Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user washingtonydc

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.

241 Comment

  • That One Guy

    What book or magazine are you reading?
    What music are you listening to or recently discovered?
    What was your first reaction at tasting cilantro? (Love it or hate it)

    • I’m all in on australia for music this summer. Twerps and Courtney Barnett each had really great debut albums. Courtney is playing at 9:30 two nights in june too

    • The Joy Luck Club. I didn’t read it when it was making the book club rounds all those years ago (probably because I was deeply into Anne Rice then). So far it hasn’t grabbed me.
      Pandora has been giving me lots of Pet Shop Boys lately, and I’m loving it.
      Cilantro is from the devil. Or maybe it’s a world-wide prank, and I’m on candid camera. Why would you want to put detergent in your food???

      • I’m the third-generation coming down my mom’s side to find cilantro completely repulsive. I hope it’s something I will pass on to my future children.

        • that is so funny. i love cilantro, but hate parsley. my mom hates cilantro but has no opinion about parsley. somehow our genes got crossed!

    • Reading Bad Feminist.
      Listening to some Pearl and the Beard at the moment.
      Aaand I love cilantro!

    • I have been reading the denial of death by ernest becker, and it would be awesome if somebody here has read it too and would like to talk about it. I have been struggling with some of the thoughts I have had resulting from reading this book. I know some people have had very positive reactions to it (I have seen reviews saying that the book helped with depression), but I have just been feeling kind of anxious since reading it, and I am not an anxious person at all.

    • Reading BJ Novak’s One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories.
      Been listening to the remastered re-release of Tori Amos’s Under the Pink (brings me right back to college)!
      I love me some cilantro. Growing some in the garden and used it last night on my dinner!

    • Becks

      I am currently reading Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen. I love his humor and writing style.
      I have been listening to Benjamin Booker and I just love his raspy, bluesy voice!
      I am growing Cilantro in my garden. I love stir fried Chicken with Cilantro!

    • I just started Possession. I’m not far enough along to have an opinion on it yet.
      I have been listening to Mary J. Blige’s The London Sessions on repeat this week.
      I like cilantro. I wouldn’t say I love it, but I enjoy it.

    • Quotia Zelda

      Book: Alice: Alice Roosevelt Longworth, from White House Princess to Washington Power Broker. It is interesting, despite the author’s apparent infatuation with Alice – who was a fairly loathesome person, the author’s tendency to psychologize, and Penguin’s need to hire better editors and copy editors.
      Music: I’m into Metric and Lana Del Ray these days. I’m also planning an early 90s playlist for my upcoming college reunion road trip.
      Cilantro: Like, thought not love.

      • Emmaleigh504

        I found it very humorous that Alice was always broke and Mrs R was alwasy concerened they were a dollar away from the poorhouse.

    • justinbc

      Just finished The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro. It was a pretty decent allegory, but I didn’t care for the ending, and the writing style he chose for the character dialogue was really odd.
      Currently listening to Acoustic Morning station on Spotify, always helps me get into the groove at work.
      I love cilantro, always have.

    • emvee

      Reading: The Shadow of the Wind
      Listening to: Jarabe de Palo
      Have always loved cilantro.

      • goaldigger

        Reading-The latest Craig Johnson novel, Dry Bones, came in the mail yesterday so will be starting (these are the Longmire books, love them!).

        Listening-Cranked up some Chris Isaak yesterday

        Fresh cilantro can really make a difference

        Rant-Dammit Caps!

      • topscallop

        I love Shadow of the Wind!

    • Book: A March to Folly by Barbara Tuchman
      Music: currently 60s-70s R&B/motown
      cilantro: first reaction was yuck, but like many greens in my life, started liking it in my 20s.

    • Reading The Parasol Protectorate. It’s so silly, but so light and fun.
      Music – On a Pentatonix kick.
      Love cilantro!

    • Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter – just finished and I’m sad it’s over
      James Bay!
      Love cilantro and I feel bad for whoever doesn’t like it

    • binpetworth

      Reading The Master of Confessions, about the trial of the Khmer Rouge torturer Duch
      Don’t listen to music, so no answer on that
      I developed a cilantro addiction in utero, as my mother ate 3 tacos for lunch every day she was pregnant with me.

    • Book: Cesar Millan – How To Raise The Perfect Dog; in preparation for taking home our new little guy soon.
      Music: New Mumford & Sons
      Cilantro – Love it!

    • special_k

      Just finished reading A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, which is masterfully written. Now I’m starting on The Making of the Atomic Bomb.
      Listening to Tall Tall Trees and Heather Maloney a lot these days; both are relatively recent discoveries.
      I don’t hate cilantro, but I wouldn’t say I love it either.

    • A.J. Liebling’s, “The Sweet Science” a series of early-50s essays on boxing by one of the great writers of the Algonquin-era New Yorker. (His food writing is legendary, he was awarded the Legion d’Honneur for his war reporting and Sports Illustrated named The Sweet Science the best sports book ever. )
      A lot of “outlaw” country lately: James McMurtry and The Mavericks specifically.
      I was introduced at a French restaurant and thought of as coriander for a bit.

    • jim_ed

      Reading Montaillou: The Promised Land of Error, a fascinating but very dry history book. I think I need to add a novel to break it up.
      Listening to a mix of Outlaw/Red Dirt Country and Philly post-punk because I have no idea why.
      Cilantro is the flavor maker. How in the hell can you eat tacos without cilantro? And how could you go through life without eating tacos?

      • You never need a reason to listen to post-punk. It’s that good.

      • Which post-punk bands? I have been on a Gang of Four kick.

        • jim_ed

          I probably should have clarified with post-punk revival I suppose (sidenote: trying to classify modern rock bands is a giant pain in the ass). I’ve been listening to Modern Baseball, Captain We’re Sinking, Luther, Iron Chic, and my personal favorite current band, the Menzingers, along with a little Against Me! mixed in for good measure.

    • Reading: Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson. I’m only about 20 pages in and have no opinion yet. I only read for 15 minutes before bed and am already having trouble keeping track of all the characters. Recent music: Lady Lamb and the Beekeepers, Hurray for the Riff Raff, and Astrud Gilberto’s greatest hits. I am agnostic about cilantro.

    • Reading the Feminine Mystique and the Economist
      Listening to Dierks Bentley
      I LOVE CILANTRO. I can’t even remember the first time I had it.

    • Book: The Imitation Game about Alan Turing. Interesting, glad I’m reading it, but the maths parts go over my head given that I read this at night. And I’ve learned the movie was wrong about most of what his contributions were, his personality, etc. Makes me sad since, as usual, the real story is more interesting.
      Music: The Rockabye Baby Channel on Pandora, given that we have a kid.
      Cilantro: Love it. Can’t get enough. I planted it in the garden and kept harvesting it so it couldn’t grow, poor thing. Had to schedule a week of recipes sans cilantro to give it a chance.

      • I’m reading it to – its been on my iPad for a while..the math/technical parts put me to sleep.

    • reading: Heart of Darkness
      listening: Sloppy Seconds
      Cilantro: Fuck yeah.

    • Music: Hop Along. They were amazing at Black Cat backstage last night. Also just did an NPR tiny desk concert, so they’re going places.

    • skj84

      Reading: The Battle of Versailles by Robin Givhan. An account on the historic Paris fashion show that pitted French Couture Houses against 5 American Designers. The Americans, which included Oscar De La Renta, Bill Blass, Halston and Anne Klein, stole the show. They also used 9 Black models, which was unprecedented for the time.
      Listening: Opera, in particular Carmen.
      Not a fan of cilantro.

    • Reading: Fingersmith by Sarah Waters.
      Listening to: Time Machine by Ingrid Michaelson.
      And I don’t remember having much of a reaction to cilantro. But I don’t think I have had anything where it was a dominant note or really overwhelmed the flavor of the other ingredients in the dish.

    • I like these questions.
      Book: Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life. It’s a fascinating and extremely current take on female sexuality.
      Music: new albums from Mumford & Sons and Striking Matches
      Cilantro: can’t get enough of it

    • Emmaleigh504

      In the right place this time:
      Reading Codex by Lev Grossman, The Falculty Club by Danny Tobey, The Right Society by Donna Mabry, and Alram Cry by Phillips Huston.
      Not listening to any music at the moment. My brain is slightly broken.
      Cilantro needs to be nuked from space.

    • Reading: The Checklist Manifesto
      Listening: Jenny Lewis
      Cilantro: A necessary ingredient!

    • Book: Currently reading “Wolf Hall.” I had to stop partway through in order to finish “Bring Up the Bodies,” which was not the ideal sequencing. (I put them both on hold from the library at the same time. “Bodies” came in first. I was waiting to start it until after “Wolf Hall,” but then “Bodies” came due and couldn’t be renewed.)
      Music: Was listening to some old Faithless the other day, even though it’s kind of derivative — somehow, I had the track “Postcards” in my head and wanted to listen to it.
      Cilantro: I’m in the tastes-like-soap-to-me camp.

      • Have you seen the BBC series yet? I was thinking of buying a subscription on amazon. Not sure how I’ll like it compared to the Tudors though.

        • The BBC adaptation of “Wolf Hall” (which covers the material from both “Wolf Hall” and “Bring Up the Bodies”) just finished airing on PBS; you can probably watch it on the PBS website.
          I thought the adaptation was really good. Much better than “The Tudors” — when I watched “The Tudors” on DVD, I kept pausing the show to look up the historical characters on Wikipedia, and the Wikipedia entries were way more interesting than the actual show.

          • Episodes 3, 4, 5, and 6 of “Wolf Hall” are currently viewable online for free:
            Episode 3 expires in three days, though.

          • Thanks!! I checked their website a while ago and I didn’t see any full episodes- only clips- so maybe they added them recently. I’m going to check it out!
            I agree about the Tudors. I’m a huge history buff and have read just about every non-fiction book having to do with the time period. I saw the show as more of a guilty pleasure than anything else since it’s really just fiction based on history 😀

    • Blithe

      Book: Free Play (again) and The Little Prince (for the umpteenth time. I have a few books that I re-read once every five – ten years or so, and this is one of them.)
      Music: Lots of Wes Montgomery, some new-to-me Freddie Hubbard.
      Cilantro: Love, love, love, love it! My first taste of it was a revelation! And I started flinging it on everything. Cilantro pesto for the win!

      • I do this as well. One of my re-reads is The Phantom Tollbooth.

      • I also re-re-re (etc) a few books every few years – Phantom Tollbooth, Hobbit/Lord of the Rings (preferably the old well worn paperback copies I have from high school), Watership Down, Stuart Little and a few others. Also some much loved children’s books – Wait ’til the Moon is full, A Birthday for Frances, any of the Amelia Bedelia/Mrs Piggle Wiggle books.
        I was recently reading about bibliotherapy and the value of keeping your much loved books by your bedside. Seems like a good strategy for times when sleep is elusive.

        • Blithe

          My re-read list includes Charlotte’s Web and The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley. I’m in the process of sorting out my books now, so I’m sure I’ll add a few to the list. Maybe The Uses of Enchantment by Bettleheim — which is wonderful, but not exactly a beach read.

          • Blithe I love Charlotte’s Web! I don’t kill spiders because they might be one of Charlotte’s children.
            Another book that has aged well (!) is the Far-Distant Oxus. Published in 1937, it was written by two girls – each wrote alternate chapters and they’d swap chapters to edit.

        • MPinDC, have you ever read From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler? That and Rascal were two of my childhood favorites.

          • SouthwestDC

            Thanks for reminding me of that one! I loved it as a child and haven’t thought about it in years (but still think it would be fantastic to live in a museum).

          • I don’t know The Mixed Up Files book, or Rascal. I’m putting them on my library list – thanks artemis!

          • “From the Mixed-Up Files…” was the original “night in a museum” concept.
            It was also made into a film that had a different title — can’t remember the title, but I know I saw it (and read the book) as a kid.

          • Blithe

            artemis, From the Mixed-Up Files…. was/is one of my favorite books ever. I also liked everything by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, and, when I was younger, I read everything I could find by Noel Streatfeld, starting with Ballet Shoes. I’m due for a kid lit binge.

          • Emmaleigh504

            Zelphe Keatley Snyder was my my absolute favorite author as a kid! Now I want to reread the Green Sky books.

    • Book: Art & Fear
      Magazine: most recent, the Atlantic
      Music: Coil
      Cilantro: what sweet heaven on earth is this?!

    • Love all these ideas for books to read and music to listen to! And would love even more a list (word doc) so I can look for all the books and music. Is there a magical program that would do this?

    • reading: bad feminist and the vacationers
      listening: courtney love spotify radio station
      and cilantro brightens everything!

  • No books here, deep into the podcast game
    Playing St. Paul and the Broken Bones on repeat
    Cilantro is on point

    • Ohh what podcasts are you listening to? Also big ups to that person who recommended the Overcast app. I love it!

      • Oh that was me! So glad you like it. I rarely read these R&R threads but I’m glad I did this time.
        Here are podcasts I like:
        99% Invisible (Weird random things you don’t know)
        Buzzfeed’s Internet Explorer (I know I know but it’s funny I swear)
        Reply All (About the internet)
        Sword and Scale (True crime)
        True Murder (This host and production are annoying but it has a lot of crime stories you don’t heard about elsewhere)
        Undisclosed (Lawyers talking about the Adnan Syed case. Production is also bad and the hosts is BORING but they have some really interesting ideas)
        Strangers (From the creator of The Moth)

    • Here are the weekly listens:

      Drunk Ex-Pastors (So great. Not just about religion, more about culture, etc.)
      The Truth – these stories really stay with you
      Love and Radio
      Then the usual This American Life, Radio Lab, Invisibilia

  • Becks

    Rave: Strawberry blossoms! My strawberries are blooming and have little strawberries.
    Rave: French toast for breakfast. Yum! I forget how quick and easy it is to make.
    Rave: Picnic planned for Sunday with good friends.

  • Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. Didn’t grab me as much as Gone Girl, but’s its a decent read. Please don’t put this on the hipster scale, but I like the new Mumford and Sons; Laura Mvula is always great. Cilantro: only on Thai food.

  • Rave: Meeting lf inner circle…I guess you can say things are getting serious. (Not hardly but it’s a step in the right direction).
    Rave: Really solid sleep.
    Rant: Not knowing when my project will end but
    Rave: Already in consideration for something else.

  • Rave: Date went really well last night. It was so so so so good to see him after all this time. And that’s really all that matters. I am just really happy today after talking with him for hours and hours.
    Rave: Just decorated a co-worker’s work space with balloons and crepe paper, and we’re throwing her a Happy Hour tonight–she just graduated from college – she’s in her mid-50s and has been working so hard. We’re all really proud of her.
    Rant: Enough with these stupid allergies.

    • special_k

      I don’t know your coworker, but I’m proud of her, too! Good for her!

    • Congrats to her! Yall are awesome for being so awesome!

    • Blithe

      Wow! Please tell your co-worker that a slew of people she doesn’t even know are tremendously proud of her! It’s great that you have the kind office where such accomplishments are celebrated.

  • Rave: Bf got into grad school! And got re-certified as a volunteer EMT! Very proud of him.
    Rant: Tried to dye my hair red. It’s now…purple-ish?
    Rave: So many fun things coming up! White Ford Bronco, neon beer fest, and a bike ride this weekend. And then SF next week for a very good friend’s wedding where I get to spend time with my closest friends in the world!
    Rant: Despite all these great things, I’ve been feeling mopey and weepy all week and I don’t know how to get out of this funk!

    • Ahah one time I tried to dye my hair a brighter red (in Japan, actually) and it somehow turned out BRIGHT fuchsia. Oops. What did you end up dyeing it with?
      🙁 Sorry you’ve been done all week! Hugs to you, hopefully it’ll get better with your busy next couple of weeks.

      • Thanks! I’m thinking a fun weekend and a trip to CA is just what I need. 🙂
        I actually went to the salon to dye it since I had highlights and didn’t want it to get streaky. Which makes it even more disappointing since I paid so much for it! :-/ I’m hoping it’ll get lighter once I wash it/spend some time in the sun? We’ll see!

    • skj84

      How purple? On trend purple? Cause you could rock it like it was on purpose. If not, i’m sure it will fade in the sun.

      • It’s not super purple. More purple-ish red, I guess. Like a maroon-y color. I don’t hate it. It’s just not at all what I was going for.

    • Ooh are you going to Taste of Arlington to see WFB too? I’m excited!
      My hair did the opposite a couple years ago. Tried to dye the bottom purple, it turned out red. It never matters what I intend to dye my hair (or have it professionally dyed) as, it always pulls red.

      • I’m going to see them at Howard Theatre tomorrow night. Taste of Arlington looks like fun, though!
        My hair gets reddish if I spend time in the sun so I thought that’s what mine would do too… I did say to the colorist that the hair swatch looks purple-ish when he showed it to me before he started and he said I was crazy. Now I wish I had gone with my gut and chosen a different dye!

        • Blithe

          If you’re not happy with it, have you talked with your colorist and/or the salon? Most salons will do changes at no charge if you alert them to the problem within a reasonable amount of time (like a week or so). If you asked for red, said that the “red” you requested looked purple-ish on the swatch and your hair is now more purple-ish than red, it’s likely that they’ll be willing to work with your to make corrections.

          • I was going to suggest something similar — I don’t have any experience with professional coloring, but my experience with haircuts has been that if you’re not satisfied, the salon is willing to fix it for you.

          • I’m considering it. But I’m wondering if it’s worth it given that I don’t hate it. Plus I’m not sure if I want to damage my hair even more by coloring it again so soon so I might just leave it be and let it grow out.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rave: Got some much-needed gardening done yesterday evening.
    Rant: I did this under the watchful eye of my next-door-neighbor. Oh Duke, never change.
    Rave: All I need to do tonight is pack, then I’m ready for my weekend of Laurel Parading, milk and cookies, Atkins doughnuts (so many Atkins doughnuts), and nostalgia.

    • Hi! Emilie said you might have some suggestions for barrier sunscreens or sunscreens that won’t burn/sting my face! Do you have any brands you recommend?

      • Quotia Zelda

        Look for mineral, rather than chemical sunscreens. Sadly, my favorite mineral suncreen, from Clarins, just got discontinued in favor of a mineral/chemical hybrid. They do have a tinted sunscreen that I think is still just mineral, so if you’re not very fair that may be an option.
        Elta MD also has a good mineral suncreen, but it is also tinted. Those tend to make me look like I brushed bronzer all over my face, so I avoid them. Might work for you, though.
        I’m about to start the search for a new sunscreen myself, so if I find a good one, I’ll let you know.

        • Awesome. Thank you!

        • I Dont Get It

          I’ve never found a sunscreen that didn’t eventually get into my eyes stinging them and turning them red so then I have to wash off the sunscreen thus defeating the whole purpose. Any recommendations? I’m very fair and have already had some skin cancers blasted off.

          • houseintherear

            I’m really loving the Burts Bees brands of face lotions and sunscreens. Sold in CVS and some grocery stores (the NoMa Teet has them).

          • I’ve used Supergoop (no relation to Gwyneth’s Goop, thank goodness). It’s not cheap, but I used to use it for running because it wouldn’t sweat into my eyes.

        • I’ve been using a tinted mineral sunscreen BB cream by Coola. They have an untinted one as well. I’m pale and the tint works for me but might be too light for people with darker skin.

      • I really like Lavanila’s face sunscreen. It’s definitely a barrier sunscreen and will make your face a bit whiter, but I don’t notice it if I put a bit of tinted moisturizer on top. I also like Coola, which you can find a tinted version of.

      • Blithe

        Have you tried the powder sunscreen by Peter Thomas Roth? I’ve purchased it in the past from Sephora, and it seems to be very gentle. It’s a transparent powder. I’ve also used a Neutrogena one that’s designed for the face that I’ve been happy with. I’m guessing that you’ve tried this already, but I can check to see which one it is if you like. Have you tried any of the sunscreens that are designed for babies? I’d hope that those would be especially gentle — Mustela, and maybe the Burt’s Bees for babies.

        • I’ve tried Neutrogena but not Peter Thomas Roth. I did try a powder sunscreen before that was great going on, but as soon as I mixed it with water to wash my face in the evening it started to sting! I did pick up some Banana Boat baby sunscreen at CVS yesterday but haven’t tried it yet — I think the Burt’s Bees for babies and maybe the Coola tinted are next on my list of ones to try. Thank you!

      • SKT – I thought of you last night when I bought a new bottle of a new sunscreen to try out. Aveeno has a line of smaller bottles of sunscreen now. It seems somewhat better than others I’ve seen at least?

        • 😀
          Putting all of these suggestions on my list in case the baby sunscreen fails me! Thanks, y’all!

      • Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream is amazing. I have extremely reactive skin, so most facial sunscreens give me a reaction. But this formula is no problem for me.

      • Try La Roche-Posay Anthelios ultra-light sunscreen. A little pricy, but a tiny bit goes a long way. It’s super thin (almost like a liquid foundation), and tinted so it evens out your skin. I started using it last summer after I received a sample at Blue Mercury. It’s awesome and it WORKS!

    • Whoa, Atkins donuts?! As in, Atkins Farms of Amherst MA?? Did you go to one of the five colleges?

      • Quotia Zelda

        I did! I went to MHC. I plan to consume many cider doughnuts this weekend.

        • Awesome! I went to Hampshire. My friends and I used to walk through the corn field to Atkins right before they closed to get bags of leftover cider donuts. Mmmm so good. I took a few classes at MHC and did a lot of studying at the library (it was my favorite college library) and across the street at the Thirsty Mind. I haven’t been up to pioneer valley in years. Have a great trip!

          • Quotia Zelda

            Mr. Zelda is from the area, so we go up a fair bit, but there’s something special about an MHC reunion.

      • AH I’m going over July 4th and will stock up on Atkins – I wanted to drive so we could bring some back but….boooo

    • Mmmmm Atkins donuts…

    • Have fun at reunion (fellow MHC alum here)!

    • Quotia Zelda

      Rave I just remembered: HBO is doing a short series called East of Main Street for Asian-Pacific American Heritage month, and last night Mr. Zelda and I watched the “Small Talk” episode, in which they interviewed kids about being Asian American. We died from the cute.

    • topscallop

      Atkins donuts! The ones with the sugar. And cider to wash them down.

  • Rant: Sooooooooo tired this week. I’m averaging eight hours of sleep and still tired. Meh.
    Rave: I had a good catch up dinner last night with my old roommate. It was good to see her.
    Rave: Ticket booked for European adventure this fall.

  • justinbc

    Rave: Finally finished the gingham paint job on the upper wall that covers our air ducts on the 1st floor. In total I probably spent 30 hours applying one coat of paint, taping, and then applying a different color coat over it. It was a pain in the ass, but it looks pretty awesome. Now to do the lower sections, which will be much easier since they’ll be solid coats and not require a ladder.

  • Rave: my wife made lumpia for the first time last night, and it was fantastic
    Rave: working from home on a beautiful day like today
    rant: nothing

    • Is she Filipino too?

      • No, Indonesian.

        • I’ve never had Indonesian lumpia. Sounds good.

          • It isn’t really different from fillipino lumpia in my experience (although my wife would probably vehemently disagree).

          • Who says you have to be Filipino to make lumpia. Yes, I am aware that it is a Filipino dish but I am pretty sure that all cultures can make it if they want.

          • No one said that. I think LA was just wondering if my wife is filipino, no more no less. If someone here said they or their significant other had made soto (a traditional Indonesian soup), I might ask if they were Indonesian simply out of curiosity.

  • Rant: was that a drunken bike tour last night that rode through Trinidad last night? Im all ok if want to do a bike ride, but whats up with the drunken screaminng and hollering? Especially after 9pm.
    Rave: this week is flying by with the quickness

  • Rave: Grandad got out of the hospital after less than a day! Yay! Usually they won’t let him leave for days/weeks.
    Rave: Working an exciting event tonight. 😀 My pay may suck and the work culture can be a pain, but I do get to be involved with some neat things.
    Rant: Too much wine last night. So sleepyyyy.

  • emvee

    Rave: Just found out that a good friend from HS, and actually my prom date back in the day, got married! To a man, which was unexpected since he hasn’t mentioned anything about liking men in the 12+ years I’ve known him, but does explain his hesitancy to kiss me on prom night…
    Rave: DC Improv tonight!
    Rant: Dog whining at 5:00AM to go out, and then it not being an emergency. I swear, he loves manipulating humans.

    • Some people don’t like to “come out” and prefer people find out the way you did.

      • +1 I’ve never come out because straight people don’t have to do it. You just mention your so who happens to be the opposite sex. I think everyone should just do that. Oh, Bob brought his hubby to the Christmas party….and now we know Bob is gay.

        • emvee

          I’m all for whatever works for each person. I’m just glad he seems so happy!

        • SouthwestDC

          Me either. It always felt to me like coming out was akin to disclosing something shameful. And potentially awkward for the person you’re coming out to. I’d rather let it come out naturally, and the person can do whatever they want with that information.

    • “but does explain his hesitancy to kiss me on prom night…” At least you know it wasn’t you! (I had a girl I had a bad crush on and it wasn’t until she came out years later that I got over my utter failure to win her heart (and other attractive real estate).

  • RANT: DC SPORTS. I just cant. Still nursing my myocardial infarction from the last 5 mins of the wiz game. and trying to pull myself out of the coffin that was nailed shut as the Caps loss in overtime.

  • Not exactly a rave, but it looks like I’ll be going to Nepal in the near future
    Stress: Finding a pup and plant sitter
    And: Needing to bring a tent. I’ve never camped before. Also, aftershocks

  • jim_ed

    Rant: Todd Solondz films are less depressing than DC Sports.
    Rave: I’m really not even that bummed about the Wiz. John Wall playing with 5 broken bones in his hand is superhuman, and it took and incredible play for ATL to win. The Caps…ehh, I knew this was happening the minute they lost game 5.
    Rant/Rave?: I opened the front door this morning to two identical gray cats on my porch staring at me. I’m not sure if this is a good or a bad thing? Is this a sign of good luck, or (the more likely) start of some sort of gypsy curse? It was like the feline version of the redrum twins from the Shining.

    • justinbc

      The Caps looked like the better team almost the whole series, they just constantly failed to capitalize. Their power play throughout was just abysmal. I was surprised to see Wall playing, his return bodes well for games 6 & 7.

  • Rave: Wife’s naturalization application is en route to USCIS. After some 14-odd years in the country, she may actually become a US citizen before the end of 2015! This is a huge relief for both of us.
    Rave: Went to Synetic Theater’s preview night performance of A Tale of Two Cities last night. Simply fantastic – I don’t remember the last time I laughed so much. I swear there is nothing Alex Mills can’t do.
    Rave: My mother in law has started her journey to visit her kids (2 kids on 2 different continents and my MIL lives on an entirely different one herself). We have 8 weeks to get our place ready for her.

    • Good luck to your wife! My wife’s green card application reached USCIS Monday. Hoping she gets it before the end of 2015, but I’m skeptical it will happen by then…

      • Thanks! And good luck to you and your wife during the whole process! It’s pretty nerve-wracking but I know it will be worth it in the end.

  • laduvet

    Rave: 1990’s No Doubt albums making a work day bearable – hopefully coworkers walking by won’t seeing me emotionally lip syncing 🙂 … shhhh… don’t speak.
    Rave: Humorous tinder messages – gosh the caliber of messages are horrific… i want to copy edit every last one of them!

  • Rave: Booked a mini-vacay next weekend in Rehoboth. Are we crazy to go to the beach Mem. Day weekend? I’ve been here 10 years and have never gone to the beach. Someone please tell me I’m going to have a good time!
    Rant: Pollen.

    • I can’t speak as to how busy it will be over Memorial Day, but generally speaking, Rehoboth is nice. Have fun!

    • Delaware native here! The traffic is going to suck getting to and from the beach, but I think it will be worth the trip. I would recommend trying to leave early on Friday if you can. If that doesn’t work, I have been known to get up really early (leaving the house by 7:00 am) on a Saturday and head for the beach. If you do that, you’re almost guaranteed no traffic and a parking spot on the first block of the avenue.

      Eat some Thrashers french fries for me, please.

      • When I do a Rehoboth day trip, I leave at 5am. No traffic, and on the beach by 9am. It’s magical.

    • Similar question: we are planning to go to VA beach this weekend with the kids and I’ve never been. Are we in for disaster? I remember Kam used to give good advice on when to leave/what to do, but can’t find the threads…

      • Leave as early as possible. The traffic always gets backed up on I-95 where it splits off to I-295 during the Summer (I travel to Richmond monthly and this is a major source of frustration for me during the warm season). But it’s a fun place to visit.

      • Leave as early as possible. 95 sucks, as does 64 as you approach the Newport News tunnel.
        If you have time to kill and the traffic to the Newport News tunnel is awful, take the ferry from Williamsburg across the river. It’s free, drive-on drive-off, and the kids love it. Great chance to stretch the legs and keep the kids entertained. The ferry ride itself is only 20 minutes, but might end up being faster than the tunnel!

        • My boyfriend LOVES that ferry. We must take a ferry ride every time we’re in Williamsburg together and then stop at Jamestown Pie Co.

    • Like artemis said, the traffic is going to suck. But Rehoboth is always a fun place to go.

      And go to The Ice Cream Store if you can. Seriously, I would drive up there just for some ice cream. So dang good.

    • laduvet

      I am going to DEWEYY! leaving at 6 am friday am. Traffic…. oy.

    • My family has a house up there and I spend a fair amount of weekends up there in the summer. Traditionally traffic is AWFUL the Friday of MDW (like, 4 hours to get there when it usually takes 2.5) but last year there was zero traffic. I think lots of people had either left Thursday night or earlier on Friday, so when I left after work I just cruised straight up. Hoping that will happen again but its basically a crapshoot on traffic for whenever you leave on a holiday weekend.

    • Leave crazy early, either Friday or Saturday morning (e.g. 5:30am). I once left DC at 6pm Friday on Memorial Day weekend and we didn’t arrive to Rehoboth until well after midnight. Fortunately, those of us in the back seat had Maker’s Mark 😀

      • Thanks for the input. We plan to leave at o’dark 30 on Saturday morning. I have no desire to sit in traffic on Friday. Plus, I’d rather take our time getting there on Saturday. Are there any neat place to stop on the way? Think antiques, beer, food.

  • I Dont Get It

    Can you divide phlox?

    • This was a reply to my earlier misplaced post, right?
      Good question about dividing phlox. I’m tempted to try to “borrow” from one of the healthier ones, but I’m worried that it wouldn’t work and everything would just look worse than before.
      Any thoughts from the gardening experts — can phlox be divided?

    • justinbc

      Yes, you can absolutely divide phlox. Make sure your soil has a good bit of sand mixed in for optimal performance.

  • Rave: Cool weather.
    Rave: Three of my four creeping phlox seem to be doing pretty well.
    Rant: The fourth one appears to be dead, and I think it’s too late to get a replacement. (I haven’t seen any creeping phlox at Home Depot for weeks.) This is going to make my yard look off balance.
    Rant: Some truly disgusting-looking mushrooms have been coming up in my yard. There was one yesterday that was bright orange and looked like a skinny crab leg, and one today that… well, it’s probably better if I don’t say what it looked like.

    • Additional rants/raves:
      Rant: My attempt to feed a feral cat last night was only semi-successful and ended up making my own cat super-jealous.
      Last night I noticed a sad-looking orange tabby cat (I think a skinny adolescent kitten) hanging out on my neighbors’ porch. I approached him and he ran away. I thought, “Aha, he’s feral — he could probably do with some food,” and went to get some cat food from indoors. At first he ran away, but then he came back and started eating. Things seemed to be going well, although he kept looking nervously over his shoulder.
      It soon became apparent _why_ he kept looking around nervously. A much bigger cat — a grey-and-white one, I think also feral — suddenly appeared and the orange cat ran away. The big grey-and-white cat proceeded to start eating the food I’d put out, which was not what I’d had in mind. (He looked like he didn’t need any extra food.) I tried knocking on the window, but that didn’t seem to scare him sufficiently. So at that point I opened the window and started hissing at him.
      Then MY cat came over to the window to see what was going on. I don’t know if she figured out that I was feeding other cats or what, but she started making these woeful, distressed-sounding meows, and when I tried to pet her, she just batted my hand away with her paw.
      Rave: I was able to get the grey-and-white cat to go away by going outside and hissing at him, and then standing guard from a safe distance while the orange cat ate the food.
      Rave: About 10 minutes later, my cat either forgave me or forgot about the whole episode.

      • I Dont Get It

        Rant: Some crazy lady was out in her yard hissing at me when I walked by today.

      • binpetworth

        Your cat sounds like my cat! My indoor-only kitty gets super jealous if she sees me outside petting the neighbor’s indoor-outdoor cat. Jealous as in biting my leg when I return and giving me the cold shoulder for 15 minutes…until she wants to snuggle and love all over me and all is forgiven.

        • My kitty was awfully distressed when I was attempting to foster some cats in my basement for a couple of weeks (maybe two months after I first got her). I knew she didn’t like other cats, but I didn’t realize that it would be so upsetting to her even when they had no direct contact.
          This was the first time I’ve seen her actively angry. I guess that’ll teach me not to cheat on my cat (or do anything that she might perceive as cheating)!

    • ha ha, I always get those crazy fungi on the mulch. they are pretty gross looking. Re: phlox, yes, it can be divided. I think most plants that are creeping and mat-like eventually need to be divided.

      A good source for gardening info is www. mobot.org – Missouri Botanical Garden website. Great website, loads of information.

      • Anongardener — Thanks; will check that out.
        The thing is, these phlox are all new ones that I planted just recently… not established ones from a previous year.

        • If they are too small, it might not work. if you try it, to increase the odds of success trim the transplanted one down – fewer leaves/stems to keep alive. Some plants are very dramatic, and will look wilted and dead right after the shock of transplant. just keep watering and many of them will perk back up after a few days.

          • Hmm… maybe I’ll try giving the dead one extra water for a while and seeing if it perks up. It seemed pretty dried-out when I looked at it this morning, though.

          • Or just water normally and see if it comes back. Extra watering may make it worse.
            If it is in full sun, you might cover it with a sheet of newspaper for a few days.

          • justinbc

            Do not over water phlox! They like to be well drained, see my post above about adding sand to your soil.

  • skj84

    Rave: Relaxing time at Casper Snoozebar yesterday. I love when businesses find creative, interactive ways to promote their products.

    Rant: I may have to move before I find a full time job and its freaking my out. I’ve gone into denial, shut down mode.

  • RAVE: Went to the best show I’ve seen in a while. Hop Along. Sold out at Black Cat backstage. Take me back!
    RAVE: Music meetup group. Very happy I found them. I can’t believe I spent 5 hours just hanging out with them. My hetero male friend pointed out that all of the guys in my meetup group happen to be v attractive as he bluntly asked me: “which one of them are you going to marry?” Ha. All of them and the ladies too.
    Rave/Rant: Guy who I went on first date with finally followed up on the second date he asked about. I’m going to go because I said I would. But I suspect date 3 will probably not happen since I’m pretty iffy about him.

  • Rant:

    I saw a small, black-and-white, Shih Tzu-like dog running free near North Carolina Ave and 15th St NE about 7am Thursday. The dog had a red collar on and was running fast. I hoped he would be interested in my dog (that has worked before with dogs on the loose) and walked toward him. The dog took off, mostly running on the sidewalk, but disappeared from view around 16th and C St NE. I hope someone catches the dog and returns him to his owner.

    Please share.

    • If you haven’t already, please call D.C. Animal Control at 202-576-6664 and give them this information.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Reading Codex by Lev Grossman, The Falculty Club by Danny Tobey, The Right Society by Donna Mabry, and Alram Cry by Phillips Huston.
    Not listening to any music at the moment. My brain is slightly broken.
    Cilantro needs to be nuked from space.

  • I Dont Get It

    Rave:  The beautiful tree with white blossoms I spotted this morning at the corner of Vermont and T.  

    Rave:  I roasted butternut squash in coconut oil  last night and it was delicious—great with turkey burgers and Cuban beans.   

    Rant:  My house still smells like pot, pee and poop and I can only blame Muriel Bowser for two out of the three.

    Rant:  My cable/internet is out big time; it looks like the wire where it enters the house broke off.  Yikes!  The silence is driving me crazy!  I may have to attempt a conversation with WDS out of boredom.

    Rant:  Ridiculous troubleshooting Comcast wants you to go through before sending out a tech.   

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rave: harvested some lettuce (the leaves were to big for Donna to eat, she loves her greens!) and lemom balm from my wee contaitner garden and put them in a salad. The lemon balm was a perfect addition!

  • houseintherear

    FYI rave: I’m fostering a super great pair of 6 week old kittens right now- Castiel and Crowley at WHS. They’re going to another foster tomorrow to start their exploration phase of life, and will have their altering surgeries soon. If you know anyone looking for a pair, these two really are great- totally litter trained, so sweet and adorable and playful.

  • Rave: A mostly free weekend coming up and the weather is beautiful!
    Rant: Lifestyle decisions to be made. Do I want to live with a roommate during the upcoming high-stress period? Will I have the time to take care of a dog?
    Rave: In a few short months my lifestyle decisions will have been made and I’ll be starting a new chapter. Trying to remain upbeat!
    Rave: Having feelings for a boy! That hasn’t happened in a while. Not sure what to make of it…
    Rant: Can’t decide on a PoPville name! Also unsure how much to divulge because I don’t know who in my circle reads this…

    • emvee

      If you got an awesome roommate, they could help with the dog! I adopted a dog at what was perhaps the worst time to do so. I was freshly dumped and moving to a new city, and picked up my guy from the shelter pretty much as I was in the UHaul leaving town. But he was a great little companion as I mended a broken heart and helped me meet new people in a new city. If it’s something you really want to do and you have a dog in mind you’ve met that you really click with, then I say go for it!

      • That was the plan but then the roommate I was going to live with bailed on me 🙁 So now here I am pup-less and heartbroken haha. I’m about to start law school so I’m mostly just worried I wouldn’t have enough time for the lil guy but I really think having a pup will keep my mental health is such a better state!

        • emvee

          They are a lot of work, but sometimes you need a lot of work and distraction (and dog snuggles) to get you through the mentally and emotionally tough times.

        • You could always foster a pup! Even if you only have the odd week now and then, to cover a regular foster who is on vacation or something. And of course, if you don’t have time for a dog, there are hundreds of cats & kittens always in need of a foster or a real home.

  • Blithe

    Rant: It’s fr-fr-fr-freezing! 🙁
    Rave-ish: Dragged myself to tai ji class this morning. It was rough, but I’m glad that I went.
    Rant: I’ve been kind of dragging all week. I don’t like this – not one little bit!
    Rave: “The Blood Quilt”. And the Arena Stage.

  • Rave: The weather
    Rant: My guy who is supposed to be taking care of my lawn.
    So I need opinions on whether or not I should fire said lawan guy. I am leaning very much towards getting rid of him because he started on my yard about a month and a half before it started snowing last year and it is now May 14th and my front yard is still very patch and my back yard looks terrible. Now I understand that we had the harshest, coldest, snowiest, most unforgiving “DC” winter of all time this past winter but it is almost June now and I am not seeing what was promised. The short of the long is that we agreed up $300, 1/2 up front and the other 1/2 when the yard is done and up to par. He was pitching me on not being able to beat his price and service and I made it clear that I was not interested in going cheap, I want my yard to be in top shape (I think I even said something about resembling a golf course) and he said that he could do it as he is from the area, knows the soils and has done landscaping for DCPS schools…Now here we are at this date and I now have weeds popping up (which he said would not come back when he was finished with them) and quite frankly the only difference is the quality of the little bit of grass has grown in patches. I don’t know, I feel like if I had a real service, this would not be an issue as I could hold them accountable and they would not show up whenever they felt like it and whatever it is that is making the grass grow in certain areas they would do it all around. I would also like to add, we are getting our house ready to rent out and I need for the aesthetics to be on point sooner than later. At this point, I want to say to him here is $50 for your trouble but this is over however my wife thinks we should pay him the full $300 which I disagree with since he has only done a half ass job. What are your thoughts? Am I being too hard on the guy or do I have a point? Any recs for a great lawn service?
    Thanks all that took time to read this and respond.

    • Blithe

      I’m not clear from what you’ve written if you’ve talked to the lawn guy since the snow melted. If not, I think you should talk with him, point out the problems, and ask him for his work plan for your yard and a general time frame for results. If that conversation isn’t satisfactory I wouldn’t pay him the full $300.

      • Yes, I have talked to him and he basically said that the snow messed it all up and that it would take time…that was much earlier in the year. I think you are correct in asking for a work plan but I almost just want to cut ties and move on however, my wife feels like we need to pay him the rest (not getting into our disagreement about that). Anyway, a lawn should not take this long to grow and it should be equal in all parts if taken care of properly correct?

    • Or you could have just spent 8 bucks buying that weed and feed spray. I spray my lawn twice a summer, once in the spring and once in the fall and it keeps it weed free all summer, as well as fertilizing it.

    • For what it’s worth, there was a thread yesterday on lawn services, though the interpretation of the term seems to vary — some people interpreted it as “service to mow your lawn” and others interpreted it as something more comprehensive than that.

      • Yeah, I read that yesterday but as you said, I came away with lawn mowing from it. I need something more comprehensive. I do have the info for a service that was recommended in one of the forums. I may give him a call but I want to firm up my current situation. What would you do if you were me?

        • If it were me, I wouldn’t pay the current guy any more; you’ve already given him $150 and he hasn’t done a satisfactory job. I think you’re entirely within your rights to take your business elsewhere.
          Personally, I don’t like mowing and I think grass is overrated. So if it were me, I would dig up the grass, put down landscaping fabric, put down mulch, and plant shrubs. (Or pay someone to do those tasks.)

          • Or, sign up for the RiverSmart program through DDOE and have your lawn BayScaped (they’ll take up lawn, install trees, native plants and grasses. You pay a nominal amount)

          • I will have to look into this RiverSmart program. This isn’t the same program that plants trees is it? Thanks!

          • Yay for RiverSmart! Such a great program. Tree planting is part of it, but they’ll also do native bayscaping, water barrel installation, and pervious pavers (I’m not spelling that right–but basically stuff to step on that allows water to sink in rather than run off).

          • Kam the tree planting was part of the RiverSmart program but Casey Trees did the planting. I chose the tree and the spot (and paid $50 or so) and Casey Trees did the rest.
            The BayScaping was done by a landscaping company – the landscape design person came up with a proposed plan, I changed out some of the plants (and the placement). Once we had agreed to the plan, the landscapers did all the installation (and mulching after)

          • D’oh, I always forget about the RiverSmart program! Kam, it sounds like that might be perfect for you, as long as their timetable is such that they can get the work done before you start showing the house to potential renters.
            MPinDC, would you say that a BayScaped yard requires less maintenance than the alternatives?

          • Very little maintenance – some watering as they’re getting established and if there is a long dry spell, but native plants are (at least in theory) adapted to this climate.

        • However, not having had personal experience with seeding/maintaining a lawn, I can’t definitively say yes to your question that “a lawn should not take this long to grow and it should be equal in all parts if taken care of properly correct?”

  • Rave: This weather – so more pleasant to run in this morning then Tuesday
    Rave: 7 hours of sleep last night and the night before – an extra hour feels so good
    Rave: Love this city – especially in Spring – so Mother Nature can you give us a few days off of the blast furnace this summer so we all appreciate it a bit more?

  • Rave: the DC United game last night was awesome and seeing some friends I hadn’t seen in a while made it even better.
    Rant: Caps. I’m somehow in denial even though I fully expected this. They looked the best they’ve ever looked in the post season, but still lost it for all the regular caps reasons. Can the Ovi haters give me like five minutes to get over this before I have to listen to all of their crap?
    Rave: seeing Postmodern Jukebox this weekend.

  • Rant: I’m usually very good about sunscreen but totally wasn’t thinking before my first run of the season in a tank top and got a bit of a sunburn. Ouch. Haven’t had one in years.
    Rave: The 1776 Challenge Festival. One of my favorite events of the year.
    Rant: Work drama.

  • Rant: Nene not being able to secure the ball. Dude you can’t let Al big boy you like that. You get that rebound secured and the game is over! Dammit man!

  • justinbc

    Reminder: Just in case there’s no post about it this evening, there’s an official PoPville HH @ Acre 121 tomorrow. For all the folks who always ask where to get t-shirts, show up and snag one!

  • Rant: Long day of work today didn’t let me get on PoPville today.
    Rave: Tomorrow’s Friday! And career day!

  • That One Guy

    To whomever it was taking about oysters:


    Was planning to go to HH tomorrow but need to drive mom for get an MRI instead.

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