Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user caroline.angelo

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.

266 Comment

  • Rant: overslept
    Rave: computer driven driving trains coming back to the red line!

  • Rave: that photo! What a cute pup! And I’m sure he’s not too happy with his/her bath, but a clean pup makes better snuggling.

  • Rant: I felt just like that poor puppy this morning. As it stays darker later, I find I have an even harder time getting out of bed. 6:45 sunrises are not helping me leave the house by 7:20. Anyone have any good ways of getting yourself moving in the morning? I’ve looked into those sunrise-simulating alarm clocks, but they’re so spendy and the reviews are middling at best.

    • Emmaleigh504

      I love my sunrise clock, it really does help me get up in the cold winter months. I have it right next to my face on my bedside table.

    • I set my alarm for a half-hour before I need to be out of bed, and when it goes off, I take a caffeine pill. Not ideal, but no matter what I do, my body clock is simply not in the same time zone as my office clock.

    • My go-to is drinking a full glass of water before going to bed. That way, when the alarm goes off and I try to snooze, it’s impossible to go back to sleep because I have to go to the bathroom. Sometimes it bites you in the butt, though, and you wake up at 2am…

    • Emmaleigh504

      Another idea comes from my great aunt. She used to have everything for coffee ready on her bedside table. the coffee maker had a timer so it was set just before her alarm so the coffee was waiting for her when she woke up. I keep meaning to do this.

    • I’ve struggled with this for years, and honestly the best (but not easiest) solution is to go to bed earlier.

    • binpetworth

      I can lend you my Evil Cat to pounce on you beginning at 5 until you get up to feed her.

      • my Evil Dog only does this on weekends, when she becomes concerned if we sleep past our usual alarm time. Try to get her up on time during the weekday, though, unless you are actually pouring her food in a dish at that moment. Go ahead, try it.

        • Emmaleigh504

          My last cat, Ashlee, was smart enough not to wake me up on weekend, but would wake me up on weekdays if I forgot to set my alarm. She was a grazer too, so she wasn’t asking for food. Donna on the other hand, oh Donna! Such a bad bad weebus! She’s on binpetworth’s cat’s schedule. much to my horror.

      • I’m generally happy my cats aren’t evil, but they’re perfectly content to snuggle while I sleep in, which makes it even harder to get out of bed. They’re expert cuddlers.

    • Instead of a sunrise clock, I got a plug-in timer to use with a table lamp. It’s pretty effective though the light coming on all at once can be a little much.

    • I have a series of alarms on my phone, which range from soothing to motivational to annoying and go off over the course of 45 minutes to an hour. If I still can’t get going, I’ll check email on my phone-the light helps wake me up a bit. If I still can’t get going, I’ll go downstairs for my coffee and drink it in bed until I feel human enough to get up.

    • Go to bed early (by 9 or 9:30 – you can DVR all of those shows you normally watch), get up early and exercise. Works great for me. I rarely arrive at work later than 7:00.

      • Also, cut back on alcohol. I used to drink pretty heavily. Now I have one drink a night, maybe two or three times a week. I sleep like a baby and wake up refreshed and ready to go.

    • When I know I need to get up I set an alarm clock on the other side of the room so I have to get out of bed to turn it off. And then I’m up.
      Then I’ll make the bed right away to decrease the temptation to snooze a little longer.

  • special_k

    Rave: Official notice that a manuscript has been accepted for publication!
    Rave: Sweater weather!
    Rave: Smitten with a great guy…
    Rant: …who I have such a hard time reading. So much in common, yet very different people. Maybe I should stop trying to read him and just enjoy our time together.

    • “Maybe I should stop trying to read him and just enjoy our time together.”
      I think that’s a great idea. And perhaps in doing so, many of the lingering questions that you have about him will be answered. Good luck!

    • Awesome on the manuscript! Congrats, what a great rave!

    • RE: the guy
      Please stop over-thinking it. Enjoy your time with him and – most importantly – be yourself.

    • special_k

      Thank you, guys! Unfortunately, being myself and overthinking go hand in hand, but I’ll work on it. And I’m so proud of that manuscript. All around great day.

  • Thanks: I think it was epric who diagnosed my whooping cough last week, so thanks for that. You may pick up your I-play-a-doctor-on-the-internet certificate at the front desk. Antibiotics and steroids (for the bonus pneumonia!) have helped, but damn, this is a bitch of a bug. More because of the longevity of it than the severity of it.
    Rave: Another poster who recommended the Nationals Kids’ Club. Even just for one game, it was $20 well spent. The swag (though extra low-quality) was a big hit, and the scoreboard message was pretty much the most exciting thing that could have happened on a kid’s birthday. πŸ™‚

    • Emmaleigh504

      I hope you heal up quickly now that you have drugs, and have no lasting problems!

    • Just think of all the exercise your abs are getting?
      For real, though, that totally sucks. Sorry, friend.

      • It’s true! I’ve lost quite a bit of weight and I think gained some abdominal tone. But now that I’m starting to have an appetite for the first time in two weeks, I’ll correct all that nonsense. πŸ™‚

    • epric002

      hot dog! i’m sorry to hear that that’s what it is, but i am gonna pat myself on the back for this one πŸ˜‰ good luck- i literally know how it feels (minus the pneumonia). so have you gotten that super fun call from you local dept of health yet? which diagnostic method did they use to confirm yours?

      • They didn’t run the test, because they said it takes two weeks to get the results. The NP and MD both said it looked exactly classic and that they’re seeing a lot of it, and the antibiotics had a fast and marked effect. So it’s basically a strong educated guess. You still get credit. πŸ™‚

  • Rave: Thank you to the bra-vangelists! Went for a fitting at Coup de Foudre yesterday and it was awesome. Expensive lunchtime shopping, but so much better.
    Rant: Too much to do at work and too many decisions hanging out there that I have to wait on in order to do my work.

    • I’m not sure I buy into the bra-vangelism. I have no problem believing that I might wear the wrong size, but according the butterfly collections website someone recommended, I have the right band size but need to go up FOUR cup sizes. I have seen bras that size, and the only way that’s the right fit is if I want to use it as a hammock for my whole body.

      • I had to go up three, and I have no desire to be up that high, but it feels so much better. And when I got home last night my husband commented that I looked like I had lost weight. I’m sold.

        • When I had a fitting a few years ago, they recommended I go up two (C to DD). It eliminated the double-boob and the backfat that I thought was just the price of being curvy, so what do I care about the designation?

        • Yes, I was shocked to go up four but the correct size truly is more comfortable and my clothes fit better now.

      • Anonymous-10:31, if you’re skeptical, why not go for a fitting in person and see what the professionals say? I went up four cup sizes myself and never would have believed it unless I actually put on the D-cup bra. It felt and looked a lot better.

      • epric002

        i agree with everyone else- try a legit fitting (VS doesn’t count) and let us know what you think. you may not in fact need to go up 4 cup sizes- that can depend on brand/size/style, but it’s certainly not uncommon. as i mentioned earlier, i was wearing a 34B and now wear a 28E/F (as of my last fitting last weekend). cup size can change throughout the month due to your cycle, and then of course any weight gain/loss throughout the year. and cup sizes mean nothing w/o the corresponding band size. most people think that E/F cups either don’t exist/are augmented and huge. i am a slim person who is not at all “busty”, but that is the size that fits me.

        • But your cup size increase was countered by a band size decrease. There’s just no way I could go up 4 cup sizes with the same band size and not have half empty cups (or half full, if you are an optimist!) or cups that reach behind my armpits. I realize all brands are sized and fit differently, and I’ll try a fitting at some point, but I’m skeptical.

          • epric002

            not entirely: 34B is 32C is 30D is 28DD- that’s still a 2 cup size increase. and like i said- you may not need to go up *4* cup sizes, but you may indeed be in too small of a cup. years of wearing too small cups can result in migrated breast tissue that is/has been sitting outside of the cups b/c of poor fit. and if you have wide set breasts and/or wide roots, you may also have breast tissue close to/under you arms that will fit in a larger cup. 4 isn’t impossible- 2 posters above went up 3 and 4 cup sizes. skepticism is pretty common. will be interested to hear back if/when you decide to do a fitting!

          • +1 to what epric002 said. I have the same issue with wide roots, and was previously wearing bras with underwires that cut off about a third of my breast tissue without me realizing it should be in the cups. The larger cup size on my newer bras doesn’t really project my boobs forward and upward as much as it accommodates the flesh on the sides. And it also winds up giving me more of the appearance of full breasts rather than flattening them out.

    • I’m going to Coup de Foudre later today. I’m very curious to see what my correct size is after all this talk!

      • epric002

        you’ll have to let us know whether or not you become a bra-vangelist too πŸ™‚

      • Enjoy! I’ve loved my experiences there so so much! My favorite bra in their inventory is from Fantasie and I’ve even come to not think of that as a silly brand name because their bras are so simple and elegant.

        • Emmaleigh504

          Ooh I have a Fantasie bra that I love! They may become my new favorite brand since they have colors. Wacoal make my very very favorite, but not in colors.

          • Emilie, Is it the “Rebecca molded spacer underwire” bra? I love this bra since it makes my teeny tatas look womanly without any padding.

          • Emmaleigh504

            No, it’s the Lois.

          • epric002

            emilie504- since you like the side support of the lois, have you tried the freya marvel underwire side panel bra? i’ve been eyeing that one, but waiting for it to go on sale in my size…how snug does the band in the lois run?

          • Emilie504, the Lois is awesome! I’m going to remember this next time I’m in the market.

          • Emmaleigh504

            epric002–I haven’t tried the Freya and looking at images of it, I don’t think it will work for me. I like more coverage, I would be afraid of spilling out of that one. I don’t know how low the band goes on the Lois, they had my size and that’s all I remember. I ordered online somewhere.
            Shawess–I got the Lois in pink on a whim and love it. I didn’t even try it on (horrors) but from the description online I was pretty sure it would work, it does πŸ™‚ the matching undies are cute, too.

          • Emmaleigh504

            I miss read you epric002, the band is pretty snug. It’s true to size or whatever the saying is. It’s snug and comfortable, no sliding around.

          • epric002

            thanks emilie! i can sometimes do snug 30s so maybe i’ll give that one a whirl.

    • I have an ex and a busty friend who swear by “the boob whisperer” at Tyson’s. Both went up cup sizes and down in band size if that makes sense?

      • epric002

        makes complete sense- most women are wearing a band that is too big, thanks in part to (most) US manufacturers/stores that do not carry anything smaller than a 34 or 32 if you’re lucky. so when you go down a bandsize, you go up a cupsize! but do tell- who is this “boob whisperer” of which you speak???

    • All this boob sizing talk should make tomorrow’s PoP’ville HH interesting for the boys.
      Whoever guesses the right size wins a jar of candy corn!

  • gotryit

    Rave: the weather
    Rave: biking to work in this weather means I neither need to shower nor wear extra warm gear

  • Rave: tonight is my first night as a mentor to a DC high school student!
    Rant: I’m nervous. Any mentors out there with tips?

    • No tips, but a virtual high five! What school?

    • Becks

      Take them some place that you enjoy, then ask them to take you to a place that they enjoy the next time. Being a mentor is really about trust and respect. Be open to listen and teach by example. You’ll do great! Good Luck!

    • I’m sure you’ll do fine! Just be yourself. Don’t take it personally if they are non-responsive at first. Remember what it was like to be a teenager. Everything was just so awkward. I used to work with teenagers, and I’ve found that with teenage girls, once they get used to you, they never stop talking (in a good way)! The boys are even more awkward, but I’ve found that pretty much any problem can be solved with food. Lots of food. My life has gotten too busy and I don’t have time to volunteer right now, but I really miss the kids! Teens get a bad rap (especially on here), but I actually really grew to enjoy hanging out with them. At the end of the day, they are mostly just goofy and insecure. Plus, you’ll be so proud when your hard work (and theirs) pays off. It’s awesome and rewarding. Good luck!

      • +1 on the food. I work with teenagers/young adults, many of whom are recent DC public school grads, and food makes everyone happy. Also, BE AUTHENTIC. Teenagers can smell BS a mile a way, and can instantly tell when someone is trying to be “cool.” Try not to project or assume what you think the person may be interested in because of their age; like someone else said, he or she may be quiet at first but will eventually start talking and leading the discussion. Also, I’m a huge fan of activities where everyone is DOING something (preferably involving food), so if you’re paired with someone who is not a talker then you automatically have something to talk about.

  • binpetworth

    Neither rave/rant: I have an extra ticket to the 1:05 Nats vs Marlins game this Friday. Does anyone want it?
    Caveat: You’ll have to sit next to me.
    Rave: I don’t bite. (Thought I may try to steal some of your nachos/chili cheese fries)
    Extra rave: The seats are awesome.

  • Rave: Stealth early Animal Fix with cute waterlogged dog!
    Rave: Barring any flakeouts, I have a buyer for the sofa in my rental unit and will be getting rid of it tonight.

  • Rave: Traveling to Vegas for Christmas.
    Rant: Traveling to Vegas for Christmas.

  • Formerly Broken Jaw


    Formerly Broken Jaw Sr. β€œHas your doctor ever suggested you lose weight?”
    FBJ β€œDad, I think doctors say that to everyone.”
    FBJ Sr. β€œMine never has.”

    Rant: Managers who want to review your talking points before a meeting. This is an internal status meeting for the Windows 7 upgrade not freaking β€œMeet the Press.”

    Rave: White mini-pumpkins for.69 each at TJs!

  • Rave: told yesterday my collarbone doesn’t need surgery
    Rant: i am missing the best biking weather.
    Rave: cooked for first time yesterday since the accident. not to sound firstworld but eating out all the time kinda sucks.

  • hispanicandproud

    Rave: Last night’s track workout at Banneker was tough as nails but as our coach said, the team miles were amazing. Best part of the group is how we all encourage each other to be better runners.

    Rave: Ankle and leg are much better, thanks to dry needling and the barbaric Graston treatments. Ready or not, marathon here I come!

    • Ooof Graston. It hurts, but isn’t it crazy that being ruthlessly rubbed with stainless steel makes you feel better? I’m glad your running is going well!

      • hispanicandproud

        Thanks, jeslett. It hurts so good. Everytime I’ve gone for treatment I yell and scream and then ask when can I come back!

  • pablo .raw

    Rave: I had a photo session with a sports team on the Capitol grounds and was not harassed for it.
    Rave: Amazing sunsets, amazing weather!

  • GiantSquid

    Revel: That photo reminds me to take pictures the next time my pups get baths. We could do a Pet Post series of before and afters.
    Rant: So nervous about giving notice today!
    Rant: Mr. Squid’s job sucks
    Rant: co-worker is pregnant and due any day now. Blows my mind what people think is ok to ask her, tell her, and refer to her as.
    Revel: Delicious dinner last night of mushroom ragout over toast with Sleepy Hollow and Agents of SHIELD
    Rant: Pretend locations in DC/NoVa

    • I went a week+ past my due date and worked the whole time, knowing that if I stayed home, I’d just sit around and eat and be bored and waste precious leave time. I counted the number of times I got asked “Haven’t you had that baby yet???” each day. It actually decreased, from around a dozen times in the first two days I showed up unexpectedly, to just once on the last day.
      And I have a friend who kept a complicated score (on her facebook) of every time someone used the word “pop” with regard to her pregnancy. “You look ready to pop” got one point, and “when are you going to pop that kid out” got three. Bonus points for statements from strangers. (“Pop” is such a stupid concept to associate with advanced pregnancy, as it is about the furthest thing from the light ephemeral nature of a bubble.)

    • The way that pregnant women are treated as public property, poked and prodded, and asked all sorts of inappropriate questions really aggravates me. If it would be a rude and intrusive thing to ask a man, get a clue and realize that it would be equally rude to ask of a woman.

      • I don’t disagree with you. But I also think it’s a bit of a shame that this one genuine, happy, friendly interaction gets so coldly shut down. Yeah, people are clueless, and yeah, I got tired of the same questions and remarks over and over and over…. but I’d prefer that to people going around terrified of saying anything. That’s no way to live in society. I’m glad that people still get excited about babies, and ok with most ways that people demonstrate their excitement. (No touching, though. Exception is if you are a sweet old granny (85+), my own parent or spouse, or have an explicit invitation.) (Also, no backwards math to figure out when my child was conceived. That’s hella creepy.)

  • Rant: I procrastinated and now I’m paying the price. I have no one to blame but myself and I never learn.
    Rant: Trying to figure out when to buy Winter Classic tickets. I have the highest ceiling, but not everyone is decided on theirs and I don’t know which direction ticket prices are going to go. My dad freaked out when I told him my max price.
    Rant: I just read the agenda for my “retreat” Thursday and Friday and it includes Thursday night dinner! First, it’s not a retreat if you don’t leave the office, second I don’t want to spend 16 hours with these people and be forced to go out to dinner with them too. Sure, the international people are happy because they have company for dinner, but I have plans already and they aren’t in Rockville on a Thursday night. Especially when the agenda says “Dinner (Somewhere Fun, TBD).” I think our expectations of fun are pretty different.

    • Your procrastination rant is the story of my life. Seriously.

    • Accountering

      It may make me a crazy person, but I don’t have a max price for Winter Classic. Just like I wouldn’t have a max price for a game 7 Stanley Cup. I work really hard, and make good money, and if the Caps are in a game 7 at home for the SC, I am going to the game.
      Rockville isn’t THAT bad! I work up here. I bet you are going to either Seasons 52 (delicious) or Clydes. If you have any say, push for Seasons 52. Little closer to the city, and they have the most amazing desserts that come in little shot glasses. They bring them to the table, and they are amazing.

      • Accountering

        Keeping in mind, I have season tickets of which I sell 2/3. This means I already have Winter Classic tickets, and also have SC tickets when we make it, and for whatever game I choose to go to.

        • Yeah, I used to get a package, but the quality has gone down tremendously. I don’t want pre-picked games. But my Winter Classic max is very high, laughable apparently, so I’m not concerned about getting tickets. My boyfriend wants to know how much he’s going to spend on Nats tickets in the post season before he decides, but we don’t want to wait too long to get the Winter Class tickets.

          • Accountering

            That makes sense. Keeping in mind, I am plenty frugal in many parts of my life, but yeah, if the Caps were game 7 SC at home, if the ticket was $2,000, that’s what I would pay haha. With that said, I drive an 11 year old SUV (by choice) so it is all about priorities and choices. The Caps may never make another SC, or not for a long long long time, so I would go if they were in it. The Winter Classic isn’t quite as exciting, as we will likely host another one again within a decade or so, but being at the first one will be fun.

      • I know Rockville isn’t terrible, but there’s something else going on this Thursday…at Jack Rose…with some people you may know.
        I will admit that last time we had a group dinner at Seasons 52 we didn’t hit our minimum and the server gave me an unopened bottle of wine to take home and all of the leftovers. That was pretty good. Part of the issue with this is the organizer. She’s not my favorite person and she’s kind of hard to relate to.

        • Andie302

          You could come to HH first – that might make the event (and the organizer) much more tolerable πŸ™‚

          • I work in Rockville, hence eating in Rockville. So, I’ll have to come after, whenever that is.
            I think I’m just resentful of being asked to give more time outside of work. It’s not mandatory, but wouldn’t I look bad if I skipped the dinner with my teammates who flew in from Brazil? This is a weird, not actually my daily job work product and team, but the leader is still my boss’ boss, so I can’t really risk being a jerk.

          • We’re going to the Woodmont Grill in Bethesda. The Yelpers seem to like it.
            I’m still thinking about not attending, but I probably will.

          • Accountering

            Woodmont Grill is solid. I worked in Bethesda. Fairly fancy, but good food. Lots of lawyers and the like eat there. Good news is it is fairly easy to get from there to Jack Rose! Hehe.

          • Accountering

            These events can definitely suck. Only you know your work atmosphere, and career potential etc, but I know when I am invited to these, it is important to my career to attend. At least we get a good dinner and a beer or two out of it.

          • Is this a somewhat last minute dinner? If so, how about going for a drink and appetizer & then leave explaining you had a prior commitment that couldn’t be changed.

          • Well, the agenda was sent out on Saturday, but that effectively means Monday because I don’t have a work phone and I don’t generally check email on the weekends. So, it’s kind of last minute. That’s not a bad idea, though I’m terrible at excusing myself gracefully, maybe this is an opportunity for practice.

        • Accountering

          Ahhh, wasn’t putting two and two together. I will be leaving work quite early tomorrow. Bummer…

  • Andie302

    Rave: That schnauzer πŸ™‚
    Rave: I’m feeling better physically and mentally today. I wouldn’t say I’m 100% back to normal (physically) but one more night of rest should do it.
    Rave: Panera had cherry vanilla bagels this morning – delicious! They must be seasonal, I’ve never seen them before.
    Rave: Quiet night planned and that’s perfect!
    Rave: Can’t wait to start using the crockpot
    Only rant: Wearing tights for the first time this season – goodbye bare legs and wet hair in the morning…see you next year.

  • Rant: Have use or lose leave that might end up being forfeited. I was saving it for a payout for when I leave my horrible job but that won’t end up happening before the leave deadline. I know having leave should be a rave but it hurts to think of losing days I could have spent away from work.

    • Andie302

      Can you donate them? At least someone (who is presumably in a tough spot) could benefit. Sorry you don’t get to cash them out! (I would make this call after doing everything I could to use them myself!)

    • Emmaleigh504

      Use them! I had a lady at my old job take a month off before she retired to use up her leave. She came back to work 1 day, which was spent holding court at her going away party, then she was retired! At my current job a lady took every other week off to use up her time before she left.

    • Or use a day a week if you can’t take a big chunk of time off at this point.

      • laurelo

        +1. At my old job, we couldn’t carry over or cash out leave, it was use it or lose it. I usually took Fridays or Mondays off starting in November (and occasionally a Thursday to keep things interesting). It was amazing how many errands and holiday shopping trips I accomplished, and my weekends were free!

    • If you work for the federal government, use-it or lose-it is on a calendar year basis, so you shouldn’t be worried about not using leave before the end of the fiscal year (next week). Also, if you talk to your supervisor now about the issue you may be able to get approval to use carried over leave in the first couple pay periods of next year. There is a process for this, but it is more likely to be approved if you raise it now and document why you can’t take all that leave before the end of the year without hurting your output.

  • Bear

    Rant: Watching any Mike Holmes show after purchasing an old home. I’m now convinced that our house is structurally unsound and mold-infested and we’re going to have to gut it. We know we have a major renovation in the next five years because we want to put on an addition to the back of the house, and I’m trying not to freak out about what we’re going to find once demo starts.
    Rant: Had a dream last night that my old boss came back to my organization and demanded to know why we hadn’t contacted him to come back to work for us since we created a new program area that was in his area of expertise (background: he was fired a couple years ago for not bringing in any business in his 3 years here). We had a shouting match in the middle of the office where he said I wasn’t doing any better of a job than he did when he was here. My mood is not great today.
    Question for PoPville: any tips on removing lead paint from window frames? I know dry sanding is a no-go, but if not that, then what? Liquid stripper?

    • gotryit

      I use gel stripper – multiple rounds of it. And then clean up well. That probably isn’t approved by the EPA or 100% safe, but after some relatively significant renovations I didn’t show any lead in a blood test for it.

      • Emmaleigh504

        oy. I read that as. “I use a gal stripper, multiple rounds on her.” and thought you were going somewhere else with your comment.

        • gotryit

          I think women would be able to do just as good a job stripping woodwork as men…what’s your point…;)

          Just wait until you get to caulk jokes. You need to squeeze caulk into every gap (to make things look good on your woodwork). I recommend the big caulk tubes (since they’re more economical). After a few hours of squeezing the caulk gun my forearm gets tired…

          … yes, I share the maturity of an immature 15 yr old

    • Hire a professional to do the lead paint removal. It’s nasty business any way you look at it. The liquid stripper is super toxic (and doesn’t work that well), and using a heat gun requires a ventilator, I believe.

      I’m all about DIY. But, for lead paint and asbestos removal, I leave it to the pros.

    • First ask yourself, “Am I going to replace these windows one day?” if the answer is yes, and the paint isn’t flaking, do yourself a huge favor and don’t strip the paint.

      As far as stripping goes, the fastest way is to use a heat gun, at a lower setting so the lead doesn’t vaporize. If you go the chemical route, the harshest are usually the fastest and most effective. Unfortunately.

    • i used an infrared heat stripper — it doesn’t heat up hot enough to vaporize the lead (but I still wore a respirator), and the paint comes off pretty easily, followed by 2-3 rounds of gel stripper that encapsulated the lead. infrared heat strippers are illegal in many states, so are hard to find in stores — i ordered mine online (i got the one called silent paint remover).
      if i were doing it again, i would pay a professional to do it. even without ornate woodwork around the windows, it was a serious PITA to strip the entire house myself.

    • Shameless plug. Use this to find lead renovation, repair and painting firms near you certified by EPA. You shouldn’t attempt to remove lead paint yourself. http://cfpub.epa.gov/flpp/searchrrp_firm.htm

      • gotryit

        Why shouldn’t I?
        I recognize there’s risk to it. And the government _has_ to say “don’t ever do it – hire a professional”, but what if I need that money for something else and can be smart about my specific situation?

        • Well, I’m only talking in my personal capacity, but A) people tend to overestimate their ability and knowledge on these issues, and there’s a lot of misinformation on the internet about what’s safe and what’s not safe, and B) You’re going to need to think carefully about how and whether you’ll be able to properly dispose of the resulting contaminated material and chemicals.

    • Try CleanStrip gel, it’s $ but worth it, in a white bucket with green text at the Duron store. It clings on and turns old hard paint into mush that you can scrape off easier and doesn’t offgas to high heaven like regular stipper. You have to be patient, apply it and let it sit for half a day or more. Pretty sure you don’t need to buy the special plastic, although that helps it work better by holding in the moisture so it can work better. Clingwrap or visquine might work.

  • Been a while for me…
    Rave: PoP’s response in the stabbing thread. Well done, sir.

    Happy New Year, everyone.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Observation: I think I have graduated from Crazy Cat Lady in training to Crazy Cat Lady. Had a convo with my parents the other day and all we did was talk about our cats. I am happy to talk about cats all day and night, you may have noticed.
    Rave: Watching Twitter pal turn into a crazy cat lady since she started feeding a stray last winter. The stray now has a name, comes indoors, and has a Twitter account.

  • Becks

    Rave: I got up showered, washed dried and curled hair, dressed and walked out the door in an hour! Yes!
    Rant: Was still 15 minutes late to doctors appointment.
    Rave: Stopped for an everything bagel on the way to work, and it was good!
    Rave: One of my friends recently got engaged, then moved in with her fiancΓ©e. I haven’t seen their new place but am going to go over on Friday for a game night! Super excited to see everyone.
    Rant: I’ve been really tired lately. I turned off my computer at home yesterday at 5:30 and decided to take a nap on the sofa, but didn’t get up until this morning. Maybe it’s the weather that makes me want to doze?
    Question: I would like to take a board game to my friends house as a gift. What is your favorite group game?

  • Rave: Consistently being able to dress for fall this week (so far)! I’m that person walking around looking like I’m about to go ride a horse in the English countryside for half the year and I’m thrilled to bring riding boots and quilted vests back into the rotation!
    Rant: The fact that the Weather Channel app tells me to expect the weather to return to the 80s on Friday through the foreseeable future.
    Rave: I have very supportive coworkers who add fun to even the craziest days.
    Rant: Surprise work travel in a couple weeks. Lots to do in preparation.

  • Rant: tough time taking pictures the other day. the only one that worked out was the only open mouthed smile which I dislike because of teeth aversion… but in all the other ones, it looked like my eyes were different shapes/different levels of open so it was very awkward. But in the end the photog was a pro and I got a free professional picture out of the deal so I stuck it out
    Review: tried boss shepards with a friend last night, expected much better from a farm to table joint. Got the fried chicken which was good, but they didn’t clearly communicate they didn’t have eggplant for the side and the sweet corn, which sounded good, was like 3 1 inch wide rounds of corn that was more or less inedible. Unforch but I do recommend trying the bone marrow app, if you have at least 3 people, its very rich but a new thing to try. hot beef fat on bread basically.
    rave; interview tomorrow! I’m determined to nail it so I can get out of my dead end office minion temp job, not sure about how to dress. Usually I go with heels+blouse+skirt for interviews which is what I wear 50% of the time in the office. The other 50% I wear a collared shirt, a narrow tie, straight leg pants and flat heel boots or something similar. This is corporate law so I’m not sure which side of the fashion spectrum I should err on.

    • Dress on the conservative side.

    • If it’s corporate law, definitely wear a blazer of some kind. Doesn’t have to be a matching suit, but you need something to top off the blouse. I would also steer clear of ties (assuming you’re a lady) for the interview. If you’re not interviewing for a legal job, you don’t have to go ultra conservative, but corporate law firms are pretty conservative generally. I know folks may disagree with me on this, but I’d rather get my foot in the door by not giving them something visual to challenge them (e.g. more casual dress), and THEN figure out if I want to work there.

      • Accountering

        100% agree. Corporate Law in DC is quite formal, and no reason to give them a reason to look down on you in any way shape or form.

  • Rave – I had to lead a big, all day meeting yesterday after my boss flaked out and decided he wasn’t going. I was so stressed and nervous over it, but it actually went ok! It was not a disaster!
    Rant – Spilled coffee all over myself this morning.
    Rave – Good thing I can hide in my cubicle today and no one has to see my coffee stained skirt.

    • Yay for Rave #1! I totally understand what that feels like, that gnawing feeling that you’re leading this thing and are you doing it well enough through the whole meeting. Way to go!

  • skj84

    Rave: Went to Piper Kerman’s talk at UDC last night. She is such an engaging speaker. She discussed OITNB and elaborated more on her time in prison. Incredibly inspiring.

    Rant: I need to unpack my suitcase. And go through my closet. Time to figure out fall outfits!

    Popville brunch is Saturday at Bar Pilar. There are still a few spots left! https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/popville-brunch-group

  • L’Shana Tova to my fellow PoPville Red Sea pedestrians!

  • epric002

    rant: foster puppy is 0 for 2 with large-ish, playful, male dogs. i think he’s insecure b/c of his healing foot (srsly)
    rave: getting lots of stuff taken care of before heading out of town this weekend for a cousin’s wedding
    rant: still lots more to do…
    rave: good friend is engaged! my preggo/engagement radar is really on target lately πŸ™‚
    rave: decided to order husband UNC socks just for fun, and ended up buying almost $100 worth of UNC gear for the upcoming season. shhh- don’t tell him! some of it will eventually end up in his christmas stocking.
    rave: hair appt tonight with my fabulous stylist. first appt at her own salon!

  • justinbc

    Reminder: PoPville HH tomorrow @ Jack Rose! They offer the HH pricing both inside and upstairs “5-7:30pm $2 off all drafts $5 wine $6 sangria $8 punch 1/2 priced bites”. Given that tomorrow is supposed to be the most yucky day of this week, I guess we’ll play it by ear with regard to where to find our group. The upstairs is definitely better for large gatherings, so hopefully they’ve got it closed off enough to not be wet or cold, but if you can’t find us up there take a peek downstairs.

    • Accountering

      I’ll be there shortly after 5! Apparently I need to take advantage of this HH, or else my bill is going to creep towards $100, and I certainly don’t need that.

    • I’ll be home, fasting and prepping for the cameras that are going inside of me Friday morning.

      Rant: Prep kit cost $50, WITH insurance! They should just tell patients do drink a ton of prune juice instead. It would be a lot cheaper that way.

    • Becks

      Thanks for the reminder. I had planned on going to the last PoPBrunch but ended up over booking. I want to go tomorrow, but will have to see how the weather cooperates.

    • Emmaleigh504

      grrr I’ll probably miss all the good prices since I’ll arrive at about 7:30. Stupid work.

      • skj84

        Jack Rose had Tiki Thursday Happy Hour in their Tiki Bar through the summer. It usually ran until 10. Dunno if they are still running the deal into fall, especially if the weather is crap tomorrow.

    • Hmm… I’m going to have to start and finish work earlier than usual, so as to get in there for the HH pricing (and to be able to leave for the lease signing and come back afterward).

    • I’ll be out of town – sorry to miss this one : (

    • tonyr

      I have to get from work (VA), home (Shaw), HH (AM) then to see Lily Allen at 9:30 club. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. I need a drink.

    • Emmaleigh504

      When do we get to start speculating on Anonymous with a crush and their Crush?

      Just kidding Anonymous!

  • Hey PoP and team: What did you find on the failure-to-refresh problem we talked about last week? Any solutions on the user’s end? It’s still doing it sometimes for me.

  • topscallop

    Rant: I think I need a second job to pay for my student loans. Retail/service jobs don’t pay much and I don’t have a lot of free time, what with my full-time job. Plus I may have more work travel coming up that would mean an unpredictable schedule…at least I can pocket some of the per diem : |

    Rave: This beautiful fall weather!

    Rant/Rave: this morning metro was seriously awful but the people around me took it in good humor and there was a “we’re all in this together” kind of vibe. One girl even helped me get on a packed train, and I rescued someone whose strap was caught as they tried to exit the car.

    • This is really late but could you tutor? Group tutoring (two students) is sometimes a better arrangement than individual tutoring (earn more per hour, cheaper for the students). I tutored when I was in college and my coworker has been doing it for years on the side.

  • Rave/rant: I just read about a campaign manager in TX who has been charged with buying votes with cocaine and money for a school board election. School board election!! WTF??

    (just google “buying votes texas school board” to get the full story)

    • Native Texan. Does not surprise me, sadly.

    • If you want another good story of school board gone crazy, check out last week’s This American Life, “A Not-So-Simple Majority”. It is truly mind-boggling what supposedly small amounts of power will do to people.

  • Rant: It’s so cold in my office.
    Rave: Fall is upon us. Love this time of year!
    Rant: My office is moving from the 2nd to the 7th floor of our building in December. For most of October and all of November we will be in a nomad period basically working from home. It sounds OK but I just know that communication during the nomad time is going to be a train wreck.
    Rave: After making a conscious effort in examining my thoughts for the past 2 weeks per my therapist’s advice, my depressive/angry thoughts have become shorter and more manageable. I’m noticing bad thoughts earlier now and try to intervene instead of waddling in misery.

  • Povillers: I need advice on adopting an adult cat for my new apartment. I grew up with cats and am a cat lover. However, I am concerned about the possibility of accidents in a carpeted apartment. Also, any thoughts on where to place a litter box? And finally do I just need to accept that the fact that any new furniture will suffer feline wear and tear? Thanks.

    • Go to the shelter and play with the cats. You want one that will come to you (instead of cowering), and will relax when held (instead of trying to escape or going rigid).
      Get some softpaws claw covers, and have the vet apply them the first time. Your cat might always need them, or might prove to be amenable to a scratching post.

    • Contact one of the rescue groups that keep cats in foster homes – Homeward Trails – WARL – Alley cat allies etc. You can pretty much custom order the type of cat you want, as there are so many available, and the fosters already know a lot about the temperament. They also want you to have the perfect cat for you – so they are not going to try and talk you into the wrong cat. You tell them you want a lively cat that’s good with kids for example, and they send an email out to all the fosters asking for suggestions.

      You can also start browsing on Petfinder.com – all the groups post their cats there, along with some description of their nature.

      Litter box issues are surprisingly rare, but again, the foster will be able to tell you this. As for furniture, I know Homeward Trails has some de-clawed cats available. But I’ve found that just offering a few different scratching posts and giving a startling “Pssssst!” if they try the furniture has been working pretty well with my foster kittens.

      • For scratching, it seems like some cats prefer scratching vertically and some like scratching horizontally, so at first give the cat both posts and scratch pads to choose from until you figure out which s/he prefers.

    • epric002

      talk to the rescue/shelter about your concerns too. they should be able to make recommendations for cats based on who will fit you best. good luck, and thank you for adopting, especially an adult!

      • +1 to this and what Victoria said. For cats that are in foster care — either through a rescue group or through groups like WHS and WARL that also have shelters — the fosters can tell you a lot about the cat’s temperament.

    • Emmaleigh504

      WHS has lots of adult cats. When I went and found Donna I wanted them all! The people there were really helpful and told me all about Donna before I got her (like how she’s a piggy and super sweet).
      Litter box and furniture..I stick the litter box in the most out of the way place possible. Right now mine is in a weird corner that is pretty much useless. My cats have always been good about only using the box. And thankfully aren’t bulimic. Those claw covers are awesome. Dita Von Teese uses them on her cat and he is free to run wild in her costumes and satin sheets and doesn’t hurt a thing! Me, I’m resigned to the cats scratching my sofa on occasion.
      Most importantly! Take pictures of your new kitty and send them to Pop for the Afternoon Animal Fix!

    • As to accidents and litterbox placement:
      Cats are pretty fastidious animals and are unlikely to pee/poop outside the box unless 1) you don’t clean the box often enough, 2) there’s a medical issue, 3) there are psychological issues.
      I have my cat on a flushable litter, so I keep the litterbox in the bathroom. I think the general advice on litterboxes is to place them somewhere where the cat will have some privacy if it wants it, and where it’s not going to be interrupted by loud noises or scary things that it might then associate with the litterbox.

      • For litterbox placement – the cabinet under your bathroom sink is a good place. I cut a hole and put a cat door in mine (to keep the dogs from “snacking”) but if you’re renting, and don’t have a dog, you can just take one of the doors off with a screwdriver.

    • For scratching and furniture (something I too was concerned about when I was getting a cat): Feline wear and tear isn’t inevitable. It depends partly on the cat, partly on the furniture, and partly on the scratching alternatives you offer the cat.
      As Emilie504 mentioned, you can put claw covers on a cat’s claws. You can also trim their claws. (Some cats don’t mind this at all; others really don’t like their pawpads being touched and have to be enticed into it with food/treats.)
      If you don’t offer your cat any scratching posts or scratching toys, odds are that he/she will scratch the furniture and/or rugs. So get some scratching devices, and different kinds of them (vertical and horizontal). Some cats will take to them readily; others will show no interest unless/until you rub catnip on the devices.
      Cats seem to prefer rougher, more textured fabrics over smoother ones — it gives them something to sink their claws into. (Although I hear they like leather and faux leather, which aren’t particularly textured.) Depending on what kind of furniture you have, your cat might not find it particularly scratch-worthy anyway. If you have upholstered furniture with fabric that the cat finds tempting, you can try double-sided tape or other things that discourage scratching.

      • Emmaleigh504

        For trimming claws, make sure your trimmers are sharp, start when the cat is relaxed and start with just 1 claw or 1 foot and work up to more. Ashlee hated having her feet touched, but by starting slow and always giving her treats after we worked up to her sitting still long enough for me to do all her claws at one go.

      • Becks

        Lady Carlotta of Columbia Heights is fond of Chinese Silk paintings. I have removed all left and put them in the closet! I bought vertical and horizontal scratching posts and she took right to them. She does enjoy scratching one section of the sofa (and only that odd one place) which I then covered with aluminum foil. The aluminum makes a noise that she finds distracting. I have put double sided sticky tape on places I do not want her to jump or climb and she has been good about staying off those pieces of furniture. Problem is, I may not have to resign myself to always having the aluminum foil and sticky tape out, or putting it back after company. She has no problem with the litter pan,and finds the restroom to be a great time to bond. I don’t.

        • Emmaleigh504

          Have you seen that cat guy video where he shows how much his new cat loves him? part of the video is the kitten playing in his undies as he uses the euphemism. It’s hilarious and adorable. Sadly, I do not recall the title.

        • My cat is very good with her vertical scratching posts, and also uses an S-shaped scratcher — mostly horizontal — that sits on the floor. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get her to stop scratching the rug too, despite hissing “Pssst!” at her whenever I catch her in the act (and spraying her with a water bottle, if I can reach it in time). I’ve kind of resigned myself to the rug-scratching, but at least since I keep her claws trimmed she can’t really do that much damage.

      • I also trained my dog to run and bark at any cat scratching the furniture. It works great and is fun for her.

    • Yay for adopting an adult! I found mine on Petfinder (which has the cats from many rescue groups), you can specifically search for adult and declawed. I would never do it to a cat but as long as there are some for adoption it saves the furniture. I keep the litter in the bathroom, makes it easy to keep up with on a regular basis, and I assume your bathroom isn’t carpeted. My trick is to make the opening face the wall so most of the accumulation is by the wall instead of the middle of the room.

    • Has anyone toilet trained their cat? I think the training product is called City Kitty. OP’s username, and question, made me think of it.
      I’m afraid my 10 year old is too old and too dumb to do it now. But the next cat is definitely going to use the toilet.

      • Emmaleigh504

        Growing up we had a cat toilet train herself. Sadly, Donna is too klutzy to even try to train her. She regularly falls when she tries to jump on the couch (short, stubby legs).

      • I had briefly thought about this, but my cat seems to enjoy digging and kicking the litter around (I had to get a Clevercat top-entry box for this reason) and I thought it would be a shame to deprive her of something she apparently enjoys.

  • Free to good home:
    I have a few extra houseplants – small spider plant and two plants with reddish foliage (cordyline and dracaena, I believe). Also some Persian shield if anyone wants to try and overwinter inside.

  • Thanks all for your thoughtful advice. I will definitely submit pics to Popville once I find the purrfect kitty for me!

  • Spent more than I could afford to fly out to visit brother and SIL. I usually love my trips. Something has changed though. They’ve done nothing but tease me and be obnoxious. They’re always stressed so I understand being drained, but wtf?! It’s not license to be jerks to me when I’ve really honestly done nothing. (I got yelled at for using the wrong mug. ) So now I’m spending the rest of the week avoiding everyone and counting the days til I go home. It’s really depressing.

    Rave: The gorgeous sky views that we don’t have in DC.

    • Andie302

      You man want to say something. Don’t say anything when they are actively teasing you – but maybe during a quiet moment at dinner or something mention that you feel like you’re taking more than your fair share of ribbing. They could have no idea that they are doing it. On the other hand, I had a friend in college that moved across the country and when friends went to visit she was completely neurotic about her house/schedule/etc. to the point where friends said they would never visit her again. Sorry you’re going through this!

        • Thanks for the suggestion. πŸ™‚ It feels pointless though. If I try, they get defensive. (I have tried.) I seriously feel like I just can’t win. I’m walking on eggshells and god forbid I do something wrong- I don’t want to be scolded or mocked. What’s so strange is their behavior is exactly how they think my mother behaves- and they cannot stand her. It’s so hypocritical, but they are blind to it. So I’m enjoying some solitude and heading to buy crap at Marshall’s lol.

          • Did they ask you to visit, or did you initiate the visit?
            If the latter, is it possible that they’re being mean and passive-aggressive now because they were too chicken to say “Now is not a good time for you to visit”? (I have a second cousin who did this once.) Or maybe there are other stressors (work? infertility?) and they’re just taking it out on you?
            Hang in there!

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