Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user  molly

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.

481 Comment

  • Rant: Metro fail – Blue/Orange/Silver was a disaster and then the fare gates at L’Enfant weren’t working.
    Rave: Didn’t lose power, and the snow is still really pretty

  • RANT: Small condo buildings – clean your f#cking sidewalk! Most sidewalks were cleared in my neighborhood – SFH owners do a great job, as do the larger condo buildings with dedicated staff and professionally managed rental buildings. But again, the biggest culprit are small and mid-sized condo buildings. It’s especially egregious with buildings like The Lacey @ 11th & Florida – where condos are selling at $600-700+ per square foot – can’t even pretend to bother. How is this not contracted out as part of a typical maintenance plan for these buildings?!? 😡

    • skj84

      I was just coming to post this same thing! My walk to the metro was pretty rough. I shouldn’t have to inch over icy spots in well traveled sidewalks. Can I add businesses as well? Cause the side walk in front of my office building was pretty treacherous as well.

    • On my street it is the exact opposite. The single family homes (and the church) don’t bother, but the condos all do. I think maybe it is because a lot of the single family homes are leased out as group homes. Just so frustrating.

    • I share your frustration – I lived in a small (4 unit) condo building for a while, and snow removal was one of the issues that drove me nuts.

      In my personal experience, what would happen is that every time the question of retaining a snow shoveling service arose, it would be shot down as “we’ll just save money and do it ourselves.” And then when the snow actually fell, each unit owner would ask if someone else could do it.

      I ended up being the default shoveler for my building, and it drove me nuts, but if I didn’t do it, it didn’t get done.

      I think in the big buildings, they always maintain a service; in the SFHs, the family knows that the buck stops with them. In those small condo buildings, there’s a lot of passing the buck. I will NEVER live in a small condo building ever again – it’s essentially like owning a house (with all the responsibilities and headaches) with a few other people that you don’t know very well, and who may disagree sharply with you on how to manage maintenance and upkeep.

      • I live in a small condo building and would much rather shovel the walk myself than pay for someone to do it. My BF or I are typically the ones that shovel, and I’m 100% okay with that. It’s good exercise, and some of the other owners travel a lot and may not be around. Not all small condo buildings are so headache-inducing as what you describe.

        • binpetworth

          I agree. I actually enjoy mowing the lawn, planting flowers, etc. It’s just occasionally it’s not convenient when there are only a few people around. Plus I’m lucky to live in a building where everyone likes each other and agrees to what’s worth spending money on.

    • I’ve never owned a home or condo, so I’m confused. What are the condo fees for? I always just thought that was for general maintenance and things. I could google it, but I feel like people on here know a lot about real estate.

      • Condo fees are for utilities and other general maintenance (private trash removal, gardening, common space maintenance/cleaning, electricity, etc). But the condo association also needs to build/maintain a reserve fund (i.e., a savings account) for any major repairs that might come up in the future, like a roof replacement or foundation repairs. The condo fee could also be used to pay for a shared underlying mortgage on the entire that was used to finance a major repair.
        Ideally, the condo association should contract with a local handyman or company to take care of snow removal. But some condo owners – in a an effort to save money – decide to “handle it themselves.” Which means no one does it, because there is no clear delegation of responsibilities.

        • Ditto (alas) on too many small condo buildings and other kinds of public-space maintenance. I’ve seen a bunch along the 1700 block of Lanier and the adjacent block of Ontario that had tall weeds during the summer.

        • Thanks, OP Anon. So who decides what the condo fees cover, and who does the condo association consist of? Is it people who live in the building?

          • Yes, it’s the owners that decide. In a small building, all owners are likely in board meetings, and all look at the budget and assess condo fees, what things they pay for, etc. The owners weight the cost/benefit of adding services and increasing fees and vote on any decisions.

    • Well, if the city didn’t plow, some people might have viewed that as an excuse not to shovel their sidewalks.

  • justinbc

    Rave: Beautiful day yesterday watching the snow, with a nice bonus of seeing my neighbor shovel the entire sidewalk as I was drinking my latte.
    Rant: Even colder today?!
    Rant: Chronically late D6 buses, seriously every day the past month or two.
    Reminder: PoP unofficial (re: no free t-shirts for newbies) HH at Barrel one week from today. It’s about a block from the Eastern Market metro stop.

    • Accountering

      I am going to try and make it! Heading to Caps that night though. I will be wearing my “Worst State Ever” shirt, that is an outline of Pennsylvania.

      • skj84

        LIES!! Pennsylvania is the best state! PA PROUD!!!

        • Accountering

          Nope, I have the T-shirt. It is, in fact, the worst state.

          • skj84

            But we have Cheese Steaks! And Troegs! And Amish! And in certain parts of the state it’s perfectly acceptable to put french tries on everything!

          • justinbc

            The cheesesteak I’ve had here at Bub and Pop’s beat any of the ones I’ve had in Philadelphia (or elsewhere in PA).

          • justinbc

            (although to be fair they are actually from Pennsylvania)

          • And Victory, and Yuengling, and soft pretzels, and Wawa, and Sheetz, and Hoagies.

          • Accountering

            Troegs is from Hershey. My shirt specifically exempts Hershey from the worst state ever part. There is an asterisk and everything! 🙂

          • skj84

            Troegs is originally from Harrisburg. My hometown. I need to submit my pic of me wearing my PoPville T shirt in front of the Blue Ridge Mountains for the T Shirt post.

          • Bub & Pop’s for cheesesteak? $13 for a sloppy greasy sandwich with the wrong meat sliced too thick and some high-falutin’ “aged” cheese? B&P does other things well (I’m partial to their italian hoagie) but their “cheesesteak” bears no resemblance to an actual philly cheesesteak such as you might find at Pat’s or Geno’s or anywhere else known for the real thing. They should call theirs a “steak and cheese” or something. Although the B&P folks really are from philly, as evidenced by the son’s attitude. The offended-by-everything bully is a classic philly personality.
            Man, I miss that town. Love DC, but Philadelphia was some of the happiest times of my life.

          • justinbc

            Miss Patty, I’m not really interested in the technicalities of the composition of what Philadelphians consider a proper cheesesteak (especially since they can’t even come to a consensus in their own town). I’m mainly interested in the taste and satisfaction level, and Bub & Pop’s blows away the half dozen or so I’ve tried in Philly (including the 2 you mention, and the favorite local spot John’s Roast Pork).

          • ” their “cheesesteak” bears no resemblance to an actual philly cheesesteak ”
            You mean it doesn’t have crappy meat and fake cheese? That’s a point in favor, not against.

          • I don’t need for anyone to LIKE philly cheesesteaks; that’s not my point. My point is that Bub & Pop’s really shouldn’t be calling their sandwich a philly cheesesteak. Saying theirs is better than the ones at Pat’s etc is like saying “The best bicycle is my toyota camry”.

          • justinbc

            To be fair to them, they just call it a Cheese Steak, not a “Philly Cheesesteak”, presumably because they don’t want to get into these type of semantic arguments about which cut of meat, which type of cheese, etc (and as I said, even among Philly establishments this varies greatly). There is no regulating “cheesesteak” body, just as you can call half a dozen different things pizza and people will generally know what you’re referring to. It’s the best thing called a cheesesteak that I’ve had, whether it meets every person’s unique idea of what that represents is frankly irrelevant to me.

        • palisades

          My PA friends are very defensive about their state. Not too sure why. Must be all the Amish and cows.

          • I’d add people from TX, OH, and MI to that list of defensiveness.

          • binpetworth

            No one is as bad in their defensiveness as New Yorkers.

          • Emmaleigh504

            Ugh Texas. When I was in college I had a thing for TX (I still do, who am I kidding) and I had a TX shirt I wore all the time. Lots of TX kids went to my school. They would get all excited by my shirt and talk to me and ask if I was from TX. As soon as I said no, they wanted nothing to do with me. F king Texas.

        • DAMN STRAIGHT. PA rocks.

        • Thank god there are some people here who represent PA. Accountering is always so brutal about my hometown. But whatever, it’s all good, because I know we have the best football team and people in the country.

      • I’m surprised it’s not Texas.

      • justinbc

        Haha nice. The amount of overhyped stuff I was disappointed in when visiting Philly would certainly make that shirt seem feasible.

      • I love PA. I am not ashamed to say that Philly is one of my favorite cities. I know I am in the minority here, but I stand by my opinion. Such a good food city (and one of the first major cities I ever spent time in so I will always have a soft spot for it).

        • I’m with you, honey. Being familiar with Philadelphia is also an excellent way to sort out blowhards and poseurs; anyone who has spent real time in Philly knows it’s awesome. (I still haven’t seen anything like the food scene there.) The people who came through for a day and saw the Liberty Bell and South Street and ate at the Old Original Bookbinders tend to insult it in their ignorance.

          • You still haven’t seen anything like the food scene there? Really? I mean compared to DC, I wouldn’t be surprised it is better. But compared to everywhere else? I am skeptical it surpasses NYC, New Orleans, and some west coast cities. I have friends that have raved about Philly and its food “scene”, but I don’t think any of them would claim it’s the best.

          • justinbc

            I actually think the food scene in DC is far superior to Philly. The one advantage Philly has is the abundance of BYOB restaurants.

          • It’s the best for what I like: smaller, quieter, more flexible places. I dislike all these “concepts” that pop up around DC, with their expensively-printed and therefore unchanging menus, and as much emphasis in the press release on the decor as on the food. And all the celebrity chef hype is just gross.
            When I lived in Philly, little restaurants would open with 6 or 8 tables and no liquor license. The menu was never the same two days in a row. And the food was, without exception, phenomenal. Because that was the WHOLE point. No designers to promote, or swagline to sell, or franchise fees to pay, or liquor to mark up to get rich off of. Just amazing, innovative food. And then, when the chef started feeling uninspired, these places would close, and others would take their place, lasting only as long as it was truly good and interesting. No disappointing decline, no game of musical chefs, no trying-out of new “concepts”.
            I don’t think that most people know about this. I think they think that the whole Philadelphia food scene is owned by Stephen Starr.

          • justinbc

            Boston has a lot of that, although the restaurants don’t typically close as frequently (although I wonder how much of that in Philly has to do with a chef losing interest versus general city decay which seems ever increasing there). I will say that the coffee shops in Philly are a definite notch above what’s available here. One Shot Coffee is probably the best coffee shop I’ve ever been to.

          • justinbc

            Oh, and FWIW, I’ve never been to a Stephen Starr restaurant, and have no real desire to (I think the prices at Le Diplomate here are absurd for basic French brasserie food).

          • Most of the times I go home, my parents take me to some new-to-them gem of a restaurant (mostly Italian or a taco shop) away from “downtown” but in Philadelphia itself that is out of this world. There really are a slew of small restaurants with home-style cooking we simply don’t have here (that’d I’ve found). Possibly a function of high rent here, or people being picky/fancy. DC food makes no sense – there’s no passion in it. There are good restaurants, but they seem sterile and boring. Most of the really good ethnic food is in the burbs. I remember amazing Indian food near Penn that can’t compare to any slop in this city (other than Rasika).

          • justinbc

            Jindc, you could say the same thing about comparing the Ethiopian food here to what’s available there. Not all cities will have the same ethnic compositions. I would agree, there aren’t many home-style cooking places in this area, which is a shame, but I think it’s a direct representation of the cost of doing business here vs Philly. Zahav is probably the best technical food I’ve had in Philly, but the best meal experience was at Modomio, a tiny little Italian place that does a seemingly infinity course menu for $35 on Sundays and also happens to be BYOB. You can leave fuller than you’ve ever been and with enough boxes to have lunch for a week for less than an entree and a drink at most DC places.

          • I spent a long weekend in Philly after not spending much time there in 8 years, and I was really underwhelmed. Whereas DC has skyrocketed in terms of livability, restaurants, bars, etc., Philly doesn’t feel much different since I visited years ago (and I thought it was just ok back then). And actually in many ways, feels stagnant. I’ve visited most major US cities within the last five years and while ALL are making progress in certain ways, some are just moving at light speed compared to others. Philly is not one of those. And surprisingly, neither is Atlanta. I lived there for a bit and expected to go back and be shocked by the change and growth, and I was not impressed at all.

          • The best thing about Philly is that they have a ton of Italians living there. Which means there’s a ton of great & affordable Italian restaurants, delis, grocery stores, and bakeries that blow DC’s out of the water. The District’s eating scene is aimed at the expense account set and DINK yuppie set, almost exclusively. That’s probably a function of the high costs and the fact that we have a transient population.

          • justinbc

            SG @ OP Anon, agreed on both points. I found a lot of Philly depressing on my last visit. It’s got so many neighborhood similarities to DC, and to see ours thriving while theirs are abandoned and/or collapsing is just sad. All that history gone to waste. And yes, our restaurants in the District definitely cater to a different crowd (specifically, new restaurants, as there are still many great old affordable places). The average person outside of this area would have a hard time driving through DC and finding an affordable place for them to eat that wasn’t a crappy chain, whereas most other major cities offer many more approachable options.

          • DC is only really thriving for a select group of people. Significant numbers of people are being left behind. The type of development we’re getting is only good for a certain group of people.
            And I don’t think it’s the same as DC’s Ethiopian. I understand different places have different immigrant make ups (except when I lived in Western Mass – place was white on white). But there seems to be more ethnically diverse legit cuisine options. But, then again I could easily be wrong because I don’t go to 7 Corners or Rockville for ethnic food (or anything, really)

          • justinbc

            DC is growing at a rate higher than all but a handful of other cities. Sure, some people are getting priced out, but that’s clearly not stopping large numbers of people from moving in. With respect to ethnically diverse food available in this region, if you’ve not gone and tried many places then I’m not sure how / why you comment on the legitimacy in such a negative fashion.

      • I Dont Get It

        I’ll never forget the first time I ordered grilled chicken salad in Pittsburgh and it arrived with French fries on top. Heaven!

    • palisades

      No free Ts? I am no longer going.

    • Pablo Raw

      Looking forward to unnofficial PoPville HH

    • Oh boo I just made dinner plans with a friend that day. Maybe I’ll see if I can come by afterwards!

  • Rave: Husband has a second interview this morning – this is his first real week of unemployment and man, it would be so great if his time off is just a blip between jobs.
    Rant: One building on my walk to the metro never clears its sidewalk. Western side of Connecticut Avenue between Rodman and Porter. My commute was a little slip slidey.
    Rant: Car didn’t have heat this morning for drive to the gym. I really, really hate this Volkswagon and if they offered to let us trade it in early, I totally would. Wish we had gone with the Mazda I liked.

  • Hi Pop – Can we have a dedicate “Snow Shaming” thread?

    Just on my block of 10th St. there is one construction site (SORG) and a mid-size condo building that never shovel their sidewalks. The snow has now melted and frozen into a solid sheet of ice that is a serious safety issue. Wasn’t DC supposed to start ticketing for this? How do you complain?

    • Yes let’s do this.

    • I feel like this rant occurs every time it snows. And I know, it’s awful. DC needs an actual way to enforce this, and DCers need to learn to pretreat to try to avoid the compounded packed down snow/ice pattern.

    • The Lacey @ 11th & Florida. But they usually never shovel.
      Subdivided large house (condos?) on southwest corner of 11th/Euclid. They only shovel the walk to their private driveway, but don’t bother to touch the 100+ feet of linear sidewalk that surrounds two sides of their house.
      DC should have parking attendants handing out tickets left and right to buildings that don’t shovel. It would be a gold mine.

      • This. Parking enforcers are already out on the streets – give them cameras. All we should need is a time-stamped photo to issue a ticket and fine. BIG fine!

        • They already have cameras on their handheld ticket printing machines! They take photos of illegally parked cars as evidence to enforce the ticket.

      • 2131 10th St. is the biggest offender in my neighborhood. They used to be great about shoveling and caring for tree boxes/landscaping. Then the entire condo building turned over and the new condo board hasn’t bothered to hire anyone to maintain the building.

    • Good idea! I’m trying to figure out who is responsible for shoveling the sidewalks/paths around Columbus Circle outside Union Station. They were a mess yesterday and pretty much ice today.

    • I nominate the Exxon at the corner of Porter and Connecticut. There’s a tiny little narrow bit shoveled on the CT side (I doubt it’s foot wide), nothing on the Porter side and nothing in the actual gas station itself. So dangerous – I’m terrified that a car isn’t going to be able to stop and slide right into a gas pump, blowing the whole block up. And that corner gets so much foot traffic with the Metro and buses right there. An older man went down hard this morning and I doubt he’s either the first or the last. They didn’t shovel a single time last winter either.

    • The long-closed Coopers Hardware on the corner of 14th and Oak. They have a LOT of sidewalk, being on a corner, and even before it was abandoned, they never shoveled.
      Also, Bacon Funeral Home. Worst Neighbors EVER.

    • In addition to assorted homeowners and small condos:
      The BP at 14th and Euclid, as well as the community center just south of that.
      The Francis Swimming pool/playground dog park. One long block of solid ice. The DC Government is by far the worst culprit.

      • I Dont Get It

        Tweet Muriel

        • She’ll convene a panel to perform a study.

          • Textdoc, I’m going to get the top experts and contributers to study the ice issue and provide me with a list of policy options. I’ll then take their advice, sit on it for a few winters, and then issue a statement declaring the War on Ice. Thanks for your support, we’ll get through this trying time united as District residents.

  • Rave: apparently eye Rx are valid for two years in Maryland vs one year in DC and VA. Got a new year of flex spending, so anyone got a rec for an ophthalmologist in Maryland? (metro accessible, preferably)

    Rant: terrible sidewalks along V and U streets near 14th/15th. Not wanting to shovel snow and package thefts are exactly why I will never buy or rent a rowhouse in DC.

    • Do you need an actual ophthalmologist, or just an optometrist?
      If all you need is an eye test, then an optometrist should do.

      • I understand that, but thanks anyway. I prefer to see an ophthalmologist because I have family history of eye issues.

        • Ahh.
          I see an ophthalmologist from the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins, but it’s kind of a hassle because she’s located all the way in Frederick. (I used to see a Wilmer ophthalmologist at their Columbia location, which was much easier.)

          • Their HQ is in Baltimore, but the last thing I want to be doing when my pupils have been dilated is trying to navigate the unfamiliar one-way streets of Baltimore.

    • I use see clearly vision which I think is metro accessible in Rockville.

    • I liked Dr. Mayer at Eye Doctors of Washington. I only go to the downtown DC location, so after he switched to another office I saw Dr. Schor a few times, who I also liked. They have one office in MD and a few others in the area that are metro accessible (Friendship Heights might work out?)

  • Rant: Our landlord wants to sell our apartment. When we moved in, he wanted a 2 year lease but we told him that, while we’d like to stay two years, my husband intends to apply to school out of the area so we can’t be certain we’ll be here for 2 years. So now he’s selling it. There’s such a lack of housing for families that are convenient to my commute. Toddler and a large dog….Might end up for now in one of those faceless buildings in SW or SE.
    Can anyone say whether Capitol Yards area or Waterfront is decent for a young family? Our nanny share family lives in SW. So now I’m freaking out that our nanny won’t want to commute that far (she lives in NW).
    Rant: AAHHHHH moving is the WORST

    • Accountering

      I would do a bit of reading about your options. He signed a contract with you when you moved in. Ultimately, by selling the place, if the new owners want to be owner occupants, they can get you out. You do have some serious rights, and can postpone this thing by several months, and can easily (and very legally without jumping through hoops) be in the home until well into the spring.

    • Not that I suggest you do, but you have a fair amount of time to delay his sale, so hopefully you’ll be able to find something decent in a few months at least.

      • Accountering

        I DO suggest you do this. You (and every other renter in the city) is paying a higher monthly rent as a result of DCs very friendly tenant laws. You should take advantage of these laws. Play fair, but play hard. This is your family and your home you are talking about.

        • What I wasn’t suggesting was purposely delaying the sale even if you found a pace quickly to suck out more money or to just be a pain. Obviously you should use your rights,’but some tenants do abuse them.

        • Accountering

          This is fair. I don’t think it is reasonable to purposefully delay the sale, but absent compensation, I don’t think you need to go out of your way to facilitate the sale. I would require 24 hour notice and such to show the home. This is still your home, and you are paying hefty rent for the right to live there.

          • no no and no. its actually not YOUR home. You rent. yes you have rights but you know you have to move at some point so why prolong and be a dick. This is just one reason landlords have to be such dicks about who they rent too, how much to charge (to weed out folks), credit checks, etc. Its already a brutal rental market and DC is too tenent friednly which actually makes it worse. But most renters don’t get that. Grow up and either buy a place so you don’t go through this again or do what everyone else is doing an find another rental. You have assumed NO risk. Your landlord put all the money into buying and maintaining.

          • Accountering

            The above comment is absurd and incorrect on many levels. The DC council (and in turn city residents) have decided that it IS your home. To be kicked out of your home requires a special set of circumstances, and that your LL follow those rules to do such.
            That’s your opinion that DC is to tenant friendly, I agree in some cases, but the law is the law, and the current law is quite tenant friendly. Your comment comes across as patronizing and is certainly not advancing the discussion one bit.
            You say “prolong and be a dick” – I say exercise your rights. The LL knew EXACTLY what he was getting into when he decided to be a DC LL. One could argue that both rents are more expensive as a result of tenant protections, and that housing prices are actually a bit cheaper, due to less investors willing to buy to rent. The LL is doing just fine here, he just needs to follow the rules.
            If you are okay bending over and being pushed around, that is just fine, but the OP is well within her rights to stand up for herself, and I encourage her to do such.

          • uh, I actually own two places already but since we don’t know our long term plans, buying a third seems a bit careless. But thanks for the lecture

    • Allison

      I live in SW near Waterfront metro and I love it! The tots love all the events at SW Library, and there’s more playgrounds (albeit small ones) popping up around the neighborhood every day. And a brand new dog park! Try renting a condo directly from the owner.

      • Allison

        For example, this is a building I would definitely consider living in if my current landlord kicked me out. Not sure if this 2BR is within your budget. http://realestate.popville.com/listing/3yd-MRIS-DC8474371/700-7th-street-southwest-southwest-washington-southwest-waterfront-washington-dc-20024/

      • I agree with Allison. We moved to SW last year and we love it (mostly because our elderly neighbors are so quiet in our condo building) and we’re car-less so having the metro right there is great. Also, our dog is a freak for the new dog park on Delaware. We even turn down that street and he gets crazy excited. I see more families there now then five years ago, for sure, but I don’t know about activities for them. We also rent directly from a condo owner and it’s a pretty fair price.

        • Allison

          Yes living with a bunch of old people is great for me! The only problem is they can’t figure out (no matter how many signs with “YES” and “NO” are clearly posted) what is recyclable and what is not. I’m tired of cleaning styrofoam egg cartons, greasy pizza boxes, and bags full of used tissues out of the “paper only” bin.

    • As a renter you have rights to stay for 90 days from the date of the sale closing. If the new owners want you out sooner, they can pay you for your inconvenience. Moving sucks, but you still have plenty of time and you could be well compensated for the hassle.

      • Do you have more info on this? Are there DC laws about this I can send to him?

        • First right of refusal…in dc called topa.

          You’ll need to sign stuff to say you don’t want top buy, etc.

          Googling topa should bring up lots but even simply googling dc renters rights with property sale or similar will get info. His realtor should be on top of this but many aren’t, and doing something incorrectly will only give you more time.

        • See page 14 of the DC Tenant Survival Guide (official government document on tenant rights):
          http:// ota.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/ota/publication/attachments/Tenant_Survival_Guide.pdf
          “Sale of the Apartment: Your landlord must give you at least 90 days notice if the landlord sells your apartment to someone who will live in your apartment. However, your landlord cannot use this reason unless the landlord gives you the first chance to buy your apartment. (See the section on How To Buy Your Building for details on the tenant purchase process.)”
          As I read it, the landlord must first give you the opportunity to buy the apartment. You get 30 days to consider his offer. If you decide not to buy it, the landlord then is allowed to give you 90 days notice after the sale is closed. So at a minimum you have 4 months to look for a new place. As Accountering points out, the 60 day notice clause is moot as it conflicts with DC tenant law.

          • This is awesome- thanks so much!

          • Also, the new buyer MUST be moving into the apartment as their primary residence to be able to legally evict you. If an investor is buying the apartment, you are allowed to stay in it according to the (legally compliant) terms of your original lease at the current rent.

    • My husband and I lived in the Capitol Yards area for 2.5 years when we first moved into the city, and we absolutely loved it. We lived there before there was all of the restaurants and shops down by the waterfront – all we had was Justin’s Cafe and the small strip with the Five Guys and Subway, and we still loved it. I would still live there if we could afford a house there. We did live there before we had our daughter though, so I can’t really speak to how it is with a family, but I am sure that the Yards Park would be great for family stuff, and you are really close to Capitol Hill.

    • I highly recommend Navy Yard area. The rents are still semi-affordable and although I didn’t have a family when I lived there, I really enjoyed the year we lived there. It is really family-friendly, seriously Yards Park is AWESOME and you could spend every weekend there. The pool by the river was always filled with kids. We lived in the Onyx on First and it was AMAZING. There weren’t a ton of families there, but there were a few and one had a nanny. The building was quiet and the management was top notch.

    • This might not be an ideal place for you with a toddler – (It’s only 1 bedroom, but a very large (800 sq. ft.) space) – but my dog-friendly apt. is about to become available.

      Its on Craigslist now – search “Large bright non-basementy basement apt. half block to Metro.” http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/apa/4834701868.html

      • Thanks! We definitely need a 2 bedroom (we got blessed with a light sleeper…when he sleeps) but your place is nice and very reasonable

        • Not sure on your preferred area, but check local property manager sites, padmapper. I lucked out on a big dog friendly 2bd in nw for under $1700+ utilities and no extra pet fees beyond an extra $100 deposit. Deals are out there, but you really gotta look hard.

    • Thanks, everyone – this has all been very helpful both as a tenant and a landlord. I ignore the fact that my landlord rents the place illegally, but I think that also gives me some decent leverage. My husband and I both do things on the up and up as landlords (and as a result, tend to have great tenants).

    • Regarding SW, I think it’s good for a young family. I lived in the neighborhood for 4 years and it’s relatively quiet, peaceful community while also being very accessible. My boyfriend lives there now (View) and there are a lot of younger families in his building. If you don’t want the larger buildings, you could try looking at private rentals for the townhouses around G and I streets (I lived in Capitol Park IV and loved it).
      The Capitol Yards area is also nice, I don’t think it’d be a bad place for a family. They have a lot of family-friendly events in the park during the warmer months.

  • Accountering

    Rant: Commute yesterday sucked. Got up to shovel snow at the rental, and the drive from Petworth to Bethesda took over an hour. Lame.
    Rave: Finally well into the black on ARCP. This thing is gaining favor again, and they have made all the right moves! Buying at the bottom whenever is freaking out is still a strong move!
    Rave2: New rental in Bloomingdale is working out very well. Neighbors have had no issues whatsoever, I think part of it is that my rental has a separate entrance, and has no access to the common areas the other units share.
    Rave3: Caps! Big game tonight versus a mediocre Toronto team. Time to bury these fools.

  • Confession: Our sidewalk belongs on the sidewalk of shame. I shoveled yesterday before work, but the snow kept falling afterwards. I went out to work on it last night, but there was no use- solid ice. We didn’t have any leftover salt from last year and the stores were closed, so I’m just waiting until after work today. I feel terrible- I spent years walking on crappily shoveled sidewalks in the upper midwest and vowed to never be this person.
    Rant: After shoveling our neighbor’s walk and sidewalk for four years after every snowfall (including yesterday morning), they didn’t bother to help us out and salt our walk/sidewalk. I know it’s petty and I shouldn’t expect favors in return, but I’m still a little annoyed.

    • binpetworth

      I am going to shame myself as well. Normally my small building not only shovels our walkway, but also several others on our block that have non-responsive management companies/tenants. But I had to be at work early and stay late and by the time I got home, shoveling couldn’t really get the ice up (and I have not bought any salt). That said, my other condo owners–one of whom I know was home hours before me–could’ve stepped up to the plate. I am fortunate that my street has fairly heavy foot traffic, so at least the icy bits are in patches and not a sheet covering the entire walk. I’d feel terrible if it was entirely unnavigable.

    • Your building should purchase a heavy duty ice scraper. Just smash it straight down into the ice sheet and it breaks it up into large chunks. We have one in my house – it’s awesome and cheap.
      http:// http://www.amazon.com/Bully-Tools-92200-Sidewalk-Chopper/dp/B000PAQEKU
      Does the building collectively purchase salt? It seems like these small condo buildings should use reserves to purchase a large bucket of salt, a heavy duty shovel, and an ice scraper. Keep it in the common lobby and whoever is home when it’s snowing should take care of the sidewalk. Otherwise, hire a local handyman to manage the issue.

      • I don’t own one and, with a toddler around that loves sharp things, I’m just going to be more prepared for the next snowfall. Thanks for the tip, though!

      • binpetworth

        Thanks for the tip! Yes, we collectively buy salt and other gardening/yard supplies but just hadn’t gotten around to it yet; I had thought we had some left from last year but not. We have shovels at the ready but a chopper would do nicely.

    • I didn’t shovel in the morning, and last night was the same thing – solid ice. I dislike using chemical ice melter, but it really does work well – even after a cold night, virtually no ice left this morning.

  • Rant: getting registered for my dental insurance website so I can see a dentist. Problems forever.
    Follow up question: Anyone have recs for dentists that accept delta dental?
    Rave: Noosa yogurt! I was surprised it was at my grocery store and I tried it on a friend’s recommendation, I think I like it more than chobani even.

    • Oh I love Noosa yogurt, it’s my new favorite!

    • Quotia Zelda

      Have you tried Liberte? It really is yogurt perfection.

      • Blithe

        I used to love Liberte when it was still made in Canada- the coconut and the lemon were my favorites. Then I thought the flavor and overall quality changed a bit — but not the price. I think the US branch of the company got sold — and they changed the recipes.

      • Emmaleigh504

        Yorgurt perfection, I will pay extra for it every time.

      • I haven’t! I’m not sure if I saw it at my HT but I didn’t look too closely after I found noosa. It looks good though, trying to expand my yogurt horizons in an effort to get better sources of dairy/protein so thanks for the tip

    • Watergate Dental accepts Delta Dental – highly recommend Dr. Robinson. I’ve been going to her for the past couple years.

      • +1, Dr. Robinson is the best! I’ve also been to Dr. Gluck in the same practice, but I don’t think he takes Delta.

    • I really like Charles Porvanznik at Ingber Dental, he accepts Delta Dental insurance. Avoid Dr. Ingber at Ingber dental, he’s a scheister and also does not accept Delta Dental.

  • epric002

    rant: escalators at ga ave/petworth metro northbound. in the morning, 1 is always running up (i’m going down). in the evenings, 1 is either running down or neither is running (i’m going up). WTF? WHHHHHY?
    rave: 90% of my block was really good at shoveling.
    rant: the house on the corner (of course it’s a corner) of kansas and shepherd (i’m pretty sure they’re renters) didn’t shovel/salt/sand AT ALL.
    rave: even the empty apt buildings on the corner of kansas and randolph shoveled!

    • binpetworth

      I know exactly which house you’re referring to. Yes, they are renters and yes, they never shovel/salt/anything. Fell on my ass several times last winter trying to traverse that corner, which takes up 1/3 of the block!

      • epric002

        and they also park a car in the yard an unusual amount of the time, and they have a parking pad! i’m assuming there aren’t rules in DC against parking in the yard?

        • I think there are, actually.
          I reported to DCRA a house on my block that had done this. It’s a corner unit that had carved out a sort of half-assed DIY curb/dirt cut to the alley. IIRC, there wasn’t quite enough room behind the house to fit a car (at least, not to fit one parked perpendicular to the alley). So instead, they were parking a car at the back of their side yard.
          I didn’t report it when there was just one car there, but when they added a second one parked alongside the house, I did. Just because you can get a car into your yard doesn’t mean you’re actually allowed to park it there. (I think.)

          • No there aren’t rules to my knowledge? My side of the street has unusually large yards and everyone parks their cars at the end of the back yard. Some have parking pads, some don’t.

          • I’m pretty sure the regs are different for backyards (which face alleys) vs. side yards and front yards that abut the public sidewalk. You can’t park on a front yard or side yard without a proper parking pad and driveway.

          • epric002

            any idea where i might find a source for that? i don’t especially care if people park at the end of their backyard, but longterm parking in the front/side yard is unsightly, especially when there is usually plenty of street parking nearby.

          • I don’t know the exact statute, but this FAQ produced by the city explicitly states you need either a curb cut or alley access to park on your property. Parking pads and driveways require permits, so parking on just your front or side yard seems totally illegal.
            http:// ddot.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/ddot/publication/attachments/residential_driveway.pdf

          • OP Anon, thanks for the info. Sounds like I should report that house again. And it’s definitely unsightly, as with epric002’s neighbors.

          • epric002

            agree- thanks the op anon!
            textdoc- you had to call DCRA to report? i’m assuming no option with 311?

          • Epric002 — Annoyingly, it seems that to report anything to DCRA, you have to call them (or tweet them). I ran into this issue over the summer when trying to report houses with overgrown weeds/grass.

          • TD, have you tried using the DC 311’s smartphone app? It allows you to report issues and take photos as evidence. DC seems to be prioritizing using it to resolve issues.

          • I use the 311 website all the time, but my phone is a dumbphone. (hides head in shame)
            Does the 311 app not force you to choose from a bunch of different categories?

          • epric002

            i suppose it would just make too much sense to be able to report anything DC gov’t related through 311.

          • epric002

            iirc, the options on the 311 website and the 311 app are the same.

  • Rave: Reuniting a lost iPhone with its owner.
    Rave: Started volunteering with the shelter I adopted the pup from.
    Question: Favorite boots for bigger dogs? My pup hates everything I’ve tried and ends up on the ground, refusing to walk until she’s ripped the boots off with her mouth. I can’t get her to walk/go to the bathroom with them on but then without them she starts limping because of the salt and cold. 🙁

  • Rant: Neighbors in Petworth (I’m looking at you, churches and people along New Hampshire!) who didn’t shovel, turning the sidewalks into ice rinks.
    Rave: Neighbors on Shepherd who shoveled! Thank you!
    Rant: Family members who offered to nanny have changed their plans. We are now looking for a nanny share or day care starting in April. It’s terrifying to not have something in place. I’m sure it will work out, but still.
    Rave: Having family who did help us for several months.

  • skj84

    Rant: I forgot my snow boots are in storage. Wearing my rain boots which are slightly too small for me. I’m actually worried I won’t be able to get them off my feet. I have tights, two pairs of socks and fleece lined leggings on, and getting the boots on my feet was a struggle this morning.

    Rant: I need help focusing. My mind has a tendency to wander.wander. I’ve always had issues paying attention but my lack of focus seems to be getting worse. Don’t really want to go on meds, but I need to do something.

    • Allison

      Try elevating your feet above waist level (like on a desk) for a little while before taking off your boots. Should help the blood flow away from the area and reduce any swelling.

      • skj84

        I just had to take the boots off. I felt like my circulation was being cut off. Removed one layer of socks and I feel a bit better.

  • Mug of Glop

    Rant: Icy sidewalks and cold temperatures and wind. Blech. You’d think I’m from Florida rather than Michigan with these complaints!
    Rave: Didn’t die on my run last night, despite the snow and ice. We’ll see about tonight, though…
    Rave: Got myself a free microwave from a friend leaving town. Now I can make that popcorn that’s been sitting idle in my cupboard since I moved half a year ago!

  • Aglets

    Rave: After yesterday’s white knuckle morning commute of death ™ i was prepared for the sequal today: The Icening. But found that not to be the case (mostly).
    Rant: Have a dentist appointment for a crown. boo. He’s in Silver Spring and not near a metro. Double boo.
    Rave: New sweater and kitty gloves from ModCloth so at least I’m feeling cute!

  • Rave: Date was awesome! No goodnight kiss needed, and we’re meeting again this week. Haven’t felt this intellectually simulated in a while.
    Rant: McPherson sq wasn’t shoveled or salted last night.
    Rant: Being late to my date because the 3’ppl in my house refused to shovel any time during the day. At least one was home from work.
    Rave: Lots of OT!

  • I Dont Get It

    Rant: “Someone” I occasionally post about here in the kindest and drollest way, sent me a text message yesterday asking if I still had power since he had read about Dupont/Logan outages on PoPville.com. OMG am I about to be Friday Girl’d?

  • palisades

    RAVE: Leaving for a longgg weekend in Boston and then skiing at Stowe in roughly 12 hours. This is my christmas vacation, couldn’t be more excited.

    • Accountering

      Jealous. This sounds amazing. If I don’t go to the National Championship in Dallas, I think I may go skiing with a buddy this weekend, but it would be Liberty or Roundtail, and certainly not Stowe. Have fun!

  • Rant: Struggling with some serious jet lag this week combined with recovering from a cold.
    Rant: Said cold means I probably won’t be able to meet my new niece for another week or two. I don’t want to risk infecting anyone in the family.
    Rave: Cooking dinner tonight in my own kitchen for the first time in two weeks. Even though it is ungodly cold outside, I’m happy to be home and getting back into a routine.

  • Rant: Heading up to Jersey tomorrow to hang with my friend who is trying to get through severe anxiety and panic and depression. I don’t know what to do other than be with her…

    Rave (although I feel bad about raving about this…): all day yesterday with electricity while in the thick of the power outage neighborhood.

    Rant: Somehow managed to explode a pyrex 9X13 pan. It was terrifying and took forever to clean up.

    Rave: Buttered popcorn cookies. And some part time proposal work. And vanilla black tea.

    • Blithe

      You’ve got my commiseration re: your second rant. I had that happen once, and it really was terrifying. And despite my best efforts, I was finding tiny glass shards for weeks afterwards.

    • Emmaleigh504

      You are a good friend.

      • Ditto this. Not sure her situation, but can you do some searching for therapist options while you’re there? Or perhaps try to get her out for some fresh air and long walks? Or perhaps do some cooking to freeze a bunch of easy-to-reheat meals (I’ve got suggestions if you need them) for future easy eating? I’m just grasping at straws since I don’t know how to help either. But maybe some of this is useful? Good luck and take care of you too.

        • Emmaleigh504

          I think these are all great ideas.

        • Thanks so much for the input – it’s all useful. We worked on therapist options over Christmas and she’s seeing a therapist and a doctor now.
          Unfortunately she lives on the West Coast and has delayed her return to work and her life there due to these issues so I’m trying to be supportive but she’s at her parents house and they are treating this whole thing like she’s a failure. Really I’d love to get her away from her parents and buck up her spirits but I’m not sure what’s allowed as per her therapist and doctor’s requests… any input is helpful!

          • Oh yuck, that sounds like a kind of toxic environment.

          • “[S]he’s at her parents house and they are treating this whole thing like she’s a failure.” — Ugh, that’s awful. Any chance the therapist/doctor can talk to the parents and try to change their attitude?

          • Emmaleigh504

            She’s really lucky to have you if her parents are treating her like a failure!

          • Is in-patient treatment an option? That would get her out of her parents’ house. I know in-patient treatment sounds extreme and kind of scary, but I know people who have done it and it’s made a big difference. It wouldn’t have to be for very long.

          • Yea it’s a tough environment and she’s refused in-patient treatment because she’s having a tough time wrapping her head that she’s not able to return to the west coast for a while… she has no support system out there. I’ll hopefully know more after I’m up there for a bit.
            Thanks all for letting me rant.

  • Rave: YakTrax, for the inevitable icy sidewalks after any snowfall in DC (under $20 on Amazon)
    Square dancing: Has anyone been to the monthly square dance at St Stephens (16th & Newton)? Anyone interested in going this Saturday?

  • Rave: Not too cold yet & kiddo was pretty good about getting ready quickly. And I get to work late tonight unless the plumber is running late!
    Rant: Should have gotten up to run this morning (or maybe not if sidewalks are still icy?) but I didn’t get to bed early enough and wanted a chance at a full night’s sleep since the last night’s was interrupted.
    Rave: No wake-ups last night! We’ll continue with the experiment of leaving the closet light on overnight as a nightlight.
    Rant: our creaky stairs & my maternal ear mean that I almost always wake up when my roommate leaves the house 45 minutes before my alarm goes off. And this morning, her cat started howling five minutes after she left. Argh.
    Rave: But still feeling reasonably awake. Determined to be productive today! And to go to yoga tomorrow since it will be way too cold to get up & run in the dark.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Did kiddo have fun playing in the snow yesterday?

      • She did! And I got some super cute photos from it 🙂 I initially planned on just playing in the back yard, but she was pulling on stroller so we walked down to Kalorama playground in Adams Morgan and she had fun walking (and falling) in the snow there. Though wow did she go down the slide fast in her snow suit! I’m used to not having to catch her so she kind of flew off the end which startled us both. She was a trooper about it though. Stopped at Tryst on the way home for hot chocolate & a cookie, but since she refused the cookie we also stopped at McDonalds for a small fries (that she got half of) for a treat instead. All in all a fun afternoon!

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rave: Zelda family thank you notes written and mailed!
    Rant: COLD
    Rave: Mr. Zelda got to use his new snowblower. He is in love. He sent me an adorable text expressing his desire to marry said snowblower.
    Rant: Dithering over Eldest Zelda’s graduation present.

    • Emmaleigh504

      I have several ideas for Eldest Zelda’s graduation present, I’m leaning towards sterling swiss army knife, but it only has like 3 tools. But then there’s much jewelry. But a swiss army knife would be useful…

      • Get her a tool kit! That was a SUPER handy thing to have in college.

        • Emmaleigh504

          Maybe for her birthday, that’s just not something I feel comfortable giving as a graduation present.

          • How about a good chef’s knife (and knife skills class) if she cooks? Important survival skills once you leave home.

          • Emmaleigh504

            High school graduation, so she doesn’t need cooking stuff yet. She does need jewelry or a Swiss army knife though. I kind of want to get her the girly one my grandparents got me, but 1. it doesn’t come in silver, 2. I can’t find it. It has a cuticle pusher! How girly is that! I’ve never used the cuticle pusher for it’s intended purpose, but it came in handy a lot when I was in college.

    • My favorite high-school graduation presents were a very nice bathrobe and large, high-quality towels. It was nice to have something comfortable and luxurious amongst the cinder block dorm/communal bathroom situation. I also got a more professional watch for graduation which I wore to internships and interviews throughout college.

  • gotryit

    Rave: snowblower worked!
    Rant: there was already a good sheet of ice from footprints, so I still spent a couple of hours working on the sidewalks (it’s about 150′ on a corner lot).
    Rave: 15 amps of spinning metal blades does do a number on the ice somewhat – combined with some salt should keep me off the sidewalk of shame list (although not as clean as I’d like it to be).
    Rant: ran out of salt… need a Costco size bag or 3.

  • hispanicandproud

    Rave: Just bought tickets to see U2 this summer in Boston! My favorite band in one of my favorite cities with one of my favorite people!
    Rave: It will be the fifth time I see U2.
    Rave: 2015 is looking super fantastic!

  • Andie302

    Rant: I keep mixing up The OP Anon and Anon 1.5 in my head…which is terrible because from what I recall one is male and one is female. My mental images are blurred.
    Rave: The new roommates dog is the best. He came and crawled under the covers (something my dog doesn’t do) and is such a snuggler.
    Rant: Feeling off kilter after the disaster that was the blue/orange/silver line this morning. I stood on the platform for probably 25 minutes before getting a train.

  • Rave: 2 hour delay
    Rant: stuck in too many stupid meetings that don’t let me do my job.

  • Rant: Having trouble reading a guy friend of mine. Both single (but have been friends while each of us were in our own relationships), and has been inviting me to do things. Can’t tell if it’s just a friendly gesture to “hang out” or if he’s under the impression that maybe it will go someplace else (and I’m worried about leading him on if that’s the case as I am not interested that way). I am so bad at this, but have gotten myself into uncomfortable situations before by not reading them correctly! Any men (or women) care to weigh in on signs I should be looking for? I hate “assuming” things and then embarrassing myself in the process if he is legitimately just wanting to be friends and hang out.

    Rave: The snow! Even though we didn’t get much.

    • 90% chance he’s interested in “something more than friends,” if he’s straight. IMHO.

      • Yeah, agree. My questions below are basically to determine if he fits in the other 10%.

      • Accountering

        If he is trying to hang out just the two of you, and based on the other stuff you said, I agree he is likely interested in moving the relationship forward.

    • Need more info. Some questions:

      1. Did you both recently break up with your former partners? If yes, maybe he’s just looking to stay busy.
      2. Are the invites for group events or just the two of you? If you’re under 30, that doesn’t mean much, but if you’re over 30 and he’s inviting you to group things, then I think you don’t have to worry.
      3. Along that line, what are the activities?
      4. How often does he invite you? If it is once every couple weeks, relax. If it is once a week or more, then yeah, he might be wanting more.
      5. On a related note, does he have much of a social circle? If not, and he recently broke up with his gf, he might just be reaching out due to the small support network.

      • Agree with all of the above questions, especially #1 and #5. I have guy friends who I tend to talk to/hang out with more when we’re both single, but there is definitely no interest beyond friendship.

      • justinbc

        This is a great list of questions to reference to future posters. Outside of this, honestly, just ask him. I will never understand people avoidance of direct communication, especially when it comes to potential relationship matters. If he is a genuine friend of yours the implication shouldn’t offend him that much, and if he says no you can simply say “ok cool we can continue to carry on as it were!”

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: had to do a last minute interview and I have hat hair.
    Rave: I liked the person we interviewed and thing he will be a good match.
    Rant: It’s not up to me.

    • At first I thought you meant an on camera interview, which would be much worse IMO. I met my new next door neighbor last night with hat head and sweating wearing all my warm clothes inside the building.

      • Emmaleigh504

        I know I’m just being vain about my hair, but if I had know about doing the interview in advance I would not have worn a hat to work and I would have worn different clothes! My shirt is way to low cut* for meeting strangers. It’s fine on a normal day when I don’t see anyone and can just throw a shawl on. Luckily I have a myriad of sweaters in my office, so I was able to cover my cleavage.
        *shut up it’s a comfortable shirt, I needed comfort to make it to work today.

  • Pablo Raw

    Rant: Trying to plan an trip for February but afraid that snow can ruin it (it has happened in the past). I guess I’ll do it.
    Rant: Photo contest deadline today and I still don’t know what to submit.
    Rave: My rants are 1st. world kind of rants.

  • Blithe

    Rave: My shelves should be coming today! I’m looking forward to geeky times — and organizing lots and lots of books. And maybe a tschotcke or two.
    Rave: What some might call “procrastination” I choose to view as Stringing out the Delights and Wonders of the Holiday Season for a little while longer. 😉
    Rant/Rave: I can’t find the shoes that I hid in some extremely “safe” place to give to a friend. But in the process of looking for them, I DID find the straps for my guitar case and a scarf that I haven’t seen since last winter.

    • I like your second rave. 🙂 I didn’t really feel like taking down my tree, etc. on Epiphany (yesterday), so I was thinking I’d leave everything up until the weekend.

  • Rant: if you insist on carrying a “backpacking around Europe/hiking the Appalachian Trail size backpack on the Metro during rush hour, for the love of God, be aware of how much space you take up and where your backpack is. Jackhole on the train smacked everyone with it and almost took out a kid.

    • Ditto for the bus. Do not pretend that you cannot feel your idiot sack thumping people all the way down the aisle or as you turn around.

    • Emmaleigh504

      And secure the nasty hiking boots so they aren’t flopping around hitting people in the face!

    • To be honest, I’m a big fan of the “put your bookbag on the front of your person” thing they do in Asia… but I guess people in the U.S. think it looks dumb? I don’t know. What’s dumb about not knocking people over and also not getting stuff pickpocketed?

  • hispanicandproud

    Rant: People complaining about snow and frozen sidewalks and metro! It’s winter, DC. It’s what happens in January.
    Rave: 72 more days until Spring! Then people can complain about something new.

    • I think people can rightfully complain about the icy sidewalks because it’s something that can easily be solved if certain property owners/renters were less self-absorbed and put in 20 minutes of effort. It’s frustrating because it’s an entirely preventable situation. The lack of maintenance also effectively forces the elderly and disabled to be housebound.

      • Emmaleigh504

        thank you OP Anon

      • skj84

        agreed! I don’t think it’s too whiny to expect people to reduce falling risks by clearing their sidewalks. I’m an able bodied adult and I don’t want to be laid up because some was to selfish to at least salt in front of their house.

        • To be fair… I didn’t grow up in an area that had any significant snow, and I didn’t realize until last year that de-icer salt would be a good thing to have on hand. (I already had a snow shovel and an ice chopper thing, and that had been enough the previous winter or two.)
          After the first big snow (or maybe the first icy snow) last winter I kept going back to Home Depot for de-icer salt, and they never had any. I bought some the other week so as not to run into the same situation again.

        • hispanicandproud

          Happy new year, everybody!

    • You’re required by law to clear your sidewalks with 8 daylight hours after snow, sleet or ice has stopped falling. So sidewalks that did not get cleared until yesterday evening or this morning are perfectly legal. I think people who complained yesterday about owners not clearing the sidewalks jumped the gun a bit. Icy sidewalks are dangerous, and you may wish that they had already been cleared, but it’s not reasonable to expect people to have their sidewalks cleared immediately. If I was the one responsible for clearing the sidewalk in front of my building, it would not have happened until this morning around 7 am…that does not make me self absorbed.

      • Emmaleigh504

        sure it does. You are too busy patting yourself on the back for arriving at work on time yesterday to get around to clearing your sidewalk.

        • My comment yesterday was patting my co-workers on the back, some of whom commute in from further out than Baltimore. I was psyched to see that they all made it. Hence the revel about it.

          • It seemed as though people had vastly different commuting experiences yesterday — some with completely smooth sailing, and others having to turn around midway and give up. Your original post made it sound as though the only barrier to getting to work was setting one’s alarm earlier.

          • I honestly have no idea how all of my co-workers made it. I just know the one said he left for work at 4:30 in the morning.

          • Emmaleigh504

            I see. It came across as smug. And good god, I would never leave for work at 4:30 and no one who has to work with me would want me to. #NotAMorningPerson

  • Rant: Anxiety issues. It’s fairly recent, but for the past couple of months, it’s gotten so much worse. I can’t sleep. And then I tell myself that I NEED to sleep because I’m really feeling the lack of rest, which makes me anxious and not able to fall asleep at all. Sleep aids and white noise do nothing. I’m about ready to have a nervous breakdown and have no idea what to do about it. Young child at home, full time job, lack of sleep……… I seriously don’t know what to do right now.
    Thanks for reading.

    • binpetworth

      Sorry to hear you’re going through this. I know firsthand it can be tough. While I recommend cognitive behavior therapy if it’s really bad (and sounds like it is), here’s another tip that can be useful in the interim: designate worry time each day. Set the clock, sit down and have at your worrisome thoughts for half an hour or whatever time works. Really let your head go through the catalog of concerns. Then when the time is up, try to let it go and jump into something else. Having a dedicated space to let it all out, rather than have worries creep up during the day, can be helpful. And save your worries for that time when you know you’ll be mentally hashing them out!

    • Emmaleigh504

      I used to have slight sleep anxiety and I have worked to get rid of it. It took a while but these things helped: don’t look at the clock while you are in bed, turn it around, put tape over it, whatever, just don’t check the time. Develop a sleep ritual that is calming and stick to it. Good sleep hygiene has rituals that signal your body to relax. Lastly, I remind myself that even if I’m not actually sleeping I am still physically resting, so it’s not all bad. It took years to convince myself of that, but I finally did! I hope some of this helps you, good luck!

    • Pablo Raw

      A temporary relief/solution (while you find the cause and control it) could be to ask your regular Dr. for anti-anxiety/depression medicine. It just takes a very quick test. I once had to deal with that and it helped a lot, I had a ton of excuses of why I shouldn’t do it but now I’m glad I did. When I knew I didn’t need them any more, I stopped taking it. It started with a low dose and I never had to go higher than that.

      • Emmaleigh504

        +1 if home/non-medicinal remedies aren’t working, there are lots of different Rx meds to try, and sometimes it takes a combination of the 2.

    • You might be interested in the 4-7-8 breathing method. It really works.

      • I can’t wait to try this. I think my life would be immeasurably better if I could put myself to sleep in less than a minute.

    • Not an expert, but:
      1) Consider getting some help. Whether a doctor or a therapist or a counselor or a friend or family member. You may be able to try some things on your own that help, but if things are anywhere near a breaking point I wouldn’t waste time trying a homestyle trial-and-error approach.
      2) Anyone else at home apart from you and the child? Does this person know the full extent of your trouble and are they helping you carry the load?

      • Thanks, everyone.

        My spouse is a stay-at-home. Helps out more than enough. I have no relationships with anyone else, though. No friends, no family in the area, and no hobbies, now that my leg has been blown out. It’s just work and stress. Stress and work. And, unfortunately, I am not able to see a therapist (couple of reasons). My spouse hates me. We are just roommates trying to make this work while raising our kid. This is just awful.

        • Isn’t Carolyn Hax always recommending to financially strapped people that for therapy, they look into the Women’s Center, which has a sliding scale?

        • That does sound awful, I’m sorry to hear. But it sounds like you need help from someone/somewhere – I see that some of the obvious options are not available to you but you need to find something that is. If you try to just muddle through until your child is grown (how many years is that!?!) you will all be unhappy and possibly damaged for even longer. So while I can’t offer you knowledgeable advice on where to turn I will say I think you need to take care of yourself and your child – nothing else will matter much if either of those break. Good luck.

          • I completely agree. I’m adrift until I find that something. Though, I’m not sure I care if I break. Only if my child does. At least my spouse is great to my child. Thanks for the well wishes.

          • “Though, I’m not sure I care if I break.”
            But if you break, then your child probably will too, at least a little bit. That’s one reason to care. And it sucks to be adrift, but always be looking for that something.

          • Also, I didn’t explicitly refer to it even though I had it in mind, and others below have mentioned it, you might need to consider switching jobs. If it adds to your problems while simultaneously denying you access to the tools to cope with your problems, then it’s not worth the money that they pay you. I know switching jobs isn’t exactly easy but the stakes are high enough here that the possibility has to be on the table.

        • me

          My job will not allow any counseling other than grief counseling. I can’t really go into detail. But I’ve already “theoretically” asked, and it’s an absolute no.

          • Yikes. Not even family/marital counseling??

          • Nope, not even that. Sucks, yea? (smiles meekly)

          • Anon., that’s terrible. Sorry to hear that. I guess there’s no way you can fudge your current issues into fitting a “grief” description?
            My recollection from when I was doing the background-check form for a security clearance was that in the question about “Have you received or are you receiving counseling/treatment/etc.”, they specifically exempted family counseling, bereavement counseling, and PTSD counseling.
            Which on the one hand is good, because it means people with PTSD, etc. can seek counseling without fear of it being held against them… but it also kind of sucks in that it conveys: “Getting counseling for family problems, grief, or PTSD? That’s totally OK. The other stuff? That’s potentially NOT OK, so you’d better tell us about it.”

          • If you can’t see a traditional therapist for job-related reasons, might talking to a clergyperson be an option?
            Have you talked to a doctor about the anxiety issues?

          • Wondering when you say your job will only allow grief counseling – does that mean that insurance/EAP will only cover this? Grief can cover a wide range – certainly grief related to death, but also grief over relationships ending, changes in circumstances, etc.
            Seeing a counselor because of a loss doesn’t preclude conversation about other topics that might be connected to the loss.
            And I understand that your circumstances may make counseling not an option right now. Sorry you’re going through this, hope it does get better for you.

          • I may or may not have an idea of what type of job you may have, and I 100% agree with textdoc about trying to fit your current issues under “grief.” Even if it seems like a stretch… perhaps you could more openly discuss your situation with a grief counselor for a session or two and devise a strategy?

          • I also wonder how open you might be to changing jobs. From the little you have shared, I wonder if the job is contributing to — if not the main source of — the high stress level you’re experiencing.

          • The sounds terrible, I’m sorry. Please try to reach out to family, even if they are far away. Figuring out a support system is really important, and to take care of your kid you need to be ok. And do something nice for yourself, whatever you enjoy and feels good. My former massage therapist used to be my one to talk to when I felt like I couldn’t tell anyone else, maybe you can find a way to have someone to talk to.

          • FWIW, if your job is what I think it is, I know at least three people who had similar roles and are MUCH happier, with better work-life balance, now that they work elsewhere.

          • Also, what Tall E said. And acupuncture! I can’t believe I didn’t say acupuncture earlier.

          • Blithe

            I don’t know about the demands and expectations of your job, but I do know that some people who do “life coaching” are also trained and often licensed therapists. Would “coaching” sessions be allowed? Or , if it’s appropriate, family therapy sessions as long as you’re not the identified patient? I did read your comment about “absolute no” — but I’m wondering if there’s a way to bend that a bit if the experience isn’t called therapy and isn’t billed through insurance.

            The combination of anxiety, sleep issues, and lack of social support sounds difficult, since I imagine that each element of this kind of feeds the other elements. Similarly, I’m guessing that changing any of the elements might positively influence the others. Would something like yoga, or swimming, or an arts class or a writing workshop interest you? Something that would give you an outlet for at least some of the stress you’re experiencing, and possibly some positive social connections?

        • Andie302

          It sounds like cultivating something, anything, that’s just for you and for pleasure might be a good first step. You could get some push-back from the spouse on this, so maybe you also facilitate something like this for him/her. Maybe one night per week where you get out to do something you enjoy (preferably with some social component). You could check into meet-up’s, a social sports league (sounds like a leg injury might prevent that in the near-term), a book club, just something to look forward to. It certainly sounds like you have some other things going on, but hopefully this could be a small first step in the right direction.

          • +100 to this. I came to RRRR super late today and am only about halfway caught up, but think this is excellent advice. I’d also add that smaller things can count as cultivated pleasure, especially if it’s too hard at the moment to carve out real social time. You can always work up to that if your demands are too heavy right now. Some suggestions are a leisurely bath, a quick workout (even 10 minutes counts!), a Netflix series — anything that feels like a special treat to you at the end of a hard day or week.

          • Pablo Raw

            +1000 hopefully your spouse will understand.

    • Consider seeing a professional therapist (social worker, psychiatrist, doesn’t matter who). I had a 6 month period where I barely slept, with similar issues that you’re describing. Nothing worked until I had a few sessions with a therapist. Ideally, they can help you get to the root causes of your anxiety to eliminate it. But, at the very least, there’s something about sharing your troubles with a stranger for an hour that is hugely freeing. It really does take a huge weight off of you. Please, please, please find someone. I was so reluctant at first, but it was the only thing that really flipped the switch for me and I wish I had done it sooner. Don’t stay in this cycle of snowballing anxiety!

    • It’s tough when not sleeping leads to anxiety about not sleeping which makes it impossible to sleep (etc)
      I’ve also been having difficulty sleeping and have been making more of an effort to get to sleep earlier and in a more relaxed frame of mind. What works for me may not be useful for you, but here’s what I’ve been doing – turning off the computer at least an hour before bed (and not watching tv), reading or writing or something relaxing before bed, and then listening a yoga nidra or long relaxation exercise.
      Ambion is also effective – 5 mg and I’m soon asleep

  • Rant: Hip pain waking me up at night. They don’t hurt otherwise, so I believe it’s a result of my mattress and preferred side sleeping position. My mattress is fairly firm with a pillow top that I think I may need to augment. Suggestions?

    • Soft mattress topper?

    • Andie302

      Featherbed! A roommate had one of these in college and she would come home late to find me asleep because it was so wonderful (and I thought she wasn’t coming home). They do get a little pokey if you actually get a down one, but it’s like sleeping on a cloud (which, unfortunately, no longer works for my back).

    • epric002

      the Sleep Joy 2″ ViscO2 Ventilated Memory Foam Mattress Topper (you can find it on amazon). we put it on the cheap/thin/poky mattress in the guest room and now that bed is the most comfortable one in the house.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Perhaps putting a small pillow between your legs will help.

    • Thanks all! I knew you’d be helpful. I think I’ll try epric’s recommendation.

      • epric002

        let us know how you like it, and good luck!

        • Emmaleigh504

          oh hey, I ordered the harness lead last night for Donna, I’ll keep you posted on if it works for her. thanks for the rec!

          • epric002

            oh please do! i don’t know anyone personally who has tried it with anything other than a dog, so i’m curious! also, what color did you order? 🙂

          • Emmaleigh504

            I went with blue. Maroon and red wouldn’t look good on Donna, and black seemed boring. Donna is an orange cat.

          • epric002

            i wish they had more color choices, but i also went with blue. it didn’t work for fomerly foster puppy so fortunately the blue has worked for both a tricolor beagle and a black longhaired shepherd/mutt.

          • Please share the cat walking adventures! I have a harness, one cat wore it pretty well but she just spent time in the grass so after I while I just let her hang out with supervision. The other cat just does the crouch, and she’s the runner so there’s no going outside without a harness on. “Walking” was never in the cards for either.

  • Rave: McFadden’s is closing foreverrrrr.
    Rant: in a week long finance class. I am awful at math and am totally lost.
    Rave: free lunch!

  • Rant: Package thieves. I was working from the couch yesterday afternoon, saw movement on the porch, and went out to discover two young teenage girls trying to read the shipping labels on two newly arrived packages of cat food (that I hadn’t heard). Really, if you have a cat in desperate need of Rx food, go ahead and take it. Otherwise, GTF off my porch in broad daylight! What is wrong with people?

    • Broad daylight= most people aren’t home, so less chance of being scene. I’d think you’d have to be pretty ballsy to steal on a weeknight.
      Reminds me of when someone broke into my car for a large box of hippy dog food.

    • epric002

      did you call the police? i feel ya. i’ve had packages stolen twice. the first time it was water filters, which the thieves decided to dump in the alley and my nice neighbor found and returned to me. the second time they kept the whole lot of random stuff: food, blow dryer, earrings, frisbees, etc.

    • Wow. Just… wow.

    • Are you near a school? They are probably local students.

  • Rave: The Frederick News-Post’s editorial on the Kirby Delauter Fiasco. It’s fantabulous!
    Rant: the relatively clean cut dude on Metro who was wasted at 9:30 this morning and drinking out of a jug wrapped in bags. I hope he gets that under control.
    Rant: Colorado Springs NAACP office bombing. It’s amazing how we’ve sanitized our language after more than a decade of being at war – “An improvised explosive device was detonated against the exterior wall of a building housing the Colorado Springs chapter of the NAACP on Tuesday, officials said.” – Denver Post
    Rave: No boss in the office today!

  • Rave: someone else in my building sent out the reminder that we all share in the snow shoveling! And it was done when I got home. I woke up too late to do my part before leaving for work so I was feeling guilty. I actually like to shovel and am glad that we ordered salt and purchased a new shovel before this storm.
    Rave 2: citrus from sister’s trees arrived! Fresh squeezed orange/grapefruit juice and lemons will be preserved this weekend. I might hate phoenix but there are benefits to having family live there.
    Rant: headaches.
    Rant 2: gym is cancelling my favorite yoga class, I’m trying to convince them it’s a mistake, but those corporate number crunchers probably won’t care. This might finally be the reason to leave this gym.

  • Rave: What a beautiful photograph! Park! Snow!
    Rant: Too much computer makes the eyes go schitzy. Got to take breaks.

  • Rave: Finally got my TS clearance!
    Rant: This doesn’t mean a new job, just that I’m eligible for a job that requires one. I have a feeling that once I find one I’m qualified for, it’s going to mean another clearance, including a polygraph. More hassles, but probably worth it.

    • epric002

      i’m curious about jobs that require polys. i’ve been opposed to getting one, so i’ve never applied for one that requires it. would you apply for one that required a full scope or just a CI?

  • Neither rant nor rave: Last week I used my search-fu to confirm my suspicions about the identity of Anonymous Lonely Heart. I’d prefer it if he revealed his identity himself, though.
    Query for Anonymous Lonely Heart: So what happened — did you go on the trip with the long-distance girlfriend, and leave the breakup part for sometime this month??

  • Rave: Online dating has not been terrible this time around.
    Rant: time of the month (lady problems) meaning I cannot plan sexy time with my most recent first date. Why, nature?! WHY?!

  • Weird rant/rave: My car has been acting up lately. Friday it died when I was getting gas. I got a jump start and off I went. This morning I came out and all of my windows were open. The doors were locked and nothing had been stolen (which is the rave because it includes the expensive instrument I forgot to take out of the trunk when rehearsal was cancelled yesterday). The windows were just open. WEIRD. I think I may have a poltergeist in my car.

  • I have a word stuck in my head. It’s “colloidal”, from the bottle of moisturizer I saw yesterday. This word keeps bubbling to the top of my mind, and it’s bothersome. The last time it happened quite this overwhelmingly, it was “diatomaceous”. That one stuck out in my mental landscape, like a terrible zit, for a month or more.
    Does this happen to other people? I know a lot of people get a couple lines of music stuck, and that happens to me sometimes, but music never bothers me as much as that single, context-free word.

    • Was it Aveeno and “colloidal oatmeal”?

      • Yes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen colloidal in any other context, not being a chemist.
        Similarly, diatomaceous is only known to me in the context of diatomaceous earth, used to deter ants. But now I know lots about it (dinosaur algae!) because when I couldn’t rid my brain of the word, I looked it up on the internet, in the hopes of burying it in context.

    • binpetworth

      Yes. I was once on a month-long “malfeasance” track. Hopefully my recalling that won’t make it start again.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Not quite the same, but I have words I can’t stop seeing/hearing everyhwere and it drives me insane. Right now TBH or “too be honest” is driving me made.

    • topscallop

      Yes! I didn’t know other people got words stuck in their head too. It would happen to me a fair amount when I was studying for the GRE.

  • Pablo Raw

    Rant: The only way to keep up with “Who’s who” on PoPville is to keep a board ala “A Beautiful MInd” with paper prints, nails and thread. Honestly, I have no idea how some people can keep up with all the drama/non drama.
    Rave: Since I can’t keep up, I have decided (as proclaimed on an earlier RRRR) that everybody here is a sassy african-american woman, except the people I have already met that are not.
    Rave: Please bring masks with your avatars to the next official or unofficial PoPville event.
    Rave: 🙂

    • Yes, please no one do this, or any other Carrie Mathison-style connection making. I am beginning to think that PoPville works best when we all have a sort of gentlemen’s agreement not to link too many dots.

      • Emmaleigh504

        Sometimes it’s difficult not to make connections.

      • Well it seems like textdoc already has, figuratively if not literally – and clearly all regular readers do to some extent. If you don’t want dots linked I think you either need to be (more) anonymous or just not provide so many dots.

        • Emmaleigh504

          And be aware that changing names does not always hide your identity. I’ve followed BagelBoy’s adventures over 3 user names.

          • +1. Some people have very recognizable posting styles.

          • Lame!

          • Very true. I think that’s where not sharing so many dots comes in.

          • Blithe

            And be aware that multiple people might use the same or similar screen names. I’ve used Blithe for the most part, with DCNative sometimes for more serious stuff, and occasionally others that relate to a specific post. Earlier this week I saw a post by “DC Native” to one of my posts as “Blithe” — which was a bit disorienting. I almost posted to warn “DC Native”( with a space) that “DCNative” (without a space) has some very opinionated posts that s/he might not want to be associated with.

      • I was only trying to help people not confuse the OP Anon and Anon 1.5. 🙁

      • Hey, sorry — work busy-ness and internet issues have kept me from replying to this and I hope no one (especially Textdoc) interpreted that as me being upset. I’m not.
        I agree that it’s almost impossible not to make connections. I make them all the time about posters, including some who don’t mask their alternate identities well. And in the case of the two confusing Anon screennames, it seemed like they both handled the connection-making with a lot of grace.
        I probably wouldn’t if it were about me. It’s not that I don’t like careful readers to make connections, but rather that I wouldn’t like them all aggregated for easy reading by someone doing a more casual search. Even though I’m pretty careful to keep any personal information off this site, something about that just gives me the chills.

    • Blithe

      LOL! As you can imagine, I’m totally loving the idea that the default PoPvillager is a sassy African-American woman! 😉

  • Emmaleigh504

    wow 462!

  • I miss PopVille! You all get me through the last few hours of my day on the West Coast.

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