Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user  brunofish

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.

446 Comment

  • Rant: 15-month old car’s blower motor went kaput, right in the middle of this cold snap. Who doesn’t love a car without heat?
    Rave: Car under warranty so VW is fixing it for free.
    Rant: So cold my hair froze in the 10 second walk to my car.
    Rave: Early drop off at the dealership, which drops you back at Friendship Heights, meant I missed the red line kerfuffle this morning

    • jim_ed

      That’s VW ownership. Nice cars, electrical systems seemingly built with used extension cords and aluminum foil.

      • They over think the electrical systems. If a job only requires say 9.5 volts, they’ll add extra parts to step down the voltage from 12 to 9.5 volts. Indeed nice cars but when a stupid little part breaks it can wreak havoc.
        My 1st VW (70 Type I) had the most basic electrical system and the heat was like being in Siberia in winter with your feet on fire.
        Glad yours is getting fixed!

      • We have friends who’ve had their Jetta for 8 years with little to no trouble. My 2013 Passat is terrible – if I could trade it in early, I would. Wish we had gone with the Mazda 6.

        • jim_ed

          Sorry to hear that. I did the VW thing once with an Audi A6. We called it the poltergeist car because the lights(interior and exterior) would randomly flicker on and off randomly while driving down the road. Mechanics could never figure it out, either. Ended up dumping it after 4 months.

  • Last night I spent 45 minutes trying to call the DC shelter hotline for the homeless I passed on my walk home. I get that the city was overwhelmed with calls but when I got through to the call center the person on the other line was not even interesting in the locations I was listing and then she quickly hung up. I am VERY disappointed in the city.

    • sorry it was so disheartening, but thanks for being a good citizen for trying

    • Allison

      If it makes you feel better, it may be that the locations you were listing are on their usual routes to check anyway. I know the vans cruise by certain places where homeless people are known to gather regardless of whether someone or not has called, so the operator may have thought “oh that street? yeah yeah, I got it.”

  • Did I miss the memo on ‘no trash pick up this week?” How do cities like Buffalo and Cleveland handle trash service in 3-4 inches of snow and freezing tempatures? When I was a kid we called it “winter” and life still went on.

    • Weird. Our trash got picked up like normal, but the recycling is still sitting there from Tuesday morning.

      • I called 311 this morning – our trash is Tue. & Fri. with recycle only on Tue. They said trash will be picked up Fri. but no recycle pick-up until Tue. (Jan. 13)

    • emvee

      The city miraculously picked up my trash on Tuesday, even with the snow. However, they have been known to just completely skip my place on perfectly clear, warm days. There’s no rhyme or reason to it. Report it to 311, and hopefully you’re in one of the areas with two trash pickups a week?

    • My trash was picked up yesterday. Maybe the companies which tend to be out in upper nw took the day off.

    • I agree that DPW is lame in many ways, but… to be fair, Buffalo and Cleveland get a lot more snow and a lot more frequently. So I’m not surprised that they’d have better infrastructure (e.g., more snowplows) for dealing with it.

    • As of this morning, the entire length of our alley is a SOLID sheet of ice. Our alley also has a slight east-to-west incline, so cars have been sliding around and losing traction while trying to navigate it. I’d be scared to see a garbage truck attempt it, they would probably slide into someone’s garage or fence.

    • Emmaleigh504

      The town I lived in in South Dakota regularly closed schools and delayed garbage pick up for snow. Even up in the super frozen northland there are places that don’t have the infrastructure for snow.

    • My trash was picked up today for the first time since December 29. Unbelievable.

    • Yessss

  • Anyone know what the “emergency” was at Judiciary Sqare this morning? (around 7:10) My train stopped outside of Union Station. First they said there would be a delay. Then they said there was a train emergency and returned to NOMA. I ended up walking from there to my office near Union Station.

  • binpetworth

    Rant: Took 1.5 hours to go 7 stops on Metro this morning, including a 1+hour wait for a train at Gallery Place. And this is the infrastructure that we tout will help us move thousands of tourists if we get the Olympics?

  • Rave: Made it to the gym this morning for a class with my workout buddy. I’m feeling slightly more human than I have all week. I think the jet lag and cold are subsiding.
    Rant: I have had the worst heartburn for weeks. I think part of it is the over-indulging in rich food during the holidays and part of it is stress (worry over some family health issues). I’m tired of popping Zantac like it is candy.
    Rave: With my fuzzy new snow boots and my giant puffy down coat, I wasn’t cold during my commute this morning. I will never, ever admit that to my partner though — I refuse to admit to him that I want actually be able to deal with the cold.

    • Be careful with the Zantac- it is not good for you long term (neither is the baking soda solution over the long term). Try adjusting your diet and eating your last meal/snack long before you go to bed. A friend said a half apple at the end of the day helps his heart burn. Sounds counterintuitive because apples are acidic, but apparently it works for him and others.

      • I’m definitely cutting down on the acidic food and getting my diet back in order now that I’m home from holiday travel. I 100% agree that Zantac is a stop-gap (not a permanent) solution. Ginger tea seems to help me as well.

    • Might want to get checked for an ulcer which if bad enough zantac might not do much for you. I like nexium which is a 2 weeks course, 1 pill a day.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Heartburn PSA: if you have chronic heartburn you should have it checked out. Chronic heartburn is linked with an increased instance of esophageal cancer.

      • justinbc

        +1 definitely get checked to see if you have acid reflux or any number of other serious conditions. Also monitor your alcohol consumption as this is a major cause of inflammation.

    • Ok Popville, you talked my doctor-avoiding self into making an appointment. I’m seeing the doc next week for my icky heartburn. 🙂

      • I had AWFUL heartburn when I was pregnant (and yes, my kid had a full head of dark hair when he was born). It was so bad I threw up – yoga made it worse (inversions). The tums chewable refreshers were the ONLY thing that helped. There were lots of natural remedies like papaya that people recommended. But those tums were lifesavers – I had one box everywhere. Work, purse, car, gym bag. Hopefully yours is an easy fix!

        • Yes, this. I never had heartburn before I was pregnant, and haven’t had it since the moment I gave birth, but it was terrible during my pregnancy. I tried avoiding certain foods, etc, but the only thing that helped was Tums. OP, they may be worth a shot for some temporary relief before you see your doctor.

    • Are you taking any prescription medications? In college I took doxycycline for a couple of years (doctor had no idea what he was doing), and I wound up developing esophagitis because of it. Terrible, painful heartburn that made it difficult to eat at all. I had no idea that this was a potential side effect, let alone that I shouldn’t have been on such a high dosage for so long. I was crying from pain by the time I got myself to the health center, but in the end it was an easy fix.

  • Rave: Pipes did not freeze overnight.
    Rant: Tired, somewhat congested, and cranky.
    Rave: I asked the Prince if he could edit my post from yesterday distinguishing Anon 1.5 from the OP Anon, and he was able and willing to do so.
    Rant: I guess I kinda succumbed to showoff instinct in that post. Must be more judicious in future.
    Rant: The wind gusts yesterday made me feel like one of the Three Little Pigs.
    Rave: Fence swayed, but did not get blown down.

    • Thanks to you and Dan! I still like you 🙂 — in fact maybe even more so because you handled this so graciously. Hope you start to feel better today!

    • Pablo Raw

      I think it’s great that someone is remembering all that information so that we don’t have to!

      • Personally, I think it’s a bit creepy. If you’re able to draw connections between postings, I think you should keep it to yourself. Especially if people are trying to open up about family or relationship issues. Sometimes people need an anonymous outlet for their thoughts.

        • justinbc

          If people attach a recognizable username to their postings it does diminish to some degree their anonymity in that community. If you want to remain truly anonymous there’s a shared handle for that.

        • Pablo Raw

          I guess it could be creepy in some case but we are talking about textdoc; I know textdoc and nothing wrong is going to happen with that information. Also it comes from memory. I wish I had such good memory, I would have more friends now!

          • Accountering

            I too know Textdoc in person, and can assure you that there is nothing creepy going on in the least. She is just a person with a very good memory.

          • FWIW, it doesn’t bother me at all that it’s in Textdoc’s brain. I like that. I just don’t love the idea of it all being written out online, all in one place, at least for myself. And I’m concerned that if this were a regular practice from people who aren’t as kindhearted as Textdoc, that it might keep people from coming here for the advice. And we all seems to really like giving and receiving that advice here! And we’re pretty darn good at it too, I think.

          • Accountering

            Thats totally fair 🙂
            Agree on the advice bit. It would be very difficult to find such a unique cross-section of people to get advice from. There are mid-20s accountants, mid 40s sassy black women (apparently tons of them! haha) guys in their 60s, lawyers, non-profit employees, people who love rhinos, and everything in between. Keeps it fun, and keeps me coming back!

        • There is the option to be anonymous, or to use a username that others can recognize. While I usually post under this name, there have been times where I don’t want a post associated with my user name so I go anonymous (or anon, but not op anon or anon 1.5).
          Knowing something about the different PoPvillagers makes this more of a community, and I expect it is also one of the reasons that PoPville is not just an on-line community but a place where folks have also made real connections through unofficial HHs, brunches, photography, gardening, etc. as well as celebrating/commiserating with each other in this R&R space.

      • Yes, Emilie I meant to post that as a PSA a few days back. It may be that your avatar is associated with your email so if you change your name but use the same email then your avatar will be posted and you’re not so anonymous

        • Emmaleigh504

          I have a separate browser dedicated for anon postings, tho I rarely post anonly.

        • I think it works retroactively too — I don’t clear my cache as often as I probably should, and when I (briefly) adopted an avatar, I noticed that it appeared next to a long-ago posting that I’d made anonymously.

    • I’m now wondering what I missed yesterday.

      • Nothing juicy; just a lot of details (gender, sexual orientation, job field, housing situation, neighborhood, some hobby-related stuff) aggregated in one post.

    • This is why I never post anything with personal identifying information. Wow its smokey in here today!

  • rant: this morning’s commute
    rave: new comforter I bought yesterday. one, it is extremely comfy, two, it was more than 50% off at macys, three, hopefully my bf’s blanket hoarding will stop (till now I was using an oversized twin comforter on a full size bed for some reason)
    rant: the metro center macys. It’s never any better each time I go. Surly staff, messed up shelves, weird dungeon like lighting…
    rave: I still saved on shipping by going to pick it up, even at rush hour.

    • And that’s supposed to be a “flagship” store.

    • Macy’s at Metro Center is worlds greater than the Macy’s in Hyattsville!

      • Macy’s has gone crazy downhill over the past 10 years. The staff never has any knowledge about the products. It’s clear the only thing they are trained to do is to use the cash register. Also disappointing are the Metro Center Christmas windows which have become very basic and small.

        But, if you think Metro Center is bad, check out the store in Marlow Heights.

        • jim_ed

          Agreed. I think this is a national (or at least a regional) problem for Macy’s. The one in Wheaton usually looks like it was recently hit by looters. It looks more like a Marshalls, with crap randomly strewn about everywhere, than what a Macy’s should.

          • so true about the Macy’s at Wheaton. Night and day compared to the one at Montgomery Mall. I was shocked!

        • Emmaleigh504

          When i first moved here I did not have a job and I got a gig at Macys to hold me over until a gig in my field opened up. It is true that they employees are only trained on how to use the register.

    • What comforter did you get? The two fleece throws we’re using in lieu of a real bed covering aren’t cutting it these days.

      • I got the “Charter Club Superluxe Down Alternative Comforters”. For 86$ it was a pretty good bargain. For full disclosure I sleep with a microfiber blanket under the comforter (plus a sheet obvs) in the winter because I get quite cold easily, but its lightweight enough so my bf (without an extra blanket) doesn’t overheat. I expect it will be fine on its own in the spring/summer/fall. I recommend a comforter highly, January is the best time of the year to buy bedding too.

  • Rave: Work is busy again! When my job is busy, it’s great, but it’s been so slow over the holidays.
    Rant, mixed with rave: It’s hard to keep up with PoPville now. Somehow RRRR got up to nearly 500 entries yesterday (yay!) and I could barely skim all of it. Forget about the other posts. I guess I’ll just have to be more selective about what I read. But it’s also nice that so many people are joining the conversation and contributing more when they do.
    Rave: Puppy in two days, followed by a nice dogcation. Or possibly becoming a dog’s slave for 10 days. I guess I’ll find out.

  • Rave: The help I recieved from POPville yesterday regarding my housing situation. Thanks, all.
    Rant: Landlord, who “didn’t know he would be silling” managed to already contact an agent in the 24 hours he told he that he was considering selling. And he lives in Dubai. So yeah, he knew. We politely responded along the lines of asking if this means our lease is void, we’ll receive our security deposit back now and be able to move out when we find a place. We’ll see. He told us the agent recommend it be put on the market the first or second week of February.
    Rave: Starting to look at places. Our neighborhood list serve yielded some very good leads.
    Anyone who lives in SouthWest….if you can post about what you like, I’d like to hear. We’re strongly considering just moving into Skyhouse at this point. It’s cheaper than we pay now, and has amenities we don’t come close to being able to afford in Logan Circle.

    • What are the prices like at Sky House?

      • it’s on their web site

        • FYI – the prices on these large buildings’ websites are starting points for negotiation. Haggle hard. They are often giving months of free rent, lower unadvertised prices, etc. My issue with the large, newer, corporation-owned buildings is that they often try to jack the rent up after the first year. You might find yourself moving again in a year.

          • Yes, we know we’ll be moving. We might not even make it a year. My husband is applying to law school and has two fed applications in Philly we’re waiting on (for his same job, just up there). So…this next year, we’ll figure out what we want to do (stay put in DC, and if so, where in DC…). I personally would rather rent from a landlord because if we have to move before a year, generally if we find new renters, they are agreeable (at least we are when that happens to our tenants!). So we’ll see. But yeah, we’re going to negotiate.

          • While you don’t want to wait until the last minute, you have time, so it may be worthwhile to avoid the building for now and look for a private rental maybe something with a 6 month lease or more flexibility. Even paying a little more would be worth the peace of mind, imo.

          • generally I agree….but when you have a large dog and a kid, it’s very difficult in DC to find housing with our parameters (easy commute, few stairs because of strollers and a dog with very bad joints). A year isn’t the worst – if we stay here and have to find a house to buy, it gives us time if we need to do work or what not. But I do see your points. There are a few private rentals in our hood available that are giving me a lot of good options.

          • Given how clueless your LL is, there’s an even money chance that you could end up staying in your place until you need to leave DC.

    • It is very easy to find an agent online, so I wouldn’t assume speed corresponds to knowledge. No, lease isn’t void, and he can always pony up the cash if he wants you out quicker.

      • oh, I know – we basically said that if he’d like to avoid the pain that is tenants rights, he can let us move out when we find a place and return our security deposit. Which will yield him the results he desires faster than actually following TOPA.

        • Given the status of tenants rights in DC, that is exceedingly reasonable of you. Here’s hoping your LL realizes it and makes life easy for you.

        • So he’s letting you move early? I misunderstood. That makes the most sense for both of you, and you may save some money in the process.

          • no no , that’s what we offered. He said “the agent recommended that we list it the first or second week of February” (which I don’t believe he can do logistically if we force him to follow DC law). WE’VE offered that we will agree to move out without a hassle if he lets us go when we find a place (so, if we find a place this week, let us move and not be responsible for the rest of the lease…and return our deposit). It’s MUCH easier for him this way and honestly for us just to get it over with. We could ask him for much more, if I understand correctly.

          • Accountering

            Depending on the value of your place, him getting you out early and being able to sell vacant could easily be worth $10,000 to him.

          • Accountering — Agreed, but I think this landlord is clueless enough not to realize this. (And it doesn’t sound like his agent is giving him good advice on this front.)

          • Accountering

            Agreed. I think if he pushes back on your VERY reasonable request, then it is time to educate him 🙂

    • Andie302

      When did you first hear from him that he was listing? I cannot believe an agent would advise him to list in February versus waiting until you’ve completely moved out. TOPA can be a big obstacle and can scare off buyers. Sorry you’re dealing with this, and I hope you’re at least able to leverage him covering the cost of your move.

      • He first mentioned it on Monday night to us.

      • oh, and I also can’t believe an agent wouldn’t tell him about the laws. Unless my landlord did not mention that it was a rented property.

        • Andie302

          That and I would think if he’s in a position to keep a tenant until the weather gets better then it’s result in a larger buyer pool for him, hopefully a quicker sale, and a little bit of additional equity back in his pocket with an additional month or two of rent.

          • Then why not give them the 60 day notice, let them leave at the end of March then list the place? If he’s trying to maximize his profits, it seems like he’s doing it very poorly which is why I tend to believe something happened to make him want to sell.

          • If I read the laws correctly, he has to give me a specific form offering me the apartment to buy first, then I have time to consider the offer (2 weeks), and all the other processes that DC requires.
            If we eventually have to move out regardless, it benefits us to move out as quickly as possible because what is available now is at a little bit of a lower price point that in the high season. We’ve offered to him that we’ll move out without causing a stink if he returns all of our security deposit and lets us move out as soon as we’ve secured a place (with prorated rent…so if we move out halfway through the month, we only pay for half the month). I think that’s a completely fair offer vs. bringing him a lot of asspain. It’s his choice. My husband loves to be a jerk about this stuff, so it will SUCK for my landlord

          • That’s a very generous offer on your part and also probably yields the best/timeliest result, considering your situation with a baby and potential move out of the areas. He’s an idiot if he makes a stink.

          • Accountering

            I think you are being very very fair. I do think you are being compensated in some way for your troubles, by essentially having a day-to-day lease. I think you are doing well here. Sorry I forgot to e-mail 🙂

          • I think he might be able to _list_ the place now, but if he gets any offers, he’d still need to go through the process of offering you the first refusal, signing the TOPA form, etc.
            My house was rented before I bought it. The seller was such a slacker that there were multiple points where I thought things were going to fall through, and one of them was when my agent and I were waiting for the signed TOPA forms. I was really beginning to think they were never going to come in and that I was going to have to start looking all over again, but finally they materialized.
            It seems like it would be in the landlord’s best interest to get the TOPA-form stuff over and done with before putting the place on the market, but maybe he doesn’t realize that this is the case.

          • ultimately, do you think we should consider a tenant attorney to maximize what we could get for our troubles…? Or is it not worth it?

          • Jindc, my take is “not worth it” — I suspect it will be more hassle/stress than it would be worth.
            You said your husband doesn’t mind this kind of confrontation… but you’ve also said elsewhere that you’re stressed/overwhelmed doing your own job plus housework, looking after your kid, etc. If you can find a place you like and the LL is willing to let you leave and get your deposit back, it’d probably be better to do that than to try to milk your TOPA rights for all they’re worth.

          • If he refuses to act resasonably: Wants you to stay til the end even if you find a place, wants full rent for the month even if you move in the middle, etc, then yes, but otherwise, I don’t think it would be worth the hassle.
            Many LL are clueless. I didn’t know about licensing until I was almost fined (I believe by my then tenant).

          • Accountering

            I wouldn’t think so. A well written letter outlining your rights and your options should get you some serious traction I would think.
            Trying to sell a place with uncooperative tenants would be a real PIA for him. He has to give 24 hours notice to show the place, and ultimately, my understanding is you could make that difficult if you wanted too as well. The guy is a damn fool if he doesn’t take you up on your offer.

          • Well, ideally we wouldn’t move until we knew what was up, you know? I don’t want to move and then move again 6 months later. that’s a LOT of moving (and expensive). We had planned to stay until we knew what our longer term plans were. Sigh. Nothing can be easy, huh?

        • A surprising number of agents know nothing about TOPA. When our landlord was selling our house, me and my roommates went to the OTA to understand our rights and ended up having to explain them to the agent. And I don’t think he was just pretending not to know and hoping we’d go along with it – he genuinely seemed clueless.

          • In my experience, most agents are in the commission generating business, not the home selling business. Funny how that works.

      • This is what he wrote, “For planning purposes, unless something dramatic happens, let’s assume that March 31 is the last day of the lease. Depending on who buys the place, there might be some flexibility if you want to stay longer. For example, if an investor purchases, they’ll likely be happy to have you lease the place. Or, if someone wants to live in it as an owner-occupied home, they may not need to move right after closing.” None of that is possible from his end. I just think it’s funny he has NO idea about anything in DC law and is a landlord. (we are too, but know a hell of a lot more)

        • Accountering

          This guy is an idiot. I particularly like “Or, if someone wants to live in it as an owner-occupied home, they may not need to move right after closing.”
          Knowing that he is clueless, I think you are probably being too nice. He is going to botch this royally, and you could stay for quite some time if you would like. But if you are happy with him being flexible and letting you move out on the day you choose, that is a good result too.

        • Fully agree with accountering, if you really don’t want to move or would like to find out about job stuff first let him botch this and use your rights. I went to buy a place that was not listed as rented, and I only found out when I inquired about the stuff in the unit and how long they’d need to move (thinking it was owner occupy). There is a chance with crappy seller and buyer agents no one will know you’re tenants until after closing which is really bad for buyer and seller.

          • Accountering

            Wouldn’t be a bad idea for leverage to just sit quietly while he lists, and wait until an offer is received. At that point you can offer to forgo TOPA and all the other related nonsense if he will cover your “relocation expenses” to the tune of $8000 or so.

          • hhmmm…..now you’re talking, accountering….hhmmm….

        • Forgot to say you have 30 days to review the offer to buy.

          • Yep, this is correct. 30 days for you to consider TOPA + another 90 days after sale has closed.
            How are real estate agents this dumb? You’d think they would know all this info, considering (A.) DC is full of renters and absentee/transient owners and (B.) they have a monetary incentive to get the deal done as quickly as possible.

          • Assuming the place sells about the same quick or slow, they only have an incentive to sell and none to do it quickly as they gain little more to do so. It took forever for me to get TOPA paperwork from a place I considered. Some relators work DC+somewhere else, and most places are empty when sold, so it makes sense that someone may never have dealt with TOPA and sold plenty of places.

    • SW is great. I own but I know somebody who rents at SkyHouse and has been very happy.

    • Allison

      I don’t know about the tenants in skyhouse, but 4th and M can occasionally be kind of loud. That area does get ambulances and firetrucks a fair amount, and the traffic on 4th street is a wreck due to an entrenched system of double parking. Maybe there’s an apartment building on a quieter street nearby? I had a friend during law school who was happy renting from Waterside Towers, whose units span up and down 6th street, SW.

    • I don’t know Skyhouse very well, but definitely haggle. I’m pretty sure the building is half empty, and they have another tower almost ready to go, so there’s plenty of supply. My boyfriend lives in the View (next door to the newer Skyhouse building) and it’s very quiet. I’ve heard the tower closer to M Street might be slightly louder since Arena Stage houses some of its actors there, but I’ve never noticed. It’s an older building that underwent a significant renovation recently, so it’s quite nice.
      Regarding locations, 6th & M is pretty quiet, and gets quieter as you move further away from M Street. 4th & M Street has more activity given the metro station, intersection, and you’re closer to the police station. Also, I never had any problems whatsoever in the 4 years I lived nearby and my landlord had no problems the 10 years prior to that, but beginning at 3rd Street and going east towards South Capitol there is some public housing that some people find uncomfortable. I’m only mentioning it because the one Skyhouse building is closer to that side, so if that would freak you out it’s good to be aware of. I’ve walked past that area by myself at night, and at times it can be a little creepy (mostly because there’s no one around), but never had any issue with it. South of M Street is largely old co-op buildings, north of I (“Eye”) street is a few townhouse/condo communities and the highway.
      General “likes” about the neighborhood:
      – quiet, but convenient (walkable to 4 metro lines, Penn Quarter/Chinatown and Capitol Hill each about a 20-min walk, highway access)
      – If you’re a runner/walker, there’s pretty trails along the river and Mall that you can get to easily
      – It’s mostly dug up right now, but being close to the water is really nice in the summer. Great sunsets, live music on Thursdays in the little park/gazebo, free yoga in the same park on weekend mornings, etc.
      – Fish market. It’s smelly, but you can get some great, cheap food there. Bring back raw stuff to cook, or get prepared food (Jimmy’s makes the best fried catfish I’ve had in my life)
      – Cantina Marina – there’s something about it that I just love, and you can get a great sunset view on warmer evenings
      – Water – I like being on the water, so for me it was really great being so close to Gangplank Marina. I joined DC Sail (2 free member sails per week, volunteer as crew for their schooner and you essentially get a free sunset cruise whenever you volunteer) and DC Dragon Boat Club, which both operate out of the marina there. They’re both really fun, and the latter is a great way to work out. Several members also live in the area, so you can meet some neighbors.
      – Restaurants – not a whole lot of choices, unfortunately, but Masala Art is quite good (great happy hour, every day of the week). Station 4 I’ve found to be hit-or-miss, so I don’t bother. In Navy Yard, I like Justin’s Cafe, Takorean, and Bluejacket/Arsenal (all walkable). You can get delivery from some of the places on Capitol Hill (usually a 2-mile radius, so you can measure it and argue them into it), and there’s more popping up around Navy Yard.
      That’s all I can think of right now. I miss living in SW…especially since said bf is moving out in the spring giving me fewer chances to get down there. There is a neighborhood blog you can look up if you’re interested (“Southwest…the Little Quadrant That Could”).

      • Thanks! This was a huge help. We are a little worried about food delivery – we’re pretty spoiled in Logan with the few options we utilize. With a kid, it’s important to know we can grab something if we need to. Even the whole foods pizza is nice to have as an option nearby. I’ve lived in this general area for like 7 years, so it’s pretty difficult to think about moving that far from it!

        • Takeout taxi and their ilk cover many places that don’t personally offer delivery. You can also call in an order and pick it up which is faster than delivery in most cases.

        • No problem! I’m a big fan of the neighborhood, but will admit that eating out is the weak spot there (for now). I like to cook, and the newer Safeway there was a huge help with that. The new Harris Teeter in Navy Yard is also really nice, much better beer selection than the Safeway.
          I usually ordered pizza from NY Pizza, Indian from Capitol Hill Tandoor (they’re the ones I badgered into delivering…made a lot of money off of me), and I can’t remember the Chinese place (you’ll get half a dozen Chinese menus, those are easy). For Thai I wound up driving to Capitol Hill, parking (or double parking) and picking up from Sanphan, but since then there’s a Thai place in Navy Yard that’ll probably deliver and more options in the Chinatown area that might also work. Bistro Italiano in Capitol Hill was actually my favorite pizza place, but they don’t deliver so I didn’t go there very often. There are also some quick things in the L’Enfant underground, but many close on the earlier side (Roti, Potbelly, Amsterdam Falafel, etc). If you have a car, street parking in Capitol Hill, just outside H Street, and Navy Yard (aside from during Nats games) is pretty easy. Even easier if you can bring someone with you and double-park to pick up food.
          And, like Anon Spock suggested, Takeout Taxi is an option (I never used it, but have seen it). Speaking of taxis, Uber would be your best bet on that front, or walk up to the Holiday Inn on C Street SW. For whatever reason, DC cabs would give us a hassle about picking up in SW, but there’s always a few outside the hotel. Not sure if that’s changed with the Arena Stage traffic, though.

  • justinbc

    Point of clarification, since my post yesterday got hijacked and turned into a discussion on the merits of various Pennsylvania related things, and I don’t want people showing up at the wrong place:
    The happy hour next Wednesday is at BARREL in Capitol Hill, not at Smoke & Barrel which is in Adams Morgan.

  • Rave: I take the bus to work, not the metro.
    Rant/Rave: Thinking about giving up online dating for awhile. It’s been almost a year since my last semi-successful match (who, to be honest, I’m still trying hard not to compare others to, since they were pretty awesome… until they weren’t). I’m just not finding what I’m looking for. That being said, I’ve always wondered why it seems like some people never deactivate their accounts, and I’m realizing it probably has something to do with worrying that a perfect match will magically appear as soon as you disappear. Good grief.

    • I personally think POP needs a “dating” section. So many people here are looking for relationships…..Dan could make good money being a matchmaker! But the user agreement would have to include that all registered POPers get invited to the reception

    • topscallop

      I just rejoined the online dating world and feel your pain. I think you’re right, some people must have fear of missing out and don’t deactivate their accounts. A dude messaged me the other day and I responded referencing something in his profile. He writes back “oh, I forgot that I wrote that, or what I wrote in any part of my profile.” Still better than the guy who asked if I own a toaster oven, I guess.

    • skj84

      Agree with your first rave. I’ve missed all the crap that’s been going down on the metro this whole week. The downside was waiting 30 minutes outside for my late bus today. I lost feeling in my toes.

      • justinbc

        Late buses are so much worse than late Metro, thanks to the elements (unless your Metro stop is of course above ground). My bus is habitually late, which is annoying, but I feel so much worse for the elderly ladies who use my stop (which has no bench). Some I see with canes, some all bundled up and huddled over, and most annoying part might be the driver who never apologizes for putting everyone 10-20-30 minutes behind their day and leaving these poor ladies in what must be a good bit of pain.

        • That’s true. My morning bus is almost always on time, to the minute. But when I come home from class in the evenings during the semester, my bus is always late. And the poor older women who wait for it have told me they’ve called WMATA several times but nothing has changed. (And we’re only two stops from the end of the route… so I’m pretty sure they just sit up there and take their breaks. Which is all fine and good if you’re not taking like an hour-long second dinner.)

        • skj84

          Normally my bus runs on time. Or a maybe 5 minutes if that. And my next bus app was no help either. It kept showing the next bus as “arriving”. I did debate just trying to catch the metro, but the bus is a direct route.

    • justinbc

      I think it all depends on how you approach the online dating. When I was doing it I always viewed it as “just another thing”, one of the many ways in which you can or would meet someone, not necessarily as THE WAY you have to do it. If someone happened to come along that seemed great, then voila, let’s pursue it, but stressing over matches and worrying about messages would have completely ruined the fun for me.

    • Hey, I’ve had my share of nightmares from online dating. I feel you. I try to see it from this point of view: I’m meeting guys I would not have met otherwise. Question: why don’t more guys hit on women in the real world? I think the last time someone legit hit on me in person was when I was in line during election day in Columbia Heights.

      • Pablo Raw

        Books can be written about how to answer your question! My guess is that not all of us have the personality to do it, there’s also that blurry line between “hitting” and the chance of someone considering it harassment or creepy. I always try the “Did it hurt? when you fell from heaven”? but never seems to work. (kidding!!!)

      • justinbc

        I don’t think I’ve ever actually “hit on” someone in person. It’s really nothing to do with timidness, because I’m more than happy to talk to basically everyone, and usually do. It’s more than I’m consciously aware of the amount of harassment that women get and honestly don’t want to contribute to that. And to be clear what I’m talking about is the straight up lame pick-up lines or other types of obvious flirtation, I’ve nothing against casual conversations that may evolve into something else, but I don’t view that as intended “hitting on”, as you say.

        • True. Lame pick up lines do not work, and I usually like that to catcalling but generally less aggressive. It’s nice striking up a conversation with a stranger and it MAYBE turning into something more. That’s v idealistic of me. Online dating seems like a safe-ish space to first “meet” people.

      • Define “hit on”.

  • Rant – Slept poorly last night and I hate crappy mattress. I should by one of those soft mattress pads that was recommended in yesterday’s rant/revel post.
    Rant – Spilled coffee all down my white shirt at some point in the morning and just realized it now.
    Rave – I can cover my stained shirt with a cardigan.
    Rave – My cubicle space heater. I am so thankful for my space heater.

  • Rant: Courtland Milloy – has he always been so obsessed with biking in the city? It’s way past time for him to turn in his journalism credentials. The WashCycle has reprinted his column so you don’t have to feed his reader count http: //tinyurl.com/ kaoebxn
    Rave: Supposed to be a balmy 40 degrees by the weekend

  • Rave: Early-morning yoga! Second time this week!
    Rave: Actually kind of digging the cold – quite comfy in my sweater dress, sweater tights, and Frye boots (thanks PoPville!)
    Rant: Lower back pain
    Rave: massage scheduled for a week from Saturday
    Rave: best friend visiting this weekend
    Rant: not quite ready for houseguests after two weeks of toddler/spouse illness followed by two weeks of holiday travel/hosting but I’ll rally 🙂

    • I’m glad to hear you went with Frye’s! Which style did you choose?

      • I have the Melissa Button boot. I really liked the Jackie Button, but the specs I found said the calf circumference was smaller, so they wouldn’t have fit. I’m enjoying the Melissa Buttons, though, and not having a heel is probably better for my feet/bunions 🙂

        • I have those boots and LOVE them! I’ve had mine for 5 years, although I don’t think they will last through another winter. I wasn’t great about taking care of the leather and all sidewalk salt over the years have really messed them up.

          • Oh dear. How would I better take care of the leather over time? Any advice?

          • I think I need to re-sole mine this year because the leather sole doesn’t do so well on D.C. sidewalks with how much I wear them. I use the Frye weatherproof conditioning cream once or twice a year and the body of my boots have held up quite well.

          • Follow Alice’s advice! Use a leather condition cream twice a year to help protect from salt stains. I also get me mine re-soled every two years. I have another pair of Fryes (short ankle boots) that I don’t wear in cold/snow, they’re 7 years old and still look amazing.

        • Great choice! I have black Melissa Buttons and where them all the time.

    • justinbc

      Frye rocks, excellent choice.

  • Rave: Made things official with the boy. It’s fast but we agreed that it feels natural and right. It’s nice to have things just be easy for once.
    Rave: Woman whose iPhone I found gave me a Starbucks gift certificate and a very sweet handwritten thank you card. So nice!
    Rant: So cold my face hurts. My office is still freezing and I haven’t gotten a space heater yet. So down jacket and ear muffs at my desk will have to do for now.

  • Rave: Harris Teeter is doubling coupons up to $2.00
    Rant: It’s too cold to take a couple of buses to get Harris Teeter.

  • Rant: Guy on the train yelling that no, he would not move to the center of the car because he had to get off at Farragut North. I think that had there been enough room, someone would have decked him.

    I don’t understand how cities that frequently get this cold (Chicago, Boston) don’t have cold related accidents on their subway systems. Of course, by the time I finally got to my station (an hour later) Metro now was saying it was a “train malfunction” and not a “track issue caused by weather.” Who knows.

    Rave: Tomorrow is payday. That’s about all I’ve got right now.

    • The thing is, they DO have cold related incidents on their systems. Just like we do. I just googled it and the first hit was this: “The MBTA is warning commuters that, despite the agency’s best efforts, its services will be “adversely affected when subjected to icy conditions” and “delays of varying degrees will be unavoidable.” Customers are advised to plan for extra travel time and check the MBTA website for updates, Smith wrote.

      Subway trains are being stored in tunnels and maintenance facilities overnight to keep them warm, and other measures are also being taken to prevent equipment from freezing, officials said. MBTA will have extra personnel on hand to address any cracked or broken rails, as well as check switches throughout the next few days.

      The commuter rail system is preparing for the cold weather by keeping much of its equipment running throughout the night, said Mac Daniel, a spokesman for Keolis, which operates commuter rail service for the MBTA. This was done Tuesday night, leading to a mostly successful morning commute Wednesday, with just a slight delay on the Fitchburg line, due to a partially frozen switch stand, Daniel said.”

      • Fair enough – but they did something about it to make the morning commute not horrific!

      • Can you in your wildest dreams imagine metro taking proactive steps like this? It would never..in a million years, happen.

  • goaldigger

    Rant- The Ontario co-op in Adams Morgan (where Jim Graham lives) has failed AGAIN to shovel the sidewalk around their building in a timely manner so now a sheet of ice. Other homes along Ontario Rd, NW who have failed to shovel also getting my stink eye as I walk to the bus stop. Jerks!

    Rave-the snow early this week. I love to hear the crunch of it under my feet and the sound it makes as it falls and hits the ground. Going snow tubing MLK weekend, can’t wait!

    • Red Panda

      I’m right there with you on giving the stink eye to all those evil Ontario houses with icy sidewalks!

  • Rave: Thankful for PoPville’s support and insight on supporting my friend through some of her anxiety issues.

    Rant: Cough. Cold. Megabus to Philly.

    Rave: Warmth. Tea. Friends. Games. Books (starting some new South American authors in prep for a Chile and Argentina trip in March!).

    Rant: Good friends breaking up after a long time together. So messy. So difficult – for them, obviously, and for me. Trying to be supportive to both but don’t want to pick sides…

    • Oh this is so hard. I would be upfront with both friends, “I love you; I want to support you; I am Switzerland: I plan to keep both of you.”

      • I’m trying this tact but it feels so inconsequential/passive at this point. Case in point – he should move out (said he would) but can’t yet. It’d be better for both of them if he did so. So, do I offer a place to crash at my house? Or is that not neutral enough…?

        • I think if you want to offer your place to crash you should feel free to do so. It helps them both out, and it isn’t in any way taking sides (at least from my perspective). And I know it might feel inconsequential/passive, but just being *there* is so huge. In the same way that supporting your friend with anxiety can feel overwhelming, don’t discount how much just showing up matters. So many people fall off the planet when a person is struggling (whether that’s with illness, a break up, job loss, death, etc). The fact that you are staying in your friends’ lives (even if you can’t fix their problems or don’t always know what to say) is huge. You’re a good, caring friend. It shows in your posts.

          • UDPie, why can’t he move out just yet?
            If you do offer to let him crash at your place, maybe communicate it to both of them, so that the other person would be less likely to feel like you’re taking sides?
            UDPie to Person Who’s Leaving: “Really sorry to hear about the breakup. Do you want to crash on my couch for a while?”
            UDPie to Person Who’s Staying: “Really sorry to hear about the breakup. Just wanted to let you know that I’ve offered _____ my couch while he’s looking for a more permanent place to stay. I’m hoping that this will make the process a little easier for both of you. I value you both, and don’t want this to affect my friendship with you.”

        • + what artemis said. And if you do end up offering him a place to stay, I’d suggest you make it time limited with whatever time frame makes sense to you all.

  • Rant: people at work double parking their compact cars. This is not a public garage, you are a coworker who’s acting like a spoiled brat.
    Rave: French 75s
    Rant: even deadlines aren’t lighting a fire under me right now.
    Rant/rave-ish: dropped the foster dog off at her new foster’s last night. I miss her, but she’s in a much better situation for her needs. I just hope she gets adopted soon.
    Rave: nice Caps win.

    • I always get a good laugh out of seeing all the people who park their SUVs in the “compact car” spaces in my office parking garage. No, your Explorer is not a compact car….nice try, though!

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: cold.
    Rave: fancy tea order arrived last night so enjoying some hot Lady Londonderry tea.

  • Andie302

    Rave: I love this city 🙂 I got an email yesterday afternoon that there was an event at the Kennedy Center last night that needed seat-fillers. It was the inaugural Lincoln Awards, recognizing those that help support Veterans.
    Rave: I ended up in the 8th row with a great friend watching a bunch of wonderful comedy and music acts. It was a wonderful night.
    Rave: The highlight of which had to be The Lone Bellow performance. Wow, just wow. The best part was that they performed two songs, with two different male vocalists, and both were just awesome.
    Rave: Hopefully got added for future events that require seat-fillers.
    Rave: Roommates dog slept in my bed…I am slowly stealing him (evil laugh).
    Rant: Not quite enough sleep, but worth it!
    Rave: RRR yesterday…so many comments, so many people, and a feeling like this is a great forum for many.

  • hammers

    Rant: I brilliantly decided to clean out my extremly tiny but overstuffed closet last night after work—it took 4 hours. Now my bedroom is spotless but my every surface in my living room is covered with things to either launder or donate.
    Rave: Clean closet and bedroom!! Yay!! Feeling lighter already.
    Question: Normally I just do goodwill, and probably will for a bunch of old clothing, but I’d like to donate a couple winter coats to a shelter or coat drive, what are my options? Are lighter jackets also in demand for the winter?

  • Rant: I don’t take the Metro to work, but just reading about its meltdown today made me angry. I get that it’s a jobs program, but come on- this level of dysfunction and incompetence is downright embarrassing, especially in the nation’s capital. It’s bad enough that I’d consider leaving the area if I had to depend on it.
    Rave: cat on lap to keep me warm!

  • Rave: Bought a new coat in December for work trips to Russia – so toasty warm on walk to work!
    Rave: Almond croissants – literally on of the best inventions ever!
    Rave: Sun and gorgeous view from my office of the river and Haines Point – love winter!

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rant: Red Line, of course.
    Rave: The people I was supposed to meet at 9:00 were nice about rescheduling.

  • emvee

    Rant: Wind makes my eyes water, which makes my face quite literally freeze in this weather.
    Rave: I ordered my new kindle! Thanks for the suggestions, all!
    Rave: Heading to Baltimore for the weekend to visit dear friends.

    • Ohh exciting! Make sure to learn how to use Overdrive at the library if you haven’t yet. It’s marvelous. I love it so much.

      • emvee

        I’m on it, finally getting a library card and researching overdrive. Thanks for the suggestion!

        • It’s pretty awesome. I usually end up reading most of my books there (other than books I think I’ll want to own). Also, a little trick for when you travel and want a lot of book options: you can download up to ten and keep them on your kindle beyond the return date. I turn off Wifi and when the due date comes the books are automatically returned to the library queue (so others can read them) but they don’t disappear from your physical Kindle until you’re attached to wifi again…

          • Red Panda

            I’m jealous! I almost never connect to wifi, but the books still always automatically disappear on their due dates 🙁

          • emvee

            Red Panda – If you have one of the 3G kindles, it could be that? Maybe?

          • Lol, I’ve found the same thing. I love it! Yay for library books on kindle!

          • I have a 3G Kindle and this works for me, it’s great (although my Kindle is from 2010…maybe the newer ones don’t?).
            You can also sign up for libraries in Arlington, Alexandria, and Montgomery County as a DC resident. Most of the time I use DC, but sometimes the others will have a book that I’m looking for where DC has it on hold. I’ve seriously only paid for maybe 2 books since getting my Kindle, everything else was free or through the library. If you know others with Kindle, you can officially share books with them for 2 weeks, or if it’s someone you’re really close to (and they trust you) you can also log into your Kindle as them to access their books for a longer period. I do this with my parents’ Kindle and Nook accounts.

    • Emmaleigh504

      The cold wind makes my eyes water too. I’m always have to explain I”m not crying, it’s the cold.

  • Rave: Second date sort of planned.
    Rant: Exiting roomie trying to drag out the move. I even offered to help move stuff to get him out because I already have someone lined up. Why do people moving nearby drag it out? Last roomie moved 2 blocks away and took 4 days.
    Rave: New roomie moving in on Saturday. Random cl dude, but we have a common friend.
    Rave: First time doing martial arts this week, and it’s a 2 class double feature.
    Rant: Cold enough to turn on the heat last night. Last winter, no heat just space heaters.

  • You know how when you’re near your sweetheart, you might absently stroke his or her hand? Not active handholding, just a sort of low-key caress? A man did that to me on the metro this morning. We were holding on to the same seatback handle. I wonder if he knew he was touching another person. He was looking at his phone, seeming to pay no attention to me, attached to the hand. Neither one of us was wearing gloves.

  • Rant: I feel like I must be alone in this, but does anyone else think there is a shortage of good sports bars in DC? I just want someplace to watch the games this weekend with some friends, but every place I can think of has small TVs, doesn’t play the sound, or is tiny/cramped. (I”m all for cozy little bars but not for sports watching!). The good ones (Meridian Pint, Nellies are the best I know) are always packed to the gills. Help me!

    • Accountering

      Yes, yes I agree with you.

    • I really like Cleveland Park Bar & Grill. Not as good food as Nellie’s, but strong drinks, and if Javier or Tommy is working, excellent bartending.

      • Oh, yes, I’ve spent some time there! It’s a great bar but so far away from me :-/ There’s also some good under the radar spots in Adams Morgan (Grand Central for example) but they’re also tricky to get to. Anything east of 14th would be better for me. Sigh.

        • I’m completely blanking on names, but there are some decent ones on Capitol Hill and near Eastern Market.

          • Tunicliff’s? or Boxcar? I’m not a sports fan, but I’ve been driven away from those places because of multiple TVs showing a football game at full volume. So probably a good thing for you guys. 🙂

          • I’ve never been to Boxcar, but Tunnicliff’s is good if you like a middle aged quasi rowdy football crowd. So many bars have TVs these days, that almost any place can count as a sports bar in a pinch.
            I watched the 2014 Kentucky Derby with a bunch of people at Stetson’s and it was great.

    • justinbc

      There’s one that opened recently on H Street that caught a lot of flack for having stools too high or something similarly silly. I’ve not been inside, but when I walk by they’ve got lots of big screen TVs going, and it’s usually relatively empty.

    • Half time on H st. is really good, for number of tvs and sound.

    • I’ve watched games at Tunicliff’s quite a lot. Also on Capitol Hill, Molly Malone’s and Ugly Mug have decent tvs and should have the game on. Neither is a great place and Ugly Mug is often dirty/smelly but sometimes it can be fun to watch a game there.

    • Willie’s Brew and Que in Navy Yard has at least 15 TVs and always has the volume on.

    • Depends on what sport you are looking for. There are a lot of great soccer bars in DC.

  • skj84

    Rant: My chest hurts after standing waiting for my bus outside today. I didn’t feel sick before I left the house.

    Rant: The sink at work is broken so I can’t make any tea. I really don’t want to go back outside until I have to.

  • epric002

    rave? plumber coming this afternoon will hopefully fix leak in basement.
    rave: moderately warm today thanks to smartwool socks, fleece lined leggings under work pants, and tank + blouse + sweater. that with my super fabulous marmot puffy coat, snood, ear warmer, hood, and gloves made the walk to metro not entirely miserable.
    rant: moderately resemble the marshmallow man due to aforementioned layers.
    rave: formerly foster puppy hates the cold even more than we do (even with his sweater & coat) and so will do his business as fast as possible and then attempt to drag us back in the house. much shorter walks than usual so have been extending our indoor playtimes.

    • I hope the plumber can find and fix the problem! In my case, it appears that it was just an old & disintegrating gasket on the toilet tank. And I guess running other machines in the vicinity lead to vibration or pressure changes in the pipes that increased the leaking. Here’s hoping it’s truly fixed!

      • epric002

        not happy. for $115 he told me that it’s a radiator valve that’s leaking and that he can’t replace it, i have to get an HVAC guy for that. i called the office back to try and schedule it and she won’t schedule until she gets the report from the plumber. i hope this $115 will count towards the actual replacement cost- he was here less than 15 minutes!

        • Oh yuck, I’m sorry to hear that. i had to pay for a visit to ultimately find out that it was a condenser pipe and therefore also an HVAC issue. But i can also understand them needing to charge a “visit fee” since they have to drive out, can’t schedule another appointment, etc.
          But I don’t understand about the calling the office back – do the plumbers have HVAC people on staff too? Either way, I hope it can be resolved quickly!!

          • epric002

            yes- this business is plumbers and HVAC repairpeople. since i’m already home for the afternoon i was hoping we could get this thing knocked out, but apparently not.

    • epric002

      (apologies in advance for those tired of bra comments) request: does anyone know how the chantelle rive gauche t-back spacer bra fits? i have the regular rive gauche in a 30E, but the smallest band size for the t-back is a 32. racerbacks tend to run small in the band and cup, but i’m having trouble figuring out what size i should order to try the t-back. thanks in advance!

  • Random question: My husband and I have a bunch of framed art but we’re both really skittish about hanging it out of fear that we’ll wreck our newly painted walls. I’ve watched a bunch of tutorials online and if anything, they make me more nervous that I’ll make a mistakes. Can anyone recommend either an affordable professional who could help us with this or another way that I can get over my fear? I’d love to be able to do this on my own eventually. Thanks!

    • I can’t remember whether you rent or own — if the latter, do you still have the paint that was used?
      If so, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. If you end up with a hole in the wrong place, you can always spackle it and paint over it.
      The fact that there’s two of you should make the picture-hanging process much easier — one of you can hold the art against the wall and the other can look at it from a distance and tell you whether it needs to be moved up/down/left/right.

    • Are you worried about not getting the placement right so you need to put multiple holes in the wall? Or the frames scratching the paint? Or…? I think it might be easier to offer suggestions if I know what your concerns are.

      • I have a lot of concerns, actually! Here are some:
        – Two of our walls are exposed brick,. which I don’t want to damage. Is there a way to reliably hang artwork on exposed bring without drilling into the brick itself?
        – One of the largest and heaviest pieces we want to hang may be heavy enough to require us to drill into studs (for drywall — not in the area with exposed brick). I tried to do this a long time ago, in a different house, and took a big chunk out of my wall. So that’s probably what prompted my fear.
        – Placement is also a major concern and I love lucie’s suggestion about how to deal with that!

        • For the non heavy things you can use the velcro command strips. I’ve used those in a few places and they work well, plus there’s some fudge factor there so if things aren’t completely square you can readjust.
          For truly heavy things I’ve had success with picture hangers made for 75 or 100 lb hangings. They have 3 spots for nails to go in at the top. I have a heavy mirror that I couldn’t use dry wall anchors for because there’s a brick wall behind the drywall, but two 100 lb hangers have kept it up for months and it doesn’t look like there’s been any pulling away from the wall.

        • re: the brick – how heavy is the artwork? Could you use Command strips or something like that?

          • jeslett and JS, thanks for the command strips recommendation — I hadn’t thought about those. I will also look into the picture hangers. I think 100 lbs should be more than enough.

        • For placement – get poster board or foam board, or just cut cardboard or paper to the size of the art and tape it up with blue painter’s tape and see how you like it for a few days. If the art has strong colors – splash some color on the template.

        • For the love of sweet-baby jesus, DO NOT DRILL INTO THE BRICK! Unless your pieces are really heavy (like, 18th century gilded-frame heavy), you should be fine hammering a nail into the mortar. Mortar is easy to patch (well, with caveats) while you can’t exactly un-drill brick.

        • Blithe

          I’m not sure what they’re called, but I’ve used white plastic hangers that look like a circle with a hook, that have 3 or four very skinny headless nails in them for pictures about 18 inches square framed with glass. They worked very well even with slightly crumbling bricks — although I don’t know how much weight they hold. I got them at a variety store — but most hardware stores should have them. There’s another style that clips to the bricks , so no holes, – – but they didn’t work with the old non-standard bricks that were in my wall, so I’ve no idea how well they work.

    • When I’m hanging a bunch of art, I like to make templates out of brown paper bags (or other shopping bags) and hang those up first so I’m sure I like the arrangement, spacing, etc. If you buy frames from west elm, they actually give you a hot pink paper template in the box for just this reason!

      • Oh, that’s a great idea! I am also firmly in the camp of measure twice, drill/hammer once. And sometimes, measure three times just to be sure.
        Shawess – I’m surprised that you took a big chunk of wall out from drilling. Was it a plaster wall rather than drywall? Plaster can be more brittle. Unfortunately, I don’t have any great suggestions for the exposed brick. I wonder if there are sturdy non-drilling options, but that may be a fool’s errand. You’ll likely need a heavier-duty kind of drill and a masonry bit to get anywhere with it, though.

    • justinbc

      There are 4 things I always have with my when hanging anything on my walls (outside of the actual hanging gear): stud finder, laserline, measuring tape, and pencil. I’m pretty much a master at perfectly level frames and getting it right on the first hole, but it takes a lot of meticulous measuring and remeasuring before I ever make that hole. Also I recommend always nailing into the wall first with a tiny nail just to make sure there’s nothing else behind the drywall like electrical wiring or plumbing.

    • I used Georgetown Frame Shoppe. I didn’t find them to be terribly expensive, and they really helped me get a long wall of art hung all at the exact same height.

      • Thanks for this rec! I really might call them! I am a lot more confident with DIY fixes after seeing a professional do the same work.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: using “selfie” for any picture of a person. selfie= self portrait. I beginning to hate language.

  • Rant: I forgot my lunch at home and will have to brave the cold to pick something up
    Rave: Fleece lined tights

  • Accountering

    Quick reminder, if you haven’t refinanced yet, now is the time! Rates are at 19 month lows!

  • Random question: does anyone know where I can donate professional clothes? I have a bunch of dress shirts and ties that I’d like to get rid of. They are still in decent wearable condition. I live in Columbia Heights, so somewhere nearby would be preferred. Thx!

  • Rant: messed up and couldn’t get my submission in to Exposed DC in time.
    Rave: boss not in again! So much productivity!
    Rant: how about WMATA! Do rails crack on other subway systems often? Any structural or materials engineers out there who can explain what can be done to ensure rails don’t crack at not-that-extreme cold?
    Rave: little sis did a great job interviewing outgoing Tunisian PM the other day!
    Rave: Detroit Pistons bringing it. I wish we’d snagged SVG.
    Rave: Cavs blowing it. I’d hate for the Wiz to face them in the playoffs, though.

  • Rave: I posted a while ago (as a anon) about being in love with two people at once. I ended up heeding the advice (and scolding) that most people offered, and now the situation seems to be working out as well as it possibly could. So thanks!
    Rant: Exposed DC contest moving to a new submission platform. I miss being able to check out the competition.

    • Congrats on your success and happiness. I’ve also been in love with multiple people at once, it’s a tough situation.
      Don’t pay attention to the scolding, there’s a lot of closed minded and insecure people out there.

      • No, I deserved the criticism. I was being spineless and deceitful. Coming clean to my girlfriend has been hard but I’m so glad I did it.

      • “Don’t pay attention to the scolding, there’s a lot of closed minded and insecure people out there.”
        Sometimes scolding is warranted. If you think there’s anyone alive (you and me included) who doesn’t occasionally need to hear some criticism or a hard truth then I would say that’s closed-minded and insecure.

    • Emmaleigh504

      I’m glad things are working out. And thank you for giving us an update.

    • I agree with your rant. I like the gamesmanship! If I could see whether Kevin Wolf submitted a bunch of fog photos, that would have scared me into not submitting any fog pics, as he takes fantastic pics in the fog.

      • Haha, exactly! Though I’ve never won so maybe all my strategizing wasn’t doing me any favors anyway.

        • I ended up not submitting this year due to me being too indecisive at the last minute. I literally waited until the last minute. Anyhow, last year, I got in with a fish market pic. I considered only submitting fish market pics from here on so that I’d become known as “the fish market guy” then I realized that was a terrible idea.

    • Pablo Raw

      I did end up submitting something to Exposed DC, wish you the best!

  • Rave: Living somewhere with generally reliable buses to get to work, so I can avoid the cluster$*&% that is the metro.
    Rave: Living in an apartment building instead of a group house so I don’t have to shovel sidewalks anymore. Woo!
    Rave: Good books to read on these cold nights where I do not want to go out and do anything. Brrr.
    Rave: Way overdue haircut today.
    (I have really boring Rants/Raves)
    Rant: DATING GAH I HATES IT, PRECIOUS /gollum moment

    • Any good book recommendations?

      • Oh, do I have book recommendations… I mostly read fantasy, so if you like that I can help!
        Guy Gavriel Kay (Sailing to Sarantium, Lions of Al-Rassan, Under Heaven) – beautifully written historical fiction/fantasy. Aforementioned are based on the Byzantine Empire, Spain during the time of El Cid, and Tang Dynasty China, respectively.
        Elizabeth Bear (Eternal Sky trilogy) – also beautifully written historical fiction/fantasy (more on the fantasy side than Kay), based on Tibet/China.
        Ilona Andrew’s Kate Daniels series – urban fantasy, really neat world building, lots of references to mythology of all sorts, kicka$$ main character.
        Ben Aaronovitch’s Peter Grant series – fun urban fantasy, plot is a little light but the characters are great and the writing is just so fun. Supernatural detective story set in London.
        Benedict Jacka’s Alex Verus series – Also a fun urban fantasy, similar feel to the Dresden books. Also set in London, bit hard to describe.

        • For Elizabeth Bear, should’ve put Mongolia/Tibet/China, whoops. Main character is a horse nomad.

        • This is excellent, thanks – I am just rereading the Guy Gavriel Kay books – currently on River of Stars – and am looking for something new. (Lions of Al-Rassan is probably in my top 5 favorite books of all time.) I’ll check some of these out (though I don’t love the Dresden books). Glad I can to reread RRRR today!

          • I actually wasn’t a huge fan of the Dresden books myself (how women were handled) – I think these one are much better. 🙂

          • Rant: I spent 45 minutes that I didn’t have to waste looking at all these recommendations.
            Rave: Some really good ones! Litten, I’m adding you to my “people to whom I owe a drink list” when I make a PoP happy hour. What’s your poison?

      • I’m in the middle of reading “Station Eleven” and it’s fantastic. Also enjoyed “Packing for Mars” by Mary Roach (if you like non-fiction) and “We are All Completely Beside Ourselves”

        • This just reminded me that I have been meaning to read “We are All Completely Beside Ourselves.” I bought it shortly before moving this summer and it’s been sitting on our bookshelf ever since then. Adding it to my queue right now!

      • Ooh! I just finished Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng and it was a good read. All the Light We Cannot See is great and the writing is superb. Also reading Amy Poehler’s Yes Please, and almost two years ago, I read Marisha Pessl’s Night Film and I cannot stop talking about it (or recommending it to friends).

      • skj84

        Life after Life by Kate Atkinson
        Little Bee, and Incendiary by Chris Cleaves
        The Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
        Gone Girl
        Drown by Junot Diaz

      • Will Not Attend by Adam Resnick. If you like David Sedaris you’ll probably like this one.

    • One more rant: I miss living near Cava Grill. Used to go there all the time when I lived in Columbia Heights…

    • Yes, book recommendations please! I just finished The Light Between the Oceans and really enjoyed it.

    • Recent reads I’d recommend:
      Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (& second book in series)
      All the Light We Cannot See
      Where’d you go Bernadette
      The Goldfinch
      The Secret Keeper

      • Also want to add the Mistress of the Art of Death series – really excellent, and now I’m inspired to re-read them

      • All the Light We Cannot See and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children are next up on my reading list. I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed them. I also want to read Eleanor and Park, Fangirl, and This is Where I Leave You from recent recommendations.

        I just read Reconstructing Amelia and was a bit underwhelmed. It kept my interest but seemed way too far-fetched and became predictable quickly. Before that I read the Divergent series and really enjoyed the quick reads.

      • emvee

        Don’t mind me, adding lots of these to my Goodreads list…

      • I absolutely loved The Goldfinch. For some reason I wasn’t expecting to like it but I couldn’t stop reading it. Definitely the best book I’ve read in a while.

        • skj84

          I’m waiting for a family member to finish her copy of the Goldfinch so I can borrow it. I’m really excited about getting it started.

      • topscallop

        Thanks for sharing all these recommendations, everyone!

        I loved Where’d you go Bernadette. I recently read Maria Semple’s first novel, This One is Mine. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t nearly as good as Bernadette. I also read Donna Tartt’s other novel about kids in prep school- blanking on the name right now but it was good and dark.

        I’m waiting to get All the light we cannot see from the library; I keep hearing about it. I’m reading The Weird Sisters right now, and on deck on my night stand are 1) The girl with all the gifts, and 2) The first fifteen lives of Harry August (both selected based on an i09 post about the best books of 2014).

    • I feel you on the dating! Actually went on a really good date this week (for the first time in a while) and we’ve been talking but haven’t set anything definitive up for a second date. We both agreed at the end that we wanted to see each other again but didn’t make any plans. I’m probably just being impatient because I know he’s still interested but I hate the waiting game.

      Also feel you on the Cava comment! LOVE that place, it’s probably good I don’t live too close to one!

      • The waiting is the worst. I usually just go ahead and text about plans, since I like planning things in advance (and I stay pretty social so otherwise I start running out of time to meet up :p), but it’s always stressful.
        It’s definitely better for my wallet that I don’t like near one anymore, but it was a lot healthier than the only options near my apartment now for when I want to grab a quick bite. Ah well…

        • Yup, I probably will too since we talked about it and I’m a planner too, just don’t want to seem pushy. Yay for overthinking!

          Now I really want Cava. I would like to say its healthier than some other options but once I get that crazy feta dip, all bets are off.

          • I bought Cava’s Harissa at the Columbia Heights, although I didn’t look for the crazy feta it might also be sold in stores. Or you can do like me which is to search for Cava crazy feta recipes online 🙂

          • Being pushy is texting daily saying when are we going to meet again. Not pushy is talking and broaching the topic: what’s your schedule like? Are you free x night? One of you has to get the ball rolling. Try planning a date when someone is out of phone range for min 8 hrs a day. Relax, relate, release!

          • Thanks for the advice. I just never know how to bring it up without sounding pushy but I’m sure thats mostly in my head. I just prefer when things flow naturally! I’ll give him another day then bring it up.

            MPinDC, you have set me off on a bad path. That feta dip looks way too easy to make!

          • Pablo Raw

            To me the important thing is to show interest and to be mature.

          • I don’t know how one flows naturally into planning a meeting. Maybe you were looking for him to bring it up since you 1. enjoy that 2. you planned date one 3. he mentioned the second meeting first. I don’t think that’s bad, but if you’re getting antsy broach it but you could leave him the option to plan the date, pick the location, etc.
            My person deferred to me, so I broached the day but am giving options as I have a slight conflict. We haven’t talked much in between (both working a lot), but date went long, so I’m not stressing.

    • Emmaleigh504

      I’m working my way through Kristian Ohlsson’s books. I’m reading Unwanted now. Swedish crime novel. I read Disappeared a few months ago and really enjoyed it.
      Also reading Christina Queen of Sweden by Veronica Buckley. I haven’t gotten very far though.

  • Rave: The sun. I know it’s not enough to quell the eyeball-freezing cold, but I am glad it came out to see us.
    Random alert for Emilie: There’s a rhino story on Al Jazeera today (search for rhino orphanage). Not all happy, but good for awareness-raising.

  • posting anonymously for this. spouse has recently diagnosed/medicated ADHD. prior to diagnosis/treatment, spouse would fairly regularly leave doors to home open and/or unlocked, would fail to arm the alarm system, constantly forget things/leave things out/lose things, etc. most of it was just annoying but the doors/alarm thing is dangerous. things have moderately improved after starting meds, but today I came home and spouse had left a space heater on, left the dog in a room he’s not supposed to be unsupervised in, and didn’t arm the alarm system. WTF. how would you guys handle this with your spouse? does anyone have any experience with this kind of thing? this kind of unsafe stuff drives me BONKERS and i don’t know how to deal with it without treating spouse like a child. spouse is always remorseful afterwards, but that doesn’t solve the problem. thanks.

    • I don’t have this experience, but would it help to discuss with your spouse as a problem to solve together? Would a checklist by the door help?

      • i agree that we need to talk about this. i had thought about something like a checklist but was worried that might come across as treating spouse as a child. no?

        • Medication can take awhile to fully kick in so you may still see improvement in the coming days/weeks.
          It seems your spouse is aware that their actions pose a risk to the safety of your pet/home and therefore would be motivated to work with you to find a possible solution; you could proposing a checklist as one option. On a practical note, if you go with the checklist as one tool then I’d think having your spouse physically check things (heater off, alarm on, etc) rather than just eyeballing the list would be beneficial.

          • unfortunately it’s not a matter of meds not kicking in yet. by recently i mean last 3ish months. for me, personally, a list makes sense. hopefully spouse won’t get defensive at the suggestion. thanks for the idea.

          • I’m not familiar with ADHD meds – are there other drugs to treat the same condition that may have better results?
            Is your spouse also seeing a therapist (or open to seeing a therapist)? Seems medication plus therapy be useful.

          • there are other meds, and spouse is not/not inclined to see a therapist (something i suggested early on in addition to/instead of trying the pharmaceutical route). may have to broach that one again.

          • Hope your spouse is open to considering seeing a therapist, either alone or as a couple. If spouse won’t consider this then I’d encourage you to see one on your own.
            Medication is usually part of the solution but not all of the solution

          • That’s why I also suggested approaching it as a problem to solve together – then the checklist idea can be brought up in the context of that conversation & it may seem less like you’re infantalizing him? Good luck!

          • Even if Spouse doesn’t want to see a therapist for his ADHD per se, I hope he’ll be receptive to couples’ counseling. The issue is affecting your day-to-day relationship as partners and needs to be addressed.

      • I think this is good advice. I don’t have ADHD, but I am absent-minded by nature. Having systems in place is what helps me to be a functional adult (ie, I pack my gym bag and lunch every night; my keys go on the hook by the door as soon as I get home; I leave post it note reminders by the front door so I won’t forget something that isn’t part of my regular routine; I set reminders to ping me on my iPhone). Good routines make everything easier.

        • i agree with you on all fronts. spouse has been reluctant about instituting “systems”. I’ve done what i can (bought baskets to put by the door for each of us to put keys/phone/wallet/etc., put a reminder note on the alarm panel to make sure doors are locked, try to remind spouse to put stuff in the right spot without nagging, created a joint gmail account/calendar) but i can only do so much to help spouse manage their own affairs. the issue seems to be getting spouse to actually use/do the things that make this stuff easier.

          • Good luck, OP. I can only imagine how frustrating and challenging this must be (wanting to support spouse without becoming a parent to him/her).

          • Andie302

            I remember reading something in the NYT a long time ago about a woman who was researching animal behavior and tried some basics things on her husband. She stopped nagging him about behaviors that she didn’t like, and started praising him when he would do things that she appreciated (from what I remember, her biggest complaint was towels and laundry on the floor) as well as improving systems at the same time. IIRC, she had some success with positive reinforcement. It couldn’t hurt trying! She was very specific about 100% stopping any nagging whatsoever, and her partner apparently appreciated it.

          • Andie302

            http:// http://www.nytimes.com /2006/06/25/fashion/25love.html?pagewanted=all

          • thanks artemis. it is quite frustrating.
            @andie302- that’s funny, i actually tried that with an ex and had somewhat positive results. i REALLY try not to nag, but at the same time i feel like i can’t just ignore the fact that i came home to find the dog in the living room, the space heater on, and the alarm not armed. and since I’m not present for a lot of the activities, I’m not sure how successful it would be, for example, at the end of each day to say “thanks so much for remembering to a,b,c,d&e over the course of today!” i suppose it can’t hurt to try it. and most of this is convincing me that at least one session of spouse + me + doctor/therapist is probably a necessity.

    • No experience here either, but mtpresident’s advice sounds good. Maybe you can also talk to your spouse’s doctor?
      How recently did the treatment begin — could it be a matter of the meds not fully “kicking in” until after X number of weeks?
      For the space heater — perhaps you could get rid of it, or store it away temporarily? Or have a rule that you’re the only one who’s allowed to turn it on?
      Some alarm systems allow you to arm/disarm online — does yours?

      • yeah, going to dr with spouse might be a good idea. i did fill out a form about how often spouse does/doesn’t do X during the initial diagnosis phase. i guess i should have turned the heater off before i left, but didn’t occur to me to need to do it since spouse was still at home and it’s just common sense/routine to me to check those sorts of things before i leave. our alarm system *does* in fact allow you to arm/disarm online/on your phone, which makes it almost more annoying that spouse didn’t turn it on at some point.

        • Try to eliminate the small stuff. Space heater is important, but there are varieties which can be left on all the time as they have auto shutoff and tipover stoppage. Can you be in control of the alarm? If he leaves same time daily, you could turn it on from the phone. Maybe narrowing the field will give him a better chance to focus.

          • I’d like to do that, without me having to take on too much/become a micromanager. today spouse stayed home to take a conference call and so did not leave at the normal time (although that really varies too). i guess i can start trying to check the alarm when i get in to work to make sure it was set. we did have programmable thermostats installed in other parts of the house, so this lone space heater is it. though of course there are a ton of other things that can/do get left on (oven, coffee maker, lights, record player, etc.) ugh. part of the problem is that I’m becoming resentful that i end up having to do what should be pretty basic adult stuff for both of us.

          • Nipping the resentment in the bud sounds best. Maybe consider couples counseling if the various fixes/suggestions/etc. don’t work.
            It also might help to adjust your expectations — if you don’t _expect_ him to remember to set the alarm, then you won’t be resentful if he forgets. It does sound like a pain, but if things are otherwise good in your marriage, maybe you can be OK with the idea of “I am solely responsible for our alarm system.”
            And also separate out which things are potentially dangerous if Spouse forgets about them (oven, stove, coffee maker) and which aren’t (lights, record player). Maybe you can agree that Spouse will use oven/stove/coffee maker only when you’re home? The other stuff is annoying, but not dangerous.

    • justinbc

      This sounds a lot worse than just ADHD. I would seek a second medical opinion and be specific in the behaviors exhibited.

    • thanks for the suggestions and ideas everyone. wish me luck on trying to talk through/implement some strategies for success!

  • Rave: Telebrating today! My first time teleworking in over a year!

    Rant: Cat introductions are still a disaster 2+ months in. Tried calming collars, room exchanges, diffusers, and now have a baby gate up. Just the sight of the mom’s 24 pound cat scares my 7 pound cat, and my cat has started chewing the fur around her tail in nervousness. Today big kitty beat her way through the baby gate to get into the room and eat the food and sleep in the bed there. It may be time for a trip to a pet therapist.

    • Allison

      Oo oo there was an episode of “My Cat from Hell” about this! I don’t recall the name but two significant others moved in together, each bringing their own cat, who didn’t get along. He was able to create some moderate tolerance, but I forget how. Perhaps you can find the episode?

    • I have to admit, the sight of a 24-pound cat might scare me too! (I’ve seen one who I think was about that size, and he was just gargantuan.)
      I hope you find something that works. How did this situation come about — did you inherit your mom’s cat?

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