Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user  Huma Imtiaz

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.

246 Comment

  • Rave: Got a cute blouse and skirt from Ann Taylor both on sale, and with an extra 50% off the sale price to boot!
    Rant: Probably won’t be able to wear any spring clothes for a few weeks
    Rave: If it’s going to be cold at least there is now predicted for tomorrow! (Aware this is a rant for many)

  • Rave: Noosa yogurt. I feel like I am becoming a yogurt evangelist. That stuff is sooooo good!
    Rave: I’m wearing the new sweater that I picked up a few weeks ago in a consignment shopping. Lately, my clothing choices skew towards dressing like a kooky elementary school art teacher. I love it.
    Rant: allergies, lack of decent sleep, family illness
    Rave: Coffee. All the coffee. It will get me through the day.

  • Mug of Glop

    Rant: Between AIPAC and whatever fire situation was going on at 9th and E this morning, traffic was a complete crap-show and it added an hour onto my normally 22 minute drive to work.
    Rant: Strange sore throat developed two days ago and is getting worse. Do I have rabies?
    Rave: Most of the huge fields of ice around my apartment are gone, and I can now walk with some level of confidence that I won’t break everything!
    Rave: Marathon is coming up in eleven days, so no more long training runs for a month!

    • I guess I should be thankful that it only added about 25 minutes to my normally 25 minute commute. God, it was terrible!!! Directing everyone on a main artery to a side street and then we couldn’t turn right on 8th street either. Wintry mix this afternoon should make the commute home nice too! God, I need a new job back in the district again!

      • Mug of Glop

        The situation on 9th added about 35 minutes and AIPAC added about 20 minutes. You’re lucky: 8th was even more of a mess than 7th was. I’ve never been so happy to get into the 9th street tunnel after taking my grand tour of Penn Quarter. And I still can’t find any news reports about whatever happened at that building, which I guess isn’t a hotel but houses, among other things, the National Capital Planning Commission.

    • This situation was a mess. The sidewalk was closed at 9th and G, and I saw multiple cars swing out of their lane and into the bus/bike lane. I was worried someone was going to get hit. I really hope it’s less crazy tomorrow.

    • hispanicandproud

      Good luck on marathon! Which one are you running?

      • Mug of Glop

        I’m running Rock ‘n’ Roll DC. So I’m the guy you should be angry at when you can’t get anywhere in the city next Saturday morning.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rant: Tired. So tired. Someday I will learn to go to bed at a decent hour.
    Rave: Belly dancing tonight!

    • Might’ve asked this before – which class are you taking at Sahara?

    • I tried that (going to bed earlier). It doesn’t help. Even if I fall asleep quickly and get more sleep, I still wake up just as tired as ever. My body is just not programmed to function well before 9-10am.

      • Emmaleigh504

        My body wants to be asleep from 3am to about 11am. No matter how early I get up, my brain is asleep until about 11am. The morning people at work just don’t understand.

        • houseintherear

          I just said the same thing (re: 3-11am) to someone the other day! Sucks a lot to be a teacher and have that as my natural body clock… then again, any job that starts before 11am would be hard!

          • Emmaleigh504

            I had a library gig for a while that was 11am to 7:30pm. It was ideal, but sadly I hated the town it was in.

        • There is something called delayed sleep phase syndrome which can explain this, though it’s rare.

        • Blithe

          Add me to the list of night owls. Oddly, my natural sleeping period is also from about 3am to about 11. That three of us have such consistent sleep blocks suggests that we’ve evolved to tend the fires at night while the rest of the tribe is sleeping. I once worked a 3pm to 11:30 shift — which was pretty blissy.

  • Rant? Revel? Not really either. But has anyone else been hearing an odd sound (like a train whistle in the distance) every few minutes for the past couple of days? It seems to happen at a consistent interval – maybe every 30 seconds or so – and only during work hours. I’m in the Mt. P/Columbia Heights/Adams Morgan area, and I can’t tell how far away it is or what direction it’s coming from. I’m starting to wonder if I’m just nuts.

    • houseintherear

      The DCWater tunnel workers are using a very loud air horn to signify something about moving their crane or whatever- that’s along 1st St. I wonder if you can hear it all the way over/up there…!

    • related to houseintherear’s comment: maybe the sound is coming from the workers on 16th St.

  • +1

    I recall him saying he was going on a trip and I believe he proposed to Lady Justin (she said yes), but he hasn’t been back since?

  • rave: looking forward to dinner at Rasika tonight. Never been, but I love indian food.
    rave: tried turnips for the first time yesterday. Roasted them w/ just olive oil and salt, but it came out really well, I was surprised.

  • Rave: Clean clothes! The washing machine is finally fixed.
    Rant: The super obnoxious dudes at trivia last night. I almost got up to say something when one of them said “keeping up with these Tinderwhores is so taxing.” Gross.
    Rave: So many fun plans coming up!
    Rant: I’m so tired. Need rest.

    • Ally

      Yuck (on your rant! Totally agree). I’m looking into attending more trivia nights, so let me know which venue so I can avoid the obnoxious ones 😉 I think my group is hitting up the little one at Elephant & Castle next.

    • Speaking off- I rented a room to someone that is job hunting and he’s been here less than a week and have spent 4 nights at different girls places whom he’s met assuming online (since be asked if I use any online dating.) Funny thing is when I Googled him the only hit on him was a former fling blasting him on a website posting his pic etc warning other girls to stay away… In conversation he said his only vice is women- I wanted to suggest he needs to seek help, but he seems to enjoy this womanizer persona.

      • Ally

        Yeah, I once dated a guy who bragged about sleeping around with women and sneaking out their windows in the middle of the night. You can’t ask for a clearer warning sign 😉

        • skj84

          Oh my. Wow.

        • Why the window? Is he just practicing his cat burglar skills?

        • I knew a guy from my post-college days (not a friend, just a mutual acquaintance) who was an absurd womanizer. His claim to fame is that he’d steal something from every woman. But he’d only steal weird stuff – Hungry Man frozen dinners, a broken worthless watch, a pack of dental floss, etc.
          Obviously he has huge intimacy issues.

      • I have a friend who…well… is a terrible womanizer. He used to announce that if he ends up sleeping with 100 women, he should just kill himself (because he is a reluctant womanizer?). He was in his mid-90s last time I saw him (about a year ago). He hates the fact that he can’t meet someone his “intellectual equal” and claims to dislike sleeping around, yet will then brag about sleeping with someone on the first or second date – only to find out he doesn’t find them all that intelligent. He’s still on OKCupid and Tinder, of course.

        • Haha, I thought you were talking about his age when you wrote mid-90s and pictured this super old guy using Tinder. : P

          • Ha! No, he is in his early-30s and moved down from Boston a few years ago. He hooked up with a friend of mine after a great date and then didn’t call her after telling her he wasn’t that type of guy. She lost her faith in online dating after that.

        • Gross! Even keeping count of how many people you’ve slept with (when the number is that large) seems disturbing.

          • What’s wrong with keeping track of your number of partners? I find it bizarre that you consider it disturbing to have an idea of (1.) number of partners and (2.) who they are. For sexual health purposes, it’s good to keep track.

          • How is keeping track of the numbers connected in any way with sexual health? Obviously, more partners = more risk, but unless this person is also keeping in touch with past partners so that public health authorities can notify them, what difference does it make?

  • Rant: Not enough time to do a full House of Cards marathon over the weekend.

    Rant: Haven’t had a beer in 2 months.

    Rave: Hopefully get a day off for snow, unfortunately though work is backed up, so I’ll pay for it later. I have lots of vacation time, but can never take it because of work backups.

    Rave/Rant: Really like a girl at a nail salon I met while she was giving me a pedicure, and I’m pretty sure she likes me because she asks me a lot of questions, like if I’m married or not, but she doesn’t speak very much English. It’s refreshing to be able to not have to answer the typical DC questions and make small talk with a potential date, but I’m not sure that learning how to speak Vietnamese is possible for me any time soon.

    • What are the typical DC questions? Like what neighborhood do you live in?

      • Where did you go to school? What do you do for a living? etc

        • SouthwestDC

          Huh, I get the question about work sometimes when I’m meeting a new person, though I don’t think that is specific to DC. But no one ever asks me about school. Maybe I’m getting too old for that to be relevant anymore.

          • Emmaleigh504

            I don’t understand completely why the work question is so bad. I get that some people use it to gauge whether you are worth talking to etc. But I find that in the circles I run in it usually just comes up as a way to get to know someone better and/or have something to talk about.
            On the other hand, I have the hobby question. I am a slug, I have no hobbies, please don’t ask me about them.

          • epric002

            i agree emilie504. most people spend 40+ hours of their week working. why wouldn’t you ask someone what it is they do that occupies that much time? especially since so many people in DC work in overlapping or similar fields.

          • SouthwestDC

            I’d rather someone ask me about my job than think they’re too good for the job question and ask me something vague and pretentious instead. Like “So what’s your story?” Those people are the worst!

          • Andie302

            I read somewhere that it was a cultural difference. That in France, for example, you could meet someone at a party and have a whole conversation where neither party asks what the other does for work. In this city I find that hard to imagine!

          • It’s also about the type of city. I was just in Brussels (seat of the European Commission, European Parliament, NATO, etc.) and everyone wants to talk about jobs. LOTS of people are lawyers, lobbyists, bureaucrats, and NGO workers (or students aspiring to be) – just like DC.

      • Yeah, the questions listed here, and general small talk on a very self-centeric level… It was refreshing to talk to her about things other than who I was first, like questions about my family and where I’ve traveled so far before getting the personal information rundown…

        I know it’s not the case all the time, but it just seems like when I talk to people who are native to DC, the main focus is an evaluation of who I am so that I can be instantly disqualified from their dating or friend circles if I don’t meet pre-determined criteria. People have no interest in good casual conversation with strangers anymore here, it seems like DC conversations are almost always a “friend” or “dating” evaluation rather than a simple pleasant conversation with a stranger where both people have no expectations.

        • I agree with this, and that is why one of my “hobbies” is hanging out at bars. Not to get plastered, but to have a meal and maybe a few drinks. I find that people are generally pretty interested in having conversations, and you never know who you might meet. Definitely some of the most interesting stories I have ever heard have come from random bar patrons. And by the way, I am a mid-20s woman.

          • SouthwestDC

            Have you read Drinking with Men? Sounds like you could relate to that memoir.

          • One of my hobbies in my teens and 20s was making up interesting stories for strangers who struck up conversations in no-escape situations– planes and trains, bars and restaurants.
            Some of the more outrageous ones were russian ingenue flying from Paris to the US to be with her boyfriend (who she never met in person), and the boyfriend was a “famous football player”, and the belle with a thirst for adventure who was hoping that, during her year abroad, the fella her parents picked out for her would find some other deb to marry.

          • Emmaleigh504

            I think I’m in love with you, wdc.

    • Not to be unkind but you do know she works for tips right?

      • Oh geez, i knew this was coming, I’m hardly 18, I am tuned into when a woman is interested in me by now…

        Nail salons also aren’t quite the same as a strip club.

        • Well, given your user name, you can see how one might assume…
          I used to be on a trivia team called Hoof Hearted. We laughed and laughed every time the host read out the scores.

        • Strip club, nail salon, whatever. If you’re paying someone for a service you should be a little skeptical of the motives behind their friendliness, especially if it occurs in their place of business.

          • It may be hard to believe, but not all people in the service industry are being nice or showing interest simply to get tips. My waxer who I see infrequently and tip infrequently has kept up with my happenings and is always chatty. Maybe because I’m former service industry or because we have commonality. She has more than enough business not to bother.
            At my last restaurant gig, I easily spent 20 minutes chatting with an Australian (known as bad tippers) because she was really cook and had good travel stories.
            I think you should ask her out. There is always Google translate. 🙂

      • LOL, I laughed really hard at this.
        That cute female bartender? She also sincerely likes you.

        • Andie302

          This made me laugh. My roommate and friend was one of those cute female bartenders – and she’s also quite the curmudgeon. She can turn on the charm for tips, but if she has to kick you out of her bar, watch out!

  • justinbc

    Rant/Rave: Back in DC!
    Rant: Almost all the ceramics we brought back in a checked back broke, despite quite a bit of insulation. At least they were just the cheap gifts we picked up for other people and not the other stuff we’re having shipped.
    Rave: So many great photos / memories, gonna take a while to sort through it all.
    Rave: Somehow only gained 3.5 pounds, despite being gone almost a month.
    Did I miss any big news w/ any PoPvillagers over February? Seems like I definitely missed a lot of snow, not so sad about that.

  • Ally

    Rave: Got married over the weekend and, surprisingly, all went very well!
    Rant: Adding his last name to mine will involve filling out 34 forms and sacrificing a small chicken. Only, maybe not that last part.
    Rave: Took Monday off to re-explore U Street (used to live there way back in the 90s), and finally saw what all the fuss was about with the homemade Pop-Tarts at Ted’s Bulletin. Yum!

    • justinbc

      Congrats! The name change thing can definitely be a pain, even more so if you’ve done it internationally.

      • Ally

        Thanks! Yeah, luckily the marriage was in DC so hopefully it’ll just be a bunch of paperwork and some fees here and there. Small potatoes (hopefully).

        • Friends of mine have sworn that it is worth it to pay money to one of those services that will take care of all the name change forms for you.

          Congrats on your marriage!

          • Ally

            I’m on it! Found one that will fill out the forms for you (so all you have to do is mail them in) for about thirty bucks. Totally worth it!

          • Ally

            And thank you! 🙂

          • Andie302

            Someone gifted me something like that, I think it was called Ms. to Mrs. – it was woefully lacking

          • Hooray, Ally!
            I’m with Andie on think the Ms. to Mrs. service is overrated, and I generally have no problem paying for services that save me time and annoyance. It’s very easy and quick to find and fill out those forms on your own and the time savings versus money spent seems off to me. I think it costs something like $30 to (semi) autopopulate 10ish forms and you still have to print and mail them.
            My own experience, FWIW, is that the only really complicated/annoying parts of the name change are the SSN and drivers license changes, and those are annoying only because the hours are inconvenient and the waits are long. The rest was cake, to my great surprise.

    • Congratulations! 😀

    • Andie302


    • Yay! Congratulations!!!

    • Ally

      Oh, quick recommendation: Our wedding photographer (who we found on the web and kind of lucked into), was AWESOME and pretty affordable (she’s online under Amber Wilkie). Highly recommend. For two people who hate having their photos taken, she made it a very fun experience for both my husband and me (and it didn’t hurt that she sent over a preview photo same-day that was just fantastic).

    • Weekend wedding is definitely rave-worthy – congratulations!!

    • Congrats! Also – when you go to SS – make sure to get info on your case number and write EVERYTHING down. They lost my paperwork and took them 6 weeks to tell me…
      Also, update me on whether they still spell “Security” incorrectly on their waiting number slips (they had it as socialsecurty dot gov)… Best of luck!

  • skj84

    Rave: Friend who is helping me revamp my resume. The most daunting thing about job search is marketing yourself. This takes a lot of pressure off me.

    Rave: Thanks to new insurance my depression meds were free! They usually cost me $70. Thanks Obama!

    Rant: This week is already wearing me thin. My weekend is even busier. Sigh. Give me strength.

    • One of my skills is resume editing, if you need an extra set of eyes. Feel free to email it my way.

      • Umm, can I send you mine to look at too? I’ve been procrastinating on updating mine for weeks. I’ll buy you a sazerac at the next happy hour!

        • Sure – beau finley at google’s email.

        • I want to do something for someone who offers to pay in Sazeracs.

          • skj84

            offer style lessons for Sazeracs? Dance classes for French 75’s?

          • Haha well don’t leave us hanging, Jes, what skills do you have to offer? I actually like Sk’s idea of dance classes. I’m a terrible dancer!

          • For real. This could be great (but terrible for my liver).

          • I should have said “I want to have a skill for which people will spontaneously offer to pay me in Sazeracs.” I don’t want to develop curriculum, that would take longer than making my own Sazerac.
            I taught dance in college and it taught me something very important- I don’t have the patience to teach. Not even close. I can recommend dance teachers, though. I’m really good at that.

      • skj84

        I’ll send it over! Thanks!

  • Rant: Still sick. When will this end???
    Rave: Despite my daughter waking me up twice last night, I still slept better overall than the night before. Yay for tylenol moderating a sore throat!
    Rave: This morning’s craziness schedule-wise went of smoothly and without a hitch. I was even 5 minutes early to my 9am appointment!
    Rave: heartbeat found and registered at a solid 142bpm. I might actually start believing the news 😉

  • epric002

    rant: the weather, still.
    request: do not like the look of footed water goblets, but am looking for nice water glasses that go with schott zwiesel fortissimo wine glasses. any ideas?

  • I Dont Get It

    Rant: Wiccan Dogsitter had a Pot Date Saturday night. Is this a thing now? I blame Muriel Bowser.
    Rant: The next morning he decided to make us waffles. Two hours later I had to take over. I blame Muriel Bowser.

  • Rant: Sick as hell! Over 36 hrs of praying to the porcelain gods. Only getting worse, and I cannot keep anything down even water. Is this the stomach thing that others had?
    Rant: My dog has apparently been keeping up my roomie, but she only told me after I asked her to remove some hooks on her door which make it unable to close without slamming. I don’t like got you moments. If there is an issue, I’m always happy to resolve it if I’m made aware.
    Rave: Downstairs neighbors shoveled the sidewalk without being asked! Heart strings were the place to go.
    Rant: Not working long enough for this staffer to get paid sick days. I’m fine on money, but the whole setup is annoying.
    Rant: Hungry!

    • Ug, you have my sympathy.

      Also, try sucking on ice cubes to curb the thirst until you can keep things down. Did wonders for me.

      • Thanks! I just want to know is this what others experienced because I felt like things were getting better: longer times between bathroom trips, kept down buttered toast and juice, but then today it was a lot worse.
        I am so dizzy when I’m not laying flat that I probably cannot make it to the ice cubes for a while I’m not terribly thirsty though, so that’s something good at least.

        • Once I was done throwing up (after about 12 lovely hours of it), I was done. I went realllly slow with the fluids/food though. I was terribly thirsty so there was a lot of ice. I had the light headedness/chills for another 2 days after my stomach started to level out though.

          • No throwing up yesterday then after taking 2 bites of banana, I was back at it this morning. The other end seems to happen any time I’m sitting upright or walking around for more than a few minutes, so I’m just laying on my back. My belly was really distended today too with kill me now cramps. Maybe it’s one of those it gets worse before it gets better.
            I had cereal overnight maybe that was what got things back out of whack.

    • I’ve had some pretty severe stomach issues in the past, and I resorted to Ensure to keep up my energy level. It’s non-dairy and the chocolate flavor isn’t so bad.

      • Kiddy ensure is my go to for severe dehydration when my body rejects solid foods.
        I’ve had bad food before, and I don’t remember being this sick. It sounds like the stomach flu, so I’m hoping it’ll peter off tonight/tomorrow am.

        • Ugh, that sounds terrible. I’m so sorry. I’ve resorted to pedialyte for dehydration when I’ve been really sick. Hope you feel better soon!

          • Thanks everyone. Probiotics which I was taking pre-sickness seems to have helped a lot. Belly is down, and I’ve avoided the bathroom for a few hours now. I had a slurpee, and I’m out running errands. I think I’m still avoiding work today, but I think tomorrow will be better.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Insomnia. I even took an Ambien last night and only got 5ish hours of restless sleep. Boo hiss.
    Rave: my IM at work is malfunctioning so the Watcher can’t see me 🙂
    Rave: Finally remembered to bring my new rhino calender to work. Such cute pix! March is a baby black rhino trotting around with a stick in it’s mouth, like it’s playing fetch. #treamrhino

  • Rave: The savage that shot and killed a promising young Howard student is going to jail for a very long time.
    Rant: DC schools are in the crapper but Im glad that politicians have been working diligently to ensure that marijuana is legal. Im glad DC has its priorities straight. Please note my sarcasm.
    Rave: Spring is almost here which means outdoor drinking!
    Rant: Maryland drivers are the worst! I like when they cut across three lanes of traffic and get stuck in the middle because they couldn’t make the full U turn. Then they pull an Austin Powers and back up three to four times, but don’t look at me, god forbid you look at me when you are doing something stupid and inconveniencing the rest of the drivers that are now waiting for you to pull your morainic U turn on 14th st. Don’t worry I didn’t want to get home to see my family on time anyway. Im glad you got your parking spot next to Starbucks. Rant Complete

    • Perhaps schools will get better when parents don’t get busted for lame pot charges, thus sending them to jail and condemning them to a life of unemployment/low-paid work? This is all related – can you not connect the dots?
      Parents get caught up in legal system –> instability in the home, lack of resources, lack of career options –> children act out –> failing school system

    • Figuring out and passing policy to improve schools is hard work. Lots of vested interests with their own ideas of changes that work. Not easy.

      Legalizing a controlled substance is much easier work.

  • Rant: Parent frustrations.
    Rave: Friend who recommended therapy for ME – says she found new ways to manage the stress, define boundaries and feel in control in a tough relationship with her parents. Maybe the could help me…
    Rant: Sick Uncle meeting with transplant team for a new lung.
    Rave: My other Uncle celebrated FIVE years of new life after a double lung transplant.
    PSA: Register to be an organ donor, pretty please

  • Rave: Madly in love and planning to propose in the near future
    Rant: (Query): Women of PopVille…Would you prefer your guy pick out or design a ring for you, or propose with a temporary ring and then pick out or design a ring together

    • Emmaleigh504

      My preference would be an antique ring. (hear that Sven? Antique ring! Quotia Zelda can help you.)

    • FtLincolnLove

      I’d prefer to have my guy design a ring for me. That’s what my fiance did! I showed him the styles of ring I liked and told him I’d love if he would use the diamond from my late mother’s engagement ring…and he did just that! He designed a beautiful solitaire ring in a cathedral setting. Knowing that my diamond once belonged to my mom made my ring that much more special. Plus, I know that no one else in the world has my exact ring!

    • skj84

      hmm. How well do you know your partner’s style? Has she expressed any sort of interests in rings before? If you have a good feeling about what she would or would not like I say pick it out. If not it could be fun picking out a ring together.

      • Andie302

        +1 If you know she’ll love it, absolutely pick it out (and that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to design something). If you have zero idea that she’ll like it, then I would say involve her in the process. I don’t think you need to use a temporary ring – I think either involve her or choose on your own.

    • epric002

      neither. i preferred that my now husband and i mutually agree upon marriage sans proposal or ring. however, if you know that she wants both a proposal and a ring, have you asked her what kind of ring she’d like?

    • SouthwestDC

      I plan on proposing to a woman soon and I’m curious to see what others say. My girlfriend’s very particular so I’m reluctant to pick it out myself.

      • Andie302

        Could you make choosing the ring part of the proposal? Ask first, then go pick something out together, for example.

        • SouthwestDC

          I think I’ll end up doing that since we’ll be in India where you can get custom jewelry made inexpensively. But it feels so “unofficial” without it.

      • My fiancee and I looked at rings together (online) and talked about getting engaged. She took those ideas and went to a jeweler. They worked together to design a ring and she did an amazing job because I love it and it’s even more beautiful than I could have imagined.

    • nightborn

      My now-husband was pretty clueless when it came to rings and felt overwhelmed by the shopping process. To make things easier, we went to look at rings together. I tried some on and we found a few styles we both liked, and then he went and selected the ring on his own.

      If you are worried her knowing will ruin the surprise or be less romantic, don’t be. I (obvi) knew a proposal was coming, but I didn’t know when, and my husband was still able to catch me off guard in a very romantic setting.

    • My wife has very specific tastes, so I knew choosing for her was out. Also, though we knew we wanted to get married, I wanted to make the engagement a surprise. My grandmother had given me her engagement ring, and I used that to propose. Then we went to a jeweler and had them remake the ring in the style my wife wanted, using the diamonds we already had. After getting no help from several small, family owned jewelers, we went to Mervis downtown. They were not only really great help, but significantly cheaper than anywhere else. Highly recommended if you don’t go with a vintage style.

  • FtLincolnLove

    Rave: Getting married in 24 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!! EEEEEEEEK!!! 😀 Not that I’m counting down or anything….
    Rave: 4 day work week, and bachelorette party this weekend at Deep Creek. Fingers crossed the weather holds!
    Rave: No rants! Happy Tuesday 🙂

  • My house is falling apart… there are two or three spots where a crack has opened at the place where the wall joins the ceiling. Dust and grit falls from these spots and accumulates. And the plaster is coming off the wall in the same area.
    Who should I call? I want to make sure there’s no underlying structural issue, so… structural engineer? Anyone recommend one? Or do I need some other professional?

  • Rave: I made a kombucha scoby, aka kombucha mother. Now it’s time to make kombucha tea and see if this experimentation in fermentation is a success.
    Rave: Despite the cold/ice/etc I have snow drops blooming in my yard. I’m antsy to be gardening, fortunately I have seeds I can start.
    Rant: No house elves to wash dishes, put away laundry, chase after clouds of dog hair…

    • SouthwestDC

      Similar rave: I started a sourdough starter last week and it looks like it’s ready to go. I’m going to try baking with it tonight!

      • Good luck with the baking!
        How did you start the sourdough starter?

        • SouthwestDC

          I followed the recipe in Samuel Fromartz’s In Search of the Perfect Loaf: Three tablespoons rye flour, three tablespoons water, one teaspoon honey. Every day discard half the starter and add those ingredients again until it becomes active, then stop adding the honey. It took about a week because my kitchen’s so cold these days!

          • I’ve always wanted to try catching a wild yeast!
            I had a sourdough starter that a a friend “caught” in Norway – I managed to keep it going for a few years (farming it out to friends when I traveled so it would be fed). Now I”m inspired to try catching my own yeast:)
            Please report back on your bread baking success!

          • Emmaleigh504

            Caroline and MPinDC, keep us posted on all your kitchen experiments! I don’t have any going right now, so I’m living vicariously through y’all.

          • SouthwestDC

            Will do!

          • SouthwestDC

            I’ll also share this incredible cake I made last night:
            I once had a terrible experience with a whole-citrus tart, so I was skeptical about this recipe, but it turned out really well. I added some almond extract and orange flower water to make it extra fragrant.

  • skj84

    Rave: lots of happy news on RR&R today!

  • Rant: Federal performance evaluations. Without getting into details, they make no logical sense.
    Rave: Surprisingly successful new boy. VERY early stages, but heading on a good path I think.

  • Rant – accident enroute to work = late to work despite leaving early enough to be early.
    Rave – 5 days in a row of yoga and I feel great. Today will be an off day because I have plans.
    Rant – weather forecast – winter, can we just be done?
    Rave – starting something new at work – hoping it’s a good thing!

  • I’m looking for some random internet advice on depression/ anxiety meds. I don’t think I’m depressed. I have never taken anti-depressants. But I do have anxiety, occasionally severe.
    My doctor has recommended anti-depressants to cope with the anxiety, but I have a high-pressure job and I find that a little stress/ urgency is good for my productivity at work. It’s when I get home that I need help. One glass of wine doesn’t switch my gears effectively, and I don’t want to increase my alcohol intake just to transition from superstar manager to parent/spouse/couch potato. I also don’t want to lose my edge at work, and I’m afraid anti-depressants would do that.
    So I’d be interested to hear thoughts from people who’ve dealt with anxiety, or have a similar work/ home dichotomy.

    • Pablo Raw

      There was a time when I was going through depression and my regular doctor prescribed anti-depression /anxiety medicine. He asked me to fill a questionnaire and that was it. I’m glad I did, it helped me a lot.

    • skj84

      I’m dealing with the issue right now. I”m starting anti-depressants to keep the edge off and I have Xanex for anxiety. I only take the Xanex when I feel panic attacky or super overwhelmed. I try not to take it too much since it makes me really drowsy and can be addictive. I’ve been on and off anti-depressants since I was in middle school. I don’t always love taking them because of the side effects, but recognize that sometimes I need them to feel stable. I also journal when I feel overwhelmed. I find putting my feelings in words sometimes calms me. Exercise helps as well. I try running or walking to clear my head. For me the worst part of depression is fatigue.I don’t want to get out of bed. Combating that feeling is the most important part. Good luck with everything!

      • I second the journal idea. It really helps me when I write down thoughts that I have excessively and most of the time unnecessarily thought about for a long time. (both good and bad thoughts) Its kind of like they are gone from taking space in my brain, but they are not permanently gone. I also don’t proofread what I wrote. Just write it down and don’t worry about spelling, grammar, ect. Hope this helps! Feel better!

        • I could never write something that I didn’t re-read a half dozen times. I need to get AWAY from work-related tasks. My job involves a lot of writing, and editing the writing of others.
          I don’t want to go on a medication that needs to be maintained. It’s one more thing to stress about. I just want the ability to make my head stop racing. It’s like my fight-or-flight instinct is in overdrive. It keeps me alive (productive) all day on the savannah (the office), but it doesn’t switch off when I’m safe in my cave, so I spend my family time restless and irritable. And sometimes I make it all the way to bedtime still hyper-alert and on the verge of panic. And then I can’t sleep. And come morning, the lions are circling again.

          • skj84

            So my next bit of advice is a bit strange but it helps me. When I can’t sleep I try to focus on something soothing. I go to two places. I sometimes visualize my bed as a boat in the ocean and I’m rocking in gentle waves. Or that i’m in a cocoon like space. I know this may sound extremely weird, but it helps. Find your happy place. I also play ambient noise. Or classical music. Anything to get my mind to relax. Aromatherapy may do wonders as well. I Like spritz my pillow with lavender spray before bed or apply lavender lotions.

          • Have you thought of cognitive behavioral therapy? It is a very resulted oriented approach to therapy that may help you slay some of your responses?

            Meditation has helped me a lot to keep my anxiety in check. Exercise is also essential — anything that gets you out of your head and into your body. I also like to have a going from work to home ritual. It helps to listen to a podcast or walk around the block a couple times before going into the door, anything that helps you mentally shift gears.

          • Artemis, yes, CBT is on my radar. I need to find a person who doesn’t set off my BS alarms.
            And exercise. I’m not going to go to a gym (ever in my life), but the lousy weather has really curtailed my outdoor time and activity level. Maybe once it’s a little nicer and I can resume long brisk walks, things will sort themselves out…

    • Pablo Raw

      Also from my annual visit to the doctor, I know I have a deficiency of vitamin D. So I made sure when I was on vacation, to take as much sunlight as possible 🙂 my mom kept asking me what I was doing sitting there lol. Now that I’m back, I’m motivated to do a lot of things and start some projects.

    • There are some categories of anti-depressants that target anxiety – would you be willing to give it a try and see how you react? Typically there is an adjustment period as your body gets used to the medication – during that time you might have less energy but this is usually temporary.
      There are also techniques that can help manage anxiety – breathing exercises, progressive relaxation, biofeedback, any kind of physical exercise, yoga.
      And because thoughts are having a direct effect on behavior, cognitive-behavioral therapy is often recommended for anxiety.

    • When you say doctor, do you mean a psychiatrist? If not, I’d highly recommend talking this over with one. I was having a hard time finding an anti-depressant that worked for me because the ones I tried had zapped my energy. She was much more well-versed on new drugs and different types of anti-depressants than my primary care doc was. Unfortunately, she’s not accepting new patients, but I’m sure there are other good ones out there that could help with this.

      • Pablo Raw

        I mean a regular doctor, the one that does my annual medical exams. At the time I was seeing a therapist, she recommended me to see a psychiatrist in addition to her, but I didn’t have time for another meeting during the week. The regular doctor told me he could prescribe the anti-depressants and I’m happy I went with his advice. When I felt better, I just stopped taking them (I should have told him that 🙂 )

        • Yeah, I was also not keen on trying to fit in another meeting during the week, but you really only have to see the psychiatrist every few months or so. For me, it was really worth it to find a medication that worked for my situation. Glad you’re feeling better, but be careful with stopping them on your own. Some of these meds can cause some withdrawal issues.

          • skj84

            2nd. I actually went into withdrawal when I decided to go off Ambien and my depression meds in high school. I didn’t talk it over with my doctor before hand I just went with it because I gained 30 pounds from my meds. It was horrible. I remember my head feeling buzzy. Like I had cotton stuffed in my ears. I would never do anything like that again.

          • Pablo Raw

            I know, I was just excited that I was feeling much better and stopped taking them. I was a bit dizzy for a while but that’s it. I know I didn’t do the right thing.

        • Glad you’re feeling better and that you were ok!

  • Rant: Complained to DC 311 two days in a row about the same vehicle parked in and completely blocking the marked crosswalk at 17th and Riggs NW for over a week now (white Jeep Grand Cherokee, VA plates). Both times the complaint has been closed with a parking officer saying no vehicle present. Unreal. That car must have some sort of cloaking device that’s making it tow-proof.

    • If you use the 311 app you can attach a photo of the vehicle blocking the crosswalk (and its license plate). Doesn’t mean the response won’t be the same but if there’s photo evidence they might be more inclined to do something about it.

  • Rave: I had a lovely long beach weekend with a great friend I don’t get to see enough. Even though it rained 5 inches Saturday, we still had two beautiful beach days.
    Rant: how do I always forget to put sunscreen in my part? Between my scalp and the random spots I missed on reapplication, I’m kind of happy it’s still tights and long sleeve weather.
    Rave: now it’s back to the grind in a big way, but I’m not letting it get me down. At least not for another day.

  • Rant: got a bogus inflated property assessment from the city and now have to vanish into the morass of city bureaucracy to get the assessment lowered to something that even vaguely resembles the market price.

  • rant: people who want to watch a movie/show and then spend most of their time playing with their phone, only to stop and ask “wait, I don’t get it – what happened?” Movies and TV shows, for the most part, are not usually very complex. If you’re having trouble keeping track of things, try paying attention!!!
    rave: dinner with my family tonight; old work team dinner tomorrow night
    rant: general smartphone-induced distraction.
    rave: snow potential. I’m snow excited.

  • Rave: had a 4th date this weekend. he blurted out that he thinks we are dating. no, we are not exclusive, but it’s nice to hear him say that first. Not sure where this is going, but I’m enjoying the ride.
    Rant: dating flakes. my friend’s Tinderfella stood her up this weekend. it was supposed to be a 3rd date, and he just chose not to go because he was tired. He texted this to her hours after they were supposed to meet up. What’s up with all the jerks?

    • topscallop

      Oof, that stinks for your friend. At least he texted instead of completely ghosting? I have my first OKC date tonight in a good long time. I hope I recognize the guy when I see him- all his pictures in his profile are taken from kind of far away (hopefully this is not a bad sign…)

      • Best of luck on your date! I met the guy I am dating on OKC. and he looks better in person than in his pictures. That’s a pleasant surprise! Surprises make for good stories if anything.

    • I’m lucky ladies are generally not as jerky, but she really has a string of bad luck. Hopefully, that will mean good things over the horizon.
      Also why do guys bother with such lame excuses? I’m tired but hours after the meeting should have happened? I don’t get it. That seems like the perfect spot to fade then he ruins it by coming back with the lameness.

      • My friend has had only bad experiences dating on Tinder. The latest disappointment was just a dummy. Asked my friend out on a date. Gave her a time to call so he would let her know what they’re doing. She calls. He doesn’t pick up.. A few hours pass by, and it’s late at night, and he texts with a lame excuse about being tired and passing out forgetting to respond. She checked Tinder & he was on Tinder in that time period of silence. Genius.

    • It’s Tinder.

  • nightborn

    Rant: our electric bill is out of this freaking world this month. Will this winter ever end?

    Rave: pho for dinner tonight!

    • I Dont Get It

      My gas bill was $325 last month and I keep my thermostat at $65.

      • Are you sure you didn’t miss a payment? Or is your house huge? My bill was large but not significantly larger than the month before, or the same month last year for that matter.

        • I Dont Get It

          It’s an old 3 bedrom, three level townhouse and yes I’m current on the bil.

          • SouthwestDC

            That does seem high. We also live in an old three bedroom three level rowhouse and our bill was $100 less than yours last month, even though we’re wimps and keep it at 73 when we’re home and not sleeping. There are a lot of variables that go into how much heat you use though.

        • We’ve been averaging around $300 a month since December, which is 50% higher than last year. AND we added a bunch of insulation since then. Either it’s just been that cold, or rates have increased significantly.

      • IDGI, have you considered getting an energy energy audit? It sounds like you might have heat escaping someplace. If you own the house and plan to stay there a while, you might find that some upgrades — new windows or insulation, perhaps — could pay for themselves pretty quickly.

        • *Home* energy audit. Time for more Earl Grey tea over here.

        • I Dont Get It

          I have old leaky windows in the front and since I live in a historic district, it’s doubtful I will be replacing them soon. The weather stripping on the kitchen door definitely could be freshened up so I will do that.

          • I have sort of mixed reviews for Thompson Creek, the company that replaced our windows, but would _absolutely_ recommend contacting them about replacing windows in a historic district property. They make every window to measure and are very talented at matching colors of existing trim. They also have (had?) zero-interest payment plans. (My complaint, FWIW, is only that they are extremely aggressive on the sales front. I like their product enough to recommend them here, but think they train salespeople to be way too overzealous in scouting leads and closing sales.)

          • I meant to say that you *might* find that you would pay less/month to replace the windows that you would in energy bills.

          • I second Shawess’s recommendation for energy audit – there were unexpected (and easy to seal) drafty places in my house.
            A few years ago I had my original double hung windows refurbished by The Craftsmen Group (I”m also in historic district) They did an amazing job. I had the single pane replaced by laminated glass, also added weather stripping all around. Makes a huge difference. Before that I was using the plastic that you blow dry until it is tight which also made a huge difference and was barely noticeable.

          • Andie302

            Check with Lincoln windows. They were recommended by a neighbor for our renovation and I was surprised that they weren’t more expensive.

      • Andie302

        Is the house guest doing hot yoga in the attic when you’re out? All joking aside, sorry your bill is so ridiculous!

        • @Shawess. I used Thompson Creek as well, but I got multiple estimates and let me tell you, that is the window business. Thompson Creek was about 100 times less aggressive than Ameritech Corporation. I highly recommend Thompson Creek and actually I am submitting my guest post to PoP this week on our window replacement project!

          • ParkViewRes, it’s entirely possible that all window companies are that way, and thanks for pointing that out! The specific tactic that irked me a bit is that they offered us a good discount for giving them phone numbers of three homeowner friends they could contact. Each of these friends have complained that Thompson Creek called them again and again and did not give up after several “no” answers. I realize this is largely our fault, but still find it to be an annoying sales tactic.
            Also, I’m excited to see your project! We were so happy with the results of ours, too.

          • Oh gross. They didn’t do that to us! I did read reviews online where a lot of people complained about TC robocalling them.

      • A great temporary fix for old windows is special window covering. It is basically a sheet of plastic that you affix with temporary double-sided tape and that shrinks to fit when you warm it with a hair dryer. You can buy them at home depot, lowes, etc. If you’re worried about the aesthetic you can always put them only on upper floors, but it really makes a HUGE different for leaky windows.

  • Anonynon

    Rave: Roll away your stone, I’ll roll mine, together we can see what we will find.

  • RAVE: Apparently I have a bunch of money in a previous employer’s profit sharing plan. I started when the company was very small (I was employee #5) and they now have about 150 employees. I only discovered this after I received some tax documents in the mail from an ex-girlfriend’s mother (apparently my forwarding address was set to her address?!?).
    RANT: I need to track down the money. My old company said they made a distribution this year for several thousand dollars and I sure-as-hell didn’t deposit it.
    RANT: Was somehow at work at last night until 11pm. Still have no groceries and the pile of dirty underwear and socks has only grown larger 😡

  • Rave: received a pile of records yesterday that I thought would be indefinitely delayed because of snow/ice or stolen off my porch!
    Rave: had a great birthday weekend at Beau Thai, Lyman’s, Red Derby, the Raven, and late night Angelicos.
    Rant: Why won’t all the ice melt already?

  • Semi-rant: I’m not really complaining, but I am concerned about the lack of any news regarding auditioning for Fort Reno’s summer concerts for this year. Last year, the window of demo-submission began on the 21st of February and ran for five weeks. To my pleased shock and amazement (Rave!) I actually have a band now, and playing there would be a dream come true…
    Has anybody heard anything?

    • Aren’t the Fort Reno folks notorious for being really unorganized about the concerts? Was it last year that they didn’t even announce the summer lineup until mid-June?

    • Also kudos for your band and good luck with the application/demo!

      • Yeah, that’s why I’m not complaining per se, but even if it took them a while to announce the lineup, they still had last year’s application window open long before now. If anything, this helps us, because we only have two good-but-unrepresentative songs recorded in a studio, and I would love some opportunities to record ourselves from the soundboard at a gig or two. I just want to know what the time frame is, especially considering the kerfluffle that nearly did them in last year.
        Also, thanks for the congratulations!
        Also also, there’s a nearby venue that wants to know a band’s “gig rate” when one asks for a chance to play. I have no idea what to tell them! Does anybody know what to request?

  • Rant: Persistent cough that is getting worse and won’t go away. Also super congested.
    Rant: 12-13 hour work day today, sigh. And I’ll be sitting out in the cold checking guests in for an event. Wearing many layers today.
    Rant: Craptastic work computer that is super slow, always freezing, and Firefox and Adobe crash constantly. Gah.
    Rave: Looks like I’ll be going to Florida to see my grandparents and parents in a couple weeks! Hope the weather will be nice when I go. 🙂 Looking forward to seeing my grandparents now that my grandad seems to be doing better and has managed to stay out of the hospital for almost a month (which is much longer than any other time in the past year). Yaay~

  • Starting out here very late today, but hooray and congratulations to all who have shared good news!

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: work disabled saved passwords in firefox too. grrr

  • Andie302

    Rant: I read an article this morning about a medical device that could be very helpful to my dad. However, it’s not even in testing with the FDA yet – so it could be years until it hits the market. The explanation is exceedingly simple, and it may be why it’s resonating with me. Some small part of me just wishes we could contact a doctor and get them to replicated this. Unfortunately, that’s not how things work here.
    Rant: And it sounds like the clinical trial that they are doing in Cancun this summer is already full.

    • Not sure what area, but I had experimental eye stuff before things were fda approved. If I waited for trials, I’d still be half blind. A doctor somewhere may be open to doing the surgery as long as you’re informed of the risks and it could be overseas potentially. I’d check docs in the field and see if anyone is doing it.

  • Rant: Pepco work on 16th…metal plates kept me and husband awake the entire night, every time a car drove by, very loud clunk sounds…building manager said we stay sleepless for another month. great.
    Rant: didn’t get the dream job–was final candidate but didn’t get it.

    • I would turn that into a rave. You got into the final pool which means you’re doing something right even if it didn’t get you the job. Hopefully some minor tweaks gets you the next one.

      • Thanks Spock but unfortunately, in this case, I don’t think so. Was for a major international organization so it’s not so easy to get to this point again.

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