Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user John Sonderman

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.

234 Comment

  • Rant: METRO. Normal 24 minute trip took an hour and 15 minutes with no explanation as to WHY.
    Rave: I can bike most everywhere I need to go.
    Rant: When I bike in a dress (like I did this morning) and it’s windy out, there’s a lot of potential for DC rush hour commuters to see my undergarments!
    Rant/Rave: Didn’t die in the crazy thunderstorms last night. I’m terrified of electric storms and so when the lightning started up while I was out at the barn, I made my way to safety while petrified.

  • RAVE: My supervisor called out sick today
    RAVE: Its going to be 70 degrees!
    RAVE: Boyfriend and I went for drinks last night after we fed the homeless
    RAVE: I took down 4 Ollie posters this weekend, a passer by yelled “did you find the dog” I was happy to reply yes 🙂 P.S There are still several signs up near Rhode Island Row, they are heavily taped so I couldn’t get them down.
    RANT/RAVE: I spent a ton of money this weekend redecorating my bedroom. It looks AMAZING!

  • Rave: My team won at trivia last night!
    Rave: Gorgeous day outside
    Rant: Lyft driver ignored my directions and took me the long way to work this morning. Last straw with them.

  • I Dont Get It

    Rant: The shoplifter at CVS who decided to leave through the same door I was exiting
    Rave: And he was taken down hard and given a little CVS Aisle Justice including
    Rave: Standing behind the counter facing the customers and made to take everything out of his backpack.
    Rave: My tulips are so tiptoeable this year!

    • I saw some CVS Justice a while back outside of the CVS near the Navy Memorial when the crook ran out the store and an employee ran after him and socked him.

  • Andie302

    Rant: Old work computer
    Rave: The lilacs are blooming 🙂
    Rave: Potential roommate interview tomorrow…fingers crossed that I don’t have to deal with a ton of craigslist responses, screenings, etc.
    Rant: June 1st move-in for the tenant because
    Rant: our house is neverrrr going to be finished.
    Rave: Just kidding, it will, eventually, be livable again. Here’s hoping to sooner rather than later!

    • Curious about where you you’ve spotted lilacs? I think I’ll go wandering after work and would love to get some photos and revel in the fragrance. It seems to me that they’re not all too common around town…

      • Andie302

        Because I love them so much, I know where the ones in my neighborhood are. They are definitely sporadic. I’ll be heading to the Arboretum this weekend where they have a huge selection. All the smells 🙂

        • I planted six different lilac cultivars at our old house, I love them so much. Pearly pink ones and double ones and deep purple ones. They’re probably huge now. So if you find yourself in West Philly…

        • Oh, good call on the Arboretum! I’ll stop over there before Kingman Island on Saturday!

          • topscallop

            I saw some for sale outside the Farragut West metro yesterday morning. I would have bought a bunch if I hadn’t been worried about them holding up on the metro.

          • Thanks for the tip, topscallop. I’ve got cash today and I’ll be in that neck of the woods. Hmmmm…

  • justinbc

    Rave: Dinner with friends at Thip Khao last night was incredibly good, especially since we stuck almost entirely to the Jungle Menu. I love their absurdly hot papaya salad.
    Reminder: PoPville HH tomorrow @ Dacha! Rain or shine! (if it does rain heavily we’ll do a make-up one next week too for those who don’t own umbrellas or are witches)

    • Accountering

      I forgot about this! I am in, should be great!

    • I’m going to try to make it for a beer, scheduling permitting. Does they still only have pretzels or is there more food now?

    • skj84

      I hope I don’t melt! 😉

    • No, you’re wrong: the papaya salad is too spicy! Overwhelms the other flavors.

      I ate their last night as well, and the service was overwhelmed. Bring the drinks, and clear the empty plates! But, I agree, the food was great.

      • justinbc

        Yeah, but it says on the menu “extremely spicy” 🙂 If you have a very high tolerance, you can still appreciate the other flavors without being overwhelmed, and if you really just want more flavor then take the peppers out. There are also milder versions on the regular menu. Personally, I’m glad to see a place go all in, since so many other places hold back.

        • Did you get the green papaya salad off the jungle menu? The waitress made me get the other one last time I was there, and I’m glad I did – I can’t even imagine the one off the jungle menu.

          • justinbc

            Yep the jungle menu one. I have had it before at Bangkok Golden, so I knew what to expect, and warned the rest of the table. It really is not for the timid, although just eating around the peppers really does reduce the heat level (my partner can’t handle too much so she used this trick and found it at least edible lol).

        • Someone complaining the item labeled extremely spicy is “too spicy”….
          Reminds of my serving days. LOL

          • justinbc

            Our server warned / confirmed like 3x haha, and said the table beside us got the regular one and had to send it back. It’s not as bad as the people who order tartare though and then return it because it’s raw.

    • Haven’t been impressed with Thip Khao, unfortunately. I find the food kind of bland (even when it’s HOT there’s no complexity of flavor, just overwhelming heat) and often strangely slimy. And it’s expensive! ThaiThanic II wasn’t special/trendy/different, but it was reliable, had friendly service, and affordable for a family on a random weeknight. As a neighbor, I miss them.

      • justinbc

        That’s interesting, I actually found it to be one of the most reasonably priced places I’ve been in a long time. I can understand the slimy texture thing, depending on which dishes are ordered. The pig’s ears salad definitely had that texture, as do most of the rice noodle dishes (but I think that’s just more indicative of the dish than the preparation). We certainly weren’t lacking for flavor on any dish, the only really hot one we had was the papaya salad.

      • I don’t think it’s expensive at all – We usually get 2-3 apps (including the sun-dried beef as my daughter’s entrée), the Naen Khao (Crispy Rice Salad), and Kaing Som (sour soup – I like the seafood, but it’s good with pork ribs or tofu, too), and a few drinks – that’s enough for 2 adults and one kid. (PS – the Kaing Som isn’t that spicy, but has excellent flavor.)

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rave: My pink dogwood is gorgeous this year. Also, fresh asparagus from the garden.
    Rave: This week’s big, all-day meeting #1 is done.
    Rant: Still another big, all-day meeting between me and the weekend.

  • Rave: Got to bed at 10pm last night.
    Rant: Still tired and headachy. Might need to locate some Tylenol 🙁
    Rave: Helped out a mom on her commute this morning by getting her younger boy to giggle & put him in a better mood. Both boys had these gorgeous curls!
    Rave: Lovely weather.

  • Rave: Weekend in New York. The red bikes are so much better in New York. They’re even blue.
    Rant: Can’t think of one. Weekend was too good.

  • Rant: Not a fan of whatever’s going on in my chest/face (cold) and all the yogurt I consume. Not a good combo.
    Rant: So. Tired. And feel so old.
    Rave: My son has started a game where he bring all the pillows to one spot (end of sofa, on bed, on floor, doesn’t matter), piles them up and jumps in them. It’s pretty funny to watch – pile pile pile JUMP.

  • Rave: Netipot made me feel a lot better this morning.
    Rave: White noise is doing wonders for my sleep except for
    Rant: A ridiculous dream where I ended up breaking someone’s shoulders/arms. He deserved it if that’s any consolation.
    Rant: Still waiting to hear from a long-term gig, but they’ve been keeping us updated about the nothingness.
    Rant/rave: Racist who assumed the guy who died in custody must have had a weapon, committed a crime, and generally deserved to have his neck broken. The word innocent in the article must have been missed. My friends aren’t racists and immediately jumped in to set the record straight.

  • Rant: water main break in Mt Pleasant = waking up to no running water

    Revel: filled a watering can and tea kettle and Brita before bed

    How long does it take to fix a main break?

  • Rave: Made strawberry short biscuits last night for dessert
    Rant: Commute took way longer today and it was sunny – DC drivers you baffle me.
    Rave: Its sunny – and DC is so gorgeous in the Spring. Don’t screw it up summer and come too early!
    Rave: All packed for the office move – way ahead of schedule. Love colleagues that reply all to messages that never require a reply to everyone.
    Rave: Sister was approved to become a subject of the Queen – will use her UK passport and sales tax exemption to my advantage during her trips home, and return the favor when I visit.

    • Foreigners are exempt from sales tax in the U.S.?

      • If you aren’t a permanent resident – at least in Washington State

      • That’s obviously not true as a general rule.

        • That’s why I was asking — I’d never heard anything of the sort. And sales tax in the U.S. is a state/municipal thing, whereas in most other countries I’m aware of, it’s a nationwide thing (VAT in the UK/Europe, “consumption tax” in Japan).

      • My understanding is that you can get a refund of sales tax if you’re a resident of another country. You can do it for european countries and Canada as a US citizen, but the application process has never seemed worthwhile to me since I don’t spend that much money when abroad.

        • Sounds like you’re talking about duty-free. This generally applies only if the purchases are for personal use and you are taking them out of the country.

          • There are lots of different rules regarding taxes. I know Canadians don’t have to pay taxes on casino/gambling winnings!

        • I know that Americans can get refunds of VAT (value-added tax) in the UK and (I think) Europe, but I think you’re eligible only if the purchase amount is above a certain level — like, you can’t get VAT refunds piecemeal for smaller purchases.

          • Not just Americans, obviously — non-residents. (Although I’m not sure if non-UK EU residents are eligible for UK VAT refunds.)

  • Rave: Resisting the siren song of fast-food breakfast.
    Rant: I really want fast-food breakfast. A bowl or two of cereal is just not enough.

    • Whenever I get that craving, the turkey bacon sandwich at Starbucks is pretty decent and not awful for you (assuming you don’t pair it with a venti calorie bomb of some sort).

      • The thing is, this craving is not just a once-in-a-while thing. More like almost every day.
        I’m not going for anything super-unhealthy — just egg-and-cheese sandwiches — but still, I probably shouldn’t be consuming them on a regular basis.

        • Why not? If you don’t have a cholesterol issue, it sounds like an ok breakfast. Throw in fruit/veg, and you’d have a balanced breakfast. Maybe do it at home, and it’ll be a bit healthier…multigrain bread, good cheese, etc.
          My fave breakfast is an avocado with an egg in the hole with bacon and cheese on top, baked for 20mins @ 400. Heaven! I mix it up between 2 eggs and just 1 egg split up.

        • justinbc

          I crave Bojangles cajun filet biscuit with cheese all the time, which is exactly why I don’t commute through Union Station!

        • I don’t cook (and am always in a hurry in the morning), so a cooked breakfast at home before going to work is a no-go.
          If I got just the one egg-and-cheese sandwich I’d probably be fine, but I always feel like I should go for the two-for-one deal. So this means I am getting TWO egg-and-cheese sandwiches (specifically, two Sausage Egg McMuffins without sausage, since that’s what McDonald’s has as its two-for-one deal). AND a caramel frappe, because I am a frappe addict.
          That combination works better at home, where I am more likely to put one sandwich in the fridge and save it for lunch.
          My cholesterol is within the normal range, but at the high end of normal.

          • Awww so it’s not the sandwich really, it’s a lack of self-control LOL
            Good luck on your sandwich quest. Maybe something like Starbucks would be “better”…at least you’ll get a healthier sandwich and no deals to entice you into getting 2 of them.

          • Yeah, the “deal” might be not such a deal after all. Too bad I don’t have a breakfast buddy to share it with!

    • justinbc

      Luckily I don’t really have the option of fast food breakfast, as there are none on my route (unless Starbucks counts).

    • Since Pete Wells last week wrote his ode to the bacon, egg and cheese sandwich, all I can think about is egg and cheese sandwiches. I’ve had them five out of the last seven days for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I say go for it!

  • Rave: last night’s storm – it was beautiful, boisterous, and cooled everything down.
    Rant: I have a case of the sleepies.
    Rave: humorous curmudgeons.
    Rant: the late-20s white woman in a navy dress who stepped on to the red line train in Cleveland Park and promptly set up shop blocking half the door on a not-very-crowded train. She is bad at mass transit.

  • laduvet

    Rave: Anyone going to the sweet life festival?

    Rant: Practicing patience for scholarship notification

    Rave: More clothing spring cleaning! Out with old and in with the new!

  • Rave: Starting to really feel better about myself after a month + of running nearly every day.
    Rant: Almost died in a lightning strike in an ill-timed run last night.
    Rave: Lots of fun activities planned for this weekend! Going to a concert, Anacostia cleanup, Kingman Island Bluegrass Festival, etc…

  • Rant: Mom left a nearly incoherent facebook message yesterday announcing they’d be in town for Mother’s Day, complained about restaurant crowds and then proceeded to ask me to make both brunch AND dinner reservations for them, preferably Indian or Japanese.
    Rave: The awesome folks at Rasika West End, who still let me book a dinner table for six of us. At least I get to eat really, really good Indian food!
    Rave: Quit while I was ahead and told them they’re on their own for brunch.

  • Rave: My 6 AM workout! I’ve done two intense early-morning workouts this week, and wow, what a difference in makes in my mood! I want to do all of the 6 AM workouts now.
    Rant that’s only half a rant: I have nearly every moment of my life scheduled for the next seven days, and not nearly enough time to myself. I know this is a good problem to have. But I think I need to get more serious about blocking out “me time” as if it’s just as important as time with others, if not more so.

  • Rave: Both my spouse and I managed to work from home on the same day, so we may be able to call it quits early to finish laying out the garden design with soil and mulch
    Rant: While the weather is lovely and cool, the lower temps will possibly make the soil too cold to actually plant the squash, cucumber, and pepper plants. Not entirely sure what to do with them at the moment.
    Rave: Falling asleep to the sounds of a thunderstorm is pure bliss.

    • I must say…. with that kind of opportunity, take a little bit of “couple time” if you know what I mean! It’s not all that common of an occurrence (but this coming from a long time single girl)

      • For us it’s actually a rather common occurrence. I work from home most days but my spouse only gets 2 days per week. But from the sound of the current conference call, work will be overtaking my spouse today (I hate when that happens).

  • jim_ed

    Rant: Trying to figure out who to vote for in the Ward 4 Councilmember race. The options are almost all terrible.
    Rave: The Kennedy Street Development Association put together a nice candidate questionnaire that helped me figure out who I want to vote for.
    Rant: The Nationals took away Bustin Loose as the official home run music. What the hell, Nats?
    Neither rant nor rave: I know I’m way late on this, but we watched the ‘Going Clear’ Scientology documentary recently, and Jesus does Marty Rathbun look like Tommy Wells.

    • gotryit

      I was impressed by Dwayne Tolliver at one of the debates that I went to. He seems competent (despite being a lawyer – hah!) and has been a positive force in the community. He also came off as strong / confident without being an a-hole.

    • Accountering

      Is he the guy? I am voting solely against Todd, yet 100% sure he will win unfortunately. Would love to vote for who is likely (maybe?) the closest competitor, but Renee Bowser is simply an idiot. Her bit about the scourage of pop-ups was so devoid of facts and showed such an ignorance of simple economics that I cannot vote for her, even as a protest vote.

  • Rave: Awesome thunderstorm last night. I love them.
    Rant: I am becoming a restless sleeper.
    Rave: Productive morning at work.

  • Rave: Watching the first storm last night (from safe inside my apartment) – really neat lightning show.
    Rant: Had trouble getting to sleep, and when I finally did I got woken up a couple of times by huge crashes of thunder from the later storm. So sleepy today!

  • Anonynon

    Rant: Lost our basketball game and in the process severely bruised my lower right ribs. I got the wind knocked out of me and couldn’t breathe properly for a few seconds…it was scary because it happened so fast. Needless to say I am in extreme discomfort today and it was really hard sleeping.
    Rave: Other stuff is going really good…I won’t go into details though 🙂
    Rave: still a great basketball season, I haven’t gained so much confidence from playing a sport..maybe ever. But its just intramurals 🙂
    Rant: Dont think ill make HH tomorrow night due to said ribs hurting 🙁

  • Pablo Raw

    Rave: PoPville HH
    Potential Rave: considering going to Kingsman Island this Sat. weather permitting
    Rave: new glasses
    Rant: new prescription

  • skj84

    Rant: Once again rejected from a job I really wanted.

    Rant: Proceeded to get into an argument with a friend over whether or not I was rejected because I didn’t wear a suit. It wasn’t like I rolled in wearing jeans and a sweatshirt. I had on a dress and jacket. Not to mention that is the most ridiculous reason to reject a potential candidate. I told her I didn’t want to work anywhere that that would be that petty over a candidates attire and she told me I was acting like a child. I know she is trying to look out for me, but I’m not looking for federal jobs or anywhere with conservative offices.

    • Dress + jacket is totally acceptable, and probably nicer-looking than a suit anyway. Your friend is being silly. What sector are you applying in?

      • Anonynon

        i usually don’t wear a suit and tie for interviews…blazer and slacks and nice leather dress shoes. I am kind of entry level though, so to me they aren’t paying me enough to have to wear a suit every day.

        • That’s intern-wear! Though I recognize that things are less formal than they once were. (dammit).

          • I must agree. Suit and tie should always be worn for interviews. We had a guy show up in slacks/blazer and the people who interviewed him could not get over his outfit choice.

          • Anonynon

            The work tie is already dead IMO. I don’t understand the practical value of them, other than trying to make the shirt you wear every day slightly different by changing in and out a new tie each day.

          • Wearing a suit everyday isn’t the same as wearing it for an interview. I agree suits for interviews all the way.

          • “The work tie is already dead IMO.”
            The one I’m currently wearing would disagree with you. When did a necktie ever have a practical value? Did they used to use them as napkins or something?

          • +1, suits + ties for interviews. I even wear a suit with a nice basic top. (And people should get with the skinny ties if normal ties aren’t their things. They look great.)

          • You can’t just declare the work tie “dead” because you hate to wear them. In most industries and in government, senior people wear ties. It may or may not be fair — I enjoy putting on a nice suit and tie for work, so I’m not entirely objective — but people in a lot of fields see dressing “appropriately” as a signal of seriousness and respect, and dressing “inappropriately” as a sign of immaturity, or at least not “getting it.”

          • “the work tie is already dead IMO. I don’t understand the practical value of them, other than trying to make the shirt you wear every day slightly different by changing in and out a new tie each day.”

            If practical value was the standard we could stop the frivolousness of wearing collared shirts without a tie.

          • The entry-level guy thinks work ties are dead. Oh the irony!

          • Anonynon

            I just always see the tie as something that tries to make a bad fitting collard dress shirt look ‘ok’

          • @ Irving Streete clearly gets it.

          • Agreed with Irving Streete.

          • Allison

            Bring back the cravat!

          • justinbc

            This thread is pretty funny. The job I have now (5 years) I interviewed wearing a polo and jeans. I wouldn’t normally have, but they called me while I was at the job I already had, and it was a casual Friday, but they wanted me to come in ASAP. So I told them and they said come in anyway, and it was a perfect personality fit that I knew I would join right away. Obviously there were mitigating circumstances, but living by this “ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS” mentality is just silly. If it’s the right fit for you they won’t care what you’re wearing, unless you just happen to be uptight yourself.

          • justinbc

            Or I should say, they won’t place as much emphasis on what you’re wearing, compared to the quality that you bring to the table. You are the one doing the job, not your tie.

      • skj84

        Mostly sales. My job on Sat was for Event Coordinator in a restaurant.

        • Was it a fine dining place? If so, then suit would be more appropriate. Every place is different, but I know of places on the upper end where event people wear suits everyday.

      • FWIW – Ties may have originated from the fox hunt field. We still wear stock ties in the hunt field (on horse back) due to the potential need to use it as a sling or splint, stem bleeding, makeshift leadrope or dog collar, etc. That was it’s original purpose and as tradition dictates, we carry it on. Maybe ties in the work place are a part of that as well?

        • justinbc

          Very interesting bit of history, I’ve often wondered wtf their purpose is other than to cause discomfort, but never bothered to research it!

          • I always figured the original purpose of a tie was to keep your shirt closed. And a very close second, to add aesthetic value, since the original ones were all silk and lace and other foppery.

    • I think arriving in a suit (and tie for men) shows a bit of respect to the job.
      Then once you are hired you can make your adjustments to follow the office dress code.
      But first interview = suit. But that’s just me.

    • If it’s a job you really want, why not go whole hog and wear a suit? I agree that it’s likely not the reason that you didn’t get the job. On the other hand, you have someone making quick judgment about someone they may have to work with for years — every little bit counts. Admittedly, when I interview, there’s really no question that I’m wearing a suit, so we may not be running in the same types of circles.
      Just curious: what position were you interviewing for , what position did your interviewer hold and what has he or she wearing?

      • skj84

        The interviewer was wearing jeans. It was for an event coordinator position in a restaurant. I get that suits are the ultimate professional look, but for this particular position I don’t think attire was the issue.

    • I decided about a year ago that I just don’t do suits (whether a skirt or a pants suit); they look terrible on me. My uniform of choice when going to conferences and/or important business meetings is a sheath dress with a blazer over it. I think it is a perfectly acceptable substitute. And for what it is worth, I work in a fairly conservative industry.

      • I haven’t worn a suit to an interview since I was just out of college. In most of my last few interviews, I was doing the interview during a workday, so it would have looked suspicious if I’d been really dressed up.

      • I don’t know what a sheath dress is, but your comment make me think of this: “dress” covers a pretty broad range of attire. I’ve interviewed women whose choice of dress was barely something I noticed, and I’ve interviewed women whose choice of dress was wildly inappropriate for an interview (sorry, I know I’m a dude but I do not want to see cleavage and/or your thighs right now.) I suspect sheath dress with a blazer probably falls into the former category.

        • An interviewer dude can certainly express his opinion on the dress of the people he sees. I’m sure women interviewers feel the same way. Some women (and men) really don’t get how to dress appropriately.

          • True. In my experience there is less variation in what men wear to interviews, and certainly in terms of visible skin.

          • Yeah — for both “business attire” and “business casual,” things are pretty clear-cut for men, but more nebulous for women.

      • skj84

        That’s my major issue with suits: they are hard to fit. I have wonky proportions and usually default to dresses, sheath or wrap. I have a great basic black dress I like to wear. Sleeveless with a modest scoop neckline the hem hits right above my knees. Can pair with a jacket when I want to look formal or sweater if I’m going casual. Unfortunately it was in my laundry pile on Sat.

  • Rant & Rave: Ordering the Lucky Charms (ONLY!) marshmallows. So good, but so addicting, and I’m paying for it on the scale.
    Rant: Need to learn better about moderation!

  • We caught a robber in the ally behind 1300 block of Taylor St. NW last night. At about 2:00 AM two suspects held up the victim and his father with a knives and took their wallet and cell phone at 14th and Upsher St. NW. One robber was then chased by the victims and others to the ally and cornered until police arrived, a knife was recovered. The robber sustained minor injuries during the chase but got off easy as far as i’m concerned. Lock em up!

    • HaileUnlikely

      Good. This obviously entailed some risk on the part of the victims as well as whoever else was involved in the pursuit, but I am glad for the result.
      Some of the robberies lately (not this one, 2 AM in an alley with a knife) have been unbelievably brazen. I received an SMS alert a little after 5 PM yesterday for a robbery on the 900 block of Kennedy St NW with a lookout for 4 suspects ages 16-18, all with guns (i.e., not 4 guys with 1 gun total, 4 guys all of whom had guns). Insane.

      • Allison

        Huh. I’m no math expert, but with that many guns you’d figure it would be more efficient for them to split up.

        • HaileUnlikely

          On the other hand, this was one block from the venue of the homicide that yielded the epic arrest warrant in which a witness told the police that he was in the neighborhood for the purpose of buying drugs from the suspect, saw shoot the victim, called 911 to report it, and then went to the suspect’s house to buy drugs as intended. I have no knowledge that the suspects or victim were in any way involved with drugs, but with 4 guys / 4 guns robbing 1 guy in broad daylight, I can’t help but wonder…

      • I got the same alert and was a bit supervised 4 guns were used to rob one person. The cops who showed up at the Taylor St robbery initially thought the Kennedy St. robbery was related… it was not.

  • skj84

    Crowd sourced question: decided to get out of the house and do my work at a coffee shop today. Was going to do Tryst but worried I may not be able to get a table by an outlet. Where else do people recommend? Also considering The Coffee Bar.

    • Highline RxR in Crystal City if you wanna take a ride. They bill themselves as very work friendly.

    • I really like the Coffee Bar. Also, the muffin place at Shaw metro is pretty work friendly and there’s always seats available. Bistro Bohem is good too.

    • Blithe

      Not a recommendation — but at some point I plan to try the new place on the Cathedral grounds. Has anybody been yet? Or skj84 — are you up for scouting it out? I like the courtyard at the Portrait Gallery — but I don’t know if there are any outlets there.

      • skj84

        Oh, the new Tryst! I actually would be cool to check the new location out. I like the Portrait Gallery, but they do not have outlets.

    • I think someone once mentioned in RRRR about going to a large hotel and doing work in the lobby or other random area where you would have access. If it’s one of the big conference center type places downtown, there are tons of places for you to seclude yourself w/o it being weird. Every time I’m now in a hotel, I glance around for areas where this would be appropriate and almost always spot something that would work.

    • justinbc

      The Coffee Bar and Blind Dog Cafe are two favorites.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: sick as a dog
    Rave: lungs are clear, for now
    Rant: doctor is not a Dr Feelgood
    Rave: she told me to stay home the rest of the week
    Rant: don’t have enough sick leave to do that
    Rave: Donna is taking good care of me.

  • Blithe

    Rant/Query: Talking with a friend who has an underwater mortgage and is caught up in the whole B of A/Countrywide mess. I’m trying to find out if MD has any advocacy programs or re-financing programs that can help. If anyone has suggestions that I can pass on to my friend, I’d appreciate it!
    Rave: Dogwood! And still a few daffodils out there!
    Rave: Giving away a stack of books to someone who will really put them to good use. This is motivating me to cull a few more, and to get started on my closets.
    Rave: Strawberries! And Blackberries! And Asparagus! Ahhhh: Spring has finally sprung!

    • Re your Rant/Query: Maryland Legal Aid should be able to point your friend toward the relevant organizations. www dot mdlab dot org. Fortunately/unfortunately, there are a ton of folks in the same position, so Legal Aid should have a list of referral organizations at the ready.

    • Re: your friend, have them get in contact with the District Office of their Maryland Member of Congress. They often have some capability to help.

    • Curious- What part of MD are they located? I would’ve thought that most underwater mortgages would’ve recovered their value or at least purchase price with the current state of the market.

      • Blithe

        My limited understanding is that the mortgage was underwater when they sought to refinance. If this is based on info that is a few years old, would it make sense for them to get the value of the house re-assessed?

      • “I would’ve thought that most underwater mortgages would’ve recovered their value or at least purchase price with the current state of the market.”
        Broadly speaking I don’t think house prices in the greater DC Metro area have rebounded to their pre-crash values. I know folks in Loudon county who bought 10 years ago and their house is worth less now than when they bought it. Of course that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re underwater, but house prices have struggled in some areas. I think PG county is one as well.

        • Yeah — I remember reading in the Washington Post that PG County has been recovering from the housing crash more slowly than other suburban counties.

    • Blithe

      Thank you all for your suggestions! I’m trying to talk with someone at the MD State Attorney General’s office — which has a consumer affairs division. My friends live in PG. And their goal is not to go into foreclosure but to keep their home and refinance. I don’t know all of the details, but I do know that at one point they were told that in order to refinance from an adjustable rate mortgage to a fixed rate, they needed to stop making payments and go into foreclosure so that they would then be eligible for refinancing programs. Some of the stuff sounds crazy and criminal.

      • Your friend could also see if they qualify for any HUD single family assistance like the FHA refinance assistance program. Also, the CFBP is the federal agency in charge of federal consumer protection.

  • Trying to cut some weight before my Euro trip (2 weeks!), made a goal to try and lose at least 5 pounds over the next 3 weeks (starting with last week). Realistically I’d like to lose 10, but we’ll see. Weighed myself this morning and I’m down 3 pounds after a week. I’ve cut out soda (not entirely, but it’s very rare now), eating healthier. I feel like after I’ve put myself through all this struggle, I’ll treat myself to gelato and Italian food. Girlfriend already knows it’s going down!

    • I meant to ask in your previous query about carrying cash, etc. in Europe… where will you be keeping the ring?? 🙂

      • Still figuring it out, to the point it’s keeping me up at night lol. I have two choices: bring it with me and carry it around. I have it insured, and I’m proposing the second full day we’re there, or keep it in the safe. Second choice was to bring a fake ring and propose with that, but since its a surprise proposal w/pics being taken I’m not sure if that’s an option. I did buy a neck wallet, which I can wrap around my neck and put it under my clothes. Thoughts?

        • justinbc

          I used a fake ring, FWIW. And it’s a damn good thing too, since she was so surprised she almost dropped it in the sand.

          • LOL!
            Domrep, are you going to be proposing on the bridge? Or is putting a lock on the bridge a separate activity?

        • justinbc

          Also, I should point out, that unless you know it’s perfectly sized already then it might be a bit loose on her, and you’ll either want to get it sized immediately while there or expect her not to wear it (all the more reason to just use a fake one).

          • Yep we went ring shopping and had her finger sized. I think the jeweler said he would do it at no charge, can’t remember him saying that though lol. Textdoc, I picked Pont de Bir-Hakeim as the location. I wanted it to be less obvious. Based on what the photographer told me, it’s less touristy, and the pics would have the Eiffel tower as a back drop.

          • justinbc

            The actual ring might be slightly different in size than the ring sizing, so expect to get it resized at least once. We’re going back for her second resizing this week, it’s really difficult with tiny fingers and a top heavy setting apparently. Lady problems…

          • The more I think about it, the more I like Justin’s idea of using a fake ring for the proposal and leaving the real ring at home.

          • justinbc

            If I had been going to Paris rather than Africa (plus a long layover in Brussels where I got out and toured around for half a day then back through security) I probably wouldn’t have been as cautious, although I have heard the pickpocketing in Paris is exceptionally dreadful, but for the most part near tourist destinations. I honestly just didn’t trust myself + her to not lose it abroad (especially with it not fitting perfectly) for a 3 week trip, or to be stolen if we had to leave it in the room.

      • BTW, I thought of your earlier question when I saw this article in the New York Times about using credit cards, cash, etc. abroad:

    • In my experience you walk so much touring around europe in the summer that the gelato, pizza, and wine just disappear! That’s why Italy is so magical…

  • I Dont Get It

    Rant: I still can’t discuss Jazz Salad due to that whole CIA thing.
    Rant: If you’re judging me for clipping my fingernails in the Men’s Room today I did it in the Handicap stall and no one else was in there. It’s called manners, people!
    Rant: Me again. I forget to thank Shawess for her review of THC.

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