Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user John Sonderman

You can talk about whatever is on your mind – quality of life issues, a beautiful tree you spotted, scuttlebutt, or any random questions/thoughts you may have. But please no personal attacks and no need to correct people’s grammar. This is a place to vent and/or celebrate things about daily life in DC.

413 Comment

  • Rant: When it’s too hot to go the pool, it’s hot. I know … I could (and do) have bigger fish to fry.

    Revel: Having a fish fry tonight.

  • Rant: I’m really upset with myself. I thought I knew more people in Israel than I actually do (the ones I know are mostly busy) and my plans to go away to Jordan have fallen through (one trip was canceled, the other one after I booked was full and the others didn’t work or were more than I wanted to pay). So this leave me having stayed with my friend since I got here on Tuesday. The other day she told me she thought I’d only be here for a few days, and I accept responsibility because a.) I wasn’t clear and b.) I didn’t really plan much partly because she had a friend who was going to be in town the same time (she had to cancel her trip the day before, due to a car accident). So now I’ve overstayed my welcome, but she keeps insisting I haven’t. I’m trying to be a model guest/pay for everything/stay out of her way, but I’m still feeling really terrible. We have plans to go out tonight and had been planning on renting a car/taking a trip Thurs-Saturday (the car rental would also be partly to assist her in moving to a new apartment). I’m thinking I’ll spend a few days in the north or Jerusalem starting tomorrow to give her some space (she insists I don’t need to, but it’s best to get out of Tel Aviv for a bit anyway). I just feel really crappy about the whole situation I set up.

    • Sorry to hear this. The year after I finished college, I stayed for a week (or maybe it was 4-5 days) with a cousin in NYC who made me feel so unwelcome that I wished she’d just said no when I asked if I could visit. I remember feeling homesick on Day 2!!

      • My friend hasn’t made me feel unwelcome, exactly. But I mentioned how I was going on a date and not 100% into it so she asked why I was bothering to and I said because I wanted to give her some alone time and then the conversation happened. She’s been telling me to get over it, but I just can’t. FWIW, this is a 12 day trip. The fact that Jordan’s been canceled twice is making it even worse.

        • Accountering

          If she is saying you aren’t overstaying your welcome, why not just take it at face value? She may be lonely living solo, and she may actually enjoy your company! Seems to me like you are stressing over something quite unnecessarily.

          • It’s possible – she just broke off an engagement in the last couple months, and I know she is lonely, but she’s also in this “going crazy because I’m single after 4 years” phase and I know I’m cramping that style a little bit, haha.

          • Get a hostel. Seriously. You’ll meet a bunch of other travelers and have a good time with them – beach, sightseeing, drinking, probably making out with at least one person, etc.
            Hostels are awesome when you’re flyin’ solo.

          • Yeah, I think I’ll leave tomorow morning and go to the north for a couple days and stay in a hostel. If she wants to take a trip together somewhere for the weekend, then we’ll reunite.

        • Stop stressing it – your trip is half over. Bad communication, but she says it is ok. Cramping her style for a few days can be offset by getting that car and being really helpful in her move. Moving is a bitch, and you always need more help than you think you will. Yeah, you’re there in her space, but part of the problem is she’s in a crisis (moving counts as one, even if manageable, it sucks to actually do it) – so be helpful.
          As you go thru life, you’ll see that even the best visits between the best of friends often have an uncomfortableness about when when staying with someone in their home, and will plan to stay in hotels more when possible and practicable. But for now, don’t stress it.

        • If she’s Israeli, take her at what she’s saying. It’s not a passive aggressive culture (at least in my experience). Perhaps you can discuss exactly what you can do to help around the place – make dinner? run an errand? What are some good expectations. If she’s a true friend, she won’t mind – really. But I do agree that a hostel is a good way to meet new friends. Maybe do that for the second half?

          • She made aliyah from Ohio/DC so there’s still a teensy bit of doubt, but I am trying to help out around the house – paying for drinks/dinner/grocery shopping. But I think I’m going to peace out to Haifa or Tiberias for a couple nights.

    • Traveling can be more stressful and anxiety-ridden at times but try not to worry too much. In the large scheme of things, 2 weeks isn’t that long to be cramping someone’s style. Take a break and get away for a bit if you need to and have a good time with your friend for the rest of time you’ve got left with her (even moving!) You sounds like a gracious guest and you’ll learn that people can naturally be grumpy sometimes when you’re in the confines of a small space together.

    • Stop stressing about it, take her at her word, and enjoy your trip. Things didn’t work out like you thought, but it sounds like you’re very aware of any inconvenience on your friend and are trying to be as helpful and considerate as possible (which I’m sure she appreciates). A trip elsewhere in the country as well sounds like a great idea. You can get out and explore while giving her a bit of time to decompress on her own. It’ll also help mitigate your own disappointment about other plans falling through during your trip.

  • justinbc

    Rave: After some initial hiccups the first batch of homemade sausages came out perfect.
    Rave: Honey souffle at Fiola. Still thinking about it days later.
    Rave: Spent most of the day yesterday out in VA country looking for some antique items and wound up with a new chair from Restoration Hardware instead.
    Rant: Staircase construction pushed back 2 days.

  • Rave: I survived 3 weeks with my mother in law!
    Rant: My stress-induced eye twitch is back. I really hope this doesn’t last long.
    Rave: Cider vinegar traps. The fruit flies in my kitchen are almost fully eliminated.
    Rave: Summer cooking. Whiskey soaked peach cobbler and refrigerator hot garlic pickles. Yum.

    • Ugh have you had eye twitches before? Any home remedy you use that has worked to relax the eye muscles?

      I’ve had an eye twitch since Feb. Consulted an eye dr. a couple months ago at GW, and he said, “Well, your eyes look ok. We don’t know what’s causing the twitch. It could be a neurological prob, so….” Since I have a pretty stress-free life, I’m just hoping the twitch goes away soon.

      • *twitch twitch
        Sigh… me too.
        My home remedy of poking it doesn’t seem to be working

      • I get it every few years, typically while I’m going through a high stress situation (and my mother in law’s visit counts as that… she’s not the easiest person to deal if it’s more than a couple of days). It lasts anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months. My ophthalmologist will usually prescribe me a muscle relaxer and anti-anxiety meds if it goes on too long or starts waking me up during the night. Typically that will get rid of the problem for me within a few days but I’m avoiding it right now since I’m trying to get pregnant. I had a full neuro work up done when it first started happening but there was no neurological cause – it’s just a stress reaction for me.

      • Emmaleigh504

        Botox treats eye twitches.

      • Believe it or not, my eye twitch was caused by a potassium deficiency. (Sorry if you’ve already ruled that out.)

    • whiskey-soaked peach cobbler? recipe or link?? This sounds RIGHT up our alley!

      • I didn’t use a recipe but it’s exactly what it sounds like. Add a couple of tablespoons of a decent whiskey and a tablespoon of sugar to 6 peeled and sliced peaches. Let that sit for a couple of hours before tossing it with about 3 tablespoons of flour. Then pour it in a buttered casserole dish. Then I made up a batch of drop biscuits that I sweetened with a tablespoon of sugar and added about a teaspoon of cinnamon and vanilla extract. Drop the dough cobblestone style on top of the peaches and sprinkle it with another tablespoon or 2 of sugar. Bake it for about 45 minutes or until it’s all golden and beautiful. The amount of sugar was based entirely on the sweetness of the peaches I bought at the farmer’s market, so it might need a little more or less. It was pretty awesome straight out of the oven with vanilla ice cream.

    • I’ll second your rave on summer cooking! So many delicious things in season. I made a tomato zucchini galette for dinner last night with my farmers market haul and it was amazing.

    • Thanks for reminding me about the cider vinegar traps! I’m going to set them up tonight. Got any brilliant ideas for ants? They’re the itty bitty ones that blend completely into my granite countertops, so I can’t tell where they’re coming from.

      • The only thing I know of to get rid of ants is boric acid. Mix a tablespoon of the boric acid with a simple syrup of 8 tablespoons of sugar mixed with 1 cup of hot water. Pour it into a shallow container and put it where you have the ants (it also helps if you wipe down the area with vinegar to get rid of the existing ant trails first). I wouldn’t do it if you have pets and they have access to that area.

        • There’s the rub–I’ve got a dog. But she’s small, so maybe if I just leave it on the countertop it will work… Thanks!

        • I really like the Terro (I think that’s the spelling?) bait stations–we have a few in spots that the cats & kiddo can’t easily get to and have really done the trick. Their design is really effective at drawing in the ants without making the poison accessible to the critters & kids. Good luck!

  • Rave: Fun weekend with friends – baby shower Saturday, birthday party on Sunday. Saw the Amy Winehouse documentary Saturday night, and “Trainwreck” on Sunday afternoon. Loved both!
    Rave: My mom is coming to visit me tomorrow!

    • Must see both of those! Hoping to sneak one of those in during a weeknight. Which would you go for?

      • Depends – Amy Winehouse is obviously a bit more depressing (but also awesome – man could she siiiing – after a couple of her performances, I actually did want to just stand up and clap in the freaking movie theater, but refrained.). If you are looking to watch something about someone’s life, rise to fame and tragic downfall for 2 hours, choose that one. It was fascinating.
        Trainwreck was a great way to get out of the heat yesterday – and I laughed out loud many times.

  • Rant: Got basically nothing accomplished that I set out to do this weekend. I had every intention of starting to tackle my organizational problem spots, but decided I would first read the Marie Kono book about tidying up, and holy crap, I got about 20 pages in, got so overwhelmed and became paralyzed with indecision, thus getting nothing done.
    Rave: I did manage to at least put together some meals for the week, including a delicious vegetable stew and crockpot chicken tika masala. So that’s something, I guess.
    Rant: So. Effing. Hot!

    • Pablo Raw

      When I get paralyzed with indecision, I eat ice cream. It doesn’t help with deciding anything, and in the end I’m still paralyzed with indecision. But at least I had ice cream!

      • binpetworth

        But how do you decide on which flavor ice cream?!

        • I choose based on the one whose removal is least likely to start a freezer avalanche. I hate my stupid side-by-side.

          • can’t be worse than the bottom drawer freezer. HATE

          • I’m with you jindc. I have chosen not to buy a house because the fridge had a bottom drawer freezer and was too small to be replaced with a side by side. I don’t mind replacing a brand new fridge if I buy a new house, but I refuse to live with a bottom drawer. I had to do it for about 2 weeks when my fridge died right before I sold my last house and the new owners requested a bottom drawer to replace it and I HATED it with every ounce of my being.

          • Shit, really? My friend’s seems nice… it has a shelf/drawer halfway down, depth-wise, so that you can push back the first layer and see the second layer. Much smarter than the old chest-freezers where you just had to dig for stuff. I suppose you couldn’t put a whole turkey in there, but since I never have whole frozen turkeys, this doesn’t concern me.
            What do you hate about it?

          • wdc, it’s just like a big, deep drawer, and you usually have to pull out everything to find something you don’t use that often. It would be a similar situation to have a freezer on top, but at least it’s at eye level so you don’t have to crouch. Also, the configuration really limits the size of things you can put in there and requires advanced geometry to make even the small stuff fit.

          • wdc – I have a freezer like the one you describe and love it! It has one big drawer on the bottom (that I actually think could fit a frozen turkey, but I haven’t tried) and then 3 smaller drawers of various depth stacked on top, as well as a thin ice tray drawer. FWIW, my boyfriend hates it since he has to bend down so far so YMMV.

          • I love my bottom freezer – similar to SKT’s I have 3 drawers plus a small ice tray drawer. It’s easier to find things than in my former top freezer model.

      • justinbc

        Yesterday was National Ice Cream Day, lots of specials all over!

      • Ha! I will plan on doing this next time I get paralyzed, good suggestion!

      • Emmaleigh504

        Pablo, you are the smartest person ever, and def my absolute favorite.

    • Sorry to hear about Rant #1. For what it’s worth, I haven’t read the Marie Kondo book, but I get the impression that she advocates sort of a sweeping, all-encompassing method of decluttering. You might have better luck with a method that advocates tackling things in smaller chunks — perhaps Flylady.

      • Co-signed, I find the “change everything now!” plans overwhelming as well. You might enjoy “Unf*ck Your Habitat,” which focuses on doing as much as you can in a short period of time. The author is more focused on making gradual, sustainable progress without spending all day cleaning.

      • I’m reading the book and it is helpful to think about organizing my house in a more effective way. But I’m just not going to pull all of my clothes out of the closet and dressers at once and go through everything!
        However I was inspired to work on sorting out things in my basement and was able to toss a lot of things that I don’t use/won’t use. The old bathroom rug I’ve been using in my laundry room does not bring me joy.

      • Yes, I should have just stuck to the plan I made at the workshop and listened to the organizer lady’s “KonMari-Lite” philosophy. I will have to look into the “unf*ck your habitat” thing, that sounds a) hilarious and b) more manageable, thanks for the suggestion blahblahblah!

        • Accountering

          I think they key thing is to do something, as opposed to being overwhelmed and doing nothing. Even getting on box unpacked, or one corner sorted, is better than nothing. I know, easier said than done, and I struggle with this too 🙂

        • You’re welcome, I hope it’s helpful!

        • I’ll echo what Accountering said. Stop “looking into” it, and actually start doing it instead.

        • I too had a failed organizing weekend. Unf*ck Your Habitat sounds awesome (and kind of like a housecleaning service for rabbits…)

    • What recipe did you use for the crockpot chicken tika masala? I tried one and it came out so bland!

    • Oh! LittleBluePenguin: I took the cat for nail clipping on Friday. It took approximately 30 seconds. She, of course, freaked out and pooed in her carrier, and the “calming” treats seemed to take effect only after we had gotten home. But, yay, no more long nails!

      • huh! I may look into that, then! How much does it cost?

          • Hmmmm…tempting! I’ll give it another try myself and then see how successful (or not) I am.

          • That sounds like a good rate — I know WARL’s nail-trimming rate is $15 for cats, and I feel like when I got a quote from a vet ~3 years ago (before I figured out that my cat would reluctantly tolerate a few nails being clipped if I did it while she was eating wet food), it was between $15 and $20.

      • I’ve had success by just keeping nail clippers all over the house. When one of the cats is sitting peacefully on my lap, I just snip a nail or two, then keep petting her etc. , then maybe sneak in one more or two.

        • Emmaleigh504

          I do the same, and then give them treats. My last cat started running to get her nails clipped when I clipped my own nails b/c she wanted treats.

        • It really varies by cat, though. If I so much as touch one of my cat’s pawpads while she’s sleepy (not even getting to the stage of actually pressing to make the nail come out), she is INSTANTLY fully awake.

          • My cat isn’t a fan of me touching her paws yet…I’m trying to train her to be when she’s relaxing, but for now, it’s easier to take her to Petco to have it done.

          • Emmaleigh504

            It took a long time to train Ashlee. She was the same, instantly awake and pissed if I touched her foot. I started clipping 1 nail and giving a treat. Even after she got used to the nail clippings it was rare that I could do all at once. Three feet was sort of her limit. Donna on the other hand, you can do anything to her and she doesn’t care. But she never uses her claws so they don’t need clipping. Such a sweet kitty.

  • Rave: attending a beautiful wedding in MD, met a lot of my partner’s extended family, which was nice, and got to have a long weekend, which was also nice.
    Rant: got eaten alive by mosquitoes (or other biting bugs). Weirdly the bites I got up there are small and have hard eraser head sized lumps under the skin. Its really weird but I’ll give them a few days before getting them looked at I suppose. bug spray was also totally ineffectual
    rave; homemade strawberry jam

    • Emmaleigh504

      My parents went to a wedding Saturday. To quote my dad, “She had a *sexy* dress!” Oh the bride? “Your mother.”
      TMI DAD!!!
      The bug bites sound like what no-see-ums do to me. Hopefully they will go away soon. I also get different welts depending on the variety of mosquito. My high school gym teacher thought I was getting abused b/c those bastard tiger mosquitoes leave softball size welts on me.

      • I’ve had the WORST experience with bug bites/no-see-ums/mosquitoes/I don’t know over the past three weeks!!! Seriously it started out with 5-6 HUGE bites on my arm and shoulder. They were the itchiest things I have ever experienced and so swollen. Then those healed and I ended up with some around my neck and back. The weird thing is it wasn’t like I was outside and then I’d get bitten and they itched. It was random and would start as a small bite and then balloon up. I started to get nervous and had Biotech come out and check for bed bugs, but he said no sign of them. Then I stopped getting multiple bites, but single ones would appear!! It was driving me nuts so I went to the doctor. She said she is pretty sure they were some kind of insect bites and my immune system was going crazy trying to fight it. She gave me a 5 day course of prednisone and knock on wood all the bites have cleared up and no new ones. PLEASE LET IT STAY THAT WAY!!!

        • bug bites freak me out so much 🙁 I just really don’t want them to get infected which has happened before and is super not pretty. Ugh. also I’d never heard of a no-see-um before! thanks yall

          • Emmaleigh504

            ant bites are the grossest for me b/c they get gross little puss pockets, but at least they don’t itch like those damn tiger mosquito bites, which last for WEEKS. I hate the out of doors.

          • I used to get mosquito bites that swelled even without scratching…I’m talking larger than egg sized. I covered then in neosporin and bandaids, and it helped a lot. Maybe they were infected, but I don’t think so. Now they swell but not as bad.

          • Oh good, I wasn’t the only one going “no-see-um??”

        • Yeah, I think (hope!) mine were mosquito bites. They also swelled to the size of an egg without me even scratching them! Also, normal itch creams and after bite didn’t work. The only thing that soothed them was calamine lotion and at night I had to take benadryl or I’d wake up due to the crazy itch.

    • Did you try taking a Benadryl? I spend a lot of time on my patio and when the bugs are particularly bad, it’s magic for deflating the welts and soothing the itch.

  • binpetworth

    Rant: People who don’t thank you for gifts. I’ve sent three younger relatives/friends gift cards and/or money for recent birthdays/graduations and not received a peep to indicate they received it. I’m not expecting a hand-written note, just an acknowledgement that it was received. I’m gonna have to start asking, “Did you get what I sent you?”
    Rave: Quiet office.

    • justinbc

      I never sent thank you notes, cards, texts, etc. Mainly because I never expected it from certain people, so if they sent it then it was just more of an “oh, ok, that’s nice” kind of thing. Besides if you don’t really want what they gifted it’s just fake and forced and what’s the point of that. If it’s something really valuable then maybe ask just to make sure it wasn’t stolen, but otherwise I would suggest just be glad with your good deed and don’t try to push “manners” onto folks.

      • binpetworth

        “…if you don’t really want what they gifted it’s fake…”

        What teenager doesn’t want several hundred dollars?

      • Seriously, Justin? If it’s just a card, no need to send thanks. But a gift of any kind should be acknowledged in some way. Not doing so is just plain rude, even if you weren’t a fan of the gift. If that’s a longstanding issue–someone sending you crap you don’t want, that may be another story to deal with in another way. But an overarching non-thanking policy? I’d be pretty quick to stop acknowledging your birthdays and special occasions after awhile.

        • palisades

          Manners 101 in my household were to always send a letter of thanks to anyone who sent me a gift or a card. A blanket policy to never respond is just downright rude lol

        • justinbc

          “I’d be pretty quick to stop acknowledging your birthdays and special occasions after awhile.”
          This would have been fine for me. I never really wanted unsolicited “gifts” as a kid. If someone actually gave me something in person then sure I would say thanks, but sending out cards would have never happened.

        • The policy at my house is acknowledge the gift, or return it to the sender, with the postage coming out of your piggy bank.

        • + 1. A thank you note shows gratitude, something oftentimes lacking in a lot of us. Practicing good etiquette is just another way of showing respect for other people. BTW, Justin, you never wanted “unsolicited” gifts as a kid? What kind of kid were you? haha- I lived for gifts!

      • Poor form sir/madam.

      • Thank you notes and acknowledgements are not about thanking the person for the actual gift. They are about thanking someone for thinking of you, for taking the time to shop for you, for making the effort- “Thank you for showing you love me.” (No, I’m not saying gifts are how to express love, but when you’re 3,000 miles away it’s one way to show it.) Thank you notes speak volumes. I have given up on ever getting one from my sister who didn’t instil this practice in my nephew. I send gifts on holidays and sometimes out of the blue and I never know if they even arrive. It kinda hurts.

        • justinbc

          I could turn that around and say “gifts are not about receiving thanks from someone for your consideration, they’re about showing them that you care about whatever it is you’re sending them for”. If it’s truly a gift then there should be no expectation of getting something in return.

          • So along those lines, if a gift is handed to you vs. being shipped it’s okay to just walk away and go open it? I don’t think it matters where the gift came from or how far the giver is standing from you. A thank you really isn’t that difficult.

          • And your response to someone exhibiting that they care about you is silence? I won’t browbeat someone into a thank you, but I would check in to see if something got delivered because mail isn’t fool-proof.
            As to your comment below–I’m not sure that many people have this “policy” in place, it may well be laziness or just plain not thinking about it. Not sure which is worse.

          • palisades

            It seems the issue stems from the fact that you consider a thank you card some sort of gift, and you have a problem with gift-giving in general.
            Maybe if you disassociated the idea of card=gift, and instead associated it with the idea that card=manners, social etiquette? Or maybe you hate the idea of giving into pre-determined social norms? I give up.

          • Thank you is not “something in return.” Thank you costs nothing and takes zero effort.

          • justinbc

            “Thank you costs nothing and takes zero effort.”
            They very concept of a thank you card does in fact cost something and require effort.

          • Emmaleigh504

            It doesn’t have to be a card! It could be a piece of notebook paper, a postcard, at text, or email. And all it has to say is, “Thank you for thinking of me.” Next to no effort.

          • My personal favorite “thank you” greeting to receive is a quick cell phone video of the person saying thank you. It takes minutes or less to do it and it’s totally free. It’s especially nice when it’s from a smiley kid but works well with adults too.

          • My personal favorite “thank you” greeting to receive is a quick cell phone video of the person saying thank you. It takes minutes or less to do it and it’s totally free. It’s especially nice when it’s from a smiley kid but works well with adults too.

          • So nice I unintentionally posted it twice.

          • binpetworth

            I like your idea, Shawess! I’m gonna do that the next time I get a long distance gift

      • It’s not just about manners (though that’s a big part of it). If I don’t get any sort of thank you (even a text would be enough!) then I worry they didn’t receive my gift – I don’t really trust the USPS. And it puts me in the awkward position of having to ask if they received it, which makes it sound like I’m trying to solicit a thank you card, or worse, scold them for not having sent one.

        • “And it puts me in the awkward position of having to ask if they received it, which makes it sound like I’m trying to solicit a thank you card, or worse, scold them for not having sent one.”
          It only sounds that way if that’s what you’re doing. I ask this pretty often – and if they say yes, immediately change the subject because that conversation is complete.

      • disagree- common courtesy is a thank you card (or email, but….no). Always send a thank you card – it lets them know you received the gift and you appreciate it. Even if you don’t appreciate it. Best lesson was having to write SO MANY for my Bat Mitzvah that it was so ingrained in me to always do it. I NEVER know if my sister in law’s kid(s) got gifts we’ve sent because they never send thank you cards – after a few weeks, my husband calls to ask – “oh, yeah, we did – thanks!”. Sending a ty card is so much less awkward.

        • justinbc

          Given the number of people responding that “x person in their family never sends a thank you card back”, I would say I’m not alone in this policy. That’s nice that your culture instilled in you something that you feel is important, I just happen to not share that particular value. I also can’t think of the last gift that I randomly mailed someone, so it’s not something that I really concern myself with being on the receiving end of.

          • palisades

            I think you’re confusing a policy which you’ve decided is not rude with other people just being lazy

          • But the people responding that their family members don’t send thank you notes are COMPLAINING about it. Having company in this “policy” of non-communication puts you in bad company that makes people complain.
            It’s like me saying I have a “policy” of not picking up my dog’s poop, because it doesn’t matter to me, and lots of other people don’t pick up their dog’s poop.

          • well common courtesy is common. if it’s fine in your circle, great – but I think in 2015 proper etiquette is still to thank someone for a gift. You might want to rethink your “policy” prior to your upcoming wedding. Or stick your partner with it (pretty rude, too, but less offensive to those who bought your gifts).

          • justinbc

            I fully accept that I might be in the minority on this, but it doesn’t bother me in the least. I also fully believe that while lots of people might boast about their excellent 100% manner statistics online, what they actually practice in reality is likely quite different.

          • Wait. So even for a wedding gift you wouldn’t send a thank you card? That would really bother me because I would wonder if you got my gift!

          • justinbc

            I wouldn’t, but I’m sure she would.

          • no one is saying they are 100% polite 100% of the time. But I think many here are saying is that it’s a simple common courtesy that is not difficult to do in a timely manner. I’d be super pissed if I didn’t get a thank you for a wedding gift, but also pissed if my spouse pawned all of it off on me. Hopefully people don’t participate in the gift grab (monetary or otherwise) since you don’t like gifts, it’ll be easier.

          • justinbc

            @jindc, I can assure you that I do not participate in a “money grab” for birthdays, wedding, what have you. My family didn’t have much growing up, so it was never a concern then, and I’ve got pretty much everything I could want now as a grown adult, so I don’t expect gifts from people just for getting married. And there are like a total of 5 people we are inviting anyway, so again, not an issue. If other people decide they want to give me something for some reason, that’s great I guess, but I just think sending cards is a silly practice that I do engage in. I also don’t send birthday cards, Mother’s / Father’s Day / Christmas / etc. I don’t really discriminate against gifts specifically.

          • luckily, the majority here seem to think it isn’t silly to thank someone for a gift. Gives me hope for general politeness.

          • justinbc

            I don’t think you’ll ever find a shortage here or otherwise of people willing to pat themselves on the back for being exceptional humans.

          • The biggest irony? Hallmark isn’t sending thank you cards to anyone for lining their pockets.

        • Plus you help ensure the long term survival of the US Postal Service

          • Emmaleigh504

            And it’s fun to get snail mail, whether a gift or a note. I love mail that isn’t junk or bills.

      • Emmaleigh504

        If you see the person in person, no need to send a card. If you get the present in the mail you need to send something so they know you actually got it! ” And things not getting delivered happens! My aunt and I had gift snafus last year that we never would have known about if we didn’t send Thankyous.
        Thank you” is a nice way of saying, I got the thing you sent.

    • Pablo Raw

      Thanks for the cookies!

    • wait – I’m 99.9% for thank you notes – unless you have a relative that gets sends you “thank you for the than you note” cards. We have a relative who responds to thank you notes and if you don’t respond, she calls my MIL asking if we got the thank you card. So in that case…..yeah, I guess I still write them but I get myself ready for a few back-and-forth thank yous.

    • You should ask them that. Chances are they’ll probably say “Yes, I did, thank you SO much, etc. etc.” In other words, I’m sure they’re grateful but you know, young folks don’t always have the same priorities as older folks. Getting mad at them for not sending thank you notes is about as useful as getting mad at them for having lots of energy or for wanting to hang out with their friends on the weekend. If they’re good young folks then I don’t sweat small stuff like not getting a thank you card; if they’re not good folks I don’t send a gift in the first place.

    • Emmaleigh504

      My grandparents quit sending their grandsons presents b/c they never acknowledged that the presents arrived. So stupid since our grandparents always sent money. My girl cousins, the boys’ sisters, were not dumb. They sent thankyous and kept getting those sweet checks.

      • Good for your grandparents. Did the boys figure it out/get upset?

        • Emmaleigh504

          They knew, I guess they didn’t care. They’re pretty, but not the smartest.

        • Emmaleigh504

          And my cousins on the other side, who’s mom was a drill sergeant about thankyous, now write the most delightful notes. I want to send them things just to get their little notes (or emails). My mom was a thankyou drill sergeant too, but some how my notes aren’t as charming. Must practice.

          • So was mine! I plan to do the same. So far, my wife & write the notes and kiddo draws on the card, but that will change in the next year or two.

          • Emmaleigh504

            I remember drawing thank you notes before I could write 🙂 it was fun (I like to draw.)
            Another thing we had to do for the older folks was use sharpies to write the notes so they could actually read it. I need to remember that for this new generation of old folks I send cards and postcards to.

    • I appreciate your rant. I always had to send thank you notes when I was a kid, and now as an adult I still do. My mom expected notes when she sent gifts, and ranted (I mean for years) that she never got a thank you note from my cousin’s wedding. My grandparents stopped sending my cousins gifts because they never wrote thank you notes. I have even taught my fiance to send notes (he never did before). I definitely expect acknowledgement of gifts, and if I don’t get one, they don’t get another gift. I think its a good practice to get in the habit of and to teach kids to do, and I fully plan to teach my kids to write thank you notes.

      • I always call people (unless it’s an in-person gift, in which case, heartfelt thank you and hug) and thank them – I find it more personal than a thank you card sent through the mail — and I honestly would prefer people to do the same for me. I hate receiving thank you cards. What am I supposed to do with them after I read them? Just tell me. 🙂 (I also accept email thanks)…but when I was younger, and before the Internet existed, I absolutely sent thank you cards.

        • Emmaleigh504

          I don’t like thank you cards either. Too impersonal (it’s ok to throw them out after you read them). I was brought up writing thank you notes. Not only was there a thank you for the present, but a little blurb about what’s happening in my life. IMO notes/postcards are so much more fun to get than just a generic card. Gotta make the thankyou worth reading!

        • Emmaleigh504

          Also, calls, texts, and emails are good too. I just like mail 🙂

        • I hear you, SinSA. I feel tremendous guilt throwing away thoughtful cards and sort of hate getting them because I instantly worry about what I should do with them. My favorite “thank yous” are in person, by Paperless Post, by email, or by phone in no particular order.

        • I have an accordion file where I keep all the mail I receive. (not hallmark thank you cards with nothing but a signature. but actual mail with any kind of personal news and/or sentiment.)
          I keep wedding invitations, baby announcements, Christmas cards, postcards… All in less space than the collected works of JK Rowling. If you send me nice mail, you may rest assured that it will not go in the trash. And I will look at it again someday. I usually clear off the big office bulletin board once or twice a year, and I look through all the old stuff while I’m at it.

          • Emmaleigh504

            When I was a public librarian one of the patrons gave me the sweetest card. She had trouble seeing, so I would help her pick out audio books. She was a nice lady, so even if it weren’t my job to help her, I would do it. What she wrote in the card is so nice and the card was so unexpected. Whenever I’m having a bad day I pull it out and read it. It makes me smile just to think of it.

  • That One Guy

    As a follow up to Friday’s posts about gin, would you believe the internet threw me this:
    Who has, both, the money to spend and curiosity to try it?!?!?
    Rant: reading about the violence from the weekend.
    Rany: ants starting to infest kitchen (on 2nd floor). They are sneaky and only come out when no one is watching.

    • You can “forage” the ants, distill their essence, add to a bottle of gin and sell for $300 🙂

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rant: Last week, I came home from a business trip to NYC on Tuesday and, on Wednesday, got sent on a stressful, last minute business trip to Michigan. I’d better get hella work cred for this.
    Rave: Berry picking Saturday with Emilie and a friend from college who lives near me. I almost bailed because of the stressful, last minute business trip (I got in late Friday), and I’m so glad I didn’t.
    Rave: Eldest and Middle Zelda are back from their youth group mission trip. I missed them, even if they are surly teens.

  • Rave: Had a wonderful weekend around DC despite the heat. Went dancing, hung with family, celebrated my husband’s birthday (again – everyone deserves a two week long celebration!), saw Trainwreck. Tons of fun.
    Rant: Upset about good friends who couldn’t take the time in the past three weeks to celebrate my husband, their close friend. Using their 2.5 year old as an excuse to not invest some in our relationship is difficult for me to sit by and not say anything about it. Perhaps I should.
    Rant: Lots of big decisions coming up about *life*
    Rave: I get to make those decisions with a wonderful partner.

    • Were there options in how your friends could have celebrated your husband? Are they struggling with their toddler? It may be that this is about them rather than about you/your husband. Not saying you shouldn’t say something–but maybe coming from a point of concern would be more successful and illuminating. (Obviously, I don’t know the backstory, so this may not be relevant–but something to consider)

      • Their child is a sweetheart and doing well – we’re almost always accommodating in finding a place they feel comfortable in, a museum where she can run around, or a lunch/breakfast place. For his birthday (a big, important one that we made sure to celebrate with them for theirs!), we’ve been celebrating for two weeks – lots of opportunities for kid or kidless celebrations

        • And not like “celebrating” big huge parties, but just heading out together with people we enjoy to do things we enjoy.

        • Reading through the responses, I still wonder if this is about them–but perhaps for different reasons than I had originally proposed. Certainly possible they’re not as close anymore, but I wonder if there’s something else going on. Is there a history of them dropping the ball/not giving back in the friendship? Either way, I’m sorry. It sucks to have close friends not act like it, even if it might be because they’re drowning in something unknown.

    • Their kid might be having a really bad case of the Terrible Two’s. Acting out, running and screaming, breaking household items, etc – they were probably trying to spare you the stress and horror.
      I’m trying to be more understanding of these things, now that a few of my friends have two year-olds. They can be really evil!

    • I had been feeling sort of that way about some friends of mine that I haven’t seen since much of since they had child #2. Child #1 is about the same age as your friends’ kid. When I saw them recently with both children in tow, all three of us spent most of the evening running around and trying to keep the kids calm, corralled and away from breakables. With varying degrees of success-one glass broken and maybe four meltdowns? I have to agree with mtpresident and OPAnon, there is probably a good reason why they are missing out on social events right now.

    • Emmaleigh504

      As the singleton who never wants kids, I say let it go. I’ve noticed small kids take insane amounts of time and energy. There will be other birthdays/holidys these friends can celebrate with y’all.

    • Am I missing something? Either they really are close friends and you see them otherwise and failure to acknowledge the wonderful specialness of your husband’s birthday (I thought that sort of neediness was supposed to wither away after you turned 16. Or Maybe 21 with that first legal drinking binge) and should be given a pass or they’re actually just acquaintances in which case, why is it a problem?

      • justinbc

        I wondered the same thing re: grown men being upset about lack of birthday participation (although it sounds like maybe she is just upset on his behalf).

        • Yup – that’s it – I’m upset about it and it’s making me wonder whether it’s time to say something about investing in time together (with kiddo – I’m not exclusionary!) or take the hint that they really don’t care that much anymore. Plus it wasn’t a big huge birthday event all about him. It was a couple of days with stuff he loves to do with people he loves to hang with – so totally reasonable to have two close friends and their kiddo join us for one of those times (especially since they were available).

      • Good question and that is where we’re at now – we’ve been close friends for years and been maintaining a good relationship throughout the transition with their sweet kiddo. Wondering if we’re not so close anymore.
        I’m bummed because I’ve made multiple potential plans to hang out to celebrate my husband’s birthday with them (which we’ve done for their big birthdays and their child’s big birthdays) that could be good with or without said kid (park, movie, lunch/breakfast, dinner out, dancing) but no real commitment to the plans.

    • Blithe

      Did your husband’s birthday celebration plans include any toddler-friendly options? If not, I hope that you give your friends a pass with regard to being able to join in the celebrations — and maybe suggest/be open to doing some toddler-friendly activities as a way for you all to enhance your relationship(s) with each other.
      FWIW, I had a great time recently getting to know a friend on a deeper level while her very active pre-schooler splashed for hours at the Kogod courtyard to beat the heat.

      • Absolutely included toddler friendly plans – no big events, just a variety of options to get together with no follow-through on their part (museum, lunch/breakfast, park, movie, whatever really!). Plus included opportunities to get a sitter (which they do!) and go out and enjoy an evening with us without their sweet kid.

        • Blithe

          It was thoughtful of you to include such a wide range of activities. I hope you’re able to connect with your friends — and get a sense of whether they’re stressed, if there’s some issue that you need to discuss,and/ or see if what’s going on is some type of a transitional blip in your friendship.

    • Is your husband upset about it? If not, I think you should take his lead on this.

      • It sounds like this is a broader issue than the birthday, potentially leading to reevaluating the relationship.

  • Pablo Raw

    Rant: Running a little late for work, so decided to pack my breakfast and lunch. Left both at home.
    Rant: As the great american philosopher Amy Schumer once said: “Why is my life the worst?!”
    Rave: It was a nice weekend, I made myself go out and take pictures.

  • Rant: Tough weekend. Still lots of anger and guilt. Self medication is scaring me. Taking PTO today.

  • Rant: I’m having the worst luck when it comes to scheduling things here. I had the wrong directions to where this free English tour of Jaffa started so I missed that.
    Rave: Walked around on my own though, and it was lovely!
    Rant: It’s so so so hot here – I’m constantly a sweaty mess and having to pee from lugging around a 1.5 liter water bottle everywhere I go.
    Rave: Thankful for the beaches – I’ve been at least 4-5 times so far.
    Rave: Clothes hung out on the line dry within 2 hours
    Rave: Thankful for the existence of Google Maps. The last time I was here, getting bus directions was a lengthy process as you’d have to be at your computer, type in your origin and destination, and then look up which buses would go to a given location. Now I can wander until I get lost in Tel Aviv and always find my way back to the apartment or anywhere else.

  • Bear

    Rave: Had a very productive weekend! I painted our living room – now the gashes in the wall where the previous owner mounted their big ass TV are finally patched and the walls painted with a color we actually like. Got a lot done in the yard as well.
    Garden raves: Picked some broccoli, choricero peppers, a big cucumber, several tomatoes, and my first ever zucchini. Also got the netting up over the tomato plants so the squirrels and birds will leave them alone.
    Garden rants: Too much rain led to powdery mildew in my flowers and early blight in one of my tomato plants. Also, effing cucumber beetles are spreading their nastiness in the cucumbers and cantaloupe plants. I broke down and sprayed a fungicide – I worked too damn hard to get that garden together to have it wiped out!

  • RAVE:Third and I hope final job interview tomorrow. Super nervous and self doubt is starting to creep in. Trying to quash that with the help of super supportive friends
    RAVE: North by Northwest at Screen on the Green tonight!
    RANT: My ability to get senioritis even though i don’t have a new job yet. I blame the heat.

    • I totally forgot about 1) Screen on the Green and 2) North by Northwest!
      Pablo, weren’t you talking about organizing a Screen on the Green get-together for PoPville?

      • Pablo Raw

        I asked about Screen on the Green but I don’t remember getting any response from people. So I went home and ate ice cream.

        • I Dont Get It

          We need to have an ice cream intervention; -)

          • This is an intervention to stop the ice-cream-eating? Or an intervention that involves indulging in ice cream rather than something else?

          • Speaking of interventions… do you think it’s possible to try some kind of hairstyle intervention for someone who persists in wearing his hair in a combover? Or do you think that if someone doesn’t recognize the inherent wrongness of the combover, it’s hopeless and he should be left to his own devices?

          • Pablo Raw

            I’m ok with the Ice cream intervention.. as long as we start with Dulce de Leche!

          • Emmaleigh504

            Jim Graham and I bonded over Dulce de Leche ice cream a few weeks ago. It’s possibly my fave ice cream. Jim is a fan as well, but was being good and not indulging in the extra calories. Srsly, Safeway Dulce de Leche ice cream is the elephants earrings!
            Regarding combovers, some of us don’t have a choice! But I choose to believe my combover is not conspicuous.

          • Pablo Raw

            Interesting. Dulce de Leche is really hard to find; now I know that it was you and Jim Graham hoarding it.

          • Emily, there can be extenuating circumstances in some cases, but this is your typical balding-guy combover. Specifically, my dad.
            When I’ve tried to get him to reconsider the combover before, he would joke that Donal Trump had a combover and was a billionaire. (As far as I can tell, Trump has always had a _toupee_, not a combover.)
            Hmm, maybe I can persuade him that now that Trump has been running for president and making outrageous statements, he should get rid of the combover as a way of signaling disapproval of Trump.

          • Blithe

            BLVD caramel dulce slam — now I sort of kind of get why people rave about ice cream. Would be great if someone would volunteer to do a Dulce de Leche ice cream taste-off and report back to the PoPulace!

          • Emmaleigh504

            textdoc, I agree, most combovers suck, but some (I hope) are ok. Personally, I prefer men to go bald gracefully, probably b/c I dig bald men 🙂

          • Emmaleigh504

            Pablo, Jim also likes strawberries (he buys them every Sunday!), so if there’s ever a shortage, you know where to find them.

        • Textdoc, if we’re gonna have an intervention for Trump, I think we’ll need to cover waaaaaay more ground than just the combover! 😉

    • Rant: I think my friends are bailing on Screen on the Green tonight because it is hot. And I think this is the only Monday I’m actually free to go 🙁

      • Cary Grant won’t mind if it’s just you!

        • Emmaleigh504

          Because everything relates to BH 90210: Cary Grant’s daughter was a recurring character during the college years on 90210. she has her father’s chin.

        • I may. If you see the nerd out there all by herself on a blanket – that’s me!

          • If I was able to make it, I’d be the nerd on the 90s “vintage” 101 Dalmatians beach towel. I hope you go and have a great time!

      • Pablo Raw

        I thought about going to Screen on the Green tonight, but looks like outside the Cuban Embassy is going to be more fun.

        • Somehow I missed the news that this was happening today!

        • Cuban Embassy?

        • Pablo Raw

          The Cuban embassy is opening today, apparently there’s a group planning to do some dancing outside 😉

          • Dios mio, dancing in front of the embassy? Hey I’m all about opening diplomatic relations and lifting the embargo, but people should hold off celebrating until the Castro bros. are gone. It’s been 50+ yrs of a brutal dictatorship… Hopefully this thaw will help that happen.

    • I got super nervous the day before starting my new job, and a good friend talked me down by reminding me that I can DO this. I’m good at my job, and I wouldn’t have made it through two interviews if I weren’t. Don’t fixate on the little stuff, just be confident that you are qualified and able and the best person for the job, and it will shine through. Good luck!

  • Rant: Someone brought in Haribo sugar free gummy bears into the office. I ate a handful before remembering the hilariously disgusting Amazon reviews about what they do to your stomach…. Nervous.
    Rave: Got a lot of unpacking done this weekend, finally.
    Rant: In such a funk. Trying really hard not to be bitter about the bf being away on vacation while I do all the unpacking/getting the condo put together.

    • Sorry to hear about the funk! I could see myself being the same way. Is there some things you can focus on that are either exclusively yours (your clothes and shoes) or things that you know you’ll want to weigh in on more (maybe kitchen or bathroom organization) versus things you can save for the two of you to do together? Is there anything you’ve wanted to do that you know he won’t that you could reward yourself with when you need a break? (If you need me to go see Magic Mike with you, say the word :-D) Hope you feel better soon and that you’re not too overwhelmed. Moving sucks, full stop

      • Thanks, Andie! I finally unpacked most of the kitchen and bathroom stuff and all my clothes last night so that did help a bit to get those boxes out of the way. I made the mistake of testing out some paint colors so there have been patches of different colored paint on the walls for weeks and it’s driving me nuts! But mostly, I’m just being a big baby because I’m jealous that he’s paddleboarding and day drinking while I’m stuck at work or a hot condo with no AC! : P
        I might take you up on Magic Mike even if this funk lifts, though. 🙂

        • Understandable! I’m jealous of my teacher friends with their time off, and my beach friends that have flexible summer schedules…especially when it’s quiet in the office and so hot outside!

    • Re: Gummy bears. Oh. No. I’m hoping for you to make it safely through the day.

    • Accountering

      You should stay close to the toilet…

    • Accountering

      Also, if you are struggling with this, and can swing it, pay someone to help. You will make a ton of progress and feel really good about it 🙂
      There are people that – believe it or not – enjoy this kind of stuff, and are wonderful at it!

      • emvee

        I initially thought this was related to the sugar-free haribo concern.

        • Hahaha!!
          Also, what kind of monster would bring these gummies into the office?! They were already opened, so I’m wondering if they ate some over the weekend and realized the ill-effects of them. Maybe this will help me stop mindlessly snacking at the office.

          • emvee

            This is my actual biggest fear. I love gummy bears and if someone (that I knew) were to just hand me some, I wouldn’t think twice about eating them. Good luck and godspeed if/when you need to book it to the restroom.

        • Accountering

          I re-read it under that context, and got a good laugh!

    • Perfect excuse to take over the closet space, prime bathroom storage space, and decorate…

  • rant: co-worker telling others in office i am lazy and dont work. I constantly catch her shopping online. she tries clicking out, but she is never fast enough
    rave: got a raise at work!

  • Rant(ish): I had a very strange experience on the 64 bus on Friday afternoon. The bus was fairly crowded (all seats taken w/ maybe 10 people standing). The bus stopped at 11th and Clifton and this family got on. The woman and one of the kids sat down, and her male partner (who was holding a baby) sat down on the adjacent seat. Suddenly, the old man he sat next to stands up and starts yelling at the bus driver to stop the bus and call the police. Everyone is confused and the bus driver tells everyone standing to clear the front of the bus and move back, so he can see him and ask him what’s going on. He says, “He’s molesting me!” referring to the gentleman w/ the baby who just sat down. Everyone is like “wtf is happening?”. The bus driver tells the old man that he is not calling the cops and to sit down and continues driving. The old man is still yelling that the man is touching him; the woman is telling her partner that she told him he shouldn’t sit there because apparently, this is something the guy does on the regular. A woman pointed out that he likely had dementia tried to ask him where he was trying to do and could she help, but at that point, he’d pulled out a cell phone and was calling 911 himself. I could hear him describing the man and saying he was being molested. It was intense and chaotic and just really sad. No one really knew what to do. My stop came up a few blocks later and I got off the bus. I still keep thinking about the man though. I didn’t know what do to do, but I just wish I could’ve done something.

  • Rave: Physical therapy! I re-injured an old back injury and had to start PT again, and now my back feels better than it did pre-injury. My physical therapist is also convenient to my office and at 7:00am, so I don’t have to miss any work. Didn’t think I could be so happy with a healthcare provider but whoa am I thrilled.
    Rant: the weather. blech.
    Rave: facing our 6 week quiet period at work and I feel so relieved of stress already and it hasn’t even begun. Between the physical therapy and work slowing down, I haven’t felt so good physically in awhile.

    • one rant: I spent 5 hours making Julia Child’s ratatouille on Saturday, only to remember/realize that I don’t really like squash/zucchini. I’ve been trying to engage in squash exposure therapy but this was just too overwhelming. Thankfully partner liked it since she’ll be eating leftovers for lunch all week.

      • I had to chuckle at “squash exposure therapy.” I’m not really a fan of squash/zucchini either (though I do like butternut squash).

        • Yes! Thank you! I feel so guilty because I love to cook and eat and I generally have a very broad palate and I know the zucchini and squash are just glorious this time of year but I just can’t love them. I need to keep trying.

          • Blithe

            Zucchini parmesan? Crispy fried anything slathered with cheese and sauce usually works. Or without cheese: Maggiano’s fried zucchini has probably converted a lot of squash resistant eaters. Zucchini tempura? I really like summer squash, so I’m enjoying your plans for doing exposure therapy!

          • zucchini chips with paprika, or old bay, or rosemary?

          • Both of those things sound delicious and I imagine I would love them. I’m an idealist and so trying to stay away from frying the vegetables or otherwise eliminating their nutritional value but I think I should give myself permission to take baby steps, no?

          • saf

            I have that problem too. I like Greek feta/zucchini patties, but haven’t found much else to do with them that I can stand.

            Oh, and french fries made out of zucchini are ok.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Chicago and Texas.
    Fuck a bunch of San Fransisco, too.
    Rant: Kara and her dumbass hedgehogs.
    Rave: so many blueberries.
    Rant: So much sunburn.

  • rave: in-person interview in Philly this week
    rant: just got the email, so the cheap amtrak tix are gone. Not sure I want to do the bus on the way back.
    rave: I REALLY want this job
    rant: sick kid all weekend. 104+ fever and all that goes with it. It was really bad. He seems better today.
    rave: flexible childcare means neither of us had to take a day off today.

  • Rave: Canoeing from the Anacostia Boathouse to Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, seeing bald eagles and a red fox. A bit soggy after the mid-trip heavy rain…
    Rave: Blueberry ginger shrub – a beverage, not a new plant variety. Delicious when mixed with sparkling water. Next up will be peach cardamon 🙂
    Rant-ish: Grafted tomatoes are at least twice as big as others, but not producing much fruit. Lots of foliage, not enough blossoms.

    • Speaking of tasty beverages… perhaps we could do another Gin and Gardening meeting sometime?

      • Yes, I was just thinking about Gin and Gardening (drinking gin and tonic on my porch, watching little pollinators hard at work). Next Sunday?

        My basil suffered during my last trip and it hasn’t recovered enough to give me the abundance I need for making a gin and basil.

        • Emmaleigh504

          yes yes yes yes!

        • Emmaleigh504

          does berry cobbler go with gin? cuz I can bring some….or some other berry thing since I’m swimming in them

          • Blueberries freeze really well! My picking stash usually does well enough in the freezer to last until it’s time to go picking next year. Just initially put them on a cookie sheet until they freeze on the outside so they don’t clump when you dump them into a ziploc bag. Yay for blueberry pancakes all year round 🙂

          • Emmaleigh504

            Most of them are in the freezer until I have time to make blueberry butter (worth it’s weight in gold), but I kept some not frozen for salads and the possibility of cobbler.
            I’ve also never had a problem with them clumping together in a ziploc baggie. I guess I”m lucky since I like to eat frozen blueberries, too.

          • Yes please to another Gin & Gardening! Sunday works well for me.

            I made blackberry rosemary syrup this weekend which was delightful with gin.

          • Emmaleigh504

            Blackberry rosemary syrup! I need this recipe!!

          • here it is! http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/blackberry-herb-cocktail-230565

            the recipe says to mix with champagne, but it is far superior with gin, club soda, and a small squeeze of lemon.

      • I Dont Get It

        Does anyone have experience in medicinal herbs? I think that would be an interesting topic.

      • Gin and Gardening, this Sunday July 26th at 6:30?
        Favorite summer recipe swap, excess produce exchange (although perhaps it’s too early in for an overabundance of produce)

  • rant: crime alert that said robbery with gun and the lookout was for 14-15yr old and an 11-12yr old. Im like seriously- put their parents in jail as well.
    rave: short week then off to the beach.

  • Rant: WORK! junior employee problems. given a major project I’ve never done before and no one else has produced and have no help and little guidance. initial drafts were terrible due to trial and error. final draft was good but very different from initial drafts. boss is not happy and accusing me of lack of proofreading/possible incompetence. NO ONE HAS PRODUCED THESE REPORTS USING THESE DATA SETS BEFORE! i am figuring it out along the way. i cannot seem to catch a break around here.
    Rant: dating. still dating. probably not for long. possibly ending tomorrow. don’t know how i feel about it.

      • yep. don’t need advice on it. just putting it out there and prepping myself for the inevitable discomfort.

        • Anonynon

          Why is there discomfort it sounds like you got what you were looking for?

        • But wait- what about the party that you invited EVERYONE to?

        • Emmaleigh504

          🙁 ending things sucks. (And I was having such fun picking out songs for you two.) Internet hugs for you.

          • well i didn’t say i was ending it but i picked up on some clues from low match that we are reaching the end of the road. we have a date tomorrow so i’m thinking it’ll be a talk…meh

          • Emmaleigh504

            let me rephrase: endings suck.
            I hope tomorrow goes as well as it possibly can.

          • My only non-advice is to RELAX! Dating while it can be a pain in the butt has some bright spots, and even if someone is a low match (which is very arbitrary anyway), but you like each other, enjoy it. Maybe they’ll be time for in-depth conversations, but why rush those things? He seems like a fun guy who’s willing to make an effort if nothing else.

          • I Dont Get It

            Stop changing your user ID 😉

          • I Don’t Get It: I haven’t changed my username? Are you talking about Anon?
            Anon Spock: it’s hard to relax when you think someone likes you when the invite you to hangout with them & their friends but the whole time they barely talk to you and then leave before you leave. worse when one of their friends asks: do you know each other? awkward

          • I Dont Get It

            Sorry that was on reference M Uh Li. I miss the NOLA area code.

          • Yes, you can still relax. That all sucks, and kudos for trying to stick it out (to be polite, cool friends, etc), but if the vibe is weird that’s the time to leave. Get mad if your hubby does that not your “low match”. He’s making it pretty clear to me he’s not worth the effort based on the fact that he didn’t tell his friends who you were. I’ve never invited someone I’m dating to meet friends without telling them were involved. I retract my earlier statement.

          • Thanks, Anon Spock! Can we be friends IRL?!

          • Emmaleigh504

            Oh Gawd. I had an actual boyfriend who didn’t tell most of his friends we were dating ( was young and stupid). There was a lovely awkward moment after we broke up when I went over to his place to get some things I’d left and one of his friends was there. The friend had just learned we had been dating but did not get the 411 on the break up. He started talking about how cool it was we were dating and asked why we kept it secret.
            On the other hand, kudos to you LA for being so mature and keeping friendship open if continued dating doesn’t work out.
            IDGI, you are 1 to talk about changing IDs! Besides, it’s all Palisades fault.

          • LA- lesbianswhopop at gmail if you wanna chat irl

          • That One Guy

            ^That mental image I get is a female b-girl in a track suit. Heh…

  • Rant – Post vacation blues. Back at my crappy job that sucks the life out of me.
    Rave – Had a great vacation with my family. As I get older I really cherish the time I get to spend with my parents and siblings, even if they do drive me nuts on occasion.
    Rave – Dog survived her first stay with a dog-sitter. I don’t think she enjoyed herself, because when she came home she ran around the apartment like a maniac, rolled around on the sofa, and slept like she hadn’t slept in days. But she was well taken care of and safe, and dog sitter said she’d watch her again.

  • RAVE: New apartment is in really good shape. Spent a few hours doing a very thorough damage inspection and documenting all issues
    RANT: Clothing dryer need to be replace, major issues. Hopefully the landlord agrees. The thing looks like it’s from the 1970s 😡
    RANT: Ugh, no way in hell I want to start moving this week in this hot weather. Gross x 10,000.

    • RAVE: easy trip to/from NYC. My old college roommate let me house-sit his penthouse apartment, which gave us a ton of great design ideas.
      RANT: the rain ruined our Rockaways beach trip with friends on Saturday.
      RANT: GF was pickpocketed of her iPhone while we waited in line to get a bagel at Black Seed. SERIOUSLY, WHO STEALS AT A BAGEL SHOP?!?

      • pickpocketed?! geez! sorry that happened. that’s ridiculous.

      • I feel like pickpocketing is a dying skill. Now it’s all about intimidation and violence. Can you imagine any of our local youths practicing their moves on a dressmaker’s dummy with bells, Oliver Twist style?
        (Sorry about the phone, though.)

        • Agreed, I can respect the hustle of pickpocketing. I’m also pretty sure it was the guy in line behind us. We confronted him, but he turned out his pockets and didn’t appear to have it. Whomever stole it shut down the phone immediately. She realized it was stolen less than 5 minutes after she used the phone to take a photo.
          Still, she was pretty shaken up about it and it pretty much ruined our Saturday – hours on the phone canceling the service, getting the phone remotely locked, changing passwords to all accounts, changing travel arrangements so we could leave earlier the next day, etc. It was just a massive hassle. Gah.

  • VarnumGuy

    Rave: Slash Run opening a block from our house! And they not only have burgers, but also schnitzel sandwiches just like the pork tenderloins I had growing up in Indiana. It’s awesome.

  • skj84

    Rave: wonderful Fringe filled weekend. It’s reinvigorated my love of theatre. I want to start taking classes again. I miss being part of the community.

    Rant: I’m wiped out. Today is recharge day.

    Rave/Rant: another crush. I think the feeling might be mutual, but after last weeks debacle, I’m a bit afraid to precede. Plus I have like no game. Gonna feel this one out slowly.

  • Rave: Being invited to things by new people
    Rant: Don’t think I fit in well with the group
    Rave?: I’m aware and not oblivious to it

    • skj84

      Why don’t you think you’d fit in? It’s always scary meeting new people, but you may find common interests.

      • I’m introverted and everyone else is extroverted to the max. I can be open around people I’m comfortable with, though. I’m sure we’ll at least end up being aquaintances who hang out once in a while if not good friends.

        Need more crafty cat ladies in my life.

        • ^^ For a moment I thought this person was The OP Anon and was really confused. 😉

        • skj84

          Oh I totally know how you feel. I’m an extroverted introvert. I’m fine being around my friends, but it’s really hard for me to reach out to new people. It is exhausting. Crafty cat ladies are a fun breed. Good luck!

          • Thanks sk! I wish these new people were crafty cat ladies. Then I wouldn’t be stuck in an extroverted introvert dilemma!

          • Emmaleigh504

            I’m and extrovert with social anxiety. It’s a fun mix.
            You just need some time to get used to the new people. You’ll be fine 🙂

          • I’m that way too – but I’m trying really, really hard not to be. 🙂 (So I’ll probably go to the next HH and try out my new “talking to strangers is not always scary” exercise.)

          • SinSA – do it! I made myself do it last HH and I’m so glad I did because I met some really awesome people and had a great time!

    • Cheers to getting out of your comfort zone! Hope you have fun with the new folks and do give it some time. Some of my favorite people in the world aren’t ones who I was immediately close with.

  • Blithe

    Rant: General malaise. I think the weather is getting to me. The humidity has been good for my hair though.
    Rant-ish: I lent some cash to a friend in crisis for a specified period of time. Said friend came to me to get the cash — but seems to be expecting that I’ll come to them (not a convenient process) to get it back. It’s not something that’s going to be a serious issue, but it probably will make me more reluctant to do this again if the issue comes up.
    Rave: Just picked up “The Shadow of the Wind”. I’ve been looking for a good read — and this one has potential!
    Rant: I can’t find my tuner. Which kind of makes other things I’ve tried to do not really worth the effort.
    Query: Wondering how IDGI made it through a likely stressful weekend. Hope no news is good news.
    Rave: Tried some absolutely wonderful ice cream. I’m a fan — and I don’t even like ice cream. Maybe it’s the weather?

    • Blithe

      Almost forgotten Rant/Rave: For a few bleary moments, I was terrified that I had a potentially serious medical problem. Then remembered that I had eaten beets the night before — and a PoPville discussion of harmless but troubling symptoms. Yay PoPville!

    • Emmaleigh504

      You don’t like ice cream…. I don’t know how I feel about his 😉 but I will gladly eat all your ice cream for you.

      • Blithe

        Thank you! I had a friend in college who would eat my cake for me. This worked out well! I don’t like ice cream, bread, tomatoes, or most things alcoholic. If my dislikes work well with your likes — maybe we should hang out! lol

        • Emmaleigh504

          Dude! I love bread, tomatoes, and ice cream. I will take all your portions! I’m not much of a drinker, so someone else will have to take your booze.

    • I Dont Get It

      Thanks for your kind thoughts; it is greatly appreciated. I am doing better and am tapering off the self medication.

    • +1 on the malaise. Glad to know I’m not the only one who gets seasonal affective disorder in the middle of the summer (though “glad” is really the wrong word here). I just hate heat and spent the weekend inside with the shades drawn to keep my A/C from overloading. Bleh.

  • Rant: The weather. I was sweating at 8 am getting off of the Metro at work.
    Rave: Applied for a job in Nashville that I’m confident about. Went to college in Nashville and still have friends there and it would be great to go back.
    Rave: I leave on vacation on Thursday afternoon at 4:30! Yeah!
    Rant: My thighs. I hate that I’m the size I am and I know I need to lose weight. The motivation to exercise and stick to a diet is not there.
    Rave: Met my new therapist on Friday and she seems really nice/

  • Major Rant – Wife found two huge (think dinner plate) piles of sh!t between our car and our garbage cans this morning in Petworth. We have a small parking pad on the side of our house and I guess it provides good cover. Spent 30 minutes gagging while trying to clean it up… Guess we need to make sure our back porch motion light is on and very bright.

  • Anonynon

    Rave: Saw Bon Iver debut two new songs at the Eaux Claires music festival in Wisconsin this weekend. I can die happy how, it was a special moment for me.

  • Raves: Best weekend of the summer. Solo time at home. Shopping time. Cooking time. Whiskey time. Time with friends doing home improvement projects. A really promising first date resulted in a second date planned this week. Some good news from the homefront, for a change.

  • Inquiry: anyone gone through the 203k process and have a loan company they’d recommend? Or contractor? I found some posts on Popville about contractors, but nothing on any recommended loan companies.

    • justinbc

      Check the reviews on Zillow, a lot of lenders specialize in 203K type loans so you might not find them if you’re just looking at major institutions as a whole. Also look into the Fannie Mae HomeStyle loan. It requires slightly more down (5%) but is a lot more flexible than the 203K.

    • I’m doing my second one now. I used different people from the first one and this experience has gone better (transaction-wise). I also have a contractor that I wished we used who is 203k approved. Lender: Chris Jordan with First Home Mortgage (just google – his team is wonderful and responsive). 203k inspector: Paul Parsons. Contractor: Miguel Perez MAP Contractors LLC 301-437-4108. Please tell Miguel you got his name from Nikki. I’m also happy to talk more in depth about the experience if you want more information. You can reach out to Dan for my email address.

      • Awesome, thank you very much.

      • Say if I own an existing home- but want to do a gut renovation and perhaps a pop up- can I refinance into a 203K loan that way I have one loan- instead of doing a home equity loan? Any pros/cons? I’m thinking if I spend about 250K on renovations- I’d still be about 200K under what homes are going for now on my block.

        • Hmm…I don’t know if you can use the program for refinancing. Chris Jordan mentioned above would be able to answer in about 20 seconds. I would shoot him an email and tell him what you’ve said above. If you have that much equity my guess is that you would not want to do the 203k. It’s an FHA loan so you end up with PMI and the up front mortgage insurance premium. As soon as the renovation is done at my current place I’ll be looking to refinance. I did the same thing with my other place and eliminated the PMI after the renovation. I read an article in the post recently about a couple that used another type of financing. See if this helps at all: http://www.washingtonpost.com/realestate/in-the-market-for-a-home-in-dc-but-dont-have-a-mint-hello-fixer-upper/2015/07/02/f6ff153c-1142-11e5-a0dc-2b6f404ff5cf_story.html

        • IIRC, a 203k loan has to be used on a home that is in need of renovation in order to make it habitable and bring it fully up to code. If you’re already living in and own it, I think you’re SOL as the 201k is a bundling of both the purchase price and the renovation costs.

  • one additional rant: Shopping at whole foods in Logan yesterday was a cluster. Someone stole my cart WITH my grocery list and 1/2 finished iced coffee in it – which, after a weekend full of sick child, was needed. So I had no idea what I needed to buy and had no coffee! And everyone (rounding up) walks around there with their heads up their asses/in their cell phones. Instacart makes it worse. They fill the shop and rarely look up from their phones. I can’t stand it (I mean, i don’t have to for much longer but still). It’s really frustrating!!

    • Between InstaCart and the proliferation of Uber/Lyft/Sidecar drivers, it’s getting really annoying to do anything in public. When you’re driving, you can always tell who the “ride sharing” drivers are – they are braking at random times, not using turn signals at all, and just generally lost with the face looking at the phone (rather than the road).
      I’m sick of people monetizing public space for private profit.

      • I’m sure the Instacart tactic is to make it so miserable to do ANYTHING at the store that you hire them. I don’t hate my money that much, but I find we do more shopping at Giant and Costco because there’s no Instacart (and the giant is more expensive for what we tend to buy, so I’m still spending more because of it)

      • Blithe

        “I’m sick of people monetizing public space for private profit.”

        I agree with you wholeheartedly!!!!!! But I’ve been — repeatedly told that “It’s the Amurican way”…..’cause “capitalism”.

        • Accountering

          It is the American way. I have money, and I want to pay someone to do something for me that is wholly legal, I should be allowed to do same. Regardless of if that is to give me a ride or pick-up groceries for me.
          The people “monetizing public space for private profit” are just trying to earn some cash on the side. This isn’t some big conspiracy.

    • If you can’t beat em, join em? Using InstaCart has been such a godsend for me. I used to dread going to WF Logan and now I can avoid it altogether.

      • I refuse to pay a mark up for essentials like groceries. It’s a mess because of services like Instacart. there were at least 12 shoppers there yesterday while I was attempting to do it. I actually LIKE to grocery shop. Can’t wait til Wegmans is my default.

        • Somehow I manage to pay a lot less for Instacart groceries than I ever do in-store. No idea why, but it’s the case every single time. That said, I also like grocery shopping, especially when I can meander the aisles a bit and dilly dally. But it will never happen at Whole Foods P St. Too many people in too little space.

          • it’s a chicken or egg problem. It’s gotten exponentially worse since Instacart. I’m sure it’s cheaper b/c you don’t impulse buy. But I tend to stick to my list these days due to more budget pressure. I also like being the one to pick my produce – I should be buying most at the farmers market but it’s getting difficult to go these days unfortunately. I love the 14th and U Market – I’ll really miss it.

      • Same, I love Instacart. I was also in WF Logan this weekend and inadvertantly got into the Instacart lane. It looked like they only had the one dedicated lane, though.

        • it’s not just the check out (i didn’t notice if a line is dedicated to them), is the whole store just wandering around looking at their phones, taking pictures of items, talking with their ear buds in. It makes it difficult to shop. I’m sure people love it, it’s made my grocery shopping significantly worse. For 4 more weeks, I can deal, but it’s really unfortunate for those of us who need to do our own grocery shopping. DC needs fresh direct.

      • Is Instacart a way of outsourcing your grocery-buying to a third party?

        • Yup! They also deliver from Costco and Petco.

        • Yes, they work with Whole Foods, Costco, Harris Teeter and a few others. You get a personal shopper to pick your things up and deliver them to your place. I’ve had a few problems with produce quality, and you are paying a bit of a markup for some items. But overall it is a really convenient service.

    • Blithe

      Did you check with customer service re: your cart? This has happened to me at Whole Foods — and it turned out that because I had parked it in what I thought was a safe spot while I went to shop a more crowded area, a WF employee whisked it away, thinking that it was an abandoned cart. Fortunately I was able to get it back before anyone emptied it.

      • Heh… that kept happening to me at IKEA, frequently enough that I started taking their shopping list/store map brochure thing and writing in big letters in the shopping-list section: “PLEASE DON’T TAKE MY CART — I’M COMING BACK!”

    • I Dont Get It

      Whoops. I inadvertently stole someone’s cart at Target once. It had similar products but the big clue was the hair product. NOT.NEEDED.

  • Rant: I canceled a perfectly good credit card because I thought I had lost it in a public place. Turns out it was in my purse the whole time. Now I’m getting all sorts of failed payment notices on autopay accounts. Pfft.
    Rave: The Ashley Madison hackers. I can’t help but smile a bit at what they did. #sorrynotsorry
    Rave: If it’s even possible, I have Taylor Swift in my head even more now than before the show. And I want all of her outfits, including the light-up LED two-piece.

    • Emmaleigh504

      I love all her floor length gowns for awards events, reminds me of Loretta Lynn. Also covet a pair of shoes I saw on her instagram. Girl has great style (helps that she’s got a body that can wear almost any style).

    • justinbc

      As someone who’s been cheated on before, it’s very hard for me to have sympathy for those who cheat. However, I can’t say I’m fully on board with anyone who steals personal data and threatens to use that as a means of blackmail, especially against a business who’s operating by all appearances in the legal constructs of society. I also find it rather hypocritical that they want the sugar daddy site shut down, but not the “cougar life” site. If you’re going to base your law breaking on some moral ground then I think it should be universally applied.

  • RAVE: Allie Brosh has written a new book, Solutions and Other Problems! Available for pre order, out in late October.
    Rant: New book has not resulted in any new activity on her blog.

    • SusanRH

      and I should have said this should have been treated as a hate crime too

      • Agree on the hate crime, but I don’t think this amounts to attempted murder unless a train was coming into the station when he was pushed. People trying to kill themselves survive often enough that I don’t think simply pushing someone into a metro track= intent to kill.

    • This is horrendous.

    • Accountering

      Same judge sentenced twins convicted of a hate crime against a gay man to 6 months each. Seems like she may need to be relieved of her judgeship.

      • Not sure on that case, but the da recommended 14 months and she gave 12. I can’t for the life of me find the range for attempted assault . . . but this decision doesn’t seem so crazy. The da decided not to make it a hate crime also.

        • Accountering

          Fair, it seems that is part of the problem though. He showed remorse by pleading guilty and admitting he did it… After he was caught. Seems pretty lame, and I don’t see how it isn’t a hate crime. They beat him up because he was gay. Hate crime.

          • No, I agree, but that isn’t a judge problem really. Da under prosecuting seems to be a big issue here esp. With youths. It also isn’t a hate crime until you attach that designation, so while I agree, the da chose not to make it so. I have no idea why. This care seems slam dunk enough but to plead.

  • Rant: Severe untreated mental problems. It IS NOT okay for you to lunge at my girlfriend as we walk down the sidewalk. Take your misplaced anger elsewhere.

    • Trying heeding your own advice, as being angry at someone with that degree of mental illness is not very rational, either. (See the articles above. Very timely for you.)

      • You seem to be projecting here – I did not mention anything about being angry at this person. But thanks for your patronizing response, I hope it made you feel better about yourself.

  • topscallop

    Rave-ish: weekend with no plans filled up quickly! It was nice to see people but I didn’t get as much introvert time to cook and read and watch Netflix as I wanted.
    Rave: kayaking on the Potomac, even though it was SO HOT I was ready to jump in (not really)
    Rant: on the metro home yesterday the train stopped at L’Enfant and the doors didn’t open. I had been oblivious, doing the crossword/listening to a podcast, to an argument on the same car as me but further up that led to someone calling the police. So I was standing by the doors waiting for them to open as a cop came through with his gun. The guy next to me pointed out to him who had been having the fight, which then resulted in a shouting match between the guy and the people being handcuffed, who were angry he had ratted them out, even though he said he wasn’t the one who called the cops. Meanwhile a family with a toddler are between these angry people shouting and the little girl was having an absolute meltdown. So relieved when they opened the doors and I could escape!

    • Ugh, how scary! I’m glad you were able to get away safely.

    • Pablo Raw

      Apparently jumping into the Potomac is safe because there are so many old tires there, there ‘s little risk that you would hurt yourself.
      Kids meltdowns on metro or buses are terrible enough without the presence of guns, I can’t imagine how tough that was to be there. I was on a metro recently and a family with 5 kids the older probably 6 got on the train. At least one of them was having a meltdown at the time while the others were screaming loudly and the mother was hitting one of them. Needless to say, when I got home, I had some chocolate ice cream.

  • Rave: Tubing in Harper’s Ferry yesterday! Also, Cracker Barrel after tubing is pretty much the best thing ever (and only time I eat there). Ton of unhealthy food for cheap to soak up the alcohol… Mmm corn muffins and biscuits!
    Rave: Got away with only a couple mild patchy sunburns. That’s a win when I burn so easily!
    Rant: So tired and sore today.
    Rave: Got the day off work!

    • justinbc

      We went to Bojangles yesterday morning on the way out of town. It’s sad that a food court chicken biscuit is still one of the best you can find in this whole city. Every chef tries to reinvent the wheel with biscuits, sigh.

      • Yes! They are meant to be just simple and tasty. Just one of those things that doesn’t need to be messed with or made fancier.

    • Oh, rant: Got rejected from one of the jobs I had applied to that I was excited about. Turns out they offered it to someone internally so at least it’s not that I didn’t even make it to interview rounds, but still a bummer.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Glad you didn’t burn much! I failed a sunscreen and now what to peel my skin off or die. But I had fund getting the sunburn!

      • Might be too late for this–but a white vinegar & water solution can be a great burn remedy. One part vinegar & 2 parts water, soak a washcloth in the solution, and then put the washcloth on the burn & let it sit for awhile. It takes the heat out of the burn & helps it heal faster. Hope you feel better soon!

  • emvee

    Rave: I finally made it to Dolly Sods this weekend! Thanks special_K for the encouragement. It was indeed a soggy mess, my feet are worse for wear, and muscles I didn’t know I had are aching. Absolutely worth it, though. What a beautiful area.
    Rant: My desk is not scenic and lovely. There is nary a pine tree in sight.

  • Rant: Felt so crappy Saturday that I alternated between thinking I had pneumonia and thinking I got toxoplasmosis from the kittens. Yay for pregnancy paranoia.
    Rave: Felt much better Sunday and could actually move and do things without feeling completely and utterly fatigued. Still some congestion, but a mere annoyance at this point. Fingers crossed it doesn’t get worse again.
    Rave: Weather forecast suggests heat/humidity will break for the baseball date on Wednesday 🙂

  • Rant: I had the worst benadryl hangover this morning. I knocked everything off my bathroom sink, one item at a time, including an open bottle of foundation. I think I might just have to buy a new shower curtain, there’s no way all of that is coming out.
    Rave: I had a great weekend! Super fun date, got to take the new to me bike for a pretty serious spin, and a private distillery tour.
    Rave: I didn’t even know it was national ice cream day, but I had roasted strawberry buttermilk ice cream for dinner last night.
    Rant: RideDC is closing. That was the most convenient spin studio to me and I’m not sure I’ll go very often if I have to travel farther.

    • Emmaleigh504

      ” roasted strawberry buttermilk ice cream” did you make it? can you please send the recipe to my sister to make for me?

  • Heads up everyone in Takoma DC. There’s a water main break on North Capitol Street. I live near Whittier St NW and there is no water. This happened about a half hour ago. I don’t know how widespread it is. DC Water & Sewer said they are still looking at the situation and the break is bad so stock up before you go home.

  • Rant: Mold remediation services had to be called after my floor guys had to stop work on our bathroom.
    Rave: Mold guy said it was not a new thing, but from the previous flooding back in Xmas.
    Rant: He could not give me an estimate since he did not pull out the rest of the tiles. Told me to call my building insurance.
    Rant: Building condo insurance will not pay since too much time has passed and they already paid out. They told me to contact the mold remediation group that came out back then. We were away. I have no idea who called them.
    Rant: Floor renovations on hold.
    Rant: It’s been 7months.

  • Rave: Yeah, water back on!

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