Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user ARealSidler

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.

174 Comment

  • Rant: Traffic lights that won’t change to green because I’m not in a car. I try to be a good, responsible cyclist and stop at all stop signs and red lights. But too many lights stay red because they don’t sense a car. From now on, I’m just going to ride through the red if it cycles once and doesn’t turn green for me.

  • Random Q for popville – Has anyone ever had a dress or clothes made by a tailor in town? I’m bringing back some fabric from a trip overseas and would love to have something made. any ideas?

    Rave: good work travel!
    Rant: homesick. πŸ™

    • Try Bits of Thread sewing studio in Adams Morgan. I believe they do custom work like that.

    • Where overseas? In many cases custom clothing would be less expensive or better there.

      • Agree, but often there isn’t time to do this when traveling

        • Yep. I”m getting one thing made here, but coming home too soon to get other things made while I’m still in country.
          Thanks for suggestion of Bits of Thread!

    • ginger root design on u street. i think their prices are fairly high but everyone i’ve talked to who go there love them.

  • Rant: The Gray administration is doing nothing about rat and mouse abatement in Petworth. The alley cat’s I have in my back yard are doing more to control rat and mouse populations than DC Gov.

    Rant: Potholes on my way to work have not been fixed since the last snowstorm, especially the huge growing one by Connecticut & 9th street. I shouldn’t have to tell them about it, everyone knows about it by now.

    Rant: Mosquitoes… They’re back and extremely annoying. They gather in my front yard and repellent doesn’t work at all. strange.

    Rave: Well, at least I’m still alive… :/

    • Have you informed Gray about the problem? You might want to start (the blame) with Ms. Bowser since she’s more on the neighborhood level and can better do something about it. Unless of course you haven’t contacted her yet. Who have you contacted about it? I’ve heard that the rat abatement folks are actually pretty responsive.
      And speaking of, have you contacted anyone about the potholes? I’ve heard that the pothole crews are pretty responsive too.
      But, if you just want to sit around complaining that no one is showing up to fix your problems I guess you can do that too.

    • I was outside a lot this weekend and the mosquitos didn’t bother me much. When I sat outside (a few times, for hours) with a beer and a book, I had a few hover around me but I didn’t get bit at all. And I didn’t use any spray or anything. Maybe they’re just lazy now since it’s the beginning of the season. I’m sure in a week or so I’ll need my deet.

    • Using a fan will keep the mosquitoes away if you’re sitting someplace within reach of an outlet. When I’m working in my garden, burning mosquito coils is effective.

    • Where is Connecticut and 9th? :-/

    • I see neighbors hanging out on their front porches, and I’m puzzled because I’d think they’d be getting bitten. (Maybe they are and it’s not a big deal to them??)
      I don’t know if I’m unusually tasty to mosquitoes, but I don’t dare spend much time outdoors with bare arms and/or legs. I don’t really like using sunscreen or mosquito repellent, so this means that every time I do gardening or yardwork, I wear long pants and a long-sleeved, lightweight men’s shirt over a T-shirt. Even still, the bastards managed to get me on the ankles the other day — I guess I need longer socks.

      • I haven’t had a problem with mosquitos yet. They don’t really like me, but even my girlfriend has not complained aobut them yet and she usually gets chewed up. We’ve been sitting outside most nights too.

      • epric002

        i don’t think they’re as bad when you’re elevated. they can eat me alive in my backyard but when i sit on the front porch i hardly notice them.

      • I sat on the porch drinking a beer last Wednesday for 30 minutes and had 5 bites between both ankles.

      • What blood type are you? Apparently those with A blood type are the least attractive to mosquitoes (O is the a favorite). And… do you drink beer? They love beer people, apparently. How people process lactose and certain acids have an effect.. and carbon dioxide exhalation is apparently a factor….

        Lots of studies going on now about mosquito preferences in humans…. shall be interesting when more is known.

        • Interesting. I don’t drink beer, so that’s out. I don’t actually know my blood type.

          • I don’t know my blood type either! People always seem to be shocked that I don’t know, but I’ve never had a reason to. Even if you know it and you’re in an accident, they’ll still have to test you before giving you any blood, so I figure it doesn’t really matter.

          • I heard they also like people who eat bananas, but I can’t remember if that was from a reputable source.

          • saf

            If you donate blood, it will be on your donor card.

          • epric002

            i don’t either and i want to know! i can’t donate blood (europe in the 80s) and when i last asked my dr they told me my insurance wouldn’t cover it (wtf?!). i don’t remember how much it was going to cost to figure out…

        • I’m f#cked. As my bitten feet and ankles can attest.

          • Me too πŸ™ This explains so much!

          • Heh, me too. Love beer, I smoke, I have stupid high uric acid and I am O+

            Buggers love me.

            One of the reasons I miss my exwife is because they loved her way more than me, so sitting next to her, she got the bites more than I.

        • WHAT???? I am O positive and love me some citra hops……this is making a lot of sense. I can’t believe I didn’t know this!

      • They’re not really biting me yet, but they hang out on my front porch and swarm around the light even though it’s off all day.The bums!. πŸ™

    • A new write in candidate, perhaps?

      Alley Cat for mayor!!

  • Can’t win. Major utility and roadwork outside my office near Dupont, major house-gutting work going on three houses down. I’m apparently destined to spend the summer in a headachey fog of inefficiency.

  • Rave: I had a great mother daughter weekend! My mom has been super stressed about changes at work and requested that I come spend a long weekend with her relaxing, eating, shopping, drinking wine, and I made us go to the gym too. Oh boy did we shop. Probably too much, but she likes to feel like she’s helping and I’ve realized over the years that I should let her feel helpful. She also likes it when I help her shop, so it was mutually beneficial.
    Rave: I got to see a bunch of family too.
    Rave: Another four day week.
    Rant: I have to clean my whole house tonight and cook for a dinner party I’m hosting tomorrow. So much to do in not a lot of time.

    • Time with mom (if you have a good relationship) is so awesome. love it

    • I lost my mom a few years ago, so I am VERY envious of your rave. Cherish every single moment you have with her. There are internet strangers who would love to have had a weekend like yours!

  • Rave: warm early summer nights! the weather is just PERFECT (minus the mosquitos) to sit outside and read or have a cocktail!
    Rant: DC Humidity! Showed up to work dripping in sweat, despite not biking very far at all. Guess Im going to have to start bringing my work clothes and changing into them at work. Ugh.
    Rave: totally, head over heels in LOVE. Its such a crazy feeling, but my boyfriend just makes me so happy, and thinking about him puts a smile on my face!
    Rant: great, amazing, smart female friends who are unlucky in love. I want nothing more than for them to meet someone wonderful and worthy of them!

    • Please share your feelings with your amazing, smart female friends – I’m sure they would greatly appreciate it.

      • houseintherear

        My vote: Share your feelings about how great, amazing and smart they are… they don’t need the part about deserving something they don’t have. Take it from me. πŸ™‚

    • I was just having this conversation with a friend. There are 5 of us in our particular circle – 3 of us are married/engaged and then there are 2 who are (err…were) single. Just 6 months ago, we were having brunch discussing their dismal dating lives, and giving the not-so-helpful ‘he doesn’t deserve you’ and ‘there’s someone awesome out there for you’ – ya know, the words that single people hate hearing and the words that partnered-up people know they shouldn’t say but somehow feel obligated to say. Anyways, cut to 6 months later and 1 has just moved in with a boyfriend and the other is in the midst of a whirlwind romance and just married her guy. Crazy right! Life happens fast!

  • epric002

    rant: spouse gone for over a full week on travel.
    rave: but got so much shit done this weekend! i think he might have to go away for a weekend on a quarterly basis just so i can take care of stuff that piles up otherwise.
    rant: littered chicken bones. the bane of my dog-walking existence.
    rave: dog dropped it when i said “leave it!” this morning. good doggie. got a big treat for that one.
    request: anyone done an alley cleanup/block party before- any suggestions/recommendations on planning it? someone mentioned you can even get a dumpster from the city for bulk items when you do one. do you need a permit?

    • GiantSquid

      Your rants and raves make us kindred souls. I miss the crap out of Mr. Squid when he’s away but I get stuff done because I don’t feel guilty about doing work rather than socializing with him. And UGH, chicken bones. I curse the Popeyes a few blocks away every time I’m wrestling bones out of my dog’s mouth.

      • epric002

        πŸ™‚ he usually only travels for a few days during the workweek, which just isn’t as obvious as being gone for a whole weekend. totally missed having our weekend time together, but omg, SO PRODUCTIVE!!!

    • epric002

      can’t believe i forgot this rave: david sedaris at politics and prose tonight!
      and while i’m at it: 3 tomatoes on the vine, lots of mini yellow squashes, and a bunch of green beans too!

      • Oh this is tempting! The last book signing I went to had a line for hours, but I ended up making two friends that are wonderful πŸ™‚

        How’s the injury? I’ve managed a couple easy runs on my foot. I’m trying to be extra careful!

        • epric002

          me too- sooo tempted! i’ve never been to a book signing, but i just love his stuff. ankle is good, thanks! did the whole weekend sans splint (don’t tell my ortho). i’m thinking that next weekend i can even try a long walk in RCP with the doggie! so jealous that you’re running again- be careful and take it easy!

      • I have three tomatoes too! No squashes yet but the plants are getting huge.
        What has everyone found is the best strategy for keeping squirrels and other wildlife from eating garden produce?

        • epric002

          my yellow squash plant is huge and taking over the whole space. zucchini plant is tiny for some reason, oh, and i have baby cucumbers too! πŸ™‚ i don’t have any good strategies- the squirrels kept eating my strawberries, but now the giant squash plant is overtaking the strawberries. it’s a pretty prickly plant- maybe that’s keeping the squirrels away? or maybe i just cursed myself…

  • Rave: Good date night with Bargirl on saturday
    Rant: WORK – absolutely draining my soul recently, iv had to work long hours, even a few hours over the weekend…i thought this was the public sector (i am not getting paid for these additional hours)
    Rant: So busy i have not had time to apply for many jobs, and the ones i have (that i thought i was really qualified for) i have not heard even a peep back after applying to at least 15 jobs.
    Revel: Off to bonnaroo on wednesday

    • It will pay off, I promise! It took me eight months of applying and thirteen interviews to finally get a bite. You can do it!

    • Nice!!
      enjoy bonnaroo for me
      i was there the past two years but cant do any festivals as of yet because my albow is still pretty banged up (motorcycle accident)
      hopefully i can make a few burns later in the summer

  • Rave: I have a (permanent) job! I’ve been quiet about it here for the past few months because of pending negotiations. I finally achieved my dream of being a government lawyer. πŸ™‚
    Rant: Nada.

  • GiantSquid

    Rant: Called again for jury duty in DC, just over two years from the last time. I don’t mind doing my civic duty but the last experience made me very unhappy/disgusted with some of my fellow DC residents.
    Revel: Finally meeting with fellow BikeDC folks and putting faces with Twitter handles. Really nice folks!
    Revel: If no financial surprises in next two months, evil loan of doom will be paid off. Which means, among many other things…
    Revel: New bike! Went to BicycleSpace this weekend & priced out an All-City SpaceHorse outfitted with racks, fenders, etc. Will still come in at half the cost of the Breadwinner I wanted. I’d rather spend that cash on other stuff, like a bike trip. So excited!

    • Accountering

      I was so annoyed last time I got called. Had a panel at 2:30pm, and was one person away from being picked! If I am going to spend the day and go down there, I want to actually do my civic duty, and not just collect $4!

      Congrats on paying off the evil loan of doom. That is a huge win! I remember the last check I sent to student loans. That was a very happy day.

      • GiantSquid

        I don’t know. I wouldn’t mind not getting picked this time because of the bad experience last time.

        • I’m one of the few who really enjoyed the one time I served. Granted, I got paid my full salary, the commute was way better, and I really didn’t count myself as being very important to my organization back then. The case was terrible, really soul crushing, but the nice things that came out of it were A. justice for the victim and her family, who we met and were very thankful and B. a real sense of community and I had not previously experienced in DC. I met people I never would have met otherwise and we worked hard to make sure everyone was heard. It was a bit of light in a very dark situation.

        • I forgot to ask, what was so bad last time? The subject of the trial? The people you served with? Something else?

          • GiantSquid

            My issue was with my fellow jurors. Many of them brought their own baggage to the trial instead of focusing on the facts of the case, one person kept harping on how it was keeping her from her job and kids and then revealed at the end she had no kids and just didn’t want to be there, the foreman had a super-inflated sense of self-import that ended up getting in the way of deliberations, several just could not grasp the definition of “intent”, and we ended up hung on a case that was pretty clearly possession with intent to distribute. Very disheartening.
            I’m glad when I hear of people having positive experiences, such as the last time Mr. Squid served. I can only hope that’s the case if I’m sat this time.

          • That really is unfortunate. It’s sad to hear that jurors aren’t focusing on the case and or instructions and therefore aren’t actually providing any justice πŸ™

  • Rave: I had an awesome weekend filled with lots of time with friends who have become family.
    Rant: My packed weekend meant that I did not get to catch up on my neglected garden.
    Rave: I get to see my West Coast bestie this weekend. We’re hosting a much delayed wedding celebration picnic for friends. Here’s hoping that the weather is clear and sunny on Saturday.
    Rant: So many last minute details to address. And I’m obsessing about the weather. Oy.

    • KSB

      I’m obsessing about Saturday’s weather too – hosting a 5-year-old’s birthday party so, you know, it’s on the same level as a wedding celebration bash πŸ˜‰ Fingers crossed…

      • Also planning a kid’s birthday party on Saturday. Please, please tell me that the forecast is good? I haven’t checked…

      • I think I’d be more stressed about the five year old’s birthday party than a wedding celebration picnic. πŸ™‚ Fingers crossed and prayers said to the weather gods that we can’t an amazing, sunny but not too hot day!

        • KSB

          We’ll have to regroup on Friday to make sure our collective plans will be moving forward or to discuss our Plan B options! Rain, rain, go away…

    • Haha, I’m the opposite. I have a work event on Saturday, and I’m hoping the weather won’t be great so that we won’t have the full (insane) number of people attending… ;p

  • Rave: Great long weekend…successful real estate closing, fun Jack Johnson concert, always great Alumni event, and relaxing Sunday evening
    No rants πŸ™‚
    Question: Anyone have good recipes to try with garlic scapes? One of the things on my list for the year is to cook with a new ingredient and this might be the one…but I would love to hear any advice/recipe ideas first!

  • Accountering

    Rave: Terrific three day weekend. Personal day on Friday was awesome and necessary, Beauty and the Beast Friday evening was terrific, and wine event on Saturday was a lot of fun.
    Rave2: Mintwood got hammered at said wine event. No clue how, as we pretty much much went to all the same stands. Good work man! The picture of him “sharing” the 50s-ish woman’s umbrella to “stay out of the sun” was tremendous. She seemed to be quite amused.
    Rave3: Went to the pride parade. That was very interesting. Lot of male leg, but enjoyed myself.
    Rave4: Don’t really know how to classify this, so will use gender neutral terms: The person who was walking by themself, holding a sign that said “I may only be 14, but I know what I am, A Man” who was absolutely beaming to be marching, and their proud dad walking behind holding a sign that said how proud he was of them. Warmed my heart to see all the support from parents and families and such. I know that is very often not the case.
    Rant: Back at work, and actually have to work today. Time to close the books on May!
    Rave5: Fun plans this week! Going to be a great one!

    • binpetworth

      I saw that person (in your Rave4) at the parade, too. It just made me smile, along with all the kids and their parents, like the little girl in the wagon with the sign “I love my 2 mommies.” It was such a great affirming event. Proud of everyone who took time out to march.

    • houseintherear

      You say “he,” since the young person was identifying as a man. πŸ™‚ A lil’ friendly advice.

  • Rant: Right on Red does not mean you just go regardless of other traffic coming through the intersection.
    Rant: Do not enter an intersection unless you can safely pass all the way through it.
    Rant: People making U-turns wherever they please with no regard for surrounding traffic.
    Rant: People stopping in crosswalks instead of the stop line.
    Double rant: People who stop past the crosswalk and then decide to back through it to get out of the intersection, usually without looking to see if anyone is crossing.
    Mega Rave: I don’t have to drive to get to work.

  • Rave – Bought a new bike this weekend and I am in looooove! Cycling is so much fun on a bike that actually fits me. I want to bike everywhere!
    Rant – Super sore sits bones today. Hoping the pain will go away as I get used to the new saddle.

    • GiantSquid

      What kind of bike? And yes, your sits bones will get used to it. If doing longer distances with constant riding, consider padded shorts.

      • Good to know this pain is temporary. I got a Specialized Vita Comp, it’s a leftover 2013 model so the price was right. It’s my first nice, grown up bike and I’m so happy with it. πŸ™‚

  • justinbc

    Long Rant/Rave story (apologies): So, for all the bitching that I and others do about the RI Home Depot, I figured I would finally give some props to the one employee there who I’ve ever had a truly positive experience with. We ordered a door from the HD website and had it shipped to the store for pick-up. It was delivered much faster than predicted (great!) but when we went to pick it up they were out of the HD rental trucks. So, since they had no trucks available, they agreed to put it on the “Pro” truck for delivery this past Friday. I was off already that day to have a new skylight and chandelier installed, so I would be able to wait for them all day. They had to ring it up in the system in a weird way, which given their history I was sure would result in some issue, and sure enough it did. By 8PM, with still no door delivery, I called to find out the warehouse had no idea they were supposed to be delivering the door. Never mind the fact they didn’t deliver the random thing the girl had rung up either just to get the paperwork in, they just basically did nothing. The guy told me he would make sure it got done the next day, but to make sure I called in the morning to confirm. When I called on Saturday nobody knew what the hell I was talking about, so I had to go through the whole ordeal again. By about 3PM, after multiple calls back and forth, I finally got in touch with the MOD whose name was Ian, a charming sounding guy with a British (or Aussie, or some other Imperial) accent, who told me “I may not have much in this world, but I have my word, and I promise you that you’ll have your door day.” Sure enough, an hour later the guys were unloading it from the truck and taking it into the house.
    Oddly enough, when we went back to the store yesterday to pick up a new electric lawnmower, we ran into Ian again (this time in person). The store had been out of stock on the model we wanted for the past two weeks, despite showing inventory for that model online for that store. We had to harass one of the workers to actually go look in the back for it (he said “if you leave your number we can call you if we ever find it” … as if I came to the store hoping to take home a product a week later? seriously?), and when he returned with no results Ian was able to give us the next model up ($170 more expensive) for the same price.
    Since we moved to NE a little over a year ago (just before Frager’s burned down), we’ve been to this HD probably 50 times or more, and this is the first employee who’s ever really lived up to the promise of helping out the customer. So if anyone knows this guy, please pass along our genuine thanks for caring about what he does.

    • You might also want to contact corporate Home Depot headquarters with your commendation.

    • I like Home Depot because they have Royal Oak lump charcoal. I ended up buying my firepit at Target because my local HD didn’t have any in stock.

    • epric002

      please call/email his boss/management/regional and let them know what a great job he did!

    • I’ve found the Home Depot service to be dramatically better in the past couple years vs. when they opened. It’s probably linked to their corporate strategy. Their CEO when the store opened was extremely focused on cost cutting and it showed. He was canned and the replacement adjusted their strategy to compete more on the basis of customer service rather than rock-bottom prices. The difference is pretty remarkable.

      • justinbc

        Have you been to the Rhode Island Ave location? I would say your second to last sentence is pretty applicable at most other HDs I’ve been too, but I can’t imagine anyone ever saying that about that particular store.

    • Fraegers is still open – granted spread across a few locations but still same great service – don’t forget about them!

    • Yeah, I usually go to the Hyattsville Home Depot because if I have to rent a car or truck anyway, I might as well go somewhere with semi-decent customer service. But I’d so much rather go to Frager’s πŸ™

  • Rave: can’t wait to go home for 4th of July
    Rave: spending all weekend with funny baby. He’s just so funny and goofy. Usually, anyway.
    Rant: both of us are back at work now, nanny starting. Sad panda. Want to stay home.
    Rant: trying to find jobs back home. difficult to do from here – trying to market DC marketable skills in other areas is a challenge.

    • “trying to market DC marketable skills in other areas is a challenge”. Amen. Finding federal employment in my hometown, even though its a major city, is next to impossible. Trying to translate federal budgeting experience to anything in any private business might be even harder. I just want to be there to celebrate birthdays, to visit when someone is sick or dying. Being so far away is awful, I just need to figure out what my tipping point is between my desire to get back home and the seeming inevitable pay cut and loss of federal employment…

      • To be clear, I don’t really want a fed job (here, or there, frankly) and I’m more marketable at home…but my husband, it’s very DC specific. Granted, what he does could easily translate into other jobs because analysis is analysis and writing good products is a skill that crosses progressions. But it’s very difficult.

      • I’m in the same boat. Once you’re in the federal gov (especially when you reach the higher grades- 12 and beyond), it becomes increasingly harder to walk away from that federal job. I work for an agency that would not have anything related to what I do in the Midwest, hence why I am looking at other agencies HERE that I may use as a springboard for positions in the Midwest later! It is a tough situation. The years go by fast, with cousins growing up and parents/grandparents growing older… There are a lot of people in this area who ultimately want to go home, but are trapped in golden cages.

        • Trapped in a golden cage is exactly how I feel. I’ve got a great job, a condo, a few good friends, etc. and if I could pick my current job up and plop it down at home, life would be great. But that’s just never going to happen.

  • KSB

    Rant: Think I might have a cavity. Overdue for dental visit so this is a kick in the pants.
    Rave: After 37+ years on this earth, this would be my first cavity.

    • Ooh, that’s discouraging. I’ve been patting myself on the back for going nearly 40 years without any cavities. Thought I was in the clear…
      (And you might NOT have one. If not, please update, so I can go back to feeling safe and smug.)

      • KSB

        I will definitely report back (in time – no dental appt on the books just yet.) Not too sure what a cavity feels like but definitely something going on with my lower side teeth/tooth (very technical, I know.) I thought I was in the clear too! Dagger.

  • Rant: Had to drive to Manassas this weekend. Traffic on the way back was horrible, and VA drivers are the worst!

    Rave: Found limes 5 for a dollar at my local Latino grocery store. They’re usually around 10 for a dollar, but that beats 89 cents each at Giant!

    Rave: Silver Spring Blues Festival this Saturday. It’s all day, free and metro-accessable.

  • Rave: Busy weekend in the best possible way. Two Pride parties plus the parade and festival, ballet at the Kennedy Center, viewing the Gary Winogrand exhibit before it closes. Even managed to squeeze in some pool time and an episode of OITNB.
    Rant: Hate air conditioning. It will probably be mid-July before I turn it on at home, but in the meantime I have to suffer with it at work.

    • I’m tired just reading your weekend schedule, lol.
      One hour at the parade and the afternoon at the festival was enough for me.

  • Rant: Morning sickness – made it through the bus ride, but threw up behind a tree as soon as I stepped off the bus.
    Question: I think the morning bus rides would be a little easier if I could sit down, but usually all of the seats are taken on the bus. I don’t look pregnant yet…is there a kind way to ask someone to get up so I can sit down?

    • You can say “I’m in my first trimester and the bus really aggravates my morning sickness.” Or be more vague and ask if anyone could please give up a seat. I think the reception that you will receive depends on what area of the city you are in and how full the bus is. I live in North Petworth/Brightwood and I don’t think I had to ask more than once, but I think that would change the further west/south you go.

    • Just be honest, “I’m having terrible morning sickness. Do you mind if I take your seat?”

      • Or just say youre nauseous if you don’t want to mention the pregnancy. I would give up my seat to someone that’s queasy regardless of the reason.

    • as someone who was visibily pregnant in the heat of July and August, I hope people are more respectful to you than I experienced.

      that said, zofran is an amazing thing – I encourage you to enquire about it. It’s a great medicine to have on hand during pregnancy (and after when your little one gives you thei germs)

      • Yes! Zofran! I’m in the first trimester of pregnancy number two. Last time around, I tried to tough out the “morning sickness” (a misnomer, it lasted all damn day), and ended up in the hospital badly dehydrated. This time I started being sick earlier, and started the Zofran earlier, and am thus far able to keep liquids down.

        It’ll pass. It won’t last forever. I hope you (and I) feel better very soon!

    • I think you’ll need to quietly mention to the person that you’re pregnant and that you’re “not feeling well.” 95% of people will gladly give up their seat, myself included. Unfortunately, we’re not mind readers so if you’re not showing, no one will think to get up for you.

    • Try a dab of mustard as SOON as you wake up, should quell your morning sickness. Congratulations!

  • Yikes – big road trip to Newport RI for niece’s wedding is coming up soon! I’m thinking of driving – 83, 81, 84 – up across Penn. instead of the brutal 95, and maybe stopping overnight somewhere interesting along the way – any suggestions?

    • justinbc

      No suggestions for driving, but I loved the White Horse Tavern in Newport, and Castle Hill Inn was one of the best meals I’ve ever had πŸ™‚

      • I went to a wedding at Castle Hill Inn many years ago, and it was gorgeous. Can’t say I remember the food, though that’s more of a commentary on the open bar than the cuisine.

      • I think the meals will all be wedding related – but I’m definitely hitting up Flo’s clam shack for some full-bellies!

    • I went to college at JMU in Harrisonburg and I lived in central CT, so I did the 81 to 84 drive a lot. I don’t know about the 83 part, but 81 is definitely a pretty drive and is mostly just semi traffic. 84 through CT is far preferable to 95, but even though CT is a predominantly suburban sprawl, there can be a lot of afternoon rush hour traffic. When you hit the CT border there is often almost immediate traffic, though it’s not terrible. Going east through Hartford on a Friday evening can take almost an hour.
      If you are not traveling on a Friday and you love hotdogs and homemade hot relish then you should stop at Blackie’s in Cheshire. What I wouldn’t give for a Blackie’s hotdog. They boil them in oil rather than water, so they split open a little and taste delicious. It’s been there since the ’20s and is an institution, just walk up to the counter and state a number, they’ll give you that many dogs.

    • If you have a yen for really great architecture, and are going slow, duck into the state capitol building in Harrisburg. Built when Philly was the second biggest manufacturing center on the East Coast and and Pittsburgh was booming, it is gobsmackingly gorgeous inside in a sort of Victorian-meets-Arts-and-Crafts way. Really seriously worth a stop.
      And then flee Harrisburg as fast as possible. It is a hole.

    • Troegs brewery.

    • shaybee

      I’m from Central MA, and my parents, when they drive down, usually take CT-15. It runs parallel between 84 and 95 (closer to 95), and they normally pick it up from 91 (south of Hartford) and then connect with 287 around Stamford to take the Tappan Zee. I’m pretty sure there’s also a junction with 95, which runs closer to Newport. It’s a parkway, so no trucks, and they’ve only hit bad traffic once or twice. But, as others have mentioned, anything is going to be bad around rush hours!

      Also, I’m pretty sure my dad has done the whole route you’re thinking of (I just haven’t been with him), so I can ask for you, if you’d like!

      • That’s funny, I’m pretty sure your dad – if he’s anything like mine (or most) would LOVE to tell you all the details of his route! But I will check these – I know I used to take the Tappan Zee when driving to CT or Worcester to visit family.

        Thanks to all for suggestions. I might do the overnight in Scranton – there is a coal mine tour you can do there.

        • shaybee

          You are 100% correct. The one time I drove home, he tried to send me his programmed GPS in the mail with printed out, detailed instructions of how to get home…

          Also, I’m from Worcester!

  • Seriously. I just heard of them for the first time last week and I’m already sick of hearing about them. I’m sure they’re tasty (hey, I love kale) but why is everyone talking about them all of a sudden?

    • GiantSquid

      I’m going to assume you’re referring to garlic scapes. The reason why everyone is talking about them right now is because they are in season for a very limited time and can be hard to find. In the past, by the time I heard about them, I missed the window.

      • That makes sense. But I’ve never ever heard of them before in my life (which at this point is neither short nor sheltered), which is why I’m a little bewildered. I guess you’re never too old to discover new things.

        • I had never heard of garlic scapes until last week either.
          There was also some breakfast-related dish that some people mentioned in the “ideal brunch food” thread that I’d never heard of — shakshuka, or something like that.

    • Scapes are the new ramps — fashionably elitist, refreshingly proletarian and relatively tasty. You simply MUST try some.

      • GiantSquid

        relatively tasty? Au contraire! Universally delicious!

      • “Scapes are the new ramps” – OMG – now I have to make a reservation in the most obnoxious foodie restaurant just so I can be casually overheard using that line!

        Next up – “Haggis is the new Kishka!”

  • pablo .raw

    Rave: My photo on the Daily Dozen of NatGeo :D, the e-mail says my photo is trending.
    I also ask me to send my friends to “vote” for it. I don’t believe in making friends vote.
    What else can I say?

  • Rave: Great dinner at Right Proper Brewing Co. in Shaw on Sat night. Still thinking about the grilled cheese and jalapeno blueberry muffins. Yum!
    Rant: Seriously achy knees today. Feeling pre-arthritic at 30 πŸ™

    • Silly question I know, but can you describe the grilled cheese you got at Right Proper? I had one there when it first opened, and it would have more accurately been described as a sprouts and cucumber sandwich with a cheese spread. I haven’t tried it more recently but am really hoping they’ve changed it to emphasize the cheese and lose the sprouts.

      • Oh, it was totally different than what you described. It was a grilled cheddar and fontina, tons of melty cheese (and no sprouts/cucumbers) You can add bacon and something else I can’t remember, but it was great on its own with a side salad πŸ™‚

  • Rant: The way my apartment is set up, I don’t have any windows in my room, except for a weird window that connects my room to my roommate’s room. Our mode of AC is window units and so the only way I can get any air is if we open the window between our rooms and close her door. This is fine during the day, but not really feasible for at night since we keep different schedules and it would basically be like we’re in the same room. I have a ceiling fan and a pretty powerful desk fan that run pretty much 24-7, but at this point they’re just blowing around hot air. Even though it’s not even consistently hot yet, I’ve been up all night sweating and woken up with a headache from the heat in my room for several days now. To make it worse, as soon as you go from my room into the hallway it feels instantly 10 degrees cooler. Is there anything I can buy to cool down my room? I’ve looked in to portable AC units but they all seem to require some kind of window to drain water out of.

    • epric002

      google wall AC units. pretty expensive, but may want to bring it up with your landlord?

    • If the hallway is cooler, position a stand fan in the doorway to pull in the cool air. Yes, it means leaving your door open, but it’s better than tossing all night in a sweat.
      Also, maybe request an arrangement that the last person to go to bed opens the connecting window, and the first person up closes it.

    • Is your roommate in a converted sunroom/porch and yours is a bedroom that’s adjacent to the sunroom?
      You can get a portable A/C unit that drains into an internal reservoir rather than out a window, but they’re supremely annoying to use. (I had one for a while when my air conditioning was broken, and in the height of summer, it would shut off every two hours when the reservoir filled, so I’d have to wake up, take the reservoir to the sink to empty it, and put it back in the unit.)
      I think the main thing with portable A/C units is that they require a window for the exhaust — they exhaust hot air, and if you don’t have a window, that hot air is going to exhaust in your room.
      When does your lease run out? I’d recommend moving, despite the hassle factor. (It doesn’t sound like your “bedroom” is a legitimate bedroom anyway.)

    • If there’s no exterior window, then this isn’t even a legit bedroom.
      Your landlord will (rightly) say that no one should be living in this room and tell you to deal with it on your own.
      Usually those portable air conditioner units have a removable water catchment that you need to empty by hand on a daily basis. That would probably be the OP’s best bet. You could also run the drainage hose into a bucket and empty that everyday.

      • pablo .raw

        I agree, it shouldn’t just have a window but a window with the proper dimensions so that (goddess forbid) there is an emergency, firefighters can access it and rescue you.

      • This. I lived in a basement apartment where our third roommate had a bedroom with a “window” to the hallway. We always thought that window was awkwardly placed there just to comply with laws regarding windows and bedrooms. But the reality is, that window wouldn’t have helped had there been a fire, etc… Our landlady was definitely on the sketchy side, but we were young 20 somethings who didn’t know better, and the rent was cheap.

    • Can anyone recommend one of these interior AC units? I have a slightly different issue – I want to cool off kitchen and dining room in an apartment with a window unit in the living room. So having to empty the tray is not an issue, but all of the ones I was finding last year still needed a hose going out the window….

  • Rave: Thai X-ing and introducing friends to Thai X-ing.
    Rave: couple of nice beers at Right Proper after Thai X-ing. I’ll need to grab a growler soon.
    Rave: threw a party Saturday. No injuries, drama, or fires.
    Rave: NBA Finals and a delicious Old Fashioned.
    Rant/rave: I kinda want to buy some N gauge model train stuff, but I feel like I have too many hobbies and not enough focus.

  • Rave: Got a lot accomplished over the weekend, especially on Saturday.
    Rant: Was exhausted on Sunday as a result.
    Rant: Neighbors who can’t be bothered to mow the grass/weeds in their front yards and/or treeboxes. Also, neighbors who can’t be bothered to pick up litter from the sidewalk/treebox area in front of their houses.
    Rave: Things blooming.

  • Rant: Jury duty!

    Rave: It ended today after 3 1/2 days and unlike many of the above it was a positive experience! What a bright, focused and fair group of folks! It made me very proud to live in DC.

    Rave # 2: DC Vice squad, particularly a female undercover agent. She went into the laundry room of any apartment build rumored to be hosting drug sales. She opened someone else’s washer and called her boy friend (actually her cop partner) and screamed at him that he had mixed in colors with whites. While she put on this performance she saw two drug deals go down. That woman was so ballsy, and also hilarious. The jury loved her.

    Rant #2: the public defenders. I felt sorry for the two defendants who had these bozos defending them.

  • Rave: Lillies and magnolia blooming now.
    Rant: This basically means the last flowers until the Fall.

  • Does anyone know anything else about the body found in Rock Creek last week? Seems like the press hasn’t reported on it since Friday.

  • One additional rave: I’m participating in a beer pong tournament this coming weekend and the email chain just keeps getting funnier. This is mainly because my partner (who I have only met in person once or twice…we were randomly paired up) manufactured a text conversation between the two of us where I chided him for not bringing his “A” game. First, I don’t usually talk shit about anything, and second, it DEFINITELY wouldn’t be beer pong πŸ™‚ But the responses make it sound like we’ll have a fun group (and a subsequent flip cup tournament for all the early losers.) Fingers crossed for decent weather Saturday πŸ™‚

  • Rant: Just found out boyfriend is leaving this weekend to go home to Seattle for the rest of the summer for an internship. It’s a great opportunity for him, I’m happy for him and he needs it, but I had no idea it might happen so I was pretty blindsided when he told me. Sigh. I hate long distance, though at least it is just 2-3 months… And I wanted to do so much fun stuff with him this summer!
    Rave: He told me there will be other summers to do fun stuff, so that’s a good sign at least. And we’re hanging out a lot until he leaves.
    Rant: Have been very unhappy with my group house, so I’ve been spending most of my time at his place. So much for that now, and can’t afford to move out either. Darn DC prices and low paying job…

    • He didn’t tell you he was applying for internships across the country??? This seems like like a red flag to me.

      • I think it was the only one – he’d mentioned they were seeing if he could do some telecommute work. I probably should’ve realized they might’ve needed him to actually go there though! He was mostly looking in DC, and he really wanted to stay here, but I think he left it a bit late for trying to get a law internship here…

    • I’m sorry about your boyfriend leaving. I know long distance relationships are tough, but like you said, merely temporary! Promise yourself you won’t pass up on activities you want to do because he isn’t in town; I have a habit of saying “no” to activities if I know my husband can’t come, even though I really have no good reason for not going with another friend instead. Doing fun things will make the summer pass by much quicker. πŸ™‚

      • Yeah, and I did long distance for 2 1/2 years before – it’s just never fun, lol. But I do plan to try and stay really busy with friends. Last summer (before I met him) I kept super busy, hopefully I’ll be able to do a repeat of that!

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