Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user wolfkann

You can talk about whatever is on your mind โ€“ quality of life issues, a beautiful tree you spotted, scuttlebutt, or any random questions/thoughts you may have. But please no personal attacks and no need to correct peopleโ€™s grammar. This is a place to vent and/or celebrate things about daily life in DC.

148 Comment

  • Rave: A friend of mine has offered to build me some shelves.
    Query: Does any one know where we can go to get the wood for such a project? Is Home Depot the only/best option? Google came up with 2 listings for Galliher & Hugely which sound convenient (a necessity) — so I’ll be calling them, but if anyone in Popville is familiar with them, that would be a help!
    Rave: I’ve lots of errands to run today — and it looks like the weather will be cooperative.
    Rant-ish: I miss Hechinger’s.

  • Rant: Definitely not as disappointed in the Top Chef finale as some people are this morning. Overall, it was a pretty weak season. I would loved to have seen more of Jason and Janine.

    • I’m annoyed because I think the person that won should have been eliminated earlier in the season. I do agree that it was a weak season. And, unless the original comment was edited, I don’t see any spoilers about the finale.

  • Rant: The firestation lieutenant, who is now under investigation in Mr. Mills’ death, has filed for retirement. At the age of 51, she will be able to collect $70K/yr for the rest of her life. They need to revisit pensions for “first responders,” especially those who don’t actually respond to people in distress. I know Ellerbe and Gray will try to act tough on this, but I doubt they’re going to be able to do anything about punishing this incompetent lady (a lady who has an interesting past apparently- was charged, but not convicted, with stealing 20 bales of hay in PG County. Had to be suspended for that back in 2012 until the case was resolved).

    Rant: The economics of the Olympics. We need to downscale the Olympics big time- they cost way too much, and countries’ egos get in the way when they vie to host. If anyone is following the media’s accomodations in Sochi, you can see that that third world country has no business spending $51 B on the games. These huge stadiums and buildings end up falling into disrepair and costing the host countries way too much (see China, Greece). The world needs to deflate the Olympics and stop the madness.

    Rave: Reading a great book right now- Cloud Atlas.

    • Most pensions are going the way of the dodo anyway. Of all my gripes in this world, the fact that a firefighter will draw a nice pension after years of service is not one of them. I am not saying this incident should not be fully investigated and appropriate action, including possible loss of pension, taken.

      • I have to agree with this, especially when one considers the wear and tear that years of service as a firefighter has on the body. Not to mention the pesky dangers of the job.

        The wrongful (and very sad) death is a separate issue.

        • Thanks- I’ll clarify my point. I don’t disagree with pensions per se. I have a problem with how generous these ones appear to be, and I definitely have a problem with this lady getting one! Marines and soldiers with 20 years don’t get $70 K a year, and yet they serve in wars and are in harm’s way during training. They are also always at risk of being called into harm’s way if Congress demands it, and their families endure constant moves and all the anxiety that goes along with it. I question why this fat lieutenant, who barely could clear the firetruck on TV, is entitled to $70 K/yr at the age of 51, and not our Marine retirees. I think we need to revisit their pensions- not their existence, but how generous they are. Just my humble opinion.

          • I believe many municipalities have hiring preferences for veterans, so many first responders are ex-military. Maybe the generous pensions make up for low pay received during military service. She should have to take a downgrade in rank and they should let her retire. The family should sue the city for wrongful death , and if the city is smart, they will settle. It is also the right thing to do.

      • I am fully supportive of municipal pensions as a concept, but the idea that someone can put in their 20, retire at 51 and draw a pension for more years than they worked is ludicrous. Years of service need to be increased, eligibility ages pushed back, or both. Retirement at 60 with 25 years of service or at 65 with 20 is perfectly reasonable.

        • I’m guessing that there are early retirement ages set for certain professions where physical fitness, strength and agility are required — along with high job-related risks. I’m not sure that a whole crew of experienced 65 year old police officers, fire fighters or marines is an ideal.

          • Yes, I don’t know about DC specifically, but in many cities, there are special retirement provisions that allow police officers and firefighters to retire after 20 years of service, regardless of whether they’ve reached the traditional minimum retirement age. I think it’s partially due to the physical nature of the job, and in some jurisdictions it’s also a recruitment strategy. It varies by city/county of course, but in some cities (even high-cost-of-living ones), the salary scale is such that new officers start out in the low $20s and top out at $50-$60K after a number of years of service. So retirement is an incentive, like “yes, we know we’re under-paying you for a critical and potentially dangerous job, BUT you’ll get to retire (for those who join in their early 20s or so) while you’re still young enough to start a second career.” However, I do agree that in this fire lieutenant’s case, it seems pretty egregious that she should be able to retire and collect her pension without consequences.

    • She should have been fired and she should be sued for wrongful death.

    • Agree with TG. This one incident and the people involved need to be investigated, with loss of pension being one possible outcome. Heck, it seems like the DCFD needs to be investigated. However, that doesn’t mean that all firestation LTs shouldn’t get pensions. At one point, they were first responders, then they moved up the ranks. For the most part, these people are willing to put their lives on the line fighting a fire to save your home/work, your belongings, and your life. They’re willing to rush in to help when others are running away, and I’m OK with giving them a pension for that.

    • ‘Cloud Atlas’ is excellent. I recommend checking out Mitchell’s follow-up, ‘The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet,’ which, in my mind, is just as good.

    • First of all, Russia is not a 3rd world country.
      Second, the real problem is that they did not spend $51 Billion on these games. They spent a lot of money lining the pockets of connected individuals. The cost for Sochi is greater than the combined cost of all previous winter Olympics combined. It was a terrible choice by the IOC because of the rampant corruption in Russia.
      Third, you are right about the games costing too much in general. For this type of large international sporting event we should be looking for locations that have most of the facilities they will need already. Brazil has spent far too much money building new stadiums for this year’s World Cup.
      Fourth, even worse that the cost of these games is the Human Rights abuses. Many of the migrant laborers preparing Sochi have been treated very poorly and haven’t been paid in months. When Qatar hosts the World Cup in 2022 all of its venues will have been built by slave labor. (Don’t tell me they aren’t slaves. They are not allowed to leave the country because their employers take away their passports. If they ever hope to get it back they have to complete their jobs and they are paid, when they are paid, subsistence wages.)

      • “It was a terrible choice by the IOC because of the rampant corruption in Russia.”
        It sounds like the IOC picked Russia exactly for this reason. And why FIFA picked some crappy countries with well documented corruption and human rights abuses for the next two World Cups.
        IOC and FIFA executives are getting kick-backs galore. Gotta get paid, right?

      • I had the opportunity to work closely with the IOC in the run-up to the Athens Games and, while outright bribery is not so much of a problem, they are a shallow, arrogant and not particualrly bright lot, succeptible to flattery and hyperbole. Think in terms of half-bright in-laws of third world despots and vicious bureaucrats who found their way into sports rather than the DMV. You win the Games not by presenting a rational plan but by stroking egos, dangling glittery architectural renderings and promising excellent hotel rooms. The current selection process guarantees fiscal irresponsibility because IOC members have no desire or incentive to accept a scaled-black plan from the bid city. It’s unfortunate because, with reasonable expenditures on one-off facilities, the Games can become an spark for massive, needed civic improvements. Many of Athens’ sporting facilities are rotting, but the city has a modern airport, vastly expanded subway system, less-insane road system and is dramatically cleaner and more liveable than it was before 2004.

      • What I don’t get is how could IOC possibly have awarded Winter olympics to a summer resort city with no infrastructure at all for sporting events. But I think we will know the answer soon, google Gafur Rakhimov – the story, if true, is insane. Heroin drug lord, asia connections, bribery. Too much.

    • Thank you UNIONS!

    • Umm, Russia is DEFINITELY not a third world country. That is all.

  • Rave: Dinner out with my boyfriend last night, his last night in town for a few days. And a requisite stop at Sweet Lobby after. They have heart shaped macarons! But the mocha was better than the heart shaped pink champagne.
    Rant: I bought wall paper seam adhesive and a ton of other stuff at the hardware store the other night. Everything got packed into the 2 gallon bucket I bought…with the tube of seam adhesive on the bottom. It was so crowded and I was trying to pay quickly, I didn’t even see the guy put it on the bottom of everything. It got crushed and ripped open. Now I have to buy more and it was their last tube. It’s not the most common stuff and I’m not really happy about buying something I already bought.
    Rave: I was super scared about buying lighter paint, you can’t get Benjamin Moore samples in half tints, but I put up a bit of the new paint last night and I love it.
    Minor Rant: they had to make my Benjamin Moore color in Clark and Kensington paint because the 5th St Ace is so close to a Benjamin Moore store they’re not allowed to carry it. I can’t say anything about the quality yet, but now I get the fume issue. This stuff has a much stronger smell than BM, though I don’t think it’s ‘open the windows or pass out’ strong.

    • I’m making heart shaped rose macarons this weekend! Just started aging the egg whites last night. ๐Ÿ™‚ I learned how to make macarons from the owner of the Sweet Lobby, but I’ve never tried shaped ones.

      • Wow, I’m impressed. I bake a lot and I tackle a lot of projects that are outside my comfort zone, but macarons are scary. Generally, I hear tearful tales of attempts at making them.

        • Yeah, there’s still only a 50/50 chance that these will turn out ok, though I tend to have better luck in the winter when there’s less moisture in the air. Fingers crossed!

      • I took a macaron class at Sur La Table. It was really fun, but wow are there a lot of ways to mess them up. I’m also trying some this weekend. What flavors are you trying? I haven’t quite decided what I’m going to do yet.

        • I’m just going to do a rosewater flavor this time. In the past I’ve had success with vanilla lavender, green tea, and pumpkin spice. The green tea ones were by far the best. I did lemon strawberry macarons for Mother’s Day last year, but the filling (strawberry curd) was too wet and they turned to mush. I think a French buttercream works best (plus you can use up some yolks that way).

          • ooh, those sound great. I’m making them at home for the first time, so I am going to try something simple. I haven’t decided yet. Going to look through my recipes tonight and start aging the egg whites. Good luck with yours, they sound delicious!

    • Heart shaped pink champagne macaron*

  • Rave: Taxes were a breeze, and getting a ton of money back (even from the state of Maryland?!). Used the Turbo Tax Amazon gift card incentive to put aside some $$ for a 24-30 bottle dual-zone wine cooler ๐Ÿ™‚
    Rant: Work has been terribly stressful and I’m about two raging client phone calls away from putting in notice. Can’t quit current job until I have something else lined up.. just can’t.
    Rant: Seem to have fallen off my “work out, eat right” track, and I don’t have much motivation to get back on it.
    Rave: Who cares! I get married in a month, then taking a seriously incredible honeymoon. Can’t wait to get on a plane, get away from all this crap for a few weeks, and relax with the future hubs.

    • Congrats! I must know: where’s the honeymoon?!

    • You have it all wrong. All the websites say you’re supposed to writhing with stress and resentment over the upcoming wedding. Get with the program!. (Congrats)

    • saf

      “Iโ€™m about two raging client phone calls away from putting in notice”

      Yeah, that’s why I’m currently between jobs.

      OK, a BIG part of why I am currently between jobs.

  • Rave: Yesterday’s discussion about grad school got me thinking. I’m applying for grad school in the fall. e program is related to my job and I will continue working full-time while attending classes part-time. My work is helping with tuition and I’m fortunate to have enough saved up that I can cover the rest out of pocket (though it will drain most of my savings). This program will be great for me for a number of reasons. It builds on skills that I already have, but broadens my skill set so that I could work in a number of different fields. In the long term I’m thinking of moving out west, and getting this degree would increase the number of jobs I’m qualified for and could then apply to if I decide to pick up and move to a place that doesn’t have the same types of jobs that DC does.
    Rant: Losing my free time. I really love having free time. I burnt out on school in my senior year of college, and when all of a sudden I had a 9-5 job and my evenings and weekends were mine, I was thrilled! I love being able to chill for a few hours after work, or plan a last-minute camping trip for the weekend if the weather’s nice, or just stay in bed all day reading or watching TV because there’s nothing else that I have to do. Hopefully this program won’t be so intense that I have to give up all of that for 2.5 years, but I am really going to miss that freedom.
    Question: Do any of you have any opinions on an MPS (Masters of Professional Studies) degrees vs. MS degrees? This MPS degree focuses more on applied skills than theory and doesn’t require writing a thesis. It’s for working professionals who want to increase their skill set instead of setting up students for a PhD. But “Masters of Professional Studies” sounds like a made-up degree and I would almost feel silly putting it on a resume without some kind of explanation.

    • I don’t think this speaks to burning out, but one of the things that kept me on schedule in the same situation was “flipping a switch” at 5 p.m. and staying at work, but turning to school mode. Sure, I still had the internet to distract me, but I didn’t have a tv, cleaning, etc. It does means I left work pretty late some nights, but when I got home I was done for the night. Maybe you can get your relaxing in then.

      • I have a coworker who is doing this. Staying after work to do school things (if you have a quiet office space) has really helped him.

      • Oo, this is a really good idea that I had not thought of before. When I’m home, I’m HOME and want to relax and could find it hard to get motivated in the evenings. Thanks for the tip.

      • I did this too when I was in grad school, and still use this strategy for non-work tasks. The last thing I feel like doing when I come home is sit at a computer, so I’m more likely to get things done if I stay at work a bit longer and do them there.

    • I’m the OP on this topic yesterday. Yes, I’m going for an MPS as well and had same concerns about it. Many of my friends who have gotten higher degrees have said MPS is still good to go.

    • An MPS sounds like a fake degree. No offense.
      I think you’ll get more mileage out of an MS. First impressions are everything. The first thing you’ll be doing is explaining your degree to someone who has no idea what it is – that’s not a good starting point.

      • Apologies for my flippant tone – I don’t mean to be harsh.
        If you plan on staying at the current job forever and a masters degree is a “check the box” item to get a promotion, then the MPS is probably fine. But if you plan on leaving eventually, I think recruiters will have difficulty with what “MPS” actually means. A masters degree is supposed to be a specialization in something; you’re expected to be a subject matter expert. The MPS sounds like a general multidisciplinary degree with no focus. That’s not good and it won’t get you hired.

        • I get your point, but to clarify the degree isn’t just “Masters of Professional Studies”, it’s “MPS in [specific field]”, which I think would indicate that I have an advanced degree in that field or at least something more than a BS or Certificate.

      • Agree about the MPS degree. Everyone seems to get into Georgetown’s MPS program (with no GRE or GMAT required) and it seems like a joke.

  • Rant: People asking me for information with only the vaguest notion/information and expecting miracles…..

  • Rave: I am having a dinner party this weekend, and I’m very excited to make cocktails with ginger simple syrup. Yes, it is the small things that make me happy. Brandied cherries, anyone?
    Rave: It is nice to see the sun this morning. I’m tired of the grey.
    Rave: This is a shallow one: I’m very happy to fit into a skirt that I haven’t been able to wear for a year. Yay weight loss!
    Rant: None. Feeling pretty positive about life today.

  • Does anyone know if House of Falafel on Upshur street actually opened? Someone mentioned it on Twitter but their website is lacking for details. The last time I drove by there it still had newspaper in the windows and I just assumed it was never going to happen.

  • Rave: Went to Glen’s Market for the first time last night. Hello, my new favorite place. Hard to beat $4 drafts (of good beer!) and delicious food.
    Rant/Rave: Big decisions coming up soon. I feel comfortable with what I’m doing, but I was hoping for a more definitive feeling than comfort.

  • Rave: moving soon!
    Rant(ish): Anyone know of cheap painters, need to prime my old apartment. Also, any recommendations on movers?

  • RANT: Someone in a cubicle near me is doing her/his nails and the entire room smells like fingernail polish remover and I am getting a terrible headache from the odor. This is totally disrespectful to co-workers!!!!

  • Rave: Concur w/rave about Glens. Their prepared food section KILLS Whole Foods. Cooking on a smaller gives them an advantage. (and they charge for it)

  • Rant: Alexei Sorokin, the director of the pest control firm saying, โ€œGod forbid [a dog runs in the stadium] at the actual opening ceremony. This will be a disgrace for the whole country.” I think mass extermination of stray dogs is probably more of a disgrace, but that’s just me. And yes, America, I’m looking at you, too.
    Rant: High-level Russian officials who seem to equate being gay with being a pedophile. So ignorant.
    I’m not even in a bad mood day, but these things have really gotten under my skin. Harumph.

    • Not every country/culture worships dogs the way we do. Did you know that in some countries they even eat dogs?
      Lets say the problem was with a rat infestation. Would you have a problem with Russia killing thousands of rats in Sochi?

      • Also, having lived in a villiage where stray dogs were a problem, it is not just that they are cute-fluffy animals running around. Most of them live in packs and you have to worry about them attacking you. It is a pretty scary situation to be in.

      • Most civilized human beings would see that there’s a pretty big difference between rats and dogs. Clearly not all people do, though.

        • One is a public menace that eats trash, covers every surface in their waste and is potentially dangerous to people if there population isn’t properly controlled.
          The other are excellent as companions or for laboratory research due to the intelligence and ability to be trained.

  • Rant: Boss told me last week I was getting a 2% salary increase this year. I have been working so hard and was hoping for something better. been getting the same 2% every year and no bonus.
    Rant: said salary increase happened before the performance review, why did i need to do performance review if this has no impact on my salary?
    Rave: Company has a nice gym. I decided to spent more time at the gym and take it easy
    Rave/Rant: Never worked in a place where the gym is always so busy, I am getting addicted to the gym
    Rave/Rant: I like my job, the commute, the gym and the wellness center, I guess I will be here for a while and I will never have a bonus or a decent salary increase.

    • Sounds similar to my job. 2-3% salary increase every year, meager bonus if you’re lucky (like, maybe $1000-$1500 pre-tax). However, the 35 hour work week, flexible schedule and option to work from home keeps people around for a pretty long time.

      • 2% sounds pretty good to me! Honestly, I don’t think people take into consideration the value of a workplace with a good work-life balance. Same with commute. Studies have found that a person with a 1-hour driving commute needs to make 40% more to be just as satisfied with life as a person who walks to work. If you quantify those quality of life factors, you and I are rich!

        • wow, 40% that is a lot. My husband went from a 1 hour commute to working from home. I guess this could be considered a 50% increase?

          • Sounds about right. I traded in $600/month rent with a two-hour driving commute for a $1700/month mortgage with a 20-minute walking commute. I would never go back to the former situation, even if my rent was free! The stress of driving in NoVA did so much damage to my body and mind, and what amount of money is worth that?

        • Oh I totally agree with you! I have been in this job for just over five years and I have no plans to leave any time soon. It’s a great place to work, and while yes, I could be making more elsewhere, I have lots of free time to do things I enjoy outside of work, and my commute is only about 20 mins by metro. It really isn’t a bad deal.

  • Rant: Afraid I’ll never lose 40lb I want to lose this year. I’m 38 years old and I think I’m too old to have any metabolism left no matter how often I exercise and diet.
    Rave: Signed up for an online fiction writing class to get my head back into writing short stories.

    • Well, not with that attitude you won’t ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • OOoh, where’d you sign up? I’ve been looking for a class!

      • Gotham Writers Workshop-I did a few classes a couple of years ago when I had convinced myself that I had a book of short stories in me.

    • Sorry to hear you’ve been struggling!

      One of the things that really helped me, oddly, was a smartphone app. I would try to eat well and exercise, but then I would be hungry and I’d say, well, I went to the gym today so I can have another helping of pasta. Which, of course, didn’t work. I found that an app which actually tracks your intake and output of calories through exercise and other activities really helped. It lets me see where I am in real time over the course of a day, so I have daily and weekly goals. Plus the one I use (LoseIt — corny name, I know) allows you to adjust the calorie “budget” up and down based on your metabolism and how much you’re losing after a while.

      Another thing is that a lot of “healthy” foods are high in calories. Snacking on almonds is fine, unless you eat a whole tin of them, and then you’ve just had a whole meal’s worth of calories. Finding that balance is really tough.

      Last, have you found a exercise that motivates you? I really got back into exercising after a couple fun Zumba classes, which made me dread going to the gym. But also, I found that I do better walking a lot and exercising a little 3 days a week than tiring myself out one day and being too tired to go back for the next few days.

      All that said, the MOST IMPORTANT THING is that you are healthy and happy. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I never heard of the Lose It app- looks pretty neat. I’m trying to lose 10lbs of winter weight and this seems like it would be very helpful. Thanks for the recommendation!

        • Food logging’s the only way I’ve ever been able to lose and maintain weight (I use myfitnesspal). Even though I have a good diet it’s gotten me into the habit of eating smaller portions. Even when I’m not logging or particularly concerned about weight gain I’m less likely to binge on food now.

          • I just downloaded the Lose It app and entered everything I’ve eaten so far today. It is definitely eye opening to see how many calories are in a few spoonfuls of granola or a little mini chocolate bar! I think this will definitely help keep me on track and resist the urge to snack.

      • Thanks for the advice. An app is something that I never would have imagined. I’ll try that out since my phone is my constant companion. As far as exercising, I’ve started walking 3 times a week about 30 minutes each time. The endorphin rush afterwards always makes me feel pretty good. I want to move up from that to working out everyday but that seems daunting. I’d eventually like to start running but that’s light years away and I think I may be too old to start doing that. Hope I don’t sound like a Debby Downer.

        • Try to integrate exercise into your weekly schedule. Can you walk to work or the grocery store, even if it seems too far? (For example, I’ve started walking the 45 mins to and from work occasionally instead of metroing) Is there a store/coffee shop, etc. that is a 45 minute walk away that you like, so you can have a destination and it’s not just about the fitness? Even just getting used to walking everywhere will help (works better when there’s more sunlit hours).

        • One idea if you want to walk more, incorporate it into your commute rather than have it as an extra thing you have to do. For example if you take metro, get off one stop early every other day and walk the rest of the way. (Same idea if you take the bus.) It’ll add some time to your commute but probably not as much as if you did it as a separate activity (and you might save a couple buck on metro fare too.)

          • Oops, looks like L2 made my point better than I did. But yeah, if you’re walking to get somewhere rather than just walking to walk, I think you’re more likely to do it.

        • Too old to start running? Absolutely not. I know people well into their 40’s and 50’s who are avid runners and even do marathons.

    • I’m also 38 and it is still possible to lose weight. Exercise and building muscle is supposed to also build your metabolism, and I found calorie counting to be effective because it makes you much more aware of what you are consuming and what that extra glass of wine (or whatever) will cost you (I use the LoseIt app). Not that I stayed strict with it, but just having the reminder of what I was eating is helpful when I’m actively trying to lose weight. Also, try to look at it as a general lifestyle change instead of a “I need to lose 40 lbs.” AND the key thing for me was realizing that the majority of the skinny people out there do exercise regularly and don’t eat that much. I always thought they were lucky and I had bad genetics, but people just don’t talk about going to the gym or going for runs or going for long walks everyday or not getting seconds and eating a lot of veggies. That doesn’t mean they don’t do it.

    • Try adding the 7 minute workout to your walks.

    • I heard an interviews on the Diane Rhem show recently with a Dr. who advocates a fasting diet. Not total fast, but a couple of days a week you go 16-18 hours without eating. It made sense but I don’t know much more about it. I’m sure you can Google it though.

    • Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. I think I’ll try to get off one stop away from my job and see how i go from there. Thanks everyone!

    • Im 48 and I recently went on my first diet. I lost 15 pounds in 5 months. It CAN be done……you just need to keep focused.

    • I’ve got to put in another plug for the app. I’ve used LoseIt and been successful with about 5-10lbs but for me, doing Weight Watchers online was really most successful. You download the app, sign up (it’s $20/month) and just like loseit, it gives you a certain amount of points but you can earn points to eat more by exercising. IN any case, I lost 23lbs in about 6 months, and two pant sizes (well maybe three cause those pants got kind of loose too). I’ve also heard good things about myfitnesspal (also an app). Good luck!

  • Went to the Dr yesterday and it wil be at least another 3 weeks of liquid/soft food diet…getting tired of this

  • Rave 1: finally managed to learn a flip turn! it’s ugly but still a major breakthrough.
    Rave 2: received an early bday gift, Ottolenghi’s latest cookbook. And will happily cook something from there for my sister (the sender) while on vacation soon.
    Rant: Prayer breakfast. I need an annual reminder that it is scheduled so I know traffic will be a disaster but I don’t really want to put an annual reminder for it in my calendar.

  • RAVE: husband and I went to the Diplomate yesterday for our 4 months anniversary. The bill was $160!
    We had all courses (shared appetizer and dessert) , but man it was really delicious. I think we added it to our once (or max twice) a year list of restaurant to go to

    • The nice thing about Le Diplomat is that you CAN splash out and have a really amazing memorable meal, but you don’t HAVE to. You can also just get a main and a glass of wine and get out of there for $40 a head or less. And it’ll still be delicious. Some restaurants feel like you have to spend big money to get the full experience.

      • I’ve never been to Le Dip, but before I developed a shellfish allergy my girlfriend and I would split an order of mussels at French restaurants. It’s an incredibly satisfying meal for two people for only about $10 pre-tip.

      • Good point, we will try to go soon and not go too crazy. A bill under $100 will be nice.

  • “Dmitry Kozak, the deputy prime minister responsible for the Olympic preparations, reflected the view held among many Russian officials that some Western visitors are deliberately trying to sabotage Sochi’s big debut out of bias against Russia. “We have surveillance video from the hotels that shows people turn on the shower, direct the nozzle at the wall and then leave the room for the whole day,” he said. An aide then pulled a reporter away before Mr. Kozak could be questioned further on surveillance in hotel rooms. “We’re doing a tour of the media center,” the aide said.”

  • Rant: Husband broke his iPhone 4s screen. We don’t want to upgrade, Popville– any suggestions on where to get it fixed?

    Rave: Olympics begin!!!

  • Anonynon

    Rant: Making tough decisions. Also it seems like the right decision is always the hardest.
    Rave: Being mature and forward thinking about said tough decisions. Knowing ‘myself’ better than i have in a long time.
    hope everyones having a good thursday!

  • Rant: Think I may have had a package stolen ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™

    Semi-Rant: A family friend and her friend are coming to stay at my small apartment. I was expecting a weekend visit, but I finally called to confirm and they decided to come Monday midday and leave Wednesday…meaning I will have much more trouble getting them set up with parking, and will have to take time off of work….

    Question, anyone know if I can get a parking pass easily for these out of towners/know where I can park in Parkview/Petworth?

    • That stinks about the package. Happened to me and I didn’t think at the time to report it, but did after the fact. You can do it online here: http://mpdc.dc.gov/service/file-police-report-online. Helps MPD with tracking the problem and hopefully catching the perps, which they seem to be doing sometimes!

    • Go to your nearest police station with your DC id and they will give you parking. No hassle in Ward 5.

      • Can anyone explain a visitor parking pass? I live in Ward 2, no car, and have family visiting next month.

        • Ward 2 didn’t get Visitor Parking Passes (http://dc.gov/DC/DDOT/Services/Parking+Services/Visitor+Parking+Passes), I think because the ANCs opted out of it (or didn’t opt into it).
          However, it looks like Ward 2 residents are still eligible for the old-fashioned temporary visitor permits from the police station: http://dmv.dc.gov/node/156592

          • Can anyone give me a tl;dr description of how to use these?

          • gotryit

            Wait – I understand when I kid writes tl;dr about something someone wrote, but are you really asking for something that is too long and you don’t want to read? Or do you mean you want a detailed description of how to use it.
            PS. get off my lawn

          • I just wanted the low-down on what this pass entails. I’ve read the site and am still a bit confused… since I’m rather new to DC myself. Basically, I think my visiting family can use this for their car (for the week they’re here) and get on-street parking in my ward as though they had a permanent resident pass, but I’m not entirely certain, hence why I was asking for a quick description in layman’s terms.

            PS: ?

          • Yes, your visiting family can use this to park in zoned parking in whatever ward/zone you’re in while you’re here.
            Your significant other/regular booty call/etc. cannot use such a pass to crash at your place on a regular basis.
            Re. “Get off my lawn!”: I thought this came from “Gran Torino,” but apparently it was around earlier:

          • gotryit

            I think the temporary pass would cover you, but since I’ve had the permanent visitor parking passes for a couple of years now, that may be a bit different. You should be able to call into your local police station (wherever you would pick up the tmeporary pass) and they should be able to confirm the details.
            “Get off my lawn” (or “Get off my porch”) is just making fun of me feeling old for not understanding kids’ internet-speak – your use of tl;dr. As in, and old person yelling it at kids.

          • “Your significant other/regular booty call/etc. cannot use such a pass to crash at your place on a regular basis.”
            Not true. If your significant other/regular booty call/etc. has out of state plates and applies for ROSA, they can use it regularly. My GF lives in southern VA and is visiting me every weekend. She has no issues using the VPP, so long as she has her ROSA filed every year.

          • Right — what I meant is that the sig other/booty call can’t use the VPP _in lieu of_ ROSA.

          • The former, I believe.

            Kids these days…

          • I guess I should have said, “Your one-night stand can use the VPP. However, a significant other/regular booty call will need ROSA in conjunction with the VPP.”

      • Thank You!!!

      • You will need to know the license plate of the car though, so get that first.

  • wolfkann does it again! sweet pic

  • If anyone accidentally left their bicycle seat on the Yellow line train to Franconia this morning, I left it with station manager at Van Dorn around 9:04a.

  • justinbc

    Rant/Rave: Medical procedure today to see if they could figure out what the heck has been bothering me so much lately. Good news, they didn’t find anything abnormal. Bad news, they still didn’t really have a suggestion for how to proceed other than wait and see if it gets worse. Argh.
    Rave: I do love the Kaiser folks, and so glad I left BCBS to switch to them. They’re so much more friendly and the facilities are great.
    Rave: Toki being open for lunch now means I can get post procedural soup goodness!

  • Prince Of Petworth

    The President had a meeting there.

  • National Prayer Breakfast, an annual event that the president usually (always?) attends.

  • Rant: prescription benefit change and now i can only get drugs via mail order. of course this means i have to go to my doc’s office and pick up a prescription so i can mail it in (they don’t seem competent enough to fax it into the mail order people).
    Ravish rant: finally got my VPP in the mail, 2 months after all my neighbors got theirs. only required two online requests, 3 phone calls, and an email to my ANC rep.

    • Related Rant: Jesus Christ, I just called DDOT about the VPP I never received. I placed 3 calls to get the permit last fall and they told me that they would make sure my building receives permits. Nothing happened. I then checked the new online database application and my block wasn’t listed! I just got off the phone with DDOT and they added my block to the online database while I waited on the phone. I’ve applied online and now hopefully it will arrive in 7 to 10 business days. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR, RAGE!

      • It took almost 3 weeks from when I finally got a confirmation that my VPP request had been approved to when I got my actual pass in the mail, so it might be more than 7-10 business days!

    • About your first rant: I also was forced to change to mail order Rx, and was very skeptical about it. That was about 18 months ago and as it turns out – it’s been pretty fine. I have been consistently surprised at how quickly my orders are processed and sent out. And refills can be done on line, which makes them even faster. It helps somewhat that they force me to get my regular meds in 90-day batches, which my dr was happy to prescribe. At least that reduces the number of times I have to order, and fewer orders means less money spent in copays.
      So – hopefully your experience will also turn out fine.

      • gotryit

        I wish I could do mail order. I had it for a short while, and loved it. But now, it’s not an option on my plan. I hate dealing with CVS – I’d much prefer mail-order.

        • my last experience with mail order was a disaster. somehow someone else with my same name in Seattle got a prescription that was sent to me, and mine to them. I got a 90 day supply of a totally random drug in the mail that i was never prescribed, and when I looked up my record online, I could see the shipping address for my correct scrip was somewhere in Seattle. Of course these were maintenance meds I take every day, which means I can’t skip them, but the insurance/mail order pharmacy wouldn’t send me a new supply until they investigated and figured out that they had screwed up. So i had to pay out of pocket for a month, and was never reimbursed even though I had done everything correctly. Plus, they didn’t even refund my $20 co-pay for sending me the wrong meds, and I only got that back by filing a chargeback with my credit card company. It was only $20, but I was soooooo pissed about the screwup, and then having to pay out of pocket while still being charged my premiums every month.
          I’m not convinced things will go more smoothly this time!

  • RANT: I’ve lived across the street from Cardoza High School for over 2 years now, and had to deal with the Mon-Sat 7AM construction wake-ups during the renovation, frequent utility disruptions, and currently the 8AM pep-squad-esque cheering in the morning. That’s fine, it is a high school and I am happy to see the beautiful restoration they did. However, for the last few months with obnoxious regularity the fire/building evacuation alarm has been going off every couple weeks, always during the hours between 10PM-5AM, multiple times a night, and sometimes for continuous stints of over an hour. I don’t understand why it continues to happen, and why the first responders that arrive don’t seem to have the power to shut it off. Several times, a police car and/or fire engine has arrived and left while the alarm still goes on. Recently it seems I need to call the police in order to get anyone to come check out the alarm.

    Are there any readers out there that can commiserate or provide some insight as to why the fire department/police can’t seem to turn off the fire alarm even when they do arrive?

    • There’s no such place as “Cardoza High School”.

    • Check the Columbia Heights listserv – I think this was discussed (maybe last week) and Grahm wrote in some update on it. Sorry I can’t give more specifics, I didn’t read the whole thread because I don’t live over there.

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