Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user mellowdc

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.

247 Comment

  • Rave: SNOW!
    Rant: It’s not accumulating.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Depression is a bitch.
    Rant: Waited way too long to seek treatment and did a lot of stupid things along the way.
    Rave: Meds that work and a therapist I like.
    Rave: I can get out of bed in the morning.

    • what was your tipping point? I have never had to seek help (i dont believe i am depressed in that sense of the word) but i feel like having a therapist could be really good for me

      • Literally not being able to get out of bed. Work made me get a doctor’s note or I would probably still be in bed.

    • My secret is full spectrum light bulbs in every light in my house for the winter. I’m pissed they banned traditional bulbs (in order to make these more expensive in halogen and fluorescent bulbs). Full spectrum bulbs and multi-vitamins are a life saver in getting through tough winters without sun. Avoid drugs, they only make the problem worse and deplete your money…

      Also many people don’t realize it, but smoking also prevents thousands of people from jumping off bridges every year. Smoking is bad, and it shortens your life, but it also lengthens lives of a lot of people who would have committed suicide if they didn’t smoke.

  • pablo .raw

    Rave: Finally did it, got rid of my phone. I’m not a big phone talker, and it’s easy to communicate over e-mail, text message, etc. with free apps.
    Rave: I’m going to pay less than half what I used to in communications.

  • Rave: The snow is quiet lovely when its not pounding the region like Snowmageddon.
    Rant: Finding an upholstery (sofa) cleaner! Should it really cost $200 ? That is like a a fourth of the cost of my couch! Reasonable recommendations needed!

    • For routine cleaning, most carpet cleaning machines have an upholstery attachment (I’ve used a Bissel carpet cleaner) you can buy a whole machine for less than $200 I’m sure, and they frequently show up on Craigslist. There are a number of spot/stain cleaners – you just have to try them out. One big warning is do NOT dry clean slipcovers or cushion covers. They will tell you it will not shrink but it absolutely will.

    • you also might be able to rent one from a hardware store. Ive also noticed the new Giant on O has them too

    • You might be able to rent an upholstery cleaner. Maybe a hardware store or vaccum store (do those still exist?) would have one.

      • There’s still a wonderful vacuum cleaner store in Cleveland Park – Brother’s Sew & Vac on Connecticut. There might be another one in Bethesda as well. The manager at the Cleveland Park store is VERY helpful.

  • GiantSquid

    Rant: Mr. Squid jacked up his road bike this weekend, cracked the frame. Mr. Squid is obviously upset about this. Mr. Squid will not stop talking about it in-person or on Twitter. I might have to mute my own husband for a little bit (at least on Twitter).
    Revel: Bailey’s French Vanilla coffee creamer

  • Rant: Another year older and not one whit wiser.
    Girlfriend makes me feel like a teenager only with a lot more money and a better kisser.

  • Rave: Headed to Cambodia in April for two weeks of backpacking, temples, scuba, beach.
    Rave: Just booked flight to Nicaragua for all girls surf camp in June.
    Rant: OKCupid. Where are all the adventurous guys? The scruffy surfers, backpackers, guys who can start a fire and count thier year by the number of days they spent snowboarding, diving or camping. So uninspired by of all the DC vanilla…

    • pablo .raw

      Say hello to San Juan del Sur from me πŸ™‚

      • It’s a special place, isn’t it πŸ™‚

        • pablo .raw

          It’s pretty but not my favorite, only because water is cold (in Pablo’s terms). The beaches near Leon or Chinandega have water so warm I could spend the whole day there only getting out of the water to have a sopa marinera and a Victoria; then nap on a hammock and back to the water. I just looked out the window and it’s snowing outside πŸ™

    • Those types don’t seem to find DC all that appealing. I’m sure there’s a niche out there – the 20something in a Mt. Pleasant/Columbia Heights group house working at an environmental non-profit. Maybe try a meet-up group?

    • Maybe youre just fat and they arent interested in you

    • Ha. How many days a year do you spend snowboarding, diving, or camping? I hear Colorado is great for adventurous ladies – favorable ratio, lots of outdoorsy dudes.

      On OKCupid, I have had trouble finding creative ladies (not counting singer-songwriters, but I find singer-songwriters grating) who also like to go on adventures two to three weeks each year, preferably abroad. Oh, also, they should have a career and not be reliant on parental support. So far, I’ve found only one.

      • Well… let’s see, I have six weeks of holiday per year and weekends too, so that turns out to be a lot of time I can spend toward the activities I love. Funny you care whether they are reliant on parental support. I guess I’ve aged out of that really being a possibility for the men I date. But even if they were living off of their parents, who cares? If they can manage to live the life they want I can’t fault them for finding out how to do that, even if it means they have to get financial support from family.

        • Are you not American? The six weeks of vacation, and the fact that you call it “holiday” makes me wonder! Most of us only get two weeks by the way.

          • Anonynon

            yeah two weeks is the ‘norm’ here and with all the sick days and what not between and saving for your own travel plans….not much left to work with really

          • justinbc

            I thought 4 to 5 weeks was “the norm” now among professional jobs?

          • Corey, how long have you been at your current job? Would you be considered mid-career status? At my company, you start with 3 weeks if you have at least 10 years professional work experience, then you get 4 additional days (used to be holidays such as Columbus Day, President’s Day, Veteren’s Day), but you can use them any day you wish, and then we have an option to buy an extra week of vacation and that comes out of each paycheck so it’s spread throughout the year.

          • No Justin, not in the real world. I have three weeks because I’ve been at my company forever, and feel very fortunate for that! On top of having very little vacation there are a lot of DC people who need to use a big chunk of their leave on visiting family in other parts of the country.

          • When it comes to vacation time, “the real world” and “the norm” are totally relative terms depending on your industry, and even individual companies within the industry. While it’s true that vacation benefits in the U.S. are generally less than those in Europe, vacation time varies widely. I’ve known a couple of people who worked at crappy companies where everyone started at 1-2 weeks vacation, and maybe after 10 years at the company, you’d get a bump up to 2-3 weeks. However, most of the people I know are in similar situations to what justinbc cited, in that they have started at 2-3 weeks, and then bump up to 4-5 weeks within 2-5 years of service to the company (separate from sick time). Even my sister who works for one of the major accounting/consulting firms gets a 5-week vacation/sick/PTO combination, after only a couple of years on the job. Now, in some companies, they may technically offer generous vacation benefits, but employees are so overworked, they feel they can’t actually take all their vacation time–that seems to be a common problem. And even in the case of someone like me who uses almost all of my 4 weeks vacation every year, I think the big difference between us and Europe is that I’ve met a number of European travelers (adults with “real” jobs, not just backpacking college kids) who were taking an extended 6-week vacation–whereas at my job, it would be frowned upon for me to take my 4 weeks in a block all at once.

          • justinbc

            Yeah, my previous employer started everyone off with a similar 5 week leave that you could use for vacation, sick, whatever. That was really nice, since I was a lot younger and almost never needed sick leave.

        • I’ve mostly aged out of that range, too, but if someone has never been financially independent and they’re in my age range (28-36), I consider that a red flag. I’m not asking them to own their own home, but I see a modicum of financial maturity (not the same as financial security) as an indicator of shared values.

          I guess I’ve just encountered a lot of people on OKCupid who just aren’t all that mature. I’m by no means perfect, but “creative” and “mature” don’t seem to intersect much on that site.

          Six weeks of holiday?! That’s fantastic. Congrats on finding a job with that.

          • Curious as to what you mean by “mature”? I guess this means different things to different people.

          • Mature does mean different things to different people, but I think I’m going with a pretty lax definition.

            By mature, I mean:
            – not pouting at a party when no one is paying attention to you for five minutes.
            – capable of going out for a few drinks without getting hammered every time (yes, I understand a percentage of the population has an alcohol allergy and gets hammered after one drink. I am not including those people).
            – able to show up on time or close to it on a regular basis
            – understanding that the answer “no” does not mean the person answering doesn’t like you.

            that’s just some of what I’d think it takes to hit the low bar for mature and by no means my definitive stance on what constitutes maturity.

          • Anonynon

            Well i get almost all federal holidays, and then two weeks of sick + vacation time.. and no my job is entry level (been working 3 years)

      • msmaryedith

        “On OKCupid, I have had trouble finding creative ladies (not counting singer-songwriters, but I find singer-songwriters grating) who also like to go on adventures two to three weeks each year, preferably abroad. Oh, also, they should have a career and not be reliant on parental support. So far, I’ve found only one.” Beau, I’ve actually been out with you (through OKCupid). I fit those criteria, but I somehow doubt that I’m who you are counting as the *one* who fit the bill. We weren’t a match in the end, but you might be selling your dates short.

    • Anonynon

      Are you really ranting about how there are no sufer guys in DC? There are plenty of young, ambitious, hipster types in DC. I feel like you are probbaly a creature of habit and keep trying to find one in the same way (i do this also!). Get outside your box (or board) and try to meet someone in a different way. Anyways – I guess i am DC Vanilla now but i use to skateboard, snowboard (ect), want to learn to surf – but i live in DC its hard to do these things here!

      • Ha! I’m not looking for young, ambitious or hipster type! And yes, I do believe that there are people who life to surf in DC. I live here! Yes, it’s hard to do it in DC, but that is why we travel. And you can def SUP in this area and white water kayak. I’m not married to the idea of a surfer type per say, just the mentaility of one.

        • Anonynon

          Holiding onto the idea of finding a guy who surfs is probably severlely limiting your potential matches. I would say less than .1% of the population is capable of surfing. Anyways – good luck whatever you are trying to find. Sounds like you are super busy traveling so its not surprising you are having trouble finding a guy who has six weeks paid vacation to go off and tavel the world with you

          • Well Corey, than you for your feedback. I’ll take it to heart! I think we must run in different circles, though, if you think two planned trips is “super busy traveling”. I wish it were so!

        • There are a lot of white water kayakers around. I used to be on my way to being one before I totally f’ed up my hip. I know there is a kayak meetup group and a couple paddling clubs around you might join and meet people there. I took classes through Liquid Adventures and they might have an idea on the best way to connect with fellow paddlers.

    • I spent a number of winters with 120+ days of skiing. Most people in DC don’t want to hear much about that though, so I don’t often bring that up. I imagine there are many others who humbly keep that info to themselves. (Also, such guys probably don’t reach out to OKCupid too much given DC’s favorable dating market.)

    • Washington is definitely never going to be a target-rich environment if you’re hunting the sort of guy who prioritizes high adventure and deep powder over policy analysis or making partner — unless renting a kayak by the Stadium and paddling up to Kingman Island for a picnic counts.
      On the other hand, maybe scruffy backpackers are made, not born. I’m sure that inside many a pasty policy wonk is a guy who would at least rent his soul out for the weekend for a chance to meet the kind of woman who goes to an all-girls surf camp in Nicaragua for vacation, but is a little intimidated. Or just needs to take a few baby steps before getting dive-certified or barreling down a double-diamond in a kind of trance brought on by altitude, fear and delight in your dangerous company.

    • The adventurous types are living in their parent’s basements after years of buying adventure equipment and not having a real job that can pay for a house… hah.

      Either that or they’re laid up in a hospital somewhere because they broke their collarbone while snowboarding.

      I used to be pretty adventurous when i was 24, but then I grew up and realized that risking my life can permanently ruin my future goals and aspirations. I feel like no less of a man for it, and I’m not a “vanilla” DC guy.

      • Well it’s all about choices, I guess. I don’t have a smart phone or even a cell phone plane and my car is 14 years old. I don’t eat out in restaurants too often and am pretty thrifty so I can afford to travel. Sorry you feel like “growing up” has to mean you can’t do the types of adventurous things you did when you were 24. I in no way, mean to make any kind of judgement on that, but I guess I’m just feeling frustrated that in DC there’s more of you types, than types like me.

        • I think DC has a lot of people who are very passionate about making the world a better place (whether it’s through their job or a side project). Unfortunately when you’re invested in something like that you have to sacrifice having fun adventures all the time.

      • Don’t be wuss!

        • That was for jack5.

        • Pssht!! I was doing 120mph on I270 past you in your ultra-safe mini van full of bagged groceries back in 2010! I’ve lived enough thank you! πŸ˜›

          • Hah. I sneer at your high-speed antics. Nothing is more dangerous or life-affirming than being in the car with me behind the wheel — even at the speed limit and sober. I am so bad that there are actually a legendary Brill Building singer songwriter and a sitting U.S. Senator who would probably rather do time in a shark cage with Chica than get in the car with me.

          • yeah boy. driving fast on 270! thats really living.

          • I was young and dumb back then, I’m a lot more responsible now… Parachuting is actually much more risky than riding a motorcycle, though both are pretty risky to me now… Merely saying that being an adrenaline junkie is past me now… I usually get my adrenaline fixes from going 6mph above the limit when I pass a speed camera. lol. Happy Birthday old man (@Irving Streete)! :p

          • Thanks! I figure I’m so old I may as well start living riskier. The opportunity cost of death is declining rapidly, the kids are out of the house and there’s a little money in the bank for them. Next year: mountain climbing. If I make it ten more years I’m taking up smoking and hard drugs.

      • Wow – people are harsh on the adventurers here. I spent a good 25 years in the adventure/backpacking lifestyle, meeting lots of other like-spirited people, none of whom are living in anyone’s basement (although a few of us do creak and limp a bit) They are now inventors, archeologists, college professors, business owners, writers, journalists, film makers, human rights activists and even the odd lawyer and doctor.

        Of course Chica – you’re more likely to find those sort of people when you’re out doing those sorts of things than on a website or a DC bar, so just go out there, have a great trip and report back.

        • Thank you for the encouragement! I will report back πŸ™‚

        • Good advice. Even if it doesn’t mean meeting that someone, there are lots of us who are financially independent and choose to spend our time and money on trips to beautiful places so keep going and enjoy every minute of it! I’m just back from diving in Cozumel and planning Alaska for the end of the summer with friends. And for those of you who hide it, some of us think talking about these things is so much better than talking about work!

          • justinbc

            Seriously, the last thing I want to talk about is work. I used to surf daily when I lived in Wilmington (NC) right on the beach, but I sold my board when I moved to DC because the waves here suck. πŸ˜‰

          • Agreed, there are people in DC who are adventurous and love to travel and that is how they choose to spend their money and vacation time, and we’d love to meet other like minded folks. I probably annoy the crap out of my friends talking about travelling. There’s a big peace corp contingent in DC, so perhaps try to meet up with some of those folks. I think there are levels of adventurous; I’m sure most would not qualify for the OP’s level, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have good stories and fun plans.

          • Where in Alaska? It’s gorgeous. I made it there in 2012 for a week or so.

            Also, Justin – a friend just went to ILM this weekend and I said “Cape Fear Wine & Beer or else your trip was wasted.” I worked down there for a summer and had an incredible time. What an awesome little town.

          • justinbc

            Yeah I regularly dream of moving back down there, it’s beautiful and quiet with a growing restaurant scene thanks to the movie industry. Lighthouse Beer & Wine was another great shop down there.

      • uhhh… i spend 100+ days in the mountains, own a home, and have been financially independent since I was 16. I have a decently paying job, but it funds my lifestyle and i make it a priority to get out outside as often as possible. i don’t know why having a job and a career are incompatible with having another passion.

      • +100000000000

      • you should meet more people jack5. you’re viewpoint is sadly narrow.

    • Any suggestions on where to meet all of these adventurous people? I joined a meet up but the group seems fairly pre-established/cliquish. My friends sadly lack the financial and/or time resources to go on a trip like climbing Kilimanjaro or camping around New Zealand.

      • Same! I had high hopes for a meet up group, but it seemed like it was all about booking tour groups to certain areas, which is not my idea of fun travel. I am someone who has done tons of travel (of the backpacking kind) but also likes to get dressed up and go to parties in DC. I feel like I have so much trouble finding anyone who likes to do both of those things. Can’t understand it.

    • The ones I know in DC are musicians. Who also surf. They’re here — sprinkled amongst the Brooks Brother’s suits.

    • Are you by any chance the girl from before who hates to make commitments/plans to hang out with your friends? Just curious.

      • Are you asking me, the OP? Nope, that wasn’t me. I may be a lot of things, but I’m not flakey πŸ™‚

        • Ha, ok. Just wondering because there was a somewhat similar rant/rave comment that recently spiraled into its own huge discussion like this one has.

    • reading your responses to some of the comments below…why dont you just come out and say that you are looking to meet an “adventurous” guy here on PoP?

    • i wish i knew you!

    • Cambodia will blow your mind – when you visit Ankor Wat try The Red Piano in Siem Reap if you need a place to stay,; if you take a boat down the Mekong to Phnom Penh sit on top and HANG on tight, tip well your tour guide at the castle; don’t be surprised at how resilient the people are despite the atrocities they suffered at the hands of the Khmer Rouge – everyone you meet will have been affected by it. I was there 10 years ago (rustic trip) and the impressions are everlasting. I hope you really enjoy it.

    • They’re living in Denver, or NorCal, or Vermont, or a 3rd world country….yeah, DC isn’t the best place to find outdoorsy people.

    • You need to go raft guide at the Nantahala Outdoor Center in NC, you will meet a ton of those types!

  • Rave: Snow! I love a good snow day! It looks like I’m living in a snow globe.
    Rant: Dryer fuse keeps blowing because the vent needs to be cleaned. Does anyone have recommendations for someone to clean out the dryer vent that leads outside? Preferably a company that won’t charge me a cost that is equivalent to buying a new dryer.

  • heading to Madrid next week for a quick work jaunt. Will have two days on my own to explore. any recommendations for off-the-beaten-path things to do?

    • pablo .raw

      don’t forget your PoPville t-shirt πŸ˜€ Have fun!

    • No specific recommendation – but when I was in Madrid some years ago my friends and I were held up at finger point. He said “este un asolto, dame dinero” while making a gun shape with his hand. We had imbibed a healthy amount of sangria that evening – a surreal moment that made for a good story later.

    • justinbc

      The world’s oldest restaurant, per Guinness Book, is there. We enjoyed it, but it wasn’t super rave-worthy.
      The Palace and Parque are both beautiful, but I really loved just riding around and taking in all the architecture and fountains, they’re beautiful. It’s uber touristy, but take a ride on one of their open top buses.

    • Madrid is the GREATEST. If youre an art fan, get a paseo de arte and you can get into the three biggest museums-the Prado, the Reina Sofia, and the Thyssen. Hang out in the Parque de Retiro and see the Crystal Palace and watch the boaters. See an Egyptian Temple at the Templo de Debod. Day trips are easy-see the roman Aqueducts in Segovia or the Cathedral in Toledo. If youre there on Sunday, go to El Rastro, which is a HUGE street market. Walk down Gran Via, Fuencarral or Hortaleza for great people watching. Go for a tour of Bernabeu if youre a soccer fan. Best thing about Madrid-the metro is fantastic and the city is really walkable. Its always fun just to explore. Have a great time!

    • After you’ve seen all the typical Madrid things, take the AVE train to Toledo. Great city and only like 45 mins away. Also, Madrid is the only place I have stayed where the hotel had bed bugs. So check for it.

  • Bike experts out there: Today after pausing at a red light for a few seconds, I started biking across the intersection and heard a single cracking sound from around where the gears are. Last time this happened with a different bike, it ended up being really dirty sprockets that had a lot of dirt in them. Could this be a sign of salt and construction dirt finally catching up with me? Guessing I’m going to have to take it in pretty soon… Thoughts/advice appreciated.

    • Not sure – but I thiiiiink Capitol Hill Bikes is having a special on tune-ups right now. Call first. (202) 544-4234

    • When’s the last time you cleaned/lubed your bike? You might have broken a gear tooth off.

      Try Handy Bikes DC… his prices are really really reasonable.

      • It has been over a year since the bike was properly cleaned. My best guess is that the winter is doing a number on my bike, especially with the amount of salt the District uses on the roads and the rocky construction zones through which I’m biking. Thanks for the tip.

    • When is the last time you cleaned and greased your chain and gears? If you’re riding in winter weather (salt and sand and slush) you should really try to clean it every week. Have you ever biked on a beach and seen what your gear looks like after. The winter riding conditions can be a lot like that.

      You should check out Bike House. The first clinic of 2014 will be this saturday 3/1 at Annies Hardware. It is an absolutley fabulous non-profit. They don’t fix your bike for you, they teach you how to fix your own bike so you can teach and empower others. http://www.thebikehouse.coop/

    • second the cleaning and lubing up your bike, but those rear cassettes also just have a limited lifespan. if you hear more creaking/cracking and your bike no longer shifts smoothly, you might just need a new rear cassette. any shop can swap it out for you, or you can buy a new cassette and do it yourself. one of the reasons i ride a single speed — less maintenance on these salt/gravel/pot hole covered roads!

  • Rant: Following up on the swastika post, at the southbound bus stop on Harvard St. someone spray painted over the LGBT free magazine box and wrote “PIGS” on it. It’s pretty noticeable and insensitive. Who would I contact to have the box replaced or graffiti removed? I am not sure if the city is responsible since the box is likely privately owned. Maybe one of those sticker artists out there reading this would be willing to cover it? πŸ™‚

  • Rant: Have to re-home my cat. Took him to the vet this morning – his weight & hair loss is due to the stress of living with a toddler. Vet wants him out of my house (he bit the kid) and thinks it’d be better to find him a new home rather than medicate him.

    Rave: his weight/hair loss aren’t from anything untreatable.

    • houseintherear

      Kids ruin everything… jk, I’m sorry you’re going through this. Have you checked out Homeward Trails rescue, or another rescue where the animals are primarily kept in foster homes? They’d probably be great for your cat since he has been a home cat with you. Good luck-

      • Thanks for the suggestions! I’ll give them a call.

        It does suck for me, but it really will be better for both the cat & the kid.

    • saf

      Ask your vet for help. Keep kitty, separated from the child, until you can re-home him.
      Seriously, my vet has helped me more than once with kitties that needed homes (I caught a number of kittens from a feral colony who were young enough to be socialized. I needed to place a LOT of cats!)

  • Rave: Gorgeous snowfall — like living inside of a snow globe
    Rave: Slept so well last night. Amazing how regular exercise leads to awesome sleep.
    Rant: Am I the only one who constantly feels like she is losing a battle with keeping the house clean? I’d love to hire someone, but just can’t justify the cost for a one bedroom apartment.

    • Um, no. I also feel like I’m losing the battle. In my previous apartment my roommate and I split the cost of a house keeper. With the shared cost it was worth it and she was incredible. But I just can’t justify paying for it on my own. Now I find myself out of practice and behind. Not to mention, my dining area is a dumping ground of things that don’t have homes/I need to get rid of.

      • I’m working to minimize my “stuff” via donation, recycling, not buying in the first place. Watching the video “The Story of Stuff” has inspired me, also the “give away 100 things” challenge.

        • Oh, I’m a thrift store cycler. I give away stuff frequently and I buy a lot of my things there. But, sad to say, three whole months after moving I still haven’t found the best homes for things and there are a few worth Craig’s Listing that I haven’t gotten to yet.
          I’m sure I’ve surpassed the 100 things challenge, but maybe I should start the counter over.

    • I don’t feel like I am loosing the battle with vacuuming (which I do all the time), but I am grossed out by the little spots that aren’t clean and which I honestly just don’t clean that well (ex: scrubbing the tub). I want to hire a cleaners, but they are SO expensive that I cant even think its worth it. I have had cleaners some before, but none have done the type of work that I don’t want to do, like the scrubbing, and really just get rid of the dust which I can honestly do myself.

      • Try an individual instead of a service. Cleaning services will show up late and do a shitty job! An individual should charge between $80-$100 for a total house scrub. No laundry or anything like that – but I honestly don’t want others messing around with my clothes anyways. I’m looking at getting someone to come in once a month to do the big stuff that I just don’t have time for anymore. There’s nothing better than a clean house…that you didn’t have to clean πŸ™‚

      • I learned this tip on Apartment Therapy and it’s been working pretty well for me- get one of those dish scrubbers that holds the soap in the handle and fill it with half white vinegar and half dish soap. Keep it in the shower and scrub the tub while you’re already in there or just after you get out. Mostly, I scrub on the weekends.

    • Always. You can’t let yourself get too OCD about it though. Tackle the things that really bother you and let the rest go until you’re really in a cleaning mood. If I can keep clutter from accumulating, clean up the kitchen immediately after cooking and eating, and wipe down the bathroom sinks once a week I’m relatively happy.

      • justinbc

        Yeah, clutter is the biggest preventative in terms of cleaning. The more stuff you have in the way the more daunting the task is. Minimize surface objects and it becomes significantly easier (although your space may suffer from a lack of “personalization”).

        • what is a “preventative”? lol. wouldn’t ask were your post not so professorial.

          • justinbc

            I’m not sure I understand the question?

          • saf

            It’s a misuse – should have said barrier. Preventative implies a positive thing. Barrier is a much better word.
            (Yes. I DO have a hangup on word usage.)

          • @saf – Yea? And you’re a barrier to us enjoying life. Thankfully PopVille takes preventative measures against your types!
            (I kid I kid – I too have too many usage hangups.)

          • it means to prevent something, which was used correctly. get your heads out of books and actually try to understand what people are saying.

    • Super gorgeous snowfall!

      Also, now I’m inspired to hit the gym. My sleeping has been something akin to a drug-addled college sophomore lately due solely to lack of exercise.

      As for the cleaning bit – some friends and I all have similar issues (keeping stuff we don’t need, primarily). I’m trying to convince them to band together with me and we spend a weekend a month at each other’s places (so, over four months) and basically go through everything “do you need this? why? last time you used it? TRASH/RECYCLE/DONATE!” The host supplies beers and anecdotes of some of the stuff.

      • This is a great idea! For things I don’t use but have sentimental value – I’ve been taking pictures prior to donating.

    • maybe pay for cleaners once? the cost will help you catch up and motivate you to keep up.

    • OMG, no, you are not the only one who feels this way about cleaning! I’m amazed at how quickly things get messy in my one bedroom apartment with just my SO and I…. I can’t imagine what things would be like if we had kids. I try and do a big cleaning once or twice a week on weekends: all vacuuming, mopping, scrubbing the bathtub, dusting (the dust that accumulates in this apartment is truly unbelievable) etc. Then during the week it’s easier for me to manage the smaller things like wiping down counters and sinks, sweeping, or putting away the laundry. I struggle a lot with keeping the mail organized, of all things, it usually just ends up in a disorganized pile on the kitchen table. I find it easier to clean things that are dirty instead of organizing and general tidy-ness. My house is usually messy but clean!

      • I have the opposite approach, I find I’m much more successful if I don’t try to do all of the cleaning in one go. I’m just not likely to do any of it when a more appealing option for my Saturday presents itself, and since anything is more appealing I’m always just putting it off to “next” week.
        My approach is to spend some time (not a lot of time, 15-30 minutes) most evenings. You’d be surprised how much cleaning you can do in 20 minutes. That’s more than enough time to do all the bathroom scrubbing, for example, with time left to dust a room. And 20 minutes is easy to find – it’s the time while you’re waiting for something to cook, or between TV shows, or whatever. And knowing it’s just that 20 minutes, I’m much more focused. When I’m trying to tackle my whole apartment I spend a lot of time sitting on the couch in my “woe is me, I have so much more cleaning to do” mode.

    • OMG, no, you are not the only one who feels this way about cleaning! I’m amazed at how quickly things get messy in my one bedroom apartment with just my SO and I…. I can’t imagine what things would be like if we had kids. I try and do a big cleaning once or twice a week on weekends: all vacuuming, mopping, scrubbing the bathtub, dusting (the dust that accumulates in this apartment is truly unbelievable) etc. Then during the week it’s easier for me to manage the smaller things like wiping down counters and sinks, sweeping, or putting away the laundry. I struggle a lot with keeping the mail organized, of all things, it usually just ends up in a disorganized pile on the kitchen table. I find it easier to clean things that are dirty instead of organizing and general tidy-ness. My house is usually messy but clean!

  • Rave/ Rant: this “dusting” of snow we are getting this morning

  • theoutregirl

    Rant: Work is kicking my a** t his week.
    Rave: I’m off Friday and head to NYC for some fun.

    Speaking of which, any recommendations on reliable taxi service in Brightwood Park so I can make it to my bus on time?

  • Rant: why is a ticket to London $1000, I remember the old days when a round trip ticket was between 500 and 600. It is cheaper for me to fly to India. Any ideas?

    • Virgin Atlantic had coach fares in May for closer to $800 the last time I looked.

    • “I remember the old days ” – I think that’s your answer right there. There are very things that haven’t gone up in price (technology being one of the exceptions).

    • justinbc

      Join TravelZoo if you haven’t already, they regularly have sales.

    • Fly to India.

    • See if flying out of Baltimore, Philadelphia or Newark and flying into an airport other than Heathrow will lower the cost.

    • I should also add that a big reason fares to the UK are particularly high is the air passenger duty assessed by the UK government (referred to as the APD) on all flights departing the UK. It adds a minimum of $100 to a return ticket from the US.

      • Is this fare just at Heathrow? I thought I read something about Heathrow having a nasty exit fare not found at Gatwick or Stansted. Also, is the APD only for flights out of the Euro zone? For instance, would hopping a flight to Shannon and flying back to the US via Shannon dodge the APD?

        • I think google has a lot of information about the APD. But it looks like the APD applies to the UK (which is not in the Euro zone, btw) not just Heathrow. Also therefore doesn’t apply to Shannon (not in the UK) but presumably Shannon has it’s own set of fees (more or less, I don’t know.)

          • Cool, thanks. I have little interest in traveling to Great Britain right now, so Googling was too much effort.

          • ha ha, fair enough. But since you mentioned Shannon, I am a huge fan of Ireland and I have never not had an awesome time there. If you’re thinking about hopping a flight to Shannon I would say do it. πŸ™‚

          • Actually, I’m heading there this summer! A cousin in Youghal is getting married. I’m looking forward to it. I’ve only been once before, but immediately (and futilely) began a job search for Ireland upon returning home.

          • Lucky you! I don’t really know Youghal though I’ve driven through it. Spent one summer a little further up the coast near Waterford and it was great fun. I think Ireland enters the conversation at least briefly every single time I consider my next vacation.

    • Well, airlines don’t use the same fare structure as taxis. There’s a lot of factors that enter into it other than distance traveled. Passenger demand, costs associated with flying into specific airports and countries, cost of operating in different countries, prices charged by competitors…. I’m sure many more too – not to mention the bizarre pricing schemes for seats on the same flight (ever gone to expedia and seen “only two seats left at this price!”?). Maybe someone actually knows how it all works but they’re probably sworn to secrecy.

    • Maybe India prices have gone down? When I went a few years ago you couldn’t really find anything under $1000.

    • That 1000 dollar price you see is almost 700 dollars in taxes. That’s the new norm to Europe these days…

    • I remember those days too. And I remember one trip to London I took. I was wearing an onion tied to my belt, because that was the style of the time…

    • I remember those days to.. Was only 9 years ago.
      Try Iceland Air. They have a lot of sales. Flies out of BWI and will connect in Reykjavik.

      • They used to fly out of BWI, but I think they closed that route down a couple of years ago and opened a route out of Dulles within the past year or so.

        • Oh interesting! They both take me the same amount of time to get to. Both airports involve a metro and a long (30 minute) bus ride. I just remember the food on IcelandAir not being very good. As well as their being just one TV screen per section. I wonder if they upgraded their fleet with the change in airports…

  • Rant: The long dirt patch by the northbound S2/S4/S9 stop at 16th and Irving — http://goo.gl/maps/MwllO — that spends about half the year as a giant mud puddle for the people getting off the back door of the bus to walk through or try to jump over. I would seriously pay extra taxes to have that covered, maybe with some of that permeable material that’s around the tree boxes on 17th Street in Dupont, rather than having to deal with Mud Boulevard so often.

    Double rant: I hope that’s city land there, because I’m pretty sure it’s NPS land behind it, and if they’re in charge then forget about anything good ever being done about it.

  • Random question: Did anyone else see/hear what I think was a car crash near the 3800 block of Georgia Avenue around 3:15am yesterday? I live on the first floor of an apartment with windows on GA Ave, so I hear a lot of traffic. I was startled awake by an abnormally loud crash sound, followed by a few muted police sirens in the distance then some time later a fire truck with flood lights rolling past my window. Yet, I couldn’t see anything or hear many noises after that. Yesterday I noticed the pedistrian walkway along the Petworth Safeway construction zone was severely dented and blocked off and there were tired marks along the concrete barrier in front of the walkway.

    Any confirmation that I’m putting these pieces together properly?

  • Rant: not outside taking photos in this beautiful snow

    Revel: heading to NYC Friday to play a show along with DC friendband Cavale (check them out!).
    Revel: planning on waking up before everyone to see the Temple of Dendur – my most favoritest place in NYC.
    Revel: a ridiculous friend has a birthday shindig this evening and the group of friends we share is full of such wonderful people. They really warm the cockles of my heart.
    Revel: the word cockles.

    Rant: Ernie Grunfeld. He routinely makes me calm myself with “never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” He failed to trade Ariza or Webster for a serviceable true power forward, thus ensuring we would remain a Nene injury away from dark horse threat in the playoffs. Grunfeld went “all-in” on making the playoffs this year, thus ensuring that he would remain employed. However, this year’s draft class is fantastic, but for us to keep our first round pick, it needs to be in the top 12 (top-12 protected draft pick). That means the Wizards need to miss the playoffs AND get lucky in the draft lottery, since the lottery consists of 14 teams. Therefore, the worst case scenario is missing the playoffs (again) and failing to obtain a top-12 pick, thus ensuring we have roughly the same team as next year in an improved Eastern Conference.

    Revel: other NBA teams are pretty exciting!

    • Thanks for giving me the idea!
      I’m home today and was feeling a bit cooped up. Perfect day to pull the camera out and get some DC snow pictures.

      • Rant: people getting out and taking pictures.

        Just kidding. Have fun!

        • Your bit of schadenfreude for the day can be the thought of my frozen hands. It was colder than I anticipated!
          (And even the really thin gloves I brought made it difficult to get the focus right, so most of what I shot was junk)

    • Ariza is our best wing defender and can provide an offensive spark from time to time. Webster’s playing a lot better this year and is very well liked in the locker room. No way you get equal trade value for either.

  • Random: Anyone live or ever lived in the Whitman condos on M street, NW? If so- anything to rant or rave about? Thinking about buying there…

    • Lived in Mt. Vernon Plaza apartments behind the Whitman and was always in love with that building when I walked to the metro.

  • Anonynon

    Rant: S-Bus line, girls/dating (lackthereof)
    Rave: I am taking mentoring off today since i have bad allergies the past few days, i think its the right move to get some rest so i can feel better for this weekend

    • Keep your head up on the women piece. Happens when you least expect it (like 3am hammered on a street corner way out in falls church :))

  • Rave: The snow outside. It’s beautiful.
    Rant: Have to look at it from my coworkers cubicle since I don’t have an office with windows, just a cube.
    Question: Is it safe to walk from Union Station to Chinatown during rush hour? I want to increase the amount of walking in my commute for fitness reasons. Coming to Chinatown from MD on the Red line everyday, I go through Union Station. Looking on Google Maps, it’s about a mile between Union Station and Chinatown. I was wondering about anyone knew if it was safe to walk between the two places.

    • Yes, it’s safe. I work near Union Station and used to belong to a gym in Chinatown. I used to walk there after work 2-3 nights a week.

    • houseintherear

      I think it should be fine, especially with the new Walmart down there. It not so desolate/dirty as it used to be in that area. And it’ll be light out during evening rush hour soon enough!

    • Totally safe. I walk from Capitol Hill to Chinatown all the time!

    • The most dangerous part used to be crossing Columbus Circle, but it’s been totally redesigned, so crossing seems to be safer. I think just about every other crossing on E St is only two lanes with stop signs or lights, so very safe. Unless you’re going to the north part of Chinatown and take Mass Ave to H St, Crossing Mass Ave at H St during rush hour is playing with your life. I recommend crossing Columbus Circle to walk on the south side of Mass Ave to H St.

  • Rant: parking tickets last night. 1) failure to display inspection sticker (it’s laid on my dash, clearly visible, instead of pasted to the window) and 2) parking at an expired meter (it was after 6:30 PM on U St).

    My question: Has anyone ever fought parking tickets (specifically these ones) and had them go away? I’ll just pay the $75 if it’s not worth it.

    • Yeah, in my experience it’s really easy to get parking tickets dismissed. Just spend 10 minutes writing an explanation and see what happens! Unlike other jurisdictions like Arlington there’s no penalty for trying.

    • I don’t actually know, but I would be very surprised if parking at a meter on U Street didn’t require payment later than 6:30. I’m pretty sure some while back many meters across town had their payment hours extended to 8:30 or maybe even 10pm, and I am fairly sure that U Street would have been one of the first areas to get that treatment. Are you sure you weren’t required to feed the meter?

      • The sign said 2 hour parking until 6:30 PM and the ticket was written at 8:36 PM.

        • I have a feeling the sign didn’t mean what you thought it meant. The “2-hour parking until 6:30pm” just means that you can’t park for more than two hours until after 6:30. It doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay after 6:30.

          • In other words, the “2-hour-parking” times and the “payment required” times are not necessarily the same.

          • Got it – I didn’t even think of that. However, the ticket is written for violating the 2 hour rule, which shouldn’t have been in effect if it was after 6:30, right?

          • I thought you said it was an expired meter? That means you were parked at a meter without proper payment, not that you had exceeded the 2-hour limit. (But to answer your question, no, the 2-hour rule shouldn’t be enforced after 6:30.)

          • You’re still screwed. If you parked there before 6:30pm, they can still ticket you. I see them do it all the time (I live in the neighborhood). The meter maid uses the their device to scan your license plate and record what time you entered the spot. If that was before 630pm and you’re still there two hours later, they can ticket you. Unlikely that you’ll get it waived, but it doesn’t hurt to try.

    • On #1, how did you get the inspection people to just leave it on your dash? I thought that part of the inspection process was to scrape off the old sticker and put a new one on.

      • It’s a new car and they left it up to me to paste it on.

        • Then go ahead and paste it on.

          • Yes, thank you. It’s clearly visible (month/year) already.

          • There are two separate stickers. They put the inspection sticker on for you when your car is inspected. You always have to put your registration sticker on yourself.

          • Anon 1:35: My registration sticker is pasted on. My inspection sticker is sitting on my dash, clearly visible.

          • +1! stick the stupid thing on and stop complaining. it’s not supposed to be sitting on the dash as you keep repeating. just go ahead, take a deep breath, peel the backing and stick on. problem solved. no more tickets.

          • It needs to be pasted so that the meter maids can scan the barcode and determine if you live in the area (and thus are exempt from parking restrictions). You had it improperly displayed and thus they could not scan the barcode.
            You’re batting 0-for-2, my friend.

      • Oh, the new car inspection waiver sticker — I have one of those (expires next month, thanks for the reminder). You can contest the ticket all you want, but if you win it will be because the hearing examiner feels bad for you, not because the ticket was improper. That sticker and the registration sticker for the other corner of the windshield have directions on how to display them and you violate those directions at your own risk, as you learned. It’s not the officer’s job to look around your car to see if you happen to have the right paperwork, and if it’s not displayed properly, you’re liable to get a ticket. Simple.

    • saf

      The sticker is required to be on your window, not your dash. So that is a legitimate ticket.

    • I disputed a “failure to display registration” ticket– the photo that the meter maid took even showed that I had it displayed! But for some reason, I didn’t get it dismissed.
      However, I find that there’s much less emotion attached to a ticket six months after the fact. The day I get it, I’m always “You dirty dogs! I’ll die before I pay you lying scum!” but then, months later, I’m all “Oh that. Yeah, ok.”
      So maybe dispute it just for that effect.

  • Rant: Really missing my baby today. I’m thisclose to leaving to go pick him up and take the rest of the day as sick.
    Rant: Everyone said it would get easier to send him to daycare, but I’m finding the opposite to be true. I don’t feel like the 2 hours (or less if he’s really tired) in the evening is enough time to spend with him.
    Rave: I have a wonderful baby that loves me.

    • How long have you been back to work? How old is baby?

      My son is two and the time I get to pick him up is the best part of my day. And, admittedly, sometimes I can’t wait to get him to bed because he’s running circles around me at night. πŸ™‚

  • Rant: Lack of lunch options. I guess it’s not really a lack of them, but working in the same area for 8 years, I’m tired of everything around. And I forgot my lunch today.
    Rant: Food truck regulations. I miss the surprise of knowing what food truck would be around on a particular day.
    Rant: I can’t eat most ethnic foods (sensitive stomach), and it seems most of the food trucks are Indian, Korean, etc., which I can’t eat or greasy bad junk food which I shouldn’t eat.
    Question: Whatever happened to the Paul that was supposed to be coming to 13th & F? http://www.popville.com/2013/07/paul-bakery-coming-to-13th-and-f-st-nw/

    • I’ve been working in the same for almost 8 years. Only option that’s close is an overpriced cash-only deli that’s not very good. If I feel like risking my life crossing some busy roads I have access to another deli, a pap john’s, and a domino’s. I always bring my lunch!

    • justinbc

      Most of the spice from “ethnic” foods come from the sauces. Couldn’t you just get whatever meal is being offered and ask them to refrain from the sauce? This likely wouldn’t work with most Indian dishes that usually have the proteins sitting in the sauces, but with a lot of Korean stuff (the majority of the Asian trucks I see here) it’s usually applied after the fact.

      • Yep. And, more specifically, from the oil in the sauces. I doubt any of the food trucks have a live tandoor, but that may be easier on a sensitive stomach. Regardless, maybe try asking for something without all of the oil and see if it helps.

    • Hey, at least you have food options around! I work on Embassy Row – up towards the Naval Observatory – and there’s nothingggg around us, and it’s a 15-20 minute walk to the closest places in Dupont. Sigh…

  • Rave: Unexpectedly got to see my friend that just returned from Afghanistan last night (I didn’t know when I raved that he was HERE.)
    Rave: My heart is happy this morning!

    • Ha! I remember that Rave from yesterday! The one your are kinda in love with or use to date.. Glad you saw him. Hope things go well!

  • Question: if someone has $200-300k to invest in real estate, would Baltimore be a good place to do it?

    • Property is so cheap there. You can by a block of rowhomes for like $300K. But I am not an investor, so I don’t know. I have a friend in a transitional neighborhood in a brand new 5-bedroom renovated rowhome (with a deck, basement and 3 bathrooms) that he rents for $1800 a month. I am so tempted to move there and just commute to DC, but I like the greenspace here.

      • Cheap’s not always a good thing though! The neighborhood someone recommended to my gf seems to be mostly foreclosures, and I don’t think that’s a good sign.

      • I once looked up the price of a rowhouse in a good neighborhood of Baltimore. It was like $200K for a GORGEOUS 5-6 bedroom with beautiful woodwork, stained glass, original details. It made me think it would be worth the cost of commuting (time and money) to live there instead of my teeny 1-bedroom.

        • I wouldn’t do it. You might be an anomaly, but most people get greater pleasure out of having a good neighborhood and good commute than from a bigger home. As one psychologist put it: “we adapt quickly to to the joy of a larger house because the house is exactly the same size every time. But we find it difficult to adapt to a long commute because each day is a slightly new form of misery.”

          • Oh, I wouldn’t be doing it for the size, I’m a firm believer in the “not so big house” movement. It was just such a beautiful house in a nice neighborhood (near parks and shops/restaurants), and cost so much less than it costs to live in a crappy (noisy, no charm, etc.) condo in a mediocre location here in DC. And I find Baltimore a lot more interesting than I find DC, all things being equal I’d rather live there. But alas, all things are not equal and my job is here, and I do think the time aspect of the commute would get old quickly.

          • Yeah, I did the commute for a while, and while I still think about moving back to Baltimore, the commute really did wear on me. Depends on what you’re willing to tolerate, and it probably also helps with the fatigue if you’re a person who can fall asleep easily on trains (I can’t). While I appreciated that the MARC train exists (I wouldn’t have wanted to fight traffic in a car), I didn’t like feeling tied to the train schedule. There were a couple of times when a friend and I lost track of time having a great happy hour/dinner and I had to literally jog to Union Station to make last train (10:30pm). Also, when people say “but the MARC train ride between Baltimore-DC is only an hour!” I always encourage them to consider that 60 (or 50-55 depending on the train) minutes is BEST case scenario. That doesn’t take into account delays, which are frequent–sometimes those delays are major, but even when they’re not, a 10-15min delay still feels more onerous than one might think, especially when you add in the needed to get from home-Penn Station and from Union Station-work. Not to say the commute is never worth it, but you have to take into account how it will realistically impact your time and quality of life, and whether that’s worth it for you.

          • I’ve done the commute from Balt – DC – it wasn’t much longer than commuting from places like Shady Grove or other “end of the line” stations. I wasn’t too far from the train station in Baltimore and my DC office was near Metro Center. An hour or so door to door.

          • justinbc

            Not to mention that you likely don’t live and work at the respective train stations, so even once you tolerate that 60+ minutes you have to add in your commute from the house to the station, and the station to the office.

    • houseintherear

      Some neighborhoods, for sure! East of the park is one of those up-and-coming areas (though it might already be “up”). Don’t forget to factor in land rent… it’s like a condo fee on most of the properties.

    • justinbc

      If you have 300K actual cash you’ll get a much better ROI here.

      • That’s what I was thinking too. She’s had bad experiences with condos and doesn’t want to go that route again, but there should be some houses in DC in that price range that are still a better ROI than Baltimore, right? And easier to manage rentals and repairs from here.

        • justinbc

          I wouldn’t waste it on a condo here. There are some great ones, but they appreciate slowly. If she has that in cash there are multiple options in the foreclosed or “as is” market, she just needs to get hooked up with the right agent who can direct her to them. There are properties being sold all over DC that were bought in the 200-300 range, with basic flipper gusto added, and turned around in the 600-700 and sometimes even 800 range.

      • Also, compare property taxes. That monthly expense is often higher in Baltimore even with a cheaper place.

  • Rave: Finally got to Las Vegas for a long weekend, and it actually turned out to be a fun trip, thanks to my sister and a couple of friends who joined us. I’m not much of a gambler, and while I do drink, I’m not a let’s-hit-the-clubs-and-get-trashed hard partier, either–so Vegas wasn’t exactly on my bucket list, but it was one place that I’d been loosely curious to see in person, and I had an opportunity to go largely for free thanks to hotel/airline points.
    Rant: Back at work now, sleepy and playing catch-up from yesterday.

  • Rave: One day closer to the weekend, haha.
    Rant: The snow! Why are so many people raving?? I think the beautiful weekend made the rest of the winter even harder, now I remember vividly what I’m missing. I miss beautiful days! I miss my patio! I miss bike riding!

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