Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user L. Shanley

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.

321 Comment

  • justinbc

    FYI: Looking at upcoming dates for May PoP HH and tentatively leaning towards the 21st (a Thursday) at Bluejacket. There’s no Nats game that day, so hopefully it will alleviate some of the crowds.

    • tonyr

      I’ll be out of town that week, to give me the best excuse ever. I have to attend a training class in Cleveland where I’ll learn how to climb poles (the telephone, not Chopin, version). I’ve already completed the on-line training and can now identify poisonous spiders and snakes.

  • Rant: Over-40-year-old male colleagues who have issues with women, thus making it incredibly difficult to do my job.
    Rave: Hangout/date(?) this weekend planned. Looking forward to beer and spending quality time outdoors with a cool person.
    Rave: May PoPville happy hour that I might actually be able to attend! HOOPLA!

  • Rave: I had an amazing burger yesterday that still makes me smile when I think about it: bacon, brie and hand cut thick potato chips on top of the burger (and the bun was grilled). Bliss.

    Rave: A full night’s sleep. Also bliss.

    Rave: Beautiful weather!

    Rant: This stupid color printer is still not doing what it is supposed to be doing. It has one job, ONE. And it fails. (And my boss won’t let me go to Kinkos and just print everything out because I am supposed to use our internal resources.) I told him his documents for his deposition should be ready to go approximately an hour before he has to leave for the airport in two weeks the way this is going. He seems okay with this so I am trying to be zen.

  • Rave: Holy moly, Nats. What a game last night!
    Rave: Finally (after 6 years!!!) set up our hammock on our back deck this past weekend. Can’t believe how easy it is to put up/take down. It was lovely. I look forward to many relaxing hammock experiences in the coming months.
    Rave (mostly): we decided that I’ll travel for my conference in 6 weeks by myself instead of bringing the wife and kid. Hotel bed to myself for 2-3 nights, here I come!
    Rave: Loving this weather. Will have to go for a walk this afternoon.

    • jim_ed

      As soon as Uggla swung I started laughing uncontrollably because everyone knew it was gone, and Dan Uggla getting paid $12 M this season by the Barves to come back and humiliate them is the ultimate trolling.

    • skj84

      Oh, I love hammocks. They are the ultimate in outdoor relaxation. I’ve been debating purchasing one. What kind do you have?

      • We have a travel one that you can take camping, etc. We also bought a set of straps with loops to make it easy to put it up/take it down–works great on the pergola on our back deck, and we can just put it up when we want to use it & not worry about weather-related wear & tear. I believe the brand for both is Eno. We got them at REI.

      • Emmaleigh504

        When my aunt was in Belize with the Peace Corps she slept in a hammock. She was living in a wee tiny room and at night she just strung it across the room to sleep. She had industiral hooks on the wall.Then in the morning should took it down. The ultimate Murphy Bed.

      • hammock camper here!!
        my hammock is an eno
        i use whoopie slings as my suspension (you will find the straps that come with eno are much heavier and tend to stretch out while in use)
        and have a war bonnet superfly tarp (this thing is AWESOME)

      • I have one in my studio / living room/ area ?? I love it — perfect for reading (which inevitably becomes napping).

        Woot actually has camping hammocks for sale today (I bought 2!). Seriously check them out.

      • Rave: Date last night went really well, which is a relief bc I thought he was getting sick of me / cooling off / etc.
        Rave: versatile clothing = no one realizes I’m wearing the same dress as yesterday.
        Rant: Wearing contacts means I can’t see anything today, least of all my computer.
        Rant: All my friends’ parents are sick / injured / ill in some way and I can’t do anything to fix it.
        Also rant: Maybe my friend is telling me something I don’t want to hear, but it feels very pot/kettle.
        Rave: 97% of my fb community understands / agrees with my SJW sensibilities re: Baltimore
        Rave: Checking out a brand new bar tonight, Bar Civita in Woodley Park.

  • Rave: Weather and all the spring smells…can’t help be all raves/revels today!
    Rave: New office – move went well and despite losing a view of the river its pretty nice.
    Rave: Massage tonight after two marathons in two weeks – never doing that again!

  • Rant: People have private conversations with speakers on at work
    Rant: Using speakers should not be allowed in cubicles (regardless of if the conversation is private or work-related, we have a bunch of 30 minutes rooms for this purpose)!
    Rant: This lady does this every single day and she yell at her family with the speaker on, it amazing how rude people can be!!
    Rave: It is only 9:46, this day can still turn around.

    • Its even difficult with offices. My coworker insists on calling her mother for EVERYTHING. My coworker, who is over 40, calls her mother about home repairs, picking up her child etc. She talks at the top of her lungs with her door open. I don’t care about her car repair service or when the plumber is coming over. -_-

      • Emmaleigh504

        I hate the people at my work who use speaker to dial, but pick up when someone answers. I do not want to hear your phone calling someone else! And it’s always at top volume. We have volume controls people!

  • Rave: Starting to look at condos to buy.
    Rant: Slightly terrified about making the “wrong” decision so I keep looking for tiny things I hate about every place I see and talk myself out of it.
    ??: Thinking about going red but not sure if it’ll look good with my complexion. Does anyone here have dark brown hair and dye their hair with henna?
    Rave: BF’s cat who has been slow to warm up to me curled up next to/on me and slept there all night.

    • Pablo Raw

      I know a red hair who uses henna and you too 😉

    • Ahah your first rant is also how I am about dating…
      I use henna! Although I went from blonde to red. Honestly, it won’t show up much over your hair unless you bleach it first. It’ll just be a red tint in sunlight. You should take a look at the websites mehandi or hennaforhair, they have a lot of information and before and after photos. I personally love henna and I’ve been using it for about 7 years.

      • Oo thanks! I’ll take a look. A red tint in the sunlight might be a good start for me! Although that’s kind of what my natural hair does anyway… Hmm. Is it super messy and do you really have to sit with henna in your hair for 3+ hours?

        • It is fairly messy, since it’s the consistency of mud or yogurt. I haven’t had a problem with it staining the bathtub or sink or anything though (but definitely get gloves because your skin soaks it up, I had a doctor freak out on me when I came in for a checkup with orange hands after dyeing without gloves). You generally want to leave it on for at least a couple of hours for the dye to get properly absorbed – you also make the henna up and leave it overnight/for 8 hours or so to let the dye fully release before you put it in your hair. However, it’s also really permanent and I rarely dye it all over – I mostly just touch up my roots every six weeks or so, so that makes it easier too.
          One of my friends with dark hair like yours tried henna, and didn’t see too much of a difference. But it also makes hair shinier (and mine stronger, since it was very fine) – it’s a lot better for your hair than most hair dyes.

          • Most permanent hair dyes are pretty bad for your hair. The chemical nonpermanent kinds (the ones that wash out after a month or two) aren’t as bad as the chemical permanent ones. If you’re trying to go from a darker color to a lighter one, the chemical strippers are really, really bad for your hair.
            Henna is actually good for your hair — you can also get it in versions that don’t affect the color at all.
            I had a weird Proustian moment the first time I was rubbing catnip pieces for my cat and initially couldn’t figure out why it smelled so familiar — I later realized that it reminded me of the smell of henna. 🙂

          • Exactly. 🙂 And yeah, henna does have a fairly strong smell the first few days! I don’t think it’s particularly unpleasant, but some people really don’t like it.

      • Allison

        Holy crap I thought you were a natural red, littlen. Nice job!

    • I haven’t used henna, but I do have medium/dark brown hair and have dyed w/o bleaching. It largely looks like tinting or highlights–which I actually kind of like.

    • SKT, have you thought about taking a first time home buyers course? I know a lot of friends who did that before purchasing their first place, and it seems to help boost their confidence throughout the process. Good luck!

      • My brother recently bought in DC so I’ve been relying on him for the most part but that might be a good idea. Thanks for the suggestion!

      • Do you know if your friends recommend the courses they took? We’re still more than a year away from buying our first home but I feel like it would help me prepare if I knew what I was preparing FOR, so I’ve started looking into what courses are out there. Any suggestions welcome and appreciated!

    • My understanding (based on briefly experimenting with henna when I was in high school) is that you have to go from lighter to darker — henna won’t do much (if anything) if your hair is already dark-colored.

      • Darn. That’s what I was worried about. I definitely don’t want to bleach first so I might just go the traditional dye route like mtpresident.

        • Honestly, regular dye unless you bleach it isn’t going to have much more effect with hair as dark as yours – and regular red dye doesn’t last very long. That’s the problem with dark hair, not much shows up unless it gets lightened. =/ I have a similar problem because my hair has darkened over years of using henna (I like the bright coppery red color rather than darker red). I lighten it gradually with Sun In over a few weeks before re-dyeing it sometimes, haha.
          If you want to do a strand test with henna, I have some at home so you can try it out without buying any.

          • That would be fabulous! Thanks! Okonomiyaki + henna party? 🙂
            And oh man, Sun In. Haha. I used to love that stuff!

          • YESSS. That is a fabulous idea. 😀
            Haha I know (although I didn’t actually know anything about it until I looked for ways to gently lighten my hair), but it actually works pretty well and doesn’t seem to damage my hair, so!

    • My advice is to keep in mind what can be changed, and what can’t be changed about a condo and the building it is in. From my experience of looking off an on for almost three years before I bought, we tend to focus too much on the unit we are potentially buying, and not enough on the building. Get a building inspection – as a partial owner, you are responsible for part of its upkeep. What needs to be changed in your unit you have the power to change (as long as you have the $) – what needs to be fixed about the building is in the control of the board, and the managing agent if the building is large and has one, that is, is not self-managed. Don’t expect that things that any rational board would want to fix will be fixed. A lot of this comes down to intangible things. that you need to pay attention to when buying. I bought in a building that was structurally sound, and cheap on the monthly fees but with a very healthy reserve fund. BUT I didn’t pay attention to the fact that the deferred maintenance on the old building was not a result of just nobody taking charge to get stuff done (which I figured could get done with a bunch of new owners all buying around the same time), but rather that repair was blocked by one owner (small building) who was somewhat crazy and didn’t want to fix things. And I also didn’t pay attention to a warning that this crazy person would make life miserable, which she did. So, accept that the building is as it is for reasons you can’t change, and make a decision on it accordingly. And run at any slight sign of owner or board dysfunction – if you can see it in the bidding/buying process, it is just the tip of the iceberg. And think seriously about whether you want to buy in small, self-managed building – I won’t do that again.

      • Thanks for this. I will definitely keep this in mind when looking at places. And sorry you had a difficult time with that one owner. 🙁

    • skj84

      My hair is naturally dark and I’ve been ginger this past year. I didn’t use henna though, I think my stylist used Wella products? Would you want to try highlight before going full red first? I will say,as much as I love it red is a difficult color to maintain. Your hair will “bleed” when you get it wet, and the color fades fast.

      • I actually have red/copper (?) highlights right now and just want more of that color but don’t want to pay another $120+ to get more highlights. :-/

    • Blithe

      I’ve never used henna, but I’ve heard good things about the line of henna products at Lush. The staff at the Georgetown store is super helpful, so you might want to take your henna questions to them, just to see what they recommend.

    • Go to lots of open houses, even in neighborhoods you might not know about, and have a good handle on how much you can afford. You’ll start to feel like you know what is “you.” When you are really ready you’ll need to have all your financing lined up in advance – the good flats go FAST. When we were shopping I had a few rules of thumb. Never buy something you can’t rent out for as much as you pay in mortgage. Fireplace, some outdoor space for grilling and an in-unit, W/D, D/W are non-negotiable. I find laundry rooms depressing and not very safe for a woman alone. Our first condo in Adams Morgan was tiny but it had everything we needed except parking and a great location. Now it is worth 5X what we paid and we can afford to give our tenant a break on market rate rent. Also avoid high condo fees unless it comes with a male model that gives you massages by the pool.

      • I think “[f]ireplace, some outdoor space for grilling” aren’t must-haves for most people — I certainly didn’t require them when condo-hunting. Even not having an in-unit washer/dryer isn’t a dealbreaker for some people (though having one is certainly a big plus).
        I think touring a lot of places helps you get a handle on what your must-haves are as far as configuration, amenities, etc. I remember seeing a place that had only a shower, not a tub. Although I hardly ever use a tub, I realized that I did want to have the _option_ of using one. And the more places I toured, the more I realized that a dishwasher was also a must-have for me — I could tolerate washing dishes as a renter, but I didn’t want to pay lots of money to buy a place and still have to hand-wash dishes.

        • Allison

          Oh yeah, bathtubs are a must have for me too. I just don’t understand all these new “stylish” homes that are choosing to only put in walk-in showers. Even if a person doesn’t take baths, the tub is really useful for other purposes, like washing large objects, or if something really messy happens. It doesn’t have to be a big jacuzzi or anything, but give me something!

      • Accountering

        A good rule of thumb is that it needs to rent for at LEAST $550 per $100,000. If you find something that does this, you should be in pretty good shape.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: feeling blue. Hoping it’s because I’m still exhausted from being sick last week and not the beginning of something.
    Rave: The little grove of trees on Calvert by Kinkos is beautiful. Such a great mix of colors and sizes.

    • Oh no! I hope you feel better soon.

      Would it cheer you up to know that your enabling paid off and I am now the proud owner of a lovely and gigantic new dining table? I love it so much.

    • I Dont Get It

      Do you need your spleen back?

    • Blithe

      My current obsession of choice is Kneipp bath products — and they have several fragrances that purport to lift the spirits . Rodman’s has lots, including a couple of sets with multiple fragrances. I also find shopping to be healing. Do you have any shopping goals that the PoPulace can help with? 😉

      • Emmaleigh504

        Are you trying to enable me to buy stuff? Cuz I would love to spend my rent money (for several months) on a Dior handbag 🙂

        • Blithe

          Not enabling….ENCOURAGING! A Dior handbag is a classic. Something that will add elegance and happiness to your life on a daily basis for decades, that might also be a legacy for future generations. By the time you’re done, the cost per wearing AND the cost per moment of enjoyment will be pretty close to zero. I’d say that it sounds like an excellent investment, especially if you add in all that you’ll be saving from your healthcare budget if the purchase lifts your spirits, aids in your recuperation from your recent illness, and helps you avoid a relapse!
          — That said, Pay the rent first though.

          • I support *everything* Blithe just said.

          • Emmaleigh504

            “if you add in all that you’ll be saving from your healthcare budget if the purchase lifts your spirits, aids in your recuperation from your recent illness, and helps you avoid a relapse!” this is really good justification. And Dior did leave a message the other day saying they had some new stuff…

          • I’ll add one more justification: If you ever do grow tired of the bag, you can rest assured that it will have great resale value.
            Also, if you don’t mind buying someone else’s gently used bag, you could check places like ebay and Vestiare Collective to see if you might find any discounts.

          • Emmaleigh504

            I just got one from ebay that I’ve been wanting forever. It’s great to get a deal, but there’s something magical about Dior stores that makes paying full price not hurt.

  • Rave: Stress baking. While the stress that led to the major baking session last night sucks, it was awesome to wake up to homemade bagels for breakfast.
    Rave: Wife is taking off an extra day before the Memorial Day weekend. I think a mini-getaway may be in order.
    Rave: Warm weather today means I may be able to take the grill out for it’s first time since the fall. I think there’s some duck breast in the freezer begging to go on the grill.

    • Homemade bagels??? That sounds AMAZING! Are they hard to make?

      • While I’ve never done it, I have a former coworker who used to make fresh everything bagels every weekend and bring them in from time to time. Good coworker!

      • It’s not hard at all! The first couple of times may be awkward since you have to boil the bagels before baking but after you get the hang of it, it’s pretty easy. And it tastes amazing compared to most of the bagels I’ve had in DC.

        • Do you have a recipe you can share?

          • The basic recipe I use is this: http://www.sophisticatedgourmet.com/2009/10/new-york-style-bagel-recipe/

            I’ve been playing with this recipe for years and it always comes out perfectly (even with a GF flour mix). I always make the dough the night before and leave it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, I take it out of the fridge a half hour before boiling/baking it.

          • I use the New York-Sty

          • Oops. I use the New York-Style Bagel Recipe that can be found on the Sophisticated Gourmet website. It’s the best basic recipe I’ve ever found and can even be made with a GF flour mix. I always make the dough the night before and leave it in the fridge overnight. The next morning, I take it out for half an hour to warm up a bit before boiling/baking it. It’s pretty easy.

          • Thank you! I’ll have to try it out!

          • Can you share what brand of GF flour you’ve used successfully? I’ve found they aren’t all created equal for various baking tasks

          • I use Pamela’s for everything. For the bagels, I use the Pamela’s bread mix. I have celiac disease so I’ve used pretty much tried most of the GF flour mixes on the market and it’s the one that seems to work the best in my recipes.

        • Blithe

          Thanks for sharing the recipe! I’ve never been brave enough to venture into the world of yeast baking, so this looks like a great first step.

    • Hello fellow stress baker! I like experimenting with chocolate chip cookie recipes when I’m stressed. 🙂

      • Yay! I love knowing that I’m not the only one who stress bakes. Cookies used to be my go-to stress baking choice but my wife has asked me to limit my cookie baking after I baked 4 different varieties of cookies in one afternoon while my mom was having surgery.

      • I stress-baked last night and then stress-broke down this morning when my creation looked awful after transporting it…Solution? Consume my stress-baked baked goods myself, right?

  • Rave: That picture! 🙂
    Rave: Sleep. I love sleep. I love waking up when it’s already light out. For once, waking up at 7 felt like sleeping in.
    Rave: Weather today looks to be lovely.
    Rant: Another 13 hour day today, and we won’t be fed dinner despite working until ~10 pm. Stocked up on granola bars, peanuts, and other snacks to sneakily eat when I get a chance.
    Rave: At least it’s another neat experience, despite the above. Things should calm down for me after today as well, so not too much longer!

  • Rave: Weather.
    Rant: I seem to have misplaced my Federal “Go Card” and cant buy smartTrip benefits until I find it or order a new one. :-/
    Rave: This is my 1st day in the office today
    Rant: I spent the entire Tuesday with one of my close friends and her 6 year old. He is a spoiled brat and misbehaves regularly. It really makes me sad. My friend is doing her best to raise her child as a single mom but he really needs discipline. He even called the bus driver an idiot. At 6 years old. :-/
    Rave: Happy Hour with old coworkers today. Great Hair WEEK. Margaritas.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant/RAve: dude who answers the phone not with hello but jumping right inot a conversation we had yesterday. So confusing this early in the morning. But efficient?

  • Rant: Just had offer #5 rejected. We offered 60 over asking, but there were 8 total offers. I feel like we will never find a house in DC 🙁

    • Oh, wow. That’s crazy. I’m sorry!

    • Accountering

      This is what frustrated me so much in the post when there were several people here commenting about how it would be okay to dislike someone who bought in a pop-up. What is she supposed to do when she has had 5 offers rejected already… literally not be able to purchase a home – because a neighbor would be offended to have his precious roof line altered on his block?
      So sorry you are going through this. Another friend of mine is in a similar spot. He just got his 3rd offer rejected. Keep your head up… It will come through eventually!

      • Accountering

        I guess the frustrating part is there are people in DC (presumably homeowners) who think that Abby should rule out houses in her search, thus making it even harder to find a house, in the hope that somehow, this would prevent other developers from doing pop-ups.
        Or neighbors who would hold it against her, if she finally is able to buy a place, on her 6th, or 8th, or 12th try, that the previous owner/developer invested in a very likely shell of a house and built a pop-up.

        • I agree with you and was really ticked to see people here trying to shame someone for living in a popup, especially other homeowners who have obviously been through the process of buying a place. Buying real estate is a process littered with compromises and those are personal decisions. It doesn’t matter how many offers you’ve had rejected, no one should be made to feel ashamed of their homes by self righteous neighbors who weren’t involved in the purchase process.
          Unless your budget is limitless you’re not always going to get what you want and everyone’s priorities are different.

          • Emmaleigh504

            +1 to all of this. People have different tastes. One persons ugly condo/house/apartment is another person’s cool condo/house/apartment.

          • Jeslett, perhaps you take this personally, as someone who (IIRC) lives in a condo in a popped-up building.
            I’m not sure that anyone was trying to make pop-up residents feel “ashamed” — more saying that it’s not entirely surprising that neighbors might not exactly embrace pop-up residents. There is no excuse for being rude to neighbors, ever. But many people perceive pop-ups as ugly. If no one were willing to buy pop-ups, there would be no market for them. So it’s not surprising that neighbors might feel ambivalent about the buyers who made those pop-ups — which they perceive as ugliness — possible. You might not agree with their objections, but their objections still exist. (Just like neighbors might not be thrilled with someone who tears down a house and builds a replacement they perceive as ugly.)
            Maybe you don’t care what other buildings on your block look like. That’s fine… but it doesn’t negate the fact that many people do care, and that those opinions exist whether you agree with them or not. “Love the pop-up resident, hate the pop-up” is a rather tall order under those circumstances.

          • #1. I do not live in a pop up, I live in a medium sized multi-unit building that had been abandoned and boarded up. It is the largest building on a mostly row house street. I do feel like something of an interloper on a quiet block with many long time residents. I try to be friendly to everyone, though I’m sure many aren’t thrilled with an influx of 20 and 30 something brand new condo owners.
            #2. I care very, very much about aesthetics. I care very much about my neighborhood and being a good neighbor. I care more about the fact that housing in this city is insanely expensive, hard to come by, and heavily constrained. I also care more about the rights of property owners, be they residents or developers, than I do about the opinions of neighbors (within legal and zoning constraints, of course).
            You will never end the market for pop-ups, even ugly ones, because there are so many people clamoring to live here. I’m being realistic about it and having empathy for people who’s priorities are different than mine.

          • justinbc

            At the end of the day all that matters is that you paid for your place, not someone else. I wanted to paint my house black, so I did. I didn’t ask permission, nor forgiveness, because it’s my house. If someone has a problem with that they’re more than welcome to fork over a larger sum to paint it a different color. And I feel exactly the same if I wanted to pop-up. If people want neighborhood preservation then there are neighborhoods where that’s offered.

          • “If people want neighborhood preservation then there are neighborhoods where that’s offered.” Most of us can’t afford Dupont or Georgetown.
            Eventually neighborhoods like Bloomingdale, Columbia Heights, etc. will get historic designation. Until then, developers will continue to prey on them.
            And there’s a big difference between paint color (not permanent) and architectural modifications like pop-ups (permanent). IIRC, even in historic districts you get to paint your house whatever color you want.

          • justinbc

            Yes, there’s a difference, which is why I said I would feel exactly the same way about pop-ups. It’s my money, my house. Whether someone can afford a neighborhood that offers protection is relatively irrelevant. There are neighborhoods where it exists and neighborhoods where it doesn’t, so if that’s important to them they either move there or get the law changed, but harassing buyers should never be an option. I want an ocean front view too, but I can’t afford that, doesn’t mean I’m going to lobby to have Capitol Hill trenched out to the Atlantic.

          • Accountering

            I still cannot agree with you here, or even understand your thinking tbh. My friend has put in three offers, two houses, and one condo. He got outbid on all three, despite offering list or above on all three.
            I cannot get behind the idea that he should further constrain his search, and as such likely continue to slow down his house purchase, and his subsequent move-in with his GF/starting a family. This all based on the idea that he should know before he moves from VA to DC that some of his neighbors will be offended that the developer who built his home are offended that a story was added by-right.
            Essentially punishing himself and his future family with the idea that if every single person did what he is doing, that a form of development that he may actually like (pop-ups…many people actually think they look nice!) would stop being done by developers, and he can just stay in his walk-up in South Arlington.

          • Emmaleigh504

            Popups are not going to stop happening, so you might as well let it go or move to one of the historic districts.

          • “Eventually neighborhoods like Bloomingdale, Columbia Heights, etc. will get historic designation. Until then, developers will continue to prey on them.”
            20 years ago, Columbia Heights was . . . well, let’s just say it wasn’t what it is now. Same for Bloomingdale. The change is those neighborhoods was brought on, in large part, by development. Were developers preying on those neighborhoods back then? Of course not, and they aren’t now. This really smacks of, “well, I got mine, so now let’s stop future development.”

          • “This really smacks of, ‘well, I got mine, so now let’s stop future development.'” I’ve never understood this argument — it would make sense only if it were a current pop-up owner arguing that no future pop-ups should be built.
            “Development” doesn’t have to mean “ugly development.” Pop-ups didn’t really take off until 2011ish. The only ones I remember seeing go up in the mid-2000s were the wacko gingerbread one at 3512 (?) New Hampshire Avenue, and the one at 4141 (?) New Hampshire Avenue (on the southeast corner of New Hampshire and Upshur). The building at 4141 Upshur — or at least its facade — was subsequently redone completely and doesn’t look anything like its original self, but it began as a regular rowhouse with an incongruous-looking pop-up on top.
            And though I wasn’t here 20 years ago, I was here 17 years ago. So I remember when many neighborhoods that are now super-gentrified were very sketchy indeed. (The transformation of 14th Street has been particularly dramatic.) And there was a time (well before that) when Dupont was sketchy — it got gentrified and got historic-district status. More recently, Mount Pleasant got gentrified and got historic-district status.
            Development is fine by me; I just don’t think pop-ups are the way to go about it.

          • justinbc

            That begs the question then, if not pop-ups, what would be the alternative to adding more housing stock into neighborhoods where all of the land is accounted for?

          • Justin — Many pop-ups are going into neighborhoods where all of the land _isn’t_ accounted for. In my own neighborhood (Park View), there are still multiple vacant lots on Georgia Avenue that could accommodate mid-rise condo or apartment buildings… but instead, small-time fly-by-night developers are purchasing houses on side streets and popping them up.

          • justinbc

            Right, but someone owns that land. So either they’re asking egregious amounts, or it’s bigger developers like Douglas who sit on properties forever. Are the guys lower on the totem pole just not supposed to play the game at all? We can’t depend on the biggest 4 companies to do all of the building.

          • As I understand it, textdoc, your objection to pop-ups is purely aesthetic (as opposed to those who object because of density issues, which is a whole different issue). If that’s correct, I really can’t agree. One woman’s ugly is another man’s cute and quirky. Legislating aesthetics is a bridge too far, in my opinion. And, at the risk of beating a dead horse, there ARE neighborhoods that regulate aesthetics – those with historic designation. I think your options are move to one of them, or try to get that designation applies to your neighborhood.

          • Legislating aesthetics is pretty simple if it’s done from a historic-preservation standpoint.
            I’d like very much to get historic designation applied to my neighborhood, but my ANC rep (who supports historic preservation) has said he thinks it’s a no-go at the moment.
            D.C. really needs “conservation districts” — sometimes known as “historic districts ‘lite'” — because people often want some kind of historic preservation in their neighborhood, but are reluctant to sign on to historic district status because of the perceived hassles (like having to get special windows if they want to replace their windows later on).

          • ““This really smacks of, ‘well, I got mine, so now let’s stop future development.’” I’ve never understood this argument — it would make sense only if it were a current pop-up owner arguing that no future pop-ups should be built.”
            I think what dcd means is that you, textdoc, got your row house and now you A. get to be the NIMBY telling other people not to pop-up from your protected perch and B. get to watch your home value increase to something you may not be able to afford if you were trying to buy now, meanwhile middle class people who want to buy can’t afford anything and are cannibalizing each other with escalation clauses.

          • “NIMBY” means you think something is necessary and that it’s fine elsewhere, but don’t want it in your backyard. I don’t want pop-ups anywhere.
            I think the growing number of luxury condos has been a big factor in the skyrocketing of housing prices in certain neighborhoods. That increase means that condos are now going for prices that could’ve bought you an entire house just a few years ago, which I think is crazy. I’m sure developers will say they’re just responding to demand, but by offering only “luxury” products they’ve basically created that demand.
            Pop-ups do nothing to make housing more affordable — they just help jack up the prices overall.

          • Putting a lid on housing supply doesn’t make prices cheaper, either.

          • justinbc

            Pop-ups are hardly the cause of increasing house prices when compared to factors like a recovering/ed economy nationally and strong job performance and demand in the DC area. More people want to live in the city now than 5 years ago, and they don’t care if it’s in a pop-up or a 10 story building (for a large number of residents). For those who don’t want to buy in a big building, a pop-up allows them to live in a house that they wouldn’t have otherwise…and here’s the important part…even if it’s more expensive than it was 5 years ago, because they couldn’t have bought the entire property and flipped it into livable conditions. If they could have, or had the know-how to do so, or more importantly the time, then that’s what they would be doing. Pop-up condos exist because most buyers can’t buy a total gut job and rehab it over 6 months, but developers can.

      • She posted that she’s trying to find a house, not a condo. Most popped-up houses have been divided into condos… and frankly, part of the reason that house prices have skyrocketed so much in certain areas is that pop-ups result in luxury condos, and luxury condos increase the price per square foot not only for similarly renovated properties but for ALL properties.

        • But most popped-up houses live a lot more like a house than a condo (separate entrances, multiple floors, roofdecks).

      • I don’t think the whole pop-up issue is germane to Abby’s (frustrating) experience in house-hunting.

        • The point is that housing is expensive and hard to find in the city. Hence Accountering’s frustration (which I share) with the pop-up discussion, well-articulated in his 10:18 post. That Abby is looking for a house, not a condo, doesn’t take away from the larger issue.

    • Andie302

      Sorry to hear this! I had a client that put in a full price offer only to have it rejected and the listing agent raise the price on the MRIS the next day. Not cool at all…and I suspect they won’t end up closing for much more (if any more) than what we offered. Terrible!

    • justinbc

      Wow, where are you looking? Are you using an agent?

      • We’re using an agent, who we really like, but I think we’re all frustrated at this point. We’re looking in Brookland, Columbia Heights, Petworth, Hill East/Kingman Park, Eckington, and we’ve even extended our search up into Silver Spring, but we want to stay in DC.

        I know we will find a place eventually, but it’s hard to be optimistic after months of looking!

        • justinbc

          That’s a pretty huge range, I’m surprised you’re getting that much competition. Are you looking exclusively for deals, or some homes that may have been on the market for a while and you could potentially negotiate?

        • Have you considered Brightwood? There are a lot of affordable (especially if you can afford CoHi and Petworth) houses – single family and duplex – homes for sale in Brightwood, There is a house on my block that just reduced it’s price and has been on the market for 60 days now. If you are willing to look in Silver Spring, I would just suggest giving Brightwood a look too. I love the neighborhood, it’s a great mix of original owners and newbies, great access to bus routes and metro (I live two blocks from the 70 and the 63, a mile to Takoma Metro Station), great parks (Takoma Rec Center is awesome, Raymond Rec is great too). The only thing I feel we are missing is bars and restaurants, but Simple and Wapa are great, and there is more coming. In all honesty, it feels like a great neighborhood to get into right now before it gets hot.

        • Have you looked in the area between Chevy Chase Circle and Woodley Park? There are homes for sale for $700K-$800K. (You probably have, I’m just always surprised that people don’t look here.)

        • In the small chance of being able to help- there are two “coming soon” listings on 2nd St, NW at Ingraham/Missouri. Thinking both will need work, but could possibly be livable in the meantime.

    • There is a house on Webster that is about to come up for sale. It’s between Illinois and 7th NW, first house west side of the alley

    • OH MY GOD, that is crazy! Sorry, but you’ll find something–it might just take awhile. (At least interest rates are still low)

    • Yes, it sucks buying in a market like this. When I was buying in such a market, I refused to offer over ask, which kept me out of those crazy bidding wars – I didn’t trust them. What allowed me to get a place that was very attractive to buyers at just under ask price in a crazy market like this one (I think) was that I made my offer in a week when there was financial instability in the world that threatened the U.S. banking system (not the 2008 crisis – this was about a decade before that), which I think kept other bidders away that week. So keep at it, you never know when you will prevail, for whatever fluke reason.

      It would be useful to know, for your strategy, if you were being beat out by higher offers or all-cash offers. But you likely know this, depending on whether you are looking at renovated, developer flipped houses, or ones in need of renovation where you are competing with developers.

    • Ugh – I’m sorry. We went through the same thing about 3 years ago when we purchased a rowhouse in Petworth. We were getting outbid by $60k+ over asking and a lot of them were full cash offers. They were fully renovated homes or at least close to it but we were even looking in the upper end of our price range at $670k. It was almost sickening that someone had $780k to outbid us in full cash. We felt WAY out of our league.

      Our realtor finally found a house (after 6 months of searching and being outbid) that hadn’t even hit the market that was a developer a few of his clients had bought houses from. We gave them full asking price and closed on it in 30 days. Honestly, don’t know if we would have bought a house if it wasn’t for our realtor going the extra 20 miles for us.

      • This is happening more and more. I now know 4 buyers who bought their houses from developers while they were being renovated. There are some realtors who have access to a lot of these developers- and I’m sure can get you a contract once you settle on a price. It’s still a risk that hey you are paying top $$$ to secure the listing, or can wait for it to hit the market and go up against other buyers. I’ve found that the really good developers- care about being able to close the deal asap, then putting it on the market to incite bidding war. Best of Luck!

    • Yikes. That has to be really frustrating. Have you checked typical closing prices of recent sales that look like what you want just to make sure you’re really in the right ‘hoods for your price range? Unfortunately it seems like every other realtor under-prices in order to start bidding wars.
      If you’re finding that the sale prices are a little out of your price range, maybe try houses that aren’t renovated but are too expensive for developers (which is what we did), or go one neighborhood over (Edgewood, Brightwood, Carver/Langston, Trinidad, Brentwood, Michigan Park).

  • justinbc

    Vietnam bride update: He’s asking us all openly about food and travel advice for there. I think she’s finally convinced him to come make the purchase.

  • Anonynon

    Rave: Landmark music festival, snagged tickets for $100 last night!

  • Rave: Amazon customer service. Lost/stolen package (those very important fig cookies for my kid….why is THAT what gets lost/stolen?). Refund and Amazon will overnight me new ones. AWESOME.
    And the “chat” function is great.
    Rave: new crock pot sesame chicken recipe I attempted yesterday was pretty good – salty, but good.
    Rant: Being the only chicken-eater in my house, so having a LOT of chicken to eat in a few days isn’t really fun. So after about 3 meals, I’m like “AH get this out of my house”.
    Rave: Earthboxes ready to have tomato seedlings planted – and peppers. Considering zucchini but I’d have to be sure it can grow “up” not out….anyone have experience?

    • Amazon customer service really is awesome. I wish their stocking/shipping employees were treated better, but I do LOVE their customer service.

    • I totally feel you on the rant — whenever I get chicken I kind of regret it because even buying the smallest package means eating it for 3 meals within two days or so. Sometimes I’ll freeze it, but it never tastes as good like that.

      • Emmaleigh504

        frozen chicken works well in soups. You can make the soup and then freeze it or put leftover frozen(thawed) chicken in the soup. The liquid keeps it moist and it will absorb extra flavor. Aslo I love soup, so I might be biased.

        • maybe I’ll do this for the plain “poached” crock pot chicken…I’m running out of freezer room – I need to try to use stuff up, especially if we end up with a bumper crop of tomatoes and I make roasted tomatoes all summer.

          • Emmaleigh504

            sweat the holy (food) trinity, add broth (or water), a bay leaf, and all the leftover veggies and you have a delish hearty soup.

      • Can’t you just freeze the uncooked chicken rather than the cooked stuff? I usually buy in bulk, and my chicken is tasty even after a few weeks in the deep freeze. I also like the soup idea or quesadillas or something else to mix up the chicken.

        • I could, but I don’t generally like the texture of thawed chicken. I also don’t frequently eat it, so having to go “oh, chicken tonight!” and then it’s sitting in the freezer isn’t helpful. Probably much more helpful to people who regularly eat it or have more time than I do to cook. I have very, very little time….hence the crock pot. Neither of those dishes could be great with the food I made yesterday, but I’m sure plain chicken would be good.

          • That’s my gripe, too — I usually do freeze it uncooked but it changes the texture ever so slightly that it’s just … blech to me.

          • Most chicken you buy has already been frozen. And I can’t tell the difference anyway. My time-saving trick is to slice/ cube it on the weekend, freeze it raw, and then cook during the week for tacos/ fajitas or stirfry or something else fast. I know, it’s rare genius, that trick.

          • yes, i know that’s possible – pretty decent / experienced cook….I just don’t like thawed chicken. I also don’t like chicken on the bone or dark meat. It’s a texture thing. I don’t really have the time to make any of that – I get home and take care of my son and have about 10 minutes during his bath time to get dinner ready. So having stuff in the crock pot is ideal. It doesn’t make sense – for us – to have chicken stir fry or stuff like that because I’m the only chicken eater. Better off making vegetarian meals, which we do 5-6 days a week. The other two, I have chicken and my husband has salmon. It’s all good – crock pot is a great tool for me! I’ll definitely try the poached chicken in some soups and then freeze it that way – already have good recipes tagged for it. Though in the summer I do tend to live off gazpacho.

    • Andie302

      Would you mind sharing the recipe? That sounds good!

      • This: http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/slow-cooker-teriyaki-chicken-teriyaki/ (sorry, ‘teriyaki’, not sesame). I would have added chili paste, but had hoped to entice my child to eat it. HAHAHA THAt was silly (I also added everything to the crock pot at once – all the ingredients and made the corn starch slurry, then added…didn’t wanna deal with it after work).

        • Emmaleigh504

          This might be more challengin to change into a new meal, but looks yummy!

        • That does look good. And don’t worry about your child’s eating habits – my formerly picky eater has morphed into a child gourmet. (It does take persistence on your part, though.) She still doesn’t like too many things mixed together, but this weekend she devoured a teriyaki pork tenderloin I made on the grill.

          • well, my kid might have my husband’s eating habits, which means never really being hungry. I’m not too worried yet because I ate a lot of Thai food while pregnant and he never got too angry!

    • I agree about Amazon — their customer service is almost always outstanding!
      Re: chicken, could this be a candidate for freezing? Sounds like it could make a nice lunch … next week 🙂

      • it just never tastes as good from the freezer…..I’ve made just plain poached chicken in the crock pot and it like turns in to punishment after a few days. I know I COULD freeze that…it just tastes different and has a different texture. Yes, I’m odd!

        • Emmaleigh504

          Maybe you can turn the leftovers into another dish so it’s not like you are eating the same thing. Leftovers can become chicken hash, chicken and dumplings, chicken soup, chicken spaghetti (add a hard boiled egg to the sauce! turst me.), etc. New meals same chicken.

          • +1 to this. And I’d add chicken lettuce cups to this great list 🙂

          • Emmaleigh504

            You can also add chicken to funeral potatoes, chicken tetrazini, and a million other casseroles.

          • yeah, this is mostly for plain ol’ chicken…I could easily do a dish with it – some with and some without for my husband. But not so much this dish. I do remember, though, when my husband was deployed…I made the skinny taste crock pot chicken every week and only now think I could eat it again LOL

    • emvee

      Amazon did the same for me in October – full refund and overnight of my stolen package. It was only embarrassing because it was a hot dog costume for my dog and poop bag refills.

      Thanks for the recipe! I always appreciate Popville Chefs sharing their favorites. I still make that chicken tikka masala that made the rounds a few months back.

      • Enjoy it! I have lots of good recipes on Pinterest, I just have zero time to make everything I want! That site has TONS of great things though

  • Question about neighborhoods! My friend and I are looking for a 2BD/2BR to move into August 1st. I live in Capitol Hill and she lives in Adams Morgan, but we’re open to anywhere in the city. My question is: where do you live and why do you love it? We’re looking at Navy Yard, Shaw/Bloomingdale, and west U St., but are open to really any neighborhood with a metro close by.

    • Anonynon

      hahah good luck! Pretty much a crap shoot where you will end up, it just kind of happens..I am sure you’ll love wherever you go

      • I lived in Navy Yard for a year and loved it! Not sure about your budget, but check out Onyx on First. Also, people are always renting out their condos in Capitol Hill Tower. When we were looking (obviously this was awhile ago at this point) there was a rental bidding war…it was crazy! The guy in Capitol Towers wanted us to rent his place so bad he lowered the rent and said he’d find a second parking spot!

      • Not really a crapshoot — people get to decide where they want to live. (It might be more of a crapshoot for people trying for something where there’s a lot of competition, like a room in a group house.)

    • go by price and metro proximity, not specific neighborhood because every area has it’s + and – . How much do you

    • Possible Friday Question of the Day — “Where do you live and why do you love it?”

    • GiantSquid

      We’re thinking of moving off the Hill and that would open up a 2BR/2BA. Don’t know if we’ll have it figured out by August 1st. I want to say ‘yes’ for my own sanity but don’t want to promise what I can’t deliver. I can give you a heads up if it looks like a possibility.

      • That would be amazing. I really don’t want to move out of Capitol Hill and my friend wants to move here, we’re just having trouble finding anything available. My email is ajsdistrict @ gmail – would really appreciate it if you find yourself with an opening by August 1st!

    • Stay in Capitol Hill! We ended up buying here because it has a lot going on, but it’s not a hotspot full of 20-somethings like Logan Circle or U Street. It’s a beautiful neighborhood with all the historic houses and nicely-kept yards, and there’s always a new restaurant or bar opening up.
      And it’s so incredibly convenient. For us, since we work in the suburbs and probably always will, the proximity to the highways and blue/orange/silver lines is important. That might not matter as much to you, but I think it’s also great that H Street, Navy Yard, NoMA, and Penn Quarter/Chinatown are all a short walk away. Being near the water is a huge amenity in my opinion. Plus you can hop on a bus that goes directly to U Street and Adams Morgan, or Georgetown and Woodley Park.
      Out of all the places I’ve lived in the area this is by far my favorite.

      • This is my feeling too – I moved from Columbia Heights and I love Capitol Hill, but I will say that we are both 20-somethings so we do enjoy going out in Logan Circle! The problem is the lack of available 2BD/2BRs that are not group houses in the area. But I completely agree with you, I love being a 10 minute walk from both Eastern Market and Union Station. The convenience is fantastic and so is the area.

  • jim_ed

    Rant: Had two big swings and misses trying new restaurants this week. TKO Burger at Rhode Island Row served me the legitimately worst and yet somehow most expensive burger (non fine-dining category) I’ve ever had. I’ve gotten better burgers in hospital cafeterias than that garbage. And the Ethiopian place in Silver Spring now offering delivery on Eat24 was crazy expensive and also terrible. Shoulda stuck with Ethiopia Mart.

    Rave: Finally loaded up enough Zyrtec into the bloodstream that my allergies are back under control.

    Rave: Between the Wiz, the Caps, and last night’s incredible Nats game, assuming the Skins draft competently starting tomorrow, this has the potential to be the greatest DC sports week since 1991. This may be damning with praise, but its also got me pretty stoked.

    • Accountering

      Excellent game last night. Hoping that is the kind of win that can turn this so-far stinky season around. Zimmerman going tonight – hopefully we can get something going here.

  • Rave: I had a productive night getting household things done. Spring vegetables make cooking a joy and inspiration.
    Rant: Allergies may destroy me.
    Rave/Rant: I am very tempted to buy a personal sized cake from the new bakery near my office. Why is it so hard to say no to baked goods? Why?
    Rave: Sunshine and this weather

    • Get it. And enjoy the hell out of it while sitting outside soaking up the sunshine. Take the 15 minutes for yourself and savor it 😀

    • Ditto what UDPie said. Or you could invite a friend/coworker to share it with you so it’s not as much of an indulgence.

  • Accountering

    Rant: Election results. Brandon Todd got elected, as expected, but I think he will do fine. Just a status quo, let the developers continue improving the neighborhoods kind of guy. Won’t do anything radical, and I like the way DC is headed now.
    My biggest gripe is W8. They had 6,000 people manage to show up, and the best funded candidate (LaRuby May) who when all is said and done will have likely spent $250,000, managed to get 1700 votes. This is what counts as representation here apparently. $250,000 for 1700 votes, and now she gets to craft and vote on policy. Horrible turn-out, and 1700 votes is a joke. She spent 17 times more than her nearest competitor, and only won by 100 votes.

    • jim_ed

      Agree on W4 election. I may dislike the Bowser machine, but better a milquetoast rubber stamp like Todd than someone with only a tenuous grip on reality like Renee Bowser or most of the other candidates.

      • Accountering

        Totally agree. I much prefer someone who is going to keep his head down and stay out of the way (Todd/M. Bowser) than someone who feels the need to come in and make radical change in a direction I do not feel the city should be going on. Was very happy to see R. Bowser lose. I would take Todd over her any day of the week, and that is saying something.

  • Andie302

    Rave: Popville seems to be working better for my computer today.
    Rave: Picked (fancy) granite last night
    Rave: Paint samples are going on the walls tonight
    Rave: Mom comes into town tomorrow
    Rave: and best friend and other close friends coming in Friday
    Rant: Despite all these raves, my mood was terrible this morning. I think it was partially not enough sleep, but still! Feeling a tiny bit better after eating something. It’s sad how much that can make a difference 🙂

    • I’m happy to hear that you’re making so much progress on your house? Any ETA for move-in, or is it too hard to predict at this point?

      • Andie302

        If we’re lucky, end of May. Don’t tell our contractor that though…he’s on deadline for mid-May 🙂

  • More of a question. I have a house for rent. What sites to people go to when they are looking for housing. Is Craigslist still #1 or should i be posting somewhere else, besides on PoPville of course.

    • Craigslist is still #1 in my book. I check Zillow fairly frequently, as well. Also, if you’re on any neighborhood listservs, it’s good to share the link.

    • GiantSquid

      Where is your house, how many BR/BAs, and how much? (I’m looking to move this year) We check Craigslist, LiveLovely, Zillow, RadPad, Padmapper, and occasionally Yarmouth. We have two small dogs, so our choices are limited.

    • emvee

      I check Padmapper, CL, LiveLovely and of course, local property management companies.

  • Rant: Breakdown last night and this morning about my inadequacies in supporting my close friends and family as they go through (just to list a few) – natural disaster, severe anxiety & depression, cancer, and sickness (waiting for transplant). I want to help. They know I care. But so often I just feel inadequate in my support and attention to them.
    Rant: Tired. Stressed. All-day meetings at work Makes me want to cry.

    Rave: It’s beautiful out and I can see the sunshine.

    • UDPie, I think the lives of our loved ones are on parallel tracks right now. My dad has cancer, and a close friend is dealing with a lot of anxiety right now. It is really hard, especially if you’re like me and you just want to fix it all. I have been trying to focus even more than usual on my own self-care (scheduled a spa day last week, making sure that I go to yoga and make my own therapy appointments). The usual cliched statement is oh so true: put the oxygen mask on yourself first. That’s a long-winded way of saying to take good care of yourself.

      You obviously have a HUGE heart for your friends and loved ones. Even if you feel inadequate in the face of their struggles, I am sure that your concern and support are coming through loud and clear. Just the fact that you haven’t fallen off the planet and are present in their lives is so pivotal (a lot of people don’t know what to do in the face of the hard stuff and disappear). Hang in there, and go easy on yourself.

      • GiantSquid

        What artemis said. You’re not alone in going through tough times and it can be super overwhelming. Anything you can do is better than nothing, which does feel inadequate but is sometimes all that’s needed. Take a deep breath and recharge your own batteries before you go back to charging others’.

      • That One Guy

        Care taker burn out can/is rough especially when a care taker is fully consumed with providing support. IMHO if you want to help try to give some support by giving the care takers a break.

    • I’d add (to the excellent advice from artemis and giant squid) to consider sending a “thinking of you” card, postcard, gift card to a local bakery/coffeeshop. It may seem like a small gesture but can also really brighten someone’s day.
      Can you carve out a few minutes in your day to sit in the sunshine (with a savory baked treat in hand)?

  • Rant: gas leak outside my house.
    Rave: got a very sweet love letter from one of my kids
    Rave: we’re done with testing
    Rant/rave: not sure if it’s a good or bad thing that I might be transferred to a different school in the district. I like my students a lot but good grief, this place is crazy.

  • Rave: One medical got me in, but I had to wait an hour downtown.
    Rave: so I had District taco for breakfast.
    Rave: Interviewer from Baltimore, so half the interview was talking about the issues.
    Rant: Patience…sometimes I am overflowing with it, other times I have none.

  • Rant: absolutely slammed at work. Other than the one night a week I have to leave on time, I haven’t left the building before 10 in two weeks. I am not amused with this new job so far.

    Question – I’m looking for a small something to put on my wall. I want it to represent DC – maybe a DC flag art thing? Where is the best place to look for such a thing?

  • Super Rave: lost 16 lbs since January. Yay, divorce! 😛

  • Rant: Irrationally worked up about the arguments at the Supreme Court yesterday, especially the “marriage is for procreation” reasoning. I know they’re grasping at straws, but by this logic my straight friends with fertility issues should be denied marriage, not my lesbian friends with kids. Also, doesn’t this mean plural marriage is even better than “traditional” marriage?

    • Agree – I got REALLY annoyed by this…for adoptive families, people who aren’t happy or are abused in their marriages and want/need a divorce….people who can’t have kids or don’t WANT kids. NEVERMIND the whole “marriage is for the benefit of children” while the pro-equality side is saying EXACTLY – these people HAVE kids and want the benefits of marriage FOR THEIR KIDS. I mean, really….what a stupid argument but I also know there are a-holes on SCOTUS. Looking at you, Alito. Especially Alito.

      • Yes, once they start talking about the benefits to the kids, they are actually making one of the strongest appeals FOR gay marriage – odd that they can’t see that.

    • Oh, yes, that was just insane – some justices seem to think that all straight people have children that are solely biologically theirs, and all gay people have only children that aren’t biologically theirs! Given the necessity of donor sperm and/or eggs for many, many straight couples over a certain age having children, and the many lesbians who conceive children that are biologically theirs, and gay men who have children that are biologically theirs though they use a surrogate, not to mention the number of gay people who have children from earlier straight relationships, or that some gay people can (and do) sometimes produce children through the regular old-fashioned means rather than using assisted reproduction – the justices understanding of fertility seems to be stuck in the 1950s! Not to mention the non-negligible percentage of children who have always been fathered by someone other than their legal father – that the law has never cared about biological parenting – children born to a married woman are always initially presumed to be her husband’s legally, even when it is known that is not the case.

      Someone pointed out that Justice Roberts has two adopted children – so statements and questions couldn’t have gone over well with him!

    • That seems so ridiculous, especially considering how many kids are born to non-married parents these days. Frankly, it seems like conservatives ought to be glad that ANYONE is promoting marriage, considering how many straight people don’t bother with it.
      (There was a New York Times article a while back on a conservative guy who broke with his peers for this very reason — he came to the conclusion that marriage-equality folks were his allies, not his enemies.)

    • Accountering

      This pro-creation argument is such garbage. We all know someone (grandpa, mom, aunt etc) who remarried in their 50s or 60s after the untimely demise of their spouse or marriage. Two 60 year olds getting married are not doing it to procreate, they are doing it for companionship. The government should have no interest in what people plan to do once married.
      Also, well put dcres. +1 to you.

    • According to that “logic,” and I’m using the term in its loosest possible sense. My wife and I wouldn’t have been permitted to marry, as we needed intervention to have children. It’s not surprising, though – when the sole principled objection (again, I’m being generous) to a practice is based on religion, and the opponents know that’s not one the courts can (or should, at least) countenance, they have to cast about for substitute arguments – fig leaves to cover their true objections.

  • Rave: Closing tomorrow!
    Rant: Closing tomorrow – closing company has me running around doing things that should have been done last week – and would have, if only they’d let me know about them.

    • Yes, annoying, they never plan ahead!

    • Accountering

      This is pretty standard. They are in crisis mode pretty much constantly. Don’t take it personally, they are currently blowing off their client who has a closing next week to deal with you 🙂 Congrats on the house!!!

      • Thanks! I may try to hook up with you offline, as we’re getting ready to undertake a renovation project that is just as involved as yours (if not more).

        • Exciting! Congrats to you both and good luck with the closing!

        • Accountering

          Please do! I am having a hard time picturing a project that is more involved than the two projects I have done, short of a pop-up (gasp!) basement dig-out, or a brand new construction entirely 🙂
          Happy to chat and share insights I have gained through this huge project (twice)

          • We are adding a level, but it’s in a suburban neighborhood (sorta), so we’re really making the house conform with all of the other houses around us. It’s a gut job. We’re keeping the exterior walls, and (hopefully) the hardwood floor on the main level, but that’s it – everything else goes. Adding a second floor, adding a garage, moving the kitchen, extensive landscaping, retaining walls . . . deep breath. I just need to get through closing, and then I can turn to the renovations in earnest.
            Thanks, for the offer, I’ll take you up on it after closing.
            Rant – lender just said that they require insurance coverage for the purchase price, not the replacement cost or outstanding principal balance. Aargh.

          • Accountering

            We had a similar issue on the house in Shaw. When I told him the details (sq footage, not upgraded kitchen, no nice finishes etc) he thought we had made a mistake because the purchase price was $350,000 more than what his system told him the house was worth. I told him our 600 sq foot lot is probably worth about $350,000, and that no mistake had in fact been made haha.
            Sounds like your project is a bit more than mine! You can change your insurance whenever you want too… Keep in mind, lenders are just checking boxes to make sure they don’t have to buy the loan back if it does go south. Having insurance equal to the purchase price is one of those boxes that Fannie/Freddie have decided is important.

    • FWIW, I want to mention that we had the best team ever work with us on our home purchase last year and could have closed within a week, if needed, because everyone just did their job and did it quickly. For reference, in case anyone wants it, we worked with KVS Title and Caliber Home Loans.

      • We used KVS title on our sale, and they were great. Wish we could have used them for our purchase, but for a variety of reasons, we couldn’t.

        • Yeah, it seems like buyers often have very little say in the matter, sadly.

        • Accountering

          We used KVS on our last purchase. The bottle of champagne at the (went flawlessly) closing was an added touch. Even when we had to have a correction day of, we called and spoke with them, they spoke with their in-house counsel, and had the change processed within an hour or so. Highly recommend.

  • Rave: The two gentlemen who helped fix my bike this a.m, as well the number of people who stopped and offered to help.
    Rant: None! Good karma day today.

  • skj84

    Rave: New hair color! I know its really superficial, but after the past few weeks I need a little cheer in my life. I’m a full ginger now! My stylist did a great job with the balance of light and dark too. Really the little things that get me through life.

    Rant: Just found out the birthday gathering ‘m supposed to attend on Saturday for my besties boyfriend is not a casual get together at a bar, but a full sit down dinner. At the restaurant that didn’t hire me. I want to bail, but I flaked on his party last year and he has been my past two bday get together. Plus My best friend has been so supportive of me during the whole unemployment. I know she has been working hard on this birthday party and would be very upset if I didn’t come.

    • I went full ginger a couple years ago and haven’t looked back since. Actually, when I do look back at photos from the few previous years, I say “Why did I wait so long?!” The older I got, the darker and duller my hair was getting. Brightening it up by choosing the the “hint” of red I had coming through, was a great choice. And I’m not gonna lie, it also has really done wonders for my self esteem. Little things can make a world of difference.

      • Maybe you can weigh in on my post too. Did you go from light to dark or dark to red? And if the latter did you bleach first?

        • I went from dirty blonde straight to red — Emma Stone red. My stylist rocked it on the first try. He swears that ever since I had him do it (and he posted the pics) everyone asks for red now!

        • Emmaleigh504

          Going chemical red from chemical blonde hair is tough. It tends to fade to an ugly pink. I’m usually a DYI girl, but from blonde to red I would see a a colorist. Henna doesn’t have the pink problem, so tend to go that route when I need a change.

    • Welcome to the ginger sisterhood! 😉

  • RAVE: great time in Mexico (Playa del Carmen and Tulum). Still had sandy beach hair when I awoke in my bed this AM. Saw so many amazing sunsets and sunrises.
    RAVE: best culinary vacation EVER. Ate so much fish and so dirt cheap. Yesterday’s lunch (my last meal) was agua chiles and it was awesome. I have a huge list of restaurant recommendations.
    RANT: multiple meltdowns by various people at work while I was away because I was not immediately available to respond to them. And yes, I had to lug my laptop all the way to Mexico in order to stay on top of issues. Screw you guys.
    RANT/RAVE: only two days in DC before I fly out again. Barely enough time to breath, let alone do laundry, pay bills, repack, and decide whether I want to re-sign my lease.

    • Sweet! Tulum is on my list!

      • Shoot me an email when you decide to go. will let you know where to stay.
        The area is getting built up quickly and losing some of it’s charm. Still, the beach is gorgeous and I basically lived in a treehouse for the last 4 days.

    • Welcome back! Can’t wait to hear more about your trip once you’ve had some time to take some breaths. Even if that’s it a few weeks!

  • Question: I need a recommendation for a Labor Lawyer asap, this is for my husband. Thanks!

    • jim_ed

      I had good experiences with Correia & Puth, with an attorney who is no longer there. They may be worth a call.

    • Plaintiff or employer side? DC barred or another local juridsdiction? For employee side, some small labor law firms with good reputations in DC: James and Hoffman, Bredhoff and Kaiser, Bernabei and Wachtel.

  • Rant: getting into it with people about Baltimore, riots, race, etc.
    Rave: people who understand.
    Rave: this weather. Spring in DC is the bestest.
    Rant: not enough time in the week to prepare for a concert this Saturday
    Rave: seeing how the Wizards might make the Eastern Conference Finals… and how there is a sliver of a chance that they make the NBA Finals. YES, I AM UNCONSCIONABLY OPTIMISTIC YET SIMULTANEOUSLY SURE WITTMAN WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL.

    • I assume that by “people who understand,” you mean people who agree with you? And, of course, people who don’t agree with you just don’t understand? I think that’s a terribly counterproductive attitude – it forecloses the possibility for honest differences of opinion, and makes productive discussion extraordinarily difficult.

      • That’s an incorrect assumption.

        • Sorry – I should be more specific.
          People can agree with me and not understand. People can disagree with me and understand. But, I *understand* and *agree* with your point regarding productivity of discussions in a world where both sides assume the other side doesn’t understand the issues simply because of disagreement.

          • +1.
            At least from my perspective, the ability to have discussions about these topics comes down to having some level of *empathy*. Even empathy is not exactly the right word, but people can be empathetic and still disagree.

          • Exactly. Empathy provides a pretty fantastic starting point.
            My rave actually had to do with the sort of baseline knowledge that problems didn’t magically go away after the Civil Rights Act. It’s fantastic having a starting point in dialogue, especially when the dialogue is with someone who thinks that using the word “race” is racist or makes things about race.
            A related rant: folks who say, in the of midst of #blacklivesmatter, “we can talk about police brutality, but can we leave race out of it?”

    • Blithe

      I share — and applaud — your Rave re: people who understand. And I very much agree with you that empathy provides a fantastic starting point for any discussion. I actually enjoy jousting with people who understand where I’m coming from but who disagree with me. If we can agree on the problems and disagree — respectfully — on the solutions, then there’s a chance that both/all of us can grow from our interactions, and maybe even formulate some practical solutions.

  • Rave – Wearing a new lipstick I bought for myself at Blue Mercury. It makes me feel so pretty!
    Rave – Wearing a skirt without tights.
    Rant – Being in a windowless cube farm on days like these.
    Rant – My sister is going through a rough patch in her marriage but she hasn’t told me about it. I only know what’s going on because my parents told me. I’ve tried calling her and she doesn’t answer. I just want to tell her that I’m there for her if/when she needs support and I love her no matter what.

    • On your last rant–could you send her a note to that effect? Or would that be weird?

      • I don’t know. At first I was going to wait around and see if she’ll talk to me eventually, but according to my parents things have gone from bad to worse. They encouraged to me call her and just be upfront that I knew what was going on. But she hasn’t answered my calls. Now I’m thinking a card or even a text to say “hey I’m here for you” might to be way to go.

  • Down 6 pounds before my Euro trip. Goal was 5, but since I have 10-11 days left, I think I can probably lose another 4 pounds. I’m craving Popeyes though….sigh…must resist.

  • Rant: Bikers who don’t wear helmets, especially those who also don’t follow traffic rules. I know it is a personal choice they are making but why would you chose to not do something that could potentially save your life?
    Rant: I want to adopt a dog so badly but I’m just not home enough to properly take care of one.
    Rave: Getting out of DC and off the east coast this weekend. Get me to the mountains!

  • I Dont Get It

    Rant: I seriously damaged my Brand this morning in the Corporate Portfolio RFP/Technical Evaluation Status Call but then remembered
    Rave: I don’t have a Brand!
    Rave2: Love this weather.
    Rave3: I smell like Shawess’s soon-to-be backyard (Meyer lemon) due to applying some JR Watkins Lemon Cream Hand and Body lotion this morning.

    • Yum! I may have to buy this too to be reminded of what my new home -should- smell like. I have a feeling my own “yard” will smell like concrete. If I’m lucky. :/ (Can you tell this is a sore subject at the moment? haha)

  • Rave: everything I’m about to rant about is very minor in the grand scheme of things. I’m about as lucky as a lady can be.
    Rant: So many unknowns in the next few months. Moving date is very TBD. The timeline for dealing with some health issues is very TBD. I’m not sure what my job situation will be. It’s so hard to plan anything when there are so many independent variables changing every day.
    Rave: I’m pretty sure everything is going to work out just great. I just have to (try to) be patient.
    Raves: Meditation and acupuncture. Whenever I feel anxious about the above, it’s pretty easy to get re-centered. (Thank you, Tara Brach and the nice folks at Pekoe!)

  • Rave: Breakfast food. Eggs and cheese, I love you.
    Rave: A Joe Englert establishment is coming to my area.
    Rant: I need a vacation.

    • “Eggs and cheese, I love you.” +1,000. I used to eat a really varied diet and now I just want to eat variations on the theme of eggs + cheese + bread.

      • Such an easy & delicious breakfast. Used to make pancakes all the time, but they take too long with a toddler–so cheesy scrambled eggs & toast it is! So delicious & everyone is happy 🙂

        • Emmaleigh504

          According to Alton Brown you can make pancakes ahead of time, freeze them, then zap in the microwave to eat.

          • I like to put them in the toaster, then put PB on one and nutella on the other, smack them together, et voila- pancake sandwich!

          • Jeslett, that sounds really tasty!

          • Emmaleigh504

            That sounds goood! I like to put almond extract in the batter then smear cherry butter on them.
            Oh and that reminds me I have blueberry butter that needs eating..I think I’ll have pancakes for supper smeared with blueberry butter.

        • I’ve done that, but then we forget them in the freezer. Oops. But perhaps I’ll return to it sometime. Other times, I prep part of the pancake batter ahead of time (just not the beaten egg-white part, since then it flattens) & then putting them together is easier. Haven’t made pancakes in ages….perhaps blueberry buttermilk pancakes should come back this weekend. I’m inspired!

    • skj84

      I was going to have an bacon, egg and cheese sandwich for breakfast this morning, but a handyman was working on my kitchen. Had to settle for cold cereal.

  • That One Guy

    Rant: I shouldn’t put off looking for a new job. I don’t have any more hair left to pull out or fall off.
    Rant: I miss having hair.

  • Rave: Think I am finally ready to date again.
    Rant: Guys on OKCupid are still creepy.
    Rant: I know we can’t/shouldn’t be together, but my heart still skips a beat when I see my ex.

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