his breed, toy fox terriers are the ideal little dog.

  • Rant: deathly afraid to attempt head/shoulder stands in yoga class. I hear everyone *thud* to the floor after 10 seconds and panic.
    Rave: I actually like my co-workers. Sure they are a bit aggressive and assertive but cool people.
    Rant: the snow in the south!! So many horror stories about people being stuck or spinning on the ice. Glad I’m not home but I hope my niece enjoys the snow.

    • skj84

      I have the same terror of headstands! I hate the feeling of having my head under my feet. Plus the fear of snapping my neck..

    • epric002

      what about against the wall? what helped me a TON for headstands was the realization that SO much of headstand success depends on the core. are you trying to kick straight up or are you slowly pulling your toes up and then using your core to straighten up vertically? also, i sound like a crazy hyperventilating person when i headstand b/c i use incredibly controlled (but loud) breathing, and it really helps. good luck!

    • I fell over during a headstand and feel like I could have snapped my neck if I hadn’t reacted quickly enough or was positioned a little differently. I don’t know how often that actually happens but I think it’s a valid concern (plus the magnitude of the potential injury is so great, why take the risk?). I do like shoulderstands and think they’re pretty safe.

    • saf


      Check out Annie’s inversions workshop in February. She’s great, and will help you with this.

      Also, she does shoulder stands rather than head stands. She says they are MUCH safer.

    • Headstands and handstands freak me out too. I’ve tried doing them against the wall but I still have this fear about being upside down. My brain is just like “nope!” when I try and kick up into a handstand. I do enjoy shoulder stands, however. They feel awesome.

      • Rocky Delaplane, one of the teachers at Unity Woods, teaches an “overcoming fear of inversions” class. It’s not on the schedule now, but you could call them and see if it will be offered in the near future. Rocky is an excellent teacher.

    • I hear you on the head and shoulder stands, and if you need any moral support…it is perfectly ok to do what feels right for you, physically and mentally, as far as yoga poses go. If you’re not comfortable with a pose, don’t do it. (Yes, for many of us, there may be a “challenge yourself” element to yoga, but there’s a difference between pushing yourself out of a comfort zone in a good way vs. in a way that just doesn’t feel right.) That all might sound obvious, but from my years of practicing yoga (I’ve kind of lapsed lately), it is *really* easy, especially in a more advanced or vigorous class, to put pressure on ourselves about the types of poses we “should” be able to do. I actually came to like headstand, although times when I felt shaky, I would do it against the wall, just for some extra security. For me, I found that once I’d built up the core strength and control to slowly pull my legs up into headstand *without* kicking at all, that meant I would likely be extremely steady once I was up there. (I had a few teachers that really exhorted students NOT to kick into headstand, but many more classes where students were kicking up left and right, and the teacher said nothing. IMO, kicking into headstand greatly increases the chances of taking a tumble.) When I was building up my core strength (which I’ve lost now, sadly), I would practice by either doing half-headstands (knees pulled into chest, without extending legs into the air) or kick very lightly, but do my headstand against the wall. Shoulderstand, I used to do more easily than headstand, but eventually I stopped–for whatever reason, even with minor position adjustments or a blanket for extra padding, shoulderstand just does not feel good at the base of my neck…and I figure that cancels out whatever other benefits the pose is supposed to offer. I just do child’s pose, or if I’m at a wall, legs-up-the-wall pose (which feels great…I could do that all day) instead.

  • Rave: The cold. Kills rats and bugs, makes the summer more pest-free. And it’s winter time, you can’t not expect winter weather, so I’m just hunkering down and eating soup.
    Rant: The cold seems to have driven a humungous rat into the house. One smart enough to avoid the traps. The girlfriend says that if she ever sees it, she will never stay over again.
    Rant: Due to forces beyond my control, I have almost nothing to do at work all day and it’s making me bored and strangely depressed.
    Rave: I’ll either be at a new job within the building or a new life on the West Coast by the end of February. And I have time for the gym.

  • skj84

    Rant: A friend is under the mindset I don’t make time to hang out with her anymore. While I do admit I have a tendency to plan my weekends far in advance, I think she needs to give more as well. She has a boyfriend and a more complicated job than I do. Often when I do reach out to her she’s too busy. So I make my plans and when she wants to hang I’m already booked. I don’t like breaking RSVP’s, it’s rude and I think she expects me to. I feel bad, but I think she needs to see my point of view.

    Rave: I start my part time gig next week. It doesn’t pay much but should be a good experience.

    Rant: I need to start networking and I just don’t want to. It’s funny because my job requires me to be friendly and chat strangers, take me out of that atmosphere and I get really shy. I have an event I’m going to attend tomorrow and I’m dreading it.

    • It sounds like she likes to plan at the last minute and you like to plan in advance. Instead of approaching this as an issue of priorities or making time for each other, maybe try approaching it from that angle. Specifically say that you’ve tried to make plans with her, but she always seems to be busy and you’re not available to hang out on short notice. That you still do want to hang out with her (if that’s true), but you just need to plan it in advance.

    • I have a couple of friends who it’s hard to plan with because of our different methods/planning timelines/obligations. I found that always making a specific counter offer has helped. “Sorry, I do already have plans for Sunday, but would you like to do X on day Y?” Depending on the friend, I might add, “if you end up having to travel that day that’s fine, but let’s pencil it in in case you are here,” or whatever.

    • I have a couple of friends like this and I feel your pain! It’s so frustrating. In addition to the good advice already given, one of my strategies when they want to hang out and I already have plans is to just invite them to join. Unless it’s a date, work-related, or someone I haven’t seen in a long time, there are few things i”m doing where I can’t just incorporate another person. Like MetMet said, I’m more of a plan ahead type of gal, but I’ve really just had to learn to go with the flow. I’ve naturally ended up spending more time with like minded people, and as for the flaky friends, I see them when I see them and it’s fine.

      • skj84

        I really enjoy hanging out with her and I think this is a communications issue as well. I get that hearing that I already have plans is probably very hurtful. But I do think she needs to be more flexible with plans, especially since she knows I have a tendency to plan weekends in advance. I think I will try to involve her more if its a group thing.

        • This may sound silly — but have you ever actually TOLD her that you like to make plans in advance? Some of us who tend to do things on the fly might not actually notice this — so explicitly discussing your style of planning might help with her hurt feelings. And I think your willings to involve her in group stuff is a great way to include her without hampering your need to plan. You seem like a very caring, very thoughtful friend!

          • skj84

            Aw Thanks! Yeah we’ve discussed the fact I like to plan before. If fact she brought it up as a negative aspect. I do think I could be a bit more spontaneous, but I like planning ahead.

          • The fact that she apparently expects you to break existing plans to meet with her is nuts.
            I’m a planner myself and don’t have much patience with people who refuse to plan in advance and/or flake out.
            If your friend wants to be “spontaneous,” so be it, but she shouldn’t be surprised to find that you’ve already made plans and are sticking with them. If she doesn’t want to plan, then she’ll just have to hope that when the feeling strikes her, you’ll actually be free. And if you aren’t, tough luck to her.

  • houseintherear

    Had a two hour delay today, and had already planned to take the afternoon off, so I’ll be working from about 11:15-noon today. 🙂

  • binpetworth

    Rant: After 4 allergy-free months, the postnasal drip, sore throat, and sneezing have returned once more. All the traditional methods (neti pot, liquids, humidifiers) bring no relief. Time to take the advice of folks from this blog who recommended Dr. Ein.
    Rave: Surprisingly few meetings this week mean I’m ahead on my to-do list and have more time to seek advice from PoPvillians

  • Rant: I couldn’t get to sleep last night. This is the third or fourth night in a row. I’m concerned that this is a side effect of a much needed anti-deppressant. My doctor offered me Ambien but I’m not really keen to start taking it. Anyone have any suggestions? I’m on Effexor and otherwise it’s working pretty well.

    • Maybe try taking a benedryl before bed?

      • Please do not take the benadyrl route – I have heard (from sister’s patients, others) that this is terrible way to combine medications and some have ended up dependent on using this to fall asleep.

    • Regular exercise. I go to the gym 3-5 times a week and have trouble staying up past 10:30 most nights.

      • OP here: It’s so funny you say that…because two of the last four days I went to the gym after work (and wondered if maybe that was keeping me up). I did cardio for 30 minutes plus some mild circuits with my own body weight both days.

    • I have friends who swear by melatonin, and it’s always seemed to work for me. Placebo effect? I’ll take it.
      If you go with Ambien, keep in mind that a half or even a quarter of a pill might well be enough to get you to sleep, which will help in the morning and allow you to hoard your prescription for long plane flights and for sharing with friends who have long plane flights, thus placing them deeply in your debt.

      • OP here: I was wary of melatonin because one of the possible side effects is vivid dreams…and I’m already having some crazy vivid dreams that leave me feeling less rested.

        Thank you guys for the feedback! It really is invaluable!

      • anonymouse_dianne

        I do melatonin when I travel. Vivid dreams for sure.

      • Yes for half an Ambien – plus a good book. It’s hard to find the right book for wakeful reading – must be interesting but not too demanding.

        • This sounds terrible, but Jim Gaffigan’s “Mr. Universe” comedy special (available on Netflix) has been my go-to Ambien as of late. I think it’s the tone of his voice more than anything else. Or, his jokes. 🙂

          By the way, I totally agree with the person suggesting you work out earlier in the day. Evening workouts tend to keep me amped up for a little longer than I’d like. Working out in the morning helps me get to sleep at night.

    • I found ZzzQuil (it’s just over-the-counter Nyquil with the cold medicine taken out, leaving only the knock out drugs) to be helpful. However, I think you should run whatever you decide to take, if you do decide to take something, by your doctor first to check for any known reactions with Effexor.

    • Avoid taking anything and just keep getting up earlier and earlier – you’ll get there.

      • That’s easier said than done…once I get to sleep I don’t want to get out of bed (which causes it’s own set of problems)!

    • I have 10 mg Ambion pills – I split them in half and if I can’t sleep I’ll take 5mg. That always works (and if it didn’t I could take another 5mg)

    • If you’ve just started on the Effexor, that can have a temporary “hypomanic” (low-grade mania) effect — feeling wired, having trouble sleeping, etc. For longer-term sleeplessness, I’d recommend Benadryl over melatonin, unless the melatonin you’re looking at purchasing meets (voluntary) USP standards. (Thanks to lack of regulation for supplements, you don’t really know whether what the bottle claims is what’s actually in the pills.)
      For what it’s worth, I have crazy, vivid, disturbing dreams and haven’t figured out a way to make them go away. They’re even more crazy if I have too many blankets or an overly thick comforter.

  • msmaryedith

    Rant: Saying “I love you” to someone and not having them say it back. It has seemed like it was on the tip of their tongue so many times that I thought it would be ok to say it, but I guess not.

    • So sorry for this! If it helps I’m not one to say it easily (and this has caused problems in a previous relationship) but it also means that when I say it you know that I mean it. Maybe just give the person some time and don’t beat yourself up too much.

    • I’m sorry. i hope love – with this person or another – finds you very soon

    • You should be proud of yourself for being brave with your heart. In my lifetime, I know I have far more regretted the times I have failed to tell someone how I feel than when I have been brave enough to do it. Well done.

    • Also, just because s/he didn’t say it in response, doesn’t mean that they don’t greatly care about you.
      I’m sure they are thinking about it a lot and considering it. Sometimes people need to be led 😉

      • Also, remember, they may not be ready just yet to tell you. I said “i love you” to my current girlfriend two or three times and then backed off (this was about 4 months into the relationship) About a month later she told me, and then proceeded to tell me that she wanted to tell me but chickened out. Now she tells me too much! Just kidding. I’m ridiculously in love with her!

    • I think it was okay for you to say it. And, fwiw, I applaud your courage and your ability to speak from your heart. I’m sure you know that some of us find it hard sometimes to put our feelings in words — and, unfortunately, feel/think that “I love you too”, or even “I love YOU”, seems kind of … maybe too reflexive. Then we realize that we’ve lost the moment, and feel like crap. Obviously I don’t know your “someone” — but don’t assume that you misjudged. I hope things work out for both of you!

  • Me: Oh, I’ll have a fall baby and the weather will be mild enough to go on walks and winter here isn’t bad…he’ll be bigger and it’ll be great!
    Reality: F this. haven’t left the house in three days so finally broke out to hit up Giant, which was exciting and I think I froze my baby to sleep
    Rant: finding a good and respectful nanny for our share is becoming a part time job in and of itself. For a number of reasons. Starting to want to just not go back to work and live cheaply, but I know the long term implications of not working. ggrrr

  • Rave: I’m in a generally good mood for no real reason this morning.
    Rave: Caps won and Game Over Green made a re-appearance.
    Rant: I have a bug bite. In January. Que the bedbug paranoia even though it’s clearly one single bite.
    Rant: I slept at my bf’s house last night and telling him feels like admitting to having an STI. He hasn’t had any issues though, so hopefully it’s something else. But what?
    Rave: my commute is faster from my bf’s house, so even though I left late I still got to work on time.

    • Did you recently break out any blankets/clothes from storage? I had spiders biting me once. We finally figured out that they must have been living in the wool blanket that we had pulled out of storage. A good wash and dry on hot was enough to get rid of them and fix the problem.

      Hopefully it’s something easy like that!

  • Rant: My mother in law is a scientist but still believes in folk wisdom, and my wife listens to her. So they’re both afraid to be out in the cold because it will cause brain damage. Somehow I don’t think that affected all the northern-dwelling societies of the world…

    • WTF? Wow, that’s not an old wives’ tale, that’s insane!

    • Sorry, I laughed out loud when I read that. They don’t seriously believe that do they? Actual brain damage?

    • Chinese? I heard the craziest, batshit-insane folk “tales” from really smart people when I was living in China.
      The best was split pants worn by babies (google “split pants Chinese baby” to see an example). They think that babies have a fire in their butt, so keeping a baby’s bare ass exposed all winter long to the elements is no issue.

      • Indian 🙂 Similar cultures in that regard. The astrology/numerology stuff drives me insane too.

      • epric002

        i thought that was for ease of toilet training?

        • Well that is practical purpose of split pants. (totally gross, btw – kids shitting and pissing all over the ground in public spaces).
          But I asked my neighbor (who is a professor at Tsinghua and had a small baby) if the baby would get very cold or sick from being so exposed in the middle of the freezing Beijing winter. She told me that the Chinese believe that the babies have “fire” in their butt which keeps them warm. And that this fire eventually goes away as they get older. 😀

          • “But I asked my neighbor (who is a professor at Tsinghua and had a small baby) if the baby would get very cold or sick from being so exposed in the middle of the freezing Beijing winter.”

            Actually you’ve fallen victim to another old wives tale! You can’t get sick from being cold.

          • “You can’t get sick from being cold.” You will wear yourself trying to convince folks of that, and die disappointed. I know so many otherwise intelligent people who cannot be persuaded of the germ theory of disease over the temperature (and especially temperature fluctuation!) version. My MIL (a lawyer) actually argues with me that the body is less able to fight infection if it is cold, so therefore, the cold causes illness by weakening the body. And as proof, look how much more often everyone is sick in cold weather! *sigh*

          • I know, I know… that one will never die. 🙁

          • “She told me that the Chinese believe that the babies have “fire” in their butt which keeps them warm. And that this fire eventually goes away as they get older. ”

            Sounds like some untapped alternative energy potential to me! Imagine if they hooked all those baby butts up to a turbine.

      • That’s pretty amusing. I like the crazy superstitions, as long as I don’t have to deal with them personally as an outsider.

    • When air conditioning first became popular it was thought if you left a cold building and went out into the heat you could have a heart attack.

      • That one seems semi-logical at least. I can understand being worried about what new technology will do to the body. But the cold has been around the entire time humans have been.

    • Hahahaha! Tell them about Eastern Europe and Nordic cultures, where they take they babies in prams our for sleeping in the cold because it’s good for them.

  • Rave: Thank you so much to the man on the metro at Petworth this morning that let me sit down with my son. You are awesome.

  • Rant: For weeks, the lights on Sherman Ave are no longer timed. They used to be timed great during rush hour, allowing cars and bikes to easily flow at a reasonable pace. Now the street starts to look like a parking lot. I’d like to complain to DDoT, but they don’t have any means of collecting input from citizens.

  • pablo .raw

    Rant: there are stalactites inside the Waterfront metro.
    Rave: found my favorite hat! it was lost since last season. I feel like I’m ready for the winter now 🙂

    • Haha yes, I’ve thought about submitting pictures of it, but never have my camera on me. I like how our waterfront stalagmites have slowly morphed into a bona fide ice sculpture, complete with frozen mop and bucket.

    • Why is that a rant? It sounds pretty cool.

      • Because there is enough water leaking into the roof of a metro station that we have stalactites in the first place. And as the leak has grown, they’ve expanded the protective gate around the icy area to the point where it chokes off two-thirds of the entrance/exit to the metro station. Basically it’s a rant because the station is in such disrepair.

        • epric002

          had to doublecheck on which station you’re talking about, b/c petworth/ga ave has the same problems. it’s a slippery mess and has been for weeks.

        • Wow! Thanks for the descriptive explanation — because my first thought when I read pablo.raw’s post was : “Well, I sure hope you took some nice pictures of that! And plan to post them!” So it sounds beautiful, but horribly inconvenient and majorly expensive.

          • pablo .raw

            Hahah, it’s doesn’t look good; I would have taken some photos of it but I was in a hurry. It looks like a leak, with mold, orange cones, yellow fence around it. And stalactites. 🙂

          • Haha yeah definitely not what I would call beautiful. The precariously dangling ceiling tile and abandoned mop bucket are really what makes it for me– like someone tried to clean it up and was like “damn it’s cold. You can’t mop ice! Screw this.”

          • pablo .raw

            LOL! exactly! “f..k this!”

  • Rave: Second date tonight in the city. Good sign she’s willing to come in from MD on a school night on crappy weather like today ?

  • Rant: I need to see an orthodontist. Does anyone have one they can recommend for an adult? Preferably someone that does Invisalign, but I’ll take recommendations for others as well.

  • Does anyone have a good experience with dropping off their knives to have them sharpened? I’m not comfortable doing it myself because I’m not sure what I’m doing. I live near the Hill if that helps! -Thank you

    • Are you asking where to get it done? I think both Eastern and Union markets have places that will do it. Or I’m willing to bet the folks at Hill’s Kitchen would give you a tutorial if you stop in during a slow period.

      • epric002

        confirming that union market does knife sharpening!

        • Awesome I will so do this. I haven’t sharpened my knives since I got them as a wedding gift almost four years ago, and I cook with them every night. More than one of them is chipped. They are beyond the point of mere honing with a rod.

  • saf

    The iPod is on scramble everything randomly setting.

    It like Pete Seeger today. I think it reads the paper.

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