Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

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Photo by PoPville flickr user philliefan99

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.

318 Comment

  • Rant: Feeling pretty groggy still.
    Rant: The chain on our toilet broke and since we have about a month til move-out, I’m not sure if it’s worth getting fixed. We’ve just been using a hanger to pull it up to flush the last day or so.
    Rave: Driving south on Connecticut between Nebraska and Cathedral felt so luxurious at 9:15 this morning. This is a drive I hadn’t done before, and it was so nice having four lanes to choose from! I think I only hit one or two red lights too.

    • On the plus side, toilet things tend to be pretty easy fixes. It might be worth it for a month’s worth of convenience.

      • Is that the sort of thing that the landlord should cover or is it the expectation that we do it ourselves? (fwiw, we don’t have a lease or anything to refer to and the toilet will be replaced in the renovation)

        • As a landlord I will tell you it is my responsibility to fix anything in the apartment that breaks from normal wear and tear and not negligence on your part. This would fall into the former category I assume and therefore would be the landlord’s responsibility (and best interest) to fix.

          • justinbc

            Agreed, this is something I would fix for my tenants.

          • Can you tell I’m used to very very very hands-off landlords?

          • Well you have to inform LL that there is a problem with toilet! this can lead to water running constantly, which would then drive up water bill etc….

          • justinbc

            I always ask that my tenant inform me of any sort of maintenance problem, big or small. Some things they might think are insignificant problems might be indicators of more serious issues, and some “simple fixes” they might wind up screwing up royally causing a bigger fix by me down the road.

        • Accountering

          Knowing the issues you are worried about, I would NOT rock the boat over a broken toilet chain. Go on Amazon, find the part, order the part. It should cost you all of $5.

          • I don’t think my other roommates care about rocking the boat (they’re being a pain in the ass in other ways that I haven’t even mentioned here), but I’m trying really hard not to. For now, the hanger is working.

          • saf

            Amazon? Local hardware store will have it.

        • Absolutely the landlord’s responsibility – also coming from a landlord. It shouldn’t be a difficult fix, nor expensive. That said, if you’re having other difficulties with landlord-tenant relationships, it’s also super cheap & easy to do yourself if you’re so inclined.

    • I’ve fixed those myself, the chain costs like $5 and it takes 2 minutes to fix. Probably worth it for a month of a hanger pull!

    • This happened to me once and I used a large paperclip to thread the two pieces of chain back together temporarily. It’ll last until the paperclip rusts apart – about 6 months – but if you’re getting to the end of the lease, it’s a good quick fix.

      • That may be easier than dealing with the landlord.

        • Accountering

          I also have used a paperclip. I would not waste time (or goodwill) contacting the LL. Pull off the top, and figure it out :)

          • Thank you! I’m just trying to stay on everybody’s good side and can tolerate a little inconvenience. Doesn’t mean it’s not worthy of a rant line though.

          • Accountering

            Of course. I was not trying to go in on you in the least. Just giving my opinion, and saying I believe in you – random (mostly!) internet poster, and your ability to fix this problem. Your stronger than you think (isn’t that what the iPhone 5S commercial says haha!)

          • Hah, sorry that wasn’t supposed to be a rant to you. I’m slightly pissy with Anonymous a few down who told me to “deal with it”.

        • If it makes you feel any better/more confident, I don’t know how to fix anything, and even I was able to fix the chain thingy. If i can do it, you definitely can!

      • I can’t remember where you live currently, but even small local hardware stores will carry the chain if that’s easy to get to. I’ve never used a paperclip, but could see that working just fine, especially for a month. I had forgotten your landlord issues in my recommendation.

        • I honestly don’t have any problems with my landlord (he gave us 4 months, informed us that we have the right to move back in, is letting me let people tour the house before the renovations are complete to find roommates, etc.). I guess my only big issue is the uncertainty of the rent and timeline (which should be fine if I have a month-to-month lease). But my roommates are trying to get additional concessions from him when I just don’t want to cause any ill will when I’m trying to move back in. The toilet issue is just a minor annoyance that I can deal with for a month.

      • I have used a safety pin before and it lasted for months as well.

    • Good heavens, that little chain is less than $2 and 30 seconds to install. Deal with it.

      • True, but if you’re not experienced, even little fixes seem daunting. I only know these things are easy because I’ve done them before. Sometimes people need a little information and encouragement.
        .
        For anyone else out there without much in the way of handy-type experience, there’s a GREAT book that we’ve used many times since we bought our house: Dare to Repair. I can find the authors/amazon link if anyone’s interested. Very easy to read/figure out and deals with a lot of common fixes around the house (and some not-so-common ones).

        • Thanks for posting this! For most of my adult life, I’ve lived in apartments with great supers and wonderful maintenance staff. I’ve never learned the fix-it secrets of homeowners. This book sounds like a wonderful resource!

          • I JUST saw that book for sale at the SE Library and was considering buying it (but then I decided I can just Google instructions when I need to fix something). If you wait around for the next book sale and no one’s taken it already you can get it for $1!

          • Glad to help! We give it to all of our friends when they buy their first house as part of a housewarming present. I don’t know where my wife originally found it, but it’s awesome.

        • I once subletted an apartment with a rommate where we had separate bathrooms. At some point one of the cheap plastic drawer pulls had broken off in my bathroom, and I’d been planning to fix it before I moved out. One day she noticed it and paid a contractor $150 to fix it, and had the nerve to take the expense out of my security desposit when I moved out. This is something that required a $5 purchase, a Phillips screwdriver, and two minutes of my time. I couldn’t believe it. Some people just think anything that needs to be done requires a call to a professional.

          • Accountering

            How the hell did this cost $150? I really don’t understand how just showing up costs $150 for these guys.
            .
            I would have lost my mind over this one, especially if she tried to charge me for it.

          • Funny you should mention that! I’m VERY proud of my first project which was replacing all of the knobs on the kitchen cabinet doors and drawers. I’ m stuck on the closets though because they have folding doors and I can’t figure out how to get my hand and the screwdriver in between the folded doors to remove the knob. :-(.

          • Blithe, have you tried one of those short, stubby screwdrivers? Or moving enough stuff out of the closet that you could get in there, semi-close the folding door, and work on it from the inside?

          • Textdoc: Thanks for the suggestions! The problem is that it’s a shallow cupboard and the folding doors are on top and bottom tracks. The left side is shelves and there’s a narrow broom closet area on the right. The broom closet area is too narrow for me to squeeze into. The other cupboard is all shelves. So your suggestion re: working from the inside worked well for the closets large enough for me to fit in. With the two cupboard/closets, the screws are too tight for me to remove by hand — they just spin in the holes. I will see if I can find a stubby screwdriver though! I’ll post it as a major Rave if ever I get it sorted out!

          • Blithe, you don’t have to turn the screw from the screw-side (i.e. the inside) – it will also work if you just hold the screw still and turn the knob on the outside. So maybe you can get a small screwdriver, and just get your arm inside enough to put the screwdriver in the screw and hold it still (maybe even use the folding doors to help wedge the screwdriver in place. Then turn the knob on the outside to unscrew. You might be able to get better leverage that way instead of turning the screwdriver from the inside.

          • Thanks Anonymous 2:57! I appreciate your help! I think that finding a small enough screwdriver will be key. My search is on!

          • Just occurred to me, is it a philips-head screw or a flat-head screw? If it’s a flat-head, you can just use the blade of a kitchen knife or something similar to hold the screw still while you turn the knob on the outside. That might not work if it’s a philips-head but still, anything you can stick in the screw to hold it still might do the trick.

          • Anon 2:57 – I’m not sure — since I can’t actually see the screw. As the door opens, the V shape of the two doors narrows. I can just squeeze my hand around inside the narrow V to touch the screw. My guess is that it’s a Phillips head. The kitchen knife won’t work for the same reason that I couldn’t use the screwdrivers that I have: it would be too long to fit in the narrow V space. It doesn’t seem worth it to go through the expense of having the doors taken off the tracks just to change the knobs – and I’m scared to try it myself. If I can find a very short screwdriver though, then I can try turning the knob while I hold the screw. It’s made me wish I had sandpaper covered fingers to hold the screw!
            Thanks MUCH for helping me with this conundrum!

          • In case you check back – try using a clothespin, or binder clip or….what else would MacGyver try? to hold the screw. Pair of needle nose pliers? Vice grips?

      • Simply listing something as a rant does not mean I think it’s an enormous hardship. I have dealt with it. Thanks.

  • justinbc

    Rant: Tried the new Micho’s place on H Street last night, it was so disappointing. Walking in it’s a sweatbox, failing (or no) AC, no fans, not properly vented, just intolerably hot. The flavors of the meat were decent, kafta much better than the shawarma, but they forgot part of our order (fries, the only side that’s not premade). They tried to make some for us since none were ready, but forgot to season them. After requesting seasoning, we tried them and they were completely undercooked, all rubbery and stuck together. We got our money back for them, but not the tax paid just the face cost. Amazingly even the pita was cooked improperly and felt like eating leather. So many fails…

    • Wow, I wouldn’t’ve even bothered if the temperature was that uncomfortable.

    • Agree totally. Very disappointing, food is just “ok”, and portions are small. Would have rather had a CAVA there.

    • SusanRH

      I completely agree, I so wanted to like this place, but is was pretty terrible. It was boiling hot inside, the shawarma pita was so dry not sauce at all, and the fries were pretty soggy.

  • Rave: Golfing this weekend, Saturday and Sunday

    Question: I want try one of the 3 DC public courses Sunday, which one is the best and any tips/notes/favorites from those who have played them?

    • Personally, I think Langston is the best of the three. Rock Creek is undeniably the worst (super narrow/hilly/terrible condition). If you are an early riser, I highly suggest getting a tee time at Langston between 7-8. In my experience surprisingly few people go out early. Walk 18 if possible. The back 9 is the best 9 of any DC public course in my opinion. Enjoy!

    • No experience with Langston but East Potomac is certainly better than Rock Creek, though usually far more crowded.

      • Yes, I found that Rock Creek is completely open Saturday and Sunday morning and has their “Summer Discount” for sunburned greens (do they not water?) which means I’ll plan to wait until later this fall or next spring to play them.

    • Played Rock Creek a week ago and it was the worst course I’ve ever played. Many of the tee boxes are under repair, so they have artificial mats to hit off of. The greens are awful. Cart paths are disintegrating and bordering on dangerous. I’ve only played the front at Langston, but it was pretty good and more interesting than East Potomac . Apparently the back nine is even better and is along the river. East Potomac is decent, but nothing special. I’ve often had extremely slow groups in front of me, which can make for a long round. If you can get on at Langston, I’d recommend going there.

  • binpetworth

    Rave: Actually bit the bullet and decided to buy the $700 table I’d been pining for. Have been trying to wean myself off of the cheap IKEA/Target stuff and accumulate pieces that last. It gets delivered today!

    • justinbc

      Good decision, quality furniture makes such a huge difference.

    • squish

      Where did you end up buying from? We’re on the lookout for a table and can’t find a table with enough interest + functionality that we can justify spending hundred of dollars on :-)

      • binpetworth

        Room and Board. I did a lot of comparison shopping, and even went to a few antique/vintage stores. My problem was finding something that was proportional to the space I want to put it in. R&B was a good fit, and I liked that I could order it in different stains.

      • We got a new one from wayfair a few months ago and loved it – it’s small enough for our place, with a genius butterfly leaf. We know it’s not going to be an heirloom, so while we loved the stuff at room and board (loved!), it was a good option for now.

    • We’re debating buying a $600 sofa. I’ve never bought furniture before in my life, so that $600 is a big deal and I’m dragging my feet about making a decision.

      • do yourself a favor and Save up an additional $1500 a get a quality couch that will last a good time.

        • It’s an antique Victorian chaise that’s in great condition. Seems like it’s already proven it can hold up well. :)

          • Ooh love it! I say go for it. We are also currently in the market for a Victorian settee or love seat to use as a banquette at our dining room table. Where are you getting yours? I’ve had some trouble finding something that I wouldn’t have to reupholster (which I’m sure I’d never get around to doing).

          • Not really sure what the “going rate” is for an antique Victorian chaise, but $600 sounds reasonable to me if the upholstery, springs, etc. are in good condition. My understanding is that reupholstering is usually so expensive that it’s cheaper to buy a new sofa, and dealing with springs, etc. is trickier than refinishing wood.

          • SFT

            Wow, $600 for a couch is pretty cheap, actually. If you’ve found a good one for that amount, don’t drag your feet, I can’t imagine that it will be on the market for very long!

        • I don’t think this is helpful advice for someone struggling to justify a $600 sofa.

          • Is $600 cheap or something? It’s secondhand, but very unique, with really beautiful ornate carving in the wood. We don’t like modern furniture (sorry Room and Board fans), and Victorian stuff that’s in good condition can be hard to come by.
            I asked someone what he thought of it, and he thought I should only be paying $200-300, but this would be the equivalent of a month’s rent for the guy so he has a different perspective.
            I think the bigger problem than the quality is that it’s kind of wide for the room we want to put it in.

          • justinbc

            It’s all relative. If it’s something you genuinely like and it’s in your style, who cares whether someone else thinks it’s “cheap”?

          • If you’re talking about a brand new sofa that you’re buying in a furniture store, yes $600 is on the cheap side and you will get something just that- cheap. If you’re talking about a gorgeous antique that you’re getting from a shop or maybe craigslist, I think $600 is probably a bargain (depending on the condition of course). Antique furniture is going to be way better quality than anything in a new furniture store and it’ll be unique!

        • I dunno. We bought a couch from Macy’s that was $600 – made in the US. We have had it for 5 years now and it still looks great. I do sort of wish that I had paid the extra money for Scotchguard but once I figured out that I could actually wash the cushion covers (even though it says you can’t) even that wasn’t a big deal.

      • GiantSquid

        We bought our first matching living room sofa and loveseat a few years ago from Room & Board. They’ve held up really well with normal wear and tear from two adults and two small dogs. The sofa is incredibly comfortable to nap on. When we visit my brother’s house, the one that received the old, hand-me-down sofa, I sit on it and am reminded what a smart move we made.

      • I think $600 is worth it. We spent a little more than that on our first big non-Craigslist/Ikea furniture purchase together. We went and tried every couch in our price range at Crate and Barrel, West Elm, PB, Macy’s, etc. then decided to go check out Belfort Furniture our in Sterling– highly recommend for anyone in the furniture market. They have a great warehouse as well as higher end options.

        • +100 for Belfort furniture. Bought a custom sectional and bedroom set from them and couldn’t have been happier with the service and quality of the pieces.

        • I never made it to Belfort when I was sofa-shopping, but I first heard of it when I was in the market for a sofa and was admiring a friend’s and asked where she got it.
          .
          I found a sofa I liked at RoomStore and ordered it for the online price of $730ish including delivery… only for the company to go out of business between the order date and the scheduled ship date. I didn’t feel like starting all over again and waiting weeks and weeks, so I got an IKEA Karlstad sofa from Freecycle, thinking I might use it just as a temporary measure. But I ended up liking it (I replaced the slipcovers) and kept it.

          • Oh! I am thinking about a Karlstad sectional, but I thought the seat cushions were kind of hard. How do you feel about them as they wear?
            If I do make the move I am going to get some awesome mid century modern looking legs from Uncle Bob’s and also tuft the back cushions. I picked up a torn seat cushion cover in the as-is section for $5 when I was thinking about getting some sort of swatch to check out the color at home, so I have more than enough fabric to cover the buttons.

    • Emilie504

      Congrats! It’s always fun to get something you’ve been pining for.

  • Rant: I’m the only woman in my office and despite being the most senior in my position, I’m constantly asked to do things like make tea, restock the fridge, etc. that none of the men are ever asked to do.
    Rave?: This is motivating me to apply for new jobs.
    Rant: Men at bars who can’t take no for an answer. “Sorry, I’m not interested” should not be met with “Oh, but you are. I can tell that you’re interested deep down.” What.
    Rave: Going to a beer festival on Saturday. Can’t wait for the weekend!

    • justinbc

      Men are bad enough without alcohol influencing their personalities. That’s a pretty bold / idiotic response though.

    • I hope men at beer festivals are more civilized than men in bars!

    • squish

      Are you going to Drink the District? Have you gone before? I’m interested, but had a bad experience at the NoMa beer event and am hesitant to drop $30 on a ticket (today’s Groupon)

      • I am! But I’ve never been before so I can’t really advise one way or another. :/ What happened at the NoMa beer event??

        • squish

          Loooong lines. Lots of breweries ran out of beer by the time you go back in line for your 2nd. Food options were lacking, ticket process at the door was a mess, and the event just seemed poorly planned.
          .
          Would love to know if others have been to Drink the District before, and how it was!

        • I went to Drink the District wine festival and it was fantastic. Incredibly easy to get in, short lines with plenty of stock and good activities. That said, I was at the afternoon one so they might run out at night (?) and all the people pouring were doing it for free tickets to the evening event so they were sober, the reverse might not be the case.

          • See, I also went to DtD wine festival (a month or so ago) and it was awful! Just not my cup of tea (or wine) to boil alive on blacktop outside for little dixie cup sized wine samples that weren’t even free.

          • See, I also went to DtD wine festival (a month or so ago) and it was awful! Just not my cup of tea (or wine) to boil alive on blacktop outside for little dixie cup sized wine samples that weren’t even free.

      • skj84

        Oh that’s bad to hear. Im going to Drink the District on Sat as well. Hopefully they learned from past mistakes.

    • You shouldn’t have to do this, but the fake wedding ring works wonders. I wear one a lot when I go out so I don’t have to explain that I have a boyfriend.

      • It really depends on how old you are. I used to do this when I was in college and it didn’t deter men in the least. I think they probably could tell I was too young to be married and was just putting them on. Now that I’m in my early 30s and wear a legitimate ring, it definitely works a lot better.

        • Yeah, I’m mid 30s and, while it doesn’t seem to deter guys from coming up and talking (guessing they either don’t see the ring or don’t care), it does provide a very easy excuse when they start the spiel.

          • justinbc

            Most guys probably don’t even look before approaching. I know when I was single and saw someone attractive sitting alone I wouldn’t try to find the right angle to see if her finger might have some bling on it. It’s much easier to talk, and then if necessary be told otherwise. (I also never used pick-up lines either, so maybe there’s a difference there.)

      • Hmm. When I wear rings on my ring finger I’ve noticed MORE interest from guys — not less. My working conclusion is that the guys figure if I’m “taken” and still play around, they won’t have to take me out, spend any money, spend time on the phone, or do any of the things it takes to maintain a relationship. Gah!

        • justinbc

          This happens to guys too. When I used to be married and in the wine sales business I had women (mostly older) hitting on me constantly, way more than when I was actually younger and single, wanting to “take me away” etc. I think it’s the idea that a man with one woman to keep happy sure as hell can’t keep up with a second, so they can have NSA fun.

    • Smilla

      Gah, your first rant is a huge pet peeve of mine. It’s so sexist. Have you ever said anything? Some people might not even be aware of their sexism, though in this day and age, they should know better. Of course, if you do say something, you run the risk of being accused of “not being a team player.”

      • I’ve said something a couple times but it’s usually just met with a blank stare. Once I even got a “joke” about how women whine too much and that’s why we don’t have any others in the office. Oh god, I need to quit.

        • GiantSquid

          That’s awful. I’d be much less polite with my responses. “Got hands? Do it yourself!”

        • justinbc

          I’m guessing you don’t work for the government. This would have EEO written all over.

          • I don’t. I’m a journalist and I work for an Asian publication so it’s really entrenched in the culture (both of journalism and this particular country). Not that it excuses anything!

    • Emilie504

      Good luck on the job hunt!

    • You don’t need to apologize for your lack of interest. You’ll make a stronger statement if you simply say “I’m not interested” and be sure your body language is sending the same message

    • skj84

      Men who won’t take no for an answer are the worst. Especially the ones who get belligerent when you turn them down. The world does not owe you a woman buddy!

  • thatnewplaceon14th

    Revel: I never thought I’d say this, but I started meditating (10 mins a day) last week, and it’s really helped my anxiety
    Revel: It’s not disgusting outside!

  • Rave: Tubing this weekend!
    Rant: DMV. QUESTION for POPVILLE! I have to get my out of state car registered in dc. (Been avoiding this for years, used to park in an underground lot). Can anyone give me a little advice, which i cant seem to figure out because the DMV website has contradictory information? Do i need to go to the INSPECTION STATION before I go to the regular DMV to get all my registration paperwork? Or do I go to the DMV first, and then they send me to the inspection station? Thanks!

    • I believe you go to the inspection station first, as you can’t get your car registered without it being inspected. At least that’s what I had to do when I bought my (used) car.

    • Transferred my car over to DC last year. Is the title already in your name? Then it’s easy. Step 1 – switch your car insurance over to DC and get your proof of insurance. Step 2 – go to inspection station first thing in the morning on a weekday when it’s not too crowded and get car inspected. Step 3 – go around the corner to the SW DMV with your new proof insurance and your DC inspection and transfer title, register car, pay for the inspection, get your residential permit parking (if needed), and get your new DC license in all one visit. They give your new DC plates right there. The key is to make sure you have ALL the correct paper work. Read the DMV website very carefully. Double check the DMV website. Then check again before you ago. If you have all the paperwork and documents, then it’s relatively painless. Good luck!

      • THANK YOU! so clear and helpful!

        • I’ll just add that you can make an appointment for the inspection station, which has worked well for me in the past. When you arrive, you just drive up to the front of the line (if there is one) and tell them you have an appointment.

      • Yep. Last time I did all this on a Saturday morning and it only took an hour– the SW DMV and inspection station are surprisingly efficient.

        • Accountering

          Just want to echo this sentiment. This is one area where DC kicks the crap out of Virginia. Our DMV experience is WAY better than theirs.
          .
          The people who have a problem with DC DMV are people who were not capable of/did not want to go online, and ensure they brought all the requested documents. If you have everything you need, it is an extremely smooth process. The website it quite clear about the requirements as well.
          .
          As a comparison point, I showed up at 5:30am to the Merrifield DMV to get my learners permit, and still waited 6 hours until I got seen.

          • Oh hell yeah. I’m the person above, who moved here from NoVA 4 years ago. When I moved from DC to NoVA 7 years ago the same process somehow took the entire summer(I’d be there every Saturday, for most of the day, and sometimes weekdays, and also had to make some phone calls to the headquarters and fax stuff). Every time I thought I was close to getting the license/registration switched over there would be some new complication. There are a lot of reasons I’d never move back to VA,but that’s a big one.

      • Step 2 should be get an appointment at the inspection station – they take appointments and it makes it SO much easier than having to get there really early or wait in line :)

    • I just did this. NY to DC. Here goes:
      Get car inspected. Do not go at lunch time.
      Get DC insurance. Have insurance begin the day before you go to the DC DMV.
      Go to Georgetown. I was 3rd in line 15 minutes before it opened and waited in an air-conditioned lobby. (Do not argue with me!) Yes, you’ll have two policies open. When you get home from the DMV, cancel old policy.
      At the DMV, also get DC license because you can’t register a car in DC without that.
      The website says exactly what you need to bring for registering, DC license, and don’t forget the inspection receipt.
      The most frustrating part was trying to get all those docs in order. I brought more than I needed, just in case.
      You will get DC plates on the spot, as well as a paper license.
      Not sure what other states’ requirements are, but in NY I had to mail in my old plates and wait for the receipt from them, which I had to send to the old insurance to officially cut ties. I just received the receipt. It was exciting.

      Oh! And for the love of god be sure to put your registration sticker on immediately. I couldn’t get my old one off so I put it on the dash overnight. Got nailed with a $50 ticket which I tried to contest. They took no pity.

      That’s it! (I think.) Good luck.

      • As per NY law, I couldn’t cancel the old policy until they received the plate receipt from the NY DMV. That’s why I had to have two policies open for a day. And getting proof is easy- you can print out the card from the new policy’s website immediately. Just be sure to ask what your state’s requirements are.

      • PDMtP

        Also, check the document requirements for a new DC license on the website VERY carefully. They just changed (ID, plus two forms of proof of DC residency, plus proof of your SSN), and while I had everything I needed I saw a number of people get turned away.

  • Rant: Spending five days in Mobile/Gulf Breeze Alabama, with no idea where to get a decent meal in either place.
    .
    Rave: Surely PoPville has some informed opinions on this matter.

    • I’m from around that way, and if you like fresh seafood you’ll be in heaven. I haven’t been to Mobile in at least 15 years, but there used to be tons of little mom and pop seafood restaurants. You’ll pass them everywhere! Just google fresh gulf seafood and you should get lots of good recommendations!

      • I tried Googling and am eager to fish out, but I’m worried that I’m going to stumble into the SW Waterfront Phillips Crab House of Mobile — all grease and tourists. But, I will will look harder and try to read between Yelp’s lines.

    • justinbc

      There is a Dreamland BBQ in Mobile, which is one of the better representations of Alabama’s style of BBQ. Outside of that, sorry I got nothing.

    • Gulf Breeze, FL? My parents live there – beautiful spot, great beaches, can’t help with restaurant recs though.

  • Rave: Going to Chicago for the weekend for one of my best friend’s wedding!

    Question: How can you clean a suitcase? My carry-on is pretty dirty and am not sure how to clean it. Should I take it to the dry cleaners? DIY solution? Thanks!

    • Emilie504

      Cleaning the inside or outside or both? what’s it made out of?
      .
      Have fun in Chicago!

      • The outside! I’m planning to put fabreeze in the inside :)

        • Emilie504

          For my tweedy suitcase I just use disinfecting wipes, and don’t really care if it stains. For the leather bag I just use a damp cloth, but it never gets very dirty.

    • Carefully try dawn dishwashing liguid on a washcloth to spot clean, or resolve upholstery cleaner. I’d try this on a small inconspicuous spot and check it the next day before doing more. I’m assuming that this is a cloth suitcase. What’s it made of? Key to cleaning is knowing what the material is that you’re cleaning and, if possible, knowing what kind of stain you’re trying to remove.

  • OMGness: So I was in the restroom at work this morning, in the stall doing my thang, when suddenly and out of nowhere the stall door just swung open. Unfortunately for me, I was in the handicap stall so it swung outward not in. I just reacted and lunged for the door to close it, but I was still in the middle of doing my thang, so I peed all over my legs and my feet. The awesome part is that 2 of my coworkers were standing there chatting it up and saw the whole thing in the mirror. I win at Thursdays!!!!!
    .
    I’m a regular poster, but am going to keep this on the anonymous tip, well, because, you know…

    • Oh man, that sucks! Do you have extra clothes at work?

      • Nope. But I’m wearing a skirt and flipflops so nothing was hurt, except for my pride. Lots of fun clean up, though. I’m burying my embarrassment under a egg and cheddar bagel.

    • justinbc

      Thanks for that last note, I’m now going to assume it’s all of the PoPville ladies who show up at the next HH.

      • I thought it would make for some fun speculation. But I’ll never tell!

        • Emilie504

          It will make for fun speculation! Now I’m thinking of all the women who talk about skirts. I have theories!
          .
          I also had a similar fail, but not mid stream, thank god, since I usually wear pants. I was just sitting, when the auto flush sent a geyser of water up, so I jumped, pants fell all the way down, and door popped open (also swings out), 2 coworkers turned to look. Thank heavens I don’t work in the building anymore :)

          • epric002

            omg, those damn sensitive autoflushes drive me BANANAS!

          • justinbc

            Emilie you were eliminated with the mention of flipflops. I have also eliminated textdoc because I don’t think she would ever allow herself to say “a egg”. Still plenty of candidates though!

          • Uh oh…I’ve mentioned skirts a few times but in a completely different context!

          • Justinbc, LOL re. your deduction that I would never say “a egg.” :)
            .
            I don’t believe in flip-flops at work (or any place other than the beach, pool, or Florida), and it’s way too cold at the office for me to wear skirts/dresses, so I am out of the running on those counts too.

          • Accountering

            Yes, yes I can assure you that textdoc is female.

          • Funny, I’m glad I’m not the only one surprised to learn that textdoc is female. I consider myself pretty good at guessing these things, but I always assumed she was male, though not the most overbearing macho sort of male, the kind of guy I’d have a beer with.

          • justinbc

            What? I never implied she wasn’t. That’s why I said “herself”.

          • Justin — I don’t think anyone was implying that you did; I think it was just that my post history was apparently gender-neutral enough that some folks thought I was a guy.

          • Emilie504

            Justin, it wasn’t directed to you. there was a comment early that was surprised that textdoc in fact a chick.

    • Why do bathroom stalls at work places never lock properly? So annyoing.

    • SFT

      You should declare July 24th a personal holiday, take the rest of the day off, and treat yourself to something fun!

    • Oh Dear! Please know that your detailed description has given me a new baseline. As in: Maybe I forgot my lunch and totaled my stockings, but at least I didn’t……… :-) I think you should leave work early and treat yourself to something nice today!

  • Rave: this photo! looks like the fountains in Lafayette Park. My daughter and I watched the ducklings swim and play in the water on the way to the bus from day care last night. Super cute!

    Rant: crampy. just want to curl up in a ball and go to sleep. boo work.

  • (since “someone” accused all of us yesterday of having this last name…)

    Rant: Fruit fly infestation at my house. Ugh! I come home and spend the first 30 minutes killing as many as possible, kill some more while cooking dinner and then spend the rest of the evening swatting at carcasses stuck to the wall since I can’t find my glasses. Rinse/lather/repeat.

    Rave: No Bro Code violations to report at the AB Y. Also, Emilie504, I’m happy to say that once again there was no naked (or fully clothed) wresting in the locker room. I haven’t lost weight since returning hard to working out, in fact I’ve gained a couple of pounds, but seem to have lost a couple of inches around the waist. My pants are very loose fitting today!

    • This (cut and pasted) scheme works pretty well on fruit flies (annoying but a small price to pay for what I hope was glorious local summer produce):

      What You Do:

      1. Pour a cup of apple cider vinegar into a jar or small bowl.

      2. Add a couple drops of dish soap to the jar.

      3. Place in the area where you’ve seen the fruit flies, and wait for the trap to do its job.
      Why This Works:

      Fruit flies are attracted to the smell of the vinegar, and will attempt to land on its surface. However, they’re in for a surpise – since the dish soap breaks the surface tension of the vinegar, the fruit flies fall in and drown. Say good-bye to that annoying swarm!

      • Thanks. I’m trying that already but my fruit flies seem to be Google – enabled and are aware of the trap. Only a handful have taken the plunge so far.

        • GiantSquid

          I’ve found a glass of wine is a surefire fruit fly magnet.

          • a tablespoon or two of sweet wine, apple cider vinegar or very ripe fruit in a small glass/bowl. Cover with plastic wrap then poke a few holes in the plastic wrap. Flies are attracted to the smell and get in thru holes and then either drown or die when they can’t get out. Because they only live a day or two in the first place.

          • Formerly Broken Jaw

            Yes it’s a nightly battle over who will drink the most. So far I’m winning…

        • I have these annoying gnats in my kitchen and bathroom. I’m not sure if they fruit flies or something other type of annoying tiny flying insect, but the vinegar thing did not work for me. What did work were those long sticky glue traps (the ones I bought from the hardware store are yellow). I put them down on the bathroom floor behind the toilet and some the kitchen and after a few days they were covered in gnats (and a spider cricket, ugh). They are kind of gross but they work.

          • MPinDC

            Do you have houseplants? Fungus gnats get into the topsoil and reproduce like crazy. And as you’ve discovered, the yellow sticky traps work well.

          • I do have houseplants! But the gnats are only found in the kitchen and bathroom, and all my houseplants are in the living room and bedroom. I haven’t seen a single gnat when I go to water the plants. I don’t know where they are coming from, but they are dying off thanks to the glue traps.

          • MPinDC, is there a good way to get rid of fungus gnats? I think I might have them at the office.

          • Emilie504

            I have them in the office from my neighbor’s plants, so annoying!

          • MPinDC

            Flies in bathroom & kitchen might be “drain flies” – you can find out by taping something sticky side down across your drain(in an X). If it’s drain flies, you’ll catch some on the tape. You can also google the image – they are somewhat distinctive.
            textdoc make sure the top of the potting soil doesn’t stay moist – the fungus larvae live in the first few inches of soil. So let that dry out between waterings – this is probably the easiest step. The yellow sticky traps help, also try watering with chamomile tea.

        • Damn! Their brief lifespan and rapid reproduction cycle must allow the species to evolve with incredible speed!

          • saf

            It does indeed – that is why they are used for genetics studies.

          • So many memories of harvesting virgins and sexing fruit flies are coming back.
            The worst was when I wasn’t even in a fruit fly lab! The lab down the hall opened an old cabinet and released a previously unknown swarm of fruit flies. Those researchers came to all the other labs and gave us the soda bottle traps. Those things work pretty well, I use them at home too.

          • Formerly Broken Jaw

            Mine have opposable thumbs! It’s terrifying!

          • LOL jeslett: I’m SURE that I’ve never heard anyone using the phrase “harvesting virgins” before. I would ask — but it’s much more interesting to speculate….;-)

    • Emilie504

      What about towel snapping? :D

      • I’ve discovered that killing fruit flies by snapping a tea towel is quite satisfying. I know that’s not what you meant but yes, I’ve resorted to that when I get tired of killing them by hand.

    • I don’t have any great advice, but I once went on vacation for a week having inadvertently left some rotten bananas in my trash can. By the time I got home, the entire kitchen was covered with fruit flies. Like, entire surfaces were just a sheet of fruit flies. It was incredibly disgusting. So…at least it isn’t that bad? In that case, once I got rid of the bananas, I did put out some apple cider vinegar and eventually they all died off.

  • I have a suggestion for the next Popville happy hour – Alba Osteria. It’s close to Metro (Union Station and Gallery Place) and their happy hour specials include half price pizzas and $4 draughts. Service was kind of sluggish when I went this week, but that may have been because happy hour had just started when I arrived and I was dining solo at the bar. Probably would be better for a group.

  • Rant: Damn package thieves. Stole three packages within the 1/2hr they had been delivered and when I got home. In 9 years never had and issue.
    Rave: I will be putting a box of dog crap out there with a nice note for them bastards!
    Rant: Neighbor that decided to weed whack at 11:30pm.
    Rave: He mowed the tree boxes in front of all the neighbors homes as well.
    Rant: I need something/someone more serious than the casual stuff I’ve been doing lately.

    • I can loan you some of the human crap that people keep leaving by my car during the night!

    • You’re in Trinidad, right? I just had my first one stolen yesterday too. Either that or UPS marked it as delivered when it most certainly wasn’t. (Hopefully that’s actually what happened to both of us and we’ll get them today?) Worst part is, it was a birthday surprise from my parents and I still don’t know what it was! Hopefully not homemade cookies :-(

  • Revel: Vacation starts tomorrow!
    Rejoice: Biking tour of the Northern Ireland coast! Can’t wait!

    • GiantSquid

      Are you using a tour company? Care to share details? I want to do a bike trip in Europe and the options are overwhelming.

  • Rant: Crazy morning. I took my dogs in for their grooming appointment, only to be told their appointment was tomorrow. In my rush to get there I’d forgotten my phone, so I couldn’t pull up the email that I was sure confirmed it for today. The groomer was booked for the day, so I would have to take them home, but it would take an hour to walk home and then back to work, and I had a meeting in half an hour. Fortunately my partner was still at home, so I borrowed their phone to call her and she picked them up. After they were back at home we got a call from the groomers asking where our dogs were, because they had an appointment for today! It turned out there are two similar dogs that have an appointment tomorrow, and they thought they were them.
    Rave: At least it makes for a funny story, especially if we ever meet the owners of the doggie look-alikes that were responsible for the mix-up.

  • SFT

    Question: I’m starting a couple of small home DIY projects – small things first like painting a bathroom and then moving on to painting the kitchen and soon I’d like to install a tile backsplash on the sink and stove walls. I know that tile can be tricky, but I have a friend who does it back home and she is giving me some tips. Anyways – I don’t want to cut the tiles myself – so is it even worth it to try this myself or should I just bite the bullet and call in a tile guy? Anyone have experience with this?

    • If you don’t want to cut tiles yourself- doesn’t seem like you are lift with any other choices but to hire someone…

      • Oh you can probably get a day laborer that has the tool to cut the tiles for you. Would be cheaper than higher a “tile guy”.

        • SFT

          That sounds like a really good idea! I’ve been so caught up with baby and work that I’m itching for a creative outlet and a project to throw myself into. I really want to do this myself, but I have no interest in cutting tiles.

          • You can do the majority of the tiles beforehand and then when you got close to the end you can bring in someone to measure and cut the tiles for you and you finish it off. it will probably just be the bottom row and the last row on the right that needs to be cut.(I’d recommend you to start at top most left corner )

          • SFT

            See, this is why I post on here. Solid ideas and advice. I’ve been watching how-to videos on YouTube, so think that I have a pretty good sense of how to do this. Or you may see a rant from me in a few weeks reading… “Rant: I’m not sure why I thought it was a good idea to lay my own tiles” :)

          • Wait- I take that back- You want to start at the bottom that way the cut is hidden up under the cabinet…..You want the tiles that are cut to be the least exposed….My bad!!!

          • Or you could use those tiny tiles, either small squares or long, thin rectangles because those come premounted on mesh sheets. You cut the mesh of the sheet, not the tile. But, that might not match your vision.

    • squish

      We did our 1″ glass tile backsplash ourselves and got away with a small tile nipper. It took us a full 3-day weekend to purchase and complete the project. You can also rent a professional tile cutter from Home Depot. Good luck!

  • I used to go down there for work, and was really impressed with the food. I can’t remember any places specifically, but seafood is going to be a safe bet. There’s a BBQ place in Ocean Springs called The Shed that’s a lot of fun; the place caught on fire and burned down a few years ago, but since it really was just a shed I’m sure they’ve rebuilt it by now.

  • Accountering

    Rant/Rave: Ranted last Friday about the hill between Beach Drive and Adams Mill Road. Climbed it (very drunk) instead of walking back to the harvard st bridge, and got pretty vicious poison ivy. Finally went to urgent care today, and got some steriods. Sounds like it will go away quickly… Should have gone to the doctor sooner.

  • Rave: Looking forward to planning a fun weekend next month with my 10 year old niece.
    Rant: I was the sucker who bought tickets for the One Direction concert and have to go with her.
    Rave: I forever beat my sister in the “coolest aunt” contest because of it!!!
    NEED IDEAS – what are the cool, fun things to do with 10 year olds? She lives in Richmond, so this will be a little vacation for her.

    • Lunch on the patio at Trios — great milkshakes and decent wine for Auntie. Georgetown is annoying but kids love the energy, plus you can walk down to the river or over to Montrose Park which has woods, picnic benches and swings. If she’s adventurous, Ethiopian food — eat with your hands! The BIG Maze at the National Building Museum. Bring her to Urban outfitters for a modest-but-cool bit of clothing or accessory for the show. Also, per Anonymous, kids to like to just hang out. From the Zoo you can wander into Adams Morgan and just hang out being cool. Wave when you walk by Ontario Place!

    • Air and Space Museum (the one on the mall and the one near Dulles.)

    • Accountering

      I would just leave time for some city things. Walk around, sit on a patio etc. When you say she lives in Richmond, presumably she lives in a suburb of Richmond, and people from the suburbs of Richmond don’t normally like the city of Richmond. Being in DC will be very unique for her, so take advantage! Perhaps walk around Dupont and take her shopping/sidewalk cafe lunch? I also think the below idea of the walk through the zoo, then walking through Adams Morgan.

      • Curious — why would you presume that she lives in a suburb of Richmond when the op says that “she lives in Richmond”?

        • Accountering

          Two reasons: First, just an educated guess. 200,000 people live in Richmond, and 1,200,000 live in the Richmond MSA. so 5/6 of the people that live in “Richmond”, don’t. How many people that live in MoCo or FFX identify as living in DC when talking to people from out of town?
          .
          Second: Being blunt, the demographics of the average visitor to this website does not correlate closely at all with having a sister with a 10 year old kid who lives in downtown Richmond.

          • Thanks for your explanations. As someone whose demographics are likely very different from those of the average visitor to this website, I tend to ask a lot of questions.

          • Accountering

            Totally understand. I am just hoping Stubs can come back and either set me straight or confirm my suspicions!

        • Accountering is correct – she lives out in the burbs outside of Richmond. Way the heck out!

    • I grew up here and my parents really pushed going to museums when I was younger. I loved the American History Museum because it had a nice mix of history relevant to what I was learning in school and fun stuff like the ruby slippers, First Ladies dresses, other pop culture. She would probably like the giant Forever 21 in Metro Center if she’s into shopping and maybe kayaking in Georgetown, followed by Baked and Wired.

    • the Newseum is great for kids and adults–also if weather is nice pack a picnic and head to Gravelly point-and yes kids get a kick out of a taxi ride-

    • Thanks for the ideas! I forget sometimes how cool the monuments and museums and things were to me as a seventh grader coming here the first time. And it will be fun to be a tourist in my own city again!

  • Emilie504

    Mmm duck gumbo…
    Rave: loving my samples of Ouidad shampoo/conditioner so I bought full sized bottles.
    Rant: My hair is starting be just expensive as my skin.
    Rave: Don’t much care b/c it’s fun!

    • If she’s a girly girl, the first ladies’ exhibit at American History is fun. (pretty dresses!) Paddleboating on the Tidal Basin, baby panda at the zoo, mani/pedis, the paint your own pottery place in Cleveland Park? My niece actually just loved hanging out in the city without her mom around and doing “grown up” things, like sitting in a coffee shop with she played with my Ipad, taking taxis (“it was just like in a movie!) and staying up later than she gets to at home.

  • skj84

    Rave: I have enough opentable points for a $50.00 dining certificate! Was debating going for the 100, but it took almost 2 years to get enough points for the 50. Going to take myself out for a nice meal. Suggestions?

    Rant: not my issue but my sisters: Her roommate is in jail for a week for a DUI. Apparently roommate told everyone she’s in the hospital, but did not provide details. When people couldn’t track her down my sister did some sluething and found roomie on the local correctional facility website(sister had a hunch that roommates dissaperance had to do with the DUI). So now my sister is in the unenviable position knowing where roommate really is, but is not sure what to tell people. It is on public record that roommate is in jail, but my sister doesn’t want to put roomies Buisness out there without her permission. But there are people really worried about the roommate.

    • Emilie504

      Acadiana! and get the turtle soup AND bread pudding! The bread pudding is the only bread pudding besides homemade that I like.

    • Ugh. The roomie should’ve told people that she was suddenly called away for a family emergency or something — the hospital thing makes for a much more complicated lie, as people might want to visit her, will be asking her after the fact about her condition, etc., etc.
      .
      I think your sister had better stick to the roommate’s story — if she hadn’t done the sleuthing, she too would be thinking that the roommate was in the hospital.

    • Accountering

      This is ridiculous. You were driving drunk. You got a DUI. You got sentenced to a week in jail (meaning you were either VERY drunk, or multiple offenses)
      .
      Pathetic. She should own it. The fact she feels the need to lie about it means she isn’t owning it, which to me means the chances she does it again go up. A good friend of mine got a DUI and she owns the hell out of it. Willing to discuss with anyone, has never gotten behind the wheel after even a sip of beer etc.

      • I’m dealing with this nkw. A friend disappeared and after three weeks of nothing I got a call from a # I didn’t recognize and when I answered it, it was said friend calling from jail. He has been in jail all this time. He said it was dui related and was gonna be released in a week. He asked if I can pick his dog up from the shelter as the animal police took dog from his apartment and watch the dog for him. Well he just told me he has to remain in jail until end of September. I don’t think I’m getting the full story from him.

      • Right, this was obviously something more than a run of the mill DUI, and if the sister already had suspicions it probably means she’s out of control on a regular basis. I would tell people in a concerned manner so they can (hopefully) support her getting sober when she gets out.

        • Emilie504

          I wouldn’t tell anyone where she is. I would just tell people she’s safe and let her deal with it when she gets out. No need for SJK’s sister to get involved more than she needs to or to alienate her roommate and turn her living situation into Hell.

        • skj84

          I know roomie had a breathalyzer in her car due to a first offense. Apparently she refused to do a breathalyzer test when she was pulled over and got a letter a few weeks later indicating she would have to have the device in her car for a year. Maybe she blew drunk again?

      • And Accountering makes a good point. I can understand why the roommate might be ashamed and not want to own up to what she did… but she’s chosen a lie that’s going to bring her sympathy, whereas what she deserves is the opposite of sympathy.

    • combine your opentable check with a groupon/living social coupon to maximize their value. Opentable check is like cash so it doesn’t count as a double coupon. sooo many good places to go in DC- pick someplace different !!!

  • Rant – Making stupid mistakes on work projects makes me feel stupid.
    Rave – Got a much needed haircut yesterday and love how it turned out. Note to self: Do not procrastinate on getting a hair cut next time, because that cute pixie cut will grow out into a mullet and that is NOT cute.

    • epric002

      i am perpetually terrified of my pixie turning into a mullet! i’m definitely OCD about it.

      • I’m finding myself becoming super OCD about this too. Went from having it cut/colored every 6 weeks, to touchup every 4, and now I’m considering finding a neighbor who knows what they’re doing so I can keep it in check every 2 weeks!

  • GiantSquid

    Rant: crack in heel of my foot. So painful and slow to heal.
    Revel: Visiting parents on Eastern Shore this weekend. Weather looks like it will be mostly nice. Looking forward to small break, beach time, and bike riding. Maybe some seafood paella.
    Revel: Lay’s Dill Pickle chips. Co-worker has me hooked.
    Revel(ish): had honest convo with Mr. Squid last night about his mental state and how it’s affecting me and us. Was tough, tried not to get too emotional, and not sure how much of it got through, but it was spoken about. So two things: 1. I apologize if this has been addressed before, but does anyone have suggestions for therapists in DC? 2. Does anyone know what, if any, effects seeing a therapist could have on a clearance? Do you need to notify anyone?

    • I think some people are under the mistaken impression that seeking help for mental illness will disqualify them for a security clearance. I don’t know if it has any effect on higher-level clearances (maybe others can speak to that?), but it certainly didn’t affect my lower-level clearance.
      My understanding was that seeking therapy would have a negative effect ONLY if you didn’t disclose it on your security questionnaire, because then they might perceive it as something you’re so ashamed of that you could be blackmailed about it.

    • As far as the clearance: I think he has to report it unless he is deemed unfit by the “therapist “to perform his duties in a trust worthy way, or if the treatment is for non violent issues etc. Think it is all based on the type of treatment being sought.

    • Dr Pamela Finder is a good therapist.

      • To the list of recommended therapists I’d add Kathleen Brunkow, Gary R Brown, Daniel Wilson, Harmon Biddle. These are all people I know and can vouch for.

    • epric002

      you have to provide that information during your re-investigation, unless it’s family counseling (i think). i don’t know if it is (but don’t think that it is) something that has to be immediately reported. i reported my history of seeing a therapist prior to first obtaining a clearance and have never had any issues with obtaining/maintaining one.

    • You don’t have to disclose mental health treatment for certain conditions – I believe these conditions are grief, family or marital issues. You also don’t need to disclose if you see counseling after deployment to a high threat environment.
      The form states clearly what you do not have to disclose. For conditions that are outside of these, yes you have to disclose but it doesn’t mean you lose security clearance. The security folks will want to know if you are complying with any recommended treatment and if your condition will affect your judgement/pose a security risk.

    • Most fed agencies (not sure if he’s fed cleared or contractor cleared) have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which can provide resources for finding a therapist, including scheduling free sessions, and should have info on how the sessions will affect his particular situation. FWIW, I think a lot of agencies are starting to view seeking help as a positive indicator for clearances.

    • Awesome that you were able to have an honest convo with the hubby. I’m rooting for you both.

      Therapist choices are intensely personal so Mr. Squid will probably have to go through a few before finding one he’s really comfortable working with and gaining meaningful therapy from, unfortunately those two can be mutually exclusive things.

    • janie4

      Kudos for you and Mr. Squid about facing a major issue. He may want to find a psychiatrist first, even if it’s likely he only needs talk therapy. They can prescribe any medication to help him such as anti-depressants. Sometimes family practitioners will keep up the prescribing once you’ve got your dosage right, but it’s good to start the management process with a psychiatrist.

  • Rant: Totally buried at work with two concurrent proposals – one due this Friday, one due next Friday – worth a total of over $100m. Trying not to freak out.
    Rant: Spent the last three days running interference between my very high maintenance boss and everyone else – he seems hell bent on pissing everyone in my organization off. We’re trying to build a new program area, so right now we really need support from others – not enemies. I’m doing a lot of damage control, instead of getting shit done.
    Rave: Working from home today so I can write. The peace and quiet is a nice change from the insanity.
    Rave: My little garden makes me so happy. The tomatoes and peppers are starting to produce (I was late getting them planted) and the sunflowers are about to bloom. Herbs aren’t doing so well though – I think my planters aren’t draining enough. The one with my basil seedlings has something weird growing over the top of the soil – looks like tiny chocolate sprinkles. I’m guessing it’s some kind of fungus. and I’m worried I’m going to have to dump out the planter, drill some holes in the bottom, and start over. Any gardeners know what it might be? And if the seedlings are salvageable?

    • MPinDC

      Does the planter have some kind of drainage already? If not, drilling holes would be a very good idea. Perhaps you can tilt the planter and drill (rather than dumping everything out).
      Chocolate sprinkles – could it be earthworm casings? I think that’s the nice name for earthworm poop. Look on google images and see if this is what you have.

      • No, it’s not that – this is clearly something growing on the top of the soil. It started in one spot and has spread across the whole surface of the soil over the last couple of days. I’ve never seen anything like it. I suppose it could be some kind of insect egg too? I really hope that’s not it, if so I’ll have hundreds of baby pests soon…

        • Our basil is starting to take a big hit. Usually does this time of year though. One out of three of our tomato plants also looks like total crap. Leaves are burnt out and tomatoes are rotting from the bottom. Any suggestions on salvaging it?

          • Tomatoes rotting from the bottom is probably blossom end rot. Adding calcium to soil helps – eat a bunch of eggs, save the shells & dry them in a very very low oven. Or just let them air dry for a few days. Grind in coffee grinder, work into soil and water.
            Pick the tomatoes when they are 3/4 ripe and let them ripen on the counter – keep an eye and if the bottom starts to look bad cut it (bottom) off. You can still eat the tomato.
            Although it may be more aesthetic than helpful, I always cut off tomato leaves that start to show brown or yellow.
            When you water, be careful not to splash onto the leaves. Slow steady water is best, watering deep is better than watering often.

        • Can you scrape off the top layer of soil that has this stuff growing in/on it?

    • If the planter is plenty deep enough, I prefer to put rocks or even crushed soda cans on the bottom. This provides an area for excess moisture to drain w/o causing root rot, but also provide humidity/evaporation, requires less soil and also may lighten the planter.

  • I need some new home owner help/recommendations please.

    I have a small water issue behind my plaster (causing it to bubble out) next to a window on the bottom front first floor window. Is this something I need to call a real time contractor for, and if so does anyone have any recommendations?

    • janie4

      I’d call in someone, to tell you if it’s a window seal issue, or a mortar issue outside, but you can start by checking your caulking around the window to see if it’s damaged.

  • BeverlyS

    Rant: Freezing in my office today, again.
    Rave: 401K and 403B amounts are higher than I thought (granted, I almost rarely look at my accounts, but IrvingStreete yesterday reminded me I haven’t checked in on them a few years). I wish I had a higher contribution from my employer (it’s 1%) but it’s still better than nothing. I think I am right about where I’m supposed to be.
    Rant: Failing miserably at picking up extra income so far.

  • Putting life in perspective: A 67 year old guy in the office suite right next to mine was found dead at his desk by the mailman. I do not want to be working at 67. I do not want to die at my desk. I do not want to be found dead by the mailman.

    • Dying at my desk would be my worst possible way to go. Well, maybe not worse than being eaten by shark or Ebola, but you know what I mean.

      • Being eaten by a shark or getting Ebola would be a hell of a way to go. I’d pick those over dieing at my desk for sure.

      • binpetworth

        See, my biggest fear of dying is while on the toilet while passing a #2. Apparently this is not an uncommon cause of aneurysms in some individuals who strain during potty time. That’s why I eat a lot of fiber…

    • justinbc

      Ugghh, so terrible in so many ways.

    • Woah. What type of work do you do? High stress?

    • Emilie504

      I hate my job right now and would love to die at my desk! Then my clean-freak, micro-manager would have to deal with my rotting body! Even better if I die on a Friday evening and I”m not found until boss comes in Tuesday!
      .
      Of course, I would rather just find a new job and die in my sleep at 67, but if I can cause a little pain after I go, all the better :D

    • Formerly Broken Jaw

      Actually this is a big fear of mine since I don’t sit near people whom I work with. Also paranoid that I would die at home and the cat would start snacking on me.

      • skj84

        Same. Or having a medical emergency on metro and none helps because it looks like I’m asleep.

      • Emilie504

        death switch is for you! you can set it up so you check in as often as you like and it will contact someone if you don’t check in. That way if you die, someone can find you before you cat/dog eats your face off.

    • ahh this thread is freaking me out

  • Rave: Love the picture of the cute ducklings!
    Rave: Met a neat guy on the metro this morning!
    Rave: I didn’t want to do my hair last night. But I did and I look great!
    Rantish/Rave: Head Dir made a surprise visit to our staff meeting. I made a good point and didn’t embarrass myself!

  • Formerly Broken Jaw

    Bonus Rant: I came back from lunch and the interns were at the desks they cleaned out yesterday eating lunch. Do they not know they can’t eat lunch any more? The Singing Intern is singing along with eating.

    More Bonus Rants: I just found out that the PM and several contractors on The Project From Hell I’m on were fired last week. However, the fired PM has been hired by our vendor partner as its PM for this project. Bizzarre…should make for fun meetings!

    • Emilie504

      “The Singing Intern is singing along with eating. ” ack! Get some napalm!

      • Formerly Broken Jaw

        She’s not even singing the lead–she’s singing the back-up. It’s like sitting accross from a Pip.

    • Formerly Broken Jaw

      Do they not know they can’t eat lunch *here* any more?

    • Our intern has been clipping her nails at her desk. I really need to talk to her about it, but really don’t want to!

      • I have a coworker who does this…. The other one who sits near me bites his nails off and carries them to the trash can when he’s done. Blergh, gross!

    • Are either of these work places a federal government agency? I know there are strict rules about a fed moving to a contractor and what s/he can do regarding previous employer and projects.
      In any case, it is odd that she was fired and then re-hired right away. Did she not have to give references? Do you think new employer knew she had been fired?

      • Formerly Broken Jaw

        It is a NGO. We have a very weird relationship with this vendor. This PM is incompetent but so is the vendor. I have been on many stinker projects in my career and this one is the worse.

        • Formerly Broken Jaw

          and yes the vendor has to know he was fired. The vendor is sitting in the room as a partner on this project. Fired Friday but back on the project on Tuesday working for the vendor.

  • Rave: Day 6 and the new dog is doing well! He seems to get a little more comfortable with city life each day and show us more of his personality. You never notice how much of an obstacle course the sidewalk can be until you have a 7 lb. dog.
    Rant: I’m so tired of working in a freezing office. I wear sweaters and keep a coat in my office to use as a blanket. I think I need a Snuggie.
    Rave: Fun weekend plans! We decided to celebrate our (dating) anniversary by going on a Georgetown ghost tour after a casual dinner. Something different and totally up our alley.
    Neither rant nor rave: I got my boyfriend a tent for our anniversary since he has been on a hiking/camping kick, this may not have been a wise present choice as I am not the most outdoorsy person.
    Rant: Is it just me or has this been the longest week ever?!

    • skj84

      Agree on the slowness of this week! I spent most of yesterday convinced it was Thursday.

    • BeverlyS

      Are you allowed a space heater at work? It’s prohibited at my current job, but at my old job the space heater was a godsend for freezing office summers. Right now, I’m in a heavy jacket, long pants, a nice fleecy blanket on the lap and a scarf around the shoulders (over the jacket).

      • I just asked our office manager and space heaters are not allowed. Great suggestion anyway, thank you!

    • epric002

      nope- slowest.week.evah!

  • Question: Does anyone have any recommendations on good places to go antiquing? It doesn’t have to be in the District as I have a car and am willing to drive to find good deals.

    • Lancaster County, PA. Stay in one of the B&Bs. We stay at the Silverstone Inn. It’s an absolutely lovely retreat from the city.

    • Emilie504

      I like Frederick! It’s fun for a day of antiquing.

    • Savage Mill in Savage, MD.

    • Agree with Frederick–surprisingly good deals there too. There are also some good stores in Emmitsburg, MD. Also, google Big Flea DC, it’s a quarterly antique show held at the Dulles Expo center. Usually they have good deals.

      • MPinDC

        Emmitsburg! My family has a farm outside of town :)
        If you go there, I can recommend The Palms or the Ott House for lunch. Neither are fancy – just local places that have been in business for 30+ years.

  • Help: Okay, so now the toilet won’t stop running, even as I manually lift the chain and check to see nothing is blocking the seal. The knob that turns the water off completely won’t turn. How would I deal with this? I’m thinking this may be something I need to ask my landlord about, as much as I do want to maintain goodwill.

    • If telling your landlord your toilet is broken will cause ill will, he or she is a terrible landlord and you should just look for a new place. And yes, you should tell your landlord. He or she should be concerned about running up a high water bill at the very least (not to mention the comfort of their tenants).

      • +1. A toilet with water that won’t stop running = $$. If I were the landlord, I’d want to be notified right away.

    • If the toilet is running constantly it may be because the float is stuck and isn’t rising high enough to close the valve that lets the water into the tank. Give it a tap or a wiggle to make sure it isn’t caught on something. If it’s not that, you may have to call the landlord. Generally toilets are easy to fix so you shouldn’t worry about having to call your landlord.

    • You made the chain too short. The flap has to close, so lengthen the chain a link or two.

  • Rant: Religions. All of ‘em. A pile of horse-puckey.
    Double rant: Trying to have a rational discussion with someone who’s world view is defined by their bogus belief system.

  • MPinDC

    Rave: Smitten Kitchen. Someone had mentioned a recent pickle recipe so I was looking on her website. Found the pickle recipe, there was also mention of a dish she had posted about earlier – One Pan Farro with Tomatoes. I needed to make something that would use up some of my bountiful harvest and this looked perfect.
    Rave: One Pan Farro with Tomatoes. So good.
    Rant: It says it makes 4 servings so why is it almost gone?

    • I’ve been a Smitten Kitchen follower for years! I basically learned how to cook by making her recipes and reading her blog. LOVE the one pan farro with tomatoes, I made it this week as well. She has another great tomato recipe that you should check out, I think it’s called scalloped tomatoes, which is almost same concept expect you use toasted bread croutons instead of farro. Such a great summertime dish.

      • MPinDC

        The scalloped tomato recipe looks wonderful as well! I’ve loved 99% of the Smitten Kitchen recipes I’ve tried (the 1% that missed was a broccoli slaw).
        Deb just announced she’s going to write another cookbook :)
        I’m also a fan of The Splendid Table – Greek Green Beans for another one pan, no fuss delicious recipe, and the Renaissance Lasagne (skipping the hand rolled pasta part) for a heartier cool season meal.

        • Mmmm thanks for the recommendations :-)

        • The broccoli slaw is one of my favorite SK recipes! It’s become a staple at my BBQs/picnics and it always gets rave reviews.
          My SK miss was the Whole Lemon Tart. It was one of the worst things I’ve ever baked.

          • MPinDC

            I love slaws in general, not sure why this one was a miss.
            My new go-to picnic dish is this kale & black bean salad from fatfreevegan http://tinyurl.com/magkhuz
            I made it for my family to try first before I made it for a picnic. Then I made it again for myself because it was just that good.

      • I love the one pan farro with tomatoes too! Just made it again a couple weeks ago.

        • MPinDC

          It’s my first time using farro – I was going to substitute wheat berries but then I found farro in a store. I imagine this would be good with any number of grains. This is also the kind of recipe where you can add what you have at hand – hot peppers, sweet peppers, different spices, some greens….

  • Rant: emailed about incidences of poop on toilet seat at work. Apparently there is nothing that can be done to catch the person, therefore nothing will be done at all. Other options, including fliers and educating the denizens of my floor about the hazards of leaving fecal matter around, seem to have not been considered.
    .
    Rave: Seasonal Pantry was delicious last night. Sounds like they might not be closing as soon as expected.
    .
    Rant: could not get to sleep until about 4 am. I am dogging it today.

    • justinbc

      When there are toilet issues (constant clogging, messes, etc) here, various workers will create their own flyers and affix them to the back of the stall doors. I can’t say they’re entirely effective, but at least it’s something.

  • Anyone know what’s happening at 1432 Park Rd NW where we thought a Flip It location was opening back in August 2013?

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