Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user elleno1975

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.

176 Comment

  • Rave: Finally closed on the new property.
    Rave: Already filled my both my old and new english basement apartments.
    Rave: vacation tomorrow.
    Rave: Rave 3 Rant 0

  • Rant: Too little sleep, too much to do
    Rave: The weather! Goodbye winter.
    Revel: Visiting family this weekend. Apparently my young nephews actually remember who I am and are excited to see me. I think they’re just excited about the toys I’m bringing, but I’ll take it anyway.

  • Rave: UCONN Men NCAA Champions!!!!!!!
    Rave: UCONN Women play tonight for the championship!!!!
    Rave: UCONN!!!!!!!

  • Rant: Sometimes I feel like there isn’t enough air in my office. I know sealing the building air tight is good for heating/cooling efficiency but it would be really nice if I could occasionally open a window.

  • Rant: Explaining to your kid that many classmates are departing for other schools. Even worse, trying to avoid the obvious race factor apparent in who’s going vs staying.
    Rave: Appreciating a great, diverse elementary school experience in D.C.
    ?: New friends among those left behind?

    • Is this in relation to the boundary changes? Can you explain how that changing along racial lines? Is your school getting whiter?

      • I suspect that the OP means that the more affluent, mostly white, families are either putting their kids in private schools or leaving the District altogether.

        • gotryit

          Or applying for charter schools, out-of-boundary schools (in better neighborhoods). It typically happens at the point where people are uncomfortable with the schools or perceive that they have a better option. Middle school is typically a big step, but I see it a little even in Pre-K.

          • This happened a lot in my NJ suburb. I remember being told that the other kids were going to private school for religious reasons.

      • My guess is that the kid is in 3rd or 4th grade and many of the families that can afford private or to move to a better school district or got a lottery slot are doing that before DCPS middle school. And that most if not all of those kids are upper middle class and white, leaving a less diverse class behind.

    • gotryit

      Ouch. How old is your kid? I’m guessing that will happen to an extent with my kids’ class, but hoepfully not too much and hopefully not for a while.

      • In my experience it happens sooner than you think it will. In the almost 4 years we’ve been at our particular (highly sought-after) charter school, my daughter has lost 5 friends, with another moving at the end of this year. Two of those six were out-of-area moves, but the other 4 were “the grass is greener in private/other charter/Bethesda.” Not all white (though 5 of the six were) but all mid/high SES. It has a snowball effect, unfortunatey, and gets other parents thinking about moving (including us) who, if the school had better retention, would have been pleased to stay.

  • Transport rant #1- I was waiting for a cab in what I think was an obvious manner – standing by the side of the street with my arm upraised. I could see a cab coming down the street & the cab put blinkers on indicating he was going to stop. But then someone crossed the street in front of me and got into this cab. I think this was just rude.
    Transport rant #2- Move to the friggin back of the bus people! The back is not by the back door, but the back of the bus.
    People seem much more oblivious of others. That’s my real rant.

    • Why didn’t you holler at this person? My guess is that they didn’t see you. Next time, make your presence known!
      The shame actually lays with the cabbie, who obviously saw you first.

      • The cab paused at a light (still green) so he didn’t block the box and the other person got into the cab. I gave them both my most disapproving glare when they past – for all the good that did.

      • You shouldn’t presume to know what is obvious to other people, especially when you have no firsthand knowledge of the situation.

    • Rant 1 sounds like something you would see on Curb Your Enthusiasm. You have to ask “What would Larry do?” in this kind of situation.

  • Rant: Having one of those mornings where I wish I could start over.
    Rave: A bit of sunshine
    Rant: I think the most challenging part of married life so far is learning how to talk constructively about money. I feel like we both bring baggage from our childhoods with us, and it just acts like a trigger. I need to shift out what is my “stuff,” and we need to find better ways to communicate.
    Rave: Good things happen in the lives of the people I love. Fingers and toes crossed that it all works out and comes to fruition in the next few weeks.

    • It’s not too early to hit the reset button!

      Also, at least you’re able to recognize that talking constructively about your finances is an opportunity for growth. A lot of people aren’t cognizant of this until it’s too late.

    • This topic of newlyweds, marriage and finances came up on R&R a few weeks ago. This is an area where we learned a lot from others and I’m always happy to share what has helped us. I agree that it has been the biggest adjustment about married life.

      Here are a few things I think I recommended last time:
      1. Did you do premarital counseling? I’m a huge fan of it. We spent 3 entire sessions on money with our counselor – there was a lot to discuss. really helpful having a neutral 3rd party facilitate what can be a delicate discussion and ask some of the hard questions. Worth thinking about even after the wedding.
      2. Highly recommend some of the posts on this blog, Apracticalwedding.com, and the comments section. see some of the questions and issues other couples are wrestling with and the many different arrangements people come up with that work for them. http://apracticalwedding.com/category/marriage-and-more/money/
      3. Try using software like mint.com. whether you chose to pool your accounts or not, i think transparency is critical.
      4. Talk to other young couples, and other older/mentor-type couples about what they did and went through. you dont need to talk specific dollar amounts, just learn from their experience. talking to my parents helped me take the long view – there were times when my mom made more money, times when my dad wanted to take more risk, times when they went down to one income, etc etc.

      Kudos for recognizing the importance of this issue early on. Don’t let it fester! It can be intimidating, but finances can also be a great catalyst for really getting on the same page and feeling like one unit. You’re in it together.

    • Money is a touchy one. I think the best is just to be honest and open. Also there has to be some sort of de minimus level, below which there is free reign. You will have to figure out what that level is.

      Good for you for recognizing there is a problem, and working to fix it. Good luck!

  • justinbc

    Rant: We went to the SW Waterfront Festival this weekend and were so completely bored by it we left before the fireworks even happened. I was really disappointed to see zero neighborhood restaurants being represented, given the growth there, and the same damn foodtrucks that show up to every other festival. It didn’t help that they only offered one beer to purchase (the ass-flavored Kirin) with no local options, and pretty much all the “events” were catered to children. It honestly seems like all of the festivals in DC are becoming mirrors of themselves, with the same merchants, food, etc available no matter what the occasion.
    Rave: After leaving the festival we biked over to Bluejacket to watch the Final Four and enjoy some beers. The highlight of the night was easily “The Fix”, a cask conditioned brown ale finished with a Ceremony coffee blend and fresh vanilla beans in the cask.
    Random: What are your favorite festivals / street fairs in the DC area?

    • My favorite festival is the DC Blues Festival, Labor Day Satuday @ Carter Barron.

      • justinbc

        I’ve never been to that one, but I’ll definitely check it out. I’m a huge blues lover!

        • It’s free, no tickets required, and Carter Barron is a hidden gem in the city. The food they sell their is pretty lousy (but some people tailgate and the police generally look the other way) and it’s not near any Metro stations. Still a great festival though. Usually that weekend I volunteer at the DC Blues Festival on Saturday then go to the Baltimore Blues Society picnic on Sunday.


    • What type of adult activities would be of interest to you? I think it is just easier to come up with activities for kids vs. adults. It just seems like adults just want to drink…

      I am more of a craft/vintage fair type of person so I like to see those type of things at street fairs.

    • Great Q! Maybe it could be a Popville QOTD? (hint, hint!)

      I’d love to hear about some new festivals. Latino Day in Mt. Pleasant is really fun (or at least it used to be, haven’t been in a few years). You see lots of out-of-the-ordinary things; I think the Latino community comes in from all over the region so you get some new street food, art, etc.

      • Oh, bad news… Just found out that in 2012 they moved it from Mt Pleasant down to Pennsylvania Ave. I wonder what it’s like now…

        • I thought it was fun last year. I think the ethnic cultural festivals are all pretty unique.

        • I went last year and it was awesome! I think the ethnic cultural festivals are all pretty unique. Especially if there’s a significant population of that ethnic group here.

          • justinbc

            I tend to agree, I enjoyed the Greek festival at that one big orthodox church, even though it was relatively small. Everything felt like it made sense being there. I was kind of disappointed by the Turkish festival though.

      • Any neighborhood festival I’ve been to has been good and not too corporate. I loved the Brazilian Festival at the Yards Park (but it was cancelled this year and I’m not sure if it’s happening this year). The Smithonsian Folklife Festival is awesome. I do wish our gay pride festival was better, and I wish the Italian festival would come back.

    • dude, your comments about beer are like a caricature or an SNL sketch of a beer douche. give it a rest

      • justinbc

        dude, your comments about other people are like a caricature or an SNL sketch of an anonymous troll douche. give it a rest
        See how that works?

      • For what it is worth, I think an SNL sketch of a “beer douche” would feature someone doing something other than offering a flat description of the beer he was drinking – a brown ale, aged in a cask, with coffee and fresh vanilla. Or at least describing a beer with more exotic ingredients than coffee and vanilla.
        As someone who appreciates good beer, please DON’T give it a rest Justin ๐Ÿ™‚

    • leftcoastsouthpaw

      Has anyone been to Bluegrass festival(http://www.kingmanislandbluegrass.com/) before? If so, what are your thoughts on it?

      • Don’t expect much besides hipsters, music, and woods. ๐Ÿ™‚ I think it could be boring if you go alone, but if you bring friends and a picnic and maybe a couple dogs you can make a very nice day out of it.

    • I don’t go to festivals to eat or drink, so I guess I don’t see what the big deal is. If food is part of the culture being represented (like at the Latino festival mentioned above) there are usually some specific food items available. I guess I don’t mind food trucks because I don’t work downtown so they’re still a novelty to me!

    • Are there any cultural festivals for the significant South Asian and Middle Eastern communities in the area? There’s tons of Persions, Afghanis, and Pakistanis around the DMV (more so in Nova).
      Also, does anyone know if there’s an Ethiopian cultural festival? Love their food and music! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • There’s a big Asian festival somewhere out in the exurbs (Reston I think?). Also, I saw something about a Holi festival somewhere in MD.

        • The Sakura Matsuri Japan Festival is Saturday at 12th and Pennsylvania, NW. 10:30 am until 6 pm. A friend of mine who worked in Japan for a long time said it’s too whitebread, but whatever.

          • justinbc

            I tend to agree with your friend, but at least it’s large enough that there are some cool things to see from time to time on one of the stages.

    • Have you been to the Kinetic Sculpture Race in Baltimore? It’s really cool and very not DC. It’s organized by the Visionary Art Museum. I recommend the water entry point and/or the mud pit!

  • Rant: Car shopping. It is such a headache, even when you know what you want. Any good tips to take with me to the lot?
    Rant/Rave: Not looking my age. I don’t know if it’s good genes or the fact that I don’t drink or smoke, but I don’t look my age (30). What I do look like, according to some, is a 16 year old. While looking like I’ve tapped into the fountain of youth is pretty awesome, I do want to be respected as the grown woman that I am and not looked at/treated like I’m jailbait.

    • Curious, what cars are you looking at?

      • Promise not to make fun…
        Mazda 3
        Volkswagen Jetta
        Volvo S-40
        Saab 9-3

        I have no idea where to start or what to cross out of my list. Obviously want a sedan, but nothing massive, and is good on gas. I’m 5’11, so I don’t want to be driving around looking like Hulk Hogan in a Miata.

        • I’m pretty happy with my Mazda 3, and I’m 6’6″ tall. The main complaint is road noise, it’s a pretty loud car. I got it at Rosenthal in Ballston, who gave me a really good price (negotiated via email before I showed up), but they were pretty intense about selling all the useless add-ons like extended warranty and clear coating. I had to tell the manager “no, I don’t want that junk” about 50 times.

        • I would advise against the Volvo or the Saab (reliability, maintenance; Saab is no more), but the Jetta and the Mazda could be great choices. If you’re considering a Jetta, I would highly recommend you take a serious look at the Golf. You get much more useable space with the hatchback vs trunk, car is easier to park, but everything else is exactly the same. (Well, if you’re looking at Jetta’s 2010-on the Golf is actually a much better car.)

          • epric002

            i had a volvo s60 that i LOVED. when we went down to 1 car we sold the volvo and kept our saab hatchback (fits dogs and bikes). are very interested in replacing the saab with another volvo in the next few years.

          • Boo.
            I drive a Volvo S80 and used to drive an S60.

            I have never had to do anything aside from preventative maintenance on either, and have never paid a dime for it. Buying a certified pre-owned car definitely helps, but I have also found Volvo service centers to treat people the best (I have owned a Honda, a Chevy, a BMW, a Jeep, and a Dodge as well).

            The S40 will probably be a bit tight for you. I had one as a loaner when I was waiting on delivery of my S80. I’m 5’10 and wished there was a bit more space (though I’m also partial to bigger cars). Check out the S60 as well. The newer ones are nice, as are the earlier years (08ish). Fun to drive, absurdly comfortable, enough space for pretty much anything you want, and not bulky in the least bit.

        • Also love my Mazda 3 although not as good on gas mileage as I hoped (good, not great). Bought it at Koons Mazda Silver Spring and they did not try to up sell me AT ALL. I even asked the guy, don’t you want me to buy undercoating or something? He said, you don’t want that, do you? And that was that. I also went at the very end of the day at the end of the quarter and maybe we all just wanted to go home.

          • I bought at another Koons and had a similar experience. I think a dealership that deals in such huge volume doesn’t need to nickel and dime for profit like the other dealers. I also found the guy I dealt with attentive (followed up, etc.) without being in my face. A year and a half later and I may have to change my phone number to get the dudes from a couple of smaller (but still not tiny) dealerships to stop calling me.

        • GiantSquid

          I’ve owned two Jettas and Mr. Squid one. The catch is that they’re surprisingly expensive to maintain. You go in for an oil change and the next thing you know a sensor needs to be replaced, etc. Mr. Squid is 6’5″ so we are limited in what we can buy by his height. Out of what you’ve listed, I’d go with the Mazda (tho he didn’t fit). We’re probably Subaru owners for life at this point. There’s a lot of room in the Impreza.

        • Has anyone driven the Subaru Crosstrek? Looks like a practical car for the city.

          • Just curious – why do you think it’s more practical than something smaller that’s easier to park and gets better mileage? Do you offroad frequently? In the Subaru world, I have a bit of a crush on the Impreza, but without the spoiler.

        • I know several 6 ft + folks who are very happy with the Honda Civic. Apparently it has good head and leg room with good mileage and needs little maintenance.

          But I am 5’1″ and hate to drive, so possibly not your most direct source for advice on this!

          • +1. I’m 5′ 10” and have a Honda Civic. Knock on wood, but no repairs beyond routine maintenance and it’s a dream to drive. The Mazda 3 was on my list as well, but the Honda Civic took the cake. Going on seven years!

          • I’ve had my Honda Civic for 13 years. It just hit 80,000 miles and I’ve never had to do anything other than routine maintenance. At this point, I’m pointing a few hundred dollars into the car for oil changes and replacing parts that have aged past their useful life. I highly, highly recommend.

          • I had my Honda Civic for 18 years. If I hadn’t lived in the great white salty north for many of those years, it would still be going strong. I also never did anything but routine maintenance. And 48 mpg on a bad day. Man, I miss that car!!

        • If you know what car you want and you have a AAA or a Geico membership, go to their site and select a dealer through them, you will save at less 1000$ and it hassle free. This is a trick that many people dont know about. They have pre-negotiated deal with dealers. My husband couldn’t believe it when i told him about this trick and he used it and it worked. Btw he bought a Mazda 3, it is not great but it is fine. If you like to drink coffee/tea/etc while driving, the cup holders and not great and it placed in a very awkward spot making driving difficult. This is our main problem, otherwise it is a nice car.

        • From what I understand, Mazda uses Ford engines.

          Did you check out the Subaru Legacy or Subaru Impreza?

    • I have always looked ten years younger than I am. This was annoying in my 20s, but when you get to your 40s and 50s, you will be very, very happy.

    • Yeah, the looking-younger-than-your-age thing can certainly work against you. Is it affecting you in a professional context? Outside of work? Both?

      • I’m convinced that my supervisor thinks I am not a day over 25. She was hired after me, so I doubt that she’s seen my resume, or knows that I have a graduate degree and worked 3 years between undergrad and grad school. Perhaps her tone and the remarks she makes would be different if she knew how old I am (and my experience). As far as personal life…I do wonder if men avoid approaching me b/c of my youthful look. Whenever I do find myself chatting with professional men, they always ask “so, are you in school here?” Womp.

        • epric002

          are you dressing in a way that makes you look even younger?

        • I have that problem too. I’m in my 30s, but I work almost entirely with men who have children my age. It also doesn’t help that I’m short!

        • That’s a tough one to be honest. I think men (at least some – maybe just me?) are not terrific at guessing ages.

          I was at RNR Hotel last weekend, and wound up having drinks with a 41 year old lady who looked about 30. I should have picked up on it when she mentioned that she loved the leg warmers concert the week before. Very cool lady. 15 year age difference. That was interesting.

          • What? Im 30 and I love going to see the leg warmers…does this mean I’m old?

            @loyal – I totally feel you…I look so young as well. I work in a very older aged male dominated field and it is really difficult to be taken seriously. Its like everyone reverts to this weird you are my daughter’s age I have to treat you with kit gloves. I am a regular professional and would like to be treated as such.

          • My understand was, based on her observations that the majority of people were in their 30s or 40s, so you would be at the bottom of that range perhaps?

            I don’t think your old. I started talking to her thinking she was 30!

            I too like 80’s music, and tend to think I would probably enjoy the leg warmers, but point was, I had a few things I could/should have picked up on, but certainly didn’t.

            Was just giving the perspective of a professional man who is clearly not a rock star at pinpointing ages ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Hmm, that’s tricky re. your supervisor. Can you try strategically mentioning your graduate degree, previous jobs, etc.?
          If you haven’t already, you might also try making your work wardrobe more conservative than it currently is.

        • Aside from the fact that you’re 5’11, we’re pretty much the same person (well, at least your RandR are really speaking to me today!)

    • justinbc

      Pay for the Consumer Reports car buying guide. They detail all the rebates and whatnot that dealers get on virtually every car, and can give you a pretty close approximation to the absolute bottom price you can get for any given car.

    • I’m the same way. Even if appearance wise, you look really young, I find that people will often realize you’re older once you say something (assuming you talk and act your age, of course!) because your voice does age quite a bit, I guess.

      But I remember getting carded when I was in my late 20s to buy a lotto ticket! I also remember getting into a cab late at night after dinner with friends and the first thing the taxi driver said was that whether my parents regularly let me be out on my own so late. I had no idea what he meant and he had to explain that he thought I couldn’t be more than 14! That was a laugh. I was a first time mother at that time.

    • We just got a mazda (though not the 3) at the end of the year last year. We test drove in one place and liked it, then e-mailed a bunch of dealers to see who could give us the best price. They’re willing to do it, because they can (maybe) get a sale with minimal investment, and it takes the high-pressure out of the haggling.
      I also look young (30 and have recently been mistaken for an intern), and have discovered that a withering stare is a perfect accessory. I make it clear I will take no nonsense, and if they tell me that they have to go back and check with the manager *one more time* I give them the death stare, sigh, look at my watch, and say I have somewhere to be so unless we can get down to business, I am leaving. Doesn’t make me look older, but I like to think it makes me seem less naive – which I agree is a real problem in these situations where older (men, especially) folks feel like they can get one over on you because you’re just a fetus spending daddy’s money.
      Also check TrueCar for prices other people are getting.

    • I try to drop subtle hints about my age like “I went to high school in the 90’s”, or mentioning that I’m on the older end of “millennial” generation (and probably more identifiable with generation x). Or just going full Danny Glover with “I’m too old for this sh–“. I get the impression that folks think I’m bluffing. As far as how I dress…I mean, I don’t work in a stiff environment, so I’m not wearing power suits to the office, but I’m also not trying to jazz up a maxi dress from Gap as “business casual”. I’d like to think I’m pretty well put together, at least that’s what I’ve always been told as far as office fashion goes. So, what gives? I don’t want to sound like I’m tooting my own horn here, but I think I’m a fairly attractive 30…that might be off putting, I suppose. I guess people have varied images of what 30 is supposed to look like.
      Thanks for all of the suggestions with the car shopping!!!

      • Honestly, I’m only 45 and if someone pointed out that they went to high school in the 90s or were a millennial, it would make me think they’re a baby. Anytime you stress that you’re part of a generation younger than the person you’re talking to is in, it only accentuates the perceived age difference.

      • Hm, if you’re going with the hint dropping tactic, I would focus on dropping hints about your experience, since that seems to be primarily what you’re concerned with your supervisor knowing. So stuff like “man, back in grad school we . . . ” or “when I was working before I decided to go to grad school . . . “

  • Rave: UConn!!!! We don’t have a lot in Connecticut, no pro sports since the Whalers left in the mid 90s (tear), so you have to be a UConn fan. But it’s good to be a UConn fan. I didn’t go there, but grew up with the Huskies. The highlight of my elementary school career was when my ball handling team was the half time entertainment at a UConn womens game when Rebecca Lobo was playing. Go Huskies!!!
    Rant: the Columbia Heighst Giant apparently is now a literal and figurative meat market. Some dude who thought he was being suave first spotted me in the produce aisle and commented “you’re tall.” Thank you Captain Obvious. He then ambushed me when I was looking at olives. I don’t want to know your name! I don’t want to chat! I don’t want to try to come up with a graceful exit when you are WAY too close to me and won’t take “I just want to pick out my olives and leave” for an answer.
    Rave: Acadiana. The food is great and happy hour prices are a huge deal. I had a nice dinner with a friend.

    • justinbc

      Congrats on the wine, another UK championship under Calipari would have been intolerable, so I was inadvertently rooting for you. Also completely agree on Acadiana, that HH is legit! Their charbroiled oysters are one of my favorite dishes in all of DC.
      Re: the grocery store thing, you’re now debunking decades of mythology about every girl wanting the romantic allure of “organically” meeting someone in a grocery store ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Will have to remember these rants (grocery store above and gym below) the next time a “why can’t I meet anyone in DC?” thread comes along – which will probably be tomorrow.

        • justinbc

          I think, if I recall, at least the OP is spoken for. I can understand the annoyance in that regard, but it’s still funny to hear a refuting of the exact scenario that I hear so many other female friends lust after.

          • I guess your female friends are extroverts who don’t mind being approached by someone while they’re trying to do something else. For me that’s pretty disorienting– I can’t just snap into Flirtation mode from Price Comparison mode– and ends up being a lot more awkward than when I’m at a bar and mentally prepared for it.

          • justinbc

            Oh some definitely are not. That doesn’t change the fantasy though. And I’m sure if it ever actually happened to them they would probably find themselves in the same outcome you describe.

          • That’s really weird; it’s almost like a parody of what someone thinks a female fantasy should be. I never knew there were women who actually want to be seduced in the checkout line at Safeway! Ugh.

          • I am taken, yes. But this guy annoyed me because he was on a mission and it was painfully obvious. I like to have nice interactions with people, including strangers at grocery stores, but this was a situation where he wanted something and I didn’t want to be involved in any kind of transaction with him.
            I really felt put upon and put on the spot by him, that is not comfortable. He was also really close and I was wear wearing a hat with a brim and I kind of felt trapped, no peripheral vision, him, olives, no space. Smiling and saying hi from a reasonable distance would have been fine. I don’t want to ruin the fantasy and I am sure it happens, but it ain’t happening for this overeager olive creeper dude.

          • justinbc

            I imagine myself in those situations just shouting really loudly “NO I DON’T WANT TO GO ON A DATE WITH YOU”, so the whole grocery store is aware of the creeper ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • Generally, I don’t think women in DC want to be approached. Shields are at an all time high in this city.

          • I know he wants to pick me up, he knows he wants to pick me up. But it still feels weird to admit that I know that’s what the goal is. But I might employ the “I DON’T WANT TO GO ON A DATE WITH YOU” response if it happens again in such an intimidating manner.

          • Yeah, I never want to be presumptuous and assume that’s what the person’s goal is. So unless he’s straightforward (“You’re pretty, want to go out sometime?”) I don’t feel I have a right to shut him down right away. I much prefer straightforwardness from the guy regardless. This beating around the bush is cowardly and a waste of everyone’s time.

          • “olive creeper dude” – thank you for that, it’s my new favorite saying.

          • olive creeper dude? Thanks for that. It’s going to be my go-to description for creepy guys.

            “Whoa, yeah, he was a total olive creeper dude.”
            “What is an olive creeper dude?”
            “The kind of dude who follows you around a supermarket and then corners you near the olives to try to pick you up. Olive creeper dude.”

            On top of “neon personal Jesus bus” as revelation, people are going to have no clue as to what I’m talking about.

          • gotryit

            “olive creeper” = “emotional frittata”? Sounds gross.

        • Can we add museums to the list? My cousin and I were at the Portrait Gallery last week and someone cornered her and wasn’t taking the hint. We had to take refuge in the courtyard for a while because it was too hard to enjoy the rest of the exhibit with him around.
          Guys, I think a good strategy is to make eye contact and smile prior to approaching a woman. Her response should give you a clue as to whether she’s interested (is it a genuine smile back?) and that way she’s not totally caught off guard. If you can’t make eye contact in the first place I think it’s safe to assume she’s engaged in whatever she’s doing and would prefer to not be disturbed.

          • Most straight guys are too much of emotional frittatas to figure that out. This would require them to accurately read body language and draw accurate, sensible conclusions. You’re expecting way too much of them, LOL.

          • You’re probably right, but I still stand by it. At least the woman knows what’s coming and can prepare a response.

          • Yes, I agree. Give them some sign you’re interested and are probably going to chat them up. Starting an interaction by ambushing a woman is going to make her defensive, not what you want when trying to pick someone up.

      • To be fair, I think any fantasy of “organically” meeting someone in that situation requires mutual attraction. If it’s just the guy imposing himself on the girl with no consideration for her feelings at all, well, no one wants that.

        • justinbc

          Yeah but isn’t that always the case? The advances you get from unattractive guys/girls are almost always viewed through a different lens of scrutiny than those from guys/girls who are your “type”. (assuming you’re single and actually open to it)

      • leftcoastsouthpaw

        I’m going to stand by my statement that if you’re interested in the guy, it is the right time and place. That or the lucky guy found that magic window where you’re at a bar(but not there specifically for girl time) and he was able to walk into you field of vision, catch your attention, smile, get a smile in return, and correclty read the cues from your hand placement and the way flipped your hair.

    • Re: Rant: I feel the same way about going to the gym. I should just start wearing a shirt that says “No New Friends”. I went to a more quiet, secluded area of the gym to do my planks and some asshat follows me back there to say “I bet you come back here so people will leave you alone huh”. Uh yea, you included. Sometimes guys are horrible at picking up social cues.

      • Wow. Why say anything?
        It’s no frills, but I’m pretty happy my current gym is my office gym. It’s free and everyone is a coworker so no one does anything weird or gross.

      • “The vast majority of guys are horrible at picking up social cues.”
        Fixed that for you.
        It’s a numbers game for guys. No more, no less.

    • I tell people the same thing, we have nothing but UCONN basketball in our little state and everyone that lives there is a fan! I am a bit older than you, because it was all about Jen Rizzotti and Kara Wolters when I was in high school and my team went to the UCONN Women’s Basketball camp!

      • I remember that era, it was a lot of fun to watch.
        I’m 5’11” but I walked by Kara Wolters at West Farms once and I was intimidated. She was awesome.

    • To be fair, you didn’t really have professional sports when the Whalers were in Hartford, either.

    • So why be graceful?

      Tell him to back the f&%ck off. Scream at him to leave you alone.

      And then report him to security.

    • I concur on your grocery store rant. I really do not want to be greeted with a greasy “heyyy beaaaaaauuuuuuuutiful” at 8:00 in the morning in the produce section of Safeway. Eye-twitch inducing.

    • Ugh I had the same experience on Sunday! A guy came up to me and asked me where something was, then started chatting and telling me where he was from, and gave me his card and asked for my e-mail… I hateee it. Since he wasn’t being anything more than just friendly I felt like I couldn’t just say “Sorry, don’t want to give it out” (yeah, I need to grow a backbone, just when put on the spot it’s hard!). Grr. When this has happened in the past I’ve told them I have a boyfriend as soon as they ask for my e-mail, but then I’ve had too many experiences where they flip out and say “I’m just being friendly, where I’m from it’s different, American girls are so difficult!” etc and guilt-tripping me.

      He sent an email wanting to get coffee, just ignoring it… I just want to get my groceries in peace argh.

      • Ladies,

        Be direct and make it clear you do not want to interact, but there is no need to curse, scream otherwise act insane just because someone innocently attempts to speak with you. It’s a lonely world and many of us “grocery store talkers” are just hoping to break out of our solitary lives.

        • As a lady, I agree. I don’t do bars — and I appreciate it when a guy takes the risk to approach me. The key, though, is that guys need to assume that an approach out of the blue is likely to be rejected, and just chalk it up to whatever. I’ve had multiple experiences where guys approach me at random, I’m clearly not interested, and their response is “Bitch, so you think you’re too cute to speak…” or something like that. Which totally confirms for me that I was right not to speak, and ruins it for the next guy who really might be nice, since after a nasty encounter, I tend to ignore all of them.

      • I sympathize with not wanting to be rude but really, learn to be rude. Of if not rude, at least direct. A “thank you but I’m really not interested and I’m not going to give you my email/phone number or even my name.” All of us women need to practice.

  • Does anyone know somewhere or someone who is selling cascarones this week? we made a dozen, but I have run out of uses for the actual egg. id like to buy another dozen pre made?

  • Rave: Time to fire up my ice cream maker – I think the inaugural flavor has to be Speculoos Cookie Butter. Perhaps with chocolate espresso beans mixed in.
    Rant(ish): Will need to double up on my gym time

    • I LOVE my ice cream maker. It’s the best thing ever. I’ve been making fruity sorbets all winter long when I needed something bright to eat. Your biscoff ice cream sounds lovely though.

  • Anyone tried Instacart? I have an order ready to go but can’t decide if it’s worth it or not. Some of the stuff seemed pricey, while other items were priced okay, but I think I can save more money with my usual tactic of shopping the weekly sales at Harris Teeter. Then again, the time savings are worth something.

    • Something things are a bit more pricey its true but honestly I think its super worth it! I’ve been doing it for a few weeks since I’ve been low on time and absolutely love it. It literally takes tops 10 minutes out of my day and the different delivery times are useful (delivery from 10-11 on days I don’t get home til 10). I think its very worth it because of the hassle it would be for me to go to the grocery store (esp since I would probably end up going every week or so) but its true that I miss out on deals and such.

    • Sometimes things are a bit more pricey its true but honestly I think its super worth it! I’ve been doing it for a few weeks since I’ve been low on time and absolutely love it. It literally takes tops 10 minutes out of my day and the different delivery times are useful (delivery from 10-11 on days I don’t get home til 10). I think its very worth it because of the hassle it would be for me to go to the grocery store (esp since I would probably end up going every week or so) but its true that I miss out on deals and such.

    • epric002

      if you have the time, compare prices. i used it and peapod and some things were cheaper with instacart, others with peapod. to me doing that is still worth not having to physically go to a grocery store.

      • Peapod’s only for Giant, right? I find Giant to be consistently more expensive than the other stores, so I try to avoid shopping there.

        • epric002

          yeah. what are the other options? i tried safeway’s once they didn’t have most of the products i wanted to buy.

          • I mean Instacart lets you choose between Safeway, Harris Teeter, and Whole Foods, which I’ve found are all cheaper than Giant.

          • epric002

            i guess it depends on what you’re buying. i had my peapod order open and compared prices for a number of items on instacart. some were cheaper at giant, almost nothing was cheaper at whole foods (but they have a better organic selection).

  • Rave!! Saw The Hold Steady at 9:30 club last night, AMAZING show. Still reeling ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Family friend wants to come see the blossoms Saturday, will this be too late? Secretly hoping for a yes, because the LAST THING I want is to go down to see Cherry Blossoms on Saturday.

    • justinbc

      Saturday they should be in peak bloom. Take him/her somewhere else besides the Tidal Basin if you want to avoid that crowd, there are lots of great spots around the city.

      • Suggestions?

        • justinbc

          I’m a fan of both Dumbarton Oaks and the Arboretum, which each have a substantial amount of blooms and far less people.

          • Does the Arboretum have a lot of cherry blossoms? I thought it was mostly azaleas (which bloom later).

          • justinbc

            Oh most definitely. Here’s an excerpt from their website:
            Self-guided Tour: Beyond the Tidal Basin: Introducing Other Great Flowering Cherries
            March 20 โ€“ April 14, 8:00 am โ€“ 5:00 pm (Fridays โ€“ Mondays only)

            When most people hear the words โ€œcherry blossom,โ€ they think of the famous and familiar Yoshino cherry trees at the Tidal Basin. Come to the Arboretum to explore nearly forty different types of flowering cherries and discover the great diversity of shapes, sizes, flower colors, and bloom times these trees feature. Look for three new varieties developed by Arboretum scientists and donโ€™t miss the remarkable weeping Yoshinos. Drive, bike, or walk over several miles of Arboretum roads to see them all. Pick up a brochure in the Visitor Information Center or download one at the Arboretum website after March 15. Free.

          • justinbc

            This album is a bit old (heck I don’t even have a beard in it), but should give you an idea of what to expect:

          • That’s great if you just want to browse a living catalog of different flowering trees, but the thing that makes the tidal basin magical is that it’s nothing but Yoshinos all around.

          • justinbc

            I don’t recall the OP’s quandary specifying a desire for one or the other.

          • I mean seeing flowering trees scattered among non-flowering trees is very different than being surrounded by flowering trees.

          • No good deed goes uncriticized. Thanks for providing an actually good and useful suggestions Justin!

          • I didn’t intend to be critical. It’s a good suggestion but you have to make sure your guests are prepared for a very different experience.

        • anonymouse_dianne

          Kenwood – out River Road – also has gorgeous cherry blossoms with a fraction of the crowd. Growing up every Easter Sunday we had family portraits in Kenwood.

        • Go early in the day and you’ll get nicer light and avoid the crowds at the Tidal Basin.
          Dumbarton Oaks is fantastic, but perhaps not the cherry-blossoms-everywhere-you-turn experience your friends might be looking for.
          Foxhall Village (Foxhall Rd/Reservoir Rd) just west of Georgetown has a ton of trees on the streets – wander the neighborhood.
          Hains Pt is a lot less crowded than the Tidal Basin (no monuments, but the trees should all be in bloom). Capital Bikeshare would be a good way to get around if you and your visitors are up for that.

    • You should, however, take into account the risk that the possible thunderstorms on Friday might knock the blossoms down.

  • Rave: LOVE that picture.

  • Rant: we have been actively trying for 6 months to get pregnant and I am trying to decide whether to see a doctor now or wait (I am 32 years old). I would prefer to go now but most websites say one year. Any experiences you can share?

    • GiantSquid

      My OB said to wait a year. My good friend waited a year and she’s 36. Your odds are better with 12 tries instead of 6.

    • I’m in the same boat as you… + 2 years. I went to see my doc again at 6 months. She gave me a referral to a fertility doc, but encouraged me to wait a few more months. Frankly, if you want to go check in with your doc now, you can. You can decide from there if you want to pursue a more intensive track with a specialist.

      If you have not read Taking Charge of Your Fertility, please do yourself a favor and buy it immediately. So much practical and helpful info can answer a lot of your questions right of the bat and help ensure that your timing is right and you’re really doing all you can on your own before seeking help. I was amazed at how much I didn’t know about my own body – and I’m no ninny.

      Another TTC’er on here recommended the TTC forum on DC Urban Moms. You can see where others have posed a question just like yours and see all the replies.

      Hope that helps. We are not alone. But I know how lonely it can feel.

    • I’m 32 as well and it took us about 5 months – apparently 6 months is “average”. Anyway I got pregnant the month we starting using an ovulation test (not sure if that was the reason, but its worth a shot if you haven’t already)….http://www.amazon.com/Clearblue-Advanced-Digital-Ovulation-Count/dp/B00AOJ5R8W/ref=sr_1_2?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1396973221&sr=1-2&keywords=fertility+predictor+kit

    • 19 weeks here, with 2mmcs…I would try a bit longer and second the OPK recommendation (the Clear Blue one worked for us). With the mmcs, and husband deployed for 8 months, it took total 2.5 years to get to 19 weeks. Are you absolutely positive you’ve been in the same place for all of the six months? The only thing for which I might recommend a dr is a blood test to double check on potential issues (thyroid etc)…Good luck.

    • Do not wait. Go to your doctor, and your husband should get checked out too. 6 months may not seem like a lot of time, but if you end up needing some medical help with fertility every month is precious. I think it is perfectly reasonable to ask for an evaluation of your health. at the least you will have a baseline to refer back to.

      • +1. If you go to a fertility clinic, you will be asked to take dozens of tests that will take you months to complete if you/your partner work full time. The tests have to be done on certain days, at certain locations, and I sincerely wish we had started this 6 months ago. For context, we’ve been trying for 1.5 years.

    • Been trying for 2 years now…posted on here about failed IVF’s. My gyno says don’t worry until after you have been trying for a year. It takes the average couple a year to conceive.

  • Rant: Home buying. So many document to sign. Also, I have no idea what I really need in the way of homeowners insurance. I know they’re trying to sell me a bunch of coverage I probably don’t need, but I have no idea what’s adequate. And the written quote doesn’t explain the different items at all, so I have no idea what I’m getting.

    Rave: Hopefully this time next month all of this will be behind me and we’ll be in the new place.

  • Rant: High level of anxiety today after a tense night and morning with the boyfriend. How can someone speak to you in a way that is unacceptable, then manage to shut you down when you try to stand up for yourself? He has no idea how close he was to me yelling “well then get the f* out.” I’m just about the most tolerant person in the world…to a point. We approached that point this morning. ๐Ÿ™

    • justinbc

      Bummer to hear about that. Are you taking some time to breathe after work before going back to discuss tonight? Or just kind of sweeping it away?

      • We don’t live together – so he was actually griping towards me WHILE he was a guest in my house. I think that’s why it rubbed me even more the wrong way. I am planning to see him socially tomorrow and have had limited texts with him today. I’m sure it’ll be fine tomorrow but I can’t let it go without having some sort of rational discussion about it eventually.

        • Oh boy, I went through the same thing with my bf last week! All I can say is sometimes men get PMS too. If you love him, then tell him it’s not okay to speak to you that way and that a nice gesture is required now, such as flowers or dinner. You forgive him or move on!

          Have you ever talked to him in an unacceptable way in the past and he forgave you? Sometimes it works both ways in the give and take of a relationship.

          • He definitely seems to have some man PMS going on. There is a weird power dynamic. He is very straightforward, almost to the point of being rude sometimes; I am the one the normally smoothes things over. The ONLY time I push back (like last night/this morning) is when he speaks to me in a way that is unacceptable. And by push back I don’t mean yell even, I mean I don’t do what he tells me to do (versus asking me). I am not one to threaten. If I told him to get out last night he probably would’ve been shocked that I was escalating it to that level…but if I said that I would’ve meant it 100%…which is why I didn’t say it.

          • Do you let him know WHY you’re not doing what he asked/told you to do? There’s a lot of room between yelling and not doing what he asked, and that might be the better space to inhabit. Simply not doing something (if that was your response, not clear from the info we have) might not be enough of a cue, maybe he needs a straightforward explanation from you to Get It (“Please don’t use that tone. If you’d like me to do that, ask in more considerate way” or whatever).

          • “If you love him, then tell him itโ€™s not okay to speak to you that way and that a nice gesture is required now, such as flowers or dinner”
            No. No. No. No. This is not how to do it. This translates to “you can be mean to me as long as you make up for it with a nice gesture, such as flowers or dinner.” The message to get across is “it’s not okay to speak to me that way.” Period. If he wants to apologize by a nice gesture fine, but that needs to be his initiative, not your “requirement”.

      • you have to understand that he is a guy, our minds are different. I cant tell you how many times (my first gf, which lasted 3 years) told me that “she was done” only to renact that statement and need more more than ever after. Threatening him by saying get the F out or “i am done” type statements during not very important arguements can lead him to think that its not a serious arguement (even if it is serious this time). If that makes sense

    • “How can someone speak to you in a way that is unacceptable, then manage to shut you down when you try to stand up for yourself?”
      For what it’s worth, this sounds like controlling behavior. Is this a pattern for him, or is it a one-off?

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