Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Beau Finley

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.

222 Comment

  • Rave: Barry at Napoleon in Adams Morgan. He put together a few mean cocktails for me and the misses last night. Barry explained that Napoleon is going through a transformation of sorts. Check it out, he’s hard to miss and a great conversationalist.

  • Rave: Olympics are over and the best of network television returns tonight- Parks&Rec, Community, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal. So ready to veg out.
    Rant: Menstrual cramps at work, no tylenol.

  • Rave: Excavation started on old Ontario Theatre site. I’m glad they are not letting it sit.

    Rant: Looks like they are going to do two more pop-up conversions on my block (Lanier Place).

  • Rave: Governor Jan Brewer vetoing SB 1062. I met her last weekend at the NGA meetings, wish I could see her again to say thank you.
    Rave: Texas judge striking down ban on gay marriage. Maybe I will be able to move back to my home state in this lifetime. πŸ™‚

    • Why thank her? She used gays as a pawn in her political game and in the end her veto came down to money and business pressure. How about saying “I’m vetoing this because it’s discrimination and an abuse of human rights”?!?!? She did not say that.
      All the Log Cabin Republicans in my Facebook feed are delusional with their “Thanks, Jan!” status updates. You’ve been used.

      • She said that it would cause more problems than it would solve. I’m not a Republican, but I will say that a politician using something dumped in their lap for political leverage is nothing new. If she wanted to pander to the religious right, she would have done so.

      • Agreed to some extent, but a win is a win. We won. So I choose to look at this in a positive light.

        • We won? I would qualify this as a “not loss”. This piece of legislation made it through to the point where it needed a veto. Furthermore, we ultimately lose because people are still electing narrow minded representatives. This law had far reaching discriminatory potential, well beyond sexual orientation discrimination. Its sad to think people believe this is a win. Ugh.

        • This is a win for the wrong reasons. She vetoed it on the basis of wanting to hurt business. That’s disgusting…how about the fact that it’s DISCRIMINATION. Why isn’t that the reason it was vetoed? F her, and F the AZ GOP.

        • This is a win for the wrong reasons. She vetoed it on the basis of not wanting to hurt business. That’s disgusting…how about the fact that it’s DISCRIMINATION. Why isn’t that the reason it was vetoed? F her, and F the AZ GOP.

          • houseintherear

            The overall picture is positive… it’s proven that legalized discrimination hurts business/economy growth, and therefor laws that discriminate are not going to pass as easily as they once did. No, it’s not the best reasoning, but it’s pretty awesome that this reasoning is true nowadays!! It didn’t used to be.

      • Such negativity. Say what you will, the vetoing of this bill – for *whatever* reason – still sends a message that this type of legislation has few and fewer places to exist in this country. And I dare say others will be less inclined to push legislation like this after seeing this one shot down in such a public manner. Sorry, be negative all you want, but I see this as a good thing.

    • I’m with others who do not see this as a win. Maybe 20 years ago this would have been a win, but today a win is passing a marriage equality bill or another equal rights measure. Its a huge loss that a state legislature would introduce, let alone PASS this bill, only to have the governor veto it.

  • Rave: The fact that I can get to La Colombe in the morning on the way to the metro. The employees are SO great and I love the tucked away location. It’s great!

    Rave: Husband and I are on the same page. We will be moving from our apartment – if anyone wants to move between Logan and Shaw (literally 3 blocks in one direction is Whole Foods and 3 blocks in the other is Giant) witha parking space, let me know!

    Question – We would prefer to rent it out furnished….is this a bad idea (as in more difficult to rent out)? Any strategy tips for how to do this? We have good furniture (pottery barn, custom dining table, mounted TVs, etc)

    • I think its a great idea, and you can charge a premium for it . I use to do this in London and it was so convenient. Considering the transient nature of DC (students, appointees, researchers) I would see this going quickly. But not a realtor. Just my two cents.

    • If you care about your furniture and want to use it again someday, then bad idea. If it’s to save you the hassle of selling it or moving it, go for it. But don’t expect everyone (meaning, anyone) you rent to to have the same concern for it that you do. To anyone else it’s just a surface to put a coffee cup on or a drawer to store their socks in. Even well-meaning, generally thoughtful people won’t care for your furniture in the same way you might want.

      • yeah but they’ll pay a deposit. I mean I care about the furniture, but not in an emotional way. It can be replaced. We just might not be able to fit it where we move….

        • Sure, but I’m not talking about trashing the place and creating damage that would be considered worthy of withholding their deposit (unless you’re a total asshole of a landlord). More scuff marks where the chairs hit the table legs, drawers forced a little bit harder back into their slot when they get off the rails, legs slightly looser than before because of pushing instead of lifting it to move it a few inches, that sort of thing.
          I rented out my place when I was overseas for a year, and had a fantastic subletter who I have no complaints about. But I was surprised at some of the signs of use on the furniture, it definitely aged a lot more in that one year than in the several years I’d had it before (and no, not just b/c I was seeing it with fresh eyes when I got back!). I was just concerned when you mentioned a custom table that you might not be OK with that outcome. But if you go in with the attitude that it’s just furniture, then go for it.

        • I think it also depends on what type of tenants you want. Someone looking for a furnished rental is probably either just out of school and hasn’t furnished an apartment yet or more transient. For the more transient folks who might be willing to pay more for a furnished unit, it might mean turning over the apartment more often. Just something to consider.

    • I have no real data about this, but I suspect it would be easier to rent it out furnished to a short-term tenant (half year, that sort of thing) but harder to rent out to anyone who would want to be there long-term, who will want to live with their own stuff. If you intend to rent it out for a long time, it might not be worth having to deal with a lot of turnover.

      • This has been my sense — unless you’re aiming specifically for short-term rentals, it would probably be better to move to the new place whatever furniture will fit, and sell/Freecycle the rest.
        And ditto on renters not taking as good care of your furniture and the apartment itself as you would. I had a renter for less than six months who put more wear and tear (scuff marks, gouges in the wall, etc., etc.) on the place than I did to the last place I rented in three years.
        I have a condo that I’m going to be renting out soon that has an “outdated” kitchen and bathroom… but honestly, I don’t want to update them for fear that they’ll get so much wear and tear in a few years as to make it not worthwhile when I want to sell.

      • My neighbors used to rent rooms in their house to short term tenants–people who need to be in DC for weeks or months, long enough to make a hotel cost-prohibitive but too short to sign a long-term lease. I think they cleaned up because they could charge a premium for this niche market, and the rent was largely paid by the tenants’ employers. Sorry I don’t have any more details. Something you may want to look into.

    • JinDC, can you give any more info on your apt?

      • Home rule: 1b-1.5ba at 11 and p with parking, w/d, pet friendly, roof deck, gas cooking, lots of storage. Den used gas dining room for us, office for last owners and now baby area. We love it but it’s just not practice for us (baby is in our room).

        I am up jn the air about furnished. But we’ll prob rent it with the TVs since they are mounted!

    • justinbc

      I’m assuming with that location you could charge a fair amount, which will generally deter the types of people who “trash” a place. That’s what we do with our place in Old Town. You can also be selective about who moves in, meaning no college students splitting up a high amount to each live in a bedroom.

    • You should look into VRBO. I have a friend with a place in Portland and she is making a pretty penny. Fees including cleaning and a deposit for damage.

      • Can’t you get in trouble for that, though — either with your condo association or with the city tax authorities (who want the hotel tax)?
        I don’t think I’ve read about people getting busted for that in D.C., but there have been multiple articles in the New York Times about people getting busted by neighbors for doing airbnb, etc.

    • Becks

      I returned from overseas three years ago after being out of the states for 8 years. I didn’t have any furniture and wasn’t sure that I wanted to buy a whole housefull. I specifically looked for an apartment that was furnished and all bills paid. I couldn’t have been happier when I found just that. There are a lot of professionals in the DC area that have come from outside the states or other parts of the US and just don’t want the hassle of furnishing an apartment. My landlord listed the furnishings in the apartment as well as replacement costs for the items if they are damaged in my lease. I took pictures of the furnishings prior to moving my suitcase in. I have scratched some of the tables and the dresser, which wasn’t an expensive dresser, fell apart so I just bought a new one to avoid the hassle of coordinating with the landlord to replace it. However, She really should have replaced it if I had asked. Renting out a furnished apartment is a good idea if you can find a professional looking for the ease of move in ready. I wouldn’t charge a premium but definitly take photos and list the furnishings and replacement costs in the lease. For the record, I have lived in the apartment now for three years.

    • I rented my place out furnished when I moved away for a couple of years (and knew I was coming back). It definitely depends on what kind of tenant you get. In my case it was a guy with a contract with the FBI who had a wife and house in CT and went home every weekend. He just needed a place to sleep during the week, basically. Then it turned out that they sent him down to Quantico for several long stretches, so he barely used my place at all, and consequently, there was little to no wear or tear. I did remove a few items that would be deemed “irreplaceable” – an antique table, some art, but otherwise it’s just stuff that can be replaced, right?

  • Revel: Delicious breakfast at work this morning!
    No rants today!
    Question: An awesome friend of mine recently moved to town and is looking for non-profit work particularly in the education or international education field (her background is a combination non-profit administrative work and teaching both domestically and abroad). Does anyone know of any good sites to look at for job postings for this line of work (particularly for jobs in DC)? I’d really love to help her out!

  • Rave: I’m not a lawyer.
    Rant: I don’t make lawyer money and never will. My friend and his wife are both lawyers and seem to have boatloads of money. I know I shouldn’t compare my life to theirs, but it sucks to just be scraping by when they seem to have money growing on trees.

    • They might have boatloads of money or boatloads of debt. My brother and his wife both have good careers and live in a small town where the cost of living is much less than DC. They should have a ton of money. Instead they are living paycheck to paycheck while planning their next vacation or purchase (on credit). You never know what someone else has going on…from the outside they are look great. Your friends might just be doing really well…but comparing yourself to them doesn’t get you anywhere.

    • Also, most lawyers I know work boatloads of hours. When you compare their 80-90 hour workweek with my 35 hour one, my salary doesn’t seem so bad.

    • I’m a lawyer and don’t have boatloads of money. Some of us work for the government or public interest orgs. All the debt of a lawyer, but a third the salary.

      • Ding ding. Tons of debt, living on husband’s gov’t salary, working unpaid fellowship for gov’t. Would still take my life any day over one of stress and riches.

      • justinbc

        There are many very high paying government attorney positions, you just have to look for agencies that don’t use a GS pay scale.

        • yes, I’m well aware of that. But even if you have a $175k government attorney job, it probably means you are qualified enough to make twice that at a big firm.

      • And there are many lawyers in private practice (solos and small firms) who don’t make anywhere near boatloads of money (my husband and I are both attorneys).

  • Rave: the new management at the Washington Sports Club in north Dupont seems really committed to improving the facilities, replacing broken machines, and offering genuine customer service. A welcomed change!

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Can’t seem to get holiday presents sent to people on time this year (or last).
    Rave: They get there eventually.
    Question: Does anyone have any ideas on where one can purchase plastic frogs on a swing (preferably with umbrella) for a lawn ornament? My google-fu is failing me. My mother REALLY needs one.

  • Rant/Rave: I got to WHC to get my an x-ray of my jaw today. After 44 days on a liquid diet the end may be near!

    Rave: Gov. Brewer for doing the right thing.

    • i’ve been enjoying reading your posts, broken jaw, and hope you are fully recovered soon! i may have missed the original post though…what happened to get you in this state? good luck with the x-ray! 44 days…whew.

      • I posted but that was before I identified as β€œBroken Jaw.” On my birthday-ish, I was coming down the stairs to let the dogs out. The last thing I remember was getting tangled in the dogs and falling down the steps towards a table in the hallway. The next thing I recall I was back up in bed wondering where all the blood came from. Besides the broken jaw, I ended up losing half of my lower lip and still have all sorts of stitches inside my mouth and have several months of reconstructive surgery to look forward to .

        On the plus side, after 44 days of no wheat, processed food or sugar I feel GREAT and have lost 30 pounds! I’m a big guy and could lose another 20 and I intend to keep this going.

        • holy smokes, that is horrible. you’ve had a very good outlook through all this, so props to you. hope the next few months go smoothly! congrats on feeling healthy despite all you’ve been through!

          • Agreed — it’s great how you’ve had a sense of humor and turned a major hassle into an adventure in smoothie-making and weight loss!

        • Yikes! Now I have even more admiration for your your ability to take “lemons” and make lemonade — or, maybe sugar free lemonade smoothies with perhaps a twig or two of mint! I, too, have enjoyed reading your posts — but hope that your x-rays are fine, that your upcoming surgery is as uneventful as possible, and that you get to celebrate soon with a steak.

        • gotryit

          I’m sensing a book deal / diet plan here. Maybe we can have a popville title contest?
          “The Broken Jaw Diet”, subtitle: “Taking a trip to weight loss.”

          • I would SO buy this book! And

          • And your subtitle is great! The title is a little daunting though. I’m not willing to go quite that far to lose a few pounds. How about “The Smoothie Diet – Taking a Trip to Weight Loss”?

            Sorry for the half-post. The “Cancel Reply” button ignores me! :-/

          • gotryit

            I wasn’t thinking this is a genius idea for weight loss. Maybe a satire about diet-plans that only make the author rich. Then the author of this satire book gets rich. And… shares the new riches with the anonymous popville posters that gave him the idea? At least sponsors a happy hour?

          • Maybe you can ghost-write it with me. I’m thinking something like an self-help book as written by Amy Sedaris.

        • You’re a guy?? All this time I was picturing a woman. Now I have to change my mental image completely. Your dogs owe you big time by the way.

    • Same on reading your experiences. How much weight have you lost?

    • +1 to both! Enjoyed your meal descriptions too.

    • Hooray! Celebratory all the hugs instead of pity all the hugs.

    • Broken Jaw – What was for dinner last night? I love your meal descriptions!

  • Rant: I put together and set up my headboard and now I’m not sure if I like it. It’s a queen/full size and I didn’t realize how much space there would be between the wingback part and and my full mattress. Why do they make one size headboard for mattresses that are clearly two different sizes? I can’t get it in smaller size, it doesn’t exist.
    Rave: I’m getting back into shape after being dormant all winter.
    Rant: I’m working hard and eating better, but my gains are minimal. Sure, I am definitely stronger, which I value, but my weight and measurements aren’t budging.

    • epric002

      good for you for taking care of yourself. if you’re stronger and healthier, why does it matter if your weight/measurements aren’t changing?

      • I gained about 5-6 pounds training for a marathon in 2012 and I haven’t been able to get rid of it. I do appreciate that I feel better, I feel like a useless lump if I don’t work out for a long time and that’s what I let happen this winter. But I do have some vanity pounds to lose (thanks Anonymous below for that phrase). I really only want to lose 5 pounds or so, but because I don’t have that much to lose it’s somewhat hard.

        • epric002

          hm. i *get* the vanity part, and since it’s not me it’s easy to say that those 5ish pounds may now be your body’s new normal. i know that’s frustrating. or you could just get the stomach flu? πŸ˜‰

          • Agree with all this. I mean we’re all vain but is 5 fewer pounds really going to make you a happier, more energetic and attractive person? Plus, if you gain 5 pounds training for a marathon then I would assert that those 5 pounds are “supposed” to be there if you are healthy and fit.

          • Getting older = body changes including increased difficulty in losing weight. I’m 10 lbs over my ideal weight and while I don’t think I’m fat, I also know I’ll look/feel better if I weight less. And, more important, my cholesterol level may go down enough so that I don’t have to go on statins. I’m exercising more and monitoring what I eat….still the stubborn pounds won’t go away.

          • epric002

            sometimes high cholesterol is just genetic. i’ve had fairly high cholesterol my entire adult life, despite always being a healthy weight, eating a pretty healthy vegetarian/flexitarian diet, exercising, OTC supplements, and excellent ratios, triglycerides, and HDL levels. statins are not always the only/best answer.

          • My HDL and triglycerides are excellent. I eat a healthy diet – greens and grains and very little red meat/processed food but my LDL keeps going up. I take niacin (although not as regularly as I should). When I lost a few pounds, my LDL went down. Then came winter, and an injury that kept me from exercising. It’s been hard to get back to the gym. Step by step, I’m telling myself.

          • epric002

            monroe- have you tried fish oil and/or red yeast rice instead of or in combo with the niacin? ask your doctor about switching/combining. i was doing niacin for a while but have had moderate success with the fish oil. red yeast rice has worked well for my mom. what about eating oatmeal regularly?

          • I’ve read mixed results from using fish oil – I take it sometimes but not regularly (it was my MD who said fish oil may not be helpful, especially since I don’t need to increase my HDL but rather lower LDL). But I eat a good amount of fish, and a handful of nuts and other heart healthy foods.
            Good suggestion to eat more oatmeal – I don’t love it, but that doesn’t mean I can’t eat it more often. I haven’t heard of red yeast rice – I’ll look into this : )

          • epric002

            interesting- fish oil has been recommended to me many times over the years, but i could never find a good one that didn’t taste fishy, so i was doing the no-flush niacin. but then i found Enzymatic Therapy Eskimo-3 (amazon subscribe & save!) and i love it. smaller pills too, though you have to take more. i have trouble eating a lot of oatmeal too, especially in warmer weather. good luck!

          • Speaking of adding oats, I add 2 T of oats to my peanut butter banana breakfast smoothie and they blend right up. No need to eat oatmeal πŸ™‚

          • I definitely understand that as I get older my metabolism is slowing down and that my set point will go up, but I feel like it accelerated pretty quickly and I wasn’t putting in enough effort to fix it. I’m not in a bad position, I’ve only gained about 14 pounds in the 12ish years since I graduated high school, but 5 or 6 of those were gained within the past 2 years. I just wanted to get back to the pre 2 years ago weight, not that 12+ years ago weight.

      • I wouldn’t mind being 5 pounds over my “ideal” weight so much if it weren’t for the fact that all 5 pounds seems to be residing in my face. πŸ˜‰

    • I’m having the same problem. I started using the Loseit! app after someone suggested it on here a while back, and it’s definitely been helping me wrap my head around how much I actually mindlessly eat per day. I’ve cut most of that out, have been exercising, and cut way back on drinking but the scale hasn’t budged. I really only have a few vanity pounds to lose, but I thought after a month of eating better and exercising I’d at least see a bit of a difference!

      • That’s a good idea. I did use Lose It! for a few months last year and it was helpful, but I hit a plateau with weight loss, got a bit tired of entering everything, and slacked off. Maybe I’ll start it up again, but I felt like some of their calorie estimates were off for a lot of exercises, and that directly translates to how many calories I can eat that day. Maybe that contributed to my plateau.

        • I figure it’s better to overestimate food calories and under-estimate exercise calories. Usually my elliptical shows a higher “calories burned” than the app does when I enter it. I figure it’s better to use the app since it takes my height/weight/age into consideration which the elliptical doesn’t.
          There’s also the problem of having to estimate portion size. I feel like I could be way off when it asks me in ounces or tablespoons how much of something I’ve had. I may resort to literally measuring everything out until I get a good feel for what an ounce or a tablespoon actually look like.

          • Yeah, it’s just kind of sad that I had a healthy breakfast, a small 67 calorie snack, worked my butt off doing T-25 Focus total body circuit for the second time this week, had a healthy lunch, and now I have 862 calories left. I’m always hungry between breakfast and lunch and lunch and dinner, even though I’ve added a lot more healthy fats, protein, and fiber to both of those meals.

          • epric002

            from time to time i get serious about tracking my calories/doing a food diary, and i always end up hungry while doing it. for me, i’d prefer to not be hungry, which is really hangry in my world, and deal with a few extra pounds, as long as i’m being healthy overall.

          • Yeah I hear you. I basically need to eat every two hours or else I get really light-headed. I’ve started limiting myself to one filling snack between meals instead of chips/sweets etc. I’ve been doing bananas with almond butter and apples with cheddar slices and it works pretty well to tide me over between meals. Only problem is those are pretty high calorie snacks even if they are healthy and keep me from binging on things like chips.

          • Why not just an apple, or just a banana, or just a handful of nuts or cup of yogurt? If you’re going to be snacking frequently there’s no need for high-calorie snacks. A piece of fruit is very filling on its own.

          • The 100-calorie packs of almonds are a LIFESAVER for me with regard to this and snacking. If you want to avoid the excess packaging, just buy a bunch of almonds and divvy them up according to serving size (in whatever container you choose). I really thought that a tiny snack of almonds couldn’t make a huge difference in my overall satiety levels during the day, but man, I was so wrong.

        • I use MyFitnessPal, and people there are always complaining that the exercise calories are overestimated. I find that hard to believe, though. My most intense workouts (danced-based aerobics, or spinning) clock in at 300 calories burned per hour, and I can’t imagine I’m burning much less than that! But just to be on the safe side I have my pre-exercise goal set at 1200 calories (I need around 1400 to maintain my current weight, which is what I’m trying to do these days). I haven’t weighed myself in ages, but I’ve been doing it this way for a couple years now and still fit into the same size.

    • This probably isn’t the right answer, but have you thought about getting a queen size bed? They’re fantastic, especially if you ever share your bed with someone else.

      • I have thought about it, but I’d have to make some other furniture sacrifices to fit it in the bedroom. I can’t keep my bed where it is and open the closet doors if I get a queen. I can’t keep my nightstand if I turn the bed to a different wall.
        This is making me have some buyer’s remorse on the condo. I’m not someone who spends a ton of time in my bedroom outside of sleeping, so I compromised on the bedroom size to get a dining area, but now it’s driving me a bit crazy.

        • Maybe new closet doors?

          I’m the same way with not spending much time in my bedroom, but once had an apartment with a really small bedroom and it did bug me with trying to figure out how to fit everything. I had to make a couple sacrifices, but, after getting used to them, it didn’t bug me anymore. Which is to say, I think you’ll get used to it and it will all be good.

        • justinbc

          Can you put your closet doors on a rolling track system?

          • No, there’s no wall space on the sides. I could go to bi-fold doors, but I haven’t done much research yet. Even saying bi-fold doors makes me cringe, but I’m sure there are better ones now. To Pinterest I go!

          • But I would definitely want bi-fold doors that are still on hinges, so I can access the whole closet. I wonder if I convert me existing doors, though they are likely hollow core.

          • justinbc

            I have to get rid of some bi-fold doors for our downstairs closet. They’re mirrored on the outside too, drives me nuts.

          • TW Perry sells bi-fold doors – the cost seems reasonable. My contractor ordered doors for my new closet from them. I didn’t get bi-fold, but saw them as an option when I was looking at doors.

          • No, I don’t need mirrored. It seems that there are good looking ones after a quick search on Pinterest. I’ll have to read some of the blog posts about them though, because most at Lowe’s and HD seem to be sold on a track, but ones without a track exist, like this (ignore mirrors!!!)

          • justinbc

            Yeah mine is on a track, that’s the biggest problem.

          • Do you have to have doors on your closet??? At our last place, we took off the awful bifold doors that were on our master bedroom closet (were constantly getting stuck/falling off their track). Instead, we mounted a curtain rod on the inside of the closet. Some cheap full-length curtains from ikea & we had a way to close off/block the clutter of the closet without the space/hassle of those silly bifold doors. If you like to redecorate/redo your space, you would then also have the option of switching out the curtains for an easy new look.

  • epric002

    rant: last 2 days popville has been reeeeeeeeeeeally slow to load. not sure if it’s work’s firewal or a popville thing?
    rant: i haven’t been good about using solar oil and my fingernails are a disaster.
    rave: headed to trousseau on sat to pick up some things i ordered. i love that shop.

  • Rant: I was up WAY too late making stew for new parents friends. And while waiting for that to finish cooking, I figured why not bake a care? I’m paying for it today. Extremely tired.
    Rant: One of those mornings where stupid annoyances just seem overwhelming. I need to put myself in time out.
    Rave: I have chocolate cake at home!

  • Rave: The little kid on the L2 bus today apparently obsessed with metrobuses, knows the routes and sleeps with his Smarttrip card instead of stuffed animals. WMATA could use a spokesperson like him. Made everyone smile, including the driver who taught him the fistbump as he got off.

    Rave 2: my first pressure cooker arriving tomorrow! Any users out there? I’m looking forward to learning another cooking method.

    • epric002

      your rave is adorable πŸ™‚

    • love your metro rave πŸ˜€ my son (though too young to know the system!) loves buses. makes me smile wondering if he’ll be like this one day.

    • That rave made my day. My son loves buses, trains, etc., and this just made me think of him and how excited he gets. Thanks for that!

    • houseintherear

      Sounds like my brother, 30 years ago. His fascination never went away, which works out great for me when we travel together and I get to be the lazy oaf while he navigates.

    • great rave.

    • I love my pressure cooker. Check out the Washington Post for recipies or the book Pressure Perfect. I’ve made risotto, stews, but mostly I make all kinds of dried beans. I love beans. Use the dried beans from Whole Foods because they are fresher than most packaged beans or if you want a treat order from Rancho Gordo.

      I was really scared the first time I used mine. I stood outside the kitchen hiding behing the door! The most important thing is to pay attention to the rubber that seals the cooker. Make sure that it doesn’t crack or dry out. If you see this, replace it. I’ve never replaced mine in three years of use.

      Pay attention to the heat. Bring pressure up on high heat but then turn down the heat, otherwise what’s in the bottom of the cooker will burn. If you want to reduce pressure quickly run cold water on the cooker in the sink.

      • Thanks for the tips! Love beans too but watched a video of caramelized carrot soup in a pressure cooker and that sold me.

        Glad I could share my rave with everyone today. To the young fans of public transportation!

      • I use mine exclusively for cooking dried beans and grains. They always turn out perfectly!

  • rant: my work computer is too slow to use Alt+Tab to switch from reading PoPville to going back to editing a coworker’s assignment.
    rant: persistent sore throat that seems to switch sides of my throat/glands. It’s been on and off all week. Allergy? Virus? Bacterial?
    rave: I hit Little Serow for the second time last night. Far better than the first time, but I still think it’s overhyped. Overhyped and very good.

  • Anonynon

    Rave: Went on a nice first date last night, we had a lot in common. We both area from the dc area, she goes to maryland school of public policy, i wish i did….i went there for undergrad. Tv shows ect. She has really cute hipster glasses that look weirdly similar to mine. So all in on (asking her for a second date)?
    Rant/Question: If a date goes through and the girl isnt asking about a follow up date…is that a bad thing or do a lot of girls just like the guy to make all the moves? I asked her if she would like to hang out again and she said ‘sure’ and we kind of just left it at that. Advice is welcome πŸ™‚

    • If she said sure, you need to follow up today with concrete plans. Time to holster up your guns, son!

    • You should be fine if she said “sure.” Text her tonight or tomorrow and see if she’s available to hang out on Sunday. If she’s not available, ask her which day/time works for her.
      That said, remain open to still going out on first dates with other girls. I usually won’t stop dating other people until 3rd or 4th date (or when I definitely know that the girl is actually into me).

      • Anonynon

        Thanks for the advice guys – i feel like i am on the same page as what you are saying. I am trying not to over think this one πŸ™‚

        • Ok, but don’t ask if she wants to “hang out”. Say something specific. “Do you want to go to Roosevelt Island with me on Sunday? Or if the weather is bad, I’ve been wanting to check out the Corsets and Girdles Museum.” Something that gives her an idea of what she’s saying “absolutely!” to.

          • If she’s not into corsets and girdles, you can see if she’s down with the Crime and Sexy Punishment Museum

          • I agree that the next contact should not be a vague “want to do something?” — at the same time, you might not want to make the suggestion so specific that the girl feels she has to turn down going out with you at all in order to avoid doing something that she doesn’t want to do (like walking around outside for long periods in freezing weather).
            But yes, if I like a guy then I wait for him to ask me out again. If I never hear from him again, then I assume he wasn’t interested. If I get the sense that the guy is interested but I am not, I try to respond promptly after the date with a “I enjoyed meeting you but there’s no spark” email – I’ve been lazy once or twice about responding promptly to a guy I wasn’t interested in (not that they asked me out again, they just sent me a chatty email and expected me to respond) and then the guys were really pissed off (and expressed themselves rather angrily in email form) so, if this happens please don’t be mean/angry.

    • If you invited her to go out and she said “sure”, she may just be waiting on you to pick a time and place since you initially suggested hanging out. So suggest something concrete. Sounds like you’re doing well.

  • Rant: Still not sure what to do about the offensive graffiti at the Harvard St. & 16th bus stop. It’s really starting to bother me.
    Rave: S.O. comes to visit tomorrow!

  • andy

    Rave: finally seeing long-sought funds proposed to renovate my son’s school!
    Rant: we can’t get needed upgrades across all of DC soon enough!

    • gotryit

      rant: funds for renovation of our 1970s school got pulled. Well “deferred”, which in the world of politics means nothing to me.

  • Rave: Starting to be a little more positive in my thinking, especially regarding my job situation (or lack thereof.) Despite several second interviews for positions worth killing for, I don’t get jobs, probably due to visible nervousness stemming from my own self doubt. So, apparently I need to fix that which means retraining negative thought patterns.
    Rant: I think I have tendonitis in my left wrist. I made bread on Sunday and ever since the kneading and typing a lot at work my wrist is killing me. I have it ace bandaged and resting on the desk while I hunt and peck with my right hand.

    • Anonynon

      You can do it! I did so anyone can :). But seriously, for me it helped to have a ‘lucky’ suite to wear when i was interviewing. and no it wasnt a normal black suite it is kinda grey wool blazer (AKA something different and something that doesnt make me look like a ‘DC Stiff’). It actually worked for me after i got an offer (which i declined) in the suite i held out and got an even better offer (in the suite again). Things tend to happen for a reason and sometimes NOT getting the job is a blessing. What tools/resources do you use to find positions?

  • Question: I need to look into getting my front porch repaired on a 1925 rowhouse in North Petworth. Anyone have any recommendations for a contractor?
    Rave: Only my 2nd day at work this week πŸ™‚
    Rant: All the work that has piled up since it is only my 2nd day at work this week πŸ™

  • Rant: Struggling to see any progress in my weight/fitness level since I started hitting the gym months ago. I’ve always been athletic but not fit (makes no sense to me either) and I find it ridiculous that I still struggle to run a 5k or do pushups after 8+ years of playing sports.

    Rave: My SO has to get up for work earlier than me which means when he sleeps over I can actually make it to the gym in the morning instead of using my lunch break!

    • I wouldn’t be so general about the connections between weight, fitness, and the ability to perform certain athletic tasks (including “hitting the gym.”). Being fit doesn’t necessarily mean you can do push-ups or weigh a certain amount, or vice versa for that matter. Not sure if you’ve set specific (and realistic) goals for yourself, but if not you will probably continue to be frustrated.

    • How have you been eating? The food you use to fuel and recover plays a big role in making visible gains. I’m not a gym rat by any means, but I have definitely found that when I eat more protein and eat well after a workout, I fare better in the long run. Those muscles gotta eat!

    • I have no idea what you’re doing at the gym, but I have found that using a program to meet a goal has really helped me. If you want to run a 5k, you can use Couch to 5k to build up with a low chance of injury and frustration. I wanted to get a better total body workout, build some muscle, so now I’m doing T-25 Focus. If you feel like you’re not meeting goals maybe a few sessions with a personal trainer or some time on some good fitness blogs can help. I like Pumps and Iron.

  • Rave: Think I’m on the verge of an offer from a great company!
    Rant: Not sure the salary will be what I’d like it to be. But I’m thrilled about the opportunity and don’t necessarily want to pass it up over money
    Rant: It would have me traveling a lot and away from my SO and pup
    Rave: Might be worth the risk?

  • Rant: Almost fell asleep at my desk at work a few moments ago. Not good.
    Rave: Mom came through hospital procedure OK yesterday. No blockage found in heart valve.
    Rave: No snow today!

  • justinbc

    Rave: After seeing the advance screening last night, I think that if you liked the first 300 you will love Rise of an Empire. The visuals (especially on a true IMAX 3D screen) are simply the best I’ve seen in a movie, the script is better than the original, and Eva Green plays a smoking hot bad ass villainess. The only drawback is the continual “realistic” blood sprays that wind up looking less real than the original, but it kind of goes along with the comic book nature of the film.
    Rant: $6/7/8 for a bag of popcorn…I know it’s always been expensive, but I can’t even imagine what the profit margin on this stuff is. Luckily the movie was free (rave), so the popcorn cost was all we incurred.
    Rave: After last week’s “poop in the trashcan” discussion, our trash collectors actually emptied out the entire bucket, so no more stinky bags in the bottom!

    • Next time, get candy from the dollar store and sneak it in. That’s what I do.

      • justinbc

        I don’t really like candy, but that’s definitely a good idea for other folks. Not sure how that would work for an advance screening though where all bags are searched (for recording devices). They even told us they would be wearing nightvision goggles to detect people using cellphones or Google glasses, heh.

        • houseintherear

          I really wish I didn’t like candy. πŸ™

          • justinbc

            I didn’t even as a kid, strangely. All of my Halloween hoard went to my friends, because otherwise it would be leftover all the way til the following year (and was on a few occasions).

        • I put my contraband candy in my coat pocket. I’ve never been searched. This also works for half pint bottles of liquor.

          • justinbc

            Now the liquor I could definitely get on board with. 300 + a bottle of bourbon would be so much more interesting.

          • half-pints are the way to go. Also, the mini bottles of Sutter Home are nice, especially chilled.

            I saw Prometheus and brought a half pint of rye. I purchased a large cherry coke. My friend did not want to partake, so I ended up pouring more than I should have. There were a lot of previews. Like, 10 at least. According to her, right after the previews wrapped up, I leaned over and said “uh oh, I drunk.” Verbs? Totally unnecessary.

            Aside from that incident, I find boozy moviegoing to be among the pinnacles of civilization.

          • Beau I laughed at your comment !

          • When I still lived in NYC, me and my buddies would smuggle in 40oz bottles of beer into the Sunshine Cinemas on Houston Street all the time.
            We went to go see Fahrenheit 9/11 and my buddy Colin decides to pull out his 40. He opens it up, takes a swig, and it slips out of his hand. The 40oz bottle drops behind the seat in front of us and starts rolling down the sloped theater floor (we were seated all the way in the back). We could hear the bottle clanging as it hits people’s legs and the beer is spraying all over the floor. People start jumping up to get out of the way of the bottle in the darkened theater. It was the funniest thing imaginable. We were mortified.

          • I can still remember watching Se7en at a dollar theater, with a half pint of whiskey to help me through it. I’m pretty sure me and one of my best friends once watched The Wild Bunch and split a pint or something in the theater. Our hometown (Laurel, MD) dollar theater had a reputation of a place to drink while watching movies. πŸ™‚

          • justinbc

            Oh man, Se7en is a messed up enough movie without being intoxicated!

  • Desperate for any tips anyone has for a sore throat tickle. You know, that scratchy tickle that makes you have to clear your throat constantly (which doesn’t really help), and then it gets so severe sometimes it actually gags you?
    I’ve gargled salt water and taken decongestants.

  • Revel: Traveling to Paris in two months for a week. It’ll be a much needed escape.

    Rant: I haven’t been to London and was considering doing a daytrip on the train since I’m already over there. I’m just not sure if that’d be too ambitious of me. Input, anyone?

    • Day trip can be cheap if you find a reasonable train ticket. Used to live in london and would take day trips often πŸ™‚ I think it was 3 hours or so, totally worth it to just walk the Champs Elysees and pop into the Louvre πŸ™‚

    • I love London and recommend it highly, but I think a daytrip from Paris to London might be overly ambitious. My recollection is that the Eurostar is more like 4 hours than 3 hours, and you have to allow time to check in, etc.
      If you do it, I’d try to stay in London overnight so as to get a little more out of the visit. Honestly, though, Paris and London are both so full of things to see that I’m not sure it’s worth it to dart from one to the other if you’re only over for a week anyway.

    • Don’t do it. I used to be a travel agent specializing in France, and with only a week, you should stay in Paris, or at the MOST, do a day trip to Versailles or Giverny. (Recommend the latter, especially in spring.) There is SO much to do in both cities, you’d be shortchanging yourself twice, and paying for the privilege. Just plan to spend a full week in London next year. πŸ™‚

    • saf

      I could spend a week in Paris, no problem. I can also spend a week in London, no problem. I’m not sure a day trip is worth it.

  • gotryit

    Rave: Bibimbap for lunch near Navy Yard up on 8th street. I think this was a stealth opening – little hole in the wall place, but good! I think it’s called Cafe Kimchi and is an offshoot of the Cafe Old Town from Alexandria.

  • Question: Is Pi Pizzeria in AdMo closed or just re-modeling? They haven’t been open for business in weeks, they aren’t answering their phones but all the tables upstairs are still set as though they are in business and the downstairs lounge looks like it could be re-modeling. I loved the place and would be very sad to see it go. Let me know if you have the 411, Popville.

  • Neither Rant nor Revel: Sad news about the death of Paco de Lucia. He’s left a wonderful legacy of music — but we’ve lost one of our international living treasures.
    Query: This is for a friend, so I thought I’d ask the wise ones in PoPville: Does anyone know where/how to get a piece of gold jewelry appraised? I’m thinking that Tiny Jewel Box and Boone’s might do appraisals, but I’m also thinking that the owner might want an independent appraisal before she tries to sell the piece. I was thinking that the easiest and cheapest way might be to go to a couple of jewelry stores and get appraisals — vs getting an independent appraisal for just one piece. If anyone can help with this, I’d appreciate it. .

    Rave: An absolutely wonderful chatter with a good friend. When I think about what brings me true joy, stuff like this is at the top of the list.

  • Rave: Haven’t been on facebook for over a week and don’t miss it one bit! If I didn’t have a page for my band there, I would probably delete my account. Instead, I’m choosing to just ignore it.

    Rant: Ordered the wrong size replacement gasket for my stovetop moka pot. I can’t return them because I opened the package. They were only like $6, but now I have to wait another week for the right sized ones to arrive. (yeah, I know, first world problems.)

    • I’ve been considering a moka pot. Is it easy to clean and use? I refuse to do much work for a shotglass-sized drink. πŸ™‚
      I’ve been looking at Facebook in a different light since I recently got curious and started looking up people from high school. The deadbeats who are still in our hometown, still working as cashiers at CVS, had the most glamorous-looking profiles! Then I realized one person from that group is trying to start a lifestyle photography business, and she must have done glamour shots of everyone in order to beef up her portfolio. The people who are living in other places, and doing more interesting things with their lives, have crappy photos and barely update because they have better things to do than make a brand for themselves.

      • I love my moka – I’ve had it over 20 years and it is still going strong. I had to change the gasket once and fortunately had bought an extra gasket when I bought the pot. The only thing different in terms of cleaning is that you have to dump the grounds and then clean the basket each time. It takes all of 30 seconds but longer than the 5 seconds it takes to remove a filter (if you use filters).

        • I use a French press for regular coffee and find it to be kind of a pain to get the grounds out. You’re right though, it doesn’t really take that long.

    • FYI, Sur La Table sells the Bialetti gaskets.

  • Rant: Received the “I’m unhappy. We’re too different, but I love you. Just need some time and space” BS bomb this week after living together for two years. She took the next day off from work and moved all her stuff out. Played out so quickly, but was executed too well not have been premeditated. Opted not to talk for a week, at which point I have to decide whether to pursue reconciliation. Being in your mid-30s in this town with your remaining support structure all being married it absolute hell.

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