Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user  JJ Jackson

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.

326 Comment

  • gotryit

    Rave: I get to use my snowblower!
    Rant: I have to wait until I get home tonight.

  • Rave: Snow day! Spent the first hour or so buying a shovel and then shoveling. Of note: my next door neighbors who spent a lot of time complaining about our front yard over the summer have an untouched patch of sidewalk.
    Rant: Turns out the mover I hired Friday was even worse than I thought. I started the day with two bed frames and ended with none (one fell off the trailer on 295 and the other one, he didn’t bring one of the pieces in).
    Rave: My house is beautiful and spacious! Still lots of unpacking to do though.

    • that sounds awful (about your movers)! Is there a way to leave public feedback for that? Pretty crappy all around

      • No because I took a gamble and hired some guy on CL. It ended up being a case of you get you pay for ($85). But the bed frames were in pretty bad shape anyway, so I’m looking forward to getting new ones.

        • I have a nice bedframe from Ikea and didn’t spend much on it if that’s useful info.

          • +1 for ikea bedframes

          • How sturdy are they? Asking for a friend!

          • Some are flimsy, some are sturdy. You get what you pay for.
            My Ikea wood frame was a bit flimsy, so I hacked it by drilling in some additional wood screws from the hard ware store. I screwed in the base slats into the frame so they’d stop slipping out from under the mattress. I also added screws to further attack the stabilizing cross beam into the head board and foot board to make it MUCH sturdier. 15 minutes of work with a power drill turned my rickety bed frame into an indestructible beast 😀

        • On bedframes: If you’re looking for the ultra-simple metal “rail” type (that holds a boxspring/mattress combination), you can often find them for free on Freecycle.

          • maxwell smart

            just make sure that for anything larger then a full-sized bed that it has a middle rail, not just a top and bottom rail. Otherwise, even with a box spring, the middle of the bed doesn’t get enough support and the mattress will start to sag. According to the mattress companies, you need 3 rails to validate your warranty.

    • Your neighbors aren’t in violation on the shoveling front — at least, not yet. The D.C. government websites say: “DC law requires residents to remove snow from sidewalks and steps within eight hours of daylight after the snow stops.”

      • Yeah, I know. I’m just happy that I can show them that I am capable of taking care of things. I know it’s petty. I didn’t realize it was 8 hours though.

    • Sorry to hear about the bed frames. I bought the Sleep Master Platform Metal Bed Frame from Amazon this year and really like it. Easy to assemble, pretty light, and allows for a good amount of storage under the bed.

  • Rave: unexpected snow morning due to the Dupont Circle power outage
    Rant: I got the ‘do not report to the office’ voice mail AFTER I entered my departure metro station, meaning I had to cough up 2.15 to go back home.
    Rave: at least I didn’t go all the way to the office and find this out, additionally, I don’t have to drive in this weather.
    bonus rave: watching doggies play in the snow in the dog park outside my window 🙂

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rave: Made it to work in my normal time, nothing unusual happened.
    Rant: At work I found out I could have teleworked.
    Rave: Happy king cake season!
    Rant: I don’t have a king cake yet.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Also my friends convo w/ her 7ish year old son this morning made me smile:
      Mom: Do you know what today is?
      Son: Epiphany!
      Mom: Do you know what that means?
      Son: King cake!

    • binpetworth

      Question for you Miss Emilie. I’m attending a New Orleans/Mardi Gras cooking party next month, where everyone brings a dish from the Big Easy. What recipe/dish would you bring for authenticity’s sake?

      • Emmaleigh504

        Red beans and rice are a good Mardi Gras dish. Easy to make in advance and heat up. Brown jambalaya* is good to and pretty easy to make and so tasty. NEVER red jambalaya, I don’t care what anyone says, it’s gross. You will make many many friends if you bring king cake.
        *Technically brown jambalaya is Cajun and not traditionally New Orleans, the red is creole and New Orleans. But the red is just so gross.

    • I Dont Get It

      Count your blessings. I saw an acquaintance at Target last night and he said he was making a King Cake. I noticed several packages of crescent rolls in his cart and immediately thought “I don’t think Emilie504 would approve.”

  • Rave: We;l done Metro – I arrived at work early and with no problems
    Rant: I don’t often get to say that

  • epric002

    rant: no pre-treatment of roads.
    rant: no treatment of roads.
    rant: no plowing of roads.
    rant: no delays.
    rant: OPM and local gov’ts.
    rave: maybe we’ll get our delay/closure tomorrow since everything is going to be a packed down skating rink for the next 2 days?

  • Rant: I don’t know why I feel so guilty about not going into work. I am at work and the commute was miserable- as I am sure you all know if you are at work too!
    Rave: Fewer people in the office!

  • Rant: The commute this morning.
    Rant: No snow day.
    Rant: Can’t telecommute with my job.
    Rave: Most of my supervisors still haven’t made it in, so it’s been a quiet morning at work so far!
    Rave: I didn’t have to drive, and my bus wasn’t one of the ones that got stuck at least – could’ve been a lot worse!

  • Rave: Back to work. Being off for nearly 2 weeks killed me.
    Rant: Braving metro. Terrible as always and only had to go 2 stops. Ponytail to the eye!
    Rant: People with large bags who insist on standing at the bus door. Full army duffel and rolling luggage on a crowded bus.
    Rave: Date tonight with a military woman who hopefully won’t be scared indoors by the weather.

  • Rant: Had to go to work today. Even if I was allowed to telecommute (which is supposed to happen soon) I would still have had to come in because I’m teaching this afternoon.

    Rave: Easy commute. I left around 6, had a very short drive Metro (with pretty clear roads and almost no traffic) and only had a short delay on the Red line. Got into work before 7.

  • Rant: OPM blew it big time. What’s the commute going to be like tonight?
    Rant: We don’t seem to have heat in our building, today of all days.
    Rave: Homemade soup and Downton Abbey being back!

    • I dunno, was it OPM or DPW for failing to pretreat & plow. This was a manageable amount of snow, even if more than predicted, if the roads were dealt with at all.

      • Emmaleigh504

        I think a delay would have been good b/c the plows and salt trucks would still gum up the morning commute just by being there doing their job. I think they both failed today.

        • Agreed. At the minimum, we needed a delay so the plows could do their work before all the traffic started snarling up the roadways. However, it appears the trucks were not really working anywhere this morning. Big time mess-up for all jurisdictions in DC, MD, and VA. People were asleep at the wheel on this one. But even with preparation, we usually have at least a 2-hour delay to help people sort through the mess and carefully drive/walk/bus into work, so I put a lot of blame on OPM for this one.

      • From what I understand, part of the problem lay in the forecast not reaching the threshold for salting/plowing and this storm being a significant boom compared to predictions.

      • I’m not sure, but last night I watched a salt truck treat the school parking lot next door, largely because I was trying to figure out what his logic was. He’d back up a bit, very slowly, dump a bunch of salt, then drive over it to (seemingly) spread it around. End result? This morning there were 2 small patches of black pavement where the piles of salt were, surrounded by white snow everywhere else.
        Let’s just say I didn’t have much hope for the roads this morning…

  • Rant: I totally get the draw of the anonymous note, but I would like to be able to follow up with mystery neighbor and I’m not upset about the content of the note.
    Rave: Later this month I’m joining friends for a ski weekend! I’ve never skied even though I’m from New England, but I might give the bunny hill a try. Hopefully all of time in spin class and at the gym will help, but I have no idea how hard it is to learn. Good thing I love snow tubing too.
    Rave: metro got me to work on time with no issues.
    Rave: maybe getting some sledding in tonight!

    • What was your neighbor writing anonymously about?

      • My foster dog has been barking when I’m gone, which I actually didn’t realize because she doesn’t bark when I leave or when I get home. I have, on numerous occasions, waited in the hallway upon leaving and arriving to see if she’s making any noise. I appreciate the information because I wouldn’t have addressed it without knowing.
        I don’t usually full time foster because I am gone too long, but I took back my overnight foster because she was doing really poorly in boarding. She’s being moved to another foster on Wednesday and until then I am having a friend hang out with her during the day. I can’t crate train her in two days, while working, so this is the stopgap measure I’m going with. I did leave a note on the main door of the building thanking the person for letting me know and asking them to bear with us for the next two days, though I don’t think the barking will be an issue because she won’t be alone. She goes into the crate just fine and will spend time in it when I’m home, so I didn’t think it was such an issue for her. Poor thing.

        • turns out, i live in your building. and while i was not the neighbor that left the note, i can fully express the same feeling the anonymous note leaver probably felt. the dog has been barking rather incessantly and loudly. on sunday, it was clear the dog was left alone all day since the morning, and did not stop barking. so i think from the neighbors point of view, not only is it very annoying (and that stairwell is very echoey), but i felt so bad for the poor dog being left alone for such a long time – this may be the reason for the note rather than a knock in person actually, because you were not available. i think fostering dogs is a really great thing to do, as long as they are definitely getting the proper amount of attention they need, which it sounds like may be the case now.

          also, i had tested the hallway theory myself and as soon as i went in the hallway, the dog quieted down, probably because it heard and sensed a person, or maybe anticipated you coming home. it can be tough not knowing a new dog’s personality.

          • this actually happened in my building as well (although I’m sure I don’t live in your building!). I never said anything because I wasn’t sure of the best way to approach it, knowing that the owner just didn’t know what was happening. I think someone else must have said something, though, because it stopped happening. Jeslett, what do you think the best way a neighbor could have approached this would have been? A knock when they seemed to be home? Just a non-anonymous note?

          • Emmaleigh504

            A signed note.

          • Emmaleigh504

            I meant: a signed note if you can’t catch the neighbor at home.

          • Kallie, thanks for the additional info. I really didn’t know she was barking and you make a good point that just being in the hallway isn’t the same as not being there. I feel like a bad foster mom and a bad neighbor, but now I am armed with the correct information.
            I’m only confused on one thing, and maybe this exact scenario is happening in another building at the same time and that’s why, but she was only alone on Sunday for 5 minutes. The rest of the day I was with her and for part of it I took her to an adoption event. She has rarely barked when I am there.

          • Happened to me also as the dog owner, and the person who told me was very upset with me as if I knew and did nothing. Once I was informed I took my dog to daycare…problem solved. My issue was an ever changing schedule once I was consistent it stopped.
            Many relatively easy fixes to the problem. Assume they don’t know, and tell them.

          • A signed note would be best, that way I know who to follow up with I have more questions and in this case I can apologize for the annoyance in person. I feel like I’ve ticked off my neighbors, but can’t really express my apologies to them.

          • Good to know in case it ever happens again, as this seems to be a common problem. Thanks!

        • oops! sorry, i meant saturday. the extra long weekend seems to have made me lose all track of time. i’m sure it’s the same building as i saw your note when i left this morning. she must just be nervous to be alone, as that seems to be the only time the barking occurs. i really only heard her that one day, but i also happened to be home that day.

    • Andie302

      I’ve only been skiing a few times, but I recall that the one time I went without taking a lesson first was much more diffucult than taking 45 minutes or so and getting some good direction from someone who knows what they’re doing. You’ll do great!

      • As an experienced skier and snowboarder, I totally agree. Take a 2 hour adult group lesson – it’s worth the money and might save you a trip to the ER. Also rent a helmet – can’t stress this enough.
        Also, don’t follow the lead of the young kids – they’re seemingly made of rubber! They can bounce off trees and keep going. Meanwhile, us adults would be in bruised agony.

        • epric002

          +100 to a lesson. i thought i could muddle through in CO with my less than adequate east coast snowboarder (lack of) skills. nope! 1st day was miserable and i was talked into signing up for a day of lessons the next day. i only did a 1/2 day, but it was SO worth it and made the rest of the trip so much more enjoyable.

        • As a newbie skier, I also agree, with one caveat. The first time I took an adult group lesson was last January at Wintergreen, and there were 18 people in a 90 minute lesson. 18. I think I moved 4 times during the lesson – it was useless. I suggest springing for a little extra and getting a private or semi-private lesson.

    • Allison

      On skiing: you will fall a lot the first day, but most of the time it won’t hurt. Keep your skiis pointed in a V in front of you and angle the inside arches of your feet downward so you’re pushing snow outward like a plow. People told me the first part (the V) but failed to emphasize the importance of the second part. This will keep you going slow enough to learn without falling every few feet. Good luck!

      • +1 The “pizza” technique always works for me though I regret letting friends teach me how to ski and never taking a proper lesson. If you take it slow, you’ll probably be fine. My first time I really only fell on purpose when I started going too fast and freaked out.

        I suggest spending a good amount of time testing out your rental ski boots before you hit the slopes since those can really drive you crazy if they don’t fit properly and start to hurt.

        • Definitely agree on the ski boots. I’ve only gone skiing once, and everyone kept telling me the ski boots were supposed to be really tight. Turns out, they were too tight, so after a couple of hours I had compression fractures (or close to it) and couldn’t have any pressure on my shins for a few weeks without a lot of pain.

      • PDleftMtP

        Also, shift your weight forward (not intuitive, or at least it wasn’t to me and I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t stopping).

    • Any chance you ice skate? Skiing is a very similar motion to coasting on hockey skates, and you can stop easily doing a “hockey stop” – making almost a hop (but not leaving the ground), turn both skis sharply, almost to 90 degrees, and put weight on back side of skis so you push the snow up in front of you. Also, falling doesn’t hurt nearly as much as you think it might!

      • I do ice skate, though like most women I was given figure skates. I can’t hockey stop, but I didn’t realize skiing is like skating. Maybe through the combination of my skating and snow shoeing experience I am on track…or something.

        • Well despite being a woman, my family is also canadian, so I had my pick of hockey skates, pads, and sticks growing up, with nary a figure skate in sight 🙂 It’s a similar sensation (being on a slippery surface), and a similar gliding motion, so you won’t be starting from scratch. Just “skate” when moving forward on flat ground, and when you’re downhill put the feet together. It’s a great ab workout!

        • Skiing is definitely just like ice skating – it’s all about the edges. And don’t catch an outside edge or you’ll crash to the ground. 🙂

    • As someone who learned how to snowboard surrounded by friends – just a quick piece of advice – don’t be pressured into doing something you aren’t ready for, and definitely take arnica and whatever you use for soreness beforehand. The soreness of skiing/snowboarding is like none other!

    • Allison

      Another tip for skiing – make sure you wear sunscreen, especially on your neck and eyelids! I got crazy snow-sun burn when I stopped wearing the UV protective goggles because they cut off my peripheral vision (which bugged me with all the snow boarders whizzing by). I ended up looking like I was wearing red eye shadow for a week. The snow is really reflective and you will burn in places you’re not used to.

      • Also on your nose. I ended up looking like Rudolph after my first (and so far only) skiing experience from snow-sunburn.

      • Allison

        Protip: to figure out where you need more sunscreen than usual, shine a flashlight up at your face from about waist height. Everywhere the light shines you need extra sunscreen.

    • Thanks for all the info! This is definitely stuff I would not have been prepared for.

  • jim_ed

    Rant: Just got into the office. Nearly 3 hour commute.
    Rave: At least I know how to drive, unlike apparently all of Maryland.
    Rant: Really, really not looking forward to trip home.

    • You have my sympathy. I heard Viers Mill was closed again, though I’m sure that wasn’t the only issue.

      • jim_ed

        Yeah, it was mainly Viers Mill, people couldn’t get up the hills on it. From Randolph to Twinbrook Parkway it was nearly an hour and a half alone.

  • Rave: Back home after a longish vacation. It was so nice to sleep in my own bed.
    Rave: Snow.
    Rant: I’ve got none this morning.

  • One more rant: I haven’t really been grocery shopping yet and today doesn’t seem like the day to go there. Maybe I’ll walk to the crappy overpriced store nearby, so at least I can eat something healthy.

    • skj84

      I wish I stopped by the store yesterday. I have staples, but low on fun foods. There is a Safeway within walking distance of my house. I may bundle up and make the trek out.

  • justinbc

    Rave: Got plenty of stuff stocked up so I don’t have to worry about leaving the house today or tomorrow, and did a double dose at the gym last night just in case I got lazy today. I know it sucks for anyone commuting, but for me it’s beautiful to watch the snow come down through my windows while I pine away on the laptop.

  • Rant: Took me nearly twice as long to get into work today. All the roads were fine UNTIL you got into DC. No salt , no plows, no nothing. Saw three accidents within a block and 16th going northbound was completely stopped. A bus further down on 16th sideswiped another bus and blocked two lanes.
    Rave: Had my fiance’s nice SUV with heated seats to take into work this morning.
    Rave: Expecting the commute home to be better.

    • The streets in DC might have been fine if the city hadn’t been clogged with commuters and the plows could have driven around more quickly.

      • Ah, wishful thinking to no commuters in DC.

        I didn’t see a single snowplow or salt truck within the city limits.

  • Andie302

    Rant: Ill prepared for both staying at accountering’s place and the snow this morning. I was missing both my snow boots and clean drawers.
    Rant: OPM…I cannot believe after seeing the commute that there wasn’t at least a delay in addition to the telework option. Holy smokes!
    Rave: Quiet office
    Rave: I’m not in Indiana (although I probably should be, for work)…that would’ve been a mess getting back to the east coast tonight.
    Hope everyone manages to stay safe and warm.

  • palisades

    Rave: Found a bunch of threads in the popville archives about amazing brunch places to try.
    Is there a thread with everyone’s favorite happy hours? I can’t find anything

  • Rave: engagement ring shopping
    Rant: figuring out exactly how to save for an engagement ring. I’m fairly young (27 next month) and though I’m able to contribute a small amount to savings and 401k each month, I pretty much live paycheck to paycheck, and there isn’t a significant raise in my future, at least not for a couple years. Do I just wait, especially since I’m looking at a fairly long engagement anyway in order to save up to pay for the (small) wedding? My partner doesn’t care that much about a big fancy ring, and has emphatically said she doesn’t want me to bankrupt myself or go into debt, but I want to buy her something beautiful. Thoughts? Experiences?

    • epric002

      pick out something together within your budget. think outside the diamond box. congrats!

    • BLUE NILE. All the way. Its so much more affordable. The ring are all certified so you are getting exactly what you could get in a store but for a lot less. My ring appraised for more than 5k more than what I paid. Full gem report comes with it. 1.5 carats. Do not buy a ring at a store and most definitely buy anything from Tiffany.

      • +1 to avoiding Tiffany. Or any major retailer. The brand-name markups are absurd unless you really, really care about having that brand name.

      • Andie302

        Adiamor is just like Blue Nile but seems like you get slightly better quality for the same money.

    • Agree with using something other than diamonds as the main stone. You might also want to pick out something antique? There are lots of lovely designs with semi-precious stones that could be unique and special without breaking the bank. Also, try searching Etsy for engagement rings to find something unique – the folks on there are usually happy to figure out what they can make for you within your budget if you find someone whose work you really love.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Get her something small and sweet now, then upgrade or add stones when you can afford it.

    • Listen to your partner! And check out antique rings – precious stones don’t really hold their value and a unique, inexpensive ring that speaks to you will mean more in the long run than a large diamond that is worth less the minute you’ve paid for it.

    • Go vintage (so it will be something unique) and don’t spend a ton of money. Also consider a stone other than a diamond — that’s what my partner did. He had a very modest budget, and I have a unique, gorgeous ring that always gets complimented. And seriously, do not go into debt over an engagement ring. It really, truly isn’t worth it. (And if your partner is like me, she won’t even wear her engagement ring every day after marriage — mine usually only comes out for special occasions). Check out brilliant earth for some ideas re: vintage rings. I used to troll that website a lot.

    • I love this post for so many reasons and bet you’ll get great advice here. Mine, FWIW, is that you should stick with your plan and buy a ring you can afford, but pay special attention to getting a design that she will love and cherish and give your proposal as much care as the ring selection. There are gorgeous rings in all sizes and shapes and you can find something special at all kinds of price points. A nice proposal will be more special than any ring.
      If you’re comfortable asking her what type of ring she would like, why not involve her in the process? She might be able to steer you toward a design she will love. Or you could ask her mom, sister, or close friend for advice if you’d like to keep it more of a surprise.
      Marriage should last a lifetime, and if she eventually wants a bigger ring, you can always plan to buy her another one (or a “trade-in”) later on. Or she can buy herself bigger bling 🙂 But I agree that this isn’t a good reason to go into debt.

      • I’d also add that “synthetic diamonds” or “lab created diamonds” can be a good choice for people on a budget who want larger stones. They are chemically equivalent to mined diamonds — not cubic zirconia — and look identical to the naked eye. One of my relatives has a 2 carat one in her solitaire and it’s lovely. This may not be helpful for the OP, but may be useful for anyone else who’s following this with similar questions. See http:// www. brilliantearth.com/lab-created-diamonds/

      • Also — apparently this is my favorite topic of the day — my friend’s fiance got her a petite and extremely beautiful engagement ring here: http:// blancamonrosgomez.com/collections/wedding .
        It’s one of the prettiest engagement rings I’ve ever seen.

      • epric002

        shawess- the proposal is important/special only if it’s important to nonny or the partner. for me, i didn’t want a proposal, and i certainly didn’t want anyone asking my parents for permission/blessing. i wanted our decision to get married to be freely discussed and mutually agreed upon, and he happily respected my wishes 🙂

        • Very good point, epric002! I didn’t mean to suggest that a proposal -has to be- important or that it is important to everyone. My intention was to suggest that the ring is just one aspect of getting engaged and that the process of getting engaged can be as important as the ring, if not (way) more. That “process” can be a traditional proposal, the much longer conversation about marriage itself, or some combination. I don’t think there is a right way to do this, other than the way that is meaningful to the two people involved.

          • epric002

            thanks for clarifying. 🙂

          • Thanks for bringing it up! Because I realize I was using “proposal” as an overly simplistic shorthand for that process of becoming engaged. I love your engagement story and bet it’s really instructive for other would-be engaged people here.

          • There are many small, independent shops that will not rip you off and they’ll work with you to customize the exact type of ring you want on any budget. My fiancee did that at Ascot Diamonds in Arlington–highly recommend. They educated her, didn’t try to up sell her, and IMO she got a very good deal. I love my ring and she negotiated by paying in cash. Congrats!

        • A woman after my own heart, I completely agree with this. And am also not sure if I want an engagement ring (don’t love rings, and would rather save the money for something else, though all these suggestions of alternatives has made me think there’s likely something out there for me!).

          • epric002

            🙂 we hadn’t planned on getting an engagement ring (i didn’t want one/didn’t want us to spend the money on it) but we were very generously gifted rings from our grandmothers. do what feels right for you! i have a gf who has a beautiful, ornate wedding band and no engagement ring, which i also really like. i do like my engagement ring, but honestly i put it on before i leave for work and take it off as soon as i get home. i just don’t like having bulky rings (and my engagement ring is pretty small/low profile compared to most) and much prefer just wearing my wedding band most of the time. aaaaand my fingers shrink when it’s cold so my rings clank around, which is also annoying.

          • I didn’t want an engagement ring because I knew I would never wear both an engagement ring and wedding ring. I told my now husband I didn’t want anything, but he wanted to get me something so he ended up buying me a very affordable vintage necklace. I love the necklace and now I wear my wedding band and the necklace every day. If your fiance is open to it, you could also think about other types of jewelry if having some kind of tangible thing is important with the engagement.

    • my partner and i are also in this situation- trying to spend around $500 give or take and she has been internet researching like crazy- through her travels she’s found a couple designers she likes in the right price range, on etsy and otherwise. it’s been super helpful for me to get a better idea of what she likes and to see that the price doesn’t have to be CRAZY high to get something unique and beautiful that’s NOT a diamond. i think she scrolled through pages and pages of pinterest and reddit, specifically. good luck!!

    • jim_ed

      Go to the Jewelry Show at Chantilly Expo in February and be patient. You won’t find better deals. I bought my wife’s ring and stone from seperate vendors there and had one of the repair experts set the stone for like $40. I paid a little more than 1/4 of what the ring is appraised and now insured for.

    • Andie302

      I sold my diamond for approximately 50% of retail value, a friend sold hers for 45% in a set. If you’re up for shopping, you may want to try scouting craiglist ads and see if you can’t get a decent discount. In the meantime, just put away what you can. I don’t know your fiance, so this could be walking a fine line – but you may want to talk to her about what she’s thinking regarding style, size, stone, etc. There’s also some gorgeous non-tradition things from places like etsy that could serve you well – if she was amenable.

      • Did you find selling something so expensive on cl to be easy? How did you handle the transaction? Where did you meet, etc?

        • Andie302

          I wouldn’t call it easy. The guy that bought it from me was actually a jeweler. I got a lot of spam responses about people in other states and paypal and blah blah blah. He wanted to see the item first, and I insisted that he paid cash. I literally went back and forth with him over 40 emails before arriving on a price. He met me in the lobby of my apartment building, checked out the diamond with his jewelers loop, and then paid me cash. I spoke to him over the phone a couple times beforehand, and he insisted that I get a copy of the GIA cert to go with the diamond. I knew where it came from, so I had to get a copy of the receipt, then send that off to GIA with a fee for get the card. It was a pain in the rear, but ultimately I think I ended up with something like $3500 in cash and kept the platinum setting because I liked it.

          • Someone requesting gia seems more legit to me, and I’m lucky to have 1 already. How did you figure out pricing? I have an appraised value from 2010 but not sure how accurate it is now. I’d like to get half of retail, but maybe the diamond alone is worth more than I realize.

          • Andie302

            I set it at slightly under the appraised value fully expecting to come off of the price. I have the guy’s name and email if you want to contact him. Don’t take his first 25 offers 🙂 nikkianz at gmail

        • Yeah, I’ve been trying to sell a diamond ring on CL for months with no luck. It’s an antique so maybe there is less of a market for that. I have it priced way lower than I paid but most of the responses I’ve gotten have been spam or never respond after the initial email. Guess that’s just the nature of the thing.

          • Auctionata which someone here suggested may be a better way to go. I haven’t used them but the people were responsive and easy to take to. You send in photos and details and they call with a price. They seem to do mostly antique stuff. I figured I’d try the retail route since my piece is contemporary.

    • Everyone gives great suggestions on rings and stones. One thing though is once you get a ring, any ring, I’d recommend establishing a good relationship with a local jewelry store you respect. Good ones will learn your ring, help with future appraisals, clean the ring whenever you ask, and help with repairs,resizing, and check-ups that will be inevitable. My ring is a family heirloom and once I got engaged, I worked with IGorman for the past 5 years and they’ve been great!
      Best of luck and congrats!

    • Pablo Raw

      What would happen if you don’t follow the ring tradition? A couple I photographed for their engagement did it, it was a bit awkward when family and friends were looking at her hands for a ring but they survived and used the money for their wedding. But I’m sure it doesn’t work for everybody.

    • This is the thing… for some reason society expects you to spend X months of income on a ring and that your fiancee needs (needs?!?) a 2+ carat ring. No no no. Mine is 1/3 carat and it is bright and beautiful and anything bigger would be too gaudy and too big for my tiny hands.
      Blue Nile is good (that’s where we got our wedding bands). Also, google “blue nile coupon” before you purchase. I found a 10% discount code!

      • Pablo Raw

        Personally I’m opposed to doing things because they are what society expects me to do but that’s just my personal option.

      • jim_ed

        ” for some reason society expects you to spend X months of income on a ring and that your fiancee needs (needs?!?) a 2+ carat ring”

        Society expects 2+ carats?! Is your last name Vanderbilt?

    • gertie_wickler

      If you want to go the vintage or antique route, check out Marlene Harris at http:// http://www.marleneharriscol.com/
      She’s a bit crazy, but her prices are great.

    • Accountering

      Check out Primestyle.com
      Whatever you order on there will appraise for 3-5x whatever you pay for it.

    • Look in Etsy.com. They have a surprising number of vintage rings that are both lovely and affordable (can’t speak to the 4c’s). Best of luck to you both!

    • First, congratulations! It sounds like you have a wonderful soon-to-be fiancee.

      I’ll endorse the vintage route as well! When my husband and I were talking about engagement, I kept insisting that I only wanted a simple band. The expense and mishegas of the US engagement ring market really turned me off. He surprised me with the most lovely 100-year old diamond engagement ring. It is a small diamond (under a caret — maybe under a half caret, I honestly couldn’t tell you — which I know a lot of girls would frown at these days), but absolutely a perfect fit for my taste and lifestyle. He got it at Tiny Jewel Box on Connecticut in Dupont, which shocked me. I would have thought prices there were ridiculous, but that was not the case. The service was top notch. I highly recommend stopping for a browse.

      Also check out Trumpet and Horn, an online vintage jewelry seller. Absolutely stunning unique vintage rings. Wide range of prices, including on the low end. I did not discover the site until after we were engaged, but their rings are really special and the anti-thesis of the giant, generic Tiffany solitaire.

      Good luck searching!

  • Revel: DCWASA is replacing my sewer – hopefully no more basement floods ever.

    Rant: The request was put in over a month ago, but they just started yesterday, and I doubt they are going to do any work today – or probably for a few days because of snow & cold. So a giant hole in my front yard. They dug up my beautiful well-established small tree & shrubs which will probably now die. One has a root ball so might survive. The other (my favorite) was just bare roots. I’ve wrapped it up, but not hopeful and sad.

    • Andie302

      I’m sorry to hear this about your plants. I hope that some survive, and that the stress relief of not having the basement flood is totally worth it!

    • What shrub is your favorite one Victoria? Don’t give up hope – the plants are dormant now and may well survive their uprooting.

      • Thanks – I’m hoping the snow will help insulate the roots. Latest update – the work crew actually showed up, but like yesterday, they sit in their truck for 2-4 hours until the supervisor shows up. I don’t get it.

        They did however, shovel my whole sidewalk & front walk!

    • I saw that work yesterday, and wondered if it was your house. Looks like a big job. In a perfect world, we might have been next-door neighbors, not across-the-street neighbors – the place next to you went on same about 9 months after we bought our place (and it’s gorgeous), but we weren’t in a position to move again.
      Hope your works goes quickly.

  • Rant: kiddo woke up in the middle of the night, apparently needed the closet light back (door cracked) on to get herself back to sleep. Tonight, I may try leaving it on all night to see what happens.
    Rave: Still made it to yoga! And shovelled twice!
    Rant: Have to leave early because daycare is closing early.
    Rave: Time to play in the snow with the toddler, assuming she’s amenable 🙂

  • Rave-teleworking today
    Rant-the roads are a mess. Just drove my kid out in this mess. Not even a two hour delay. I realize the Mayor and OPM like to make sure everything thinks govt employees aren;t slacking but this is ridiculous and dangerous .
    Rant 2-has anyone see a snow plow yet on the major streets? Or salt trucks?
    RAVE-omg, finished watching Honorable Woman last night on netflix One of the best things I have watched in a long time.

  • Rave: My dog hates rain but seems to be loving his first encounter with snow!
    Rant: Pretty slippery sidewalks. My rain boots are not cutting it. I probably need to invest in a good pair of snow/cold-weather boots. Any suggestions?
    Rave: A co-worker gave me a someecards daily calendar and it is hilarious even if some of the days are NSFW.

  • skj84

    Rave: Telecommuting!!!! This is the first time the office is allowing us to do so.

    Rant: With great power comes great responsibility. I’m hyper focused about hitting my goals today so they don’t pull the privilege.

  • emvee

    Rave: Snow!
    Rave: That I can walk to work and avoid the cluster that seems to be anything with four wheels in DC.
    Rave: This is my first snow since going car-free last year. It’s so great to be able to see the snow without having to worry about shoveling the car out, spending 20 minutes de-icing the damn thing, etc. It’s liberating!
    Rant: no rant!

  • Rant: I have never had this much of a problem getting to work in the snow! I was even able to get to work during snowmaggeddon. Even the area around Washington Hospital Center was not plowed. I finally gave up when it took me 40 minutes to get from the north side of the hospital to the south side of the hospital on North Cap (that is only 1 block!). It still took me 40 more minutes to get home (most of that on Michigan getting around the hospital). I feel bad for anyone actually trying to get TO the hospital this morning.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rant: Dentist appointment this morning. Now my mouth is all numb.
    Rant: The roads in MoCo were a complete mess this morning.
    Rave: The dentist’s office is near Metro, so once my appointment was over, getting to work was a breeze.
    RAVE: King cake season starts today! It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!!

    • Emmaleigh504

      I fear it’s a 1 king cake year.

    • I have the crescent rolls!

      • Emmaleigh504

        you know, if you really want to make the abomination, I have a king cake baby you can put in it. I can’t seem to throw those suckers away.

    • Thanks for putting the “must have king cake with afternoon tea” into my head.
      Rave: afternoon tea with king cake (from La Caprice) and Constant Comment tea 🙂

      • * Le* Caprice
        I’m looking forward to the roll out of the “edit post” feature!

      • Emmaleigh504

        I’ve been meaning to get one of their king cakes to try. Can you just pop over and get one or do you have to order it? I tried calling to ask today, but there was a language barrier. Also, is it New Orleans style or european style.

        • Emilie I only got a slice – the guy said they had cakes in the display but I didn’t go look. I think he said in a month they’d have the cakes with purple/green/gold sprinkles (admit to not giving him my full attention because I was contemplating the double chocolate croissant)
          what they have now: http://www.lecapricedc.com/la-galette-des-rois-epiphany-king-cake/

        • European style, it seems (link to Le Caprice cake coming shortly)

          • Emmaleigh504

            booo Not what I want. I hope you enjoyed it!
            They are going to miss the window for the Mardi Gras colors if they don’t hurry, it’s Feb 17 this year.
            Btw I did look on their site before I called and didn’t see any mention of it. I fail at searching today.

          • Where’s textdoc when you need her?
            Because the guy behind the counter said they had king cakes I looked on their website and didn’t see it listed until I put “king cake” in the search bar.
            This was my first time having king cake so I don’t have any comparison. It was good although I really had a vision of a festive multi-colored cake (and somehow I think the double chocolate croissant would have been yummier!)

          • Emmaleigh504

            I prefer my king cakes filled with cream cheese. Haydel’s is where my mom orders them for me. Link to follow.

          • Emmaleigh504

            Though I would be happy if my mom sent me a grocery store king cake. She spoils me and Quotia Zelda with fancy bakery king cakes.

          • Is cream cheese part of the New Orleans style cake? I looked at a few recipes (1001 ways to not work today!) and some had cream cheese, others not.

          • Emmaleigh504

            No they have plain (aka traditional) ones too. I think it’s the icing with the sugar on top that makes them New Orleans. I’ve never had the eurpean ones b/c they just don’t appeal to me.

          • Emmaleigh504

            and they aren’t flaky puff pastry, more like cinnamon rolls with icing and sugar, and if it’s filled some sort of filling like cream cheese, or cherry, or pineapple, etc.

  • I Dont Get It

    Rave: Snow!
    Rant: Shoveling snow at 8:30 am and when I left at 9:00, you couldn’t tell.
    Rant: After the first snow I shoveled last year I came down with shingles the next day. Hoping that doesn’t happen again!
    Rave: Only DC folks made it into the office today!

  • Rave: Beautiful snow that I can choose to enjoy from my window :-D.

    Rant: Close childhood friend having major anxiety and panic issues – she lives across the country so it was hard to know the extent of her issues until she came home for christmas. She’s finally getting medical but having a tough time sticking with it. Her parents are making her feel like a failure and I don’t know how to support her plus she can’t really make any plans. I’m calling, texting, checking in, and offering to spend time (she’s in NJ) but I don’t know what else to do…

  • Rave: Neighbor who shoves my sidewalk before I’m out of bed. I’ll be able to return the favor when the snow stops falling and the sidewalks could use re-shoveling this afternoon.
    Rave: Working from home (as usual) has it’s benefits including no commuting nightmare.
    Hope everyone has an easier time getting home this evening!

  • Rave: Fantastic vacation skiing in Utah, and thanks to whomever suggested Banbury Cross Donuts in SLC.
    Rant: Wife started feeling poorly on the plane ride home, and was bedridden Saturday-Monday with the flu. Feeling better today after getting Tamiflu on Sunday.
    Rant: Charter school scheduled a professional development day yesterday, after 2 weeks off. What an idiotic practice.
    Rant: Said PD day required me to take a day off to watch daughter.
    Rave: Unexpected father-daughter time cracking into Christmas presents!
    Rave??: I actually like being in the office today (of course, I can walk in, so no time spent in traffic) – few others are, and things are kinda quiet, so I should be able to catch up. (Furiously knocking wood.)

  • Rave: Snow! I love walking through snow, so the commute was pretty this morning (particularly with all of Dupont’s lights out, very peaceful)
    Rave: Got in super early and got in a gym session before work
    Rant: I kind of wish I had taken the unscheduled leave/telework option…

  • Rant – What a mess this morning. I can’t believe there was no delay. My office doesn’t have teleworking so I had to come in on time today.
    Rave – Metro wasn’t too bad
    Rant – Broken exit gates at Farragut North

  • skj84

    Rant: Just because it’s snowing doesn’t mean you get a pass at picking up after your dog! Jerk neighbor just let their dog poo on my lawn and walked away.

    • epric002

      not cool! bag it up and place it on their steps/porch? 🙂

      • skj84

        I’d actually do that if I knew what house they lived in!

        • epric002

          oh darn, i figured you knew!

          • I read an article recently about some apartment buildings requiring dog owners to submit their pup’s poop to a company called pooprints for DNA testing. When poop isn’t scooped, the poop is sent for analysis and the owner is fined.

          • epric002

            i saw that too mpindc. seems expensive, but maybe the fine covers the testing cost?

          • epric I recall that if unscooped poop had your dog’s DNA then you had to pay for the testing of that sample plus a fine. At least in one story, dog owners had to pay for the initial DNA test (something like $50) so their results would be on file.

    • That is infuriating. It is actually easier to pick up when it is snowing because you can scoop under the snow to pick it up.

    • Benefit of the doubt — they didn’t realize they had run out of bags? …..No? Ok – then they’re just an A-hole. I only have a little 4-legged friend visit a few times a year when my mom is here. I’m always careful to walk her on the part of the sidewalk closer to the streets. Why do so many people let their dogs wander all over other people’s yards?? Isn’t that rude? Or since I’m only part-part-part time responsible for a dog, do I not know the dog-walking ways of a city?

      • Sometimes dogs surprise you, but you can usually tell when they’re ready to go, so you could steer them away from a yard. If you’re taking a dog out, take a bag just in case….I take 2. No excuse to run out when you can buy them by the case.

        • I think the point TammyM was trying to make is that you should keep your dog out of people’s yards all the time, whether it is about to go or not. And I agree with her.

        • I always take 2 as well.. but my dog has surprised me a few times by going a 3rd time or I have had 2 bags and when i went to open it, the seam split on the bottom of the bag – which made it useless. So it can happen.
          And yews, I do go get a bag and go back and pick it up, because hello, my responsibility, but there can be a reason you have run out on your walk.

      • skj84

        yeah, I’m wondering why they didn’t just let it go in the street. I do think the owner has a responsibility to throw some bags in their pocket just in case.

        • My dog is pretty finicky about where he goes, so he’ll almost always goes in a grassy area. Maybe it’s because he’s trying to cover up/ add to other dog smells in the grass. Even still if you care, you can move them at the last second, and they’ll have no choice but to relocate.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rave: 2 people used “amenable” in their posts today!

    • Emilie – you need to go to GStar Raw in Dupont and see if you can lay claim to the gold Rhino head they have on the wall. I saw it the other day and thought of you.

  • Rant: Two metro lines, a bus and a cab to get to work! Thanks Metro and DPW!
    Rave: The phone I left on my desk last night is still here!

  • Pablo Raw

    Rant: I cannot telecommute
    Rant: My alarm today was the sweet sound of shoveling snow
    Rant: it was kind of hard to get out of bed
    Rave: I live very close to work so I didn’t have to suffer with any kind of transportation
    Rant: photo contest deadline approaching and I have no idea of what to submit

  • RANT: Please for the love of God, be considerate if you are wearing a backpack on the metro. This may be the ONLY city I have been in that people refuse to remove their backpacks on packed trains. For every one backpack removed i bet we could fit 2 whole people. I mean sometimes I think I’m being too considerate as compared to everyone else in this city!

    RAVE: got to try out the new boots. Work well.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Also shoulder bags! People are bulkier up top, take them off your shoulder and hold them down by your legs where people aren’t bulky.

    • The water taxi thingamajigs in Venice have signs everywhere showing/telling you to remove your backpack. People gave major stink eye if you kept them on your back. Maybe we need more aggressive signage. ….who am I kidding….that won’t help!

  • Rave: Got to my office at 8:30 this morning and everybody was here. We’re a small office, only 13 people. It is nice to work with people who are such go-getters. Not a single person came in late. They see the snow storm ahead, set their alarms earlier, and get her on time to get work done. My kind of people.

  • Rave: The Metrobus drivers who are having a hellish day at work – thanks for keeping the wheels on the buses rolling.

  • Rant:The woman in the office from Buffalo who is loudly talking about how this snow would be nothing in Buffalo.
    1.DC is not Buffalo.
    2.If Buffalo is so great why do so many Buffalonians live here?

    • +1 — and I grew up in Buffalo. I’d take a handful of days of snow chaos each year over 4 months/year of semi-controlled, but high-volume snow.

    • Emmaleigh504

      lol so true.

    • I lived in upstate NY for 4 decades. Honestly, when upstate NY gets conditions like today (too little snow to plow effectively, too much for ice to deal with), people are fishtailing and unable to get up hills and getting in fender benders just like they are here today.

    • Do you work in my office? I hear about Buffalo constantly.

      • Same goes for Michigan, as well. No, I don’t give a crap about the Big 10, the Tigers, Upper’s, the always-Xmas-wonder of Frankenmuth, or where your family’s summer home is located on The Mitten.
        If your home state is so awesome, why aren’t you living there?

    • it’s like how dc people scoff at “crime waves” in other cities, or smaller towns.
      “that wouldn’t even make the news in dc….”

  • Rant: Joint FAIL from OPM and D.C. government on the snow.
    Rave: Telework.
    Rave: It’s like a winter wonderland outside!
    Rant: The magnetic properties of cat hair.
    Rant: Sooner or later I will have to go out and shovel. Someone please tell me that this snow is easy to shovel, not like the ones last year that had a thick underlayer of ice.

  • Rant: I really, really want a third cup of coffee. “Want” does not seem to adequately cover how strongly I feel about this. There has to be a better way to wean myself off caffeine that does not involve such terrible headaches and brain fog.
    Rant: My office is always open. If it’s not a federal holiday, a vacation day, or a legit sick day, I’ll be here. It’s not great for my productivity. Silver lining: I have a job I otherwise like.
    Rave: I’m taking off next week to hang out with the puppy, which means that I’ll have 10 days off in a row. There are so many fun things I want to do! This feels like a crazy amount of time to be home with unstructured time and although I’m excited, I want to make the most of that time. Starting my to-do list now (and am open to recommendations.)

    • Are you coming to the unofficial PoPville happy hour on Wed. 1/14?

      • At this point, I’m not planning on it because it’s far enough away from my house to make me afraid of staying away from the pup too long. I could change my mind, though, if the little guy is settling in well.

        • Allison

          We should have a PoPville pups in the park gathering when the weather gets nicer. I don’t have a dog, but I have a personal interest in playing with other peoples’.

          • Farragut

            You also would like to play with other people’s cats, too, but you don’t usually see cats out and about for some reason. 🙂

          • Emmaleigh504

            I’m thinking of getting harness and leash for Donna. She’s really laid back, so she make not start playing possum as soon as I put it on. She also needs exercise b/c she’s a piggy.

          • Allison

            Hah, I love when cats suddenly pretend their legs don’t work as soon as you put a harness/leash on them. Flop in protest.

          • epric002

            emilie504- check out the harness lead! it’s supposed to be really good for dogs who pull, and they can’t escape from it. it didn’t work for formerly foster puppy but it worked super well for my doggie niece and nephew. and just yesterday on facebook they posted pictures of a pig and a cat using it! 😀

          • Emmaleigh504

            thanks epric002!

          • Pablo Raw

            I think the problem is that cats usually sit on window sills and look outside. They know about the existence of strollers. “You want me to walk? On a leash? Hell No!”

          • Emmaleigh504

            lol Pablo, you know cats very well, don’t you!

          • PoPville cat cafe, please!

          • Pablo Raw

            Well Emilie, I remember that time I was supposed to take photos of a cat and she was like “oh really? photos? see how much I care, I’m just gonna walk around all the time” 😀

          • Emmaleigh504

            Pablo, Donna is a perfect model. She’s very patient and holds still for photos!

  • Rave(ish): Took the metro this morning as to not deal with the roads and was pleasantly surprised. Still think metro is the worst.
    Rant: Watched The Bachelor last night for the first time because I know one of the girls on this season. WTF. How is this a thing? I seriously don’t understand how real people sign up for this and (not to judge… but judging) some of the girls were seriously insane. Definitely makes me feel better about the state of my life.
    Rant: I think I’m going to have to start wearing contacts. I feel so much better when I wear my glasses but try not to unless I need them but it feels like my eyesight has gotten way worse this past year.
    Rave: Ben Howard’s “I Forget Where We Were” album on repeat.

    • Second rant was super unclear… I wear glasses sometimes, mostly for distance, and don’t wear contacts at all but its starting to feel like I will need to wear contacts/glasses full time now. I need to visit my eye doctor but our insurance may be changing in January so I need to wait.

      • SouthwestDC

        Consider yourself lucky you’ve made it to adulthood without needing to wear glasses/contacts full time!

    • Do you mind sharing which girl you know? I was watching last night secretly hoping it was drunk Tara or the onion girl! Haha.

      • The onion girl was too much! I love how the onion turned out to be a pomegranate that made her so happy.

        • Hahaha! [holds pomegranate] “I feel so powerful!”
          I couldn’t tell if she was drunk or just really really crazy/weird. She had to be drunk, right?

      • Unfortunately neither of them! It’s Ashley (the “freelance journalist” not the onion girl). She came off as relatively normal in the show but there was lots of footage of her crying in the preview for the season. I just can’t even comprehend that this is a real thing people do.

  • Amusing article title and even more amusing comments about Virginia in the article, but I am getting pretty sick of New Yorkers bashing DC. I get it, your city is bigger and more people live there, that doesn’t mean I want to live there…

  • Posted this over on the bus thread, but it seems like there are a lot more of you over here!

    Does anyone know when, exactly, they made changes to the moderate and severe policies w/r/t routes/detours? Both major and very extensively used bus routes closest to my home ran in *severe* emergencies last year (though detoured), and a third ran (detoured) in moderate. Now NONE of them run even in *moderate* situations. It’s going to be a long, cold slog home with NO bus service anywhere within many, many blocks of my house (all the buses that serve any bus stop within 3 blocks of my house are completely cancelled, and a few are running 5 blocks away, but I’d apparently have to go out to the suburbs to catch one back into the city…).

  • Rave: Metro was running on time and all three of the Farragut North escalators onto K street were operational.
    Rant: As usual, two escalators were going down in the morning inbound rush and we will most certainly have two going up in the evening outbound rush! Someone at metro has a sense of humor.

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