Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Mike Maguire

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.

255 Comment

  • ?: 2 weeks into summer, all I know is light/dark and weekday/weekend. No sense of time otherwise.
    Noticed: the sign in Ben’s Chili Bowl about who eats free there was taken down when I was there over the weekend (hadn’t been there in ages before then). I just put the two and two together last night. D’oh
    Rant: It’s much harder to not spend money when you have no obligations during the day
    Rave: Going to the gym keeps me busy for a couple hours a day, at least.

  • RANT: Pick up your dog poop. This morning right at the little mulch spot by the Shaw Metro- in front of the elevator I watched a huge white dog take an even bigger dump, the owner just kind of laughed and walked away, made no attempt to clean it up- I had extra poop bags. Youre giving us dog owners a bad name, and you can get fined, you big Jabroni. .

  • rave: the garden is producing! this is my first time planting and some things are working out great!
    rant: cilantro… produced nothing and is just flowering.
    rant: weeds! crazy vines in the yard won’t die

    • That’s because cilantro is of the devil

    • cilantro is yummy but it’s notoriously hard to grow, apparently 🙁

      • I fear you may have missed the boat on cilantro season. A) they need some amount of shade and/or B) once it gets too hot they just start flowering. I had a few good batches in May and then boom 🙁

        • I planted it about 6 weeks ago as seedlings, and it immediately went to flower. But maybe I should just pull it up and plant more basil. Or let my cherry tomatoes go bonkers over that area.

      • Is it really? Ours is growing pretty well… I’m just worried it will get too tall and then fall down due to its height. We’ve had pretty good luck with herbs except for the Thai basil.

    • RANT: Have 3 tomato plants that are putting all their energy into growing (one is 5+ feet high.) Need to figure out how to get them to put the energy into fruit!

      • I Dont Get It

        Are they getting enough sun?

      • I think my friend said to trim them to get them to worry about tomatoes and not just getting bigger.

      • Are you pinching off the suckers? Look where the main branches join the trunk (so to speak.) There will usually be another smaller branch coming off right between them. You need to break those off, sometimes almost daily, so that you have one main stalk and strong side branches, and nothing else. I bet there are ten thousand internet tutorials on this.

        • Interesting. I thought you just dropped the seeds in the ground, watered, and waited! I’ll check it out. thanks for the tip.

          • There’s controversy, of course, like everything on the internet. Some people say the more leaves the better, for increased plant nutrition. And I think there are types of tomato plants that don’t need pruning at all, because they do all their plant growth, and only then start producing fruit.
            Anyway, read up. I always learned you have to prune tomatoes for the best yield.

      • Trim the suckers off all the branches where they meet the stalk and cut the main stalk at the desired height if you’re running out of space. If you’re not really concerned about the height and have plenty of room, let it go and it will produce eventually. But the main idea is that you want the plant to get bushy now with leaves/blooms, and not still be stretching for height. Cutting the main stalk tricks the plant into switching out of grow-mode and into fruit-mode. Excessive height + suckers waste the plant’s energy that could be going into producing fruit.

    • My cilantro is doing the same thing. It has thick stems, tiny leaves, and flowers. It doesn’t look like the cilantro in stores. Why does it do this? It’s my first time growing herbs so I don’t really know what I’m doing.

    • De-head the flowers. The plant is spending it’s energy on reproduction (flowering) and not on producing leaves. If you pop the flowers off, it will start redirecting energy. It’s a constant battle with cilantro, though.

      • I tried that, and all that grew back was the thin leaves / flowers.

        • You might try Vietnamese cilantro – different type of cilantro flavor but really easy to grow. I buy small plants at American Plant Nursery

        • Once Cilantro flowers it’s game over. Even if you pluck the flowers consistently the leaves won’t have the flavor you’re looking for. Cilantro flowers as soon as it gets hot, so in DC there’s about a one to two week harvest window in the spring if you plant from seed. Grown Cilantro the past two years, with this year being the last. It’s just not worth it.

  • Rave: It’s my last day at work and then I’m a full-time student again!
    Rant: ….for 5 years.
    Rave: So excited to be starting something new.

  • justinbc

    Rant: 2 more building projects approved for H Street with parking variances. One of them will be 25 units on the “west end” with I believe 4 spots and a spot for a car service, and the other on the “east end” with 36 units will have 8 spaces. It makes me really glad I don’t own a car, because their optimism that everyone moving in will just hop on the X2 or red line (or non-functioning streetcar) is just hilarious. What will actually happen is that all those people will now compete for the already full streets, and the people who live nearby now will have to park one street down, so on and so on until it reaches our street about 5 blocks away.
    Rave: More stuff building over abandoned buildings is still good for property values.

    • Accountering

      Agreed – the car lite buildings need to go where there is transit, and 14th and H really isn’t a terrific example, until they can either get the streetcar going, or get the X2 fixed. If the streetcar does get going and gets the funds to go to Georgetown, then this is a no brainer. That is a HUGE “if” at this point though.

      • I agree that the lower parking spot buildings need to be near transit, but the parking minimums in the zoning regs need to be revisited. They’re reflective of a different time and mindset in DC and I don’t think a blanket policy across the city is nuanced enough.

      • justinbc

        I really wish that line to Georgetown would happen in the time before I leave DC (10-15 years most likely), it would open up a whole different set of jobs in GT for me that frankly I don’t even consider because the commute across the city is more than I want to deal with given the current system.

    • I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, it absolutely makes street parking more difficult. On the other hand, it’s expensive to build parking, and street parking is ridiculously underpriced in DC. Requiring new buildings to include parking is functionally requiring residents of new residences to pay higher prices for housing so that residents of older residences (many of which don’t have parking either) have an easier time taking advantage of (basically) free parking on public space. No one has a right to park on the street simply because they lived somewhere first.

      • justinbc

        “No one has a right to park on the street simply because they lived somewhere first.”
        I 100% agree with this. However, most residents who were already there don’t really have the capability of digging out a space below their house to put underground parking in like a newly constructed building does which already has to dig out for foundational support. If the public transportation options were more reliable and easy to use then I would welcome a Manhattan skyline full of tall buildings and no parking, but the H Street corridor (especially on the eastern end) has a ways to go to get there.

        • That’s true. My solution is to price street parking at an appropriate level, but that’s never getting approved.
          On a separate note (and at the risk of restarting an old brouhaha), what was the coffee maker you got again?

          • justinbc

            Miele CM 5100, no complaints whatsoever after almost a year of using.

          • justinbc

            CVA 4066 if you want to go the built in route. Whenever we get around to doing the kitchen remodel that will be one of the essential upgrades we get (and probably give the current Miele to mom). I think AJ Madison gave us the best price on that one at $3,199.

    • Will these new residents even be allowed to get street parking permits? I thought they weren’t in deals like this.

      • justinbc

        That all depends on the building and what the approval allows. Some of the ones I’ve heard that have tried to enforce it have run into issues because the DMV couldn’t figure out how to block addresses in their system.

        • That’s weird because even under the old system (i.e., buildings with more required parking) residence weren’t allowed street permits. So this shouldn’t be any kind of change for the DMV.

          • I don’t understand – why would a resident not be permitted a residential parking permit (absent some agreement regarding reduced parking minimums)?

          • It depends on the zoning laws there. When I lived in Navy Yard we were not eligible for RPP. No one in that area was…I think due to Nats Stadium.

          • justinbc

            Google “Parking Holds Up Planned Micro-Units in Logan Circle”

          • Some streets aren’t zoned for RPP. Might depend on your location, but in Mt Pleasant residents could request RPP for their street (certain % of residents had to sign petition requesting this)

  • skj84

    Rant: My laptop is kaput. I tried to turn it on yesterday and got a “no bootable” device message. It won’t read the hard drive. I don’t have the budget for a new laptop. I need it for my new freelance gig. On top of that my phone rejected the brand new charger I’ve had for less than a month. I actually cried myself to sleep last night.

    • Can you use a netbook for the gig? I can loan you one in the meantime.

    • I love my Chromebook. As long as you can use cloud apps/services, it’s great. ~$150.

    • Mug of Glop

      You could (with most laptops, that is) swap out the hard drive for a working one, then reinstall everything on it. Or just clone it back from a backup, if you have that. Hard drives can get pretty inexpensive to swap out.

      • skj84

        That’s what I’m hoping. I can’t figure out how to open the back of the laptop so I can get to the hard drive.

        • Usually it’s small screws, but I’d YouTube how to take apart that laptop.

        • Mug of Glop

          Some laptops these days, especially the devious ones from Apple, have obscured or “tamper-proof” screws that can be hard to find if you don’t know what to look for. Like Anon Spock says, YouTube is a good resource, but you can also search both for the actual service manual from the manufacturer or have a look on www dot ifixit dot com for maybe a guide there.

        • If its a PC, I suggest looking up instructions for your model number online and follow the video before undertaking. If it is a Macbook, I suggest taking it in for replacement at local Repair shop or find a in-house service tech from CL and get an estimate for hard drive replacement. I also suggest looking up model ID, and ordering replacement hard drive from Newegg or micro center brick and mortar (good refurb drive prices). you can find ones for 45-60 dollars shipped. Then you can bring the parts into the store or have a tech from craigslist come over to replace it for you at a reasonable rate if you can’t do it yourself… Good luck!


  • Rave: SLEEP! My first solid night of sleep in a week — I feel remade and slightly manic with all the energy I have.
    Rant/Rave: I’m going to see my dad this weekend. I’m happy for the visit and a chance to provide some support by bringing food, but I’m also gearing up for this to be an emotionally draining weekend.

  • Rant: Originally about my dog for playing possum to get extra food from my roomie, but I’m ranting about her instead because although she easily fed my dog double his usual amount she never took him out. Consequently, he had an unpleasant accident in my room overnight, and I’m close to running out of food before my next delivery. I just happened to notice things out of place; she never told me. Who does that?
    Rave: Early morning driving lesson led to easy parking thereafter.
    Rave: Trying to sell a ticket to an event on Saturday, and I might have a buyer finally. Yea for hopefully no driving to pa.

    • Wait. You get your dog food delivered? What company do you use? I hate lugging 50lbs 10 blocks!

      • I order my dog food either from Amazon or Petco – Amazon is usually cheaper but sometimes Petco has a better price (for the same food/quantity)

      • I order mine from amazon and its about $9 cheaper than the neighborhood pet store. Plus it’s free shipping to my home and usually takes only 2 days to arrive. In total I save about $30 bucks because of all the other smaller treats, toys etc I would have normally bought when go into the store.

      • Amazon is the best for dog food delivery.

      • As everyone says, Amazon. 5% off if you get it subscribed monthly or so.

      • Chewy.com. LOVE THEM! They are an absolutely wonderful company, with all sorts of hard-to-find brands and great prices. Super fast, and usually free, shipping. Recommend them fully!

    • Sounds like you need to have a friendly chat with your roommate about the dog feeding situation.

      • I did before the incident, but the damage was already done unbeknownst to me. Such is life, and hopefully a 1 time only rant.

  • Rant: nightmare about having an ant infestation in my office. horrible way to wake up, I tell ya
    Rant: a horrible manspreader on the metro. Seriously, close the legs and put your bag on your lap, not that hard
    Rave: trying a new turkish place around the corner for lunch with a colleague. Hoping its good (its Ankara in dupont)

  • Query: planning on going to the 12:35 Nats game on July 22. Any idea where I might find shade for as much of that game as possible? Looking at sections 202 & 108 on stubhub, but I don’t think the cover is close enough to be shady in those spots for quite awhile. Thanks!
    Rave: Planned daytime date with the wife: drop kiddo at daycare, go out for breakfast, head over to Nats Park for the game, get some ice cream and hang out, then pick up kiddo for the evening routine. So excited 🙂

    • That sounds like an awesome day!

    • Get on the left field side/third base in the 200s or upper 400s. The 400s near home plate also have shade. Anything along the 1st base/right field will be sunny during most of the day.

    • binpetworth

      A friend of mine gets seats in the last few rows of 204 & 205, which are always shaded. If you want even closer, the last few rows of 114, 115, 116 also have shade…I think starting about row TT and higher.

    • palisades

      138 is a great section. It’s shaded, relatively small, and right behind the home bullpen. If you’re bringing your kid, they’ll be so excited to watch the pitchers warm up and hang out. The only problem is that you can’t see the big screen from there.

      Rows WW to about QQ in 137 are also shaded and in a good spot.

    • Accountering

      This does sound like an awesome day!

    • This is great–thanks for the excellent advice! I’ll crosscheck with stubhub/etc for availability. And yes, I think it will be an awesome day 🙂

      • palisades

        Use the seatgeek app. It aggregates tons of different ticket resellers. Definitely the best deal you’re going to find.

    • Call a ticketing person at the stadium. They are usually helpful.

  • Rave: excited to see my family – and esp my little nephew! – at the beach this weekend! Just a few more days!
    Rant: These days are taking FOREVER. I don’t want to wish time away, but I’m feeling very overwhelmed at work and instead of the time going quickly, it feels like it’s dragging. I love my job but sometimes I just want to take a very long, faraway vacation.
    Rave: building management has been very responsive to issues lately, so that’s good.
    Rant: this weather. I’m sorry but I hate this continual oppressive humidity. I know that’s just good ol’ D.C. summer for you, but I still hate it. Longing for fall but trying hard not to wish time away.

    • ok, I thought I was going to be alone if I ranted on this – doesn’t it seem like this summer, the weather pattern is particularly oppressive? I probably complain about it every summer, but it’s really bad this year, right?!

      • Less hot, but perhaps more humid with the ever-present rain threats?

        • No, I agree. It’s terrible between the oppressive heat and seemingly constant storms. I recently decided I hate both winter and summer weather.

        • yeah I was just thinking the temperature isn’t bad but the humidity is just awful

        • Agreed. I would much prefer the drier heat, even if it was hotter. This humidity makes me feel like I can’t get air into my lungs!

      • Accountering

        Negative. Past summers have been LOADS worse than this summer.

        • Emmaleigh504

          all those 106 days last summer or summer before last were brutal.

          • Or that one year where there were monsoon-caliber rains almost every day, usually during or around rush hour time. The humidity was killer that year.

            There have been a few days this summer where I felt like I was walking out into a steam room. But overall, the weather this year has not seemed too bad to me.

        • Agreed. This summer really has not been that bad. 100+ with this kind of humidity is absolutely suffocating. This stuff is just an appetizer.

      • I’ve actually been thinking this year hasn’t been too bad so far. We’ve had those horrible humid days in the 90s, but the last few weeks, we’ve had days in the lower 80s. I’ll take that. It seems to me that it is usually much, much hotter (and more humid) by now. And I get hot when it hits about 75.

    • palisades

      This has been an interesting summer. The humidity can be oppressive at times. But there has been LOTS of late afternoon rain to offset it. It’s very southern-Florida-esque. Trust me, a drought-filled summer is way worse.

      • except the rain isn’t pushing the humidity out!

      • Yes, the weather has been very Florida this summer. Rain almost everyday in the late afternoon/early evening. However, if I wanted to deal with Florida weather I’d just live in Florida and at least take advantage of the beach, no income taxes, and excellent Latin cuisine.
        We get crappy Florida weather with none of the upsides 🙁

    • Emmaleigh504

      Humidity is the air giving you a hug. 🙂

      • I think humidity is the air trying to drown me!

        • skj84

          For some reason I decided to curl my hair yesterday. By the end of the day my hair was a mushroom of frizz. The humidity is no joke!

          • The humidity here is so bad that I have left the salon with a blowout, walked 1/4 mile home and had curly hair again by the time I got back. I don’t even bother trying to do any elaborate styles until it gets cooler.

          • Just walking the dog outside for 20 minutes turns my hair in a crazy frizz ball. There is no winning this battle.

          • For the hair issues, I have naturally curly hair and I thought that I was destined to have frizz forever. I started using the Deva Curl shampoo (once a week), conditioner (every day), and gel (every day) and I have no more frizz. Even on the most humid days. And my curls look amazing. I really was worried coming in to some of the worst of the humidity this summer, but it still looks great.

          • Emmaleigh504

            Ouidad has some nice anti-frizz stuff. I liked it, but I’m more of a conditioner and go kind of gal. Luckily my curls are loose, so mostly behave.

        • I’ve given up on my hair since moving here

          • Emmaleigh504

            Ha! I have too, but only b/c it’s not humid enough on most days. There’s another chick at work from New Orleans and we get together periodically to bitch about the lack of heat and humidty, and how our skin and hair are suffering. 🙂

      • +1 I say this, too. I like hot and humid! I just don’t necessarily like the way hot and humid mix with work clothes and commuting.

        • Emmaleigh504

          I’m lucky to have a casual dress work place. But I did spend many summers in New Orleans with no ac in my truck. So totally feel your pain. I had to take a change of clothes with me every where I went.

  • Rant: U-Turns in 4 way stop intersections. SERIOUSLY Please don’t do this. I’ve noticed it more often lately, and some guy almost hit me and another car this morning. He pulled out and seemed to turn right, so I started to take my turn when suddenly the car was not turning but swerving in front of me. I hit the brakes. He seemed to clear the intersection and the truck waiting started to drive when the u-turner swerved again and nearly t-boned the truck. Part of safe driving is doing predictable things!

    Rave: Carpooled with a colleague and felt a little better about driving to commute.

  • EckingtonDoodle

    Rave: Espresso Shandy from Peregrine Espresso at Union Market! Iced espresso and lemonade who would have thought it’d make my tastebuds dance?
    Rant: humidity and that weird “Murder in NoMa 2015” graffiti tag appearing this morning on the MBT Trail wall nearby NY Ave. Bit chilling…

    • ok, that sounds like it could be disgusting or amazing. Might need to try that!

      • EckingtonDoodle

        It was a total gamble, but it paid off. Already thinking about how I can sneak out of work today to get another one.

    • I think I might like that espresso + lemonade. I have been shocked by how delicious Compass Coffee’s mint cold brew and lavender lattes are, so now I’m curious about other coffee combinations.

      • ah that sounds like it could be both delicious AND disgusting too! But Compass is amazing. the cold brew is seriously addictive

  • Rave: chocolate peanut butter brownies I made – brownies, layer of peanut butter cups and peanuts melted on top, topped all with a mix of rice krispies, melted chocolate, peanut butter, and vanilla. Poured on top, then hardened. They look amazing. I wanted to take them in to bed, eat them and binge watch TV all day.
    Rant: can’t do that for a variety of reasons 🙁
    Rant: It’s taking a RIDICULOUSLY long time to get our hour appraised. We are under contract and there’s some expiration next week. We’ve got a big deposit down but no appraisal and the mortgage guy “legally can’t tell us what’s going on”. WTF? And our agent is on vacation.
    Rant: Our landlord is nuts. She gave us a weed whacker to do the landscaping. Nope. 6 more weeks. But I feel bad for the downstairs neighbor.

    • Hmmm, your rave might be a good boring summer day activity.

    • I’ve never heard that re: he can’t tell you anything. Is that a pa thing? I am assuming the agent didn’t leave anyone in his place, but if it’s a multiple person office, you may want to contact the head of it to get some information. Also check your contract to see what exactly expires next week rather than assuming it’s the appraisal. Hopefully another agent can interface in your behalf.

      • our mortgage commitment date is next week, and for the mortgage we need an appraisal

      • Accountering

        Insert standard comment about how Philadelphia and the State of PA are actually the worst.
        With that said, no worries about the appraisal. The bank is the one in charge of doing it, and they will get it going. They aren’t interested in dumping a loan because their appraiser cant get his act together.

        • If Pa were so awful, so many of us wouldn’t be headed there!
          But it’s just so odd – I’ve never even considered this would be a delay. We could also do an addendum but the seller is a d-bag.

          • Accountering

            Try not to worry about it, I have been involved in a lot of these, and just like wedding planners, they focus on the pressing issues, and take care of everything in the last three days. It will be fine, and the appraiser doesn’t want to lose a bank relationship and his fee by delaying.
            From 7/1/13 – 7/1/14

            From the censur, here are the 30 States That Had Net Domestic Outmigration:
            1-New York (-153,921)
            2-Illinois (-94,956)
            3-New Jersey (-55,469)
            4-California (-32,090)
            5-Pennsylvania (-31,448)

          • I wholeheartedly concur with James Carville’s description of PA. It sucks. And I’m from New Jersey, so I have a pretty high tolerance for sucking.
            That said, http:// ihateohio.livejournal.com/

          • ooooook. We’ll, we’re excited to move back home. Sorry I don’t shit on where you’re from. Pittsburgh is awesome (moreso than Philly, that’s for sure – and we’re moving to Philly). If you haven’t actually been, you might learn how great it is.

          • Sorry, that was insensitive. I apologize.

          • I mean, not wanting to live someplace is fine – I’d never live in a huge chunk of this area – but saying “it sucks” of any state, especially a HUGE one with truly beautiful areas, is just stupid. I’d never live in New Jersey, but there are really beautiful areas. Jersey tomatoes? YUM. How am I the positive thinking person in this part of thread? lol

          • Accountering

            You can shit on where I am from. I have lived in MN (cold as anything, and tons of mosquitoes in the summer, but cool people) UT (beautiful, skiing, great weather, HORRIBLE people) and Northern Virginia outside the Beltway (traffic, government contractors, people who think they are more important than they are, and traffic)
            All of them suck in their own ways, and I wouldn’t move back to any of them 🙂
            With that said, yes, I will acknowledge that there are cool parts of both Pittsburgh and Philly. The people and sports teams though, outweigh the cool parts, by miles 🙂

          • Accountering

            RE: New Jersey – if 99% of the state sucks, then it sucks. So in NJs case, it sucks.
            As far as PA, sure, there are pretty areas, but Philly and Pittsburgh suck (see above) so it sucks.

          • wow, so glad i don’t care about professional sports.

          • What’s wrong with a little ribbing about another area, especially one that holds two cities that have natural “beefs” with cities around here (DC and Philly, Pittsburgh and Baltimore). A sense of humor is terrible thing to lose.

          • saf

            “Sorry I don’t shit on where you are from.”

            Actually, you spend a good deal of time shitting on DC. It gets annoying.

          • ^^Truth. You do pretty much hate DC. I mean, feel free to rant, that’s what this particular forum is for. But don’t get pissy when people rant about your home state. DC is my claimed home (army brat, been here the longest though), and as with most people actually from DC, I really don’t care if you like it or not. So why should you care if people want to rag on your state a little? Especially when it’s all true??

        • LOL I’m sure that’s true.

          Contract dates can also be changed, but your realtor would need to be on that. Hopefully they’re not a one man/woman show.

        • HaileUnlikely

          I actually almost did lose out on purchasing my home because the appraiser hired by the lender submitted the appraisal report to the lender over 2 weeks late. Understood that this is not typical but it is not the case that it literally does not ever happen, either.

  • RAVE: I’m an aunt! My nephew was born yesterday at 5:27 pm, all 8 lbs 14 oz and 21″ of him. He is a chunky nugget and I’m already in love. Flying out to visit Sunday through Wednesday and I cannot wait to hold him.

  • Rant: Just lost another offer on a house to an investor. They outbid me by 40,000! That is crazy.
    Rant: I am sure I will see the house in the next couple of months for 250,000 more.
    Rant: I hate the DC market. If you are investor, please don’t speak to me today. I have no patience.
    Rave: The Wire is the best show ever!

    • Investors are there year round, but winter time is slow for them because it’s bad to build. As the weather gets colder, you’ll have less competition. Good luck.

    • If you don’t mind sharing. What’s your budget? Also what neighborhood was the home located?

      • MY GOD!! 40K ughhh! If you haven’t tried this already try including a letter to the homeowners in your offer. It’s a long shot, but sometimes it works. I know we only got our house because we actually met the owners.

      • Thanks guys. I appreaciate the nice words. I am still mad about this, but that is the DC market. I have lost out on over 5 homes now. Pretty much all to investors. My budget is low…like 450,000 and most of the homes I have bid on were around 350,000 and 400,000. I have been looking mainly in NW and NE. Don’t really want to go out to east of the river, md, or va, but might have to just to regain my sanity. I will keep trying though. Justinbc, thanks for your suggestion about meeting the owners. I have written letters but I think those folks were more about the money…estate sale. Open to any suggestions. Thanks in advance.

        • HaileUnlikely

          Not sure what you’re looking for in a house or neighborhood, but there are houses to be found in your stated price range with somewhat less overall competition and significantly less investor competition in parts of Takoma (north of Butternut between Georgia & Blair), Riggs Park, Manor Park, Michigan Park. Also, if you’re ok with a house that will likely need a lot of work, check out the Fannie Mae HomePath program. They only allow offers from owner-occupants for the first 21 days on the market and then open to investors if they aren’t under contract with an owner-occupant already. They rarely have stuff in NE or NW, but I bought my house (in the above-described part of Takoma) through that program.

        • All of what Haile said, with the addition of Brightwood. It was not long ago that houses would sit on the market for months at less than $400K in Brightwood. I also don’t think it’s that attractive to investors right now because we still aren’t a $550k+ neighborhood. One house at the end of my block was sold to a developer, but it did not sell after the flip, even after a major price drop. I think that could bode well for future investors keeping their hands off Brightwood.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Yes indeed, especially over by Coolidge HS. I lived on 14th (just north of Military) for my first decade in DC – houses over there tend to be more expensive (unusual to see anything under $600K over there, though they do tend to be quite a bit larger)

          • I did a quick Zillow search and found several “pre-foreclosure” houses (no clue what this means?) for around $380K. I live above Missouri near Georgia, and most of the homes are 3 bedroom duplexes with decent sized basements, parking pads off the allies, and plenty of on street (unzoned) parking.

          • Thanks guys! Yep, I have been looking in all the neighborhoods listed. Just lost a house in Brookland last night. Lost 2 in Riggs Park and 2 in Woodridge. I dont mind getting a fixer upper, but that’s what I am losing on. Will checkout of Takoma (Georgia and Blair). I would love if the Fannie Mae program was all of DC. Maybe we can make that law… owner-occupant gets first dibs. Investors you can have the homes that nobody wants to fix up. That’s fair right. I am just trying to buy a house y’all.

          • It is only fair, and honestly, I think you would gain a lot of traction with the older folks and others against gentrification. I have neighbors who don’t want to sell their houses to developers and never would, but they won’t live forever and their kids would happily sell mom and dad’s place that’s been paid off for 20 years to a developer.

          • HaileUnlikely

            FYI – nothing fitting the description on the market in my area of Takoma at the moment, but check every now and then (or better yet use an app to set up notifications) and stuff will pop up every now and then. An unrenovated and unspectacular but honestly quite livable house just sat on the market for over 2 months on 8th (between Hemlock and Juniper) at $399K before finally going under contract. Similar houses on 9th and on Eastern typically sit for a little while and go in the high $300’s or low $400”s.

        • If you are Ok with the location and feel safe- Carver Langston is one of the few close in places that have homes in those ranges. Carver Langston is today what Trinidad was 2-3 years ago in regards to prices.

    • justinbc

      If it makes you feel any better we lost our first house offer to someone who bid $70K less because they were willing to pay all cash.

      • So so so stupid to leave that much money on the table.

        • justinbc

          I got the impression that the owner had some serious debt and needed to close ASAP. It was a definite “as is” property with the full negative connotation, even at 700K it was pretty much a total gut job, but the location and size would have been worth it.

          • Accountering

            Still – unless you need the money to pay off a loan shark who is going to break your legs tomorrow, this was a dumb move on the sellers part. That extra $70,000 would have certainly been helpful with their debt!

          • justinbc

            Happens all the time all over DC though, although usually you see it in flips that are in the 300-400 range.

          • A round of beers says that clown is already back in debt, even after the windfall. A fool who passes up $70K is a fool who will find himself in the same predicament.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: work dreams.
    Rave: I’m having a great hair day. Thanks humidity!

  • Rant: Landlord showed up at 9 AM without notice. Then roommate got to work and found 4 missed calls on his work phone….. Why didn’t she call any of the other 4 roommates?
    Rant: She says a leaky toilet is our fault due to negligence and will charge us.
    Rant: She also wants to charge moving fee if we don’t move HER furniture back to the way she had it. Lawyer told me last year that we could technically charge her for storing her own furniture there.
    Rave: 3 more weeks til out of this house.
    ?: She has no BBL/rental license. So she is basically renting out her house illegally? While violating all sorts of tenant laws for the past couple years. …3 more weeks.

    • Did lawyer mention if she can even sue you for rental related stuff when she’s renting illegally?

      Was your house rented as furnished? If so, I’m not sure how you could charge the owner a few for allowing you to use her stuff. Also moving fee to move a couch from here to there? Wow!

      • House is all unfurnished minus her dining room table and various dining room pieces because she can’t fit them in her own house. She wanted to charge us $500 for breaking a chair, but lawyer said she can’t because the house is supposed to be rented unfurnished. The whole situation is a mess, I’m not banking on getting my security deposit. Lawyer told us to be as nice and compliant as possible and not bring up that we know that she has no BBL until we “need” to.

        • Accountering

          Get your demand letter ready. She doesn’t want to get sued in DC, she will lose. You just need to let her know this 🙂

    • Accountering

      I would kindly let her know that you are not paying for a leaky toilet – you are not paying to move her furniture back where it was (though you probably should move it back?!) and that if she tries to enforce any of the above, that you will absolutely be filing suit, and will at that point charge her for storing her furniture..
      You don’t have to take this crap laying down.

    • Why don’t you just report her to the city? Or threaten to to put an end to her bs?

      • I want to, but not all roommates are on board. She will have to be a reference for us when we all move out so we don’t want to piss her off until we all find places and are out of the house.

        • GiantSquid

          I feel your pain. I’ve gone as far as to find out what the DCRA investigations phone number is, but like you, I might need the reference and I don’t want to screw over our downstairs neighbors who are super cool.

    • Did you tell the landlord when the toilet started leaking? How long has it been leaking? Is she charging you for the extra water, or for repair/replacement of the toilet/parts?
      I remember people were less sympathetic to you when you complained about your landlord previously:

      • Yea, since then I learned a lot more about our house. After that story about the two kids dying in the Dupont fire:


        I wanted to check if my house is also an illegal rental, and it appears that it is (no BBL on the DCRA website, called DCRA too to make sure).

        Not sure on all the facts about the toilet, but we called her as soon as we saw a giant water stain in the ceiling below. I’m just ready to move out and be done with her.

        • GiantSquid

          Just so you know VinDC, if there isn’t a BBL license in DCRA’s database, you want to contact the Office of Investigations at 202-442-8676, not DCRA’s inspectors. Inspectors only do it if there’s a BBL license number. Since it’s illegal, it has to be investigated. For when you’re ready, if ever, to pull that card on your landlord.

        • Ahh… if the toilet was leaking from beneath (as opposed to from the tank or internally), it was probably a problem with the wax seal, and I’d be hard pressed to see how that could be your fault.

          • The plumber who came and looked at it said whatever plumber did it before did a shoddy job. So somehow it’s our fault… this woman is the worst.

          • See if you can get something in writing from the plumber. Or at the very least relay what he said to the landlord, and give her the plumber’s name and number. A poor installation from the previous plumber (or DIYer) sounds completely plausible — I think a wax seal is the kind of thing you would have a hard time damaging unless you and all your housemates were deliberately trying to wrestle the toilet loose from the floor.

  • Mug of Glop

    Rant: Been sick for the entire holiday weekend up through today. Stupid cold or sinus infection or whatever it was. Blech.
    Rave: Feel a bit better today. Managed even to sleep without drugs! Maybe I won’t be sick anymore!
    Rant: Still not feeling at the top of my game. Lingering scratchy throat.
    Rave: Maybe I’ll be able to start on my runs again!
    Rant: Probably will have to start running again. Stupid training.

  • justinbc

    Rant: Too much going on in both July and August at the office and at home with the remodel to plan / attend our regular monthly HH. If someone else wants to set something up I’m sure it would be well received.

  • Rave: Ranted yesterday about breaking one of my favorite plates, found the pattern on replacements com. Ordering more plates and a few more of the small bowls I love. And not that I need more plates, but there are some very sweet designs – two of these, one of those and my cart is full.
    Rant: Ants! Why do I have ants in my car? Probably brought them in when transporting plants, but what are they living on?

    • Emmaleigh504

      My mom started an “ugly plates” collection for every day use, and of course we all feel in love with the ugly plates. It’s very sad when one breaks. So naturally I started my own ugly dishes collection. I found an ugly saucer that I fell in love with, and want to buy more. But it doesn’t have a name or maker on the back. *sob*

      • Emilie try taking a picture of the plate then use google reverse image search to see if there are others out there.
        I still feel guilty about taking some of my mom’s melamine plates and bowls to a thrift shop – there is one left and I use it all the time.

        • Emmaleigh504

          I’ve been meaning to do that. I got the saucer in Frederick a few years ago. It was 1 of 2, I went back to the store in June and got the second one. 🙂

      • Reverse google image search?

        • Go to google images, click on the camera icon on the right hand side of the search bar. This gives you the option to upload and image and then search for similar images.

  • mtpresident, you said yesterday that the kittens are a lot more work than you had anticipated. Can you elaborate? I’m thinking of fostering a litter this summer while the kids are home. But they’re with a sitter half the day, so I don’t want to leave her with a bunch of kitten care responsibilities that would prevent her from taking the kids to the pool or something…

    • I don’t think your sitter would have to do anything–other than, depending on age, give them lunch. My adult cats eat twice per day, and the tiny kittens eat 3x/day. Mostly the kittens are messier than anticipated–so our bathroom floor has canned food smeared into the tile in spots and there’s litter all over the floor that needs to get swept up daily so we don’t have to walk on it. Scooping a bit more frequently than once/day too because they seem to be like human babies in that they eat a lot and poop frequently. So it’s really not that bad–but a bit more work than our adult cats. Feels worse mostly because I’m more tired these days. Definitely shouldn’t interfere with being able to get out to the pool, etc, though.
      They are AWFULLY cute though. And so snuggly and soft. Super super sweet. And very playful. My daughter LOVES them.

    • I’ve never fostered a whole litter, but in general kittens are just little jerks. They get into everything, on everything, climb everywhere (including you, as a kitten my cat would jump up and crawl on my back whenever I bent over…or just climb up my leg for the heck of it), and literally bounce off the walls.
      That said, they’re adorable, hilarious, and a lot of fun. My cat is happy being an only furchild, but I definitely plan on another kitten at some point in my future. It shouldn’t cause a problem for your sitter, you likely just want to confine them to a room (and seriously a room with a door that shuts securely, a baby gate won’t work).

      • I’ve fostered anywhere from 2-6 kittens at a time (somehow got away with 6 this last time without the bf throwing us all out…) Anon is totally correct that they are little jerks and will find a way to ransack your home and make it look like a tornado came through during the day, especially as they become more mobile. Mail on the table? Must swipe to the floor. Recycling bin full of empty cat food cans? Karate-chopping that to the floor like it’s nobody’s business. BUT I can tell you that they are totally entertaining to watch and it’s a lot of fun watching them grow up. I wouldn’t recommend a litter of 6 to begin with, but 2-3 are definitely manageable and if you have more than one, they’ll generally keep each other busy throughout the day. Just make sure they’re at least 4-5 weeks old and not the bottle babies that need to be fed every few hours. We both have very structured work schedules where we’re gone for at least 9 hours of the day and the kittens have been fine on their own. For the first 1-2 weeks, you’ll definitely want to confine them to a smaller space like a bathroom so that they can easily find their litter box and they should learn to use that without a problem. Other than that, we feed them wet food 2X a day and leave out dry food, and cleaning will involve scooping and changing the litter and cleaning up their wet food bowls after they finish. They are certainly little eating and pooping machines so you’ll be scooping and changing out the litter box more frequently and the vacuum cleaner will be your best friend as far as cleaning up any stray litter when they decide to play in the litter box and send it flying everywhere. Not to worry! They are adorable and your kids will have so much fun with them.

      • I love the self-involved jerk phase. (Which some would call a cat’s whole life, but kittens are especially clueless.) I’ve had several kittens, though not several at once, at not recently. Climbing my pant leg (or just leg, on one painful occasion) to get to my food. Jumping headfirst from my shoulder into a cup of tea. Jumping into the shower, then realizing he didn’t like to be wet and using all claws to exit asap. One long-ago kitten had a thing for eyes, and would wait til you fell asleep to creep up and lick your eyelids. And of course, when you were startled awake, he leapt away with all his claws extended. Good times.

        • I had to LOL at “One long-ago kitten had a thing for eyes, and would wait til you fell asleep to creep up and lick your eyelids.”
          I think all of these incidents speak to the importance of getting the kittens accustomed to having their claws clipped regularly — should lessen the “OW!” factor. 🙂

        • These stories are awesome 🙂

  • Rant: My car was towed while i was away on vacation because someone put up a reserved parking sign right where i was parked so they could put their moving van there. I couldnt find out where it was since the DC DMV website never works and all offices were closed for the holiday. Grrr! Just paid $300 to get it out of the lot.
    Rave: the address of where they towed me from on the $50 parking ticket they also gave me was wrong, so I am going to contest it and hopefully not have to pay it and get my money back! Fingers crossed.

    • That sucks. But this is totally relevant to yesterday’s conversation about long term parking while traveling.
      Get if off the street folks!

      • justinbc

        Saw your note about Zurich ticket yesterday. Funny, our cab driver got one taking us from the airport to a hotel. They seriously don’t play around over there. And basically every intersection has multiple red light cameras too.

        • I got a red light ticket last February while in Basel. I was trying to the find the address for a building and drove too slowly through the intersection and was still in it as it turned red. I’ve only driven twice in Switzerland and managed to get two tickets. It’s crazy.

    • I’ve won a bad address ticket. Best of luck!

  • Rave: Passed my PMP.

  • GiantSquid

    Still in Central New York!
    Rave: Dinosaur BBQ for lunch!
    Rave: Bike ride yesterday followed by dip in the pool
    Rant: Grey, overcast, chilly day today.
    Rant: The inevitable long drive back to DC.
    Revel: The dogs are having the time of their lives. Got to chase the cat into the underbrush yesterday.

    • We’ve been driving up and down the East Coast every couple of weeks for weddings and having something good to listen to on the drive makes all the difference. Do you listen to podcasts or Audible?

      • GiantSquid

        I listen to the Welcome to Night Vale podcast and recorded live shows. We also pick and choose Nerdist interviews and if you like James Bond, the James Bonding podcast is pretty silly and fun. Last year we binge-listened to the Serial podcast in one trip up. We were just talking this morning about trying out Star Talk again and Audible for audio books. Mr. Squid is super interested in Neil Gaiman, so I was thinking if we could find Good Omens, that would be fun for a drive. Any suggestions?

        • I have a couple! Have you heard of the Dead Author’s podcast? I think it’s pretty funny. Also, I’ve been listening to the Mystery Show a lot. It’s the same producer as Serial, and has a very similar feel, except it’s decidedly lightweight. They choose a different, sort of quirky mystery each week to tackle.

        • Rabia Chaudry’s follow-up to Serial, Undisclosed, is fantastic. The first episode is…underwhelming, but it gets really good after that. The Mortified Podcast, Mystery Show and Dear Sugar are all relatively new and very, very good.

        • Another +1 for Mystery Show. I think Starlee Kine is sort of an acquired taste, but it’s totally my taste. I’ve also been really into The Memory Palace lately. The episodes are very short, but there are a ton of them and it’s fun to listen to several in a row.

    • saf

      Dinosaur is SOOOOOO tasty!

  • Rave: Ten days of vacation was amazing!
    Rave: Nice and tan
    Rant: Work…need to find a way to not have to work
    Rant/Rave: POTUS is screwing with my work trip – but now I think I get to fly the 787 for one of my flights in a combined 2 week trip
    Rant: Will miss Neil Patrick Harris show

  • Rave: Seeing Taylor Swift next week!!!
    Rave: Since I haven’t posted about him in a while, I just wanted to give a shout to my amazing dog. My husband and I started our morning listing reasons he’s delightful, and there were many. He’s just such a darling little gentleman/snuggleface.

  • Rant: Boss asking me to find something so incredibly specific it was almost impossible and then got snippy with me when I wasn’t finding exactly what was requested
    Rave: Other boss (her boss) said as much, and also that she was tasked to do that, not delegate it but I told him I’d love to learn, so I could be more useful to the team. So maybe I can learn something new? That would be awesome.
    Rave: The variance request I submitted to my condo board passed unanimously at last night’s meeting!
    Rave: Going to the new Wegman’s tonight with friends (we’ve rented a car, we’re all very excited). I used to mock people about their Wegman’s love, until I went to one, and I’ve been apologizing for it ever since.
    Rave: Found a really great flight deal to go see my dad in the fall. Significantly less than the direct flight (which then I had to take a shuttle to the next big city) I took a couple of weeks ago (a 45 min layover is fine), and it gets me almost 2 hours close to him without having to pay for extra travel.
    Rant: Need to hear from his wife if the dates will work out, so that I can book it before prices go up (they should have his test results back today…on pins and needles).

  • Rave: Took my cat to the vet to get her vaccines updated. She mewed piteously on the way there and didn’t want to come out of her carrier, but overall she did very well.
    Rant: The vet said that even though my cat is indoor-only, I should put her on flea/tick prevention and heartworm prevention. Not sure I’ll go with the flea/tick thing, but given the number of stray mosquitoes that make it into my house during the summer, I’m thinking I should go for the heartworm prevention — apparently heartworm in cats is really hard to treat.
    Rant: Crazier-than-usual nightmares.

    • Query for other people with indoor kitties: Do you have your cat(s) on something for flea/tick prevention, and/or on something for heartworm prevention?

      • We have never treated our indoor cats for fleas and never had a problem. I’m not sure about heartworm.

      • Emmaleigh504

        I’ve never had a problem with fleas and ticks with untreated indoor cats. I also don’t do the heartworm thing (vet has never suggested it). Hell, I don’t even get their rabies shots regularly. I’m not a very good cat owner.
        On the other hand, I bought Donna $20 worth of cat toys from Wylie Wag yesterday, because she’s spoiled rotten.

      • No flea/tick or heartworm medications. My vet didn’t recommend them and haven’t had any difficulties (at this point I just get her the vaccines that are legally required). Growing up we also never gave our indoor cat any treatments until we got a dog that dragged fleas into the house. If your cat is solely indoors without exposure to other animals, my impression is that you’re ok without it.

      • Both my vet and my sister (also a vet) recommend flea/tick prevention for cats. We use Revolution (also recommended by my sister), I think because it also works for heartworm–but check.
        Our cats did get fleas somehow before we started using revolution, so we started right up after that. Reminds me, they’re overdue for their next dose….

  • That One Guy

    Someone mentioned getting caught in the rain and now I have Wong Kar Wai’s In The Mood For Love stuck in my head.

    • I love that movie so much.

      • That One Guy

        Me too!

        When I say that I have the movie stuck in my head I should clarify that it’s actually Yumeji’s Theme playing over and over.

        • IIRC, “Yumeji’s Theme” was actually written for some other movie (or some other purpose)… but it’s perfect for “In the Mood for Love”!

          • That One Guy

            Whomever chooses the music for Wong Kar Wai’s film does an excellent job. They always convey just the right emotion, don’t you agree?

    • that might have been me, yesterday. I was NOT liking it!

      • That One Guy

        I used to hate getting wet when it rained, but not so much anymore. Do you hate water like a cat or was this a more singular instance?

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